The Master Recordings

Adrian Sherwood

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The Master Recordings Review

by Brian Whitener

British producer Adrian Sherwood began his famous On-U-Sound label in 1980 and quickly built it into one of the premier reggae and dub labels in Europe. Marked by his always aggressive production and penchant for the experimental, On-U-Sound became famous for both its laid-back style and don't look back attitude. This much-anticipated collection of choice cuts from Sherwood's career proves ultimately disappointing. Starting strong, the album begins with a couple of excellent tracks from Mikey Dread and Prince Far I, but quickly devolves into a number of forgettable songs. As usual, all of the Dub Syndicate tracks are solid -- and if not solid, at least interesting -- experiments, but much of this bargain-priced album is filler. In fact, all of the strong tracks on this album can already be found on other On-U-Sound collections; the only thing exemplary about this one is its price. But these kinds of one-off records are turning "you get what you pay for" into a music industry truism.

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