Dateline: 01/05/04 Venue: Brixton Recreational Centre
A saturday night rather than the usual friday night in the 'University Of Dub' experiences.
at 20:40 and as I was parking up I saw bredrins Steflion and his
queen Marie standing across the street.
I came out of the car and we greeted each other warmly. Stef then said "Where is Aba"?
"Aba is inside" I said to Stef. "No he isn't" Marie informed me!
inside the hall to see Mikey from Channel One setting up his system
where we normally set up and King Shiloh fine tuning his set,
but no Aba.
This was strange to me because Aba in all the 7-8 years of 'University Of Dub' has never been late.
In fact on a number of occassions he has been too early and has had to wait for the venue to become free, before he could load in.
There then followed phone calls from me to Aba to find out where he was.
he was stuck in the queue of traffic trying to get through the
infamous Blackwall Tunnel.
Aba duly arrived late, at 23:00.
To Raymond Judah and the patrons of 'University Of Dub' sincerest apologies for Aba's late arrival.
Anyway the session got under way properly by midnight and all sounds were dropping serious sound pressure.
noticed over the years that the benchmark that other sound systems
try to attain is getting better and better.
Some like King Earthquake have a frightening B-Line, but suffer from a lack of definition in the mids to tops department; and as a consequence you cannot tell what tune is being played, but you can certainly feel it!
Channel One was always a melody sound of the old school variety. Nice tunes and you could hear it clearly without too much emphasis on any of the frequency bands. Basically a larger / louder version of the Hi Fi systems most people have at home.
King Shiloh seems to straddle both camps and has a serious B-line, but with definition of tone in the mids and tops and I always find it a pleasure to listen to him play. Jah Youth is also in this category.
Aba has always had a skull crushing B-line with a clarity in the upper register and on some occassions too much clarity in the upper regions, but then again that what makes Aba, Aba.
So keep up the good works all sound man.
This session was a collection of good sounds playing good sounds. Nuff nice tunes I heard from all quarters and before I knew, it was 6 in the morning and session done.
Love and Raspects to the people inna de dance: King Shiloh & Cru, Mikey Dread & Queen, Aba Shanti-I & Cru, Steflion & Marie, Bredrin Isham, Sister Millie, Sister Jackie, Flag, Milton, Kevin, Moffet, Bredrin From Lincolnshire, Erol (King Earthquake) Jax, Mark, Desi, Trevor, Topal, The Dutch Massive, The French Massive, The Italian Massive, The German Massive, All the UK Cru's and to the promoter Raymond Judah & The University Of Dub Cru. Little Andy, King Charles, Tony, Zebby, Magnus from Sweden, Gill, June, Clemet, Oziah, and to all
Dateline: 05/03/04 Venue: Brixton Recreational Centre
Another friday night and another in the 'University Of Dub' experiences.
I arrived at 20:20 and all sounds were in the place, Aba was warming the set as the other 2 sounds Channal One and Jah Marcus finished off setting up.
I haven't heard Jah Marcus play in a long, long time, so I had more than a passing interest in how he was going to sound. When it came time for Jah Marcus to test his set I watched as the operator gave his impression of 'The Flying Fader', anyone who has been in a digital studio will understand, and to those that haven't, think Animal from the Muppets; 'Yuh get me'. No disraspect Jah Marcus, but my boy was lost inna the sound effects a way dread!
as he was testing his set I listened to the sound and turned to
Hezron and said:
"Everytime he tries to draw weight,he is going to shutdown. He has got serious intermodulation problems"
Hezron just looked at me blankly, "Dirty earth" I explained further; and so has Jah Marcus applied the pressure, his power trippped. Everytime Jah Marcus tried to push it, he tripped the power and this continued throughtout the session.Which for me was disappointing and also for the patrons as the vibe kept getting paused. Jah Marcus was playing some nice tunes and in the 'Dub Fe Dub' which started at 02:00 and ran some wicked Gussie P dubs.
Channal One in the same section was running dubs done in New York which for me were a different take on the tip but didn't quite cut it, if you get my drift.
This was in response to Jah Marcus running back a piece of the last dub that Channal One had played.
ran a different, but uplifting selection of dubs and dropped a
B-line that was skull crushing in its enormity. That is not to
say that we didn't have a few minor technical hitches.
Two of the 18 inch bass speakers ripped their cones and had to be changed during the dance.
Aba goes through a lot of speakers!
easy to strip down a stack of speaker to replace the damaged cones
with a dark hall full of people.
Raspect to the cru, Marcus, Erol, Hezron and Darren.
Well people the night was nice. The vibe was nice, The people were nice. Much niceness inna de place, which is what the people have come to expect from a 'University Of Dub' session.
Love and Raspects to the people inna de dance: Jah Marcus & Cru, Mikey Dread & Queen, Aba Shanti-I & Cru, Tim & Heidi, Sister Millie, Sister Jackie, Flag, Milton, Kevin, Moffet, Bredrin From Lincolnshire, Iration Steppas & Cru, Entebbee, Erol (King Earthquake) Jax, Mark, Desi, Trevor, The Dutch Massive, The French Massive, The Italian Massive, The German Massive, All the UK Cru's and to the promoter Raymond Judah & The University Of Dub Cru. Little Andy, King Charles, Tony, Sweet T. To the Bredda that came to me as I was standing by the sound to complement me on the quality of the live cd's that we do, after being skeptical about buying one at the last session. Me did dun tell you that I stand by the quality of the live cd's, because I do them and it is the company's reputation.Why do they sound like they do...Arrrhh, that my secret?
Dateline: 06/02/04 Venue: Brixton Recreational Centre
songs spring to mind to describe this session
Frankie Vallie's Oh What Night and a song called Oh What A Beautiful Morning from a Rogers & Hammerstein musical, the name of which escapes me.
Yes me friend, me good friend, if you werent present, you missed out again. (to parody a Bob Marley classic)
Wicked, Vibes ,Classic, Uplifting, Righteous, Babylon tumble tonight, Fe true, I came all the from Lincolnshire to listen and experience this, Mashing it down Dread, etc
are not my thoughts on the nights entertainment with a message,
but the comments from patrons as they came to buy from the stall
at the end of the session.
I too echo those sentiments, as jaded and weary as I am. So much so that I went to each soundman King Shiloh, Mark Iration and Aba and told them that the session was critical, not crucial but critical in the extreme and thanked them for it.
The crowd too were well aware that they were in a special vibe,that is why the place was still ram (ram me a tell you) when the dance finished at 6 in the morning (Ram to those who dont understand means: packed).
we arrived early and the sound and the record stall were set up.
King Shiloh was also ready to roll early. Mark Iration came a little later (due to accident and ting on the motorway) but was up and running by the time the patrons started streaming in.
Did I say streaming, I meant flooding in!
The place was heaving by 23:00 a good 2 hours earlier than normal, and they just kept coming and they brought with them the most welcome of all things in a dance Good Vibes!
,Iration and Shiloh had already worked out between themselves
earlier, that if the crowd were bubbling then they would go 2
for 2 and then 1 for 1.
2 for 2 means each sound plays only 2 tunes before the handing over to the next sound in line. 1 for 1 is the same but only 1 tune is played.
That is not to say that each sound only plays for 5 minutes at a time.
No,No children you forget, each sound will play the Vocal, Alternate vocal, Special vocal and then the dub piece(s).
So in the case of Iration one of his 2 for 2 slots lasted 47 minutes
the crowd were bubbling; so at 01:45 the 2 for 2 started
Shiloh played a Freddy McGregor special based on "Rasta Man Camp which the music and the vocal didnt seem to be in synch (or Freddy was just going through the motions). I have loved the original from way back when I used to play sound, but that was the only bad tune that Shiloh played in his selection.
The rest were what I have come to expect from Shiloh, rock solid bass lines with a melody and good vocals featuring vocals from known and unknown artiste but all delivered with clean undistorted sound.
ran a selection featuring a new female singer called Sister Yam
/Yaz or Jaz I am not quite sure?
She has a nice voice and the cut featuring the Tubb's riddem and the vocal phasing from an old time Gregory tune called 'Rumours' was alright. Combine two old things to make one new one.
Aba ran some exclusive 'Nazerines' (bwoay Kojak, I never did know you could sing) dubplates and some serious new Blood Shanti.. 'What A Gwan' had the people a way dread, even Iration big up the tune when his turn came to play.
But wait, I am not going to tell you lot anymore. If you were there you already done know and if you were not, why not!
and Raspects to the people inna de dance: King Shiloh & Cru, Iration Steppas
& Cru, Aba Shanti-I & Cru,Tim & Heidi, Sister Millie
(You only just read the web site properly!), Sister Jackie, Tony,
Zeb, Milton, Kevin, Moffet, Mikey Dread & Queen, Entebbee,
Erol (King Earthquake) Jax,Mark, Desi, Oli Dread, Tony T, Alston
& June, Trevor, Dj Stryda, Digi Step, Kama, The Dutch Massive,
The French Massive, The Italian Massive, The German Massive, All
the UK Cru's and to the promoter Raymond Judah & The University
Of Dub Cru. Little Andy, King Charles, Tony, Sweet T, Shakti (spelt
it right dis time), Tribs, Colin.
24/01/04 Venue: Tribute Club.
Aix En Provence.
We arrived in Marseille at 09:30 in morning and we were met by Julien (Co-Promoter) and taken to the hotel to chill out and rest up, for we had 3 interviews and a radio show to do that afternoon and evening before the session.Who says that a musician life on tour is easy as never been on tour.
radio show was for one of the co promoters Seb, also known as
I-Manity serving up strictly,
Roots, Culture, and Reality with his show on Radio Galere 88.4fm.
It was a wicked vibe being on his show and he was humbled that we agreed to do it
Early" was the cry and most of you listened and came at 20:00
and the club opens at 21:00. Alongside 'Lion Roots Sound System',
Aba tore up the place.
The club was full by 21:45 and there were over a 150 people outside still trying to gain entry and take in the vibe.That is not counting the people in the cars that drove up saw the locked doors and left.
The crowd were treated to dubplate from start to finish, not because we were playing in a clash stylee but Aba had left the box containing the commercial releases on his kitchen table by mistake and all we had was dubplate.
As Aba was driving the bass, I saw Steflion check his speakers to see if they had been damaged as the bass got heavier and heavier.But he needn't have worried.
Come 03:30 in the morning and the crowd just kept asking for just "One more", so Aba gave them just one more.
I judge a session not on if I liked it but on the reaction of the patrons and especially the promoters.
I went looking for Julien at around 02:00 and could not find him or Seb. Come 03:00 when the light came on I saw both Julien and Seb in the middle of the crowd dancing like they didn't have a care in the world, completely at peace with themselves and those around them...Wicked!
Raspects going out to all at 'The Tribute Club', Julien, Seb,
Steflion, Marie, Red Fred,and to all who made it such a nice experience.They
made us feel very welcome.
ABA SHANTI IS PLAYING A 2 HOUR SET BETWEEN 0200-0400 AT THE NORMAN JAY'S NYE PARTY AT THE MEAN FIDDLER CHARING X ROAD LONDON ON THE 31ST DECEMBER 2003.
CHECK EVENTS PAGE
Dateline: 21/11/03 Venue: The Custard Factory.Birmingham.
This was the first time Aba had played Birmingham and he was playing alongside long time bredrin Errol, better known as King Earthquake from Handsworth; who was on home turf.
We left London in the late afternoon and by the time we were on the motorway the sky was darkening.
Fog, mist and rain was the order of the day and this lasted from 20 miles outside of London all the way to Birmingham.
By the time we got to Birmingham the fog was totally illiterate;thick!
Now I have spent a lot of time in the Midlands and I know Birmingham quite well, or so I thought!
Bwoay, how tings can change in a year. They had only knock down the Rotunda which was the landmark of the Bullring and made a totally new one way system, and in the fog yours truly nearly went to meet 'The Father' on more than one occassion, as I ended up going up one way streets, one way, but the wrong way!
I reached the venue and had a walk round to find the dancehall.
This was more elusive than I thought. Even though I was in the Custard Factory, the venue itself is made up of various bars with various styles of music being played, eateries, shops and a recording studio. It also has various ground floor areas that are still being renovated, so to find where we were supposed to be was not that easy as the posters/flyers just said
'The Custard Factory' as a venue.
After wandering around for 5-10 minutes my ears pricked up as I heard a familiar sound;the deep rolling bass lines of a Sister Aishia tune called 'Hail HIM'.
That must be King Earthquake I thought and like a homing pigeon I followed the sound until I came to a large blue door, I opened it and peered in to see two large stacks of camoflouge painted boxes in a large hall.
Yup this was the place. I went in and greeted Errol and his cru and also in the place was Barba.
"Where is Aba they all wanted to know"? For in the journey up to Birmingham in the fog and ting he and I had become separated.
I called him on the mobile to find that he and Muppet had gone to the venue and they too could not work out where we were supposed to be playing, so they had called the promoter and he was on his way and in the meantime they had gone to find something to eat.
Aba and turned up about 30 minutes later and we started to unload and string up.
Come 21:00 Aba is up and running and dance can begin.
I told Aba that I am going to my friend Ice to get food and I would be back.
at the 'Witching hour' and as I open the door from the bar to
the dance hall not only did I get hit by a sonic shockwave but
also by a heatwave.
The place was ram and the heat in the hall was reminiscent of way back in the day when dance was cork and condensation would be running down the wall due to the heat.
Brought back fond memories.
I went in and then preceded to walk around the hall checking out who was there as Earthquake
played, and I can tell you nuff faces from the distant past was present.
Soundman / selectors and Cru from the sounds such as:
King Alpha, Jungleman, Jah Voice, Studio Classic, Gemini, King Rebel, Mafiatone, Sir Christopher,
Roots Vibration, V Rocket, Quaker City, Sting, Java, Kebra Negus, Jah Lion, Jah Collie, Foundation,
Chinney, Silver Star, Black Cat, Black Star Liner and the one Harta from King Arthur, me bredrin who sold his sound and left London to move to the Midlands over 25 years ago and who I hadn't seen in all that time. These were the ones that I recognized. But listening to the hails going out from King Earthquake there were a lot more in the place.
back in the day always had a more cultural roots vibe when it
came to sound systems. That why man like Stafford who moved from
Brixton to Birmingham with his sound enjoyed a longer career as
the dancehall vibe was taking a grip in London.
But when the Midlands finally succumbed to dancehall the era of the roots sound was at an end, and man parked up or sold their sets.
But all good tings come around again and with the dissatisfaction of the people with dancehall and all the associated 'Yardie' business, Roots is rising again and I will make a prediction that most of the ex soundman in the dance will be dusting off their sets and going back out on the road again, and that some of the younger patrons who had dreams of building a Roots sound will actually stop dreaming and build them. That me bredrins is a very, very good thing.
is the man or woman that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly".
Nor stands in front of the bass bins when Aba or King Earthquake for that matter is drawing bass.
played a homage to the older heads in the dance and ran dubs from
the mid 70's.
The gloom was lit up by man and woman flashing dem lighter.
The Devon Irons vocal on Lee Perry's 'Underground Roots' sticks in my mind because it used to be a Sir Coxsone special and the 'Kunte Kinte' cuts brought roars from the crowd.
Aba ran some wicked, wicked Dennis Brown specials that had people jumping like Mexican bean and then followed that by Locksley Cassell and then a Sister Aishia special which caused the crowd to start dropping some moves. Serious Rootsman skanking me ah tell you bredrin.
The night just went from good to even better.
sounds playing seriously good selections and with a B line that
would have toppled even the
'Tower Of Babel'.
Note for note both sets had an overall bodily experience going on as far as B lines went, but Aba had the mids and tops that was slicing man's headtop off; like a razor.
I knew it 03:00 had come and gone and the dance was to end at
The caretaker of the venue came and spoke to the promoter who was skanking with the rest of them and Aba had to announce that the dance had to done. The place was still packed with people.
Raspects to the promoter Trevor and his cousin, King Earthquake and Cru, Sister Millie, Trinity, Muppet, Barba, Tribulation, Harta, Ice, Andrew, Joss, Karma, Stryder, Addis, Chippy, Clement, Les, Dave, Bredrin who came all the way from Switzerland to hear Aba, Desmond, Calvin, Blaxamix, and to all the soundman and cru's in de place.
The Humble Lion
Dateline: 14/11/03 Venue: Brixton Recreational Centre
Back into the sound maelstrom again children and what a body Jahing (misspelt on purpose) experience it was to.
Three sounds inna de place, Aba, Jah Youth and Marcus The Conqueror and all intent on shaking the very foundation of Babylon, not forgetting the giving of a serious stir to the people in the dance.
Aba was running tunes as Marcus and Youth completed their wiring up.
Then Marcus announced he was ready "To test one". Test one! such was his eagerness to impress it was nearly 'One Dead One'; as one of his amp short circuited and emitted a long arcing flame straight out of one of the power meters.
Look like a sparkler had been lit.
Bredrin no disrespect but you would not get into a car with a cold engine and drive it at a 100 mph, the engine would seize. Warm up your set before you start drawing bass at that kind of level and when you get a problem Take Off The Bass or shut off completely. The kind of power those current dumping Class A's or A/B's hybrid bridged amps take will KILL!!!
Anyway his cru eventually sorted his problem out and all sets were playing a 2/2 selection.
Well the tunes were flying thick and fast and all sets sounded nice and as an observer the session was cool.
Aba, Youth & Cru, Marcus, Alston & June (Proud Parents), Andrew, Tribulation, Blood, Trevor, Tony,
Hezron, Muppet, Shakti Dread, Sister Millie, June, Babar, Raymond
Judah & Helen, Billy Ocean, Rueben,Trinity, Pierre, Channal
One, Italian Cru, Dutch Cru, French Cru and to all the people
inna de place......One Love!
Dateline: 17/10/03 Venue: Brixton Recreational Centre
This Brixton featured Aba alongside Channal One and Iration Steppas in full effect,
Aba and Channal One had arrived early and were ready to play by 21:00, Iration arrived later than us and Mikey but he does have the furthest to travel.
Still come 23:30 and tunes were dropping like rain, as all sets started to warm up the dance.
Because of illness and other commitments, we have been unable to run the stall these last two Brixton's, and it is been nice just to listen and meditate on the vibe without any undue stress.
patrons that were present at this Brixton were there for one reason
and one reason only; to get a righteous blessing with some of
the most serious dubs/tunes this side of Zion, and they were truly
Mikey was forwarding in fine style. Iration was running some nice tunes early on, but the darkness started to creep in the the latter stages and bwoy me can't tek dem noise deh.
Aba rolled a nicely blended selection of tune, which was greatly received by the masses.
Nice session and nice vibe.
Raspects to: Mikey and Cru, Mark Iration, Rootical and Cru, Muppet, Prince Malachi, Little Andy, Tiff, Gerry, Sweet T, Blood Shanti, Zigs, Sister Mille, Jackie, The Dutch, Italian, Swiss, German and French Cru's, Japanese Posse, The Leeds Massive, West London Cru, Colin W, Colin B, The Aba Shanti-Ites, and to all the patrons
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