Welcome to part two of real reggae sound systems. Following the interview with Meditative Sounds from Sweden here comes the amazing Mungos HiFi crew out of Glasgow, UK.
Since when do you run Mungos HiFi?
Doug / DJ: Tom and me made the first speakers and started to play as a sound in 2000.
Why did you start to run a sound system?
Since our first exposure to soundsystems we were hooked. The scene was very small in Scotland at that time, so there was lots of work to be done to promote reggae music and culture. It felt like the most practical way to start to build a better world and we couldn’t imagine another way to live.
How long did it take you to build up the current set of Mungos HiFi?
We were finally pretty happy with the sound by the summer of 2010, but it is an ongoing process.
Who belongs to your sound system crew and what is his function?
We are all involved in everything, but to break it down: Craig (dj, produces and manages Scotch Bonnet), Doug (dj, promotion, organizer, communications), Jerome (looks after the sound, runs the distribution and scotchbonnet.net and keeps everything tidy), Tom (dj and produces most of our music), Jimmy (chief roadie and conspiracist), Simon and Chikuma (help us get around and move the sound)
There are many more who help out in various ways and running the sound would not be possible without the support of our wider family. There are also many MCs we work with, who we very much consider to be a part of the soundsystem, but they all have a life outside as well. Currently we are working most with Soom T, Kenny Knots, YT, Solo Banton, Marina P and Mr Williamz but there are too many more to name them all.
How often do you play the full sound set during a year?
We play every month in Glasgow, and usually once or twice a month elsewhere in the UK. We take the sound on tour, mainly in the summer, running stages in ten festivals in 2010. We are pushing to get booked more with the full sound, not just dj sets, and 2011 will see a UK tour and two European tours.
What was the farthest journey you have done with your sound system?
The longest drive was Glasgow to Bergen via Calais, Copenhagen and Oslo, which is around 3000km one way. The farthest we’ve been is to Croatia for the Outlook Festival, and we can’t wait to go back there this August.
Please name your top 5 reggae artists and top 5 producers.
I think it is not possible to crudely rank people or talent, but if you force me:
- Dennis Brown, Supercat, Ranking Levy, David Hasselhof, Soom T
- Coxone Dodd, King Tubby, Henry Junjo Lawes, Mala, Disrupt
Please name some reggae artists with whom you have run session.
Soom T, YT, Mr Williamz, Kenny Knots, Warrior Queen, Top Cat, Tenor Fly, Daddy Freddy, Earl 16, Ranking Joe, Ranking Levy, Sister Nancy, Omar Perry, Sister Carol, Tippa Irie, Marina P, Brother Culture (1st one), Lady Stush, Ruben da Silva, MC Ishu, Mikey Murka, Solo Banton, Afrikan Simba, El Fata, Jeru the Damaja.
Do you run something else next to the sound?
We all contribute to the running of Scotch Bonnet Records in our own ways. But it increasingly feels like one undertaking. The live sessions promote the music and also inspire and shape it, as the studio productions pressed onto vinyl and distributed as MP3s also promote the live shows and give the content and inspiration within them. It seems a logical expansion of the work of a soundsystem.
What’s the most exciting point about running a sound system like Mungos HiFi?
The heart pumping rush of excitement when the scoops kick in and the shared enjoyment and transcendance it brings.
Any suggestions for people who would like to start their own sound?
Technical Rider of Mungos HiFi
- 2 x decks
- djm 800 mixer
- Shure Beta SM58 (mic)
- BSS 366 Crossover
- Void Infinite Amplifiers
- 8 super scoops with pd 1850s
- 4 HD215 double 15“ kick bins
- 4 Adapted Stasys 3 mid-tops
- Delay on the microphone
- Effects on the djm 800
A flat pack wooden shack. But it is not just about the equiment – it is more about the people that use it.
Mungos HiFi Sound System in session
For more information please check
- www.mungoshifi.net (Info, blog and links:)
- www.scotchbonnet.net (Shop)
- Mungo’s Hi Fi on Facebook
- Mungo’s Hi Fi on Twitter
- Mungo’s Hi Fi on Flickr (most photos by Bartosz Madjeski)