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Adrian Sherwood and Pinch Pick Their Top 10 UK Dub Tracks

Ten of the best and bassiest from two of the UK's heaviest producers.
February 10, 2015, 9:30pm

Heavyweights often end up colliding. Pinch (Rob Ellis) and Adrian Sherwood first came together at a Tectonic night at Fabric. Both guys are among the UK's most influential dub scientists. Pinch is a Bristol boy and founder of the dubstep-leaning Tectonic label, responsible for releasing classics by the likes of Skream, Martyn and Joker.

Sherwood has been singularly dedicated to the development of roots and dub since the 1970s, working with everyone from Lee Perry to Prince Far I, Dennis Bovell to Sly & Robbie on his label On-U Sound. The ramifications of Sherwood's stripped-back sessions are still felt today; his Echoplexed explorations of dub's dank chambers were vital to the emergence of dubstep in the early-00s, and his marriage of dub's spatial awareness and 2step's percussive persistence was revolutionary.

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When Sherwood invited Pinch down to his studio by way of thanks, the result was predictably brilliant: two limited-edition 12"s and a live appearance at Sónar. This week sees them reunite to drop the devastatingly deep Late Night Endless LP on Tectonic. Incorporating elements of Sherwood's past work with Pinch's minimal approach to bass weight and sound design, it's an absolute killer.

To mark the occasion, THUMP got the pair to delve into ten of the most heavweight UK dub records ever pressed. This is serious bass pressure business.

Sherwood's selection:

"Mek it Run" by Dennis Bovel

This is a recent work from the great man. This sounds fresh, very musical and full of his usual great analogue mixing.

"Warrior Charge" by Aswad 

The UK's premier reggae band, at their best, were absolutely stunning. This is a track that I know got countless people into dub. For many, this track is Aswad's anthem, and showed that while they were capable of being very commercial, they could then deliver something as monumental as this.

"Kunte Kinte" by Jah Shaka/Mad Professor 

This was a signature Shaka sound system favorite that a lot of people thought originally came from Jamaica. But was made by Prof and crew in South London. It was a big tune and at On-U Sound we did a version with Crucial Tony and Singers and Players, creating Prince Far I's "Autobiography."

"I Wah Dub" by Dennis Bovel 

Another great record. Dennis is the most important producer in UK reggae and is one of the creators of lovers rock, UK roots and dub. He's had massive chart hits and also engineered and mixed my first production. A legend.

"Man a Warrior" by Tappa Zukie/Clem Bushey 

While not strictly a dub tune, the rhythm, vocal and Clem's production sound vicious and raw. I loved the record and having only just heard it again recently on a Moody Boyz DJ set, it still sounds vital. A seminal early UK production.

Pinch's picks

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"Mawo Dub" by Digital Mystikz

As far as I'm aware, this is the only released collaboration between both members of Digital Mystikz, AKA Mala and Coki. It came out on the seminal dubstep originator label, Big Apple, owned by Artwork and A&R'ed by a young Hatcha.

"Truly Dread" by Loefah

One of my favorite Loefah tunes on a very "ongy-bongy" vibe, as Crazy D used to call it! That means deep, cinematic vibes with congas and punishing bass weight. They don't make 'em like they used to.

"Traitor" by Skream

The only release to make it to the shops from Loefah's original Ital imprint. Off-kilter rhythms and edgy moods—there's nothing else that quite hits the mark like early Skream.

"Lost City" by Cyrus

Hugely overlooked track only available on white label by a hugely overlooked dubstep originator—Cyrus of Random Trio. Stark, broken-garage-like beats, tsunami bass weight and moody cinematic samples. What else could you ask for?

"The Grind" by Peverelist

As far as I'm concerned, this is the official birth of the awfully-titled "dubstep-techno crossover" sound. Rolling intricate rhythms and sci-fi techno sensibilities work perfectly for a deep-headspace, dancefloor session.