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Module Reading List

Bass Culture in Modern Britain, 2021/22, Semester 1
Dr Dhanveer Singh Brar
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

HIST2360 - Bass Culture in Modern Britain  

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Reading List 

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Week 1 – Introduction to Bass Culture 

Core materials  

Linton Kwesi Johnson, Bass Culture (Island Records, 1980) Also available here:  

Unknown T – “Fresh Home” (2020)  

Lloyd Bradley, “1 – Boogie in My Bones”, Bass Culture: When Reggae was King (Penguin, 2001)  

Joe Muggs and Brian David Stevens, “Foreword: Mykaell Riley”, “Introduction: Joe Muggs”, Bass, Mids, Tops: An Oral History of Soundsystem Culture (Strange Attractor Press, 2019)  

Further Materials 

“Bass Culture: Linton Kwesi Johnson” 

Steve Barrow and Peter Dalton, “The Birth of the Soundsystem” (p11-30), Reggae: The Rough Guide (The Rough Guides, 1997) 

Malcolm James, “Introduction”, Sonic Intimacy (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021) 

Michael Veal, “1 – Electronic Music in Jamaica: Dub in the Continuum of Jamaican Music”, Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae (Wesleyan University Press, 2007) 

Julian Henriques, “Preamble: Thinking Through Sound”, Sonic Bodies: Reggae Sound Systems, Performance Techniques and Ways of Knowing (Continuum, 2011) 

Louis Chude-Sokei, “Dr Satan’s Echo Chamber: Reggae, Technology and The Diaspora Process”, Popular Inquiry (Vol 1, 2018)

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Week 2 – Histories of Soundsystems in the UK 

Core Materials  

YT, England Story (2006, Sativa Records):

Molly Dineen, Sound Business (1981)  

“Interview with Sir Llyod Coxsone from Coxsone Sound”  

Lloyd Bradley, “6 – Strange Country”, Bass Culture  

Lauren Martin and Georgina Cook, The VICE Oral History of Dubstep (2015):

Malcolm James, “2 – The Reggae Sound System and Vibe”, Sonic Intimacy  

Further Materials  

Steve Barrow and Peter Dalton, “The Roots Revival” (p352-356), Reggae: The Rough Guide 

William ‘Lez’ Henry and Les Back, “Reggae Culture is Local Knowledge: Mapping the Beats on South East London Streets”, in William Henry and Matthew Worley (Eds), Narratives from Beyond the UK Reggae Bassline: The System is Sound (Palgrave, 2021) 

Michael McMillan, “Rockers, soulheads and lovers: Sound systems back in da day”, Interactions: Studies in Communication and Culture (Vol 9, No 1, 2018) 

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Week 3 – Roots Reggae in the UK 

Core Materials  

Steel Pulse, Tribute to the Martyrs (Island Records, 1979) Also available here:  

Misty in Roots, Live at The Counter Eurovision 79 (People Unite, 1979) Also available here:   

Lloyd Bradley, “18 – Warrior Charge”, Bass Culture  

Simon Jones, “2 – UK Version”, Black Culture, White Youth: The Reggae Tradition from JA to UK  (Macmillan Education, 1988)   Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Further Materials  

Steve Barrow and Peter Dalton, “Roots, rock, reggae, UK Style” (p330-p337), Reggae: The Rough Guide 

Dick Hebdige, “11 - Dread in a Inglan”, Cut ‘n’ Mix: Culture, Identity and Caribbean Music (Routledge, 1987) 

“Bass Culture: Paul Gilroy (Part 1 & 2)” + 

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Week 4 – Dub in the UK 

Core Materials 

Jah Shaka, Brimstone & Fire (Jah Shaka Music, 1983).   

Mad Professor, Beyond the Realms of Dub (Dub Me Crazy! The Second Chapter) (Ariwa, 1982) Also available here:  

Lloyd Bradley, “14 – Dubwise Situation”, Bass Culture  

“Jah Shaka on UK Sound System History / Red Bull Music Academy” (2014):  

Andrea Terrano, “Mad Professor: Mixing Dub”, Sound on Sound (August 2007)  

Further Materials 

Christopher Partridge, “3 – Sound-System Culture and Jamaican Dub in the UK”, Dub in Babylon: Understanding the Evolution and Significance of Dub Reggae in Jamaica and Britain from King Tubby to Post-Punk (Equinox Publishing, 2010) 

Michael Veal, “2 – ‘Every Spoil Is a Style’: The Evolution of Dub Music in the 1970s”, Dub soundscapes 

Steve Barrow and Peter Dalton, “Dub” (p199-p228), Reggae: The Rough Guide 

Jacob Miller, "Baby I Love You So" / Augustus Pablo and King Tubby, "King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown" (1974)

Lee 'Scratch' Perry and The Upsetters, "Zion's Blood", Super Ape (1976)

Edward George, "The Strangeness of Dub", Morley College Radio

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Week 5 – Lovers Rock  

Core Materials 

Janet Kay, Silly Games (Arawak, 1979)  

Louisa Mark, Caught You in a Lie (Safari Records, 1975)   

Jean Adembabo, Paradise (Santic Records, 1981)

Brown Sugar, I'm in Love with a Dreadlocks (Lovers Rock, 1977)

Lloyd Bradley, “6 – The whole world loves a Lovers”, Sounds Like London: 100 Years of Black Music in the Capital  (Serpent’s Tail, 2013)  

Lisa Amanda Palmer, “’LADIES A YOUR TIME NOW!’, Erotic Politics, lovers’ rock and resistance in the UK”, African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal (Vol 4, No 2, July 2011)  

Further Materials 

Paul Gilroy, “There is Love in the Heart of the City”, John Goto, Lovers’ Rock (Autograph ABP 2013) 

Lisa Amanda Palmer, “7 – ‘Men Cry Too’: Black Masculinities and the Feminisation of Lovers Rock in the UK”, in John Stratton and Nabeel Zuberi (eds), Black Popular Music in Britain Since 1945 (Routledge, 2016) 

Dick Hebdige, “15 – Lovers Rock”, Cut ‘n’ Mix 

“Bass Culture: Janet Kay” 

“Bass Culture: Dennis Bovell” 

Menelik Shabazz, The Story of Lovers Rock (Menelik Shabazz, 2011) 

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Week 6 – Rare Groove and BritFunk  

Core Materials  

Light of the World, "Liv Togevver (The Greater London Funkathon), Light of the World (Ensign, 1979)

Light of the World, Round Trip (Ensign, 1980)  

Starvue, Body Fusion (Midwest International Records, 1980):

Real Thing, 4 from 8 (Pye Records, 1977)  

Caspar Melville, “2 – Warehouse Parties, rare groove and the diversion of space”, It’s a London Thing: How rare groove, acid house and jungle remapped the city (Manchester University Press, 2020)  

Lloyd Bradley, “7 – Living for the Weekender”, Sounds Like London  

Further Materials 

Koushik Banerjea and Partha Banerjea, “Psyche and Soul: A View from the ‘South’”, in Sanjay Sharma, John Hutnyk and Ashwani Sharma, Dis-Orienting Rhythms: The Politics of the New Asian Dance Music (Zed Books, 1996) 

Robert Strachan, “Britfunk: Black British Popular Music, Identity and the Recording Industry in the Early 1980s”, in John Stratton and Nabeel Zuberi (eds), Black Popular Music in Britain Since 1945 

Joe Muggs and Brian David Stevens, “Norman Jay MBE” , Bass, Mids, Tops 

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Week 7 – UK Fast Chat  

Core Materials 

Smiley Culture, Cockney Translation (Fashion Records, 1984)  

Smiley Culture, Police Officer, (Fashion Records, 1984)

Wayne Smith, Under Me Sleng Teng (Jammy's Records, 1985)

Various, Great British M.C.’s (Fashion Records, 1985)

Selections from Great British M.C.'s   

Saxon Sound System – Live at The Factory, London (Greensleeves / UK Bubblers, 1984)  

Dick Hebdige, “17 – Fast-style reggae: designer label roots”, Cut ‘n’ Mix  

“David Katz, “The Story of Saxon Sound System”, The Vinyl Factory (21st August 2019) 

Further Materials 

Steve Barrow and Peter Dalton, “From Deejays to Ragga” (p344-p351), Reggae: The Rough Guide 

Lucy Robinson, "Smiley Culture: A Hybrid Voice for the Commonwealth", in William Lez Henry & Matthew Worley, Narratives from Beyond the UK Reggae Bassline: The System is Sound (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

Cockney Translation: Smiley Culture, Fast Chat and it’s effect on UK hip-hop”, How’s Life in London?: Writings on Hip-Hop in the U.K.


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Week 8 – Asian Bass Culture in Britain  

Core Materials 

Bally Sagoo, Star Crazy (Star Compact Disc, 1991)  

Bally Sagoo, Malkit Singh, Ragga Muffin Mix 1991 (Oriental Star Agencies, 1994)   

Asian Dub Foundation, Facts and Fictions (Rough Trade, 1995)  

Asian Dub Foundation, "Rebel Warrior", Facts and Fictions

Rupa Huq, “Asian Kool? Bhangra and Beyond”, in Sanjay Sharma, John Hutnyk and Ashwani Sharma, Dis-Orienting Rhythms   Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Shirin Housee and Mukhtar Dar, “Remixing Identities: ‘Off’ the Turntable”, in Sanjay Sharma, John Hutnyk and Ashwani Sharma, Dis-Orienting Rhythms  OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (MH 26/10/2021) 

Further Materials 

Sanjay Sharma, “Noisy Asians or ‘Asian Noise’?”, in Sanjay Sharma, John Hutnyk and Ashwani Sharma, Dis-Orienting Rhythms 

Gerd Baumann,. “The re-invention of Bhangra: Social change and aesthetic shifts in a Punjabi music in Britain”, World of Music (Vol, 32, no. 2, 1990) 

Nabeel Zuberi, "5 - Asia Massive: Home Abroad with Brit-Asia Tracks", in Sounds English: Transnational Popular Music(University of Illinois Press, 2001) Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

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Week 9 – Jungle / Drum & Bass 

Core Materials 

Various, Jungle Hits Vol 1 & Vol 2 (Street Tuff Records, 1994) Alternatively available here: Volume 1: ; Volume 2:  

A Guy Called Gerald, Black Secret Technology (Juice Box, 1995)  

Malcolm James, “3 – Jungle pirate radio and hype”, Sonic Intimacy  

Simon Reynolds, “10 – Roots ‘n’ Future: Jungle Takes Over London”, Energy Flash: A Journey Through Rave Music and Dance Culture  (Soft Skull Press, 1998 / 2012)  

Further Materials  

Caspar Melville, “4 – ‘A London Sum’Ting Dis’: diaspora remixed in the urban jungle”, It’s a London Thing 

Peter Shapiro, Drum ‘n’ Bass: The Rough Guide  (Rough Guides, 1999) 

Brian Belle-Fortune, All Crews: journeys through jungle / drum & bass culture  (Vision Publishing, 2004) 

Martin James, State of Bass: The Origins of Jungle / Drum & Bass (Velocity Press, 2020) 

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Week 10 – UK Garage 

Core Materials 

Various, Locked On….The Best of (Locked On, 1999)  

DJ EZ, Pure Garage (Warner.ESP, 2000)   

Simon Reynolds, “20 – Two Steps Beyond”, Energy Flash  

Dan Hancox, “Key 1999 Tracks: Brandy & Monica – ‘The Boy Is Mine (Architechs Remix)’”, Red Bull Music Academy (March 19th, 2019)  

Further Materials  

Simon Reynolds, The Wire 300: Simon Reynolds on the Hardcore Continuum Series #6: Two-Step Garage (1999) 

Dan Hancox, “Tarik Nashnush and UKG’s Most Important Label, Locked On”, Red Bull Music Academy (April 26th, 2019) 

Dan Hancox, “The UK Garage Committee Meetings and the Garage Wars”, Red Bull Music Academy (June 17th, 2019) 

Dan Hancox, “Mature Ravers Only: The Story of UK Garage Fashion”, (February 13th 2019): 

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Week 11 – Grime  

Core Materials  

Wiley Kat, Ice Rink Vocal EP (2003):

Lethal Bizzle - Forward (POW!) (2004):

Rollo Jackson, Slimzee's Going on Terrible (2014):


Ruff Sqwad, White Label Classics (No Hats, No Hoods, 2012)  

Dan Hancox, “3 – The New Ice Age”, “4 – The Last of the Pirates”, Inner City Pressure: The Story of Grime (William Collins, 2018)  

Jeffrey Boakye, “Functions on the Low” (p111), “Wot Do U Call It” (p117), “Destruction VIP (p123), “Pow!” (p127), Hold Tight: Black Masculinity, Millennials and the Meaning of Grime (Influx Press, 2017)  

Further Materials 

Hattie Collins and Olivia Rose, This Is Grime (Hodder & Stoughton, 2016) 

DJ Target, Grime Kids: The Inside Story of the Global Grime Takeover (Trapeze, 2018) 

The Police vs Grime Music - A Noisey Film (2014):

This list was last updated on 23/11/2021