One of the most inspired of producer Adrian Sherwood’s many collaborations is the early-’80s dub project New Age Steppers – a loosely-configured collective of British and Jamaican musicians that primarily centered on Sherwood’s studio alchemy and the distinctive singing of Slits vocalist Ari Up. The project mixes up bright reggae songs and experimental zoners and helped pave the way for the most adventurous sounds of the ’80s and ’90s. Sherwood went on to work with Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Lee Scratch Perry, Sly & Robbie, KMFDM, Cabaret Voltaire, and many others.
This year marks the reissue of all four New Age Steppers releases, along with the odds-and-ends package Avant Gardening, in a single package titled Stepping Into a New Age 1980-2021 on Sherwood’s storied label On-U Sounds.
Chris Kissel and Chuck Soo-Hoo, hosts of dublab’s Contact Wave, host this in-depth conversation with Sherwood
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