Review: Dsnt turns 6 In Belfast

Art & Culture

Ireland. Home to Guinness, troubled writers and the techno gremlin. DSNT are party throwers and a record label based in the city of Belfast, and a wonderful example of what can be achieved when a few like minded creative’s get together and work on their passion.

In the wake of the overpriced ticket and electronic music culture stagnation, DSNT pursue a niche outlook, radiating deafening kick drums, high velocity gabber and ‘fuck me look at that’ visuals that from the outside paints a portrait of modern ‘sesh’ culture, but in reality means so, so much more.

“Yeah definitely, in terms of connecting with issues on a social level as well it’s really important for us”, Oisin O’Brien, head of DSNT and Guerrilla Shout, told me in an interview last year.

“We recently commissioned a t-shirt from Punk artist Pogger of Milo Yiannopoulos [far-right blogger, post-truth enthusiast, Trump campaign helper & general wanker] getting munched by zombies. It’s pretty funny, if you haven’t seen his interview on Channel 4 watch it, you’d love it if someone did a big shite in his cereal.”

Balancing the yeo’s of a rowdy Irish crowd with the rebellious radicalism that industrial techno ignites is a fine balancing act. DSNT’s event series LUMEN celebrated its 6th birthday on Friday 26th of January with a stacked line up, complete with techno queen Paula Temple at the helm. I HATE MODELS, Sunil Sharpe and DSNT duo Nez & Dallas made up the line up of the main room.

Local collectives Thursdaze and Bass Invaders were also invited to curate their own individual rooms, with the latter igniting a gabber frenzy courtesy of ACID GUY, Gammy, Cave DJ’s, Myler and The DJ Producer, and Thursdaze opting for Crock and Blark, Mark Archer, Stranger and their own resident DJ’s.

The first set I remember seeing was Sunil Sharpe. The Irishman’s sounds seemed a lot calmer than usual, but then again, he was on at 10pm. That is in no way an insult. Sunil’s mixing was impeccable and he showed once again why he is one of the most gifted technical DJ’s out there. A real illustration of just how gripping Dublin’s techno scene is right now.

I walk by the swaying bodies soaking up the vibes of Mark Archer and venture towards the gabber room to catch Myler. I’ve been a fan of Myler’s ever since I heard the jungle/hardcore inspired ‘Wheelie Bin Bonfire’ and was excited to see what he would play. I wasn’t disappointed.

Myler linked up with Belfast duo Cave DJ’s for a set of ferocious gabber. The DSNT crew recently ventured to Corsica Studios, where Myler dictated a jungle set, but here the sounds were symbolic of the crowd in front of him. We demanded high intensity noise and good craic – Myler and Cave solely delivered.

I HATE MODELS was always going to kill it. He proved why he’s one of the most in demand techno DJ’s around with his healthy combination of uplifting euphoria and heavy hitting bangers. Stranger took us on a journey through the different era’s of techno and The DJ Producer brought a new definition to insanity with a set that was heavy enough to crack a skull.

A quick nip outside for a cigarette leads to becoming engulfed in the ‘sound’ atmosphere of the crowd. I have to say, the people I met at LUMEN are amongst the friendliest I’ve ever come across at a rave. The sounds may be symbolic to an angry aesthetic, but the crowd couldn’t be nicer. I’m invited to sit down in the chill out space with a few friends, and to be honest I probably could of sat there all night – rolling cigarettes, laughing and talking, had it not been for a quick reminder that Paula Temple was about to begin her set.

Critically acclaimed Paula ignited a frenzy. I’m sure you’ve seen the video. Plants are lifted, illustrating a portrait of some sort of techno jungle. Techno gremlin faces, constructed by the very talented Nuala Convery, look down on the madness below.

“Mate, I haven’t stopped smiling since she came on. Look at this!” states one wide eyed onlooker, pointing towards the main stage. It really is something special. The whole evening is a testament to just how much work has gone into the evening. 

You’ll struggle to find a crew in Ireland that works harder than DSNT, and through this they’ve created a safe haven techno utopia, were its residents are free to be as weird as they want.

I’m still finding glitter in places.


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