The group have slowly built a solid reputation within the sound system scene in Byron Bay, having had the opportunity to perform and hone their craft every Monday night at The Beach Hotel.
Oren Selecta, the group's DJ and producer, is excited to perform at Island Vibe for the third, successive time. “It’s my favourite event that I’ve been involved in since coming to Australia. It definitely has the best line-up in my opinion, and the location is amazing,” Oren says.
“It suits the reggae vibe, and I have great respect for the intention of putting on an event like this. Last year’s Island Vibe was the highlight of my music career since it started. They really gave us the stage to do our thing, and this year we get to do it again which is amazing.”
It has been quite the journey for the Israeli-born artist who is now living and studying in Byron Bay. “At the start I was a guitar player and I was really into heavy metal. When I started getting more into electronic music, I found that it was something that I could be independent with to do my thing.
“From there I really got into music production. When I moved to Byron, one of my aims was to study at SAE at some stage. After two years of my working holiday, I decided to stay as a student in Australia and do my SAE course for two and a half years. I have one more year of study but two years left in Australia to do my thing.”
The 4’ 20’ Sound developed from encounters with other travellers from overseas. “I was getting into reggae/ DJ music, and there were a few backpackers who came from the sound systems in Europe to play some gigs in Australia,” Oren says.
“When I met them it opened up the idea of sound-system culture for me, with everything from voicing dub-plates, playing DJ sets with a sound-clash style, and to have an MC doing his thing and hosting the night. I met this guy named Julian and we started to do this sound-system style together whenever we could.”
From there, the two built a culture and community within The 4’ 20’ Sound. “The whole of idea of The 4’ 20’ Sound is around the production team,” Oren says. “There is a big crew in Byron Bay that is involved. We’ve got nine musicians in the crew and we have guests come in every time.”
Audiences in Byron Bay were quick to embrace this idea. “When we started, we played at a small restaurant, which soon became too small for the amount of people coming to the shows,” Oren says.
“It started to become a bit illegal, and so we then started playing at The Brewery which could fit 700 people every night and had the chance to employ as many musicians as possible. After it closed we got The Beach Hotel which was a big upgrade for us. They have a brand new sound system and the best conditions you could have. Every week we bring new local and international artists. We’re really trying to build a welcoming place.”
The 4’ 20’ Sound perform at Island Vibe Festival (North Stradbroke Island) 28-30 October and every Monday night at The Beach Hotel. They also support The Wandering Eyes at the New Globe Theatre 21 October (Brisbane).