Premium @ Dendy Bar, Sydney (23/06/01)

Image for Premium @ Dendy Bar, Sydney (23/06/01)

Article title is in honour of the CUB CEO’s comment about how good his beer is.

Premiumness.

I was pumped up for a big night of (as a friend says in a sexy UK accent) ‘banging 2-step’. What a funny crowd. There were a number of very, should-be-carded-on-entry, young teenagers who were clearly into their nouveau-rave sounds and some people who looked old enough to be their young aunties, whose only UK garage exposure has been a Craig David in-store appearance at HMV. I grabbed a drink from the ultra-friendly bar staff (having negiotiated the ultra-friendly bouncers and door staff) and settled down for some quality B-lines and big beats from Ritual.

Ritual hit it… phat, phat 2-step for the post drum and bass massive. This was a set for those who like to get down. Maybe a little bit too hard for so early in the evening; I was quite surprised to see him playing first, however, upon closer inspection of the line-up, some soothing vocal numbers would probably be quite welcome for my tired feet by the end of the night.

As always, Ritual’s skills were outstanding; his cuts and phrasing always complementing the music perfectly.

Emme (pronounced “Em”) continued the bass and breaks onslaught, MC in tow. A few different wobbly bass lines later and the crowd was treated to one of my favourite aspects of the DnB scene “the rewind.” Most drum and bass (and the similarly structured 2-step) sees a jump-up into the bass line. Very effective on the dancefloor and really gives you a kick when you aredancing. The idea behind the rewind is to repeat the jump-up; a good MC/DJ
combination can bring the crowd to a point where the anticipation of what is about to kick back in can be as good as the tune itself. As the MC has been an integral part of the 2-step scene since its inception in the UK, it surprises me that neither MCs nor rewinds have surfaced much at 2-step events in Sydney.

Emme played my favourite set of the night and was responsible for my first booty shake in a couple of weeks. The way Emme’s set ebbed and flowed towards a crescendo of sub bass… shudder, rewind, shudder again. A great deal of pogoing later and we were giving it up to Sheen.

Sheen continued the breaks/beats/bass barrage that had begun with Ritual; pumping out the loud basslines as if years of professional DJing have rendered him partially deaf. Always unassuming and always packing a number of dancefloor gems that bring a smile to my otherwise stern, cold exterior :) The pianos and airhorns were rife showing that this music should not be taken too seriously but also that it may not have a great deal of longevity without innovative producers. Some of it may be new-rave, but rave died as the ideas ran dry. (Ask Phatboy; I say slap on the white gloves.)

Farj and Paul from Garage Pressure showed a new side to their sound. I have heard them a number of times on the mezzanine at Kinkidisco playing the very vocal, R and B influenced 2-step. I had wondered how that would go down after the previous 3 DJs sets had consisted of bass heavy, sometimes ravey, sounds. After some 4-step (2-step’s older cousin, speed garage) in the form of DJ Pooch’s “Let the Bass Roll” and 187 Lockdown’s “Gunman” it was clearly evident that there would be no let up. They hurtled back into some more banging 2-step coupled with some cut-up and time-stretched vocal sounds and
kicked it through until I collapsed. One very happy 2-schteppa.

I was very impressed with the crowd and their appreciation of such a new genre. Some friends weren’t happy with the vibe, but as far as I could see; everyone had more fun than with they do with Mikey’s momma.

Big ups to the Phix massive.

Will Styles plays at Funk Trust every Thursday

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