For number seven of the Dub cover art series we circle back to the London based design agency Bloomfield Travis. Jamaican designer Trevor Campbell did a lot of work for this agency designing the sleeves of some of the most iconic works in Reggae history including African Dub All-Mighty Chapter 3. Apart from his name mentioned on the back of many of these iconic works and the fact that he also wrote songs – most memorable “Deliverance” by Dennis Brown according to his Discogs profile – he remains a somewhat elusive character. In my opinion Trevor Campbell deserves more recognition, if not for the stunning designs that bear his name than for the fact that he helped to introduce Reggae to a bigger audience. During the 70’s Reggae was on the rise and everyone wanted a piece, but many of the topic matters or sounds where very different from what people outside Jamaica where use to. His designs helped to pique an interest by a whole new audience as the album format became more important for Jamaican artist to be successful outside the local Jamaican market and sound system circuit. The story behind the design is just as elusive as Trevor Campbell himself. What or who was Trevor influenced by to come up with such a radically different design remains a question largely unanswered. The two characters on the cover most likely represent Errol Thompson (E.T.) and Joe Gibbs as two dreadlocks that stand before what appears to be an ancient African city. The original press you can see some of the layering of the lithography process whereas the figures show some texture and the golden colour appears to be added last filling in some uncoloured spaces. Not sure this was done on purpose or if this was due to the lithography process being done in a rush, but it adds a certain artistic appeal that a smooth not clearly layered print would lack.
The Mighty Two – written in small on the backside – refers two Errol Thompson and Joe Gibbs when joining forces to reign supreme over the Jamaican music scene for a number of years. Apart from some of the genre’s most ground-breaking albums by the likes of Dennis Brown, Culture and Prince Far I, the pair started working on the more experimental side of the label through their African Dub All-Mighty series. All albums in the series are rock solid, but both musically as well as artistically African Dub All-Mighty Chapter 3 is something different and was hugely influential for the genre. Whereas Lee “Scratch” Perry and King Tubby were able to stake their claim on the creation of Dub with albums such as Meets Rockers Uptown and Black Board Jungle, The Mighty Two raised the bar for anyone that would follow in their wake. Highly recommended!