REVIEW: Square One 3rd Birthday

By Oscar Mortimer

The autumn raving season really is in full swing now, and my calendar is overflowing with tantalising evening treats for me to sink my musical teeth into. The 20th October saw me return once again to Nottingham for Square One. A different occasion to when I was last there, no rooftop rave, and probably a good thing with all the hurricanes and what not. This time I would be revisiting Rescue Rooms to cut the cake, and maybe cut a shape or two, for Square One’s third birthday… they grow up so fast.

Square One Nottingham

The line-up looked formidable, the venue is personal favourite of mine, and the event was totally sold out a week in advance. Needless to say, my excitement was palpable. After a stressful travel scenario courtesy of East Midlands Trains, I found myself in the queue just before 12. Rescue Rooms was absolutely bouncing by this point - I’ve never seen it look so busy.

Square One 3rd Birthday Nottingham

After a meander through the smoking area, I followed the heavy vibrations from inside onto the dancefloor just in time for the first headliner, Serum. You only need to glance at the DnB scene at the moment to notice that Serum is practically running it. 2017 is the year of the rollers, and Serum is it’s veritable patron saint. The last time I saw him was when he performed as one third of King Of The Rollers at Boomtown Fair (arguably the best set of the weekend). With rumours of new releases on the way, he was my go to act of the night.

Square One Nottingham

Serum did not disappoint, stretching the capabilities of the sound systems in the venue to their limits (at the cost of my eardrums). As soon as his opening tune dropped, the room exploded into a sea of gun fingers and snarled lips. The following hour was a toe tapping mix of heavy dance floor DnB, and the rollers to which his success is owed. A great start to my night. 

Before I knew it, it was 1am and The Prototypes stepped up to the turntables. Heavy weights of the UK DnB scene, and one of the genre’s most iconic duos; their sound palette is enormous and in all my encounters with them, they have never left me unsatisfied. Tonight was no exception; they made full use of the effects on offer at rescue rooms and gave us a fast paced sequence of heavy dance floor anthems with a sensational light display to match.

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It was great to be reacquainted with The Prototypes in Nottingham once more, tunes such as ‘Electric’ and ‘Pale Blue Dot’ never go amiss at a rave, belters in their own right. They also took the opportunity to play their new tune ‘Levelz’, a sensational collaboration with Mad Hed City, which rocked Rescue Rooms to its very foundations. My head is still banging to it now.

Square One Nottingham

A brief interlude from Jayfor, and then Turno stepped up. Turno is a DJ that admittedly, I don’t have a huge amount of familiarity with. However, I am very aware of his more recent collaborations with A.M.C, an artist who I am determined to see play at some point in the future.

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Having heard some of their co-created tracks before, I didn’t know what to expect from Turno on his own aside from the assumption that it would be good…or at least worthy of appreciation. A minute had hardly passed of his set before my expectation had been confirmed. Turno exhibited a stonking portfolio of new wave jump up tunes, with some old classics to match. A totally unique hour when compared to the two previous headliners, and my personal favourite set of the night.

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As 3am passed, the venue began to thin a little; it would seem that the bass infused onslaught of the headline act had proved too exhausting for some. However, a sizeable number of revellers (myself included) were thirsty for more, and Mileage and Jayfor were all too happy to deliver. My two favourite acts to play at the previous rooftop party, they kept the bangers rolling out and the crowd jumping around a still lively dance floor.

Square One Nottingham

Jayfor surprised me again, this time showing off his versatility by taking a dive into neurofunk territory with the final set of the night, playing tunes from the likes of Noisia, Aggressor Bunx and Neonlight. By the time I stumbled toward an open cab door, my knees were weak, my ears were ringing, and my brow was moist. All hallmarks of a great Drum and Bass rave. 

Jayfor Square One

Once again, I was thoroughly impressed with the talent on display at Square One, both from the headline acts, and the residences. A larger venue also brought a larger crowd. Rescue Rooms was packed to the rafters, and that is a fact made even more impressive when one considers Chris Lorenzo was playing next door in Stealth on the same night!

Square One Nottingham

Credit is due to all of the promotional team and organisers who put the hours in to make the night a huge success. Happy Birthday Square One, and a momentous celebration it was! I look forward to their Xmas Party on 8th December (Frankee and Annix already announced) and the journey that this highly promising event paves for the future.