We Run Things – A deep dive into the Redman International catalogue

In 1985, Wayne Smith’s all-conquering Under Mi Sleng Teng, which used simple, digital beats to startling effect, turned the entire industry upside down. Out went structured song arrangements, and in came a creative force so vibrant, off-the-cuff and unfettered that it proved irresistible. The ten years or so that followed yielded so many stylistic and technological innovations; so many new and exciting artists, producers, record labels, sound systems, fashions, dances and different ways of doing things that it was like viewing the island’s music scene through a kaleidoscope. It was a time of renewal – rebirth even – and Redman, owner of Redman Hi-Power, was there at the heart of it…John Masouri

Redman International – We Run Things” is a deep dive into the catalogue of top-ranking Jamaican record producer Hugh ‘Redman’ James, featuring digital Dancehall scorchers from the likes of Gregory Isaacs, Sugar Minott, John Holt, Frankie Paul and many more. Redman first got his start with his idol, the Dub pioneer King Tubby, back in 1985 after he helped to reignite Tubby’s musical career by facilitating the purchase of a state-of-the-art mixing desk from the USA. He often worked with the hottest musicians on the island such as the Roots Radics and Steely & Clevie, the latter of which really helped to shape Redman’s signature sound, rough and tough basslines, digital drum machines with heavily syncopated rhythms and synth-infused melodies which resonated with the Dancehall massive in a big way. Redman truly went outernational when the legendary middleweight boxer Nigel Benn began to use Courtney Melody’s Dangerous as his entrance music, which led to global interest in Redman’s vast catalogue.

This Reggae Anthology explores Redman’s versatility as a producer as well, with the vinyl LP showcasing his digital Roots and Rub-A-Dub shots with artists such as Admiral Tibett, Red Dragon, Puddy Roots and Carl Meeks whilst the expanded double CD includes a number of different vocals on the same riddims, additional DJ cuts and more. Expect a plethora of big tunes from the late 80s Dancehall scene as well as a Lovers selection and classic covers including Sanchez’s Lady In Red & Thriller U’s Careless Whisper. Lauded Reggae historian John Masouri has supplied the in-depth sleeve notes plus there are several unreleased and rare photographs from Redman’s personal archive incorporated in the design of the album, making this compilation a true collector’s item.

VP Records has worked tirelessly to preserve Jamaican culture for over 45 years, shining the musical spotlight on Reggae and Dancehall music and have created the number one resource for fans of the genre and beyond.