Reviewed: Printworks New Year’s Day: Hospitalitydnb, The Blast & Metropolis present Undivide
After restraining myself from the all-out party extravaganza that is New Year’s Eve, I found myself in East London on the hunt for some serious daytime raving. Enter Printworks. A club that has taken raving back to its industrial roots, the former print factory has been shelled out and fitted with some of the best sound and light equipment in the UK. The fact that a lot of the old factory can still be seen really adds to the industrial aesthetic.
We arrive in the early afternoon, breezing into the cavernous Press Halls for a day full of drum and bass. Jaywood b2b TS2W starts the day off smoothly, gently easing clubbers into the feel of the day. The atmosphere gets ramped up a notch with Nasty Habits’ remix of Doc Scott’s classic ‘Drumz ‘95’, which is well received by the mixed crowd. From Hospitality diehards to original concrete junglists and jump up fans, everyone has been catered for today.
Next up is Etherwood b2b Hybrid Minds, who bring a good dose of liquid drum and bass to proceedings. Charlotte Haining takes to the stage for a live performance of ‘Brighter Days’ – Hybrid Minds’ track which she collaborated on. Their set is interspersed with heavier bass-laden tracks as the day progresses. Nu:Tone b2b BCee take to the stage in the Press Halls around 4pm, as the crowd size grows ever larger as the day wears on.
Throughout the day, plenty of tracks from Metalheadz wide discography are played, with Commix’s ‘Be True’ being a personal highlight. The deep sweeping subs wrap around you as the song progresses, whilst the vocals and piano bring an emotive edge. As Nu:Tone b2b BCee draws to a close the crowd swells to one of the biggest of the day for Kings of the Rollers. The group, consisting of DJ’s Serum, Bladerunner and Voltage, kick things up a notch with fast-paced drums and ear shattering bass. MC Inja keeps it tight on top delivering quick, incisive bars as the place really comes alive.
After the mayhem of Kings of the Rollers, Dub Phizx bring their two-step sound in to slow the pace a little. A welcome break for many, and a chance to grab a spot of respite amongst the chaos.
Hospitality head honcho London Elektricity plays the sound his label has become synonymous for. Melodic drum and bass with real heart and soul, just as he’s winding up to finish he mixes down into ‘Unfinished Symphony’ by The Verve. Arms fly up in the air. The Press Halls fills with hundreds of voices singing those immortal words.
Zinc and Special Request bring the old school flavour playing some hard jungle beats. The classic ‘Ready or Not’ by The Fugees manages to jump into the mix before being swiftly replaced by ‘Mr Happy’ – which of course instigated complete chaos. DJ Hazard’s seminal anthem ‘Mr Happy’ has become a mainstay of the scene, and features at least once during drum and bass raves if not more. Far from sounding stale, the song manages to go off every time.
Finally, it’s time for Noisia to step up to the decks and step up they did, delivering bass-heavy tracks. Dimension’s huge ‘UK’ erupts from the speakers and flattens the dancefloor, with its blend of old school jungle, dnb and dub, this track got the whole place moving. Later on into the set, the duo mix down into Pendulum’s killer ‘Hold Your Colour’ which sparks a mass singalong in the Press Halls. Noisia really push hard towards the end of their set, unleashing one belter after another. With just five minutes remaining I was sure we had reached maximum altitude. That was until Noisia slammed ‘Voodoo People (Pendulum Remix)’ into the mix. At this point, the crowd went into overdrive, I lost it, and that was that. Smiling faces all round as we head for the exit, still marvelling at the amazing venue and fantastic programming. Roll on Issue 003!
Image credit: Gobinder Jhitta