Adrian Sherwood is one of the world's dub producers. Sherwood is bringing his distinctive sound to other genres of electronic music by remixing acts such as Blur, Coldcut, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Simply Red, Primal Scream, Placebo, Pop Will Eat Itself, Sinéad O'Connor, Asian Dub Foundation, Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Skinny Puppy.
Sherwood's music has a special place in the BBC programs. Broadcasters such as John Peel and Steve Barker often championed Sherwood's unique flavored dub and electronic sound. As a musician and promoter of dub music, Sherwood's history is linked to traditional radio. He was one of the artists strongly promoted by some of the big names in broadcasting history.
The interview follows the past and present of traditional radio in the context of the much younger and enthusiastic online radio.
Radio has been, historically, very important. Lots of people hear music for the first time there. Now, we're online. It's a different world. People make their underground radio shows. We've still got great stations and programs like Steve Barker and his On the Wire show for BBC Lancashire, who has been my biggest supporter since the eighties. John Peel also championed me, and I owe him the start of my career.
But now, with the online radio shows, you can create your specialist program. I like Roots Rocker from Kent and David Asher with the Sunday Roast. He has full shows dedicated to On U Sound, and that is very good and healthy for musicians and communities.
I did a one-off show special for the BBC with Andrew Weatherall, and that is probably my favorite.
It would have been pop music when I was a child, maybe Dusty Springfield. I can't remember for sure. It might have been the Beatles or something like that.
In the early days, the first reggae station was Radio London. They had a show every week with the Dj Steve Barnard. But the most important one for me was a show with a Dj called Emperor Rosko, because he was the one who had his own PA. He was the first on Radio 1.
The future of online radio stations lays in their possibility to go big. But it is hard to get noticed and to stay in traffic. But there is a big future to this environment.
I don't think there is too much music out there, but you have to make it through the choosing, to focus on who you trust. Back in the days, you went into the music shop, and the man or woman there was someone you trusted to introduce you to good music from any genre. You trusted John Peel with a recommendation. But now you are bombarded with information, and that makes decisions more difficult.
A show like John Peel's on the radio was important. You could witness that man's power, one and half billion people or more listened every night. I remember it clearly when the excitement of listening to him appeared. Before him, I remember the rush of watching one music program on the television when you had only a couple of stations. Right now, the most popular Dj on air has maybe a tenth of those people listening. Things will never be the same. But you still got very good radio shows on the BBC Radio 6 program. I like them all.
There are a lot of online stations, and they represent each genre possible. On one side, that is great because you can start your radio station, but on the other side there is so much to choose from, and it is hard to get noticed. There are so many great people doing good shows. I like Dennis Bovell's show on Soho Radio, for example!
Imagination and good taste. This is what made Peel so important. He was very eclectic, playing from dub reggae to death metal.