Friday, May 4, 2012

It's good to be mad ...

Absolutely massive essential watching for any and all dubstep, reggae, roots, dub listeners, lovers and club-goers. Dub Gabriel over on Destroy All Concepts posted this video early last month so a big big respect to him! Mad professor, Ras Muffet, Fatman and an untold number of soundman drop knowledge on this gem from 2008 expounding on sound systems, pre-amps, dubplates, and the state of roots music and DJ culture in the UK today. Dubstep heads especially should really take this stuff to heart and appreciate, if they have not already, the immeasurable influence of 70's, 80's reggae to UK dance music on the subsequent bass-heavy mutations and UK party culture in general. Even if you aren't a reggae or dubstep fan, you can apply much of what's said by the individuals in this doc to other musics and a wider cultural context. Obviously, there's a lot of myths and spirituality surrounding roots music and sound system and the film does it's bit in passing on this vision. From another angle, this film made think about how much we rely on the internet as a kind of cultural arc (in both the timeline and archival sense). The irony of writing that last comment in a post about a film posted in it's entirety on the web is not lost on me, but it's just worth recognizing that the JA->UK sound system created an alternative telling/recording of the history of diaspora. Many in the film are conscious of the sounds system as a culture in crisis and at odds with DJ culture, venue regulations and corporate sponsored festivals. On the other hand, the film's oral history of UK sound system paints a picture of a community focused on longevity and history rather than the ever shorter cycle of pop-cultural trend. Nuff respect.

Update, 05/15/12 - As with any good documentary, the above film - which I failed to mention was directed by Swedish filmmaker Karl Folke - uses plenty of music and archival footage created by other makers and now belonging to "numerous third party sources". As such it's life on youtube was very short lived. It's a little bit sad to see the legal traditions of media industry grabbing at straws on the internet, but so it goes. You can catch a trailer of the film here: and if you are truly interested in distributing, screening, seeing this film you can right to there is also the films website with more info and proper reviews.
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