The blue circle and three bold letters that has become a zeitgeist synonymous with underground Dubstep and Drum & Bass music glowed over a dancing pit inside of the Hammerstein Ballroom last weekend. Onstage were Xilent, Bare Noize, Delta Heavy, Gemini, Borgore, Chase & Status, and Dirty Phonics. The lot was there to showcase the British-based UKF brand to an American audience with local support by Alex English.
The creator of UKF, Luke Hood, was just 16 years old when he started putting tracks up from his home in Frome, England. (UKF stands for United Kingdom, Frome). Four years later, Hood’s knack for picking out hits within the genre has made him a notorious tastemaker, and he’s curated a brand of dance music that has grown in notoriety much faster than he predicted. His three channels -- UKF Music, UKF Dubstep, and UKF Drum & Bass -- have amassed more than one billion views, many of them from fans in the U.S.
“We were scratching our heads, saying we’ve got as many fans in the U.S. as the U.K.,” Hood told VIBE, explaining that there’s a live dimension to the brand and “bass culture” that gets lost with just a digital download. “We really wanted to make it a live experience.” And so they did, when they brought the modern day rave to the Hammerstein Ballroom.
UKF organizers say that last Saturday’s show in Manhattan is just the first of several branded events fans can expect in 2013, most notably in Miami come March. Can’t wait till then to get your fix? They have two compilation albums, UKF Dubstep and UKF Drum & Bass coming out on Dec. 9th.