SSO#8 UK Sound System Reasoning Day: Continuities and Disruptions

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SSO#8: UK Sound System Reasoning Day brings together sound system operators from around the UK and across different generations to celebrate and exchange knowledge. Through four reasoning sessions, we will learn how different practitioners started their sound systems; their approach to their practice and why; and how various political and social situations have influenced their sound system approach. How and why is the culture transforming, or being passed down and preserved, or being gatekept, or appropriated? What are the responsibilities of youngers and veterans? What does the future hold?

We will also explore how broader cultural landscapes and technological changes inform practitioners’ experiences. Indeed, is the traditional definition of a sound system still fitting, given technological and media platform changes in sound systems’ social and musical functions? 

The sessions are for sound system practitioners – artists, DJs, selectors, engineers, musicians, and activists – to reason with each other. For these reasoning sessions to be inclusive and for everyone to participate, the chairs will ensure that respondents do not take up too much time on any one answer and stay on-topic. Please adhere to the chairs’ guidance and respect fellow panellists’ speaking time. 

Outside the reasoning sessions, the atrium of the Professor Stuart Hall Building will be filled with various exhibits and stalls. The two exhibitors will be Sisters in Sound and Let’s Play Vinyl. The stalls include Lewisham Rebel Music Map, Sonic Street Technologies Sonic Map, and BASSISbikes. Papa Face will run a pop-up record shop, and local bookseller The Word will have a stall selling books. Local Black-owned family business Pristine Eats is catering lunch and dinner.

The day will feature a great selection of sound system DJs and musicians. Nzinga Soundz will supply the music via Unit 137’s system during morning check-in, break and during the lunch hour. BASSISbikes will play during dinner, and Unit 137 powers the after-party featuring artists Jerry Lionz performing a live dub mix, vocalist Sista Lexxy, Hylu on the decks and multi-instrumentalist A.P. Grimshaw.


10.30-11.00am: Check-in and light refreshments at Professor Stuart Hall Building (music supplied by Nzinga Soundz)

11.00-11.15am: Welcome from SSO and SST

11.15-12.45pm: Younger and Veteran reasoning sessions run in parallel, chaired by Yassmin Foster and June Reid

12.45-13.45pm: Lunch (music supplied by Nzinga Soundz)

13.45-15.15pm: 2 intergenerational (younger/veterans together) reasoning sessions to run in parallel, chaired by Mykaell Riley and Lez Henry

15.15-15.30pm: Break (music supplied by Nzinga Soundz)

15.30-16.00: Final remarks, led by SST

16.00-17.30: Film screening followed by Q&A with Dennis Rootikal: Ina Vanguard Style: A Documentary On Iration Steppas

17.30-19.00pm: Dinner, sound supplied by BASSISbikes, from Lionbeat

19.00-22.00pm: Afterparty in the Atrium, powered by Lewisham-based sound system Unit 137 

22.00-01.00am: After-afterparty – Juke Joint Jamaica with DJs Tiny T and Lucky Cat at Isla Ray Cafe, 37 Deptford High Street, SE8 4AD

The event will be filmed, recorded, and captured on social media, but will not be live-streamed.