“It’s something I take very seriously, it’s something that we’ve been doing basically all our lives,” Jillionaire of Major Lazer says of sound clashes. “It’s a major part of our history and our heritage,” Miami-bred, Caribbean descendent Walshy Fire adds. Sound clashes – the practice of DJ soundsystems competing against each other by playing the best beats, loudest sounds and catchiest dubplates to be crowned the best DJs by the audience – started in Jamaica’s dancehall scene and became an integral part of Britain’s underground music scene. Reintroducing the culture to the mainstream and opening it up to a whole new audience, Red Bull has rounded up four very different sounds – Major Lazer, Annie Mac, Boy Better Know and Channel One to clash in Wembley Arena on 7th November for the Red Bull Culture Clash. Read on for more information, and to find out how you can ‘Get On Stage’ with the big sound systems.
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With a history traceable back to the 60s, sound clashes set the foundation for hip-hop scratch battles, and later, MC battles, and their influences have reached as far as the grime battles of the early noughties.
Paying homage to the culture but widening the sound far beyond dancehall, Red Bull take the clash to a new level. The sounds will war against each other on the turntables in four different rounds (including a round where each soundsystem has to play music from a competing set’s genre).
Soundsystems will also include special guests, with Annie Mac bringing dubstep producers Magnetic Man, Rudimental, Disclosure, P Money and Ms Dynamite, while Boy Better Know brings along MCs Lethal Bizzle and Chip. Channel One and Diplo-led Major Lazer haven’t confirmed their special guests, but I have a feeling both teams will pull something special out on the night.
I personally can’t wait to see whether the eclectic crews will be successful in capturing the drama-filled, electrifying energy of a true, old-skool soundclash with an audience of over 8,000 people in Wembley Arena.
The night is hosted by Tim Westwood and (Radio 1/1Xtra’s) Gemma Cairney and tickets are priced at £15. For more information or to buy tickets to the Red Bull Culture Clash click here.
Excitingly, Red Bull are giving all hopeful DJs and music lovers a chance to get on stage with Annie Mac, Channel One, Major Lazer and Boy Better Know.
To enter, simply go to the Get On Stage page and become a selector by choosing 5 eargasmic tunes from the Sound Clash library. Entry closes on 24th October.