Sound System music has lived deep within British music culture for 60 years, with a hefty number of impressive systems in action around the UK today. Since Duke Vin brought the first sound system to the UK in 1955 the tradition has grown and grown. Whether it is at countrywide carnivals, the pioneering sound system clubbing events or independent tours travelling to venues all over England and further afar, the love of sound system music is at an all time high.
Channel One are amongst the most sought after sound systems amongst this group of elite referred to here, with Mikey Dread and his brother Jah T growing from being DJs at blues parties to owning this colossal system that aims to bring people together through the best dub reggae music the country has to offer. Regular guests at parties up and down the UK including SubDub, Kontakt and Rubadub, the Channel One Soundsystem and its selectors have become some of the most popular in the UK, not least for their record label of the same name.
Another individual who is revered the world over for his dub music is Mad Professor, AKA Neil Fraser who hails from Georgetown in Guyana. Known for being one of the leading producers within the second generation of dub music artists, Mad Professor has collaborated with the likes of Lee Scratch Perry, Jah Shaka and Pato Banton amongst a number of others. The Dub Me Crazy series is the earliest of Mad Professors music, having started in 1982. This series has become an iconic collection of compilations in his back catalogue, with a number of other series following suit in adding to the music of a legend.
Channel One and Mad Professor will be collaborating to bring the Mad Professor Meets Channel One October Tour, during which the powerhouse collaboration will travel to 5 venues around the UK to celebrate everything that followed the first sound system being constructed in the UK, which at the time was put together using only a £15 speaker, an amplifier worth £4 and a second hand turntable. Who knew that what followed would create one of the biggest followings in the history of the British music underground.
Throughout October the tour will be visiting Bass in Birmingham, London’s Village Underground, Rubadub in Manchester, Kontakt in Nottingham and of course, SubDub at Leeds’ West Indian Centre.
Words by Josh Plews
Photos courtesy of Tribe Records and Petr Klapper / Fotograf