Jamaica Gleaner - - EN­TER­TAIN­MENT -

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.



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