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The Metalheadz night at Blue Note was a party that will go down in history as one of drum & bass’ most important. Alongside Rage and Speed, it’s the one that is most frequently cited by the genre’s luminaries in spreading the sound worldwide. Like most nights that eventually take on a historical significance, its success is a combination of factors. Drum & bass was in its beginning stages and Metalheadz, the label, had gathered together some of its finest, young producers. It was held on a Sunday, a day that lured out the rave-shy beatmakers. And heading it all up was this irrepressible character, Goldie, a producer who was just about ready to take the whole thing global.
There are other, vitally important things to mention. A lack of traditional MCs. A fierce dubplate rivalry. A DJ who put together one of the best DJ sets ever – after not spinning records in public for more than a year. But instead of listing all of them, we’ll simply let the people that were there tell the story. Over the past few months we interviewed a majority of the night’s major players. Here is their take on Metalheadz at Blue Note.
The underground rave scene in Boston was going strong in mid 90s with parties like the Primary series and Plur, Plural, and Pluralism. The Mission Control hotline, Boston Raves and NE Raves listserves, and VRAVE connected the scene. On the club front, The Loft, a private after hours, was pretty much where it was at for underground dance music. Their usual focus was House with Boston House legend DJ Bruno as the downstairs resident but upstairs, DJ Overload and Jason Mouse started to mix it up with early Hardcore and Jungle.
Around the same time, original Boston Jungle promoter Al Fougy returned to Boston from London. He had attended some of the seminal Jungle nights and came back determined to bring the sound to Boston. Word spread, in the fall of 1995, that a night dedicated to Jungle was starting and flyers started showing up everywhere…