Bristol Archive Records Blog

Posts Tagged ‘REGGAE’

Bristol Roots and Culture Wire Magazine

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Bristol Roots Explosion Wire Mag June 2016

More Rockers

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

More Rockers agree a deal today for Bristol Archive to rerelease their entire catalogue in physical and digital formats in 2016.
The three albums:
1. Dub Plate Selection Volume One (1995)
2. Selection Two (1998)
3. Selection Three ‘Tried and Tested’ (Previously only available in Japan) (2004)
There will also be a singles and dubplate album with previously unreleased material.
Bass Culture Bristol Style – BOOM!
More news soon

The Bristol Roots Explosion

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

To be released in Feb 2016
A new compilation on Vinyl LP and Digital

BRE Packshot ARC2779V Bristol Roots Explosion


Side A
1. Big Roy – “Ethiopia Revelation” (R Bailey 1976)
2. Revelation Rockers – “Culture” (D Taylor 1979)
3. Joshua Moses “Africa (Is Our Land)” (S Bailey / D Bovell 1978)
4. Bunny Marrett – “Times Are Getting Harder” (B Marrett 1980)
5. 3D Productions – “Riot” (J Carley 1980)

Side B
1. Rhythmites – “Nation Integration” (Rhythmites 1989)
2. Restriction – “Calling For Mercy” (Restriction 1983)
3. Zion Band – “Twelve Tribes” (R Duncan 1982)
4. Talisman – “Dole Age” (7″ Mix) (D Joseph / Talisman 1981)


More news very soon

Restriction – Action (Finally!)

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

We cut this record in December to release in April for Record Store Day 2015! Look what finally landed on my desk today – unbelievable but we got there in the end! Created with Nokia Smart Cam

Rhythmites – Album launch gig

Monday, July 20th, 2015


Rhythmites ‘Integration’ rerelease date set

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

We are chuffed to get this release on the catalogue coupled with the fact that Rhythmites have reformed and back playing Festivals this summer. More news soon:
Released on CD and Digital Download 18th September 2015
Originally formed in the mid-eighties, Bath based reggae outfit Rhythmites spent more than a decade gigging throughout the UK and Europe, building up a loyal fan base and a strong reputation as the West Country’s leading proponents of live roots reggae. Although their catalogue wasn’t excessively large, they did manage to record and release a couple of cassettes, a 12” single and most memorably in 1989, a very well received vinyl only album, “Integration”.
Rhythmites split up in the year 2000 but in 2007, they picked up where they’d left off and once more began spreading the roots reggae message at live shows as well as recording new material. With all the renewed activity, many fans both old and new have been asking about “Integration”, an album released only on vinyl more than twenty five years ago, long deleted and not readily available on the used market.
As chance would have it, Rhythmites and their music were already on the Bristol Archive Records radar so; when they mentioned the possibility of reissuing “Integration” we were very happy to be of assistance. We discovered that the band had never been entirely happy with the original mix and wanted to remix the album with the benefit of twenty first century facilities. Remixes can be a bad thing but as someone who saw the band perform many times and bought “Integration” on release, I was blown away by the new mix. Not only have they remained totally faithful to the original with no badly judged attempts to update the sound, but engineer Ben Findley has totally nailed it with the new mix; it takes the original to another level, improving it whilst maintaining the spirit of the vinyl pressing.
For those that aren’t familiar with the band this is a roots album, the songs deal with living one’s life in a better way. The sound is authentic and not in any way contrived, in no small part due to Angus’ excellent and distinctive vocals which really fit both the music and the lyrics. Anyone who has seen them perform live will know about Stuart’s didgeridoo and that makes an appearance right from the start in “No Guns”, a song that suggests it doesn’t take weapons and violence to be a freedom fighter.
Other stand out tracks includes “Nation Integration” with its call for unity, and “Pain and Suffering” which shines a light on some of the ills of the world. The rest of the tracks all deal with serious issues although, “A True” and “Hold On” drift into what was, when recorded, a more contemporary almost dancehall style. As a bonus we’ve included brand new exclusive dub versions for “Heed No Dream” and “A True”.
It’s great that one of the best live reggae bands of the late eighties and nineties are back on the road, as is the fact that their first album is getting a long overdue reissue, the fact that it’s sounding better than ever is the real bonus. “Integration” by Rhythmites is released on CD and digital download by Bristol Archive Records on the 18th September 2015, available from all usual outlets.
1. Nation Integration
2. No Stopping We
3. Pain and Suffering
4. No Guns
5. Heed No Dream
6. A True
7. Give and Take
8. Hold On
Bonus tracks:
9. Heed No Dream Dub
10. A True Dub

ARTIST: Rhythmites
TITLE: “Integration”
RELEASE DATE: 18th September 2015
LABEL: Bristol Archive Records
FORMAT: CD and Digital Download
BARCODE: 5052571062029
GENRE: Reggae, Dub

The Dug Out Club

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Remember this face?


The Black Roots Story

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014


Spotlight on Bristol Archive Records

Thursday, December 12th, 2013


There’s nothing better than discovering new music. I thrive off it, it’s why I do what I do. And when I say “new” I don’t necessarily mean the latest, just released, new sound, etc., but rather something I like that I’ve never heard before — that could be early American Roots music or some brand new ground-breaking experimentations. I therefore perhaps spend longer than I should trying to listen to all the music falling under my remit as a client manager here at The Orchard. And something that kept catching my attention were releases on a little known record label dealing in Bristol Post Punk and Reggae called Bristol Archive.

When you think about British musical heritage, most people tend to bang on about London (The Clash, Sex Pistols, yawn) or Manchester (Hacienda, Factory Records, Stone Roses, falling asleep). All true of course, two incredible hubs for some of greatest music the world has ever heard. But when I think about it, Bristol was a massive musical and cultural influence on me growing up — Massive Attack, Tricky, Portishead, Roni Size and Reprazent, and the best Graf scene in the UK. But I don’t really know what came before it. There are always reference points of course and discovering Bristol Archive has begun filling in the gaps. Take the Reggae roots sounds of Black Roots “Bristol Rock“ (1981) and onto to the more Digi-Soul vibes of Smith & Mighty’s version of “Walk On By“ (1985) and you have a clear back drop for Massive Attack. I caught up with label owner Mike Darby to find out more.

Can you give me a brief overview of Bristol Archive and how it came to be?
Bristol Archive Records is a record label dealing in Bristol Post Punk and Reggae 1977 onwards. We aim to showcase music from the diverse Bristol Music scene and provide a historical account/document of all things Bristol that should never be forgotten. Many of the artists and releases are rare, unknown or never before released. The material has been lovingly digitally remastered from vinyl, ¼ inch tape, dat or cassette. The original vinyl releases would generally have been limited to runs of 1000 copies or less.

We would like to thank the original label owners and/or the artists for allowing us to share with you their forgotten works and provide a statement of how brilliant bands have always been from the city of Bristol and the surrounding areas. Enjoy and never forget the talented ones from the past, they deserve to be recognised and remembered. We now have two sister labels Reggae Archive and Sugar Shack.

It certainly seems Bristol had a thriving music scene from the mid-70s onwards. Can you tell me a bit more about that and how it went on to influence the next generation of musicians from Bristol?
Bristol is a very nice place to live. The student population is large and always has been which means a large percentage of visitors stay and find work. Throughout the 70s and right up until today it’s been a forgotten back water, a slow independent city (some might say the dope makes its slow, others the bohemian suburbs — Montpelier, St Werburghs, Redland and then of course the historically Jamaican areas St.Pauls and Easton). The bottom line in my humble opinion is that yes, a thriving scene but very fractured, lazy and never one to follow London but almost ‘fuck London.’ Bands have always tended to form, demo and then split up (the classic we-should-have-a-record-deal-no-point-carrying-on-then syndrome). The individuals then immediately pop up again in different line ups, with maybe different styles, lots of people playing in two or three bands (this was certainly the case in the Post Punk years). Bristol bands never toured on the independent scene until Hardcore arrived. Bristol has never had a huge Rock band —Onslaught could well be the biggest.

During Post Punk, lots of the top musicians moved to London to try and make it — most got record deals (which is interesting because they would never have been signed if they had stayed in Bristol). Most of these people have now moved back. Back home to that slow vibe, that Bristol thing, that Bass line, and so Punk moved to Post Punk through Reggae and then Smith & Mighty arrived. Bang! Bass culture, whilst always here, was the underground platform for the next generation — sound systems — warehouse parties — The Blues — The Wild Bunch get signed — LONDON comes to Bristol! Massive Attack evolve through the Wild Bunch. Tricky, Smith & Mighty get signed — but still not following London. London invented the term Trip Hop — bullshit, Bass Culture Bristol Style. Portishead and then Roni Size get signed. The Pop Group are still the kings but they are long gone, all the members joining and leaving other highly influential bands. Hundreds of bands that you haven’t heard of until now as we re-release the hidden gems that got away.

Bristol today is still massively influential on the Dubstep and Grime scene. Bass Culture is still booming via the new breed of Sound System people — Bristol is still the BASS capital of the world. The big Reggae artists Black Roots, Talisman and Jashwha Moses have all reformed and are releasing new music and touring.

What’s the best thing about running a record label?
Finding people with tapes, transferring them lovingly, digitalising them and then remastering. The thrill and excitement of seeing people’s faces when we present them with in some cases masterpieces that have never been heard before. To summarise, the pleasure it brings people.

Where do you see the industry heading?
To me it’s 1977 all over again. There are no labels, there is no money or capital investment. Anyone can do it, anyone can have a label. The only MAJOR difference is that if you want mainstream distribution then that is virtually impossible to get — that’s one of our strengths.

Interesting. I would have thought mainstream distribution is easier for small labels nowadays. Pre-digital, it was difficult for niche music to find shelf space in non-specialist stores (i.e. the majority) and the length of time a release would remain in stock was certainly very limited. In the digital era, any distributed release can be made available on all platforms with no “shelf life” constraints. In this respect, do you think re-releasing niche music is more of a viable prospect than it used to be? 
I am referring to physical product CDs and vinyl, not digital. We are a record label releasing three formats so the digital side, whilst important, is only a small part. It’s virtually impossible to get a distribution and then a P&D deal whereas in the late 70s, distributors would take anything and everyone.

Thanks Mike! There are some fantastic releases lined up for 2014 including a re-issue of Andy Fairley’s Fishfood vs. Birth of Sharon and The Best of Heartbeat Records. I strongly recommend you go check them out! In the words of Geoff Barrow “Bristol Archive Records is an amazing dot to dot picture of the city’s musical history, I would recommend it to anyone who has ever been interested in why and how the sound of the city has become what it is today.”

pic of mike darby

taken from:

Bristol’s New School

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Bristol Boys Make More Noise

Here’s an 8 page feature in the September edition of The Wire Magazine where the Yout’ do the talking…..