Every DMZ rave leaves me with a buzz that keeps me locked out of the harsh reality of modern living for a good few days. Judging by the messages on the dubstep forum, I aint the only one, and if my eyes are correct, that means that right now there are around 400 people in the UK and overseas on a high after the mass post-christmas-turkey shakedown that was the first DMZ of 2006.
Inside the walls of Brixton’s 3rd Base is where the party happens. Away from the cold of the winter, the bass, the vibes, the smiles and the electric energy fueled 8 hours of skanking, chat, meditation and quite simply put, love in it’s purest form. It may sound like hippie bullshit, but all those who were there know what I mean.
I’ve tried thinking about exactly what it is that makes DMZ so magical and I’ve come to the conclusion that it can’t be pinpointed to one specific element. The deep bass vibrations that flow from vinyl to needle through the speakers into the air, through the floor and into every part of the body is one. The excitement of experiencing a sound that is completely fresh yet retains elements of many different genres and cultures is another.
Then there’s the crowd which now adays is a healthy mix of those who have witnessed the evolution of this sound for a few years such as the soundmen who wait anxiously to hear which of their latest dubs will be dropped or reloaded, and those who are just getting into it and still can’t believe their ears- be they younger Grime and Garage fans or older Jungle heads. Whoever you are, you’re made to feel welcome, so much so that when every time a classic DMZ anthem drops, the few hundred people on the dancefloor become one entity.
Saturday was in my mind the best DMZ to date and it’s still only January. Exactly what they have in store for the first birthday bash I honestly don’t know, but I can confidently say it will be one hell of a celebration. Bring on the big cakes.
My memories… (in order of when they occured)
1. Thinking illness was gonna mean I couldn’t reach DMZ then realising I was well enough
2. Arriving just in time to hear Pinch reloading Blackdown’s Lata
3. Catching up with familiar faces, meeting new ones
4. Realising that I left my camera battery charging at home half an hour before the DMZ set which meant rushing out on to the streets of Brixton to hail down a cab to take me to home and back to pick the battery up. Luckily I made it back just as the DMZ set opened
5. The crowd reactions during the DMZ set and their response to it
6. The abundance of ladies and youngers
7. Hearing Horror Show explode the dancefloor as if it had never been heard before
8. A chunk of Mala’s uplifting 4×4 beats followed by a chunk of Coki’s dub-zombie business and the Haunted reloads (dmz’s anthem?)
9. Standing behind the decks and seeing hands and heads for as far as the eye could reach.
10. Walking around the room and hearing people chatting about how much they’re feelin the sound
11. Crazy D jumping on the mic at the start of Hatcha’s set and the crowds appreciation that followed
12. Shackleton and Engine Room rockin the dancefloor in suits
13. Dancing to old school jungle at 5am on a Sunday thanks to Kode9
Shouts to all the feet trod on, arms bashed, eyes blinded with flash and all the smiling faces… a rave to remember? Damn straight. More photos online soon… http://www.flickr.com/photos/drumzofthesouth/sets/1802773