Monday, 18 May 2009

UK BASS POETRY 1975 (Linton Kwesi Johnson)

Linton Kwesi Johnson was born in 1952 in Chapelton, Jamaica. He moved to London in 1963 to be with his mother and went on to read Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
He joined the Black Panther movement in 1970, organising a poetry workshop and working with Rasta Love, a group of poets and percussionists. He joined the Brixton-based Race Today Collective in 1974. His first book of poems, 
Voices of the Living and the Dead, was published by the Race Today imprint in 1974. His second book, Dread, Beat, an' Blood(1975) includes poems written in Jamaican dialect, and was released as a record in 1978. He is widely regarded as the father of 'dub poetry', a term he coined to describe the way a number of reggae DJs blended music and verse. Johnson maintains that his starting point and focus is poetry, composed before the music, and for this reason he considers the term 'dub poetry' misleading when applied to his own work. Linton Kwesi Johnson lives in Brixton, South London. A selection of his poetry, entitled Mi Revalueshanary Fren, was published in 2002 as a Penguin Classic.
Johnson's debut album, Dread Beat an' Blood, was released in 1978. It comprised poetry written in an uncompromising Jamaican-London vernacular and militant politics set to a reggae accompaniment. The combination ensured that his vivid and angry stories of Brixton street life and police brutality broke out of their south London setting to acquire a resonance far beyond location or race. Follow-up albums Forces of Victory (1979), Bass Culture (1980) and Making History (1983) provided the soundtrack to a remarkable period of postwar history during which the children of the Windrush generation of Caribbean immigrants established their permanent place in British society.
Ο κύριος Linton Kwesi Johnson (LKJ), Μαύρος Πάνθηρας στο Brixton του ΝΑ Λονδίνου από τα τέλη του '70, ζωντανός φορέας της αφρικανικής συνείδησης και αγωνιζόμενος με την ποίηση και τη μουσική του ενάντια στο αστυνομικό κράτος της Θάτσερ σε όλη τη διάρκεια των χρόνων του '80, συνεχίζει σήμερα να υπενθυμίζει στις νέες γενιές μεταναστών την διαχρονικότητα του ζητήματος, στο σημερινό πλαίσιο του γενικευμένου human trafficking και της αναβολικής μπατσοκρατορίας. Το μουσικό απόθεμα του LKJ κουβαλά τα διαχρονικά χαρακτηριστικά της bass culture στην πιο κλασική της εκδοχή, χωρίς την εξαλλοσύνη της κονσόλας του νταμπ. Σε πρώτο πλάνο περνά η φωνή του Linton που τραγουδά την ποίηση που έχει προηγηθεί της μουσικής. Το υπόβαθρο είναι ένα ολοκληρωμένο reggae section, με πιάνο, ανάγλυφα κρουστά, slide κιθάρα και χάλκινα πνευστά που σφύζουν από την εμπειρία της free jazz των 70s. 
Bass materialism!

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