• Sound Reasoning - Anna Arnone

UK Reggae Sound Systems, photographs and extracts from interviews from documentary photojournalist Anna Arnone’s archive (1981-1988). Introduction by Benjamin Zephaniah. 

Sound Reasoning is a photographic journey through the Dancehall scene of the 1980s' with short excerpts from interviews Anna Arnone did with a whole host of artists from that 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 is on the youth whose roots are in the Caribbean, especially Jamaica, and how integral Reggae, MC's and Dancehall are to the continuing tradition of the spoken word as a way of spreading news, storytelling and poetry.

Anna began her project after completing a degree in Photography. At the time Anna was one of very few female contributors to the weekly Black music magazine 'Echoes' (then called 'Black Echoes'), where Her photos and articles were published. The name 'Sound Reasoning' is taken from both her series of Echoes’s articles and her sole exhibition of photographs that were displayed on a UK tour. The Reggae scene of the 1980's was the time that UK MC’s began to tear up the Dancehall in a way that differed significantly from the previous generation of Jamaican MCs like the Lone Ranger, U Roy, Dr Alimantado, as well as more contemporary MCs like Yellowman, and others who could rightly be regarded as creators of that lyrical style.

The book consists of interwoven stories, told through portraits and photographs of Sound sessions, with extracts from interviews Anna did at the time with the people in and running the Sound Systems such as Fatman, Saxon, Java, Unity, Sista Culcha, King Tubby’s, Bionic Rhona, and Asher Senator, Lorna Gee, Ranking Ann, Philip Levi and Pato Banton. 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 Hassell’s 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.

Sound Reasoning' is a tribute to the men and women in it. The book is bursting with imagery and words that take you back to the Dancehall scene and give you a flavour of the history, culture, tribulations and passions that created the UK Sound System scene of the 1980’s.

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Sound Reasoning - Anna Arnone

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