DJ Zinc came to the Phoenix on Friday to deliver a typically wide-ranging, genre-hopping set at Blueprint. Although I missed DJ Zinc’s set in Exeter last year, I fortunately saw him performing at Outlook Festival in Croatia earlier this September. He was one of the highlights of the festival for me, and, having left Croatia, I was excited to learn I would get to see him again, especially in my university town.
The Blueprint night was another interesting step forward for the house scene in Exeter, which has rapidly caught fire over the last couple of years. With Billon and Origins Sound as the other headliners, and the night spread across both Cavern and Phoenix, this was a memorable evening.
Zinc’s career has evolved considerably from when he began with the energetic jungle track, Super Sharp Shooter. Obviously a legend of jungle, his more recent blend of house and garage is what is causing a new surge in his popularity. This crack house, displayed in his most recent tunes such as Show Me and Wile Out (featuring Ms. Dynamite), shows the interesting way Zinc is able to evolve his music, and demonstrates why he has a career spanning over twenty years.
The atmosphere on arrival at Blueprint was anticipation, and The Auditorium was relatively packed from the beginning. Accompanying him were some rather disappointing stage visuals and quite an overexcited MC. However, the focus was on Zinc’s opening of his classic crack house, and the crowd was immediately enticed. This energetic house continued for the first half hour of the set, with Zinc’s typical garage incorporation. The tempo slowly began to build as the drum and bass built and the MC continued to encourage the ever-increasing crowd.
Zinc certainly provided us with an incredible career-spanning performance, and he successfully built up the momentum towards the end of the set, reverting to his jungle roots for the last half hour. With big jungle tunes such as High Contrast’s If We Ever, as well as his own 1990s mixes (that also experiment with the jungle genre), the room was growing ever more excited, and ever sweatier. Although Zinc didn’t actually include his most recent house/garage banger, Wile Out, it was an exciting night at the Phoenix to witness such heavy material from Zinc, particularly during a night that lacked other more jungle-inclined artists. For me, this is when Zinc is at his best, nodding back to his earlier work to build up the energy as his set concluded.
I only wish his set had been more than an hour and a half. He was the personal highlight of all the other headliners, which appeared at Blueprint on Friday, and I hope that he is not done with Exeter just yet. The Phoenix proved to be a great venue to showcase his work, old and new. I also want to thank you, Zinc, for coming to chill with us at our after party. We aren’t quite sure how we managed to lure you there, but you gave everyone an opportunity to embarrass themselves and ambush you with compliments. Success all round.