‘Midnight to six man / For the first time from Jamaica / Dillinger and Leroy Smart Delroy Wilson, your cool operator’ – The Clash, (White Man) In Hammersmiths Palais (1978)
These images of protest and partying in Paris and London were pulled together for an exhibition at the Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration. They recall the potent mix of migration, music, anti-racism and political activism that reshaped the cultures of France and Britain since the early 1960s.
From the beginning of the 1960s to the end of the 1980s, multiple musical trends linked to migratory flows transformed Paris and London into multicultural capitals… The exhibition shows how several generations of immigrants, in these two former colonial powers, seized music to make their rights equal, claim their place in the public space and contribute to transformations both urban economic and cultural aspects of both countries.
The playlist is a cracker, a composite blend of such notables as: Poly Styrene’s reggae-punk, Manu Dibango’s makossa, Cheikha Rimitti’s vintage rai, Desmond Dekker’s ska, Soul II Soul’s R & B, Salif Keïta’s Mandingo, Millie Small’s beat, Noura’s Algerian song, Rachid Taha’s punk without borders, Asian Dub Foundation’s Asian underground, Papa Wemba’s rumba rock, Aswad’s roots reggae, Dahmane El Harrachi’s chaâbi, Linton Kwesi Johnson’s dub poetry, Kassav’s zouk, Neneh Cherry’s electro-rap, Alpha Blondy’s afro-reggae, Bob Marley’s legendary reggae, Khaled’s modern rai, mixed-metal rock Green Negresses, Vigon’s rhythm’n’blues, King Sunny Ade’s juju music …
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