Born OTD in 1963, English reggae singer & DJ known for his ‘fast chat’ style, David Victor Emmanuel, AKA Smiley Culture. Prior to his recording career he worked as a DJ with many of London’s reggae sound systems, most often with the Saxon Studio International system, where he met & worked with a number of other reggae artists, including Maxi Priest, Papa Levi and Tippa Irie. The conditions surrounding his death & the subsequent investigation were also questioned by members of the general public, his death often being considered in the context of police brutality & other black people dying in police custody.

sound reasoning

‘Sound Reasoning’ is a unique photographic journey through the Dancehall scene of the 1980’s with short excerpts from interviews Anna Arnone did with a whole host of artists from the scene. Coxsone, Saxon, Macka B., Smiley Culture are just a few of the names featured. Benjamin Zephaniah’s introduction to the book is very personal. He illustrates the importance of Sound System culture and just how powerful their pull was on the youth whose roots were in the Caribbean, especially Jamaica, and how integral reggae, MC’s and Dancehall were to the continuing tradition of the spoken word as a way of spreading news, storytelling and poetry.

The book also covers much of the background and history to the Sound Systems in Anna’s images of and words – from amp builders, the Hassells, who were the first to cut dubs in the UK for the sound and reggae community, and people like Mr Peckings and Percy metro who describe the history.

Available in store and online.

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