MEMORIES OF A REDUCER UNIVERSAL SOUND SYSTEM SELECTOR
Reducer Universal Sound System was born out of a need to play & hear the reggae we were already listening too, at a decent volume with proper bass - it's was that simple - I for one had my introduction to reggae when I was 15-16, Listening to John Peel late '76 -'77 to hear stuff like early punk singles & sessions - Peely played a bit of reggae back then (not as much as he did later) but I remember an early Aswad session and some Peter Tosh, Burning Spear, Black Uhuru & later in '78 some more serious stuff like Misty in Roots, Steel Pulse who where singing about the immediate U.K. black experience - like 'Ku Klux Klan' (about the fact that the kkk had got permission to hold a rally in the UK! Can you believe that now!) - most of it was Roots Rock Reggae I guess, similar to Bob Marley, but to me a bit more interesting - less poppy - more political - as Punk evolved the PunkyReggae links grew stronger...like Mikey Dread & The Clash - because the Punk experience was similar to the disaffected black youth experience - both outsiders both angry both righteous both street level real.
I started buying reggae records seriously, hanging out at punk/reggae gigs - you'd meet like minded types and talk about what was good and worthy such as LKJ, Benjamin Zephaniah & those guys who were playing smaller festivals along with bands like Culture, Aswad & Eek A Mouse. I soon started going to blues parties - basically a group of local Afro-Caribbean guys would put on a sound system, but in a 'normal' house, but they had all the furniture and stuff taken out and just filled it with bass bins and people - you could buy red stripe cans and wraps of Jamaican weed and the music was proper stripped down heavy dub and predominantly Rastafarian lyrics - (when I got into dub seriously later I 'refound' alot of what those guys where playing Shaka, Prince Fari, Scientist etc...) after that I was hooked and started going to sounds to hear and see systems like Jah Shaka & Sir Coxsone - at about the same time On-u-sounds records started releasing some top quality music like Dub Syndicate, Singers & Players, Creation Rebel etc...but the two top artists they had were LSP and Prince Fari - Lee Scratch Perry - what can I say - simply the greatest living musician in the world. GRANDDADDY OF THEM ALL - If he didn't write it, he produced it or played on it, or usually all three - just about any reggae song you can name has Lee Perry involved somewhere - everybody involved in Reggae music owes Lee Perry a huge debt - he was and he still is, the best. Prince Fari - voice of thunder - reading out psalms and prophecies over serious heavy dub with the gravitas of a prophet - truly a magical man & voice.