Little Ethiopia

Shemelis Desta spent most of three decades working for Emperor Haile Selassie as court photographer, and witnessed His Majesty’s departure from the Palace. He was then was forced to work for the Derg before making a daring escape to England with a treasure trove of Ethiopian culture. more in issue 9

Pressure Sounds behind the scenes

In the fifth issue of Irie Up, we talked with Pete Holdsworth from the UK label Pressure Sounds, which specialises in releasing rare and hard to find original recordings from Jamaica. Fans of Pressure Sounds treasure the artwork and liner notes that come along with the recordings. In this issue, Reggae Richie talks to the man behind the scenes who puts the finishing touches to the Pressure Sounds releases: Harry Hawke.more in issue 8

Jah Observer

Austin “Spiderman” Palmer is the founder and selector for the Mighty Jah Observer sound system. He started his sound as a youth in the late 1960s and has continued through the various trends in reggae, preserving his unique approach to music all the while. Two characteristics mark out his system from all the others who play in Europe and the UK: firstly, his rig is still valve-driven; and secondly, he eschews the “boof boof” dub played by his contemporaries in favour of the more soulful cultural vibes of yesteryear.

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Profile: Dandelion Sound, Freising/Germany

This issue, Irie Up speaks to Dandelion Sound from Bavaria in the south of Germany, an original and independent crew who are carrying forward the soundsystem tradition with their own handcrafted equipment, their own style and plenty of warmth and humour to the reggae scene.

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Brother Culture: Setting the record straight

The London-based MC Brother Culture is one of the most active MCs on the reggae circuit. Regularly travelling to work with new and established sound crews, he has watched the styles and fashions of reggae change over the years, from his early days with the Twelve Tribes organisation to the fusion styles now popular in reggae. While he is best known as an MC rooted in the UK steppers style, he’s also recorded with grime, hip-hop, jungle, drum and bass and dubstep producers. Recently, he sat down with IRIE UP magazine to set the record straight.

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Sugar Minott – Father of Dancehall

Sugar Minott is one of the foundation artists and producers of reggae music from roots to dancehall and raggamuffin, with a string of famous hits from ‘Vanity’ to ‘Herbsman Hustling’. He’s also been one of the most active independent promoters of young singers through his own record labels and soundsystems. He’s one of the artists who stayed a yard, and today he still lives in the Maxfield Park area in Kingston, Jamaica, close to his beloved Studio One.

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Zion Train: Setting the record straight

It’s the coldest winter in years, and snow is falling thickly as the Zion Train rolls into the yard at Yaam in Berlin. They are more than halfway through a fifty-date tour across Europe, and there’s no time to hang about. We’re all quickly inside, drinking tea to warm up, as the crew pace about, stretching their legs.

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