‘riddems that pluck the strings that ping my beating ting like, bim!’ - Studio/Chapple, 01.03.24 - 30.03.14

“In my experience, music accompanies social gatherings and the normal day-to-day activities in and around the home. When I think of the home as a Sound System itself, the [housing] block must be included, and then the neighbourhood, and the extended architecture also. These Sound Structures within our communities, are engaged in a large-scale, continuous, sound clash”. - bill daggs

‘riddems that pluck the strings that ping my beating ting like, bim!’ is a solo exhibition by bill daggs that explores the lineage of sound clash culture, its spontaneous rhythmical reactions, and the domestic space as a place of sonic ritual. From 1970s dub sound system clashes, to Jump Off MC battles and early 2000’s Grime MC Sidewinder sets, and the sound clash that occurs in family homes, tower blocks, flats, and estates; an inseparable relationship between the built environment, its sonic boundaries, and the intimacies of the domestic space, emerges.

Entering the space, you find yourself amongst a series of ‘sound structures’. Suggestive of both the architectural makeup of a sound system, and the mapping of the tower blocks that house them, these sculptural installations both physically and conceptually locate the inseparability of sound and site within the development of the clash. The first structure is a series of paintings entitled ‘3 Kings’, paying homage to Dub legends Augustus Pablo, King Tubby and Lee “Scratch” Perry. Vertically stacked like speakers, the geometric repetition of their installation reflects the rhythmic reprise of the paintings themselves, as if to be read as an abstract musical score.

Interactive ‘Yard Is A Draw Called Sensi’ houses an amplifier, a tape cassette deck, and cassette boxes. Inside are 6 cassette tapes that each have a sonic texture recorded onto both sides A & B. We encourage you to play these textures over the film’s soundtrack, an invitation to become part of the live sound clash. The third structure houses ‘Clash Riddem Pt.1’’ , a film that explores the lineage of clash culture, from older, maturer crowds, to early teens exploring the hedonistic experiences that live music affords us. The energy is raw, uncompromised, and honest, with the film serving as a document to access nostalgic sentiment and engage in the hauntology that such archival records keep.

In the right-hand corner of the room, two light boxes made from speaker grills act as windows, a portal out of this clash, and perhaps into another. Adorning all these structures are sculptures and daggs’ personal belongings, referencing the inherent domesticity of a clash. While the installations’ architectural foundations may be suggestive of exteriors, these intimate works ground the exhibition in a nostalgic familiarity, turning the white cube into a temporary home.

This continual sonic exchange, between and among these sound structures, have informed our cultural upbringing more than we are aware of. Extracting the energy of a wheel-up and the reactions it ignites in an audience, ‘riddems that pluck the strings that ping my beating ting like, bim!’ journeys us through aural confrontations, musical congregations, and the architectural formation of the spaces that hold them.

Louis Chapple, Studio/Chapple, 2024

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