Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dissensus's Datwun, aka Dom in Japan, aka Musings of A Socialist Japanologist - aka the dude who enthuses infectiously about Jackin' Bass -- with a well worth reading overview of the year in music -  funny, lotsa cool audio-video clips,  and crucially, correct.

(well i find myself in substantial agreement with it, anyway!)

highlight passages from Datwun/Dom's overview:

on UK Bass

"For London producers working under the 'Bass' umbrella this year, not a single gun finger was busted. Postmodernism has not treated UK dance music well, and the atemporal, internetty, vybless music coming from the capital - a mush of vaguely dubsteppy bass, house rhythms, washy synths, 808s and AALIYAH SAMPLES MADE BORING HOW DO U EVEN DO THAT?!?!? - has lost all sense of FWD progression and all sense of fun....

"Wake me up when London artists stop talking like critical theorists and when somebody, anyone makes a BANGER."

[Feel a little kindlier towards UKbass hessle hemlock etc than he does, but perhaps only because I'm getting mellow and quite enjoy having weirdbeat-ige on in the background while working on my computer - in a club, i'm sure i'd be TEARING MY HAIR OUT IN BROCK-BLOCKED FRUSTRATION!]

on Footwork

"Imagine what music/culture would be like right now if footwork didn't exist? It's a truly depressing thought. For musical modernists, footwork is pretty much all that that stands between us and the end of history"

"for the first time in musical history the UK has responded to an American innovation by tempering it"

[Yes, exactly. Problem with footwork is a bit like the problem with all those global ghetto groove sounds, in so far as it can't be adopted wholesale as a culture by non-locals because it is so territorialised, bound up with specific rites and  in situ dance-functionalism. Unlike jungle in the mid-90s, it can't really be responded to in the "energy signal / summons to action" way i.e. scenes for footwork sprouting up all around the wall. It's not an identity (i don't think anyway) that can be embraced, signed up for, as a mode of conversion and plighted troth.  In the absence of that, then, footwork seems likely to have its effect as an influence, which tends to lead to ungainly fusion, or dilution, or quirkification -- the drill'n'bass etc scenarios. Or (again cf carioca, cumbia etc, as a flavor in hip-dj favour, dropped into sets but not really catalysing anything long-term... I]

On Jackin

Which gets hailed as

"a topography of a specifically Northern British dance tradition - evoking everything from bassline to Northern soul, via organ house, speed garage, happy hardcore, donk and jungle.... The difference between this music history in a blender and the internetty mush I decry in London-centric UK Bass, is that Jackin is the response to a specific Northern tradition, it's not a random assortment of influences gathered from soundcloud and youtube... but local influences absorbed into the music through a regional IRL scene, and absorbed through the memory of other local scenes. Simply put, jackin is exactly what you'd expect Northern rave music to sound like in 2k12, and it's strong because of its basis in The Real.
"Apart from this Jackin succeeds where UK Bass fails not only because it takes itself far less seriously... But because it is a scene which corresponds to a sound. Whereas if you say a song sounds like UK bass I have 0% idea what you might be referring to - in regards to its rhythmic pattern, its sound pallet etc. - if you tell me a song has a jackin bass then I know what to expect from the bass line."
[Have to say the scene defining innovation that he identifies as "hollow-donk-warp-owl-bass" is delicious but it doesn't quite sound like enough of a New Sound to really conquer the outside-world nonaligned dancefan's default stance of scepticism ("isn't this just a slightly new twist on house / uk garage?"). There remains something of a recombinant plateau / hyperstatic aura about the sound, as irresistibly slinky and nubile as it is]
[In classic scenius-don't-mean-there-aren't-auteurs having-your-cake-and-eating-it mode (i'm a repeat offender obviously) D hones in on the werk of Lorenzo, aka 1/2 of Cause & Affect ]

That is basically jungle house...  which is to say, speed garage, slowed a bit, and given some 2012 digi-polish

 His tune of the year

Love the donk/Blackout Crew echo of "that's sick"

(D's overview then debated over at Dissensus from this page onward... the back and forth having a shall we say deja lu feeling about it)

No comments: