Reviewed: Playaz at Printworks
Saturday 22nd February was finally upon us and it was time to get ourselves to Printworks for Playaz second outing! As you walk into Printworks, the old printing house architecture still seeps through the refurbishment, decorating the warehouse vibe with industrial details, contrasting with the infamous Printworks lightbox which hangs confidently above you as you queue.
Walking up the stairs to the music rooms, you can hear the sound system coming through the walls, with music booming from the Press Halls. Decorated with over 100 lasers and a wall of LED lights performing entrancing visuals, the Press Halls serves as the main room and first impression is dramatic and immersing, a sensory treat of crisp sound, lasers dancing over heads of the excitable audience, and moving bodies painted with eager smiles. It feels impossible not to dive into the infectiously positive and energetic atmosphere of Playaz events, and within minutes of entering, I knew this one would not fail any expectations.
The main dance area of the Press Halls was full to the brim by the time Bou took the stage, his set was high-energy, bass heavy and difficult not to dance to. Haribo matched the stamina of the whole set, it was one which seemed to get the party going and in full swing, and more bodies were lured into the dance. The pair seemed to bounce off of each other as Bou showcased some of his own tracks, including the ‘Veteran’ they took the start of the day by storm.
By the time Sub Zero B2B Original Sin took to the decks the room was hotter, the audience was addicted, and the event was clearly going to be special. Darkzy ft Window Kid was something many of the audience seemed eager not to miss, the sofas around the bar became emptier and the room seemed to fill up quickly. When a bangers show-case is done well, it’s done really well, and their set held no exception to this. The Noisia remix of ‘Hold Your Colour’ highlighted the moment, the crowd was invisible under the lake of phone torches that shone up to the DJ, waiting for the hefty drop which exploded into the sound systems down the hall and ended in a rewind. It was quick, slick, and heightened the intensity of the room.
It wouldn’t have been the night that it was without the incredible Watch The Ride set, it should have come with a warning sign as it blew us all away, song after song the mix was flawlessly put together, the whole journey was full of unexpected turns and drops, you could hear the crowds vocal appreciation over the pauses in the songs, and it stole the set of the night award from where we were standing. Watch The Ride was infectious, a real treat for everyone in the crowd, their tune selection was incredibly full of new and unreleased, mixed with the ones we all want to hear, including the S.P.Y remix of ‘Jungalist’ which we were lead into like cheering warriors by the host PRIMA.
Problem Central lit up the room with their stage presence and spirit, and unexpectedly their set was a flawless journey of bouncing, wobbly bass and ‘stuck-in-your-head’ melodies. Playaz wouldn’t be Playaz without the awaited for set by Hazard who was joined by MC Phantom and the pair of them didn’t disappoint, delivering and doing what the two of them do best.
Headliner Hype ft IC3 finished the night on a high for the Press Halls, everyone came together for the final hour and the excitement, satisfaction and love was mirrored between the performers and the audience, it was an all-round electric hour.
When we wondered into the Dark Room to catch the anticipated Hype B2B Randall (Irregular Jungle set) it was a huge contrast to the high-production of the Press Halls. The Dark Room is by name and by nature, it strips you back to focus on just the music, you’re at level with the DJ and the MC’s it feels more personal and more intimate at the same time. Its dark walls and low lighting represent the nature of the music, it’s raw and brought back to its roots. And the irregular jungle set did exactly that. Hype B2B Randall was something that held its own during the night, and suited the vibe of the room perfectly, and Daddy Earl acted host with the most and supported the two legends with style.
Mollie Collins and J Wilz brought a lot of passion to the room, with heavier basslines than the set before you could see the crowd pumping up and adjusting with the tone of the room, which was soon to be taken over by Born on Road (Kelvin 373 B2B Selecta J-MAN) who are, both within their own rights and with the label, landing strong in the scene, with release after release having success, along with the label as a whole Born on Road is rising every day, and their talent and passion is reflected in every set. Kelvin 373 and Selecta J-MAN upheld their signature styles, in tune with their Origin One ‘High Grade’ Remix from 2018.
Haribo stepped up for a double set, making a triple performance night, with North Base and Kaz B2B Stompz independently, the Dark Room is the perfect host for their dark and dirty sets, all fitting in with the unspoken theme of illegal-rave-esque undertones and underground vibes.
Flowdan is ruling king of the dance for a reason, and with no surprise his voice seemed to be the sensory representation of the room, it was deep, dark, heavy, the smog created the perfect visual atmosphere mixed with the unavoidable end of the night heaviness in the air. DJ Hatcha & Sumzee joined the B2B team as the penultimate set, and together with Crazy D, Flowdan created a suited team. The Dubstep and Grime set flowed well into Bass Boy who ended the night by delivering the late night goods.
The night ended in incredible spirits, the lull of the end of the night never came and the high spirits were seen on the journey all the way home. From the beams of light falling on the crowds faces to the speakers that entice you go come closer, Playaz at Printworks was everything and more, it blew expectations and set the bar high for the next round.
Thanks to Printworks, Lock ‘n’ Load and Playaz for having us down! Until next time…
For information and tickets to forthcoming Printworks events CLICK HERE