The 4 year Torch show / 404 Audio BBQ was a smashing success! It really is hard to describe the feeling of watching your event turn out to be a success. It really is moving to see hard work turn into reward. Event Planning / Promotion is a difficult, but satisfying undertaking. I’ll take this one in sections and Chuck Skillz is tagging with me on this write up!
404 Audio BBQ Stage:
We arrived at the venue and started loading in gear and equipment. This year we hired an outside vendor, JR’s BBQ in Norcross, to provide the food. It was so much easier than cooking on side like we did last year. Organik, Variant and D:RC were back again for the 2015 edition and provided sound for the outside stage. The Purgatory Patio is a great spot to have an outdoor stage and gives an intimate vibe. It is open air, however is closed off with the fencing so it really is perfect all around. We were up and running in no time and Organik’s sound system was blasting out the sounds of Drum & Bass! The BBQ did well, although we did not sell out of food. As my old pal, Sherlock Holmes says: “You cannot expect to score every time”. We have the data for next year to better accommodate. Everyone really enjoyed the Pulled Pork, BBQ Chopped Chicken, & Beef Brisket. The entire patio was packed out for the majority of the night and it was really special for me to see all the folks out for Torch! Big thanks to my friend Amanda for running the BBQ table with me! Cheers to all the Torch crew for helping with load in / load out!
Metapattern is was our opening DJ. Of late, Michael Hrebenak had been championing the more minimal sounds of neurofunk and that's what I expected. However Metapattern aka "Herb" had plans of his own as he hammered down an entire set of banging neuro. My favorites from his set were a couple tracks from Phace's most recent LP. Metapattern's clean mixing and surprising change of pace definitely satisfied the techy junkie in me and was an amazing start for Torch's 4 year bash!
D:RC & VARIANT:
Next up are Athen's very own D:RC and Variant. I always expect funk when either of these gents are on the decks and today was no different. I hope you like rollers, because these boys got em. Nearly an hour's journey of minimal liquid similar to the likes of Legion with what feels like a few trap inspired tunes in the latter half that create a summer time groove with some punch. Loved it. And that updated remix of "Fugee or Not" towards the end? It's icing on the cake, bruv!
Charles is an energetic DJ and likes to engage the crowd on the mic. He really set the tone with his mix of liquid, anthem, neuro and original productions. It is always a pleasure to have him out and he crushed it! Big up NinjaFlash!
Having the @SummerOfRaggaSet outside this year was a better fit and none better than Natsu to kick it off! Rob makes ragga jungle / dnb a mainstay for his sets, mixed in with jump up. I knew we had to have him for the all ragga series for Torch. Ragga is hard to mix, exspecially back to back tunes because of all the vocals. He pulled it off like a champ and that Bob Marley, “Mr. Brown” remix was off the charts, going to have to get the info on that one mate!
Never to be defined by only one genre, QuickTemper aka Chris Grass, rocks the Masquerade patio with a variety of liquidfunk. The first track is peak time power liquid, and the second tune is a liquid roller, two opposite ends of the spectrum, but QuickTemper has a way of making them flow perfectly. His set is a true journey of soulful beats peppered with various flavors, but never feeling jarring or disjointed. I dug his entire tracklist, but my personal favorite of his set was Utah Jazz's "Funkless Life," which is ironic, because this set is filled to the damn brim with funk!
Torch 4 Year Stage:
I was still working the BBQ table when the inside stage launched. Steve Subconscious ran the stage like a champ and had music going right @ 7PM. I decided to have 2 stages going at the same time for a few hours this year. I felt it was hard to move the vibe from outside to inside with a cold stop / start last year. This decision paid off and folks where jamming inside and out during this time. Thanks to my one of my best mates, Johnny GoodTime for lending his gear for the inside stage!
SCOURGE x DETENTION x ALPHA RHYTHM:
Here comes the 3 headed neuro beast of doom. Todd, Travis, and Nick have teamed up to open the indoor stage with a three way tag session of furious proportions. Flawless mixing, current tunes, and original productions are their weapons of choice and the only way to describe their set is: PURE. NEUROFUNK. DEVASTATION. Well done, boys.
MISS EVADED x RAY GUTTA:
This was one of my favorite sets of the night. Miss Evaded has a long history in the Atlanta DnB scene and has proven herself on the decks. This time Stacey is tagging with the person who taught her to DJ, Ray Gutta. Boy, was this set a treat for old skoolers. Classic tunes: check. All vinyl set: double check. Everything from Decoder's "Horde 39" to Ed Rush and Optical's remix of "Mindscan" made an appearance. Miss Evaded and Ray Gutta, play really well together. They know how to get amazing levels off 15 year old records and still destroy the dance floor!
Zach is a newcomer to playing out, but he's quickly shown that he can throw down with the best of them. Johnny Goodtime plays across the board with selection of tunes similar what you'd hear from Andy C or Friction. Very upfront peak hour type tunes, with a variety that has a little something for everyone. I cannot help but get crunk when Zach plays and neither could anyone else in the room. And I mean EVERYONE in the room was dancing. Johnny Goodtime. Does exactly what it says on the name tag or your money back.
A veteran in the ATL DnB scene, Britain Carr, the man known as Tragga has prepared a jumpup set that went straight for the kill. Originally slated to play with MC Race One, Tragga still carried the torch and pummeled the crowd into submission with a blend of well and obscure jumpup. I heard some DJ Hazzard, and some other faces, but one that really peaked my interest was a tune that had sampled Dick Tracey. There's something about samples from gangster movies that just sound perfect with jumpup DnB. I danced me arse off, mate!
TRENCH w/ ARMANNI REIGN:
Absolutely smashing set from these 2 ATL DNB veterans. Ben was channeling his DZK persona, which is what I associate with his slamming DJ sets in years past. David is THE GUY on the microphone for Drum & Bass in the world! He is Andy C’ mc and it is an honor to have him tear it up with us for a “home game” @ Torch!
LEGION x LOGAM:
We were lucky enough to have both of the Legion lads in the building. Lee came in from CO and smashed it up with Hunter @ Torch. I really enjoyed seeing this pair at WMC this year! Thomas Logam is just a beast behind the decks as well. I though we were in for some liquid biz but that was not the case, lol. These 3 came in with the “rukus” dnb and it was slamming for 60 mins! Logam and Armanni doing a live version of “We Will” (Ram Records release) was really fitting and I loved it!
What a thrill for me to see 10 years of Corinthian Recordings, cap off the best Torch night of the year! Truly a combination of 2 worlds, coming together for me. Alot of the back catalog for my label is liquid, so yet again I thought we might get a dose, but install it was slammer the whole way! DaddyDough went to town on so many great tunes from Axi, Custom Soldierz and the rest of the CR crew! I was pretty tired but this gave me the boost to close out the night! Thanks Dough for the wonderful CR set!
We have made it to 4 years of Torch Drum & Bass. It has been a long road and I have learned so much about event production, planning, staging, etc. I love being a part of the Atlanta Drum & Bass scene! Thanks to all the TORCH CREW for assisting with this MASSIVE EVENT! I am so grateful to all the folks who help with Torch, all the folks who come out to the show, the Masq staff, the Djs, it really is a collaborative effort and we are TorchStrong and we are DNBStrong! Long live Torch DNB!