Mad Professor meets Channel One

Mad Professor meets Channel One Sound System, Ariwa LP

I have too many CDs, that’s my confession…… I went through a period of just wanting to own CDs and making my already big collection, massive. During the late 90s I bought a lot of not very good indie albums on the strength of one ok sounding track. For the younger generation, this was a time before iTunes and digital downloads became popular, so to get one song you had to buy the whole damn album. With the benefit of hindsight this was a big waste of money. But with age comes experience, so that is why everything I buy now really has to earn its place. Like all of us I am still prone to an impulsive purchase and the odd mistake, but now I want the main music I buy, reggae vinyl, to be top quality.

So I think my record purchases fall, and maybe yours as well, into three categories;

  1. You hear a snippet of a song on maybe YouTube, SoundCloud or Facebook, you get all enthusiastic and buy it. Then you realise that this impulse purchase is not as good as it originally sounded and it ends up at the back of the collection, never to be played again. You always have a slight tinge of regret each time you happen upon it.
  2. Second is the decent stuff that you like, its not your favourite, but it does get aired now and again when you are in the right mood. It doesn’t give you that warm glow, but it has justified it’s place .
  3. The top category are those records that you put on your turntable and you think ‘wooooahhhhh’, where have you been all my life! These are the sounds that get heavy rotation and get put on when you have ten minutes to spare and need something quality.

As you have probably guessed, in this round about introduction, that the Mad Professor meets Channel One Sound System LP falls rather dramatically into number three. The Prof and Channel One’s Mikey Dread and Ras Kayleb are reggae royalty and this comes across in the form of ten excellent tracks of life affirming dub. All ten tracks are dub perfect, not too dense and muddy, but lyrical and textured enough to lift the spirit.

On the back of the LP sleeve there is a line that I think sums this record up and the great music within it. ‘All tracks in celebration of 60 years of Sound System in United Kingdom.’ That is what this album is, a history lesson and an education from some of the elder statesman of UK reggae. The tracks showcase everything that is good about reggae and dub, it is truly an essential purchase for all those who appreciate the legacy of UK Sound Systems.

The LP is available at all good retailers including Jah Waggy’s, where you can also hear some sound clips. For more on Ariwa and the Mad Professor sound, check out his website, more info on the Channel One Sound System can be found here.

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