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Adrian Sherwood

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  • Born: England
  • Years Active: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s
  • Website: http://www.adriansherwood.com
  • Recent Activity: 10.15.16 Unreleased crucial early cuts by African Head Charge! Christmas is coming early this year!! Earlier this year we... https://t.co/6MRlrR9a1d
  • Adrian Sherwood

  • Adrian Sherwood


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Long one of the most influential and innovative figures on the U.K. reggae scene, producer Adrian Sherwood and his famed On-U Sound label pioneered a distinctive fusion of dub, rock, and dance that made waves not only in roots circles but also in the pop mainstream. Born in 1958, Sherwood first surfaced during the late '70s at the helm of a series of disastrously short-lived labels; he formed On-U Sound in 1979, and counted Creation Rebel, Prince Far I, Bim Sherman, and the Mothmen (later to form Simply Red) among the roster's earliest additions. While the On-U Sound crew's original focus was on live sound system performances, the emphasis soon switched to making records; when none emerged as a break-out success, Sherwood began mixing and matching lineups, resulting in new acts including New Age Steppers, African Head Charge, Mark Stewart & Maffia, and Doctor Pablo & the Dub Syndicate.

Sherwood's distinctive production style soon began attracting interest from acts outside of the dub community, and in 1980 he helmed the Slits' "Man Next Door," followed a year later by the Fall's Slates EP. On-U Sound releases from Public Image Ltd. and the Pop Group also earned the label considerable attention, but reggae remained its focus; Sherwood soon recruited guitarist Skip McDonald, bassist Doug Wimbish, and drummer Keith LeBlanc -- together the onetime house band at the famed rap label Sugar Hill -- and under a variety of names (most commonly Tackhead), the trio brought new power and definition to the company's densely textured recordings. The group also issued several LPs under its own name, as well as teaming with the self-described "white toaster" Gary Clail as Gary Clail's Tackhead Sound System.

By the mid-'80s, Sherwood was among the most visible producers and remixers in all of contemporary music, working on tracks for artists as varied as Depeche Mode, Einsturzende Neubaten, Simply Red, the Woodentops, and Ministry. He became increasingly involved in industrial music as the decade wore on, producing tracks for Cabaret Voltaire, Skinny Puppy, KMFDM, and Nine Inch Nails, and although On-U Sound continued to reflect its leader's eclectic tastes, the label remained a top reggae outlet. In 1994, Sherwood mounted Pressure Sounds, a new label dedicated to reissuing seminal reggae and dub releases from the likes of Lee "Scratch" Perry, King Tubby, Augustus Pablo, Jackie Mittoo, and Horace Andy. The first in a new series of reissues known collectively as On-U Sound Master Recordings, complete with CD-R tracks, arrived in 1997. In 2003, he launched his solo artist career with Never Trust a Hippy, which was followed in 2006 by Becoming a Cliché. Both were released by On-U in conjunction with the Real World label. Sherwood collaborated with Lee "Scratch" Perry twice in 2010, first, for the Mighty Upsetter album, followed by a remix collection taken from it entitled Dub Setter. In the summer of 2012, Sherwood resumed his own recording career, with the release of a solo album, Survival & Resistance.

Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
11.12.16 Trades Club Hebden Bridge, W York UK
11.25.16 The I Club Nottingham, UK
03.17.17 King Tut's Wah Wah Hut Glasgow, Rfw UK

eMusic Features


Interview: Adrian Sherwood

By Andrew Perry, Contributor

For the past 35 years, Adrian Maxwell Sherwood has been one of British music's most indefatigable underground producers. Under his On-U Sound label banner, he has doled out a relentless torrent of albums, initially in the field of reggae and dub, but later in genres as diverse as jazz, blues, early-'90s dance (his chart hits with MC Gary Clail), folk, electro-funk and industrial noise. Across literally hundreds of releases, his production credit stands as a… more »


  • 10.15.16 Unreleased crucial early cuts by African Head Charge! Christmas is coming early this year!! Earlier this year we... https://t.co/6MRlrR9a1d
  • 10.10.16 The great Jeb Loy Nichols plays The Garage on 27 October. Tickets:... https://t.co/NP6skde5y6
  • 10.07.16 Adrian Sherwood hits Bristol on Saturday 10 December for a session at the controls. Will include a set from Laid... https://t.co/x5HmDXYYzq
  • 10.07.16 Sherwood coming to Germany - Gewölbe Koln, YAAM Berlin and Robert Johnson Offenbach for 3 seriously dubbed-out... https://t.co/80kj5egx4B
  • 10.01.16 Adrian Sherwood in Nottingham 25 November at The I Club. Please note date has changed! https://t.co/VHmvpvuO5K
  • 10.01.16 The Adrian Sherwood produced Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto get a shout out in this round-up by The Quietus of... https://t.co/GklLox3qJb
  • 09.30.16 Just announced - Adrian Sherwood at King Tut's Wah Wah Hut 17 March 2017 - tickets go on sale Friday 9am https://t.co/57ZnOy6pqT
  • 09.30.16 Singers & Players - Staggering Heights vinyl re-press coming out 28 October! Rated by many to be the pinnacle in... https://t.co/Ca4id8S7IA
  • 09.13.16 O Azores Burning Summer Festival celebra o final do Verão na magia do Parque e Praia dos Moinhos no Porto... https://t.co/bhqIjuwMWW
  • 09.13.16 Please vote SCIENCE FICTION DANCEHALL CLASSICS for this year's Dead Albatross Music Prize, in fine company with... https://t.co/DU4aVnXQSw
  • 09.11.16 New interview with Skip Little Axe McDonald Ohttps://www.facebook.com/onusound/posts/10153706649517554
  • 09.08.16 Adrian Sherwood returns to The Jazz Cafe in December for another 'At The Controls' party with a killer line-up of... https://t.co/iziR3BzRFb