Celebrating ten years of blogging, Blackdown shares a live recording of the greatest dubstep set he ever witnessed: Mala b2b Loefah ft SGT Pokes live at FWD>> 01.06.06 . Writing about that night and the (bass)weight of memory, Martin also analyses the dialectic between scenius and genius: a tension between innovation as a collective process versus the impetus to self-differentiate.
"This sense of understanding extended to most of the key producers of this era and how they interacted with each other. This music was made to be played together, they all knew they were contributing to the sound that was being built. But yet equally there was a repulsion as well as attraction interaction happening: people were very protective of their sounds and their spaces; it was massively frowned on to clone one another (even if copying/mutating/being inspired by – implicitly or explicitly – is a massive driver of scene-based musical progress). I remember Loefah saying he couldn’t use an arpeggio or an arpegiator after Skream wrote “Request Line” and “Tapped”, despite the fact that Olly had hardly invented 1-3-5-8.
.... D1 had his trance-y sound, Loefah the dark deadly halfstep, Mala caused upward percussive euphoria, Coki that jump up insanity, Skream could turn his hand to so many styles (jazzy, warm, breaky, jump up, grimey and the aforementioned arpeggios), Kode went on his own abstract plane. People had an understanding of each other, but only some understanding. There was commonality but differentiation, dialog but distance, attraction but repulsion. Some understanding."
Had to nod at this bit:
"The funny thing is, as a non smoker (of any kind), I actually miss smokey clubs a bit. It sorta (literally) added to the atmosphere, if not over the top. Maybe I might feel differently about this when I die in my ‘50s of lung cancer, but as an occasional vibe to be part of, it worked. Medically irrational I know I know…"
Annoyingly my computer's protection software won't let me download the bloody set in question.