We first met Al Dobson Jr a couple years ago in the lobby of the V&A Museum, not for a weekend stroll round the Bowie exhibition, but for the Peckham late-night cultural takeover. He cut an anonymous figure behind the turntables as he filled the grand entrance hall with an obscure selection befitting the museum’s global artefacts. This was still before his first Rhythm Section release and ADJr was an enigmatic figure even for those who knew about him.Save for some clips teased by Bradley Zero on NTS, we were yet to become full acquainted with his distinctive sample manipulation and percussive patterns but we walked away from South Kensington with an appreciation for his deep knowledge for sounds from all around the world.
So, when we asked him to put together a playlist, we had no idea which part of the world or era he’d focus on. In the end, he settled a reggae artist who holds a special significance in his musical upbringing from his formative years in Bristol ,where the sound system is king, to more recent experiences with South London.
Dennis Brown – ‘Rest Yourself’ (Aquarius Dub, 1975)
A song my mother used to sing, from the Aquarius Dub LP. A crucial version of Carole King’s original.
Dennis Brown – ‘Your Love Is Amazing’ (Your Love Is Amazing, 1972)
One for the true lovers.
Dennis Brown – ‘Boasting’ (Wolf & Leopards, 1977)
One my pops introduced to me when I was a boy. The whole LP is vital!
Dennis – Africa (Money in My Pocket, 1989)
A personal favourite from Money In My Pocket, one I remember Shaka closing a session with in Stockwell. Out to the Ethiopia Centre.
Dennis Brown – No Man is an Island (1970)
This record was recorded when he was 13! Maybe that’s why he’s known as ‘The Crown Prince of Reggae’ in Jamaica. Each cut on this one could bring a tear to your eyes.