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  Liquified feat. AK1200 03.15.2002
by Chanté LaGon

Venue: Blü
Presented by: Liquified

In this case, being Blü is a good thing. Liquified managed to secure this normally all-male club for a party with beats as hard-bodied as Blü's regular clientele.

From the friendly, attentive staff to the silver and azul decor, from the big-ass disco ball to the lights that hit it just right, Blü is all about the details. It makes sense that the club is the No. 1 destination for Atlanta's beautiful boys. And if heads heeded the 4 a.m. request to "respect the venue" as they left, maybe we'll get the chance to pull an urban takeover on a regular basis.

The narrow entry hall opens into a lounge area with couches and an oxygen bar. That's the only kind of bar you'll get at Blü—but somehow intoxication levels crept past full on more than a few. Continuing into the club, there's a side room that offers a roomy dance area with two bass columns and overhead speakers. On the left is the main dance pit, and further left is a second lounge area. Straight ahead is the spacious outdoor patio, a welcome escape from the heat and massive sound inside.

Anyone who argues music doesn't transcend space and time wasn't at this party: not only did the bass pour down two blocks away, the MCs tagged along strong. And crews five, six deep kept coming, even after 12:30 a.m.

Weatherman and DR:C kicked off the night. Both were accompanied by MC Raceone. While most heads were probably there to see the night's headliner, AK1200, seasoned dnb heads could thoroughly appreciate the tight mixing and banging selections that marked both their sets.

Enter the sounds of AK with MC J-Messinian. A little less nostalgic than usual, AK controlled the crowd with a mix of amped rippers and minimalist tunes that gave people a chance to catch their breath. Although he's said that he likes to make jungle accessible, I like continuity with my music—the missing element in AK's set. Call me the minority vote: the majority were on the dance floor, or on their way there, motivated by J-Messinian's lyrical prowess. People crowded the pit and spilled onto the stage and "observation decks" now more than during anyone else's set. Those who came to hear a headliner play headliner tracks didn't leave disappointed. AK wrapped it up with a selection from his new album, set to release in August. Rather than elevate things for Simlock, however, the segue just kept them on lobby level.

Maybe that's why Simlock returned in kind with a mild-mannered intro. Minutes later though, he got rude with it. Frantic at first, with a couple blends that didn't match up as well as they should have, Simlock's sound wiped the weaker ones off the floor. He borrowed a couple building tactics from his progressive colleagues, starting off slow then raising the tempo of the drums to a climax. Did it work? Umm, kind of. He gets points for going there. I ain't scared of no ghost. Gotta love that Pac Man, ya'll. Throw d'em bows an' e'rythang. Overall, a set nothing short of relentless.

If Simlock had the bass pent up, Ninjakid controlled the drums. A dub-ish intro, without the reggae drag, kicked off his set, followed by a stepper that sounded like someone was saying "Bad ... Company" in it. It's been a while since I've seen a DJ show that they enjoy spinning—Ninjakid left no doubt. It helps when the tracks are banging and you're moving behind the decks because, damn it, it's worth dancing to! It's a wonder he had any room, though. Folks were in and out of the booth like it was a drive-thru—including a guy who claimed he was spinning after Simlock. Ninjakid had the best rhythm-oriented set of the night, but without slacking on the hard-core. This Ninjakid is a full-grown man in the world of drum and bass.

Hats off to MC Raceone, holding it down for both Simlock and Ninjakid. He's an overall party mover, with the call that pulls people to the floor. He also knows when to let the rhythm ride, an incredibly underrated skill. Combined with that, his ability to anticipate DJ cuts, and knowing when to end a phrase with "A.T.L.," I predict he'll be telling folks to kiss his local ass any day now.

At Amazon.com

Mixed Live from Amazon.com Mixed Live
AK1200 w/MC Navigator

Track Listing:

  1. Hangman
  2. Body Count
  3. Crucifixion
  4. Evolution
  5. Forcefield
  6. Crazy VIP
  7. Lighter Remix [Remix]
  8. Dubplate [Total Science Remix]
  9. Kilos
  10. Remote Control
  11. Make Me Feel
  12. Game 9 [A-Sides Remix]
  13. Waterhouse Dub
  14. Krossfire
  15. Babylon [Dillinja Mix]
  16. Drowning [Ak 1200 Remix]

Order Now at Amazon.com

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