Sometimes in life you come across a piece of music that hits you square in the chest, something that makes you think ‘this is me’. My reggae epiphany came about one afternoon while I was working at Our Price Records in Chiswick High Road.
One of my colleagues, Matt, put on a CD called African Rubber Dub Vol 2. I hadn’t really heard anything quite like it before and that heavy bass sound just clicked with me. Being an innocent youngster I wasn’t sure about reggae for ‘white boys’, and whether I should be liking this! England’s rich multiculturalism has contributed much to this country and helped influence some of the best popular music. Reggae is no different, its sound weaves through English music and it is for everyone.
The sleeve didn’t give too much away about its origins, this was pre-internet and information wasn’t at your fingertips. I did find out later that it was a Bim Sherman release, a well-known singer from London’s reggae scene. Listening to the album you will understand why it wasn’t for nothing that Bim was hailed as ‘reggae’s sweetest voice’.
Right from the first track it We’ll Be Over it pulls you in with very chilled dub rhythms and haunting vocals. You can hear Adrian Sherwood’s influence stamped all over the production. All the tracks feel very London rather than Jamaica and it is a very worthy dub album. It’s not easy to find but seek it out, you will be rewarded.
Unfortunately Bim is no longer with us, taken from us at the young age of 50, but his legacy lives on and this album will stay with me as my reggae introduction. One of those albums that transports you back to a particular time of life…….