SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE BOOK REVIEW @ DIRTCHEAPMAG.COM
Sound System Culture is a book which documents Huddersfield’s rich history of reggae music, in particular the sound systems and Blues parties/Dancehalls of the 1970′s – 80′s. Featuring a selection of superb photography which gives a rare, insiders look at the people and indeed the beautifully hand-crafted equipment which powered the scene; this book is a real gem.
The book has been very well received, with reviews in national newspapers such as The Independent and in respected culture blogs such as It’s Nice That, and with good reason, the book has been produced with a real reverence and attention to detail, not surprising when Al Newman’s (designer/publisher) previous books include the revered ‘Clarks in Jamaica’.
Conceived by Mandeep Samra and written by Paul Huxtable (Axis Sound System, and Valv-a-tron hand-made valve amplifiers), with wonderfully intimate photography, the book is equally enjoyable to the uninformed and audio-geek alike.
http://dirtcheapmag.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/sound-system-culture/

SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE BOOK REVIEW @ DIRTCHEAPMAG.COM

Sound System Culture is a book which documents Huddersfield’s rich history of reggae music, in particular the sound systems and Blues parties/Dancehalls of the 1970′s – 80′s. Featuring a selection of superb photography which gives a rare, insiders look at the people and indeed the beautifully hand-crafted equipment which powered the scene; this book is a real gem.

The book has been very well received, with reviews in national newspapers such as The Independent and in respected culture blogs such as It’s Nice That, and with good reason, the book has been produced with a real reverence and attention to detail, not surprising when Al Newman’s (designer/publisher) previous books include the revered ‘Clarks in Jamaica’.

Conceived by Mandeep Samra and written by Paul Huxtable (Axis Sound System, and Valv-a-tron hand-made valve amplifiers), with wonderfully intimate photography, the book is equally enjoyable to the uninformed and audio-geek alike.

http://dirtcheapmag.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/sound-system-culture/

SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE BOOK REVIEW IN THE INDEPENDENT
Sound System Culture by Paul Huxtable, Al Fingers and Mandeep Samra
 It’s strange to think of Huddersfield – so evocative of Yorkshire that you could call it onomatopoeic – as an outpost of Caribbean culture. Yet this industrial town in West Riding was a destination for post-war West Indian migrants in the same way as the biggest British conurbations.And in reggae music circles, Huddersfield always punched above its weight. So it’s appropriate that it is the setting for this elegantly-produced study of the sound system, the elaborate and towering edifices through which Jamaicans have for decades chosen to play their music in public. While British parties of the Seventies and Eighties shuffled to the discreet mobile disco, the West Indian sound system crews operated on another scale entirely. Their constructions of piles of speaker boxes stretched from floor to ceiling.The ambition for thunderous noise is reflected in some of the names in the roll call of Huddersfield sounds: Armagideon, Assassin, Earth Rocker, Mr Tremble. But as Paul Huxtable makes clear, there’s more to this than maximising decibel levels. It is about the arrangement of the hand-crafted boxes, with their distinct audio frequencies of bass, middle and “tops”, into a formation that will produce the optimum sound.It’s a fiercely competitive world. “Who sounded the heaviest? Who sounded the sweetest?… Who had the best music? Who was the most innovative?” Huxtable observes.The culture permeated West Indian life in Britain for decades. “Most Caribbean families had a member who was a sound man, or knew a sound man,” we are told. “Sound system dances, be it in the dance halls or blues parties, were present in many minds all the time. During the week you would be looking forward to one, at the end of the week you would be preparing for one, at the weekend you would be at one, and you would start the working week with the memories to savour…”It brought back my own memories of all-night shebeens and “Blues” house parties, where a sound would string up in the darkness of the back room and splashes of rum in plastic cups were sold through the kitchen hatch. The king of the Blues party in Huddersfield was Bernard Clark. “When I [held a Blues] up Sheepridge, most of the time I have to make breakfast because they won’t leave. That’s how good it was.”Another of the heroes of this book is the German Jewish refugee Mat Mathias, an electronics wizard who settled in Huddersfield and supplied the local sound systems with his “Matamp” amplifiers.The town’s Venn Street nightclub (variously known as Cleopatra’s and Silver Sands) became a favourite for touring reggae stars such as Burning Spear and Gregory Isaacs. There’s something elegiac about this story. Sound system culture – although it has inspired modern adherents around the world – has been relentlessly undermined by changes in technology and noise abatement officers.Venn Street was bulldozed to build a car park but Huddersfield’s West Indian story applies to many manufacturing towns, such as Reading, Northampton and Bedford, places rarely included in descriptions of multicultural Britain. With so much British Caribbean history told through the prism of Notting Hill Carnival this is a valuable document.
Review by Ian Burrell
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/sound-system-culture-by-paul-huxtable-book-review-huddersfields-loud-and-proud-reggae-history-is-revealed-9626078.html

SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE BOOK REVIEW IN THE INDEPENDENT

Sound System Culture by Paul Huxtable, Al Fingers and Mandeep Samra

It’s strange to think of Huddersfield – so evocative of Yorkshire that you could call it onomatopoeic – as an outpost of Caribbean culture. Yet this industrial town in West Riding was a destination for post-war West Indian migrants in the same way as the biggest British conurbations.

And in reggae music circles, Huddersfield always punched above its weight. So it’s appropriate that it is the setting for this elegantly-produced study of the sound system, the elaborate and towering edifices through which Jamaicans have for decades chosen to play their music in public. While British parties of the Seventies and Eighties shuffled to the discreet mobile disco, the West Indian sound system crews operated on another scale entirely. Their constructions of piles of speaker boxes stretched from floor to ceiling.

The ambition for thunderous noise is reflected in some of the names in the roll call of Huddersfield sounds: Armagideon, Assassin, Earth Rocker, Mr Tremble. But as Paul Huxtable makes clear, there’s more to this than maximising decibel levels. It is about the arrangement of the hand-crafted boxes, with their distinct audio frequencies of bass, middle and “tops”, into a formation that will produce the optimum sound.

It’s a fiercely competitive world. “Who sounded the heaviest? Who sounded the sweetest?… Who had the best music? Who was the most innovative?” Huxtable observes.

The culture permeated West Indian life in Britain for decades. “Most Caribbean families had a member who was a sound man, or knew a sound man,” we are told. “Sound system dances, be it in the dance halls or blues parties, were present in many minds all the time. During the week you would be looking forward to one, at the end of the week you would be preparing for one, at the weekend you would be at one, and you would start the working week with the memories to savour…”

It brought back my own memories of all-night shebeens and “Blues” house parties, where a sound would string up in the darkness of the back room and splashes of rum in plastic cups were sold through the kitchen hatch. The king of the Blues party in Huddersfield was Bernard Clark. “When I [held a Blues] up Sheepridge, most of the time I have to make breakfast because they won’t leave. That’s how good it was.”

Another of the heroes of this book is the German Jewish refugee Mat Mathias, an electronics wizard who settled in Huddersfield and supplied the local sound systems with his “Matamp” amplifiers.

The town’s Venn Street nightclub (variously known as Cleopatra’s and Silver Sands) became a favourite for touring reggae stars such as Burning Spear and Gregory Isaacs. There’s something elegiac about this story. Sound system culture – although it has inspired modern adherents around the world – has been relentlessly undermined by changes in technology and noise abatement officers.

Venn Street was bulldozed to build a car park but Huddersfield’s West Indian story applies to many manufacturing towns, such as Reading, Northampton and Bedford, places rarely included in descriptions of multicultural Britain. With so much British Caribbean history told through the prism of Notting Hill Carnival this is a valuable document.

Review by Ian Burrell

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/sound-system-culture-by-paul-huxtable-book-review-huddersfields-loud-and-proud-reggae-history-is-revealed-9626078.html

SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE BOOK REVIEW @ Q MAGAZINE
New book Sound System Culture has just been published and was launched at Rough Trade East on Thursday 24 July 2014. Conceived by Mandeep Samra and written by Paul Axis of Axis Sound System, it looks at the unique and rich culture of Huddersfield’s Sound Systems. 
Sound System Culture is an arts and heritage project exploring the vibrant sound system culture of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, once home to over 30 reggae sound systems.
As part of the project, a book was produced, entitled Sound System Culture, Celebrating Huddersfield’s Sound Systems, that traces the origin of reggae sound systems in Jamaica to their establishment in the UK and beyond, with special focus on the Huddersfield scene. A documentary was also made, revisiting an era when Jamaican settlers ran dances at the historic Venn Street club, a venue which established Huddersfield as an essential destination for touring Jamaican musicians, helping put the town on the British reggae map.
In addition, the project includes a photographic exhibition and interactive sound installation consisting of a custom-built sound system, Heritage HiFi, a turntable and a stack of 10-inch dubplates featuring sound bites from the oral histories were recorded for the project.
http://www.qthemusic.com/4276/gallery-guest-column-the-reggae-sound-systems-of-huddersfield/

SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE BOOK REVIEW @ Q MAGAZINE

New book Sound System Culture has just been published and was launched at Rough Trade East on Thursday 24 July 2014. Conceived by Mandeep Samra and written by Paul Axis of Axis Sound System, it looks at the unique and rich culture of Huddersfield’s Sound Systems.

Sound System Culture is an arts and heritage project exploring the vibrant sound system culture of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, once home to over 30 reggae sound systems.

As part of the project, a book was produced, entitled Sound System Culture, Celebrating Huddersfield’s Sound Systems, that traces the origin of reggae sound systems in Jamaica to their establishment in the UK and beyond, with special focus on the Huddersfield scene. A documentary was also made, revisiting an era when Jamaican settlers ran dances at the historic Venn Street club, a venue which established Huddersfield as an essential destination for touring Jamaican musicians, helping put the town on the British reggae map.

In addition, the project includes a photographic exhibition and interactive sound installation consisting of a custom-built sound system, Heritage HiFi, a turntable and a stack of 10-inch dubplates featuring sound bites from the oral histories were recorded for the project.

http://www.qthemusic.com/4276/gallery-guest-column-the-reggae-sound-systems-of-huddersfield/

SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE IS FEATURED IN AN ARTICLE BY JOHN MASOURI IN ECHOES MUSIC MAGAZINE (JULY 2014 ISSUE) 

GALLERY OF IMAGES FROM SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE BOOK
http://www.thewire.co.uk/archive/galleries/gallery_sound-system-culture-in-huddersfield
SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE BOOK REACHES ALVOR BEACH IN ALGARVE, PORTUGAL

SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE BOOK REACHES ALVOR BEACH IN ALGARVE, PORTUGAL

SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE BOOK LAUNCH AND DOCUMENTARY SCREENING 
Thursday 24 July 2014, 7-10pmRough Trade East, Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QLTracing the development of the reggae scene in Huddersfield and beyond, the Sound System Culture book will have its London launch on Thursday 24th July at Rough Trade East. This special event will be an evening dedicated to sound system culture. There will be a presentation of the book, a film screening as well as DJ sets from Toddla T, Don Letts and Al Fingers. Compere for the evening will be Pax Nindi.Everyone welcome! Please RSVP by 18 July to rsvp@onelovebooks.com

SOUND SYSTEM CULTURE BOOK LAUNCH AND DOCUMENTARY SCREENING 

Thursday 24 July 2014, 7-10pm
Rough Trade East, Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL

Tracing the development of the reggae scene in Huddersfield and beyond, the Sound System Culture book will have its London launch on Thursday 24th July at Rough Trade East. This special event will be an evening dedicated to sound system culture. There will be a presentation of the book, a film screening as well as DJ sets from Toddla T, Don Letts and Al Fingers. Compere for the evening will be Pax Nindi.

Everyone welcome! Please RSVP by 18 July to rsvp@onelovebooks.com

THE SHAKING NORTH

Sound System Culture is featured in an article by Steve Barker in The Wire (issue 366)

TODDLA T LOOKS AT THE LEGACY OF BRITISH BASS MUSIC ON THE EVE OF A NEW BOOKEdited and designed by Al Newman, authored by Paul Huxtable and developed by historian Mandeep Samra, new book Sound System Culture, Celebrating Huddersfield’s Sound Systems shines a light on the local bass-heavy reggae and dancehall scene in Huddersfield. The scene formed part of England’s countrywide culture of dances among the West Indian diaspora in cities such as London, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham from the 1960s through to the 80s and 90s. NOWNESS asked British DJ and producer Toddla T to talk about the influence of the era on today’s music.
People ask me all the time what music I make, and I always say the thing that holds it together is “sound”—by that I mean the influence on so much stuff that I am into stems from this era in British music, the early days of people rigging up sound systems. A lot of the music I play has got that ethos being played on a big weighty rig: grime, hip-hop, house, dubstep, jungle, it all comes from that. Without sound-system culture I wouldn’t be playing what I do today. People like the Huddersfield ‘sound men’ are one of the biggest influences on modern popular UK music. If you look at a Radio 1 playlist, I guarantee you there are three or four tunes on there that have always got that trace in it. I don’t think those people knew what they were doing back then, but they have been so influential on culture and music. It’s the heritage there—Duke Reid or King Tubby or someone doing a party: he was the guy running the rave, and would make sure it sounds good.I grew up an hour away from Huddersfield, in Sheffield. The only time we could rave was in places that wasn’t designed for raves, so the best parties were in disused places, whether that be an old studio, a morgue, or church. Sound men with roots in Jamaica brought in their own systems. The music was the emphasis, not the location. I go to Jamaica quite a lot now with music, and over there the emphasis is still on sound at a lot of parties. You’ll be walking down the beach, and they’ll have a system better than any club in London. Sound System Culture, Celebrating Huddersfield’s Sound Systems is published by One Love Books. Toddla T, Al Fingers and Don Letts play the book launch at Rough Trade East, London, July 24.
http://www.nowness.com/day/2014/7/9/3988/sound-system-culture

TODDLA T LOOKS AT THE LEGACY OF BRITISH BASS MUSIC ON THE EVE OF A NEW BOOK

Edited and designed by Al Newman, authored by Paul Huxtable and developed by historian Mandeep Samra, new book Sound System Culture, Celebrating Huddersfield’s Sound Systems shines a light on the local bass-heavy reggae and dancehall scene in Huddersfield. The scene formed part of England’s countrywide culture of dances among the West Indian diaspora in cities such as London, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham from the 1960s through to the 80s and 90s. NOWNESS asked British DJ and producer Toddla T to talk about the influence of the era on today’s music.


People ask me all the time what music I make, and I always say the thing that holds it together is “sound”—by that I mean the influence on so much stuff that I am into stems from this era in British music, the early days of people rigging up sound systems. A lot of the music I play has got that ethos being played on a big weighty rig: grime, hip-hop, house, dubstep, jungle, it all comes from that. Without sound-system culture I wouldn’t be playing what I do today. 

People like the Huddersfield ‘sound men’ are one of the biggest influences on modern popular UK music. If you look at a Radio 1 playlist, I guarantee you there are three or four tunes on there that have always got that trace in it. I don’t think those people knew what they were doing back then, but they have been so influential on culture and music. It’s the heritage there—Duke Reid or King Tubby or someone doing a party: he was the guy running the rave, and would make sure it sounds good.

I grew up an hour away from Huddersfield, in Sheffield. The only time we could rave was in places that wasn’t designed for raves, so the best parties were in disused places, whether that be an old studio, a morgue, or church. Sound men with roots in Jamaica brought in their own systems. The music was the emphasis, not the location. I go to Jamaica quite a lot now with music, and over there the emphasis is still on sound at a lot of parties. You’ll be walking down the beach, and they’ll have a system better than any club in London. 

Sound System Culture, Celebrating Huddersfield’s Sound Systems is published by One Love Books. Toddla T, Al Fingers and Don Letts play the book launch at Rough Trade East, London, July 24.

http://www.nowness.com/day/2014/7/9/3988/sound-system-culture