Sound System International – Schedule


Schedule Summary

Goldsmiths, Media Research Building (MRB), University of London, SE14 6NW, building 4 on

12.00 – 13.30 Session 1 (MRB Screen 1)

Plenary: Sound System Outernational – risks and opportunities – chair Brian D’Aquino

 13.30 14.30 Lunch

 14.30 – 16.00: Session 2 Workshops (to run in parallel):

 break 16.00 – 16.30

 16.30 – 18.00 Session 3 – Plenary: Soundwomen in the 21st Century (Screen 1) chair Leo Vidigal

18.00 – 19.30 Session 4 Workshops (to run in parallel)

Amersham Arms 338 New Cross Road, London SE14 6TY

19.45 – 21.15 Film showing with sound system sound

 21.30 – 03.00 Sound System Session


*** Exhibition & Installations: open all day in MRB Seminar Room 12, see end of schedule ****


11:30 Coffee and Registration

12.00 – 13.30 Session 1 (MRB Screen 1)

First Plenary: Sound System Outernational – risks and opportunities – chair Brian D’Aquino

Words of Welcome from Outernational Team: Leo Vidigal, Brain D’Aquino, Bruno Verner, Eliete Mejorado, Vincent Moystad, Julian Henriques

Henri Sax (Creator, Whatsapp BYT (Bring Your Tunes) Sound system aficionado).

Saxon Studio International: the formative years (1983-1985).

Henri Sax will talk about the particular talent distinctiveness of the Saxon sound. He will also discuss how BYT & Defend Your Sound started out from a National Sound System Conference league in 2008, its aims and values, the impact of DJ technology and lack of talent today.

Sonjah N. Stanley Niaah, Ph.D. (Head, Institute of Caribbean Studies, University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston Jamaica, author DanceHall: From Slave Ship to Ghetto):

Outlook on Sound Systems: Europe and the Regeneration of Jamaican Music.

Dr. William ‘Lez’ Henry (University of West London)

While nuff ah right and ribbit; we write and arrange!” (Trevor Natch).

In this talk Dr Lez ‘Lyrix’ Henry will explore the role of lyricism within Sound System Deejay culture from Jamaica to the UK. I will introduce an overstanding of how the emphasis went from the sound of the Deejay voice, as an aspect of entertaining/ informing, to the Deejay’s lyrical content as an original contribution to a counter-cultural, outernational voice for the black/Afrikan downpressed, from the late 1970s and beyond.

Mykael Riley (Black Music Research Unit, University of Westminster)

Cultural appropriation or Integration: key drivers for the changing concepts of sound system culture within UK and international communities. 

 Julian Henriques (Goldsmiths, University of London, author Sonic Bodies)

Gentrification, roots and routes

This presentation with music tracks explores some of the issues raised by the increasing outernational reach of sound system culture. Thinking through wave mechanics, this presentation makes links between the diffusion of sound waves as an auditory propagation process and the disasporic spread of peoples and cultures. With examples from different parts of the world, the talk raises question such as: is music a thing? who does it belong to? can it be owned? What are the risks and opportunities when sound system culture finds new audiences, or becomes more commercialized, or goes up market, that is, becomes gentrified?

13:30-14:30 Lunch (available at cost)


14.30 – 16.00: Session 2 Workshops (to run in parallel):

2.1 From Circuit Bending to Circuit Dubbing: A Dub Electronics Interactive Showcase (MRB Screen 2)
with Manu Falticksa aka Anti-Bypass (Dub Addict Sound System – Lyon FR), introduced chaired by Brian D’Aquino (Bababoom HiFi, Italy)
The workshop will offer a deep insight into the custom-modified world of Dub electronics. Pioneered by Jamaican Engineers in the early 1970s, Dub is much more than a music style. It’s also a technical process and a revolutionary ethos, suggesting new and radical ways of thinking
through its anti-normative approach to audio technology.

A well-known engineer in the French dub scene, Manu Faltickska aka Antibypass has spent several years modifying vintage audio devices. Mainly using recycled components, he achieved a distinctive mixing style which reminds of the late great King Tubby’s in a 21st century  style and fashion.

The workshop will feature a few Antibypass’ own modded machines, including siren boxes, spring reverb and delay, discussing their electronic modifications and schematics. In the end, a dub mixing session will be showcased, calling the audience into action with the chance to mess up with faders and knobs on the mixing board!


2.2 Film showing: Duke Vin and the Birth of Ska  (Gus Berger, 2009) and Peoples Sound (Robert Harvey, 1983) (MRB Screen 3)

Reggae Village will be screening of the film “DUKE VIN and the BIRTH of SKA” along with the 80’s film about the sound system scene with Daddy Vego’s “PEOPLES SOUND” a unique insight into early reggae sounds – a not to be missed pair of video films that expose the foundation and set the scene of the UK sound system development, followed by discussion.
Duke Vin, Count Suckle & the Birth of Ska in Britain trailer
The uplifting story of the pioneers of Jamaican music in the UK. Limited copies of this film are available.


2.3 Roundtable: Culture, History and Practice – chair Vincent Moystad (MRB Screen 1)


The origin, present, and future of sound systems

 Soft Wax (Deptford Dub Club)

Cultures of Resistance

South East London soundman Soft Wax will be presenting a talk on sound system culture and the Rock Against Racism movement’s response to pivotal events in the social and cultural struggle of the 1970’s and 1980’s: The Battle of Lewisham in 1977, the 1978 destruction of the original Deptford Albany, the making of the film Babylon (1979/80) and the New Cross Fire (1981) and its aftermath.

Hylu (Unit 137 sound system)

The Unit 137 story so far

Joy White (University of Greenwich): Calling the past into the present: Sound systems and a decade of Grime

 Mira Peliti

Osce cu li Jamaicani: Reggae & Salentinian Identity (Chair Eliete Mejorado)

This talk is focused on the particularities of the reggae and dancehall community in the Salento region of Southern Italy. Encouraged by reggae music to seek their roots, Salentinian artists (eg: Sud Sound System, Lu Papa Ricky) found theirs in a vision of Southern Italy as a hybrid space, a fusion of different Mediterranean cultures, from Greece to North Africa. By embracing the conflictuality of their Southern identity, they posit themselves as the ‘Other’ within Italy and act in solidarity with all those who are perceived as such, within the country or outside of it. This talk is an opportunity to explore this rich musical production which makes use of Southern Italian music (eg: pizzica, taranta) and local dialect.

Enrico Bonadio (City University London)

Dissemination of Records and Creative Appropriation: The Evolution of Vintage Jamaican Music in the Absence of Copyright.

The talk will analyse how and to what extent the lack of copyright enforcement has

contributed to the production and success of vintage Jamaican music in the 60s and 70s of last century. Such lack of enforcement permitted Jamaican singers and musicians to access and re-arrange lyrics and riddims created by local and foreign authors, and accordingly to progressively develop locally specific music genres including ska, rocksteady, early reggae, roots and dub.

Jim Frize (De Montfort University)

Off the Grid – Rise of the 12-volt Sound System

Discouraged by the exorbitant price of building a sound, Jim Sonodrome became increasingly interested in the miniature, 12-volt sound system: “In this presentation I will talk about how I started my 12 volt sound system. I will show some of the design work and technology that went into it building it. And I will discuss the future of 12 volt sound, both from a personal and general perspective. Lastly, I will talk about how people can get involved in this emerging sub-culture.”

 16:00 – 16.30 Refreshment Break


16.30 – 18.00 Session 3 – Plenary: Soundwomen in the 21st Century (Screen 1) chair Leo Vidigal

Feminine Hi Fi (Daniella Pimenta and Laylah Arruda) and Sistah Odara.

Daniella and Laylah are producer of Feminine Hi-Fi, project focuses on women’s presence in the reggae / sound system scene of São Paulo (Brazil), in which women have been working for years to make its way. It’s a dive in the sound waves of reggae music throughout the female perspective. Sistah Odara (Odara Kadiegi) is selectress, and move yourself in the sound system scene taking her feminine vision.

Caya Sound

Caya (Come As You Are) is a newly developing sound, which aims to “continually support roots, reggae and dub music, bringing with that a feminine touch, in the 21st Century. It will be a platform for ever one who truly believes in equality, diversity and righteous music. “ Members of Caya sound will be talking about their experiences developing a sound and the thinking behind it.

 Legs Eleven

Legs Eleven (all female) Sound System are made up of three sisters: Xuxu (Selecta/ Operator), Mili Red (MC) and Princess (DJ).


18.00-19.30 Session 4 Workshops (to run in parallel)

4.1 Film showing: I’m Ugly but Trendy (Screen 1) (Chair Eliete Mejorado)

Bruno Verner & Eliete Mejorado (Tetine / Slum Dunk) introduce ‘I’m Ugly But Trendy” –  a film by Denise Garcia (Brazil/UK – 59 min) Rio de Janeiro is the stage for Funk Carioca culture –  the intense lo-down Brazilian funk sound culture from Rio’s favela parties (aka Baile Funk). “I’m Ugly But Trendy” looks at women’s participation in the Funk Carioca scene with a post-feminist take on the usual male-dominated ‘bass debate’. Featuring frank conversations & rare live footage from the greatest funk stars in action such as Deize Tigrona, Tati Quebra Barraco, Vanessinha Do Picachu amongst others, the film traces the origins of Rio’s ‘funk sensual’ scene of the early 2000’s from the point of view of female funkers (MCs, dancers, funkeiras) who are also mothers, lovers, wives, students and workers. Including post screening Q & A with Tetine.


4.2 Film showing: Longside, dir. Federico Bocco Romanelli (Screen 2) (Chair Brian D’Aquino)

For the last five years, Federico, an independent filmmaker from the South of Italy, has been working on this independent documentary on sound system culture in Italy. Federico describes the film as  “a trip into the places where the scene is alive, where the dub music is the local identity, is a refuge and freedom, is growth, discipline, militancy in the name of justice and equity in the world, in Italy and in our own towns. “


4.3 Roundtable: the Aesthetics of Sound System (Seminar Room 34) (Chair Julian Henriques)

Khadija Ibrahim, playwright and author (with David Hamilton, dancer, and Kevin De’Costs aka KD Ranks, MC aka toaster): Inna di Dancehall

The purpose of the session is to explore, debate the continuing relevance of this aesthetic to British writing and to recover to view the cultural hinterland of the Sound System and dancehall culture that sprang up in all the urban centres where Caribbean/Black British people were present. Including performances and an audiovisual presentation, this talk documents an aspect the actual creative wealth and complexity of the Sound System scene and the roles of selectors, djs, toasters, singjays and dub poets.

Liv Santos Holm (Liv Pa Mars, selector, designer, and artist): Resonate to This

Resonate to This is an attempt to visualise what cannot be seen. Combining a graphic design approach with media theory, Resonate seeks to visualise dub production and performance techniques, as well as apply these techniques to visual arts. Liv will be discussing and presenting the project, which you can read more about here

Vincent Moystad: Sound Systems in the Academy, Sound Systems in the Art World

This talk aims to start some discussion about the relationship between sound system culture and the academic and art worlds.The talk would outline why sound system culture merits closer attention from these perspectives, and what these perspectives could contribute to sound system in the context of its expansion and mutation as an outernational cultural phenomenon, discussing the art of Nadine Robinson and social struggle in the university along the way.

Ras Muffet (Roots Injection, Bristol) Sound System Industries: music production and distribution

WeDoDub: King Tubby at 75: Exploring King Tubby’s Legacy through Collage Arts

#WeDoDub will be presenting their ‘Ideas About Dub’ and how their artmaking process that has created a new  series of dub  punk animations and  cut n’paste collage that  explore the  75th anniversary of King Tubby,The new micro narratives  explore  key themes such as the early history of Jamaican technology  and interwine new experiences of the Afrofuturism. The research undertaken by #WeDoDub defines newer forms of digital storytelling  by artists, and  has created newer insights into the various topics such as; ‘creative  makers of  the ‘dub cottage industries of a new North West Frontier’, the role of dub  archives based at  galleries and museums, and has also sparked newer music heritage  based conversations with world music venue, Manchesters Band on the Wal,l and the leading independent  dub heritage record label Blood and Fire Records.


Installations: open all day in MRB Seminar Room 12

 The Dub Capital of Europe: Reggae Exhibition of Southend-on Sea (Derry Hall and Dr Kenny Monrose aka the TDK partnership)

Southend-On-Sea has been hailed as “the Dub Capital of Europe”: the small seaside town has hosted some of the biggest and mightiest sounds, and sound system culture has made it’s mark on the town. In this display, Dr. Monrose and Derry Hall will share some artifacts from the town’s sound history and put the it’s love of sound system in the context of the social history of the sound systems and Southend-on-Sea’s experience of multiculturalism.

 Resonate to This (Liv Santos Holm)

Resonate to This is an attempt to visualize what cannot be seen. It is an exploration of alternate modes of perception and perspectives in context with electricity’s organic/magic nature and potential to remind us of a human experience which those who have lived mostly in visual space have learned to repress or ignore. It looks at how music manifests and mystifies electricity through a visualization of dub music sonic structures and production techniques, referencing experimental artists who tinkered with technology and the subconscious in order to give shape to time and make motion and sound tangible. How and why are acoustic spaces so effective in engaging the senses? What makes sound so potentially immersive?

 Immersive Journalism: Notting Hill Carnival 1976 (Marcio Cruz)

My project will allow the viewer to experience the living memories of Notting Hill through a virtual reality journey, viewed  via mobile or with a Google Cardboard + headphones. I will briefly explain how I made the project, and also discuss some excerpts of interviews with members of the community and DJ Leslie Palmer, responsible for the introduction of the Jamaican Sound Systems in 1973. In 2016 the Notting Carnival celebrates its 50th anniversary. Much has changed since the first Carnival party was first put on as an indoor event to celebrate diversity and unity.


**** Make a move to the Amersham Arms, 338 New Cross Road, London SE14 6TY *****

Bar and food available

19.45 – 21.15 Film showing with sound system sound

Weapon Is My Mouth (52min, 2016) is conceived and made specifically a “danceable film.” It has to be experienced, appreciated and danced to within the environment of a sound-system session. Projected between the speaker stacks it is anew kind of expanded cinema, as a fusion of cinema and dancehall experience. This film experience is the product of an one-year research programme made at Goldsmiths by Brazilian scholar and soundman Leo Vidigal, in collaboration with filmmaker Delmar Mavignier.


21.30 – 03.00 Sound System Session

Young Warrior: The Mighty Son of Jah Shaka

Roots Injection Sound System: Ras Muffet at the Controls

Guest Selector Don Letts: The Rebel Dread

 Outernational Selectors

Bababoom Hi Fi (Italy) + Deskareggae (Brazil) + Tetine- Slum Dunk (Brazil) +





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