review of DMZ from Notion

At midnight Mala from Digital Mystikz gets on the mic and tells us there are so many people waiting outside in the cold that we're going to move into the much bigger space upstairs – so up we go, from Third Base, which feels like a boiler room (in a good way), to Mass, which feels like a shabby disco (in a good way). When was the last time you were at a club that switched venues half way through the night because the queue outside was practically blocking traffic? People flew over from Australia for DMZ. The day after, someone posted on that the night gave him 'mixed emotions, like your kids' wedding'. But dubstep hasn't eloped with the mainstream quite yet. If Loefah and Vex'd release singles on the same day, it's not going to make the nine o'clock news. And let's hope, for the moment, dubstep doesn't do more than flirt with the mainstream, because the mainstream has a long history of acting charming to your parents and then slapping you around when it gets you home. And that's if it doesn't leave you jilted at the alter, like it did with grime.

Anyway, DMZ is not the friendliest side of dubstep. It's strictly half-step, which means dropping only one snare in each bar, letting real Jamaican dub set the pace– any influences from garage or jungle wander, lost and frightened and wanting their mothers, through gaping black caverns of bass and echo and distance. These are minimal times. You can skank to this music, but you can't let go. Even Skream, whose set was the best of the night, once admitted in an interview that a whole night of half-step can be 'a bit much, a bit dead'. Still, when the subs are coming up through your feet, it's like nothing else. No one knows where dubstep will be in a year's time. I hope it's everywhere.