Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Playaz Xmas Special 2010 Review

True Playaz Xmas Special is always one of the best nights on the calendar of London’s most prestigious club.  Falling on the crisp eve of the 27th just between the New Year over-hype and having eaten yourself into a big round ball that needs nothing better than a cardio workout for at least five hours.  The night promised nothing less than the grimiest jump up in room one, a range of dulcet artists including Fabio, Goldie, Brookes Brothers and Total Science gracing room two, and room three accommodating the likes of Optical, Jubei, Calyx & TeeBee in an amalgamation of the deepest techstep DJs.

We descended down the never-ending stairs into the depths of the underground vault to be met by Playaz co-owner Pascal dropping Sparfunk’s ‘Crash Dummy’.  A quick look around the three rooms affirmed how packed the night was going to be.  Rumbling bass filled the brick-walled sanctuary, as the metal stands vibrated with the sounds of Hazard raining dubplates on the hardcore ravers.  Angry war faces littered the dance floor as rude boys and girls skanked out hard to his new tune ‘Death March’.  Funsta was hyping the crowd up nicely over the raw jump up, especially when Hazard dropped his ‘Psychedelic’ and Taxman’s ‘Evasion 08’.  A good proportion of the crowd were enjoying the reunion after Innovation in the Dam, and the smell of cannabis submerged everyone standing under the umbrella in the wet smoking area. 

D Minds’ new remix of ‘Serial Killas’ featured heavily that night, as both Hype and Friction dropped it later and Brockie opened with it, playing nothing but undiluted filth.  DJ Hype’s set was not up to his usual standard as track selection and technicalities seemed to be lacking in effort, though IC3 was keeping the crowd very lively.  His set was filled heavily with new genre Drumstep, which is half time d&b with elements including squalid basslines influenced by dubstep.  It was during the new VIP of Sub Focus’ ‘Now Let the Story Begin’ that I noticed the sweat dripping from the pipes on the stage, and getting anywhere on the ground floor was proving impossible.  The monthly Playaz night had out grimed itself to a new level. 

Friction made his appearance just after 4am, and played the best set of the night.  His set tore the dance floor apart, playing a range of the biggest tunes, including Loadstar’s ‘Link to the Past’, Hazard’s new ‘0121 VIP’ and a couple of new tracks from RAM’s new signing, Delta Heavy.  Friction vs Camo & Krooked’s ‘Stand Up’ had ravers almost jumping off the stage with excitement.  But it was as he dropped Konflict’s ‘Messiah’ in with Original Sin’s ‘Therapy’ that the ceiling nearly shattered.  The MC called for lighters and the whole room was transformed into a starry sky for a beautiful minute. 

Brothers Taxman and Original Sin had the last set of the night, and brought the whole experience to a close True Playaz style.  Original Sin manipulated the cavernous room first, dropping new tracks ‘Original Badboy’ and ‘Phantasm’.  TC’s ‘What is Going On’ got great feedback from the room which was the most packed it had been all night, before a dubstep track was played between the switch.  Original Sin and Taxman are rumoured to be producing dubstep currently, but when Taxman took control, nothing but the filthiest jump up was played, including Sigma and Fresh’s ‘Cylon’, ‘Penamana’ and DJ Die and Break’s new smasher ‘Slow Down’.  It was at 6:20am that the lights came on, and the last of the d&b soldiers crawled up the stairs to finally leave.

Playaz Xmas Special was without a doubt one of the biggest nights of the Xmas period and has been for the last three years.  With something in the line up for every d&b fan, the night will only be a disappointment to anyone afraid of the filth. 


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