Deepbeatz @ Bombara Bar, Sydney (10/09/04)

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Witnessing a delicious showcase of our local drum and bass talent for virtually nothing – what a privilege. After various less than pleasant experiences at Bondi Hotel, what motivated me to venture into this place once again was the diverse selection of musical styles the Deepbeatz collective (consisting of Evolve and Foreign Dub) had on offer, compounded by a welcome return of a night of raw, driving soulful beats that has been sorely missed in Sydney. Sorely missed, you ask? Despite a common perception that nights in Sydney have always offered light melodic drum and bass, 2004 has seen a gradual shift towards harder and harder nights….

Arriving at the Bombara bar a little before 11, I was greeted by a massive screen set up behind the decks, projecting an array of colourful visuals, couches scattered conveniently around a wooden dancefloor, and a room already full of people waiting in anticipation of what this night could deliver. I discovered that the night had begun slightly later than planned, so I was lucky enough to catch the opening set by Rarefaction, whilst settling myself into the surroundings. An impressive selection of tunes, albiet slightly harder than I expected for a set that was warming up for an hour of percussion that was due to follow.

Despite acknowledging the integral part it plays in music, and the enormous amount of skill that is necessary for a good live performance, I’m not the biggest fan of percussion. However, I was glad to see the inclusion of something different, a rare occasion lately at drumm and bass nights, and the Sydney Samba School delivered a stylish performance. And how appreciative was the crowd! Beaming faces all round… not discounting the amount of alcohol flowing, but I couldn’t see how anyone could sink enough drinks to get drunk, seeing how difficult it was to order with only one person behind the bar.

At this point, I could hear various people around me getting restless for some more drum and bass, and Cause stepped up to the challenge. Taking the momentum of the music to the next phase, he dropped a fine set of upbeat tunes that reinforced the concept of what soul and funk can bring into drum and bass.

Next up, the set I was waiting for. Edgee and B. Hopps got the dancefloor bouncing with a blistering set of deeeeep and driving tracks that brought a smile to my face. Classic tunes that once used to be played to death at gigs in Sydney on a weekly basis, but ones I hadn’t heard out for god knows how long. Lack of a jazz element maybe, but the entire place was more than satisfied.

Even though people were still flowing in well past midnight, I could slowly feel my energy levels leaving my body. However, i was adamant to stay to see what the Foreign Dub Sound System and Eli could add to the eclectic sounds that had already been received. A mix of ragga, dub and drum and bass tunes was absolutely a fantastic way to end a night.

I cannot give enough praise to the crews involved with this night. Cheap entry, imaginative concept, and an overwhelmingly impressive vibe. It’s not often promoters are game enough to add something different to parties, and I think it has already paid off. Deepbeatz, you definitely have my attention, and the reputation you establish in Sydney is only going to grow stronger!

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