A barrage of bass was clearly in store for New York City this December 1st as the British youtube channel sensation UKF launched their first stateside event. The Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan Center played host to what would be one of the premier Dubstep events in the city this year. With UKF bringing acts like Xilent, Bare Noize, Gemini, Delta Heavy, Borgore and Chase & Status it was evident that you would leave the show with ringing ears, tired feet and a satisfied demeanor.
The Hammerstein was filled front to back when I arrived and the music was loud enough to be heard outside. Although the crowd was thick it wasn’t difficult to move about. It certainly made dancing both tolerable and enjoyable throughout the floor. The vibration from the speakers was instantaneous as soon as you entered the ballroom. As I walked closer to the stage I noticed that I could feel the bass rattling my chest and it felt like it was altering my heart algorithm. I was impressed.
After local opener Alex English performed, dubstep/drum and bass up and comer Xilent set the night into motion with a riveting medley of high speed dnb as well as his more notable hard crunch dubstep. Playing tracks like Touch sound, Twisted and youtube favorite Choose Me. Xilent warmed the crowd right to where they needed to be.
Bare Noize followed up with a heavy, less pop orientated set. He dropped a couple of trap tracks as well as a couple Noisia tunes, his remix of Drumsound Bassline Smith’s “Through the Night” and a slew of his UK brethren’s remixes. He really set the pace of the energy in the room right away. Being my first time seeing Bare Noize I was definitely impressed by his mixing executions and fairly brilliant song selection.
Delta Heavy have been on a mission since last year and have constantly been touring as well as releasing new tracks. Down the Rabbit Hole, their 2012 EP, was a sure lock for play but surprisingly only a couple tunes from the recent release were spun during their set. We did hear tunes like “Get By”, “Space Time”, and his “Crowd Control” remix. I duly noted his “Promises”/Bonfire remix for its crowd response as well as the trap anthem (or so it seems) “Roll Up” – Baauer remix.
Around 11pm Gemini took the stage and came out strong. He dropped Fire Inside right away and had everyone in the room bursting with excitement. If I didn’t know any better I’d say they turned on a few more lasers and upped the volume level. Not that anyone was complaining. Sure enough he played UKF classics “Blue”, “Born to Die”, “Elevate”, and “Graduation”. It was a blistering set of feverous electro and hard hitting Dubstep that captured us all.
Dubstep’s favorite Israeli DJ/Producer Borgore took control of the decks at midnight. The strange visuals on the screen behind the stage let you know it was him if you didn’t already. Among his playlist for the night was “Love”, “Ice Cream”, “Nympho” and crowd favorite “Decisions”. He even took some time out to proclaim his desire for girls on stage, even taunting the female UKF agent to come on stage. Without a doubt one of the more comical sets I’ve seen in my years.
Unfortunately (as per usual) Chase & Status had a MC along with them for the night. I don’t have anything against a hype man but tough to listen to some of your favorite tunes without someone yelling over the track. Luckily I managed to hear a few songs that I was looking forward to such as “No Problem”, “Flashing Lights”, Eastern Jam and Wilkinson’s remix of “Time”. It was a high energy set that kept the crowd electric.
Dirtyphonics rounded out the event and I, like most of the crowd, could hardly contain my anxious excitement. I thought for sure an all-out assault of drum and bass was about to be delivered to our ears but I was mistaken. A lot of the set consisted of dubstep and trap. They did drop tracks like their WARP remix as well as their “Me and You” remix. Can’t forget their remix of “Deviance”, that was a workout on the eardrums. It seemed like the sound system was again turned up because every kick hit and bassline absolutely crushed the speakers. I wasn’t too thrilled about their song selection but nonetheless they had my attention until they ended around 3:30 am.
Review by Ken Pfeiffer
Photography by Dylan Smith for ElectronicNightLife.com
This post originally appeared on Electronic Nightlife, now a part of beatcue.