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.
Put simply, UK rave culture simply would not be the same without Manchester’s influence during the late 1980s and the “Second Summer of Love”. Madchester, as it was commonly called, was the catalyst for raves up and down the country, a new way of communal dancing, it would proceed to dominate underground nightlife for almost four decades. The ethos is far from dead; cotemporary Manchester is a sprawling metropolis that plays host to dance music of all varieties. One of the most prominent however has got to be Drum & Bass – with this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best events in September.
AMP x DoubleDrop: Technimatic, Pola & Bryson, Keeno, Fox at The Bread Shed (27th September)
On the 27th September we see one of the best liquid Drum & Bass line-ups Manchester has seen in a while, with the esoteric duo Technimatic taking the reins as headliners.
With three albums now under their belt the producers have slowly risen to the upper echelons of this soulful Drum & Bass scene, with tracks that can just as easily incite tears as they can raucous dancing. “Parallel”, off their second album “Better Perspective” is a perfect example of this, with Zara Kershaw’s vocals complimenting Technimatic’s emotive synth work. AMP and DoubleDrop don’t end there however, as they also invite Spearhead stalwarts Pola & Bryson to the stage, as well as the incredible orchestral sounds of Keeno. The legendary MC Fox has also been recruited on hosting duties, ensuring this Drum & Bass rave really does have it all.
Randall w/ SI8r And More at South (19th September)
Jungle and Drum & Bass DJs rarely come with as much experience and knowledge of the scene as Randall, a man who has been there right from the very start. He was pioneering UK underground electronic dance music right from its inception around the time of the infamous 1989 Second Summer Of Love, running through Acid House, Hardcore and Jungle, before arriving at Drum & Bass. Indeed, ask some of the biggest stars of the genre today such as Andy C or Friction who their most formative DJ influence was and they will undoubtedly say it was Randall.
Aside from being one of the best in the game when it comes to song selection, the selector is also a highly celebrated technical DJ, yet another reason why his profile has remained as consistently large as it is. You just don’t get much better. Joining Randall is the up-and-coming producer SI8r, someone who has been receiving steady support from the likes of Bryan Gee, Source Direct, Ray Keith and Randall himself. The future looks bright for this young star, his DJ sets have also been touted as being incredibly varied, taking in the whole spectrum of Jungle and Drum & Bass. Tickets sit at £6 currently, a bargain to see someone of Randall’s status.
AMP x DoubleDrop: SDC with Voltage + Dutta at The Bread Shed (16th September)
The team behind Antwerp Mansion have joined forces with DoubleDrop for a Q3 and Q4 programme of monolithic proportions, especially if you are partial to a spot of high quality Drum & Bass and Jungle. As well as the huge liquid line-up we previously mentioned, September also sees Shadow Demon Coalition head to The Bread Shed alongside certified DJ Voltage. The coalition generally is made up of MCs Trigga and Bassman, a duo whose respective styles complement each other perfectly, providing them with legions of fans up and down the UK. One listen to shows such as their BBC Radio 1xtra takeover in 2017 exemplifies this – pure energy.
AMP and DoubleDrop have also invited the outstanding Voltage to pair up with SDC, in what is bound to be an absolutely raucous affair. The man is best known for his work as one third of Kings Of The Rollers, however has also got a slew of hits to his name as a solo act too. There are few producers so adept at making the kind of old-school Jungle inspired Drum & Bass as Voltage, so this is going to be a set to remember for sure. Local star Dutta is also on the bill as support, a name that is quickly becoming synonymous with the high-quality Manchester underground Drum & Bass scene. £7 tickets are shifting quickly so don’t wait around!
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