Tuesday, 5 March 2013

yho43 - rebound

The forty-third edition of YHO is about reissues.  It starts at that point in the 1990s when compact discs were in the ascendancy and, as the decade developed, there emerged a number of labels which were making lost sounds available again that could claim to be changing lives, making us look at the history of popular culture in an entirely new way, rather than reassuring us with what we already know.  And they provided an all-round enriching aesthetic experience.  These reissue labels, helmed by enthusiasts determined to transcend niche interests, provided us with great music, sure, but also with their own collection of visionaries, scholars, characters acting as compilers, annotators and designers worthy of their own hagiography.  This is a celebration of four of these organisations, their activity, and certain specifically significant releases: Blood and Fire, Kent, Soul Jazz and On-U Sounds.  It is dedicated with special affection to Steve Barrow, Ady Croasdell, Stuart Baker and Adrian Sherwood, with a tip of the hat to Roger Eagle and Dave Godin. The cover was beautifully designed by Per-Christian Hille.


  1. Nice to see my good friends at Intro getting a much deserved namecheck !

    Respect due, as the saying goes....

    Steve Barrow

  2. Thanks Steve, lovely to hear from you!

    1. I really used to enjoy going into Intro - the old office in Little Museum Street - and sitting in all day with Mat Cook, Michael Williams [Horace/Yabby Jesus Dread set], Adrian Talbot [typography], Martina Keller [Big Youth, Gregory etc], Dave Smith and the rest of the crew, including Adrian Shaughnessy and Katie, the original founders of Intro. I took the raw material in - usually with a rough visualisation concept in my head - and they brought it to life. In fact that Yabby You cover you reproduced is made from a door at the side of my hoome in Forest Gate, that reminded me of Yabby's line about 'the moon turning to blood'- it was the colour of dried blood, and so we sawed it in half and Mat assembled one of his creations on it.
      I first worked with them when I did comps for Trojan, but that company complained they were too expensive !
      So Intro definitely deserve credit for that 'distressed' look that became quite common on reggae reissues.
      Anyway, enough rambling and thanks again for your kind words about the work of such as Stuart B, Adrian, Ady and me.

  3. That makes a perfect addendum! Much appreciated Steve.

  4. This article really evoked memories for me of when I was flat broke skint at University in Glasgow in 1993. The price of 12 quid for a new cd release was a serious luxury to be considered against buying food. However, at that time, the depth of knowledge gleaned from sleeve notes, twenty plus new songs to listen too and devour, sleeve art; that was just that. Would win the day. Soul Jazz, Kent and Blood and Fire were my musical trinity of that time. A time when vinyl purchases stopped, the cd in that format and quality seemed momentarily better bang for the buck.
    Yr Heart Out, I've just found you and I'm starting back at Episode 1. Sharing Elis Regina youtube clips, merci......I'm sold.

  5. Thank you Douglas. And if you are the same DH that did the Steve Barrow interview then great work!