|Roland (L), Bobbylon. Photo: Sonoma Message. Published in Planet, 1991|
For the next few weeks, I'm going to be posting material from the Deep Grooves label, a crew of like-minded Aucklanders dropping tunes in the early 1990s, many of whom I knew back in the day. I want to share some of this great music with you - I'm not gonna try and write the definitive history, just share what I recall of that time, and rope in a few other folk too.
Riot Riddum Sound System (2R2S) was based around my old mates Bobbylon and Roland from Hallelujah Picassos, along with guests on the mic such as Termoana Rapley, Paulette Edwards (ex Strawpeople), Pip (Blue Marbles), Tosh (Semi Lemon Kola), Justin and Twitch. Riot Riddum Sound System started out as a side project for them with both DJing and taking turns on the mike, Roland in his gruff style, and Bobbylon with his melodious 'singjay' style.
This song marks their recording debut, and was recorded and produced as part of a marathon nine days of recording sessions fronted by Mark Tierney at the desk (trivia - Halleujah Picassos recorded a version of this as a B side for a single, with actor Alan Brough taking lead vocals).
Eight songs ended up on the debut 'Deep Grooves' compilation release from the Deepgrooves label, which, when it started, was three partners - sound engineer Mark Tierney, Bill Latimer (owner of The Lab recording studio, where the sessions took place) and Kane Massey, who eventually took over the label when the other two partners left.
Other acts on the debut compilation were Sound Foundation, Straw People, Rhythm and business (Daniel Barnes and George Hubbard), Jules Issa (covering Dangerous Game, featured in a previous post), DLT meets the Projector (aka Mike Hodgson, later of Pitch Black), Nemesis Dub System, and Love and bass featuring Christine Fuemana.
The compilation is a landmark recording for capturing the incredible hiphop/reggae musical collisions going on in clubs and parties across central Auckland at the time, predating the Welly dub scene by at least a decade. It's vitally important music that for the most part hasn't dated in the least. And it's sadly out of print.