Friday, December 30, 2016

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

"where it's 1993 every day"

retro-darkcore from vinyl-only fundamentalists Demonic Possession Recordings




FX of Demonic Possession interviewed by Drumtrip's Law

"MP3 weren’t available in 1993, so for me to put the tracks into digital form would detract massively from their authenticity! .... it is no word of a lie then I say that I don’t even make digital masters of the releases for my own uses. I will get dubs cut to test out new tracks...  Demonic stuff is designed from the ground up to be enjoyed on wax, so if you don’t own the physical record you are kind of missing the point!"











"The dark sound is by far my favourite flavour in the rave scene and there was a period during late ’92 though to the ‘Dark Summer’ of ’93 where pretty much anything went musically, and people were really experimenting with what samplers and breakbeats could do....   I think there is still a lot of mileage left in experimenting with those sounds as the scene was progressing so quickly back then. Back then, the emphasis was always on finding something ‘new’ to push the musical barriers, and not necessarily exploiting all that a particular ‘current’ sound had to offer, so I do feel that this particular era ended prematurely." 



"I also listen to a lot of late 70’s punk stuff, as I really love the unstructured and chaotic DIY ethos of that whole scene. Once you scratch beneath the surface of the Sex Pistols / Clash / Buzzcocks etc, there is a whole world of music that is very similar in nature to the early jungle movement. In fact, i truly believe that if they had had access to samplers in 1976, then hardcore would have happened a lot earlier! The vibe is the same, its just the instruments that are different."






Demonic Possession have their own interviews with darkcore heroes of theirs on the website

including Chaos + Julia Set

and

Pete Parsons










clanktronic
















oldie but goodie



Monday, December 19, 2016

paranoia techno and woodland electronics



A late breaking gem,  lost a little maybe (November 11 release, days after the Cataclysm) from RunningOnAir. On Patterned Air Recordings,  the label responsible for one of the year's best: Creaking Haze and Other RaveGhosts, by Assembled Minds.

Exquisitely packaged, as they all are...

Particularly like this tune



release rationale: 

‘Lingering Post-Cold War Paranoia Techno’ 

‘Running On Air’ the album, was written in the 1990s by Joe Evans in his cable-strewn midi-bunker (at various times located in Glasgow, Northampton and London) using glowing hardware audio devices and a Mac Classic to rouse and rally them. It was born during a period when the internet had become accessible and useful to many; information was being shared, picked-over and proliferated by the masses like never before. It was also a time when the music industry first got a glimpse of its demise amidst blazing creativity and genre-fracturing musical discourse on forums, online radio stations, pirate radio stations and clubs — and the killer, file sharing. 

This album is a unique document of the times and exists as an amalgamation of themes and situations, rather than of genre or musical language. Civil unrest, insidious state surveillance, the searing blaze of toddling microchip technology, lingering post-Cold War paranoia, the abandonment of the natural world, machines with ambition, humans honing their steel-cold egotism, beautiful relationships in a world championing the moody lone ranger — all these themes lie down together, forming the timeless strata of ‘Running On Air’.


Was this really written / recorded in the 1990s, or is it made to sound like it was? That's what I wondered when reading the blurb above...  It doesn't sound like something actually from that time, as much as it stays within the technical limitations and tropes of that decade.  But perhaps this is just me being paranoid...  Nowadays you can't trust anything you read.

Patterned Air also have another release out around this time too - Woodland Walk by CukoO
 - this didn't grasp me quite as tightly as the RunningOnAir and Assembled Minds, although it's excellent stuff.



release rationale:

Sensory woodland analogue electronics and traditional classroom instrumentation.’

“The album I wrote a few years ago which was commissioned by Portage in Newham, London, is soon to be released on Patterned Air. It is a collection of tunes based on a trip to the woods and was originally written with Severely and Profoundly Disabled Children in mind. I wanted to write music that both the child and adult would enjoy as most music for children is written by idiots with no taste in music. I have a background in electronic/space rock/Gamelan/Egyptian/techno so therefore the music I write is ok.” Victoria Wilson

As CukoO, Victoria Wilson creates music as a means of sensory stimulation for children with special needs. In the classroom, each track is played to the children and is accompanied by a physical item relating to the aural ‘story' (in the case of this first album, a woodland walk). This item (feather, pine cone, brush etc.) is used to stimulate the child by feel, sound, weight and texture so allowing them to experience a whole other dimension to the story and the sounds, becoming more deeply immersed in it and in their activated senses.


These works are beautiful examples of analogue electronic sounds balanced with traditional classroom instrumentation. So, sitting happily alongside an EMS VCS3 analogue synth, a Revox B77 reel-to-reel tape machine and various oscillators, we find sopranino and treble recorders, glockenspiel, clarinet, saxophone, bongos, acoustic guitar and all manner of other typically 1970’s music-classroom paraphernalia. And to this 70’s child, the music is redolent of those sunny, dusty music rooms, and nature walks through dank woods, the smell of crumbling corridors and daring adventures in the garden tangle and unknown streets.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

afropeckham



(via Luka at Dissensus)



in this vein, gorgeous




sequel / semi-remake to this





another Luka fave, but via Woebot  - this one less lyrical and undulant,  more strutting and boombastic



and it has an Africanized version of that crazed choked backing vocal whoops thing you get so much in the rap music nowadays

Thursday, December 15, 2016

"autoethnography of the willfully trashy, uncool, and… fun"






one of the few things to intrigue me to check it out on that TMT list of the year's best

"Captagon was the Belgian gabber scene’s drug of choice. No wonder: amphetamines were a minimum requirement to keep up with that sort of rhythm. Then again, the pill was also used to treat children with attention disorders; it was bound to have unexpected side effects sooner or later. A couple of decades past the gabber heyday, DJ Coquelin and MC Cloarec popped a couple of tabs, laid a scattershot but unmistakably demented beat, and started flipping the dial. JE M’EN TAPE was the aural register of such a journey, much more than the sound of an evening spent shaking your head out of its socket. The rush of clarity that the psychostimulant provided them blasted the duo through makina snippets, chopped-n-screwed Zeuhl, German hip-hop sketches, EBM relics, Italian tecnopop, and acid mixes of American pop hits, mapping the outskirts of the European electronic scene that trendy mags usually overlook. The stuff you’d find in gas station discount bins near the once-porous borders that birthed legends like the Gypsy Kings, DJ Bobo, Baccara, Gigi D’Agostino, Laid Back, or Mano Negra. An autoethnography of the willfully trashy, uncool, and… fun in the shape of a cassette. 

(Although I prefer Purple Reign). (But EVOL does have "Low Life" - jam of the year, unmentioned anywhere  - on it).

Oooh, they also have Jeremih’s Late Nights in their list - another point of convergence

and this particular astonishing track got mentioned in the tracks of year list, i believe



Overall though all the conceptronica and agit-noise and postvaporwave (Yves Tumor, Elysia Crampton, Anonhi, Arca, Babyfather....)   seems most unenticing to me (reasons to be explored more in end-of-yr-list on the main blog ).

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

and some not-very-original (indeed rather tardy) retrojunglist nostalgiaKORE- from 2016, precisely



shit be played out, to put it mildly, conceptually

entertainingly executed though



also from the FACT Top 50 albums list is this, coming more from a Caretaker/Death of Rave angle



bandcamp commenters say variously:

Like hearing a 90s rave through a long dark tunnel. The music evokes massive nostalgia and a mixture of joy and sadness. Exquisitely done, the snatches of recognisable tunes only adds to the feeling of otherness and times gone by.Favorite track: The Voices of Time.

and

Brilliant follow-up to the classical electronics of Chrysalis, perfectly tapping into the recent welcome nostalgia for early-'90s rave and jungle, in a distinctly sui generis fashion.Favorite track: Genesis 92: The Awakening.






Do me a fucking favour - this is almost literally a replay of Caretaker's The Death of Rave. 



The Death of Rave, with added guff. Viz, the press release:
Bristol, England-based sound artist and producer Sophia Loizou...  builds on the framework of [2014's] Chrysalis for her most ambitious offering to date. Ghostly remnants of hardcore and early jungle percolate throughout while fragments of radio transmissions seep in and out through tape-based processes and spectral processing, leaving the listener in a hauntingly beautiful landscape filled with both solidity and disintegration. Bringing back the times of pirate radio, almost like lost transmissions from beyond the grave, this work provides a sense of intimacy and familiarity during the contemporary full-speed acceleration toward unknown futures. Exploring its audiences' anxieties surrounding technological utopias while retaining an emphasis on nurturing human value when facing inhuman forces, Singulacra engages with the potential loss of human essence amid technological progress toward artificial intelligence.
12 years after The Death of Rave!
And 18 since Jega's retro-ardkore!

credits







Monday, December 12, 2016

the original retrojunglist nostalgiaKORE - from 1997!






"i got trust issues"



like that tinkly-twinkly IDM loop in the background

another misty-with-tears  traptronica toon on the radio at the mo



this one takes to the limit that whole backing thing of whoops, chokes, squawks, trills, gasps and single-word explosions


to be honest i feel there's not enough Future imitators - so the more the merrier

spiral tribe









Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"Nuts!"



"peaches shaped like donuts, split and juicy, just right"

they could have been an English Avalanches

nothing else quite as magic as that in their slender discogs, but this one is a blast



on the flip




the only one of their label-mates who came close




stuff i wrote (for Spin, in 1998) about these dudes under the dubious rubric of "intelligent big beat" -

Even as Bolshi tracks adhere to Big Beat's party-hard line (the music's "got to
make you move and make you smile," says label founder Sarah Francis), the best
of the label's otuput glistens with an inventiveness and delightful quirkiness
that's scarce in this increasingly witless genre. Take Rasmus, a Sweden-born but
London-based sampling wizard skilled at meshings seemingly incompatible elements
into a funktional rhythm-engine. "Afro (Blowin' In the Wind")--the highlight of
Rasmus debut album Mass Hysteria-- rubs a slice of conscious rapper Spearhead's
basketball-in-the-park reminiscences and some scratchadelic frenzy [illegible].

This messthetic of incongruity is something Rasmus gleaned from 'ardkore
producers like Sonz of A Loop Da Loop Era and Jonny L.
Black sheep of the Bolshi roster, Beachcomas are even more into
mix-and-mismatch. The partnership of programmer Matt Austin and
sample-finder/"chaotic influence" Tony Freeman, Beachcomas first scored on the
Big Beat scene with their Bolshi debut "It's Eggyplectic", a glorious
squelch-funk surge of jazzy keyboard licks, burbling clavinets, and fierce acid
stabs. But the duo really started to live up to their scavenger name--inspired
by the surreal sight of a bed washed up on the mudbanks of the Thames--with
"Donuts," an off-kilter delight that became the title track of the first Bolshi
compilation (where you can also find "Eggyplectic"). Its unlikely constituents
include quaint, regionally-inflected English voices, taped from a TV gardening
program, talking about "peaches, split and juicy", "strawberries," and "nuts and
medleys"; the panting of their pet dog, who refused to bark as desired; and a
clipped guitar riff stolen from the B-side of the Mekons first single, "Never
Been In A Riot". This influence from an earlier phase of indie-dance
crossover--the punk-funk of Delta 5 and Gang of Four--carries through to the Pop
Group sample on Beachcomas' latest EP for Bolshi, the disappointingly ungainly
"Big Tuddy Session". Although I could swear it's "Where There's A Will There Has
Got To Be A Way" (the Pop Group track on the split-single with The Slits's "In
The Beginning There Was Rhythm") that gets sampled on "Waiting For The Beach"
(from the second Bolshi EP, Planet Thanet; also available on Donuts 2).

Beachcomas say it's actually a Diana Ross loop, combined with rooster noises
generated from rubbing Styrofoam together. Either way it's a killer tune, if too
rhythmically eccentric to do well on the Big Beat circuit. Right now the
Beachcomas are the group who could do most with the album format ("Donuts" was
one of the most oddly poignant tracks I heard last year, strangely reminding me

of A.R. Kane's second album) but the artist least likely to get the chance.


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^





















Monday, December 5, 2016

Jungle Techno

very interesting interview with Paul Ibiza  done by Alex Deadman at We Love Jungle

(via DJ Dara)

Paul Ibiza being the founder of Ibiza Records, the first label associated with the concept of  "Jungle Techno" - a term that dates back to '91 as a Noise Factory track title

Ibiza itself dates back to 1989

The reggae connection was ancestral for Paul:

"... I began asking questions as my dad had a sound called Billy The Clown alongside Fatman Sound in 62. " Also "I’m connected to the early sound system pioneers such as Fatman International, Fonso, Sir Bigs, Rocky Sound System back then, as my granddad had a garage round the back of our house (in the60s) and would rent the garage out to all soundmen.... All the soundmen would come there on the weekend and share each other’s boxes... I used to watch all this as a kid in the 70s. They would fix amps, paint boxes, etc…"

Around time of forming Ibiza: "I found JTS and Music House (mastering and dubplate studios). JTS is run by Keith who owns Jah Tubby’s World Sound System, a sound that started in 1971. Then you had Chris at Music House who had a band called Black Slate, he was doing dubs for all the reggae men. When I found Music House, it was easy, I told Chris, ‘this is the new thing coming, it’s called hardcore’, (the term jungle was not used at that time). When he first heard it, he said ‘this is mad music man’. I said ‘Chris, this is the future’. He found it a bit mad because he was used to cutting reggae and this new hardcore stuff was a bit noisy for him but over time he got use to how I wanted the cut it loud as I was breaking musical rules."

Yet ironically the initial musical trigger came in large part from Europe (and Brooklyn via Belgium) - even the idea of sampling dancehall came from Beltram!

"A label called R & S Records in Germany had a tune by Joey Beltram called ‘My Sound’, that was the first time I heard a ragga sample in hardcore." 

(Although Ragga Twins also germinal). 

Interesting tidbit on how the dancehall vocal samples became so prominent: 
"The sound tapes used to be recorded in split stereo, one side would be the music and one side the vocal. We’d isolate the vocals and bring them into our tracks. That’s why all these jungle tracks are full of vocals from sound clashes."

The core figure: "James (Noise Factory) was with Ibiza Records up to our 12th release and at that point he went off to form 3rd Party with Terry T and a guy called Kevin Mullqueen. James then later joined Kemet Records...  If it wasn’t for him, there would be no jungle now!

Origin of the word "jungle", according to Paul Ibiza, is not "junglist" by way of Arnette Gardens (the jungle) in Kingston, but James Brown

"Whilst we were working on our 8th release there was an LP on the floor, a James Brown release called ‘In theJungle Groove’, 1975. So I said, ‘it must be a sign’. We agreed the track we were working on ,‘sounds jungly’, and this was when ‘jungle techno’ was born."

Later on Paul starts the Jungle Splash rave at The Rocket, Holloway Road in '94 and works with reggae label Jet Star to do the Jungle Hits comps.  

The present: "We have this new thing called Jungle Dub...  We’ve gone back to the sound system. I bought a sound system and taking it back full circle to the sound system days.

vidtronics



via I Hate This Film:

"A mix of 1970s/80s video art soundtracks derived from ¾-inch U-matic tapes.

1. Laurie Spiegel - VTR theme (1976)
2. Roger Luther - Sleeper (video, Ed Mellnik, 1980)
3. Roy Sablosky - Late for Trinity (video, Ed Cornell, 1981)
4. David Stout - Study no. 1 (video, Michael Scroggins, 1983)
5. Philip Freihofner, Neil Rolnick - Digressions (video, Willard Rosenquist, Tom Hutcheson, Margaret Dhaemers, 1973)
6. Louis Chretiennot, Gilles Brand, Philippe Le Goff - Surf control (video, Fabrizio Plessi, Margaret Fisher, 1982)
7. Robert Hughes - War nerves (video, Margaret Fisher, 1983)
8. Wayne Clifford, Vincent Gallo, Claudia Porcelli (Bohack) - Stilwend (Michael Holman, 1981)
9. Warner Jepson - The electric concert (video, Stephen Beck, 1972)
10. Maggi Payne - Hikari (from Shimmer, video by Ed Tannenbaum, 1985)"