One year in to the lock down one year without physical sound systems clashes even though before the global lockdown sound clash was not in the best place atleast we had something.
Gone are the days of Facebook live streams of live events from around the world from lawns in places like Antigua to London we now have Zoom instagram and facebook meetings from people in their basements, recording studios and man caves shouting loudly down a microphone proclaiming they are the best doing their greatest impression of a Jamaican sound killer on a sound cassette circa 1989.
One of the most well known to embrace online clash was producer and DJ Walshey Fire we at musicculturenews caught up with Walshey to ask him his views as a trendsetter in the genre
Since Quaratine Clash series ended online soundclash events have grown from the UK based Steady Wit The Matic to the I-Octane Cup Clash coming out of the USA to Welcome to Sound Clash based in Canada to name a few of the more popular online clashes not to leave out UK 45 SHOP LOCK hosted by Winston Mexican out of the UK 45 Shop Lock is not billed as a clash event however more often than not thats where it ends up.
One of the true pioneers in online live clash streaming is DJ Mikey Don from New York owner and operator of 5 Star Live Entertainment a live sound clash video streaming company based in America.
Aswell as being one of the first to live stream online live clash events what makes Mikey Don stand out is he using his own platform his own website no Facebook no Youtube or Twitch and this is to be commended.
Online clashing has been here for a while just not so prominent Youtube Live in London has been keeping online clashes in their studios for nearly a decade working with some of the biggest sounds in the UK throughout the years. Online chat forums like Paltalk and Yahoo have been an important training ground for potential sound killers for nearly two decades spawning many well known selectors Jimmy Spliff from king Shine for example started his career in PALTALK as an online comedian going by the name Nature Boy.
Online clash used to be part of the journey now its become the destination its easier to share a link to friends and family to vote for you online than it is to motivate people to come to a dance and support you. There are many pros and cons to online soundclash but the reality is that before this pandemic struck sound clash was’nt in the best place and clash had gone from a business to a sport to a hobby in less than 10 years with the majority of active sounds never going to see a return on their money for music with the dub price going up and venues closing due to the pandemic it might just be in the bests interest for all involved to cut back on costs and bring the events online the clash dances are rarely full and the ones that are full on many an occassion have no atmosphere people just stood up watching a stage.
MusicCultureNews spoke to veteran selector Ricky Trooper but he was reluctant to talk to us on the issue fearing a backlash and this clearly shows the divide in the community the facts are even though online soundclash culture grew throughtout the world in Jamaica it virtually stopped apart from the artists
Sound system culture outside of Jamaica is a network of friends and these friends for the past decade plus have intentionally kept sound system in a place of little or no development making a point of every year hiring the same sounds or intentionally not hiring those sounds that will move the buiness forward the top promotors have all been guilty of this throughtout the years intentionally leaving Jamaica sounds out while promoting those from other countries that dont mind being exploited.
As a selector nothing will ever beat the thrill of a crowd of people cheering and dancing however most of these modern selectors cannot draw a crowd so they will never know that feeling and you cant miss what you never had.