REVIEW: CARNIVAL REBOOT
Notting Hill Carnival's CMC Matrix Stage
CMC Matrix Soundsystem has been a staple of Notting Hill Carnival for over 27 years.
The stage started back in 1987 and the soundsystem hasn't moved since.
With numbers rising each year, the roads get busier; there's more police, more Red Stripe and the stages are, well, more ram jam than Mr David Rodigan himself.
This year, it was no different with reportedly over 1m in attendance and temperatures rising to a sweltering 30 degrees. August Bank holiday is back to its best this year.
The CMC soundsystem has a rich history in playing electronic music and started playing electro and also grasped hip hop at a very early stage, before moving into breakbeat and finally dnb, which it has stuck with ever since.
Over the years, some legendary DJs have graced the stage to represent the dnb sound. Ray Keith, Bryan G, Nicky Blackmarket, Jumping Jack Frost, Ash-A-Tack, Basher, MC Foxy and MC Fats are just a few. But the last couple of years they've begin handing the stage over to the up-and-coming talent to help let the next generation shine.
Situated on the All Saints Road towards Lavastock Park, CMC is one of the most recognised soundsystems at Carnival alongside the likes of Good Times and Sancho Panza, serving as the most prominent dnb force each year. It's also one of the few remaining DIY built soundsystems and, according to the man behind it, Cecil, they've haven't blown a speaker... yet!
To its credit, The CMC Matrix lives on and continues to get stronger by never forgetting its roots and without compromising its music policy. There for the party, the vibes, the people and not the advertisement... A far cry from the corporate brands and major label collabs cashing in on the cultural credibility of Notting Hill Carnival, CMC is a breath of fresh air. Roll on 2014.
Words: James Kenyon