Drum & Bass, more than any other derivative of electronic music has always been about diversity. The melting pot of music and the people behind it making and playing it have been paramount to the many stylistic shifts and changes the music has gone threw during its 20 plus year history. The idea of “soulful” influences in Drum & Bass is nothing new. Even the seemingly darkest most aggressive sounding tunes have always had at their heart a deep soulfulness and emotion lurking through their harshness. That’s what separates the classics of the genre from the mindless copy cats that the music has also been plagued with throughout its history. The idea of Light and Dark has been the most important theme in the music since it’s inception. In Hardcore, manic mentasm and reese stabs from early Techno gave way to uplifting piano breakdowns and calming ambient synth washes. Gruff Dancehall lyrics shared the same space on a record with soaring Diva vocals. By the time Jungle hit full swing, sampling full sections of classic rare groove and disco records became the norm. As time went on certain producers and DJ’s seemed to really hone in on these influences entirely, making them the main component of their sound.
By the turn of the millennium, one DJ in particular stood above the rest as the lynch pin for the more soulful, sexy side of the music: Fabio. Long recognized as one of the founding fathers of UK Rave music, Fabio was always considered the “Light” to DJ partner Grooverider’s “Dark”. He was already looked at as the main proponent for the “intelligent” side of Jungle via his Creative Source label and as co -founder (with LTJ Bukem) of scene influencing London club night Speed. Fabio was the DJ heading the charge for what was becoming an increasingly left field approach to what was happening in the rest of Drum & Bass in the early 2000’s.
Enter “Liquid Funk“. A term coined by Fabio to describe the full sets of sleazy, late night soul he was playing from a whole host of new (at that time) producers like Calibre and Marcus Intalex at his new London weekly, Swerve. Where Bukem and camp seemed to be going further and further down the ambient rabbit hole, Fabio’s selections retained a dance floor toughness and rawness to them more in line with original 90’s Jungle than with the aggro stadium rock of Pendulum and requisite copy cats influencing the rest of D&B at that time. History lesson over, this is where we come in:
In the Fall of 2003 a now infamous Toronto weekly started with the specific purpose to provide a home for the wealth of great music coming out at the time that was not always getting played in the more traditional rave settings. Release records co- owner Pete Demeester teamed up with DJ Lexx to promote “Sex In The City” upstairs at the Hooch above Queen West bar Gypsy Co-op. The two resident DJ’s were Marcus Visionary and DJ Lush who provided the musical direction of the night, playing only the freshest new releases and dubplates of the then emerging sound alongside a rotation of other top Toronto DJ’s who all stepped up to the challenge of adapting their selections to fit the vibe. Word got out quickly about the intimate and sexy vibes being created each week and soon the small club was at capacity every Saturday with long time Jungle veterans and new Drum & Bass converts rubbing shoulders on a packed dance floor.
Ten years later and the brand has been revived for a series of more recent events curated by Lexx and Rick Toxic. For the Ten year anniversary they called in original residents Marcus and Lush for an epic three hour set. For the packed house that was there, you know already what went down. If you missed it than here is that set, full of timeless S.I.T.C era favorites and seminal records rolled out as only these two veteran taste makers could. Also included is the stellar opening set full of anthems and forgotten gems by Rick Toxic and Lexx themselves, equally seasoned and precise DJ’s in their own right.
Don’t make the mistake of missing this event the next time it goes down..
Download Part 1 Lexx & Toxic
Download Part 2 Lush & Marcus.