Wednesday, August 20, 2014

2steps back

Fascinating interview with Noodles of Groove Chronicles legend, conducted by Joe Muggs for FACT

Runs through his entire life-in-music - early days growing up in Camberwell /Walworth Road area as a South London 80s soulboy.... the conversion to acid house ...  working as in-store deejay at the twinned shops Zoom (prog house) and Mash (jungle tekno) back when the scene was still fluid.....  a slightly hard to follow connection between Mash and Brixton pirate radio station  Passion FM (later Lightning FM) .... then as the nuum branches itself off... a stint at Unity, working in their jungle basement... while also deejaying at Telepathy and similar raves...  while also making tunes

And what gobsmacked me slightly was I'd never twigged that Noodles as in  one-half of Groove Chronicles is the same Noodles as in Noodles & Wonder. Whose EP for Kickin' I actually reviewed in Melody Maker:

NOODLES & WONDER---"Drum Soup" EP (Kickin')

Serene wind-chimes and gamelan-tinkling bells float over a turbo-charged battery of beats. Magical, despite a strange interlude of swingbeat mid-track.

Not sure if this is the track I was talking about...


Then onto the storied UKG and 2step glory years, during the course of which Noodles got burned out and quit the scene. 

Until now... 

"Go Back To Go Forward", the title of the piece, comes from what he's currently doing, which is a sort of DJ-as-history-teacher approach. Recalling a recent gig: 

"I was playing records that are 15, 20 years old, even more, nobody knew most of them, and all of them sounded good. I played Joey Beltram ‘Mentasm’ and that sounded IMMENSE, mate, as good as it ever did being played in Rage by Fabio or Grooverider...   I played Winx, Goodmen, Italian house, bits of techno, all the good stuff, then I played this record ‘Acid Folk’ [by Perplexer], with bagpipes, at 140bpm and they didn’t know what had hit them....  I rewinded it as well.

"People still just want to book me to play garage, but weirdly this feels fresher to me. It feels like a change-up, and because people don’t know this music, it’s not a revival, it’s an education.... It feels new and like it’s something that’s totally me, instead of all this “you did this and that” with people talking about garage and ‘Stone Cold’ and all that....

"I realised that I’m a 44-year-old man, who’s been around in music quite a while, and certain points that I’ve been involved with are as relevant as they ever were....   I’m doing exactly what I ever was doing behind the counter of those shops. I’m just doing it with the tracks from back then now. No matter how big YouTube gets, how big the internet gets, you can’t find every great track from the past: they’re not uploaded because there was only 50 copies, and only 25 got sold, 15 got given away and the rest went in somebody’s dustbin… or they are on YouTube but it’s crap quality, or whatever.
"You still need those people acting as filters on it, just like in the record shop. So that’s why I’m doing this series of nights, New Generation Music, playing these old tracks like they’re new. And it’s interesting and relevant to go back to go forward, because people bring me stuff, new producers, and I can go “ahhh, hold on a minute, that sounds like… hang on a minute.. this” and grab something from my collection and put it on, and yeah, it’s not far off something from 1991. Not saying “mehhh it’s been done before”, just giving them connections, maybe inspiring something else.... 
"... Because I watched every single record going over the counter, what I did was narrowed it right down, to what were the records that changed things or sounded different... So I might not have all the records, but I’ve got the right records! I’ve got my bumpy F-Com, Irma, Night Grooves, Groove On Records and of course all the Strictly Rhythm and R&S and all these things – the signature stuff, the roots tracks of what is happening now.
"And same for the jungle, drum’n'bass, [UK garage]… I’ve got the tunes you can hear in the records made now." 



Oh yeah, and apparently he's got a collaboration in the works with the subject of the previous post - S. Gurley

Monday, August 18, 2014



Steve Gurley versus Princess

Friday, August 15, 2014

junglestalgia

This recent-ish tune by the legendary Jonny L is like a flashback to 1995



But oddly "Remember" doesn't really sound  like the stuff he used to do -- more like something by Aphrodite maybe, or perhaps Rogue Unit

Love-love all these retrojungle tunes and rave-replicas that are being made, even while painfully aware of their dissonance with the original spirit that drove jungle and ardkore and D&B

Viz this exchange between Source Direct's Jim Baker and interviewer Harry Sword in a recent Quietus interview

HS:  The music you made as Source Direct was concerned with the future, technology and how you could push sounds into interesting new spheres. Whereas now, particularly within techno, for example, there have been many producers looking back nostalgically to, say, the sounds of Detroit fifteen years ago. When you were producing music as SD, what were your thoughts on 'the future' conceptually? Were you literally trying to come up with sounds that had never been heard before, and if so, in the next stage of production, is that going to be an idea that will equally inspire you?

JB: You've hit the nail on the head with that one. [laughs] When Goldie made that tune 'Terminator', it incorporated technology in the way you can twist a break up in ways that I've never heard a break twisted up before. He'd taken the visual concepts from the Terminator film and put it into a track, in a way that enabled you to visualise the whole film and concept. To me that was a very futuristic thing and pushed the boundaries. I remember playing that out at my own parties and thinking 'Jesus Christ, this tune is going off, everyone is going nuts to it', and for me, Source Direct was about trying to create something new. Push the boundaries, while keeping within certain limitations of what you can do within dance music. You need to stick to the sixteen bars, otherwise no bugger is going to be able to mix it; then you've got the little 32 bars at the beginning, giving it to DJs to mix as an intro; fills on the end of the eights for cutting and that....So you start with boundaries, and then you push the envelope and introduce concepts and choose where you want to take it." 

This bit from the Quietus interview also tickled me:

HS: You're DJing more now than during the mid 90s; are you playing mainly older stuff?

JB: I'm mixing it up. As long as I have the crowd I'll play all sorts, tear-out Amen tracks, something that's just rolling, a whole mixture of old and new, combined and thrown together to make a good, happy party atmosphere. I've had some comments from people that come up to me and say 'What's this tune, when is this coming out?' 'It came out twenty years ago mate!' and the shock on their face, they can't believe it. [laughs]

"Shock on their face"  reminded me of Mark Fisher's "past shock" concept / mental-exercise... Except it's the other way around. Instead of Mark's imaginary time-travel teleportation scenario where people from the past get confronted by a record from 2014 and they're shocked that it sounds so familar, so non-futuristic, so close still to how music is in their time..... this is  a non-imaginary scenario, where something from decades ago gets heard today and listeners assume it's some next-level shit, a this-minute sound ...  What would you call that, then?  Future-passed shock? Insofar as it's a future that we've gone past, left behind (or rather retreated from). A future that nobody since has been able to surpass.