Sweet Raggae Music
We lived on the Church End Estate in Harlesden, and whilst pretending that cereal boxes were sports cars for my budget Action Man from Woolworths, I would hear basslines in the communal garden situated in the heart of the estate. Well back then it was all you could hear, the top end frequencies could not pass through the breeze block walls, only the long bass waves emanated through. Come summer time though speaker boxes would be placed by the open windows and the youts would drop the tonearm on some serious tunes, crank up the bass and see who’s sound was the baddest on the estate.
As soon as old enough, I got a job cleaning a Hi-Fi shop in Willesden to pay for my own nuclear powered sound system, I acquired a vintage valve amp, from a guy called Rudy, he was a Selector (DJ) in a sound system called Java, they were huge back in the day, Rudy was also the first guy I knew that had Technics 1200 which basically made him the coolest guy in the world. Later I had a six foot bass bin made by a guy from who ran the community centre in Kensil Green, I then built my own tops box with 3 tweeters and two mid-range speakers I bought from an electrical store on the Edgware Rd.
I strung it up with three core mains cable, and was ready to tes’ my sound. My dad owned a Trojan compilation album, track one, side one was Double Barrel by Dave & Ansell. The rumble from the bass bin shook the needle from the grove, so I placed a penny on the tone arm to weight it down. Each crack and pop from the record thrusted the bass speaker back and forth, then it started ‘I am the magnificent. I'm backed by the shack of a soul boss. Most turnin' stormin' sound o'soul’, Boom. The bass hit and nearly rumbled the fillings from my teeth, I smiled from ear to ear, the joy of having ten megatons of bass pressure pound your chest has never grown old.