chapter  1
16 Pages

Race, Identity and the Meaning of Jazz in 1940s Britain

ByCatherine Tackley

This chapter presents Mykaell Riley's part of the work has been engaged with at the University of Westminster and the Black Music Research Unit (BMRU) can be described as instigating the academic appropriation of the term bass culture. It focuses on the intersection between Jamaican and British popular music since the late 1950s. The chapter uses the term bass culture to recognise the direct and indirect impact of the Jamaican community and Jamaican music on the cultural and social fabric of multicultural Britain, including a canon of globally influential music. It encompasses but is not limited to sound systems, ska, roots reggae, dub, pop reggae, jungle, drum and bass, trip-hop, garage, 2 step, grime, dubstep and a host of other genres and sub-genres. The term has evolved to transcend any individual style. The chapter explains that the British music industry, media and scholarship have failed to properly reflect the contributions of Jamaican communities and bass culture within British pop music.