London Gooseberry Studio (70's reggae history)

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London Gooseberry Studio (70's reggae history)

Postby Chocolate Soldier » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:15 pm

Just randomly came across this chapter of UK dub history... Gooseberry - a budget 70's studio in Soho,

http://www.philsbook.com/gooseberry.html

A client list which includes Coxsone, Black Slate, Dennis Bovell, Ijahman Levi..also early On-U Sound and even PIL & Killing Joke....

I always wondered about where Blackbeard's 70's productions were done like Iwah Dub, LKJ In Dub etc...

As a reality check, the studio day rate would be the equivalent of around GBP 600 in 2013 money (!)...
and this was a budget studio at the time
Just some of the albums:

4TH STREET ORCHESTRA - YUH LEARN ! (1977)
BLACKBEARD "I WAH DUB"
BLACK BEARD* – STRICTLY DUB WIZE
BLACK SLATE "AMIGO"
BLACK SLATE "BLACK SLATE"
BLACK SLATE "OGIMA"
CREATION REBEL “DUB FROM CREATION"
CREATION REBEL "REBEL VIBRATIONS"
CREATION REBEL "STARSHIP AFRICA" (1980)
IJAHMAN LEVI I AM A LEVI (1975)
JAH BUNNY "DUBBS INTERNATIONAL"
KILLING JOKE "WARDANCE" SINGLE (January 1980)
LINTON KWESI JOHNSON "BASS CULTURE"
POET AND THE ROOTS "DREAD BEAT AN' BLOOD"
PUBLIC IMAGE "FIRST ISSUE" (H) (July-November 1978)
THE SLITS "THE RETURN OF THE GIANT SLITS (1980) (tracks

Gooseberry Sound Studios was located in a cellar underneath a dental practise in the centre of London's Chinatown in Soho. Opening in the early 70s as an 8-track demo studios it featured a custom built Richardson desk and an 8-tack Brenell tape machine. Although space was limited and home comforts sparse the studio would thrive over the next decade helped by its central location but mainly because the engineers and the choice of equipment enabled artists to produce master quality recordings for a reasonable price.

In 1974, a 15 year old schoolgirl named Louisa Marks started entering a talent competitions held at the Four Aces Club in London. Sound system DJ and record producer Lloyd Coxsone would play instrumental acetates for the contestants to sing over and Marks won the contest for 10 consecutive weeks. In November 1974 Coxsone took the fifteen-year old schoolgirl to Gooseberry for her first recording session. Backed by the reggae band Matumbi which featured Dennis Bovell on guitar she recorded a reggae rendition of an old R&B song called "Caught You In A Lie". This was released as her first single and was a huge hit at sound system events around the UK and almost entered the UK top 40.

This track marked the birth of what was to be named ‘lover’s rock’ and helped to establish Gooseberry Studios in the active ska, dub and reggae scene in London in the 70s. Dennis Bovell would become an integral part of the studio and go on to engineer and produce many other artists there as well as recording his own albums under the pseudonym of Black Beard starting with 'Strictly Dubwise' in 1978. The studio became part of a multi cultural scene of reggae and dub musicians mixing with post-punk bands leading the way into the commercial pop/ska music scene that emerged at the end of the 70s and early 80s.

Last edited by Chocolate Soldier on Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: London Gooseberry Studio (70's reggae history)

Postby Ras Berry » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:49 pm

Great link and story - cheers!


8)
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Re: London Gooseberry Studio (70's reggae history)

Postby DubOrganic » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:28 pm

Nice link Choco. A lot of interesting and influential music was worked on there, cool to read about the history.
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Re: London Gooseberry Studio (70's reggae history)

Postby Inyaki » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:49 pm

DubOrganic wrote:Nice link Choco. A lot of interesting and influential music was worked on there, cool to read about the history.

+1
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Re: London Gooseberry Studio (70's reggae history)

Postby shadrach » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:53 pm

Wow, that's a very impressive output indeed. Interesting post, cheers!
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