As you knew it, and we told you in our latest article : it was the 10th Rampage anniversary some weeks ago. And for this second two-days edition, Belgian organisators though on a grand scale in a full two nights Sportspaleis, about 50 artists and more than 30000 attendants. Lets get back in one the most impressive parties in the Bass Music history.
This is it ! It is time to get back to the well known Antwerps Sportspaleis ! Shuttles and trams are coming, unleashing many more ravers, wearing eccentric clothes for the most part. Speakers are thriving in the parkings and apartments around the venue, while many people are pre-drinkings (the latecomers). There is no lack of atmosphere here, and the bassheads solidarity is still good-looking.
The entry into the venue is above all our expectations. The lightshow, even at the very beginning, is absolutely stunning : lasers are piling itselves then separating in front of a Rampage logo discreetly in a blaze, while the mapping is illuminating the Sportpaleis, like it is the middle of the day. A few ravers are inside, yet the show has already begun.
Andromedik, D-Nasty and Doctrine are already in place for the Radar Records Soundsystem, and they are in fire ! From Dancefloor to Neurofunk, the most enthusiast fans who have waited for this first set are in fire too. A small visit at the locker then at the bar, that the second set is starting.
This is a women’s B2B, namely Harriet Jaxxson, Liz-E and Tekitoka. Again, between Dancefloor and Neurofunk, girls are throwing some pleasant atmosphere ! They are dancing, jumping, singing, shouting, passing the mic to each other and showing a decent performance that some bigger artists could be inspired of. Well done girls, we are asking more !
Then starts the B2B between Alix Perez and Skeptical, in the company of SP:MC. Between Roller and some Neurofunk touch, this set appeals a second ravers wave as they are entering into the place. Lights are climbing and unveiling bit by bit the stupefying scenery, while the hypnotic mix goes on. A quite repetitive style, which hits its mark though. But now, it’s time to get mad !
The first Dubstep and Riddim set of this weekend : Infekt & Mvrda ! These two cornerstones of the Hardcore Dubstep scene are together to blow our ears. Both a bit shy first, due to a huge crowd, they are relaxing little by little, unlike their set, more and more brutal and complex. Mvrda stands a but out from his partner during their show, but the German knows how to liven things up : “ When I say spinach, you say broccoli !”. From then on, the attendants are starting to seriously fill the venue.
The winners of the most eclectic D’n’B show of the weekend are Koven., Muzzy, Fox Stevenson and Feint, representing the Monstercat Showcase. This more than enjoyable B2B cooked beforehand a set perfectly built and executed. Many people came to listen to them, and according to some feedbacks from the crowd, nobody got disappointed !
It’s time now to appreciate the headliners. Dimension, ascent producer, has shook the entire Sportpaleis, full of true melodic and intoxicating Drum and Bass lovers. As always, the British threw his own tracks to make their fans happy. With “With Slap II”, “Generator”, “Techno” or the unmissable “UK”, he definitely asserted himself for his first Rampage. Roll on his comeback for the next time !
The main course is served : Excision is ready to blow up for the 10th Rampage anniversary… Is mission accomplished ? We have to admit that the Paradox show is particularly appealing, with its impressive visuals. In addition, the set is quite brutal – as expected – and follows the usual X recipe : drops after drops. However, we can observe that the canadian producer is very shy with the turntables. A nice performance then, but risk-free. It is noteworthy that his set is the only one to be unavailable in official video, so here is the live version. Too bad !
After the beast of Dubstep Excision, why not go on with two linchpins others D’n’B style ? Sub Focus and Wilkinson took control of the stage to deliver a Drum Dancefloor set. That B2B didn’t let out the classical hits we love so much. After a massive double drop on Rock It by Sub Focus and Wilkinson’s famous “Higher”, the british Djs played effectives titles such as Timewarp VIP, which made us scream, “Dirty Love”, with Dimension’s collaboration “Desire”, “Out of the Blue” and the inevitable “Afterglow” at the end of their set. But they could have glow more than their double drops well mixed. Without being disappointed, can’t we expect more from those two mastodons ?
After a monumental B2B, it’s the turn of the one a few were waiting for: Macky Gee, to impose himself on the decks. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most honourable sets we witnessed as well as one that made our Belgian friends skank a lot. Pure jump up drops, often doubled up, and usual anthems were part of the pack. An efficient show and a crazy atmosphere !
Then comes Dion Timmer, Excisions protected little soul. And the less we can say is that the student is about to surpass the master. Mixing many different Bass Music styles (Trap music at Rampage, who would’ve guessed ?), he adds a touch from every Dubstep sub genre in an epileptic mix : drops and double drops come one after another perfectly thanks to a prefect frequency management. The last fifteen minutes is quite fierceful and furnished with dirty tracks. Without a doubt, one of the sets that has marked the Friday night !
The night has reached its end… Well, that’s what we thought. The B2B Culprate, Signal and Disprove is of an unheard of violence : from the first notes, the huge Neurofunk subs literally makes our brain turn upside down. It’s important to say that the three men have made a joyful mess big time, even at 5 am. As the set ends, we already feel impatient to come back, the following day for some and next year for others.
Saturday : Party’s not over.
Breden is the first to warm this second night with Phase, M-Zine, Scepticz and One87. Not an easy task, because the venue makes more time to fill itself, compared to friday. However, first bangers are already show up within an energic and efficient mix. It is always difficult to distinguish the artists when they show up in number, but our ears can feel a real cohesion between them, for sure. A nice foretaste !
Here comes the second Riddim set of this weekend : the Monsters crew, represented here by the well-known Shiverz & Obey, and the Berliner Bukez Finezt. As always, we can feel this great complicity between these two B2B lords, and Bukez seems perfectly suited to this plan. This set is more well managed than the friday one and is shaking us with many drops during one hour : the Riddim as we love it !
As usual, the pope of is own mass : the boss Murdock, escorted by his trusted acolyte MC Mota, just set the place on fire ! No details, those guys came only to blow up your eard-drum with fat neurofunk. Dirty subs succeed to others, the crowd is in trance as the ravers are pilling up in front of the stage.
Now starts the most disputed set of this line-up, a B2B between three of the biggest Heavy Dubstep names : Spag Heddy, Dubloadz and Herobust. As expected, their own universes are quite eclectic, and the set lacks of consistency due to a lack of experience between them. After all, their individual technical skills allow some real and greats epic moments. If we can give you a piece of advice : make your own opinion about it !
Finally comes the great, the unforgettable Andy C. What about this virtuoso with his uniqualed style ? The tracklist is divine, the mix is flawless, and his frequencies management makes us think that is a pre-set… but it is not ! Some pure genius, to observe and to listen to carefully, for amateurs and for lovers.
It is classico time ! The two bosses Dj Hype & Dj Hazard start and end their set like a rocket : a big amount of anthems for some people, a hackneyed set according to other ones… But it is always a pleasure for the crowd to shout at the top of their voice, within a nice and involved atmosphere for this set.
But once again, the biggest slap of the night was given by our dear Funtcase. For his very first Audio Visual Show, Funtcase was very stressful, according to him, but it needed only a few seconds to see the beast lose control as usual. A set full of his own productions, served with remixes by a bunch of artists, one more talented than the last. Even if the mapping was less impressive than the X one, the technical side was fully better : one hour of pure violence, with audacious but perfect transitions.
Now it is Technique International Sound turn to take control of the stage, with Drumsound & Bassline Smith, Tantrum Desire and Youngman MC. Despite the big pressure, the band is doing very well and offering us one of the most technical sets of this 10th anniversary. In a few minutes, headbangers are replaced by skankers and we get back to the real Rampage atmosphere : bangers after bangers, the thousand festival-goers are completely focused on the stage. Thank you all !
Mastadon, the guest of this night, also the real Dubstep revelation of the past year, introduce himself to perform the shortest set of this weekend. A small half an hour of ultime violence, represented by a sublime tracklist, but which arrangements are maybe not the best ones for the most strict of us. It is maybe due to his very young age, but this tiny gap disappears quickly. Congratulations for his very first appearance !
We knew it but it is the last set yet. The Distress Signal quatuor, with Kanine, K Motionz, Simula and MC IC3, promised us a butchery : and we had it ! A practically full Jump Up set, but perfectly played. We are automatically infected by the good mood that these gentlemen are spreading. Then we forget easily that the festival is about to conclude, and the hearts are softened at the fateful lights out.
It is after two thrilling days (or nights) that it is time to leave Antwerp. Even with hindsight, the experience we had is still unbelievable, the organisation and the technique were flawless, the soundsystem and the lightshow were perfectly handled, and the line-up was completely devastating. All the ingredients were there to say that the self-proclaimed biggest Dubstep and Drum’n’bass party in the world is absolutly right on this point. We want to sincerely thank Rampage for the invitation : see you in a few months for the very first Rampage Open-Air !
BASS IS LIFE. BASS FOR LIFE.