Nottingham’s finest selectors, Rubberdub soundsystem brought its smooth UK garage beats and chaotic jungle breaks to The Harley for their 8th birthday last month, providing the sounds of Spooky, Tribes and Dr Cryptic, in true old school style: vinyl.
From grime to garage to dancehall, Spooky has a wide repertoire of tunes under his belt, and managed to bring his smooth East London garage style to the mix on Saturday. Tribes have a slightly different set of skills; bringing both soundsystem classics and various forms of art, including logo art for Deep Medi Musik, Rubberdub and Deadbeat. Dr Cryptic manages to find time in his busy schedule as the owner of Chip Butty Records, to produce and play speed garage and 4×4 bangers, and did so with style on Saturday night.
Arriving at the venue at around 12, the Harley is already packed. Powering to the front of an ever increasing crowd, it’s clear that some true classics are being played by Dr Cryptic. Spooky comes on next, with Scott Garcia’s speed garage classic ‘It’s a London thing.’ Using vinyl as opposed to electronic methods has meant two things for the night: the sound quality is given a ‘fuller’ feel, and the transition between one song to the next is less smooth. Far from being a bad thing, this gives a much more old school feel to the music.
After dropping Double 99’s ‘Ripgroove’ which led to over the top dancing (from myself included) Tribes follows on, carrying on the UKG flavour, however soon 4×4 is dominating the room, with Weighty Plate’s ‘Standard flow’ bringing bassline-esque wobbles to the now fully hyped up crowd. 3:00 AM marks the arrival of the much loved hard hitting snare beats of jungle. With the crowd thinning out as the night approaches its end, allowing the jungle lovers left to truly expand their skanking ability, with legs and arms flying everywhere around the room.
Rubberdub absolutely smashed the night, bringing in the cool funky sounds of garage, fusing them nicely with the warping basslines of 4×4 and fast flowing breakbeats of jungle. Bring on the next birthday night Rubberdub!
Words: Will Daly