Friday, August 31, 2012



bassline on this radio rap tune is pure junglizm circa 94-95

cf



yet another song i heard on Power 106

which is the station in this town for street rap -- i.e. commercial but X-rated / minimal / hardcore...

the most aurally striking stuff you can find on the FM dial

cold and dry and hard and stark

Tyga... "Beez in the Trap"


in some senses it's just the barest extension of  the rap i liked so much in the early 2000s (dirty south, crunk, ludacris, ruff ryders etc etc) that then turned into trap

but with a High Definition upgraded quality to the production - more space and glisten... the drums at once emaciated yet with a dimension to them that feels like a quantum leap

it's like if crunk/dirty south was a movie, and this new sound is the movie digitally converted to 3D


 a lot of it, including many tracks i've not been able to identify   (because the djs neveR say what the tune or artist is), has echoes of Northern bleep or jungle

so that again adds to that slight doubt feeling of "is this really new?" because if it's not exactly a reiteration, neither is it much more than an incremental intensification of a long established template

(and for sure, the lyrical content, being utterly retrograde, adds to a sense of stuck-ness, arrested development...  a culture ever more narrowly focused on the nexus between sex and money)

still

it does have, at least, that aura of NOW about it

(cf EDM or Cataracs-style radio/club  dancepop)

you listen and you think, "it's 2012"

maybe a 2012 that hasn't advanced on 2002 as much as one would have expected, in 2002

but still contemporary


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

beyond lies the wub - in-depth piece on the history of dubstep and emergence of EDM by Joseph L. Flatley at The Verge --  w/ quotes from me, Martin Clark, Joe Nice and many more

 a quote from me:

 "I just went to the Hard Festival over the weekend. The thing I liked about it was that this was music that had absolutely no sense of the past being better. In house culture, or even dubstep in Britain, there's a lot of referencing of roots reggae, or the early days of house, or the early days of jungle. In dance culture, the purist stuff, there's sort of this in-built reverence to the past. And what I liked about the EDM vibe, there's none of that: it's just like 'now, now, NOW.' And if you happen to know about music you could hear things that harken back to [earlier dance music], but that really doesn't seem to be what the kids are into. I sensed [a vibe of] 'this is our music, this is our generation.'"

a quote from Flatley:

"Despite the circuitous route the genre took, the controversy and the metamorphoses, the promise of dubstep is still a bassline wobble implying something that feels absolutely true: The past is over.

All that matters now is what we do going forward.

So let’s go."




Monday, August 20, 2012


Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Jack it up selector! The Heatwave cram the biggest UK hits to come out of Jamaica into one crazy mix: 50 years + 83 tunes x 73 minutes = approximately five million rewinds. These songs have been pulled up, wheeled, rewound and replayed literally MILLIONS of times - in bedrooms, house parties, blues dances, nightclubs and raves throughout the UK.
To celebrate 50 years of Jamaican independence, The Heatwave’s quickfire insanity-inducing DJ style is applied to half a century's worth of classic tracks. 50 years of Jamaican sounds hyping UK ravers. How many times will you rewind this mix?"

http://soundcloud.com/theheatwave/five-million-rewinds

[via The Stranger]

TRACKLIST
1. Jimmy Cliff - Miss Jamaica
2. Millie Small - My Boy Lollipop
3. Prince Buster - Al Capone
4. The Techniques - Queen Majesty
5. Slim Smith - My Conversation
6. Marcia Griffiths - Feel Like Jumping
7. Eric Donaldson - Cherry Oh Baby
8. Desmond Dekker - Israelites
9. Max Romeo - Wet Dream
10. Trinity & Marcia Aitken - Three Piece Suit
11. Althea & Donna - Uptown Top Ranking
12. Junior Byles - Fade Away
13. U Roy & The Paragons - Wear You To The Ball
14. Bob Marley - Is This Love
15. Janet Kay - Silly Games
16. Louisa Marks - Caught You In A Lie
17. Mad Professor - Kunta Kinte
18. Augustus Pablo - King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown
19. Mighty Diamonds - Pass The Kutchie
20. Horace Andy & Tappa Zukie - Natty Dread Weh She Want
21. Jacob Miller - Tenement Yard
22. Culture - Two Sevens Clash
23. Aswad - Warrior Charge
24. The Specials - Ghost Town
25. The Specials - A Message To You Rudy
26. Sugar Minott - Good Thing Going
27. Dennis Brown - Revolution
28. Barrington Levy - Murderer
29. Triston Palmer - Raving
30. Papa Levi - Mi God Mi King
31. Sister Nancy - Bam Bam
32. Tenor Saw - Ring The Alarm
33. Wayne Smith - Sleng Teng
34. Half Pint - Greetings
35. Smiley Culture - Police Officer
36. Tippa Irie - It's Good To Have The Feeling You're The Best
37. Beres Hammond - What One Dance Can Do
38. Admiral Bailey - Punaany
39. Super Cat - Mud Up
40. Shabba Ranks & Krystal - Twice My Age
41. Cutty Ranks - Limb By Limb
42. Chaka Demus & Pliers - Murder She Wrote
43. Mr Vegas - Heads High
44. Beenie Man - Who Am I
45. Glamma Kid - Moschino
46. Shaggy - Oh Carolina
47. Ratpack - Searching For My Rizla
48. SL2 & Jah Screechy - On A Ragga Tip
49. The Prodigy & Max Romeo - Out Of Space
50. Dawn Penn - No No No
51. Deep Blue - The Helicopter Tune
52. Gregory Isaacs - Rumours
53. Leviticus & Jigsy King - The Burial
54. Top Cat & Congo Natty - Love Mi Ses
55. Congo Natty & John Holt - Police In Helicopter
56. General Levy & M Beat - Incredible
57. UK Apache & Shy FX - Original Nuttah
58. Ritchie Dan - Call It Fate
59. Zed Bias, MC Rumpus & Nicky Prince - Neighbourhood
60. Ms Dynamite & Sticky - Booo!
61. So Solid Crew - Oh No
62. Pay As U Go - Know We
63. More Fire Crew - Oi
64. Kano - Boys Love Girls
65. Dizzee Rascal - I Luv U
66. Benga & Coki - Night
67. Richie Spice - Marijuana (Coki Remix)
68. Serani - No Games
69. Mavado - So Special
70. Mr Vegas - I Am Blessed
71. Sean Paul - Get Busy
72. Tony Matterhorn - Dutty Wine
73. Donaeo - Party Hard
74. Lil Silva - Seasons
75. Lil Silva - Different
76. Gracious K - Migraine Skank
77. Damian Marley - Welcome To Jamrock
78. Cham - Ghetto Story
79. Gappy Ranks - Stinkin Rich
80. Gyptian - Hold Yuh
81. Vybz Kartel, Popcaan & Gaza Slim - Clarks
82. Beenie Man & Future Fambo - Rum & Red Bull
83. Stylo G - Call Mi A Yardie


"Reggae runs through UK pop music like jam in a Swiss roll — from Desmond Dekker's "Israelites" at #1 in the charts to the skank feel in 2-step like Doolally's "Straight From The Heart", via The Police's "Walking On The Moon", The Specials' "Ghost Town", Madness’ "Grey Day", Musical Youth's "Pass The Dutchie", and all those one-off reggae crossover chart-toppers that seem to happen every couple of years, at least when I was a youth — such that Jamaican music is simply part of any British person's pop birthright" -- yours truly.





Tuesday, August 14, 2012

no contest, surely:  the nuum's nadir



funky arse  more like

Monday, August 13, 2012







interview with NYC jungle stalwart and old skool obsessive DJ Dara at Village Voice, done by Michaelangelo Matos

fascinating history on Breakbeat Science, the legendary drum 'n 'bass shop that he started with DB

and an interesting perspective on the gains and losses of the shift from the Analogue System to the Digital System, which had me nodding in agreement:

"I'm not necessarily crazy about this whole digital idea, and the fact that anything can be released. I'm firmly of the belief that just because you can release a tune doesn't mean you should. I do miss [having] A&R men to weed out the mediocre music. Because there's no overhead involved in releasing music anymore, the bar has been lowered substantially. There's a lot of music out there that's OK, but it wouldn't have been good enough to have been pressed on vinyl. 

"When people say, "[This track sold] 200 downloads on Beatport in two days," my question is always, "OK, you got 200 people paying $1.99 for your tune. How many of those people do you think would've paid $12 or $15 for it?" It's easy to get people to pay $2, but would they pay $12? Because that's what it would have been a few years ago—they would've had to if they wanted it. I think that the overhead barrier definitely made sure [there was] a certain standard. There's always been bad music. But I think there's less bad music when it costs money to put it out.

"People say, "This barrier's been broken, there's all this incredible music that can be discovered now that wouldn't be discovered before." But I see it the other way around. I see that the really incredible music is being buried in an avalanche of mediocre music. [laughs] And it gets harder and harder to find it.

"Often, I'll be on Beatport and I'll just give up: "I cannot listen to any more bad music that is right up there next to really quality stuff." What happens is, I just end up going to the same artists that I've known all the time, rather than trying to check out new people, because so much of the new stuff that I check out . . . I'm not saying it's terrible, but there's nothing that makes it stand out. It sounds like a million other people."

Yes, the DIY principle run rife, unchecked by any reality principle (costs, overheads, the materiality of culture-objects that must be physically transported, physically stored), the filtering involved because releasing a record required investment either by label or by the release-it-yourself artist... all that seemingly purely financial calculus actually had incalculable aesthetic side-benefits

now we have a flattened cultural landscape, in which the great is buried by the good which is smothered by the pretty good which is flooded by the not really good which is engulfed by the really not good



10 ads that killed dubstep - Adweek article







that one actually includes tutting apparently























Sunday, August 12, 2012



this is from 2009, but it could be from now or it could be from 1999

weirdest thing ever -- how D&B went from ever-mutating force to this flatlined changeless same

the above is cut from DJ Hype's 20th Anniversary radio show, with bits of chat from him, about upcoming gigs,  Norwich one night, Fabric the next, Montpelier the one after that

and i'm thinking, imagine living this music, day in and day out, week after week, for the past ten years (2009 to 1999) *

but also all the while knowing, from the inside, from your experience deep in the innermost core of it scenius-ly and creativitly, what it was back when it was










or indeed




 also how do you keep the faith, i wonder, when you can remember when the world was paying utmost attention to  your scene/sound and then it's gone to where nobody but the believers give a monkeys....

still that may change -- apparently J Magik & Wickaman have a got a new project called Mosquito that's got  rocktronica crossover bigtime potential  (Skrillex meets Pendulum meets Daft Punk meets Prodigy, I'm told) so that's something (expand yr audience if not yr sound dimensions)


bonus flashback




Thursday, August 9, 2012

via Phil Zone,chunklets of Ozzy Spengler that (if you subtract the raciological aspect) has some aspects to the problem of "intelligence" in music as commonly understood and celebrated in terms of eclecticism / cosmopolitanism / post-genre-ism / rhizo-deterritorialisation/ deracination etc

"What makes the man of the world-cities incapable of living on any but this artificial footing is that the cosmic beat in his being is ever decreasing, while the tensions of his waking consciousness become more and more dangerous....

Beat and tension, blood and intellect, Destiny and Causality, are to one another as the countryside in bloom is to the city of stone, as something existing per se to something existing dependently. Tension without cosmic pulsation to animate it is the transition to nothingness. But Civilisation is nothing but tension. 
 
Intelligence is only the capacity for understanding at high tension.... The advance too, from peasant wisdom - "slimness", mother wit, instinct, based as in other animals on the sensed beat of life - through the city-spirit to the cosmopolitan intelligence - the very word with its sharp ring betraying the disappearance of the old cosmic foundation - can be described as a steady diminution of the Destiny-feeling and an unrestrained augmentation of needs according to the operation of a Causality.

Intelligence is the replacement of unconscious living by the exercise of thought, masterly, but bloodless and jejeune. The intelligent visage is the same in all races - what is recessive in them is precisely, race.

Replace the word "race" with "genre", or with "tribe-vibe" , and there you have it...

The cities (post-everything music) depend on the countryside (genres / scenes)

Monday, August 6, 2012



this dude-that-i-never-heard-of-before played my favorite set at Hard Summer

the above isn't it (posted 7 days ago, the gig was on Saturday) but seems like this mix was made in its honor, or something like that

now Datsik and 12th Planet were ruff, and Skrillex is an amazing entertainer, but what I dug about Claude Vonstroke's set was that - in the midst of a context of relentless digi-maximalism, overbright sonic blare, his set had a bit of analogue-era depth and deepness to it ...  there wasn't that compulsion to fill in every corner of the sound-spectrum with fizzy excitement

so it was actually hypnotic... you could fall into its spaces, its elongation of the moment...  fall under its spell

i couldn't really tell if he was using turntables and vinyl -- it looked like it -- but it felt old skool...  still part of loop da loop era, but not nostalgic or retro-reverent either particularly...

he's an endearing dj too, bouncing up and down behind the decks




elsewhere i had to conclude that just about my least favorite sound in contemporary dance is electro-house....   all those grinding, whirring "dirty bass" lines e.g







a lot of the stuff on offer sounded like Rustie but with all the good bits (majesty, humour, emotion, intelligence) flattened out of it

Thursday, August 2, 2012

EDM in the USA  --  Guardian piece by me on rave's better-late-than-never conquest of America, covering Electric Daisy Carnival, the irresistible rise of brostep, rocktronica god Skrillex etc




Wednesday, August 1, 2012

a pro-bro piece from early this year by Tendenzroman, pegged to an EP by the marvellously monikered Relic and Chubstep, the EP marvellously titled Always Rushing & Always Late

can't find any of the tracks from it on YouTube here's a mix they done a few years ago