Soundsystem from Jamaica to Europe 1950 – 1995
The soundsystem is at the heart of the reggae movement.
In word, music and pictures, the exhibition follows the story of the soundsystem from Jamaica in the 1950s to the UK in the 60s and 70s, and then to Europe. The soundsystems gave birth to ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub, dancehall, hip-hop, jungle and drum and
bass – and taught nations and generations how to dance!
Jamaican artist Freestylee illustrates the story with additional artwork by Mau Mau. more in issue 11
The story of the sound system is one of technological innovation, creative enterprise and musical genius,
but it is also a story of deep spiritual and cultural significance.
From its first incarnation in 1950s Jamaica, the sound system was the radio of the people. Through artists and producers from Prince Buster to King Tubby and Augustus Pablo,
the music expressed the aspirations, sufferings and joys of everyday life.
The exhibition follows the growth of sound system culture from Kingston across Jamaica,
to the UK and then to Europe, spreading the sounds of ska, rocksteady, reggae and dub,
and planting the seeds of a new generation of singers, musicians, DJs, producers …
Join us to discover one of the great hidden histories of the 20th century.