BEast Festival @XOYO- 10th March 2012 (Part 1)

After sending a message to Nerm online, I headed down to XOYO to the night. Engine-EarZ, Driving Lolita, Shaa’ir +Func were playing alongside Vivek, Nasha Experience, Bambooclart. Bobby Friction and Orifice Vulgatron (Foreign Beggars) presented the night with a massive reception from the crowd. It was part of the BEast festival between XOYO and CM Sounds (Community Music) that included a week of seminars at the venue with several live nights.

After catching Riz quickly, a militant sweep of vibeful garage just immersed itself into the front space. The security dudes thought I was part of the crew and offered to let me through… Oldskool garage and bass music filtered through with the likes of Ramsey & Fen, Dubaholics’, Doolally, wittyboi, Jaheim and more massive tunes.

Nerm swifted through the crowd, recognised me and ended up chilling with the crowd for the main event; personal relatives, mates and more. It was great talking to the family, friends including the guitarist of Driving Lolita and Bambooclart. D-Code briefly came through and spoke to all of us before heading out again. His height reminded me of the D&B Arena interview he had with Nerm describing him as having a large alien head. It was great talking to Dee and I felt humbled at his genuine welcome. I grew up since the age of 16 listening to Electro East, Nerms show on the BBC Asian Network and the Shiva Soundsystem mixes on radio 1’s In new DJ’s we trust so it was a moment to remember.

Shaa’ir + Func were the first band up with deep asian influences on an electro spin, soulful lyrics over shuddering bass. The music was insanely great; one of their mates in the crowd passing over a sticker immediately. The band is Monica and Randolph, playing a mix of smooth vocals over experimental electro and guitar vibes with Indian/ Asian influences. I didn’t know about them before the night but the music was great without a doubt: http://www.shaairandfunc.com

All the acts blended inwith one another seemlessly. Riz MC delivered snappy intellectual lines over punchy beats and bass. The highlight for me was his performance of Hundreds and Thousands with a mixture of oldskool drum & bass after a lyrical recital of Sour Times a psychologocal take on the perception of Muslims who are driven to commit terrorist acts. The two DJ mix competition winners played their set with a tracklist of syncopated dark grooves and all sorts of vibes ensued among the crowd. http://www.rizmc.com

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