Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"it's just a RE-cycle"

Duke Dumont and the House Revival, discussed in the main place, along with the UKG/2step Revival...

But seemingly there's a third strand to this house revivalism going on, the minimal tech house / shuffling / cutting shapes, which Blackdown aka Martin Clark discusses in the blog-only offcuts  of an interview he did with Red Bull Music Academy's Todd Burns:

"This shuffling/minimal tech/house sound [what he elsewhere calls “landfill tech house”!] is clearly blowing up on the London underground right now, the energy is unmistakeable, it’s just really baffling when you hear it if you’ve heard house in the last 20 years because the comparison between the sound and the way the audience talk about the sound doesn’t add up. Which is to say: they talk like it’s a brand new thing but it sounds like generic techy house."

And as he says in the main published interview at RBMA, "why London’s working class/multi-cultural/pirate/urban crowd started raving to quite similar techy house and why fugitive post-dubsteppers started making it is a double mystery.... It kinda all feels upside down: the culture and the crowd feels very ‘nuum, but the music to my ears at least could be in any Euro tech house superclub."

(The dancing really doesn't look all that, does it? ... I mean, I couldn't do it, obviously, but...)

Back in the offcuts at his blog, Martin quotes from a London underground house documentary, juxtaposing the words of  a younger, more hyped-up and seemingly historically unaware jock with those of an experienced, been around the block deejay, Pioneer :

Pioneer: “The sound now, that people are after, is house again. Whereas it went through the UK funky phase and some of it sounded a bit… grimey. It had it's distinctive sounds, don't get me wrong, and it had it's other sound, which was a bit gimmicky - some of the MC tunes that people didn't like - but those people that left that UK funky side started to search for a deeper sound and started realising 'oh there's house." So for them it's kinda new, but for someone who's been in it for years… it's just a cycle. It's kinda gone back to where it was in the '90s. We're back here again, the house/garage sound.”

As Martin notes, this current "back to house" shift is an echo of  the never-quite-took-off Circle / dubbage thing he was tentatively presenting as a potential next big wave a few years back

Which was an echo of "urban house", Timmi Magic's anti-grime, get rid of the MCs, bring in the live percussionist move of the early 2000s...

At a certain point these pendulunuum shifts (from MCs/edge-of-antigroove/gritty to no-MCs/smooth 'n' steady grooves/ deluxe) themselves get to be predictable, fixed...

Hence the Groundhog Day scenario Martin contemplates here:

"Culturally this stuff is a new wave; musically it’s so beholden to house right now it’s hard to say it’s “new.” Maybe the latter will come with time... [but] maybe this won't and indeed doesn’t want to, it just wants to rave and party all night long: fair play. But the irony being is that if they do go down the route of sonic change towards signifiers that fit more closely what we recognise as “London underground” by putting kicks and snares in interesting places... they might find themselves back at UK funky again, already!"

1 comment:

Paul Hebron said...

The bloke in the Duke Dumont video is some sort of cynical, knowing, commentary right?: "oh, this again." Literally sick with boredom/annoyance and solace when the music's switched off. So if the people making it don't necessary believe in it...