African Head Charge


Adrian Sherwood's legendary On-U Sound label is making progress on the mission that began in 2015 to revise the famous back catalog and offer the highlights worthy re-releases. By "worthy" is meant primarily vinyl, remastered by "Dubplates & mastering ”in Berlin“ for maximum bass pressure ”. The start of the new year 2016 is taken over by the first four albums by African Head Charge, the studio project that Sherwood launched with the Jamaican percussionist Bonjo Iyabingi Noah in the early 1980s: My Life In A Hole In The Ground from 1981, Environmental Studies from 1982, Drastic season from 1983 and finally Off the beaten track from 1986. As we know, Sherwood has always been a producer with a wide, very wide horizon. Reggae forms the core of his label's brand, but post-punk, industrial, noise, electronica and verquere Dub-Experiments were also part of the repertoire. In any case, African Head Charge is part of the latter - but with a complete renunciation of reggae. We have to imagine Adrian, Bonjo, and the usual On-U suspects sitting in the basement studio, how they tinker with experimental freeform rhythms, at the center of which are drum, bass and percussion, cut up tapes and try their hand at what later " Sampling "will be called. Occasionally they mix in a couple of weird wind instruments, sometimes voices, or whatever sounds can be processed in the studio. While the first two albums are still in the context of moderate abstraction, mean well with the listener and offer them a continuous rhythm or some African singing, the two following albums are pure experiment. Sherwood describes “Drastic Season” in the following words: Experiments in active frequencies, out of time noises, rhythms within rhythms, and endless tape edits ”. And he's right. Who on Karlheinz Stockhausen-Dub is hereby blessed. For all others it only serves to distinguish them from the mainstream mob. What is the verdict when you listen again in 2016 ?: Important historical documents, but they are not fun.

Rating 2 stars

6 responses to "African Head Charge"

After three tracks I gave up, it's actually not fun. Possibly as a soundtrack for substance abuse ;-)

To come down, I heard a nice new old-style album:
Jerry Harris - Roots Reggae Tracks

That's right, the album is nice. But they are more instrumentals (which is not a problem).


I can of course understand anyone who messes with these DubExperiments nothing but nothing at all. I personally got to know African Head Charge through "Drastic Season". When I put the record on for the first time, I thought my turntable was running backwards. I hadn't heard anything like that "sick" before and after.
But even then there was already this certain substance with which you could use the curvature of the room to widen your own horizon in the truest sense of the word. One could also maliciously write that I “smoked” the disc for myself. Anyway, after the first two Dub-Experiments I suddenly found the disc really awesome. There are so enraptured Dubs on it that really send you into a kind of parallel universe. And I think that's extremely good when our known universe has become a little too small again.
After that, of course, I needed more of it and so I also got "My Life in a hole in the ground". To this day I only have one Dub found, which I like very much. As an On.U - Sound fanatic I have also bought all other African Head Charge albums and can say that I found the full range of what is possible there. From unheard of bad to inedible to complete enthusiasm, I have experienced everything from African Head Charge. There was once an attempt by Bonjo Iyabingi to release a vocal record with African Head Charge without Adrian Sherwood's involvement. I bought the record without hearing it because I was now a fan of African Head Charge. But even after two attempts and the application - which was almost "improper" - of a certain substance, the disc just didn't get any better. I really stepped on it out of anger with my foot and kicked her into the trash can without touching her hands again.
Still, I have to say that the Dubworld would have a limited horizon without the African Head Charge.
In my life I've had the opportunity to play the DJ here and there and rock the evening, so to speak. I always didn't care how people thought about it, at least I always had two hours first DUB. Of course, not everyone thought that was great, but I got questions from African Head Charge about who it actually is. And in certain circles, African Head Charge has become a very popular change from everyday life.

Well, to cut a long story short …… “My life in a hole in the ground” is not the best advertisement for African Head Charge ……………… ..

"African Head Charge is on the Empire" ………………… .. lemmi

Hehe, I already know a lot DubBut I first had to google the word “connoisseur”. I don't have time for general education. On the one hand, that's probably the case, but on the other hand, I always get a crisis when the sound system can do it for at least two hours Dub hang up, of which I don't know a single one. And if this DubI think all of them have done a good or very good job Dubs, yes even all of my roots Dub Reggae "collection" shit. It then takes two or three days until I get settled again. When I am then immersed in music nirvana again at home and look at my shelves, I think again full of inner satisfaction ……………. "MY DARLING" !

Oh, it's wonderful when you have that little "knock" away ……………… lemmi

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