NOTTING HILL SOUND SYSTEMS BY BRIAN DAVID STEVENSSKU: BK-402 BOOK NOTTING HILL SOUND SYSTEMS
Notting Hill Sound Systems by Brian David Stevens
‘The sound systems, these towering monuments to volume that stay in place for three days, are portrayed starkly and simply in Stevens’ photos, a far cry from the colourful, loud and crowded images that normally depict the carnival. Stevens says he wanted to shift the emphasis to the source of the music that was drawing people there in the first place, and yet was drowned out in the visual noise. “Normally you never see these streets empty, they’re absolutely packed with people,” he says. “I got down there very early as they were setting up and shot the huge, monolithic speakers just in the middle of the street, where they look fantastically beautiful — I think every street corner should have one on them.”
Café Royal Books is a publisher of limited edition photographic titles focusing on British documentary photography. Founded by Craig Anderson the aim is to create a focussed and complete archive of British documentary photography.
The publications affordable, democratic, utilitarian and useful, without fuss or decoration. The images, history and the cultural archive are the focus. Helped by, but not overwhelmed by the design. We like Craigs’ work in bringing this collection together and offer a selection of titles here that are a picture record of British culture.
Combining Jamaican Folk music, or Mento, with Jazz and Rhythm and Blues in the late 1950s, Ska is the parent of Reggae, Rocksteady and 2 Tone. Think Prince Buster and Jimmy Cliff.
Reggae was Influenced by Jazz Rhythm and Blues, Ska and Rocksteady. This homegrown Jamaican music fanned out across the world, courtesy of the Jamaican diaspora. The music of the people was often with social or political commentary and it was in some ways a precursor for the punk movement. Also associated with Rastafarianism, the great artists to date include Bob Marley and The Wailers, Toots and The Maytals and Jimmy Cliff. Many artists launched their careers in the UK and along with the homegrown London based Steel Pulse and Birmingham’s UB40. Read up on the greatest in Bob Marley: The Untold Story and there is some great depiction of Notting Hill Carnival in the Café Royal Books, Peter Marshall — Notting Hill Carnival the 1990s
The Northern Soul scene was built around the lesser known Motown Artists, very often the B sides picked up on vinyl fishing expeditions to the USA by the Northern Soul Artists. Though not the complete preserve of the North of England, the hot spots for the movement were centred on Lancashire, Yorkshire and the Midlands. The Twisted Wheel in Manchester, Wigan Casino, The Torch in Stoke and Catacombs in Wolverhampton amongst the temples of Northern Soul.