Intrabeatz @ Hi Fi Bar, Melbourne (11/09/04)

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After delivering the goods with an awesome New Year’s lineup, the Intrabeatz crew was back providing a collection of award winning drum and bass performers. Next to local talent JPS, Motive and Fletch, Intrabeatz called on Pendulum and Friction with MC SP on mike detail.

As I descended the stairs to the cavern that is the Hi-Fi Bar, the sounds of Motive and JPS bounced up at me. A couple of souls braved the dance floor, but many were happy to mill or catch up with mates. Motive and JPS have been doing some great work at Strictly Social, mixing some more upbeat tunes, but this time the tunes leaned more towards the darker tip. The two worked in tandem to ready the growing heads for the “live’ half of Perth’s Pendulum in El Hornet.

Last year, at the Knowledge Drum and Bass Awards (Knowledge being the UK drum and bass mag) Pendulum took out “Best Single” for the dance floor smasher “Vault.” ‘Breakthrough DJ’ went to Friction and MC SP scored a nomination in the category for ‘Breakthrough MC.’ So the precedent for a quality night had been set.

After witnessing an excellent techy set from El Hornet at the Easter 33 & 1/3, I was really looking forward to hearing another live mix. This time the set was less underground, with quite a few of the current big tunes mixed in. Initially stirring things when he dropped Bad Co.’s classic “The Nine,” El Hornet undulated nicely between some more brash sounds, and some slightly subtler selections. El Hornet is clearly responsive to the crowd, occasionally looking up from behind the controls , and changing his selection where appropriate. Again it was a solid performance.

With the room seemingly pulsating from El Hornet, Friction came aboard to add another dose of drum’n’bass chaos. Joining him was the previously mentioned MC SP, who was a very interactive MC asking for appreciation, and doing shout-outs to the Melbourne heads. Although he was quite insistent on the mic, he wasn’t over powering and let the music breathe.

Meanwhile, Friction was belting out the tunes, and the crowd was loving it. Somewhere in there, there was a bit of Total Science’s “Squash”, and a barrage of recent dance floor faves, too many for me to recall. Shortly after his introductory blasting, Friction slipped over to some more lush sounds, including D-Bridge’s “Bellini.” He didn’t stay in this zone long, “on the switch” as SP put it, back to the bolder instantaneous selection. His set was similar to El Hornet’s in the way that it jumped around, between the type of tunes selected. However Friction seemed to be a lot more pacey and immediate than El Hornet.

I didn’t stay around to hear all of Friction and SP’s work, and this was by no means their fault, more so mine for having too much of a good time! The night had provided an excellent selection of drum and bass, and I went home satisfied, thanks Intrabeatz!

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