Aka Aka Roar and Deadly Rhythm have both been responsible for giving Brighton a much needed dance music pick-me-up in the last few months – putting on almost always the best nights with a near perfect booking policy, which makes you wonder why other sea-front clubs haven’t followed suit. Last Saturday they graced us with a night of Boddika & Pariah.
If I had any doubts as to who has been the most consistent, prolific producer in the UK in 2011, they were dispelled after an engulfing two hours of bass heavy electro from Al Green, alias Boddika. Green’s sound is self-styled as ‘EPM - electronic party music’, perhaps a little self-depreciating but refreshingly honest, indicative of a lack of pretension - a trait which one might not be surprised to find in a musician whose approach to writing music involves twelve hour sessions surrounded by instruments alone in a studio. This is serious music, but not too serious.
Boddika’s set was filled with a plethora of tracks produced under the Boddika alias, in addition to productions as one half of Instra:mental. The euphoric dancefloor reaction to hearing the first few bars of ‘Soul What’ must have given Boddika plenty of self-confidence. He bravely held the rest of the anthem back a further ten minutes at least before finally bringing it back in; for all that, the second cheer of euphoria was quickly interrupted by his own unprompted rewind. It’s curious DJ quirks like these that make nights special and it provided evidence as to the status Boddika has managed to achieve within the dance music milieu. Tracks such as ‘When I Dip’, ‘2727’ and ‘Basement’ sounded absolutely huge, and the entire set was a perfect manifestation of Green’s tenacious production style, a sound Resident Advisor’s Andrew Ryce has described as similar to the Swamp81 label’s other output, but ‘with all the empty space and air sucked out, vacuum sealed tight’. The set rarely strayed too far either side of the 130bpm mark, and benefited by having a consistent sound of electro riddims and acid squelch.
With the unenviable undertaking of following Boddika was Pariah, whose more multifarious set didn’t quite inspire to the same extent. That’s ok – few could be expected to raise a bar that was set at such a dizzying height but unfortunately, Pariah’s set had a certain unfocused element about it. Leaning sometimes towards Garage, other times towards UK Funky but with classics few and far between. Still, regardless of this, he gave an attestation to his talent as both a DJ and producer, which has earned him two releases on the R&S imprint, and an ever-growing hype in the UK scene.