Dread At The Controls

07/07/20Listen Back To A Special "Riddim Culture" Tribute Show On Pioneering Reggae Artist/Broadcaster Mikey Dread

If you're a fan of the offbeat, you will no doubt be aware of the immeasurable impact one Mikey Dread had on Jamaican soundsystem culture, dub and roots reggae music. The late singer, studio engineer and broadcaster Michael Campbell, better known as Mikey Dread, was one of the genre's pioneering innovators and most influential performers who paved the way for reggae music in the late '70s with the island's first exclusively reggae radio show on JBC. 

"After graduating from Kingston technical college he was recognised as something of a console boffin when taken on in 1976 by the Jamaican Broadcasting Corporation (JBC). After Dread had criticised the station's cautious output of bland, and mostly foreign, pop, it was decided to let him host a weekly four-hour record show, entitled Dread at the Controls, during the late-night Saturday shift. There was not much executive enthusiasm for the idea, but it was a huge success." (The Guardian)

"Dread at the Controls" is also the name of this special two-hour Riddim Culture tribute to Mikey Dread from 2008 (the year of his passing), that we just uploaded to our Greedio Mixcloud channel. It even features an interview recorded by Riddim Culture's Daddy Discipline at the Ja'Sound Festival in the South of France in the summer of 2004, in which Mikey Dread talks about his native Port Antonio, the beginnings of his JBC radio show, the uncanny sound effects and jingles he used, the recording business back in the day and more.

Over the course of his career, Mikey Dread worked with "Jamaican sound engineers like Carlton Patterson, Lee Perry and King Tubby, [but] also released some of the most groundbreaking dubwise albums of the era on his independent DATC label. Work he did with Jamaican roots artists such as Sugar Minott, Rod Taylor, Earl 16 and his legendary toasting on 'Bank Robber' by The Clash, have all stood the test of time."

Daddy Discipline's "Riddim Culture" show was originally broadcast on Frankfurt's Radio X and is now available exclusively for your listening pleasure on our Greedio Mixcloud channel, accessible via the player below. We warmly recommend you take this two-hour journey into Mikey Dread's extraordinary universe of sound. Essential listening!

AUTHOR: Lev Nordstrom