I’ve been tracking the low frequency pulse emanating from urban London for a minute now. From the frenetic riddims of jungle to the slinky bass-heavy grooves of 2-step garage, through the smoked-out skank of dubstep and on up through the creative diaspora left in the wake of its implosion – excuse me “explosion” – I been well into this shit.
Therefore, I jumped at the opportunity to witness first hand two of the biggest players in the nebulous world of bass post-post-dubstep, and for a paltry $5 (Thank you again Icee Hot for consistently throwing some of the best parties in town).
Both of these guys achieved their status as DJs — through sheer technical prowess and versatility of selection — not from having produced a few tracks, which makes them outliers right off the bat.
Oneman, who came to prominence several years ago through renegade parties and a radio show on Rinse FM is somewhat of a freak, the kind of DJ that can and regularly does make new tunes out of combining two records in 2-, 3- sometimes even 4-minute mixes.
OneMan doin his thing.
And on Saturday he fucking merked the place. He played a crazy selection of 2-step, grime, juke, and house music (and yes dubstep) which was expected, but he also threw in tracks from Timbaland, Big Boi, Prince and James Blake as well as that new Jamie xx joint. It was mayhem, the only real constant seemed to be ungodly amounts of sub bass; at one point he even broke shit down with The Weeknd‘s What You Need — I was dancing like an 18 year old on 3 E’s and a half a gram of Special K.
This guy is the truth is all I can say, just check out this ‘mixtape’ he recorded for the venerable LuckyMe.
Ben U.F.O. and Ben U.F.O.'s record collection.
Ben U.F.O. jumped on afterward and the place seemed like it was gonna rupture. He kept the energy going with some warped, super-bass-y house, but unfortunately, my legs were just gone and it was like 2 a.m., so I left around 25 minutes into his set.
U.F.O. is almost universally recognized as a leading light in a this time of upheaval. Along with Pangaea and the mighty Ramadanman, he runs the excellent Hessle Audio imprint, which among other things helped introduce the world to James Blake back in 2009.
If you’re trying to orient yourself to what’s happening at the leading edge of electronic dance music, or just looking for an introduction to the new sound of London, Hessle Audio released a stellar compilation last month called 116 & Rising. The two disc set features a disc of brand new material, as well as a retrospective of the label’s 4 year history. Taken together, it’s a powerful statement about the perennial creative well of South London, and a clear pathway out of the dubstep caldisac.
Can’t get the soundcloud to embed, but go on over and have a listen for yourself.