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On-U Sound In The Area

About 'On-U Sound In The Area'

Adrian Sherwood
Adrian Sherwood

On-U Sound In The Area is an unofficial website for fans of the productions of the On-U Sound record label under the guidance of Adrian Sherwood - run by one such fan. It also celebrates the artists he has worked with and the associated record labels (such as Hitrun, Pressure Sounds, Sound Boy and World Records) he has been involved in. The website's name comes from a well-known crowd call made by MC Gary Clail, particularly during On-U's live shows of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Sherwood's career to date has been a truly eclectic and under-appreciated journey into many musical styles - first establishing his credentials in record distribution and as a reggae and dub engineer/producer under the wing of the late Prince Far I in the late 1970s. Ever since he has embarked on an increasingly wide range of dabblings in post-punk minimalism, experimental found-sounds, indie rock, big beat, blues and many other ground-breaking and hi-fi pounding projects whose recordings defy classification.

Surrounding himself with a loyal following of musicians, since the mid 1970s, he has worked wonders at the mixing desk for the likes of Dub Syndicate, African Head Charge, Bim Sherman, Little Axe, Annie Anxiety Bandez, Tackhead, Audio Active, the New Age Steppers, Creation Rebel and Mark Stewart & the Maffia, assembling a three figure number of albums in his back catalogue in the process. Astonishingly, having been 'in the business' so long, his well-received 2003 'Never Trust A Hippy?' album was the first ever to be self credited.

As a 'remixer for hire' he has also added his distinctive sound to many other artist's records - names such as Blur, Cabaret Voltaire, Simply Red, Primal Scream, Asian Dub Foundation, Nine Inch Nails, The Fall, Jah Wobble, Coldcut and Depeche Mode to quote but a few.

The inspiration for this site in the first instance came from the On-U Sound-related discographies painstakingly put together by Culf and Richard Davies in the early 1990s. I decided (after seeking permission) to take them over, bring them up to date, add a few 'missing' examples and make them publicly available again after a gap of several years. At the same time I thought it would be a good time to expand the brief a bit and include more factual and reference material as well. Gradually, with this site's supporters' help, this aim is starting to take shape.


Though On-U Sound In The Area is the result of many people's contributions, it's maintenance and design is the pastime of just one person - me (!), an Editor working for a scientific publisher, living in Cambridge in the UK. On-U has been in my consciousness since about 1991 when as a seemingly impressionable university undergraduate I was played On-U tunes by Culf from time to time. One time on request, he put a compilation tape together for me, I liked it and went out in about 1994 and found a copy of Dub Syndicate's 'Echomania' album. The rest is obviously history!

On-U Sound In The Area is as good as you have all helped me make it, and as a result it has come a long way since first launched in 2001 as no more than a handful of discography files. Thanks for your support. Keep it up! Cheers.