Sound Culture and Art Converge during Famed Art Basel in Miami
MIAMI – Caribbean entertainment visionaries Irish and Chin culminated their 20th Anniversary in fine “art” style. During an impressive weekend at Art Basel in Miami, Garfield “Chin” Bourne left an indelible mark of sound system culture on spectators from around the world via his inaugural dub plate exhibition at the “Let There Be Reggae” exhibit, which was curated by Alain Jean, and subsequent interview on Pitchfork Radio during Swizz Beatz’s “Bacardi No Commission – The Dean Collection” art show.
As forerunners of the promotion of sound clash and sound system culture, Irish and Chin’s 20th Anniversary year was chock-full of high profile events including World Clash, The Rumble Series (UK, Japan, U.S., Canada and Germany) and Sound Fest Vibez in the Park to name a few. But when the call came to be a part of “Let There Be Reggae,” there couldn’t have been a more gratifying feeling overcome Garfield “Chin” Bourne, Irish and Chin’s co-founder. At that very moment, he felt that his vision in 1997 to revive one of Jamaica’s most prized art forms — sound clash — was reaching a higher plateau.
“Let There Be Reggae” offered Art Basel goers a curated snapshot of Reggae and Dancehall music from renowned artists and purveyors of the culture, including Maxine Walters, Roy Sweetland, Robin Clare, David Muir and Bourne at the Manna Gallery over the course of 3 days during Miami’s famed Art Basel exhibit.
Bourne, who showcased dub plates from some of the culture’s legendary sound systems like Killamanjaro, Body Guard, King Addies, Black Scorpio, V-Rocket, Down Beat, Renaissance, Sound Trooper, Silver Hawk, Firgo Digital, LP International, Afrique, Mighty Crown and more, wanted to highlight the dub plate’s quintessential role in Reggae and Dancehall music.
During the opening reception, Bourne emphasized that via the dub plate and sound systems some of Dancehall’s greatest artists were popularized and introduced to the world. Further, he concluded many classic Reggae and Dancehall hits were born from dub plates that caused havoc in sound clashes and dances.
“Being a part of ‘Let There Be Reggae’ and seeing international audiences’ overwhelming support of the exhibit, indicates that our culture is worthy of praise,” says Bourne enthusiastically.
Adding to an already impressive weekend was Bourne’s interview on Pitchfork Radio during Swizz Beatz’s “Bacardi No Commission – The Dean Collection” art show.
As a crowd assembled around the live broadcast area — directly on the exhibit floor, the ever so passionate Bourne offered the station’s host Elia Sound System and Sound Clash 101. Sparking lots of discussion and interest, the topic was rather befitting, given “No Commission’s” 2017 theme of “Island Might” — a homage to the Bacardi Caribbean culture.
Bourne’s enlightening interview reached a pinnacle when Hip Hop mogul Swizz Beatz joined the broadcast.
Although impromptu, Swizz Beats jumped right in with enthusiasm, zooming in on how his Bronx upbringing in predominately Jamaican areas sparked his fondness of Dancehall. Bourne and Swizz delved into an exciting discussion on the Sound System’s profound influence on Hip Hop.
In fact, Bourne emphasized that Hip Hop was born from Sound System culture, detailing all of it’s core elements.
“This interview was one of my weekend highlights, particularly because the listening audience and ‘No Commission’ spectators were able to learn about the direct link and impact of sound system culture and Dancehall on Hip Hop,” declares Bourne. “Swizz, Elia and I discussed the 2 genres overwhelming similarities in an understandable and relatable manner.”
Irish and Chin’s dream of exposing sound system culture to the world got a respected boost over the course of Art Basel. Moreover, involvement in Art Basel further solidified Irish and Chin’s mission to preserve the culture and showcase it to wider audiences at the same time! The efforts, which unfolded in Miami, reconfirmed that Irish and Chin’s 20 years in the business are not in vain. Here’s to 20 more! In fact, Let There Be Reggae” forever!
Click image below to watch a preview of Let There Be Reggae