One year ago JABBA was created with the intention of bringing ‘cosmic and future sounds’ to Brighton, (something many argued to be a novelty, overdue, for the coastal town). Alongside this, techno and underground house had also been lacking in the clubs of Brighton until early 2016 with the opening Patterns. Part of the Mothership Group (Queen of Hoxton and The Book Club) it promised to deliver eclectic electronic and live music to discerning fans and it did.
Who better to honour this promise than JABBA who in a similar time frame had been growing in their own way. Having hosted nights in a range of venues including seafront arch MONO with a live set from Ross from Friends as well as Space Dimension Controller in Komedia. This time around fans were treated to the sounds of DJ Stingray in none other than Patterns.
Sherard Ingram, billed for this event as DJ Stingray 313 is known by aliases including Urban Tribe and performed under legendary artists Drexciya. He has been active in the techno scene in Detroit and worldwide for years making a name for himself in a particularly harsh but intelligent electronic sense. His music and sets alike often feel familiar and distant from the listener, at the same time, this has retained his fan base of dedicated old-school listeners and brought along seekers of the contemporary.
On the night of JABBA’s biggest event to date, from midnight onwards crowds gathered for what was expected to be a night of unpredictable techno and electro. Warm up acts in the basement were provided by Fuji, Watson and Seb Harris, all three providing both figurative and literal warm ups including world music, disco, acid-laced techno and more to get the crowd moving in preparation for the headliner. The best track from the warm up came from Kornél Kovác’s remix of ‘Summer Nites’, an unrelenting acid heater which provided just enough warming up for the crowd as the club came close to a comfortable capacity.
Taking his place behind the decks at 2am, Stingray introduced himself with harsh and crisp techno kicks which were quickly accompanied by what could be described as 8-bit synthesisers. Stingray lived up to his reputation of providing unapologetic and unforgiving music in the first 15 minutes of his set.
He was not done here however over the next hour moving between genres, speeds and pitches to provide a truly eclectic set that challenged fans expectations in what was generally received positively by the crowd who erupted into applause on numerous occasions throughout.
During our conversation, prior to his set, a key theme appeared being that of Tresor; Berlin’s powerhouse nightclub and record label. Over the past year plans have been slowly released regarding the German institutions part in the redevelopment of Detroit’s Packard Plant Project which will see a $350 million renovation, part of which includes a nightclub created by Tresor. Critics have argued that the redevelopment will be a ‘repackaged version of Detroit’s techno culture’ accessible only to the ‘creative classes’. The native Detroiter dismissed these claims and spoke of its benefit, stating that its a much needed “catalyst for Detroit’s scene”. As fans eagerly await the plans to come to fruition, Stingray informed me that he also has an upcoming project with none other than Tresor. Keeping quiet on any further details, he did mention that he also has work in the pipelines with Amsterdam based label, festival, and DJs Dekmantel.
Loyal collaborations seem to be an important element to Stingrays success and artistic integrity, contributing to his dominance in his field.
Coming towards the end of his set Stingray took the ‘no prisoners’ approach and increased the speed to push ravers for that last stretch, notably using Recyver Dog’s, ‘Erz’. The night truly felt like it was coming towards an end when the music was overthrown by what would most suitably be described as white noise. This night was no exception concluding with a brass horn heavy trap song which the audience grooved into without reaction. At this point the headline act had breached the 4am closing time, lights came on but Stingray was not done yet. He proceeded to leave a final taste with his Brighton fans by removing his balaclava and passing around drinks and a bottle of vodka into the crowd.
Anyone who has seen Stingray live would most likely vouch for him providing ‘cosmic and future sounds’ and then some. We can assume that he was a relatively easy choice as a representative on JABBA’s first birthday. Beyond this event, we loosely spoke of intentions to move the party out of Brighton, with it sounding like the JABBA will be arriving in London in the near distant cosmic future. We can’t wait !