Reggae Sound Systems on Display at Sonos Space (Exclusive Video)

Sound systems belonging to dub reggae pioneers such as King Tubby are part of the Hometown HiFi Exhibition at Sonos Studio in Los Angeles, an installation designed to pay homage to communal listening.

"The sound system is the great invention to come out of reggae," says exhibit curator Seb Carayol. "It's a tiny niche within the history of reggae but what it did for other music styles – hip-hop, electronic dance music – is impossible to measure."

Photographs of artists such as Barrington Levy, Singie Singie and Henry Junjo, DJ stations, album art by Wilfred Limonious, antiquated equipment and films complement the sound systems at the space on La Brea. Visitors can also play with a modern dub system via a custom iPad app – titled dubsiren -  at the site.

King Tubby's sound system, which has never been displayed in the U.S., is the cornerstone of the exhibit, a piece that was restored after being discovered in the yard of a Kingston, Jamaica home. 

Among the films are two documentaries, 2006's "Musically Mad" and a 10-minute film from last year about people who continue to build sound systems. "It's important to show sound system culture is alive and giving birth to (genres) like dubstep," adds Carayol, a native of Marseille, France, who got turned onto sound systems at a local skateboard park.

The Hometown Hifi Exhibition will run at Sonos Studio through April 24. Ziggy Marley will perform and do a Q&A at the site on April 3.