What with another Outlook done and dusted (literally... we’re really dusty), our ears are still ringing from all those low frequencies, ragga MC bars and speaker stacks firing out the finest riddims. The picturesque Croatian fort and its beachside stages were yet again filled to bursting with bass fans from all over the world, and so here are the ten tracks that made the biggest impression on DJ Mag over those four sun-drenched days...
Stormzy 'Shut Up Freestyle'
Grime was big in Pula this year. There should’ve been a counter for the times the words “where do you know me from”, “man don’t care about all that”, and “if that makes me a backup dancer, man in your vids, backup dancer” were spoken over the four days (not forgetting “trusss mi dadi”). It was Stormzy’s fire in the park freestyle, over XTC’s ‘Functions on the Low’, that got dropped to maximum effect, when Butterz’s Elijah & Skilliam took over The Void for a Just Jam broadcast.
Commodo, Kahn & Gantz 'AMK'
It was all about the Bandulu boat party on Friday night where we took to the high seas with Kahn & Neek, Stormzy, Commodo, Flowdan, Hi5 Ghost and Boofy. There were bound to be some snippets of the forthcoming Commodo, Kahn & Gantz Deep Medi LP and sure enough, standout cut ‘AMK’, with its creeping Eastern melodies and ten tonne bassweight, gave us more than enough to meditate on.
Protoje 'Who Knows (ft. Chronixx)'
Protoje & The Indiggnation gave an incredible appearance at the Harbour on Sunday, treating us to a live rendition of ‘Stylin’’ and, of course, ‘Who Knows’, which prompted a hands high singalong of the feelgood revival reggae hit.
Omni Trio 'Renegade Snares'
We were taken back to the old skool multiple times throughout the festival, but it was Omni Trio’s cult classic ‘Renegade Snares’ that kept cropping up, with its killer vocal hook and crushing breaks. Coupled with the beach stage, a cocktail and the setting sun, the scene-shaping jungle anthem got the kind of setting it rightly deserves when spun.
Paleman 'Like O'
Paleman hoisted himself into the moat of Outlook’s Tomb Raider-esque fort, practically making it sink underneath the weight of his assorted dance weaponry. And naturally the Swamp 81 soon-to-be classic 'Like O', with its worming panpipe hook, did some stone-crumbling damage (probably) when he let it loose.
Jurassic 5 'What’s Golden'
The hip-hop outfit took to Pula’s vast amphitheatre — which must rank up there as one of the coolest concert venues in the world — for the opening ceremony that also counted Roni Size and SBTRKT on its bill. After their 7-year hiatus, Chali 2na, Akil, Zaakir, Mark 7even, Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark stormed the arena to play a rundown of the hits to some Gladiator ghosts.
Solo 45 'Feed Em To The Lions'
Another tune that set crowds roaring was Preditah-produced Solo 45 cut, 'Feed Em To The Lions'. With that signature grimy bass and rough and ready vocals from the Boy Better Know MC, it’s a track that might not have any sort of subtlety to it, but goes off when played out.
Loefah 'Disko Rekah'
We spent Thursday night at Mungo’s Arena for the DMZ showcase, getting handed a large helping of sub pressure from the likes of Mala, Gantz and Truth. Stampeding out of the system came the Swamp head’s ruffneck dubstep cut, taking us all the way back to ‘07 with that unmistakable rumbling low end.
Chase & Status 'Saxon'
One of the more unexpected resurfacers (along with, bizarrely, Alex Gaudino’s ‘Destination Unknown’), the 2009 Metallica-sampling tune was getting thrown around absolutely everywhere, showing that it still stands up as a stone-cold banger.
Rebound X 'Rhythm ‘n’ Gash'
Last but not least, it was the 2007 Rebound X classic that got played out the most without a shadow of a doubt. We were treated to every refix under the sun as it managed, without fail, to get the crowd hyped each and every time. Rhythm 'n' Gash girl is surely owed a few more PRS payments now.
Photo by Dan Medhurst.