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Review: We Are Rockstars Ram Jam at Ibiza Rocks, 4th September

A night of whipping out the dubplates.

Legendary status wielding selector in the Reggae scene, David Rodigan popped down to Ibiza Rocks Hotel, bringing his Ram Jam sound system and embracement of music from Kingston to the island for the first time. Donning a Jamaican flag patterned t-shirt Toddla T had warmed things up, followed by Ms Dynamite who was joined onstage by a dancing Lily Allen. The singer left with a bang after reciting Wile Out and her version of Gold Dust.

Varying electronic genres have passed through the speakers at Ibiza Rocks this summer, including hip-hop, grime and garage. Now it was time for some jungle and drum 'n' bass from Shy FX, as he got behind the decks there was a strong confidence that the Digital Soundboy would kick things up a notch. He took around 0.5 minutes to get comfortable and mix up ragga anthems such as Incredible by General Levy and Gyptian's Hold Yuh. Then the drum 'n' bass stormed in, coming thick and fast with cuts from Real Playaz - DJ Hazard's Machete along with Zinc's 138 Trek. Shy FX coolly jump cutted between bassy brilliance while Stamina MC indeed failed to retire with the mic. Watching the two onstage was like witnessing a DJ/MC yin and yang if you compared how much they moved during the hour. Grime time next featuring the usual suspects - Tempz, Lethal B and lastly JME with this year's Man Don't Care. The highlight came when Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz was introduced followed up by everyone joining in to chant Dizzee Rascal's early hit Fix Up, Look Sharp.

When it was sound clash originator David Rodigan's moment, he first and foremost confessed that in his 35-year career history, this was his first visit to Ibiza. Adding he's usually on another island in the Caribbean, understandable given the circumstances. Nonetheless, his first show in Ibiza was underway and it was up to us to show him what he'd been missing Balearic side. Although he said he wasn't trying to clash, he had to first chide at Shy FX for failing to play Soon Come (a feeling easily shared), and later Ms Dynamite also came under fire for not performing a track. Ruuude boy. Dropping the reggae, he utilised just the one deck most of the time, manning the mixer from the front allowing him all the more room to jump about and exclaim into the mic. And that he certainly did.

Loud shirted bass man Rodigan continuously called for some signal and announced the upcoming gear changes. Classic jams went down well, I Don't Want To Be No General by Dennis Brown and Ready Or Not by Johnny Osbourne from '73, mixed with The Fugees' track of the same name. After establishing that most of the crowd was from the UK, he checked in to see who was from various spots, with a tune for the London crew, being his collaboration with Newham Generals on Hard. It's not everyday you see someone get down to grime music, most his age would crinkle their noses at. This man pure loves it.

Rodigan was keen to promote the music that helped change the socio-political status of Jamaica, earlier speaking of not being allowed to play songs once upon a time. The adoration and enthusiasm for reggae and dancehall he brought to the table couldn't have been more sincere. Ibiza lapped up the dubplates ahoy from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean Sea.


WORDS | Emma Gillett PHOTOGRAPHY | Luke Dyson

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