Destitute is a Galway based producer, musician, and DJ, touching styles across the board from Dub Techno, Dubstep, to electronic ambiance, with a wide ranging and varied taste in all things musical, and technical expertise in what makes the bass happy.
"I've played at some fairly weird and bizarre places. Some good ones are beaches, boats, and just being in the outdoors with a nice crew of people in nice weather, you can't beat it. When you're doing an outdoor unlicensed thing, i'd just have a small party for a few of my friends, with a battery powered sound system. kEEP THINGS SIMPLE'' (DESTITUTE)
The atmosphere of the venue makes you feel like you are removed from the rest of town, floating off on a little island powered only by continuous bass and good vibrations, and as more and more people come trickling in, attracted by Destitute's continuous Dub creation. Outside in the smoking area, surrounded by a river and small boats I'm able to get to know people better and ask their opinions on the music scene in Galway, and these gigs in particular.
"My first puzzle experience was in the cellar, and the cellar is quite hard to have a good night in- this is a much better venue, personally i think, so i'm looking forward to tonight...cause if i'm not djing, i'm on the dance floor'' (si tom)
Rozie Loopz is next up at 9pm, and she brings more bass bounce to the room, with a bit of Funk to keep things rolling. Friendly and bubbly, like her music, she continues to bring the night to life. This music makers interest began at home, with influences from her family and involvement in choirs, which contributed to her understanding of what she wanted to contribute to this music scene. She is a budding artist, affiliated with the musically motivating organisation Back to the Old Skool.
"I feel like i only really started to develop musically later in life when i moved to spain when i was in my early twenties, and started going to some amazing underground free parties. I became obsessed with bass music and the culture behind it...music and djing is so much more than just a way to make money in a commercial club or festival; the parties i went to were getting people through serious times...the dj would take them to another place'' (rozie loopz)
"i think the problem with big venues (not so much here where it's less commercial-excuse the pun) is that they get someone big in, and they have to make it back on drink sales...people here are coming for the djs, and to have fun; not to get drunk''
"The most important thing is what you put in it; what is your wish, money or fame? YOU CAN get this by mixing, but people who listen for emotions will hear this straight away. if you put energy into the creative moment, it stays there, and if you move away from the speaker, people can feel it. What you give is what people hear, and this is most important. To be conscious of your creation.'' (man-g)
"everyone listened to the same music, and was attending the same gigs; everyone knew each other so every gig was like a big family meeting. thanks to this i could polish my skills in a friendly environment, regardless of which direction i wanted music to take me'' (spetz)
Small sub groups are scattered everywhere and I meet so many old familiar faces, that it reminds me of the fact that Galway is such a small town, and everybody's lives are so interconnected. And when it comes to music and gatherings like this, there is no outside to look in from- everybody is here together.
"My first [Puzzle] gig was really good, I played at it myself and enjoyed it. i take any opportunity i can to play at gigs, because you meet great people, some coming up from dublin or cork; people who just really appreciate the music scene'' (oisin kavanagh)
"i was lucky to have been involved in lots of alternative musical and cultural projects from the very beginning of my journey. As we were forced to always perform and create on the edge of legality, by playing warehouse parties or open air events'' (Seriaz SOUND)
"what motivated me the most was the fact that electronic music was seemingly infinite, so i just got stuck in and attempted to combine things like metal and dubstep or reggae and classical, i dunno, just weird experiments really'' (zenji)
The Subversion Sound System was born in 2011, by the hands of Welfare, and from there it morphed and grew, adding more bass and sound enhancing elements to its body and personality. With the help of Destitute in its adolescence it became the heavy weight it is today, and is bringing good bass vibes wherever it travels.
Now, Welfare gives us heavy Drum & Bass, with a flow that never breaks and keeps the floor bouncing on the chunky beats. Welfare has been in the music business for many years, and you can tell from the way he moves behind the decks, and flips a record like he's been doing it in his sleep the whole time, that we are witnessing something special tonight. The lasers and visuals combine with his body shaking creations, and everybody dancing around me is lost in the music. Welfare has been producing music for the Drum & Bass and Dub music scene since 2006, and in Galway he has become a well-known figure within the electronic culture, as well as leaving a trail of beats in Europe and beyond. There is something to be said for experience and passion, and this is evident in his music and in his history of live collaborations and affiliations; which includes DubCulture Records, and JungleBoogie!
"when you go to these kind of gig, we're talking about dub, reggae, electronic- with a big sound system, it's a physical experience, so you go there...it can change your whole life'' (welfare)
I notice that when Welfare is getting towards the end of his set, the crowd starts to draw closer together and closer to the decks. The headliner Panda Dub is about to step up and everybody can feel the heat. He sets up his gear, his red turntable, and then it starts. The visuals expand behind him into lines and aquares, and he brings in a warm Reggae beat, with a signature accordion tune behind it all, making sure everybody feels comfortable- this is short lived, as he surprises everybody with a quick Dub Funk set, with tunes and vibes that originate from his early work. He knows how to fill a room and get people moving, and he continues to mix and mingle some beauties from albums such as Bamboo Roots (2007) and Psychotic Symphony (2012). This French artist has been immersed in the European Dub scene for a few years, working with Original Dub Gathering Productions during this time. Panda Dub began in 2005, with a Reggae Electro-Dub style that he carries with him in all of his music, and has given the French Dub scene another layer of ethnic beats and rhythms to add to its growing repertoire.
I find it easy to get into the swing of the music, and at this moment there is no doubt in my mind that there is no better medicine for the soul that the Electro bounce and Reggae feels that have filled this entire hall. At around 2am, I recognise a certain beat from Bamboo Roots, and almost jump out of my skin in excitement as he plays a much loved, and most infectious tune Rastamachine. And he keeps this Dub fusion alive for the rest of his set. There are some breaks in his music, but none in the movement and dancing of the crowd, and at about 2:15 Panda makes us believe that it is all over...how wrong we were. His final tune is an insane, heart-attack inducing masterpiece that gets everybody moving until I'm sure that my arms are going to fall off and my legs are going to lift me up from the ground with the speed they are moving at. This is like a wind-up Electro Dub toy, generating 1.21 gigawatts of pure energy; we can power the Delorian with this type of energy. Panda is giving us an experience that makes reality all the more real, like you can touch it. Galway, its dubbers and dancers, artists and music makers will always remember this night, as the night we lifted the Boat Club into the sky. Panda moves away from the decks, and Destitute brings things down to a halt with a few more minutes of continuous Drum & Bass, giving us something to catch out breaths to as we cheer for the music that brought us here tonight.
The lights turn on, the visuals and the lasers stop their magic, and its smiles and sweaty hugs all round. What I love is that the bongo circle I noticed earlier is still alive and strong. A few more people add their hands to the skin of the beat, creating a pulse that nobody can ignore and in moments nearly everybody in the hall is off again, dancing and jumping to this ethnic rhythm. The party never truly stops when you have friends like these.
Outside, I'm sitting on the curb by the gates as Panda gives me some of his time for a quick interview. He seems chilled out and pleased with the night, and we sit and have a cigarette on the edge of the crowd.
"every time i play in a different place, in different situations, it is always wicked. and tonight it was cool because there was a lot of bass, and the crowd was ready to hear some music'' (Panda dub)
Puzzle has been hosting gigs since Spring 2014, and each night and event has made this organisation grow and develop in the most positive way. Still underground and walking on a different path to the mainstream entertainment business, there is nothing I would change about it. Its creator, coordinator and captain is Munki, a talented producer, manager and nurturer of many things creative and original in the Galway electronic music scene. He began this venture in April last year, creating links between Irish DJs and producers that share the artistic and musical spirit that is the essence of what we saw tonight.
"i'm beyond overwhelmed with the outcome of 'puzzlevents' over the past 14 months. We've seen it grow from the 1st night back in april...i know a lot of organisers and they'll agree, to be fair it's a bloody nuts job, you've got 100 things zipping on through your lil head every second, i'm chuffed to have the solid team i have doing whatever they can and more to ensure the puzzle gears keep turning. it's stressful as much as anything else but every night is worth it'' (munki)