Clandestino: Dennis Bovell
Clandestino proudly presents a DJ set with Dennis Bovell. Among the many musicians who rose from the 1970’s soundclash culture in London, Dennis Bovell is not only one of those who stamped the most memorable grooves onto a piece of vinyl. He is also unique in the way he has over the years crossed borders between Caribbean culture and English post-punk; between sweet lovers rock and dark dub, between dance floor and poetry.
He was born in Barbados and came to London as a teenager in the 60s, as part of the wave of Caribbean labor migrants commonly known as The Windrush Generation. At school he discovered a recording studio and began experimenting with tape loops and primitive samples. In the seventies, Bovell had established himself as a resident DJ at one of London’s most prominent sound systems, Sufferer. When the police intervened at a soundclash, chaos broke out and Dennis Bovell was falsely accused of inciting the violence. Only after serving six months in prison was he cleared of suspicion, but by this time had decided to focus instead on his career as a songwriter, producer and musician in the group Matumbi.
In London, the slightly puritanical attitude prevailed that real reggae should come from Jamaica, so Bovell initially masked his releases as fake import singles. He started the label Lovers Rock which specialized in romantic songs performed by female voices. A breakthrough came with Silly Games, a mix of disco and backbeat groove topped by Janet Kay’s phenomenal falsetto voice, which reached number two in the UK Top 40, and played an important role in the film entitled Lovers Rock, part of Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series. At this time he also began a collaboration with poet Linton Kwesi Johnson (LKJ), where his massive rhythms matched the anger of lyrics like Inglan Is a Bitch and Fite Dem Back.
Along with punk bands like The Clash, Dennis Bovell and Matumbi became key players in the Rock Against Racism movement. This crossing of musical borders was a powerful demonstration against Thatcher and the right-wing forces that had grown stronger while the old empire appeared to be ending. It also became a breeding ground for a new wave of rhythm-oriented post-punk where Bovell came to contribute as a producer for now-legendary albums with Orange Juice, Slits and The Raincoats.
The Cultural Center Oceanen is a Q-marked culturally historical building, which is challenging when it comes to accessibility. We do our best to have as many people as possible visit us. When visiting us with mobility aids the best-suited entrance is through the scene. This entrance is accessed via Gathenhielmska trädgården. The entrance is locked, please email us the day before your visit or the latest Friday at 16:00 if you are visiting us during the weekend. We have a wheelchair-accessible bathroom. Please note that flashing lights may occur during concerts and events. For questions regarding accessibility email Mia Herman at email@example.com