MEMORIES OF A REDUCER UNIVERSAL SOUND SYSTEM SELECTOR

Cont. By this time I had met quite a few friends who where into the same scene and we grew into a loose collective sound system - starting to play and fuck about with dub plates thru echo chambers and delays - adding sirens - (Sound Systems used a Klaxon or sirens like 'a warning' 'Watch out our sound is so good it's dangerous! or as a call out - Pay Attention To This! - this is partly where I get my love of sirens from - that & 50's U.S. police cars and carnivals when the ride finishes and a klaxon goes over the really loud rock 'n roll) so we were playing plates and toasting in bedrooms, or garages, anywhere we could crank up the bass. As our confidence grew we used to hire a P.A. System (as used for bands) we adapted the sound thru' the mixer to get a kind of deep bass and cutting top - and it worked - certainly well enough..for a while, we started holding small sounds and they grew as we did - we became better mixers, toasters & got louder and the bass louder and heavier - it was good and we knew it so we put on the line and tried to get sound clash with other systems but it wasn't easy - we were all white, a lot of the Afro Caribbean community didn't take us seriously or thought we were somehow taking the piss or skinheads - me and Snake and a couple of our crew had shaved heads, but all that spurred us on - lots of the plates the black guys were playing had lyrics of LOVE PEACE AND UNITY FOR BLACK AND WHITE so we took them at their word ...Two examples I remember, one was when we played the MFM Club* in Northampton town centre -when we arrived we were getting stabbing looks man - but we strung up the system and then put our first plate on, it was "Black & White Must Unite" and we just left it playing for about a half hour - just saying 'Respect' on the wire every time we rewind (spin the record backwards then drop the tune again from the start) - that would be me as I was what is known as the selector - as Selector you get to pick the plates - so you'd have certain plates with the same rhythm - or a better version - it was like picking the right tools - each track was selected with vision & the aim to outdo the opposition, eventually it broke the ice and things got going and we mashed down the place - proper fresh Ragga & Dub plates that got jealous looks from the the other corner of the room..we won that clash just by being real and not backing down! Respect Due. The other time was at the John Clare Centre, we got to play sounds there as part of working with youths at our Big Medicine drop in ..anyway there was one clash - we were good but the other system was called Finesse...had a proper heavy bass sound system & that's when a P.A. just can't cut it - but we improvised, Reducer stylee, called a friend with a 3k rig & a big truck - he piled down there and once we'd strung it up, man it was killer mean! And so loud that just the sheer volume of the bass was enough - Reducer Big Boya Seen? You should have seen they're faces when we wheeled these fucking big bins in man - priceless! Continued on next page...

 

MFM Club - The Matta Fancanta Movement Club was set up in 1970s by a group of Black youths who felt marginalised by the lack of venues and acts reflecting thier culture in Northampton...

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…"they were Heavy indeed but we held our own and the night was a great success...Tribal Dance at its best...Big Medicine for the Soul..a night for Alchemists of all Nations...We Rocked that Party!!

Richill - R.U.S.S. Toaster