On U Sound Adrian Sherwood

Born in London in 1958 (on a cusp between Capricorn and Aquarius), Sherwood showed a precocious talent for music. Spending many nights away from home - next to a Mars Bar factory in Slough, Buckinghamshire - he worked initially with now nostalgic names like Emperor Rosko, Judge Dread, Johnny Walker and Steve Barnard. Early contact with the reggae world was through work with the Pama and Trojan roadshows, and school vacations were spent working for the legendary Pama and Vulcan labels.

At the ludicrously early age of seventeen, he co-founded the Carib Gems record label, showing commendable foresight by issuing the first Black Uhuru sides, not to mention some fine early dub work by Prince Far I. Far I was to become a regular colleague of Adrian's until his tragic death in 1983. He also licensed Ms. Pottinger's famous High-Note label in England on Skynote.

As a producer, Sherwood cut his teeth on the fine "Dub From Creation" set from Creation Rebel issued on Hitrun Records, Adrian's next label formed in 1978. The label issued a total of 34 twelve-inch singles; classics including Carol Kalphat's "African Land" (with Eastwood & Dr. Pablo) and Prince Far I's "Higher Field Marshall." Hitrun also issued the first Roots Radics dub set "Dub To Africa" and the first chapter of the renowned "Crytuff Dub Encounter" by Prince Far I & The Arabs, mixed and co-produced by Sherwood.

1980 saw the formation of the current ON-U Sound Records, in partnership with photographer Kishi Yamamoto. Setting new standards of dub production,Sherwood produced a vast army of reggae, funk and rock artists including New Age Steppers, Singers & Players, Creation Rebel, Bim Sherman, Mark Stewart & The Maffia, Judy Nylon, London Underground, African Head Charge and Dub Syndicate - just to name a few. Throughout the early 80's Sherwood also turned the knobs on non-ON-U Sound records such as the stupendous "Crytuff Dub Encounter Chapter III" on Daddy Kool, "Revenge of the Mozabites" by Suns of Arqa on Rock Steady in Manchester and "One Way System" by Dub Syndicate. Other artists who have enlisted Sherwood's production talents include: Depeche Mode, Living Colour, Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. His live mixes for Creation Rebel, The Slits, Maffia, London Underground, early Rip Rig, & Panic gigs, Prince Far I and Bim Sherman have been revolutionary since the late seventies using (at the time unheard of) ambience and delay.

A deeply committed and hard-working producer, Sherwood's new inroads into American-style dance music look like being as influential and innovative as his work in reggae.

On-U-Sound projects are sold by Restless in the US
information on where to find On-U-Sound records