It was raining heavily. That can always be a dampener on numbers at a party, and tonight probably wasn’t any exception – China Town was only half full when I arrived at 12 a.m, with Zinc and Dynamite scheduled for 1.30 a.m. Most of the patrons were hanging around the bar area, with a scattering of dancers bouncing along on the sizeable dancefloor. DJ Amano & DJ 910 were on the decks, having scored warm-up duties. The soundsystem was crisp, the snares snapping brightly and the bass holding shape, which is always nice. China Town is arguably the best club in Hiroshima, and it sounded like it tonight. Playing back-to-back, Amano & 910 kept it energetic without pushing it too much, which, in my opinion, is the way a warm-up set should be. By 1 a.m, the dancefloor was filling up, and it gave a rousing response when the boys dropped one of the biggest drum n bass tunes of late, Matrix & Futurebound’s ‘American Beauty’. Soon after that, Zinc and Dynamite were milling around the curtained backstage area waiting for their cue. As they waited, I noticed a couple of punters ask Dynamite to pose in some photos. He was happy to oblige.
As Dynamite was handed the mic, the dancefloor was rushed. Most of the people that were happy at the bar only moments before had now set up camp on the floor, ready for the beat. From the very first track, I could tell I was in for something special. The basslines and rhythms, co-existing perfectly with Dynamite MC’s vocals, rocked every inch of the crowd. Through the early stages, Zinc dropped a lot of the energetic jump-up stuff that he is renowned for, but within half an hour, he gave the audience a lesson in grimy hip-hop. The beats were dirty and the crowd couldn’t get enough. Zinc played a lot of new stuff too. Dynamite announced all of the fresh tunes as they were dropped. He didn’t go as far as saying if they were future Bingo Beats releases or not, but if they were, we all have something to look forward to.
From the grimy hip-hop beats, Zinc progressed nicely into a liquid section, full of rolling basslines and twinkling melodies, including last year’s collab between Zinc & Dynamite MC ‘Creeper’. This, of course, was just a blissful intermission before Zinc and Dynamite tossed the crowd back into the huge basslines. The last part of the set saw the headliners deliver an outstanding selection of classics and new tunes. He flawlessly dropped a dub mix of Roni Size’s ‘Brown Paper Bag’ to which Dynamite cleanly delivered the vocal part. The mixing was top-notch, building from one track to the next with no relent for the tired dancer. This appreciative reviewer screamed crazily when one of my personal recent favourites, D Kay’s ‘Galaxy’ on Zinc’s own Bingo Beats label, was dropped. And of course, what Zinc night would it be if his remix of The Fugees ‘Ready Or Not’ wasn’t played? The hands shot up as soon as the opening synths of that one were recognizable in the mix.
When the duo finished, the smiling crowd showed their appreciation and then the duo were gone, only to reappear moments later in the crowd talking to the punters as the next DJ finished up the night. I got to chat to them both after the show, and they seemed like genuinely nice guys. This was a great night, and a special treat for the clubbers of Hiroshima. Hopefully the Heartbeat Of Dragon promotion crew can continue with their successes for years to come and put on many more DJs in the future, and maybe, if we’re lucky, a return visit from Zinc and Dynamite MC.