Today right now 2017 there are people of all ages who love and have an opinion on Soundclash culture and its present state some of those people might say soundclash is in a great place others will disagree.Some people who remember the original school of sound system culture speaker vinyl acetate, box’s, amplifiers, people toasting on the mic might blame the 21st century interpretation of a sound system, a laptop and a controller as the key reason for the slow death of a culture that is our heritage, not just weekend entertainment. In the 80s up to the mid 90s sound system was a life style for many many people around the world more than just playing music but forming of community organization’s. Groups of young men and women that worked together for a common goal defenders of communities, freedom fighters and leaders. Others will say that this modern style is great allowing more access to the culture from people outside the culture whatever your opinions might be here’s ours from a place of experience and in no particular order.
I suppose not having a sound system is a good place to start when talking about the death of soundclash I am sure that in the 70s when the elders pioneered this they never envisioned a time of sound system culture without a physical sound. When you have an actual sound as an elder you are forced to hire the local youths who else gonna lift the equipment and these youths eventually progressed and became the next Ricky Trooper or Pink Pantha you can’t be a true selector if you never did the sound system apprenticeship.
Soundclash culture originated from confrontation a need to prove a need to defend a need to win competitively. People built sounds to defend the area they live in the area they represent the people from that area most sound system events/dances clash’s were held in rival areas between rivals, if a promoter was involved he was involved as a neutral and his only concern was to bring the best entertainment to the people. In these times a very few sound system events are born out of rivalry or a need to defend most clashes are between friends nowaday’s if you and a man ain’t friends he won’t clash and the majority of these so called promoters only book sounds who are their friends and on friendly terms with each other this in turn has created a new problem of sounds and promoters making business agreements as friends but when the friendship falls apart so does the event.
The price of specials has to be a factor in the death of clash. In the early days the place to hear new tune was at a clash as one sound tried to out do the other nowadays for most sounds it’s not economically viable to cut the latest big hit songs. Most artist who have a hit song want a premium price because the song is a hit and sadly even after you paid the premium most modern day songs only have a short shelf life and cannot move a crowd past its time in the charts. Most 2017 clashes are reliant on songs originally sung 20 and 30 years ago.
Wheres the pay over the 21st-century soundclash has gone from a business to a sport to an expensive hobby with the decline in patronage a rise in the cost of dubs and a lack of regular clashes. Sadly very few modern sounds can draw a crowd to justify getting paid more than the cost of a plane ticket the 2 biggest clashes Boom clash in Jamaica you pay an entry fee as a sound for a chance to win a grand prize and Irish and Chin world clash event even though it used to pay a sizeable amount to those participating because of the dwindling support its not financially viable.
Over the past 10 years the fake song’s and those behind them have risen to an unprecedented amount from splicing which came about from reel to reel days physically cutting out the original name that was in a dub and replacing it with another not to be confused with punch in which is similar but is an official practice that some artists do like Beres because of time and the strained of singing continuously. Sing over songs an artist that sounds similar to the original singer singing over the song i.e. impersonating the original singer claiming to be him has been about a longtime and to this day many many unknowingly have sing over dubs in their box. Sadly alot of sounds are willing to play these fake songs knowingly because they might be cheaper or due to lack of access to the real artist.
We live in an era of Social Media it is to blame for as much good as bad. Without social media 60 percent of active sounds would not get recognition past their front door. While its help to build share and spread the culture it has also led to misconception, confusion and deception some people wrongly believe to their surprise that because they are popular on social media with their events flyers getting multiple likes leading them to not print physical flyers this sadly more times than not does not equate to actual people in the dance, Due to the fact the elders are not passing on their knowledge alot f these sound guys are now learning the culture thru social media however the people with the voice on social media are not the people with the knowledge leading to a lot of false prophets talking a lot of shit.
Dirty streams is a problem in real life from Flint USA to Africa people from outside an area looking financial gain and to exploit others at any cost including the water supply this phenomenon has now entered into into our culture with dirty people like VRA who are not from our culture and are not accepted in our culture trying at the cost of our culture to exploit our culture. VRA offering below par clash streams at a premium price is detrimental to the continued image of the clash scene not one stream ever offered by VRA has ever worked correctly however VRA refuse to give refunds and continue to exploit without any remorse.
Some of the biggest ego’s in sound system belong to the some of most the talented e.g. Ricky Trooper put in decades and decades of work from box boy to sound owner we can not take nothing away from his achievements in music and its good to have a little attitude in the business of competition however and again this harks back to social media where you have these modern day guys who have not put in work just managed to smile and friend the right people who have been given an opportunity to shine however their online persona does not fit their real life persona and their ego is far far bigger than their talent leading them to fail but more importantly taking up space that could of been taken by someone with real talent.
These guys have failed to understand that this is the entertainment business the number one objective in soundclash is not winning but to entertain the people and this cannot be instilled over the internet this is a teaching a mindset that goes back to the days of speaker box and amp before money and over inflated ego took over the business. These guys with no speech no stage presence no charisma no musical understanding have been given the lime light and sadly failed to shine and in turn the fans and the public have slowly but surly turned their back on soundclash.