By Oscar Mortimer
Save the date! Friday the 16th of February marks a special moment in the Drum and Bass calendar, as SQUARE ONE welcomes the EATBRAIN League to Rescue Rooms for what is sure to be a history-making rave. I’ll be there, and I have already drafted a will in the likely event that I am killed by the bass. May my organs go to science, except for my brain, which of course will have been eaten...
You would be forgiven if you don’t know a huge amount about EATBRAIN. In the UK, their stake on the DnB scene is fairly small, but you will see their unmistakeable name on many larger bass music festivals. I personally caught a glimpse of them at Boomtown last year in the Scrapyard, and judging by how I lurched around the campsite like a rugged, overly polite zombie the following morning; you could say I had a right knees up!
On the continent, EATBRAIN is an establishment infamous for producing the highest quality Neurofunk around. Indeed, just like in football, Europe plays host to the league of champions. Currently supporting 64 individual artists, EATBRAIN is packing more diversity than an advert for a private secondary school, and boasts a sensational roster of stars, making it a label synonymous with DnB itself. They have never played a club night north of London when visiting the UK, and February 16th will see them add Nottingham to their list of conquests.
And what of the music they make? Neurofunk is like the shadow to DnB’s Sonic (Ugandan Knuckles we will assume is half-time). It’s darker, faster, and arguably cooler. Ever noticed how a DnB rave is among one of the only settings where you will see a bucket-hatted scaffolder with a love of Nike pouches, and a bearded man in an Iron Maiden t-shirt shake hands? Well you have Neurofunk to thank for this. It’s a subgenre that I would say perfectly illustrates the unifying quality of DnB, whilst simultaneously delivering a sound that hits you so hard, you forget your mother’s maiden name. Brash, in your face and unapologetic; Neurofunk provides an experience you won’t find anywhere else in the genre by creating a true vessel through which you can lose control and release your inhibitions.
For the event, they will be dispatching 4 of their incredible artists to tantalize Nottingham’s musical tastes. This ensemble consists of three DJs and one MC, who will play back to back over a two and a half hour stretch NAFR (Not Accounting for Reloads, of which there are bound to be some). This b2b (back to back) formula will allow EATBRAIN’s ambassadors to take you on a mystical musical journey into the realms of Neurofunk. It will be an unrelenting display of bone crushing rhythms that will clatter around inside your head like that night you accidently left your keys in your jean pocket before a wash. Survive, and you will be left craving more.
First to appear on their list is Jade, the founder and owner of the label and a DJ whose musical journey spans almost 20 years. He is the architect behind the ground-breaking label and is credited with being instrumental in building it’s global appeal.
He will be joined by Mindscape, another seasoned veteran who has collaborated productively with the likes of Noisia, Black Sun Empire, and Break. An artist whose sound is dark, dangerous and definitely not one to miss.
The third name on the night is Fourward. Fourward is one of the best things to come out of Austria since apple strudel, a collective of DJs who produce some of the most mind-bending DnB around, and who will likely bend the foundations of Rescue Rooms with it. I personally can’t wait to see them. It was their pounding rhythms that wretched me fourth out of bed twice in a row as I desperately tried to hold things together over Innovation in The Dam 2016 at the height of Dutch flu season. I owe them thanks and praise, and I intend to give it to them.
Last but by no means least, this whole event will be mic championed over by Nuklear MC, who I would argue lives up to his namesake with his profound explosive vocal talent, and lends a whole new experience on every track that he touches. His cutting rhymes will be the icing on EATBRAINS filth covered Neurofunk cake on the night.
You can also expect to see home-grown talent strutting its stuff on the 16th in the form of SQUARE ONE’s residents. A group of dedicated Drum and Bass enthusiasts whose performances are known to match the mastery of some of the best names in the business. This event will showcase all of the greatness from the darker corners of the genre as a whole. If you love your bass heavy, your energy levels high, your room shaking, and your adrenaline pumping, then this is a night you can’t afford to pass up! Or alternatively, if you are someone who wants to try something new and widen your musical palette, then this event is an ideal opportunity to experience the Neurofunk scene. And a rare opportunity at that.