Starting this past Thursday night, four of the biggest crews and purveyors of bass music and culture in the NYC brought us all together for three solid and eclectic nights of music. Each night's bill different stylistically then the next but still unified by a shared love and appreciation of low frequencies and heavy basslines.
Konkrete Jungle and PercussionLab set the tone for the weekend on Thursday night with the CassetteNYC monthly at the Santo's Party House bassment. An impressive lineup featuring Montreal's Ghislain Poirier and a surprise set from Laurent Fintoni aka 'Kper' as well as sets from NYC locals FaltyDL, LandoKal, Machinedrum, and Praveen. Laurent was invited by the Cassette crew to stop by and drop a surprise set to open the night and put together a headnodding mix full of beats from the likes of Om Unit, Fulgeance, as well as some exclusive remixes. He made his set available for download HERE along with a complete tracklisting.
Never having seen FaltyDL before and after hearing rave reviews from his live performance at DubWar months back, was eagerly awaiting his midnight set and it did not disappoint. There has been a welcomed resurgence and reinterpretation of the sounds of UKG and 2step in the past year or two and FaltyDL has been one of the producers at the forefront of this movement. Incorporating some of the soulful Garage textures and sexy and shuffling drum patterns he still maintains a very unique sound and approach to his production. His music commands the attention of the listener in a manner similar to Burial while at the same time making bodies move and flow uncontrollably all over the dancefloor. For more on his approach to producing, check out his XLR8Rtv interview and learn how to make some bomb sushi while you're at it! Falty's set was a huge highlight of the week, playing out the infectious tunes from his debut LP on Planet Mu 'Love Is A Liability' [Which you can purchase HERE] as well as some new material as well. Personal highlight of the set was hearing him drop the classic tune from El-B/Ghost- The Club. Not much needs to be said about that track, "It all starts in the club." Timeless music that will still get a response on a dancefloor another decade from now. Be sure to check out Falty's most recent release on Mu, the 'Bravery EP' and also grab his recent mix for the LuckyMe crew HERE featuring some old hip hop flavor scattered throughout.
Next up was an unexpected Tag Team set from Machinedrum and LandoKal. Was awesome to see both of those musicians working together and pushing one another in different directions than if they had just played separate sets. LandoKal banging out drum beats and samples off of his MPC and Machinedrum laying down beats of his own made for a unique set that kept the place moving. Definitely curious to see what else these two come up with in the future, lots of potential.
Ghislain was up next and brought his own signature style to the evening; a blend of bass, soca, dancehall and tropical riddims. As the crowd slowly started to wane, the unmistakable synthesized sounds of Joker & Ginz' 'Purple City' slowly worked their way into the mix, unintentionally foreshadowing what was to come Saturday night where Joker was set to make his NYC debut in that same room.
Leaving Santo's, it was hard not to look at the time and smile upon the revelation that Friday was here...DubWar tonight!!!
DubWar is unlike any event that I've ever been to. There's something really special that goes on each and every month in that club that's tough to put into words and the best way to really grasp that feeling is to experience it for yourself. In a time where the focus of the electronic dance music and culture in NYC seems to revolve around big name DJs, posh clubs, VIP rooms, bottle service, and being seen; DubWar remains strictly about the music. It is about everyone and everything that go into that one night every month that gives everyone that outlet where they can close their eyes, shake out their demons, and let go of the weight and stress of the 9-5. DubWar is Joe Nice, DaveQ, and Incyde; it's Juakali toasting on the mic; it's Liz on the lazers; it's the soundguy who makes that system and this music shine; it's KennyD; it's every single person inside that club on any given month that make it such an amazing and unique experience each and every time. Lucky for everyone rammed into Love Saturday night, DubWar this month was also showcasing the sounds of LionDub, Kryptic Minds, and Loefah.
LionDub kicked off the night right with a ruuuude set. Didn't know at all what to expect and he definitely brought some heavy artillery with him for the night. Hearing dancehall on the Love soundsystem for the first time was large and his set was a great start to the evening.
DQ and Alex Incyde stepped up to the decks next and laid down a set that was both deep and extremely danceable. Lost myself in a bunch of the music and heard a lot of tracks that I've never heard before. Untold- Anaconda is always a pleasure to hear.
At this point the queue outside the club was wrapped well around the corner with a mass of people primed and ready for Loefah to bless the decks.
Loefah put on a clinic. From the opening drop of 'Run', a gargantuan collaboration that only could have come from The Bug and Flowdan. Loefah didn't stop murdering tune after tune, seemlessly playing his own classics like 'System' and 'Rufage' and also dropping new tunes from producers like Skream [Instra:mental- No Future remix, Metal Mouth] and Distance [Alys Blaze & Mr Lager- Tell Me remix]. Loefah's set was pure nonstop energy which peaked with the massive drop and subsequent rewind of Joker's 'Tron VIP'.
Kryptic Minds was up next and played a remarkable set, equally enjoyable as Loefah's but with a deeper and moodier dynamic. He played a ton of original material and the slow-rolling, brooding basslines resonated in ribcages throughout the club. Be sure to purchase the debut Kryptic LP 'One of Us' released on Loefah's Swamp81 label earlier this Fall HERE. Keep your eyes on the Swamp81 camp who have some huge releases in store for 2010 from Skream, Addison Groove, and others.
4:00am rolled around and the stamina crew, still 400 deep at this point were blissfully getting down to a latenight set from Joe Nice who brought the business. Joe's sets continue to push the limits each and every time, this month laying down a heap of quality dubs in a way that no other DJ can. Notably some new tracks from NZ's Truth, Skream's remix of Jack White's new project the Dead Weather 'Cut Like A Buffalo', an absolutely wicked transition into Mala's 'Eyez', as well as Digital Mystikz- DMZ vs. MZN, a beautiful, beautiful, tune reserved for special occasions that you will ONLY hear played out by either Mala or Joe.
Loefah then stepped back up and out of nowhere came the Dead Prez track 'Hip Hop' and left jaws on the floor. That right there is probably one of my favorite WTF?! DubWar moments I've ever experienced. Loefah and Joe then laid down tunes back to back until the last track of the evening rolled out at about 5:40 in the morning, a new record for DubWar.
Be sure to check out the rest of the photos of the night HERE. Respect to Ken for those and for that awesome video as well!
Saturday brought us back to Santo's Party House for this month's Trouble & Bass party, a UK invasion featuring Joker and Nomad, L-Vis1990 B2B Alex Bok-Bok, as well as the T&B residents Star Eyes, The Captain, and AC Slater. T&B crew got the night going with a rotating set between the residents, flexing the system and getting everyone fully hyped up for the night to come. Really feeling Douster's 'King Of Africa' dropped by the Captain, some Lion King Club music, big tune. RIP Mufasa, your chest. Also AC laying down the fresh Heavyfeet remix of Zinc ft. Nolay 'Killa Sound' forthcoming on BingoBeats.
Next up pon the decks was a back to back set between L-Vis1990 and Bok-Bok on the last night of their US tour. You are going to be hearing a lot more about these cats in the near future and look out for Bok-Bok to be featured in an upcoming XLR8R soon. Their set was off the wall and had the completely packed club going apeshit.
Pure energy! Winding and wonky synthlines and funky drum beats kept the crowd on their toes and left us all wanting more. Was also great hearing Zed Bias- 'Neighborhood 09' getting the rinse out, a tasteful revamp of an absolute stunner tune from the Garage days. "I feel good, good, good..."
Joker and Nomad hit the stage next and proceeded to absolutely obliterate shit. There is a reason that this kid is on the cover of this month's XLR8R [which you can read online HERE] and this set lived up to all the hype and then some. His demeanor on stage totally cool, calm, and collected while dropping some of the most gutwrenchingly hype tunes of the past two years, most of which being original productions. 'Digidesign' as well as the unreleased Skreamix, 'Purple City', 'Gullybrook Lane' all went off. Most notably was his new unreleased tune 'Tron' forthcoming on his debut LP and which you can't seem to go anywhere without hearing these days. Have heard that one dropped by a wide array of DJs over the past couple months such as Headhunter, Starkey, Mala, Benga, N-Type, and more. Disturbingly sick tune.
Other highlights were his collaboration with Skream 'Skittles', Silkie's remix of 'Filth' as well as tunes from fellow Bristol badman Gemmy. Joker ended his set with some tear out DnB that sounded a lot like some new Clipz and TC material. Big ups to Nomad for being one of the most entertaining and hype MCs I've seen. Kept the vibes alive without detracting away from the tunes and stayed on the mic for a grip when the Trouble & Bass crew followed Joker's set to close out the night.