Adrian Sherwood presents Dub No Frontiers released today

Adrian Sherwood presents Dub No Frontiers is released today on Real World Records. The album 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.

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.

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“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.”

Women have been key in shaping reggae music’s identity from its very inception. Back in the 40s, the folklorist Louise Bennett-Coverley laid the groundwork, championing the island’s native patois in her poetry; in the 50s dancer Anita ‘Margarita’ Mahfood campaigned for the public acceptance of Rastafarians, then persecuted and seen as outcasts, utilising the Rastafarian drumming troupe Count Ossie and The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari at her recitals while Patricia Chin co-founded the legendary Randy’s Record Mart (she currently helms VP Records). In the 60s Millie Small introduced ska to an international audience with her hit ‘My Boy Lollipop’ and Sonia Pottinger began her producing career bringing innovation from behind the desk. Then, of course, there are those great female voices from Phyllis Dillon to Lady Saw who have pushed the music forward from rocksteady to dancehall and beyond.

The album artwork is a striking image of Afeni Shakur Davis painted by artist, musician and filmmaker Peter Harris. His bold portraits of trailblazing, transformative women dominate the album’s accompanying booklet forming a perfect visual foil to the music within.

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.”

Adrian Sherwood presents Dub No Frontiers is out now on LP, CD and digital.

Rita Morar - Meri Awaaz Sun (Hear My Voice)

Featured Release

  • Adrian Sherwood presents Dub No Frontiers

    Various Artists

    Released 14 October 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, 14 October 22

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