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Retracing Reggae's Record Covers In London looks for funding

Kickstarter has been set up for a photography book documenting the locations of 42 reggae record covers taken in London between 1967 and 1987

London based photographer Alex Bartsch has spent the last two years cycling across London in search for the exact locations of reggae album sleeve phototgraphy and rephotographing them in situ. The project started back in 2014 when he bought a copy of Brixton Cat by Joe's All Stars (Trojan Records, 1969). “I live 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,” explains Bartsch. “The second cover was Smiley Culture's Cockney Translation 12", which was photographed in Battersea. From then on, I was hooked.”

To date Bartsch has located more than 40 sleeves that will be the subject of a new book next year, and for which he has started a Kickstarter campaign to help fund. Supporters can make pledges to receive anything from a copy of the book to postcards, signed and stamped prints, a limited cloth-bound edition and even a private guided bicycle tour with the photographer visiting various reggae record cover locations around London.

Sleeve: Moodie Early Years (Moodie Music)

“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 Regent's Canal, climb onto a rooftop near Old Street, ask to enter someone's front room in Hampstead, access a back yard in Wembley and venture onto the Westway in west London.”

The book will be 112 pages in length and feature a foreword by Noel Hawks. It will be published through Al Newman's One Love Books, an imprint responsible for other reggae-related titles such as Clarks In Jamaica and the recent art publication In Fine Style: The Dancehall Art Of Wilfred Limonious.