"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."

— BERTHOLD AUERBACH

Al Fingers is a DJ, producer and cultural historian based in London.

Sound System Culture: Bristol

SSC Bristol e-Flyer front

Sound System Culture: Bristol is a new exhibition charting the history of reggae sound systems in Bristol, on display at Colston Hall from 8 June – 17 July 2015. The exhibition, curated by Al Fingers and Mandeep Samra, is part of a national tour documenting reggae sound system culture in Britain, which launched in Huddersfield in 2013 and is set to continue in Birmingham in August and London in February 2016. 

Celebrating an important but often overlooked part of UK music culture through photographs, old flyers, audio and film footage, the exhibition includes Heritage HiFi, a vintage-style sound system built for the project, which visitors can interact with, playing records as well as a specially cut dubplate featuring soundbites from various people involved in the Bristol scene: Jabulani Ngozi (Tarzan the High Priest/Imperial Force), Arthur Anderson (Apollo/Jah Lokko), Tony Bullimore (Bamboo Club), Big Roy (Sir Jay), Snoopy (Jah Lokko), Ajax (Ajax blues), Daddy Roots (Aba Shanti/I Roots), Tony Francis (Loveline), Monk (Enterprise), Ferdie (Sir Jay), Faada Soljie (Qualitex) and Tappa (Sir Bastian/Bassi).

The project also includes a children’s picture book, The Sonar System, introducing young people to the world of sound system culture, and a live sound system event, the Roots Revival Showcase on 27 June, featuring Bristol’s heavyweight sounds of the 1980s: Sir Bastian, Enterprise Imperial HiFi and Jah Lokko.

The exhibition launch event is on Saturday 13 June, featuring short DJ sets from selectors Big Roy (Sir Jay), Bagga Brown (Raiders 32), Conroy (Alpha & Omega), Soljie (Qualitex), Froggy (Excalibur) and Daddy Roots (I Roots).

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Sound System Culture: Bristol exhibition and sound installation
8 June–17 July 2015
The Glass Room, Colston Hall, Bristol BS1 5AR
Opening times: Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 2pm–4pm
Free admission

Sound System Culture: Bristol exhibition launch event
Saturday 13 June 2015, 2pm–4pm
The Glass Room, Colston Hall, Bristol BS1 5AR
Free admission
For further info: http://www.facebook.com/events/629429537190641

Roots Revival Showcase with Bristol heavyweights Sir Bastian, Enterprise & Jah Lokko
Saturday 27 June 2015, 10pm–3am
Malcolm X Centre, 141 City Road, Bristol BS2 8YH
Ticketed event
For further info: http://www.facebook.com/events/690048074458126

1. Karl Sebastian Smith with his Bamboo Club membership card, dated 30 December 1966, Photo by Al 'Fingers' Newman

Foundation Bristol soundman, Karl “Sebastian” Smith, with his December 1966 membership card for the Bamboo club, one of the UK’s first clubs to serve the West Indian community. Photo © Al “Fingers” Newman

2. Flyer - Leroy Smart, Count Shelly, Hanks HiFi, Bamboo Club, 25 Feb 1977, courtesy Donovan Jackson collection

Flyer for a Leroy Smart concert at the Bamboo Club, 25 Feb 1977, with support from London-based sound system Count Shelly and Bamboo Club selector, DJ Hank AKA Hank’s HiFi. Courtesy Donovan Jackson collection

3. Enterprise Imperial HiFi sound system and friends, circa 1977

Enterprise Imperial HiFi and friends, circa 1977. Founded in 1975, Enterprise became one of Bristol’s most popular sound systems. Photographer unknown, courtesy Michael House collection

4. Lionpulse sound system, one of Bristol's recent sound systems, photo by Gary Thomas

Lionpulse sound system, founded in 2013 by General H and Live&Direk – part of a new wave of Bristol sounds. Photo © Gary Thomas

5. Alpha & Omega sound system, St Pauls Carnival, July 1991, photo by Mark Simmons Photographyjpg

Alpha & Omega sound system on St Nicholas Road by the Crystal Dove night club, St Pauls Carnival, July 1991. Photo © Mark Simmons Photography

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Bun & Cheese 6

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Bun & Cheese 5

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Sound System Culture documentary screening at Dub Me Always, 10th December 2014

Sound System Culture documentary at Dub Me Always 10 Dec 2014

The next screening of Mandy Samra’s Sound System Culture documentary will be on Wednesday 10th December 2014 at David Katz’s Dub Me Always night, upstairs at the Ritzy in Brixton. Screening starts at 8pm. Entry is free.

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Bun & Cheese Halloween special 31/10/2014

BUN AND CHEESE 3

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News Archive »

January 2014

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Charts Archive »

January 2014

January 2014

  1. Everything Nice
    POPCAAN
    Mixpak
  2. Spirulina
    CHRONIXX
    Zinc Fence
  3. Requiem
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  4. Grabba In My Weed
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    BUSY SIGNAL & LORDE
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    Columbia
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  29. Icon
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Artist Of The Month Archive »

Interview: Bob James

Who do Eric B & Rakim’s “Follow The Leader”, De La Soul’s “Keepin’ The Faith” and Ghostface’s “Daytona 500″ all have in common? Bob James, that’s who. The bearded break pianist, who might look like your grandfather, has been one of hip-hop’s most influential artists. Don’t be deceived by his quiet demeanor, Mr James is the bomb ‘ish. Introducing the man who made Run DMC’s “Peter Piper”, Main Source’s “Live At The BBQ” and Onyx’s “Throw Ya Gunz” possible…

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Interview: Lukie D

Lukie D, the R Kelly of dancehall, talks to Al Fingers about his early days, Air Supply cover versions, and getting kuff inna di dance.

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Richie Spice – Earth A Run Red (Waiting In Vain Remix)

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Cher – Believe (Declaration Remix)

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Remixes Archive »

Greensleeves The First 10 Years

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GREENSLEEVES THE FIRST 10 YEARS is a 56 track mixtape produced by Al Fingers for Stüssy Deluxe, showcasing tunes from the first decade (1977–87) of UK reggae label, Greensleeves Records. It was released alongside the book Greensleeves The First 100 Covers and a series of limited edition tees.

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Combination Mixtape Series Vol 1: Zakee Shariff – Stardust

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Conscious Mixtape Series Vol 1: Serious Times

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SERIOUS TIMES was compiled in reaction to the tragedy of 9/11 and the subsequent illegal war waged on Iraq by George Bush and Tony Blair. Taking its name from Gyptian’s debut single, the mix features antiwar songs by artists such as Barrington Levy, Bob Dylan, Turbulence, Luciano and Sinead O’Connor, as well as the Truth & Rights remix of Marvin’s Gaye’s classic antiwar tune, “What’s Going On”.

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Silent River Riddim Megamix For VP Records

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Megamix for VP Records: Shane Brown’s Silent River riddim, featuring Demarco’s “God Nah Sleep”, Busy Signal’s “Money Wi Sey”, Mavado’s “Dem A Pree”, Bounty Killer’s “Corrupt” and Assassin’s “Inna Mi Room”.

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Duane Stephenson Megamix

DUANE STEPHENSON “FROM AUGUST TOWN”

Duane Stephenson megamix produced for VP Records to promote Duane’s debut solo album, From August Town, a Dean Fraser production that featured one of 2007′s outstanding reggae tracks, the sublime “August Town”, voiced over a remake of Bob Marley’s “Jah Live” rhythm. Former lead singer of To-Isis, Stephenson is a talented singer/songwriter with writing credits for artists including Jah Cure and Tarrus Riley.

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