Cheekier than a bloc-busting t-shirt contest, cheaper than a 75EUR live stream ticket, more dramatic than petty social media scene beef… It’s the article that will always let you self-promote your own material: the UKF Anti-Virus.
Following last week’s pets special, we’re back highlighting some of the exciting and inspiring things happening in the bass world despite the soul-crushing restrictions we all find ourselves under.
Things to raise money for good causes, things to distract you from this ongoing, seemingly never-ending half-life slump, things to keep the music moving and keep us buzzing…. Things that remind us we can get through this.
For this edition we’re focusing on a handful of the bigger stories and projects happening over the next few weeks. First, some of our favourite lockdown inspired videos of the week…
Marking a week since the release of their almighty Red Bull Symphonic symphonic album, Camo & Krooked get the band orchestra back together for this epic montage of Climax and Kallisto performed lockdown-style. 30 musicians including the schnitzel bois themselves, this is quarantine collaboration on a major scale…
High Maintenance has entered the live stream fray this week with an impressive high-tech concept mix. Welcome To Your Sound is performed on one of the most complex and high-end set-ups we’ve in 10 weeks of lockdown and it’s comprised fully of his own unreleased material. Dub central. Watch out for cameos from a very cute pupper.
Where were you on that last weekend the world raved freely? Serum and Inja were in Australia and events spiralled so quickly, they had to cut their tour short. The situation was so surreal they filmed it for posterity. Here’s an hour of the pair laying down the pre-lockdown law at Inhibit, Perth on D&BTV Locked-In. And here’s the full story behind it.
Born On Road Weekender
It’s another chance to spend the entire weekend raving from the comfort of your own home… Following Onyx and Goat Shed’s Stay At Home Festival Part 2 last weekend (in which they raised over £3000 for Age UK), the Born On Road crew are holding it down virtual festival style for the next three days. It runs from May 15 – 17. As you’d expect from the prominent Bristol lot, the line-up is generously stacked:
“The main ethos was to raise spirits to be honest,” says Born On Road co-founder Kelvin 373. “Everyone is affected by not having shows to play, and missing their weekend interactions. We’ve had to cancel a whole year’s worth of events and festivals pretty much. So this just felt like the best way to do something to still bring our core fan base something through these difficult times and maintain some presence and relevance within our D&B community.”
The weekender kicks off 5pm UK time tonight and runs through till Sunday. They’ll be raising money for two very important causes. The first is UK homelessness organisation Crisis, a highly important cause in a city which has some of the highest homelessness statistics in the UK and St Paul’s Adventure Playground.
“They’re a community interest company that support vulnerable children and local families in Bristol,” says Kelvin. “During lockdown the playground was been struck by a tragic arson attack which has burned the structures the children play on. This donation will go towards rebuilding the playground and help to resume services as soon as they are able to re-open. This is very close to us as it’s in our area we live in so has directly affected the community around us.”
It doesn’t get much lower than setting fire to a vulnerable children’s adventure park. Join Born On Road via their Facebook page throughout the weekend. Celebrating the release of Gold Dubs’ debut album (which dropped today) vibes will range from another fun-filled b2b from T>I & Upgrade to Inja’s Sunday Service via UK hip-hop dons The Nextmen and many many more big guns such as DJ Hybrid, Euphonique, Nicky Blackmarket and more. You can donate to their chosen charities here. Full event details here. See you in the chat.
The first ever drum & bass production battle. Dub Wars is devilish in its simplicity… A knock-out contest with weekly rounds, each artist gets sent a sample pack and has five days to turn them into a banger brazen enough to slay their competitor. The only rules are that the tracks must include all samples and be over three minutes long. Contestents include MD, HLZ, Wreckless, Ill Truth, Wingz, Hadley, Creatures, Missledz and more.
The best twist about this contest, however, is that while you know who’s up against each other in each round, when it comes to the voting process, the audio is presented anonymously. No popularity contests; the music is doing all the talking here.
Run by Rebel Music, sponsored by Native Instruments, the first battle was drawn last Sunday and the 16 acts have all been hard at work this week working on their dubs. Voting commences 9pm Friday night and is open for 48 hours. On Sunday 9pm the winners will be announced and the following week’s rounds will be drawn on the Rebel Music Instagram. Expect live commentary on the dubs over the weekend from the likes of Benny L, GQ, Chef and Darryl Invaderz.
We collared some contestants for more commentary…
“I’m really into the format and dynamic Dub Wars has and that is what drew me to it if I’m honest. I think there are too many competitions, especially within the D&B scene where by everything whittles down to a popularity contest. Whoever has the biggest fan base or friends list wins. This isn’t like that. This is strictly, which music do you think is the best out of the two submissions. Back to the roots of why we all do this and why people get into this music to begin with. This competition opens up a lot of avenues for the new people, or the underdogs as well, and that’s exciting for me. Who doesn’t love a bit of an upset or the underdog to win?” Ill Truth
“I’m against Hadley. How do I feel? Lemme tell you a quick story… Paul, one year ago, came to my place for some private music production tuition and I was like ‘dude, honestly, you don’t really need it!’ His tracks were killer and are even more killer now! That’s a tough match, but I’m looking forward to it.” HLZ
“I love being put out of my comfort zone, it sparks your inspiration and the tight deadline actually makes you do stuff. For Missledz I’ll say you have to bring your A-game to stand a chance because I am on a hot streak right now!” Wingz
“The Dub Wars challenge, and being drawn against Wingz, has been a positive for me as I feel it’s brought out my best work. I’m trying new techniques, taking risks, and getting more intricate with the little details. It’s also been really lovely to be part of it as the group is providing entertainment and social interaction, which is super important at the moment!” Missledz
The social interaction is open to everyone, too. Dub Wars has established a group page for fans and participants to get involved in and it’s already stacking up the members and piling up the memes.
There’s some heavyweight action loading up behind it, too; the sample packs the contestants using in the battles aren’t just any old beat bundles, they’re being provided by the likes of Ulterior Motive, Amoss and Invaderz. Weapons grade tackle. Get involved and place your bets…
The DNB Raffle
If war talk and battle betting is a little too strong for you right now then how about a little light gambling horseplay with The DNB Raffle?
An NHS fund-raising initiative from Pick N Mix Records, they’ve amassed some very impressive, unique prizes. For the producers among us prizes include a collaboration with Voltage (!?!) a collab with Citrusfly, a remix from Total Recall, a production lesson from Heist, a website, a bio and mastering session with Guzi.
Meanwhile prizes for the non producing music lovers and DJ include £100 Juno voucher, £50 Bowlcut Garms credit, Wonky Goose merch, Low Down Deep merch and tickets to Bou & Haribo shows. Tickets are just £2 each and so far they’ve raised over £1200.
“My grandad works for he NHS and a lot of my family use it every day for all kinds of reasons,” explains TJ, Pick N Mix bossman. “Everyone’s doing streams so I thought ‘let’s see what we can do…’ I don’t think anyone’s ever done a drum & bass raffle before so I messaged some people and this is what we’ve come up. So many amazing people have contributed and got involved to help with the artwork and website. It’s been inspiring.”
TJ explains how the raffle was inspired by the first Stay At Home Festival. “Onyx changed the game completely,” he says. “To raise over £17,000 was mad. I think a lot of people were inspired by that. I certainly was. I didn’t do much for the first two weeks of lockdown but that made me think ‘okay, this is what we need to do.’ There’s so much drama going on in the scene but it’s much more inspiring when we can come together like this and do something positive.”
Bou, Ray Keith, Euphonique, Rowney, Motiv, Sl8r, Sappo, Dawn Raid, Nvrsoft and many more have united to create a tribute album to Manchester artist Adam Wigglesworth, known to everyone as Wiggo, who tragically died on April 3. The For Wiggo LP comprises over 45 tracks and 100% of the proceeds will go to his family.
“In the past, whenever we’ve lost someone as loved as Adam Wiggo, we have a send-off rave and raise money to give to the family towards the funeral costs. We give them a proper send off,” explains James Galloway, Grand Theft Audio co-founder and member of Program trio Sola, who’s organised the album.
“It’s a tradition as far back as I can remember. But we can’t do that this time because of the virus. He was a producer, he knew a lot of producers, I put the feelers out there and I got an incredible response.”
As the project developed, James found many of the contributors weren’t just sending unreleased tracks that hadn’t been signed by labels but were making tracks from scratch especially with Wiggo in mind. “It’s like a musical eulogy,” says James. “People said they felt they weren’t able to say goodbye properly, but when they sat down and wrote, the music just seemed to flow out. They found it was cathartic, I wasn’t expecting that so it was an added bonus.”
The album is set for release next month and will be available on all platforms as, James describes, a musical memorial. The plan, on release week, is to get the album to number one in the download charts. With the amount of momentum it has behind it, we wouldn’t be surprised if they succeed. A personal album comprising many of his close friends, it’s yet another example of inspiring and supportive scene unity.
“Adam was the life and soul of the party, always grinning and chatting to everyone, and the first to be on the dancefloor every time,” says James. “He was generous with his time. When I was going through some writer’s block he was there with tips and support, he never asked for anything in return and was happy for other people’s successes.”
Wiggo, who released music as both Wiggo and dBrief, will never be forgotten. There’s a plan by his friends, once lockdown is over, to visit his studio and see what music he had on his hard drive and look to create another album to raise more money for his family. His parents have posted saying how taken aback they are at how generous and supportive the scene has been and what a comfort it has brought them in such a difficult time. Full release details will be revealed over the coming weeks, follow this page and join the event for more release details as they’re announced and how to get Wiggo to number one when the album is released.
Friday and Saturday see the launch of a brand new dubstep streaming event Virtual Bass. The first of its kind to be hosted on VRchat, a platform that’s free to download on Steam, the virtual raves kick off at 3pm PST on both days and features the likes of Barely Alive, Oolacile, Dr Ozi, Leotrix, Akeos and many more.
“We believe that VR festivals will be a new norm in the future in terms of performances and may allow artists to express themselves more and feel safer doing it,” explains Bolt Action, the Virtual Bass event founder. “As well as that the listeners, ravers, headbangers, artists, everyone feels safe. You can block people if they are rude, You don’t have to worry about ear damage, You’re in the safety of your own home, You can still be with your friends and experience the show together and have almost the same experience like a real festival. We also have no budget and we made this because we are simply passionate.”
The shows are accessible on Twitch, so you don’t need a VR headset to enjoy the experience, but judging by the looks of the stage, you’d definitely benefit from some. Dope. (For more VR rave action, don’t forget Koven are launching their own virtual club, too) Head to VRChat for more information the Virtual Bass Twitch.
The stage is complete! 🔥 Excellent work from the whole crew. Absolutely cannot wait to show you our first event! pic.twitter.com/ktND6VUkim
— Virtual Bass (@VirtualBass) May 14, 2020
Unchained Remix Competition
A shout to all rising new producers with spare time (AKA – everyone) You’ve got no excuse not to enter this contest from China’s current king of gully Unchained. They’ve uploaded the stems for their debut release from 2018: Subp Yao’s Backwitda and they want you to do your best damage with them.
“The main reason we started this remix competition is to discover new and emerging talent from around the world,” says label co-founder Daniel Power. “Also with so many people under lockdown right now, and many not having an easy time, hopefully these stems can bring a little inspiration and enjoyment. Subp Yao’s Backwitda was the tune that kicked things off for Unchained Recordings a tune that is deep in our hearts and we believe that this competition can maybe kick things off for someone too!”
Grab everything you need here, you have until June 7 and with a label’s repertoire as broad as Unchained’s, you’re free to submit whatever far-out style you gosh-darned like. (Check out their Year Of The Rat VA LP from earlier this year for a full-strength range of their sounds)
Next Weekend… The Fiber Pianist
Think of a D&B tune, any tune. Now think of it covered elegantly on the ivories. And start looking forward to next weekend as The Fiber Pianist – the Dutch legend who’s been flipping D&B into piano covers for the last few years – will launch his first live stream on Twitch and he’s taking requests. It’s happening on May 23 and, thanks to his pitch perfect ears, you can request tunes he doesn’t even know or has never even played. Just give him two minutes and he’ll knock your symphonic socks off. Follow him for more information.
Virtual raves, wholesome wars, exciting competitions and an example of how community really works in D&B and loads more… That’s it from the Anti-Virus hot desk for this week. Keep our editor up to date with your lockdown related projects, missions, endeavours on firstname.lastname@example.org. Take care.