Dancehall Book The Rise Of Jamaican Dancehall Culture

    Soul Jazz Books

    New 10th anniversary edition on Soul Jazz Books/Soul Jazz Records of this now classic large format deluxe book - the definitive photography book and essential guide to Jamaican Dancehall in the 1980s featuring 100s and 100s of amazing photographs - all with accompanying text, interviews and biographies.

    'Dancehall' is an essential reference book for anyone interested in Reggae and captures a previously unseen era of musical culture, fashion and lifestyle in stunning, vibrant colour.

    Dancehall is a culture that encompasses music, fashion, drugs, guns, art, community, technology, and more. Born in the 1950s out of the neighbourhood soundsystems of Kingston, Dancehall grew to its height in the 1980s before a massive influx of drugs and guns made the scene too dangerous for many. Today Dancehall remains at the centre of Jamaican musical and cultural life. From its roots in Kingston in the 1950s to its heyday in the 1980s, Dancehall conquered the globe spreading to the USA, UK, Canada, Japan, Europe and beyond.

    In the early 1980s Jamaica was in the throws of political and gang violence - photographer Beth Lesser ventured where few other dared and this book is a never-before-seen record of the exciting, dangerous and vibrant world of Dancehall.

    Living in Jamaica in the late 70s and early 80s she photographed and documented a cultural explosion as producers, singers, DJs and soundsystems who all made a living out of the slums of Kingston. With unprecedented access to the incredibly vibrant music scene during this period, Beth Lesser’s photographs are a unique way into a previously hidden part of Jamaican culture.


    “Lesser’s book is a vibrant anthology of all that mattered; the soundsystems, singers, producers, singers and deejays” THE GUARDIAN

    “This superb book of Beth Lesser’s photographs, supplemented by her emphatic text and wonderful candid interviews with many of the main players gives us a unique view straight to the heart of dancehall reggae.” Steve Barrow, author of THE ROUGH GUIDE TO REGGAE

    “This book features Dancehall and all its luminaries, with a back-drop of bass bins, heat-hazed colour and excellent knitwear, plus interviews, biographies and diversions into the music’s development.” MOJO

    "I love when I find a book that investigates a particular scene or sub-culture. Beth Lesser's Dancehall captures the Jamaican Dancehall culture of the 1980s with the same level of sincerity and curiosity that Brassai exhibited while capturing Paris nightlife in the 1930s. " THE SARTORIALIST

    "One of the Great Photo Books. Without a doubt one of the most important books published about the history of post independent Jamaican music." AMAZON

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