Posts Tagged ‘Hospitality In The Dock’
Where to even begin?
You don’t need us to tell you what Fabric is or how much we love the place, but maybe the reasons why we love it deserve a bit more of an explanation.
It would be easy to simply say it is the best club in London (or even the world) without needing an explanation, however the beauty of Fabric is that it has not felt the pressure to change from its jungle roots since it opened almost 18 years ago. Looking for a night of raucous raving? Fabric. Interested in what new artists are coming through the scene? Fabric! Over its three rooms you can find a different and unique vibe in each one, every week. Adapting to a constantly changing genre can be disorientating for some venues, but not for Fabric. New artists with new sounds are forever being birthed and given their rite of passage to packed out rooms of all ages making it an experience that is unlikely to be forgotten.
When jungle first spilled onto the streets of London in the early 90’s, electronic bass music took a sharp turn from the mainstream and enticing a new breed of DJ. Artists such as Dillinja and Lemon D arrived on the scene to give pop culture a punch in the chest, with massive drops and pulverising bass that had until that point not been utilised by popular music. Venues such as Paradise in Islington became a hot spot for the post-hardcore crowd who wanted to experience something closer to the fringes of current trends. More venues across London began to pop up and introduce dedicated nights, such as Rage nights hosted every Thursday at Heaven in Charing Cross and Thunder & Joy at the Astoria. The scene was taking off and drawing crowds from the Acid House movement it began it’s dominance of nightclubs through the decade.
Now it wasn’t until ’99 that our favourite club opened its doors in a quiet road in Farringdon, with Craig Richards and Terry Francis as their resident DJ’s. It had opened at the same time as another club called Home which, at the time, had enlisted Paul Oakenfold and Danny Rampling to play regular sets. As Fabric themselves have written ‘while Home took out full-page ads in glossy magazines, Fabric’s marketing was resolutely understated’, and this idea of going against the grain has stayed consistent with Fabric to this day. Clubs that opened at the same time have all now shut their doors, but Fabric remains as a focal point for electronic music lovers. What set Fabric apart from mainstream dance clubs was the distinct lack of glitz and glamour, no dress code, no dressing to impress. It was focussed on the experience of losing yourself in a crowd of like-minded music lovers, dazzled by the epic light shows that were displayed in each room with a constant stream of breakthrough electronic acts. The ‘marketing strategy’ was literally down to flyering and the occasional poster you would see around the capital with the slightly mysterious, although now synonymous, cut out club logo which would seek to intrigue punters to find out more. Before long it was the destination for bass nights with every weekend more epic than the last.
Now we at Hospitality have a particularly close relationship with the guys and girls at fabric and many a-story to tell. After our last show in 2012 which was an absolute riot with a very young Fred V & Grafix as well as S.P.Y and Camo & Krooked, we couldn’t wait to come back. However it seemed that the chance of playing at Fabric again had been taken away from us. In our complacency to book the club again we didn’t realise that their was an impending inquiry that would threaten Fabric’s very existence. It was with with a massive shock we learned that Fabric would close its doors for the final time in September 2016 due to Islington council revoking its licence. The decision was backed by the Met police as, according to both authorities, the club had been the cause of two drug related deaths of two 18 year old patrons. Whilst the news of the two young men who had lost their lives was devastating to hear, the decision had been made that fabric was responsible and the public outcry was immense. Within hours of their licence being revoked the organisers at fabric being work on a campaign to bring the club back, requesting help from punters, organisers and artists to rally together to #savefabric.
Within hours the entire world was set ablaze with passionate posts across social media, DJ’s pledging their support and beseeching their fans to do the same. DJ Goldie said to Channel 4 News ‘when you look at all the clubs that have closed down over the years, Fabric is the Goliath’. He went on to passionately describe just some of the epic nights that he’s had there as well as ‘feeling sorry for the kids of tomorrow’ as they would be unable to experience and learn from what Fabric has to offer. The petition that was started gained over 150,000 signatures in a matter of days urging the council to repeal their decision with both #savefabric and #saveourculture trending on Twitter for weeks. The first appeal was dismissed at a council meeting despite dozens of protestors being in attendance, including the Hospitality crew. The point that was trying to be made was fabric is not just a club, or just a place to go and jump around a bit, fabric is a staple for music in London and has spurred on young musicians for almost 20 years. It mustn’t close, it cannot, for the British music institution would struggle to recover. The pressure on Islington council was steadily ramping up to a fever pitch, even London Mayor Sadiq Khan took to the media to express his opinion: ‘As a result of this decision, thousands of people who enjoyed going to Fabric as an essential part of London’s nightlife will lose out.’ Well said Mr Mayor, we couldn’t agree more. It was now the combination of the worldwide support, plus our Mayor being behind us that we, the public, had a legitimate voice in this fight and on December 2nd fabric officially announced they would be reopening in the new year.
If you haven’t already guessed by now, we’re rather fond of this place. The chance to play in its hallowed rooms again for our official Hospitality in the Dock Afterparty on April 14th is a dream come true, especially since we thought this moment would never happen again. You might have heard before that you only miss something when it’s gone and while it’s cliché there is a certain truth to it. Fabric was on the edge of extinction but you saved it, making it one for the history books. Our opportunity to bring Hospitality back to Fabric is something we’re incredibly excited about, with another huge lineup and a big dose of nostalgia, make sure you’re there to witness Hospitality’s resurgence with the one and only fabric.
See you April 14th!
Words by Andy Napleton
Regarded by many as the greatest drum and bass group of all time, Bad Company maintain an elite reputation amongst the D&B old guard and new alike. Born in 1998 as the phoenix rising from the ashes of Future Forces Inc (dBridge & Maldini) & Absolute Zero (DJ Fresh). These guys teamed up with Vegas, and thus, Bad Company was born.
Now we would be incredibly surprised if you were unaware of these fine gentlemen. Creators of what is widely regarded as one of the greatest D&B track of all time ‘The Nine’ and the prominent D+B forum ‘Dogs On Acid'; Bad Company have been the masterminds behind some seriously incredible drum and bass music and culture. Fiercely forward thinking and ahead of their time, the music they made since their emergence in 1998 still holds it’s own today, and in fact, often stands out as better than their contemporary counterparts, who have the luxury of significant technological advancements.
Few producers can rival Bad Companies discography, both in terms of stature, and quality. The Nine, is of course, the pick of their musical repertoire, yet there are a host of other tracks that have cemented them as one of the most influential players in D&B. Let’s start with an obvious one: Planet Dust. Another classic example of Bad Company at their finest. Those synths during the build-up are recognised across the world and create pure carnage whenever they are unleashed. At 15 years old this track creates an incredible atmosphere and is a genuine triumph of artistry and engineering. With an esteemed pedigree amongst selectors and listeners alike, this one remains within the higher echelons of the drum and bass hall of fame. With a host of other amazing songs, Bad Company have graced legendary labels such as Virus, Human Imprint, Prototype and of course, Bad Company & Bad Taste recordings.
With the wealth of quality we have Bad Company to thank for, it will be a difficult task to narrow down the best of the best, but we will give it a go. Representing on Virus, ‘Seizure’ is one of the most iconic Bad Company records to date. Bringing that trademark grit whilst being unashamedly intimidating and moody. The growling bass creates an atmosphere unlike any other, and if that wasn’t enough; on the flip to this track we’ve got another incredible tune ‘Skin Tag’. High energy with upbeat drums and energetic synths, this tune is perfect for any dance floor lacking a bit of life. These incredible pair of tracks are everything we love about Bad Company, and encompass what D&B in 1999 really was.
Night Train, Hornet, Nitrous, Dogfight, they just keep coming. Bad Company are the gift that kept on giving, with incredible tracks, all with their own incredible trademark sound. Few people have earned the D&B stripes that Bad Company have. Genre defining and blazing the trail for deep and dark drum & bass. The contemporary scene has a lot to thank Bad Company for.
In 2005 however, everything changed. Fresh & dBridge sought to forge their own way as solo artists, yet Maldini and Vegas kept the BC flag flying high, forming Bad Taste Recordings and keeping the mantra of Bad Company alive whilst also pinging out some wicked tunes. Fresh and dBridge truly formed their own identity as solo producers creating incredible works such as ‘The Gatekeeper’ & ‘True Romance’. Another pair of classics I think we can all agree. The artists continued to make amazing work and the quality was in no way diluted, but the killer combination of these artists together was sorely missed. That is until the reformation we had all been waiting for this year.
In March this year the second coming was complete, with the emergence of Bad Company UK’s comeback track ‘Equilibrium’, returning to bring balance to the force of D+B. An amazing, no holds barred, contemporary anthem that projected them back into the forefront of the minds of D+B enthusiasts everywhere. However, as quickly as they came, we were left with no follow-up. Leaving us biting our nails for 6 months waiting for the next instalment of the Bad Company second coming, Nomad was finally dropped on UKF in November. This gritty, reecey, techy and downright filthy anthem built on the successes and hype generated by Equilibrium and topped it. If Bad Company continue to create music like this, we may have another ‘The Nine’ on our hands, and I don’t know if the world is ready for the quality the brains behind Bad Company can piece together, but we can hope.
If this has got you suitably riled up, and we hope it has…You can catch Bad Company UK headlining ‘The Car Park’ stage at Hospitality In The Dock, with the thunder guaranteed to be brought. If there is anyone who can blend a mix of old and new, with effortless flair, we imagine it would be Bad Company. 1998-2005 Bad Company gems mixed with forward thinking genre molding contemporary D+B will be a spectacle to behold, and that is why we are treating all you lovely people to such an incredible show, and we cannot wait.
Alongside Bad Company will be respective showcases from Exit Records, The Blast and Eatbrain. This mouth-watering line-up is certified sickness and we want you there to be a part of it. We have a very limited number of tickets remaining so don’t sleep!
By now we are certain that you’re aware of the talent we have lined up for Hospitality In The Dock. The horde of amazing DJs and live acts we’ve got are nothing short of perfection. But, with each and every style of bass music under the sun covered, we needed some pretty spectacular hosts to govern proceedings.
Some fiery lyricists are on the bill to act as master of ceremonies across all three of our stages, each injecting their own trademark flavour. To big up these wordsmiths, were going to go over some of our favourite songs featuring these talented linguists and pick our best bars for each song. Expect a versatile blend of Bass, Ragga, Hip Hop and D&B for this one, so set your hype levels to gas mark 7 and prepare to listen to some pure fiyaaah.
Coming in first we have resident Hospital hitman Dynamite MC and serial badman Harry Shotta featuring on Krafty Kuts: ‘The War Is Over’.
This one is seriously tough. Incredible flow from everyone involved and picking our favourite set of bars was no simple task. But we gave it our best shot. Incredible double time flow from all of these guys, it’s the speed and clarity that is as impressive as the lyricism in this case.
Harry Shotta: ‘So shoddy with the syllables and the similes never similar to me there’s no symmetry, similar to nobody I’m never taking liberties killing them with these crafty bars to move military’.
Dynamite MC: This season been proving to be moving all rows improving never losing. Touch for the rows for the flows they go rough. Hammer when I hammer my grammar they can’t touch.
Upfront and serious, these bars go in. MC’ing is a serious business and these guys are the CEOs. You can cop their flows on the Hospitality main stage and in the Little Gallery. They set the levels very high, so lets keep the ball rolling with man like Skibadee.
Ticka Tock is one of the greatest things to emerge from the UK. Big, bad and heavy, with energetic breakbeats, ragga vibes and tough lyrics. This track detonates dance floors from Dublin to Denmark and is always guaranteed to go off.
MC Skibadee: It’s Skibba, a quick spitter, I got my finger on the trigger I’m a wig splitter, I know that MCs are sick but I’m much sicker, I know MCs are quick but I’m much quicker.
With an impeccable flow and a persona to match the heat that sprays from his mouth, Skibba is one of the great MCs of our generation and we are seriously hyped to see him tear down the dance at The Dock in our jungle haven.
Rolling in next we have one of Bristols homegrown mic controllers. MC Carasel has been donning tingz for a number of years now. A versatile host who plays shows for the likes of Hospital, Playaz and Serial Killaz. His upfront and fiery attitude is only rivalled by the content and flow of his lyrics.
MC Carasel: ‘Diss crews get dismissed, find themselves placed on the blacklist. You make me wanna slit my wrists, we can’t co-exist. Dissing you is just target practice’.
Jheeze. Dark and dutty from Carasel, and we expect nothing less. As one of the South-Wests finest spitters he’s guaranteed to get you moving at The Dock come April, and you can catch him on the main stage.
Hosting the Eatbrain League show featuring Jade, Mindscape and Aggressor Bunx, in ‘The Car Park’ is the man behind Comanche Records: MC Coppa. With an instantly recognisable voice, he has provided the vocals to a number of dark D+B and Neurofunk, and is arguably the most respected host within this sub-genre.
MC Coppa: ‘Whose pedalling, medicine, very unsettling. Manson, Marilyn, stage fright harrowing. Charlie Manson, back to the family, feds coming after me. What a catastrophe’
This weighty Neuro destroyer is provided with a whole extra degree of potency through Coppas horror-infused lyrics. To be played only after midnight, this one would bring out the Psycho in all of us.
Switching up the vibes now we’ve got the seven figure swagger dons that are: ‘Foreign Beggars’. Playing in the Car Park alongside a broad set of artists from the brought to us by: The Blast, Exit and Eatbrain. This dynamic duo have been showing the world how the UK does Rap & Hip Hop for well over a decade now, and there is a reason they are so revered.
When someone talks about UK Hip Hop, a handful of names come to mind: Task Force, Jehst, Roots Manuva and of course Foreign Beggars. In 2016 they can boast a seasoned and diverse discography having spat over Hip Hop, Dubstep, Grime and Drum & Bass. But it’s their Hip Hop roots that get the mention this time. With their iconic ‘Jump’ (Badman Riddim) and incredible works with Noisia as I Am Legion, you could be forgiven for overlooking some of their previous tunes. Well if you aren’t in the know, that’s what we are here for. Frosted Perspeks is a true Hip Hop artefact, a raw beat showcasing razor sharp lyricism leave this track as one of the best.
Foreign Beggars (Orifice Vulgatron): ‘Living life fixed like programmed microbes, Governed by lies, who just hide behind their white robes. My mind knows better but we choose to walk the tightrope, Eyes wide open but we’re shadowed by the blindfold’.
Much like Frosted Perspeks, Black Hole Prophecies is another one of the great Hip Hop tunes to sprout from a pair of UK MCs. A raw, gloomy boom bap beat complimented with complex lyrical imagery with rich abstract concepts render this track as solid gold. Featuring both entities that make up Foreign Beggars, if there was ever to be a museum of Hip Hop, this would be one of the most highly sought exhibits.
Foreign Beggars (Orifice Vulgatron): ‘A charming thief bestowed forth into oblivion, caught past the millions of warlord’s forced dominions. The cohorts of billions, the raw stock simian,
forethought sought to spawn his brawn amongst his minions’.
Foreign Beggars (Metropolis): ‘I hobble home in the shredded threads of a borrowed robe, but my bottle holds sorrows in a hollow hold.See, I’m of the Apollo mold, meaning I drift through space via bull with a copper tone’.
There have been some wicked lyrics in this piece, offering a different style from the last. Shotta and Dynamite going in with the double time, Skibba bringing his ruffneck attitude, Carasel donning the upfront vibe, Coppa with the horror flow and Foreign Beggars with their trademark lyrical wizardry. We expect to enjoy these multifarious methods live at The Dock, and they will be the perfect accoutrement to the abundance of incredible DJs and performers that are locked, cocked, and ready to roll for the Dock in April.
If you haven’t got your Hospitality In The Dock tickets yet due to either living under a rock, being broke or simply being a melt, then get involved by following the links below.
Words by Ed Priest
As we are sure you are very much aware, we have a riches of talent lined up for you at Hospitality In The Dock and one of the crown jewels for this showcase is the D&B demigod that is Dillinja.
As one of the pioneers of jungle and drum & bass, Dillinja has played an integral role in defining and pushing the sound from its creation right to this very day. With his world renowned Valve sound-system he has been duppying dances for decades, and to celebrate his classics set at HITD, we are going to pick out a few of our personal favourites from his esteemed discography. Whittling down the list of tracks to a 5 piece was no easy feat, and we encourage you to comment your favourites in the comments section below. Enjoy!
5. Silver Blade
Kicking things off we have ‘Silver Blade’, an aptly named weapon of a tune, as this one is guaranteed to slaughter dance floors. Dark and intimidating, this upfront jungle tracks rolling bass hits combined with the harsh snares are guaranteed to keep you moving. With a beautiful breakdown juxtaposed by an equally aggressive second drop, Dillinja was definitely onto something special when he made this track. Released in 1997 on Grooveriders ‘The Prototype Years’, this track is an exemplary case of the transition and amalgamation between jungle and D+B that was happening at this time, and Dillinja, as always set the tone and level, incredibly high.
4. Sovereign Melody
At number four we have a symphony of pure beauty, less aggressive than the former track, but equally as fierce. Sovereign Melody is jungle music at it’s finest. Atmospheric, funky, and simply oozing with vibes. This is the kind of song we imagine is played at St Peters gates as you ascend into heaven, creating a blissful sense of elation. This track on wax can set you back up to £120 in Discogs and it’s no wonder why. This collectors classic is a pure weapon, one with the ability to morph any crowds state of mind into one of perfect joy.
Switching things up slightly for number 3 we’ve got the legendary Friday from Dillinja under his alias ‘Capone’. As D&B began to form as a separate entity from Jungle music from 1996, this transition was truly marked during 1998, and few songs personify this transition so perfectly as Friday. With a rolling 2 step drum break going hand in hand with some wickedly wobbly bass stabs, this 98’ anthem still leaves crowds begging for more and is still a weapon in many top DJs arsenals today.
At second place we’ve got Sky, another perfect example of why Dillinja is still the king to so many people. Incredible drum work and twangy synths all amalgamate to create an upbeat and energetic track that could rival any number of jungle/D+B classics. Again, at nearly 22 years old this song remains as lethal as ever. One of the first releases on Philly Blunt, this tune (along with Muthaf*cka, another classic that only missed the cut by an inch) very much set the tone for things to come. Upfront and intimidating on the A side, and rolling groove on the AA, Dillinja seriously set some levels with this release and it very much stood the test of the time.
1. The Angels Fell
At number one we have one of the greatest jungle records of all time, and I am fully aware of how bold a claim that is. The Angels Fell is everything that is good about jungle all in one track, full of atmosphere, incredible drum work, warm bass stabs and progression that keeps you holding on for more. This isn’t a track one can easily stop playing once it begins to spin. Making it onto the Metalheadz platinum series, the other tracks that came along with it the first time around are far from filler either. Ja Know Ya Big and Brutal Bass represented the B-side for the original record and these tracks weren’t far off the top 5 either. The Angels fell clinches the number one spot in terms of individual track, and the release MET006 is one of the best records to have ever come out of a pressing factory. Perfection.
And there you have it, a handpicked selection of Dillinjas greatest compositions. This was no easy task and reducing his discography the 5 tracks was no easy feat so we encourage you to share your top five in the comments section below.
We can’t wait for The Dock, and Dillinja is very much a big part of why it’s going to be a truly special occasion. He’s set to headline the Jungle Jam x We Love Jungle stage alongside the likes of Fabio and Grooverider, Uncle Dugs b2b Remarc and S.P.Y & Nu:Tone with a special jungle set. All this plus a host of more amazing talent across loads of stages with the mighty Noisia trio headlining proceedings with their incredible Outer Edges showcase.
Words Ed Priest