WITH On-U Sound recently making all of New Age Steppers’ back catalogue available once again on CD and LP, now seems a great time to reveal some other gems found while digging in the archives: not one, but two, rarely seen promotional videos from back in 1981, for “Radial Drill” and “Fade Away” both taken from the seminal punk-dub outfit’s self-titled debut.
And hell, why not, we’ve included them both below for you to enjoy: skeletal, atmospheric and deep, they’ve lost none of their power as they ring down the years.
That New Age Steppers debut was the first release for On-U Sound, resplendent in the catalogue number ONULP1. “Radial Drill” features a young Adrian Sherwood and various members of his crew at the time demonstrating some radical dance moves to the brilliantly, skeletal, avant-garde dub, visually all high contrast, over-saturated colours and long coats, redolent of the squat scene that gave birth to New Age Steppers and so many other fine bands of the late Seventies and through the Eighties.
Conversely, the film made to accompany the New Age Steppers’ cover of Junior Byles’ roots classic “Fade Away” is consciously arty and incongruous qith the heavy Steppers rerub.
A loose collective centred around the pair of Adrian Sherwood and The Slits’ Ari Up, New Age Steppers recorded intermittently from 1980 to 2012; the albums feature members of The Pop Group, The Raincoats, Flying Lizards, Roots Radics, Aswad and Creation Rebel.
This is a first pressing for the band’s innovative initial trio of albums since their first release, and also a first vinyl pressing for 2012’s posthumous Love Forever.
All the albums now include new sleeve notes featuring interviews with Adrian Sherwood and other key players; there’s also a new compilation of out-takes and rarities, Avant Gardening; a 5CD and 32-page book boxset anthology, Stepping Into A New Age.
That’s a call to arms and consciousness we need as we navigate a world darker than even Thatcher could’ve dreamed of.
New Age Steppers’ New Age Steppers, Avant Gardening, Stepping Into A New Age 1980-2012, Love Forever, Foundation Steppers and Action Battlefield are all available again now – you can order them here.