by Fin Hardie
Swansea may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of ground-breaking music events, but the scene has been up-and-coming recently with some big names raising the profile of the venues.
Swansea’s speakers have not been holding back on the rave-inducing genres such as bassline (4×4), drum and bass (D’n’B) and house. The arrival of a real pioneer of the drum and bass sound, DJ Hazard, in a sold-out Sin City alongside two other heavyweights Ivy Lab and Kasra in October signalled Swansea’s real intent to compete with Cardiff for some of the heaviest nights in Wales.
Swansea’s music events are quickly gaining popularity for their upbeat vibes championed by students as an alternative to the obvious bustle of Wind Street. If you’re looking for the opportunity to rave, get a sweat on and bounce up and down collectively with several hundred other people who will soon become your mates, then you’re in luck. Whilst it may not quite have the capacity of venues in Cardiff, the community spirit of Swansea is unrivalled when getting a groove on to some of the biggest underground dance tunes on show.
The calibre of the artists regularly hitting Swansea is largely due to the hard work of small groups of event planners/promoters bringing different venues in Swansea into play. They are gradually building reputations for throwing the maddest parties in the region, attracting larger audiences including students, locals and ravers travelling from in and around Wales. A few of the recent names coming to prominence include Amuzon, a fresh group of organisers this term with a passion for techno vibes. Beginning with the hefty booking of Ejeca, one of a very limited number of artists to have graced the Boiler Rooms (a world-renowned set of venues for artists to show their skills) not once, but twice, they are looking to smash the techno scene in Swansea. Rise Swansea are the team responsible for rinsing the town with the sound of drum and bass, landing (as already mentioned) DJ Hazard, along with huge names such as High Contrast, Camo & Krooked and Kove. Sink Swansea are arguably attracting the biggest acts, largely bassline centred, as just this term they have fired out Redlight, Chris Lorenzo and Royal T who is joined by P Money, a huge name in the genre of grime. Previous acts include SHY FX, Cause & Effect, TQD, Flava D, Stormzy, DJ EZ and My Nu Leng. Congo Natty gave a fresh taste of jungle rhythms to Swansea last year, a culturally diverse night in which everyone in the venue, no matter who they were or where they were from, embraced the sounds of Jamaican reggae combined with heavy drum and bass.
With other venues now being utilised such as Bambu Beach Bar and The Garage which has started to regularly host up-and-coming local talent as well as bigger names like Commodo and Mr Traumatik, Swansea is now expanding its scene too.
The music scene in Swansea is certainly one to watch as it grows in calibre. Huge investment plans within the university at Singleton and Bay campuses, as well as in the city centre and Swansea Bay, increases funding for venues by attracting more students. So there is only one direction music is going in Swansea: up.