In 2014 I began working on a photography project, finding reggae record covers that had been photographed in London, tracking down their original locations and rephotographing them in situ.
The idea first came to me when I bought the Brixton Cat LP by Joe's All Stars (Trojan Records, 1969). I live in Brixton and took the record down to the market where the cover photo was shot, holding it up and rephotographing it at arms length, matching up the LP to the background. The second cover was Smiley Culture's Cockney Translation 12", which was photographed in Battersea. From then on, I was hooked.
To date I have located more than 40 covers. Some were easy to find while others took months of detective work. I cycled all over the city, from Penge in southeast London to Harlesden in the northwest. There were wild goose chases, and some unexpected finds. It's been a great adventure, and has painted an interesting map of London's reggae music heritage.
To achieve some of these shots I had to hitch a boat ride across Regents Canal, climb onto a roof top near Old Street, ask to enter someone's front room in Hampstead, access a back yard in Wembley and venture on to the Westway in west London.
The positive feedback I have received has been overwhelming. Please help to get this book published by backing this project!
I am teaming up with Al Newman at One Love Books to publish the book. Other reggae-related books that he has published include Clarks in Jamaica, Sound System Culture and In Fine Style: The Dancehall Art of Wilfred Limonious.
The book will be 112 pages, hardcover, 245×245mm, with a foreword by Noel Hawks.
In addition to the book, rewards will include a set of 8 postcards, signed and stamped prints and a limited edition clothbound book (numbered edition of 200). I am also offering bicycle tours around London to visit the various locations of the record covers.
Thank you for the support!
Risks and challenges
We are aware there may be unexpected challenges with this project, but having produced numerous books in the past, are confident we will be able to solve any potential problems. We will be working with a world class printer to ensure the book is of top quality, and if the project is backed will update our backers at regular intervals throughout the production schedule.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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