Featuring the Valve Sound System
Saturday 3rd March 2007
Random Concept presented their first event of the year and teamed up with promoters from the north of England, Metropolis to present a star studded event featuring some of the finest from the drum and bass world. All powered with Lemon D and Dillinja’s gut wrenching Valve sound system.
We arrived in Digbeth shortly after 11 and was greeted to a huge queue, the queue was moving slowly especially for those with pre paid tickets, after 30 minutes we were finally in. The security where being very strict and enforcing the no hats and hoods dress code, with the main cloakroom being located outside.
After a stringent search from the security we were finally inside Air and the main arena was packed like a sardine tin, the dance floor was filled wall to wall with ravers. Ram records new prodigy DJ Subfocus was on with the Valve system in full effect, shaking the walls of the main arena.
The Valve rig was situated at the front of the Oxygen arena boosting Air’s existing sound system. There where numerous speaker stacks and sub woofers that covered a majority of the front stage. The arena its self was decked out with numerous Random Concept banners with advertisements for this summer Global Gathering festival which is to be hosted by Random Concept this year.
Above the DJ box where two projector screens with advertisement many of the forthcoming events along with a text message bulletin board which was being inundated with messages from the crowd which where being screen up here throughout the night.
MC’s Rhymes and Biggie where doing the mic duties throughout Subfocus’s set, hyping up the crowd with their lyrics and party style chat. Subfocus was playing an upfront set with a number of his productions being featured within the 45minutes. Subfocus dropped the likes of ‘Special place’ and ‘Triple X’ along with current crowd favourites like ‘Screamer’ and ‘Back to your roots’ remixes, before finishing of with ‘Game over’.
Next up was Charge recordings very own Mampi Swift with his partner in crime IC3 who was accompanied by Fatman D. Mampi Swift in true style was double dropping tunes left right and centre with tracks such as ‘Style baby’, ‘Rockstar’, ‘Bloodsugar’ and ‘Cold turkey’ whilst teasing in numerous classic for good measure such as ‘The one’, ‘Dubplate’, ‘The nine’, ‘All that jazz’. IC3 and Fatman D where doing an awesome job hyping up the crowd with their lyrics and with IC3 getting lots of interaction from the ravers especially with his football terminology!
DJ Zinc carried on from Mampi Swift, Zinc was playing a very upfront set as there was lots of forthcoming material from his Bingo beats label featured throughout the set along with numerous crowd favourites with the likes of ‘Game over’, ‘Screwtop’, ‘Where’s my money’ and Chase and status’s summer monster anthem ‘In love’. Eksman and Dynamite where both mcing for Zinc and where awesome throughout. Dynamite is a great hype master working up the crowd using lyrics from classic jungle tracks.
Originally billed at this time was DJ Hype but the father and son duo of the legendary Micky Finn and Logan D took to the 1210’s. What a fine job they done tearing down the dancefloor with numerous slammers, it was a very upfront as I didn’t really know any of the tunes that where played but the crowd were really enjoying the set.
The duo of Eksman and Foxy where mcing for Micky and Logan D rocking the crowd into a frenzy and definitely gave this set that extra raw edge to it. Dynamite and Herbsman joined Foxy and Eksman on stage as they all battled on the mic throughout the set.
Next up was Ram recordings duo Red One and Andy C, It was interesting to see what the Ram chief Red One had to offer to this back to back special. Andy and Red One where keeping the crowd rocking lots of current favourites being featured throughout including ‘Game over’, ‘Aliens’, ‘Chatting rubbish’ and ‘Dumpling’
MC Shabba was mcing and did a very good job throughout keeping the ravers on their toes with lots of his fans reciting his lyrics. Andy C’s energy behind the wheels of steel was immense watching him using the mixer to its full potential. There where numerous classics being dropped such as ‘Hard noise’, ‘Quest’ and Topcat’s ‘Ruffest gun ark’.
Andy finished the set with the timeless classic ‘Valley of the shadows’ which was immense on this sound system as the basslsine shook my insides as he double dropped it with another Ram favourite ‘Turbulence’.
Following on from the Ram duo was one of the sets I was looking forward to featuring DJ Friction and I was not let down at all. With both MC’s GQ and SP complimenting the music throughout, with GQ’s powerful voice was electrifying over the Valve sound system.
It is understandable how Friction has gained a large following within the past few years, the energy from him whilst he was mixing was phenomenal which was complimented by his tune selection. Friction set featured lots of party tunes on this powerful sound system with the likes of ‘Space invader’ remix, ‘Too bad’, ‘Get closer’ and ‘Screamer’ remix.
Penultimate set for the night came from the creators of this wall trembling sound system Lemon D and Dillinja. Lemon D and Dillinja too the sound system through its paces with some bass wobbling tunes as they played ‘Back to your roots’ remix, ‘Who’ remix and Digital & Spirit’s ‘Phantom force’ remix which rattled the four walls of Air.
What was outstanding about this set was the mcing as both Fearless and Spyda were in control of the mic and had the crowd in their palms. The two were complimentary of each other with Spyda’s raga dancehall style and Fearless hyperactive free flowing lyrics.
Final set of the night was Random Concepts very own Garry K. Garry kept the partying going into the early hours with Spyda at the helm on the mic. At this point we decided to leave.
Tonight was a very extremely successful night its been a very long time since I’ve seen Air this rammed for a drum and bass night. With all 3 arenas busy throughout the night, there was hardly any room on the dance floor especially in the main arena with it being filled with ravers from across the UK.
The Valve system was louder than the previous 2 visits a vast improvement I’d have to say, as they have been restricted in the past to how much of the system they can use due to the size of the club but the system was definitely louder and you could feel the bass rattle inside your body!
Once again the DJ’s were definitely on form and I was particularly impressed with both Micky Finn and Logan D’s b2b set and Friction’s set. Andy C and Red One was another great set with this year being Ram records 15yrs anniversary I was chuffed to hear ‘Valley of the shadows’ on the Valve system, as I’d love to hear either just one set of oldskool or a whole night dedicated to oldskool drum and bass on this sound system!
The only let down of the night was the queuing system, as this took longer than usual with the pre paid ticket queue being backlogged due to the tight security team. With the other queue was moving smoothly in comparison.
Atmosphere of the night was good no moody people or troublemakers, though I did feel that there was a different crowd than normal. Lots of out of people travelling out of the midlands for tonight, I guess with Metropolis there was a more northern following here tonight. It was good to see people uniting from across the UK and having a great night!
Massive shouts to Mark Lambert Garry, Ripper, Spruce, and the Random Concept crew, Fearless, Eksman, Friction, Micky Finn, Biggie, GQ, Spyda, Rhymes, Dynamite, IC3, Swift, SP, Mark XTC, Foxy , Andy C, Dillinja, Lemon D, Zinc, Daddy Dread, Presha, Dan B, Reaction and Sarah.
Big Respects to Vicki, Nike, Gemma, Zoë and Collette, Manny, Alice and Kiri, Nursa and Princess G, Munkeh, Robes, Mairead, Alpha, Gravity, Benny, Wes, Sue, Rachel, Dave the Rave, Scott and Juicy, Will Cow, Robes, Michael J, Tara, Jon Resolute, Brian BK, Shay, Gemma and Jessi from Iokee and everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.
Written by Xtra-C
Flashbackin' & Rewindin'