Saturday 6th October in Liverpool saw a resurrection. The evening was a celebration; everyone thought that the dance night Chibuku, an institution for many local revellers, had given its final curtain call and that the Masque was closing its doors. However, after it’s first break in 13 years,Chibuku graced The Masque once again. And what a night it was.
Chibuku has built up a reputation to be reckoned with and for the first night in its Autumn calendar it had a strong lineup. As the doors opened at quarter past 10, resident Chibuku DJs James Rand & Rich Furness set the scene for the utter madness to follow.
In the Theatre, Rand provided some smooth techno beats that soon become irresistible to those watching- the first to break into dancing gave me a high five as I nodded my appreciation. Meanwhile in the Loft, Furness provideded some heavy basslines that bordered almost on dubstep at some points; my brain almost felt like it is going to explode. Thank god it didn’t, for there was a lot more to come.
Later, in the Theatre, Techno made a grand return; it’s not surprising Chibuku’s launch night served up some of the biggest names in the genre today, as Techno has been a prominent sound in Chibuku’s history. First up at 11 is Mosca, an interesting act because he refuses to be pigeon holed into one genre. Cooking up a perfect infusion of beats and sounds, his set displays how inventive techno can be and it’s no surprise he’s a new recruit to Radio 1; I’ll certainly be tuning in, and I’m sure the crowd will too.
At half 12 Mosca and headliner Ben Klock switched, and a blue hue descended over a subtle synth line; the crowd knew they were in for something special and the German DJ held nothing back. He had the crowd at his command as he raised the standards for all trying to play his game, and is a tough act to follow for closer Blawan. However, as one of the most exciting techno producers in the UK, he provided those that remain in the theatre with the perfect end.
Upstairs, the order of the day in the Loft was Drum N’ Bass, in celebration of RAM records. The British independent label has been producing the finest Drum N’ Bass for 20 years now, and so it was only fitting for it to offer up some heavyweights in the industry. DC Company came on at half 11 and immediately set the pace, offering up an eclectic mix- Sub Focus‘s recent hit “Out The Blue” is received with the whole crowd jumping in time.
When Loadstar come on at half 12, they build on what the previous duo created, mixing their own offerings (“Second Skin” is a particular highlight) with other notable hits, including Tantrum Desire‘s “Reach”. When Andy C begins his headline set at half 1, it’s astounding the crowd has any energy left. However, this man is one of Drum N Bass’s pioneers; it would be a shame not to give him a nice warm Liverpool welcome, and the crowd do not disappoint.
It’s hard to describe what pulses through you in the center of the Loft as the drop approaches; the flashing lights blind you, and when MC GQ tells you to “jump,” you jump, pounding the floor relentlessly. It’s testament to how much Chibuku has been missed and gives a glimmer of what’s to come over the next few weeks. With Techno and Drum N’ Bass offering something for any electronic dance music nutter, it’s safe to say Chibuku is back. Just try and stop yourself from going.
/ By Jack Graysmark