It’s not a venue we alight on very often because its best nights tend not to be guest-focussed, but the Bongo Club is one of the city’s best. Pushed around a bit by venue closures in recent years, its current spot is perfect – a cavernous, many-levelled old vault which stretches from the Cowgate all the way up to the top of Victoria Street. The guests we’ve chosen from this week’s bill reflects its eclectic vibe.
I Love Hip Hop with Pete Rock – Bongo Club, Tue Feb 24
Big deals to hit the Scottish rap scene don’t come much bigger than this latest edition of exemplary hip hop culture night I Love Hip Hop. Flanked by locally well-known exponents of the genre Ritchie Ruftone and Nasty P, the highlight will be a first Scottish club appearance from Pete Rock, one of the most seminal production figures in rap history and formerly half of Pete Rock & CL Smooth. A mainstay behind the controls through the jazz-rap style of the 1990s, his work includes tracks by Slick Rick, Run DMC, Nas and the Wu-Tang Clan, while he’s remixed for artists as diverse as Public Enemy, Mary J Blige and Scritti Politti.
Electrikal with Dillinja and Chimpo – Bongo Club, Fri Feb 27
A night of drum‘n’bass which goes heavy on the bass, this second 2015 instalment of Electrikal, one of Edinburgh’s best such nights, features a double bill which blends the best of the old and the new. Taking top billing is Dillinja, aka South London boy Karl Francis, who has racked up over half a century of D’n’B releases on labels like Cybotron, Metalheadz, Mo’Wax and his own Valve (also the name of his soundsystem). He’ll be joined by Mancunian bass producer and Fabric, FACT and Boiler Room DJ Chimpo, whose own production credits have included artists like the Wu-Tang Clan.
Nightvision with Patrick Topping – La Belle Angele, Sat Feb 28
This is a very special date on Newcastle-based tech-house newcomer Patrick Topping’s touring calendar, because not only is he the headline guest at Edinburgh’s biggest special guest party, he’s also returning to the city in which he went to university. The sometime promoter of Motion in Newcastle, his home city, he saw his career blow up last year with enthusiastic recommendations from DJ Magazine and Pete Tong, a residency at DC10 in Ibiza and continuing releases for the Hot Creations label. As on signature tracks like ‘Forget’ and ‘Get Beasty’, expect stripped right back beats with funk and feeling.