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Red Bull Music Academy's Secret Rave at Temple Works

6 December 2015
Red Bull Music Academy's Secret Rave at Temple Works
When Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) revealed a double dose of anonymous nights following the recent success of their UK tour, I had to admit I was intrigued. Working with some of the most sought after artists, RBMA has put itself firmly on the map. With its radio station, musical lectures and vast catalogue of online interviews and mixes, Red Bull has a reputation for presenting high calibre talent; so when the party beacon of the north was to host the first of two nightly instalments, I was expecting big things.

The event went by the name of #0800R1NG2RAV3 and boasted an unusual twist. The line-up and venue was to be revealed in true 90’s illegal rave style, on the night of the event. Only punters who tweeted the hashtag #0800R1NG2RAV3 would find out the night’s details. Through tweeting the event, ravers received an enthusiastic message with the 411. The venue revealed was Temple Works, a grade 1- listed building in Holbeck, inner City Leeds. Temple works was once an old flax mill but has since been transformed into an art and cultural space, the perfect space for a buzzing rave.

The line-up for the night was DJ Slimzee and L-Vis 1990. Slimzee is best known for his contributions to and development of the Grime scene through his co-found radio station, Rinse FM. Slimzee’s radio shows regularly showcased many grime MC’s, who have now hit mainstream success, such as Dizzee Rascal and Wiley. The other artist, L-vis 1990 AKA James, is a Brighton born DJ, best known for the record label, Night Slugs. Night Slugs has been labelled as a mutable hybrid of grime, house, electro, R&B, techno, hip-hop, and dubstep by Spin Magazine. With an inspiring line-up, the night was set to be a blending of grime and electronic dance.

The night was held in a small room approximately the size of two garages. Inside, directly after walking through the door, was the DJ booth, RBMA logo directly above and a small stage directly in front. The room had a shallow ceiling, reminiscent of a student basement party. It was bare, exposing ceiling piping and some visuals at the far corner of the room. At the other end of the room stood a small bar, serving any spirit with Red Bull and overpriced stubbies. A crowd surrounded the DJ booth as the punters were greeted with a heavy wall of techno.

As the night unfolded Slimzee played a set full of grime alongside classic hip-hop samples. The highlight of Slimzee’s set was a live MC known as AJ Tracy. Tracy whipped up the crowd into frenzy with his rhythmic Mcing until 1am. The rest of the night saw the likes of Bok Bok and L-vis 1990, who both played a mix of techno, dubstep and grime. The crowd lapped up the heavy beats throughout what was left of the early morning. The promotional style adopted by RBMA, granted was mysterious, but unfortunately RBMA didn’t quite pull it off and somebody clearly forgot to tell them it was the Back to Basics birthday bash that night. Red Bull provided a good night of free music in a great venue but unfortunately Leeds didn't get the message. Not such a big night after all.

By Anna Elin-Wyn
Anna is a Volunteer Writer for Leeds Living covering events all across the city of Leeds, on topics such as eat/drink, retail therapy, music/dance and culture.