#014 // 10/06/23
One of the most influential artists in the game. The UKG Mix Master Conducta joins us for an incredible show in Babylon.
Conducta is helping to spearhead the new wave of UK garage. His on-point productions, genre-traversing DJ sets and Kiwi Rekords label have made him a bona fide Black British success story. His smash hit 'Ladbroke Grove' blew up and sent Conducta into the stratosphere, quickly followed by his Club Kiwi label launch put UKG on the map. It's hard to think of a more influential artist for putting UKG to the masses than Conducta
The buzz around this night was insane. Especially when considering the immense amount of partying that had taken place before it. The Durham network was on its knees. Three weeks of partying takes it tole, I was certainly struggling for energy, just off the back of Prospa, the Arctic Monkeys the night before and then Parklife pending tomorrow, but who better for a pick-me-up than Conducta. One of the hottest in the game not just now but for the last 5-10 years. Conducta has grown into a new sound, escaping that commercialism and them heavy hitting wobblers. Now playing music for himself and often doing extended sets wherever he goes.
I caught the train up to the event full of excitement. Closing out our second year with an artist I've been trying to book since last summer. This event marked a landmark with a lot of the crew that had made this year possible now graduating and moving onto bigger and better things. A truly emotional affair and a big final send off for them.
Collins (conducta) was infectious, his energy is unrivalled. For someone doing this for so long and at the highest level, to have that much enthusiasm to come play in little old Durham reverbed through the team. His humbleness and willingness to listen to others was uniquely characteristic. He made all of us feel special, despite him being the main attraction. He turned up an hour early to watch JOD warm up the venue beautifully to catch the vibe and support JOD. Something we've never seen before.
Collins steps into the middle of Babylon, front and centre and gets ready to take us on a two hour rollercoaster through house, UKG, bassline and all things grime. Not shy to mix things up, we were all beyond shocked to see him play a whole host of tracks spanning almost the whole electronic spectrum. The basslines were ripping through Babylon, the infusion of rap and dance echoed through the crowd and everything for a brief moment in time felt just right. This was the reason we do it. Energy and faith in the Durham scene restored.
All until... The smoke machine caused the fire alarm to go off, tripping off all the sound. We tried our very best to get it back working, but the whole system would just trip again. Cutting Collins short by a good 30 minutes, something very annoying when you've spent the last 90 minutes building the atmosphere for a full send. Luckily, Collins was the best sport and laughed with us all. Fine then, off to bed and get ready for the big drive to Manchester tomorrow for Parklife, a trip Conducta would now be joining me on. A trip we spent the whole time chatting all things music and the scene in general.