I’ve been meaning to delve back into Bristol’s richly-appointed reggae cache for a while now, and since I recently uncovered a record which concerns both Bristol and riots this seems like the perfect follow-up to Tom’s last entry.
Given reggae’s profound influence on Bristolian punk it was inevitable that some cross-pollination would occur, and there are few finer examples of this than Riot by the woefully short-lived 3D Production.
Something of a minor supergroup, the band included members of renowned roots outfits The Radicals and Black Roots, though with very little info available about their 3D incarnation it’s hard to say what inspired them to collaborate.
Opening with a cacophony of breaking glass and the ubiquitous police siren, Riot sets an uncomfortable journey through war-torn Babylon to an insistent steppers rhythm reminiscent of some of post-punk’s darker dub explorations (Sir Horatio’s brooding Sommadub in particular springs to mind).
The infamous disturbance that is the subject of 3D’s one and only single was a so-called “race riot” that took place in the largely Afro-Caribbean community of St. Paul’s roughly one year into Milk-snatcher Thatcher’s reign – though, as is often the case, race had far less to do with it than the rampant poverty and inequality that would continue to plague the area until very recently.
It is often said, however, that great art is born out of unrest, and let me tell you – this one’s a corker:
And here’s the equally corking dub on the flip. Despite the title, it appears to be a dub of a completely different track: