Renegade Hardware Vs Valve - 28-06-2003


This is Dog Fort
VIP Junglist
Nov 29, 2001
Renegade Hardware Vs Valve - 28-06-2003

After weeks of anticipation, the biggest event of this year so far in the drum & bass calendar was finally upon us. Once again it was time for the dnbforum crew to make the mission down the A3 towards London. On this occasion we were heading to the newly refurbished Coronet in Elephant & Castle for the truly gargantuan Renegade Hardware Vs. Valve Sound System event – not for the faint-hearted….believe me!!

After 4 or 5 passes of the massive queues gathered outside the venue, we finally found a parking space to dump the motor and we were ready to rock and roll. Unfortunately for us (and this review), it took us over an hour to get in due to some odd entrance arrangements where the guestlist, e-ticket and cash only queues all merged into one and nobody seemed to know if they were in the right place or not, but once inside it was time to party!

Once we were in, we headed straight for the drum & bass room, which looked very impressive indeed. The layout of the venue was excellent - the bar was straight ahead, with stairs either side leading down into the dancefloor. Looking below you could see that the heaving crowd were well up for making the most of this event, which was already starting to feel like the best night put on this year. The visuals were superb, with three huge video screens playing shots of the DJ in between some off key loops of film, creating a concert like vibe. The complex laser show was the other main attention grabber, with projections of DJ names and the infamous Hardware logo illuminating the room. The stage was brightly lit to emphasise the presence of the DJ’s and MC’s, which set the rave off nicely. It looked and sounded to me like the entire Valve Sound System was in effect, as there were a number of heavy looking, towering speaker stacks around the perimeter of the arena, and also a strategically placed stack on each staircase leading down onto the dancefloor – there was no escape from the acoustic devastation which the Valve system was causing. A definite earplug moment!!

As we took refuge at the top of the stairs overlooking the swarming dancefloor, the haunting choir and deep sub bass intro of ‘Signal’ was creating havoc to all below, played by Metalheadz don, Goldie. Militia’s ‘Music For The Masses’ was brought into the mix and the whole place went crazy. I’d never seen Goldie before and didn’t really know what to expect, but after 5 minutes I was more than convinced of his highly praised skills. In the mix now was Generation Dub’s bass heavy rework of the Total Science classic ‘Champion Sound’, a tune that has been getting cained by all the top DJ’s. Current Metalheadz anthem in the form of Danny C’s ‘Star’ was played with it’s soulfully sung intro, luring you into a false sense of security, before crashing into its monster drop. It was a shame we only caught the last 20 minutes of Goldie’s set, but what I heard was awesome.

Up next were Hardware’s very own Loxy & Ink, instantly setting the mood with techy new BC cut, ‘Bullet Time’, which sounded ultra heavy over Valve. Pendulum’s massive ‘Vault’ emerged with its melodic breakdown and huge drumroll building up to the heavyweight drop and funky triplet edit which sent the dancefloor into a frenzy. Hive’s Matrix sampled ‘Neo’ was also spun, unleashing its dirty reece and militant drums into the soundscape. The Dillinja remix of their own ‘Instinct’ was dropped with some force, making the sound system work even harder.
Danny C’s amen tearout ‘Strength’ was played, keeping the vibe deep and dark. As always, Loxy & Ink played an impressive set with enough attitude and variety to keep the dancefloor pumping.
Next up were Valve stalwarts Lemon D and Dillinja, playing for 30 minutes each. Things were about to get VERY grimey! Lemon D set the mood with his own remix of Alex Reece’s ‘Pulp Fiction’, with it’s filtered bassline breakdown and trumpet samples pulsating out of the speakers. There was a remix of his own ‘Generation X’ with the twisted punk vox intro grabbing you by the throat before slapping you round the head with it’s sharp snares just before the distorted subs slam into your chest…..maximum pain! He also played Fresh’s Valve debut, ‘Formula One’, stepping the pace up a notch. The dubs were rolling and the mixing was tight throughout Lemon D’s set……now it was time to see what the King of Valve had to offer…..Enter the Dillinja!

We claimed our space on the dancefloor just as Dillinja was lining up his fist tune. It was already obvious that this set was going to be all about the tailor made sounds from the Valve camp, customised to drive the hefty sound system to its outer limits, so we plugged our ears and waited for the subsonic battle to commence. The intro of ‘Crunch’ blasted out of the speakers, and unforgivingly dropped into the trademark Dillinja reece ‘n’ sub formula which set the bassbins throbbing and the midrange screaming. Without a doubt, this was the most intense sound system I’ve ever witnessed. The basslines whipped up the air around you, with the seismic subs rattling the insides of your ribcage – this is what I call a proper sound system! All the best Valve tracks of the previous year were played, including the superb vocal fuelled killer, ‘Warning’, the ‘Wolf’ remix, ‘South Manz’, ‘How Dare You’, and the raw remix of Bad Company’s ‘Nitrous’. The dancefloor was mad for the Dillinja sound, and every tune killed it regardless of age, which I found refreshing. Still, a handful of the freshest Valve beats were played, including the high-octane frenzy of ‘Fast Car’. It was time for the last tune from Dillinja, ‘Good Girl’, a long vocal intro before launching into a heavy amen assault. Needless to say it got a deserved rewind and went straight back to the beginning. This was a mighty set which worked the Valve stacks hard, causing maximum damage on the dancefloor.

DSCI4 boss Trace was on next, starting things proper with the Bassline Smith & Drumsound remix of ‘At The Movies’, then a few dark rollers kept the mix flowing until Bulletproof and Optiv’s rolling ‘Camouflage’ came in to play, which was rewound. It wasn’t long before his personalised copy of Tech Itch & Kemals ‘Calling VIP’ came swiftly into the mix and got rewound almost as fast. Soon after, ‘Vault’ was played again and got rewound as the crowd went mad when it dropped into its swing beat rhythm, with a cheeky tease of ‘Junglist’ thrown in for good measure. Baron’s ‘Nosher’ remix went down well on the dancefloor, then it was straight into the techno flavoured Chris SU remix of Illskillz cut ‘Cranium’, forthcoming on DSCI4. Photek’s ‘Sidewinder’ was poured into the melting pot, with it’s wicked sub and stab breakdown sounding more evil than ever on Valve. Dillinja’s ‘Listen To My Flow’ came in at breakneck pace, injecting more variety into the mix. One of the best tunes of the set was Chris SU’s ‘Bouncer’, an amen rinseout with an octave shifting wobble bass and a clever reece switch. It received a worthy rewind as the temperature on the dancefloor reached boiling point. Trace finished his set with Pendulum’s incredible ‘Back For You’ which got rewound a fair way in to the drop - a perfect tune to end the mix with. This was a very entertaining set, and highlighted Trace’s versatile mixing ability.

Unfortunately we were pretty rinsed by the time Andy C came on due to the excessive queuing earlier, so we headed off to make the journey back to Portsmouth just as ‘Signal’ touched down. No doubt he was going to cause uproar on the dancefloor – Andy C and Valve together must be a force not to be reckoned with.

What a top quality night! The sound system was plain dangerous, the DJ’s were firing on all cylinders, and the crowd was off the hook all night! The production side of the night was very slick with both the lasers and video screens contributing to an electric atmosphere. Best night of the year so far in my opinion.

Bigup all involved, especially Sarah @ TOV.

Words by M-Code
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