Our review of Sun & Bass continues with coverage of the second half of the week. Check out part one here if you missed it, otherwise read on…
After three nights on the trot the crew is beginning to flag somewhat. Pro tip for anyone who hasn’t been to Sun & Bass – it’s a marathon not a sprint! We manage to work up the enthusiasm to leave the villa in the early evening to head up to Ambra Day for the live Ministry of Sound Radio broadcast with Bailey, Bryan G, Fabio and Grooverider. The tunes are painfully average though; characterless rolling liquid with little nuance or variation, blasting along at 178 or so as though speed will make up for dull beats. Back to the villa then…
The night sees our first foray to Ripping, San Teodoro’s other large club. As we get in the door Bailey is on the decks in the white room, but after his earlier performance I’m not interested – straight into the black room for the Commercial Suicide takeover. S.P.Y is on the decks and the room is packed. Carlos works the room like a pro, dishing out meaty tech with double drops a plenty and throwing in the odd lighter number like Waiting Line to give people a chance to breath.
The rest of the night holds a selection of absolutely relentless tech smashers, first from Nymfo and then a 2 hour B2B from Dom & Roland and Klute. The crowd are loving it; the tunes may lack subtlety but they certainly deliver heft in spades.
After the epic vibes of the Commercial Suicide takeover I spend most of the day sleeping and miss the early evening activity at Bal Harbour. Wednesday night proves slightly less busy than the previous evening but by no means dead, with a selection of lower tempo beats indoors for Bass Night and DJ Marky & Friends taking over the outdoor arena. Despite best intentions to see Dawn Day Night indoors I completely fail to catch his set, absorbed in the uplifting beats outside.
After a warm up set from one of the Sun & Bass crew, Random Movement takes to the decks. The US producer rolls out the sort of smooth, jazzy liquid fans of his podcast will be more than familiar with, getting the crowd dancing nicely with cocktails in hand. There’s no pretension here tonight and no darkness, just uplifting vibes and melodic rollers. Next up comes Japanese legend Makoto who rolls out a nice selection of material including familiar beats from the Good Looking back catalogue and his recent remix of Lenzman’s Broken Dreams.
Marky is the last to the decks at 3am for a set that rolls on way past closing time for two and a half hours of feel good rollers including a cheeky live vocal from Riya. Heaps of great tunes ensure including a cheeky scratch-up of Hazard’s classic Time Tripping, with Marky taking the mic at 5.30am to thank the crowd with a heartfelt speech.
Thursday night sees the massive out in force for Soul:ution, where the main event is a 3 hour b2b from Calibre and Marcus Intalex. While the tunes are generally good, mixing isn’t as tight as it should be, and the tune selection sometimes clashes when the duo switch. It’s still plenty enjoyable to hear Calibre classics like Drop It Down and his remix of T.E.E.D.’s Garden alongside newer tracks like Key Flix, but to be honest next year I hope I get an uninterrupted two hours from the man himself.
Dub Phizix and Skeptical go in hard for the last hour B2B, dropping the dark stuff thick and fast with I’m A Creator in particular getting the place bouncing.
Since our flight leaves on Saturday we will miss the closing session, so we make the most of Friday night as Samurai Music take over half of Ripping. Paradox delivers a dark, stripped back live set using what appears to be vintage tracker software on an ancient PC that he’s dragged to Sardinia complete with a CRT monitor! Tokyo Prose and Clarity don’t disappoint either, presenting a selection of deeper beats to much crowd appreciation.
Over in the other room FD rolls out gritty steppers in style before making way for Fracture. Charlie delivers a deep, jungle and footwork infused set including a massive raft of dubs I’d die for copies of. Finally S.P,Y closes things out with a set of 100% fell good rollers. A quality end to a quality week.
So there you have it – this intrepid D&B fanatics first year at Sun & Bass. I can say without a doubt this festival is among the friendliest and most entertaining I’ve been to, and I’ll be back next year without a doubt. Make the pilgrimage…it’s truly worth it.