Jamaican Sound System Culture | reggae sound clash

What Jamaican Sound System Culture?

What is Jamaican Sound System Culture? The word sound system means different things in different contexts. To put it differently In the context of Jamaican music reggae sound clash, A sound system refers to a group of DJs/selectors, MCs, and sound engineers, playing different genres of music on a stack of speakers. Typically, a sound system is setup to produce thundering bass and clear sound quality. For sure sound systems have been an integral part of Jamaican music culture since the 1950s. The sound system culture has defined Jamaican music and history in a unique way, making it outstanding from other cultures.

Today, sound systems are the lifeblood of all Jamaican music

That is  to say Jamaican sound system culture it’s Without doubt Sound system Culture isn’t only within the borders of Jamaica but rather a global phenomenon characterized by large scale music festivals, the sound system culture came about in the 1950s in the streets of Kingston Jamaica. DJs, MCs, and sound engineers would set up huge stacks of blazing speakers in the Jamaican streets. Originally, they played Rhythm and blues, uptempo ska but later shifted to local produce music.

Jamaican Sound systems culture 

Were actually introduced to replace orchestras, which were deemed expensive for the locals. I will have to say over the years, Jamaican sound system culture has been greeted in different parts of the world essentially unchanged, along with entertaining the locals, the owners of sound systems and event promoters aimed at generating income from the street parties. The organizers of the parties charged the public a small fee for admission into the event venue. In this case the sale of food and alcohol at the event venue created big business for the DJs and event organizers.

By the mid-1950s, sound systems had incorporated new features 

Including live musicians custom-built speakers. Sound clash with customs songs all of which made the culture even more popular. A major revolution within the sound system culture occurred in the 1960s when reggae music emerged. The intensified competition of sound systems led to extraordinary innovation with different sound systems competing. To out-do each other it was a this time in history. That Dancehall music genre make its emergence thus the rebirth of Dancehall reggae music.  Sound systems also provided a platform for promoters to distribute reggae music in urban areas and rural settings. Over the years, Jamaican immigrants exported sound clash to the U.K and other countries. London was among the first cities to embrace the sound system culture. After which other cities such as Birmingham and Bristol followed suit. Jamaican sound system culture has been associated with the emergence of hip hop in the 1970s.

The culture of break-dance typical

The hip hop genre was copied from reggae sound system culture. For sure the Sound system music culture is also credited with the birth of multiple genre of popular music. Such as Afro Beat, Dubstep, Jungle, plus many more though sound system crews were mostly self-taught. With no formal training in sound engineering and music production. Yes  resources were very limited in the earlier days in the sound system world but they continue the work.

The crews’ love and passion

For music which helped to create an influential music culture in Jamaica and beyond. Even with the lack of a proper platforms to promote music talent. Most of the biggest stars in the dancehall and reggae industry emerged from this sound system culture. Without Doubt Sound systems culture remains the heartbeat of Jamaican music and providing space for emerging artists. For the pass seven decades and growing strong.


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