We had one hell of celebration to see 6 years worth of putting parties on. Our man Joe Wilde gives us a blow by blow account to help us remember that rainy cold December night…
If there’s one thing you can count on DBE to do well, it’s celebrate their birthday in the best way possible – by throwing one monstrous rave. Their 6th was definitely not an exception to the rule. Pulling out all the stops on a ridiculous lineup, this party to end the term was set to be one for the history books: High Contrast, Hannah Wants, Karma Kid, Doorly, Blonde, Benton and Mella Dee all converged on the union on one rainy Thursday, along with thousands of ravers to make sure it was going to be a birthday party to remember.
Rain in the queue did nothing to dampen spirits as people could be heard checking set lists and trying to decide on where they needed to be and at what time. All four rooms were in use, with residents holding down JCs, and Watch the Hype manning Cogs, meaning everywhere you went inside the Union the atmosphere was electric. I headed straight to Room one upon entry, catching Silks’ last track, and getting a good spot from which to enjoy Latmun’s set. Latmun’s sound has become more refined and easily recognisable as the year has progressed, with his own productions slotted between massive tunes, he never fails to create a brilliant atmosphere in the room. Latmun is also a resident at Stealth (Nottingham), where I go on a regular basis, meaning I’ve seen him play almost every weekend this term, and personally, I’m very excited to see where he’s headed. His set at DBE was one of the best I’ve seen from him this year, with his own unreleased track Hard Play getting a huge response from the crowd, preparing the room for the first headliner of the night.
Doorly has always impressed me whenever I’ve seen him play, and this time was no exception. The moment I took away from his absolutely blinding set was him scratching over his own remix of Steve ‘silk’ Hurley’s ‘Jack Your Body’ – something that I have never seen done during a house set before. I ducked out of room one and into JCs to catch the return of resident DJ Puyan, and I’m so glad that I did. He had the place absolutely bouncing. His sets used to always be one that I looked forward to, and it was good to see him making a return to DBE. From there I headed over to Cogs, my main destination for the night, to catch the end of Puddy’s pounding techno set and to ensure I was ready for Swamp 81’s Benton. Cogs was less busy that the other rooms due to the acts being slightly more underground than those playing elsewhere, but you could see immediately when you entered the room that every single person was loving it. It made a nice change from the crush of room one to have some more space to move and dance, it was definitely needed when Benton came on because his set was absolutely monstrous. His signature bass driven sound punctuated by break-beats and percussion made for a ridiculously heavy set, the highlight of which for me was Boddika’s Mercy VIP, with its distinctive build up drawing a reaction from the room as soon as it was brought in.
Mella Dee took over and started with a bang, opening with Kowton’s huge track off of his recent EP, Glock & Roll – one of my favourite songs at the moment, and one that I was incredibly happy to hear right from the off when it’s distinctive bells came floating through. Mella Dee had impressed me previously alongside Monki & friends at Stealth, so I was keen to see him and his bass heavy sound again. When he played his own track – Heaven – that had dropped earlier that day, the room exploded and its old school sound had the entirety of Cogs moving. Half way through his set I went back to room one to see High Contrast, as I felt it would be criminal of me to ignore such a huge name, and I was very pleased with my decision. Room one was jumping like we always knew it would be, as he reached the peak of his set. Floating at the back of room one and looking out over the masses of people in front of the stage, you could see the new incredible backdrop, made of hexagonal tiles with overlaid projections for impressive viewing. It is testament to how DBE has grown into over six years, from its humble beginnings in common rooms and car parks.
One regret of mine is that I didn’t make it up to Fusion at all for this one, personally I’m a huge fan of Swamp 81 as a label, and of that harder bass driven underground sound, so Cogs had to be the place for me. However, from speaking to other people, it sounded like Fusion was popping off as it always does, with Blonde dropping their recent hits and Karma Kid delivering his usual relaxed, feel-good house sound that he’s become known for.
After High Contrast, R:Kade and J-Silks took to the stage and delivered exactly what I’ve come to expect from them. I know I gush about them in every review, but that is because I genuinely love what they do on stage and they way they work together as a DJ and MC. They continued on from the energy that High Contrast had created and kept everybody moving right up until the music stopped. The preparation that went into the set was obvious, with professional sounding bars from Silks tying in perfectly with the music being played by R:Kade, a definite benefit of how closely they work together as musicians, and something that has been great to watch, as it has progressed from their first set together.
After the secret location party in November, it was nice to be back in the union and surrounded by friendly faces, knowing that whichever room you choose to spend your time in, you’ll be able to find your friends. For me, that is the beauty of DBE – the way it brings world class dance music acts into an environment that is friendly and approachable, making it accessible to everybody, without having to worry about whether you’ll fit in at some underground club in another city. DBE’s sixth birthday was everything it had the potential to be, and personally I couldn’t think of a better way to end the term.
EATS EVERYTHING / EROL ALKAN / MARC ROBERTS / TRANSIT MAFIA / STANDFAST / ERRA Plus
Pasquale | Jake Twell | Latmun | R:Kade | Puddy | SK | Samiad | J-Silks
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