Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Review - Uppercut: Bareknucle Bass, Hackney Wick, 10 March 2012

UK Glitch Hop editor Morbidly Obese Midget reviews Uppercut: Bareknucle Bass for Spoonfed, one of the few media outlets in the country with a dedicated interest in glitch hop, thanks largely to the efforts Editor-in-Chief Lowri Clarke. Check the links throughout!

Your Niece coming in your ears with sonic lazers
Glitch hop pretty much originated in the UK, so I’ve always been a bit puzzled as to why it’s never really taken off here. Uppercut is one of a number of nights burgeoning around the country that has set out not only to remedy this situation, but to raise the bar. With underfloor speakers. 

How does that work in a Hackney Wick warehouse?! Well apparently the answer is to build a two tier pyramid-come-boxing ring that takes up most of the main room and stuff it with bass bins. As we arrive, Atomic Drop are demonstrating the Funktion-One system in full effect with their energetic dancehall, electro house and dubstep. You could feel your legs tremble the minute you set foot on the first tier, which turned into full shakes on the dance platform. There‘s no option but to dance, especially with these boys at the controls. 

SixAM gets 'em bouncing
The first glitch hop DJ on the bill is SixAM, co-founder of Liverpool's Skanky Panky Records. For a brief moment at the start of his set, I wonder whether the audience is ready for mid-tempo in the main room at 2am, but as Buddha pulls out remixes of DJ Fresh, DJ Hype and Ray Charles the party really got going. Pretty soon the pyramid is packed with bodies popping and bumping to the jacking beats, with fresh dubs from Skanky Panky and big tunes from the likes of The Glitch Mob. The dancefloor is a melee of fur, animal tails and incredible patterned onesises. Secret Garden Party goers would feel quite at home. 

L-Biz on the ones and twos (in a pimped-out 1960s spaceship)
Being Hackney Wick, I’d been expecting a rather grimier warehouse, but the Autumn Street Studios are a surprisingly nice conversion with friendly bouncers, affordable drinks and plenty of space to dance. The second room, hosted by Tell Tails, resembles a graffiti jam disguised as a festival tent - the perfect setting for an old skool scratch set from L-Biz of Beat3. It’s further enhanced by some rather talented girls with hoop that looks like it’s been forged from pure rainbows. 

Escaped rainbows sighted in Hackney
Back in the main room, the ceiling sweat showers have already started, whilst Head of State breaks out of filthy d'n'b into a particularly fat remix of Jump Around. As if we have any choice. Outside, in the shadow of the Olympic Park, smokers lounge on bare-spring sofas and crouch on fire escape steps. 
Your Niece paints with his face
UK Glitch Hop and Uppercut resident, Your Niece has been pioneering crunk in the UK for years and his opening set for Bassnectar at Secret Garden Party last year completely blew me away, so I’m really looking forward to seeing him. He doesn't disappoint, carrying the ever-energetic crowd on a bass odyssey into the morning, from popping glitch to carpet bombing bass. Psymbionic's Intergalactic remix has the whole floor bouncing like mad, as do fresh tunes from Akira Kiteshi, Ben Samples and Bassnectar, and the odd snatches of familiar riff form the likes of Muse. Lazer noises in the music are sketched out by real ones, strafing the smoke-filled air with coloured shapes and beams. 
Beat3 "I can hear Britney"
By the time Bournemouth producers Beat3 take the stage, dawn’s already filtering through the skylights. On laptops, pads and decks, playing lots of original tunes as well as recent releases from Koan Sound, DCarls and Adapted Records, their bouncy funk hop is the perfect end to the night. As party goers drop into cuddle puddles at the back of the vibrating stack, a spilled drink on the stage at the front dances in ripples and spikes with every thump of the bass. 

Free back massage
The Uppercut crew recently announced a ridiculous glitch hop line-up for The Meteor Stage at Glade Festival, hosted by themselves, Skanky Panky, Donky Pitch, Jump Music and Colony Productions, with headliners including Ben Samples, VENT, Akira Kiteshi, Slugabed, Zen Death Squad, Memory 9 and Koan Sound. If this is just a small taste things to come, I'm going to have to get in training." 

*Tune into Glitch.FM every Wednesday from 10pm-12am for UK Glitch Hop with Morbidly Obese Midget, Your Niece, Skanky Panky Records, Mouldy Soul and Colony Productions.*

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