Days To Go
Hospitality New Zealand
Days To Go
Days To Go
The drum and bass predictions of 2015 were off touch in some ways but oh so right in one. Ivy Lab are back with a vengeance providing us with a nine track EP that’ll tug the heart strings of even the most stone-cold D+B devotee. Known for their crisp signature sound, Critical Music have delivered once again with the latest serving from Ivy Lab slotting perfectly into the Critical puzzle.
A three-piece outfit that never fails to impress, the ‘Twenty Questions’ EP is the latest Lab concoction from Sabre, Stray and Halogenix – a blend of pure, unadulterated soul, eccentricity and creative flare. From the tear jerking, goosebump-tingling title track ‘Twenty Questions’ to the unanticipated twists and turns of ‘Slinky’, right down to the all-alluring sub-bass of ‘Two-by-Two’.
For an extra taste, check out Critical’s playlist full of Ivy Lab classics.
We can’t wait to have the talented trio down to our huge London showcase on Friday 1st May at Building Six. They’ll be spinning in room two alongside Spectrasoul, Technimatic, Ivy Lab, Ulterior Motive, Teddy Killerz, B-Complex and Technimatic!
Very limited number of ‘early-bird’ tickets are on sale now at just £17.50!
Photos by Elouisa Georgiou
Words by Tom Hargreaves
Following eighteen years of titanic progress through the hierarchy of DnB, Hospital Records finds itself at the pinnacle of its rise, with bigger and better releases and parties than ever before.The label itself has avoided being pigeonholed through nomenclature, refusing to be tied to a specific DnB sound whilst managing to retain its relevancy in today’s ever changing dance industry.
Having made the tactical switch of venue from Sheffield’s “Plug” to Sheffield University’s highly acclaimed student union, the night had a fresh feel to it, the new venue considerably better than its predecessor. The move proved to be a catalyst to an improved atmosphere and sound, with small stage set ups and dumbed down sound replaced with the grand and luminous backdrop “H” light and impressively loud bass tones you could feel from your chest to your feet.
The night began with the splendid sounds of Etherwood who warmed the crowd up with his unique liquid DnB sound of delicate melodies and exquisite piano riffs. As the crowd swelled he refused to be drawn into spinning heavy tracks instead utilising his drops to layer female vocal hooks with minimal bass-lines that channeled the crowd into his mesmerizing liquid drum and bass. Alongside Texas MC, Etherwood served as the perfect warm up act, alleviating one of Hospital’s most recognisable sounds.
Following Etherwood was Metrik who shifted the intensity to disorientating levels. The crowd turned frenetic with everyone now skanking in unison to the amped up drum and bass. The main highlight of Metrik’s set was the perfectly orchestrated rendition of TC’s “Get Down Low” with the circular hall of ravers all ordered to sit down before the inevitable upward surge upon the drop. Metrik’s very own anthemic tunes “Hit The Floor” and “Freefall” were given a spin in an impressive set that illuminated why Hospital signed him two years ago.
As Metrik finished his set the night’s special guest appeared on the stage preparing to savagely destroy the dance floor with a collection of fierce jump up drum and bass tracks. “Playaz’ records very own DJ Hazard, no stranger to Sheffield, was a welcome addition to the line up and the crowd bubbled with excitement as his set fizzed by in a double drop paradise. His recent track “Bricks don’t roll” was greeted with a tremendous roar and his mere presence seemed to bring out the maddest of moves from the pockets of skankers who had now found their own area of space that the venue generously allowed.
For a sold out show, Sheffield’s student union provided the finest balance of space and intimacy that led to less pushing and more skanking, even if MC Wrec had to plead with certain areas of the crowd to stop the unnecessary mosh pit that Hazard’s vigorous baselines instigated.
On the back of Hazard came SPY who, with arguably the best set of the night, provided a filthy reminder of why he is one of Hospital’s strongest artists. New remix “Say something” blew the crowd away whilst tunes from his latest release “BRSTL Hardcore” were so powerful it was impossible to unscrew the “bass face” that was forcibly strewn across every party go-er’s face in the building.
S.P.Y refused to let up and continued in the same vein throughout his set, firing missiles of drum n bass destruction at anyone who entered the main room mall. The tune of the night, dropped multiple times, was Dimension’s new release “Whip Slap” and SPY double dropped it marvellously sending the crowd into an uncontrollable frenzy. As Total Science once correctly put it, “there’s only one S.P.Y” and it’s hard to argue considering his versatility to appear on line ups from all spectrums of the drum n bass scene and inevitably smash it.
Within the second room, an intimate confinement attached to a smoking pen with a terrific view of Sheffield’s city lights, a hectic collection of bustling ravers went nuts to one of Steel City’s very own drum and bass movements. Shouts must go out to “Dedication Audio” who could very well have dictated madness within the main room with some tunes that can only be described as obscene.
Finishing the night was the don himself, High Contrast. It was by no means the “graveyard set” due in part to the early (by Hospitality standards) finish of 4:30am: the only negative that can be coined for the venue change. Opening with his remix of “California Love”, High Contrast epitomised why, in such a deep house dominated year, drum and bass will refuse to die out. The reaction from the crowd to his arrival on stage was an indictment of how iconic a man he is in the genre, his varied set encapsulating both vintage drum n bass and contemporary wobblers to the glee of everyone who witnessed it.
Rolling back the years with classics such as “Kiss Kiss Bang” and “If we ever”, the crowd seemed awe inspired by a man who continues to perform with a smile on his face. Combined with newer releases such as the epic “The road goes on forever” and “The Agony and the Ecstasy”, High Contrast tremendously culminated a serenade of drum and bass that confirmed the Welshman must produce a new album in the future.
It was apt that one of Hospital’s most celebrated and influential protagonists would pull the curtains on a night that rejuvenated Sheffield Hospitality nights in its new venue, reinstating why it is so important that drum and bass never deserts the “Steel City”, especially from Hospital Records.