Ambassador for British reggae, David Rodigan MBE has been famous throughout Britain’s reggae dance-halls for over 30 years. His extensive knowledge of Jamaica’s every artist, every song and every rhythm track, makes him the perfect choice to curate this very special Sub-Sonic Live, focusing on reggae and British reggae - two of the most significant subcultures of the last forty years.
"David Rodigan, the radio DJ who has arguably done more than any other to promote reggae music in Britain..."
His earliest experience of dee jaying was during lunch breaks once a week in the gym at Gosford Hill School in Kidlington, Oxford. On leaving school he landed a place at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in 1971, where he spent three years studying to become an actor. He worked extensively in repertory theatre and appeared in a number of television productions such as ‘Doctor Who’ (BBC) and ‘Shackleton’ (BBC); he also performed his one-man show ‘Zima Junction’ at literature festivals and theatres in the 1970s; a dramatisation of the poem by the Russian writer Yevtushenko.
Rodigan began his reggae broadcasting career in 1978 on BBC Radio London. He moved to Capital Radio in 1979 and remained there for eleven years broadcasting his legendary ‘Roots Rockers’ show every Saturday night. His credibility was ensured when he began clashing with Jamaica’s champion DJ, Barry G on JBC Radio in Jamaica. He then went on to clash with all the top Jamaican sound systems in the West Indies, the USA and England and in 2012 he won the ultimate clash victory when he took the Champion Trophy at World Clash Reset in New York.
In 1990 he joined the newly legalised Kiss 100 where he presented a variety of daytime shows for 10 years before kicking back to his weekly reggae show, which he broadcast for another 12 years until 2012. Having seen his show reduced from 2 hours to 1 hour in 2011 he resigned in protest at the marginalising of reggae music when the show was re-scheduled into the twi-light zone of broadcasting, midnight – 1am in November 2012.
Lee 'Scratch' Perry
Joining David on the billing - Lee "Scratch" Perry. A recording pioneer of the reggae world Lee "Scratch" Perry is one of the most important artist-producers to have stepped into a recording studio. Building an experimental studio in his back yard, in Jamaica, "Scratch" was the producer on early recordings for such notable musicians as Bob Marley & the Wailers, Junior Byles, The Heptones, and Max Romeo. Now in his seventies, Perry continues to contribute to the forefront of new music, with his recent work including a collaboration with electronic explorers, The Orb.
"I’m an artist, a musician, a magician, a writer, a singer; I’m everything. My name is Lee from the African jungle, originally from West Africa. I’m a man from somewhere else, but my origin is from Africa, straight to Jamaica through reincarnation; reborn in Jamaica..."
Lee "Scratch" Perry (born Rainford Hugh Perry, on March 20, 1936, in Kendal, Jamaica) is a Grammy award-winning reggae and dub artist, who has been highly influential in the development and acceptance of reggae and dub music in Jamaica and overseas. He employs numerous pseudonyms, such as "Pipecock Jaxxon" and "The Upsetter". Arguably the first creatively driven, "artist-producer" in modern recorded music, Lee "Scratch" Perry occupies the highest level of music making - standing comfortably next to pioneers like George Martin, Phil Spector, and Brian Wilson.
...a pop genius deserving of retrospectives at the V&A and documentaries on the BBC. As it is, he [Lee "Scratch" Perry] helped create the climate that allows Pharrell Williams or Jay-Z to be seen as the talents they are. Truly, one of the greats."
“This is beyond doubt a shining example of a band that not only has talent but a true passion and understanding of roots music. Resonators undoubtedly have a real ear for taking original roots reggae and imprinting their own modern, innovative stamp which is both unique and extremely refreshing in modern roots music.”
UK Reggae Guide
“...elements are truly beautiful and haunting. In these days of homogenised, digital recordings lacking in any individual sound or identity it is most encouraging to hear something so truly original... most refreshing”.
Following a series of highly acclaimed releases, Resonators have spent the past nine months touring widely with their second album “The Constant”, establishing a strong reputation for a stunning live show to match. Whilst staying true to the meditative quality and universal appeal of roots reggae that brought them together, Resonators' originality teems with the subtleties of their nine members' influences. Fronted by the compelling voices of Faye Houston and Kassia Zermon aka Bunty, their repertoire diverts from clichés of the genre with a sincerity that reflects the innovative nature of reggae's origins.
Resonators’ eponymous debut album gained worldwide and national radio support on BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and Kiss FM from the likes of Mark Lamarr, David Rodigan, Lauren Laverne and Craig Charles. Picked up quickly by Wah Wah 45s, the London vinyl label have released five 7” singles, including a remix from Roots Manuva collaborator, Wrongtom.
Working with some of the UK's finest dub producers Darren Jamtone, Nick Mannaseh and Richie Phoe, Resonators' second LP “The Constant” carves out the band’s distinct style deeply enough for any music lover to fall into the dub chasm. The first single taken from the album, “Surrender” was described as "British Reggae at its best" by reggae ambassador David Rodigan MBE.