Subfaction were back in Stoke-On-Trent, to bring another night of various bass genres, and despite some technical issues, they did not disappoint! Corporal F headlined, with Brunks and Zambozi supporting along with residents Blinkka and Anwha. Basement played host to the madness again, and as usual housed the vibes perfectly, finding that balance between a relaxed, safe and energetic venue. Providing the sound was Grey Noize, a local sound system which has been annoying residents and police from a distance for the past few years, but for those stood at the front, it is always a bass-laced audio delight.
A common denominator across all Sub Faction nights is the joy it seems to have brought to people in an area that before this night, had little or no involvement in the flourishing bass music scene taking the rest of the country by storm. Friday was no exception, and throughout the night, basement was a sea of smiling faces, with the dance floor numbers staying high from start to finish. To start with Blinkka opened with his first solo vinyl set, a daring move that in the end paid off, he did the analogue community proud and started the night on a great techy house vibe.
Zambozi stepped up next, and provided an interesting set, I may have been in my early teens the last time I jumped around a room to bassline garage, and although it might not be in the forefront of my interests today, it certainly provided a deep energy, which had everyone bouncing off the walls from the word go. Outside of the high energy main room, the smoking area was alive with the chit chatter of friends, old and new, meeting and greeting. One of the best parts of the smaller local nights is the very pure, friendly vibe few other places can replicate, a very true sense that everyone knows everyone, and is actually happy to see them. This is something the larger nights have lost, with egos running high; no one has time to meet anyone new. With Sub Faction, you could arrive knowing no one and leave knowing everyone!
Next up was Brunks, half of Manchesters up and coming We Are Wax label, specialising in vinyl only sets, these guys are truly taking it back to the old school. Brunks opened with Compa’s techno remix of insomnia; and if you haven’t checked this tune out, you really should. Although it might sound slightly out of place through laptop speakers, this song’s built for a dark room in Berlin with minimal lighting and a huge sound system, and grey noise was perfect for the occasion. From here on in, I really felt for Alex, seeing a set where technical difficulties over power the Dj’s ability to mix is a really stressful sight. Despite his absolute best efforts, Brunks was left unable to fulfil the vinyl only mix he wanted to, and was forced to involve the CDJs. Brunks kept up the vibe though, and had the whole room dancing.
Corporal F was the headline act, and in the last few months has found himself on bass line ups across the UK, within minutes it is obvious why. Hugely varied tune selection, nearly spotless mixing (with what the club had provided is nearly impossible) and a definite drive to please the crowd, but in his own unique way. The first few tunes resided in one of my favourite musical locations, the swamp, with Boddika and other 81 favourites dominating. The DMZ ‘Haunted’ bootleg has been smashing venues since its conception, and tonight was no exception, the instant reload was met with the loudest of cheers. His set rounded off with bass-heavy classics from himself, and others, fitting perfectly to the vibe and burning through meters of dancing shoes.
Anwhaa rounded off the night with another onslaught of vinyl goodness, this time in the upper ends of the bass-music bpm spectrum, bringing classic wax to the table and providing a thunderous bass onslaught that was both weightier and darker than anything heard through the rest of the evening. Few people still dare to play vinyl out, and Sub Faction are a rarity in the fact as a whole group, they still support the analogue scene and still battle through the temptations of CDJs and Traktor boxes to bring you a completely natural experience, and Anwhaa brought the music to a close in this traditional fashion in style.
Overall, despite technical difficulties, the night ran smooth and energetically, a really enjoyable place to spend a Friday night. Personally, when I go a night, the music can be ruined if the place and people aren’t into it, but at Sub Faction this is never the case, they bring vibes by the bucket load and treat their fans with the forefront of modern music for an affordable price. Sub Faction are back in Stoke for their second monster line up at the start of May along with a Dubstep bonanza on the 22nd of March, so make sure to check both those out, links to tickets and events are below!
SubFaction 22nd March: Thelem, Catacombs and Preacha :
SubFaction 3rd May: V.I.V.E.K, Jay 5ive and Razor Rekta:
Sub Faction General news:
Written by Michael Thomas.
Thanks to Holly Johnson for the photography, check out her and her beautiful art at: