Inspired by Jah Shaka, in the late 80’s a new generation of Reggae producers started making music in a distinctly UK style. While sticking to the Roots formula, they incorporated modern production techniques, creating a heavy digital sound, emphasizing the four-on-the-floor steppers beat. Ras Muffet, Nomadix, Blakamix, and Keety Roots all contributed new styles, independently releasing Sound System geared Dub productions. Producers of European background, like Disciples, Manasseh, and Jah Warrior, who also ran their own Sounds, further developed the diversity of the scene. “In the seventies and eighties it was predominantly black people that would go to these sort of gatherings still. But now the message is bigger… you find that who wants to hear the message will come… It’s open to all people that are conscious and are seeking truth and right in this time…” (Aba Shanti I)
The Global Sound System Scene in 2011
Arguably, the global Roots and Dub Sound System scene is bigger now than ever before. Many Sound Systems are being built and played, producers are releasing quality tunes, and dances are popping up in unlikely places. While the UK still has many of the top Sounds and producers, the biggest dances are now in Europe, with healthy scenes in Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Holland, Germany, and especially France. While this scene is less rooted in Rasta and struggle, it is still positive, embracing Reggae music, and contributing some heavy digital Dub music.
The movement continues to spread globally with Sounds like Kebra Ethiopia in South Africa, Dig-Ital-Dubs in Brazil, and Tribe Works in Japan. The internet has helped by making information accessible and connections easier. Whereas before, one would hear echo’s of experiences or cassette recordings, nowadays one can link people on facebook, learn about rare tunes on youtube, and check talawa.fr, an online community sharing Sound System recordings, studio productions, and radio programs.
Sati, Zee, & Jags of APS US w/ Stack – (Empress Abi – Livity Productions)
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