25/03/2008

Linton Kwesi Johnson - Dread Beat An' Blood (1978)

«[…] Dread Beat An’ Blood was Linton Kwesi Johnson’s debut recording, the first time his political poetry had been accompanied by the powerful beats of reggae. This new form of music, revolutionary in terms of language, content and style, came to be known as ‘dub poetry’ and Johnson is still the foremost and most uncompromising practitioner of the art. Using the patois of Jamaican speech, Johnson articulates the Black British experience and uses the rhythms of reggae to get his message across. In the past, he has been called a prophet. “Yeah, yeah, I don’t take these things seriously. I just think it’s another media tag,” he says dismissively. “The music is compatible with the poetry in so far as I am writing out of the reggae tradition and some of the poems are written are within the perimeters of the reggae structure. And it’s oral poetry and oral poetry lends itself to the rhythms of music.” Considering his commitment and personal history, perhaps Johnson’s success is no great surprise. His whole life has been based around increasing political awareness, fighting racism, and music. Born in Chapletown, Jamaica, in 1952 he came to England at the age of 11 to live with his mother in Brixton. It was an traumatic experience, compounded by the hostility and racism of Britain in the early 60s. Before long he had joined The Black Panthers. “That’s where I learnt my politics and about my history and culture,” he has said. “That’s where I discovered black literature, particularly the work of W.E.B. DuBois, the Afro-American scholar who inspired me to write poetry.” […]» (SpikeMagazine, read more)

«The title pretty much says it all. This is a stunning debut and an indication of the great things that were to come. Johnson's debut is longer on spoken-word pieces than it is on poetry and music, but Dennis Bovell's influence can be felt in these eight tracks. Songs such as "It Dread Inna Inglan," which describes the death of George Lindo at the hands of racists, or "Five Nights of Bleeding," which recounts tales of British police's capricious use of violence against London's West Indian population, are moving and confrontational mini-masterpieces of anger and a man searching for justice in a country that seems all to willing too deny it to him and other Afro-Brits. A powerful and compelling record.» (AMG)

Link in comments

4 comments:

Radu said...

http://sharebee.com/5a8e9fe5

playpause said...

thanks you for this.
LKJ rules and always have...

Egan Ehlers said...

Thanks.

Beeboss said...

Wow I am so excited to see this, I havent heard this since the 80s.
Thank you somuch