Sunday, 11 March 2007

London Paper 14

londonpaper14, originally uploaded by chantelle.


If you’re looking for an injection of bass this weekend, there’s only one place to achieve a high this legal – DMZ at Mass, Brixton. Renowned for their soul imploding sound system, fresh beat dropping and more, it looks set to be another road block affair for the bi-monthly event celebrating it’s 2nd Birthday on Saturday.

Founded by south London based producers Mala and Coki (of Digital Mystikz) alongside Loefah, DMZ promotes a community atmosphere, bringing together people who like to ‘meditate on bass weight.’ “That came into my head when Loefah was designing the first flyer, because it’s what I do when I’m making beats,” explained Mala, who’s responsible for speaker-shattering tracks like ‘Bury Da Bwoy’ and ‘Da Wrath’. “I don’t understand why so many clubs in the world and London, catering for people who are coming out to hear music, don’t have a good sound system. Ultimately DMZ is about sound, not fancy visuals or what you look like. We want you to get what we’re dealing with; the high frequencies and the sub low frequencies which you can’t hear but you feel (that shit) in your chest.”

Commonly regarded as a dubstep night, a sound that was spawned from the dark 2step made by the likes of EL-B, Zed Bias and Steve Gurley in the late 90’s, it’s not strictly true. Every DJ on the line-up (the majority of whom are also producers primarily playing their own music) comes with a fresh perspective, crossing over into the techno, breaks, electro and grime arenas.

But a lot’s changed since the first event that had them filling the 3rd Base room in Mass with 200 people. With attendance figures growing at every event, DMZ has quickly garnered cult status, even making their debut in New York last week. “We have international visitors from Europe and America who come over specifically for the event. They’ll go record shopping on Saturday at Blackmarket then come to us in the evening - it’s like the DMZ weekender… A lot of friendships have been formed, call me hippy but it’s about spreading love.” Thankfully it’s no PR spin and the regulars agree. “For me it’s all about community,” said Mark Guerney, a project manager by day. “The fact you can go to either FWD>> at Plastic People or DMZ and mingle with the very creators and pioneers of the sound is a revolutionary attitude in dance music.”

You’ll need to get in the queue early though. On the first anniversary last March, they full capacity within the first hour of opening, with an expectant 400 revellers waiting for a slice of the action outside. So what did they do? Moved the party into the main room of course - and they haven’t gone back since.

Among the many DJs making sure the party pounds through the night this time around are Kode 9, Plastician (Radio 1), Benny Ill, Benga, Random Trio, Distance, Hatcha, Skream, Youngsta and D1. And given the event runs from 8pm till 6am, you’re advised to bring earplugs if you want to hear the Eastenders omnibus on Sunday.

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A version of this article appeared in The London Paper

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