Bass Odyssey

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Bass Odyssey
Bass Odyssey selector Worm alongside Dj Lexxy.JPG
Playing at the Annual Mothers' Day Event, 2012
Background information
Origin Saint Ann, Jamaica
Genres Reggae, Dancehall
Years active 1989 (1989)–present
Labels Bass Odyssey Entertainment Ltd.
Website www.facebook.com/BASSODYSSEY
Members Worm, Dwayne, Damion, Lexxy, Harry D, Keithy Keith, Country Speng, Villy, Bishawn, Price, Frasqo, Mario, Charly Blacks
Past members Kevin Squingy Bennett (1972 - 2009), Glamma G, Lenny, Tinna One, Skinny, Dj Mark, Bunny Hayles
Bass Odyssey Sound System speaker column, Tropical Hut, St. Mary, May 2012
Bass Odyssey Salutes Jamaica's 50Th Anniversary

Bass Odyssey is a Jamaican reggae and dancehall sound system founded in 1989 by Keith Walford.[1]

History[edit]

Originating in Alexandria, St. Ann, Jamaica, Bass Odyssey is one of the few that still maintain the authentic sound system format of huge amplified portable speakers, stacked as columns for a live performance. Founder and owner Keith Walford was involved with music from an early age. After graduating from York Castle High in 1976, young Keith who joined his father's local mechanic business, partnered with him to expand it by adding the service of being a vendor and operator of juke boxes and gaming machines across the island. As both a hobby and small business gig, young Keith would play vinyl and cassettes on his massive component set at small events such as weddings and birthday parties. Simultaneous with his increasing demand was the re-emergence of the sound system era in the Jamaican entertainment scene in the mid 1980s which inspired his path to establish the Bass Odyssey Sound System in 1989. For this reason, many dispute the established date of Bass Odyssey Sound System as 1989 due to the earlier career of Keith as a Dj and selector himself playing at numerous local gigs. Initially the transition involved Walford, close friend at the time Bunny Hayles, Winston and first official selector Tinna- One.

Rise of the Clashing Twins: Squingy and Glamma G[edit]

Bass Odyssey quickly became a household name due to their notorious clashing style which dominated the peak of the modern sounclash era in the early - mid 1990s. Keith moved on to play a dual managerial role with Hayles and Tinna-One was joined by Glamma G. Winston had gone on to pursue other business activities. Around 1991, Kevin Squingy Bennett, fresh out of Ferncourt High joined the team as a drum machine player. Tinna-One took up opportunity and migrated to England and Glamma G and Squingy quickly rose to stardom as 'the juggling/clashing twins' due to the slight physical resemblance and unmatched energy. Around this time (early 1990s) the Bass Odyssey name had taken flight and had garnered a huge following in the Jamaican diaspora in USA, Canada and the UK. With frequent tour dates the team expanded to include Lenny, a longtime sidekick of Glamma G (both had worked together on Amplex Sound System from Spanish Town) and later Dwayne, Worm and Skinny.

Odyssey After The 1994 Split[edit]

In 1994, Walford and Hayles parted ways due primarily to differences in managerial views. A few months afterwards Glamma G and Lenny also went on to pursue other musical paths. This split saw the dawn of a new team and era in sound system culture. Walford maintained the sound system and rebuilt it to surpass its former glory giving rise to ace mixer Dj Mark who joined Squingy to become the new face of the now commercialized clash arena in the early to mid 2000s.[2]

"Kevin Squingy Bennett"

Selector Squingy (real name Kevin Bennett[3]) coined himself the "Michael Jordon" of Soundclash and is still referred to as such by clash fans around the world. Sadly in the late 2000s, Bennett fell ill with a terminal illness and passed in November 2009 at the age of 37.[3][4]

Bass Odyssey Now[edit]

Bass Odyssey has evolved from an image notorious for clashing to also include become Jamaican musical ambassador.[5] In 2011, Dj Mark went on to pursue other career paths after a colourful foundation with Bass Odyssey and passed the baton on to an energetic young team, quite a few of whom worked as protoje's under the influence of Squingy up until his death in 2009.

Bass Odyssey Sound System Festival[edit]

To celebrate its 25th anniversary celebrations, the sound system hosted Jamaica's first ever sound system festival on August 8, 2014 in Richmond, St. Ann. The annal dance has been converted into a landmark event to salute the contribution of sound system to Jamaican culture and highlight an arena that has been overlooked and needs legislative help to survive.[6][7]

Special Performances[edit]

World Clash 2012 Jamaica [8] David Rodigans birthday bash in 2003[9] and the Riddim Clash 2006, a yearly sound clash sponsored by the German reggae magazine Riddim.[2]

Bass Odyssey have won the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2014 UK Cup Clash Soundclash (it was not held from 2009-2013) the New York World Clash[10] Jamaica World Clash 2005 & 2012[11][12] 2007,[citation needed][13]). Most recent clash wins include Guinness Sounds of Greatness 2010 [14] and UK Tag Team Cup Clash 2010 alongside David Rodigan and One Love both sound systems out of Europe. In 2011, Keith Walford got elected to the Parliament of Jamaica, representing the St. Ann district for the People's National Party.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sounding Off - Sound system owner heads to Parliament". Jamaica Observer. 8 January 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Köhlings, Ellen; Pete Lilly (January 2007). "Riddim Soundclash - All About The Music". Riddim. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Gilchrist, Carl (26 November 2009). "Gloom as 'Squingy' passes". Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Bass Odyssey salutes late selector Squingy - Entertainment - JamaicaObserver.com". Jamaica Observer. 25 November 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  5. ^ http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140812/ent/ent2.html%7Ctitle=Bass Odyssey Celebrates 25 Years- Entertainment - Jamaica Gleaner - 12 August 2014|Jamaica Gleaner
  6. ^ http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20140629/ent/ent3.html - Sound System Festival For Bass Odyssey 25th Anniversary2014 - Jamaica Gleaner - 29 July 2014
  7. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/oct/02/-sp-"from-kingstons-car-parks-to-vh-1-soundsystem-culture-puts-bass-in-your-face" - The Guardian UK - 2 October 2014
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Rocking reggae shakes Germany". Jamaica Gleaner. 18 June 2003. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  10. ^ "contenders". BBC Online. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "Programma Reggae Geel bekend". MO. 11 June 2007. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "BBC - 1Xtra - Events - UK Cup Clash 2007". BBC Online. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  13. ^ "Who will be victorious at final Death Before Dishonour on Easter Monday?". Jamaica Observer. 3 April 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  14. ^ http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20100112/ent/ent2.html - "Guinness Clash Champions 2010"