Reviewed: Playaz at Printworks
The idea of a Playaz Recordings takeover at Printworks was something of a dream until Saturday 10th March saw it become a reality. Playaz have gone from strength to strength over the last year following a number of sell-out shows and an array of releases and were ready to take Printworks by storm. A full fronted drum and bass line-up was what was expected but the Playaz crew didn’t disappoint when they threw the Crucast DJs into the mix. Adding some of the biggest names amongst the bassline scene to an array of some of the biggest drum and bass names was a recipe for madness. Coming through with an insane line-up, it was safe to say that we were certainly going to be in for one hell of a party.
We arrived at Printworks nice and early, about 1 o’clock, and got straight into the action. Wasting no time at all, we headed into the Press Halls for AMC and Turno who were on the decks and let’s just say it didn’t feel like the start of a rave. With Dreps and Phantom on the mics, the vibe in the place was ridiculous as AMC and Turno dropped their new stomper, ‘Turno & A.M.C – Alliance’. A proper floor smasher, really setting the tone for the day. Shelling out some serious hard hitters and rollers, their energy behind the decks was infectious. Pumping out a bunch of crowd pleasures like Turno’s remix of ‘Pasco – The Trick (Turno Remix)’, the duo was setting up nicely for Majistrate to takeover. Synonymous for his monstrous sets, there was no one better to take over after such an unbelievable start to the day. Shelling out some proper nit and grit, the kind of stuff to make absolutely anyone pull a screw face, the rave was really starting to take it up a notch as the venue filled. In combination with the new lighting setup, tracks like ‘Whiney ft. Inja – Flashlight’ and ‘Serum & Inja – Blow Them Away’ had everyone throwing their hardest skank.
It was time to amble on over to the Charge Bay, where a line-up of some of the best underground, up and coming bassline DJs and a few drum and bass heavyweights were ready to show just what they could do. One name who’s really been on the up recently is Zero who’s been no stranger to the bassline scene over the past few months. Throwing out one of his new ones ‘Zero – Checkmate’, Zero had picked up a good little crowd who were in awe of the second drop.
After a quick switch up of music, it was time to head back into the spotlight for a set that many would have been waiting for. A back to back consisting of Randall and Die who had taken over from the jump up crew and were firing out the minimal, gritty hitters. The roar of ‘Uncle22 & Navigator – Choose One (Serum Refix)’ echoed deep into the room as it was met by a roar of the crowd, proper heavy stuff. With some fine mixing and impeccable track selection, the two in control were dominating and showing everyone just how it’s done.
Time was swiftly moving on and before we knew it, it was time to push the drum and bass aside for a couple of hours and bring in the Crucast crew. After a number of sell out Crucast Showcase performances, Darkzy, Skepsis, Notion, Mr Virgo, Lazcru and Bru-C were taking centre stage of a sold-out Printworks. Playing for thirty minutes each, we were in store for a flurry of bassline as Skepsis took to the decks first. Kicking things off with an unheard VIP of his recent release ‘Skepsis – Fingers’, the bassline heavyweight set the place alight as gun fingers went up throughout the place. Shelling out the filth that everyone wanted, Skepsis cycled through an array of stompers before making way for Notion. Following in Skepsis’ footsteps, Notion kicked off his thirty minutes with a VIP of his own. A VIP of his recent crowd favourite, ‘Notion Ft Slick Don – Vex’. It was VIP after VIP for the bassline crew who were dropping some serious material. Up next was Mr Virgo aka Mr V, who let’s just say has proven to be one of the most influential and dominant figures in the underground scene. Bringing his experience to the show, Mr V dropped some absolute fire through his thirty minutes, playing tracks like ‘Mr Virgo – Jungle Frenzy’, Virgo had everyone throwing out their hardest skank. Taking over was none other than Darkzy, the Nottingham based selector brought the heat with a VIP of ‘Bru-C ft. Darkzy & Window Kid – Hide The Ting’ and a selection of fast-paced heavy hitters. Finishing things off for the Crucast boys was Lazcru, who jumped on and brought back the drum and bass with a quick thirty-minute set of crowd pleasers and teasers.
Stepping away from the bassline, Annix and Sub Zero took control in the Press Halls for an hour. If you’re into your drum & bass, you’ll know that these boys are certainly up there and never fail to put on a show. Causing some absolute damage to the main room, the boys behind the decks were tearing Printworks apart. Throwing out some ridiculously sounding tracks like ‘Neonlight – Microbots (Annix Remix) and ‘Sub Zero & Jaydan – Fear’, the boys had spirits at an all-time high for the day. Blasting through a monstrous collection of belters, these boys were proving just why they were on the line-up, the energy they had created in the venue was insane. Carrying on from these madmen were another set of heavyweights, Shadow Demon Coalition. Made up of Voltage, Bassman and Trigga these boys knew just what was needed to up the stakes, if it was even possible. Roller after roller, stomper after stomper, the switch up between tracks was second to none. Playing tunes such as ‘Voltage – Jungle Animal’ and then switching into tracks like ‘Serum & Voltage – Mission Control’, the place was bouncing.
Back to the Charge Bay we went. Having heard a lot about him and seeing a lot of clips of his sets, we thought it would be crazy to miss out on Sammy Virji. Picking up a name for himself in the bassline scene, Virji has been quite the one to watch recently. Known for his ecstatic energy behind the decks, everyone who has been to one of his sets knows just what kind of show to expect. Playing a whole host of his own productions and remixes, Virji had the whole of the Charge Bay packed out. Dishing out filth like ‘Sammy Virji – Never Let You Go’, Virji had everyone throwing their biggest garage skank. Quick steppers and heavy hitters, the perfect switch up from a heavily dominated drum and bass day.
Moving on quickly, we were back in the Press Halls for a truly special set. SASASAS took to the decks, kicking things off with an incredibly passionate and emotion tribute to the late MC Stormin. The love of drum and bass brought everyone together for a moment of reflection and respect as the SASASAS boys exploded into their set. The famous SASASAS lyrics echoed through the halls as tracks like ‘Macky Gee – Tour’ had everyone, and I mean everyone, chanting out the melody. A proper crowd favourite, you must have been living under a rock if you haven’t heard it in a rave recently.
Finishing things off for us in the Press Halls was none other than the head honcho himself DJ Hype. Playing a much-loved back to back with DJ Hazard, these two were the perfect pairing to finish up a truly special Playaz party. Hype is known for his wizardy skills on the decks and he wasn’t shy of showing off. Scratching through a selection of tracks, re-fixing them as he went, the Playaz bossman was doing just what we all wanted. The perfect way to end close up what had been a ridiculously good event, everyone about the place was loving life and it’s safe to say that Printworks did it justice.