This year is undoubtedly the strongest Dstrkt 5 line up yet! The programming team there (shouts to James, Jason and Adam) have all done sterling jobs and the levels have been upped across each of the stages, so it’s difficult to know where to start when choosing which artists to highlight.
There’s a number of acts I really want to discuss on Robotika in particular but I think I’ll save that for later this week and concentrate on the hardest and gnarliest stage we have, The Scrapyard.
Only in its second year and following in the footsteps of The Bodyshop stage, The Scrapyard is a stronghold for the tougher end of the electronic music spectrum that rarely makes its way into the bigger UK festivals, but remains a favourite across the fringes. Although most of the Breakcore can now be found over at the Sewage Works, you can still find Hardcore, Hard Tek, Frenchtek, Ragga Tek, Crossbreed and the more brutal end of Drum N Bass here, plus other underground legends such as SP:23, Chris Liberator and Sterling Moss, Nicky Blackmarket, Ed Cox and Stivs. There’s also some epic B2B sessions lined up such as Hellfish vs The Speed Freak, Panacea VS Gancher and Ruin, Limewax VS Trasher or Deathmachine vs Dolphin. I’d like to cover them all, but I’d never get around to the other stages, so here’s just a few personal favourites.
Eatbrain League X Jade b2b L33 b2b Agressor Bunx feat. Coppa
Eatbrain are one of the premier neurofunk imprints out there and here they are represented by: label head honcho and pioneering producer – Jade; two of their top artists – L33 and Agressor Bunx; with an emcee who has become a favourite of the harder edged DNB producers and DJs – Coppa. Here’s a few of their more recent releases.
This track is taken from MC Coppa’s Defcon 1 EP on Subsistenz, a release that also includes collaborations with Agressor Bunx, Current Value and Machinecode.
This next one is taken from the Ukrainian pair’s first album on Eatbrain ‘Properties of Addition‘ that had its worldwide release on Monday. I’ve not checked the whole album yet, just the four-track sampler that came out, but each track on that is a winner.
An absolute beast from the remix version of L33’s ‘Karate’ album on Eatbrain which came out last month. The album also features outstanding offerings from Neonlight, Prolix, Synergy and Joe Ford, who is part of the Shogun Audio takeover on Sector 6 this year.
Billain Vs Broken Note
This is certainly going to be an interesting one. Both acts are known for rather epic and cinematic productions, so I’m sure it’s going to be quite the journey with them playing together. Neither pull any punches when it comes to the power of their production either, it’s a sound that will pile right through you and isn’t for the faint hearted out there.
Both are members of the Methlab family (shout out to Jef) and this Broken Note track was taken from their compilation album Revenant from late last year. The whole album is worth checking with Current Value, Rawtekk and MachineCode amongst some of the other producers involved.
Billain was actually with us last year as part of the Inspected Records takeover on Robotika, and also has releases on Eatbrain, Critical and Bad Taste amongst others, so I’m sure he could well pop up on other future takeovers, however one for the future could also be the impressive AV show he’s touring at the moment. Check it out.
Block Dodger x Volatile Cycle X Barbarix
Although I’ve known Block Dodger’s music for a while and Barbarix used to send me his tunes in the early days of my old Chrome Kids blog, Volatile Cycle only came onto my radar last year, which is crazy when you consider they’ve released on Noisia’s Invisible label, NeurofunkGrid, Renegade Hardware and Chase and Status’ MTA Records imprint. Not to mention their Ram Records project with Barbarix called Sphere. As sometimes happens though, all of these releases passed me by and my first encounter was ‘The Revolution’ – a collaboration with Block Dodger which was the official opening tune for Sector 6 at last year’s Boomtown. Here’s a free download in case you missed that one.
We’ve already mentioned our old friends MethLab and late last year they also released this rather weighty collaboration between Volatile Cycle and Barbarix, not under the name Sphere though, which I suspect they might be saving for slightly more accessible affairs.
Vandal Vs Floxytek
Having been a firm favourite of ours for many years, it’s great to see the continuous rise of Raggatek pioneer, Vandal, who returns to us once again, this time in a b2b session with French Hard Tek producer Floxytek. If you fancy something hard but with a little more bounce than some of these other more aggressive producers, then this one is guaranteed to be tons of fun.
Vandal’s latest remix is for Taiwan MC, the Chinese Man MC who will be joining us on Poco Loco this year and also guesting on Gentleman’s Dub Club set on the Lion’s Den. The original track works perfectly with Vandal’s signature Raggatek sound.
If you’re a fan of this then you also need to make sure you catch the Amen4Tekno takeover on Scrapyard with Mandidextrous, Matt:Scratch and T-Menace! Here’s the latest from Mandi and Vandal which is also on the label.
I had to include this one from Floxytek as I’ve been semi-joking for a while about doing a hardcore Big Swing Sound set some-day and this Ray Charles remix would work just perfectly!
As I’m up at this tempo, here’s an extra bonus track from Deathmachine, who as I mentioned earlier will be going B2B with Dolphin. It’s a Hardcore meets Breakcore track that takes no prisoners. If you’ve made it this far down the post already though, I reckon you can handle it.