Category Archives: drum and bass

Shy FX, Goldie and Metalheadz Soundclash

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Souvenir tee Soundclash flyersoundclash flyer1Tres amigosGoldie and Andy CFrankie & Shy Fx
Dj Storm Goldie & StormShy Fx on tha decksDon Letts & FrankieGoldie rinsing outPICT0126
Waiting in da wingsSkream & BengaMC GQ heats things up for tha Metalheadz crewRoundhouse crowdChannel 1Chillin in the VIP lounge
Bungalow 8Chic chess Chess furnitureDining room in St. Martin's hotelPICT0167Printing press

Culture Clash October 14, 2010, a set on Flickr.

In search of something far more stimulating than Ex-lax, I took off and went to England for a few years. During my time abroad, I’ve experienced the magnificent scope of London’s underground scene. I’m happy to say that drum and bass is alive and doing quite well, dubstep’s on its way out and techno is enjoying a revival (supercheesy style electro & minimal were huge between 2007 – 2010. It drove me nuts!). Anyway, here’s the scoop on my adventure at Culture Clash. Some of the biggest names in drum n bass – Goldie, Shy FX, Andy C – faced off against dub giants Channel One and Scream & Benga (refer to above photo album). It was a dream come true, meeting the men behind the music I used to rave to back in the day.

Photography: Copyright © 2010 Frankie Diamond. If you are using the slideshow option, click on the “Show info” button on the top right corner for more details. Enjoy!

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

 

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Rave Reviews: Fabric London

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 Located at 77A Charterhouse Street in Farringdon, Fabric is a force to be reckoned with. After all, how many clubs do you know of that boasts a 24 hour drinking license? Things can get mighty hectic on a Friday night, especially when super heavyweights such as DJ Hype, LTJ Bukem, MC Conrad, Goldie, Fabio and Pascal hold court over hundreds of screaming ravers at weekly soundclashes. Techno -house rules the roost on Saturdays where special guests like Adam Beyer, Mark Farina, Magda and more preside over the decks. Saturdays can be good; however, it can sometimes be hit and miss with an occasionally mediocre lineup and sparse crowds. Quite frankly, Stacey Pullen and Brendon Moeller were the only ones that prevented me from abandoning ship prematurely during my last techno night in August of 2011.

Mayhem at Fabric in Room 1

 Fabric is renowned for its stellar roster of international talent, featuring a mixture of well established acts and blossoming newcomers. Craig Richards as resident DJ and program director ensures the lineup remains fresh while staying true to its classic roots, alongside fellow resident Terry Francis. Founded by Keith Reilly and Cameron Leslie in 1999, the club has somehow managed to survive the  recession – thank heavens! During my time in London, this erstwhile edifice was a mecca of sorts for lovers of underground music. Fabric was the name on virtually every clubber’s lips, spoken with a kind of whispered reverence. People’s eyes literally glazed over when they mentioned the F-word, as if slipping into some kind of euphoric trance. Free entry wristbands were frequently distributed outside of 93 Feet East on a Sunday night for the lucky souls who didn’t have to work Monday morning. Of course, I wanted to know what the fuss was about so I ventured down one Friday night to find out. 

Ever the resourceful clubber, I bought my ticket online to avoid getting stuck in the queue. Actually, my ex-boyfriend was generous enough to buy it for me! Cost: £19.50. I must admit I was impressed by the pristine layout of Fabric’s website. They’ve got student discount rates, a fabricfirst membership option with tempting perks such as free mix cd’s and line bypass privileges. A monthly calendar of events proudly displays all the luminaries in attendance so pilgrims can plan their next outing in advance. Already, an impression had been made: Fabric was geared towards providing the ultimate party experience by engaging their audience on multiple levels through their website. I believe that’s called clever marketing.

I arrived just before midnight. Other peeps planned to get down there around 4 am for the half price special, but I wasn’t having that. No sirree Bob, I wanted the whole shebang from the get-go! With printed voucher in hand, I was waved through the advance ticket line faster than floral bacteria in a sheep’s digestive tract. Once inside, I was cordially greeted by a female bouncer. She proceeded to check my purse and frisk me silly. A guy bouncer struck up a friendly conversation (well, flirty was more like it) and advised me to have a good time. Have a good time. Did I hear right? Bouncers that actually smile and say “Good night?” Every last one of them! I didn’t know what kind of alternate universe I’d fallen into, but I was definitely feeling this. The coatcheck was located up a winding staircase to my left. I braced myself for what I thought would be extortionary rates (£5 at least) at this first rate venue, but was amazed to discover it was only a measly £1. I experienced immense gratitude for the respect management showed towards patrons by not insulting our intelligence with jacked up coatcheck fees – unlike many other clubs.

The highly organized security team kept traffic flowing smoothly by directing everyone downstairs as soon

Fabric holds a 24 hr. drinking license…rahtid!

as we’d finished up with the coatcheck and digital ticket scans. It was obvious Fabric ran a tight ship. Blagging odds: 1 in 10,000. Damn….anyways, I ventured into the cavernous depths of this nocturnal beast to Room 1 or should I say, Portal 1 where Hype was mashing tings up large. After all these years, Da Big Dog was still on top of his game, sending the next generation of 20 something junglists off their heads. Room 1 was a hot, steaming jungle of pure mayhem. Heat was damn nigh unbearable but  shit was insane up in here! Frankenräver was forced to strip down to her bikini top (yes, I came prepared). A virtual moshpit had metastasized on the dance floor, with ravers gleefully pushing against one another. The floor was so wet that people slipped and fell down – if there was enough room to fall. Room 1 was jampacked to the nines. Despite the absence of ol skool whistlecrews, this screaming crowd of euroravers compensated for it with sheer enthusiasm. What I found especially fascinating was the semi-ravey atmosphere of what many would consider a commercial club. There was more than a smidgen of underground flavour here that harked back to the good ol daze of yore; hi-5’s, non-intrusive security, random conversations and guys decent enough to buy you a drink – and drinks at Fabric ain’t cheap either. I must admit I had not encountered this kind of friendly social vibe at a club anywhere in a long time… 

Upstairs afforded a different perspective on the action where one could look down at the dancefloor and trip out on vortex style lasers. At the back of Room 1 was a stage facing the DJ booth on the opposite end. It was occupied by mostly shirtless, sweaty guys who decided to brave the sweltering heat and strut their stuff. More power to them. I only lasted about 3 minutes before I had to come down – or risk passing out from the intensity.

Room 3 was a tiny antechamber with not much in the way of excitement going on as a lesser known DJ was spinning here. It’s easy to lose your sense of direction in this place – Fabric is fucking huge (for a nightclub that is) with a capacity of 1800. Even the toilets are a trip; unisex, clean, and well attended by security. The communal handwashing fountain provided interesting opportunities to bond with fellow ravers. And bond I must for I’d received a text from my friend saying the line-up was thick outside and he couldn’t get in. Oh well… Pascal, Zinc and Fabio rounded things off beautifully, dropping dirty ol skool gems in da mix. Fabric has state of the art soundsystems installed in each room, including the bodysonic vibrating dancefloor in Room 1. Honestly, I didn’t notice any vibration in the midst of all the ruckus going on in there, but I thought it’s worth mentioning anyway. 

Nevermind the bodysonics; there was one man that I had journeyed here especially to see. A drum and bass maverick that I had somehow managed to miss during the 90’s and I simply could not live with myself until I had seen him in action. At 5 am, this phenomenal High Priest took to the stage after Hype, Fabio and others paid their respects to the legendary master with honorary 5 minute guest spots. What can I say? It was absolute heaven as LTJ Bukem ripped shit up tremendously on the decks with flawless mixing, augmented by skillfully woven melodies on the verge of transcendence. Ravers screamed their heads off and demanded more, more, MORE! Danny Williamson continued to dish it out, track after track after track, killing us all with fantastically resonant sub-lows. The energy flowed pure and true from his superbly gifted hands. Bukem was cool as a cucumber, smiling beatifically while MC Conrad played off rhythms with the confident skill of a seasoned veteran.

“It’s like a dream come true!” gushed an Italian raver who’d befriended me. He came especially to see Bukem too. “What’s he doing in Room 2? LTJ Bukem is a star – he should be in Room 1,” the Italian opined. I had to agree, though LTJ seemed right at home in his present location. It seemed as if nothing could faze this dude. He was totally in his element. Supreme confidence is naturally alluring, so I went to the front of the stage to get a gander. LTJ looked so handsome in his trademark tinted visor, charming smile and flat cap. Heck, even his arms were buffed! Bukem exuded a gentle, charismatic vibe all his own. I felt blessed for having such ravishing eye candy in addition to the spectacular aural stimulation I was receiving. Bonus! Damn it Danny, I think I’m in love! 

The Celestial Boomfest ended around 8 am when we shuffled out into a gorgeous Saturday morning. From the moment I entered Fabric, I did not sit down. The music was far too brilliant to waste precious time that could be spent transcending the boundaries of material existence. I was completely energized and bouncing off the walls on nothing but pure energy. Upon arriving home, I raved to my flatmates about how wondrous the night was and how they missed out. At 9 am, I was still trying to settle down so I could get some sleep. With its relaxed, übercool atmosphere, Fabric is a haven for the Spirit of Rave in a post 90’s party world and an absolute must for any raver visiting London. It is more than just another concept club – it’s an experience.

 Check out Fabric’s jaw dropping roster here: www.fabriclondon.com

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.

Time 4 Another Sneak Preview! Frankenräver’s E-book on 90’s Rave Scene

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Well folks, it’s time 4 another sneak preview of my up & coming e-book, set to be launched into cyberspace sometime next week. Yay! I’m excited! T.I.M.O. chronicles the hilarious shenanigans of self-professed rave junkie, Gemma “G-Fly” Anderson. Set in 1998 during the height of Toronto’s burgeoning rave scene, G-Fly is encouraged by her gorgeous supermodel friend, Katrina, to keep a journal for forty nine days as an exercise in artistic liberation. Get ready for a page turning, thrill addicting experience, guaranteed to leave you in stitches and jonesing for more!

Warning: This posting contains mature subject matter which some may find offensive. Of course, that only applies to uptight conservatives, religious fanatics and anyone who has never uttered the word “fuck” in their entire lives – you have been forewarned…

Thu Oct.1st – DAY 17

It’s 6:57 a.m & I can hear the wind gusting like crazy. It doesn’t sound very inviting out there. The only reason I’m up is I have to be at work for 9:15 a.m. I hate waking up early in the morning but at least I’ll have the rest of the day to myself & it does get busier at night than during the day. Mom’s quarrelling with Amir to wear a jacket cuz it’s cold out there. He insists his school blazer is enough to keep him warm cuz a big jacket’s gonna kill the style he’s trying to flex. I guess he’ll find out the hard way.

Last night I dreamt I was at a mini-rave. I was in this little room with a few floories who, as usual, were passed out on the floor. For some odd reason, I had my Roni Size c.d. & decided to put it on. When “Brown Paper Bag” dropped, the room was suddenly filled with ravers. They were swaying in trance-like fashion to the seductive jazzy intro, stepping & bopping their heads. I made my way to the front of the crowd, trying 2 feel the vibe. Everyone was on E except me. Then they all disappeared & the room was empty except for 1 girl sweeping the floor. House was pumping from the adjacent room. Guess that’s where everyone went. Two black transsexuals were in the house & 1 of them needed help with his-her bra. I helped him-her hook the bra around her ample bustline. She needed extra help with the front. I watched as he-she did some grotesque folding manipulation of her breasts, which were actually massive folds of loose flesh. When she was done, it looked like cleavage. “Now you know how it’s done honey,” she said, dropping a conspiratorial wink.

So much for anxiety dreams & all that crap. I gotta go now.

Sat Oct. 3 – DAY 18

Well, I’ve managed to skip yet another day but it’s not such a crime. At least it’s not as bad as robbing a liquor store for example. But enuf of that. Today is D-DAY. I’ve bought my ticket & WE ARE GOING!!! I got hyped up in bed this morning just thinking about it. I finally spoke with Shastri on Thursday night. His brother was supposed to be coming with us, but I found out later he was going 2 another rave – “Liquid Groove” – which featured hard techno. “Fusion” (which is the 1 we’re going to) is supposedly more well-rounded with drum & bass & jungle in da mix, as well as house & techno. Should be a rocking party!

Speaking of hyped up, DJ Hype tore shit up last month at the Warehouse for Syrous 5 year anniversary. The line-up to get in was insane but it was worth it. I was chilling with Da Undaground Crew, grooving to Mystical Influence & about to dose my E when some dork knocked it out of my hand. Before I could pick it up, he stepped on it. I was pissed! Luckily the pill was in a baggie but it got crushed to a powder. Blaine advised me to dissolve it in water. I then proceeded to lick the bag & tried not to gag on the supremely horrible taste. By the time Hype came on, I was out of my fucking mind & sweating like crazy. Almost bit the sides of my tongue off from all the grindage. It was amazing to see this geeky looking white dude having the time of his life grinning like mad, scratching & mixing, driving every1 nuts. Oh my God…I swear MC Fats & Rage were like the Dynamic Duo on da friggin mic, especially Fats. His hypnotic voice put me in a trance with the reverb heavy sound FX, tripping every1 right the fuck out. People were literally falling over as they tried to move around during a mindblowing, synth drenched interval of spectacular mindfuckery employed by the masterful Hype. Not only that but Fats had this amazing voice which blew me away cuz not a lot of MC’s can sing. That night was 1 of the best nights for jungle / dnb ever! Pascal was all up there in da mix too, spinning LTJ Bukem. Bukem was like a rainbow waterfall flowing through my mind. Pure bliss! Hype took shit to another level after wrecking pure devastation on the dance floor with Ice Cube’s “West Up” set to jungle, which sent all the junglists & hip-hop heads into a stepping frenzy. My jersey got all torn but I didn’t give a fuck – it was Animal Crackers up in that joint, especially with the high concentration of males jungle always seems to attract. “Front, back, side to side / we be givin’ it up til the day we die/ niggaz hit me up I’ma have to erupt – So MOTHERFUCKER WEST UP!!!  Ya heard!!!

Yesterday I went to buy my ticket at Puff the Magic Dragon before I started my shift & guess who I saw as I was leaving the store!! Do I really need to say his name???! Needless to say, I was just as surprised & elated as he was. After all (& he said it too), what r the odds of us bumping into each other like this? Highly improbable I would say, since we move in different circles outside of raving. I had time to kill so we chilled for a bit. He did most of the talking & I did most of the gawking. I was just drinking him in, absorbing every aspect of his physicality; every blemish, each little strand of hair, inputting all the details into my demented database so I could pull up that file later & savor it lovingly, like a favorite dessert. His 6′ 3″ frame was draped in baggy sweats which couldn’t disguise the fact that he’s got broad shoulders & a killer body to boot. His sparkling, hazelish eyes r so expressive, being framed by delightfully thick, perfectly arched eyebrows. They remind me of dad’s eyes, except his are much lighter, like the color of champagne. He’s also got these juicy, mauve colored lips bracketed by the most adorable dimples & disgustingly straight, pearly white teeth. Shastri’s so friggin fine he oughta be locked up! Why oh why are mixed boys so damn hot?!! I picture him as a gold complected Adonis, batting sooty lashes & grinning shyly on an Olympic pedestal surrounded by screaming harpies. That gilded lily leaf would barely cover his formidable charms to be sure. I’m stunned almost speechless by his eloquent glory. His hands are shapely & well-manicured. I want to feel them on me. I can just imagine his pink tongue lapping up against my labia…OH THIS IS 2 MUCH!! Quite frankly, I would be genuinely surprised & MUCHO RELIEVED if he made a move (but not while under the influence of E). Anyways, we’ll see how this drama plays out.

Well Timo, I’m hooked up for tonight. I’ve got my E & later I’m gonna pick up some weed. It’s costing me a small fortune but I think it will be money well spent. This time I got a hugs & kisses. It’s a cute little thing. According to Eric, it’s supposed to make u feel “rushy rushy.” As long as it doesn’t make me sick, I don’t care. I’ve got to get my butt in gear as I have a busy night ahead of me. Still have to pick up some party favors – glo-stix & lollipops. So I’ll see ya tomorrow. Hope I’ll be coherent / co-ordinated enough to write (YEAH, WHATEVER!!!).

Copyright © 2012 Frankie Diamond. All rights reserved. Excerpts of less than 200 words may be published to another site, including a link back to the original article. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety and posted to another site without the express permission of the author.