The sound system concept first became popular in the 1940s, in the parish of Kingston. DJs would load up a truck with a generator, turntables, and huge speakers and set up street parties. By the mid-1950s, sound systems were more popular at parties than live musicians, and by the second half of the decade, custom-built systems began to appear.


Notable sound system operators in these times were Tom the Great Sebastian, Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, Prince Buster and Duke Reid. 


In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Dub was born and Dub music and toasting introduced a new era of creativity in reggae music by the actions of pioneers like King Tubby, Scientist, Lee 'Scratch' Perry and Prince Jammy. Dub has continued to evolve, its popularity waxing and waning with changes in musical fashion. It has influenced many genres of music, and its impact can be found in all electronic genres.


The culture of the Sound System was brought to the UK with the mass immigration of Jamaicans in the 1960s and 1970s. Notable UK Sound Systems during this time and into the 80s include Sir Coxsone Outernational, Jah Shaka, Jah Tubbys, Fatman International and Saxon Studio International.


The 90’s was an exciting time for dub, which progressed the style of steppers further during the age of digital production. Aba Shanti-I and Iration Steppas were two sound systems that pushed the limits through this era, playing productions from themselves as well as the likes of Alpha & Omega, Bush Chemists, Disciples, Tnt Roots, Vibronics, Zion Train and more.


During the late 90s, early 00s, Dub and Sound System Culture took another leap towards globalisation by crossing the channel into France. The culture has now grown prominent across France, Spain, Italy and continues to spread, most recently becoming a craze in South America.


Iration Steppas, Aba Shanti-I, Channel One, O.B.F, Mungos Hifi and King Shiloh are amongst the top sound systems that continue to promote roots, dub and sound system culture around the world.


Sound Mag Issue Three

Sound Mag Issue Three



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