Dead World 5 - Jeeeeeeeeeeesus!!!!

It's almost four days after the jam, and I'm still basking in the afterglow.

That should be review enough in itself.

everybodies daddy dead world detroit

Hardcore 313's fifth instalment of their zombie massive was superlative, and for so many reasons it's still hard to process. It began like any other Saturday night for a Canadian - with hockey and beer. Maybe the crowd at the game should've tipped me off that Detroit's a little bit crazy to begin with, but how was I supposed to know?

mc hi iq dead world 5Tranzit and I rolled into the venue about 10:30, and the place was already buzzing. Donald Whan, one of the promoters, was laying down some heavy dnb, and there were already about 1300 people milling about and dancing. InfiniteFX and Detroit Rave Scene's sound & lighting rig was over the top big, and my brother from another mother, MC Hi IQ, was blessing it with some rough rhymes. After a few hellos, and a beer to calm the nerves, it was time to step up on the decks. Donald Whan closed off with a little Harlem Shake, and turned it over to me.

Before Hi IQ had even finished the intro, the junglists in the place were already jumping and shouting. My first track dropped like a bomb, and the crowd only got crazier and crazier. Lu, the promotress, told me later that everyone in line was singing along to "I Need A Dollar"... and I think someone in the back actually crapped his pants when I dropped "Tarantula" early in the set. I brought the energy level back down a little with some techier and liquid stuff. I looked up long enough to watch the crowd explode when the drop on "Running" hit and grinned like some sort of fairy tale cat - it's moments like that that inspire me to keep performing. Bigger and bigger the tunes got, until I finally unleashed a final 10 minutes of the grimiest dubstep I've got, and laughed as the dancefloor disintegrated into a thrashing mess chanting "DE-TROIT! DE-TROIT!" Second last track was a special CanCon - A Tribe Called Red's "Electric PowWow Drum" - a gritty take on traditional pow wow music. As for how it ended... well...

I have to thank MC Hi IQ for blessing the mic. As an MC, there aren't many MCs I can stand, let alone love & respect their body of work. He's one of them. He murked it hard that night, and sounds fantastic on the recording.

dead world 5 hardcore 313DJ Entity, the main headliner out of the UK was on after me. Unfortunately I was so distracted after my set, trying to come down from the high of it all, and change my mindset from the decks to the mic. I do remember kicking back in the VIP and hearing the crowd chanting "WHAT! WHAT! WHAT! WHAT!" over that wall of sound they call a soundsystem in Detroit. The crowd was a sweaty mess by the time I stepped back on the stage at the end of his set, so you know he killed.

Tranzit and I's set was mayhem. The front three rows were climbing over each other to reach up to the stage. I've never been grabbed so much by a crowd before in my life. It was a beautiful sight - 2000 pairs of hands reaching up for the anthems, 2000 heads bouncing to the bassline. So much love and positive energy. About 20 minutes in to the set, Tranzit mixed in "Jump Around", and... well... I've never seen a crowd go off like this before...

Yeah, put your girlfriends up.

Detroit's crazy.

From there, Tranzit went into a little heavy dnb and drumstep, smashed out some newschool anthems, then finished off with some oldschool cheese, just for good measure. The crowd was absurd throughout. Crowdsurfing, moshing, hands raised up together - Detroit represented all that makes the rave scene wonderfu. It was hard to say goodbye, but what better to close a zombie rave with than MJ's "Thriller"? Yeah, that's what we thought too.

Dopamyne, a gabber DJ out of Quebec City was on after us, and dropped a huge set of party gabber that the Detroit crowd ate right up. Now that the pressure was off, I finally had the chance to raise a glass with my partners in crime - Tranzit & Hi IQ - and meet some of the wicked partykids. Shouts to Todd, Chad, Molly, Kayla at her first rave, Brittany, Kari, Chelsea, Julie, Kristin, Zak, Sylus, Jordyn, the Ottawa crew, Timmy, Dani, Clive, Margaret, Val, Yoshi, Justin, Jen my Daddy's Girl for the night, and all the other wonderful people I met. Jumanji closed the night with some fiiiiiiilthy big room jungle that fit the closing slot beautifully.

Most of all, thanks to Lu & Donny for exceeding the high expectations you set, and for treating us so well. Rest up and enjoy your laurels. I'll play for y'all any time.



Everybodies Daddy & MC Hi IQ - Full Circle

As many of you know, I've been toiling away on my latest mix for about six months now, and last week I finally put the finishing touches on my part of the project. It's now in the hands of one of my favourite MCs - Philly's own Hi IQ - for the vocal treatment. I really have no idea what he's going to lay down on top of it, but rest assured, it'll be crazy good.

So, now that I'm free to bask in the afterglow of creativity (that's a lie - this mix was actually the most frustrating one I've made in 10 years on the decks - I'm so relieved to have it done), and while we wait for its official release on February 23rd at Dead World 5 in Detroit, here's a little background on what underlies this project.

Full Circle

dara full circleThe original idea was simple enough - make a mix that loops back on itself, so it can be put on repeat, and played over and over and over. I designed it in four parts, with four separate moods, each inspired by a different phase of my raving & performing career. The title is part descriptive, and part a shout out to DJ Dara's 1997 mix of the same name - that was the first DnB CD I ever owned, and I think I wore out the laser on my CD player listening to it. He had a gorgeous track selection, and mixed them together so smoothly and subtly that you get lost in the journey, and once you reach the end you're not quite sure how you got there. More on this a little later on.

The cover art is being painted by a talented Toronto artist.

Part 1: Lively

This part sets the tone and grabs attention with fast-moving, bouncy tunes. I'm trying to capture the feeling of my first few parties, where I wasn't quite sure what was going on, but I knew I loved it. It's a shoutout to ragga jungle & dancehall - the origins, heart and soul of drum n' bass.

Part 2: Deep

Next we smooth things out a little, and get down to some serious liquid business. The mixing gets longer and gentler, and the tunes get downright pretty. It's a shout out to the influence that Dara's mix had on my musical tastes, and to those 4 am sets that were islands of clarity in our wildest of nights.

Part 3: Wild

Speaking of which, I would be remiss if I didn't pay respect to my true love in breakbeat - jump-up jungle. There was a time when I played all jump-up, all set - and though my ability to build a set has evolved leaps and bounds since then, I'll never forget my roots. Big builds, big double-drops, hectic mixing, and serious gut-rumbling basslines FTW.

Part 4: Nostalgic

Drum n' bass has been around long enough now that we can wax poetic about the years gone by, but I'd much rather serve up some legit classics in new ways, and pay the good times forward to the latest generation. A trip down memory lane for the oldschoolers, an education for the newschoolers, mashed up on three decks for the trueschoolers.

All this, and the rough, grimy, dark metal & hip-hop driven lyrics of Hi IQ over top. Here's hoping it finds a regular spot in your playlist rotation.

Those who buy the VIZ (Very Important Zombie) pack for Dead World will get the first opportunity to hear this, and the free download will be up in the audio section here the following week.