Retracing Reggae Record Covers in London

1 Posted by - 26th October 2016 - Features & Reviews

Photography book documenting the locations of forty-two reggae record covers photographed in London between 1967 and 1987.

In 2014 Alex Bartsch began working on a photography project, finding reggae record covers that had been photographed in London, tracking down their original locations and rephotographing them in situ.

The idea first came to hime when he bought the Brixton Cat LP by Joe’s All Stars (Trojan Records, 1969). He lives in Brixton and took the record down to the market where the cover photo was shot, holding it up and rephotographing it at arms length, matching up the LP to the background. The second cover was Smiley Culture’s Cockney Translation 12″, which was photographed in Battersea. From then on, he was hooked.

To date Alex has located more than 40 covers, he says:

“Some were easy to find while others took months of detective work. I cycled all over the city, from Penge in southeast London to Harlesden in the northwest. There were wild goose chases, and some unexpected finds. It’s been a great adventure, and has painted an interesting map of London’s reggae music heritage.To achieve some of these shots I had to hitch a boat ride across Regents Canal, climb onto a roof top near Old Street, ask to enter someone’s front room in Hampstead, access a back yard in Wembley and venture on to the Westway in west London. “

To get this project into circulation, Alex is using Kickstarter and you can get involved / pledge buy it here.