First off, much thanks to my new friend and frequent podcast listener Niamh for hooking me up with this party. It was off the chain.
And what party was this? It was the album release party for London drum and bass/broken beat collective 4 Hero. The group recently released their new album Play With the Changes this year however, these dudes have been around for years. Most Americans know the group for their remixes of Nuyorcian Soul’s “Black Gold of the Sun,” and their collaborations with New York artist Ursula Rucker.
To keep it real, I was a little intoixcated, so I can’t tell you what DJ’s were where. BBC 1Xtra’s Benji B was rumored to make an appearance but I gave up the search to find him after a few too many glasses of Jack and Cokes plus red wine. The downstairs DJ was off the chain, mixing a classic J Dilla Donuts medley along with the Roots and Pharcyde, while images of LA Krumping, James Brown, and scenes from Wild Style played on massive projectors.
However, the higlight of the evening for me was upstairs. The DJ’s spun a medley of recent and classic 4 Hero along with broken beat and drum and bass. The party was live as hell, and the best part…it was all British. Seriously, as much as I love American music, why would I drop tons of money to get over here (this exchange rate is killing me people) to hear stuff I that’s readily available in New York or DC?
Having that said, the one thing that I do admire about the UK underground culture is the respect they give to the music. Even when they played American tunes they flipped the script on it. I’m trying to find the house remix of John Legend’s “Ordinary People,” as I type.