Let’s face it, few governments or institutions devote themselves to celebrating or preserving reggae music, leaving the work to a few enterprising individuals. Rogers Steffens, archivist, educator and historian, tells Irie Up about his longtime devotion to preserving the legacy of the Wailers and his own mission in reggae music. more in issue 12
Linton Kwesi Johnson is another man apart in the reggae world, and the artist who almost single-handedly invented the genre of dub poetry.When Darcus Howe appeared on Sky News to talk about the London riots this summer, LKJ’s poetry immediately came into our heads: what Bartek Wojcik calls The Black London Verses of Civil Protest. In this issue, Wojcik takes a detailed look at a crucial poet whose message was rarely heeded in England, or Jamaica. more in issue 12
The soundsystem is at the heart of the reggae movement.
In word, music and pictures, the exhibition follows the story of the soundsystem from Jamaica in the 1950s to the UK in the 60s and 70s, and then to Europe. The soundsystems gave birth to ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, dancehall, hip-hop, jungle and drum and
bass – and taught nations and generations how to dance!
Jamaican artist Freestylee illustrates the story with additional artwork by Mau Mau. more in issue 11
On the cover, you’ll see Volcano Hi Fi selecter Danny Dread and Burro Banto prepare for a session in autumn 1983 during the short lived reign of Henry Junjo Lawes soundsystem. The journalists behind the Finnish magazine Cool Runnings spent a few months with the Volcano crew and their book Volcano Revisited is a treasure of a story. They caught a moment when the music in Jamaica was changing, as Coxsone departed to New York and the record companies had abandoned Jamaica. Lawes and the Roots Radics were defining the future of dancehall music. The regular Volcano DJs and singers included Barrington Levi, Burro Banton, Josie Wales, Tony Tuff and Charlie Chaplin. Irie Up talks to author Pekka Vuorinen about a special piece of reggae history. more in issue 10