Selector Ras Kush has been an active part of the sound system culture since the early 1990’s. His entry in the performing arena began as a selector for a sound system called “Roots Potential” originally based on the island of St. Vincent (previously know as “Dread at the Controls”). As other principals joined, most specifically, Ras Takashi (Japan), the sound became know as “Black Redemption: Sounds of Praises”.
The sound system culture migrated along with the Caribbean immigrants into the UK and US in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Wackies, Downbeat, Tippatone and African Love were all early systems bringing the Jamaican-style experience to the NYC area. With custom built speakers and amps and a blend of live performances and recorded music, the Black Redemption sound system followed in the footsteps of the original Jamaican pioneers in bringing UK-influenced steppers/warrior style music to NYC. This sound system presentation, a unique art form pioneered by Jamaicans has proliferated and become a world-wide influence that can be heard in a plethora of music from rap to pop music in 2016.
After appearing on a release (with Ras Takashi on melodica) by seminal NYC producer Lloyd Barnes of the Wackies label, the Black Redemption sound was anointed as the official sound of Wackies and toured Japan extensively in 1998 and 1999.
As a selector and DJ, Ras Kush has continued to tour the world showcasing the art selecting dub and classic Jamaican roots sounds spanning the golden era of roots music. Spinning in Mexico, Peru, England, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Canada, he often spends up to half of every year in Japan. His appearances at major festivals include the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival (USA), USA Roots & Dub Expo (USA), Dub Camp (France), and Fusion Festival (Germany).
Along side his work as DJ/Selector, in 1999, the Black Redemption record label was founded. His first 7” recording featured Jamaican artist Glen Brown, effectively re-introducing the singer to a new generation of reggae enthusiasts. By showcasing established classic reggae singers such as Johnny Clarke, The Congos, Fred Locks and Prince Alla with new rhythms out of Europe, Jamaica, Japan and the USA, Black Redemption made its mark as a label that both preserved and elevated the classic sounds of Jamaica. Pressing vinyl as its primary format before the recent resurgence of vinyl appreciation, Black Redemption never lost sight of the origin and value of the musical art that defined the sounds of Jamaica. In addition to the Jamaican artists that previously established the sounds of reggae, Ras Kush has featured and recorded a new generation of singers such as Micah Shemiah, Wolette Seyon and David OneAway on rhythms created by Mighty Massa, King Alpha, The Disciples and other cutting edge artists. The UK’s Jah Shaka, commonly recognized as the definitive sound system of modern roots and dubwise music, has many Black Redemption cuts in regular rotation.