Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

Sounds of oppression: the lost inheritance of the UK reggae scene

Wallace, R. and Johnson, D. (2018) Sounds of oppression: the lost inheritance of the UK reggae scene. Paper presented to: Reggae Innovation and Sound System Culture International Conference, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham, 04-05 April 2018.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Abstract: The history of the reggae sound system inheritance passed down through generations in various music styles (Ska, Rocksteady, Reggae, Dancehall and various sub-genres where it has fused with other cultures). The words and phrases describe the same fight concerning social exclusion within the Black diaspora. The crisis in mainstream UK Reggae scene concerns the ‘invisibility’ of Reggae music or lack of recognition where elements of the culture are being used within the mainstream entertainment and media outlets. Reggae and Sound system culture is also undervalued within the African-Caribbean culture with the essence of the cultural practices now stigmatised or diminished in favour of contemporary music genres and commercial interests focused on celebrity. We would argue that the musical legacy should give recognition to the ‘roots’ of the Reggae and sound systems within Jamaican culture which has been replaced by commercial rather than authentic interests in the practices. Often those from the authentic origins are easily exploited and replaced in mainstream UK media by ‘sanitised’ celebrities which could be viewed as institutional racism working to exclude the authentic voices in Reggae. In this twenty-minute video essay we will explore some potential alternatives to current trends and examine what steps might be required to return ‘The Lost Inheritance of the UK Reggae scene’ to its righteous place in contemporary UK culture.
Additional Information: Also presented at Global Studies Association (GSA) Conference held at The University of Northampton, 31 May - 01 June 2018. See:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Reggae, sound system
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature on music > ML3800 Philosophical and societal aspects of music > ML3916 Social and political aspects of music
Creators: Wallace, Roy and Johnson, Daniel
Faculties, Divisions and Institutes: Faculties > Faculty of Arts, Science & Technology > Journalism, Media & Performance
Date: 4 April 2018
Date Type: Publication
Event Title: Reggae Innovation and Sound System Culture International Conference
Event Dates: 04-05 April 2018
Event Location: Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham
Event Type: Conference
Language: English
Status: Published / Disseminated
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