The Reggae scene in the UK really took shape in the late 1960’s with the second generation London born Caribbean youth mixing it up with the mainly Jamaican Reggae artists who had made London their home or second home. Reggae laid down a strong UK connection that was not only preserved in its original form but also manifested itself with Roots Reggae, played a role in the Punk era and Post Punk era (think Clash or PIL ) and is seeing a resurgence today courtesy artists including Ady Suleiman and Major Lazer.
Alex Bartsch has combined his love of Reggae, Britain and photography to recreate something remarkable. One Love Books presents Covers: Retracing Reggae Record Sleeves in London.This is a unique project by French born photographer Bartsch that explores reggae record covers photographed in London between 1967 and 1987, which are documented beautifully in a book form.
Alex Bartsch currently lives in Brixton, London and as an avid collector of classic LPs, took this hobby to the next level. He photographed over 40 sleeves from iconic to ordinary locations, in London which were all the original locations used on the sleeves. The desired effect was achieved through holding them up at arm’s-length to merge with their surroundings, decades after the original art work.
The images documented in this book, which is now available for pre-order, are a stunning and authentic representation of lapsed time, which allows a higher exposure of the history of reggae music in London. Alex’s work allows us to question the role that the city had on reggae music.
“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.”
It didn’t come easy for Alex since he began this project in 2014. Especially pinpointing the different locations, but we are pleased he successfully completed this project so he can share it with us all. He had to enter someone’s front room in Hampstead, hitch a boat ride across Regents Canal, climb onto a roof top near Old Street and access a garden in Wembley.
For those interested, Bartsch is offering bicycle tours around London to visit the various locations of the record covers for your own eyes.
The project is a winner on every level for us, the subject itself , the Vinyl, the artistic value and Alex’s obvious passion for the project . Get on and support Alex to raise his target to fund this project! He has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the launch of his new book, which is running from now until 6 December 2016.