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Panel Talk: 50 years of soundsystem culture in New York and beyond

  • 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm | Wednesday January 24, 2024
  • Atrium | Ace Hotel Brooklyn
  • 252 Schermerhorn St.
  • Free

HI-FI TO THE PEOPLE: Celebrating Sound System Culture in New York

Ace Hotel Brooklyn and Dub-Stuy are proud to announce “Hi-Fi to the People,” a winter-long series of events celebrating the vibrant and influential history of sound system culture in New York. These events will showcase the dynamic evolution of this culture, tracing its roots from the Caribbean diaspora to its profound impact on New York’s diverse communities.

50 Years of Sound System Culture in New York & Beyond

This panel talk delves into the rich history and profound impact of sound system culture on the city’s vibrant cultural and musical landscape. 

Starting with its origins in Kingston, Jamaica, to its migration to New York City, the discussion will trace how these powerful musical systems, with their deep bass and massive speakers, influenced genres like reggae, hip-hop, and electronic dance music. With insights from legendary DJs, musicians, and historians, the discussion highlights the evolution, technological advancements, and challenges faced by sound system culture. It celebrates its role in unifying diverse communities and shaping New York’s unique sonic identity.


Hassan Fore – Director of Founding Fathers, a documentary on the genesis of hip hop culture. Winner, Best Documentary, Chicago InternationalHip Hop Film Festival, 2009.

Colin “Puma” Abrahams – Better known as “Puma”, founder and selector for Brooklyn’s original LP International Sound System. Arriving in New York in 1982 as a teenager from Clarendon, Jamaica, Puma’s journey began with house parties in Flatbush and evolved to becoming a highly respected figure in the soundclash scene and New York sound system culture.

DJ Lenny Fontanalegendary house music DJ, producer and radio host from New York City with a passion for club sound systems, analog equipment and DIY gear. From playing at high-profile clubs such as Studio 54, The Underground NYC and Ministry of Sound, to scoring a #1 dance hit with his track “What You Need”, Fontana has left his mark on the music scene.

Joe Nice – UK-born DJ hailing from Baltimore, holds the distinction of pioneering dubstep nights in the United States. He is the co-founder of New York’s groundbreaking Dub War club night with Dave Q in the late 2000’s, a pivotal moment credited with catalyzing the spread of Dubstep and other sound system-inspired music genres across the American underground music scene.

Carter Van Pelt (Moderator)DJ, broadcaster and writer with 30 years of experience. He is the founder of the annual Coney Island Reggae On The Boardwalk series. He has been a playlist consultant to Apple Music and is currently Director of Catalog Development at VP Records


Dub-Stuy is a Brooklyn-based collective dedicated to the rich heritage of sound system culture. Through events, music releases, and custom-built sound systems, Dub-Stuy connects the past and present of an ever-evolving musical movement.

Ace Hotel Brooklyn
Ace Hotel Brooklyn is a space that celebrates community, art, and the vibrant culture of New York City. With a focus on authentic experiences, the hotel is more than just a place to stay; it’s a hub of creativity and culture.

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