An exploration of the influence of immigrant cultures on London's music scene. Music is an essential link to home, celebrating an imported culture, boosting spirits, marking achievements in a new land and, most importantly, strengthening displaced communities.
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Lloyd Bradley is the author of Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King, an account of the glory days of the Jamaican music industry, currently in its fourteenth UK printing, translated into six languages and the best-selling book ever written about Jamaican music or culture. He was Associate Producer of the BBC's 2002 series Reggae: The Story Of Jamaican Music and author of its accompanying book. As a regular contributor to Mojo, the Observer, the BBC and The Times, Lloyd is one of the UK's most respected writers and broadcasters on the subjects of Caribbean music, culture and its impact on the UK.Review:
Praise for Bass Culture: 'Bradley leaves no stone unturned in a coruscating rollercoaster ride through murder, major label gripes, ganja paranoia and racism, the first comprehensive history of every aspect of reggae * Mojo * A brilliant, comprehensive history of Jamaica's principal twentieth century art form, Bradley deftly intertwines the the key themes of the Caribbean island's chaotic music industry and its checkered social history. Essential * Q Magazine * What makes Bass Culture such an absorbing read is how easily Bradley joins the dots between the music and the culture ... a fascinating exploration, expansive and exacting * Irish Times * Dizzying in its scope yet at the same time meticulous in its attention to detail, written with passion, style and gusto * Independent on Sunday * The most thorough attempt yet to tell reggae's whole story ... he is as attentive to the island's shifting social and political scene as he is to the gradual evolution of the music * Sunday Times * An excellent account of the origins and development of reggae, skilfully locates each phase in the music's evolution and achieves this in an admirably lucid style * Independent * In Lloyd Bradley's long-awaited history, the ghettos and the ganja are explored alongside Independence and international relations to produce the definitive account. An informed analysis and an intoxicating aural history * GQ * Sounds like London is a must-read if you're into the history of black input into London club culture -- Norman Jay MBE Epic ... Sounds Like London is chock-full of fascinating, often forgotten characters ... a major work, and a worthy tribute to a vibrant and innovative culture. -- Kevin EG Perry * NME * I found myself riveted by descriptions of events and people I knew, but had never seen in print; even more so by what I learnt ... fascinating ... an honest and passionate celebration of not just the music, but the courage, tenacity and guile of the people who made it -- Courttia Newland * FT * Hugely entertaining ... full of stories of artists living fresh lives in the capital - and making themselves in the process such an intrinsic part of the British pop landscape. -- Rob Fitzpatrick * Sunday Times * Enlightening ... Sounds Like London is a major achievement ... Breezily written but always politically astute and critically sharp, it makes telling use of new interviews with important figures such as jazzman Russell Henderson and Eddy Grant. Enterprising radio commissioners should rush to give Bradley a regular show. -- Sukhdev Sandhu * Guardian * Illuminating ... The research and the interviews, as well as the author's comprehensive but lightly worn knowledge, elevate this book from being just a list of notable anniversaries and dry facts. Because of Bradley's background as a serious music journalist, he is well equipped for this kind of intensive curation and he never neglects the art of crafting a lovely sentence. -- Bim Adewunmi * New Statesman * Jam-packed with vivid stories and essential info that places the reader right where the action is -- Lois Wilson * Mojo * Meticulous and exhaustive, Sounds Like London is a hugely entertaining and informative look at how black music has shaped the musical output of the city over the decades ... on everything from drum and bass to steel drum bands, Sounds Like London is an informed and entertaining trawl through a fascinating topic. -- Doug Johnstone * Big Issue * Lloyd Bradley's gallop of a book is as much about social transition as music ... Bradley writes with panache ... this exceptional work can sit proudly beside the author's earlier Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King, the definitive account of the glory days of the Jamaican music industry. -- Margaret Busby * Independent * Sounds Like London, Lloyd Bradley's thoughtful survey of black music in the British capital ... Sounds Like London, a thoroughly enjoyable cultural history, captures the excitement and beauty of a music that changed the face of Britain for good. -- Ian Thomson * Sunday Telegraph * Meticulously researched and illustrated -- Karl Dallas * Morning Star * Bradley is the man for the job ... impressive -- Jim Carroll * Irish Times *
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