Alright, so while it briefly crossed my mind to check out Candyland 14 this past Saturday, in the end I just couldn't bring myself to do so. I attended a couple of the early numbered editions of this party in the late '90s/early '00s, and then popped back in last year, when it was at Soho Studios. The reduced nature of the event was a little depressing, as was the stuck-in-the-past feeling of some of the musical programming, attendees' dress styles, and "decor" (mattresses on cinder blocks in the dubstep/d'n'b room, for real).
So retooling at White Room this year, and adding some fresh promotion blood from teams like Embrace, was a good idea. But also, with a narrowed musical focus on bass-y stuff, the line-up wasn't too far off from any of the usual recent Saturday nights at the club.
Luckily a YouTube user named KubanBlood just uploaded a bunch of clips for those of us who missed it. Here's a video of A-Sides spinning in the BassHead-sponsored room, and what's crazy about this is you can tell the room was packed, with people going off to drum 'n' bass, complete with a millennial-style MC and everything! Jungle MCing was usually a pretty rote, even tedious affair, but the best MCs knew when to get the crowd hyped, and when to shut the fuck up. According to some Internet commenter the MC on this video of A-sides is Jumanji.
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Is drum 'n' bass due for a revisit, possibly? Dubstep is so trendy right now, maybe people will want to know where it came from.... Or maybe d'n'b eventually proved t too limited a genre and should just be left alone. Still, itss originators can still get away with playing it, and Dieselboy is one of them, one of the American titans responsible for first bringing the sound to our shores. Here's a video of the beginning of his set at Candyland 14, which wasted no time in starting out with some hard, filthy tech step. Do aficionados even still call it tech step? (For a real hair-splitting mind fuck, check out the Wikipedia articles on "drum 'n 'bass subgenres;" I must have missed "clownstep" the first time around.)
Whatever, notice how the whole intro to this track is basically a dubstep song; the drum 'n' bass difference is just that it eventually speeds up. A lot of color-by-number dubstep songs can sound like drum'n'bass tracks that forgot to go somewhere. Then again, late-period tech-step and "drill n bass" tracks took d'n'b, once a soulful genre, into some overly dark, overly fast turf that eventually turned off pretty much all females, which in turn helped kill the scene.... I'm rambling now, so here's that Dieselboy video. If you go to KubanBlood's YouTube channel, you can find two more videos of his set, and some others from the party.