Review: Here's something to warm the heart and soothe the ears: a collection of crucial Lovers Rock cuts from Neil "Mad Professor" Fraser's Ariwa Sounds label, the majority of which were produced and released in the 1980s. During the period, the Ariwa Studio was one of the focal points (though not the only one) in London of the soulful, synthesizer-driven reggae sound, and as a result the compilation is full to bursting with treats. Our highlights include the colourful sweetness of Sandra Cross' "It's You", the slow motion bliss of Aisha's "Dancing Time", the weighty and up-beat "The Other Side of Love" by Carroll Thompson, Sgt Pepper/Aquizm's bass guitar-heavy "True True Loving" and the sunshine goodness of "I Just Want To Love You" by Leroy Simmons.
Review: Back in 1995, Lee "Scratch" Perry swung by Mad Professor's Ariwa Sounds studio in South East London to add his vocals to a fresh batch of raw, sub-heavy jungle riddims by Dougie Digital and Juggler. The results were released, alongside a quartet of more traditional dub versions built by Mad Professor using the same vocals, on an album called "Super Ape Inna Jungle". As this reissue proves, it was a potent set. Mad Professor's dubs are of course as weighty, echo-laden and inspired as ever, but it's the quality of the crunchy, razor-sharp jungle cuts that most impresses. These may not be considered jungle classics, but in our eyes, they should be considered as such.