Spearheaded by Artwork’s virtuoso performance, Beats & Bass’s Cellar Door homecoming in September was a total success. After such an explosive re-launch, I had high expectations for the follow-up event which was headlined by Mak + Pasteman and Klose One on October 22nd. The event’s formula is stellar, a massive name on the national dance-circuit in the intimate quayside venue and this winning combination was realised on Tuesday. Yet again Beats & Bass delivered, further consolidating their position at the forefront of the Exeter dance-music scene.
Opening the night, when unfortunately many of the prospective crowd were yet to get to the dance floor, Ollie Gretton and Jake Scholes delivered a promising set in the early slot. The alternation between the two Beats & Bass members lead to eclectic selection, ranging from hypnotic ambient beats early on to a heavier bass sound as the set progressed. The Beats & Bass President, Aerial, played a more concerted set, and one that served as further proof to just how good the Thick As Thieves senior resident is. His 11-12 slot coincided with mass pilgrimage from the Revelry to the Cellar underground, and the swelling crowd witnessed a smoothly mixed set that moved quickly from track to track. By the close of Aerial’s set, the floor was filled and the audience was hyped.
Announced by the M.C. to a sea of raised hands, Mak + Pasteman delivered a solid hour and a half set. Whilst I thought one of their early transitions didn’t work perfectly, it proved to be a minor blip. Their danceable set proved popular with the consistently packed out floor; they were clearly well drilled and well prepared to deliver what the punters wanted. My highlight was a swaggering bootleg of Kanye West’s New Slaves spliced over a deep-house arrangement. This interspersion was indicative of the duo’s craft, as they slowed the crowd down before subduing West in lieu of a pounding bass line, which galvanized the dancers – very effective indeed.
One would be forgiven to expect the late slot to have a chilled vibe, yet second headliner Klose One delivered the complete opposite, and the perpetually enthusiastic crowd welcomed this. Using the night’s late license to full effect, Klose One didn’t let his set lose momentum, and the remaining punters followed suit – the roar of approval at the introduction of a particularly heavy bass line around 2.30 epitomized the enthusiasm of both parties. Yet his set was summed up aptly by my enduring memory of the night – the thudding “We got that good shit” lyric taken from Oliver $’s Doin’ Ya Thang, looping over a frenetic beat. It was relentless, and this was indicative of Klose One’s mix. I will be keeping an eye on his trajectory in the future.
So again Beats & Bass delivered a quality night, with consistently good acts playing to a full house. The booking of two names to headline proved to be an inspired choice, and here at PearShaped we’re looking forward to the society’s next event in two weeks.