I’d been looking forward to this one for a while as I’d never been to Canal Mills before and I’ve always been a massive fan of Chase and Status. Canal Mills is a great club; a brilliant combination of cutting edge visuals and Funktion 1 sound system whilst also maintaining that sweaty, grimy warehouse aesthetic that all good dance music orientated clubs need. It was an interesting one as the wider appeal of Chase and Status lead to two pleasantly surprising aspects of the night: Firstly there were a lot more attractive women than a drum and bass night normally pulls in. Spending a lot of time at drum and bass nights that are predominantly populated by sweaty bearded men with dreadlocks I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to see an equal girl to boy ratio skanking out to some of the finest drum and bass available. Secondly it meant that the crowd were familiar with the majority of music that was being played and this caused a lot more crowd participation and reaction than you normally see.
The back-catalogue of music that Chase and Status have produced is just ridiculous and their unique use of drum-lines and synth creates such a distinctive sound to their tunes. This meant that even when they were mixing in some of their less established songs the majority of the crowd recognised and anticipated the direction the set was heading towards and went mental almost in unison as drop after drop was fired out of Canal Mills epic Funktion 1 speaker system. Their biggest and best known tunes drew some biblical crowd reaction. ‘No Problem’, ‘Smash TV’, ‘Pieces’, ‘End credits’ and ‘Time’ (to name just a few) got the crowd pumped and jumping with the sort of energy and abandon that closer resembled some sort of charismatic religious cult worship than a rave. I have to admit that my guilty pleasure with Chase and Status is ‘Hypest hype.’ There's just something brilliant about shouting next hype with 1000+ people whilst dancing like an idiot. I also find it a testament to the production skill of Chase and Status that they actually managed to turn a Tempa T sample into a credible drum and bass song. On the more technical side of things their set was a master class. Having been around for almost 10 years (by drum and bass standards a relatively long time) they have picked up an incredible ear for transition, beat-matching and song choice. The tiny little slips up's and scratches that can often find their way into even well-established DJ's sets just don't happen to these guys as was seen by a flawless mash up between ‘Duppy man’ and ‘smash TV’.
The supporting acts of the night came hard as well with Killsonik, Monsta and Bobby tank all hammering out impressive sets. Killsonik are relatively new on the dubstep scene and are already getting allot of attention for their sound. From a similar school of thought as Skrillex and Knife Party these guys are all about dance floor shattering drops and synth wobble saturated rhythms. They dropped some great dubstep including an apocalyptic remix of Calvin Harris' ‘We'll Be Coming Back’. Monsta carried on the dubstep vibe although with a larger focus on melody and an interesting use of vocals from the group’s singer Bryn Christopher. A lot of their music is instrument based and it gives a really unique sound to allot of their songs. ‘Holdin' On’ is a great example of this and if you haven't heard it already I’d strongly suggest hitting it up on YouTube. Bobby Tank brought something entirely different to the night with a weird and wonderful clashing together of synth pop leads, house vocals and something approaching a disco boogie beat.
Review by Will Gadsby Peet
Edited By Alex Ogilvie