Pressure Drop

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Pressure Drop


The Sistas Take Control: Holding The Crowd Until The Next Riddim Drops

Do you know what a ‘riddim’ is? Riddims are Reggae or Danchall tracks that are driven by a strong instrumental core that will keep you moving all night. That is, even after the music has stopped and you’re standing on the dance floor at 3.10am pondering your next move.

Pressure Drop parties have been Melbourne’s most excellent source of bangin’ riddims and this Saturday they celebrate 50 parties in four years! 100% caught up with Pressure Drop’s raga-matriarch, the culture queen, Sista Itations and she told us exactly how Pressure Drop is revolutionising Melbourne’s concept of the term ‘party’.

Tell us about Pressure Drop?
I guest you could say Pressure Drop is the result of my time living in the USA. I was heavily immersed in Reggae culture over there, and when I returned to Melbourne, I was keen to start my own thing that presented the music my way, with the vibes I had to deliver.
What does it mean to you and what is the party experience it is presenting?
Now in it’s 4th year, Pressure Drop has established itself as one of Melbourne’s favourite Reggae and Dancehall events. Hosted by myself, Sista Itations, the night runs bi-monthly on the 4th Saturday of the month The Johnston Fitzroy. Drawing upon the styles of Jamaican Dancehalls, Pressure Drop specializes in bringing forth the finest up-to-the-time riddims straight from Jamaica, blended with classic favourites from the past.
Wow, an all female special! It sounds rad. Can you please give 100% readers a description of who is playing and the sounds that they will be making?
Yes! For the first time in Melbourne, an all-female Reggae/Dancehall special. Anywhere else in the world, you’d be hard pressed to sight a female behind the controls. Then we have Melbourne – a world away from the global Reggae/Dancehall revolution – boasting a vibrant scene where a high number of women represent the Djing aspect of the scene and promote their own events, run the mic and form professional dance crews.
So Pressure Drop #50 is looking to be a big one – with Sista Itations, Troublemaker, So’Fire, Night Nurse, Fee, Sista Sarah and Sista Raquellina repping the Reggae and Dancehall sounds – plus all-female dance crews The Bam Bam Assassins and the Burn City Queens bringing the live performance flavours into the mix.
What makes Reggae and Dancehall music & gigs different from other styles of dance and party music?
Both Reggae and Dancehall are genres of Jamaican music, which strong heavy bass and drum infused riddims. Both styles have evolved dramatically over the past few decades, making a classic definition pretty impossible. But I guess you could say Reggae represents the foundation and the roots – whilst Dancehall represents whatever is current and now! Anyone that has been to a Reggae/Dancehall gig would know that the music is presented very differently from other styles of party music. The focus is less on turntable trickery – and more on the tunes and the banter that goes with it. A Reggae selector will often be accompanied by a mic controller who introduces the track, and keeps the connection with the audience at all times. It’s quick – it’s raw – and it’s certainly lyrically driven. You wont hear and endless draw of one riddim perfectly blended into the next. Instead you’re like to hear and roaring pull-up after the second verse and an MC hyping up the crowd before the next riddim drops.

Pressure Drop has been going for four years, what have been some of the highlights in that time?
Enough highlights to fill an entire edition of 100%. But one of the biggest highlights for me was our special last month at The Johnston featuring the Tribe of Kings from San Diego. These boys really brought a fresh lick of paint to the dance, and their unique style of presenting Reggae and Dancehall had the whole place jumping. Hard act to follow! Another great highlight was Pressure Drop’s last gig at the at the old Laundry Bar last year. Around 350 people jammed themselves into the 4 wall of the upstairs loft, and the place was vibing to the rafters!
What are some riddims that will have the party jamming?
There is so much exciting music coming out of Jamaica right now – it will be hard to get through everything in one night. Lucky for me, all the ladies on the bill have their fingers on the pulse, so we’ll no doubt get to hear some fresh sounds from start to finish. A couple of riddims I’ll definitely be dropping including Set it Off from Life Line music. This riddim has been my permanent soundtrack over the past month, and with cuts like Bugle’s Friend Indeed and Konshen’s Simple Song a few forwards may be in order! Another riddim which has stood out for me, is the Exit 21 riddim from Dwajay Productions – a riddim heavily influenced by the classic 90’s Dancehall era (my favourite!), featuring cuts from the likes of Demarco and Beenie Man. But being an all-female special, there will be a lot of focus on current female Dancehall artists which have been heavily on my radar of late – so expect the likes of Tifa, Timberlee, Natalie Storm, Spice, Pamputtae and Lexie Lee dominating the speaker stacks and really getting the party going!
Okay, finally, look into your crystal ball and tell us how you think the night will unfold?
It’s gonna be huge! I’m so excited to have such talented women all together on the same bill. This theme has been a vision of mine for so long, so I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our iconic 50th session. It’s going to be one vibing marathon of woman running tings!