"It is rare to see a night with such consistently diverse booking in every room, and when it happens, it is usually a success: this was no exception:" Josh Vincent reviews Dropout Disco and Deep Discs' monster Motion night featuring the almighty DJ Bone.
In a combined effort from some of Bristol’s top local promoters, techno royalty DJ Bone was brought down to Motion alongside some of dance music’s most exciting acts; including Dekmantel Soundsystem, Red Axes, Byron the Aquarius and Donna Leake.
In the tunnel, the effervescent Donna Leake’s intoxicating selections served as a perfect warm-up for Byron the Aquarius. A selector in the truest sense of the term, her no rules approach was incredibly refreshing: eschewing the constraints of genres, BPMs or even conventional definitions of the word “dance music”, she veered from jazzy instrumentals to funky Turkish numbers and dub reggae with nonchalance, enabling her to challenge the crowd and play far deeper than most selectors might have been able to when given a two hour slot on a packed bill.
Byron the Aquarius proceeded to play deep, yet immensely chunky house workouts, before steering towards crowd-pleasing disco towards the end of his set, and he exuded the immense talent and charisma that made him one last year’s breakthrough acts. His unconventional, highly dynamic mixing style enabled him to effectively rework most of his tracks on the fly: constantly teasing the bass in and out of tracks and cleverly manipulating the filters, he provided a masterclass in crowd control, with the crowd sent into an uproar with every kick.
It was a pleasure to see a powerhouse of the Bristol scene like Motion acknowledging the presence of younger, yet equally vital promoters, but I couldn’t help feeling like a solitary hour in the cave for each promoter left them a little short-changed.
Bristol’s best resident DJs took control of the Cave room. The residents of established nights such as One Two Five’s Cartographer, Nebula’s Mafia String Section, Deep Discs’ Alfie Laurence and Soul Shake were billed alongside newer, albeit equally stellar residents such as Somewhat Anomalous’s Ocho, and Elliot from Continuous Movement. The diversity of music on display was immense, with DJ Normal 4 cuts sitting as easily as Niles Cooper’s edit of Fusion Groove Orchestra’s “If Only I Could” with the crowd. It was a pleasure to see a powerhouse of the Bristol scene like Motion acknowledging the presence of younger, yet equally vital promoters, but I couldn’t help feeling like a solitary hour in the cave for each promoter left them a little short-changed.
Though I was only able to catch very little of Red Axes’ chugging, druggy house cuts in the main room, Dekmantel Soundsystem provided an immensely enjoyable warm-up for DJ Bone. Playing a mix of bassy, jazz-influenced house and afrobeat inspired numbers, they transitioned from rolling numbers into a far more direct, grooving house sound that perfectly anticipated DJ Bone’s more linear techno style.
Closing the main room, DJ Bone delivered another masterclass that displayed his inimitable mixing prowess. Tracks were stripped apart and remixed live through a combination of rapid-fire cuts and crossfader flicks, with Bone sometimes taking solitary kick drums and transforming them into the backbone of entire mixes. The iconic main riff of Jeff Mills’ “The Bells” was teased endlessly with quick fades until the crowd reached fever pitch, and there was a deafening roar as the kick drums came back in. Perhaps as a nod to the UK crowd, Bone even played what sounded like an edit of “Functions on the Low”, which served as a somewhat polarising selection, but nonetheless displayed his ability and willingness to adapt to the contemporary scene, even though he has enough pedigree to choose not if he so wished.
It is rare to see a night with such consistently diverse booking in every room, and when it happens, it is usually a success: this was no exception.
The night served as a testament to the importance of local promoters in helping Bristol’s dance music thrive and evolve, and it was immensely rewarding to see some of the local heavyweights billed alongside both acts at the forefront of contemporary dance music. It is rare to see a night with such consistently diverse booking in every room, and when it happens, it is usually a success: this was no exception.
Featured image: Facebook / Deep Discs
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