Doors: 23:00 Uhr
Line Up: KENNY KNOTS [London / UK] , MANASSEH [London / UK] , LION’S DEN SOUND SYSTEM [Berlin]
Music: Dub, Steppas, Roots, Reggae
… powered by Lion’s Den Sound System
come out and skank with us for a unique journey through the 90s in reggae, dub & steppas (with a hint of late 80s) JA / UK and abroad, a special dedication to this chapter in time
for this edition of ‘Lion’s Den Sound System invites…’ we welcome none other than the longtime studio and sound system activist Manasseh longside the legendary singer Kenny Knots on the microphone,
surely a date for the calendar for any serious dub addict
LION’S DEN SOUND SYSTEM [Berlin]
KENNY KNOTS [London / UK]
Kenny Knots‘ career started when in 1984, 15 years of age, he released „Watch How The People Are Dancing“ which got him into the English reggae charts. It is the same time he joined Unity Sound System as an MC. In 1991, as he still had not received the recognition he deserved, Kenny retired from the front of the stage for several years, to reappear only in 2000. It is thanks to the support of his family, and in particular Dougie Wardrop, that he decided to give himself a new chance and he joined the Bush Chemists, along with Culture Freeman, Jonah Dan and Chazbo. Since then he has recorded with many of the greats of the scene and can be found on numerous quality releases, by labels such as Conscious Sounds, Unity Sounds, Scotch Bonnet, Jah Tubbys, Dubateers, Scoops, OBF Records and many more. Kenny Knots comes with pure fire and a conscious message no matter if in a dance or on a record.
MANASSEH [London / UK]
Manasseh sound system was originally built in 1985 by a group of school friends (Nick, Ed Maiden and Billy T) and finished and first played on the Sunday morning of Notting Hill Carnival in that year. With the aim of playing reggae with a focus on the roots side of the music, which was missing from the scene at that time, the sound system was based in West London in the Shepherds Bush area.
Nick Manasseh started producing music the same year for sound system dub plates. His earliest productions with his partner Scruff eventually became Sound Iration. Their first single, ‘Seventh Seal’, was issued on the Mystic Red label in 1988 and is widely credited as the first ‘UK Steppers’ record. Sound Iration went on to produce the ‘In Dub’ album for Youth and Alex Paterson’s WAU MR Modo label, another landmark release. The album was re-issued on triple vinyl and double CD in 2010.
In 1990 Nick set up his first studio and was involved in setting up a new label called Riz Records, along with co producer Gil Cang, Eddie Joseph and Mak Gilchrist; to release the productions from the new studio. The label ran for about 7 years, with many notable successes such as Earl 16’s ‘Natural Roots’, Admiral Tibet’s ‘Permission’, Orville Smith’s album ‘Walking on Tightrope’ and the original vinyl release of Manasseh meets The Equalizer ‘Dub The Millennium‘ (subsequently licensed to Acid Jazz). A great retrospective- ‘The Riz Records Story’ has been reissued on the Reggae Archives label (2014).
Manasseh Studio from its Brixton days (’91-2000) was also a magnet for many other London sounds to voice dub plates, especially with visiting Jamaican artists, and was the venue for many sessions with some of the greats like Dennis Brown, the Mighty Diamonds, Freddie McGregor, Sugar Minott, Brigadier Jerry, Josie Wales, Charlie Chaplin, Johnny Osbourne, Junior Delgado, Tony Tuff and The Melodians; as well as some of the big artists of the 90s like Jigsy King, Tony Curtis, Simpleton, Shaggy Wonder, Everton Blender and Yami Bolo amongst others.
In 1987 Nick, Ed and Billy T began their show on Kiss FM, brought in by brothers Norman and Joey Jay, to play the 3-7am ‘graveyard’ slot. The station was a pirate at that time and later, when Kiss became a legal station in 1990, Manasseh occupied the 3-6am slot until 1999. It’s fair to say that this, along with Joey’s sunday evening show, became an institution and was responsible for introducing and educating a whole new generation of younger listeners to deep roots music. The two shows also had a strong effect on the Jamaican music industry, helping artists like Luciano and Sizzla to become established. Bearing in mind that in those days there was no internet or file sharing- the radio show, along with the sound system, established Manasseh as a positive force in the reggae scene, in the UK and internationally.
In 2004 Nick hooked up with Jon Jones of long standing Brighton roots night, Roots Garden. Jon wanted to start a new label, and, in a nice turn of events, the first release was a track that Nick and Gil had recorded with Johnny Osbourne originally for Riz records but had remained un-released. ‘Black Star Liner’ was a great start for the new Roots Garden label. With releases from Luciano, Freddie McGregor, Brother Culture, Dark Angel, Ava Leigh, Kenny Knots, Bob Skeng, Cate Ferris, Mc Trooper, Ruben Da Silva, Jahmali, Danny Red, Vin Gordon and many more; Roots Garden records in 2014 is going strong and is becoming a big family. Physically, Roots Garden has concentrated on vinyl singles and EPs, but the label is now also online.
In the last ten years Nick has also produced, mixed, written, and remixed music for many other artists and labels, including Reggae Roast records, Foundation records, Digi Signal records, Dubkasm, Soothsayers, Emiliana Torrini, Pama International, Resonators, The Drop, J Star, The Trojans and Rootikal records amongst many others.
In 2012, after living in the South West of England for twelve years, Nick returned to London and moved into a new studio -The Yard- in West London, just round the corner from where he first started with Sound Iration in the 80s. The new studio has brought a major upgrade in equipment and, for the first time, Nick is enjoying live recording of bands and sessions. Branching out, Nick recently did sound design for the new Julian Temple film ‘London: The Modern Babylon’ and has worked with an amazing 12 piece panpipe band from the Solomon Islands, Narasirato, mixing their albums and some live shows. Nick is now involved more than ever with mixing records for a very wide range of artists, as well as mastering, now a big part of Nick’s work.
Nick continues to DJ and work as a selector throughout the world alongside many established singers and MCs, including Brother Culture, Kenny Knots, Danny Red and Gregory Fabulous. Nick still occasionally touches down on the radio, and just before moving back to London, did two years on Passion Radio in Bristol- sitting in once a month on the Sufferer’s Choice show. Nick has worked in music since the age of 17 and considers himself unqualified for anything else, except perhaps cooking, so the future should see plenty more record releases and lots more heavyweight dub sessions!
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