Clarissa Pabi reviews the event last Sunday, exclusively for BlatantlyBlunt!
A week before Carnival and Channel 4’s #HouseParty, East London’s Vibe Bar played host to Marley’s Mellow Mood’s ‘Relaxation Generation’ – a vibrant 14 hour musical celebration awash with great food, great drinks (get yourself some Marley’s Mellow Mood if you haven’t already), and usual festival sound system glitch.
Spread over 3 stages ‘Relaxation Generation’ aimed to be a mini festival offering everything innovative happening in bass music right now as well as reflecting the most pioneering acts in drum & bass, dubstep, grime, reggae, hip hop and soul. And with acts like Mz Bratt, Natty and the godfather of UK Urban music himself Rodney P, it certainly did just that.
To begin with sets were short and sweet (in line with the mini festival theme); and the folky-soulful serenadings of Sam Garret and Liam Bailey turned grittier as the day progressed. As the festival got going acts which seemed to be particularly enjoyed were Mz Bratt, Gappy Ranks and Basement Jaxx.
Mz Bratt treated festival goes to her eclectic blend of grime and UK funky stylings, finishing appropriately with ‘Rocker Launcher’, which (like ‘Selecta’) is set to be a summer scorcher.
Gappy Ranks held it down as the UK’s biggest reggae/dancehall artist kicking his set off with ‘Stinkin Rich’ and ending with ‘Heaven in her eyes’. Like Mz Bratt he overcame the odd sound system glitch, and in between his tracks he spoke to the audience about the importance of reggae as a social tool. It was a powerful moment.
There was a surprise appearance from Basement Jaxx’s Vula Malinga who left the stage and came down to sing and dance with festival goers. She ended with an amazing rendition of Dawn Penn’s ‘No. no, no’. Vocals were of the Richter. Power. House.
The roof was raised as the decks were taken over by the likes of Shepdog, Tayo, Daddy Nature, Kongo Sound, Farm Yardies and the Positive Vibes Crew who played thoughout the festival.
And later on festival goers were treated to legends which included Roni Size, Zinc, Dynamite MC, Rodney P and Skitz. Music resounded along the streets of Brick Lane all night.
But the Relaxation Generation was more than just music. There was a chance to see Kevin Macdonald’s critically acclaimed film, MARLEY and up-and-coming poet George the Poet who delivers socio-political commentary and humour in his poems.
A great mini festival. Looking forward to next year’s one.
Review by @ClarissaPabi