UK sound system culture revisted

BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer staff reporter livingstonc@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, February 20, 2014    

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JAMAICA'S sound system movement has had a strong presence in the United Kingdom, going back to the early 1960s when hundreds of Jamaicans moved to that country.

One of the areas it impacted was Huddersfield, a town in Yorkshire, north England. Its sound system glory days of the 1970s are revisited in the book, Sound System Culture by Paul Huxtable.

According to Mandeep Samra, project manager of Let's Go (Yorkshire), which commissioned the book Huddersfield's sound systems played an important role in UK reggae.

"In relation to its size, Huddersfield's contribution to the UK's sound system heritage is quite phenomenal," she said.

Sound System Culture traces the roots of the Jamaican discotheque from Kingston to West Indian communities in London to non-traditional locations like Huddersfield.

It includes interviews with persons who were involved in the town's reggae community.

According to Samra, at its peak Huddersfield had over 30 sound systems. Today, its lone classic reggae night is powered by Axis sound system, owned by Huxtable.

Samra says Huddersfield's changing demographics was another reason for approaching Huxtable to write the book.

"My motivation came about after developing a similar heritage project and working with many diverse groups in the region,"

she explained.

Her previous project, Coming of Age, was a retrospective on mela, its roots and progress in the UK since the early 1990s.

Sound System Culture will be released in April by One Love Books.





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