Where to begin with Outlook Festival? The festival that’s taken the wood and nails of the sound system culture and showcases it into an incomparable experience. If its dubstep, drum and bass, hip-hop, garage, bassline or even an orchestra, there’s something for you. With such a variety on show, it’s clear to say that Outlook is an experience entirely focused on the music.
Outlook Festival 2017 featured some of the top acts, collectives, and labels within this side of music; Ghostface Killah and Giggs, Critical, Swamp 81, High Focus, and Levelz which presents you with the spectacle of the year; even through some seriously dramatic weather. Topping things off, it utilises the profound and dark ruins of a 200-year-old fort. It explains why you’ll find people from all over the world taking a trip to the Adriatic. 10-years-old and Outlook seem to show no signs of slowing down; they’re keeping a firm hold on the pioneers and the protégés of the modern plains of bass music.
You can see one record label taking no prisoners with their mastering of the classics and contemporaries. Recently ranked number 29 in Mix Mag’s top 50 names of the decade; they succeeded through the struggles of an over-glorified rise due to an incredibly saturated scene at its commercial peak back in 2009. The label I’m speaking of is Deep Medi Musik.
Since beginning in 2006, Deep Medi has managed to keep its focus on a richer, more cohesive experience within the Dubstep scene. Label manager Steph said it’s a label with a wider scope of producers featuring a common thread, “music that you can feel”. You could find Mala, Coki, Loefah and MC Sgt Pokes hosting the DMZ nights in Brixton where all the magic began.
Mala went out to find like-minded artists that had the same passion and belief in the scene as he did back in the early 00’s. Mala started the label as a platform for his more experimental work, but things evolved differently. It became less about himself and more about those he saw potential in; like some kind of Mr. Miyagi of Dubstep. Ever since its creation Deep Medi has hosted some of the defining records from the beginning of Dubstep’s birth, spanning more than 100 releases ten years on, featuring many now-classic tracks.
I got some words from the labels newest member, Egoless. Being from Croatia, Outlook has been a defining feature of Egoless’ calendar for the last five years. He’s solidly making a name for himself with his mesmerising live sets and destructively dark productions. Egoless has said, “My first Medi record is forthcoming, but already I feel the impact, mostly on bookings. Being booked for some bigger events & clubs like Fabric. […] On a personal level, I make music and play it live; this is who I am, this is what I do, and that’s what I’ll keep on doing”.
Egoless brings together the routed mentality of Deep Medi: pushing sounds that are deeply emotive and keeping very grounded amongst the platform. The legacy has always remained the same with everyone involved, projecting a very humble perspective.
It’s compelling to see a label putting out releases ten years and witnessing a revitalisation by grabbing the attention of the new wave. Something manifested through no real force, instead, a drive forward with the sounds and scenes. Like punk, or other past cultures you would often see a resurgence, but with a modern take overriding what was once created. It goes to show the belief of the artists and the loyalty of the fans. You can witness the passion purely through the Outlook lineup; harboring eight artists that feature within Deep Medi, amongst around 12 dubstep artists in total sailing those riddims forward.
Both Outlook and Deep Medi show a method that has allowed their entity to breathe and take forward a successful route. Outlook is a showcase of the best music of our time, and Deep Medi will firmly have a place on their stage as long as the fort is still standing.