The DiY Sound System

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The DiY Sound System was one of Britain's first house sound systems. The group "divided their activities between free parties and legal club nights, acting as a bridge between counter-culture and the mainstream".[1]

It was created in Nottingham in 1989 as a reaction against the growing number of rave promoters whose bias was towards their own financial enrichment, rather than the joy of their party-goers. They wished to form a cohesive, collective, political front against the prevailing anti-rave legislation that was beginning to come into force at that time. This became more marked around the time of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, with DiY playing a key role in the largest illegal rave ever put on at Castlemorton Common Festival prior to the Bill and a constant stream of illegal, outdoor parties (often at travellers' sites, quarries and disused airfields) all over the country. Simon Reynolds writes that DiY threw "free parties at abandoned airfields or on hilltops, drawing a mixed crowd of urban ravers and crusty road warriors".[2]

DiY also worked successfully in the realm of legitimate club nights, with their "Bounce" night touring the country as well as being a staple of Nottingham's night life. Its popularity, connected to its lack of concern for dress codes and its non-exploitation of its loyal clubbers, coupled with its very particular form of deep, soulful, often minimal house music, led to it being recognised as one of the top ten club nights in Britain by The Times.

In 1993, they also began their own record label, Strictly 4 Groovers, which later became known as DiY discs. They released house music on vinyl until 2006, which included releases by local talents Atjazz, Rhythm Plate and Charles Webster. The collectives primary DJ's - Simon DK, Digs and Woosh - still play at various nights in the U.K., Europe and United States.

DiY still occasionally hold free parties, typically to celebrate a milestone date - on 19 September 2009, DiY celebrated their 20th birthday with a free party in near their home town of Nottingham.,[3] while on 23 August 2014, they their 25th (Silver) birthday with a free party held in a field in Leicestershire.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ed. Low M. and Barnett C., (2004) Spaces of Democracy: Geographical Perspectives on Citizenship, Participation and Representation, SAGE Publications, ISBN 0-7619-4734-5
  2. ^ Reynolds, S. (1999) Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture Routledge ISBN 0-415-92373-5
  3. ^ a b

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