With dubstep nights feeling fewer and further between by the day, it’s a welcomed change when I see one of the pioneers of the sound playing just around the corner. Last Friday saw none other than DMZ’s Mala grace the Hare & Hounds venue in Kings Heath along with Son of Selah under the Leftfoot and Under the Counter nights. The line-up was a fresh surprise, but I was worried that, like in the past, even though it was an all-time legend playing the crowd would dwindle due to dubstep’s small following in the midlands. The night however, was a completely different story and I could not have been more wrong.
Opening were the Leftfoot supports; playing when I arrived was Knicker Bocker Corey, who was a high energy guy leaping from deck to deck while still providing some live PA for his set. His enthusiasm was projected onto the crowd and he had the room moving from very early on. Around this point it became clear tonight may be more of a hit than expected and as 12 approached the room had really began to fill up.
When Mala took to the stage, the venue must have been nearing capacity and the top room of this small pub was yearning for some bass heavy 140. Mala started his set in classic DMZ fashion; straight in with the bangers and no messing around with long intros. His trademark sub-heavy sound was perfect for the sound system in the Hare & Hounds, which again far surpassed any expectations you might have for such a compact rig. Mala played some real classics, namely the DMZ remix of ‘Cay’s Cray’ and ‘Anti War Dub’.
Throughout Mala’s set he was switching between new and old, with an emphasis of course always on bass. Some of the new Lax pieces sounded fantastic in this scenario and he always finds a unique route from modern to classic and back again. Commodo’s modern refix of ‘Miracles’ destroyed the room as usual, as did a few of the surprise Loefah pieces he found time for. Mala’s ability on vinyl has reached an all-time high recently too, after some of the mixing he managed at this night, it’s clear the years behind the Technics have taken their toll and he can now perform a near seamless hour and a half of music.
Unfortunately due to being so worn out from such a heavy week of Uni we didn’t stay until the end, but Leftfoot and UTC really know how to throw a party and I will definitely be keeping my eye on their events, as you should be too. A big night for Birmingham, who proved it does have a soft spot for dubstep after all.
Written By Michael Thomas
UTC (Thanks to UTC for the photos from facebook! any issues please let us know):