On Saturday, December 7th, the latest edition of Steez Promo’s Bass Nation party took place at Soundgarden Hall. Headlined by UK Drum & Bass DJ, Sub Focus, the event also featured sets by Delta Heavy, Mojo Risin, and Elvis Suarez.
Back before EDM culture was mainstream, Philadelphia was a mecca of Drum & Bass music in America. Weekly events, like Platinum (at Fluid Nightclub with Dieselboy and a stable of top-notch MCs), and Concrete Jungle (at Skyline) packed fans in to see some of the biggest names in the genre like Roni Size, Goldie, Andy C, Usual Suspects, and Aphrodite.
Today’s electronic music fans in Philadelphia tend to gravitate more towards house, trance, dubstep, and trap, there is a new wave of artists producing and playing top-notch Drum & Bass music for those of us who adore the genre. While many people say that Drum & Bass is experiencing a resurgence as of late, aficionados will tell you it never went anywhere. All we know is, we were very excited for this event from the moment it was announced.
Our hope was that the younger generation of Philly EDM fans would share our passion and make this a well attended event. At least 1,000 of them did and packed much of the dance floor and the 21+ area at the back.
The openers, Suarez and Mojo, warmed the crowd up nicely on this chilly December evening. We spend a lot of time at Soundgarden Hall so we tend to get a pretty steady dose of the usual suspects amongst the local openers. That’s okay with us though, these guys are talented and always bring the proper vibe and energy to the beginning of the evening.
UK duo Delta Heavy (Ben Hall & Simon James) has garnered a lot of attention within the bass music world for their original productions but especially for their top-notch remixes of artists from Avicii to Nero to Rita Ora. Dealta Heavy served up a serious dose of Drum & Bass to the Soundgarden Hall crowd on Saturday night. They had the place bumping while still leaving fans craving more.
Sub Focus kicked off his 75 minute set around 1245am, sandwiched between two large digital screens. Joined behind the decks for much of his set by Delta Heavy, Sub Focus dropped some sweet bangers on those in attendance. While his sound as of late has drifted across genres as of late, his set on Saturday focused almost exclusively on Drum & Bass with several other sounds sprinkled in.
He was also joined by MC ID for his entire set who hyped up the crowd in only the way a Drum & Bass MC can. Oddly enough the MC ID seemed to address the crowd as both “Philly” and “New York” at different times but we’re willing to overlook it because his vocals were on point.
The night was a nice reminder of Philly’s strong Drum & Bass roots as well as a showcase of the talent that still rolls through our city. Please keep them coming!
[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]
You can view additional photos in the gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):