Thursday, November 30, 2023

the insulting algorhythm

Whenever I am listening to something off YouTube, and the selection in question ends and I'm distractedly doing something else and not making an active choice about what to listen to next... then  what plays next automatically is invariably a dub techno mix. Something that descends from Basic Channel / Chain Reaction but drained of all swing, soul, and sensuality. 

Things like this 

or this

as created by this anonymous - conceivably nonhuman - YouTube channel

What puzzles me is that this is not music that I habitually listen to, or indeed ever listen to. So where is the algo getting its data from? On what is it basing these suppositions about my supposed audio sweet  spot? 

If it was tracking my purposeful activity on Youtube - playlisting, watch-listens, searches etc - and  wanted to come up with something appealing to make stick me around... well, it ought to be choosing something from the following categories: peak-era ardkore and jungle, pirate radio sets and pirate radio adverts, weird old East European animations, Britcoms and TV plays from the 1970s, various sorts of avant-garde and electronic library music, maybe some jazz fusion and some reggae...

Below-par dub techno - it's one of the the last things I'd ever want to hear! Right down there with trance and landfill indie,

Truthfully, it's music that I've never listened to -  except for a period in the late '90s when I scooped up all the classic Basic Channel and for a while religiously bought each new Chain Reaction until the label went right off the boil. I did like Pole. I loved Gas. 

If I was going to listen to that kind of thing, I would listen to exactly that kind of thing - those artists, those labels. I wouldn't seek out some dilute knock-off version. 

But clearly YouTube thinks it's got the measure of me and that's someone who's easily palmed off with the ersatz and tertiary-level derivative. 

Perhaps it can tell that I'm preoccupied with something else, work or reading an article or following some internet spoor ... and thinks to itself "hmmm, this old fart would like something vaguely dancey yet inconspicuous, that'll putter along warmly and soothingly in the background". 

On the contrary - every time it drops into that marshmallowy amorphogroove, I jolt into alertness, exasperated - "not this shit again!".

I swear there was a week or two where it was the exact same mix that would restart in any YouTube lull.

Mind you, these dub techno and ambient techno and ambient dub techno mixes, they are all such featureless blanks, so boringly and un-alluringly titled,  I might just be imagining it's the identical mix each time... 

Monday, November 27, 2023

feel the mellow

 31 years on, a mystery tune, on an old Touchdown FM cassette, uncovered!

found via this sampled source

as also heard in this 

and also this 

The title "Feel the Mellow" comes from another sample, "feel the melody", from Soul II Soul's "Back to Life (acapella)", but mostly likely via Njoi's "Anthem".

Almost entirely a composite of other things (prominently Liquid "Sweet Harmony") but  "Feel the Mellow" is a tune I've never forgotten and always itched to know what it was

Here's the flipside, similarly collaged into existence 

Darren Pearce aka The Tripper seemed to have many alter egos

Saturday, November 25, 2023

brux out

Via Kode9, an astonishingly blown out ruffride from

Not sure if this bruxaria or some other subset of funk carioca (it's funny how these scenes / styles dip into wider-world view and then dip out again and then....  after quite a bit.... dip back in again... see also the periodic excitements about Jersey Club ) 

It hits that spot of so-wrong-it's-right, is-this-music-yet-I'm-not-sure-who cares that you had with early grime or early darkcore 

Kode mentioned that a key element of bruxaria is drastic overuse of side-chain compression (see this old blogpost which engages with ideas of Ryan Diduck about side-chain as defining sound of the now)

It's a bit much for everyday listening (trying to concentrate on anything else almost impossible while it's on!). In truth my metabolism more in alignment with the Andre 3000 record these days....

But one for the TikTok / ADD generation for sure.  

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

now jump up all bunglist cru


Production (love the pockets of reverb) and beat mayhem on this = fantastic. A mad skidding scrambled frazzler of a track, cartoon physics in full effect, until it goes into an idyllic ambi-jungle section... then frenzies up again.   Dozens of ideas thrown out with typical 92-93 largesse...

But why oh why is it called "Twisted Bungle"? Are there samples from Rainbow? If there are, they are pretty mangled. 

At some point I must embark upon a study of the S.M.F. uuurrrv  (or is it SMF? Seems to be inconsistency there) and its various solo tributaries.

This one still blows my mind 

First heard by me on Don FM in early '93, just before this bit 

"Rush Stimulator" was a mystery tune for the longest time, had no idea of the title or who made it. 

Then, one day,  grubbing through scuffed 12-inches in this stall in Greenwich Market that was a bit of a cache of old kore, I saw the title "Rush Stimulator" and I thought, "that's it, that has to be it" - because of the "you stimulate me so much" sample.