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Hospitality In The Dock

14th April 2017

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Hospitality Budapest

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City Spotlight: Budapest

budapest

Europe is no stranger to D+B and the Hungarian capital is a testament to the undiluted quality that is so prominent throughout the continent. There is a rich and diverse range of styles across Europe but we would go so far as to say those in the east, do it as good as anyone. With amazing promoters like Bladerunnaz and a host of homegrown talent including the likes of Jade, Mindscape, SKC and Chris S.U; there’s most definitely something in the water here that inspires a thriving scene.

Hospital first delved into the Hungarian realm of D+B back in 2005 with the ‘Future Sound Of’ series going to Budapest for instalment number 2. Featuring standalone tracks from SKC and Mindscape alongside two collaborations featuring the former and Chris S.U & Bratwa, this release is a comprehensive blend of both the artists’ individual take on things and Hospital’s trademark style. The result? A culmination of high energy dancefloor tracks with upfront and positive vibes a plenty.

SKC, the lead artist on Future Sound of Budapest, is undoubtedly the veteran of the Hungarian D&B world (and he has some serious competition amongst his peers). SKC has been releasing music for nearly two decades on world renowned labels such as Commercial Suicide, Black Sun Empire, Hostile, Critical and of course, Hospital. It was SKC who spotted Jade and nurtured his talent allowing the head honcho of Eatbrain to develop into the label and production guru that he is today. D+B in Budapest would be a very different story without Gábor Nagymáthé (SKC).

Given the demand for good quality D&B in the region and the wealth of quality that resides within Hungary, it made sense for Hospitality to give Budapest a piece of the action. In 2014 the Hospital crew made the journey east to shell down the ‘Heart of Europe’ for the first time. With resident hit men Logistics and Fred V & Grafix alongside MC Texas to show the Pearl of Danube how Hospitality gets the job done, there was no surprise this event was a huge success and thus paved the way for another event in 2015, and a return to Akvarium Klub on the 16th of December this year. For this Christmas shindig you can expect Nu:Logic, Etherwood and MC Fava to come and shut down the Akvarium. Alongside Hospitality will be partners in crime Bladerunnaz and Eatbrain, who will be bringing along a hefty arsenal of talent including the likes of: Aggressor Bunx, MC Kryptomedic and the local Budapest bad boys: Jade, Mindscape and Chris S.U. You will not want to miss this one.

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As mentioned earlier, Budapest is the homeland for some of the biggest names in the D&B game; particularly within the realms of Neurofunk and Tech D+B. Eatbrain, one of the world’s most iconic contemporary Neuro labels are based in Budapest and led by commander-in-chief Jade. Both Jade & Mindscape are at the top of their games and are some of the finest purveyors of the darker and dirtier sounds that their city, and the rest of the world, have grown to love. Similarly to SKC, Mindscape began his journey on DJ Traces DSCI4 label and has risen through the ranks ever since, bolstering his discography and moving from strength to strength.

The D+B scene in Budapest can’t be discussed without giving Chris S.U a serious mention. One of the most diverse producers in the game, churning out feel-good dancefloor tunes and some serious filth alike, this guy can boast releases on Hospital, Eatbrain, Mindtech and RAM amongst many others. A serious heavyweight. As one of the key players in the ‘Bladerunnaz’ crew and D&B events in Budapest in general, this is someone to check out if you’re not in the know.

 

 

There have been some serious shows over the past few years in Budapest. However, during this September just gone, Bladerunnaz upped the levels by amassing a horde of amazing talent, all under one roof, to celebrate 20 Years of Drum & Bass Arena. The all-star roster included: The Teddy Killerz, A.M.C, Upgrade, Jade, Mindscape, Skeptical and the Stanton Warriors. Split across 3 rooms with masses of talented local support this event very much set the tone for the levels to come, and will undoubtedly, be matched by the Hospitalitiy x Bladerunnaz x Eatbrain show in the coming weeks.

The Bladerunnaz crew have become the kings of the Hungarian D&B scene when it comes to throwing a party, but that’s not to say that other quality promoters in the area should be overlooked. SheFire, an all female collective of DJs & Producers of whom cater to all things from D&B, Dubstep and Techno have been running for a number of years and have a cult following amongst the locals and this reputation is very much deserved. Led by Budapest’s very own DJ Ren, this cohort of feisty females know how to get the job done, and have recently become Bladerunnaz Room 2 promoters of choice.

There can be no denying that Budapest has fostered some amazing talent and has thrown some wicked parties, but where do they take place? Where do the punters go to boogie? Well, Budapest has an array of unique and vibrant venues catering for a range of needs. Akvarium, as mentioned previously, is the gemstone of the city and plays home to both the Hospitality nights and the majority of the larger scale D+B events within the city, most notably Bladerunnaz. With stylish decor, amazing sound systems and a host of different rooms including both a restaurant and roof terrace, this venue really does it all and has earned its stripes as one of, if not the, best venue in the city.

akvarium

Corvin Club is another equally exciting yet cosy venue that has a lot to offer. Since it’s re-opening in 2015, this legendary venue has adopted a fresh mantra. A brand new Mogul Audio sound-system very much brings the thunder for the multitude of events thrown at this iconic venue, and if that rib shattering bass isn’t quite what you’re in the mood for, you can always make your way up to the relaxing rooftop bar where you can enjoy the urban and rural scenery surrounding Budapest and beyond, or, one can simply enjoy the cinema-sized projector screen on display.

Another one for the books is ‘A38’. An old Ukranian carrier ship that underwent a renovation in 2003 has been labelled one of Europe’s coolest clubs and this old boat consistently showcases events from across the Bass & Dance music spectrum. It would seem there is no shortage of fine bars and clubs for you to either move your feet or rest your head throughout this fine city.

All in all, Budapest, don’t ever change. Nicknamed ‘The Capital of Freedom’ & ‘The Capital of Festivals’ for good reason, this gorgeous city is abundant with Art Nouveau Architecture and is home to Europes second-longest river, the Danube, which flows right through the Hungarian capital. A cultural hub of art, cuisine and some of the finest Drum & Bass in the world, this city is truly one of the gemstones of Hospitalities international map. You’d be foolish to pass up on an opportunity to visit this astounding and vibrant city, so why not treat yourself to a Christmas getaway weekend in Budapest and come to a D&B show for the history books on the 16th of December. Tickets will not last long so best get a move on!

 

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Words by Ed Priest

Posted 28th November 2016 in Blog, Features

City Spotlight: Antwerp

antwerp trixAntwerp is a major city for drum & bass, being home to the world’s biggest indoor drum & bass and dubstep event, Rampage. Since 2011, the Hospital team have joined the city-of-bass tearing up Antwerp with our world-class line-ups. On the 17th December we will be returning to the Belgian city with London Elektricity, Maduk, Metrik, Krakota, Hugh Hardie, Ownglow, Carasel, Mota and the mighty founder of Rampage himself, Murdock!

The Belgian home of our Hospitality events is Trix, one of the largest clubs in Antwerp with a total of 3 rooms, holding 1,700 people. Trix predominantly caters to alternative music, so here you will find metal bands, psychedelic rock, indie and punk to name a few. Then every now and again Hospitality take over the venue for a night of drum & bass and liquid tunes.

One of the most pinnacle venues in Antwerp is Sportpaleis, the huge stadium that hosts the infamous Rampage that attracts 15,000 global D+B and dubstep followers to Belgium throughout the year. It was built in the early 1930s and, at the time, was the biggest indoor area in Europe. Today it is one of the most visited arenas in the world. Although it is initially a 23,000 capacity venue, the modesty of Murdock retains it at 15,000 so there’s room for that much needed chill out zone we all love to retreat to at some point during a big drum & bass night. Sportpaleis is primarily used for pop stars like Justin Bieber and Beyonce, but the world awaits for Saturday 18th February when Murdock puts another Rampage rave into action.

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A venue that has grown rapidly as an important place for electronic music is Ampere. This 1000 capacity club has been open for just a year, but has already hosted legends City Flow Music, Alix Perez, Cocoon and a night with Jeff Mills and many more major names. Amphere is a venue that centres itself around culture and creativity, with a stylish, modern and spacious interior perfect for big electronic events. It’s promoted towards a younger generation, hailing up and coming artists from the scene alongside big names with a dedicated following.

One of Antwerp’s newest venues in the electronic scene is Klub Goud, located on the 21st floor of the A-Tower. The A-Tower is the third tallest tower in the city offering a skyline view of the whole city. Klub Goud focuses mainly on house and techno, showcasing each night through a blasting sound system. Alongside it’s stunning city views, it is unrivalled by any other urban cosmopolitan club in Antwerp.

To fill up these clubs with world-class music are multiple D+B promoters. Stealth Bombers started in 2005 and is one of the longest running drum and bass events in Belgium. With some of the biggest names such as Friction and Sigma shining on their lineup they are still one of the leading promoters in Antwerp. Rampage has grown into one of the biggest drum & bass events in the world, selling tickets in over 35 different countries. Murdock has cultivated an amazing following over the last two decades, going from DJing in squats and unconfirmed events to selling out the huge Sportpaleis arena. Since Rampage, many other drum & bass promoters have been popping up in the city, including City Flow Music, which began 6 years ago. Their most recent birthday celebrations brought a massive line-up with the likes of Goldie, Ivy Lab, Technimatic, Benny Page and many more taking to the decks. City Flow Music encompasses a myriad of D+B styles, including Jump-Up, Breakcore, Jungle and Neurofunk. Few promoters provide such an eclectic range of styles, so City Flow Music can entice the ears of anyone.

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Another essential event in Antwerp is Skank n Bass (not to be confused with our good friend’s Skankandbass’ YouTube channel), one of Belgium’s leading jump-up connoisseurs, although they don’t shy themselves away from a bit of dance floor tunes every now and again with artists such as DC Breaks, Dimension and Enei. Skank n Bass launched in 2013 and hold most of their events at Petrol and Factor, two clubs in Antwerp that cater for a variety of musical styles and genres. They also have an indoor Skank n Bass Festival that has welcomed the likes of Annix, Logan D, Total Recall and Guv to name a few.

The levels the promoters reach in Antwerp is truly astounding, with unparalleled production and an amazing crowd, it’s easy to understand why the scene flourishes so much in this continental capital. However with no artists, there would be no music, and Belgium has nurtured a number of prolific D&B producers across the years. Beginning in Antwerp we have the current king of Belgian D&B: Murdock. A resident on Belgian national radio with the only weekly D&B slot, this man is at the forefront of the industry within Belgium and his tunes have been released by legendary imprints such as V Recordings and C.I.A.

If we look beyond the capital, there is a name that needs no introduction, a true D&B/Hospital legend: Netsky. One of the biggest names in international D&B, Netsky’s trademark sound broke international barriers and truly launched D&B into previously unheard realms, and will be, forever, a hero in our book. Alongside these two sterling artists we also have Axi; an amazing producer with hosts of releases under his belt on Corinthian, Mindtech and Fallout, this Belgian beast has produced (and I’d challenge anyone who disagrees) one of the D&B great’s of the last decade: Receptor. Released in 2005, this angelic power roller both decimates dances and enlightens audiences across the globe.

The electronic scene in Antwerp is thriving and prosperous, with a die-hard and dedicated set of promoters each doing their respective thing (and doing it well). There will always be somewhere to get down and boogie in the Flemish gem that is this fine city. The rich array of clubs, promoters and artists alike lead to Antwerp being a melting pot of music and culture, one that has amalgamated to provide the perfect habitat to nurture the amazing talent that has been discussed in this piece. Antwerp, we love you.

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Words by Philippa Ghosh & Ed Priest

Posted 28th November 2016 in Blog, Features

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