Dance Freedom
Ministry of Sound
Friday 18th January 2008

Epidemik touched down at the ministry of sound London to present dance freedom. January tends to be fairly a quiet time in the raving calendar with everyone spending their pennies over Christmas and New Years Eve, but tonight Epidemik presented the free party of parties.

A massive line-up spread across 4 arenas inside the world famous Ministry of Sound featuring many legends from the oldskool world. It’s been sometime since I last visited the capital and I didn’t really want to miss this night, with it being a free party there was really no excuse to not attend.

Left Birmingham shortly after 7 and got into the capital after 10, headed to the Elephant and Castle which didn’t take too long on the Tube. Finding the Ministry of sound is a bit of nightmare each time I visit London but didn’t take too long to find.

Outside the Ministry of Sound there was a mammoth queue that spanned around the venue and down Gaunt street, with plenty being out tonight taking full advantage of the free party.

The queue was moving swiftly whilst waiting in the courtyard you could hear the tuneage from the 2nd arena being pumped out keeping the ravers entertained whilst waiting to be searched.

Once inside headed down the main corridor and straight for the Main box and The Flashback project where on which features DJ Flashback alongside MC’s Strict and EMPI.

The sound system in here has improved dramatically since my last visit as it was booming. At the front of the arena was the DJ booth alongside a large stage along with numerous speaker stacks with numerous lasers bouncing off the mirror ball at the centre of the arena.

DJ Flashback was playing plenty of his own material from his Flashback project. A number of Nu-skool tracks alongside a few oldskool classics including ‘Music’s so wonderful’. Strict and Empi keeping the crowd rocking on the stage as the main arena was filling up rapidly.

Next up was the midlands duo of Pilgrim and Glen Aston who opened up with ‘Anastasia’ to get the crowd rocking. Pilgrim and Glen played a predominant 91-92 set with a number of Belgian influenced tracks with playing tunes such as ‘Phantom’, ‘Rollercoaster’ and ‘Kiss the sky’. Pilgrim showed of his turntable skills as he played two copies of ‘Mr Kirk’s nightmare’ mixing them back and fourth.

The legendary Robbie Dee joined Strict on the mic and hyped up the crowd with his entertaining lyrics throughout. Pilgrim and Glenn carried on with the bleepy tracks dropping Joey Beltrams’ Energy Flash’ along with ‘Quadraphonia’.

After the midlands duo it was the turn of the legendary scratchmaster DJ Sy who was playing a classic Fantazia set with Robbie Dee. Sy’s opened up with the Prodigy classic ‘Out of space’ and continued to play 93-94 set with a few classic from the infamous strings of life set including ‘Plight of the innovator’, ‘Tales from the darkside’ and the Basement classic ‘Living in darkness’.

Scratchmaster Techno joined Robbie Dee making this set a more memorable for the Obsession and Fantazia veterans in the crowd. Scratchmaster techno complimented Sy with his vocal scratch. Sy upped up the tempo and began to play ‘4 am’, ‘Sweet harmony’ remix and ‘In effect’ before closing his set with ‘I need ur loving’ remix ensuring the crowd wee in full singing mode.

Billy Bunter played a rave breaks set with lots of material from the forthcoming Helter Skelter Rave nation album throughout. There were plenty of remixes of tracks such as ‘Searchin for my Rizla’, ‘The Creeps’ and ‘Sounds of eden’.

Charlie B took to the stage for this set hyping up the crowd with his catchy lyrics keeping the ravers on their toes. Billy carried onto play a few more rave breaks tracks such as ‘dirty cash’, ‘Everybody is free (feel good)’ and ‘Feel Free’. Billy changed the direction for the last part of his set playing a few jungle tracks before closing with ‘Original nuttah’.

No stranger to the Ministry of Sound was the AWOL resident DR S Gachet. This was one of the sets that I was really looking forward to tonight, Gachet started off with a few 93 classics as he opened up with ‘Atmosphere EP’ before laying down the jungle slammers with tracks such as ‘Calling all the people’, ‘World of music’ and ‘Warhead’.

Scratchmaster techno was doing the mic duties performing his infamous mouth scratching throughout, was good to hear him mc over jungle which was well received by the crowd. Gachet upped the tempo dropping as he dropped ‘Turbulence’, ‘Truly one’ and ‘Voodoo people’ remix.

Next up was the original MC and DJ team the mighty who were celebrating 21 years together. Lipmaster Mark opened the set with ‘Searchin for my rizla’ and continued to play ‘I feel this way’, Let me be your fantasy’, ‘Closer to all your Dreams’. Everson took to the stage and worked it like a charm getting the ravers hyped up whilst the ravers recited them with him.

Ratpack performed a 92 classic set with a number of nu-skool breaks thrown in for good measure with track anthems like ‘Hardcore heaven’, ‘Uptempo’, ‘On a raga tip’ before closing the set with Pete Bouncers ‘Raving I’m raving’.

Closing the night was the drum and bass legend Nicky Blackmarket who was performing a drum and bass classics set. Nicky began the set with Krome and Time’s ‘The slammer’ taking over where Ratpack had left off from and then started dropping the jungle classics.

Nicky started off with a number of early drum and bass classics such as ‘Valley of the shadows’, ‘It’s the way’, ‘R-Type’ and ‘Spiritual aura’. MC Ribbs hosted this set and was joined by Illmatika the pair hyped up the crowd as they sparred of each other lyrics whilst keeping the ravers rocking into the early hours.

Nicky upped the tempo for the remainder of his set as he dropped ‘Dual voltage’, ‘Clear skyz’, ‘Champion sound’ Bad company remix and ‘Feelings’, before closing the night with ‘Terrorist’ whilst double dropping Stevie Hyper D’s tribute track ‘Junglist soldier’.

What an amazing night form the Epidemik crew really enjoyed my visit down in the capital. Atmosphere was spot on throughout the night a really nice friendly party vibe throughout the venue. There was mixture of ravers in here as Epidemik catered for not only hardcore and drum and bass ravers, but also house heads too with a bit of something for everyone attending.

The DJ sets in the main room were spot I particularly enjoyed Glenn Aston and Pilgrims 90-91 set along with Gachet and Sy. These guys dug that extra deeper in their record boxes tonight dropping a number of tunes I’ve not heard of in a long time.

Well then who ever thought of a party featuring this colossal oldskool line-up to be free was definitely well worth the mission down from Birmingham!

Massive shouts and Respects to Grant and the Epidemik crew, Pilgrim , Glenn Aston , Sy, Robbie Dee, Scratchmaster Techno, Nicky Blackmakret, Strict, Lipmaster Mark, Charlie B, Fatman D, IC3, Evenson Allen, Dr S Gachet, Billy Bunter, Tony Res, Brian BK and Sean, Izzy, Will and Millie, Ronnie, Gareth, Kaylene and Uplift, Adam Timless, Spenno, Chit Chat, Vinyl Vera, Flashback, Groover, Andy from Birkenhead Adam lee, Miss Special K and everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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