Voice of Irish Drum & Bass
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Yeah just a few thoughts on this, hope what I have to say doesn't come across harshly or unreasonably, certainly don't want to look like someone sniping unfairly from the sidelines / behind a keyboard or whatever, but really, what the shitting fuck?
Massive respect to Hospital for getting Photek to come out of the woodwork (although considering his artistic, critical and commercial success in other genres of late it's as fair to say he's coming out of the limelight as it is to say he's coming out of the woodwork here) but I really wonder how on earth this is going to work out at all at all, for the following reasons:
A: Are the sort of young lively enthusiastic crowd who would go traipse out midweek to see High Contrast, Fred V and Grafix going to give two shits who Photek is or even know who Photek is, beyond knowing that he remixed London Electricity once? How will they react when all of a sudden High Contrast plays his last big anthemic tune of his set and Photek cues up 'Smoke Rings' or 'Yendi'?
B: The sort of crowd who are a bit older and are serious electronic music fans, maybe they read Resident Advisor and only really buy Techno these days, probably haven't paid attention to DnB since the late 90's when it all ran out of ideas and got fast, steppy and noisy and all their mates had grown out of raving anyway. They've probably read that there's a bit of a resurgence ideas-wise in DnB of late, perhaps they saw D:Bridge on the boiler room or at FWD. You know the types, they probably leave comments on Source Direct videos on Youtube when they've had a little too much to drink, but when they go out they'd go and see Ben UFO or Sigha or Blawan before even contemplating hitting an Exit night. What are they going to make of the state of modern DnB when they walk into the venue and Fred V and Grafix are double dropping SPY and Wilkinson tunes?
Crowd A will stand there perplexed for all of two tunes and then fuck off en masse to the smoking area; crowd B will stand there nodding their heads, smirking at the closed-mindedness of DnB crowds, tweeting @ each other about how terrible modern DnB is and generally having every single one of their preconceptions about the dire fucking state of modern DnB validated and handed back to them on a silver fucking tray. Either way it's going to be a tough fucking crowd to play some of the most furiously cerebral electronic music to ever come out of England. It's a testament to how out of touch Photek must be that he'd even agree to this booking IMO, considering he started toughening up his sound in the mid 00's exactly because he couldn't compete with the energy levels of contemporary DnB at the time he's going to have one hell of a surprise when he walks in and hears a Camo and Krooked tune.
It's all the more perplexing because this would have been an absolutely perfect booking for a Med School night; something a bit deeper, a bit more experimental, a more open minded crowd perhaps, not just there to bawl out for the Netsky tune they were listening to on their mobiles on the tube on the way into town; a crowd who would dance to Ni Ten Ichi Ryu and the Fifth Column.
Stick Joe Syntax and Nu:Tone on beforehand; Nu:Tone would have the name recognition with the casual fans and still have the selection to impress the trainspotters, Joe Syntax has a record bag beamed in by a fucking teleporter from planet next week.
Who knows? Perhaps Photek (and all the other people who never reach DnB nights any more and are only really down there because he's playing classics and because he's a head they remember fondly from back in the day) might even enjoy being confronted with the best in forward thinking modern Drum & Bass and decide there is hope for the genre after all? Would surely be a win / win proposition for everyone?
This is in no way a diss at Fred V & Grafix or at High Contrast by the way. They clearly do a really good line in modern student night-friendly accessible main room liquid, and they're well regarded by one of the slickest most successful outfits in Drum & Bass (and probably in UK electronic music as a whole) ie. Hospital Records, and while their stuff isn't really to my taste (one could even argue it isn't meant to be) I certainly can't claim that they're not where they are on merit, nor would I wish to.
I wish them long and fruitful careers in fact. I'm not here to discuss their talents, merely to comment on their (and High Contrast's) presence on this lineup. I know for a fact someone is going to comment below this post about how great it is to have 'diverse lineups', well bring it on.