Wednesday, December 7, 2016


"peaches shaped like donuts, split and juicy, just right"

they could have been an English Avalanches

nothing else quite as magic as that in their slender discogs, but this one is a blast

on the flip

the only one of their label-mates who came close

stuff i wrote (for Spin, in 1998) about these dudes under the dubious rubric of "intelligent big beat" -

Even as Bolshi tracks adhere to Big Beat's party-hard line (the music's "got to
make you move and make you smile," says label founder Sarah Francis), the best
of the label's otuput glistens with an inventiveness and delightful quirkiness
that's scarce in this increasingly witless genre. Take Rasmus, a Sweden-born but
London-based sampling wizard skilled at meshings seemingly incompatible elements
into a funktional rhythm-engine. "Afro (Blowin' In the Wind")--the highlight of
Rasmus debut album Mass Hysteria-- rubs a slice of conscious rapper Spearhead's
basketball-in-the-park reminiscences and some scratchadelic frenzy [illegible].

This messthetic of incongruity is something Rasmus gleaned from 'ardkore
producers like Sonz of A Loop Da Loop Era and Jonny L.
Black sheep of the Bolshi roster, Beachcomas are even more into
mix-and-mismatch. The partnership of programmer Matt Austin and
sample-finder/"chaotic influence" Tony Freeman, Beachcomas first scored on the
Big Beat scene with their Bolshi debut "It's Eggyplectic", a glorious
squelch-funk surge of jazzy keyboard licks, burbling clavinets, and fierce acid
stabs. But the duo really started to live up to their scavenger name--inspired
by the surreal sight of a bed washed up on the mudbanks of the Thames--with
"Donuts," an off-kilter delight that became the title track of the first Bolshi
compilation (where you can also find "Eggyplectic"). Its unlikely constituents
include quaint, regionally-inflected English voices, taped from a TV gardening
program, talking about "peaches, split and juicy", "strawberries," and "nuts and
medleys"; the panting of their pet dog, who refused to bark as desired; and a
clipped guitar riff stolen from the B-side of the Mekons first single, "Never
Been In A Riot". This influence from an earlier phase of indie-dance
crossover--the punk-funk of Delta 5 and Gang of Four--carries through to the Pop
Group sample on Beachcomas' latest EP for Bolshi, the disappointingly ungainly
"Big Tuddy Session". Although I could swear it's "Where There's A Will There Has
Got To Be A Way" (the Pop Group track on the split-single with The Slits's "In
The Beginning There Was Rhythm") that gets sampled on "Waiting For The Beach"
(from the second Bolshi EP, Planet Thanet; also available on Donuts 2).

Beachcomas say it's actually a Diana Ross loop, combined with rooster noises
generated from rubbing Styrofoam together. Either way it's a killer tune, if too
rhythmically eccentric to do well on the Big Beat circuit. Right now the
Beachcomas are the group who could do most with the album format ("Donuts" was
one of the most oddly poignant tracks I heard last year, strangely reminding me

of A.R. Kane's second album) but the artist least likely to get the chance.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Jungle Techno

very interesting interview with Paul Ibiza  done by Alex Deadman at We Love Jungle

(via DJ Dara)

Paul Ibiza being the founder of Ibiza Records, the first label associated with the concept of  "Jungle Techno" - a term that dates back to '91 as a Noise Factory track title

Ibiza itself dates back to 1989

The reggae connection was ancestral for Paul:

"... I began asking questions as my dad had a sound called Billy The Clown alongside Fatman Sound in 62. " Also "I’m connected to the early sound system pioneers such as Fatman International, Fonso, Sir Bigs, Rocky Sound System back then, as my granddad had a garage round the back of our house (in the60s) and would rent the garage out to all soundmen.... All the soundmen would come there on the weekend and share each other’s boxes... I used to watch all this as a kid in the 70s. They would fix amps, paint boxes, etc…"

Around time of forming Ibiza: "I found JTS and Music House (mastering and dubplate studios). JTS is run by Keith who owns Jah Tubby’s World Sound System, a sound that started in 1971. Then you had Chris at Music House who had a band called Black Slate, he was doing dubs for all the reggae men. When I found Music House, it was easy, I told Chris, ‘this is the new thing coming, it’s called hardcore’, (the term jungle was not used at that time). When he first heard it, he said ‘this is mad music man’. I said ‘Chris, this is the future’. He found it a bit mad because he was used to cutting reggae and this new hardcore stuff was a bit noisy for him but over time he got use to how I wanted the cut it loud as I was breaking musical rules."

Yet ironically the initial musical trigger came in large part from Europe (and Brooklyn via Belgium) - even the idea of sampling dancehall came from Beltram!

"A label called R & S Records in Germany had a tune by Joey Beltram called ‘My Sound’, that was the first time I heard a ragga sample in hardcore." 

(Although Ragga Twins also germinal). 

Interesting tidbit on how the dancehall vocal samples became so prominent: 
"The sound tapes used to be recorded in split stereo, one side would be the music and one side the vocal. We’d isolate the vocals and bring them into our tracks. That’s why all these jungle tracks are full of vocals from sound clashes."

The core figure: "James (Noise Factory) was with Ibiza Records up to our 12th release and at that point he went off to form 3rd Party with Terry T and a guy called Kevin Mullqueen. James then later joined Kemet Records...  If it wasn’t for him, there would be no jungle now!

Origin of the word "jungle", according to Paul Ibiza, is not "junglist" by way of Arnette Gardens (the jungle) in Kingston, but James Brown

"Whilst we were working on our 8th release there was an LP on the floor, a James Brown release called ‘In theJungle Groove’, 1975. So I said, ‘it must be a sign’. We agreed the track we were working on ,‘sounds jungly’, and this was when ‘jungle techno’ was born."

Later on Paul starts the Jungle Splash rave at The Rocket, Holloway Road in '94 and works with reggae label Jet Star to do the Jungle Hits comps.  

The present: "We have this new thing called Jungle Dub...  We’ve gone back to the sound system. I bought a sound system and taking it back full circle to the sound system days.


via I Hate This Film:

"A mix of 1970s/80s video art soundtracks derived from ¾-inch U-matic tapes.

1. Laurie Spiegel - VTR theme (1976)
2. Roger Luther - Sleeper (video, Ed Mellnik, 1980)
3. Roy Sablosky - Late for Trinity (video, Ed Cornell, 1981)
4. David Stout - Study no. 1 (video, Michael Scroggins, 1983)
5. Philip Freihofner, Neil Rolnick - Digressions (video, Willard Rosenquist, Tom Hutcheson, Margaret Dhaemers, 1973)
6. Louis Chretiennot, Gilles Brand, Philippe Le Goff - Surf control (video, Fabrizio Plessi, Margaret Fisher, 1982)
7. Robert Hughes - War nerves (video, Margaret Fisher, 1983)
8. Wayne Clifford, Vincent Gallo, Claudia Porcelli (Bohack) - Stilwend (Michael Holman, 1981)
9. Warner Jepson - The electric concert (video, Stephen Beck, 1972)
10. Maggi Payne - Hikari (from Shimmer, video by Ed Tannenbaum, 1985)"