FWD>> x The Hydra: A crackaud.io mix series
Three days. Three mixes. One big link-up.
This week on crackaud.io, we took a joyride back to the height of FWD>> through a new mix series featuring a trio of artists who, in their own respective ways, helped shape the sound, memories and legacy of the storied club night, first launched in 2001. Fondly eulogised by those within its community – as well as those who learned of its patrons, dimly lit dancefloor or leading role as part of the Plastic People fold in more recent years – FWD>> was renowned for championing genres such as dubstep and grime and keenly embracing new music and ideas.
These genres and ideas are spotlighted across the mix series, which is shared ahead of a forthcoming FWD>> showcase at Printworks – the beloved London club which will soon bid farewell and close the doors to its increasingly hallowed halls. Determined to go out on a high, the upcoming event – a collaboration with promoter The Hydra – forms part of a wider programme dubbed the Teachers, which is paying homage to the clubs and spaces that have come before.
For the series, party favourites Plastician, Youngsta and Oneman supplied us with new mixes designed to take you back to FWD>>. Find them all in one place below.
The celebrations begin with Plastician, an early fixture of FWD>>, who steps up for the first instalment in a series that doubles as a vivid trip down memory lane.
“A lot of people will associate dubstep’s earliest moments with FWD>>, but my experience there was a little different to most other DJs on the line-ups as I always played in the spaces between grime and dubstep,” he tells us. “This mix feels like a pretty good flavour of exactly the kind of sets I played down there: a bit frantic and erratic, and often jumping in and out of the two sounds.”
“Playing the way I did back then always felt a bit risky,” he continues, “but I like to think that the opportunities offered to me at FWD>> opened the door up for a lot of creativity to be brought into the movement.”
It makes total sense for the next mix to come from an artist whose name will forever be linked to both the FWD>> parties and the speaker-rattling sounds these nights uplifted: Youngsta.
In keeping with his alias, the DJ and producer born Daniel Lockhart found his footing within the UK underground scene – and most notably, within the realms of dubstep – early on, rising swiftly from burgeoning artist to flagbearer for a brave new sound that would leave an indelible mark on electronic music and culture.
For the series, Youngsta considers the enduring impact of FWD>> through a deep and spacious mix built from decades-old bangers and newer tracks from the likes of dubstep group LSN. Essential listening.
The final mix in this week’s FWD x The Hydra series comes courtesy of DJ and Rinse FM regular Oneman, whose classic set is designed to take you back to the dancefloor of Plastic People – and to a period “between 2004-2008ish” if we’re being precise – with staple tracks from DMZ, Skream and D1.
“It was a special time in my life, where I learnt a lot and met a lot of people I have then had to chance to work with over the years and still get to call friends,” Oneman says. “FWD>> was the true essence of what a club night should be, I’m thankful to have been a part of it. The last track is an ode to the Dance Tunnel days.”
The Hydra: FWD>> takes place on 7 April at at Printworks, London