The punk dub music of photographer Dennis Morris's group is once again available
Two albums by punk dub fusion outfit Basement 5 will be reissued on 20 October. Formed in 1978, the group originally featured Winston Fergus and then film maker Don Letts on vocals, but in 1979 the photographer and designer Dennis Morris took the reins.
“I never wanted to be a rock star,” says Morris, who worked with Bob Marley, Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd, among others. “For me it was a progression of my art, a natural move. I had created images, band logos and I wanted to create a new sound, a new look – the band wore long johns, ski masks, cycling gloves, whilst lyrically it was based on my youth growing up in inner city London.”
Of the two reissues, the title of 1965–1980 spans the year Morris arrived in the UK from Jamaica and the album’s original release date; In Dub was also released in 1980 by Island Records. Island subsequently reissued the albums in 1992. Both were produced by Factory Records’ in-house producer Martin Hannett. Basement 5 were short-lived, however, splitting up after a few years.
1965–1980 and In Dub are reissued by PIAS on 20 October. The 1965–1980 set features a 12 page booklet of rare and unseen photos from Dennis Morris’s archives, while a limited number of In Dub’s vinyl pressings will include a reproduction of photographic contact sheet, again from Morris's archive. Rough Trade shop is also stocking a white vinyl edition of In Dub.
Listen to “Riot” from 1965–1980