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Escape Hatch Records

Nine Inch Reggae - Rebelation / Wise Owl split 12"

Nine Inch Reggae - Rebelation / Wise Owl split 12"

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Rock City, in Nottingham, is a legendary music venue. We’ve been fortunate to have played there. A rite of passage for any post-punk worth their salt was attending the Alternative Night on Friday held at Rock City every Friday. I would make the pilgrimage there regularly from my hometown of Bedford, in the late 80s/early 90s.

One of the guaranteed dance floor fillers during that time was a track called ‘Head like a Hole’ by a new Industrial band called Nine Inch Nails. It was an absolute classic and I became a fan. I’ve seen them live a good few times and they remain one of the best live bands I have ever seen. Up there for me, with the likes of The Skatalites, The Cure, Toots and the Maytals, New Model Army and Prince Buster.

Where I grew up it was commonplace for reggae sound systems to be playing alongside punk and goth rock bands. It was normal. The Sisters of Mercy came to town supporting Aswad. Lazy Sunday was an annual free festival down by the river, where contemporary Dance Hall would blast from the sound systems while thrash bands would perform on the live music stage alongside local soul acts.

Fast forward to 2020 and pandemic induced lockdowns forced us all to think a little different about our creative expressions. Politicians were standing up and giving infection and death rate stats, while telling us to stay at home for fear of accelerating infection rates, to fear each other and to report those who break the curfew. It reminded me of being fully immersed in The Handmaids Tale book, while also listening to Nine Inch Nails, and in particular the Year Zero record. Being engulfed in the dystopian genius of Margaret Atwood and Trent Reznor at the same time is an experience I didn’t expect to feel in real life!

The repetition of those public health broadcasts, the dystopian reality, the anxiety and paranoia got me thinking about Every Day is Exactly the Same. I put the record on and could immediately hear it on a one-drop, so I messaged the guys with the concept, they really dug it. We figured it would really suit Vikki’s voice and she totally nailed it. When we first got in a room and jammed through it, it grooved hard, it was a keeper.

What we didn’t expect however, was that someone else across an Ocean and a Continent was also not only versioning Nine Inch Nails but a versioning a track from the same album. Another connection was that Brandon and I had also been involved in the Smoke and Mirrors Sound System project but had never met or spoken about our version endeavours.

Overall, I think we’ve managed to stay true to the dark beauty of the original track. It sounds like the original track, yet is most definitely a reggae tune. A reflection of my post-punk youth, Bauhaus, King Tubby and the great reggae tradition: Version.

- Tony Devenish, Rebelation


  1. Rebelation "Every Day is Exactly the Same"
  2. Rebelation "Every Dub is Exactly the Same"
  3. Wise Owl "Right Where It Belongs"
  4. Wise Owl "Right Where Dub Belongs"

Dubs by Nate "Black Market" Bridges

Mastered by Brian Wallace

Art by Michael Buchmiller


Limited first pressing available on translucent blue / black swirl.

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