19.11.2016 | Words by: Jasmin Hoek.
Ever begun to feel jealous of a DJ’s ability to mix pretty much anything seamlessly together? That’s how I feel everytime I’m listening to Josey Rebelle. Her sets glide between groovy house to dark electro, from uplifting disco to acid, techno to jungle, funk to UK garage. The latter not completely unexpected Josey was born and raised in the home of UK garage: London. A city whose eclectic vibe no doubt helped shape her broad taste in music. While growing up, her family home was always loud with her and her siblings playing house, soul and drum & bass, it wasn’t long until Rebelle became a self described ‘bedroom DJ’- eventually moving out into clubs and onto the airwaves.
Every Sunday Rebelle entertains the listeners of the UK’s leading and well respected underground radio station: Rinse FM, since it’s start back in 2011. Her extended 3 hour shows demonstrate her r far-reaching knowledge for music across the spectrum, drawing connections faultlessly between hard club music, old school hip hop and soul. Her solid reputation doesn’t just come from her formula for mixing, she’s always clearly enjoying herself, keeping the energy up, and starting a party from the moment she puts on her first selection. With Rebelle’s talent to endlessly keep her audience attention and providing them with the unexpected, it comes as no surprise that she’s been chosen to play at De School alongside one of the biggest names in London’s underground dance scene, Joy Orbison.
Completing the night is DJ/producer Bruce - real name Larry McCarthy. Only two years since his debut release on the beloved Hessle Audio label, the producer has quickly made a name for himself, now firmly established amongst the Bristolian hive of Livity Sound, Idle Hands and Timedance. As a producer McCarthy’s style varies from obscure and heavy rave tunes to hypnotizing and dubby techno tracks. His latest release ‘I’m Alright Mate,’ out on Batu’s Timedance label, is a straight floorfiller. Before it was officially released it had already reared up in several sets - definitely a memorable highlight of Joy Orbison’s pre-festival Dekmantel podcast.
However, ‘I’m Alright Mate’ is completely different from his 12” release on Idle Hands earlier this year:‘The Trouble With Wilderness’. The release showed his versatility as a producer, especially the title track with its surprisingly calm and beautifully emotional sound. It seems perfect for the after party that never ends, the moment when the sun begins to rise again. I personally fell in love with this “beak-up techno” - as McCarthy himself names the style - an instant anthem. I played it non-stop for weeks during early morning bike rides. Yet to hear it in a club, I can imagine it’s one of those tracks which make you stop in your tracks, turn to the person next to you and exchange a smile. Still, calm or heavy, all of his work has a certain recognizable spaced out, unfamiliar, yet completely human emotional feel to it.
As a DJ, just like Rebelle, he likes to surprise the crowd by mixing in the urban sounds of home - be it garage or grime. Yet McCarthy maintains a clear line in his industrial sounding sets and, just like in his work as a producer, he likes to keep it just a little bit off-centre. When I asked him what to expect from his set at De School he admitted; “My favorite dance music tends to be along the weird side of things, so I'm hoping to embrace the building's unusual aurora: I've heard many great things about De School; mostly that it is a pretty mad setting,” he said, “but whilst I'll have a big bag of that sort of thing, I still feel it is very important to adapt to what the crowd is feeling - a process I'm still very much getting the hang of. Regardless, I'm going to be playing quite late so it's safe to assume the crowd will be well and truly warmed up, and ready for something a bit weirder. So hang about, and let's see what sort of places we can take it!”