Now that the Spring season is officially here and the temperatures have been warming up outdoors, so has the dance floor at Electronic Tuesdays. This past Tuesday night Sub.mission joined forces with Denver Drum & Bass juggernaut ‘Recon DNB’ to present a massive night of some of the sickest local and international bass music talent all under the same roof. From the moment that I had found out that Stray from Ivy Lab would be making his highly anticipated Denver debut, my calendar had been marked with great anticipation and when the night finally came, I surely wasn’t disappointed. As if that wasn’t enough, Encrypted Audio label head ‘Content’ was making his Mile High return along with performances from Recon DNB’s very own ‘Despise’, and the boys of ‘Valac’ would be closing out the night. This fine evening was the perfect harmonious balance of upbeat Drum & Bass along with heart-thumping Dubstep for bass music lovers of every spectrum to enjoy. Here’s how the night went!
With such a huge lineup of talent performing all in one night, this edition of Electronic Tuesdays began at an earlier time of 7:30pm rather than 8 o’clock. Per usual, things started off with the local DJ battles featuring 4 different opening acts from throughout the state battling it out and performing 30 minute time slots to move the crowd and set the tone early in the night. This week’s battlers included ‘Rave Booty’ , ‘Illadope’ , ‘J. Jewtre’ & ‘Ghost’. The battle styles this week were well-rounded and comprised of heavy dubstep, liquid DNB, and some Jungle as well and once again demonstrated how diverse and skillful the local music scene from Colorado really is. The early Electronic Tuesdays crowd made their way to the dance floor and packed out the narrow-hall venue of Cervantes’ Other Side and the night was only beginning. After a heated battle among the 4 selectors, Colorado Springs’ very own ‘Ghost’ beat out the competition to be crowned this week’s battle winner! If you were feelin’ the DNB sound that Ghost brought to the table on Tuesday night, make sure to catch him performing once again in the May Winners Showcase Battle where he will battle it out against the fellow battle winners in May, taking place on June 7!
Following the DJ Battles, it was now time for Recon DNB boss lady ‘Despise’ to take the stage and kick things up a few notches. Having just been named as one of the top 10 DJ’s in Denver in a recent Westword article, it comes as no surprise that Despise is an artist that knows how to truly work a crowd and lay down some serious DNB sound that gets your heart racing and feet moving. With well over 15 years of experience as a DJ under her belt, Despise has become a true household name throughout the underground bass music scene in Denver and if you’ve ever seen her perform live, you know exactly what I’m talking about. From the moment she approached the stage, Despise got right down to business and flawlessly set the tone for Ivy Lab’s headlining performance. Her diverse-ranging track selection combined with masterful mixing abilities prove how knowledgeable and experienced she is when it comes to DJ’ing and her deep and dark sound amplified the energy throughout the entire venue without a stagnant body in sight. Out of the dozens of times that I’ve seen Despise throw down over the years, Tuesday night’s was one of my personal favorites. Each time she’s in the mix, she’s got something refreshing and new up her sleeves and no 2 sets are the same. If you were feelin’ the sound that Depsise was performing on Tuesday night or weren’t able to make it out on this fine Tuesday night, be sure to catch Despise performing an all minimal DNB set alongside Shoebox in the Recon DNB Resident Showcase at Club Vinyl’s basement on Saturday May 21!
The vibe was thick, the bass was hitting hard, and it was now time for Stray from Ivy Lab to make his highly anticipated Denver debut on this massive night. Hailing all the way from North London, Ivy Lab’s sound has really taken off over the years and they are known as some of the most innovative and forward-thinking talents on the scene today. Widely recognized for their old school Drum & Bass sound as well as their more recent hybrid Hip-Hop beats released under the 20/20 label imprint, Ivy Lab has a style that catches the ears of bass music enthusiasts from various backgrounds which would explain why there was such a diverse demographic throughout the entire crowd. The beginning of Ivy Lab’s set featured more of the newer experimental/hybrid bass sounds and later progressed into the upbeat DNB style that is reflected in their earlier productions. Going into Ivy Lab’s set, I really had no idea what to expect as their sound is ever-evolving and touches on a wide series of genres. Needless to say, this was definitely one of the most impressive and well-rounded sets that I had seen in a long time and the ongoing roar from the crowd spoke for itself. Among the vast array of tunage that Stray was playing out, some of my personal favorites were the Ivy Lab tunes ‘Third World Cop’ and ‘Pharaoh’ featuring The Upbeats. When it was all said and done, Ivy Lab put on one of the most memorable performances I’ve ever seen and I am truly looking forward to seeing ‘em perform at Infrasound Music Festival coming up in less than 2 weeks!
STRAY - IVY LAB
With nearly 3 primarily Drum & Bass performances in a row from Ghost to Despise, leading into Ivy Lab, Encrypted Audio label boss ‘Content’ took the stage to slow down the pace and break us off with some true 140 sound from one of the UK’s finest. Internationally recognized as one of the leading labels in the game today, Encrypted Audio continuously pushes the boundaries of bass music and who better than the boss man himself to kick a proper lesson in that raw uncut UK sound? Over the years, Content’s contribution to underground bass music has been undeniable and to see him perform in the intimacy of Cervantes’ Other Side was a very special treat. A true master of his craft, his supreme mixing skills and arsenal of dubs make him a true lethal weapon when he’s behind the decks. On Tuesday night Content played out an extensive catalogue of dance floor bangers from the Encrypted Audio imprint and had bodies moving and heads nodding throughout the entirety of his set. Inducing listeners into a deep state of meditation, the projection of Content’s deep and profound bassweight flexed the subwoofers to their limit and had the ground beneath our feet rumbling like a stampede of rhinos. His minimal 140 sound had me reevaluating whether I was still in Denver or had been transported to an underground bunker somewhere in the UK where this deep sound originated. Among the extensive amount of tunes that Content played out on this night, my personal favorite was when he rinsed Samba’s ‘Sadist’ from ENV007. His set was just what I needed to follow up Ivy Lab’s performance and I sure hope to see the one like Content back in the United States in the near future!
Running on pure adrenaline, my body may have been exhausted from dancing for several hours on end, but it was now time fasten my shoe laces and get ready for the boys of Valac (DMVU & Binary) to take the stage and close the night out with a bang! Also members of the Encrypted Audio collective, I couldn’t picture a better act to close out the night and keep the vibe in the room flowing strong. If you’ve been in tune with the Denver dubstep scene, you know that DMVU & Binary have been putting in work for many years now and their sound is making waves and reaching heights far beyond the state of Colorado. The pairing of DMVU & Binary is a truly deadly combination and if you’ve seen any of the old-school Valac sets, you know how special and rare of an occasion Tuesday night really was. Having been well over 1 year since the last time that Valac graced the decks as a duo, this was the perfect return and I had been anxiously anticipating this performance from the moment that it was announced. Playing out a bunch of original’s from both DMVU & Binary along with some Widdler & Durandal exclusives, and Trisicloplox’s infamous tune ‘Monolith’ , Valac made a true impact in their Electronic Tuesdays return. Seeing the duo take the stage and going tag team in this massive performance brought back memories of previous Valac sets from over the years and I hope there’s more where that came from!
Big ups to everyone that came out and took part in such a huge night at Cervantes’ Other Side. Every time that Sub.mission and Recon DNB team up, it’s pure madness of monumental proportions and if you haven’t been making it out to recent editions of Electronic Tuesdays, you’ve definitely been missing out!
Author: Carlos Galvan