Dienstag, 21. März 2017

New Age Steppers - Foundation Steppers (On-U Sound, 1983)

Rallying around the considerable talents of British producer/modern dub mastermind Adrian Sherwood, the New Age Steppers were not so much a band as they were a loosely knit aggregation of musicians from some of Britain's best avant-garde post-punk/funk bands. There was Ari Up from the Slits, Mark Stewart from the Pop Group, and John Waddington and Bruce Smith from Rip, Rig & Panic. Along with the usual gang of suspects employed by Sherwood's dynamically creative On-U Sound (George Oban, Style Scott, Eskimo Fox) studio, the sound ofthe New Age Steppers was that of cut-and-paste dub mixing, psychedelic swirls of found sounds, dissonant aural collages, sinewy reggae riddims, and odd, semi-tuneful vocals. Not for the faint of heart, the music created by Sherwood and his Steppers was among the most exhilarating and consistently challenging to come out of Britain during the early post-punk era. It wasn't always accessible, but it has few peers in terms of ingenuity and daring. Highly recommended to those whose musical tastes occasionally reside on pop's radical, experimental fringes.

The third and final New Age Steppers album (unless one considers the Creation Rebel dub sets), "Foundation Steppers" is dominated by Bim Sherman's magnificent vocals, with the majority of his showcases then segueing into a lengthy dub interlude, to complete one of the finest "traditional" reggae albums in the On-U canon. Assuming, of course, that a traditional album would find space for "Five Dog Race," an earthquake instrumental that Adrian Sherwood would return to on several occasions in the future. Lol Coxhill, Doctor Pablo, and Prince Hammer have all distinguished subsequent versions of this mighty rhythm. Another dub, the sparser "Mandarin," is equally forthright, but the key moments here are the vocal tracks - the buoyant "Memories," the confidential "Misplaced Love," and the pushy "Vice of My Enemies" (reworking the old "Rebel Party" rhythm) all testify to Sherman's mighty presence - to the point where the absence of the Steppers' most familiar vocalist, Ari Up, is scarcely even noticed.

New Age Steppers - Foundation Steppers (On-U Sound, 1983)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

3 Kommentare:

Anonym hat gesagt…

Thanks for the work, as a stewart/rip rig/sherwood fan, you have made my evening great, thanks

Anonym hat gesagt…

Hi, just found your blog as i was checking for Floh de Cologne can you please re-post Rotkäppchen (1977, vinyl rip) & Prima Freiheit (1978),
Thanks in advance, apanta

Christopher tm hat gesagt…

Fantastic, thank you.

-Xtm

Kommentar veröffentlichen