For more than three decades, Adrian Sherwood has probably been Britain’s finest and most consistently groundbreaking producer. He has wrought his wizardly magic upon such internationally acclaimed artists as Blur, Nine Inch Nails, Sinead O’Connor, the Cure, and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, as well as coined countless mind-melting sounds with Tackhead and Mark Stewart, both of whose influences are ongoing and, to this day, omnipresent. And yet, Sherwood is neither a household name nor an instantly recognizable face; he prefers to operate in the shadows. Largely left to his own devices, he has built up a colossal body of work, whose staggering diversity—after launching off from reggae and dub, he duly innovated with electro, industrial noise, various world musics, and much else besides—somehow never eclipsed his own identity, nor diluted his unique bass-quakin’ sound. In 2011 he marked the 30th anniversary of his pioneering indie label, On-U Sound, a name which over the years has become a byword for experimentalism, always brazen and in tune with the cutting edge.
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