London’s reggae connections celebrated

john holt

Photographer Alex Bartsch has revisited the sites of scores of reggae album cover shoots across London from 1967 to 1987, celebrating a heyday for the genre in the capital.

After researching reggae LPs and 12 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.

The images provide insight into the history of reggae music in London and celebrate the relationship between the city and its musical heritage.

The picture above is a revisiting of John Holt’s 2000 Volts of Holt LP cover, which was taken in Holland Park and released by Trojan Records in 1976.

Bartsch said: ‘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.’

He has launched a Kickstarter campaign in collaboration with Al Newman of One Love Books to raise funds to publish a book of these photographs, which is open until 6 December.

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Select works from the project will also be exhibited at the Art Basel fair in Miami at the beginning of December.

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