December Event Guide
Words by Matthew Scott
Now, before I tell you about the good people at Exit’s latest event, let me have a rant first. The more perceptive of you might have seen a night appear at Digital, also bearing the name ‘Exit’. But be warned, unlike Exit North East, who might I add have been running for well over a year and are at the forefront of pushing underground music, the new night at Digital is clearly the brainchild of a bunch of pricks. For one, their hijacking of one of the best nights in Newcastle for their name smacks of the most arrogant, disrespectful, sheer ignominy of whoever it is must be behind it. You do not take other people’s names. Even if you want to call your night something, common respect and decency demands that you check it doesn’t conflict with one of the other already running nights in wherever you happen to be. When the ‘Exit’ at Digital were informed (and believe me, they were informed) that there was already a night called Exit at Worldies, they responded with absolute silence, a reaction that can only reflect their identity as stuck-up, rude, discourteous morons. And fuck off with this ‘Phase II’ and ‘THE BRIEF’ bullshit as well. It’s not cool, and only confirms the need to dress up one’s night in fancy, overhyping language to mask the woefulness of the music that will be played at it. Happily, the real Exit continue to push ahead, and on the 5th of December are bringing dubstep don Biome to WHQ. I’ve loved Biome ever since first hearing the paranoid Moody a few years ago, and although he’s since moved into making lighter, more chilled tunes on Dubstep for Deep Heads and other imprints, his will still be a superb set which will hopefully blend both the darker and more melodic strands of his sound. Big up Exit, each and every, and fuck the pretenders.
Now, this is one of those nights that I know very little about, but I am a fan of Dense and Pika, and I like the Ill Behaviour resident Jack Bassford too, so it warrants an inclusion. Dense and Pika are longtime members of the Hotflush roster, the ever-morphing label that started out releasing unreal dubstep from the likes of Distance and Luke Envoy but which now puts out music that resides in that hard to define space which straddles all the different contours of bass music. Dense and Pika joined the roster with their dark, grooving Crispy Duck EP in 2012, and have since had three more 12″ releases on Hotflush alongside a single on Hypercolour and a steady stream of self-released stuff. They seem to be in Newcastle a lot, come to think of it, but that’s no reason not to go and see them. Providing the support is Jack Bassford, probably the only DJ I’ve seen at Ill Behaviour and actually remember for his selection, and Danish, who to be honest I know nothing about. Should be a decent party this one though, all things considered. Tickets are 13 squids, and I should add that Dense and Pika will be playing the final set of the night, which will hopefully allow them to close things off in proper raucous fashion.
A couple of months ago a new night popped up on my radar that I’d never heard of before, entitled Nova. And they popped up on my radar once again this month by booking one of my favourite DJs to come play in Newcastle. Enter Mele. I will never forget when Spill the Gravy booked him at the Warehouse in Hoult’s Yard a couple of years ago, partly because my hip flask went missing in suspicious circumstances, but mostly because Mele played the best multi-genre set I have ever heard. Moving effortlessly between stuff like Baby D’s ‘Let Me Be Your Fantasy’, Benga and Coki’s ‘Night’, and countless other kinds of jungle, bassline, and garage, it remains to this day one of the only sets I’ve seen that successfully blended several genres of electronic music together whilst retaining a consistent flow the whole time. Normally when DJs flit between genres it can be such a switch that it immediately puts you off, sending you trudging begrudgingly towards the bar muttering discontentedly. Mele, though, smashed it. And his production hasn’t half became on point as well. On the night he is joined by long time friend and collaborator MC Slick Don and the mythical pioneer of UKG Groove Chronicles. Also on the bill is someone called Voodoo Whiskey (excellent name), and the Nova residents. Should be alreet this then, and it makes me excited for what Nova have planned in 2016.
On the 18th of December, one week before the big day itself, Lively Up will be joining its jubilant little sister Pirate Material to see in the Christmas holidays as only they can. It’s not just a residents party though, for they’ve invited a couple of guests to don their Santa hats and jingle some bells across Worldies’ dancefloor. First up is Wen, who the real Exit (not the pretend one) had up to play a while ago, and whose eclectic fusions of garage, grime, and god knows what else is the perfect music to pull a couple of crackers and have a dance to whilst drinking the famed Red Stripe. Also invited is Chopstick Dubplate’s Jacky Murda, who will no doubt be laying down the reggae and dub to get everyone in the mood as well. Special mention also to the main man Pidge (we still need to get together for that mix mate!), who as we know very well can spin a jungle set like few others. As I’ve wrote countless times, Lively Up is one of the best nights around not just for the producers and DJs they bring up, but also because the sound they promote and create is one of inclusion, passion, and sheer happy vibes. I went to their Boxing Day party last year, and it remains the best night out I’ve ever had over a Christmas period. Proof, if you need any more, that this one will be the same.
Given the undisputed dominance of WHQ in this month’s guide, let me last but not least point you in the direction of Motion’s Boxing day party at Digital. Given that there are more DJs on the line-up than there are penguins in Antarctica, I’ll simply point out a couple of the bigger names and then leave your musical compass to decide what room you go to at what time on the night. The two top ones are unquestionably Patrick Topping in the main room, and Richy Ahmed who will be playing a three hour set in Digital 2. Then there’s Jacky from Viva Music in Think Tank, someone (or someones) on the Smoking Terrace called Moonlit Vision, and plenty of other DJs to boot as well. If you can, don’t miss Elliot Adamson’s set either. The young local producer has been making stonkingly good industrial techno for a few years now, and his edits of classic tunes like Chic’s ‘Everybody Dance’ are still called upon now on the rare occasions we get asked to play a house or disco set. On the downside, tickets are upwards of £20, but considering the amount of DJs to see and the amount of turkey you’ll be dancing off that’s actually not too steep. It’ll sell out probably, so if you want to go best snaffle one of those tickets now.