Producer Adrian Sherwood and Ari Up, the lead singer of the formative British all-female punk group The Slits, first met in 1978. As Sherwood put it, “Ari really stood out in the crowd partly for her appearance but more so for an almost unhinged enthusiasm for the music.”
Sherwood and Ari Up would go on to form a long-lasting friendship and musical partnership. Ari Up featured as part of the original On-U collective which recorded under the guise of New Age Steppers in 1980. Their eponymous debut album formed one of the cornerstones of On-U Sound, both as a record label and as a musical production house for the next three decades.
Whenever Sherwood and Ari met up in the UK, they worked together on a then-untitled album. The first of the recordings for that album began a few years ago with the song ‘Conquer’, then in 2008 Ari Up was diagnosed with the cancer from which she would die just two years later at the end of 2010. With her unquenchable passion for music, she maintained that she and Adrian would finish the album they had begun. And they did. Sherwood flew to Jamaica where they completed the recordings for what now named ‘Love Forever’.
The album’s title is the name of a track on the very first New Age Steppers album from 1980; often when Ari signed anything it would read “Love Forever...Ari”. Other On-U Players taking part in the sessions include Denise Sherwood, N. Coplowe, Skip McDonald, Dave Wright, Filipe Tavares, Ghetto Priest and Adamski. In addition to lead vocals, Ari Up is also credited with drum programming, bassines, and keyboards.
All tracks produced by Adrian Sherwood. This latest offering from New Age Steppers is the culmination of 30 years of friendship and love between two of Britain’s brightest and creative cult talents. Fittingly, it is also the first release of the 31st year in existence of the mighty On-U Sound imprint, still as proudly independent now as the day it first sprang to life.
2. My Nerves
3. Love Me Nights
4. The Scheisse Song
5. Musical Terrorist
6. The Fury Of Ari
7. Wounded Animal
8. The Worst Of Me
10. The Last Times
11. Death Of Trees