Saturday, September 1, 2018


cool piece on the history (and prehistory) of the rewind ritual in rave by Harold Heath at DJ Tech Tools

"There’s a clear line of influence from Kingston Jamaica straight to, for example, the Four Aces club in Dalston which housed the legendary hardcore night Club Labyrinth...  a sprawling venue, formerly a West Indian drinking club which had featured appearances from reggae acts like Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff and Dennis Brown. The rewind was already at home at the Four Aces, and it quickly became part of the hardcore ravers scene there. Lots of rave and hardcore DJs had West Indian backgrounds, so incorporating rewinds into their rave DJ sets was a logical progression."

"just a couple of miles down the road from Labyrinth was the legendary Telepathy raves in Stratford, co-promoted by Bret Telepathy [who explained]: “We…come from West Indian backgrounds. We grew up here. The Reggae flavours we incorporated, things like the MC because that what we were used to. Things that are industry standard now like rewinds – we created that at Marshgate Lane. We said, “Tell ‘em “Stop the tune. Rewind it.” (Brian Belle Fortune All Crews, 2004)."
the absence of these demographic links and migration of rituals explains why it never caught on in e.g. hard banging techno, house, or trance. but as the piece also explains it wouldn't have fit the vibe:
"DJs like Sasha and Digweed were celebrated for long drawn-out transitions between tunes, ravers at seminal London tech house nights Wiggle and Heart & Soul would whoop with joy as the hi-hat on a new tune was bought in, cheering the mix as well as the tune. Trance DJs might mix a pair of key-matched tunes together for minutes on end; this was not a DJing environment in which ripping the record back to the beginning was appropriate. House and techno tracks had long intros and subtle builds, they didn’t tend to have a well-known intro that would immediately send a crowd into paroxysms of joy and wild abandon"

Thursday, August 23, 2018

vintage 96 rollige

except it was recorded in 2017!

no, but it's great stereo-panning rhythmic psychedelia

like a lost batch of barely recognisable remixes of Goldie tunes done by Source Direct and Hidden Agenda

lead track of OneMind's debut album OneMind presents OneMind

(via Tim Finney)


it still sounds


the future

to me

very odd, that - cos i know it's not, that it's a now classic sound-style...

that it's history... legend...

a mythic and mythologized era

(hell, I done mythologized it myself - not single-handedly but certainly made an outsize contribution there!)

i know that we've gone past this and are looking back at it in the rear-view mirror

except that listening, it feels open and wide and forward-leaning - a full-speed ahead windshield view

perhaps it's just a trick of memory, how I felt then flooding back involuntarily

or that it's all so imprinted in my neurology and brain pathways that those sounds can't be heard any other way

it's not like I don't feel that feeling about some things happening today

(more so than 2009-2010)

but yeah, it feels like  my ears are staring out at a vista, a frontier, when I listen to it

if i played it to my beats and bleeps mad son, I wonder if he's be able to tell it was from the past ?

(not literally from the past obviously, in actual fact made virtually yesterday)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


cool super in-depth piece by Holly Dicker for Resident Advisor on the history - and contemporary influence / resurgence - of EBM  - aka Electronic Body Music

I often used to de-abbreviate the term incorrectly as European Body Music - which i actually think is a better term, given the ancestral role of DAF, Liaisons Dangereuses, Die Krupps, etc

if I was to do Energy Flash again, one of a bunch things I'd add is more on the non-disco, non-American, Euro-industrial prehistory of rave

it's there implicitly and name-checked with the coverage of Belgium, gabba etc - but there is more to say about this other dance-oriented club culture of the Eighties that was going on at the same time as the black street sounds like electro, synth-funk, freestyle, early minimalist rap and proto-house - a scene / sound that was stompy, Euro, and descended out of industrial if veering often into a sinewy sort of fun

mind you, i never found it easy to dance to industrial -  i remember going to a place with the Stud Bros and Stubbs (champions of Front 242, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, a; grumh, et al at Melody Maker), right in the centre of London - it might have been a particular at Gossips now I think about it - and it was dedicated to industrial and EBM - and recall finding that the beat got tiring quickly -  too hard stomping, too nail-gun regular  - there was something missing, a shimmy that house added

an old piece of mine about what I called "industrial disco" circa 1991

Thursday, August 16, 2018


a fan video but conveys / intensifies the nova-psychedelica of now better than any of their own efforts

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


the retrovirus spreads deeper into rap culture (see previous episode)

lame video for mystifyingly poor single choice off otherwise largely splendid album

this is a bit better video wise, and a thrilling single out of many potential ones

Monday, August 13, 2018

nuum nuum nuum - the Matos pirate radio deejay set selection 1989 - 2008

almost every set mentioned in Michaelangelo Matos's Wire Primer on pirate tape recordings from April 2018 issue - UPDATE - MISSING MIXES NOW PROVIDED BY MATOS!!!!

Danny Rampling, Kiss FM, London (December 25, 1988)labeled simply as 1988 (39 min.)

Heartless Crew, Mission FM 90.6, London, part two (May 1988)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

"it’s muuuuweee, muuuuuweee"

Dan Hancox on the history of grime MCs and pirate radio, with particular focus on the quirky early days of vocal-noise and audio-logos

Friday, August 10, 2018

the laugh that launched a thousand tracks (well, 93 at the last count)

a fun and interesting piece  by Marke B. concerning one of the most proliferated and profuse samples of all time - Alison Moyet's liquid chuckle of pure delight from Yazoo's "Situation"

Thursday, July 5, 2018


a dank dense muggy broody bruiser of a pummelscape

replica rave / retro-jungle / aunterlogikal ardkore - slight return #1

this also coming soon is worth a listen - "Heavy, effective 1990s UK Hardcore/ UKG revival cuts" 
on the Come My Selector EP by  Soundbwoy Killah, out in September on Sneaker Social Club

loop da loop

same melody loop as this  - which was first?

retro rave

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


that rare thing - black-Eighties retro by a black person *

Zapptastic video

this is the bowdlerized version of the song, originally called "Sexual Eruption"

Ah, Snoop has previous retro form - appropriately homaging the 70s back in the 90s (it's that 20 year rule of revivalism)

* is it that rare? well, compared to the profusion of white folks retro-ing the Eighties, definitely - they've been doing it so intensively, for so long (longer than the Eighties themselves actually lasted)

but there are other black-on-black Eighties-retro exponents i'm sure


Monday, June 25, 2018

C Biz versus C Biz

That's a bit... nuumy isn't it? Culture gone on so long now they have to recycle the names

(see also Acen versus One Acen)

Image result for c biz

C Biz #1 = Bizzy B + mysterious DJ Connie (wonder if that is short for Constance or Conrad?)

C Biz #2 = rising road rapper / UK drill man, who is interviewed in this doc by Mike Skinner
(who ought to relaunch his project and call it The Roads)

Well who knew Skinner's been into this stuff for almost a decade?

Weird to hear Mikey S so Auto-Tuned on the chorus...

Thursday, June 21, 2018

true step garridge

Still sounds like phuture

Jonny + Andy chewed up D&B, swallowed the good bits, spat out the rest - and turned it into supapop for the Y2K.  So potent that Posh Spice wanted to get on board.

And it got to #2 in the UK pop charts in the late summer of 2000 -  back when the pop charts meant something -  how cool is that?

Never heard anything else by the True cru

There's this, which got to #6

Dane's B voice (esp at the chorus) sounds like how his faceflesh looks in that video  - grey-white plastic googunk

Oh yeah, this was a hit - a small one - too -

And  (who knew) a whole bunch of other bits

Now tell me, is this the only example in the entire history of Nuum remakes of early nuum-phase anthems (e.g. UKG revamps of ardkore or jungle tunes), where the remake is remade by the original maker?

Ah now this, this, is interesting - it could just be taken as 2step cover of SOS Band's Eighties R&B gem  "The Finest".... 

But really - for those who know - it is obviously meant to signify as a remake of ardkore classic "Finest Illusion (Illegal Mix)" by Foul Play, since that more or less swallows whole the vocal from the SOS Band tune

Funny thing, only two years or so before going 2step and Top of the Pops, Jonny Lisners was doing tracks like this

A sub-style that people in the D&B scene called two-step and which became utterly and deadeningly dominant

It is the same beat as the more basic 2-step garage beats - but the feel is completely different - unsexy, unrelenting, no swing, no sensuality - like a nail gun

Powerful in its way - I was quite taken with this direction at first - but ultimately nullifying

Why's it called "Piper"?

Your guess is as good as mine

I'd like to imagine it's a tribute to the wonderful Piper Laurie

It's almost certainly not.

That video is the perfect distillation of the neurofunk spirit

I do like the album Sawtooth (recently reissued) though

Particularly this track

Oh yeah I forgot - he did a second album in the neurofunk rigor mortis mode - Magnetic

What a canny leap from the dead end of D&B in 1998-99, to the lissom (and more lucrative) pastures of UKGstep

Jonny L was a bit of a shall we say nimble shifter though - for instance when the ardkore tide went out, he moved from doing things like "Hurt U So" to things that were more like pop trance or progressive

Actually that is not unpleasant at all - and in fact a bit proto-Daft Punky

But definitely straying from the nuum track.

As is this

Also much more Euro in feel

One of the tracks on these EP even has some Harthouse involvement in the production

But let us wipe all of that from the memory screen and remember "Hurt U So"

And this - the full mix of "Out of Your Mind"

Number Two in the UK charts!

"This tune's gonna punish you"

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Two Acens

more from One Acen, who is ... Afrobeats & B?

The bump 'n' flex of it is quite 2-steppy

Saturday, June 16, 2018

a decade of postdubstep

Was thinking the other day, it's been ten years - more or less, give or take - of postdubstep

And was wondering "where's it at now, then?"

And also "what did it amount to?"

Here's a compilation, on Bristol's Timedance label, and a review of it (by Philip Sherburne), that provides some answers

I like this track a lot:

Phil places the comp in the company of "iconic UK label documents" such as Warp’s Artificial Intelligence, Mo Wax’s Headz, and Night Slugs Allstars Volume 1" - all of which he says were "surveys of a landscape in flux, less repositories for an established sound than catalysts for a new upheaval".

Weeeeeell, the first two of those, I always thought, were actually pretty patchy compilations - although they certainly captured a Moment, it's true.

Phil identifies two aspects of the state-of-art that I think are true (and that I feel as deficiencies)

1/ a deficit of anthems.

As he writes, "Chekov’s clattering “Stasis 113”... is the only real club anthem here" .

I'm not sure I would agree that even that qualifies as an anthem to be honest - it's got a strident beat, yes - but you need more than that to achieve anthem-hood.  Anthems - think 2BM "Bombscare," Renegade "Terrorist," Double 99 "Ripgroove"  - are purpose-built to massive-fy a dancefloor. They contain embedded behavioral cues that trigger synchronised crowd responses; they appeal to the crowd-as-body.  Postdubstep tracks, when I listen to them, I don't picture a scene, a social tableau.

2/ a deficit of definition.

Phil rolls out the potted history ("the story of UK dance music is a story of mutation: of soundsystem culture and breakbeat hardcore colliding to create jungle and drum ’n’ bass; of American house that spawned its mutant UK garage; of the darkside 2-step that would morph into dubstep, that (briefly) world-conquering sound that rampaged like a world-conquering robot") as set-up for the inevitable pivot to the "2010s be different times" argument (i.e. we've moved past the era of genres and scenes):

"But aside from a few exceptions—specialist subgenres like UK funky, drumstep, and bassline house, also sometimes known, fittingly enough, as “niche”—the UK hasn’t generated many new styles in the past decade. That doesn’t mean that the process of evolution has hit a wall; it has just diversified and diffused. Instead of yielding distinct, readily identifiable rhythmic signatures, club music’s innovations have become restless, reinventing themselves at every turn. Seeking new ground across an expanded array of tempos, cutting-edge club music has poured its energy into shape-shifting textures and timbres. It’s a tough time for those of a taxonomical bent, but a golden age for listeners who like to be surprised at every turn."

Ha, yes, that's me for sure - "of a taxonomic bent". Definitely!

But more importantly I'm of a wanting to be shocked, brocked, shaken - and then, much later, stirred to write a thinkpiece about it ;) 

I mean this tune...

It's good -  I didn't feel like I'd wasted 7 minutes of my life afterwards. But I don't hear anything in it that feels 20-years-in-advance of Optical's "To Shape The Future." The production is more detailed and more spatially contoured. But that's just 20 years of upgrades innit?

So for me, it's been ten years of diffusion (as Phil writes) but also of defusion - as in a bomb being defused.

But I know there are others who disagree...  who are trying to formulate this postpostdubstep moment, write up it as an adventure.

And everybody deserves a shot at making their own time seem and feel like an adventure.

Good luck to them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Rave FM Nottingham

Michaelangelo Matos alerts me to the fact that The Pirate Archive have recently uploaded a heap of vintage 91-92 sets from Rave FM the Nottingham pirate station. And furthermore Matos has helpfully sifted out the killer six sets out of the 20 available

DJ Senator & DJ Sy (1991; 89 min)

DJ Senator, Nov 1991 (37 min)

DJ Mayhem, Dec 1991 (42 min) 

DJ Mayhem, 1992 (46 min) 

DJ Rich’s February 1992 (93 min)

DJ Mayhem, May 1992 (95 min)

a banging selection

lots of tunes unfamiliar to me

particularly enjoyed the long Mayhem and DJ Rich sets of early '92

and in all of the sets, but especially those two, there's a distinct techno-y feel

which accords with the general principle that the further North you went, the less breakbeaty and the more 4/4 was the hardcore

frinstance, what a surprise to hear "Nightflight (Nonstop to Kaos)" by The Mover towards the end of that long Mayhem set - not something you'd have heard on a London pirate at that time I don't think

Oh yes forgot that Matos also recommendeds this Pirate Archive set for nutty MC chat -

MC Sharkey & DJ Wizard, Sense FM, 104.3, Woking, UK,

Thursday, June 7, 2018

proc frisk

Really enjoying this new Hyperdub album Insula by Scottish producer Joe Powers aka Proc Fiskal. It's a frisky, fidgety weave of grime / Eski / 2step rhythms with glinting splinters of melody and calligraphic tone-smears that seem to come out of the Sakamoto / "Bamboo Music" / B-2 Unit realm. Then  - as an extra flavour - stitched into the fabric of the album there's all these snippets of everyday speech and outdoors atmosphere , seemingly captured on the sly by the eavesdropping mic of Mr Powers. 

Interview with Joe Powers at the Quietus.

If you were wondering why the odd name - Proc Fiskal - rings a faint bell, most likely it's cos embedded in the back of your brain (if you're a Brit anyway) is a hazy memory of this:

"A procurator fiscal... is a public prosecutor in Scotland (who, despite the title, has little to do with fiscal issues). They investigate all sudden and suspicious deaths in Scotland... conduct fatal accident inquiries (a form of inquest unique to the Scottish legal system) and handle criminal complaints against the police... For the majority of crimes in Scotland, the procurators fiscal present cases for the prosecution in the sheriff, district and justice of the peace courts..."

Sunday, June 3, 2018

(how) drugs work

[The science of drugs] from I•HATE•THIS•FILM on Vimeo.

apt music in many ways

one of the favorite of my book covers

Friday, June 1, 2018

Pearsall Presents The Dream of the Nineties Is Alive in Kreuzberg Techno Electro Mix Up

A crunchy mix of contemporary techno + electro from Berlin-resident and vinyl-lover Pearsall,  triggered by my blogpost from early January, The Dream of the Nineties is Alive in Kreuzberg  about a visit month earlier to Hard Wax, the legendary vinyl-only record shop in the heart of the city's bohemian district.

(a post that was surprisingly well received - I was sure I was going to get some flak for it)

Well worth reading the mix-rationale text for Man like Pearsall's discussion of Berlin as a paradise for bohemian-professionals and how that paradise is coming under pressure from rising rents and gentrification a la New York Paris London... 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Friday, May 25, 2018

clonk's coming (back)

bleep influenced beats

(via Jon Dale)

Friday, April 20, 2018

GABBERS GATHER - Crossbones + Drop The Bomb = Ravers Graveyard (New Cross, London, May 26)

On Saturday 26th May, veteran free party crew Crossbones join forces with rave promoter Drop The Bomb to bring you a night of the darkest hardcore techno music - Ravers Graveyard - running the full spectrum from primordial Dutch / Belgian darkrave through to gabber and gloomcore.  

Location is The Stretch, Dixon Road, New Cross.

DJs and performers include: 

Fifth Era -  London's original doomcore pioneer 

Mental Fear Productions (Frankfurt) - 100% live hardware set 

Easygroove - UK's pioneering gabber DJ

"nothing but hardcore (no mellow beats)" 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

freez-E style


01. Tanochinjaii - Fallen Angel 02. 8 A.M. - The Fog Track 03. Cypher - Marchin' Into Madness 04. Rave Creator - Thru Eternal Fog 05. Pilldriver - Impossible X-T-C 06. Cypher - H-Flash 07. Rave Creator - Bleep Blaster 08. Freez-E-Style - Doom Dancer 09. Reign - Show 'Em 10. Cypher - Skyhigh (Rave Creator's Black Gold Mix) 11. Pilldriver - Pitch-Hiker 12. The Mover & Rave Creator - O.K. Bassquake 13. Freez-E-Style - Awake In Neo Tokyo 14. Freez-E-Style - Enter The Gates Of Darkness (Stay Strong, Raise The Flag And Spread The Spheres Of Light) 15. The Mover & Rave Creator - Atmos-Fear 16. Pilldriver - Apocalypse Never 17. The Mover & Rave Creator - Astral Demons 94 (Cold Planet Remix) 18. Marshall Masters - Stereo Murder 19. Marshall Masters - Stereo Murder (Reign's Olymp Remix) 20. Tilt! - Hell-E-Copter

mix by Low Entropy, maker of many tributes to hardcore of yore

like this  Praxis trib mix

and this trib mix to Lory D and Rome's Sounds Never Seen label

and this early French hardcore mix

dude's Youtube channel is a trove of  deepest underground hard-fast-dark-doomy  -  some of fearful obscurity, names I don't recognise at all

like this lot!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Nicely does it / Gavin it large

Really like the additive logic in this one - building itself up by layers, in a leisurely, almost lazy, definitely non-urgent manner  -  in comes a vamp, and then a vamp at a slightly cross-ways angle, and then another vamp, and then a vocal lick, and then a pulse, and another non-verbal vocal bliss bit...     

also really love the promise of that "it's not ovah!" (coming in courtesy of First Choice at various intervals), reassuring dancers looped into the groove that this track will just go on and on and ON (and it does go on and on for a full eight minutes)

Thought i did not know this SL2 remix and then within 10 seconds it's "ah!"  

but it sounds a bit hectic after the E-Z groovin' first mix, which i prefer, having grown fond of it through  repeated play over the years of this rather compilation by Aphrodite (where "Hypnosis" only goes on for just shy of six minutes - not the full eight - and still feels endless and E-ternal, in a good way, a very good way)

Ah, i did not know that there was a follow up to Classic to the Core and it looks just as fine

Back to Psychotropic - apparently this is the Definitive mix of "Hypnosis" or so it self-proclaims

but I beg to differ - the original is still the greatest

Did Pyschotropic - Gavin Mills + Nick Nicely, which Discogs is taking to be the Nick Nicely of Eighties neo-psychedelia cult renown -  did they do anything else of note?

Well, after "Hypnosis" there was "Psychosis"

And before "Hypnosis" there was  "Only For the Headstrong"

with that perennial wonderful phased-vocal intro to Raw Silk's "Do It to the Music"

possibly they sampled it via this 2 in A Room sample-intermediary -  although the original Raw Silk tune was a big hit in the UK in the early Eighties and thus part of the dance folk-memory of the country ( i remember being stunned almost to the point of swooning when i first heard "Do it to the Music" on Top of the Pops, just for that intro) 

And then there was also this by Psychotropic

Then getting a bit tougher and ever so slightly baleful

It's all good stuff - particularly the 1990-91 breakbeat house stuff -  but nothing quite as perfect and perennial as "Hypnosis"

And here's a remix, from early 2000s, aimed at what scene I can not quite figure - tech house?

Ah, well Gavin Mills went on to be UKG outfit A Baffled Republic - one of those names that has a deep nuumy mystery to me (what on earth is it getting at?) - among many other guises

And you can feel a connection there, between the easy-glide of "Hypnosis" and the slink of "Bad Boys (Move in Silence)"

Later just Baffled

this remix by Steve Gurley eclipses the original though

Cox it up

smashing tune (via Classic to the Core Vol. 1 comp - see following post)

ognat jetproct

crikey i only just noticed the pun in their name!

reminds me of this beloved and venerated tune

E don't wanna E don't wanna E don't wanna E

yeah making well-tardy Clash knock-offs, GNR-aspiring but Bon Jovi-achieving crossover, and Magazine-JoyDiv torment-redux was a far more valid / vital response to the impasses of the Nineties wasn't it?

a very pretty, very clever guy - and endearing -  but if ever someone showed that beauty and brilliance aren't enough w/o a smidge of E-Q (that's emotional intelligence quotient) then it was poor old Richey E

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

X-panded replica-rave /retro-jungle lineage (incomplete, in ruff chronological order)

bleep retro!

lickle bitta breakbeat house for a change of pace:

breakbeat techno!

late breaking additions - 3/26/2018