On-U Sound Records

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On-U Sound Records
On - U Sound logo.png
Founded 1979
Founder Adrian Maxwell Sherwood and Pete Holdsworth
Genre Dub, reggae, experimental, electronica
Country of origin UK
Location London
Official website http://www.on-usound.com

On-U Sound Records is an English record label known for releasing its own unique flavour of dub music since the 1980s. [1] The label was founded by Adrian Sherwood in 1979/1980 [2] [3] [4] and is home to acts such as Tackhead, Dub Syndicate, African Head Charge, The London Underground, Little Annie, Creation Rebel, Mark Stewart, Gary Clail, New Age Steppers, Audio Active, Asian Dub Foundation, and the dub collective Singers & Players. [5]

A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Sometimes, a record label is also a publishing company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos, while also conducting talent scouting and development of new artists, and maintaining contracts with recording artists and their managers. The term "record label" derives from the circular label in the center of a vinyl record which prominently displays the manufacturer's name, along with other information. Within the mainstream music industry, recording artists have traditionally been reliant upon record labels to broaden their consumer base, market their albums, and be both promoted and heard on music streaming services, radio, and television. Record labels also provide publicists, who assist performers in gaining positive media coverage, and arrange for their merchandise to be available via stores and other media outlets.

Dub is a genre of electronic music that grew out of reggae in the 1960s, and is commonly considered a subgenre, though it has developed to extend beyond the scope of reggae. Music in this genre consists predominantly of instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is achieved by significantly manipulating and reshaping the recordings, usually by removing the vocals from an existing music piece, and emphasizing the drum and bass parts. Other techniques include dynamically adding extensive echo, reverb, panoramic delay, and occasional dubbing of vocal or instrumental snippets from the original version or other works. It was an early form of popular electronic music. The Roland Space Echo was widely used by dub producers in the 1970s to produce echo and delay effects.

Adrian Maxwell Sherwood is an English record producer specializing in the genre of dub music. Sherwood has created a distinctive production style based on the application of dub effects and dub mixing techniques to other forms of electronic dance music and popular music outside of the genre. Sherwood has worked extensively with a variety of reggae artists as well as the musicians Keith LeBlanc, Doug Wimbish and Skip McDonald. Sherwood has remixed tracks by Coldcut, Depeche Mode, The Woodentops, Primal Scream, Pop Will Eat Itself, Sinéad O'Connor, and Skinny Puppy. Within his role as a record producer, he has worked with a variety of record labels, however his most well-known label is On-U Sound Records, which he founded in 1979. Sherwood has been a member of the band Tackhead. As someone who considers himself tone deaf, the producer focuses on making sounds and noises rather than melody.

During the 1980s the sleeves and labels of On-U releases often featured a release date that was ten years in advance of the record’s actual release date. For example, the sleeve notes on African Head Charge’s Environmental Studies LP, released in 1982, claimed it was ‘another 1992 On-U production’. The conceit suggested the label’s esoteric reggae fusion was at least a decade ahead of its time.

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  2. Bradshaw, Melissa (19 April 2011). "Pay It All Back: Adrian Sherwood On 30 Years Of On-U Sound". The Quietus . Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  3. Garratt, Sheryl (24 February 2003). "It's my turn". The Guardian . Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  4. "On-U Sound - CDs and Vinyl at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-12-09.
  5. Coleman, Nick (2011-11-26). "Adrian Sherwood is feeling the riddim". New Zealand Herald, The. Retrieved 2013-04-16.