SSO#10 Frames and Frequencies

 SSO#10 Frames and Frequencies:
Films on Sound System Cultures Worldwide

SSO#10 Frames and Frequencies was a one-day film festival premiering sound system films from six continents. On Thursday 15th February 2024, as a contribution to the 8th Global Reggae Conference, Sound System Outernational (SSO) and Sonic Street Technologies proudly presented 15 films showcasing an amazing range of sound systems and their musical and cultural scenes.

Documentaries from Jamaica explored the island’s rich sound system heritage and its future, while shorts from India, South Africa and the UK showed the international diaspora of reggae sound systems. Films on Brazil, Colombia and Dominican Republic featured picós, aparelhagens, radiolas, customised sound system vans and other unique scenes and technologies that have grown up independently from Jamaican influence.

This was the first ever event to highlight both the variety of sound system types and the common cause of providing musical entertainment out on the street.

Many of the films were made by the sound systems themselves, as commissioned by the SST European Research Council project. This was a way of recognising the talent and knowledge of those already embedded in the sound system communities.

The SST-commissioned films included Survival: A Rasta Sound System Gathering with Kebra Ethiopia sound system (South Africa); Fear Not by 10,000 Lions (India); Bass Foundation Roots by BFR sound system (India); Spiritual Bass by Monkey Sound System; Street, Gender and Sound by Feminine Hi-Fi (Brazil); Natty Nayfson, the Prince of Freedom by Marcus Ramusyo de Almeida Brasil (Brazil); Heavy Congress by Francesco Vicenzi (Australia) and Life Together/From Powerful Origins by Honey Trap sound system (Australia); Word, Sound, Power by El Gran Latido sound system; and Sonando Con Próposito [Playing with Purpose] with Urabá Sound System Collective.

In addition to premiering SST-commissioned films, SSO#10 platformed existing exceptional work submitted to our open call. It was a privilege to screen Zimmers of Southall by Hark1karan (UK), Más Fuerte by Sean Frank (USA and Dominican Republic) and Darien Lamen’s Now We Are Here: A Brief History of An Amazonian Sound System (Brazil).

In the evening, there was a special screening of SST’s Jamaica documentaries, Sounds of the Future: A Jamaican Sound System Industry Reasoning Session and Rockers Sound Station: Tales of the Kingston Dub Club.

This free-to-attend, hybrid event took place both on Zoom and in-person at the University of the West Indies Mona campus in Kingston, Jamaica. Sound system practitioners and filmmakers from around the world joined online for a Q&A after the screenings.

The SSO#10 screening programme formed part of the 8th Global Reggae Conference. Running from 14-17 February, the conference was packed with engaging presentations and panel discussions on the theme of A Century of Sound: Technology, Culture and Performance. More information is available here:

Schedule – Thursday 15 February 2024

9:30am Jamaica time – Doors
9:50am – Welcome and introduction
10:00am Survival: A Rasta Sound System Gathering (10 minutes) South Africa
10:10am Bass Foundation Roots (10 minutes) India
10:20am Fear Not (10 minutes) India
10:30am – Spiritual Bass: The Monkey Sound System Story (10 minutes) India
10:40am – Q&A

11:40am Zimmers of Southall (8 minutes) UK
11:50am Más Fuerte (15 minutes) USA and Dominican Republic
12:05pm – Word, Sound, Power (10 minutes) Colombia
 – Today We Are Here: A Brief History of an Amazonian Sound System (20 minutes) Brazil
12:25pm – Q&A
1:30pm – Lunch

2:30pm – Doors re-open
2:50pm Sonando con Proposito [Playing with Purpose] (40 minutes) Colombia
3:30pm – Q&A

4:00pm – Street, Gender and Sound: The Feminine Hi-Fi Experience (10 minutes) Brazil
4:10pm Life Together: Sydney’s First Women-Led Sound System (10 minutes) Australia
4:20pm Heavy Congress (10 minutes) Australia
4:30pm – Q&A
5:30pm – Break

6:30pmNatty Nayfson, the Prince of Freedom by Marcus Ramusyo de Almeida Brasil (10 minutes) Brazil
6:40pm – Q&A

7:00pm – Sounds of the Future: A Jamaican Sound System Industry Reasoning Session (48 minutes) Jamaica
7:50pm Rockers Sound Station: Tales of the Kingston Dub Club (38 minutes) Jamaica
8:30pm – Closing remarks and extra time
8:40pm – End