Since we started Spectrum, the increase in both regularity and quality of nights in Stoke-on-Trent has been phenomenal. With Sub Faction leading the way, more nights have followed suit and started to find their feet as reputable parties. Last Friday was Sector 8, ran by Tycaine (owner of Tytanium Armour Recordings), and their headline act was none other than AMIT. He’s been a master of DNB production for well over a decade, and most are in full belief he pioneered the half step sound we see echoed across the genre today. His songs portray the much darker side to drum and bass, with pounding kicks and eye watering bass lines; he was guaranteed to impress. Alongside AMIT was Kaivex B2B Sci levels, Concept B2B Anwha (SF), Tycaine and finally the night was finished off by Travesty. Providing support for both ends of AMIT’s musical adventures, from 140 to 170bpm; and making this the most diverse that The Basement has seen for a while.
As we arrived, Alsager local Concept and Sub Faction’s Anwha were just stepping up to the plate, promising an hour and a half of pure dubstep vibes, I’ve seen both of them DJ numerous times and they never disappoint. Travelling through modern beats and classics, Joe and Oli had the room jumping from the front to the back. The Grey Noise rig was on its best behaviour tonight, and was sounding clearer than ever, providing a real deep bass to make sure no part of any tune was missed out. We were treated to some real masterpieces, such as Youngsta and Task’s ‘Souljahs VIP’ of Mala’s ‘Da Wrath’, the Rednote remix of another Mala tune ‘Changes’, a few of the latest Uprise Audio pieces, and timeless classic Masai Mara (the VIP of which is going to be one of the highlight releases of this year). The set was a well put together exploration of new and old, and started the night perfectly.
With his new label on the horizon, and being booked left right and centre on a whole variety of line-ups, AMIT has really exploded into the lime light recently, despite having releases pre-dating my high school days. He was on Commercial Suicide in 2002, and Metalheadz by 2004 and his first album surfaced in 2006, proving this man has had his musical brain running for many years, and this shines through in his high quality, completely unique productions. He started his set with a journey into his more recent music, around the 140bpm mark, throwing out a mixture of AMIT specialties and newer dubstep. ‘No Mercy’ and ‘Acid Trip’ absolutely blew the roof off and Kryptic Mind’s remix of ‘Stay With Me’ is a song that should never go unmentioned; it smashed the dance to say the least.
AMIT then stepped up the pace, and blasted his way into 170bpm productions, and the crowd responded instantly to the increase in pace; by now the place was packed with smiling faces and dancing bodies. Throughout the night Basement was at its optimal capacity, neither too full nor too quiet, and it balanced out for the perfect vibe. With DNB classics such as ‘The Myth’ and modern AMIT banger ‘Killer Driller’ in his selection, the second half of the set did not disappoint, and he had the room going mental right up until the last beat.
Next stepped up Tytanium Recording’s owner Tycaine, who provided another dark assault of DNB beats, a type of music I am no longer as heavily associated with but enjoy the presence of just as much as I used to. He blasted through tune after tune, showing a very techy selection and debuting the second Tytanium Recording release, which is out now on bandcamp. He also had a few special dubs in his arsenal from Deception and long-leading drum & bass legends Renegade Hardware, a label who have been pressing wax since the late 90s.
For the last 45 minutes, Travesty pleasured the dancefloor with an all-vinyl exploration of drum and bass new and old, starting the set with their exclusive remix of 4 the Cyborgs, a real hard hitting jungle style piece. Numerous rewinds were demanded from this set, as many of the tunes I listened to when growing up surged from the grey noise bass bins. Noisia – Block Control got one of the biggest reactions of the night, with screams from front to back as the vinyl was brought back to the start. Right up until the chants for ‘one more tune’, this set was quiet literally ‘going down’ a treat.
Overall the night was a huge success, good vibes from start to finish and it’s great to see more promoters bringing interesting music to Stoke. Hoping to see big things from Sector 8 as time goes on, and I’m sure we’ll be heading up to Basement for another skank before we know it. Big up Tycaine, Grey Noise and everyone at Basement for making it possible!
Tytanium Armour Recordings:
Holly Johnson Photography:
Written by Michael Thomas