Ain't Gonna Be Put Down

by Kenny Knots

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about

In the mid 2000’s when I was releasing a lot of tunes on the label, Kenny Knots was one of the artists I had to include in the catalogue. Kenny has an interesting history and one that’s far removed from many other artists on the UK roots scene today. He first came to attention as a young teenager in the mid 1980’s as a singer on Unity sound system. Unity were from the Hackney/Stoke Newington area where east London meets north London and they made a big name for themselves as a ruffneck dancehall style sound. Back then they were the local competition for south London’s Saxon, playing a similar style and drawing a similar type of crowd. The main man behind Unity was Ribs who made his name as the operator on north London’s mighty Fatman sound before leaving to form Unity. The London sound system scene in the 1980’s was still almost entirely a black one and most of the big sounds had good connections with the reggae biz in Jamaica. In Unity’s case they had a strong link particularly with Jammys and they’d get a lot of exclusive music from him to promote on the sound in England.
When Unity started releasing tunes themselves on their Unity Sound label, one of the first big hits they had featured Kenny Knots with Watch How The People Dancing on a bubbling casio style digital riddim which proved very popular and a style which many modern producers have since tried to emulate.
Kenny had a few more records but he took a backseat from the spotlight for a long time after that until his career was resurrected by Dougie Conscious following a visit to Conscious Sounds many years later by Ribs and some singers to do some works. Kenny ended up voicing some new Bush Chemists riddims which were released to a strong reaction, at the same time shifting his lyrical focus from dancehall to more cultural topics.
He also began touring with the Bush Chemists and crowds loved him as he’s a natural performer.
I met Kenny a number of times when he passed through the studio during my sessions and one day we discussed doing a tune for release on Jah Warrior label. The riddim was a reworking of a very early dub called Righteous Children which appeared as a CD bonus track on African Tribes Dub the first Jah Warrior album, and also on the first Dubhead album. It was a heavyweight steppers riddim which had always gone down a storm and I knew it was right for Kenny. I’m the sort of producer who likes to get fully involved to make sure things turn out the way I want. I already had an idea for a melody line I wanted Kenny to sing but I let him try his own thing first. It wasn’t sounding the way I wanted it to sound so I suggested he use the melody line I’d thought up and we both agreed it worked better. I also came up with the title line for the lyrics too and we worked out the song from that starting point. It all fitted nicely together and later on I brought Digi Step in to lay down sax. Digi also played a different sax line for a full instrumental cut which came out on the Adventures In Bass album, even incorporating the hook from Bob Marley’s “War” right at the end.
The tune came out on Jah Warrior 10 inch in 2005, backed with some instrumental dubs from the Jah Mason album on the other side.

Recorded at Conscious Sounds, produced by Jah Warrior. Released on 10 inch in 2005

credits

released April 1, 2005

Horns: Crispy Horns, Digi Step
Guitar: Hughie Izachaar
Percussion: Jonah Dan
Drums: A Millgate
Bass, Keyboards: Steve Mosco

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Jah Warrior London, UK

Jah Warrior Records was founded in 1995 by producer and musician Steve Mosco. From day one the style was always roots reggae and dub. Influenced by Jamaican greats like King Tubby, Lee Perry & Augustus Pablo plus sound systems like Jah Shaka, Jah Warrior fuses vintage Jamaican Roots with today's UK Roots style which has influenced and attracted a massive audience worldwide. Tune in and enjoy! ... more

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