FRIDAY 20TH APRIL
LIVE: GROUNDED // UGLY DUCKLING (LIVE) // DJ JAZZY JEFF & MC SKILLZ // HALFWAY HOUSE MCEES // PEEKY
NEUTRAL: METROPOLIS PRESENTS MAMPI SWIFT // CHASE & STATUS // DJ BAN BAN (BRAZIL) // SCHEME // PROPHECY //
EARTH: GROUNDED // LEE COOMBS // GEOFF TICEHURST // WILL ATKINSON
Mixing it up across the three rooms stride Grounded and Metropolis with the biggest names in hip hop, drum n bass and breaks. Ugly Duckling, Jazzy Jeff, Mampi Swift and Lee Coombs are heading up this behemoth of a line up
Andy Cooper, Dizzy Dustin and DJ Young Einstein are the Californian threesome behind hip hop party crew, Ugly Duckling. 'Bang for the Buck' is their latest opus, a good times record pumped up with big breaks, horns and bass. It follows in the jive inducing footsteps of their 'Journey to Anywhere' and 'Taste the Secret' longplayers
With the new record the ducklings have attempted to translate their live show onto wax, to make music which they claim resembles 'a fight scene from an old cowboy movie with big hits and loud shots ringing.' After 9 months in the making new cuts such as 'Let it out' and 'The Breakdown' from their new record should hit the roof as hard as classic jams, 'A little Samba' and 'Eye on a Gold Chain.'
This is hip hop with its balls out, all guns blazing. The lyrical hooks of Cooper and Dustin wrapped round the scratched backbone of the man Einstein have always proven to be destructive fun. For a bunch of supposedly ugly ducklings, these guys will leave you breathless
DJ Jazzy Jeff is a name that really doesn't require any introduction. This West Philly born, turntable master's influence has been crucial to the development of hip hop. Responsible for party monsters, 'Summertime' and 'Boom! Shake the Room!' with his bezzie chum Will Smith, Jeff has always been on hand to give a leg up to hip hop whether it's through technicalities or with the music itself.
He helped develop the first ever scratch mixer and pioneered the 'transformer' and 'chirp' scratch manoeuvres. His Touch of Jazz imprint was also responsible for bringing Jill Scott's voice and talent to the world through her 'Who is' release.
Collaborations, productions and remixes for The Roots, Slum Village and
?uestlove have furthered his influence while his next solo LP 'The Return of the Magnificent' is one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of the year. And this is without mentioning his blistering skills as a party DJ. The man is a legend and this set is totally unmissable
Rhyming with the Jazz man is one of the most under-rated MCs out there, MC Mad Skillz. He's been busting freestyle moves for over ten years since his debut release 'From Where???' mouthed it's way out of Virginia back in 1996.
His 2000 hit, 'Ghostwriter' says it all; 'I'm a ghostwriter, I'm the cat you don't see, I write hits for rappers you like and charge 'em a fee.' A master of the lampoon he's worked with and for the likes of Q-Tip, P Diddy and Timbaland while providing a freestyle 'Rap up' at the end of every year, detailing the events of the past 12 months. This man's tongue can do anything
Ugly Duckling's fellow Californian's The Halfway MCEES are also on board for this jump off. White Shadow, Compound and Swiss Precise are the lyrical right hookers and DJing team who've been immersed in B-boy culture since the mid 80s.
Raised on rhyming in backyard functions these guys have earnt their stripes on semi legal graffing and freewheeling rhymes. '$hit on a $hingle' is the album you need from Southern California's most wanted
Headlining the monthly Metropolis drum 'n' bass showdown in Neutral is one of the most prolific d'n'b producers on the scene, Mampi Swift. Initially working at the now defunct Lucky Spin record shop, Swift gained access to the studio next door, with in-house engineer Pete Parsons (aka Voyager) providing him with a grounding in bass and production.
With a residency on the pirate station Kool FM for nearly ten years, Swift balanced his DJing commitments with a real addiction to rinsing tracks out in the studio. Releases on True Playaz and Frontline paved the way for Swift to establish his own Charge Recordings to keep up with his creative streak.
With his distorted basslines and big melodies he has one of the most distinctive sounds in the scene. 'Music Forever' is his second LP, a release eagerly anticipated by DJs and d'n'b heads across the world. Let this bass addict get you moving
Two of the newest of big hitters will be doing their best to blow Mr Swift off the stage. Chase and Status are Saul Milton and Will Kennedy, a pair of d'n'b DJs and producers whose tracks have been smashing it on a variety of labels from Renegade Hardware to the likes of Bingo and Habit.
Collaborations with grime crew Roll Deep and Breakbeat Chaos illustrate how their sound draws on the whole spectrum of d'n'b, breaks and snotty bleeps and bass. These two are possibly the most eclectic and exciting rinsers out there
Last but certainly not least is new Brazilian on the block, DJ Ban Ban. Training as a battle DJ in his teens, Ban Ban has used his turntablism skills to rip the roofs of d'n'b raves clean off. DJing with the likes of Hype, Ed Rush, Simon Bassline Smith, Dom & Roland at many a show across the globe, punters are talking of him in the same way they did when DJ Marky burst out of the scene. Keep your eyes on this fella
The icing on this massive cake of electronics is breaks legend Lee Coombs. Raised on acid house during the late 80s, early 90s he's released several mixes and artist albums such as 'Future Sound of Retro,' 'Breakfast of Champions' and 'The Land of the Monkey Snake,' which have cemented his reputation as one of the brightest sparks on the breaks scene.
He's a sought after re-rubber with remixes brewed up for everyone from New Order to the wonky house masters, Freaks. His DJ sets, which often see him down at Fabric and Bugged Out! or flying over to New York's Vinyl and LA's Spundae club, reflect his eclectic tastes with influences colliding from all directions. Electro, tech funk, acid, fidget house and tough breaks are all distilled into one messy party.
With able deck work on hand from Plug residents Geoff Ticehurst and Will Atkinson this room should be boiling over with tech funk all night
FRI APRIL 20TH; doors 10.30pm, tickets £8adv.