When: Saturday 17 May

Where: Meow – 9 Edward Street, Wellington

10pm till late, $10 before 12am, $15 after

Profits go towards the rebuild of the Rongotai Hi Fi Sound System lost in the Wellington storage unit fire.

RSD, also known as Bristol bass and drum music stalwart Rob Smith (one half of respected production duo Smith and Mighty), has been pushing bass heavy rhythms for more than two decades.

Under the moniker RSD, Rob Smith produces fresh, innovative bass music that simultaneously pays dues to his deep sound system roots while pushing things ever forward. He remains firmly at the forefront of Bristol’s endlessly inventive music scene.

Insomniac (AK)
The Shady Lady
Winston Spliff

More info:
RSD Facebook
Rongotai Hi Fi Facebook

RSD Bio:
RSD is the latest project of Rob Smith, a unique figure whose career spans 5 decades and several phases of the UK bass music scene.

After kicking off as the guitarist in late 70s reggae group Restriction, Rob Smith first began to really make a name for himself after hooking up with fellow Bristolian reggae identity Ray Mighty in the mid-eighties to form the production duo Smith & Mighty.

With their roots firmly in both the reggae scene of Bristol’s St. Paul’s district and the early Bristol beat scene around the Dug Out club, Smith & Mighty were a bridge between the enraged Bristol post-punk sounds of the early 80s and the more downtempo Bristol sounds that emerged on the early albums of Massive Attack and Tricky.

Smith & Mighty were among the originators of what became two of the major musical trends of the 90s: trip-hop and jungle/drum’n’bass. In 1987 they sampled Erik Satie over a breakbeat to create “Stranger Than Love” for post-punk icon and former Pop Group vocalist Mark Stewart. Many now regard “Stranger Than Love” as one of the the first ever trip-hop tracks (years before the first releases by Massive Attack and Tricky), along with Smith & Mighty’s reworkings of Burt Bacharach on “Anyone who Had a Heart” and “Walk on By”.

On the jungle side of things, Smith & Mighty’s blending of Jamaican production techniques with hip-hop breakbeats paved the way for future Bristol junglists like DJ Krust and Roni Size. Smith & Mighty With characteristic Bristolian languor, Smith & Mighty did not rush to cash in when jungle/drum’n’bass and trip-hop exploded, but in 1995 they did released the certified classic album “Bass is Maternal” on their own More Rockers album.

Smith & Mighty remained a key name for roots oriented drum’n’bass throughout the 90s, but their activities seemed to wind down at the start of the last decade and Rob Smith’s moody, cinematic solo album “Up on the Downs” seemed to signal a temporary pause in activities.

Then the dubstep explosion occurred. With Bristol’s long history of Jamaican-influenced bass experimentation, it was well placed to become the second center of dubstep after Croydon in South London. Releases by exciting new producers like DJ Pinch and Peverelist were putting the South-west of England back on the bass music map.

Finally 2007 saw the return of Rob Smith, now releasing tracks under the RSD name. Many of his releases have come out on dubstep associated labels like Peverlist’s Punch Drunk, and RSD now DJs around the world for Dubstep audiences. But with the prominent breakbeats on many tracks, it’s not like Rob Smith suddenly started making “dubstep”. He’s just continuing the same vision of bass music that he came up with almost 30 years ago.