Roots Renegade Sound System

Roots Renegade Records release their first single featuring Cornell Campbell and Earl Sixteen

Norwich does not particularly spring to mind when you think of the UK reggae scene. When I tell people who are not fans that I write about reggae and live near Norwich, they tend to look quite mystified. I do point out that there is a long history of appreciation of Jamaican culture and sounds in the County. Historically much of this is due to the promotion Tony Roots gave the music in the late 70s and 80s. As well as through his system Foundation Sound, he attracted top line bands like Aswad, UB40 and Third World to come and play in the area.

Jump forward to 2015 and you can find a strong, thriving sound system culture with crews like Rebel Lion, Foundation Sound, Full Tone and Roots Renegade playing regularly across the city. As a student town you won’t be surprised that the live scene is also pretty vibrant, with The Wailers visiting soon and acts like Culture and Yellowman recently playing live.

Roots Renegade Sound have been sound system regulars in Norwich since 2006, hosting nights featuring some of the big guys including Roots Garden, Iration Steppas and Sir David Rodigan’s Ramjam nights. So it seems a natural progression for Roots Renegade to start their own record label and release their own dubs.

The driving forces are producers Joss Edwards and Vinney Satta and Joe Smith co-owner of Roots Renegade Sound. Joss from the label sums up their intentions, ‘We have clubbed together to start releasing some of the wicked music we have been making for years. Loads more tunes in the pipeline for the next few months/years. You will definitely be seeing a lot more of us’.

The first release will feature two classic reggae vocalists, the silky voiced Cornell Campbell on ‘Silver and Gold’ and Earl Sixteen on ‘Dance Jah Music’. ‘Silver and Gold’ is a nice gentle jam, a scattering of biblical sounding horns give the track some power, which acts as a nice contrast to Campbell’s sweet voice. The B side features Earl Sixteen and is a more digi take on the sound. Once again the horns are to the forefront and this groove taps into a quicker drum’n’bass rhythm.

Clips from the new single can be heard at their Soundcloud page and you can hook up with them on Facebook for more release details. Judging by the first single, I think we can expect big things from these guys.

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Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. […] also nice to see local Norwich based crew, Roots Renegade on the bill, that’s a definite slot I shall be […]

  2. […] The core of Dub Conductor are friends Hamish, Giles and Cragg. Hamish runs the label and produces the music, whilst Giles and Cragg run the sound, spin the tunes and contribute artwork and musical inspiration. So the obvious question for Hamish to start with was, how did you all get started? Hamish replied, ‘we all grew up together and formed a love of sound systems from attending roots sessions in Norfolk (there’s a surprising amount of them) and across the UK as we progressed through uni. We felt compelled to build a sound system and in 2007 we held our first session in a small village hall in Norfolk in the middle of a tiny rural village.’ Living in rural Norfolk myself this must have been quite a culture shock for some of the residents, but if you dig deeper Norfolk does have a fine reggae pedigree. Many of the great names in reggae have played Norfolk over the years and there are active sound systems including Rebel Lion, Foundation Sound and newer boys Roots Renegade. […]

  3. […] just started to surface on Facebook. (You can find more info about the Norwich based system in my review of their last single.) It is not due out until April but its frighteningly infectious sound is […]


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