Monday, 3 October 2011

Psyek - Unspoken / Unsigned

Psyek - Unspoken / Unsigned by psyek

Just a little feature on Drum and Bass in recognition of the incredible week that was Sun and Bass 2011. More about the festival in a second but just a quick note on this track, which is the latest offering from  Manchester DnB producer Psycek, who's had previous releases on Deafmuted Recordings. (Check out the aptly named No Funky For Old Men bellow)

Psyek's style of Drum and Bass is the just the sort of deep, dark rolling style that I prefer. Fluid yet techy in composition, full of punchy, industrial sounding drums, dark baselines and a fair assortment of unusual sounds. In a recent conversation with a friend we highlighted 'unusual noises' as one of our favourite features of the genre for it's ability, on what we conceded was a basic and infantile level, to make you smile. Psyek music is full of these moments of juvenile bliss, yet at no point does it do damage to the credibility of the track, rather it adds to the metallic framework built around the fluid, dance-friendly body within.

It was to my delight that this was precisely the style of D&B that was favoured in Sardinia. It was as if there was an unspoken rule, a tacit agreement to unify under one corner of the Drum and Bass umbrella. It is of course something that is influenced by the carefully considered line-up, however I do believe there was another, subtler factor at play; the landscape itself.

Sun and Bass festival slots almost effortlessly into the small town of San Teodoro, Sardinia, with multiple events taking place at separate venues across the town. The venues themselves are breathtaking, I would rate them as some of the best clubs I have ever been to, making you feel as if your an extra in a Timberland Video.

This level of style is in perfect keeping with the surroundings that illuminate, with help from the stunning weather, the gorgeous people within it as if they were a natural feature themselves. This has to have an effect on the mood of the DJ's and as a result the jagged mountains, rolling hills and lolling sea all seem to serve as a reflection of the music being selected.

It is the way in which Sun and Bass blends in so naturally with it's surroundings that impressed me most. For a musical genre that is normally perceived as loud and intrusive, Drum and Bass is part of the scenery in San Teodoro. There were plenty of locals enjoying the festival; the set up permits that once you have a wrist band, you can take and leave, come and go, as much as you like. This just helps to add to the relaxed atmosphere; there is no pressure to do anything but plenty of reason to do everything.

The nights are busy from when they open at 11 in till they close at 6 and despite the late nights, revellers make the effort to attend the pool parties and secret locations that are layed on during the days. These long event times add a social aspect to the festival allowing you to punctuate dancing, with relaxing and chatting. You can head outside and talk to one of your heroes from the scene, buy them a drink, buy yourself a drink, make some friends, burn some bridges, fall in love, fall off podiums, enjoy the German shuffle, laugh at the German shuffle, stalk some girls, write some letters, apologise, be forgiven and do all this whilst never missing the music. I have never had so much fun on a night out.

Highlights from the week for me included sets from Consequence, S.P.Y., Klute, Lynx, Marky, Dom and Roland, I vaguely remember Black Sun Empire being good, although a weeks worth of potent cocktails had caught up with me by this point. There was also a really inspired Hip-hop set from A-sides worth noting; yes, it's not all about the Drum and Bass.

I could not recommend this festival enough in terms of atmosphere and value for money gained from your ticket. There however some drawbacks, namely the cost of the whole holiday. Sardinia is not cheap and this is not a cheap holiday, drinks alone cost 8 euros in the clubs, although they are lethally strong. Flights and accommodation are pretty dear as well but this serves a purpose in itself; it weeds out all the annoying rave kids and rude boys.

What is left is a collection of loving, like minded people looking for a good holiday and some amazing sets. By the end of the week you feel as if you've shared something special with your new extended family and just like every good family you say your loving goodbyes, knowing you won't seem them again for another year.

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