Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Dissensus NOUGHTIES NUUM POLL results are rolling out.

Here's something I voted for that I'm fairly sure will not make the cut, despite being verily the dawn of grime (dawning, strangely, at the very top of the charts)



YouTube not existing back then, and me not living in the UK, there's so many UKG videos I never saw during the 2step pop crossover years

Like this one (which did place in the Noughties Nuum Poll)

 
What an odd little video


And why did B15 change the title from "Girls Like This" (the chorus) to "Girls Like Us"?

No video for this though (and I suspect it's another tune that will not make the poll)


That "you smoke Paul" dialogue is from Abigail's Party, right?

If not "Bound 4", then definitely not this (around which Mark F constructed a whole proto-grime, punk-rave article for Hyperdub, in those days a website)


Will So Solid & friends be represented at all? Maybe for "Dilemma", almost certainly not for anything with MC-ing on...  I think I voted for this though:



Sunday, April 28, 2013



superior Soulwax remix of this


Thursday, April 25, 2013

in a drummige-flashback, Our God Is Speed locates a precedent for "Amen" in a Duke Ellington track "Blue Pepper" that came out three years before "Amen, My Brother"

and then also unfurls "some classic, disrobed oldskool choppage" by Amazon II, the killer "Booyaa"

clean forgotten how many pearls were scattered in just two or three years by Gavin King aka Amazon II aka Aphrodite aka A-Zone aka a dozen other aliases and collaboration identities



and this one, the A-Zone remix of Urban Wax's "You Take Me Up", with amazingly shifty sidling beats  and hypergasmatic divas and  lazer riffs  - a sister track to Foul Play's "Being With You"

but then there's this


a collaboration between King, Mickey Finn and another dude...  a hardcore/jungle foundational classic, and a Top 30 hit too.

but later on (1997-ish) GK's stuff started to veer in this good-times-y, party-up jungle direction... it got a bit bouncy....

is this the big tune of that era I'm thinking of? 



i think he also improved his gear and the sound went a bit glossy.... something of the grit disappeared

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mark Fisher, excellent, on James Blake's Overgrown and "The Secret Sadness of the 21st Century", over at Electronic Beats (where Lisa Blanning, formerly of The Wire, now edits):

"The initial motivation for Blake’s early work no doubt came from Burial, whose combination of jittery two-step beats and R&B vocal samples pointed the way to a 21st century pop. It was as if Burial had produced the dub versions; now the task was to construct the originals, and that entailed replacing the samples with an actual vocalist. Listening back to Blake’s records in chronological sequence is like hearing a ghost gradually assume material form; or it’s like hearing the song form (re)coalescing out of digital ether."

Mark then moves on to talk about the depressive hedonism of recent chartpop and radio rap (mentioning Kanye and Drake... Kendrick Lamarr would also fit well in this balling-but-feeling-hollow-and-numb-inside company):


"In the 21st century, there’s an increasingly sad and desperate quality to pop culture hedonism.... When former R&B producers and performers embraced dance music, you might have expected an increase in euphoria, an influx of ecstasy. Yet the digitally-enhanced uplift in the records by producers such as Flo-Rida, Pitbull and will.i.am has a strangely unconvincing quality, like a poorly photoshopped image or a drug that we’ve hammered so much we’ve become immune to its effects. It’s hard not to hear these records’ demands that we enjoy ourselves as thin attempts to distract from a depression that they can only mask, never dissipate."


(Check out some choice assonance from later in Mark's piece  -- "the disaffection languishes listlessly, incapable of even recognizing itself as sadness" - say it aloud!)

Mind you, the sadness in chartpop, I'm not sure it's that well secreted. It's often rather upfront, the explicit content of quite a few recent hits: Rihanna + Calvin Harris finding "love in a hopeless place", Rihanna's cheerless "Cheers", even "Shine Bright Like Diamonds" (which It's Her Factory's Robin convincingly shows to be a subdued, despondent ditty whose unresolved musical structure belie the ostensible "every man and woman is a superstar" poptimism of the lyric).

Talking of Calvin H, I still reckon the secret -- if not prototype, then affiliate - for what Mark calls the "quavery and tremulous" Blake vocal style is Harris's mistily enunciated, half-swallowed singing on "I'm Not Alone".  (Which is no diss: I really like "I'm Not Alone").



(Interestingly many fans of "I'm Not Alone" take it as being about depressive hedonism, being all clubbed out and not being able to hack the lifestyle anymore. Loneliness on the dancefloor. I hadn't picked up on that myself, more the sort of vague undefined religiose-spiritual aspect)

Talking of deflation amid the E-lation, I really enjoy the bit in "Scream & Shout" when the beat halts and will.i.am goes "cus I was feeling down / now i'm feeling better", in this dejected, crestfallen voice.   Then it's back to the party all night "on and on and on and on" grind.

The whole aesthetic of the video is about as denatured and alienated as you can get


The initial motivation for Blake’s early work no doubt came from Burial, whose combination of jittery two-step beats and R&B vocal samples pointed the way to a 21st century pop. It was as if Burial had produced the dub versions; now the task was to construct the originals, and that entailed replacing the samples with an actual vocalist.
Listening back to Blake’s records in chronological sequence is like hearing a ghost gradually assume material form; or it’s like hearing the song form (re)coalescing out of digital ether.
- See more at: http://www.electronicbeats.net/2013/04/18/mark-fisher-recommends-james-blakes-overgrown/#sthash.KbVWHJow.dpuf
The initial motivation for Blake’s early work no doubt came from Burial, whose combination of jittery two-step beats and R&B vocal samples pointed the way to a 21st century pop. It was as if Burial had produced the dub versions; now the task was to construct the originals, and that entailed replacing the samples with an actual vocalist.
Listening back to Blake’s records in chronological sequence is like hearing a ghost gradually assume material form; or it’s like hearing the song form (re)coalescing out of digital ether.
- See more at: http://www.electronicbeats.net/2013/04/18/mark-fisher-recommends-james-blakes-overgrown/#sthash.KbVWHJow.dpuf

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

the 4 Hero / Stranglers connection

great lost 4 Hero tune from Enforcers 2, for some reason refusing to let me post it here

heard it in this triff LTJ Bukem mix from back in the day

tracklist here at Hardscore as well as the first part of the mix

must have been made around the same time as this


their posture on that record sleeve makes me think of these glowering fellers


whom Phil Knight of The Phil Zone is blogging -- or "blooking" - about compellingly at the moment at Strangled

Goldie was a Stranglers fan of course

check for the squeaky hardcore voices on this (representing the Aliens)


looking forward to Phil's exegesis on the 'Glers' fifth studio album!



Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Cossack race memory?


no, it's international - or at least Pan-European



First Bohemian Hard Bass Assault!



"long live the idiot"



Pan-Slavic, definitely



you can really hear the donk in that one 

no, it is international





hyperstatic reformulations of the already-done of course (gabba - hardstyle - jumpstyle - donk - )
but more fun that some of the more tepidly tasteful hyperstasis on offer

Monday, April 15, 2013


Like a spaceship made out of oak...

"I Feel Love", minus the Future




Saturday, April 13, 2013

B Boys On E (part 1073)


also 

(talking of rave flashbacks) compare this Iggy Azalea tune



with this 16 year old Marc Acardipane track (when the demon-horde synth kicks in)



the whooshing, ascending riff-noise -- often just more a whine or siren-peal than an actual riff --is one of the idiomatic features of the trap/ratchet/etc sound, it's a relatively new sound in rap production

can't think of any good examples off the top of my head, but hear it a lot

B-Boys On E, rappers getting "pillish" -- again, sense of history repeating....  time becomes recursive

Friday, April 12, 2013

Amen-retro / Amen as Fratriarchal Fetish

retro jungle! period-precise amentalism!



loads more examples posted at the top of this dissensus thread

also,

"The Amen Breakbeat as Fratriarchal Totem" !!!

Levi-Straussian reading / rending of breakcore! 



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!"