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Selected Cuts to Reggae or Not: The Birth of Dancehall Culture
February 6, 2013
The photographs assembled for Reggae or Not: The Birth of Dancehall Culture in Jamaica and Toronto, Beth Lesser’s new exhibition at Toronto's Gladstone Hotel, document the emergence of a genre, but part of their charm is that no one makes too much fuss about it. Taken mostly in the 1980s, when Lesser and her husband David “Lord Selector” Kingston were making regular Caribbean pilgrimages for their magazine Reggae Quarterly, the images seem casual, almost unposed: DJs cradle vinyl, recording engineers glance over their shoulders, singers grin in front of long-shuttered music stores and Jamaican landmarks like Volcano Corner. The launch party last Friday featured a temporary sound system by Lord Selector; in lieu of that, let these five Youtubed cuts be your audio tour.
1. Johnny Osbourne, “African Wake”
Reggae or Not: The Birth of Dancehall Culture in Jamaica and Toronto