Back II Bass

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The earliest traces in the Back 2 Bass story were to be found at Kingston Records, a reggae Music store run by Luc Pleuger aka. Gabba Longsize in the Stadswaag area of Antwerp. Two regulars, hanging around at the store nearly daily, were Kenneth ‘Don Wackie’ Oyen and Ivo Lodewijckx (Principal One). Searching for a fitting way to express their common passion for Jamaican music, the trio, calling themselves Kingston Family, soon ended up in the world of sound system deejaying.

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When a slot opened up at the Antwerp independent radio station Radio Centraal, Wackie and Principal saw this as the ideal opportunity to spread their message and music to an even bigger audience. Since Gabba decided not to take part in this venture, the show was called Back 2 Bass (back to bass, red.) to avoid possible future mix-ups.

In 1993 a third microphone was added to accommodate diehard fan Michel ‘Mikey O’ Otten, who joined in hosting the show. In that same period Back 2 Bass also started to make headway in the sound system scene. From the very beginning Back 2 Bass always aspired to be an allround and up-to-date reggae show and as a sound system they tried to emulate Jamaican sound systems like Stone Love or deejays like Rodigan; Principal One being the MC, Wackie the operator and Mikey O the selector. Together with Boombastic, Back 2 Bass introduced the dubplate in Belgium. Highpoint in their sound system career was 1998, when they got the chance to play at the Reggae Geel festival and, in the same year, beat Survival High Power and Spots Roadshow in a classic Belgium-Holland soundclash.

In 1999 the trio was briefly extended to a quartet when Jan Geldolf aka. Smokey Joe joined the crew. However, Mikey O and Principal One saw the combination of their Back 2 Bass activities with their private lives become more and more difficult and unsurprisingly the duo decided to call it quits not much later. It’s also in this somewhat lower point of their history, Back 2 Bass decided to say goodbye to the competitive sound clashes and only continued deejaying on an irregular more leisurely basis.

In the first years of the new millennium Don Wackie and Smokey Joe continued to provide their Sunday audience with fresh reggae vibes, but then faith struck a cruel blow: Jan sudden fell very ill. The verdict was hard; Jan was diagnosed with cancer and his health deteriorated fast. In search for someone to fill the void Smokey left behind, Wackie ended up with Tim Ianna aka. Jah Rebel, music journalist and true reggae aficionado. Job related issues prevented Jah Rebel from being in the studio every Sunday, forcing Back 2 Bass to go in search of a third member. The search quickly resulted in Kevin ‘Missing Link’ Welslau joining the ranks in 2007.

Back II Bass is on live every Sunday from 14h. till 15h. and afterwards is put online here for your listening pleasure.

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