Ivah Sound had a big and really well arranged dub dance, FRWRD#3, at Ravintola Lämpö (Helsinki) a few weeks back. The dance featured big names, Alpha Steppa (UK) alongside bassmusic guys LAS and Mikael (FIN). What a dance it was. And the Ivah stack packs quite a boom-shaka-lacka too! This time the stack was divided into two smaller (but still big!) stacks providing a more stereo BOOM for your stepping pleasure.
Inna Dub Style had the chance to talk to a few key players of the ambitious Ivah Sound -crew…
Who all are part of your soundsystem-crew, and who does what?
Frej: Basically we’re 6 members in our crew, and we’ve got people who do everything. In the crew we got sound designers, technicians, MCs, producers and things like that. That’s how we started, but still for making a party like FRWRD, you need a lot of help like graphic designers and ticketsellers even.
Jahkob: I do a lot of things with the soundsystem itself, designing and thinking about what we should build and building them. Of course everyone helps in the building, but I’m sort of the sound designer. I also play music. Frej also plays music and does graphic stuff and manages everything.
Frej: The structure, paperwork and business aspects of the soundsystem are some of the things I do.
Jahkob: Then we also have Ras Kurmas, who also plays records and he’s the sound technician. If I’m the designer, he would be the technician, he knows that stuff.
Frej: And he’s also a chef!
Jahkob: Then we have Fyah-I, who’s mostly on the microphone, but he also produces tracks that we sometimes play. And Thomas is a DJ, a really great one and of course he helps with other things also. Also Konsta Autuas is a DJ and helps with a lot of stuff. And Konsta can write finnish, we’re not so good at that (FYI Jahkob and Frej speak swedish as their mother-tongue) .
How long have you been running a soundsystem and when did you have your first own dance?
Frej: We’ve had this collective for a bit over 4 years, but we’ve had the soundsystem for around 2 years.
How did you get involved in dub music? Which artists/soundsystems have influenced you the most?
Jahkob: We’ve gone a long way, like, through different genres of music into dub, and also into other stuff. We’re pretty wide in the musical range if you compare to other sounds, so how we got involved, I don’t know, through Rastafari, maybe I did. Then of course, I like heavy bass music, that’s the thing. I listened to reggae first, and we played reggae first, and then we got a bit into dubstep, but then I realised that dubstep got a little bit strange and I found steppers and heavy dub and I was like “Shit! This is like the good dubstep but with a good message and reggae vibe to it” So that’s how I got into it. Can’t speak for everyone though.
Frej: We’re not only about dub and reggae, but we’re also about jungle and that’s a big part of the soundsystem. There aren’t that many soundsystem-collectives in Finland that mix jungle and dub in the same dance, but we’ve always done them together because that’s what we want to do.
Ras Kurmas: I got involved with reggae and dub in Lahti, and this has been a family thing. In lahti the first soundsystem I heard was Revolution Hi-fi a long time ago in the 70’s. Seeing Aba Shanti in Lahti, and Channel One also were big ones for me.
What are your future plans soundsystemwize or dubwize?
Jahkob: I think it’s a lot about getting the culture forward here in Finland because it had been, how should I say it, not so high standard, and we want to push the bar higher. We want to do really good things and push the culture forward.
Ras Kurmas: Getting this soundsystem culture bigger in Finland, getting more sounds and to get more people to come to the dances and understand what this thing is really about. But it’s not just about the music, it’s so much more than that. This is a rocky road, Jah road, Rastafari!