Chase and Status, Fabric, London
Friday 17 June 2011
Fabric is teeming, its air-conditioning units dripping with such persistence that it seems to be raining. A secret treat under London's streets, the venue is designed in such a way that it is difficult to find the exit. You find yourself stumbling into room upon room of never-ending beats. This intense atmosphere suits Chase and Status's set, which steers away from their hits and concentrates on the drum and bass that ignited their passion.
Saul "Chase" Milton and Will "Status" Kennard are behind the albums More Than Alot and No More Idols. But tonight they offer more of a DJ set than a rendition of popular tracks, illustrating what brought them to the front of the UK urban scene. "Blind Faith" and "Fire in Their Eyes" are more than well received as rich vocals are layered on to heavy basslines to create the distinctly British tone that the pair have carried to new levels while collaborating with some impressive names and pulling the genre into the mainstream. Their new single, "Hitz", with Tinie Tempah, is a sure-fire hit.
Newer fans may have been drawn in by Chase and Status's mainstream tint, but Fabric is the perfect venue in which to pull out more hard-hitting grime and dance music from the boys' collection. UK garage is the underlying influence but the two-hour set engages with other influences as the talented producers mix recognisable tracks with classic drum and bass to have the walls vibrating. They tease the crowd with hints of the ever-growing dub-step movement, sending deep, pulsating rhythms cascading over the audience.
This vibrant experiment, which Chase and Status obviously enjoy performing, creates a genre-bending sound that makes fans almost unsure of how to stamp their feet, the rhythm switching and changing from track to track. It is exciting to see the pair in their element: most of their DJ work is live and the focus is not on the lyrics, but the sound, which gets louder until the final beat.
Closing with "Where's the Mosh-Pit?" was perhaps a mistake – one formed immediately, a frenzied pack of bodies ramming in all directions, sending many fleeing from the stage. Spread the word: Chase and Status get more exciting with every beat they throw you.
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