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Saxon Soundsystem

The legendary sound system gets ready for a rewind, with help from the UK’s hottest new MCs

Worshipped by dancehall fans from Kingston to Kyoto, feared by Sound Clash rivals and revered by everyone from Massive Attack and Soul II Soul to KRS One, Wyclef Jean and Chase & Status, UK soundsystem pioneers Saxon International richly deserve the respect and attention they are currently enjoying. In anticipation of the Cult VIP feature in the next issue of Dazed (out March 17th), filled with unseen pictures, flyers and stories, Radio 1Xtra are honouring the South London heroes with an exclusive takeover session recorded at the legendary BBC Maida Vale Studios, broadcast tonight as part of the stations Dancehall Takeover Day.

Original soundmen and selectors Trevor Sax, Musclehead, Mikey Boops, Mini-Muscle, Dennis Rowe and legendary Saxon MCs Tippa Irie, Papa Levi, Daddy Colonel, Sandy, Daddy Rusty and old friend Dawn Penn are going to lay down an update of their seminal (and only) official live recording, 1984’s Coughing Up Fire (Greensleeves). They’ll be joined by a selection of guests like Wretch 32, Stush, Scru Fizzer, Stylo G and Skibadee, most of whom weren’t even born in ’84 but whose rapid flow is a direct descendant of the ‘fast chat’ style pioneered by Saxon MCs in the youth clubs and community centres of Peckham in the early 80s. Wretch 32 explains why he had to be part of the historic broadcast "Saxon are to their era what dizzee and Wiley are to mine; legends." Respect is most definitely due.

Saxon Sound's Maida Vale Session is part of Robbo Ranx's BBC Radio 1Xtra Show at 10pm on March 10th and available on iplayer from March 11th.

Text by Callum McGeoch