Rewind to this time last year and you would have done extremely well to find a proper underground UK Garage night in London that didn't involve unlimited fried chicken and cheesy classics. Twelve months on and the array of options are now broad enough that the go-to guy or girl in your crew can quickly find themselves under pressure to produce. Whilst affording to be more selective is a good thing, it brings with it an added pressure and the risk of being disappointed: Like that feeling after returning from an expensive, corporate owned festival, on the same weekend that you could have gone independent and not spent the whole weekend searching for your mates tent or being manhandled by bouncers.
Thankfully the risk of the latter simile is currently very low, at least for now. Despite parties popping up left right and centre, rest assured that 90% of the time the curators behind the current crop of UKG nights all over the country are creative enough to conjure up parties that reflect the contemporary nature of the underground scene today.
Leading the London surge at present are South Circular. With one event down and their second just around the corner, their forward thinking UKG centred line-ups are also contributing to Lightbox's (Vauxhall) reputation for being the leading venue for UK Bass in the city. It's also great to see them combining the old (legends) the new, whilst exploring the full spectrum of forward thinking sounds that sit beneath the UKG umbrella.
It will come as no surprise that the South Circular crew are made up of reputable heads from multiple facets of the industry and with their next event on February 28th on the horizon, we asked Sam Levo and El-B what labels they're feeling at the moment.
SAM LEVO | (GD4YA/SOUTHCIRCULAR)
HOLDING HANDS RECORDS // ADAM PITTS - PEST CONTROL
INSTINCT // BURNSKI - PASSING STORMS
COUNCIL WORK // FRANKEL & HARPER - DREAD
SNEAKER SOCIAL CLUB // DREAM CYCLE - LONG TIME
ENTITY:LONDON // CHRISTIAN JAY - HB
EL-B (GHOST/GD4YA/SOUTH CIRCULAR)
GD4YA // WEN - SWERV
3024 // MARTYN - NERVE CENTERS
MOODSWING // THE STAB MECHANICS - NOT THIS TIME
OBSTACLE RECORDS // MOODSWING - SECRET MOOD
ENCHANTED RHYTHMS // M&H SYNDICATE - PHISHING
click artwork for tickets