Bristol Archive Records Blog

Archive for October, 2010

Album Review

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

The Bristol Reggae Explosion

Any city could be proud if its subcultural heritage was kept up like the one of Bristol is. Bristol Archive Records is way more than just a label – it’s a museum, a history lesson, a record shop, a discography, a band / gig / fanzine archive, a publisher, and more. The aspiration is huge: to “reissue [the] entire back catalogue of [Bristol]”. You just have to feel the love, effort and passion that is put into this project. DIY at its best!

Their latest thing is a compilation of Reggae tunes recorded in the area of Bristol entitled “The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978 – 1983″. Thanks to Martin Langford (neither the sax therapist nor the drag queen), who is responsible for the liner notes, I was able to give the album (that will be out in february 2011) a listen in advance.

The selection isn’t less than superb. The Black Roots have always been a UK Roots favourite of mine and it’s a pleasure that their amazing “Juvenile Delinquent” is included. The name “Restriction” didn’t ring a bell for me, but their “Four Point Plan” is a killer tune with a heavy rhythm and extraordinary and unique DJ vocal styling. Even as a person who usually doesn’t like Lover’s Rock too much I really do like Sharon Bengamin’s “Mr.Guy”. Joshua Moses’ “Pretty Girl” is another favourite on this carefully compilated album.
“The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978​-​1983″ will be available on CD and can be downloaded in advance. To get an idea of the amazing cover artwork, check The 12 page sleeve notes will be written by Reggae authority Martin Langford. But it’s the announcement of “a very limited vinyl pressing” that will put a glance in the eyes of the collectors out there. Count me in there, please. What else is there to say but the mandatory: Go get it!

  • Black Roots : Bristol Rock (Bunny Marrett) (Arranged by Black Roots)
  • Joshua Moses : Africa (Is Our Land) (Joshua Moses 1978)
  • Talisman : Run Come Girl – Live (Taylor / Talisman 1980)
  • Restriction : Four Point Plan (Restriction 1983)
  • Black Roots : Tribal War 12” Mix (Black Roots)
  • Restriction : Restriction (Restriction 1983)
  • Joshua Moses : Pretty Girl (Joshua Moses 1979)
  • Talisman : Wicked Dem – Live ( Taylor / Talisman 1980)
  • The Radicals : Nights Of Passion ( John Carley 1980)
  • Sharon Bengamin : Mr Guy (Unknown 1980)
  • Black Roots : Juvenile Delinqent (Black Roots)
  • Buggs Durrant : Baby Come Back(Home) (Errol Williams 1983)
  • 3-D Production : Riot (John Carley 1980)
  • Talisman : Dole Age 12” Mix ( Joseph / Talisman 1981)
  • To read more about the Bristol Reggae scene, go there and enjoy.

    Taken from :

    The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983 – Album Review

    Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

    West Country Reggae

    Bristol Reggae ExplosionWith a significant 50′s Windrush era West Indian community, the St Paul’s riot in 1980 and it’s earlier history as a port central to the 18th Century transatlantic slave trade, Bristol has been something of a microcosm of the trials and tribulations of the black community in the UK. As such it’s hardly surprising that in the 70′s and beyond the city should have had a thriving reggae scene.

    Joshua Moses – Africa Is Our Land

    The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-83 from Bristol Archive Records, available for download now and on CD and LP in February of next year celebrates the bands and artists that in the face of some adversity produced some great and memorable reggae music. The biggest bands of the period, Talisman and Black Roots are well represented with three tracks each and the great Africa Is Our Land by Joshua Moses, is present and correct (which will save you £60-£100 on the cost of the original 12″ on ebay). Rescued from obscurity are a couple of solid 80′s roots tunes from Restiction and some lovers tracks by The Radicals, Sandra Bengamin and Buggs Durant.

    Restriction – Four Point Plan

    On the face of this release it’s hard to understand why a couple of the bands/artists represented didn’t go further, sign to bigger labels and release LP’s alongside the greats of UK reggae like Aswad and Steel Pulse. But even in the reggae world circa 1980 Bristol was Bristol and London was London, all to often the only recognition came on locally produced and self released limited run 7″ and 12″ singles. To Bristol Archive Recordings, though the style of music may differ from their usual punkier projects, the ethos of the DIY project by overlooked local musicians is their bread and butter, they’ve got a fine release on their hands here and hopefully this time round more of the music will reach a wider audience it always deserved.

    The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978 – 1983

    Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

    Interesting compilation coming out on Bristol Archive Records seeing an official release in the early part of next year, though it is available to purchase in advance here –

    I’ve got a promo copy for the car and have particularly enjoyed Ressurection’s – Four Point Plan, apparently Ressurection featured a young Rob Smith on guitar, he’s better known now as Smith of Smith N’ Mighty, reknowned remixers. Like a lot of good things, he hails from Bristol.

    Bristol is and was one of the important musical and particularly Jamaican musical hotspots in the UK, and alongside Birmingham and London is was where it was all happening back in the day, check out your intro into the Bristolian affect on this release, heartily recommended.

    Here is what the label says about it:

    THE BRISTOL REGGAE EXPLOSION 1978-1983 Released on CD, VINYL and DIGITAL DOWNLOADRelease date 21st February 2011

    BUY NOW:;0;-1;-1;-1&sku=12937
    From Pop to Punk, the late seventies and early eighties saw a huge explosion in the number of local bands as more and more people thought they’d give it a go, new studios and independent labels weren’t far behind and Reggae wasn’t going to be left out of the musical mix.If the majors were even aware of Bristol they showed minimal interest and it was left to the bands themselves and the handful of indie labels to document Bristol’s contribution to what was then a vibrant UK Reggae scene. Working on tight budgets and with no money for marketing campaigns local bands managed to release a small, but steady flow of vinyl, mostly pressed in tiny quantities and often sold direct to fans at gigs, these records, although cherished by those who own them, and sought by those in the know, have been largely ignored by the wider music industry.

    Fortunately Bristol music has its own champion in the shape of Bristol Archive Records, a label with a mission to share our great musical heritage with the world, “The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983” is the first and only attempt to document the local Reggae scene from the late seventies until the early eighties. With the exception of the Black Roots tracks none of the recordings have ever been reissued and all were originally released before CD had been launched, so this is their debut in the digital format.

    The music itself reflects the dominance of the Roots style in Bristol, even today Roots is by far the most popular type of Reggae in both the retail and live scenes locally, Black Roots live up to their name and show why they were the equal of any UK Reggae band in their day, Talisman, Restriction and 3D Production follow in their Roots footsteps, but a real highlight of this release is the inclusion of the ultra rare “Africa Is Our land” from Joshua Moses, a UK Roots classic. Bristol wasn’t all about Roots though and the other tracks follow a more mellow template, dealing with love and relationships, both Talisman and Joshua Moses show another side to their music and are joined by tracks from Buggs Durrant, The Radicals and Sharon Bengamin who’s “Mr. Guy” is a classic UK Lover’s track in the mould of Janet Kay, Carroll Thompson, Louisa Marks et al.

    “The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978-1983” will be released as a fourteen track CD, but you can’t have a proper Reggae release without it being on vinyl so there will be a very limited vinyl pressing featuring an eight track selection and just to keep things local the sleeve art is a mid-eighties carnival shot from Bristol’s own Beezer, (, featuring a classic image of Jah Revelation sound-system.
    This release will shine the spotlight on a long neglected corner of the UK Reggae scene and Bristol’s musical heritage, the same music that would help underpin Bristol’s musical dominance in the following decade.

    released 21 February 2011
    The Bristol Reggae Explosion 1978 – 1983 Track listing:01. Black Roots : Bristol Rock (Bunny Marrett) (Arranged by Black Roots) p Nubian Music 1981

    02. Joshua Moses : Africa (Is Our Land) (Joshua Moses 1978) p Copyright Control 1978

    03. Talisman : Run Come Girl – Live (Taylor / Talisman 1980) p Recreational Music 1981

    04. Restriction : Four Point Plan (Restriction 1983) p Unitone Publishing 1983

    05. Black Roots : Tribal War 12” Mix (Black Roots) p Nubian Music 1981

    06. Restriction : Restriction (Restriction 1983) p Unitone Publishing 1983

    07. Joshua Moses : Pretty Girl (Joshua Moses 1979) p Unitone Publishing 1979

    08. Talisman : Wicked Dem – Live ( Taylor / Talisman 1980) p Recreational Music 1981

    09. The Radicals : Nights Of Passion ( John Carley 1980) p Copyright Control 1980

    10. Sharon Bengamin : Mr Guy (Unknown 1980) p Unitone Publishing 1980

    11. Black Roots : Juvenile Delinqent (Black Roots) p Nubian Music

    12. Buggs Durrant : Baby Come Back(Home) (Errol Williams 1983) p Unitone Publishing 1983

    13. 3-D Production : Riot (John Carley 1980) p Third Kind Music 1980

    14. Talisman : Dole Age 12” Mix ( Joseph / Talisman 1981) p Recreational Music 1981

    Tracks 1, 5, 11 originally released on Nubian Records
    Track 2 originally released on More Cut Records
    Track 3 and 8 previously unreleased Live Recordings
    Track 4 and 6 originally released on Restriction Records 1983
    Track 7, 10 and 12 originally released on Shoc Wave Records 1979, 1980 and 1983
    Track 9 originally released on The Bristol Recorder 2 1980
    Track 13 originally released on Third Kind Records 1980
    Track 14 originally released on Recreational Records 1981

    Track 1, 5 and 11 Engineered by UK Scientist, Recorded at The Facility, Produced by UK Scientist and Black Roots
    Track 2 Engineered by Dennis Bovell, Recorded at Gooseberry Studios London, Produced by Dennis Bovell
    Track 3 Recorded Live at Glastonbury Festival
    Track 4 and 6 Engineered and Mixed by The Mad Professor, Recorded at Ariwa Sound Studios London, Produced by Restriction
    Track 7, 10 and 12 Produced by Gene Walsh, Recording location unknown
    Track 8 Recorded Live at Bath University
    Track 9 Engineered and Produced by David Lord at Crescent Studios Bath
    Track 13 Recording location unknown, Arranged and Produced by Ron Green
    Track 14 Engineered by David Lord at Crescent Studios Bath, Mixed by UK Scientist, Produced by Talisman and UK Scientist

    All tracks re-mastered by Steve Street, July 2010
    All Rights Reserved

    P c Bristol Archive Records 2010

    Thanks to

    Martin Langford, Steve Street, Sam Giles, Gene Walsh/Joshua Moses / Shoc Wave, Brendan, Des, Denison / Talisman, Jabulani Ngozi / Black Roots, John Carley, Rob Smith / Restriction, Adrian at Great Bear, Lloyd Harris / Chris Parker/Recreational Records, Alfredo / Nubian Records, St.Pauls Carnival Office / Steve , Thomas Brooman CBE / The Bristol Recorder People, Gary Chapple and “all the musicians who played on these tracks”.

    Photo credits: Thanks to the original photographers and artwork designers with whom copyright remains on their work

    Front cover image Beezer

    Artwork by

    This album is dedicated to Mark Simpson and Trinity Hall

    Bristol Archive Records, July 2010

    Taken from:

    Rise Records, Bristol

    Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
    The entire Bristol Archive Records catalogue is now on sale at RISE RECORDS, THE TRIANGLE, BRISTOL, BS8 as from today featuring all the compilation albums plus the Vinyl from The Cortinas and The Pigs
    Sugar Shack Records are delighted to have have entered into an exclusive arrangement with Lawrence and Andy from Rise Records:
    We will have our own section within the store, check it out if you are Bristol based


    Thursday, October 7th, 2010
    Bristol Archive Records     ARC090V    
    Very 1977, In Fact
    An appropirate follow up to their vinyl-only collection of Bristol’ss origianal punks, The Cortinas, sees the archivists of Bristolian punk release this LP of 11 tracks by the band considered the second on the scene. It’s such a typical story it’s cliche, but the guys who formed The Pigs did so after seeing The Cortinas, realised that there was something different about them than being just another pub-rock act and felt compelled to start their own band as a result.
    Nothing new there – and really there’s nothing particularly memorable in the enthusiastic but limited end result because what they recorded in one day at Sound Conception Studio on 12 August 1977 is typical third-tier punk with ricochet quick barrages against The National Front and for Nuclear Disarmament. Great to have,as it totally captures the essence of a time now gone, but nothing to mark it out either.
    Four tracks laid down that day, with Miles Copeland behind the financing, comprised an EP, Youthanasia, on the New Bristol imprint (some digging around suggests a copy of that would set you back about £15 today) but the remainder has gone unheard until now.
    Ian Abrahams
    Record Collector