Within the corridors of Queens, New York’s second most populous borough, amidst a damp fall night, one of Jamaica’s oldest music art forms came to life. Incredibly, the rich art of sound clash (an intense competition between sounds/DJs specializing in Reggae and Dancehall music) illuminated Amazura, a colossal-sized venue known for entertainment concerts and events.
The night in particular was that of World Clash, sound clash’s premiere annual staging with a cult-like following. Produced by Caribbean entertainment specialists Irish and Chin, “World Clash” saw a new champion in the wee hours of Sunday morning, October 9. Following an intense and exciting 5 hour musical war, after a final showdown between Canada’s King Turbo and Germany’s Warrior sound, King Turbo clenched the “World Clash” victory. The hard working sound became the second Canadian sound to win the coveted clash during its famed 18 year history.
Referred to as the “big” league of clashes by industry standards, World Clash attracted scores of revelers over the weekend. Built on the theme “The Rise of New Champions,” sound clash fans converged to witness a burgeoning fleet of sounds take their shots at international fame and bragging rights on the “big” stage. The line-up of 7 sound systems from 5 countries, included Innocent (US), Young Hawk (US), Warrior (Germany), Jugglerz (Germany), King Tubby’s (United Kingdom), Renaissance (Jamaica) and King Turbo (Canada).
“The Rise of New Champions is the start of a new beginning for global visibility of sound clash culture,” says Garfield “Chin” Bourne of Irish and Chin. “It’s the cultivation of new stars, which help the sound industry move into the future.” From a spectator’s standpoint “World Clash” boasted the lights, bells and whistles of a mega concert, complete with video montages and electronic signage. But it was up to competing sounds, via music, speech, stage presence and timing, to live up to “World Clash’s” high standards.
While some sounds excelled, offering patrons larger-than-life authentic sound clash experiences, others missed the mark a bit. The tough New York audience eliminated Innocent, Young Hawk, Jugglerz, King Tubby’s and Renaissance in early rounds, resulting in a heated “tune-fi-tune” (one on one music selection battle) between King Turbo and Warrior. Notably, consistent performances from these remaining sounds throughout the night, made them the clash’s shining stars. Warrior thrived with good music, while King Turbo’s verbal and musical assault, delivered by sharp MC Ricky Turbo, thrust them into the final stretch.
The crowd showed no mercy during the most important round of the clash, either avidly standing behind or against the sounds for their selections. Both sounds took chances with tunes that were sometimes deemed “too regular” by the audience to win. At the end of the clash, Warrior and King Turbo were deadlocked 5 to 5, with one song left to determine the winner. Anxiety was high, as the audience gasped before the final tune. Then, King Turbo befittingly unleashed “Burial” by Andrew Tosh and the rest was history!
Irish and Chin, dedicated to promoting authentic sound clash culture, is single handedly responsible for raising the bar in sound clash through “World Clash” and other signature branded events. They revived a once fading art to a respected form of entertainment, way before commercial interest and interpretations. The popular promoters are gearing up for their next event “Reeewind to Rocksteady” with Marcia Griffiths, Freddie McGregor, Code Red Band and David Rodigan. Tickets are available at: