***** (5 stars out of 6): July 21 at Bispeengbuen
Drum N Bass, something of a niche sub-genre within the spectrum of electronic music, more so in Denmark where it’s a rather small albeit rapidly-growing cultural movement. The last few years have seen Drum N Bass grow from being a fringe music phenomenon celebrated in musky concrete basements and in the dens and alleyways of underground Copenhagen to a genre that has become renowned for providing some of the best parties for miles around. Nowhere has this been more evident than at OHOI’s annual ‘Bas Under Buen’ party- an evening that attracts the creme de la creme of Denmark’s intimate Drum N Bass community for several hours of sheer bass and beats under the the Bispebuen motorway bridge on the outskirts of Nørrebro. One could hardly imagine a more ideal setting; five thousand plus attendees under a concrete bridge, with the dipping summer sun flickering on the horizon.
This year’s event was a mammoth occasion that topped all previous ‘Bas Under Buen’ parties. I got to Bispuebuen rather late into the proceedings, and found myself surrounded by masses of smiling, dancing revelers who at the time were being steered through the heftier, more down-tempo sounds towards the dub-end of the electronic music genre. As the sun set to the East of the motorway, the music got a tad commercial as the likes of Guns n Roses anthemic number ‘sweet child of mine’ and a tacky remix of Rae Jepsens overplayed and overrated ‘Call me maybe’ reverberated off the concrete roof of the motorway.
This didn’t really stir things up that much, though it did help accommodate the musical interests of some of the crowd. Personally I was a bit bemused about it all, and as such it was a relief when underground ragga/dancehall boys Maffi, Klumben, Top Gunn, Sukker Lyn and the revolutionary Mighty Mala came on to put on the best half an hour or so of the evening’s entertainment. Well-rehearsed live versions of epic contra-mainstream culture tunes such as the emphatic, up-front “Du en lort” seemed to get the crowd raving and dancing, rattling through the warm evening air with a vengeance. The show ended at eleven o’clock sharp, finishing off with some of the wildest Drum N Bass tunes for miles around as the likes of Pendulum’s peerless track “Tarantula” caused quite a bit of pandemonium.
For many Roskilde festival attendees, Saturday’s shenanigans under the Bispebuen motorway were the perfect antidote to the post-Roskilde blues. Judging from the crowds reaction to it all, it would appear that Drum N Bass continues to cement its status in the landscape of the Danish clubland, proving itself as a genre to be reckoned with.