Rushent: Exit… Stage Left

Having heard the sad news about Martin Rushent passing on Sunday, I’ve been feeling a little uneasy about my last post (partially about him) being titled Dub Or Die. Fortunately, Rushent’s prolific career, particularly in the punk and new wave days, offers up a plethora of spiky dread productions, a handful of which I’ve selected below.

By now the interwebs are no doubt replete with eulogies, tributes and mixtapes dedicated to the man, so let’s side-step the obituary and get straight into the thick of Rushent’s reggae fray.

Martin’s dub roots can be found in the earliest days of his career, performing FX with prog rockers Gentle Giant and manning the faders with Jack DeJohnette’s psychedelic jazz outfit Compost in the early 70’s. By the end of the decade he’d become the go to man for punk rock and new wave production, notching up chart topping credits with everyone from The Buzzcocks to The Stranglers, producing the latter’s controversial 1977 single Peaches, which I hardly need to point out is one of punk-reggae’s more infamous records.

But that’s enough talk and on to the tracks, starting with another skanking Stranglers moment, Nice & Sleazy…

Next up is 999’s battle cry “Feeling Alright With The Crew” from their Rushent produced LP “Seperates”

Though I’ve stipulated that Skank Blog isn’t about ska, XTC’s take on Two Tone’s blue beat revival always seemed a little too jerky and affected to appeal to the nuttier ska fans, and anyway, this is a great track. From the b-side of their Are You Receiving Me single from ’78, a rare Rushent/XTC moment – Instant Tunes…

And finally here’s some good old fashioned new wave reggae from the short lived Neon featuring guitarist Martin Holder who would later go on to work with spiky dread stalwart Jah Wobble…


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