The festival Let it Roll, Holy pilgrimage for any Drum’n’Bass fan celebrated their 10th anniversary this year. It’s a former Tcheck airbase that welcomed the festival, about an hour away from Prague.
Offering more than 10 stages on which 180 artists would perform, it is for sure the biggest DnB festival in the world where about 25 000 festivalians meet every year.
The specificity of this festival consists in the fact that they invite a certain number of labels that have carte blanche on a stage for one night ! This year, it’s 14 labels that shared the 5 main sstages (except the Mainstage).
We contacted the organisation at the beggining of the year that kindly accepted to invite us to cover the festival !
We were a team of 3 people covering the event, we were therefore able to present you and describe to you the different sets that were played at the same time.
Today is Thursday August the 3rd and after a short stay in Prague where we enjoyed drinking absinthe, we now pack our bags before taking a bus at 6pm to attend the first night of the event.
In the bus, DNB is fully on and pre-drinks are beeing prepared ! After about an hour, we finally get on the site. We could see the Mainstage and the Factory in the distance and the sound of DNB already playing as everything was starting at 6 pm.
A small stage was already ready on wednesday night, the Hangar.
Feeling the vibes alreadt, we found it next to the camping. As its name tells us, it’s a small warehouse with a nice decoration that will have as a mission to « finish off » the festivalians ( as the stage plays music from midnight to 10 PM every single day).
Some of us decided to keep their AirBnb in Prague and took a unlimited bus pass to be able to sleep comfortably and take real showers. Regarding the showers in the festival, one could not be afford to be scared of being cold or uncomfortable with living in community.
The other part of the team stayed on the site for the first day and attended the that set the bar high, with wild sets that were more destructive one another and of a rare quality. The vibe was already perfectly implanted while the official festival had not even started yet.
It’s 8pm and after a good hour queueing for the press pass, we got on a big square that gave access to the camping and all around us was crowded with foodtrucks, going from Mongolian specialities to American burgers. The prices were around 4,50 for a burger which was honestly really affordable.
Regarding the drinks, there were a lot of Red Bull stands but also a place to drink vodka and another one to dring cider besides, the holy beer.
We were a bit late so we passed quickly the last security check before entering in the festival.
Our steps led usstraight to the Factory Stage, the second biggest stage of the festival. The Mainstage only opens on the second day so most of the people were at the Factory who hosted the Hospitality Night !
Indeed, it was like a big factory. There was also a huge mapping that remained in the industrial theme in the whole structure.
We arrive in the middle of S.P.Y.‘s set. We watched a Liquid/Deep set that made us have a good time with classics like « By Your Side » of S.P.Y.
We quickly hear the first « Dead Limit » of the week-end which will not be the last …
A guy was even there with a sign requesting artists not to play this track for the benefit of other less known tracks.
We left 10 minutes before the end to go to the first set that we’re forbidden to miss : Mediks who plays for the Audioporn Night under the Underworld tent.
It was one of the smallest main stages but the design was here to put us in the mood. Old TV screens broadcast crazy pictures scrambled by the Rise of the Robots.
Mediks threw a huge energetic set with a lot of Drumstep with bewitching green smoke. However we regret that he didn’t play some of his classics such as the excellent « Cannibals » with KJ Sawka or « Come Back Down ». He also played a bit of Neurofunk to excite us and especially, build our appetite !
Appetite that we’ll quickly fill at the end of the set, with a dish of french fries with cheese and meat for only 4 euros, something to fill your stomac for small budget. Beer is only 2 euros a pint, a dream when you’re used to French festivals !
It’s 11 PM and we go back to the Underworld to take a look at North Base who is on fire. We also notice that the tent is more crowded than during Mediks !
A look at the timetable reminds us that London Elektricity is playing at the Factory ! A set like his production colors, jazzy as we like it.
But we misunderstood the program and the whole band was playing on saturday night. It’ a bit disappointed that we left the Factory to go for a walk.
We arrived in front of the Madhouse Stage, the biggest tent of the festival which was hosting the Critical Night.
The scenography was especially impressive. A huge chained robot was watching to the crowd with powerlessness. Two of his fellows were locked on both sides of the stage.
Hit by the beauty of this place, we took the time to open the timetable and we figured that it was Ivy Lab and their HalfBeat who were at work.
The trio illustrate themselves with a magical set, one of our highlights of the festival. Going from an atmosphere to another, their strong suit is in the choice of their tones. It’s a real auditive world trip gift. Again and again, Ivy Lab is in the place.
Now it’s time to stop messing around. Neurofunk, Drumstep … all of this is cool but this festival is the occasion to discover a genre which does not exist in Paris : Crossbreed !
So we’re going to this stage to start the hostilities and, for a small stage, we found the decoration very cool. Car carcasses are used to build a big motorcycle on the right of the stage and a truck on the left, well done !
The stage itself is more simple with a few screens. We also notice a disco ball hung to each machine that was as effective as lasers.
War begins with Fragz who takes control of the decks with an angry Crossbreed set.
We’ve heard a few of his sets that use to deviate to Hardcore in the end. Unfortunately, the Portuguese did not do that that night. Maybe he wanted to stay in the theme of the Let it Roll.
In any case, Thrasher (who relieved Fragz at 1 AM) did not care about the festival theme ! His set was nearly 50/75 of Hardcore to please the dutchmen who were massively present for this label night !
Meanwhile this big hakken session, we went back to the Factory to see the Wilkinson‘s set. We saw him live at Dour a few weeks ago so his performance seemed a bit less surprising but was still catchy.
Right after him, another Dancefloor’s mastodon is playing : Netsky. The Belgian made a beautiful set with Chill Trap parts but he suffered from sound problems (probably due to the sound board) that have partially degraded his set.
Anyway at was still a good performance thanks to transitions and his mix technique.
After two hours of Dancefloor, it is time for some Neurofunk. It is time to go back to the Madhouse and what is better than Mefjus to have a quality set of this register ?
The Austrian played one of the best sets that we have ever heard from him. Thanks to a mix technique excessively fast and clean, his banger « Suicide Bassline » and his wonderful remix of Noisia’s « Exavolt » were a pleasure for our ears.
While the team enjoyed Mefjus’ set, we return to the Underworld to see the only Dubstep set of the festival with Xilent !
Impossible for any Dubstep lover to miss him ! We arrived early and that allowed us to see the end of Benny L b2b Shimon.
For those who are interested, their set was completely filmed !
It’s time for Xilent to begin and we feel that he also built his set for the festival. A lot of DnB with very violent HalfBeat (that surprised us) but also some Drumstep and Neurofunk. All of this with big Brostep tracks such as the awesome special version of his « Kill Me ».
When it’s time for the unmistakable « Boss Wave » the crowd is singing the melody, it was beautiful to see ! He also played some HardTrap before finishing by some DnB.
It was a real pleasure to have some Dubstep in all this 170 BPM music !
People who wanted to escape could go to the Techno stage of the festival which was under a small tent. No decoration in there but Techno lovers will love the space there is.
We decided to come back to the Shredder for the last set of the stage with Limewax who played more Neurofunk than Crossbreed so we chose to go to listen to Metrik on the Factory.
He often impresses us when he comes in Paris but this time, the Londoner made an effective set but not a sensational one.
The eternal « Freefall VIP » was here to please our ears. We also noticed the discovery of an amazing track that we will hear during the whole festival without being bored : « Generate » of Eric Prydz, remixed by Dimension.
It’s already 4 AM and this night is coming to an end. It is in front of Current Value that we decide to end our legs muscles !
We went to the Madhouse and his huge fuckin effective Neurofunk successed to terminate us. The sun ruined a bit the quality of the lightshow but it was difficult to do something about that ! With his Ipad, Current Value hits right like a weapon, a VIP of his awesome track « Impact« .
It is barely alive that we come back to the camp or take the shuttle before the second day of the festival !
The main day attraction was the DnB Step contest but it was also possible to play football, to do yoga, to water battle or again to play some « bumper football ».
Bumper football by Hana MakovcovaIn a more serious register, it was also possible to see a masterclass about DJing.
In a more serious register, it was also possible to see a masterclass about DJing.
It’s after a good night (or bad, depending on each other’s lodgings) that we were finally ready to begin this second day !
Some of us had a problem with the shuttle. The website was unclear so we had to wait 2 hours for the next shuttle. The stress was important because we didn’t want to miss the opening show of the Mainstage at 10 PM.
We hurried up to pass the security check to arrive in front of the stage and the opening had just started, we were so lucky !
This Mainstage is really incredible. It was built to look like a huge transformer, raising from the ground, ready to avenge of humans (don’t ask us why). The name « Rise of the Robots » does make sense ! We were also stunned by the exceptionnal mapping which brought the mastodon to life.
That’s Calyx & Teebee who managed the music during this unique show. Unlike last year when people had to wait for 20 minutes for the drop, tonight there were about ten drops or so that we heard sometimes interrupted by a deep voice. Drops were thrown with jets of flames, lasers and fireworks, a true delight. We eagerly await the release of the track, especially one that marked us.
We chose to stay there to see the first half of High Contrast‘s set in all subtlety. It was starting to get angrier but it was time for us to go to the b2b between DC Breaks and Loadstar.
It’s on the Factory (which hosted the RAM Night) that both buddies get busy on the decks, throwing a long Jump-Up part that has a bit bother us because we were waiting for Neurofunk.
People told us that the first hour of the set was plenty of Liquid and Neurofunk. Nevermind, the opening was worth it !
We went back to the Mainstage to see Andy C. Despite the beginning of the set when a sound engineer came and tinker with cables that created a sound problem, Andy’s performance was as good as we expected.
The British staged fireworks and beautiful flames on the Mainstage which accompanied a varied set. There were also magical double drops like an awesome versus between « Voodoo People » of the Prodigy remixed by Pendulum and his new track « What Bass« . Undoubtedly grandiose !
Anyway, headliners are great but it is time to move on to the serious stuff with the loud Forbidden Society, boss of the eponymous label. It’s almost midnight and, hazard or not, it’s time to go back to the Shredder, like yesterday.
We arrived a bit in advance so we enjoyed the good Neurofunk from Neonlight who ended his set with his excellent « The Towering Inferno VIP » and then it’s Forbidden Society‘s turn !
The guy played like 30 minutes of the most violent Neurofunk possible before climbing up of the ladder and let loose with huge Crossbreed and Hardcore tracks !
We’ll remember an awesome Crossbreed drop which begun with the riff of « War Ensemble » of the metal band Slayer, what a pleasure !
Forbidden Society also played a good Trash Electro track that had a great effect on the crowd.
The end of the set was more conventional with huge Crossbreed, like he does it well !
It’s completely exhausted that we left the Shredder and this crazy set but it’s clearly not the end ! Direction Mainstage for a b2b between two DnB titans : DJ Hype and DJ Hazard !
Although at Stoner we’re not really fond of MC’s, we have to admit that the one on stage during the set did the job, without beeing too present.
This set has especially drawn our attention. Indeed, Hype b2b Hazard on the line up already gave us chills. An old school selecta with a controlled scratch. It’s one of these rare sets that fully please you.
It was surprising that a very few people was there for this anthologic b2b; was it because Killbox was playing on the Factory ? Anyway, we had enough room to dance ! We also heard some Neurofunk that hit us like an awesome « Dead Limit » remix ! The set ended up by the inevitable « Mr Happy » which would have been more effective if it wasn’t the 10th time in only 2 days …
Some from our team went to the Factory for Dimension show. Usually discrete behind his decks, this time the Londoner was full of energy. Regarding to his performance, the dancefloor was on fire thanks to his Drum with a powerful and low bassline.
It’s 2 AM and it’s time to make a complete visit of the different scene to describe them to you. If we had only followed our program, we would never have visited some stages, such as the Port Stage.
Iw was a small tent like the Techno or the Underworld stage with a few illuminations on the top. Talking about scenography, a wonderful mapping immerses us in the abyss or in a spatial rollercoaster, sensations guaranteed !
By following our map, we arrived in front of a stage with 4 people in there.
Intrigued, we stepped in and then, surprise ! The awesome drop of « Tetris » hit us in the face ! We decided to stay a bit for a headbanging session on Brostep’s classics like Zomboy’s « Like a Bitch » !
This stage was hosted by Chapeau Rouge, a nightclub from Prague, and seemed to have offered a majority of Bass Music. The next set was beginning by cool Trap but it was time to go back to the Shredder !
It will be the last Crossbreed set of the festival and it’s Hallucinator who had the onerous task to end this Forbidden Society night !
The duo was ready to exterminate us and it didn’t miss ! We got 30 minutes of very angered Crossbreed like his colleagues that sounded a bit quiet for them …
The fateful moment was when they played their famous « Fuck the System » on which the whole crowd raised their middle finger ! From there, BPM got more and more frenetic and that was exactly what we had been waiting for !
They paid a tribute to Chester Benningteon (Linkin Park’s singer, who had pas away a few weeks before) by throwing a dirty Hardcore Indus remix of the famous « Lost in the Echo », unexpected but appreciated !
It was quickly followed by one of their hit songs « Satanism » which melody was sung by the assembly. Willing to endon a high note, the last 5 minutes were full Hardcore and we noticed an awesome Terror remix of Mettalica’s « Fade to Black » !
We even had 10 more minutes of which the Italians made a good use by playing some melodic Crossbreed while keeping on beeing frenetic which was the watchword of this set.
It’s time to go back to more a conventionnal sound, a.k.a Madhouse to finish the night with Shogun Audio’s foals : Fourward & Joe Ford.
It’s a bit after Fourward started that we arrived to the stage and the first thing that pleased us were his Neurofunk perfectly couples with the MC who knew when to stay back when it was needed !
We were not dissatisfied to hear more fluid DnB after what we had heard on the Shredder. The Austrian finished his set with a huge HalfBeat remix of « Dead Limit » which didn’t leave us indifferent !
The transition was perfect with Joe Ford who arrived with his so particular productions with a meticulous sound design. It was a true journey that adjudicated with what we’re used to hear in this style. We were far from of a Neuro set that could have bored us.
Unfortunately we’ve just saw a part of that set because it was time for us to take some rest before the last night of the festival !
Time went by really fast. We arrived on saturday evening for a last night in this DnB temple.
Like every good festival, there was a large number varied of stands.
Between the usual stands of clothes and accessories for smokers, we find a place to smoke a big hookah. Truly, the Let it Roll is full of surprises !
After an amazing double cheeseburger and a pint, we decide to see what is happening on the Shredder.
The stage is hosted by the labels Big RIddim and Kinetik. What a surprise when we are welcomed by huge Drumstep and Neurofunk. Unfortunately after 20 minutes we figured that the London Elektricity Big Band is playing on the Live Stage (near the Shredder).
A stage especially made for live music has been set. A bit basic, this stage is designed to welcome a whole band. Indeed, that was the case for this show of the London Elektricity Big Band.
The famous British is escorted by an orchestra, the Riot Jazz Brass Band, a keyboarder, two drummers, two chorus girls and Dynamite MC. It is refreshing to see a show with real instruments in a festival that is 100% Electro.
The crowd was massively here for this show and the atmosphere springs forth during the various solos either of the saxophone or the drums. Musicians are dynamic and make a well-oiled performance that would have left nobody indifferent !
It was the last show programmed on this stage so the band was able to play 15 more minutes while the crowd was starting to leave.
This is why we arrived late in front of the Mainstage to see The Prototypes.
Unlike the last Animalz, tonight, the duo is on stage and that is heavy duty ! The transition from the bewitching Liquid of London Elektricity to huge Neurofunk gives us a teaser of what this night will be like, especially with the Eatbrain on the Madhouse Stage (but we will talk about this later).
The British don’t take a lot of risks by dropping an umpteenth « Dead Limit » which would have been more effective if it wasn’t the fifteenth of the week-end … However, they pull themselves together by closing their set with an exclu that we are so looking forward in our headphones !
Talking about waiting, it’s time for Matrix & Futurebound, a combo for whom we have a little crush on ! Guys are going straight to the point with their violent Neurofunk. It’s when we hear Donal Trump’s voice that we know what will happen, a huge « The Wall » that destroys everything !
As a whole, they offered a very happy and melodic set while the crowd played the game during the famous « Get Down Low »
from TC. Then they played some Trap before raising the bar to finish with an awesome remix of the « Chase the Devil » of Max Romeo.
We are definitely camping at the Mainstage tonight. The next act is Camo & Krooked ! As usual, they make a set very eclectic that begins softly before going to Neurofunk with some tints of Jump Up and more minimalistic Drum’n’Bass. Small fright at the half of the set when it started to rain but fortunately, it only lasted 15 minutes and it was a drizzle.
We were just a bit disappointed that they only played the intro of « Show me a Sign », it had been a while since we hadn’t heard it … However, huge surprise, we noted a few tracks halfway between DnB and Hardtek and some Jungle and HalfBeat.
In a nutshell, it was a big lesson about Drum and Bass. Their real organic sound design works in their favor. An hour of big thrills announcing great things for the Dream Nation.
After a big fat cheeseburger, we are getting ready for the beast called State of Mind ! We attend the end of Mob Tactics‘ set which goes over 10 minutes on State of Mind’s set. Maybe there were some delays before …
When State of Mind goes on stage it is the apotheosis ! Worthy representative artist of the Eatbrain’s stable, it is with his sensational Neurofunk that they made us dance !
Their set gives prominence to the tracks of the Automata EP released in april 2017. We can notice « Choker », « Leapfrog » or the excellent « Giant ». Since the release of the EP, we were waiting this set with impatience and we are not disappointed !
It is time to go back to the Factory for the first time of the night. Tonight, no label but a huge « Jump-Up All Stars » !
True proof that this genre is riding high in this moment. At Stoner, we are divided, this is why we didn’t see the other programmed artists (like Levela, Sub Zero or DJ Guv) but we have at least made the trip to see SASASAS !
The MC’s quartet accompanied by the invaluable Macky Gee is decided to set this place on fire ! They arrived with a huge intro on which they delivered the lyrics of their « Anthem » before starting to liven things up with the crowd, with their really bustling Jungle. After all, a draft set, MC’s who are not very in line with the music and a lot of rewinds. We remain sceptical about this performance.
Nevertheless, we noticed a huge remix of « Jump Around » from Cypress Hill before leaving the decks to Annix under a thunderous applause. Huge surprise, there were much more people than at the Mainstage. This shows the popularity of Jump-Up.
Talking about Mainstage, we went back there to see the last act embodied by June Miller. It is one of the last set of the Dutch duo, so their presence to close the Mainstage is clearly deserved.
It was with no concession that they played their huge Neurofunk while, weirdly, there was only a few people to enjoy this set.
All the better for us ! Huge moment of emotion when they played the « Let it Roll » track from Aphrodite on which lights got crazy and the lasers swirled around. We even heard a track between DnB and Hardcore that was appreciated regarded the lack of Crossbredd tonight.
The set end is about to end when James Marvel comes on stage. Everyone knows what is going to happen, it is time to play their new banger that will leave no DnB lover unconcerned : « Dominator ».
This closing is like a wink because last year, June Miller made the opening of the Mainstage. A perfect farewell, big up for the encore at the end when they played « Outer Space » that we were waiting to conclude this 10th birthday of the Let it Roll.
Fully satisfied and with stars in our eyes, we leave the Milovice’s air base. It was our first time there and honestly there was only a very few blackheads about the organization.
There would be a few things to say about the shuttle bus and the access to drinking water but overall the quality of the sets, the quality of the sound or the mapping, there is nothing to say.
The Let it Roll deserves its title of reference for the DnB festivals and it is with a huge impatience that we are waiting for the next edition !
Again we thank a lot the organization of the festival who allowed us to live three days of craziness !
BASS IS LIFE, BASS FOR LIFE