Man and woman and Pan and boom
And siren song and spiral pulse
Blood blessed by fire and touch and light,
of silver, quick, and hot, and bright
Oh my god.
That just went OFF.
Absolutely rammed, but a really sweet crowd and oh my god that music was just incredible. Aural warfare. Party rocking, crowd pleasing, bass wobbling aural warfare. The crowd was absolutely gagging for it, and it was really well mixed too. And even though it was way too full for my taste – it was pretty hard to get space to dance – there was still that fabulously happy sweet DMZ vibe. Other than one bloke who hadn’t clocked that you’re really not supposed to make space by throwing your weight around, and the knobhead bouncer. I reckon there will be twice as many people trying to get in next time cos every new DMZer is bound to tell all their mates how much fun it was. And it was rammed all the way to the end of the Mala / Loefah set, so the people dem were clearly well into it.
Kode 9’s set was the most artful of the lot, seriously progressive. Dropping Prince was a masterstroke (and demonstrated how sadly lacking in swing too much halfstep is). I think Loe pulled it up for him. 9’s set structure thereafter was really good, lots of chuntering breaky details. And his “On the Corner” t-shirt is the bizzle, I want one.
DMZ rocked it. Literally. On the stage I could hardly stand up from the bass pressure. Mala and Loefah were fab, nice bit of sleng teng action at the start, plus all the big tunes you wanted (could maybe have done with a few more new ones?) and Mud was just huge. There was a lot of soul starting to come through, especially on Mala’s sections which I would have liked more of, that “belaeric” stuff.
Skream was incredibly good — class tunes. His stuff seems mastered louder and with much clearer mid range (that “plasticky”vibe) than the other big producers. But enough nerdery — the three things I loved most about Skream’s set was first, the sheer bouncy energy of it, second, the magnificent hooky tunefulness of it, and last, those female reggae vocal samples — I want LOTS more of that please. Add them together and it was just huge fun. And he’s got some gorgeous melodies nestling in those tunes.
Downsides? Well, there’s still too many monotone, dull halfsteppers around. I’m aching to hear more vocals on dubstep (see Martin Blackdown’s recent blog post for some additional support for that idea). There were a few too many rewinds. And most of all I didn’t quite get that incredible spiritual sense of flight that I got from seeing Mala play solo. But then, we are at the other side of Beltaine rather than on the wild ride up to it.
But none of those minor criticisms matter. Oh, and the security were arseholes, for which there was absolutely no need, because…
Above all, that night was all about the crowd. Even though it was “moody” London, even though it was way too packed, even though it had loads of people new to dubstep, it was still an immensely sweet crowd. Not a trace of attitude despite the crush and the aggression from security. The massive just shrugged it off and got down.
I loved it.
Many thanks to Hijak’s mate Charlotte and Danny Bwoy fo additional pix – their’s are the ones that look good. Mine don’t.