King Earthquake raises the bar - enter with caution
I popped along to the Jah Works Promotions dance at Tottenham last night. In session were King Earthquake alongside Sista Gad from Station FM 89.8 (Ghetto chat show Tuesday nights 8-10pm). The reports I had previously heard were true its possible that King Earthquake sound may well be producing the loudest low frequency sound waves in the UK at the moment. How much of these sound waves actually exist in the music played is questionable. However, there is a massive potential problem that needs airing in that people attending a dance with a sound system that can generate such SPL's (sound pressure levels) are risking damaging their hearing. I witnessed a number of people having to cover or close their ears and a couple of people walked out of the door with a screwface when the levels went up.
So how is he doing it? Well there is nothing new or secret going on here other than his choice of loudspeaker design. He is using a full folded horn design in favour of the much loved ubiquitous reggae sound system front loaded "scoop" design. The benefit is gaining a significant increase in the length of the horn giving louder SPL at lower frequencies for the same power as that pushed into a "scoop" design. The downside is that the boxes are slightly larger than other low frequency designs and in this instance because of the venue's low-ish ceilings King Earthquake couldn't fit his usual stack configuration in. You can see some photographs of his speaker stacks by visiting The Falasha Recordings website gallery where they have a number of pics from the 'University of Dub' Brixton recreation centre sessions.
I only stayed for a short time after the controls were wound up to verging on 'painful' as this is not my idea of entertainment and I value my hearing far too much to risk it in this way. I would recommend anyone thinking of attending a King Earthquake session should visit a website such as Etymotic Research and invest first in a set of these; Link