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CLUB REVIEW: PLAYAZ 150TH BIRTHDAY

150 and not out for d&b party-rockers

Fabric's longest-standing d&b party dips into its little black book to unleash an astonishing amount of bass on its 150th inning...

Tonight, while celebrating their 150th event at Farringdon’s Fabric, Playaz prove why they are d&b’s ultimate 360 label as they take over the venue. The line-up, which includes, of course, head honchos Hype and Pascal, also boasts a varied selection, including everyone from Hatcha to Lynx, Fabio to Sigma and Potential Badboy to Prolix, and enough MCs to create the most boisterous football team on the planet. Bass lovers are spoilt for choice as they frantically fret about the rooms trying to catch every set.

Hazard’s newest EP ‘Never The Same’ is hot property right now, making him the man of the minute to be heard; the room beyond bursting as the DJ begins his all-consuming dancefloor dirtiness. It isn’t long before we’re being bumped around by an uncontrollable amount of hype caused by the ridiculous drop, all-out wobble and unmistakable “I dreamt of the dragon”. Yes, he has unleashed Taxman’s monstrous ‘Evasion’! You can’t reach a drum & bass rave at the moment without hearing ‘Air Guitar’ at least once, and as this 'floor destroyer is his baby, it would be rude to finish the set without it, so he doesn’t, dropping the banger in climatic circumstances in its full glory. With Hazard in full gear, he drops the mix of the night; the seemingly timeless ‘Diplodocus’ melting into the menacing Tyke track ‘Buzzards’, arousing the crowd to almost dangerous exhilaration.

Floating on the high of the set we have just witnessed, we flit around the venue trying desperately to cram in as much talent as we can. Upstairs in the more intimate Room Three, Marcus Intalex is flying the Soul:R flag proud and is providing a chilled environment to retreat to, while we rejuvenate. Soul:R’s presence, however, is not restricted to Room Three, as DRS’s voice can be heard adorning tracks throughout the entire venue for the entire night.

We’re almost magnetically draw into Room Two by a familiar bassline calling to us like a mischievous old friend. Logan Sama has the whole room bouncing along to Donea’o’s ‘My Philosophy’. Room One, meanwhile, is bookended by a quartet of Playaz’ finest jump-up masters, with Original Sin B2B Subzero opening the proceedings and Taxman B2B Jaydan closing the party. Playaz have their territory marked and guarded.

A surprising name to stumble across on a Playaz line-up, maybe, but not at all surprising to see how DJ EZ and MC Viper have absolutely jam-packed a room, where there's barely enough space to buss a little skank as we sing along to Ms Dynamite’s classic ‘Boo’. Drop after drop, EZ is working his old school magic, keeping us on our toes by mixing up classics such as Sia’s ‘Little Man (Exemen Remix)’ and 702’s ‘You Don’t Know’ with new school unknown dubs. EZ delves deeper and draws for bouncy grime bangers like Musical Mob's ‘Pulse X’, leading Viper to tell the “under twenties” to “respect the old tracks”.

DJ Marky looks as if he’s relishing the vibe just as much as anyone else, as he peers over the booth with the most telling of grins. He lifts his phone high above the crowed and SP:MC asks the room to raise their hands for Marky’s pictures, and everyone happily obliges. The set is drawing to an end and Marky’s Cheshire cat-like smirk shows no sign of diminishing, as he steps back making way for the next DJ, while he happily watches the party.

If there is a DJ/MC combo more synonymous with the Playaz events than the mighty Hype and the one they call IC3, we’d like to hear of them. Hype wastes no time and drives right in with the hard-hitting dubplates, starting a frenzy of relentless moshing. Mid-set, IC3 delivers the usual goods and enters the front of the crowd, fully engaging with the ravers and pushing the set to the next level. The set is finished with the modern-day classic ‘Timewarp’, and the crowd coaxed by IC3 launch into an ongoing chant fuelled by respect and appreciation; “DJ Hype, DJ Hype” they howl, way into the start of Original Sin and Jaydan’s B2B set. Wicked vibes all night. Here’s to another 150.

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