Red Bull Music Academy took it’s hotly anticipated sound system event outside of London for the first time last week, bringing along Butterz Sound, Stylo G’s Warning Sound, Gutterfunk and Team Tectonic along for Culture Clash Bristol.
Hosted by Beats 1’s Julie Adenuga and warmed up by Bristol grime go-to Blazey Bodynod, the clash was very sho from start to finish, the historic Passenger Shed venue transformed into a gladiators arena full of energised Bristolians of all creeds and styles.
The favorites to win the clash on the night were Butterz Sound, a crew very familiar in our world: with Elijah and Skilliam at the helm, they also boasted the likes of P Money, Flowdan and Footsie in their ranks. They were on track to take the victory too, winning the first round after P Money shut down the dance with a rendition of “Slang Like This”. They sat and read newspapers while the other crews kicked off their set too, so extra ignorance points for that.
Some amazing individual moments came from Stylo G and his Warning Sound collective. With a seemingly limitless supply of custom made dubplates (including legendary versions of So Solid’s “21 Seconds”, Stormzy’s “Shut Up” and Section Boyz’ “Lock Arff”), they were clearly war ready. By the final round, when special guests Chipmunk, Lethal Bizzle and Fekky had all turned up, it seemed like the victory was surely theirs. The biggest chink in their armour came when rival crew Team Tectonic brought out Lady Chan – ex girlfriend of Warning Sound member Stormin – as well as Bristol legends Buggsy and Joker.
Despite all these killer moments, it wouldn’t be enough to beat simple home town love. With rounds going one a piece by the end of normal time, to Butterz, Gutterfunk and Stylo G, it would be down to the final Armageddon round to decide on the winner of the first Culture Clash Bristol. It’s going to be hard enough to topple a Drum & Bass crew in the Bris as it is, let alone when they let fire one of the duppiest dubplates of all. The winning moment proved to be when DJ Die, Dismantle and the rest of the Gutterfunk crew spun a very special Massive Attack dubplate taking aim at the other soundbwoys, which absolutely blew the crowd away.
It was a crowning jewel on an already incredible night, fueled by spiced rum and tropical Red Bull. For anyone who was concerned that these preliminary Culture Clashes wouldn’t live up to the main one in London, you were very wrong. Culture Clash Bristol was full of iconic moments and it was sick to see another cities musical heritage explored in a setting like this. Big up the Bristol gang, until next year!
Words: Alex Griffin
Photography: Marcus Maschwitz