Dreadtown – The Steel Pulse Story

Dreadtown is the first official documentary film to tell the story of Steel Pulse
David Hinds - Steel Pulse

Hollywood actor and social activist, Danny Glover, narrates the documentary about Steel Pulse featuring music legends Snoop Lion, Gwen Stefani and Rita Marley.

Steel Pulse, director Yoni Gal and the Oscar-nominated producer Mike Lerner this month launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise completion funds for their feature documentary, Dreadtown, due for release end of 2016.


Dreadtown is the first official documentary film to tell the story of how Steel Pulse took the Black British experience to the world through their unique reggae sound. Fans all over the world are being invited to be part of the Steel Pulse story by donating to their Indiegogo campaign, which can be found here  bit.ly/dreadtown

The film not only explores the forces that made Steel Pulse, but also their significance to communities inside and outside the music world. Dreadtown will feature interviews with stars such as Snoop Lion, Rita Marley, Gwen Stefani, Matt Groening (creator, The Simpsons), Lennox Lewis (World Heavyweight Boxing Champion), Alpha Blondy (United Nations Ambassador of Peace), Burning Spear, UB40, John Lydon (Sex Pistols), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Chris Blackwell (founder, Island Records), Aswad, Billy Idol, Jason Mraz, and many more.

The first half of the film explores the British context to Steel Pulse’s influential reggae music. Coming from Handsworth in Birmingham/England, Steel Pulse witnessed the hard edge of British working-class life during the 1970’s, a time of political upheaval and racial tension. Songs such as “Handsworth Revolution” and “Ku Klux Klan” looked to music to confront the exploitation and violence faced by the Caribbean and Indian migrant communities in the U.K.  Steel Pulse responded to the rise of the far right in Britain through catchy reggae beats.

The film also explores how Steel Pulse related this past to audiences in the U.S, now the band’s second home. They climbed the ladder of obscurity in the US through the 1980’s and by 1993 they were playing at the inaugural festivities in Washington D.C., at the personal request of an unlikely fan, President Bill Clinton. A rich mix of contemporary performance, interview and exclusive archive will frame the incendiary issues of race and police/minority relations from 1970’s Britain to the present day in America.

Beyond an exploration of reggae music and popular culture during the 1980’s and early 1990’s, the documentary film explores socio-political issues that continue to resonate in the U.S. and beyond. Resonance with those same issues today requires names, not explanation; Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in New York and Trayvon Martin in Sanford. The list continues, as does Steel Pulse’s mission to confront injustice and empower communities.

Dreadtown social media links:




I’ll Surrender – Roots Reggae/Dub 7″ single release from Renegade Connection

I'll Surrender by Renegade Connection AKA Gary Asquith & Lee Curtis
Renegade Connection AKA Gary Asquith & Lee Curtis

I’ll Surrender is a modern-day Roots Reggae/Dub 7″ single release from Renegade Connection AKA Gary Asquith (Renegade Soundwave, Rema Rema) & Lee Curtis (Lee Curtis Connection, Flavornaughts, Psyclops Trees).

Rock solid early 1970’s style roots with Gary Asquith’s sparse, succinct vocals on top, this isn’t some throwaway digital retread of past glories, rather it evokes and adds to that great tradition of Channel One/Dennis Brown/ Observer et al. Beautifully crafted, every note on the money and without an ounce of fat. 300-only one-time pressing, comes in a gloss disco bag with the label logo print and colour postcard.

I’ll Surrender by Renegade Connection is available on Le Coq Musique through Rough Trade & http://www.lecoqwear.bigcartel.com.

Free Competition – win a copy of Easy Star All-Stars ‘Thrillah’

Free Competition - win a copy of Easy Star All-Stars 'Thrillah'
Easy Star All-Stars 'Thrillah'

Following the reggae tribute albums of Dub Side of the Moon (2003), Radiodread (2006) and Easy Star’s Lonely Hearts Dub Band (2009) comes the reggae adaptation of the greatest selling record of all time – Michael Jackson‘s Thriller.

Free to Enter Competition to win new album, Easy Star’s Thrillah by Easy Star All-Stars

Buzzin Music has 3 copies of Easy Star’s Thrillah by Easy Star All-Stars to giveaway.

To enter all you need to do is answer the following question:


Q: Who released the original ‘Thriller’ album of which the
Easy Star’s Thrillah is a reworking?

a. Augustus Pablo
b. Michael Jackson

c. Joe Jackson

Submit your entries to comps@buzzinmedia.co.uk with the subject line: ‘Thrillah Comp’ (other subject lines will not be entered) with your full name, address & contact number.

This competition ends on 17th October 2012.

The editor will randomly choose three winners from the correct answers. The editor’s choice is final.

The new album, Easy Star’s Thrillah by Easy Star All-Stars was released on 28th August.


One Love Dub & Reggae Festival

Bob Marley @ One Love Dub & Reggae Festival
Bob Marley - One Love Dub & Reggae Festival

Advertised as the only reggae & dub festival with camping, One Love relocated this year to the Hop Farm in Kent.  No longer will a working farm, in recent years it has played host to several annual festivals and concerts including the likes of Bob Dylan, Neil Young & in September hosts A Day Out with Leonard Cohen.  But last weekend saw a host of artists, djs & the author of Rastamouse descend of the Garden of Kent for two-and-a-half days of reggae and dub with a twist of dancehall, jungle, drum n bass and dubstep thrown in for good measure.

The festival consisted of a main stage, aptly named the One Love stage, three main DJ tents – the Dub Shack, Lively Up & a third that was hosted by Jamaica’s famous Saxon Sound System.  There was also a film tent and a VIP building that unfortunately never got going due to a lack of crowd participation.  In fact the whole festival appeared to suffer from a poor attendance.  Whether hit by a final weekend of the London Olympics hysteria, a victim of the current economic climate or more likely, a direct clash with a month of London concerts to celebrate 50th of Jamaican independence. Whatever the reason for the light crowd, those that had bought tickets or turned up on the day was in for a glorious weekend of sunshine and chilled vibes at the friendliest festival I have ever been.

When Rastamouse was added to the line up, I genuinely expected an actor in a 6ft fancy dress costume to turn up, sign books & have his photo taken with the festival kids that had assembled.  I wonder how disappointed they were to be introduced to the author who invited them to read exerts from his books!  At that point I was pleased a friend and her five year old daughter was unable to attend.  That would have put a cat amongst the pigeons.  As it was, I quickly got over my disappointment and along with my son and a couple of competition winners headed to the Dub Shack to sample some heavy, heavy dub sounds…. and the Red Stripe, of course!

Don Letts @ the One Love Dub & Reggae Festival
Don Letts @ the One Love Dub & Reggae Festival

Everything seemed to come together on the Sunday for me.  The Stints, Dawn Penn & the legendary Tappa Zukie on the main stage, Don Letts played some heavy sounds in the Dub Shack and what seemed like a whole day of jungle in the Lively Up Tent peaked when Nicky Blackmarket pushed everything up to 11 for an awesome set of the hardest, fastest, most aggressive jungle music I had ever heard. Whilst the tent was steaming crazy with arms and legs flailing in every direction I was serenely asked by a woman if I would like some ‘K’. I smiled and said ‘no thanks’ which was enough to get a respectful ‘lion paw’. I couldn’t see how that drug and this music would ever be further apart!

The Saxon Sound System tent played a good mix of crowd-pleasing tunes which erred towards dancehall and lovers rock.  Whenever I ventured in, there was always a good vibe.  A blonde-haired middle-aged man skipped and danced his way around the whole tent, in and out of the gathering for hours (god knows what he was drinking!).

There was a good mix of male and female, black and white, young and old; and I can honestly say, the festival lived up to its name – One Love.  It was the friendliest, chilled music festival I have ever been too.

One Love indeed. Roll on next year!


One Love Festival – the UK’s No.1 Reggae & Dub Music Festival

The One Love Festival takes place every year in August and is the UK’s No 1 Reggae Camping Music Festival. This year it will be held at the Hop Farm in Kent.
The One Love Reggae & Dub Festival

The One Love Festival takes place every year in August and is the UK’s No 1 Reggae Camping Music Festival and is 5yrs old starting in 2008 in East Sussex and now have moved into new site Hop Farm in Kent.

The One Love Peace Concert was a large concert held on April 22nd, 1978, at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. This concert was held during a political civil war in Jamaica between opposing parties; Jamaican Labour Party and the People’s National Party. The concert came to its peak during Bob Marley & The Wailers’ performance of “Jammin”, when Marley joined the hands of political rivals, Michael Manley (PNP) and Edward Seaga (JLP).

One of the greatest collections of traditional sound systems will be “stringing up” in the Garden of England, offering a rare chance to experience a music form that is slowly being driven out by technological change.

Coxsone Outernational, Saxon Studio, Youthman Promotion, Aba Shanti-I, will all be present along with both Jah Tubbys and King Tubbys. So too will Unity and Channel One. Most of the cream of British proponents of the Jamaican art of sound system – all on one farm.

We tend to think of the sound system as an urban phenomenon, the speakers stacked high on a street corner at Notting Hill carnival or a similar big city event. But the culture’s origins are also in the Jamaican countryside, as touring night-clubs that would play under the stars on the village green, or “lawn” to use the sound system vernacular.

“From their beginnings in Jamaica, sound systems have existed in outside locations and the English countryside is a perfect place to hear them,” says Dan Wiltshire, managing director of the One Love Festival, who has brought all the systems together in a rural setting. “So you have the sights, the smells and most importantly the sound of reggae music which you can literally feel as it comes off these big speakers. It’s multi-sensory overload.”  –  The independent

Rastamouse joins the One Love Festival

RastaMouse will be making a appearance over the weekend at this years Childrens and Family area.   Rastamouse is a cool crime fighting mouse who plays in a reggae band and through the power of redemption always ‘Makes A Bad Thing Good!

The show follows crime busting mouse reggae band Da Easy Crew, who split their time between making music and solving mysteries for Da President of Mouseland. The stories emphasise the importance of solving problems through mutual understanding, love and respect, and without resorting to punishment. Rastamouse’s ethos is redemption and not retribution — “make a bad ting good” — helping wrong-doers to redeem themselves from their mistakes.

In the decades since 1972 when Jamaica‘s first feature film “The Harder They Come” exposed reggae to the world on its soundtrack, a growing number of films have continued to be made that focus on Jamaica’s music culture. In 2008 these films were given the title “Reggae Films” and gathered together in one place for the first ever Reggae Film Festival, held in New Kingston February 25th-27th.

With an inaugural event in February 2008, the Reggae Film Festival showcases films in which Jamaica’s Reggae music culture is displayed, documented and memorialized in features, documentaries and short films, animation and music videos.  In five years the Reggae Film Festival has showcased more than 200 films made by Jamaicans, global reggae researchers and fans from the Caribbean, UK, USA, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Africa. The focus of many documentaries on the history of Jamaican music and music makers, has given the Jamaica Film Academy an archive of historical material on the genre genre that preserves on film the oral memories of a culture that that emerged from the Rastafari movement and spread to and been honored by the world.

For a full line-up visit onelovefestival.co.uk.