Adrian Sherwood presents Dub No Frontiers album & debuts ‘Meri Awaaz Suno (Hear My Voice)’ by Rita Morar

There’s no arguing that the most famous names in reggae are those of men. Despite reggae’s reputation for calling out injustice and inequality in its rebel music, it is still very much dominated by male voices, male producers and male musicians.

‘Adrian Sherwood presents Dub No Frontiers’, released 22 July via Real World Records, is a platform for some of the great international female artists currently operating to unite and celebrate in dub, and is inspired by and features female vocalists the On-U Sound producer, and brainchild behind the project, knew from the UK or had met while travelling around the world. “Many of the singers said they felt the dub/reggae arena was a male preserve and a little intimidating even, so we decided to invite artists to perform a song of their choice, all in non-English on our rhythm tracks.”

The results are spectacular: the ten tracks produced by Sherwood, with half co-produced with the late great Lincoln ‘Style’ Scott and arranged by Skip ‘Little Axe’ McDonald, ring out with a vibrancy, richness and energy. From Rita Morar’s ‘Meri Awaaz Suno (Hear My Voice)’, a fragile, beautiful piece sung in Hindi over the Sacred Ground Rhythm and Tunisia’s Neyssatou’s potent take on Bob Marley’s ‘War’ sung in Arabic, to Kerieva McCormick’s (who spearheaded the project with Sherwood) hypnotic ‘Chavale’ sung in Romani, this is all crucial stuff.

PRE-ORDER THE ALBUM

The first track to be released from the project, ‘Meri Awaaz Suno (Hear My Voice)’, is written and performed by Rita Morar, who was introduced to Adrian by Asian Dub Foundation’s John Pandit G. For Morar, Dub No Frontiers felt like the perfect fit. “As an independent female artist I wanted to write something that conveyed both my vulnerability and my strength, how through our music we are uplifted and become empowered.”

The accompanying video features the paintings of artist, musician and filmmaker Peter Harris and the animation of Llyr Williams. Harris’s bold portraits of trailblazing, transformative women dominate the album’s artwork – the cover image is Afeni Shakur Davis – and forms a perfect visual foil to the music within.

 

Rita Morar - Meri Awaaz Suno (Hear My Voice)

Putting the project together was lengthy. It’s been some ten years in the making but the process itself was remarkably straightforward. “In this day and age it’s easier than ever to connect,” says Sherwood. “You simply digitise a rhythm, send a file of it to Japan, China, Tunisia, Africa, the vocalist sings on it, sends it back, it’s brilliant. Technology means we can unify the world through music.” He adds, “like most people who love reggae, I am obsessed with versions, which are unique to JA music. When you hear the rhythm it’s a work of art and you love to hear countless versions of the same rhythm. I started accumulating and versioning rhythms, some existing rhythms such as ‘War’ and some new ones. At one time I even considered doing a whole album of versions of the ‘War’ rhythm.”

The nucleus of the new versions originated from a session in London with such reggae luminaries as keyboardist Franklin ‘Bubblers’ Waugh, who played with Sly and Robbie; the late bassist George Oban and the aforesaid drummer ‘Style’ Scott, together with Sherwood’s trusty rhythm section, plus guitarist Vince Black and the Ital Horns. “We broke the rhythms down and re-cut them,” he says. “We remade them, rebuilt them completely, then upgraded them, making them better and better and better each time and then we invited the singers to sing over them. The project kept evolving. It kept growing and has turned into something extraordinarily powerful.”

Sherwood is proud of the work everyone has created, and rightfully so. “It’s the right people working together at the right time with the right label. It might not be commercial but it is a beautiful thing. I know people are going to love it.” He also has plans to take the ‘Dub No Frontiers’ album out on the road. “The vision from the beginning was to make it a live thing, to have this amazing line up backed by an all-female band. Imagine that.”

Dub No Frontiers is out on 22 July, 2022 and now available to pre-order on LP and CD. The single ‘Meri Awaaz Suno (Hear My Voice)’ is out now on all digital platforms.

PRE-ORDER THE ALBUM

Featured Release

  • Adrian Sherwood presents Dub No Frontiers

    Various Artists

    Released 22 July 2022

    Dub No Frontiers is inspired by and features women vocalists that Adrian Sherwood, the On-U Sound producer and the brainchild behind the project, knew from the UK or had met while travelling around the world. Many of the singers said they felt the dub/reggae arena was a male preserve and a little intimidating even, so he decided to invite artists to write and perform a song of their choice, all with non-English lyrics on his rhythm tracks.

By Online Editor

Published on Fri, 13 May 22

Further reading

Tim Bowness announces new album Butterfly Mind

Real World Music Publishing writer, Tim Bowness, announces the release of his 7th studio album.

Out now: ‘The Unfolding’ by Hannah Peel & Paraorchestra

The Unfolding is an extraordinary eight-part collaboration between Northern Irish composer Hannah Pe...

Track of the day: ‘Steal’ by Bob Holroyd. Remixed by Luca Bacchetti

Originally released as part of the Mangled Pianos single last summer, ‘Steal’ has been reworked...

Track of the day: ‘Gnawa Beat (Bayaka Remix)’ by Bab L’ Bluz

A new remix of 'Gnawa Beat' by Italian DJs and producers Bayaka.