Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Akron Techno



1980  - easily as advanced as what Cybotron were doing, possibly more advanced.

This one has real drums on (the shuffle bit in the title, no doubt) and therefore suggests Heldon and DAF more than Detroit or electro.



These three are slightly more trad analog-synth epic style but impressively bombastic and gloom-doomy.







Who was this Denis DeFrange dude then?

He has six tracks on the Akron-Cleveland compilation Bowling Balls From Hell (on the electro-redolently named label Clone, but in fact started by Ohio quirkwavers the Bizarros) and five of them are above ("Pyrenees" isn't on YouTube for some reason. I have it though - starts very impressively with lugubrious vapors over ruined planet type intro but then turns into a rather slight, brightly chattering synth interlude).

But apart from that, no trace of anything else!

Unless





Wednesday, October 3, 2018

pirates RIP (so sez NYT)

A piece at the New York Times reports that London's terrestial-broadcast pirate radio stations are on the way out, killed by a/ the internet, and b/ legalisation (or at least the issuing of licenses to those prepared to go through all the bureaucratic hoops)

Well, that's a bit old-news in this parish, I'm sure, but still - cool that the Paper of Record would, er, record their having once been vital, albeit not at the actual time they were vital (although they probably get a passing mention in the jungle feature i did for them backintheday now I think about it)  

In all honesty I am surprised that there are even fifty of them still left. 

The writer Annalisa Quinn notes:

"Now that Rinse is a licensed station, the contrast with Kool, a former competitor, is stark. Kool operates out of a grim warehouse with flickering bulbs and patchy black paint, but Rinse has leather couches, its own record label, and corporate partners like Smirnoff"

The Nuum was not built on leather couches and vodka sponsorships, that's for sure! 

I tried listening to Rinse online the other month.. but found it completely dispiriting...  literally, all the energy and interest in my bodymind seemed to just drain away as I clicked through the site, checking in on this, looking in on that...   The format, or platform, or site structure, or user-interface - whatever the right word is, I'm not sure -  so so enervating. And the shows themselves: vibeless... airless.  Even Uncle Dugs doing the old vintage hardcore, playing classic anthem after classic anthem, doing his best to make it hype -  it  just seemed to be going out into the void. The nonspace of the net.  And when I put on the Mark Radford show it felt like I had become that void. 

Here's a comment on an old thread at Dissensus (an Autopsy for the Hardcore Continuum) where I get into some structural analysis of how the pirates worked and what got lost when they started to fade:

"f there was a single pulse that you could track as the life-line, the vital sign [for the flourishing of the hardcore nuum] , i'd argue that it's the vibrancy and the essential role of the pirates

there is something about real-time terrestrial broadcast to a geographically restricted audience that creates community and a sense of synchronisation - everyone within the same forward-surging temporality

as soon as it became about the internet and netradio, you are leaving behind analogue culture - you are into geographically scattered audiences whose identity is primarily through identification with genre (whereas with jungle, UKG, grime et al - the identity came from the genre-identification but also a host of social and racial factors). 

you are also into desynchronisation - the ability to listen to shows when you feel like, when it's convenient, as podcasts or archived shows

this is just my experience, but living in NYC and then in LA i could never bring myself to listen to netradio of nuum-type music - it just felt wrong - i was listening too far away from the source, and at the wrong time of day

i think hardcore continuum is fundamentally an analogue-era culture - you can see that with the way it stuck with vinyl and with the dubplate long after other kinds of music had abandoned those for digital modes (there were still really shitty-sounding bassline 12 inches you could buy in 2008 - a phenomenon of persistence completely different from the vinyl revival going on elsewhere, which was the musical equivalent of artisanal cheese - almost literally, given that you could buy 40 dollar vinyl albums in Whole Foods here)

also feel like the broadcast nature of pirates contributed to a certain (delusional?) grandiosity - the DJs and MCs could actually say and feel, "this one goes out to the London massive" or whatever - the music is addressed to a whole city and its population (in potential, at least) - a lot more people were aware of the pirates than actually liked them (indeed they found them a nuisance)

in that sense it was a public culture

internet is narrowcast



Bonus bit - a piece by Ben Murphy for Red Bull on the best pirate radio documentaries on YouTube etc