Zige Dub pays homage to UK Lovers Rock

by Jul 3, 2024News

Zige Dub pays homage to UK Lovers Rocks

There is no disputing that ska, rock steady, roots-reggae and dancehall were born in Jamaica. Many music pundits argue that the birthplace of lovers rock is the United Kingdom.

‘The UK Bubblers Riddim’, a 12-song album produced by London-based company ZigeDub pays homage to a sound that rocked London’s clubs and dances during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Peter Hunnigale, one of the key figures in the rise of lovers rock, is featured on the ‘UK Bubblers Riddim’. He performs ‘Heartbreaker’ and helped build the ‘riddim’ which is a revised version of the classic ‘Queen Majesty’ beat, originally recorded at Treasure Isle during the 1960s.

“The riddim pays homage to the sound of the UK. Most of the artistes I have worked with in the past and knew that this project would suit their vocal styles,” said Zige Dub, owner of the company that bears his moniker.

Althea Hewitt, Troy Anthony, Jah Device, Isha Blender and Peter Spence also contribute to the easy-listening set. The latter’s song is ‘Stormy Night’, first done by Creation Stepper, but made popular in Jamaica by Roland Burrel.

Zige Dub, who was born in London to Nigerian parents, said he was initially attracted to dancehall-reggae which gained a following in the UK around the same time lovers rock gained momentum in that country through artistes like Hunnigale, Janet Kay, Sugar Minott and Maxi Priest.

Greensleeves Records, a British company with strong ties to Jamaican producer Henry “Junjo” Lawes, had a stranglehold on that market through acts like Barrington Levy, Linval Thompson and Yellowman who all recorded for Lawes’ Volcano label.

Over the years, Zige Dub’s taste in Jamaican music evolved.

“In my early days I was more of a hardcore rub-a-dub or dancehall fan but as you get older you start to appreciate the lovers rock,” he said.

The mellow side of reggae has made a comeback in recent years, thanks to Bitty McLean, a British singer of Jamaican heritage. His lovers rock cover of David Ruffin’s ‘Walk Away From Love’ was a monster hit in Jamaica in 2004, as was his interpretation of Bread’s ‘Make It With You’.

Zige Dub’s label has released a handful of ‘riddim’ compilation albums since it debuted in 2017 with the ‘You Should Have Known’ collection. That was followed four years later by the ‘Early Warm Riddim’.

(Photo contributed)