Sound Quake Soundsystem History

There have not been many opportunities to enjoy Dancehall Reggae in the late 80s and early 90s in Germany. An exception were the regular visits of London's Radio Disc Jockey David Rodigan and his MC Papa Face at Neons-Club near Bielefeld. The members of Sound Quake have been at nearly all of these legendary dances with the "Reggae Ambassador" Rodigan. One can say the Neons-Club was the place of their Reggae socialization and Rodigan the musical "father" of the young soundboys.

Following vacation trips to Jamaica's north coast in 92 and 93 infected Bimma, Rappa and Zuke even more and from these days they were in deep love with the music. There they got the original insight into the dancehall culture: the people of the caribean island celebrate their artists godlike, soundsystems which ensure maximum entertainment by perfect performance and teamwork. "Bass Odyssey" played all the new hits and old tunes in a nearby village every Tuesday and has influenced Sound Quake the most on their first visits. The music they played was only on 7-inch vinyl and very rare in Germany - so they brought a vast amount of records from Jamaica to Germany.

Back home in Detmold Rappa was rocking Hip Hop Parties where Bimma played Dancehall sets. The audience enjoyed the Reggae sets that much that after a while Reggae had taken over the Hip Hop Parties. By this time the name Sound Quake did not exsist as yet.

Sound Quake as the name of their soundsystem was the result of Bimma and Zuke's second trip to Jamaica in the summer of 94. The reason for this was to buy new records and if possible to cut a Dub-plate. Dubplates are special recordings, one off 10-inch singles pressed in lacquer acetate discs where artist praise the soundsystem as the best lyricalwise. As a soundsystem you need a name and after a few sleepless nights Rappa came up with Sound Quake, the two others agreed. Zuke and Bimma bought fresh tunes and also the first Dubplate for Sound Quake was recorded at Roof Studio in Ocho Rios. Now Sound Quake had their first identity as a soundsystem - from mostly unknown artists but still...

Another symbol is the "Cyber Dread 2000" logo that has been designed by Sascha Eichholz, a student of graphic designs from Würzburg. The Sound Quake logo has been developed by Katja Schäfers, a friend of the three members, who drew it for one of their first flyers.

One big problem of the young sound was always the supply of the 45 singles; although there were a few recordshops in Germany who specialized in Reggae offering mainly CDs, LPs and 12-inch singles - not the perfect formats for a Reggae soundsystem. As they did not have the financial potential to fly to Jamaica every few weeks they used their contacts and let somebody send them records straight from Kingston. When they recognised that other recordshops were interested in 7-inches also they founded one of the first distribution companies in Centraleurope selling jamaican 45s in January 95. That sounds great but realisticly this was only a small business selling a couple of hundred records every week. But for the german scene this was a huge step forward. From now interested people had a better access to Reggae music and the whole thing lost it's image of a secret science for a couple of "underground freaks".

Naturaly the distribution was an advantage for the Sound Quake soundsystem because the distribution supplied the sound with new tunes. The name was spread all over fast and very soon they played not only in Detmold but also in cities like Hamburg, Hannover and Berlin.

The first venue "away from home" took place in Mühlheim a.d. Ruhr in 95. Sound Quake played together with Top Frankin' in a small basement club and all of a sudden the juggling changed into a clash-thing. Sound Quake (with former MC Mark Hamlett) had more forwards and they were about to win that clash when the Police came to help Top Frankin' and stopped the dance as a result of too much noise comming out of the club.

In 1995 Zuke, Bimma and Rappa all went to Jamaica on theit own in order to push the record business and the soundsystem interests. More Dubplates were cut with artist such as Simpleton, Merciless and Bounty Killer. They also bought new equipment (lickshot mashine, sampler, 16 channel Mackie etc.) and again the three got a better insight into the Jamaican dancehall business.

This understatement of the music let the soundbwoys resist at the Bristol Carnival in 96. The audience - a couple of thousands - left them with all their respect. Later on in 96 Sound Quake had a few dances with local sounds in Jamaica; even one with Bass Odyssey where the audience celebrated the "underdog" from Germany. After that Irie FM broadcasted an interview with Sound Quake islandwide.

1997 came selector Lazy Youth as reinforcement meanwhile Bimma focused on the position as MC. After Lazy Youth's change to Kingstone Sound from Cologne Bimma remained the MC while Rappa selected the records Bimma was mixing same time. Zuke, the operator fullfilled the sound with his special effects and Big Marc became engineer and was responsible for a maximum of soundquality from now on. This team, in which each member works professional in his section is the guarantee for many good Sound Quake parties in Germany, Holland, England, Switzerland and in Jamaica. The former soundbwoys have stepped up to higher heights.