Four Sounds Systems in One Arena: Sound System Culture Afrika – Dubbing into 2020
The year 2020 has barely just begun and reggae fans are already in for a treat when four of South Africa’s biggest and most active Sound systems are to go head to head in one arena representing the Sound System Culture in Mzansi with a ting called Sound System Culture Afrika. One of the most exciting event on the Reggae Dancehall calendar.
Boom Sound King Roots Int’l, Kebra Ethiopia Sound System, Big Band Sound and Giggs Pro Sound System meet in Katlehong, East Rand, just 41ks from Johannesburg. This is a first in the movement where all four sounds who normally organize and play independently, will be playing alongside side each other.
The Sound System culture has been steadily growing in popularity in South Africa coming in a form of Sunday ‘Dance’ sessions hosted every other Sunday in parts of Soweto, Vaal, Johannesburg and the East Rand where Reggae Dub Foundation lovers convene to have pure unadulterated fun. The rise of Sound system in South Africa can be attributed to, amongst others, the living legend Jah Crucial who started a sound system in the early 1990’s with Gladdy Wailer, Mighty Koos and Ras Fanusi and called it Cutting Edge named after Elder Mutabaruka’s late night radio talk show ‘The Cutting Edge’ which was on Irie FM in the mid- 1990’s. When Jah Crucial split from the group, he started his own system ‘Jah Crucial Sound System’. He has mentored and inspired a lot of youth in the past years and still continues to do so.
King Roots has been a DJ and sound system owner for more than 20 years in South Africa. He started Djing and building his own sound when he was 16 whilst living in America. Back in East Flatbush Brooklyn, New York, he and his then school mate Winston James were inspired by their older brothers who were members of the Rastafari movement that had taken over Brooklyn and other places in America at that time through playing Reggae on Sound Systems. After playing in America for 10 years his vision grew bigger and Mother Afrika came calling. He settled in South Africa and has been operating the King Roots Boom Sound Intl ever since. He is also runs Umoja Urban Culture, a well stocked Rasta Shop, with branches in Alberton, Mulbarton and Johannesburg in Maboneng Precinct, where you can find Rasta paraphernalia, Rasta Wear, Smoking Accessories and Pan African Literature. They hosted Reggae Nights on Thursdays at Sundowner Sports Bar in Alberton and have been instrumental in growing the sound system culture with their City to City Dub events and inviting upcoming DJ’s to play on their sound. King Sfiso, Ras Army, Ital Steppa & MC Cliff will be playing on the Boom Sound King Roots Intl
Big Band Sound was formed in 1994 by Sbusiso Nkosi popularly known as Eeka Mouz. He was inspired to start his own sound system when he saw Jah Crucial juggling at an event many years ago. Starting out with just a car radio and an amplifier, he used money for his school fees to buy a mixer. He had to learn how to build his own boxes as he could not afford to buy a full sound system. Starting out small he built his sound into the Big Bad Sound that it is today, servicing the whole of Soweto then branching out to the East and eventually covering the Gauteng Region. As his sound system grew so did his popularity, he has become the go to guy for most people who require sound. He hosts his ever so popular annual Earth day celebration in his home town, White City affectionately called Reggae City. Big Bad Sound (BBS) will be featuring Sanctified Dub and NOK the Champion on the controls.
Kebra Ethiopia (Glory to Africa) probably the most travelled sound system in the Country and hailed as South Africa’s Dub Ambassadors, have played in Brazil, Spain at Rototom Sunsplash 2017, Dub Camp Festival in France playing alongside greats likes Jah Shaka, Jah Tubby Channel One. They were instrumental in popularising the uniquely South African Dancing style called the King Steppa or just Steppas outside the borders of South Africa by touring in Brazil and Italy with the troupe, University of Steppas. The sound is based in KwaThema, East Rand, arguably the home of Dub. It was formed more than 10 years ago by Lekentle Mohlala aka Doc Inity. When Kebra Ethiopia is not hoisting the S.A flag high overseas, they hosts regular Sunday Sessions in the East Rand with a mission to alleviate the socio economic troubles that challenges the youth through positive music.
Giggs Pro Sound System was formed in the year 2000 by brothers Motlatsi “Taxido” Moloi and Katleho “Giggs” Moloi playing as Giggs & Taxido. They are the youngest but not to be ‘underrated’ sound system in this affair. The tag team duo hail from the East Rand in Katlehong where the event will be held. They also built their own sound system from scratch which they now hire out for events and also added lighting and stage in their portfolio. They are in heavy rotation in the East Rand playing at gigs that they host or invited to. The love of reggae music inspires them to work hard and try to promote reggae music in and around Mzansi. DJ Collen, Giggs & Taxido will be holding it down for Giggs Pro Sound.
Sound System Culture Afrika: 4 Sounds1 Arena hosted by Umoja Urban Culture and King Roots International will take place on Sunday January, 26 2020 from 12PM till 9PM at Thekwane Park, Cnr Masakhane & Letsoh Street, Katlehong.