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Mad Professor during a soundcheck at Reggie's Music Place in Chicago
|Neil Joseph Stephen Fraser|
27 March 1955|
|Genres||Dub, reggae, jungle|
|Record producer, engineer|
|Labels||Ariwa, Are we mad? Mad en Jamaica.|
Mad Professor (born Neil Joseph Stephen Fraser, 1955, Georgetown, Guyana) is a Guyanese-British dub music producer and engineer known for his original productions and remix work. He is considered one of the leading producers of dub music's second generation and was instrumental in transitioning dub into the digital age. He has collaborated with reggae artists such as Lee "Scratch" Perry, Sly and Robbie, Pato Banton, Jah Shaka and Horace Andy, as well as artists outside the realm of traditional reggae and dub, such as Sade, Massive Attack, The Orb, and Brazilian DJ Marcelinho da lua, Grace Jones, Perry Farrel.
Fraser became known as Mad Professor as a boy due to his fascination with electronics. He emigrated from Guyana to London at the age of 13 and later began his music career as a service technician. He gradually collected recording and mixing equipment and in 1979 opened his own four-track recording studio, Ariwa Sounds, in the living room of his home in Thornton Heath. He began recording lovers rock bands and vocalists for his own label (including the debut recording by Deborahe Glasgow) and recorded his first album after moving the studio to a new location in Peckham in 1982, equipped with an eight-track setup, later expanding to sixteen. Fraser's Dub Me Crazy series of albums won the support of John Peel, who regularly aired tracks from the albums. Although early releases were not big sellers among reggae buyers, the mid-1980s saw this change with releases from Sandra Cross (Country Life), Johnny Clarke, Peter Culture, Pato Banton, and Macka B (Sign of the Times). Fraser moved again, this time to South Norwood, where he set up what was the largest black-owned studio complex in the UK, where he recorded successful lovers rock tracks by Cross, John McLean, and Kofi, and attracted Jamaican artists including Bob Andy and Faybiene Miranda. He teamed up with Lee "Scratch" Perry for the first time in 1983 for the recording of the album Mystic Warrior (1989).
Fraser's son continues his father's musical tradition, produced dub under the alias Joe Ariwa.
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Mad Professor has released hundreds of original recordings and has worked with a number of reggae and non-reggae artists. He is perhaps best known for his 12 instalments of the Dub Me Crazy series and 5 albums under the Black Liberation Dub banner. The following is a partial discography of his original releases including collaborations with other artists and remixes.
Since the 1990s he has remixed tracks by Sade, The Orb, The KLF, Beastie Boys, Jamiroquai, Rancid, Depeche Mode, Perry Farrell and Japanese pop singer Ayumi Hamasaki. His best-known project, perhaps, is 1995's No Protection, an electronic dub version of Massive Attack's second album, Protection. He has also done a version of I&I for New Zealand reggae band Katchafire, three versions for New Zealand electronic group Salmonella Dub and twelve remixes for Japanese musician Ayumi Hamasaki.
A second remix album with Massive Attack is slated for release in 2018