Sound’n’Pressure Story: Various Artists – album review
Sound’n’Pressure Story – Various Artists (Reggae Archive Records)
Out March 11th
A welcome reissue of the much sought after Sound’n’Pressure 12″ recordings, complete with unreleased dubplate tracks. Adrian Bloxham reviews the album for Louder Than War below.
Mark Anthony Cummins was inspired by the first wave of Digi Roots and Dub he heard in London venues and as a reggae promoter and lover of the music got together with friends Adam Holden (Fish), Mark Evans (Suffurah) and Hamish Brown (All Nation Rockers) to get studio time and create their own sound. After a positive response to an early version of ‘Warm the Nation’ they decided to release it on the Sound’n’Pressure label. They went on to release three more 12” singles and their fifth release was being played on a dubplate, but not released. Anthony decided to create his own studio and put the label on hold. Nothing else was released.
These singles have been much sought after and large sums of money exchanged for them. This release collects the four twelve inch singles, the unreleased tracks that would have been the fifth single and another unreleased track that was made for a short film’s soundtrack. All the songs have been remastered and sound crystal clear and fresh.
The songs have deep bass and a gentle unhurried rhythm. As you listen to the songs you can see how they get further and further into the creation of the sound, how it spreads out and encompasses you. The tracks have a slow bobbing reggae sound, when there are vocals they are about Rastafari and fighting the system, although the music is harder on the instrumental tracks. This sound breathes gently, it swells and falls entwining odd sounds around the relentless bass and drums. Odd echoing keyboards and what sound like sonar pings from a submarine scatter across the sound drawing you in and making you listen.
The stand out tracks for me are the ‘Talking Dreads (Version)’ and ‘Ruud Boy Sweeps in the Rebound – version’ the first around nine minutes long and, builds on a deep solid bass and the echoes of drums that keep fading up and down until the drums kick in to power the song along. The second has a thumping drum and choppy guitar that lead into a killer bassline that just makes the song swell up and take over.
The track that breaks away from the solid reggae feel is the final one. ‘Theme From ‘Move The Posts’’ comes across like a dubbed out Pusherman, very cinematic, frantic and lost.
This is a slice of lost British Reggae, a welcome reissue for the Sound’n’Pressure label’s output all on one disc, a brilliant example of Digi Roots and Dub.
All words by Adrian Bloxham. More work by Adrian on Louder Than War can be found here.