Forward>> @ Plastic People 21 July 2005
This weekend’s getaway began at Hackney’s Plastic People, situated one corner away from the location of the failed bus attack that occurred a few hours earlier, where Forward>> played host to Target and DMZ.
Target’s set offered some much needed peace in the sounds of mostly instrumental Wiley music which in the abscense of MC’s allowed his off key sounds and jagged basslines to be experienced in all their glory and avoiding Grime’s harsh lyrical styles that might have been inappropriate. Anti-war dub also spoke even more powerfully than usual, the words stating all that the crowd was feeling.
Unsurprisingly the dance floor was missing some of the familiar faces, partially as a result of the troubles outside and partially due to the impending Repercussion Allnighter, but for the headz that did reach, the dark, dubbed out basement bar provided a true escape. Even in the darkness, the scent of the fresh dubs in the DMZ bag could be smelt a mile off, and was no stronger than during Skreamz remix of Mala’s Ancient Memories which incited a commotion at the front of the floor. Skream’s notorious energy striking such a beautiful, deep and peaceful piece of music created the perfect merge of light and weight and one that stretched the dance floor in different ways. Equally, Loefah and Mala’s take on I and Request Line added some different energy to Skreamz sound, Mala adding contemplation to Skreamz restless Late Night Request Line and the booming authoritative voice of Loefah’s I remix bringing guidance to the bounce of the dancefloor before recalming it with the inclusion of some older, quieter Mystikz tracks.
Repercussion @ Egg, 22 July 2005
Those DMZ-Skreamz mash ups were also unleashed at Repercussion which despite a weight less sound system propelled the peaceful vibes of the past few days. Particularly memorable is the sheer volume of familiar and new faces that were out and for Chef, Skream, N-Type, Walshy, El-Sid and others, the party began on the dance floor of room two where 4 Hero’s sunshine vibes had Skream proclaiming his love of cheese before a mass exodus to the Loft Bar for Bristol’s ThinKing. Tracks by Oris Jay, Vex’d and Big Apple wound up the dub wise clock, ThinKing calling all feet to move before Digital Mystikz, Loefah and Pokes arrived to complete the family knees up. Transferring a group of people, used to low ceilings, low light and low bass to a room with high ceilings, high lighting and high bass, lit the dance floor up with conversation and laughter; meaning that Pokes that didn’t have to work quite as hard to loosen us up in the absence of smoke and sub.
What really struck me though was the collective response to the lack of bass, revealing how strongly the DMZ sound is becoming known for it’s production as opposed to it’s name, so for those who’d come to feel it for themselves, the sound-system was a let down. A few faces departed as a result, but the body of people who stayed for the full set, soon found themselves dancing once again in the middle of a packed floor. Through conversation it was also apparant how many had journied to Repercussion specifically for Deepercussion and the other non DnB sets which highlighted how much the dubbier, spacious and seemingly deeper genres are being embraced at the moment.
Most of the evening thereafter was spent resting in the garden to the beautiful smells of the Jamaican BBQ with occasionally journies to the Drum n Bass room which like although filled with a hectic, deep vibe also suffered it’s fair share of sound problems. All that was left was for me was to locate my purse which I’d lost earlier in the evening, a task with a success that maybe reinforced how nice people were feeling. The journey home was equally as flawless (as opposed to the previous nights journey home from Forward>> which saw me completely lost around London) and the following afternoon I woke up tired but ready to continue the flight through to Sunday’s Love Box which with soulful, jazzy vibes wrapped up the weekend in good vibes to take me through the week of predictably forthcoming media doom and gloom.