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, https://www.thepiratearchive.net/south-misc/


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



tracklist:

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



Monday, April 9, 2018

gabba in the park







i'm fairly certain i was at this  - for at least some of the day - it was only four blocks up Avenue A from our apartment block, so it would have been pretty remiss of me not to attend!

gabba in the outdoors, in the middle of the day -  incongruous, cool, crowd enthusiastic as hell - but in the end somehow not right - it's music for dark doomy dystopian hangars or "huge space arenas" innit

how on earth did they get the permission? the area where the stage and "dancefloor / moshpit" is flanked on either side by children's playgrounds!

army of hardcore





the Mackenzie












a group that inspired Marc Acardipane

a dad and son operation, linked to the Boccaccio nightclub in Ghent, he said


here though they are just keeping in with the crowd, the dominant sound



slaves to the raves



not a cover

perhaps hommage?

Marc Acardipane's favorite current artist

although current isn't quite correct since he's been putting out stuff since 1997


the original is still the greatest

but which one?







I think it's the PCP mix that I always loved

Never even heard these takes







what's this? earlier 'Slaves'?!





ooh quite exciting that one, a real slip n slider of a riff

and this is a later one



which has stolen the title, but the sound is stolen from DHS 'House of God'


Friday, April 6, 2018

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

bad girl / bad boy












Chris McFarlane - aka Potential Bad Boy, Bad Girl, C.M.C., et al -  the greatest ardkore jungle producer of them all? Discuss

Based on those five tracks, he's definitely in contention.

And the rest ain't too shabby neither.

















































































AND

Chris's very first release









maybe later I'll do Chapter 2 - Chris Mack's UKG years - for now, a taster





Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Man and Boy (time will tell)



That was now (well, a few years ago)

And this was then (an aeon ago)





"We Rock the Most" -  I put that on the Energy Flash CD that was stuck on the first Picador edition book cover .... what an ideas-packed, action-crammed, eventful tune!

What do you know, I never even noticed this EP is called Time Will Tell!

So love love LOVE the "Infinite Hype"/"We Rock the Most" side I always forget the other two tracks on the flipside.






Adore the cover - it might actually be my favorite ardkore cover  (although there is a ton of competition)




Well actually I guess that is the back cover - and this below is the actual front cover -  a bit of a mess, yet cool in its UK attempted wildstyle.




This below is a similar kind of cover  (to the first image, ie. the back cover) from Moving Shadow squad - a cut up (or torn up) montage of Shadow crew messing about / getting messy. There were just kids!



But back to DJ Trax, he also had a hand in these slices of madness (alongside Dev Pandya, aka Paradox)













This a cappella bonus track (only on the promo?) leaves the terribly English rapping rather exposed!



Paradox + Trax also went by the name Brown & Dangerman






I'm sure I reviewed something by them but it wasn't that one, I don't think.

Trax's own stuff seems to have bypassed dark and gone straight from manic euphoria to intelligent and tasteful





There were titles like "Talking Drums", "Scattered Memories", "Distracted Thoughts", "Define Funk?", "Spirits", The Drummer Is The Heartbeat", and even - as we push into the 21st Century - "Frantically Calm", which could be a phrase from one of my own reviews

Well you can't stay a teenager for ever...

I hadn't quite the heart to follow through the trajectory all the way through into intelligence and clean production and downtempo chillage (similar trajectory to another freshfaced fave of that era, Danny Breaks)

Still I rather like that tune up at the top, from 2013, with the video, and Trax looking a bit battleworn

Here it is again -



The number  of times I have walked down Berwick Street! Or up it for that matter. The journeys would invariably take in the two nuum-oriented shops on D'Arblay Street, Reckless (mostly for their rack of old skool tunes) and -   in the middle of the fruit ' n' veg market - that poky branch of Music and Video Exchange (likewise heading straight for the 'hardcore' section but also exploring a bunch of other areas of interest as time went by).

But is that store in the video Blackmarket (if so it's moved to a different building as far as I can tell) or just somewhere equivalent?

Nice to have a snapshot of a shop interior with all the whites in marker-penned sleeves on the wall behind the counter.