▼ at DEEP MEDi
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▼ at DEEP MEDi

DEEP MEDi March 18th 2016. 013 Tilburg.

Written by: Michael Janiec
Photos by: Luuk Ticheloven (LJT)

A new direction in programming at 013, called ‘00:13‘, has brought oldskool Dubstep in Tilburg to a whole new level. Nothing less than an impressive DEEP MEDi evening is the result, starring one of the founding fathers of Dubstep; Mala.

DEEP MEDi celebrates their ten year anniversary, so it’s clear that the anticipations are quite high. The minimal approach to the releases tunes is paralleled with insane amounts of subtle, yet groovy details. The DEEP MEDi discography has also given life to a lot of Dubstep-classics. It’s safe to say that this label releases tunes by some of the best producers in the genre. Essentially the right ingredients for a legendary night are there, but wait…

On the party’s day, the organization announced that Gantz wouldn’t be able to make it due to traveling complications. Rather disappointing, partially due to his last-minute cancellations on several different occasions. Luckily it wasn’t a real deal breaker, since decent names like Tunnidge, Commodo, and Kaiju, would still be there.

Benny ill starts the night. As the first visitors enter, the seasoned DJ tests the room temperature with a zen-like stature. Due to a rather low amount of early visitors, it takes some time to adjust. In the second half of the set, the artist manages to maintain more momentum. Most tunes in this mix are combined with a huge reverb effect. Just like the old days, where Jamaican artists would use the reverb as a means to mask the switching between the records, because there only was one turntable. While this approach feels a bit off at first, it eventually really fits and induces a hypnotic Dubby vibe. ‘Jah Jah City’ serves as an atmospheric highlight in Benny ill’s set.

Due to Gantz’ absence, Commodo goes solo tonight. His first tune swiftly kicks the night into second gear. Commodo then continues to mix tightly. In doing so, he’s able to hold the attention of the crowd steadily. The mix is uplifting and the time really seems to fade. Moments of musical brilliance only further the already present hype. The MC’s get involved more from now on. It’s worth mentioning that they do a great job. Sun of Selah and Atactic practice their art with patience and composure.

The main man for tonight is Mala. Easily the most anticipated artist of the night, but can he live up to the hype? It depends on different factors, some are even beyond Mala’s control. For one: the attendance was good, but perhaps just not enough. It felt like the only missing thing, which potentially could have launch the night into the proverbial stratosphere. As for the music..? On point. A real treat, with seamlessly mixed classics. Oldies like Coki – Goblin, and also tight newer material, like Egoless – Super Echo, for example. As someone on the prime spot of the night, he does spare the crowd. Mala seems modest in showing his true skill tonight, but sometimes the conditions are just not right. Who knows. Overall it was a decent set, but expectations can be a bitch I guess.

Kaiju and Tunnidge do make a great team behind the decks. They have decades of experience when combined, and the contrast with the fairly lighthearted set by Mala, only magnifies the shift in energy. The night takes a second turn into the heavier side of Deep Dubstep. The volume gets notched up a fair amount too, and heavy rollers suddenly bounce off the walls like a vertical earthquake. It’s satisfying to hear how powerful this sound system actually is! At one point the crowd even were let onto the stage, one intoxicated guy slipped while climbing off the stage, but luckily wasn’t hurt. The vibe was right in the end, even though some visitors already left after Mala’s set. Tunes like Fat Freddy’s Drop (DMZ Remix), and Loefah – Goat Stare, provided more than enough to go by.

What could have been a legendary night, ended like a really good night. It’s hard to come with such high hopes to begin with, but nights like this do deserve another chance in Tilburg. 013 provides a very decent sound system, and the overall atmosphere was enjoyable too. Technically Gantz wasn’t missed that much, but it’s a shame. No official statement has been made by the label, or the artist on Facebook, so can’t really go into any more details. In the end it was really worth the time, and DEEP MEDi and 00:13 have delivered a quality night with decent programming. The attendance still remains an issue, but let’s really hope that this changes, so nights like this really have a fighting chance in Tilburg.
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