Austin “Spiderman” Palmer is the founder and selector for the Mighty Jah Observer sound system. He started his sound as a youth in the late 1960s and has continued through the various trends in reggae, preserving his unique approach to music all the while. Two characteristics mark out his system from all the others who play in Europe and the UK: firstly, his rig is still valve-driven; and secondly, he eschews the “boof boof” dub played by his contemporaries in favour of the more soulful cultural vibes of yesteryear.
From the mid 1970s to the 1980s, filmmaker Jeremy Marre made a brilliant series of 14 documentaries about music, from the Shanghai Blues to Gypsy music, from Nigerian Konkombe to Appalachian religious music. Here’s a short clip from his 1977 documentary on music in Jamaica: Roots Rock Reggae.
Beginning in Autumn 2011, Irie Up magazine will present The Reggae Movement Exhibition, telling the story of the reggae movement spreading worldwide in the last 20 years. The exhibition will be on large format panels, and the first show will be in Berlin in Autumn, followed by a tour around Europe over the autumn and winter months.
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1976 UK Reggae Documentary, part one: Here’s a short clip of a film made by Jeremy Marre, who also produced Roots, Rock, Reggae, a documentary on Jamaican reggae.
For hundreds of years, Amsterdam has been a centre for the trade of lucrative and mind-altering substances from opium, tobacco, coffee, tea, spirits, sugar and spices, and the city has never quite shaken off its smuggling, piratical ways. But new regulations are threatening a marijuana culture which is admired and feared in equal measure. Will politics trump economics in the new Holland?
Before the Green Bay incident I was already drawing and painting images depicting international struggles for independence taking place in Southern Africa. During the 1970s, many of the Reggae artistes were singing about the fight for freedom in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Angola and South Africa. The African Liberation Struggle was ever present in our music.