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» BREAKING NEWS, GUEST RUNDOWNS » PHOTOGRAPHER BRILLIANTLY CAPTURES CLASSIC REGGAE ALBUMS IN THEIR ORIGINAL LONDON SETTINGS!

PHOTOGRAPHER BRILLIANTLY CAPTURES CLASSIC REGGAE ALBUMS IN THEIR ORIGINAL LONDON SETTINGS!

 Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London is a project by French-born, Brixton-based photographer Alex Bartsch that takes a closer look at reggae record covers photographed in London between 1967 and 1987.

Pat Kelley Sings (1969): The pictures will be published in the book, Covers: Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London. Kingston-born Kelley was lead singer of The Techniques, with this LP including Workman Song and I Am Coming Home. This album cover was photographed at the Albert Memorial in London's Kensington Gardens, next to the Royal Albert Hall

Hopelessly in Love by Carroll Thompson (1981): A Kickstarter campaign to publish the pictures in the book has been launched. Hertfordshire-born Thompson was known as one of the divas of the lovers rock era in the 1980s - and this album cover was taken on Milton Avenue in Harlesden, North West London

Early Years by Moodie (1974): The inventive photographer has retaken famous record covers in their original London locations. Moodie wrote Reggae on the Moon, which is said by some to have inspired Sting to write Dancing on the Moon. The album was photographed on Downhills Park Road in front of what is now Haringey Council's professional development centre

Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London - fascinating photographic project looks for crowdfunding support

[Above: Brixton Cat LP by Joe’s All Stars, Trojan Records, 1969]

Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London - fascinating photographic project looks for crowdfunding support

[John Holt, 2000 Volts of Holt (Trojan Records, 1976), rephotographed in Holland Park, London W14, 39 years later]

After researching various reggae LPs and twelve-inches from his record collection, Bartsch has rephotographed more than 40 sleeves in their original locations, holding them up at arm’s-length to blend in with their surroundings, decades later.

Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London - fascinating photographic project looks for crowdfunding support

[Various Artists, Harder Shade of Black (Santic, 1974), rephotographed in Hackney Downs, London E5, 42 years later]

Presented in this way, the images represent the passing of time, and provide a fascinating insight into the history of reggae music in London, inviting the viewer to rethink the relationship between the city and its musical heritage.

Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London - fascinating photographic project looks for crowdfunding support

[Al Campbell, Rainy Days (Hawkeye, 1978), rephotographed in King Edward VII Park, London NW10, 38 years later]

A Kickstarter campaign to publish the photographs in a book will run from 25 October to 6 December 2016.

Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London - fascinating photographic project looks for crowdfunding support

[Smiley Culture, Cockney Translation (Fashion Records, 1984), rephotographed on Plough Road, London SW11, 32 years later]

Alex Bartsch:

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.

Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London - fascinating photographic project looks for crowdfunding support

[Carroll Thompson, Hopelessly in Love (Carib Gems, 1981), rephotographed on Milton Avenue, London NW10, 34 years later]

Alex Bartsch:

The image on a record cover usually remains within defined borders, instantly recognisable as a record cover, but not so much as a location.

Approaching the scene from a wider angle and revealing the cover’s surroundings brought me, and will hopefully bring others, closer to the time and place of the original photo shoot.

Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London - fascinating photographic project looks for crowdfunding support

[Moodie, Early Years (Moodie Music, 1974), rephotographed on Downhills Park Road, London N17, 41 years later]

Photographer Alex Bartsch checks out the places and spaces depicted on classic London reggae LP covers.

So much of London’s vibrant music history has revolved around the profound impact of Jamaican reggae and dub. Now, photographer Alex Bartsch is exploring reggae’s musical heritage through some of its most memorable record sleeves. In doing so, he reveals fascinating insights into the changing urban landscape of London.

As Bartsch puts it, finding some of the locations of the original shots was a psycho-geographic experience in itself: “To achieve some of these shots, I had to hitch a boat ride across Regent’s Canal, climb onto a roof top near Old Street, ask to enter someone’s front room in Hampstead, access a backyard in Wembley and venture on to the Westway in West London.” You can pledge to the projcet’s Kickstarter here.

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From Brixton to Haringey, Alex Barsch has rephotographed more than 40 record sleeves

Now one photographer has made it his mission to retrace the steps of more than 40 classic reggae album sleeves photographed in the capital between 1967 and 1987.

 After researching various reggae LPs and twelve-inches, Alex Bartsch set off across the capital with his camera, rephotographing more than 40 sleeves in their original locations, holding them at arm’s-length to blend in with their surroundings, decades later.

The incredible collection of images provides a fascinating insight into the history of reggae music in London, with artists such as Al Campbell, Pat Kelley and Moodie featured in the project.

The photographer says that the idea for the project first came to him when he bought the Brixton Cat LP, by Joe’s All Stars, which is shot in front of Brixton Market in south London.

“The image on a record cover usually remains within defined borders, instantly recognizable as a record cover, but not so much as a location,” says Bartsch.

reggaesleeves2510c.jpg
(Alex Bartsch, courtesy One Love Books)

Cockney Translation by Smiley Culture (1984): Photographer Mr Bartsch held the covers so they blend in with their surroundings. David Emmanuel, known for his ‘fast chat’ style and his hit Police Officer, was one of the pioneers of British rap. This album cover was photographed on Plough Road, near Clapham Junction train station in South West London

“Approaching the scene from a wider angle and revealing the cover’s surroundings brought me, and will hopefully bring others, closer to the time and place of the original photo shoot.”

Bartsch is now running a Kickstarter campaign for the next six weeks, in the hopes that he can raise £15,000 to publish the photographs into a book.

reggaesleeves2510f.jpg
(Alex Bartsch, courtesy One Love Books)

Select images from his reggae project will also be exhibited at Art Basel Miami from December 2-5, 2016.

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