Rifflandia (This year keeping Victoria up from Sept. 13-16) is a multi-headed beast that comes at you hard. There's a lot of stuff to sort through because there's a shit-ton of music to see at a glut of stages and too many good times to be had. Every year on these lists we lay down what we're looking forward to seeing, the gems we recommend, with little regard as to where they're playing. But when we thought about it for this year...why would we include anything at Royal Athletic Park (Rifflandia's main stages, running throughout the day Fri-Sun)? There's only one stage running at a time, so if you're there just go see the music that's on. There is some incredible stuff there this year like Beardyman (Seriously, Beardyman is a beast and a true creative force), Daniel Caesar, SonReal, Metz, Jessie Reyez, etc. Don't be a moron. If you're at R.A.P., just see the damned music. This year we bring you a list of recommendations that only looks to the night, to the times when the mass of humanity fractures into mini-parties all over downtown Victoria. Bass, hip-hop, soul, funk...you know what we do over here at Rags Music – grooves. Hit anything on this list and you're guaranteed to get your hips swaying and feet moving. Remember kids: Rifflandia is a marathon, not a sprint. We got a long way to go. Pace yourselves and take care of each other.
JF Killah (Saturday, 9:30-11:30pm, Lucky Bar)
So, this year at Bass Coast during the Radio Stage takeover by the legendary Vancouver drum 'n' bass masters Shah DJs, my friend and drum 'n' bass expert, Jerrrrrf, planted himself for the entire length of the marathon set. Three and half hours, to be exact. As I've stated before, I don't know a whole lot about drum 'n' bass, but I trust my friends so I made sure to keep going back and checking in with my homie throughout the afternoon. The set that kept me the longest and really had me going was courtesy of J.F. Killah. The big doses of grime and heaviness – without the overwhelming aggression I feel from a lot of heavier drum 'n' bass – was just what I needed. My path into learning about drum 'n' bass has been long and windy, but masters like J.F. Killah who incorporate such a wide variety of sounds into their repertoire are the ones who have helped my own development as a listener. Her work as one half of Levrige, whom admittedly I had heard before hearing J.F. Killah on her own, shows off an even grimier side, going deep into that extra-deep, slow-burning bass shit. With two hours to lay it down in an intimate place like Lucky Bar, this is the perfect time to get properly acquainted with one of the west coasts foremost purveyors of accessible drum 'n' bass with nasty bite.Read More