Volcano Revisited – Kingston Dancehall Scene 1983

by Apr 30, 2011Reviews, Writings

Volcano Revisited - Kingston Dancehall Scene 1983


Writers: Tero Kaski & Pekka Vuorinen
Publisher:  Pekka Eronen, Helsinki, Finland
Published: April 2011
Book: Paperback / 208 pages
ISBN: 978-952-92-8643-0
Website: dubjazzsalsa.com

Linval Thompson

Whether you belong to the group of reggae dancehall fans who were lucky to lay their hands on the 1984 published “Reggae Inna Dance Hall Style” or you’re one of those who, for whatever reason, weren’t that lucky at all, forget about that (rightfully acclaimed) paperback book because the new expanded and completely revisited edition called “Volcano Revisited ~ Kingston Dancehall Scene 1983” is the real deal!

The writers (and also photographers), the late Tero Kaski aka Daddy T-Roy and Pekka Vuorinen, both from Finland, were brought together in the late 1970s due to their love for reggae music. What started as trading records, listening to them together and travelling abroad to buy records and to see various concerts by Bob Marley, Black Uhuru and others ended up in publishing the “Cool Runnings” magazine from 1980 until 1985. The reggae magazine received a good response, because all the issues they published were sold out, about 300 copies each. However, the magazine business stopped as they kind of ran out of steam with it. Besides that it was hard work as they did everything by hand with typewriters, scissors and glue. However the “Cool Runnings” magazine was restarted in 1996 and published quarterly until 2003, a couple years after Tero Kaski’s untimely death.

Tero Kaski and Pekka Vuorinen published their first book “Reggae Inna Dance Hall Style” in 1984, actually the same year that they stopped publishing the “Cool Runnings” magazine. Later Tero Kaski helped publish other books such as “More Axe” and “The Small Axe Reggae Albums Guide: Singers” with Ray Hurford and “King Jammy’s” with Beth Lesser, all of them cherished by reggae fans worldwide. In 2008 the book Cool Runnings 1980-85 ~ Reggaeta pintaa syvemmältä (written in Finnish) was published. The book contained interviews and unique photos from early eighties Kingston that had appeared in the first 14 issues of the “Cool Runnings” magazines. And now, in 2011, there’s the “Volcano Revisited” book, which not only combines the “Reggae Inna Dance Hall Style” and “Cool Runnings 1980-85” books, but also features never before published interviews with artists like Johnny Clarke, Reggae George, Pablove Black, Jah Stitch, Bagga Walker, Singie Singie, Roland Burrell and Frankie Jones. Furthermore the book, printed in full colour and completely in English, contains unseen photos, more Sassa posters, and reviews of Volcano sound tapes.

In 1983 Tero Kaski and Pekka Vuorinen went to Jamaica to see what Dancehall, the biggest thing at that time, was all about. In those days the Volcano sound system of Henry “Junjo” Lawes, the most important producer and sound system operator of the early 1980s, was beginning to gain a lot of recognition after only a couple of months in operation. This first part of the book incorporates illuminating interviews with Henry “Junjo” Lawes and practically everyone associated with him including Barrington Levy, Burro Banton, Josie Wales, Billy Boyo, Little Harry, El Fego Bacca, Little John, Ranking Toyan, and Shadowman. In true dancehall style & fashion they have also featured interviews with special guests such as the dancehall stars of that time, Peter Metro, Tony Tuff, Robert Ffrench, Jah Thomas, Hopeton Lindo and Charlie Chaplin.

The next part features interviews with artists and engineers who worked for Channel One, Harry J and Studio One, and includes people such as Lady Ann, Horace Andy, Al Campbell, Earl Sixteen, Prince Far I (his last interview, done a couple of days before he was murdered), Reggae George, Soljie, Sylvan Morris, Devon Russell, Roy Cousins, and Jackie Mittoo. A smaller part is reserved for King Tubby, Rappa Robert, Bongo Herman, and Brent Dowe. Particularly interesting is the chapter with Denzil Naar aka Sassa, the people’s promoter. He’s the designer of the handwritten dance hall posters that invite you to a dance coming. Sassa’s distinctive work is featured on several pages, which is simply great to see.

This wonderful book is worth every penny… so don’t hesitate to purchase it ’cause you won’t be disappointed!! A notable publication… essential to say the least!!

To order the book, go to dubjazzsalsa.com for all the details.