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Fatman Hifi

Page history last edited by redman 14 years, 12 months ago

Fatman & Fatman HiFi

Fatman Hifi, a Sound System from Tottenham, North London. Fatman, real name Kenneth Gordon, moved from the Waterhouse area of Kingston to the UK in 1962. Initially he worked with Sir Fanso The Tropical Downbeat selecting music for the sound. When Sir Fanso packed the sound and left for Jamaica Fatman decided forming his own Sound System. This was in 1974 and initially the sound was called Wild Bells and then Imperial Downbeat before finally settling on the name Fatman. He funded it by working two jobs.


The selector from the sounds start to the early 80's was Ribs (Robert Fearon), when he left Fatman Ribs formed Unity Hifi. By 1977 the sound had residencies at Club Noreik on Seven Sisters Road, the Nightingale in Tottenham and Phebes in Stoke Newington (which ended in the summer of 1977) and in 1979 at the Queens Head Hall, Turnpike Lane. In 1977 Fatman opened a record shop in West Green Road, Tottenham. Prior to that store he had a store in Tottenham High Road right next door to the police station. In '79 Fatman Hifi won the best Sound System Vote at the Black Echoes British Reggae Awards (see box for ratings)

Sound System Vote at the Black Echoes British Reggae Awards 1979 (last years positions in parenthesis)

1.(2) Fatman

2.(3) Jah Shaka

3.(6) Moa Anbessa

4.(1) Sir Coxsone

4.(-) Jah Whitey

5.(12) Soferno B

In the early 80's MC's Raymond Naptali and Roy Ranking were regulars on the sound and were releasing records on Fatmans KG Imperial Record label.


In 1981, in an interview with Black Echoes, Ken Gordon described the sound

"Weight section: thirty eighteen inch speakers.

Mid Range: four fifteen and four twelve inch units.

Top end, tweaters; two in each mid range unit.

Fully transistorised amplification; and yes it's all three noughts!

Record deck: single auto changer."


The sound built a strong relationship with Prince Jammy in Jamaica. This relationship saw them obtain Jammy's dubs before UK sounds and eventually to some of Jammy's productions being released on KG Imperial.


During the 90's the sound system took a break while Fatman himself focused on production, distribution, promotion and managing his sons sound »Gold Star Muzik«. Fatman Hifi is now active again and has been playing revival dances with people such as  Sir Coxsone and King Tubby's.


Labels related to Fatman

  • KG Imperial - KG stands for Kenneth Gordon, Fatmans given name.
  • Fatman (sometimes also spelled Fåtmån)

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