Bassment Sessions 3.0
Almost a full year on from our first outing in Essex as The Maneki Collective, we were long overdue for a reunion...besides, I can only ignore my Maldon roots for so long, eventually, I have to give in and come home, renew my Essex green card and then fuck off for another year.
Once again it was time to have a session in the basement thanks to the gun finger toting lot down at Bassment Sessions of course. Colchester's dedicated night to all things dark and disturbing. T-Texx gave us a personal invite so it wasn’t too long before Faris and I were sat in the back of a hatchback, necking pricey M&S pale ales & sharing a quinoa salad on what can only be described as the most middle-class pre rave car journey ever. Next stop, Qube Bar!
The venue had changed since we were last in Essex. Although my memory was still awash with thoughts of that insatiably sweaty room on the hottest day of the year before, Bassment Sessions has since expanded, and with it, has the venue of choice. For Volume 3 we found ourselves in Qube bar in the centre of Colchester nestled among a thriving row of independent restaurants. The venue itself was swanky as fuck, nice decor, subtle themes etc. Not at all what springs to mind when you think of Bassline & Jump Up, but the suave aesthetic did nothing to detract from the vibe. The venue was kitted out with crisp sound systems, tentative bar staff, and very polite security too. For a sold-out event, everything seemed very much under control and the ravers were happy..they sure knew how to do the hospitality.
Like the entire cast of Rise Of The Footsoldier, aggressive, brash & loud, what’s more, to love right? The night gave us an all-star bill of DJs repping Jump Up & Bassline respectively. The first act we saw was Hugo Logic, a seasoned turntable titan who in recent years, has had a successful run shutting down dancefloors in Coventry & the West Midlands. He served up a Bassline set that was so wobbly….at multiple points I had to sit down after succumbing to the influence of motion sickness. It was that kind of heavy vibe that made sure I had switched to a permanent cockney accent with only 20 minutes of the night gone. Hugo Logic was also immensely animated behind the decks, ducking and weaving to his beats, a true lover of his craft and a people pleaser too.
Once I had stopped wobbling around like Michael J Fox, we ascended the stairs into room one for the snare show courtesy of all of the DnB acts. We caught the Banger After Banger Takeover feat. Project Lando, Damageman, Deejay Jaydee & MC D Low. I mean yeah, they were not lying at all….they literally did just play banger after banger! Equal parts Jump Up and Rollers, the whole place was positively bouncing for hours and hours. We got to hear some nutty Essex style bootlegs & at several moments I noticed that the floor was literally moving up & down. Each time I was reminded not to panic, and that this was a good thing. What can I say….I know a lot of quantity surveyors is all.
After the relentless onslaught of bangers had turned my knees to a fine dust, we headed back downstairs to catch the man DJ T-Texx, the Bassment Session resident who is skilled in playing every genre of music under the sun. Tonight however, he was jumping on the old school Bassline wave. We heard a proper eclectic mix of niche Garage & Bassline classics with some outrageous dub thrown in for good measure. I felt the rumble on the stairs when a hoard of revellers came running into the second room when he unleashed Benga & Coki - Night onto the downstairs crews. My pick though, had to come when T-Texx played a Bassline remix of the Antiques Roadshow theme tune. I love the immediate payoff from it of knowing that somewhere there are people out there who mix Bassline, and also have a committed love for flogging family heirlooms...it just writes itself.
After being munched alive and spat out by the mighty T-Texx, we once again bundled upstairs to catch the nights headliner, the nitty gritty Jump Up legend that is Ego Trippin. A regular on Rough Tempo Radio and a disciple of Low Down Deep Records, the man needed no introduction, tearing into the penultimate hour like Virjil Van Dijk into a lower tier Premier League teams front 3. He got an introduction anyway, courtesy of Bassment Sessions’ very own Drastik MC, who pulled up his socks to lay scorching rhymes over Egos beats and show us just what lyrical mastery, Essex’s finest can produce.
The gun fingers were going off so much I could have sworn when I pointed I looked like E.T. Everyones’ faces were stuck in a constant look of disgust and confusion, and I personally, for the second time this year had to stop being an elitist prick and acknowledge how sick Jump Up can be if done right. Ego Trippin was an absolute rascal on the decks and you could tell immediately from the number of times the room went up in cheers as he dropped another rhythm.
To bow out in spectacular fashion, Bassment Sessions Volume 3 ended when Ben & Jerry, Haag & Daas, Baskin & Robbin…..DJ T-Texx & Hugo Logic joined forces to put Bassline behind them & play a high octane back to back DnB set. The pair still giddy from the fumes Ego Trippin left lingering in the booth, tumbled into the beat playing off one another fantastically and delivering a set that had elements of Dancehall, Rollers, Jump Up & More.
My personal favourite moment of the set...and of the night for that matter came when cheeky Mr Hugo Logic decided to unleash ‘The Weapon’ By Raiser into the final 5 minutes. The whole room went apocalyptic as that monstrous synth chimed out of the speakers. I was gobsmacked thinking ‘this tune can not be dropped anywhere smaller than an air field for matters of health and safety’, and Hugo Logic gazed out over the unsuspecting crowd with the kind of face of a man who’s just whacked you 5-0 in a game of Fifa if you wagered a night with your wife as the prize. Incredible stuff, and we were glad to be back!