June 5, 2010, at 1:52 pm

A Unity thing

Selah CollinsIn 2003 Honest Jon’s released a compilation called Watch How The People Dancing that showcased some mid to late 80’s UK productions first released on the Unity label by the team behind North London’s legendary Unity Hifi. Single handedly this release propelled the minimalist Casio sounds of the Unity posse from the forgotten backwaters of 80’s dancehall to highly regarded classics with a real crossover appeal. In more recent years the love affair with the Unity sound has continued with Robert “Ribs” Fearon from the original sound issuing Unity 7″s, Honest Jon’s revisiting the label for a handful of 12″s plus a re-release of their original LP, all within the last few months, and now there is a a series of 7″ singles on the Ruddy And Redeye imprint issued by Dub Vendor’s Gaffa Blue.

The label is named after Ruddy Ranks and Redeye who were responsible for building the Unity rhythms back in the day with Ruddy playing keyboard and Redeye playing the drum machine (this was done live, the rhythms weren’t looped or sequenced). All of the releases are on coloured vinyl.

Wayne Marshall

The folks on the Blood and Fire forum have questioned if these “dubplate mixes” are old mixes or if they were done more recently, they may have a point though I wouldn’t like to say for certain, what is clear is that the rhythm tracks mixes have alot more effects on them than on the original issues. It’s lucky they are different mixes in a way as there is quite alot of overlap with other recent re-issues. For example Selah Collins – Pick A Sound and Errol Bellot – What A Wonderfull Feeling saw issue back to back on an Honest Jon’s 12″ just a few months ago. All in all these issues/re-issues are more than welcome, a little more background on their origins etc would be nice though.

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