Adrian Sherwood has been around for a long time. He's the man behind the On-U Sound label, and eponymous sound system. The one that usually does the rounds at least once a year, and has done so for as long as you can remember. If you've ever been to an On-U gig you'll know it's loud, uncompromising, live dub sound, and you'd remember there's lots and lots of noise, as you recall the ringing that's left in your ears for hours after.
On-U Sound have released over 100 albums and singles, and the list is endless as to whose careers have been launched, and is even longer if you add on the amount of people influenced by the label.
Adrian Sherwood has been at it for over 15 years. He's like the great grandfather of the organisation, wise, sincere, and he actually cares about his family. When you talk to him, although it's on the stairway of a cold college corridor, you can sense his pride, and feel the warmth of his sincerity, as he talks about the posse, and as he ponders over the things he has achieved and the things he has still yet to achieve. Not just for money, but for a genuine, honest bash at producing music that he believes in, whether or not it's popular or mainstream, he wants to put his energies into talent and do it for those who can't particulary articulate themselves as well as other unfairly privileged groups in society.
Adrian's life with On-U Sound started in 1979 when he collaborated with Mark Stewart, and members of the Slits to form the New Age Steppas debut album, a sleek debut with strong elements of Sherwood's passion for reggae shining through.
Since then he's worked with a diverse selection of the industry from the mad industrial noise of Mark Stewart and the Maffia's 'Democracy' to Keith Le Blanc's technologically funked up grooves of 'Major Malfunction'. From the cool Dub Syndicate and the wild tribal sounds of African Headcharge, to Prince Far I, Lee Perry, Keith Le Blanc, Bim Sherman and Gary Clail. He's also remixed and produced bands such as Depeche Mode, Simply Red, Cabaret Voltaire, The Woodentops and lots lots more...
It's strange that in a scene where DJs are becoming remixers and producers, and some only having been at it for 5 minutes, that you can still find them in all the appropriate music mags. But with old Adrian, the person and producer that has no doubt had a massive influence on the use of technology in the house scene today, you're hard pressed to find much written about him, let alone what it is
he really does.
"I organise the bands" explains Adrian, "and make them up, because a lot of them are studio bands before they become real bands, I produce the records, record the records and mix the records, and then I try and make sure our records are presented in a way that is suitable to me, that feels right with my own sensibilties."
In short he does an awful lot, and quite often doesn't get much credit for it. But maybe that's why he's still there after all this time. Adrian's not interested in competing in the current house scene although some of the On-U Sound stuff, old and new, has had the potential of slotting quite aptly into some of the more
"I don't really want to compete on that level. I'd rather try and create a niche amongst like minded people, and create our own little market place be that 5, 50 or 500,000 sales" Adrian muses "and also be true to our principles of making things, and to your own spirit that you put into the work. I watch all the dance stuff, what's going on in it, and I think there's some fantastic grooves, but if you start competing in that for the sake of trying to make a few pounds, I think I'd rather be broke."
Sometime's it's hard to believe that someone who's worked as hard as Adrian Sherwood, isn't interested in making any money, but when Adrian proudly recalls the reasons that he makes music and then says he's happy to have just enough to stay at home most evenings with friends and a couple of bottles of wine stating "I'm rich enough already, not in money but I've got all these people, a good set of friends and I've got a nice house", you know he's past that bullshit stage in his life when he acknowledges that "what I've got is what I've always wanted, I'm just learning to appreciate it a bit".
When you watch Adrian Sherwood in action, getting ready to do a gig, setting up the sound system. You can see straight away that he's the one that organises, he knows what he wants and he knows exactly what's going on, even though there's probably about 25 other people on tour. Adrian's focus in life is to do the right thing in music, not for money, but for what he believes in. In the process he can't help but build into his life plan a network where he'll help young musicians particularly on the black music scene in London.
"Music is lovely because it stimulate people, superficial music doesn't. If you make something that you put your heart and soul into and really try to push it so it leaps out the fucking speakers at you, and if there's a good feel to it, then you've achieved something."
Adrian Sherwood Production/Mixes for Non On-U Sound Related Artists 1978-1997
Artist Title Album/Single Prod/
Remix Label Year
Eric Clarke Love That Grows and Grows Album Prod Hitrun 1978
Eric Clarke Fight Against Babylon Single Prod Hitrun 1978
Jah Woosh Marijuana world Tour Album Prod 1978/79
Prince Far I Message From The King Album Co Prod with Far I Virgin 1978
Last Words Animal World Single Prod Rough Trade 1979
Last Words Todays Kidz Single Prod Remand 1980
The Slits Man Next Door Single Co Prod Y Records 1980
Prince Far I Jamaican Heroes Album Prod Trojan 1981
Prince Far I and the Arabs Cry Tuff Dub Encounter Chp 3 Album Prod/Mix Daddy Kool 1980
Last Words Last Words Album Prod Armageddon/Cherry Red 1980
Suns of Arqa Revenge of the Mozabites Tracks Co prod/mix Rocksteady
Izard/Undivided Roots Bam by Aur Single Prod Dub Syndicate Records 1980/81
The Fall Slates EP Tracks Co prod Rough Trade 1981
Last Words Top Secert Single Prod Armageddon/Cherry Red 1981
Vivien Goldman Laundrette Single Prod Window Records 1981
Medium Medium Hungry, So Angry Single Co prod Cherry Red Records 1981
Suns of Arqa Mozabites Single Co mix Rocksteady Records 1981
Prince Far I and the Arabs Cry Tuff Dub Encounter Chp 4 Album Prod Trojan 1981
Pinski Zoo The Dizzy Dance Record Single Prod w/Pinski Zoo Dug Out Records 1982
Maximum Joy Station M.X.J.Y Album Prod w/Maximum joy & others Y Records 1982
Suns of Arqa Feat Prince Far I Get Down Magick Single Prod w/ Michael Mafia Antler Records 1983
Atmosfear When tonight is over Single Mix Elite Records 1984
Depeche Mode People are People Single Remix Mute Records 1984
Unknown Cases Masimbabele Single Mix Rough Trade 1984
Unknown Cases Masimbabele 89 Single Mix Rough Trade Germany 1989
Shriekback Hand on my Heart Remixes Single Tracks Mix Arista 1984
Depeche Mode Master + Servant Single Tracks Remix Mute Records 1984
James Blood Ulmer Eyelevel Single Mix Rough Trade 1984
The Enemy Within Strike Single Prod w/ Keith Le Blanc Rough Trade 1984
Congo Ashanti Roy Level Vibes Album Tracks Co eng/mix Sonic Boom Records US 1984
Einsturzende Neubaten Yu Gung Single Mix Some Bizarre Records 1985
Simply Red Holding back the years Single Track Mix w/Mick Hucknall
WEA Records 1985
Nadjma Rapture in Baghdad Album Tracks Mix Be Crammed Discs 1985
Ministry Over the Shoulder Single Prod Sire Records US 1985
The Woodentops Everyday Living Single Tracks Mix w/Woodentops Rough
Sudden Sway Singsong (M-I-X-X-S-I-N-G) Single Track Prod Blanc Y Negro 1986
Ministry Twitch Album Tracks Prod Sire Records US 1986
Simply Red Infidelity Single Tracks Mix w/Lee Perry WEA Records 1987
The Three Johns Never and Always Single Prod Abstract Records 1987
Caberet Voltaire Dont Argue Single Tracks Prod w/ Cabaret Voltaire Parlophone/EMI Records 1987
Caberet Voltaire Here to Go Single Tracks Prod w/ Cabaret Voltaire Parlophone/EMI Records 1987
Caberet Voltaire Code Album Prod w/ Cabaret Voltaire Parlophone/EMI
Skinny Puppy Addiction Single Track Mix Nettwerk/Capitol Records 1987
Flux Uncarved Block Album Tracks Prod One Little Indian 1987
RINF Bang Bang Single Tracks Prod/Mix IDL/Contempo Records 1987
Pankow Play the Hits of the Nineties Single Mix It,Contempo Records 1988
Pankow Freihiet fuer die Sklaven Album Mix It,Contempo Records 1988
Pankow Gimme More Single Mix It,Contempo Records 1988
RINF Rubber on Rider Single Prod It,Contempo Records 1988
KMFDM Don't Blow your Top Album Tracks Mix Skysaw Records 1988
The Beatings Television Single Track Mix w/Gary Clail Alternative Tentacles 1988
Pankow Touch Single Remix It,Contempo Records 1988
Coldcut Whats the Noise? Album Track Mix Ahead of our Time Records 1989
Pulse 8 Radio Morocco Single Track Mix Nation Records 1989
Keith le Blanc Stranger than Fiction Album Mix w/Keith Le Blanc Nettwerk/Yellow Records 1989
Nine Inch Nails Down in It Single Tracks Mix/Prod w/Keith Le Blanc TVT Records/Island 1989
Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine Album Track Mix/Prod TVT Records/Island 1989
KMFDM Uaioe Album Tracks Mix/Prod Strikeback Records 1989
KMFDM Rip the System Single Mix/Prod Deutschland Strikeback 1989
Pankow Gisela Album Tracks Mix It,Contempo Records 1989
Pankow Art+Madness Single Mix I.D. Records 1989
The Fall Extricate Album Tracks Prod Cog Sinister Records 1990
Depeche Mode Enjoy the Silence Single Track Remix w/ David Harrow Mute Records 1990
Keith le Blanc Einstein Single Mix w/Keith Le Blanc Nettwerk/Yellow Records 1990
The Fall Telephone Thing Single Prod w/Craig Leon Cog Sinister Records 1990
Nine Inch Nails Head like a Hole Single Tracks Prod/Mix w/Keith Le Blanc TVT Records/Island 1990
Nine Inch Nails Sin Single Tracks Mix w/ Keith Le Blanc TVT Records/Island 1990
The Stone Rosese Waterfall Single Tracks Remix Silvertone Records 1991
S.E.T. Super Eccentric Theater in the 90's (ON-U Remix) E.P. Prod w/Doug Wimbish Spin/Alfa Records 1992
Pop Will Eat Itself Bulletproof Single Tracks Remix RCA/BMG Records 1992
Soft Ballet Alter Ego Album Track Mix Edge/Alpha Records 1992
Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart Visions of You Single Track Remix Oval/East West Records 1992
Deep Joy Something Inside Single Track Mix Kinetix Records 1992
Snakeman Show Snakeman Show in the 90's (The Remix) E.P. Mix/Prod w/ David Harrow Spin/Alfa Recordsv 1992
Nine Inch Nails Happiness in Slavery Single Tracks Remix TVT Records/Island 1992
The Twinkle Brothers Higher Heights (Twinkle inna Polish Stylee) Album Tracks Mix Twinkle Records 1992
EMF Single Track Remix Parlophone/EMI Records 1992
Megadeath Single Track Remix 1992
Pop Will Eat Itself Get the Girl Kill the Baddies Single Tracks Prod/Mix RCA/BMG Records 1993
Living Colour Auslander Single Tracks Mix w/ Skip McDonald Epic/Sony Entertainments 1993
Big Life Casino My Ministry Single Tracks Mix Splash Records 1993
Terminal Power Company Juggernaut Single Tracks Mix w/ Skip McDonald Beggars Banquet 1993
The Sugar Merchants The Throwaway E.P. Single Tracks Mix No Sympathy 1993
Back To The Planet Daydream Single Track Mix Parallel Records 1993
Nine Inch Nails Closer to God Single Track Remix TVT Records/Island 1994
Living Colour Sunshine of your Love Single Track Mix w/ Skip McDonald Epic/Sony Entertainments 1994
Little Axe The Wolf that House Built Album Prod/Mix w/Skip McDonald Wired Recordings 1994
Bim Sherman Miracle Album Prod/Mix w/Skip/Bim/Talvin 1994
Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart Single Track Mix 1994
Wolfgang Press Christanity Single Track Remix 4AD Records 1994
Living Colour Pride Album Tracks Prod/Mix w/Skip McDonald Epic/Sony Entertainments 1994
Nitzer Ebb Kick IT Single Track Remix Mute Records 1995
Garbage Vow Single Track Remix Mushroom 1995
Almamegretta Album Tracks Mix BMG/Anagrumba 1995
Deep Forest Bohemian Ballet Single Track Remix Epic/Sony Entertainments 1995
Spearhead Hole in the Bucket Single Track Remix Capitol/Parlophone Records 1995
Gary Clail Album Prod Yelen/Sony 1995
Mark Stewart Control Data Album Prod w/Mark Stewart Mute Records 1995
Crazy Gods of Endless Noise Trapped Water & God Loop Single Tracks Remix Wired Recordings 1996
Bim Sherman Simple Life Album Track Remix w/Carlton 'Bubblers' Ogilvie Mantra Records 1996
Primal Scream Scream Team and the Big Man meet Barmy Army Single Track Prod/Mix w/Primal Scream Creation Records 1996
Little Axe Slow Fuse Album Prod/Mix w/Skip McDonald Wired Recordings 1996
Antonnia Tramonti Album Prod/Mix w/Antonina Magnet Records 1996
The Cure Strange Attraction Album Track Mix Fiction Records 1996
Senser Charming Demons Single Track Remix w/ Skip McDonald The Ultimate Recording Co 1996
Mad Capsule Markets Walk Single Track Remix Yui Publishing 1996
Loop Lizard Into the Sun Album Prod/Mix Double T Music 1997
Shane McGowan & The Popes Crock of Gold Album Prod w/Alan Branch & Shane McGowan ZTT/Warners 1997
Manu Dibango Popcorn Single Remix w/Skip McDonald Mercury/Polygram 1997
Yazz Caught you in a Lie Single Track Remix w/Carlton 'Bubblers' Ogilvie East West 1997
Depeche Mode Useless Single Track Remix Mute Records 1997
Bedlam A Go Go Single Track Remix Sony Music 1997
Sly & Robbie Feat. Simply Red Night Nurse Single Track Remix w/Carlton 'Bubblers' Ogilvie East West 1997
Pat Andrade To Fire this Time Single Track Remix 1997
The Cure Lime Green Album Track Mix Fiction Records 1997
Jeb Loy Nicholls As the Rain Single Track Remix Capitol
Adrian Sherwood (born 1958 in London) is an English record producer best known for his work with dub music as well as for remixing a number of popular acts such as Coldcut, Depeche Mode, Primal Scream, Pop Will Eat Itself, Siniad O'Connor,
and Skinny Puppy.
He is co-founder of Carib Gems, and founder of Hitrun Records as well as Green Tea Records and Soundboy Records. His most well-known label is On-U Sound Records. He is also the fourth member of industrial funk outfit, Tackhead, credited
He also made contributions to the industrial genre in his remix of Einsterzende Neubauten's song Ye Gung, on the album Halber Mensch, as well as his production work with Ministry, Cabaret Voltaire, KMFDM and Nine Inch Nails. Adrian has also contributed to the blues, with his Little Axe project with Skip McDonald, producing his album on Real World Records Champagne and Grits in 2006.
In 2003, Adrian Sherwood released his first album as a solo artist, Never Trust a Hippie. In 2006 he released his second album Becoming A Clich.
Most recently, Sherwood received notice for the original reggae score he created for the acclaimed 2006 independent film, Johnny Was starring Vinnie Jones, Roger Daltrey and Samantha Mumba.
The dub don and sonic pioneer Adrian Sherwood releases 'Becoming A Cliche' on Real World/Virgin. As one of the most influential producers and re-mixers around, Sherwood's booming sonic trademark releases have been influencing music for the last 25 years. With a revolutionary meshing of dub, reggae, punk, industrial, hip-hop, rock and funk, 'Becoming A Cliche' connects musical branches entwined in Sherwood's forest.
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For over 15 years Adrian Sherwood has be a part of the On-U Sound organisation. He is the wise and sincere grandfather who cares about his family. When you talk to Adrian you can sense his pride and feel the warmth of his sincerity. Pondering over the things he has achieved and yet to achieve, goals set not just for money but for a genuine bash at producing music.