New Dimension Recording Studio 5 Eastwood Avenue, Kingston, Jamaica
The New Dimension Studio record label
New Dimension Recording Studio opened in December 1971 by two men: Arnold Wedderburn and John Templer. Arnold Wedderburn was a Jamaican electronics engineer who worked at JBC Radio Station. He wrote scripts for airplay and, in 1972, worked on equipment to transition JBC from AM to FM stereo. Templer was from England, and his role was that of an investor. Others who assisted are Delroy Butler, a.k.a. Delroy Denton, who was the chief technician. Recording engineer Dennis Thompson was present at the start and worked on a three-record Count Ossie album and with Merritone Sound System on their productions at New Dimension. The Fabulous Five were very active at New Dimension. Wedderburn and Templer documented their work on the New Dimension record label on the 1973 three-disc album entitled “Grounation” by Count Ossie and the Mystic Revelation of Rastafari and on tracks like Yvonne and Lisa’s “Close to You” (1972) and Peter Scarlet and The Fabulous Five’s “Oh Dad” (1972).
Audio engineer Dennis Thompson worked with Winston Blake and Count Ossie at New Dimension. His good friend Wilton Currie would join him at the studio as sessions were underway. Thompson immediately recalled his work with the studio, the precise street name and address, and equipment specification when asked. Interview
I was involved with that studio. 5 Eastwood Avenue, off Eastwood Park Road. Electronics engineer Arnold Wedderburn and investor John Templer started that studio. Templer was an English man who lived in Jamaica, and Jamaica adopted him. Wedderburn was in communications. He studied in America and came back home and decided to start a recording studio. One night he went to a Grounation with Count Ossie in Bull Bay. Arnold was an avid music collector, and his equipment was higher-end audio. So, he was a connoisseur. He was fascinated with Count Ossie. John Templer decided he had some money he wanted to invest and build a studio. They rented this house on Eastwood Avenue. They know I was involved in music, cuz I used to play at discos and clubs, so I say we can put it together – it’s a good idea. Count Ossie wanted to do this album, “Grounation.” In two nights, we do it, and it came to three albums. They have enough material for five albums; we edit it down to three. New Dimension was a two-track studio with quarter-inch tape running at 71/2 and 15 tape speed. The technical specifications: we had two Revox 77 and one Sony 850 – I think it was, with had three Shure mixers, four Advent EQs [equalizers], two Tannoy Lancaster speakers, McIntosh C-28 preamp, and two McIntosh 2105s. That was it, we made it work! I say to Winston [Winston Blake of Merritone Sound System] that we are going to build a studio. You always want to get involved in production, so come talk to John [Templer] and see what we can work out. I brought in Winston and say you want to be an associate producer. We started some auditions looking for new talent. Out of that came Beres Hammond, Ruddy Thomas, Cynthia Schloss, another man called Portious [sp?], and Mighty Diamonds. I started doing some production with I-Roy, The Heptones. Wilton [Wilton Currie] used to come down there and hang out with me down there. We were close friends, and when he leaves work, he come hang out. New Dimension close down because of irregularities on behalf of one of the managers (Dennis Thompson, Interview by author, 09 July 2023).