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Roark’s Kingston Mobile Sound System Will Be At The Agenda Festival in Long Beach, Ca. Saturday, July 15th 11am-8pm Booth G37 & F38
Dem say – “Dreadlocks, the time is now. Stand up fight for your rights.” An adequate calling card for Roark to say the least, and one that drew our adventurer to the heart of the Caribbean to explore culture, coastline and the creative consumption of Ganja. Jamaica is land driven by an underlying rhythm that infiltrates both ones feet and soul. It’s also a place that exudes contrast, whether it be political, colonial, economical or cultural. Jamaica’s path was truly established in the Island’s formative years when pirates used its deep bays and treacherous reefs to hide treasure, spend money, enjoy life and foster a general sense of brutal rebelliousness. The music lights up the streets and rural communities with an anthem that’s unique to the land and its history. The reggae movement that began in the 1960’s is still the heartbeat of the people and continues to encapsulate the complexity of Jamaican society.
Most of Jamaica lies in the shadows of the tourist industry – off the beaten path with little economic fortitude, but a resilience and depth of culture that Roark had never seen. Stepping off the plane and into our old Defender was no different than meandering through Bob Marley’s “Catch a Fire” or running around town with Leroy Horse Mouth Wallace in the “Rockers” movie set in the 1970’s. Not a whole lot has changed outside of the tourist trough resorts, which is not a good thing economically but has preserved a rich complexity of the Jamaican Ryddim.
Roark’s adventure began in Kingston 6 on the stomping grounds of Sister Nancy, the Marley’s and our trusted guide Luke “the Stone Bar.” Kingston is as deteriorated as it is beautiful, as rich as it is poor, as quiet as it is loud and is in conflict as much as it lives in harmony. A tailor-made base for a man like Roark to be absorbed. We explored Radical Bobo Rastafari spirituality at Bull Bay and were sucked into a Nyabinghi trance on a mythical ship leaving Babylon en route to Mother Africa. An experience never to be shed. Peppered with reefs, cobblestone points and sand bars – we were introduced to some fine albeit fickle waves by Stone Bar and brother Wilmot. The Blue Mountains called us from their majestic perch above Kingston offering exotic coffee beans and rutted out trails to ride by way of motorbike. The Twyman Family Farm hosted Roark’s addiction, sharing its beloved coffee beans, process and superstition at 5,000 feet. From there, we set sail from Kingston Harbor to Pigeon Island in search of solace. The deserted island was an escape to simpler times with days rife with smoking weed, free diving and an odd tutelage from errant fisherman turn drug runners – a pedestrian however interesting encounter for Roark. Back on the main island of Jamaica, the adventure was capped by a chance evening at “Sharon’s Hotspot” in Port Antonio full of Red Stripe, Rum & Ting, vintage dance hall jams and the friendly spirit of the Jamaican people.
The collection for Spring 2018 is inspired by these happenings, Jamaican history, songs of old and artifacts collected along the way. The colors are bright, the content is decidedly Caribbean and the approach to design is purposeful – delivering product geared for your expedition on the road less traveled in Jamaica. The design inspiration is split into three directions: High Seas & an Irie Breeze, Kingston Ranking and Natural Mystic. Join us on a walk through the most positive place on Earth. Please enjoy responsibly…
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