SUBDUB has long been a staple of the Leeds bass music scene,as well as the UK in general. Even my Outlook 2011 wristband has SUBDUB stitched on it as part of the design, alongside other key names in the scene such as Vagabondz. As a result, expectations were running high during the build up to the latest edition of the event.
Room 1 provided a dub-fuelled atmosphere with the combined might of both the Iration Steppas Soundsystem and the OBF Soundsystem who hail from France. The result of this collaboration was a system, which - if you were in the crowd, or for that matter near the room – made the world feel like it was set to vibrate. I could’ve sworn it made my ears pop at one point, regardless, what I’m trying to say, is that it was loud. But not unpleasantly so. That combined with good music is always going to be a winning combination, and there was certainly no lack of good music in Room 1.
For me, however, Room 2 stole the show, and this was evident from the distribution of the crowd. Room 2 seemed to be the fullest throughout the night, with most of the crowd choosing to bask in the sounds of Osiris Music. Sets from the likes of Biome, label-heads Kryptic Minds and of the course, the one and only, Youngsta, are what made the night memorable for me. Special mentions go to Youngsta’s opener; a beat juggle between two copies of the Skream classic “Midnight Request Line”, creating a very interesting twist on the song which has been played countless times over the years by virtually every DJ in the scene. I just felt fortunate to be able to see/hear him do it live. From most of the people I talked to, as well as my friends, it seemed that most of them rated Youngsta’s as the set of the night. That’s not to say, however, that it wasn’t close. Kryptic Minds brought their trademark minimal darkness to the room with great effect and I still remember the crowd going off when Biome, while playing Vivek’s soon-to-be-released “Over My Head”, dropped Sleeper’s “Dawn of the Replicants” out of nowhere. Carnage ensued. Of course it wouldn’t have been complete without an MC, and Toast brought his trademark style of humour and straight love for the music to the stage, making everyone there feel a part of the night, in a big way.
Last but definitely not least, Leeds’s University’s own Brotherhood Soundsystem was holding the fort at Room 3, which provided a much welcome contrast from the other rooms. It was the smallest of the 3 but created an intimate atmosphere, with the crowd essentially in arms length of the DJ. Ant-TC1 provided some high-octane relief from the slower BPM’s in the rest of the club, with his relentless Drum ‘n’ Bass. As per usual the Brotherhood Soundsystem was in full flex, holding it’s own with the other rooms without any trouble. The intimacy combined with the music and soundsystem made for some great vibes with everyone present having fun, exhibiting once again why Brotherhood is present on so many Leeds line-ups every week.
As expected, SUBDUB was a great night all round, its important to note that besides the calibre of the music, the crowd was just as good. Everyone seemed to be having a good time and as almost every clubber/raver will tell you, vibes are some of the most important aspects of a night. Needles to say, SUBDUB had no shortage of them.
Review by Arthur Seaward
Image courtesy of SUBDUB and Simon Mclaren
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