Archive | November, 2010

Review: Thrasher 2010

4 Nov

Hailing from the beginning of the noughties, dubstep was initially the unknown and mysterious little brother of garage and grime, but fast forward to 2010 and my, how things have changed! Back in July this year, Magnetic Man’s debut ‘I Need Air’ marched straight into the top 10 UK singles chart, a feat which could never have been foreseen 10 years ago, making Magnetic Man an instrumental factor in the genre’s mainstream crossover.

As I rolled up at the Warehouse Project for Thrasher I was expecting the place to be well on its way to being full to the rafters, so in the circumstances being confronted with a virtually sparse venue was a little bit of a surprise. But no queues for the bar or cloakroom! Every cloud…

As Joy Orbison kicked into action a small crowd gathered in the main room and it was actually rather pleasant to have the space to enjoy, dance and gradually ease my way into the night ahead, rather than being thrust into heaving bedlam as usual. And the turnout certainly didn’t stop Joy Orbison getting to work and throwing down some great tunes. The influence of house on his dubstep sounds was definitely evident and with some chunky references to the old school thrown in for good measure it was a seamless warm up for the ever-growing crowd.

Next up the slightly more experimental Flying Lotus took to the stage. I had wondered when initially checking the evening’s line-up how his more forward-thinking sounds would gel with a mob largely enticed to the warehouse to see new chart favourites Magnetic Man. Although his set was without doubt first class, there was definitely a bit of confusion amongst the crowd and I’m not sure if everyone completely got it. However, following Flying Lotus was rising star Katy B, and there was absolutely no question that they got this! Her sweet but scaling vocals went down a storm and her hit ‘Katy On A Mission’ sparked a predictable uproar, not to mention plenty of singing along from the crowd.

Sandwiching Katy B’s performance was local DJ Jonny Dub demonstrating just how he has developed Hoya Hoya, a formidable night fusing hip hop, reggae, dancehall and dubstep, into a Manchester institution. And then before we knew it, the time had arrived for the dynamic trio themselves, Magnetic Man…

Made up of individually renowned electronic producers Skream, Benga and Artwork, the three combined have managed to propel dubstep to heady new heights. Huddled in row behind their laptops they got straight down to business and didn’t waste time in teasing the revellers into a frenzy with their explosive basslines and dubstep rhythms. When the opening chimes of ‘I Need Air’ rung out through the warehouse there was indeed pandemonium. Not letting the momentum drop for an instant their set surged on, then lo and behold Katy B emerged onto the stage to accompany the guys for latest single ‘Perfect Stranger’. Cries of ‘Wowsers Manchester!’ from the stage definitely seemed to imply that Magnetic Man were having just as good a time as the crowd.

With a triumphant night behind them and heralding a new found popularity for dubstep, it certainly looks like Magnetic Man can do no wrong.

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