SSO#3: Global Reggae Conference

This event was hosted at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica on 9-11 February 2017 as part of the Sound System Outernational conference series.

The Institute of Caribbean Studies and the Reggae Studies Unit at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus held its fifth biennial Global Reggae Conference under the theme “Dancehall, Music and the City”.



Sound System Outernational contributed a number of panel “Borders, Limits and Listening: sound system research methodologies”, which included:

  • The Sonic Laboratory of the Sound System: the Audio Engineers’ Methods of Knowing and Making from Julian Henriques (Goldsmiths). The research is founded on recognizing both the science and science of the ways of knowing of the engineers who invented the phonographic instrument of the dancehall set as a technology and investigated how that could become a model for sonic media more generally
  • Policing Noise Levels: Methods of regulation, incorporation and exclusion in the UK and Italy from Brian D’Aquino (University of Naples L’Orientale, Italy) This paper asked: How can we make sense of the role reggae sound systems play within an urban soundscape which is increasingly policed? What freedom of expression is left for a radical sonic culture when sound itself must conform to a standard? Is noise regulation reproducing forms of social control and racial exclusion?
  • Film showing with sound system: Weapon Is My Mouth (52min, 2016) Dr Leo Vidigal (UFMG, Brazil). This documentary is conceived and made specifically a “danceable film.” It has to be experienced, appreciated and danced to within the environment of a sound-system session. The product of a one-year research programme made at Goldsmiths by Brazilian scholar and soundman Leo Vidigal, in collaboration with filmmaker Delmar Mavignier
  • Dance “The I-talian Job”: Bababoom Hi Fi DJ set (Naples, Italy) Italy is the home of one of the most thriving sound system scenes in Europe. Since 2004 Bababoom Hi Fi has been operating its own custom-built sound system up and down the country and occasionally abroad. This 90-minute special set showcased some of the finest Italian productions plus a bunch of exclusive, unreleased tunes.