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Now reaching its sixth year, Detonate’s yearly Indoor festival is one of Nottingham’s biggest club nights of the year. There was no doubt some tough decisions would have to be made in terms of which arenas to visit, as this year’s festival line-up included rooms hosted by the likes of Critical Sound, Outlook/Dimensions, Detonate, Basslaced (in association with Lemon & DBE) and Lost Boyz Club. Stretching over four venues – Rock City, Stealth, Rescue Rooms and The Forum – it was inevitable clashes were going to happen over the night, but in terms of getting the maximum amount of music it was worth picking one club in order to avoid queues. We selected Rock City, which was representing the freshest D&B – home for the night to artists including Kasra, S.P.Y, Andy C, Camo & Krooked, Wilkinson, Dub Phizix, and Zed Bias.
Falling on the Sunday of the UK May Bank holiday, our night kicked off with Lenzman stepping up to the decks in the Rock City Basement. Opening up the room with nothing less than smooth, soulful vibes, the Metalheadz resident dropped versatile and diverse mixes including his powerful ‘Broken Dreams’ into Marcus Intalex’s most recent ‘The Guillotine’. Ruthless MC complimented the set well, getting involved with those down at the front and keeping the bars flowing without shouting over the music. Going out on a high, the duo delivered a heavyweight hour before drawing for the close with Jubei’s popular ‘Say Nothin’, that had the room chanting the lyrics in sync.
Critical Sound boss, Kasra, ranked things up a notch for the next sixty minutes with devastatingly quick mixing. Leaving no room for doubt in his advance skills and raw talent, the tune selection was also excellent. Setting a high standard for his set, Kasra easily provided the best start for the night with Foreign Concept’s remix of ‘Organisor’ into Enei’s ‘Stonehead’. Dub Phizix and Skeptical feat. T-Man’s forthcoming ‘President’ brought the room to a standstill and was easily a highlight; tribal drums and magnetic basslines signaled the opening while the familiar lyrics “Give me a parker pen, I need to spark again…” reverberated around the room. Foreign Concept’s remix of ‘Obsession’ went down well as it was exactly a year ago at the last Indoor, when Kasra had first introduced Nottingham to Enei’s original.
At this point, the room was at its maximum capacity as Russian native, Enei was next up on the plates. Having recently started his UK tour, he played an eclectic set including releases from Ram, Critical, Shogun and Subtitles. Demonstrating his skills on the decks to be as good as his producing, impressing the crowd with tunes including SpectraSoul’s fresh remix of ‘Stonehead’ and mixing it up with Sigma’s ‘Special Dedication’. Enei and DRS’ ‘Count To Ten’ went down particularly well keeping the crowd moving, as did Ulterior Motive and Codebreaker’s recent offering ‘It’s On’.
Finding it very hard to tear ourselves away to explore the heavily populated main room of Rock City we caught a bit of Andy C showing off his supreme double and triple dropping skills. Looking like he was having an excellent time, as did the hedonistic crowd, Chase & Status’ ‘No Problem’ had the room chiming the words but the strobes during the drop were a bit overwhelming. Hazard’s ‘Mr Happy’ enjoyed a rewind before Andy rolled out new Delta Heavy material and classic Nero.
Back downstairs; Alix Perez was treating the crowd to a healthy dose of his collaborations with Foreign Beggars before the Jason Bourne-esque strings of SpectraSoul feat. Terri Walker’s ‘Light In The Dark’ had the crowd going for it. Dillinja’s timeless ‘Nasty Ways’ saw some spectacular bassfaces pulled in line with the thundery bassline that reverberated round the room. Though the room started emptying out a bit at this point, Phace & Misanthrop rewarded the crowd and brought the neurofunk vibes with tracks including ‘No!’ as well as showcasing their new powerful release, ‘Progression’.
Last on the incredible line up for the Critical room was Manchester based Dub Phizix, who delivered a deep, dark set studded with his forthcoming and most recent releases. DBR’s ‘Fortress VIP’ received a lot of love from the crowd, as did Dub Phizix and Skittles’ dub ‘Creator’. That familiar ‘Ai! Listen! Phizix! Skitty! Shadow!” introduction had the room going mental before he pulled it back for a rewind and then into his re-rub of Digital’s ‘Deadline’. Bringing the reggae in the last five minutes, Dub Phizix brought the night to an excellent close with his latest track ‘Never Been’ (feat. Fox).
Calyx and Teebee had the last hour of the night and flaunted tunes from their new album including ‘We Fall Away’, that deserved a rewind and ‘Scavenger’. Rock City’s main room suffered a couple of bass technicalities during Capone’s ‘Friday’, but this was quickly fixed before the duo treated the crowd to scratching over the top of Dub Phizix, Skeptical & Strategy’s ‘Marka’. Calyx & Teebee’s remix of Emalkay’s ‘The World’ was received very well and made a first-rate ending to our night.
It’s fair to say Detonate Indoor Festival excelled itself this year in terms of a strong diverse line up and impeccable performances from all the artists.