Soft Wax is a loose collective that comes together to perform, host evenings of Foundation Music and put on installations. The fulcrum of the Soft Wax collective is Steve McCarthy.
Steve McCarthy is an artist, writer, DJ and vinyl obsessive. His practice has been inspired by cultures of resistance and their musical expressions. Steve's current fascinations are Jamaican music, vintage R & B and Garage Rock. In putting together tonights Soft Wax he was ably assisted by Cecile Buxton, top soundman Darren Jamtone and high flying expert in Jamaican music David Katz.
Soft Wax started as an installation and performance in sound by Steve. Following that tradition, tonight will be an immersive experience, seeking to provide insights into the music, culture and privations of the Jamaican Diaspora in London at the dawn of the 1960s. At the beginning of the show tonight the sound performance will focus on a collection of extremely rare 78rpm acetates from the period. These will be aired on vintage equipment from that time.
Then the equipment will remain, but the action will shift to 45s; playing R & B, Jump Jive, Bluebeat and Ska. Kick off your shoes and dance to the sounds that this community cleaved to at the birth of Ska. This music inspired Rocksteady and Reggae. It is the root of much subsequent popular music, from Bob Marley to Rap.
The reclaimed history of the acetates mirrors the broader experiences of the community. The contexts in which this music was originally played has had a lasting impact on street culture. Feel free to dress in the styles of the era.