For years, Denver has touted itself as the Bass Capital of the United States. Featuring world-famous venues, diehard fans, and some of the best in-house sound systems in the country, it’s no surprise that the crown remains in Colorado.
As time has gone on, artists of all walks have been welcomed with open arms in their respective communities, creating a web of venues to scratch the itch of the ever-increasing population. In 2007, Nicole Cacciavillano saw an opportunity to make her impact on the Mile High city.
Sound Not Hype
Dubstep was making waves through clubs across the UK, spreading like wildfire online. Names like Digital Mystikz (Mala & Coki) and Skream began popping in venues playing the new genre alongside their influences in breaks, drum and bass, and jungle.
Drawing additional inspiration from dub and reggae, the BPM was slowed down, with a pronounced bassline to fill the space created. Sounds were produced with intention and pressed to vinyl for a true audiophile experience. Slowly, the new sound began to take over via their DMZ Club Nights.
As crowds grew, so did the sound. Some producers stayed true to the roots, while others began filling the mid-range with what would be eventually coined “wobble.” This new form of dubstep caused a stir in the community driving innovation amongst creators and bringing in new faces.
Soon, it reached the shores of the US thanks to Joe Nice and Dave Q, and the seed was planted. The first all-dubstep show in the US, Dub War, was held for an intimate crowd, much like the early DMZ events. But just like in the UK, it was only the beginning.
As dubstep’s popularity began to grow, it worked its way into the Rocky Mountains and landed in Denver. Nicole Cacciavillano worked with the RECON team to bring the first dubstep artists as openers for their events, with great success. Sub.mission was formed, with a simple message.
“Moving people through sound, not hype.”
Pioneers of the sound quickly took recognition, and for their fifth anniversary, Sub.mission was able to bring Mala, Silkie, Truth, and more to the US. What started as a monthly series, quickly grew and has now grown into an all-in-one booking agency, promoter, and event host to bass music artists across the globe.
After outgrowing a number of small-room venues, Nicole eventually took aim at her next big goal, their own location. The Black Box was birthed, and dubstep in the US was finally given a permanent home. For fans and artists alike, it’s become a destination stop.
In the Dance
This weekend, Sub.mission celebrated a monumental achievement with their 15th Anniversary. Such an occasion had to be met with an equally monumental lineup, and there’s no doubt the team brought just that. Featuring Sir Hiss, Sukh Knight, Coki, Cimm, and Silkie, attendees witnessed an absolute masterclass.
While rooted in dubstep, all of the artists showed appreciation for their dance counterparts. Jungle, UK Garage, and Grime all found their way into the mix. To kick off the night, the sub.residents warmed things up before a gauntlet of legendary names.
Taking the attendees into the dance, Sir Hiss brought his own blend of the traditional dubstep style with a twist. While only beginning his career in 2018, we believe he is one of the torch carriers of the next generation. Don’t miss your chance to catch him while he’s still in the US.
Perhaps one of our most anticipated sets of the night was none other than Sukh Knight. His stage presence remained calm and collected while delivering heavyweights through the hybrid Black Box system. Dubstep staples ‘Ganja Dub’, ‘Scorpion’, and more shook the foundation and sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Masters of the Craft
Next up, Coki of Digital Mystikz took the stage sharing his love for the city of Denver before trying to rip the roof off. A true master of the craft, he flexed his catalog of quintessential classics alongside the hottest IDs circulating today.
Unreal doubles, massive rewinds, and infectious energy on stage kept the room locked in for yet another incredible 60-minute dubstep showcase. While most would see this as a tough act to follow, Cimm was more than ready for his time at the wheel.
Another artist we see carrying dubstep into the future, Cimm, captured the attention of labels and listeners alike with his early releases through Tempa and Sentry. He wasted no time jumping in, keeping the energy at a high with tactful mixing and punching low end.
Last but certainly not least, the legendary Silkie graced us with his presence late into the night. His name is well earned, with some of the smoothest transitions and basslines of the evening. Taking us early into Sunday, Silkie captured the vibe with an eclectic blend of dance genres.
Pushing the show until 4 AM, The Black Box and Drip offered free non-alcoholic beverages after 2 to help the faithful attendees push through for the closing set of the night. What better way to end, than a headliner back-to-back with the addition of Denver’s own Dalek One.
Those who made it to the end were rewarded handsomely with one of the best b2b’s The Black Box has seen in some time. We can’t thank the Sub.mission team enough for their endless dedication to the community and all of the artists for making the trip!
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Featured images via: John Verwey