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Sound Business 12 rating

Molly Dineen’s directorial debut presents a fascinating look into sound system culture, as well as an important document in the history of Black British music.

Documentary 1981 57 mins

Director: Molly Dineen



Dineen’s cult documentary follows two British sound systems, the legendary Sir Coxsone Outernational (featuring a young Blacker Dread) and the (then) up-and-coming Young Lion, both based in south west London.

Sound system culture was never only a music scene. As DJ Country explains in the film, he would use his sets to also provide news to the community. In a performance shown in the film he speaks about the New Cross Fire, which killed 13 young black people in 1981, the same year that Dineen made Sound Business. Feeling that there was a cover up over how the fire broke out, Black people came together to march in the first Black People’s Day of Action, a precursor to the cross-cultural Black Lives Matter marches in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd by police officers in America.