Since the early 90s Drum & Bass has trail blazed its way through the public consciousness, starting out in the underground before erupting into the world of dance music and beyond. There is no surprise that the genre has risen to the pinnacle of bass music – the raw energy and emotion can be hard to find elsewhere. From the sounds of early Metalheadz to the new school of producers becoming increasingly apt at the synthesis of old Jungle era tropes with updated technology, in today’s Drum & Bass world there is something for everybody.
Like most dance music, especially the bassier strains, you cannot enjoy Drum & Bass to its maximum potential without being in a club (or festival) surrounded by like-minded ravers and a weighty sound system. It is music made for the dance floor, from the delicate and soulful sounds of Calibre to the frenetic and brutish sonics behind icons like DJ Hazard or DJ Hype, one things for certain – you’ll be hard pressed to stop yourself getting carried away.
Birmingham has always been one the leading destinations for Drum & Bass and Jungle music, quickly becoming a powerhouse in the UK. Indeed, after the initial wave of DJs from London, such as the influential Fabio & Grooverider, the midlands city was responsible for some of the finest names in the game – ever heard of Goldie? No wonder then that Birmingham offers some of the best events out there. The only question now is; where can I find the hottest Drum & Bass raves?
Lab11 Rooftop Series – Technimatic LP Launch at Lab11 (17th August)
One of the best things about summer in Birmingham is the multitude of rooftop parties that are on offer throughout the city, with Lab11’s roof space undeniably being the pick of the bunch. The view from up there is majestic to say the least, but the club also do a sterling job in programming the music too. A great example of this is the Technimatic LP launch; because is there anything better than liquid Drum & Bass in the sun? The smooth tones of the genre are perfect for a bit of light daytime raving, especially when DJs such as the esoteric Technimatic are at the controls.
The duo have long been associated with beautifully crafted Drum & Bass music, with tracks often saddling the line between bass-fuelled madness and highly melodic introspection. This is something perfectly exemplified by “Let If Fall” on the brand new album “Through The Hours”. The track blends a typically sub-driven bass line with atmospheric synth pads and sax samples – it is something you can listen to in the comfort of your own home, as well as in a dark club; not the easiest thing to achieve. But Technimatic’s pedigree has long been known so this is not much of a surprise, listen to any one of their three albums and you will quickly hear the same kind of sentiment. This party is capped to 200 people only, so you better act quick!
Liquescent x Fursty Records “After Party”: Dillinja at Lab11 (17th August)
The above rooftop party runs until 11, but did you really think the guys over at Lab11 would let the festivities end there? Absolutely not is the answer, with two Midlands powerhouses in Liquescent and Fursty Records joining forces to bring a killer Drum & Bass line-up to the warehouse afterhours. Both have been responsible for some gargantuan shows in Birmingham over the years, and this one will be no different. Headlining proceedings is one of the OGs in the genre Dillinja, a producer who has a quite incredible 500 releases to his name in some shape or form, and also one that has helped drive the whole sound forward over the years.
You don’t get signed to Goldie’s seminal Metalheadz label for nothing after all, and it comes as no surprise that Dillinja’s classic “The Angels Fell” was released through the imprint. Technology has moved on a lot since then, but Drum & Bass still rarely gets better than this. Although AC13 will certainly have something to say about that. The new-school producer is also on the line-up, crowning off a solid couple of years that have seen him emerge as one of the brightest young talents in the scene. Listening to “Awake”, for instance, you would think that it was made by one of the OGs, such is its weight and power. SL8R, Nuvaman, Arttu and Demtew round off the bill – it all makes for a perfect after-party.
Basslayerz In Association With Raveology at Tunnel Club (25th August)
The 25th of August sees Basslayerz make their first highly anticipated appearance in Birmingham, combining with the iconic events brand Raveology to give the people a full-frontal Drum & Bass and Jungle assault. Basslayerz is comprised of Slipz, Bomma and Spyda, and have been laying waste to stages across the UK for a good few years now. They also act as an events brand, receiving the Best Breakthrough Promoters prize at The National Drum & Bass Awards in 2017. Their pedigree, therefore, is well known, and it comes as no surprise that they have gained a reputation for cracking Drum & Bass events and performances too.
Here they top the bill in a link-up with TNA (Nu Elementz, Azza and Grima), in what is sure to be a pulverising set from the two crews. And the line-up doesn’t end there, with seminal legend Grooverider also taking to the controls alongside MCs Bassman and Trigga. Elsewhere Logan D and Evil B take to the stage, with Nicky Blackmarket and the Ragga Twinz also flying the flag for Jungle over the course of the evening. 1st release tickets sit at £20 currently, but taking into the account the size of this line-up they won’t be around for long.
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