In the midst of the current “vinyl revival” it is important to recognize the hugely important role that the Jamaican sound system played in turning the domestic record player into a musical instrument in its own right. In Jamaica sound system culture re-purposed the gramophone, taking it from the middle class living room out onto the street to be enjoyed by the community. In the Bronx this became hip-hop, across the world the performance art of DJing was born along with rave and club culture. The vinyl medium – 12” singles and 45s – has been central to this. Now an appreciation for the value of the “vinyl sound” is only increasing in a world of digital music files. The SSO#4 Vinyl Weekender pays respect to where this sound comes from.
Sound System Outernational celebrates this phonographic achievement of global proportions with four days of discussion, demonstration, films and other events from 11th to 14th January 2018.
· The Strictly Vinyl Conference raises issues about the new place for vinyl in a digital world and its changing usage on the sound system scene.
· The photographic exhibition Let’s Play Vinyl highlights the younger generation of sound system operators, many of them women.
· The book-launch Stuart Hall: Conversations, Projects and Legacies draws attention to the importance of current research into popular culture.
· The film showing Legacy in the Dust: The Four Aces Story documents the part this East London club and its music played in the life and subsequent gentrification of Dalston.
· The Skin Deep Sonic Transmissions explores the creative potentials of sound system technology
· The Unit 137 sound system session presents some of the best of young London’s MC and singing talent in an evening of conscious reggae vibes
· The Let’s Play Vinyl workshops are an opportunity for young people to try their skills performing on a sound system.
Sound System Outernational aka SSO#4 achieves this by building on three previous events at Goldsmiths and Kingston Jamaica. It expands the single day events to four days. SSO works in close association with other like-minded organizations, such as Sound System Culture, Let’s Go Yorkshire, Skin Deep and Bass Culture. SSO organizes these events to work with:
· Practitioners and aficionados bringing them together with expert researchers in a community of common interest in sound system culture.
· The community local to Goldsmiths in south-east London to provide a space for discussion, support and development. SSO#4 features the local Unit 137 sound system and collective; previous events included Young Warrior.
· Outernational means international. SSO#4 features representatives of sound systems from India, Brazil, Italy, France, Norway, Spain and other countries.
· Intergenerational discussion and support – SSO#4 features the Skin Deep collective with their Sonic Transmissions contribution. SSO#1 encouraged the launch of CAYA a new sound system that has just celebrated its first birthday bash. It has also featured Roots Injection from Bristol and veteran soundman Lloyd Coxonne contributed to SSO#2.
· Women’s sound systems including CAYA, Legs Eleven, Nzinga Soundz and Muxima Biologic in what has traditionally been a male-dominated scene.
“Thank your for your works. Great and uplifting works.” Patrick Entebbe, Entebbe Soundsystem: the Rasta Chanters.
“This is fab work you are doing. Commendable and admirable. It makes me so happy. It reflects my interest in soundsystem culture here in the UK and Globally – and gives me hope.” Kandace Walker StationFM / Reggaematiks.