Bass Odyssey turns 30 - Founder promises big celebration to celebrate mileston
Thirty years ago, Bass Odyssey principal Keith Walford had a vision of forming a formidable clash sound that would reign beyond his Alexandria, St Ann, community. Today, the sound system has transcended beyond clash battles to being a popular juggling sound at home and abroad.
The sound is bringing the celebrations to its annual Jamaica Sound System Festival in August at Grizzly's Plantation in its home parish.
"As usual it's going to be on the second of August and we're hoping to have an artiste or two which we're not ready to disclose as yet," Walford told The WEEKEND STAR. "We don't want to leave out that sound system element, so every year we try to have at least three sounds so people can come and hear the different quality sounds and selectors."
What started as a relatively small team has expanded to several members namely Damion, Worm, DJ Lexie, Country Speng, Villy, DJ Keithy Keith, DJ Price, Bishawn, DJ Stenneth, Spready Glory, Fire Blanch, DJ Mario and Harry D.
Its famed selector Kevin 'Squingy' Bennett died in 2009.
Failure to withstand the demands of an ever-changing music industry has seen the demise of several sounds, but Walford credits Bass Odyssey's longevity to good management.
KEEP THE TALENT
KEEP THE TALENT
"Management has a lot to do with your longevity because that determines whether you fall by the wayside or flourish and we have been through quite a few hurdles," he said. "Kevin was our top DJ and when we lost him people thought 'yes, Bass Odyssey is going to take a nosedive now'. But we have been able to recruit and keep the talent going. We also recognised and realised the direction of where the music was going so we got into the juggling lane early so we juggle all over the place. Some sound systems cannot juggle so they wait on the clashes which happen three or so times every year."
Walford said the sound still boasts an enviable clash catalogue and is always ready if challenged.
"I can safely say that Bass Odyssey is the only sound system that if you want us to clash tomorrow we are ready with all the new tunes; if it's a wedding we're ready, retro settings, we're ready," he said. "We are able to fit into anything that involves music and that has kept us afloat and kept us going."