Saturday, May 4, 2013

New Review: Dara @ SD Union 4/20/13

With another hot session of SD Union bearing down upon us 5/18 (American Jungle will be filming and Metalheadz's Hybris will be playing, but that's fodder for another post), I think it's definitely time to highlight one of these monthly events from the back end, and really laud what goes on.  SD Union has been a monthly DnB event that's been hitting SD with top notch talent for a few years now, and it seems things are only getting better.  I'm continually surprised at the talent they're able to pull, and Ridda and the Technical Support crew are also giving our crush of amazing local talent a high-profile venue to showcase their abilities.  I really hope everyone gets and appreciates how lucky we are in San Diego to have something like that.  In today's climate in the US, it's all too rare.

DJ Dara was at the special 4/20 edition of  SD Union, and he of course did not disappoint.  As I've discussed, Dara is one of a handful of first-tier DnB in the US along with DB, Dieselboy and Odi, who brought the genre stateside in 1993/1994.  I have a ton of respect for these early pioneers who are also still just as involved as they used to be, not having ditched our fiercely underground culture in the late 90s when DnB was really popular in the US for MTV and popular culture, or merging too willingly with our disappointing stepchild, dubstep.  Dara's DnB in 2013 is still the purest snare-driven, slightly liquid-styled Drum and Bass as it was almost 20 years ago.  At this event, I can remember being in front, dancing my face off and hearing the same style and energy as I heard in the vintage mixtape I have of him and DB at Bassrush '94.  It was heartwarming and bassface-inducing all at once.

Speaking to the excellent local talent, I managed to get there early to see most Havok Mega's set, which was fire.  I remember him saying something on Facebook about "the lighter side of Havok Mega."  If you were there and that was the "lighter side" and you couldn't handle it, you may not be strong enough for his headline sets  It was still that classic griminess which makes Havok one of the few DJs for whom I will arrive to a party before 11pm.  Also on the tagteam were MK Ultra and Ghost MD, who gave us some great dark tunes and really smooth transitions.  I almost cried when MK Ultra dusted off "Warhead" by Dj Krust and Bad Company's "The Nine", classic 1996 golden era plates.  The local talent really brought it once again.

Aside from all the magnificent music, the art from Elektrofied, the charity event that the Ruby Room had sponsored earlier in the month, was still on display, so my friends and I got to take a look at it - very cool stuff.  My favourites were the pieces that were basically collages of old tapes (I could NEVER re-purpose mine like that) with paintings over top.  I had fun seeing which tapes the artist used  A lot of cheesy 90s r&b, so that was much appreciated.  The pics are below.

All in all, it was another smash-up SD Union, and I can't wait for the next one.  As I gushed above, I really appreciate this monthly event - for quite a while and I'm sure for years to come it has been the bellows of San Diego's and even Southern California's DnB scene, breathing new life into it each month.  Great job, guys.

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