Liam Shift on the Future of Drum and Bass in New Zealand

Tonight marks the fourth instalment of High Rotation at Neck of the Woods, a night fostered to fill a dearth in Auckland’s Drum and Bass scene. We caught up with Liam Shift, well-renowned DJ, driving force behind Drop Bass NZ, and one of the talents behind the decks this evening.


What's the concept behind High Rotation?

High Rotation is something we got together to get the local DJs out into the clubs again without the need for Internationals acts coming along to provide support slots. Because the decline of clubs that consistently supported underground music in Auckland came about rather suddenly, there was not really much option to do this in the heart of the city as a regular event - that is until Neck of The Woods became an option for us in 2015.

High Rotation is a means of getting established Auckland DJs and fresh talent into a club and give them a chance to play a variety of styles by giving short slots that are spread throughout the night.

Local DJs are mostly on warm up slots or post headliner slots, so usually go into a night with one intention or mindset in that respect. At High Rotation, DJs have the chance to pack a full variety of tunes and know that they are more likely to be able to play tracks "across the board," and with Drum and Bass having such a broad scope this format works particularly well.

It also gives the clubbers more chance of variety, and we hope that by keeping the price low it will be more effective in getting new people into the sound.


Where's the drum and bass scene currently at (in terms of its historical foundations, recent developments, and appreciation by the mainstream), in your opinion?

When you ask Auckland Drum and Bass heads about the historical foundation of our scene the first thing that will pop into the majorities head will be FU Bar. Although the club has gone, FuZen are still well alive and kicking and are a huge driving force in the current scene through promotion of events.


There have been many great DJs and artists hailing from Auckland which have been influential in our scene, too many to list, but Concord Dawn being of particular mention.


In terms of recent developments, Neck of the Woods is probably the most recent notable change with a lot of people feeling like DnB has somewhere to call home in the city again.

Northern Bass is another semi recent one, and also a reflection on how broad the appeal for Bass music currently is for people in the Auckland region, as it grows substantially every year - reaching capacity for the last two years.


What can people expect from tonight's show?

People can expect to hear a broad range of quality Drum and Bass and related genres on a solid sound system. Every show also has a visual element, with projection mapping and visuals by our man Reubix³. Each one of these gigs has had a great vibe right to the end.

How are you feeling about the future of DnB in Auckland, and New Zealand as a whole?

I am excited and optimistic about the future of DnB here, it is definitely on the rise again, there are some great parties happening and heaps of tours are coming through for 2016. It is all looking really positive.


We'll see you tonight for High Rotation #4 - only $5 on the door for a night-long serving of NZ's finest DnB.