It seems as if today’s sound men have become obsessed with locking off their opponents in one-on-one sound clash competition. No one wants to play tune fi tune anymore. Instead, what we see happening is, more sound systems and selectors have become enthused in winning the most rounds in a clash. This sounds like a good thing. It sounds like something that should add a world of adrenaline to each competition however, all that has been created so far is a bunch of confusion.
Ever since this method of winning became popular, patrons have suffered from inconclusive competitions. No clear winner is ever determined, the decision is left to the interpretation of the individuals who attended the clash. This is something that could create a lot of damage to the already fragile industry.
There needs to be a clear definition of what defines a ‘lock off’ in a sound clash. Right now, the rules of engagement are being dictated solely by the sound leading the competition and not by the patrons in attendance. We must remember that patrons pay their money not only to enjoy themselves but to have a solid say-so in declaring the winner of the event.
My understanding of victory by lock-off is solely based on my experiences growing up in the sound clash culture. A sound can only be locked off with the approval of the patrons. A selector’s job is to convince the audience unanimously that his/her opponent is defeated and therefore should no longer be allowed to perform. Sounds and selectors should not be allowed to declare lock offs without such approval. What is happening now is, selectors and sounds are judging lock offs based on the amount of rounds they have won throughout the competition. Therefore, if a sound loses three out of four rounds his opponent would likely refuse to play tune fi tune. Bear in mind that one-on-one clashes are usually built as a fight to the finish which means the last man standing wins. No matter how far of a lead a sound has in a competition, if the patrons don’t accept the lock off then tune fi tune must be played.
My opinions are based on the traditional culture of sound clashing. What are your views?