Aswad

Genres: Reggae
Descriptive "tags": reggae dub roots reggae ska british Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades Active: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Biography

Formed in west London, England, in 1975, this premier UK reggae band originally comprised Brinsley ‘Dan’ Forde (Guyana; vocals/guitar), George ‘Ras Levi’ Oban (bass), Angus ‘Drummie Zeb’ Gaye (b. London, England; drums), Donald ‘Benjamin’ Griffiths (b. Jamaica, West Indies; vocals), and Courtney Hemmings (keyboards). Taking their name from the Arabic word for black, they attempted a fusion of Rastafarianism with social issues more pertinent to their London climate. Their self-titled 1975 debut was well received, and highlighted the plight of the immigrant Jamaican in an unfamiliar and often hostile environment. A more ethnic approach was evident on the superior follow-up, Hulet, which placed the band squarely in the roots tradition only partially visited on their debut. Their instrumentation impressed, with imaginative song structures filled out by a dextrous horn section. The departure of Oban, who was replaced by Tony...

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