Over the last five years (and even before FKOF’s establishment), we’ve have had the opportunity to experience some amazing events across the world. While some occur on a more frequent basis, every single dance we’ve visited is more than just ‘a night out’. These gatherings inspire and influence – documenting a geographical location’s preferences when it comes to bass music. It’s an opportunity to experience how communities engage with dubstep; while exploring new and exciting venues, cities and countries. A few months ago, we stumbled across a new collaborative venture in one of our favourite countries – with one of the biggest debut line ups we’ve come across.
The Netherlands is a very important player when it comes to dubstep/ bass music events, sound system music and bass music in general (look at Amsterdam Dance Event for example). We’ve watched the scenes evolve, grow and flourish with great pleasure over the last few years, watching as Dutch promoters, fans and artists took note and inspiration of the UK approach and vision and gave it that all important Nederlands tintje.
Just a few examples of dances that champion the scene: Subway, Sonic Boom, Give it Dub and Blendits – and there are many, many more. These events are scattered across the Netherlands, but one city’s been missing the opportunity to enjoy the depths over the last few months: Utrecht.
Utrecht is located slap bang in the middle of the Netherlands, making it an excellent place to travel to from any corner of the country.
Brutuzz, bass-veteran and head-honcho of Sonic Boom in Amsterdam, recently joined forces with BeeVee, one of the minds behind Give It Dub in Nijmegen, and MC Atactic (also known as SparkUp) from Utrecht, formerly part of the Boemklatsch collective. These three bass heads know the game, and cooked up a special line-up for the inaugural RELOAD event. It definitely caught our attention…
Om Unit (Metalheadz, Civil Music // UK)
Kaiju (Deep Medi, Lion Charge // UK)
Karma (Innamind, System // UK)
Brutuzz & BeeVee
Brutuzz & BeeVee opened, playing classics that brought back the chills we’d get listening to these tunes back in the day. The duo both played a couple tracks per shift, giving the crowd a taste of what was coming.
With originals from Headhunter, Kromestar, Digital Mystikz & Loefah, they had what it took to get the crowd going. What was the best about this back-to-back set were the blends inside the mix – definitely something we want to experience again!
Karma replaced his fellow SYSTEM artist Gantz, as the Turkish producer wasn’t able to make the booking due to VISA problems. This was Karma’s first set in the Netherlands, and the producer brought a bag full of acetates along to celebrate. After his recent GetDarker set, we were interested in hearing what material he was going to play – and he didn’t disappoint!
His steady mixing and tight control of the acetate had the crowd enjoying his set to the fullest. Smear Dub VIP, Key by LAS & Mikael and of course VIVEK’s Slippin’ were the highlights. His set represented his teachings in dub, paying respects to his SYSTEM and InnaMind roots.
Kaiju, now officially part of the DEEP MEDi Musik imprint, started off like they did with their recent New Years mix. This got the crowd hyped, as everybody seemed to be waiting for the monster’s appearance. Not everybody seemed to know what was coming, and there were a few cheeky new dubs played!
Mala apparently took a flight over with Kaiju and was sneakily nodding in the corner. Kaiju’s sound raged through the packed, smokey dancefloor and was well received by everyone in attendance. The crowd was vibing, skanking and enjoying the sound, something not overly surprising with various Kaiju originals and remixes in the game. From lighters high in the air to great MCing from Atactic (who regularly hosts DEEP MEDi dances), this set was definitely the night’s standout for us – gwan Kaiju!
Om Unit’s efforts were maybe one of the most interesting sets we’d experienced in quite some time. The superbly eclectic DJ played different sounds at various BPM – imagine Kromestar and Cessman’s Kalawanji at 160BPM, blended with some other dubstep classic. This showed that the well-respected Metalheadz / Civil Music signee knows his dubstep game.
Besides these selections, Om Unit reached for his remix/ VIP of Shaolin Shadow Boxing, stirring up the crowd like no other. The way he blended tracks so effortlessly gave us a sign that Om Unit is at the front of a completely different league – an artist well suited to break down de Helling’s foundations!
RELOAD’s first event was a great success, a feeling shared by the rest of those in attendance. The formula and concept brought to life by Brutuzz, BeeVee and Atactic received a well-deserved welcome from people who’d travelled from all over the Netherlands. And the line up meant it almost felt like travelling back in time – as well as being a meetup for all the heads. Connecting with them, from the suburbs to the outskirts of Holland, at a place like this was pretty special.
The RELOAD high lasted for a good few days after the lights had gone up and system turned off – something that hasn’t happened to that extent for quite some time! We’re already looking forward to the next one; and who knows what RELOAD 002’s line up will be like…
Respect to the RELOAD crew for inviting us over
Out to Tim Skit for the mind-blowing lighting
Thanks to Guido for his words for this FKOF review
Thanks to Roel Funcken for the great sound engineering
Big shout to Rein Kooyman Photography for the amazing pictures
Peace, love, respect.