Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Manix mix of reinforced golden era classics plus news of forthcoming manix lp in a "new old" style, two tracks from which appear in the mix:

"I wanted to mark our 20th year as a label with a special release so originally I was gonna do a 4 track EP but as I got into doing it the memories inspired a 12 track album. I dug out the Akia S950 sampler, my Atari ST1040 and a box of old breaks and focused on the real feel good factor, the 150BPM hardcore/rave sound of Reinforced and Manix. I also did two tracks inspired by the earlier Chicago house sound"

[this is actually the later - 94? - remix on Enforcers vol something or other - done by rufige cru i i rc]

Monday, December 13, 2010

two contenders for the "when i was a yout" source:

now that one has the melody alright, but this one has "the when i was a yout i used to bun collie weed in a rizzla" bit (coming in quite late in the song, around the 3 minute 10 second mark)


cheers to john eden, ed torpey and craig allen for droppin knowledge

as for the jungalistic hardcore tune that sampled it, various contenders here --
Nu-Matic's "Hard Times", Prodigy's "Fire", A-Sides's "Burn Cali Weed", but I think this one, Order 2 Move, "Rizla Bass" on the Boogie Beat label is the one I'm thinking of, although in my memory it's more skanky 'n' rootical and less rushy (perhaps a different, later remix?)

from retro-rave to jungle-nostalgia

tip courtesy Matos

now which roots reggae classic does that "when I was a yout'" bit come from? Something about "smoke collie weed inna" something or other. Lynval Thompson? And what was the early jungle tune based around a sample of it?

Friday, December 10, 2010

"this geezer's a nutter i'm telling ya"

FMB Crew on Lightning FM February 12 1993

part one

part two

part three

part four aka THE WARM UP

part five aka THE MADNESS

(part five as partially transcribed in the pirate radio chapter of Energy Flash)

"crispy like a crouton"
crikey, retro-rave

amazing attention to detail with the clothes, hair, dance moves etc

if only they'd done as good a timewarp job with the music eh!

i guess they are aiming for a Magnetic Man/"I Need Air" crossover

it's growing on me

(tip courtesy of Cybore aka Mr Woebot)

P.S. "uncensored version "at the band's own site, although I can't tell the difference myself

P.P.S. what i don't get though, is if Chase & Status are from London why are all the bods in their vid Mancunian? Why not an orbital rave or Labrynth-style East End warehouse party? As D&B-ers they should be a bit more regionally patriotic, I think, rather than go along with the 24 Hour Party People/Madchester-as-cradle-of-rave version of history.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

much frothed-over funky tune regarded as one of the year's best by Those Who Know (i.e. finney and pals)

tuff beats

but why oh why (i find myself wondering, not for the first time) do funky-producer man dem go in for the pre-set keyboard sounds?

in this case: the cliche house organ pulse (very "plastic dreams", early 90s*) and then the sort of sci-fi/doomy synth fanfares that are frankly ungainly

it's a serious question--funky house producers don't seem concerned about "sound design" (never totally sure what people mean by this term, i guess "coming up with individualised, finely-tweaked timbres"), whereas that is a central, overriding-all-other-considerations thing for your postdubsteppers and Germans mnml types... customising your timbral palette so that it's not off-the-peg

funky guys, in contrast, they're all about the groove and the drum sounds and the density-yet-fluency of the beats -- the other elements in the track have this paint-by-numbers quality... or more precisely, it's straight out of the paint tube no mixing up the colors to get subtle shades and idiosyncratic hues

* rather a lot of this jizzed-over House Girls CD sounds - in all honesty -- like subpar UK house music from 1991. right?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

2 Bad Mice are one of the absolute foundations of hardcore and jungle, an outfit as innovative and as important as 4 Hero. The house band of the Moving Shadow label, they were actually 3 not 2 of them: Sean O'Keeffe, Simon Colebrooke, and Shadow label boss Rob Playford, And they had an alter-ego identity as Kaotic Chemistry whose output was just as creative and influential as the 2 Bad Mice material. 2 Bad Mice's most famous tunes are "Bombscare", "Waremouse", and their remix of Moving Shadow act Blame's "Music Takes You". All three tracks were crucial for bringing a boombastic hip hop vibe into UK rave, starting the process that would lead to jungle. "Music Takes You" features a squelchy scratch-riff that slots right next to the Morse Code keyboard stab and piano vamps, while staccato blasts of sped-up diva samples sound like Minnie Mouse having an orgasm. "Waremouse" is radically minimal, just seismic bass and machine-gun snares, while the equally stripped down "Bombscare" used the sound of a suspect device detonating to make ravefloors shake with nervy excitement. It became one of the biggest anthems of the rave era, selling tens of thousands of copies on both sides of the Atlantic. Kaotic Chemistry, meanwhile, pioneered darkside on the LSD EP, a cheeky celebration of polydrug naughtiness with tracks like "Space Cakes", "LSD", "Drum Trip II", and "Illegal Subs", a pun on both illegal substances and sub-bass levels so punishing they should be outlawed. (A latter remix EP added "Vitamin K"). Widely played on the pirates all through 1992 and into '93, "Illegal Subs" paid tribute to the rave nation by sampling a Nation of Islam orator who hails her African-American audience as "the people of chemistry... of physics... of music... of civilization.... of rhythm". Sonic highlights of the EP included the frenzied percussive carousel of "Drum Trip II" and the eerie jitter of "Space Cakes". Then came 2 Bad Mice's darker-than-thou Underworld EP, featuring dense slabs of menacing minimalism like "Tribal Revival", "Pitch Black" and "Mass Confusion". Eventually the trio went off in separate directions with O'Keeffe recording as Deep Blue (of "Helicopter Tune" fame) and Playford becoming Goldie's right-hand man. But they left behind a compact but crucial legacy of tunes that rocked dancefloors worldwide but also pushed the music forward and opened up the future for jungle and drum & bass. So all hail the Mighty Mice.

"here comes the jungle"

eye-openingly protean set from fabio & grooverider in 1992 - a 3 hour guest show on Kiss FM, their first appearance on the station--today (oh wonders of the web!) hosted by 2 Bad Mice at their ardkival trove of a website

"one of those dark white labels coming out of London right now"

Sunday, November 28, 2010

anybody in the headstrong massive know owt about this ArtistE?

and this other track from the EP, "nothing to beat a hardcore", embedding disabled upon request for some reason, unlike the first two tracks

fourth track on the EP "NGC 891", not available on youtube, may well be based around the Edgar Froese song of the same title

seems possible because this dude did a great tune based on samples and appropriations from Pink Floyd's The Wall, the song about "i've got a little black book with me poems innit" becoming "i've got a little black disc with me tune on it"

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

well meant but a bit shit

Monday, November 8, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

come widdit my man

terrific stuff from LHF

Sunday, October 31, 2010

very pretty

like a cleaned-up (dare i say IDM-ed up?) take on things Ruff Sqwad did about five years ago, "UR Love Feels" and such

Friday, October 29, 2010

wiley tweet-stream

# I want a different job in music one where I don't have to talk a lot just sit in a chair and collect money and work projects from the inside about 1 hour ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®


@artifactde5ign I would rather be in eastenders to be honest about 1 hour ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® in reply to artifactde5ign


@wileyeskiboy its not a rooney I don't want more money I just feel trapped about 1 hour ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® in reply to wileyeskiboy


@kreptplaydirty bro I show them the music and they just dark me I'm dying inside bro about 2 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® in reply to kreptplaydirty


@DmanthedesigneR 2 words tinchy stryder about 3 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® in reply to DmanthedesigneR


@braddersbrad na brad I can't do it anymore I'm 31 not 21 my energy is dying out I feel sick delivering music I would rather just leak it about 3 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® in reply to braddersbrad


Sometimes you have to lose to win about 3 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

* Reply
* Retweet


@ox_monicaaMVLx record labels in england don't even know what to do with me its over I give up about 3 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® in reply to ox_monicaaMVLx


I feel like a nobody in music today trust me about 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone


I can't continue my blood ain't musical blood anymore about 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

RT @WileyArtist: I'm quitting music today its over about 3 hours ago via ÜberTwitter Retweeted by WileyArtist and 7 others


I just need a new job I'm sick of this one about 4 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Stranglers / Vangelis connection

Sunday, October 24, 2010

this video totally suits the music!

Friday, October 15, 2010

odd little 90s moment when rock, hip hop, and house got blurry

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

this is a bit like dubstep's "windows in the sky" - epic trancekore - the logical destination of the quasi-anthemic-but-still-leashed "midnight request line"

with a bit of Boards of Canada "Beautiful Place in the Country" in the vocals

the kids in the vid look like they're raving, but they're not really letting loose are they?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

the end of an era?


pull quote from the piece:

Geneeus insists that radio kept him on the straight and narrow.

"Everyone I knew at school is in prison," he says. "I do feel a responsibility to show young people that there is an alternative. That there are other ways of doing what you want in life."

some people in the past have accused me of romanticizing the whole ruffneck/"street knowledge"/ghetto culture that spawned jungle and grime

on the contrary, what i romanticize is the attempt to find another path through all that negativity, a way out... those who manage to do something constructive and aesthetically potent, in circumstances where the economic and social odds are stacked against them... i find that inspiring and compelling... and i will continue to believe that this "rise above" spirit brings an extra dimension to the music.... an impetus, an edge, a hunger that is palpable... and that is absent in other musics which, whatever their virtues, do not come from the same kind of place. the evidence that this is so is overwhelming.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Electronic Dance Music

Alwin Nikolais - Noumenon (1953) from Thomas Patteson on Vimeo.

Found an LP of this modernist choreographer Alwin Nikolais's electronic music at the annual yard sale of the apartment block over the road from us in New York several years ago. Going for $1! Amazing sleeve.

You can see one of his pieces recreated for the opening credit sequence of The Company, that disappointing very late period (last one before he croaked? Robert Altman movie on ballet.

There is a thread running through avant-classical electronic/concrete music that involves the partnership of composers with radical ballet choreographers -- Pierre Henry et le chorégraphe Maurice Béjart, Warner Jepson and the San Francisco ballet company, some others I'm blanking on...

Monday, October 4, 2010

for this (recently reactivated) piece

i made this dubble-ceedee

BLEEP 20 plus
1/ UNIQUE 3 "The Theme" (Chill/Ten, 1989)
2/ UNIQUE 3 "7-AM" (flipside above)
3/ FORGEMASTERS "Track With No Name" (Warp, 1989)
4/ SWEET EXORCIST "Testone" (Warp, 1989)
5/ ITAL ROCKERS "Ital's Anthem (Trebledown Bassup Mix)"
(Bassic, 1990)
6/ NEXUS 21 "Self Hypnosis (The Whippy Remix)"
from Progressive Logic EP (Network, 1990)
7/ LFO "LFO" (Warp, 1990)
8/ RHYTHMATIC "Take Me Back (Rob Gordon Edit--'With Extra Bass') "
(Network, 1990)
9/ UNIQUE 3 "Weight For the Bass (Original Soundyard Dubplate Mix)"
(Ten Records, 1990)
10/ NIGHTMARES ON WAX "Aftermath" (Warp, 1990)
11/ TRICKY DISCO "Tricky Disco" (Warp, 1990)
12/ TUFF LITTLE UNIT "Join the Future" (Warp, 1991)
13/ UBIK "Bass Generation" off Non Stop Techno EP (Zoom, 1990)


1/ ABILITY II "Pressure Dub" (Outer Rhythm, 1991)
2/ FORGEMASTERS "Stress" off The Black Steel EP (Network, 1991)
3/ ORIGINAL CLIQUE "Now Hear Me Now"
off North of Watford EP (Chill, 1990)
4/ XON "Dissonance" off The Mood Set EP (Network, 1991)
5/ SWEET EXORCIST "Clonk's Coming" off C.C.C.D (Warp, 1991)
6/ LFO "What Is House" off What Is House EP (Warp, 1992)
7/ COCO STEEL AND LOVEBOMB "Feel It" (Warp, 1992)
8/ NIGHTMARES ON WAX "I'm For Real" (Warp, 1990)
9/ NIGHTMARES ON WAX "Dextrous" (Warp, 1989)
10/ UNIQUE 3 "Phase 3" off Jus Unique LP (Ten Records, 1990)
11/ TURNTABLE OVERLOAD "T.T.O. (O.T.T. Mad Bastard Mix)"
(R&S, 1990)
12/ SWEET EXORCIST "Clonk (Freebass)" (Warp, 1991)
13/ F-X-U "The Scheme" (Made On Earth, 1990)

Question: if i was to make a third disc, what should be on it?
vintage 1995 interview with the Mover from Alien Underground zine!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


the original sounds

if not more futuristic

then at least as futuristic

as the Darkstar cover does

even though almost thirty years separate them

Darkstar: Gold (Hyperdub 2010) from Hyperdub on Vimeo.

curious, that

Monday, September 6, 2010

a brand new instalment of the series "And They Say There's No Such Thing As the Hardcore Continuum!"

instalment #10

From interview with Geeneus on the occasion of Rinse FM's 16th Birthday

Interviewer: Out of all the genres that you’ve supported, which has been the most important?

Geeneus: They’ve all been important. They’re all one scene, it just keeps transforming and mutating. It’s like garage turning into grime, which also turned into dubstep, then turned into house and funky. It’s all from the same train of music. It’s part of something called the ‘hardcore continuum’... I’ve read about it. The ongoing underground scene keeps moving and the names keep getting changed but it’s all the same thing over and over.
a brand new instalment of the series "And They Say There's No Such Thing As The Hardcore Continuum!"

instalment #9


dan hancox tweetstreem:
• fav wiley i/view out-take: unprompted, he essentially outlines the hardcore continuum theory. promise you won't tell simon reynolds plz. LOL about 7 hours ago via Echofon

Wiley Zip Files - The Interview

Hancox: British music evolves so quickly doesn’t it?

Wiley: “Yeah – and I like all the elements that we’ve got. When I go to the studio now I stop and I think ‘right, I’m in England’. The music in this country that I’ve been a part of is hardcore, drum ‘n’ bass, jungle, it extends onto garage and then into grime. And if you go back before any of that my dad’s just flooded my brain with reggae, ragga, soul, jazz… so obviously if I’m going to go and make music, I am surely allowed to touch every one of those elements that has been clubbed into my soul.

“It’s all part of it – Rebel MC, Ragga Twins… even Rick Astley, Kylie Minogue; any pop music that came out in the days when I went to school. Whatever I’ve heard is a fusion of what I give back.”
a brand new instalment of "And They Say There's No Such Thing As the Hardcore Continuum!"

instalment #8

Robin Howells's interview with postdubstep crew LHF in FACT, August 2010

Howells: People do seem to think your music strongly evokes certain precursors, for example the Metalheadz crew or DMZ. Who or what inspires you all?

Amen Ra: “Growing up I was all about jungle and hardcore from the age of about 12 or 13. I’m infected by a lot of that style, it won’t ever leave me! Also house and garage, 2step, all those old pirate sounds were all me. Broken beat sparked me massively and when dubstep started emerging that was a very deep time too, early FWD vibes. Everything I do comes through that filter...."

Double Helix: “The musical history that London’s streets and surrounding counties hold are important to me as an individual and a producer. I see the hardcore continuum as the UK’s gift to the world – its effect on the way that a massive cross-section of society interacts is huge and can’t be overlooked. Early jungle and breakbeat hardcore pioneers feature heavily in my record collection. Metalheadz 01-50 are quite possibly the most influential tracks that I own, and what Goldie did with Timeless and then Platinum Breakz Vol.1 is actually ridiculous. 90.6 FM under its many names was the home of two crews that without doubt had a massive impact on our sound, SLT and Bass Inject – they always came with new dubs on a weekly, nobody had the tunes they had and it was seriously fertile ground for music. Garage and the significant founders of the early movement that evolved from 2step into dubstep are seriously close to my heart… the beat patterns they came with were an eye opener as to what can be done at those tempos.”....

Howells: If music from what’s often referred to as the hardcore continuum is important to a lot of you, do any of you feel some sense of descent from musicians in its past? Do you think it’s necessary to be familiar with it to understand your music?

Amen Ra: “Definitely, people who do not come from the continuum will have a different understanding of our music – just as valid an understanding as people who have come from there as I think there’s enough to cater for both. There’s definitely a lineage that we feel a part of, from the early hardcore, through to jungle, through to the Metalheadz era; through garage, grime and dubstep, especially when DMZ came around. But things aren’t like what they were in the past, they aren’t as rare and underground, so we kind of have to draw a line under them eras, while remembering them at the same time if that makes sense.

Double Helix: “It’s almost impossible to avoid the impact of its sonic lineage when you’re exposed to those sounds and ethics from a young age – the way that they interact and resonate with London as a multicultural society becomes clearer the more you look, and it’s a really powerful thing . I don’t think that grass roots familiarity with the continuum is essential to experiencing our music fully, but there will naturally be far more reference points in tracks for people that grew up with the continuum.

Low Density Matter: “I think it’s inescapable really: if you lived anywhere near the M25 corridor once it was built, no matter how old you were, the continuum would almost definitely have affected your life in one way or another – be it through friends giving you tapes, record shops opening, people talking about the convoys, picking up rogue pirate stations in the car or even the bad press about raves. We’re no exception. The FM dial was rammed full of pirates and a ridiculous cross section of music was on tap, so you naturally develop an affinity with those sounds over the years.

Solar Man: “We take a lot of influence from styles that have a direct connection to the continuum, and some that have influenced aspects of it without being so obvious, so it’s open to listeners of all backgrounds really. If you check beats by Amen, Helix or LDM for example, elements of garage, jungle and house are all clearly present in the sound they produce, but they’re all fused and punctuated by bursts of Bollywood, jazz, hip-hop, soul and a variety of samples from many genres.

No Fixed Abode: “You don’t have to be familiar with the continuum to understand our sound, but it helps: there’s definitely a certain understanding of the continuum required to truly get it, I think. I twist the traditional format and bring in other influences that other heads might find too risky, as it goes too far from “UK” shit. I don’t care, this is no time to play it safe and this ain’t the time for those who just stick to what is comfortable and keeps them “in the team”.


The fact that LHF's music is ruddy excellent is just maple syrup and whipped cream on the Belgian waffle that is their splendid fidelity to the Way, the Light and the Truth.

the next instalment of the series "And They Say There's No Such Thing As the Hardcore Continuum!"

instalment #6 and instalment #7

# 6
Dan Hancox Guardian piece on Hyperdub October 2009

Steve Goodman aka Kode9: "Hyperdub is a mutation of British electronic music, infected by Jamaican soundsystem culture. From dub and reggae, through jungle, right up to grime, dubstep and funky. It's a way of thinking about how musical change and evolution takes place."

Dan Hancox Guardian piece on Hyperdub May 2010

Steve Goodman aka Kode9: "Hyperdub is a mutation of British electronic music, infected by Jamaican soundsystem culture. From dub and reggae, through jungle, right up to grime, dubstep and funky. It's a way of thinking about how musical change and evolution takes place."

("Hyperdub", in this quote-so-good-Danman-used-it-twice, = exceedingly bleedin rather quite close to "hardcore continuum", innit yeah? But Kode sez it, so it's okay)
the next instalment of the series "And They Say There's No Such Thing As the Hardcore Continuum!"

instalment #5

Joe Muggs profile of Terror Danjah, in the Wire, August 2010

"The music you first have sex to stays with you for life. And for me that's Jungle. Wherever I go, I always heave that in the back of my head, some Roni Size or V Recordings-style tune, fast and furious"--Terror Danjah.... He is now in demand as a founder of Grime and inspiration for dubstep, but from his very first sexual explorations and DJ gigs to the "Mentasm" and "Amen" sounds in his new Planet Mu EP, Power Grid, that Junglist impulse has indeed always been with him. A bashment fan from primary school age, Terror Danjah was 12 when Jungle began to emerge in 1992. He became hooked, and started DJing the following year as the sound found its footing... he felt at home among the constantly shifting and overlapping crews, cliques and radio stations of the Jungle scene. "in 1995, me and D Double landed a show on Future FM through a mate of mine, Tempo, who at the time had an MC called Footsie, so you can see the connection [D Double and Footside would later form Newham Generals]. "
the next instalment of the series "And They Say There's No Such Thing As the Hardcore Continuum!"

instalment # 4

from Dan Hancox's piece on "sodcasting" in the Guardian

"Dexplicit moved on from making grime hits in the early part of the noughties to the more melodically-inclined bassline, a northern English twist on UK garage that still dominates clubs in cities such as Sheffield and Leeds. Like many British dance producers, he is grounded in a bass-orientated music culture born of the Jamaican influence on UK dance music; a bass culture that underscores dubstep, grime, and its current descendants."
next instalment of the series "And They Say There's No Such Thing As the Hardcore Continuum!"

instalment #3

from Dan Hancox's review of Ikonika's debut album in the National, April 2010

"The world of late-period ­electronic music is a diffuse and diverse place. Predominantly based in London, but with satellite centres in such multicultural provincial cities as Bristol and Manchester, Britain is, however, its fastest-moving and most ­influential outpost. From breakbeat hardcore through drum and bass, UK garage, grime and ­dubstep, its changing genre names, ­fluctuating tempos, and ­associated cultural tropes are endless, not to mention endlessly fascinating. One thing all these forms share, though, is a gift for absorbing sonic ideas from far afield, incubating them, and eventually ­exporting them back to the rest of the globe."
a brand new instalment of the series "And They Say There's No Such Thing As the Hardcore Continuum!"

instalment #2

Geeneus, quoted in XLR8R magazine's feature on "funkstep"

Things come back around, and even though funky is called funky, really you could say it's not that much different from garage. It's just another full circle. With America, hip-hop is hip-hop, and even though the music changes and new sounds and people come into it, the flow remains hip-hop. But in the U.K., as soon as something new comes along, it’s like, “Oh, that's new music—let's call it a new name!” when really, it's all the same thing. We just progress along. So I'm doing funky, Skream's doing dubstep, Wiley's doing grime, but we're all together. We're all on the same radio station, we all come from the same place, and we've all got the same influences. It's really all part of the same continual flow.

instalment #1 here

instalment # 0 here

Friday, September 3, 2010

"We R Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"

now am I right in thinking this rai song, released on Factory Records wouldyabelieve it, in 1987, is the source for the sample in "We Are I.E." by Lennie D. Underground?

I remember watching something on TV-- years and years ago this was -- or it might have been one of Joy's old videocassettes collating MTV bits and bobs and cable music shows and such she'd taped back in the Eighties, when YouTube didn't exist and left field music video was sporadic and hen's teeth scarce... and in fact now I think about it I'm increasingly certain it would have been some imported-to-US, belated showing of episodes of Snub TV* (this indie-and-esoteric music show of the late Eighties, linked to The Catalogue and Rough Trade Distribution if I recall correctly).... at any rate Factory's video for "N'Sel Fik" came on and well it was quite the sample epiphany rush indeed, doubled by memor-E rush of those eadstrong ardcore days....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Early next month Totally Wired: Postpunk Interviews and Overviews is published in the USA by Soft Skull. It's the first of three books by me that Soft Skull are putting out over the course of the next year: the others are Bring the Noise and... Energy Flash.

Energy Flash strictly speaking never came out in the US: Generation Ecstasy was the abridged version, so this is the first-time-in-America appearance of the unexpurgated, non-streamlined original. Plus it also contains the 40 thousand extra words of the updated/expanded 10th anniversary edition of Energy Flash that Picador released in the UK in 2008.

There will be a Totally Wired event in Los Angeles on at Book Soup (8818 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood) on September 16th at 7PM - more details of that to come.

Friday, August 6, 2010

reading this ancient ace blogpost by the mysterious Taninian on PCP's 1992 compilation Frankfurt Trax Volume 2 made me wanna hear


and also this from five years later

which Taninian is wrong about (that's an Uber-Riff that is, or an Infra-Riff maybe, but it lodges in the brain, is hardly "pure sound")

here's what I wrote about Frankfurt Trax Volume 2.... in 92

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

caution: you are now entering a theory zone

or you will be if you click on this link to "The History of Our World", an essay I wrote for issue #2 of scholarly e-music journal Dancecult, addressing the hardcore continuum debate of last year.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

but the real killer is the b/w , the almighty "Torsion"

never heard of this tune before, "The Weeping Waste"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

new series

And They Say There's No Such Thing As the Hardcore Continuum! instalment #1

Monday, June 21, 2010

"As soon as I turn off the tape, he literally runs away"

my 1993 interview with the Aphex Twin (a Quietus/Rock's Back Pages co-production)

i was toying a while back with doing the 51 to 100 Albums of the 2000s as a follow up to this and one thing that occurred to me was how nobody anywhere even mentioned the Analord series--granted, a sprawling mass of material that few beyond diehards would have heard every last bit of, but still - at least in part, a splendid return to form.... and as per comments in this vintage interview, a lot of it uncommonly emotional electronica, pensive and introspective

Thursday, June 10, 2010

sample E-piphany time [plus update] [plus second update]

that's Cuba Gooding Snr on vocals there

in the top 10 all time dance trax

flipside of Renegade "Terrorist" which is in the Top 20 all time jungle tracks - i think moving shadow actually had "something i feel" as the A-side originally


now we just need a funky version and the chain will be unbroken

there is also a Blevin Blectum song "The Way the Cookie Crumbles Straight From the Horse's Mouth" on her Talon Slalom album that features the Cuba Gooding Snr/Main Ingredient samples,it's a glitchcore love song to J Lesser her boyf


even more uses of the Cuba Gooding sample in nuumtrax

Saturday, June 5, 2010

"and to think they say there's no such thing as the hardcore continuum!" part 1073

the second one less junglizm than 2steppy, but 's all nuum innit

ruffage alert courtesy Matos

oh yeah and check this ace jungle mix by kode9, further affirming the utter irrelevance of the hardcore continuum to present day musical concerns. innit!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

courtesy of History Is Made At Night the "musicking and dancing" blog

sometimes i ask myself what i was doing in 1989... the answer is falling in love (a major distraction,that) and looking in the wrong musical place for my next dose of bliss (i.e. where oh where is the new MBV/Loop/Daydream Nation)... oh i liked the records all right, but never got with the scene itself... still i'm glad i turned on when i did (hardcore 91 )because i might have burned out before jungle even came about

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

try playing them all at the same time, pause/restart, adjust the volume levels, drop one or two of the versions out, run in synch / out of synch etc

Sunday, April 25, 2010

a different flavour of retrofuturism

glimpse of the stuff the headlining dj plays

youth today--how do they cope with knowing so much music?

including to my amazement: Saqqara Dogs

Saqqara Dogs were the band who (very kindly) put me up for several days on my very visit to New York in 1987--only a couple of blocks from where I now live

Saqqara Dogs's precursor band was Factrix as in the San Francisco chapter of Rip It Up

vintage anti-ardkore discourse from 1991

note freaky resemblance of the language to the anti-wobble/brostep memes in circulation at the moment as collated/added to a little way into this piece

pirate radio activity graph, Touch magazine, I think from 1994

my own pirate listings chart, also from 1994 -- and drawing on what I could pick up from Brixton in 1992-93, and then from 1994 when we moved back to London for most of the year but were living in Belsize Park -- so a mix of South London and North London data but probably missing a lot of the smaller-range East London pirates

Friday, April 23, 2010

In Dub
Melody Maker, 1990?

by Simon Reynolds

A smart move, this. The voices were always an obstacle to enjoying Renegade Soundwave, carrying as they did all kinds of unwelcome connotations: "street credibility"; a clenched, unsmiling masculinity redolent of The Godfathers; a blunt, thuggish menace that colluded with the confrontation-by-numbers subject matter (gangsters, drugs'n'sex, petty crime, nailbiting). Eliminating the human factor has the salutary effect of bringing to the fore Renegade Soundwave's forte: the science of b.p.m., the architectonics of dub-space, dance music as girders and gradients. More groups should leave themselves out of the picture.

This depersonalised dancescape is mirrored in ciphered titles like "Phantom Sex" and "Pocket Porn Dub". In the RSW universe, contact and involvement have been supplanted by voyeurism and the masturbatory pleasure of 'remote control'; "hot" desire (passion, narrative, motivation) has been superceded by "cool" fascination (surface sensationalism, the instantaneous, chance). The debut album dealt with these preoccupations explicitly; "In Dub" transmits the information non-verbally but just as effectively. Welcome to hyper-reality.

Apparently, CD players fill in the miniscule errors on CD's by making a considered estimate of what the missing fragment would have sounded like. And it's said that if you deliberately damage a CD you can trick the computer to compose it's own spectral cyber-music that strays further and further from the organic original. "Phantom Sex" sounds like such a computer impersonation of rare groove, the chuntering, clavinet-squelching bump'n'grind turned to geometry. After this, however, Side One doesn't quite zap the nerve nodes. "Bacteria" is stripped down too far, until all that's left is a skeletal grid-beat drained of funk, plus some Andean flutes and mandolins. "Transition" suggests a desolate, uninhabited dancefloor, but is just too remote. "Pocket Porn" is creepy and clammy, but ends before it gets going, sounds like an off-cut of a grander garment.

"In Dub" comes into its own on the second side. "Women Respond To Bass" is still low-key, but spiritual with it: an almost ECM guitar twinkles in the far corner of the horizon, intangible whorls and eddies of ambient sound flicker at the thresholds of audibility. "Holgertron", by contrast, is upfront, predatory electro, a stalking cyborg-tarantula. "Recognise & Respond" elaborates a fantastical dub-labyrinth of archways and corridors. "Air Hostess" makes the album's solitary concession to "heart and soul" with an interlude of lachyrmose chords, but is mostly disembodied and decentred: at times, it really does sound like the body of the song has been eviscerated, but the hacked-off limbs continue to keep strict time.The closing "Black Eye Boy" is the album's only outright dub reggae, with a mesmering cymbal pattern and horns that plummet lugubriously into the abyss between the beats.

"In Dub" is neither feet-motivating nor heart-pumping, but rather a cerebral pleasure. At best, it provokes a detached, cold admiration; at worst, a blank feeling of disconnection. It's asocial, an event that happens only to solitary individuals: no dancefloors will be fired up by this 'dance music'. In the same way that modern cyber-technology turns the human mind into a screen, "In Dub" organises your headspace like a mixing desk. Prepare to have your consciousness remixed.


as sampled by Omni Trio:

Max Roach, talking to George Lipsitz, about hip hop/LL Cool J:

"The rhythm was very militant to me because it was like marching, the sound of an army on the move. We lost Malcolm, we lost King and they thought they had blotted out everybody. But all of a sudden this new art form arises and the militancy is there in the music".

Melody Maker, 1996

by Simon Reynolds

Ganja and Frontline are the labels run by two allies in the realm of ruffneck junglism: DJ Hype (a.k.a. Ganja Kru) and Pascal (a.k.a. Johnny Jungle, HMP,
P-Funk). Over the last four years Hype has pursued an unswervingly raw-to-the-core
trajectory, banging out killa tracks like "A Shot In The Dark", "The Chopper", "Roll The Beats" and "You Must Think First" with an almost scary consistency; Pascal's no slouch either. So don't expect any concessions to "intelligence" or soft-core smoothness on Still Smokin'. Packed with exclusive remixes and dubplates, Smokin' is an exemplary document of the kind of purist hardstep that's too moody'n'minimalist to win much affection from the non-junglist world.

Last year, jungle gradually purged almost all of its obvious ragga elements, but dancehall's influence persists in the basslines, which are metallic, atonal,and joylessly bouncy in a way that vaguely suggests Nintendo. With the disappearance of rude-boy ragga chants, hip hop gangsta-isms have stepped in to supply the ghettocentric menace. Hype's "Freestyles of Bass", for instance, has G-funk's sinister synth-melodies wafting wraith-like over the kind of miasmic, maggot-wriggly bass-frequencies first heard on Tek 9's "We Bring Anybody Down". Origin Unknown's brilliant remix of H.M.P.'s "Runin's" harks back even further for its gangstadelic vibe of trepidation, draping what sounds like blacksploitation era wah-wah guitar over an awesomely stark and stealthy groove.

As with the best in current jungle, a vague air of militancy pervades "Still Smokin'"; the rhythms are basically James Brownian funk tightened and tuffened
into strict-time martial percussion. But the renegade, Us-Against-Them politics
only get explicit on Hype's "We Must Unite", with its black demagogue sample: "what you and I need to do is learn to forget our differences... unite on the basis of what we have in common". Angry but apolitical, jungle offers its followers a grim-faced solidarity in oppression, apocalyptic paranoia (Redlight's "The Future Is Dark") and love-of-ganja. With its unstable beats and landslide/landmine bass, jungle creates a sound-picture of '90s reality in all its dread and tension; at the same time, the music's inexhaustible, remorseless energy gives the junglist street-warrior the will and the stamina to survive. The "resistance", if you listen with your nerves and your motor reflexes, is in the rhythms.

Thursday, April 22, 2010