April 19 was Record Store Day and for that very special occasion Reggae Archive Records reissued a limited edition version of the extremely rare compilation Handsworth Explosion II, a set collecting and revealing talents from the Birmingham area in the early 80s.
All ten tracks were produced by Fatman, founder of Black Symbol and the band’s musical director. The sounds are deep, dark and haunting. Especially tasty are the two socially conscious cuts from dub poet Benjamin Zephaniah, who has a melodic and effortless flow. Other acts included are Mystic Foundation, Man from the Hills, Black Knight and of course Black Symbol.
Handsworth Explosion II is a musical capsule and unveils underground acts that shed light on the early Birmingham reggae scene.
Reggae Archive Records have also partnered with Fatman and licensed the entire Black Symbol back catalogue. Together they aim for a comprehensive reissue program throughout the coming year, including a combined CD release for both volumes of Handsworth Explosion.