Featuring over 150 photos taken in and around South London, posts from the original blog, hand-drawn notes and more, Drumz Of The South: The Dubstep Years (2004-2007) is both a record of an extraordinary moment in contemporary music history, and a personal story of community and creativity.
2004-2007 is the peak of my involvement in the scene, at a time when it was still largely made in suburban bedroom studios and played in dark rooms and on pirate radio stations like Rinse FM.
Alongside photos of the dancefloors of seminal nights like DMZ and FWD>> at Plastic People, are candid photos and portraits of artists like Mala, Loefah, Sgt.Pokes, Hatcha, Kode9, Vex’d, Skream and Burial.
Nestled among these images are scenes from South London, which root the sound to the place.
Many of these images have previously appeared in media like DJ Mag, The Guardian, FACT, Dazed, Taz, Tsugi, Trax, Vice. They have appeared on record sleeves such as Burial’s Untrue, Dubstep Allstars Vol.2 and Souljazz’s Steppa’s Delight as well as my 2018 installation “Who Wants A Rewind?” at Tate Modern. This is however, the first time they will be published cohesively in book form.
The book will be soft-back with a dust-cover, 220+ pages of mixed paper stock, 240mm x 170mm in size and portrait. Designed by Alfie Allen and Joel Wilson.
Like the music of era, the book will be weighty. Art-directed by Alfie Allen, whose own practice is rooted in a love of music, the design of the book (to be revealed here soon), echoes the vibe of both the clubs and the streets that I photographed on my journey. It also references some early experiments in the design of the book that I conducted myself.
Alongside the photos and hand-drawn notes, will be a foreword by Emma Warren, author of Make Some Space, who I met at DMZ, a few years into my journey.
There will also be an essay by myself, offering added context and narrative to the book. The book will be expertly printed by PUSH in South London, whose advice and wisdom has been invaluable to the project so far.