The spirit of Carnival charged full throttle through the crowd under the Westway, defying the rain-soaked pavements and sombre skies to bring the heat for the Red Bull Music Academy Sound System.
Every year Red Bull decorate the space with brightly coloured palm trees and incredible artwork splashed across the walls and this year did not disappoint with the stage build like a mini shanti town with a glowing Red Bull sign hanging high overhead.
Under cover the party raged all day, kicking off proceedings with RBMA alumnus Kalbata, who’s set with Mixmonster channeled the dub influences of their recent album Congo Beat The Drum with help from MC Clapper Priest.
Bristol bass-hounds Jus Now’s set was buoyed by a surprise appearance from dancehall MC Serocee who had help from some fancy-footworking dancers. Keshav and Sam of Jus Now brought their signature Trini sound mixed with gritty drum n bass-tinged soca that really fired up the crowd.
Brazilian trap-kings Tropkillaz. Mixpak Sound System welcomed surprise guests and grime wunderkinds JME & Skepta and their Boy Better Know cohorts. As a big BBK fan, it was great to hear them blast out songs like 'Too Many Man' and 'That's Not Me' in the carnival setting. Following them, Jamaican reggae selectors Protoje & Yaadcore blessed the RBMA crowd with their first ever UK appearance.
Building to an explosive crescendo with original compadres of UK house Basement Jaxx, celebrating the drop of their new album Junto, the duo and their five live vocalists whipped the already frenetic crowd into euphoria. Playing some new tracks and also some oldies like 'Romeo', the duo really got the crowd ready for a rapturous closing set from dancehall provocateurs The Heatwave. Their mix of reggae, roots and bass-trembling soca rhythms rounded the day off with an unforgettable bang.
It may have been raining outside but the atmosphere under the Westway made us forget about soggy London and instead transported us to a tropical paradise full of rum (and Red Bull), music and dancing!www.redbull.co.uk/rbmacarnival www.redbullmusicacademy.com Facebook.com/redbullmusicacademyTwitter.com/rbma