Following the weekend that was, our man in the rave Nydus takes us through the main event; A Bunch Of Cuts...
Just as the buzz died from the Olympics, A Bunch Of Cuts provided another reason to be excited by opening tickets sales for a line-up at a venue that was undisclosed until a week before kicking off. In fact, with such a diverse and pensively thought out line up, including the celebration of DRS’s LP ‘I Don’t Usually Like MC’s But…’, the question has to be asked, if you weren’t there - why not?
Hands down, this was the best drum & bass night I’ve attended so far this year. Musically, this night was consistently on point, real music throughout and a brilliant crowd to go with it. There was something for everyone, providing you are into the deeper sounds of drum & bass. ABOC are now renowned (and continue) to hold positive parties, with a family-like vibe. In house residents Marcus Intalex, Calibre, dBridge, Klute & Doc Scott, make it safe to say this is serious business.
Credit where credit it is due to Broken & Uneven for promoting the event. For those that don’t know, Broken & Uneven is the London promotion team behind memorable nights held at The End & Cable, the multi genre promotion team provide diverse cutting-edge music across a range of venues. ABOC's main room was in association with Organic, who will be providing video footage, shortly so you can see for yourself how good it was! Hosted in a Warehouse in Shadwell, East London was ideal and in my opinion, the perfect type of venue to hold this exclusive music, it felt more natural/at home than a pristine super club and yet still maintained the professionalism of one. I was very impressed by the bespoke Function One sound system from Sound Services; it succeeded in absolutely tearing the place down! Extravagant lighting was not on the cards, but the venue remained visually adequate and I personally enjoyed the dark and dingy feel.
"Hands down, this was the best drum & bass night I’ve attended so far this year."
We had the pleasure of hearing Soul:r honcho Marcus Intalex play twice, as he kicked off ABOC in Room 1 before proceeding to play a ‘Soul:r Archives Set’ in room 2. Intalex delivered real intimacy, classic upon classic was bestowed as a clued up audience anticipated the next tune. It’s as if Intalex’s DJ sets have a theme containing, uplifting, positive and friendly emotions which all constitute to a great experience.
Meanwhile in Room 1, Klute’s energetic, dark and techy crusade was responsible for filling the dance floor. Justyce continued to eloquently host, as Dub Phizix opened with the ever-familiar bomb that is ‘Marka’. His set continued to employ half-time, clean cut, tribal-like steppers, as he controlled and shifted the mood by including aggressive ragga influenced vocal cuts.
DRS’s performance with Riya & Strategy again switched things up as we sustained an alternating change of vibes. Everyone showed great respect to DRS for compiling a consistently high quality LP, which features a range of premier-class, heavyweight producers. For so many people to congregate into one room to show support was moving as the vocal talents of the trio was quite simply exhilarating.
As we approached the very early hours of the morning the venue became increasingly hot (probably too hot!), Fabio aided in turning up the heat further as we were consequently treated to a mixture of soul in all its guises. Whether it was broken, straight or intricate beats, they were all backed by serious bass lines and elegant melodies – superb. My favourite set came from Calibre, it is a difficult task in attempting to describe the set adjectively, as it was simply an assortment of remarkable music with seamless transitions over a 60 minute period. Calibre was assisted by DRS, who he has previously collaborated with. DRS undertook the role as the middle ground between the music and the crowd, establishing a connection that was paramount in joining the two forces?? As with many other DJs it was interesting to hear they were not pressured to play a full set of the latest available and unreleased music, I think this is a great testament to what ABOC represents.
"Fabio aided in turning up the heat further as we were consequently treated to a mixture of soul in all its guises."
Exit proprietor dBridge took the hot seat alongside SP:MC, as we entered the last few hours of the event. For me, dBridge’s set symbolised individualistic music that entices you to remain in awe. His eclectic selection epitomizes a varied musical journey full of different moods and energies that all have one element in common, emotion. SP:MC instinctively knew - due to his encyclopaedic knowledge of the music, when to provide the bridge between dBridge and the audience and as expected hosted brilliantly over a memorable experience.
The man behind the momentous ‘Future Beats’ podcasts, Doc Scott’s slick and metronomic mixing style kept the room ticking. He was a DJ that was able to incorporate a range of forward-thinking, sophisticated and meaningful music into his set, whilst being able to manipulate the crowd into feeling naturalistic progressions, sheer class.
Many call the last hour at an event the graveyard shift; this was not the case at ABOC. As S.P.Y stepped up, the crowd was still packed, the energy was high and the vibes were still on point as we all maintained the desire to hear more music. S.P.Y bossed the decks as he played a vigorous tear out set; I believe he played the most varied set of the evening as he combined the various pockets of drum & bass. It was almost a ‘selector’ style way of mixing, in that one tune could be a liquid style roller, whilst the next could be a dark techy tune, this was enjoyable as it kept you on your toes and everyone waited in anticipation as to what he would play next.
To conclude, the only disappointment was the residue of wet paint all over my shoes and trousers! Maybe it was so dark that I missed the ‘wet paint’ signs. Luckily it all came out in the wash - Haha!