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Review: Cs13 presents 20/20 x Astral Black

Review: Cs13 presents 20/20 x Astral Black
Avneet Takhar

Cs13 is a new event series which launched this Autumn with a flurry of label showcases and collaborative nights at various venues across London, and one such night down at Village Underground saw two of the city’s most cutting edge collectives 20/20 and Astral Black go head to head.

Surrounded by white brick walls and high ceilings overhead, Village Underground was abuzz with anticipation as D&B-cum-footwork trio Ivy Lab launched onto the stage, amidst flashing fluorescent lighting emitting bolts of cobalt, violet and fuchsia.



Opening with ‘‘Shamrock’’, from their recent 20/20 EP, was a real show-starter. The underlying deep bass with futuristic beats punctured by echoes of spaceships erupted at once which had everyone swaying in sync.

Born and bred Hemel Hempstead hell raiser, Jon Phonics, took to the platform soon after, descending with his dance track, “Time Must Have A Stop’’. The blaring synthesisers relieving the vibrations of the upbeat disco concoction through the booming speakers kept people on their feet non-stop.

But it was when one of the headliner acts of the night, Ryan Hemsworth ripped out Drake and Future’s ‘‘Big Rings’’ that it went off! Slowing down the pace of the track as he went further into the beat, the effect became hazier and by placing a layer of instrumentals on top, he managed to switch the track from hip hop to light electro in an instant.



Then, smoothly transitioning into his hit with Tinashe ‘‘One For Me’’, the mood elevated at once, as the R ’n’ B songstress’ syrupy vocals circulated around the room. Recognition had people mouthing the lyrics throughout the song.

During the set, the Nova Scotia native went with everything from his own kooky collaborations with Wave Racer to chart-toppers such as Rae Sremmurd’s “No Type”. Bearing in mind it was over three years ago that he erupted on the scene after releasing a bootleg version of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You”, he continues to crush it when sharing his music with the masses.

To finish off, French Soulection artist Evil Needle was intent on pumping out the party poppers. Highlights included Losco’s “Enough’’, the rapid trill of the computer generated voices releasing funky flavour. Tight snippets of songs from his Reminisce EP, such as “Twinkling Lights”, brought on a lighter atmosphere as the slightly more subdued beats took charge.