Friday, August 18, 2023



'Confusing Times" - the title of a slice of brand nu-darkcore by a veteran demi-legend of the original era, Jack Smooth, caught my attention - in part because the concept of confusion - druggy disoriented delirium, but also the con-fusion of disparate elements into manic collages (fissile rather than fusional) is at the heart of the dark moment - the sense that no one knew exactly what they were doing or where they were going, a collective plunge into the unknown, a kind of chaotic multi-tentacled organism birthing itself blindly, a Lovecraftian entity

And isn't the word "CONFUSION" shouted in archetypal darkcore classic "Here Come the Drumz", sampled from Public Enemy?

Why yes it is... at 30 seconds in, for the first iteration

But here in the present  day, there is no confusion about what darkcore is... it's a settled genre. The ingredients and constituents are very much known, this is terra cognita, mapped and plotted...  a formula even, as can be seen in the preciseness with which Mr Smooth descibes his modus operandi. 

Back-in-the-day darkness from Smooth and Wax Doctor, it grinding riff nastiness could be PCP cru 

Talking of titles, I like the one for this back-in-the-day Jack trak - "Happy Nonsense"!

An earlier track with another cool title - "Sweat Attack" (not as it says on the label, "Take Some E's"! which is also excellent in its blunt 'this is what this music is for' instruction)

from the Crowd Control EP  (yet another clever title).

What other hardcore / darkcore songs reference the concept of "Confusion"?

Adding these suggestions from Spiro in comments.... 

The latter as Spiro notes doesn't have "confusion" in the sample but is there in a vocal sample 

Ed in comments mentions New Order's "Confusion", which is a bit outside the era. Never liked this tune much (too Freez "I.O.U.") but I love this video with its snapshot of Manhattan clubland in the early '80s, the Funhouse etc etc

Here's a fairly orrible mid-90s techno-trance refix of "Confusion"


Ed said...

Not darkcore, but New Order’s Confusion, the follow-up to Blue Monday and IIRC their first collaboration with Arthur Baker, is right in the same emotional territory.

Spiro said...

A few off the top of my head:

2 Bad Mice - Mass Confusion - doomy-dropescape bizness

Acen - Just Close Your Eyes (Optikonfusion!) - unbelievable track, best mix imo

Sly T & Ollie J - Underground Confusion - melodramatic, psychedelic, ruff ohhh gosh

Luna C - Piano Confusion - euro vocals for days, veering into Strike/Livin Joy territory!

and of course... Nebula II - Atheama with its 'confusion confusion c-confusion' sample no words needed!


I knew there were loads!

Only one totally unfamiliar to me - "Piano Confusion"

Thirdform said...

the best pump panel tracks are ego acid and to the sky. that confusion remix is not bad though, but it's very much acid goes mainstream, though it probably didn't appear to taylor and Zamani when they made it. Tim Taylor also behind quite a bit of cannonical 'ardkore - first project, Egyptian Empire, the Istanbul ep etc.

Thirdform said...

Ego Acid is stunning tbh, but one thing I feel is you don't rate jungle as much when it gets too funky, so not sure how you'd feel about funky hard acid techno. really set the scene for the split of techno and trance though, it really builds much more like a dj pierre wild pitch tune than it does cosmic baby or whoever.

Confusion, I'll 'av a gander through my tunes. but am a bit disappointed to see you omitted Eze-g - worlds of confusion and is this music? which i turned you onto earlier.

Mesmeric yet creepy twitchy amphetamine psychosis darkside, wired 4 paranoia, just 4 u islington mandem.

There's also DJ Phantasy under the Confussion alias.

raw darkside cyber soul.

Before the amen became the default come 95, which more and more I think has to do with jungle being dj'd faster than the speed it was produced at in 93-94.