The sound systems of Cartagena

The Colombian city of Cartagena is well known for it’s sound systems. Something like the dub sound systems of Jamaica, but perhaps a lot more flamboyant, they have played an important role in shaping the sound of the Colombian Champeta, a mix of genres such as salsa and jíbaro but later included reggae.

In the 70s, these sound systems – called picós – became more important as Champeta culture became more mainstream in Colombia, and was accompanied by a series of diverse and complex dances set to the rhythms of Caribbean music.

Here are some wonderful photos of Cartagena sound systems, click to see larger versions: