Reviewed: 1985 Music at Village Underground
Friday the 5th April was a day that had been in the minds of all Drum & Bass lovers since before Christmas. It was the day that marked the first 1985 Music London showcase of the year and a day that people had been eagerly waiting for. Since the launch of 1985 Music by head honcho Alix Perez in 2016, the label has gone from strength to strength with a number of stellar releases and some, let’s just say remarkable music showcases. With a boisterous DJ roster consisting of some serious heavyweights such as Skeptical, Alix Perez and Monty, our mouths were drooling at the thought of it all happening under one roof.
The lineup for the night was absolutely insane, made up of Alix Perez, Skeptical, Breakage, Monty and a seriously special guest, Break. The selectors were there, the venue was there and the night had all the makings to be one for archives. Kicking things off for us at Village Underground was none other than Breakage who was getting the night rolling with a fine selection of jungle steppers. Dishing out some serious heat from the off such as, ‘Breakage – As We Enter’, Breakage wasn’t wasting any time at all digging straight for the hard hitters. The vibes in the venue couldn’t have been better as the night began, the selection of jungle tracks allowed for the ravers to get comfortable and find their feet before the real damage started to begin.
There was a real sense of anticipation about the place as the end of Breakage’s opening set was in sight. Everybody knew who was stepping up next and the excitement was serious. Top dog, man of the hour Alix Perez took to the decks for an hour and a half of non-stop power. The opening of the set was sublime, after a short blackout, the roar of a filtered growl filled the room as Perez got things going with around fifteen minutes of some of the lowest, grittiest half time. When we say gritty we mean gritty, proper bite your teeth, melt your face stuff. We’d been teased on Facebook by Perez with some short thirty second videos of some forthcoming half time but hearing them in person, in the rave, under that incredible system was ridiculous. After an unforgettable fifteen minutes, Perez took it up a notch and got down to business with a selection of drum and bass everyone had been waiting for. Belting out some fan favourites such as Alix Perez & Monty – ‘Caligo’ and an absolute heater Razat – ‘Simplicity’. Two absolute corkers that any fan of drum and bass can appreciate. Perez had everyone rolling through the rave with a fine selection of steppers and he even brought it down a level for a few liquid tracks with vocalist Liam Bailey who jumped on stage for few numbers.
Up next on the decks was none other the special guest on the night, Break. Now if you haven’t heard of Break you must have been living under a rock because this guy has been absolutely smashing it recently. Buzzing from the release of his ‘Another Way’ LP last year, The Symmetry Recordings front man took to the decks and showcased just what he had been cooking up over the past few months. A set packed with low subs, jungle breaks and some ridiculously sounding basses, Break, effortlessly showed why he was the special guest. Dishing up some lovely tracks like, Mefjus – ‘Uneasy’ (Break Remix) and a fan favourite Break – ‘Keepin It Raw’.
The time was now 3am and the rave was getting darker and darker so who better to take over the controls than the monster that is Skeptical. Everyone who’s listened to some Skeptical productions knows just what this guy is all about. Fresh from his back to back with Alix Perez at the recent Rampage festival, we were sure the dubs would be out in full force for this one. The production wizard didn’t disappoint as he dished out some proper stinkers such as one of the remixes of 2018, Mefjus – ‘Sinkhole’ (Skeptical Remix) and a tasty little half time number from his ‘Enjoy This Trip’ LP, ‘Elevator’. Effortlessly mixing, Skeptical was tearing Village Underground a new one as he dug for some new selections from his most recent EP, ‘Fibonacci Sequence’. One track in particular which got the crowd going was Skeptical – ‘Mechanism’ a proper dark selection from the Exit Records release.
Time moves on ever so quickly in a rave and before we knew it, it was time for the infamous graveyard set. Stepping up to the plate, for a set that many ravers shy away from, was Monty. From experience, the graveyard set is often one that is overlooked but if there was ever a time to stay behind it was for this set. Monty had the remaining ravers stepping and skanking like it was the peak of the night. Serving up some real, real heaters such as Monty – ‘Spatia’ and Monty & Alix Perez – ‘Vergo’, the vibe about the place was electric and we couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the night.
So as usual 6am marked the end of the rave, the end of another night but the continuation of successful nights put on by the 1985 boys. Seriously if you haven’t been to a 1985 rave up, you need to get yourself down to one!