With the rise of the electrifying dancehall sound in the 1970s came a new visual style characterized by hand-drawn posters as bright and bold as the music itself. Serious Things A Go Happen is a perfect companion piece to Al Fingers & Christopher Bateman’s in-depth tribute to the dancehall sleeve art of Wilfred Limonious; while In Fine Style explored the art of the records, this book explores its crucial counterpart: the dances. Maxine Walters, dubbed “queen of Jamaican dancehall signs”, dives into her collection of around 4,000 signs to survey the progression from early clashes featuring John Holt, Yellowman and Josey Wales, into the 90s golden era with deejays like Bounty Killer and Beenie Man, right into current day with bashments advertising modern megastars like Vybz Kartel. With only a handful of these clashes being documented in video or on record, these signs are some of the only known records of them ever taking place. Flipping through Serious Things conjures images of monumental clashes between legendary crews like Stone Love, Jammy’s and Shocking Vibes, with titans like Ninjaman and Merciless sounding off on each other over leviathan rigs; bashments that seem like the battle of the century but, in reality, were just another Friday night in Kingston. A nice parallel to Stretch Armstrong's No Sleep book from last year. 168 full-color pages featuring interviews and essays by Mikey Bennett, Rory Stone Love, Carolyn Cooper of the University of the West Indies and dub scholar / post-punk queen Vivien Goldman.
- hardcover edition
- 168 pages
reviewed by dj winyl destination 04/2017