Beat Assassins' favourite places to party.
The reformed Beat Assassins has continued his drum & bass adventure with a string of big releases since we last spoke to him. He's back again with another big track, and this time he's crossing boundaries. 'War Dem' is a drum & bass, grime crossover that features vocals from Miss Stylie.
It's an awesome fusion of styles that showcases Beat Assassins' production skills. It's 174 bpm but on the half beat with a grimey bassline that works perfectly with Miss Stylie's urban edged vocals. Keeping things drum & bass, Beat Assasins turned to Trei to sort a beefy banger - so good Friction premier it on his show.
Crossing boundaries in sound is one thing, but given the history of Beat Assasins we know he likes to cross country borders too. Given his experience playing at parties around the world we asked him what five favourite cities to party in are.
1. London, United Kingdom
OK! Maybe not the exotic destination readers might have expected. I'm sure some reading this might wonder why I haven't picked an amazing location in Vietnam with spectacular sunsets? But for me London is still by far the best city in the world to DJ in.
Why? Well for a start it's my home town. It's where I discovered dance music and where I have experienced some of the best parties and raves in the world, legal & illegal. London crowds are awesome but can be (to some extent) quite hard to please. However, if you bring something fresh to the party and deliver a banging DJ set the place goes off. Smashing it in London really means something. It's a seal of approval and that you are doing something right. It is a discerning crowd, but if you step up to the plate and deliver, you will be rewarded and your reputation will spread to other cities.
I also love the "back to mine" culture. That after party mentality the Brits have and that is really missing from many cities I've DJed in around the world.
But what does worry me (and sorry to get political) is the alarming rate at which the clubs and venues are being shut down. Property developers are raping this city of venues. The ease at which the authorities closed down Fabric is scary. They said it was to do with drug related deaths but there have been recent drug related deaths at the Dorchester Hotel. I don't see then shutting that down. I then find out there's a 200 million pound development planned on Fabric's doorstep. I'm worried if this carries on London will be dead to nightlife.
2. Krakow, Poland
Krakow is an architecturally beautiful city. If you get a chance to DJ there make sure you get a late flight home because you will want to walk round this spectacular place. However if you do book a late flight be warned, you may not see the city. Why? The reason is this!
When you DJ in Krakow the welcome you get off the Polish fans is amazing. After your set everyone in the club wants to buy you a vodka shot. This is pure Polish vodka not some supermarket rubbish. Try and say, "NO!" You can't! When it comes to vodka shots the Polish don't have a word for no. So instead of seeing that beautiful city, you're lying in your hotel room nursing the hangover from hell. Best you book your flight the day before the gig, not the day after.
I remember one particular night playing at the Roentgen Club in Krakow. The promoter Marcin got me so inebriated before a morning Ryan Air flight home, all I could do was sit on the plane with a coat over my head desperately trying not to puke. Every time I took my coat off, the yellow Ryan Air branding just made me want to heave.
3. Malaga, Spain
DJing in Spain is an experience for sure. Sometimes for good reason and sometimes for bad.
The Spanish love to party and they do it very differently to the Brits. A peak time DJ set in UK would be from around 1.00am to 3am. In Spain it's more like 5am to 6am. The Spanish don't start turning up to the club until around 1am. Then for 2 to 3 hrs they party round their cars with their stereos cranked up. At 4am they might consider going into the club. By 6am the place is jumping.
I've DJed at lot's of festivals in and around Malaga. If there is a spare bit of ground a sound system goes up and a festival is held.
Spain's health and safety laws appear to be very different to the UK. I remember DJing in a Malaga club and I heard someone shout, "FIGHT." I looked up and saw people running away from the stage. Then three big Spanish dudes came over and blasted the stage with fire extinguishers. It wasn't fight they were shouting it was, "FIRE!" The stage I was on had caught fire underneath. Once the fire was out the Spanish all shrugged and then signalled to me to carry on. If that happened in the UK there would be an immediate evacuation of the club, then an investigation and the club would be closed until further notice.
4. Moscow, Russia
I think it's very sad that the UK and Russian governments are again locked into a cold war battle. Because the Russian drum & bass / breaks fans have a passion for the music I've rarely seen in other countries. The raves are monstrous and the Russians go crazy for it!
I went to DJ one winters Thursday night in Moscow and had a connecting flight in Switzerland. I missed this flight due to snow. So I caught the next flight to Moscow. This meant I didn't actually land until 3am. I got to the club around 4am. I was tired and hungry but wanted to DJ straight away because I was worried the crowd would be gone. The Russian promoter insisted I eat and rested. "Don't worry!" he said, "The crowd will wait." And they did! I walked out on the stage at 5am and the club was still packed on a winters Thursday night. The cheer that went up was incredible. The crowd sang every word and then I was mobbed with fans holding records wanting autographs. That is dedication!
5. Saint Helier, Jersey
The island of Jersey was a fascinating place to go and DJ. I remember supporting Pendulum one night in Saint Heleir. The crowd was jumping and everyone looked really off their tits. But there are no drugs on the island of Jersey. The dealers don't go there. It is drug free.
The promoter explained to me that on Jersey the kids took legal highs. "WOW!" I said, " Those things are dangerous. You don't know what's in them." The promoter explained to me, he actually does. He was like a chemist. He seemed to know the chemical makeup of all these legal substances. I went back to his house for an after party and he had these charts of the chemical formulas for the legal highs. He understood them all and knew which ones could be harmful. He literally was a legal high geek and was doing his best to keep everyone safe.
I'm sure now everything has changed on Jersey with the new legislation being brought in to prohibit legal highs but it was a real eye opener for me I can tell you.
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