Just got back from London and can report that broken up bass heavy music is essentially killing dance floors from the big clubs all the way down to the small pubs in east london. When I had to choose between James Blake's premiere show with his live band at Plan B in Brixton, the Joy Orbison and Ben UFO party in Shoredtich, and the jaw droping list of bass music killers including Benga, Horsepower Productions, Seiji, Redlight, and Scratch Perverts DJing at Fabric, I knew that I'd picked the right place to take a little winter vacation.
So I chose the James Blake show… Even before he's released his first album, he's getting an unbelievable amount of hype. Way more than any other emerging electronic producer I can think of, so I figured- why not join in and see what it's all about. I started hearing about tracks like “CMYK” last year after a tweet from Diplo that simply said “James Blake is killing it.” Now his cover of Feist's “Limit To Your Love” has people hyped about an almost completely different direction to his music. Obviously with so few releases to his name, the show was surrounded with a great deal of mystery. There was an incredible amount of excitement: people cheering at every song's intro like each were a big tune everyone already knew, and of course, one D-bag in the crowd that had his lighter up in the air. But the show was mellow, much less of a dance party and much more of an emotional music experience. The band was messy, but in a way that was believablely a deliberate disengagement from rhythmic precision. Its hard not to compare the upcoming music to the Postal Service, though where their music was more of a tin-ny voice over minimal electronic pop, James Blake's vocals are small and soulful, rolling over sparce bits of heavy bass and dubstep inspired sounds. The hype's already getting big stateside, so there's no doubt this show will be here soon enough.
There was also FWD, Rinse.fm's Thursday night party at Plastic People in Shoreditch. FWD refers to the style of forward thinking music that comes from this particular family of DJs, the kind of genre-less music that no one dares put a name to, but is kindly refered to as being under the umbrella of post-dubstep. This particular night was Roska's birthday party featuring him on the decks, rinsing out his style of heavy percussive UK funky rhythms and accompanied by his MC Jamie George.
Pearson Sound (aka Ramadanman) kicked off the night with his own style of somewhat minimalist but bass heavy rhythms that are broken down into tiny bite size bits. This club has a reputation for having the best soundsystem in town, and given that it's essentially a tiny basement, it has an intimacy that DJs from all over the world love to return to. The space is almost completely dark, save the illuminated orange square recess behind the DJ booth where one can place their record bins and be able to find the next tune. Big music, tiny space, huge following, lots of dancing, and totally dark, so be careful who you pull.
And after all that, here's the new BLANKS mixtape, made in London and featuring music from a few of the previously mentioned artists and a few remixes from myself. (Two available for download here.)
01 Chris Brown ft Busta Rhymes & Lil Wayne (Prod. by Diplo & Afrojack) – Look at Me Now
02 Solid Groove – Show Me Su'mn
03 Alix Perez – Untitled
04 Bjork – Hunter
05 Zarif – Box of secrets (Redlight remix)
06 Aaliyah – One in a Million
07 Taylor – CMB (Girl Unit remix)
08 Die & Interface ft William Cartwright – Bright Lights (Joker remix)
09 Terror Danjah ft D Double – Undeniable
10 DJ Roc – I can''t control the feeling
11 Addison Groove – Footcrab
12 Kingdom – Seven Chirp
13 Paleface – Do you mind (Crazy Cousinz remix)
13 Squarepusher – My red hot car
14 Colours & Stephen Emmanuel – Hold on (se22 remix)
15 Basement Jaxx – Get Yo Damn Hands Up
16 House Under the Moon – Direct Hit (Cevin's Club Version)
17 Trolley Snatcha – Pass me by
18 Marco Del Horno ft P Money – Ho riddim
19 Matta – Mind Control
20 James Blake – CMYK
21 Untold – Stereo Freeze
22 Roska – Squark
22 DJ Nate – Turn Back Time
23 Jam City vs Butthole Surfers – Magic Pepper Drops (Clickbeatle remix)
24 Lunice – Purp Walk
25 Ludacris – Throw Them Bows
26 Sean Kingston ft Nicki Minaj – Letting Go (Kingdom dub)
27 Chemical Brothers – Swoon
28 Salem vs Rick Ross – King BMF (Clickbeatle remix)
**Upcoming BLANKS event: Oh La' La' at Tandem Bar BK, Jan 22, Free, 10pm- 4am, Music by the BLANKS DJs.