Montreal Dubstep ambassador Komodo knows how to have a good time. The promoter and host of the city’s best bass music night, Komodo Dubs, is an infectious whirlwind of energy behind the decks–bouncing, swaying and generally acting like a one man cheerleader for Croydon’s musical offspring in the land of plaid shirts and bad indie bands. Taking the stage at Montreal’s SAT club/art-space with a sampler full of new material, Komodo’s spaced-out take on Dubstep was more live performance than DJ set, punctuated by live subbass courtesy of the man’s trademark didgeridoo and a fantastic interpretive dance piece by an uncredited artiste seemingly ripped straight out of 19th century opium dream. If all this sounds gimmicky on paper, rest assured that when powered by government-funded subwoofers (viva la socialism) and a Redman approved-blunt full of berry-blaster, the fusion of traditional Australian instrumentation, London-dread and Holy-Ghost dancing proved that a “DJ set” could be as theatrical and visually arresting as any other live performance. By the time the dancer took her bow, the crowd was almost too mesmerized to bounce to the high-energy riddims that ended the set. Almost.
Bravely named 19-year-old London headliner Sukh Knight on the other hand went straight for the jugular, attacking the crowd with a relentless barrage of skanking, high-energy half-step for the majority of his 90+ minutes on stage. Built mostly out of his own tracks including the devastatingly heavy Ganja (twice reloaded) and the Doggystyle sampling “Beneath your Blouse”, Sukh’s set was an exemplary demonstration of 2009 Dubstep at its best. Admittedly inspired by 90’s rap alums Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, the kid’s material is equal part menace and aggression, well suited for both head nodding and bouncing. Though electronic music’s chin-stroking set occasionally bemoans Dubstep’s current direction, it’s hard to argue with a packed room full of people losing their minds to the music, particularly when at least half of those people were straight dime pieces. Besides, the night’s biggest reaction may well have gone to the delirious tune “Sweet Shop: by Doctor P, a funky mix of acid house, D&B and wobble that proves that the genre’s multiple directions can not only coexist but also recombine into something even fresher and more exciting.