Reggae sound systems originated in Kingston, Jamaica, then were brought overseas and adopted into UK culture during the period of Caribbean immigration in the 1950s-60s.
Since then, their influence has been notable, with many UK genres such as Jungle and Dubstep adopting the same practices, ensuring that the ethos of Jamaican sound system culture remains alive, and that cities like London remain influential in shaping its future development.
The exhibition was developed by historian Mandeep Samra, who recently undertook a project documenting the Reggae sound systems of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. With the assistance of writer John Masouri, the exhibition charts the development of sound system culture in London through photographs, archive footage and an interactive vintage-style sound system custom-built for the project.
This is the final instalment in a three-city nationwide tour that’s already visited Bristol and Birmingham. The tour ends with a live event, ska2ROOTS, on Sat 30 Jan at the Ibex Venue in Stockwell. The lineup includes Sir Coxsone Outernational and UK reggae legend Dennis Bovell.
‘Sound System Culture: London’ is at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill, 5-17 Jan 2016. Launch event is 5 Jan, 6-8pm.
Maxi Priest collection
Featured image: David Hoffman