A sound system, at first, is a system of sound. But in Jamaica, it was born as a popular celebration in the Kingston ghettos, where the forbidden reggae culture was publicized on the radio and protested against the English colonial system, violent and oppressive. Therefore, it was a cultural and political event composed by a sound equipment and a team led by a DJ, a selector (who chose the songs) and a MC, united by improvisation. Many styles emerged from this dance floor. In the 70s, reggae came out of the sound system into the world. In the 80s, rub a dub – a sub-category of reggae influenced by funk and soul – also became internationalized and ended up baptized as dancehall.
Then the sound engineers with their effects and reverbs founded futurism in reggae and created the dub, also exported to the world. Finally, the sound system migrated to the English metropolis, was mixed with punk rock, soul and electronic music and generated a wave of new styles; such as dubstep and contemporary European reggae. Sound systems such as Jah Shaka, Channel One UK, Improvisators, Alpha & Omega, Aba Shanti and many others are also responsible for propagating reggae philosophy around the world. Nowadays, the sound system is more alive than ever and can be found in countries such as South Africa, India, France, Colombia, Brazil and even in South Korea.
The MIMO Festival premieres at Passeio das Virtudes, its first stage dedicated to the incredible and powerful sound systems.