The reggae sound system has had a profound influence on post-80s popular music, leaving a rich legacy on some of its key genres. This book provides a snapshot of UK reggae sound system culture during its 1980s heyday. Scientists of Sound is a documentary portrait of one particular sound system from Birmingham. It features a unique collection of photographs and scanned artifacts from the time, including flyers, magazine covers, speaker box designs, circuit diagrams and handwritten lyrics. It also includes one of the first transcribed scores of a live sound system dance.
Much more than a photography book, Scientists of Sound is also an oral history of a sound system. The photographs that it features are accompanied by the personal reflections of those portrayed in them. This book sheds light on the knowledges and skills that go into a sound system, from a speaker design to the narrative flow of a deejay’s lyrics. It offers an insight into the aesthetics of sound system culture, and a testament to its creative artistry.