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Sunday, October 30, 2011

2011 USA Roots Reggae Dub Expo Audio!

Just in case you missed it or what a refresher as to the vibes of it all, the following links will lead you to the raw and undiluted spiritual dubwise powers the USA Roots Reggae Dub Expo aims to deliver to one and all:

2011 Dub Expo Event


2011 Dub Expo After Party

Enjoy the audio while you read this story by Sister Cherie Hill:


Dub as Sacred Dance


...And stay tuned to future pieces on this blog related to the forwarding of Reggae Sound System Culture in the USA and Outernationally.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

An Outernational African Roots Act: Ras Kush and Black Redemption Sound


Choice is a t’ing.  Choices always bubble and bounce and need to be made.  Crucial times bring crucial choices.  Such it is with a soundman.  A soundman is always making choices.  What “chune” to play and when in a dance to run it?  When to lift the vocal?  When to drop the horns cut? When to forward on to the melodica participation?  How long before setting the needle on the stripped back raw bone drum and bass mix? Plastic or dubplate? CD or vinyl? How warm to run the bass, fine tune the treble, or move the mid-range in the mix?  Choices.  Always choices. Choices like dubs mixed in motion and made for the healing of the nations.

So too it is with the word and with a story.  Where to begin and how? Pick a point and let the rhythm words run…Well here so, a story of NYC-based, Ras Kush and Black Redemption Sound, is gonna start in...Japan.

Japan land of the Rising…Dub? 

<<<<Rewind back to 1986 when New York cassette only label ROIR (pronounce it ROAR!) dropped a little release by a band named Mute Beat entitled very simply “Japanese Dub.”  Behind the yellow, green, and red label was nestled the warmest, most rootical and austere, jazz-meets-dread beat rhythms fronted by a seriously unsung hero of the global roots community - One Mr. Kazufumi ‘Echo’ Kodama, trumpet player and mastermind behind Mute Beat and the first wave of Japanese Roots Reggae players…A deeper story maybe for another time zone on these pages or another….

>>>Fast forward.  Year 2005.  Put a documentary in the DVD player: “Melodious Riddim: Japanese Roots Rock Reggae.” Run it ‘til 8 minutes and 30 seconds in. Along side Kazufumi ‘Echo’ Kodama up on a stage a Rasta by the name of Kush appears.  Black tam on his head.  A sweat shirt across his chest emblazoned with the album cover of a classic Bronx-based Lloyd Bullwackie’s production.  It reads “African Roots Act 1.”  In between Kodama-San’s horn sweet notes the youth man Kush chants, microphone in his hand, “Come to blow down the walls of Babylon…We come to blow down the walls of Babylon.” Two worlds drop in the mix together.  One vocalist. One hornsman.  Both blowing down the walls of Babylon.  A choice is then made. The documentary’s editor clips the scene and segues into a next moment of a Kush-ite interview.  The soundman Kush say:

The drum beat, which is the foundation for reggae music, that is corresponding to the heartbeat. So that, the heartbeat, the music always have to be coming from the heart.

Edit. Cut. Minute 9. Second 17.  Ras Kush’s time in “Melodious Riddim” is done.  But still that BULLWACKIES image on a sweat-shirt lingers like so many melodious riddims jumping across the oceans and back again bringing this story as it does from Tokyo over to Brooklyn and the Bronx.  It is there in the boroughs where Ras Kush’s soundman education began:

I was fortunate to grow up in a part of Brooklyn, New York where Reggae Sound System culture was imported by Jamaicans who had migrated to the United States.  I remember hearing and seeing such legendary personalities as Danny Dread and King Addis Sound, Third World Sound System, and the great [mic men] Lone Ranger and Dillinger.  As I got to be a teenager I ventured to the Bronx to hear the sounds of African Love with Bobby Culture, Louie Ranking, Nicodemus, and a young Shinehead. Later on I discovered the World Famous BULLWACKIES DISCO which enchanted my ears to what I later came to know as DUB-WIZE.

So it was that a youth feed on the sound system riches at play in New York spots like the Biltmore Ballroom, the Starlite Ballroom, Club Illusion, Empire Roller Rink, Tropical Springs and the Harlem YMCA came to be an outernational emissary of Jah Roots and Culture music.  Similar to so many of the brethren and sistren who work in the realm of sound system, Ras Kush sees himself as an ambassador and promoter of “ancient vibes through the youth vitality.”  Like a mountain stream formed of melting snow that runs into the warm oceans far below, Ras Kush is a man that honors the fluid connections between the movement’s elders and the young audiences that are now being drawn into the fold outernationally. 


Through the music he selects, produces, and releases on his own record label, Black Redemption, Kush waters the roots of the global sound system community just as his New York mentor, Lloyd Bullwackies, fed so many of us with his own unique African Roots Acts during those heady days of the late 1970s and into the 1980s.  And, even further afield, back to where this story began,  back in Japan, Ras Kush walks the Rasta soundman walk with others quietly doing jah works - Mighty Massa, Echo Kodama, Ras Takashi, and the Wackies Far East Chapter to name just a few - devoted and unwavering, stridently and devoutly focused for all who have eyes to see and ears to hear.  The UK, The European Union, Japan, and various cities in the United States are only some of the branches to have been blessed with Kush's purifying musical waters. 

So you choose: Where do these roots begin and where do they end? How do you want to be a part of this story for the years and decades that rise and fall, begin and end? 

Well fastforward  then >>>>> Make the crucial choice and come to the 2nd Annual USA Roots Reggae Dub Expo in San Diego on Saturday the 27th of August 2011. Ras Kush and Black Redemption will be waiting there right down the road at the World Beat Cultural Center, 3200 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA. From 8 PM to late.






Sunday, August 7, 2011

Blackheart Warriors Hi-Fi: Humbly Pressing on from the Audio Cassette to the Speaker Box

Now a days each and every music lover can point and click to websites like Talawa.fr  or the mighty Jayman's Who Cork the Dance and immediately be awash in an endless archive of new and old recordings of live and direct sound system sessions.  Jah Shaka at Phebes from 1982. Check.  Jack Ruby at Skateland round 'bout 1981. Check.  Boom Shaka Lacka meets Eastern Sher in Southall 1991. Check.  Point and click. Download. Add to your iTunes library. Press play.  

Not long ago though this flow was a little way slower.  

Rewind to the days when these digitized piles of ones and zeros first became captured moments of audio wave artifacts.  There one will find the compact audio cassette.  TDK D-C 60.  Scotch Dynarange 90. Sony Hi Fidelity 120.  These were the brands that youth and youth stowed away in their pant pockets along side a hand held recorder in the recesses of a jacket coming out of the cold. Pass through the gate. Settle into a spot next to a speaker box.  Press record. Skank the night away knowing as you do that your Sony Walkman gonna run heavy the next day.


Get home. Press record again. Syncro dub a copy on the double deck.  Pack it up for a friend with an exclusive to you xeroxed cover of dread artwork. Maybe send one to a cousin a city or country away.  Repeat the process over and over again.  Tape fly over from JA or the UK to Brooklyn, USA. Brooklyn to Hartford.  Hartford to Miami.  Miami to Houston.  Houston lift off like NASA to LA.  Sound travel far and wide and land in diverse places.

So it was for San Diego's very own Blackheart Warriors Hi-Fi and its foundational members, Prince Zahir and Orthodox Reuben.  Before these two Rasses began building boxes, wiring speakers, and painting Southern California in the ites, gold, and green of Rastafari Sound System culture they traded in sound tapes, gleaning from them the deep spiritual vibes and inspiration found therein.  As Orthodox Reuben states, "I was first introduced to reggae sound system culture through the tape side of trading.  Ones and ones where I grew up were always in possession of these spiritual recordings, that as a youth coming up, struck a chord with my soul!"  Much like Reuben, Prince Zahir, the other half of Blackheart Warriors Hi-Fi, found deep edification in the distorted, degraded recordings.  This edification was mediated through both Jamaican and UK sound tapes recorded in yards and halls of the African Diaspora from Skateland to Phebes.  The city of San Diego itself, home to a long standing reggae scene, also provided these two burgeoning soundmen with a rich and knowledgeable community of old roots reggae connoisseurs and music appreciators through whom they furthered their knowledge.


Inspired by their love of sound system tapes, a local scene that welcomed the likes of UK roots stalwart Martin Campbell - anybody remember his geographically specific titles "San Diego Vibes" and "San Diego Dub!" on the Channel 1(UK) Label? - as well as an endless flow of top class Jamaican performers, their faith in Rastafari, and a strong sense of a "void" in their area Reuben and Zahir set out to build Blackheart Warriors Hi-Fi in 2004.  Zahir explains, "Although there were many selectors in our area at that time, I felt that there was a lack of sound system vibes in the more traditional sense of custom built sound systems. I felt the best way for us to deliver roots music was to build a custom set for us to play on.  I knew no one locally who could give me advice or show me how to create a set so I had to study and learn everything on my own.  I give thanks to places like speakerplans.com and its forum which helped me with a lot of technical questions I had.  I also give thanks to my father who was a construction worker.  As a child he taught me  how to use the tools necessary to build speaker boxes.  With this knowledge and foundation I was able to hand build the sound myself.  We are still considered a small sound in comparison to some of the UK/EU sounds, yet we continue to strive, to build, and to circulate Rastafari vibrations no matter how many watts or amount of boxes we use."

Reuben, a man of both academics and action, views Blackheart Warrior's mission as an act of self sufficiency, community activation, and upliftment of Afrikon peoples at home and abroad.  For a time, one manifestation of this  community activation came when Reuben ran the legendary one stop San Diego roots and culture record shop - Trade Roots Records.  Much like the Dub Expo's elder stateman, Humble Tafari of Wildfiyah Rootikal, Reuben and Zahir see the praising of Jah Rastafari, His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I, as the central motivation for their involvement in this musical dispensation.  They perceive reggae sound system music as a stepping stone to inspire the listener to influence bigger things, to impact the broader outernational issues that affect African peoples worldwide from education, social and economic disparities, and racial inequalities.  As Zahir sees it, "We BHW Hi-Fi are warriors fighting against wickedness in high and low places.  Music is our weapon and Haile Selassie is I and I field marshall.  The music we play is positive, heartical, and educational with a focus on breaking the mental chains of Afrikan People worldwide."  Just as the compact audio cassettes Zahir and Reuben collected were stepping stones into a deeper spiritual dimension of Rasta livity and Reggae, so too in their own humble way Blackheart Warriors Hi-Fi are placing another brick in the foundation, building on what came before them, and delivering it to a new audience of San Diego Youths. 


For their part, of all the US based sound systems, Blackheart Warriors Hi-Fi probably play out the most with regular gigs at various Southern California venues.   With each session at places like World Beat Center, Wabash Hall and their regular event, Temple of Roots at the Kava Lounge, Blackheart Warriors have slowly made a name for themselves in and around San Diego and in California as a whole.  This is in spite of struggling in a scene where club owners privilege alcohol sales over edifying musical vibrations and in-house P.A.s over the inspiring weight of a custom made sound system. Along with fellow Expo sound system, APS, and the more rock steady oriented Foreign Love Hi-Power, Blackheart Warriors are cultivating an increased awareness of Roots Reggae Dub in Southern California.  This is an awareness that the music they promote is a spiritually transcendent form most optimally delivered not by the staid format of a live band stage show, but through sound system.  This is also the mission of Wildfiyah Rootikal, APS (US), and Ras Kush and Black Redemption Sound.  This is the mission of the USA Roots Reggae Dub Expo collective.  


...So before you say to yourself "I'll just download the session recording from Talawa.fr and listen to it on my iPod,"  activate into the community and start making plans to reach the 2nd Annual USA Roots Reggae Dub Expo in San Diego on Saturday the 27th of August 2011. As it has been said before let it be said again: All roads lead to the World Beat Cultural Center, 3200 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA.  Blackheart Warriors Hi-Fi will be there.  Wildfiyah Rootikal will be there.  APS will be there. Ras Kush and Black Redemption will be there.  Brizion will be there.  From 8 PM to late, people from all four corners will converge to hear and feel the power of this movement as it gains speed and momentum in the USA.  Guidance along the way!







Friday, July 8, 2011

Lion Symbol: From Southall to Southern California APS Sound System Moves West


To Fully Grasp the history of sound system culture's spread globally, one must take a dive into connections that are alive and thrive in the "town" of Southall out west of London city.  Southall lands between London's Heathrow Airport and the western suburbs of London.  "In its central areas, more than half the population are Sikhs from India and East Africa, some 15 percent each are Hindus from India and Muslims from Pakistan; and the remainder are native English, Irish, and Afro-Caribbean," (Baumann, 1999).  For there in this cultural cut and mix lies a rich decades long history of yout' man sounds plying their trade; building their sets; bringing the traditions and the vibes of the reggae sound system to each new generation.  So it is with APS Sound System.  This is the story of their development as one of Southall's premier sounds and their spread west from the winter cold of London to the summer heat of Southern California.

Jags, the main force behind the US chapter of APS Sound System, was born and raised in Southall.  Sound system was a part of life from day one: "All my older friends had sound systems.  A lot of sounds came out of Southall like Merritone, Jericho, Starlight Express, Coxsman, Jah Observer, Earth Rocker, Black Liberation and theres are only a few that were within walking distance.  I remember my neighbor's sister was dating a guy by the name of David who was a member ob Jah Shaka Sound System and he'd always hand us flyers to pass around.  Those flyers were in black and white with basic drawings and then photocopied.  Jah Shaka used to always play at Chaggars Hall, Southall Community Center, Dominion Center and Tudor Rose.  Thinking back now the suspended ceiling in Chaggars Hall used to look beat up.  I'm sure because of the sounds.  You could drive by these locations and just hear the building being shaken to its foundation, the windows rattling like they were about to break."

In these dances the cultures of Southall, brought together through the spiritual force and musical inspiration of Jah music, mixed to create a new energy and a next audience of roots reggae dub followers.  Jags explains some of the political realities that gave rise to the uniquely Southall sound system scene: "One of the older members of APS (US) used to go to nearly all the Jah Shaka dances from the early 80s up.  He inspired a lot of today's Indian youths to go.  The reason why a lot of Indian youths gravitated to these dances was because they and their parents went through the racial struggles and police brutality of the UK.  But there was always something about listening to Jah Shaka play.  Everything just seemed to be better when you came out of the dance.  When you heard Shaka play a tune that spoke to what you were going through, it's like a problem shared."

 The words of the mighty Jah Shaka himself speak to the universal pull of reggae as experienced in Southall.  In an interview with UK roots producer, Steve Mosco, Shaka sums it up: "It goes further than sound system, because the music is a stepping stone to get the message across.  We hope that not only Black people but also people of other countries can enjoy it and listen to what we've got to say."  Through the words and actions of sounds like Jah Shaka and those Indian youths drawn to such sessions, two lion cultures prevailed into one under the guise of the sound system movement.  The lion symbols emblazoned on APS (US)'s speaker boxes - drawn themselves from the classic UK-reggae themed movie "Babylon" - capture this culture mix.  Jags explains: "My religion is Sikh.  Singh means lion in Punjabi and that is one reason why we have the symbol of the  lion on our mid-range boxes.  The Sikh youths from Southall still skank in the old time tradition as taught by their elders."  Through these movements, Bhangra meets UK skanking in the dark of a dubwise dance.  In the process, Southall youths - Indian, Black, White - reshape the legacy of race riots and social injustice that still echoes from out of Southall's not too distant past.

And now audiences in the United States can feel the positive force of APS's mix.  In the early 2000s Jags moved to California and immediately felt the pangs of "Roots Withdrawal."  Try as he might, Jags would check the various so-called Dub Clubs from the San Francisco Bay Area on down to LA only to be met with the tin pan reality of deejays playing regular commercial tunes on a regular club P.A.  Too much regular.  The sonic memory of Southall dances left Jags longing for the real article: "It was only an amount of time until I had to build a sound system and that's when it begain."

Jags was determined: "Having plenty of experience with sound systems I knew exactly what kind of system I wanted and how I wanted to build it here in the US.  After convincing the other APS members here in the US - Goshan and Sean along with UK-based APS member Sati- we started building it.  We built a system that had to be efficient and plays exactly like the ones I grew up around in the UK.  We played a number of times in the Bay Area and we would shake up the venue, the music and vibes was there but a lot of venues didn't understand why we had to bring in our own equipment.  The last couple of years we've been playing out in Southern California which up to this point has been more sound system friendly than the Bay Area."

It is this determination and willingness to share what he knows that makes Jags and the APS (US) crew such a welcome addition to the US Sound System scene.  The youth who built his first double 18" speaker box when he was 12 years old and strung up his first pre-amp in his mom's front room continues to forward the soundman ethos to new audiences stateside.  "I'm always willing to share what I have learned through the years of being around sound systems.  Hopefully soon there will be more and more upcoming sound systems in the US."  Each one teach one as the saying goes.

"There's a message in the music we play, a message that has to be heard.  When we play it on our sound system its like we are doing a presentation.  When the music hits you whether its through the tops (treble), the mids (mid range), or bass there's a feeling there.  It is hard to explain unless you experience it.  I consider the music we play to be spiritual and educational.  Having a sound system is hard work - moving the equipment around, repairs, changes, and the like but that's part of being a soundman and that's what I consider myself to be.  I make sure my system is clean and clear so the people can understand what the singer is saying.  Us as a sound promote love and unity amongst all.  The world would be a better place if we could all get along."

US massive it is time to line up with the universal lion symbol.  Follow its course from way over Africa, India, Jamaica, the UK, and on to the USA.  With soundmen like Jags at the control tower - clean and clear, crisp and weighted - rest assured the spiritual and educational force of roots reggae dubwise continues its forward march despite so many writing off reggae as dead and gone.

Live it. Feel it.  Know it.  'Cause all roads lead to the Second Annual USA Roots Reggae Dub Expo in San Diego, California where Jags and the full APS (US) set and sound can be experienced this August 27th 2011.  All tribes welcome heartically and unconditionally.



Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fundamental Roots: The Story of Humble Tafari and Wild Fiyah Sound System


“In West Indian cultural resistance, the drum has always held pride of place. Drums were used in Africa for long distance communication, and slaves on the plantations continued this practice.  Fearful of slave revolts, the planters outlawed the drum.  After emancipation, the planters and missionaries banned drumming as subversive and an obstacle to the assimilation of the blacks.  But they could never totally suppress it.”   C.A. Sunshine (1985).

It is this sound of the drum, a centuries old African drum imbued with the weighted history of the transatlantic slave trade, that echoes right in the heart of the works of one Humble Tafari, the man behind the Wildfiyah Rootikal Sound System.  As Humble sees it, “Reggae music is a derivative of African music where the focus is on the drum beat and the melody is in the bass line.  No other form of music can proclaim that.  It is the bass and drum that drive the soul and spirit.”  Drums of emancipation. Drums of communication. Drums of subversion and resistance.  Drums of remembrance. Drums to free the soul and elevate the spirit.  It is the sound of this timeless drum vibration that drives Humble Tafari’s mission in the Sound System business.

Like a trade wind blowing East off the Gold Coast across to Bermuda, through to the UK and on to the USA this man’s story is rooted right down to the dry bone in the fundamental roots of Reggae Sound System culture and in his faith as a son of Rastafari.  And, every story must have a page one.  Humble tells it so: “I was introduced to Reggae by my mom when I was three years old living in the UK.  My mom whom is from Jamaica, used to hold parties at our home and she would play lots of reggae music.  During the days, I would then play with her dozens of 7-inch 45s and just play them.”  From mother to son the seed was planted bringing forth the next generation to carry on the ancient tradition of drumming.  Only this time it would beat a little way different.  Sound System style.

In 1970 Humble purchased his first reggae tune in the form of Bob Marley’s “Natty Dread” and by 1976 at the age of thirteen, Humble began playing sound in his own way on the island of Bermuda.  “My first Roots session was one I held in my high school in Bermuda.  It was held during the lunch break.  From that moment, I was asked by fellow students to record 8-track tapes for them full of Dub Reggae.  Since then I was known as the ‘Rasta Dub Man’ of Berkeley Institute High School.  We then started to play music on weekends at various events and homes.  All of the other sounds I attended in those days were pretty much the same age and interest as myself.” 

Two years on and Humble landed in London, England.  It was 1978.  The words of Harriet Tubman, a deep influence on Humble, echo in this movement across the Atlantic to cold Babylon, “I had crossed the line.  I was free, but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom.  I was a stranger in a strange land.”  Like so many other youth of African descent in England of the 1970s, Humble found solace in the late night blues; the sound parties; the dances on the darker side of town.  “When I moved to the UK in 1978 it was my cousin who told me about this sound called Jah Shaka.  When he took me to the session I was blown out of my mind.  Needless to say, the rest was history.”  The youth weaned on the milk of his mother’s seven-inch collection was now a full blown Shaka-ite.

Dance and dance followed, but Humble recalls one of his most memorable being a Shaka dance which he trodded to on his own one night.  “I think it was my first Shaka dance by myself.  I knew the name of the place but I was not sure how to get there after I got off the train.  But as soon as I got off the train, I started to hear a small rumble.  Then I saw a few Rastas walking in a certain direction.  I overheard them saying, ‘Keep following the street lights’ only to find that the closer we got to the venue, the more the street lights shook.  This could only be a Shaka dance.”  Like the roll of a thundering bass line Humble continues, “The dance was eye opening.  I counted at least twenty bass scoops divided into five stacks.  All you could see was Rasta mon and women and lovers of Jah music all in one inity.  It was beyond anything I ever imagined.  This was the mighty Zulu Warrior, Jah Shaka in session!”

From these early experiences at sound system dances rooted in the political firmament of the 1970s and 1980s, Humble began to form his identity as a Rastaman on a mission to do Jah Works.  “I see sound system as a message bringer for the plight of the black race.  The Roots sound was used as a news and storyteller for the black youths during the 70s and 80s.  The sound was used during a time when black youths were unemployed and had nowhere to go.  They were not allowed into the big popular dancehalls.  Reggae Sound Systems appealed to their day-to-day life.  The sound forwarded a story of black awareness and black pride. It was like a church and a political gathering all in one.  One would leave the dance feeling blessed and also inspired and motivated to better themselves.  This was the duty of the sounds which I grew up with.”

Humble, motivated and inspired, decided to take up the works as well.   When Humble Returned to Bermuda, He started his first full-fledged sound in 1985 calling it Humble Hi-Powa, but so as to not have name focus on himself, by mid 1986 the sound was renamed King Judah.  This sound was run by his close friend , Gunman, who was into music just like Humble.  Shortly afterwards, Gunman decided to branch out on his own and form a sound called Inity.  Not long after this, Humble was sitting in his front lawn reasoning with Gunman about a new name for his sound.  His Mom overheard both of them, and told her son to call it Wildfire.  Wildfiyah Rootikal was thus born. 

By 1991 he had fully shifted to an exclusively roots vibe and away from the prevailing dancehall trends of the day.  “I found my sound was not just entertaining the people of Bermuda, but by the way I was selecting, I was telling a story to the listeners.  I was giving them a glimpse of our past through music and steering them into a more positive direction.  This newly positive direction influenced me to change the spelling Wildfire to Wildfiyah Rootikal.”  Never to be suppressed Humble carried forth the sound of the Ancient African drum of his ancestors through the means of his Roots Dubwise Sound System one session at a time.

Over the years, Humble’s involvement in the global Roots and Dub community has also included helping others set up their own sounds.  As a solid foundational member of the USA Roots Reggae Dub Expo community, Humble’s counsel has touched many just starting in the realm of sound system.  His touch has also been felt in the world of production and the release of a number of records, mostly in the 10” format.  “Some tunes I make myself, while others I have hired out studios to build roots tunes specifically for me, then I would get a singer to sing for me.”  Humble has worked with, amongst others, the great UK producer, Russ D of Boom Shaka Lacka and Disciples fame, Christine Miller, Keety Roots, Ma-Kaya, and others.  He also has plans to release a works by another member of the USA Dub Expo community and rare stateside producer, Kris Naphtali who himself will soon be highlighted on the pages of this blog.

If Humble has his way, the culture of Sound System in the USA will grow as big as those in the UK and Europe.  “My hope and my vision is to see the US sounds reach to a level equal to or beyond that in the UK and Europe.  I feel we have the talent and the technical abilities to build, create, produce, and push out Roots Reggae music to the highest standards for the entire World to witness and wonder after.”  With the force of his inspirations – Haile Selassie I, Marcus Garvey, Leonard Howell, Malcom X – Like a wind at his back, the Mighty Humble Tafari trods on aiding the next generation in carrying forth the drum beat of those who came before him.  From that time to this time we forward on.

Make sure to check Humble and Wildfiyah Rootical this summer as he plays both the East and West coast installments of the 2011 USA Roots Reggae Dub Expo.







Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Greetings and Welcome to the Home of the USA's Roots Reggae Dub Movement




The Reggae Sound System tradition originated in the yards of Jamaica and has spread abroad to the UK, continental Europe, and well beyond over the course of the last 50 years.  The pages of this blog are dedicated to highlighting the birth and growth of this movement in the USA.  The mission of our growing and diverse collective of roots reggae dub activists, music lovers, and followers of Rasta livity aims to showcase this musical dispensation in all its rich cultural significance, historical lineage, and spiritual power.  Word Sound have Power.  
Rastafari Roots and Dub Sound System culture thrives in the UK with heartical and heavy sounds such as the mighty Jah Shaka, Aba Shanti I, Channel One, King Earthquake, and Jah Tubbys. These UK sounds serve as an inspiration with their uncompromising militancy and livication to the spiritual path of Rastafari.  Similarly over the last decade a small and inspired sound system community has been bubbling up in the USA.  Each year the USA Roots Reggae Dub Expo holds a series of dances on the East and West Coasts of the United States in an effort to forward this movement across North America. The first annual Expo took place in 2010 with sessions held in Baltimore, Maryland and San Diego, California. In 2011 we intend to build on the strength of these events with another brace of bi-coastal dances.

 The sound systems participating in the Expo hold firm to the traditions set forth by the sounds mentioned above while also stridently contributing to the growth of this vibrant culture in the USA. We build our own sound systems and we livicate our energies to airing roots music – both old and new. These events are open to all, and showcase Rastafari word, sound and power. The mission is to spread Sound System culture to the USA and further strengthen the roots reggae dub community outernationally.  Check these pages in the coming days, weeks, and months for sound system stories, interviews, reviews, and reasonings with members of this vital movement as well as updates on the cities and venues that will host the 2011 USA Roots Reggae Dub Expo.
Forward!