Event - Fear Not LP Tour
Venue - Sandwiches, Wellington
Date – Saturday 14th July 2012
I’m not really much of a clubber these days. I think that I left myself so totally sleep deprived through my twenties that my body is desperately trying to catch up. If I ever go out, it takes me about a week to recover and as such, my nights out are few and far between.
That notwithstanding, the potential for a Hospital Records artist playing in Wellington on a weekend was enough to get me off my sofa earlier this month. (If drum & bass artists come through Wellington, it’s often on a Thursday, because they can play larger clubs, in larger cities such as Auckland, Sydney or Melbourne, with significantly larger paycheques, at the weekend).
I only joined the iPod generation in 2008 when I left the UK and have intermittently listened to the Hospital Podcast since then – getting my monthly fix of soulful D&B from the label MD, Tony Colman (aka London Elektricity). I bought a lot of Hospital’s early/mid period releases but find a fair bit of their recent stuff a bit too dayglo (i.e. trancey pads and wailing diva's) for my liking.
We equipped ourselves for Logistics 1am set by going to a late showing at the Cinema and arrived at the venue at 12.45 after stopping for a couple of drinks at the quietest bar that we could find round the corner. (Rock & roll, eh?)
Frustratingly, considering our efforts to coincide our arrival with his set starting, the man Grisham actually came on about 45 minutes late. However, the warm up DJ was actually much better than most NZ Residents that I’ve seen. (A trip to NZ’s Phat Drum & Bass Festival for NYE 2010 totally put me off the entire genre in this country: one dimensional, aggro heavy metal-esque D&B is des rigeur).
Logistics played a great set, lots of teases, lots of familiar tunes and a fair bit of drumstep.
Seeing him DJ also happened to coincide with a sale in the Hospital Records web store.
Even though it’s brand new out, Logistics “Fear Not” LP pack was on special at a tenner, so I was keen to pick it up and see what we’d heard at Sandwiches. The somewhat bright cover art is carried over to the CD version and a sticker pack. It’s cut as four 1 track per side 12”s, which might not be the most environmentally friendly or cost effective way of making a record, but means that you can use the pressings alongside 12” singles for DJ’ing purposes. After the first listen, I’m actually just as interested in the non-D&B tracks on here.
I also picked up a copy of Danny Byrd’s “Supersized” LP, which is a 2 x 12” version. I didn’t like Byrd’s most recent “Rave Digger” LP, but bought this largely off the strength of “Gold Rush” which is a collaboration with The Brookes Brothers. “Gold Rush” works around several heavily processed vocal samples and owes a large debt to Todd Edwards work. (Byrd is apparently a big house and garage fan and his work certainly echoes that).
As more of a ‘listening’ based LP, I also picked up a copy of Zed Bias’ & Injekta’s “Phuturistix” project from 2003. A former girlfriend of my then housemate worked at Hospital and sent him this on CD when it came out. I remember liking it (and a lot of other UK Garage) at the time, so thought that five quid was a bit of bargain for the LP.
I heard a track of this recently on the Hospital podcast (it was re-released as part of their “Sub-150” MP3 Compilation) and was taken aback at how current it sounds. The whole LP is amazingly executed and walks the fine line between jazzy broken beat and proper bassline orientated Garage. (Zed Bias is seen as pioneer and major influence on the dubstep sound).
Lastly, I’ve also picked up Total Science legend Q-Project’s solo LP, “Renaissance Man”. The LP cover’s one of the strangest drum & bass LP covers I’ve seen, but hey – at least it’s not a skull or a spaceship, as someone once said. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vCRKRopfMU).
Branding and design is clearly of huge importance to Hospital and whilst I didn’t actually buy it alongside these recent acquisitions, I also actually have the limited edition, “Visual Compendium of Hospital Records” book, released to celebrate Hospital’s 200th release (NHS200).