Saturday, 22 September 2012


Hard to resist with a line-up like that. 90% of time I look at festival / weekender line-ups and at best there are 1 or 2 artists I would be tempted to see, the rest is mundane indie dance student semi-alternative bollox. Bangface always seem to hit properly hard though and in the end this proved too much to resist, even as a solo mission with a lot of driving.

Unfortunately that amount of driving resulted in me arriving late on Friday night, setting up camp several miles from the rave, and then not having enough petrol to get there and back and not enough energy to dick around with taxis and stuff. If I'd known that night's line-up was: Dave Clarke > Venetian Snares > Bong-Ra > Outside Agency then I'd have tried a bit harder....clearly I am pretty pissed I missed that lot.

But I got good value raving on the next two nights, catching, in order:

Renegade feat Ray Keith Live:
 Pretty good job of a live set and pretty good jungle overall, although a bit stop/start and I'd have preferred more old-skool Ray Keith stuff.

DJ Starscream (ex-Slipknot):
(techno, dubstep, jungle, breakcore)
 Good and surprising set, I thought this dude was just relentless breakcore but he mixed it up pretty well with a full spectrum of styles, building up to the proper mashed up stuff, all pretty good.

(electronica, jungle, hardcore)
 The surprise of the night, I only caught the last part of this set but it sounded really nice, bleepy trancey melodies with fast jungle and hard techno beats. Not sure if the whole set was like this but would happily see more of Wisp.

808 State:
(oldskool, breakbeat)
 Another surprise, I didn't really know much about 808S apart from them having done some old skool / housey anthems, but despite the least charismatic frontman ever, they did some good breakbeat stuff, and some of their newer tracks which were nice solid drum and bass styles.

Current Value:
(hard drum and bass)
 Excellent! Proper hardcore Current Value style, but not all pots and pans, with a few abstract and dubsteppy bits thrown in amongst the mayhem. Set of the weekend for me and great to dance to. I find some of the modern hard dnb a bit relentless on CD but it works great in a rave.

Producer & Hellfish:
(gabber, breakbeat)
 Good stuff, exactly as expected, I used to catch Producer loads in my earlier raving years, and he's still going strong, mixing it in well with Hellfish and some hip-hop and breakbeat styles with proper pogoing gabber beats.

DJ Yoda:
(hip-hop, funk, dubstep, audio-visual)
 Well put together set of slick and entertaining audio-visual mixing. Entertaining stuff although not my sort of thing to rave to.

(electronica, ambient, techno)
 Again another nice set but not really that energetic and dancey. Some of the earlier parts were excellent listening ambient / downbeat.

Aphex Twin:
(acid techno, industrial electro, breakhop, neo-jungle, noisecore)
Good set....maybe a great set. Slightly marred by early technical hitches (15 mins late start, then 15 mins downtime just after starting), and being bloody boiling in the rave so I had to chill out even when he transmogrified into the jungle stuff. But the actual music was often great, some classy acid techno, the vibes were mad (5 lasers + 15 giant inflatable dolphins at one point) and the breakcore finish was amazing. So yeah good stuff...
(Terrible sound but you get the idea)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Tunes of 2011

...available on good old physical media at your chosen outlet.

Origin - Evolution Of Extinction (Entity CD)

Track of the year from album of the year by metal band of the year - the epitomy of their precise, complex, well-crafted and utterly brutal style.

Cern, Dose, & Teknik - Huntsville (Commercial Suicide Compilation CD)

Drum and bass - music that keeps on giving....and keeps spreading in ever-more diverse areas. Sticking with straight up modern techstep, this track was a real eye-opener for it's unbelievably filthy sound. Less future funk and more steampunk funk.

Donny - Something Terrible (Riot & Revolt CD)

The harder side of DnB as diversified too with the hardcore/breakcore/idm/dnb crossover being increasingly fertile ground. It often gets too mashed up for me, but when the artists blend the toughness with a straight up dnb groove, you get properly good tracks like this one.

All Shall Perish - The Past Will Haunt Us Both (This Is Where It Ends CD)

A return to form for All Shall Perish and a beautiful death metal love ballad. Which vile twats say heavy music can't have any soul or emotion??

Gridlok - Enemies Of The State (Commercial Suicide Compilation CD)

I'm not the biggest fan of the choppy offbeat steppy style of DNB, not of Gridlok's overly-bleepy production. But sometimes two wrongs make an irrefutable right in this brilliant epic industrial dnb soundtrack.

Eye-D & DJ Hidden - Battlefield (Peer-2-Peer Pressure CD)

A great, refined and interesting CD by perhaps the foremost purveyors of the gabber/dnb crossover. They bring dnb influences into awesome hardcore tracks like Hell's Basement, and hardcore influences into this very well-named piece of headbanging dnb artillery.

Fuck it, can't resist including one more...
Seba - It Ain't The Weather (Commercial Suicide Compilation CD)

As diverse and and as interesting as DNB gets, sometimes you just can't beat a straight up deep dark roller. And this is a great one from the usually mellow and choppy man Seba.

In case anyone was wondering, albums of the year 2011:
Ray Keith & Bladerunner - Dub Dread 4
Origin - Entity
Eye-D & DJ Hidden - Peer 2 Peer Pressure
All Shall Perish - This Is Where It Ends
DJ Asmatik - Homicide Voltaire
Dyprax & Unexist - Disorder In Italy
DJ Distance - Dubstep All Stars 8
Torsten Kanzler & Sven Wittekind - Basstech 1
Raiden - Beton Arme
Ill Skillz - Nectar And Ambrosia
Any DJ mix by S.P.Y.

Go forth and sate your ears' need for awesomeness!