Red Bull Culture Clash, The Passenger Shed, Bristol 2016

There are 3 clashes from Red Bull this year in Bristol, Manchester and London – but in my opinion Bristol got the best teams (admittedly London’s teams haven’t been announced yet…but our line-ups hard to beat!)

We had:

Butterz Sound

Team Tectonic

Stylo G’s Warning Sound

DJ Die presents Gutterfunk

Tectonic had to be there as champions of a clash at Motion last year. Headed up by Pinch, even as I was walking in I overheard people chatting about Tectonic’s dubplates, soundsystem… But I get ahead of myself.

If you’ve never been to a clash before, there are certain rules that apply. There can be no double play’s of a track. At all. All night. Break the rule and you get disqualified from the round. 

The winners of each round are decided by crowd reaction or a decibel reader if it’s too close to call. A dub plate (a song which has had different lyrics recorded over it hyping up/trash talking a team) can make or break a round.

The four rounds go like this:


  1. Pressure drop: 10 minute warm up for each team to showcase their sound
  2. The Selector: DJs play any style, musical knowledge is a necessity
  3. Sleeping With The Enemy: tables are turned as crews play each other’s sound
  4. Armageddon: each brings out their biggest anthems to win over the crowd once and for all
Gutterfunk kicked off the night with some legendary Drum & Bass – proper Bristol sound. They got the crowd hyped and ready for what the evening had to offer. 

However Butterz sound finished it off with ease. With P Money as their main MC, as soon as ‘Skeng’ The Bug was followed by ‘Slang Like This’ the crowd knew who to yell for. 

They won the crowd from early but after dropping so much fire quick, could they keep it?

The way Tectonic took down Warning Sound in Round 2 was a sight to behold. Not only did they bring out Lady Chann (an ex of on of Stylo’s MC’s – MC Stormin) but with their legendary sound system they annihilated some of the biggest jungle/dancehall tracks. 

 Believe me when I say the trash talk stepped up a level when Lady Chann shouted over to Warning Sound to ‘stop pretending and put in your blue contacts’… Ouch.

Saying that, after the amount of people Stylo G took to the stage in Round 3 (Lethal Bizzle, Chip, Fekky to name a few) and the amount of dubplates he came armed with (So Solid Crew “21 seconds’, Section Boyz “Lock Arff”, Beenie Man freshly shipped from Jamaica) he took Round 3.

 The energy that stage had when the whole crew was up there was mad. When a crew is that gassed it’s infectious. There may have been too many wheel ups for me (I really wanted to hear more than 45 seconds of Fester Skank) but ultimately they made it a two crew race: Gutterfunk vs Warning Sound. 

 By Round 4, everyone was running from team to team but I have to give a special mention to the hardcore Warning Sound fans whose loyalty held them steady at the front of Stylo’s stage. Every team bought their A Game but Gutterfunk tore the place down with their feel good music. 
Every genre that makes you want to dance with the person next to you was brought out. Paul Johnson’s Get Get Down was my personal highlight. Their ‘keep people moving and smiling’ approach is what encapsulates Bristol as the music loving city it is. When they brought out their Unfinished Sympathy dubplate sung to perfection by Bristol’s own Eva Lazarus the crowd went insane. 


It was a tough call deciding between Warning Sound and Gutterfunk and the decibel metre had to be used but when Julie Adenuga came to the middle of the room to announce the winners, people had already started to gravitate towards the Gutterfunk stage.

Bristol champions and rightly so, DJ Die and Dismantle showed that knowledge of your crowd will win their loyalty and you don’t need to trash talk to win.