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Zine Fair followed by Arts Week !

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Interview with Plastician aka Chris Reed from Thornton Heath


Excellent interview with Thornton Heath born n bred Dubstep and Grime musician – here

“EDM is to underground music what the X Factor is to mainstream music. They pick up the potential, and pump money into it at the cost of all integrity, and ride the money train as long as they possibly can. It’s a huge business, and sadly for me, there’s only so much business I like to get involved with. It’s hard to appeal to the masses without selling a part of your soul to the devil. You need to find the right balance and just hope that you can build your own following without having to bow to the demands of the powers that be in the EDM world.”

Remember the Black Liberation Dub albums?

Remembering Mad Professor’s Black Liberation Dub series from the Nineties!

Merry Reggae Xmas to all our readers and a brighter New YEar.


Tippa Irie of Thornton Heat – Global Reggae star!

Tippa Irie b1965, lived in Thornton Heath – I think he still does. I found an old 45 vinyl disc of his in the MayDay Hospital foyer bric-a-brac shop the other day. 5P – a bargain. Its a nice photo sleeve with cool blue typography. The A side is ‘Heartbeat’ a sweet pop record which was issued as fifth of Greensleeves Records ‘Bubblers’ series in 1986 and charted at 59.


But the discovery was on the B side which was a dramatic change to heavy dub with ‘Live As One’. This blew me away with its strong dub mix and lyrics calling for solidarity which makes as much sense today as in the Eighties. The question that comes to my mind is about whose idea was it to make this subversive record with its candy pop A side which carried the ‘real message’ on its flip side? Is this Tippa or one of the producers (Cracknell and Donegan)? The composer of both songs is Tippa a.k.a. A Henry .

latest news on his page on Facebook – touring India

‘Portraits of a Player’

An encounter with gift economy on the street of Thornton Heath: a review of ‘Portraits of a Player’

Crook Street Gang's new CD

Thornton Heath obviously does not have the extreme cruelty and oppression of apartheid – different cultures happily swim together in the same pool and share the same schools. That can feel good. But the cultural groups of The Heath still mostly lead separate lives; meeting fleetingly in school drop-offs and children’s parties. So it was refreshing when a older white man like me, trudging up the hill from shopping, was approached by a young black man with an offer to gift me a copy of his latest CD. I get approached to embrace Jesus often enough, but this is a rarer and realer opportunity. The man introduced himself as Art Daley. I got home and put it straight on. He describes it as having a Seventies soul vibe, to me it’s articulate and often lyrical urban rap. ‘Portraits of a Player’ is nicely presented with ten well-produced tracks from the local Crook Street Gang.

A long sample from the namesake Arthur Daley bridges the b/w and generational cultural gap and reminds me of our shared cultural experience. At the same time corny rap words add to the gulf between us that still prickles out of this beautiful package of creativity. “RU a fag or summat?” and plentiful use of ‘Bitch’ means, I hate to say so bluntly but, it won’t get played easily to my young daughter or some of my friends. It’s these thorny taboo words can mark out the territory of our separation. How can we represent our whole multi-cultural community when such simple jags of difference and markers of oppression, can get in the way so easily? How are we going to get through this abrasive surface and get down to sharing culture and our different experiences as human beings?

The final track ‘Setting Sun’ to me seems to say it all for Thornton Heath and many other poor suburbs: “Guns don’t kill, people do”; “I wanna face up to my fears”; “I’m a mountain”; “Your raps worth more, than the waiting crack”. Listen to this track above all.

This is why Thornton Heath older folks like me should get behind the creative force of their sons and daughters – Art Daley, lead us into the future man!

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The writer of this review has recently published ‘Agit Disco’ with Mute Books:

Traditional Sunday Roast £5.50

TH - Trad Jazz at the Lord Napier

Trad jazz from 1pm with a good Sunday roast for £5.50 from 2 – 4pm. Only at the Lord Napier.

Mad Professor


Legendary UK dub producer Mad Professor is now based in Whitehorse Lane, SE25 6RE but previously in Thornton Heath…

Ariwa is the Yuroba word for communication.

His son, Joe Ariwa, is now doing dub stuff also. There is an interview with him and Malachi, Jah Shaka’s son, in issue 4 of Woofah.

Woofah Mag: reggae – grime – dubstep

From the Ariwa website: “The question is often asked, just how sane is The Mad Professor ? Judging by the contents of his character and by the results of his recordings, and the variety of the artistes who has passed through Ariwa studios then he is certainly one of the sanest producers around. Neil Fraser began his musical career on the technical side of things as a service engineer for mixing desks and amplifiers. That skill and a good ear for “on key” music became his asset when he began building a 4 track studio at his home in Thornton Heath. At school Neil was christened Mad Professor by friends who were amazed by the experiments he was carrying out. By the turn of the Eighties, Mad Professor launched the Ariwa label and released “Come back Again” by Sgt. Pepper, then came “Young Girl” by Family Love, “Love Power/Love On A Two Way Street” by Divinia Stone, “True True Loving” by Aquizim…”

From ‘Word Up’ intenet zine