Brighton’s Hottest Drum & Bass Raves: May

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.

Only a short train ride away from London, Brighton has long absorbed musical influences from the capital, nowhere does this show more than in the Drum & Bass world. Fans of dance music in general may attribute Brighton more with the likes of Fatboy Slim, but do not be fooled, the city has a rich heritage in bass music; highly respected figures such as Friction call it home for instance. Brighton also has one of the most resolutely underground and communal clubs across the UK in Volks, a wonderfully simple and fairly small venue which is known, week in week out, to deliver the best in Drum & Bass and its surrounding genres. Without further ado, let us take a look at some of Brighton’s hottest Drum & Bass raves this May.


Space Cadet Brighton - DRS / LSB / Dogger at Hideout (25th May)

DRS is one of the most respected MCs in the UK, regardless of genre. For 25 years now the man born Delroy Pottinger has relentlessly applied himself to all aspects of the underground music scene, in particular that of Drum & Bass. His deep and relaxed voice, often poignantly emotive, is a mainstay in the genre, especially in the soulful world of liquid Drum & Bass. Frequent collaborations with some of the scene’s most respected artists, such as Calibre and LSB, has cemented himself as an MC who revels in musicianship and song writing just as much as hyping a crowd up at a rave. Listen to tracks such as “Something To Believe In” for an insight into the Mancunian’s soulful, guttural and moving lyricism.

Space Cadet is both the title of DRS’s most recent EP and also that of the record label he has launched after years of careful planning and deliberation. The aesthetic is closely informed by Pottinger’s formative years in the 80s, “watching Sci-Fi, being a stoner and all the space cadet connotations that come with it”. Something that sounds perfectly in tandem with the soulful, spaced out liquid Drum & Bass sound that DRS has made his name providing vocals for. The Space Cadet Brighton launch sees him join forces with mercurial producer LSB for a set that is bound to be spellbinding. In such an intimate space as Hideout the atmosphere will only get more special. Tickets start at £5 but be quick, they won’t last for long.

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SuperCharged Presents High Contrast at The Arch (10th May)

There are few producers like High Contrast in the entirety of the electronic dance music scene. He occupies a space that is more commonly associated with composers or massively talented record producers, such is his musical pedigree. One listen to something like “Racing Green” wholeheartedly confirms this. It is rare to hear such extravagant real instrumentation in dance music, rarer still to hear it pulled off in such a perfect manner. You can hear that, at heart, High Contrast is a proper full-fledged musician; he writes songs that can be listened to anywhere at anytime, not just in the club. And that is, surely, a pivotal aspect to his success – it isn’t a coincidence that his debut album “True Colours” sent shockwaves throughout the Drum & Bass scene, as well as the world of commercial major labels.

It was after this that the, at the time, young producer was picked up by Drum & Bass juggernauts Hospital Records, going on to release seminal classics such as “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and “If We Ever”. You cannot argue with High Contrast’s status as pioneering producer, but his ethereal talent on the decks should not be ignored either. For instance, in 2007 his Radio 1 Essential Mix was selected as “Essential Mix of The Year” by the legendary Pete Tong. One listen to the sprawling masterpiece is enough to show that Mr. Tong was completely right – High Contrast definitely deserved that. The 10th of May sees him return to Brighton, this time at celebrated venue The Arch with up-and-coming DJ Mollie Collins on support duties. Not one to miss for any self-effacing Brighton based Drum & Bass aficionado, that’s for sure.

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Multi Function Brighton 9th Birthday at The Arch (24th May)

Over the last decade DJ Levela’s Multi Function events brand has become a certified mainstay on the Brightonian coast, consistently bringing huge Drum & Bass line-ups down to rapturous acclaim. After 9 years of throwing some huge parties – most notably last Summer’s all-day open air event on the Brighton seafront – Multi Function are back to celebrate their birthday. And what a celebration this will be, they have upgraded from Volks to The Arch and this added bit of capacity has resulted in a truly monstrous line-up. A.M.C heads up the bill alongside MC Phantom, whilst Voltage, Limited, Mr Traumatik and Levela also join the fray. Such a heavily stacked billing is a rarity in Brighton, it is sure to be a crazy evening.

Drum & Bass DJ A.M.C made a name for himself at the tail end of the 00s with mind-boggling DJ routines that regularly incorporated at least 4 decks. Since then his clear focus and determination has resulted in the flowering of his label Titan Records, as well as releases on some huge labels and an almost 24/7 worldwide touring schedule. Watch his UKF On Air 2017 mix to get a flavour of how outrageous the man is behind the buttons. Voltage, another massive name on the line-up, is one third of the steamrolling Drum & Bass super-group Kings of the Rollers and has been steadily making a name for himself for more than a decade now. Characterised by deep, Jungle influenced bass-lines and a paradoxically bruising minimalism, Voltage is a name to look out for in 2019, and beyond. This event is almost sure to sell-out, grab a £10 ticket whilst you can!

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