Forgotten Treasures

Forgotten Treasure: Mikey Dread “African Anthem Dubwise” (1979)


Reggae music’s history is a rich tapestry composed of many essential elements from Jamaica to the U.K and back. Vocalists, producers, riddims, bass, drums,dubplates, electronic equipment (like the Echoplex) and mythological studios and soundsysytems. In the midst of such complexity the selector’s role is often overlooked. Rare is the single individual that encompasses all elements and no one more influential in this regard than Mikey Dread.

Dread started out as an engineer with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation whose playlists mainly consisted of bland, foreign pop music at a time when some of the most innovative reggae was being recorded in Jamaica. He convinced his JBC bosses to give him his own radio program called Dread At The Controls and the rest is history. Mikey Dread went on to become a vocalist and even helped produce some songs for The Clash. But to me his most important record is his first African Anthem Dubwise.

You can hear his radio announcements and shout outs before most tracks and understand the direct influence on Jamaican MCing and Caribbean toasting. The LP features some amazing and varied songs with the participation from Jamaican legends Sly Dunbar, Augustus Pablo, Errol Brown, King Tubby ,Vin Gordon and Ansel Collins. The icing on the cake is that the LP was recorded in all the top Kingston studios( Channel One, Joe Gibbs, Treasure Isle and King Tubby studios).

Mikey Dread - Resignation Dub

African Anthem Dubwise is one of the finest 80s era Reggae records as it features many styles is very entertaining with adlibs and song intros internspliced and the tunes are all solid. My favorites are Resignation Dub which is the perfect introduction to the LPs sound and dynamics as well as a hard Dub track and the B-side gem Technical Selection with its hypnotizing sounds and lush orchestration. Bump this all summer…bigup!

Mikey Dread - Technical Selection
DJ Asma

DJ Asma

A Montreal native with West-African roots, Antoine started developing a love for records when his father passed his collection of French, African, Caribbean and Brazilian classics onto him. Ever since, the collector turned selector has spent countless hours in musky basements both here and abroad (Dakar, Lima, Paris, Quito, Rio) in the never-ending search for the perfect beat!