Trains, Blood and Neurofunk


Trains, Blood and Neurofunk on an Epic New Year’s Eve @ Novi Sad, Serbia


(A story about excellent music, multiculturalism, brotherhood, and much more)



After rolling the dice on where to meet 2016, two members of our team decided to grab their backpacks and jump on the train to Serbia. We were invited to a massive event, organized by our Serbian partners Drop Sensei. So, the two of us, bassbloggers, headed for a major party that we are now completely sure we will never forget.

Party teaser:

- Location: the largest party place in the city - Arena Spens
- Rooms: a DnB room, headlined by Zombie Cats and backed by the local Drop Sensei DJs Bozne & Rockster, as well as Creeping Ruin and Zola; and a Techno/House room, hosted by the local pioneers organization Respect DJs.
- Crowd: epic

Now let’s dive into the story!

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First of all, to reach Novi Sad from Sofia is a tricky business if you are not a good driver. There is no direct bus to the Serbian city from Bulgaria so the only option is to go
 there by train. We are all quite aware of the complete lack of progress in the Bulgarian Railway business for the last 50-60 years (no kidding!), but it seems that the Serbian competition is far away from evolution too. Basically, both railway companies haven’t changed their catalogues since 1950s.

With a smooth takeoff from Sofia, and after spending a few hours in chat and laugh we thought nothing interesting would happen and we almost fell asleep, just to change our minds really fast with the arrival of the train at Nis. At that point the ordinary trip quickly turned into a freakshow with the bright performance of a pirate-eyed man with a blood-dripping luggage, a noisy gipsy multi-member family, and many other circus characters. Without digging into details we will just mention that the bag of the aforementioned pirate started bleeding on the floor, as it slowly and persistently became so intensely covered with blood that we had to change our places because the red liquid was already flowing under our feet. Interestingly enough, nobody was surprised by the situation, as the train staff was casually passing by the pirate and nah, not a single fuck was given that day.


When we finally reached Novi Sad, we made a coffee stop at the railway station while waiting for one of our Serbian hosts – Danilo from Creeping Ruin.
Highlights: Railway station Wi-Fi password: veseledevojke. Fuck, yeah!

***
So that’s the point when our journey turned in 180 degrees. The bloody floor and the whole freakshow was replaced with amazing hospitality. Most of the DnB heads in Novi Sad we met for the first time (except for Danilo from Creeping Ruin, who played at Broken Balkanz '15), and we also found multiple new friends in the Serbian city. We spend 3 days surrounded by great people and amazing spirit of brotherhood and support.

Nowadays in Bulgaria it is ‘modern’ to be a non-smoker. However, in Serbia everyone smokes. And they fockin’ smoke a lot. It feels like there is a popular 'smoking culture', which unites all generations in the country. So, naturally, we were impressed and yeah, we may have repeated a number of times the phrase “Сърбите пушат много /“Srbite pushat mnogo”/. At one point we noticed that they turn heads in our direction each time we mention that. The reason? In Serbian this means approximately: “Serbians can suck my dick”, which kinda puts you in a difficult situation...

***
After this long intro, it’s time to talk about the main event of our Serbian trip: SureNYE - with Drop Sensei, Zombie Cats, Creeping Ruin and many local DnB and House/Techno artists. The party was held in two rooms at the largest indoor venue in Novi Sad - Arena Spens. The second party room was organized by Respect DJs (the main organizers of the Green Love Festival), which represented a whole night program full of House, Techno and Tech House. But our attention was captured by the other room.


The Drop Sensei crew is famous for their massive DnB parties held in Novi Sad with Eatbrain and Prolix & Hybrid Minds. The organization was created in 2011 and in just three years of hard work they developed from a small local Drum and Bass crew into one of the most respected organizations in this genre in Serbia (and on the entire Balkan Peninsula). In 2015 the Novisadian crew hosted multiple large events in the city. They were a part of many local festivals and hosted a bunch of serious Drum and Bass names at SCKNS Fabrica club. To close the very successful 2015, they invited one of the greatest Neurofunk artists – Rouven (a.k.a. Dementia) from the Zombie Cats project.

The event was opened by the Drop Sensei DJ crew. The first one to stand behind the decks was Leol, followed by a b2b session between Bozne and Rockster. With a lot of double drops and highly intensive mixes, the duo raised the speed and pressure to prepare the crowd for what was yet to come. The public responded in an amazing way to all of the tracks, played by the Serbian duo. The Bozne & Rockster's set was 'interrupted' by Paha Selecta. We've never heard the artist’s name before, but he showed great skills in mixing. While we were wondering who he was and why he wasn't in the line up, the DJ stepped in front of the stage and proposed to his girlfriend (and, of course, she said 'yes').


The last minutes of 2015 melted fast, and Rockster & Bozne returned to the stage. When the last second of the year flew in history, the two artists sprayed the first rows of the crowd with champagne. Excitement was overwhelming and we were all brothers at that moment. Well, and sisters!


Sure, that was just the right moment for the stage arrival of Rouven from Zombie Cats. This is when love, peace and unity changed with… paranoia. The headliner started his 2-hour long mix with what we consider one of the most epic samples for that night, looping “You’re all going to die tonight” dozens of times, giving us the creeps in the most horrifying way. (This is all in a good sense, duh :) ). Besides playing some of the most favorite Zombie Cats tracks, the artist added some well known tunes in his intense mix, throwing the crowd into ecstasy. With his absolutely infallible style of mixing, the German showed to the public why Zombie Cats is one of the most beloved Neurofunk project in the world.


Needless to say, our team was pushy enough to grab an interview with Rouven (before the set, of course), which we will soon upload to our website for you to enjoy. We asked him a number of questions on his music career and his projects, including Rregula & Dimentia and Zombie Cats. Also, we discussed various interesting and private topics which we will currently not disclose, so stay tuned!


After the amazing set of the headliner, there was no place for standart 175 bpm DnB. The crowd was completely crazy and needed something different. The shift was performed when the famous local duo Creeping Ruin, that our readers are well aware of, stood behind the decks. By the way, Creeping Ruin made a release for the Bulgarian Warfare Recordings in 2015.

As of the start of their arrival on stage, the pitch controller was put to the maximum and the duo started playing in their most distinctive way - using the triple drop. More than 30 tracks were played in just 60 minutes. After their raw Neurofunk set, seldomly varied with Hard Bass and Liquid DnB, it was time for the crowd’s ears to rest.


But there was one more artist in the roster. Zola’s task was probably the hardest. He had to close the event, when the vibe of the crowd was still in its peak. With a multi-genre selection, the artist from Sombora started with Half Step slaps and contunued with Neurofunk. At the end of his set, the lights in the room were already on, but no one wanted to leave the place. Even after Zola played two extra tracks, the crowd was still asking for more and more. But... the massive party was unfortunately over.


Talking about the crowd, there were more than 2,000 people on this event. Two thousand people for a medium-sized city as Novi Sad is a hard-to-believe number, but a fact is a fact. For the sake of comparison, in Sofia (having over 2 million residents) it is almost impossible to have more than 1,000 people at a DnB event. Most of those 2K people were in the DnB room, but the Techno/House stage was also full of crazy fans. And what's better for a start of the New Year than a massive event, full of possitive vibes and high quality music? Nah, we cannot think of anything better.

***
After the successful 2015, Drop Sensei are ready for another memorable DnB year. The largest event in their current schedule is DROP SENSEI’s 4th Birthday which will take place at SCKNS Fabrika (Novi Sad) with the renowned artist Audio and the strong youngsters Pythius and MC Kryptomedic, which will take place on March 26.

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About Dobri Andonov

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