In 1982, a group of friends deep into post-punk, jazz and dub got together in Mad Professor's legendary Ariwa studio and lay down their youthful interpretation of a NYC disco cut. Their unique take included trombone, vibraphone, piano and an ital dose of tape delay. They called the song Trouble and released two versions (vocal and dub) on their friend Tony McDermott's !Drum! label with artwork inspired by Russian Constructivism. The group, comprised of Justin Langlands, Chrysta Jones, John Schofield, Tom Dixon, and Dave Killen, decided to call themselves A-Team, having no idea that Mr.T and Co. would make them almost totally un-google-able 30 years later. The result of their adolescent studio idealism sounds akin to other disco misfits like Arthur Russell, Maximum Joy, Talking Drums and wouldn't sound out of place on legendary NYC label 99 Records. Remastered with an extended Club Dub for maximum dance-floor action.
See below for members bios.
A-Team Members Bios
Keyboards / Percussion / Linn Drum / Vocals
Justin co-founded A-Team with John Schofield having worked together in their previous music project Stimulin, a punk-funk outfit in which he played drums and percussion. After A-Team, he initially pursued a career in graphic design and whilst following this path Justin started recording in his bedroom and then subsequently progressed into studio engineering and music production. He made his mark as a DJ whilst working as Art Editor for the NME, starting out in the ‘warehouse party’ scene and rising to prominence as part of the ‘Heavy Duty’ crew, who had a weekly residency in the late eighties at the notorious Wag club in London’s Soho; as well as playing alongside Jerry Dammers (The Specials) at the 3As (Artists Against Apartheid) night in Seven Dials Covent Garden. He formed Pressure Drop in 1990 with Heavy Duty DJ partner Dave Henley, carving a niche as critically acclaimed ‘underground dance music pioneers’ and helping to create an influential fusion sound, alongside Massive Attack and others, which was unique to the UK. Langlands now has his own music studio based in Brighton, UK and continues to compose and produce a variety of projects.
Vibraphone / Synthesizer / Vocals
John co-founded A-Team with Justin Langlands having worked together in their previous music project Stimulin, a punk-funk outfit in which he played vibraphone and sang.
Bass / Guitar
Ex-school friend of Justin’s who was previously a member of infamous west London Brit-funk band called Funkapolitan. He was notorious at the time for promoting some of the original illegal raves and warehouse parties in London in the early 80’s and the first west-end rap club the Language Lab above Gossips in Soho. Tom subsequently decided music was a hobby and pursued his passion for ‘upcycling’, becoming one of the world’s most successful furniture and product designers.
Chrysta was a friend of Justin’s from the London club scene, a soulful chanteuse who previously sang with the ‘cool jazz’ band Animal Nightlife from 1981-83. Chrysta went on to form Workshy with Michael McDermott (Tony McDermott’s brother) and Kevin Kehoe.
Drum label boss
Tony was bass player and co-founder of Stimulin with Justin Langlands, after which he started the independent label !Drum Records! and released The Undisputed King Of Caledonian Cajun Swing Champion Doug Veitch & His Clydeside Rebels amongst other notable artists. He made his name as an Illustrator and graphic designer extraordinaire, renown for the work he has done with Greensleeves Records and Mad Professor’s Ariwa Records.
Engineer and dubmaster
Considered one of the leading producers of dub music’s second generation Mad Professor 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.