Once upon a time: The idea of the “Jamaican Sound System” traveled to NYC and became Hip-Hop.
In the UK however, people became rabid fans of Reggae “Steppas” style of music. The Jamaican Sound System in Great Britain maintained much of its original form, before spinning off into genres like Jungle / Drum & Bass, Grime and Dubstep.
As we catch up stateside, people are staging private events which draw from the energy of their UK counterparts, and the Chicago scene is centered around Beatdown Soundsystem. On Saturday March 18th, 2023 they celebrated their 5 yr anniversary.
The night began with DJ Junior D who was kind enough to warm the crowd up while things got situated.
Junior D’s repertoire ranges from ephemeral, chill vibes to heavy Bashment Dubs.
Beatdown’s proprietor and main DJ, Selectress Kinky P then took the stage, with DJ Chuck running dubs and sound effects. I was happy to jump on the occasional instrumental track and keep the people hyped up. Surprise guest for this Segment: Members of Lowdown Brass Band
Collage & Overview Video Footage: Harrison Lupfer Design | https://lupfer62.myportfolio.com/work
Iration Steppers and OBF
These soundsystems hail respectively from the UK (Iration) and France (OBF). They have established themselves as worldwide luminaries who not only play the latest in Roots/Dub music, they also produce. The audience was kept in a frenzy most of the night, as the energy never waned. Part of the allure is that they are spinning unique versions (dubplates), you can only hear when they play out live.
Fada Dougou is known for his collaborations with almost every who’s who on the Chicago Reggae scene. He was with The Drastics Dub band and invited me to tour with them. Fada’s recent projects include “Freed Captives” with producer C.H.U.D. and his vocals have reached the top of Reggae sales charts with various worldwide remixes. Fada hails from Burkina Faso in West Africa.
Jah BAMI tours throughout the world with Iration Steppas & OBF. He brings the lyrical vibe combined with the hype energy to elevate the audiences level excitement. It’s amazing to see the influence Reggae has had on the rest of the world. Chicago’s Soundsystem scene is growing slowly but surely. Many of the faces are familiars I met during my encounters with the aforementioned genres. It’s helped to keep an open mind. In my opinion music is music. The more accepting we are, the more opportunities abound.
Footage from DJ Fyre aka Fyre Man | http://www.DJFyre.Net
Peaceful Revolution (Live Remix)