Red Robin interview
Hello! Please tell us about your label and how it all began?
The idea of Red Robin records is a co-owned one by Naram the Producer and myself Michael “Red Robin”Robins. It’s effectively a sublabel of Jahtari.
We’ve known each other since the mid 90s when Naram was a great left arm chinaman bowler and rubbish batsman and I was a pitch hitter in the same cricket team, over the years we’ve done a whole lot of different stuff together and so I guess we trusted each other to go ahead with this project of creating a Reggae label focusing on recreating the magical sounds of the 80s. It wouldn’t be possible without two things though, that is the exceptional creative production skills of Naram+Art, and Disrupt who supported the concept.
Tell us about the wicked Red Robin 001
Red Robin 001 was born with the riddim created by Art Official and Naram, that was very much the inception. From there Winston”Midnight Riders” Powell was contacted and he kindly agreed to voice the tuff street lyric that is Outta Road. We still chat almost weekly and that song has created a great friendship.
Similarly the Deejay cut by Spend Bond was a real gift. Speng dug the Midnight Riders cut and came through with his take on the Dread outta Road runnings in the UK very organically and swiftly.
The idea of paying tribute to the 80s records we loved meant it was decided to put a singer, deejay and dub on each side of the record so you get 6 cuts on a 12”. Its a lot of music.
The side B again came from an Art and Naram collaboration on the riddim, this time in a later 80s style and Steve Knight who now lives in Toronto, Canada came through with a timely piece on fradulent characters in power and society, basically that goes straight to the head of Trump and our own leaders here in New Zealand.
Tippa Lee finishes off the vocals with his tune “Salute the Veteran”, that came about trough Tom Chastien who was one of many people who helped on this record, Naram had done a show in LA at Dub Club and Tippa chatted that lyric in the dance and now it has ended up on the record. That tune really pays homage to the foundation of dancehall, he name checks a lot of sounds, deejays and its both an educational and entertaining piece.
Why do you find rub a dub music particularly interesting to you?
I guess it has great cultural content. Is entertaining, funny and hearty.
I also love roots, digi and modern reggae too but this period is probably the most fun.
What can we expect from the label in the future?
More of the above. We’re aiming for a release every 4 months which wouldnt be possible without the German part of the label which is Jane, Disrupt, the pressing plant and Pole for mastering works.
Thank you very much!
Check out Red Robin’s debut releaseOutta Road / Dem A Fraud also check out the 12” at https://www.reggaerecord.com/en/catalog/description.php?code=522591