Creation Rebel, On-U Sound System house band, reissue key 70s and 80s albums | Juno Daily

Campaign also includes 6xCD boxset with 2023’s Hostile Environment

Creation Rebel, the original On-U Sound house band, are to reissue a series of out-of-print and much in demand UK dub reggae albums from the late 1970s and early 1980s, all highlighting crucial early production work from the mixing desk of Adrian Sherwood.

Five albums are being repressed on vinyl, complete with original sleeve artwork and new inner sleeves containing detailed liner notes and archival photos.

Alongside the individual LP reissues is a 6CD anthology box set, entitled High Above Harlesden 1978-2023 in tribute to the working class area of North-West London where the band started out.

This activity comes hot on the heels of the group’s first new album in over forty years, 2023’s Hostile Environment, which makes an appearance as the final disc in the CD boxset to bring the group’s story up to date.

These reissues follow on from similarly comprehensive and lovingly assembled archival releases that the On-U Sound label has dedicated to African Head ChargeDub Syndicate and New Age Steppers, all of whom share members with Creation Rebel, such is the nature of the cross-pollination of musical talents which has always been a core part of On-U Sound’s fusion-centric ethos. 

Creation Rebel was originally assembled as a studio project by a young Adrian Sherwood to realise his first album recording session, resulting in their debut set Dub From Creation (engineered by another titan of UK dub music, Dennis Bovell). Over time the group evolved, becoming the European touring band for Prince Far I, and recording a series of seminal records under their own name, with band leader and line-up mainstay Crucial Tony Phillips having more creative input as time went on. Together with drummer Charlie Eskimo Fox and Ranking Magoo,

Tony continues to lead the band in the present day. Following the imprisonment of bass player Lizard Logan, and the tragic murder of Prince Far I, the band ceased activity for a long period of time, from the mid-1980s onwards. The individual members carried on making significant contributions to other projects, with Crucial Tony making a name for himself as a producer in his own right, setting up the Ruff Cutt band, label, studio and production house in his native Harlesden.

After reforming to play a Sherwood At The Controls evening at London’s Jazz Cafe in 2017, the band headed back into the studio to start working on the rhythms that would become Hostile Environment

The albums included in the reissue campaign are: 

Dub From Creation (1978) 

Seminal first studio work by revered dub producer Adrian Sherwood, engineered by Dennis Bovell. Featuring drums from Eric ‘Fish’ Clarke of the Black Roots Players and brother of reggae superstar Johnny Clarke. 

Close Encounters Of The Third World (1978)

The most sought after title in the Creation Rebel catalogue, partly recorded at Channel One studio in Jamaica and mixed by Prince Jammy in London. Secondhand copies in decent condition command an astronomical price. 

Rebel Vibrations (1979) 

Featuring drummer Lincoln “Style” Scott from the legendary Roots Radics, unavailable since original release, a righteous collection of heavy basslines and big tunes, originally released on pre-On-U Sound label, the highly collectable Hitrun. 

Starship Africa (1980) 

A true dub classic  – backwards tapes drenched in interplanetary sound effects, ghostly voices from beyond the stars and ringing percussion. Featuring members of the Roots Radics, Misty In Roots and Prince Far I’s Arabs. Recently voted #1 in Mojo Magazine’s How To Buy… On-U Sound feature as their most recommended release in the entire catalogue. 

Psychotic Jonkanoo (1981) 

Featuring backing vocals from John Lydon (The Sex Pistols, Public Image Limited), and displaying a markedly experimental UK approach to traditional Jamaican roots reggae, resulting in a distinctive hybrid sound that still sounds fresh. 

Hostile Environment (2023) 

High Above Harlesden 1978-2023

A 6CD anthology box set containing all of the above albums plus Hostile Environment, plus 36 page booklet with photos and sleevenotes, and seven bonus tracks.