If you know me a bit better you know that if I fall in love I tend to fall in love with music instead of falling in love with people. Last night I did so with KUEDO’s set at sub:city (at K4).
If you’ve not yet gotten hold of KUEDO’s ‘Severant’ album – do so. It was described more than once as Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack meeting future bass music and that might indeed be the easiest way of describing it. Cold beautiful synths combined with warm deep subs and the whirling funky beats of footwork – trust me, this works even better in the club cause there you can really feel the bass. This is only one facet of what he played last night though. There was (post)dubstep, hiphop, synthpop, rave step, even discoid moments – lots of different styles and moods but all melt into one big purring ball of music. Pardon my enthusiasm but this was totally my thing.
He did neither bank on only playing what you could expect from his VEX’D or KUEDO releases. Nor did he rely on the weighty safety of outworn simple structured heavy dubstep that still tends to please the ‘my-balls-are-as-big-as-the-bass-in-dis’-part of the crowd. There of course were some heavy parts, too, but none of the simpleboringwobblestep ones. Instead he built a complex set with emphasis and a good feel for aesthetics. Complex, yes – but at no moment it felt overconstructed. He wasn’t fixated on moving along on a beatmatch line but instead played with thrilling combinations and with letting the right bits drop at the right moment.
There are sets that are all about a journey from point A to point B on a rather straight line, creating tension and peaks like on a cruise from one sight to another. And there are sets in which this kind of linearity doesn’t matter at all but that appear more multidimensional and tickle the dancefloor’s g-points as if anything could happen at any time. This might end up in overstimulation and can get a bit much after a while. KUEDO’s set leant more towards the latter of both but managed to keep things in a smooth hovering flow.
There were some real facemelter moments. For me those were some of the footworky percussive bits over beautiful deep sub lines, and also one ace heavy rave breakdown and build-up. There were also some pop and fun moments I loved. Maybe it was just my kind of humour but I had to laugh when he mixed from the ever so (nu-)romantic ‘Moments in Love’ (Art Of Noise, Caspa remix(?)) into some rude rap spitting something about ‘pussy juice, nigga’.
I have given it some thought but still stand to my words of last night: It was the best bass music set I’ve heard so far. It somehow stood for all that still keeps bass music the most exciting and alive corner of electronic music of these days. Thank you, Mr. Teasdale!
I also would like to thank SUB:CITY once more: I love you for having brought us yet another night that was almost like a statement against the brostepification of the dubstep scene and showed that it’s a place for more people than just straight male tough guys. Love your choice of bookings, love what you guys play, love the handmade posters and decoration (especially the grumpy moon!) – I think all this combined brings across that it’s about something like social clubbing.
There again were pleasantly many women on the dancefloor last night where at other dubstep nights there are about as many as in the pit of most oldschool hardcore/punk shows.
Still there were some idiots in the crowd which really sucks cause it only takes a few dickheaded hoolz to spoil the mood for many others. I thought we had the era of fights at the door behind us. It’s tiring. Still I think that it was a great night for almost everyone!
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Bassline has been at the centre of controversy in Sheffield due to a police raid on the former bassline club night Niche, after which the club closed down. Police raided the club amidst reports that the scene had been attracting violence, drug use and gang culture. Since it was the most popular bassline night in Sheffield prior to its closure, Niche is sometimes used as an alternative name for the musical genre. Like grime, bassline is still associated with violence, anti-social behaviour and criminal activity.