With the Christmas holidays looming, and students already packing their things for home, Dilation threw one more Christmas cracker for us all before we headed home. Showcasing Flux the following Wednesday, and having hosted the likes of Dark Sky and MJ Cole the previous Friday, December was a big month for Beaverworks, welcoming a night hosted by one of the biggest underground labels in Britain at the moment, Swamp 81.
Since its formation in 2010, Swamp 81 has nurtured many talents, releasing a slew of releases which have become ubiquitous in UK clubs, with the likes of Joy Orbison and Boddika’s ‘Swims’ being a prime example. Equipped with a new LP from garage legend Zed Bias in the new year, the future continues to look bright. The founder of the imprint is Loefah whom in recent years, like Skream and fellow Swamp 81 member Klose One, has been key in initiating the transition from dubstep to a 4/4 orientated framework. If you were to attend a night with Loefah headlining five years ago, you’d expect to hear much of his DMZ sub bass driven dubstep that had been his making. Loefah however has moved with the times, and this was very visible in his set as he chose against mixing anything in the 140 region.
A Swamp 81 night wouldn’t be complete without the infamous sound of Manchester based MC Chunky cutting into any track that gets the crowd dancing. Recognisable by his repeated lyrics and unique accent, Chunky never fails to lift the atmosphere and powered through four hours for all the DJs that manned the decks in the main room. An extremely pleasant surprise was the discovery that US garage legend, Todd Edwards, was included on the bill. Sticking to his roots, his set was dominated by the classic garage not too dissimilar from the sounds populating the sets of DJ EZ.
With a warming fire outside, a room dedicated to a ‘techno cinema’ and a tent in the smoking shelter dedicated to face painting, Beaverworks is definitely a club that you wouldn’t associate with the mainstream. Revelling in this kind of atmosphere, the Dilation crew as usual pulled out all the stops to make the night extra special, and Swamp 81 didn’t disappoint in this pre-Christmas party.