August 6, 2014 | 0 Comments
I’m joining forces with Charlie Dark AKA Daddy Dark and Sister Sanchie for a monthly ’80s and ’90s dancehall night in a vinyl-only ragamuffin style at Shutterbug, Rivington Place, Shoreditch. Kicking off with a pre-carnival warmup on Friday 22nd August, the night will be free entry so dust off your string vest and Clarks bootee and I’ll see you on the dance floor.
July 24, 2014 | 0 Comments
Official book launch tonight (24 July) at Rough Trade East, Shoreditch, with a screening of the Sound System Culture documentary, followed by DJ sets from Toddla T, Don Letts and Al Fingers.
More info here.
June 2, 2014 | 1 Comment
Sound System Culture, Celebrating Huddersfield’s Sound Systems, a new book published as part of Mandy Samra’s Sound System Culture project, is out next month on One Love Books, with prerelease copies available here. Written by Paul Huxtable, who operates Axis sound system out of Huddersfield, and edited and designed by myself, the book documents an important chapter in the history of UK sound systems.
Produced alongside a touring exhibition and documentary.
January 23, 2014 | 1 Comment
This week, to mark the launch of an exhibition of photographs by William S Burroughs, Gautam Malkani wrote an interesting piece for the Financial Times linking Burroughs’ “cut-up” techniques to modern day mashup and digital remix culture. I met Gautam at The Photographer’s Gallery to preview the show and test out his theories. Read the full article here.
August 9, 2013 | 0 Comments
Diggin’ Greensleeves is a new mix CD by the Japanese “King of Diggin”, DJ Muro, featuring his pick of the Greensleeves back catalogue (recorded from his extensive vinyl collection) as well as dubs from Johnny Osbourne and Ranking Joe. It will be released on AWDR/LR2 on 18 September alongside a limited edition seven-inch of Johnny Osbourne’s “Ice Cream Love” b/w Toyan’s “Children Children”.
The striking cover art is by Novol, who took inspiration from two early Greensleeves LP covers illustrated by the artist/engineer/producer, Paul “Groucho” Smykle: Weakheart Fadeaway by Ranking Joe (1978) and Goldmine Dub by The Revolutionaries (1979).
The second Greensleeves LP, Weakheart Fadeaway by Ranking Joe (1978). Illustration: Paul “Groucho” Smykle.
The fourth Greensleeves LP, Goldmine Dub by the Revolutionaries (1979). Illustration: Paul “Groucho” Smykle.
Limited edition seven-inch released for the project, featuring original Greensleeves label artwork and Uxbridge Road address.
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See also Greensleeves The First 10 Years.
August 2, 2013 | 0 Comments
Having tried in vain to track down the dancehall poster don, Denzil “Sassafras” Naar, I began to wonder whether he was still alive. But his recent collaboration with Japanese apparel brand Rice & Peas shows that, thankfully, he is!
Using new Sassa illustrations, Rice & Peas (part of Tokyo-based 24×7 Records) have produced a dope selection of tees, totes, mugs and other bits, currently only available at the 24×7 online store and a few select shops across Japan.
See also the Rice & Peas Tony McDermott tee from a couple of years ago.
June 18, 2013 | 0 Comments
Photo: Pierre Mahieu
Launching at La Gaîté Lyrique gallery, Paris this Friday, Say Watt? The Cult Of The Sound System is a new exhibition celebrating the culture and history of the soundsystem, from its origins in Jamaica to its adoption and adaptation around the world. Exhibits include Lick it Back‘s restored King Tubby‘s Hometown Hi-Fi speaker boxes, photographs by Beth Lesser and Lyle Owerko, and the album jacket and poster artwork of Jamaican artists, Wilfred Limonious and Denzil “Sassafras” Naar (both of whom featured recently in the Art in the Dancehall exhibition). The Limonious pieces are from the collection of Chris Bateman, author of the authoritative Limonious blog, In Fine Style, as well as a forthcoming book on the artist’s life and work entitled In Fine Style, the Dancehall Art of Wilfred Limonious, due for release in early 2014 on One Love Books.
Say Watt? is curated by Seb Carayol and runs from 21 June–25 August 2013 at La Gaîté Lyrique, 3 Bis, Rue Papin, 75003 Paris.
Note >> The gallery has acquired a few copies of the now-hard-to-find Greensleeves The First 100 Covers book I did for Stüssy a few years ago, and are also stocking copies of Clarks in Jamaica, so if you’re in Paris and have been trying to get hold of either of those books, drop by.
IKEA Soundsystem, David Renault, 2012. Photo: Mathieu Tremblin
From the series, “Mic Men”. Photo: Alex Smailes
From the series, “Last Dance in Notting Hill”. Photo: Patrick Gherdoussi
Squeeeque!, Alexis O’Hara, 2009–13. Photo: conception-photo.com
March 3, 2013 | 0 Comments
For this year’s Record Store Day (20/04/13), and to celebrate the publication of Clarks in Jamaica, Greensleeves Records are releasing a ten-inch picture disc in the shape of a desert boot, featuring a Clarks-themed tune on either side: Little John’s Clarks anthem “Clarks Booty” (1985) b/w Errol Scorcher’s “Put On Me Clarks” (1980). The picture used for the disc, shot for the book by the master Pete Canning, is of the Jamaica Black desert boot, first released by Clarks North America in 2007.
This will be a limited pressing, so if you see it, grab it. The disc will also be included in one of fifty Clarks in Jamaica box sets, available soon.
March 1, 2013 | 1 Comment
“Deez Nuts” is an exhibition of paintings by Toyko-based, Australian-born artist Mark Drew, pairing illustrations from Charles M Schulz’s Charlie Brown Peanuts comics with hip-hop lyrics from artists including Wu-Tang Clan, Nas and NWA. The works were originally published in a zine of the same name, before being exhibited last month at China Heights, a Sydney gallery co-founded by the artist. So dope!
February 26, 2013 | 0 Comments
FRIDAY 8th MARCH 2013 > Disorda, Al Fingers and micman Seanie T – AKA Extra Classic – will be spinning a vinyl-only selection of reggae, dancehall and boogie upstairs at East Village, Shoreditch. £4 advance tickets available via Ticketweb.
FRIDAY 8th MARCH 2013, 9pm til 3.30am
East Village, 89 Great Eastern St, London, EC2A 3HX
February 26, 2013 | 0 Comments
A few photos from the LA launch of Art in the Dancehall at Subliminal Projects earlier this month. Thanks to Erica, Shepard, Dan and the rest of the Subliminal family for making the show possible, to local soundman Tom Chasteen (Dub Club) and special guests My Lord Sound for the wicked tunes, and to everyone who made it down to the gallery for what was a very special night.
January 21, 2013 | 0 Comments
Art in the Dancehall is moving to Subliminal Projects, Los Angeles, where it will be exhibited from February 2 to March 2. An edition of 100 Tony McDermott screen prints has been produced for the show, featuring the original black and white cover illustration of the Yardcore Collective single, “Can’t Stop The Dance” (Greensleeves Records, 1994).
Measuring 18 x 24 inches, these prints will be available for the duration of the show at a special price of £40/$65+P&P. Visit the Subliminal site to get hold of one, or email .
The launch party is open to all.
December 4, 2012 | 0 Comments
If you’re in NYC tomorrow night (Wednesday 5 December) come down to the US debut launch of the Clarks in Jamaica book and Art in the Dancehall exhibition at Miss Lily’s Variety, 130 West Houston Street. Art in the Dancehall will remain on display until 5 January, featuring works by Wilfred Limonious, Tony McDermott, Ellen G, Daniel David Freeman, Peter Edwards, GABE and Robin Clare.
November 28, 2012 | 1 Comment
I spent much of the past two years researching the remarkable story of Clarks shoes in Jamaica for a new book: Clarks in Jamaica.
The book explores how Clarks became part of Jamaican culture, from their arrival in the West Indies a hundred years ago, to their adoption by rudeboys and Rastas in the 1960s, and their subsequent and numerous mentions within reggae and dancehall song lyrics. It tells the story of how producer Junjo Lawes was once paid by his record label, Greensleeves, in a quantity of Clarks shoes, and how badman policeman Joe Williams would beat men just for wearing Clarks (reasoning: they must be a criminal – how else could they afford such expensive shoes?) Much of the content is the result of a trip to I took Jamaica in September 2011 with photographer Mark Read and Pierre Bost of Special Delivery Music. There is also a variety of archival material, much of it previously unpublished, from sources such as the Alfred Gillett Trust Archive (Clarks’ archive in Somerset) and photographers including Beth Lesser, Dave Hendley, Nicketa Thomas, Ryan Lue-Clarke and Tim O’Sullivan.
Clarks advertisement for the Jamaican press, May 1941. © Alfred Gillett Trust Archive
Particular focus is on the Jamaican producers, singers and deejays who have worn and sung about Clarks over the years: Little John, Vybz Kartel, Trinity, Henry “Junjo” Lawes, Junior Reid, Bunny “Striker” Lee, Jah Thomas, Dennis Alcapone, Popcaan, Ossie Thomas, Half Pint, Jah Stitch, Hugh Mundell, Billy Boyo, Michael Prophet and many others.
Jah Thomas wearing Desert Treks, better known in Jamaica as “bank robbers”, New Kingston, September 2011. Photo: Mark Read
The book is available now from YMC (London), Oi Polloi (Manchester), Dub Vendor (London), Opening Ceremony (London/NYC), KK Outlet (London), Miss Lily’s (NYC), Colette (Paris), Commonwealth (Washington DC), Present (London), Good Hood (London), Amazon and all good bookshops. Signed copies of Clarks in Jamaica are available here.
October 8, 2012 | 0 Comments
Extra Classic 7 – this Friday 12 October at Bar-A-Bar, 133–135 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16. Dancehall, reggae, soul & boogie from selectors Disorda, Cool Hand Luke, Sash Kuttah, Al Fingers and special guest Sammy B, with Seanie T on the mic.
August 17, 2012 | 0 Comments
The Art In The Dancehall exhibition has come to a close. Click through below for pictures from the launch night at PUMA YARD, plus there’s footage on the PUMA site here (from around 0:40). Thanks to everybody who made it down, including all the artists and surprise special guest Johnny Osbourne. Watch out for info on the AITD website and print shop, opening soon and including editions from Limonious, Tony McDermott and others.
EDIT – The exhibition can now be seen at KK Outlet, London until 3 September.
July 27, 2012 | 0 Comments
Prepare for another installment of the best dancehall, soul and reggae selections from your ever reliable Extra Classic crew: DISORDA, COOL HAND LUKE, SASH KUTTAH, AL FINGERS and SEANIE T.
Joining them this month will be the almighty SEROCEE on the mic. Expect a trailer load of pressure when he and Seanie join forces over all kinds of tune!
Taking place at Bar A Bar, 133-135 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 8BT.
9pm to 3am, £3 all night.
July 26, 2012 | 0 Comments
Art In The Dancehall, an exhibition of Jamaican music design and illustration curated by Shimmy Shimmy and Al Fingers, comes to London this week.
Previously exhibited at the Drum Gallery, Birmingham as part of the Punch Record’s BASS festival, the show launches at the PUMA YARD, Brick Lane on Monday 30 July. Featured artists include Limonious (JA), Tony McDermott (UK), Sassafras (JA), Jamaal Pete (USA), GABE (Germany), Peter Edwards (UK), Ellen G (Israel), Robin Clare (JA) and Daniel David Freeman (UK).
Also featuring for the first time in public a portrait of Jamaican artist Wilfred Limonious (courtesy of InFineStyle), alongside exclusive and specially commissioned works. Click below for more images.
June 2, 2012 | 0 Comments
Canadian author and photographer Beth Lesser’s e-book Rub A Dub Style: The Roots Of Modern Dancehall is available now as a free download from her website. A hefty 355 pages of text (no photos here), the book details the origins and development of dancehall in the 1980s, a time when Lesser and her partner Dave Kingston were traveling to the island a few times a year interviewing and photographing artists for their seminal magazine Reggae Quarterly. A print-on-demand version of the book will be available soon.
April 7, 2012 | 0 Comments