men with their laptops and speaker boxes are also the ones contributing to the downward spiral of the sound system culture as they do not represent what is authentic about the culture.
“Well, they call themselves sound system operators, but they are really solo disc jockeys. A sound system is when you have speaker boxes ‘stock and pile’ and when you turn it on and the bass makes your entire body jump. That is an authentic sound system, and that is what we need to preserve,” said Walford.
For veteran sound system selector A-One of King Addies Sound (responsible for giving the likes of Tony Matterhorn his break in music), he says the sound system culture is revolutionising, not dying.
“Sound system culture can be broken up into a few different categories. First category would be the physical sound (speaker boxes, sound truck). This has definitely lost steam compared to the earlier era of sound system, in my opinion, because of the full-powered systems used to play in the dancehall. This change by itself took away jobs for many (box boy, truck driver, etc). Sound systems are mainly used today in lawns and roadside parties. Here in the US (where he is now based), there has been a shift where persons have regained interest in having a sound system again. Within the past four years, there have been many physical sound system clashes at which the attendance has grown in numbers,” he said.
The second category he identifies as ‘sound clashes’.
“Again, within the past five years, DJs and sound systems have regained interest in voicing Speng, a Bass Odyssey selector, makes a clown face to the crowd during a sound clash with Richie Feelings during the All-Star Clash at Club Famous back in 2014. Bass Odyssey won the clash.