The question is often asked, just how sane is The Mad Professor ?
Judging by the contents of his character and by the results of his recordings, and the variety of the artistes who has passed through Ariwa studios then he is certainly one of the sanest producers around.
Neil Fraser began his musical career on the technical side of things as a service engineer for mixing desks and amplifiers. That skill and a good ear for “on key” music became his asset when he began building a 4 track studio at his home in Thornton Heath. At school Neil was christened Mad Professor by friends who were amazed by the experiments he was carrying out. By the turn of the Eighties, Mad Professor launched the Ariwa label and released “Come back Again” by Sgt. Pepper, then came “Young Girl” by Family Love, “Love Power/Love On A Two Way Street” by Divinia Stone, “True True Loving” by Aquizim.
Soon after Mad Professor launched the now legendary Dub Me Crazy series featuring “Beyond The Realms Of Dub” “Escape To The Asylum Of Dub” and “Dub Maniacs On The Rampage”, the series became on top with the variations of sounds and effects.
Whilst all the music was flowing, Mad Professor was gradually developing the studio and by the mid Eighties a 24 track 2 inch state- of the art studio with its own unique sound, Sandra Cross and Pato Banton had No. l hits, Macka B. joined Ariwa and had hit album “Sign of the Times”. By the end of the Eighties, Macka B & Kofi scored No. l with “Dread A Who She Love” and Intense with “Mellow” & “On My Mind”.
The Nineties kicked of with another hit from Macka B & Kofi “Proud of Mandela” and Intense – “You are the One”. In 1991, Professor met U-Roy and recorded the classic “True Born African” which topped the charts in August of that year. By 1992, Professor slowed down the output of the label and concentrated on the touring circuit resulting in successful tours of Germany, Holland, France, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Ireland, Spain, Austria, Italy, Yugoslavia, USA, Canada. The tours are usually under the banner of the label.
By Spring 1994, The Ariwa album catalogue increased to 104 LP’s recent productions being “Heritage” Sharifa, “Mr Government” – Peter Hunningale. “Black Liberation Dub” Mad Professor was the launch of a new dub series. Also the studio was updated to 48 track or 24 – 24 recording. The Professor has new acts waiting to break the surface under the banner ARIWA – the Yoruba word for communication, artistes such as Kofi, John Mclean, Vitality, Lorna G, Peter Hunningale, Danny Red, Lindy Layton, Tracy Spencer, The Boom, Massive Attack, Jah Shaka, Sade, Brilliant, Clementine and The Orb have benefited from the Mad Professor‘s touch, the Nineties also have brought the Prof, into the realms of the remix market.