Hospitality takes care of things

Vibraphonic 2009 review

published: Thu 19th Mar 2009

Thursday 5th to Sunday 22nd March 2009
various venues across Exeter, Devon, EX4 3LS, England MAP
Various - free and from around £8 - £20
last updated: Tue 3rd Feb 2009

Hospitality Records night featuring; Hospitality - High Contrast, London Elektricity (DJ set), MC Wrec, MC Script.

Second room; Cool and Deadly - Tayo, Benga, Mystery, Ben and Lex.

There was a strange hum on the campus of Exeter University and getting nearer to its source it became apparent why. The entire Lemon Grove venue shook and vibrated to this night's drum and bass sounds as the DJs inside seemed to be hoping to destroy the structure through the bass heavy PA.

Nights that have the stamp of Hospitality Records have a buzz about them and more often than not they are sold out. Many desperate punters gathered outside vying for tickets from the fresh faced youngsters who were turned away for not possessing id.

As a venue itself the Lemon Grove is fairly bland and soulless, not comparable to that of a purpose built club or an old city centre landmark. Therefore it is the combined job of the DJs and student priced drinks to whip the crowd into a frenzy.

Stepping up to the plate was Tony Coleman aka London Elektricity. London Elektricity has developed a filmesque style of drum and bass avoiding the cheesier sounds from the genre. Coleman is undoubtedly a fine DJ and although the his sound works just as well through the big speakers as it would rattling from an i-pod there is always something slightly disappointing when he performs without his band. That said with the help of the MC the already sweat drenched crowd bounced along to his signature tunes as he mashed together his quality tunes.

High Contrast however, I have once heard referred to as coffee table drum and bass, generally a scathing term used to describe the more commercial end of the scene. It implies that even people who aren't fans of drum and bass would be aware of it and have on show in their living room for that cool factor. Whilst High Contrast may not be a DJ that you would find at the most hardcore end of the scene he has proved himself to be a master of styles from the rousing anthemic to the starker and more intense, gaining respect accordingly. There is no shame in being melodious or wanting to entertain and High Contrast is both for a huge number of people.

The draw that is High Contrast couldn't have been clearer as the other room emptied out as everyone piled in to enjoy the main attraction. High Contrast got straight down to business mixing new tunes and dropping in a couple of older ones whilst avoiding some of the very early, more commercial mixes that first gave him his name. Surely this is a sign of a producer that is confident in the direction he is taking his music and the keen beat lovers responded accordingly as the entire room of people became drawn in.

Good tune followed good tune and from the hard edged to the more soulful and funky keeping people's feet stepping to the rhythm as best as possible. On a practical side however, one major feature of the club was how wet the floor was. A combination of beer, water, sweat and if I am not mistaken vomit (either that or someone had emptied a jar of Ragoo,) made dancing an extreme sport and took a small amount of pleasure away from it, replacing instead, the need for a little concentration.

High Contrast ended his set perfectly with his high energy remix of MGMT's Time to Pretend, a tune not dissimilar in calibre to the Pendulum/Prodigy remix and without doubt proof that High Contrast is one of the main producers dominating the scene.

As the lights were raised the sweaty audience dispersed noisily into the outside world having just been entertained by a formidable crew that will probably be back for another sell-out night soon.
review by: Richard Potter

Thursday 5th to Sunday 22nd March 2009
various venues across Exeter, Devon, EX4 3LS, England MAP
Various - free and from around £8 - £20
last updated: Tue 3rd Feb 2009


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