Bristol’s club scene has always seemed to be that bit more inventive than its British rivals. Thanks to its long history of sound system culture, world-wide music influences and a willingness to collaborate rather than compete, the city is still on the bucket list for ravers. You won’t find line ups quite like Bristol’s anywhere else.
Legendary names include Small & Mighty, trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack and Portishead, d&b crew Reprazent, dubstep maestro Pinch and his label Tectonic. With the arrival of dubstep, Pinch and fellow Bristolian Headhunter lead the way with dark and weighty bass that reverberated club floors.
It’s no surprise, then, that when the city got its hands on grime that it injected a darker, and more distinctly ‘Bristol’ sound as shown by resident grime & dubstep dons Kahn & Neek and their alternative turn as Gorgon Sound.
There’s a healthy and experimental grime/bassline/UKG/ funky scene too, building on the tradition of mixing up genres and styles to make absolute bangers from the likes of OH91, Boofy, Lemzly Dale, Asa & Sorrow and Notion and Caski.
Bristol’s scene has such a distinct sound and vibe that newcomers from elsewhere have embraced it, including the very distinctly Bristol-sounding My Nu Leng, MC Redders and Sam Binga.
Big events for anyone looking to sample the best of Bristol’s scene include Love Saves The Day, Tokyo World and the much loved St. Paul’s Carnival, or head to clubs Motion, Lakota or Thekla.
Wrtten by Simona Morar