Saturday, December 31, 2011

bretter daze / better days

this tune, which i heard for the first time only the other day, sums up pop music in 2011

the king of crunk hooks up with the kings of party-rocking

result: in a track that brings out the latent gabber i always heard in crunk

damn near just drums and that bugle-like sax parp calling the assembled to attention

Lil Jon mad-barking like a drill sergeant of reckless getting-wreckedness

an anthem of concussive hedonism

kickdrum beat like a battery of shots to the dome

bretter was what the Germans called the hardtekno that became gabber - bretter meaning literally boards, planks, and thence banging, slamming, and thence hammered, sledgied, monged

have a wicked NY's Eve, keep it tidy, and here's to much better days in 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

hip house

replaces lyrics about a homeless woman with lyric referencing mansions!

Friday, December 23, 2011

michaelangelo matos in the guardian investigating the phenomenon of hipster house aka chillrave

they do seem awfully sincere and respectful

perhaps overly so

the question remains for me though is:

if you wanted to dance, what's wrong with the existing, ongoing dance culture (in which house has undergone a resurgence across the board)

why is it based around dance / house as it was 20 to 25 years ago?

and so again it seems to fit that retro / vintage chic mentality of getting the period sounds right, the period styling (the record covers, the fonts, the flyers, the allusions) just right

there is this parallel thing going on with ex-noise/drone types getting into early techno and EBM /Cold Wave/ ate 80s dance-floor oriented industrial -- people like Prurient and Pete Swanson

in that case i suspect it's wanting somewhere to "go", musically -- noise-abstraction being a diminishing returns zone and also absolutely blanketed, choked with output

Monday, December 19, 2011

really didn't think the Joker album was as savagely disappointing as people made out

glitz-blitz bombast
deep dee-deep deep deep DEEPAAAAH

deep deep deep inside deep deep down inside

deep deep love

bonus beats

woah this is poor

can't decide what's more artistically bankrupt, the song or the video
Clonk's Coming (Again)

an ideal stocking stuffer -- this pretty package RetroActivity: basically the Best of Sweet Exorcist on two discs.

almost the All of Sweet Exorcist, actually... well, there was this later album Spirit Guide To Low Tech on Touch(when Kirk & Parrot had moved into post-Artificial Intelligence zones and accordingly sounds closer to R.H.K's work as Sandoz, also for Touch) but RetroActivity scoops up the bleep/clonk era material for Warp

here's a fave Sweet Exorcist tune, minimalism getting maximal - the title track of the C.C. EP and C.C.C.D.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

bought this record at the time

don't remember this "Plunky" though -- pretty sure it got put out in the U.K. as just Oneness of Juju

it was almost a hit in the U.K.

back then i thought they were this one-off group but in recent years realised that
Oneness of Juju have this extensive history going back into jazz-funk-fusion and Afrocentric mystical what-not

"Kazi", "Poo Too"? these titles would have raised a snigger from scato-puerile Brits i fear

they remind me a tiny bit of this outfit, whose fab hit "The Message" i had on one of those great Soul Gold comps, the ones with the graffiti wall covers

that last one is said to have been ripped off by Stone Roses for "Fool's Gold"

then there was this lot -- mixed African and Caribbean band, often described as "African Rock", pitched to the prog market

produced by Tony Visconti

in some ways not a million miles from War

"Low Rider" at one point i thought was the ultimate song

love the Beastie Boys but can't help but empathise with War's indignation that the Beasties got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame before they did

Howard Scott (vocalist and founding member of War) griped: “We were cranking out gold records when they were still in diapers. How could the Beastie Boys get in before us when they sampled War's music on their first album?! I'll eat their platinum records!"

Thursday, December 15, 2011

amen to that

superb archaeology of the most famous break in jungle by Tom Nuttall for The Economist (although in Economist style he's not given a byline)

at the Economist blog T.N. has further thoughts on classic instances of Amentalism + soundclips

here's my vote for the mightiest of the mighty - Renegade, a/k/a Ray Keith, "Terrorist" - an army of amens

Thursday, December 8, 2011

now tell me people, who was it invented this kind of disco-funk (with the emphasis on funk) heavy on the downstroke crunchy-thwacking snare rhythm?

as a postpunker-turned-funkateer, i used to be obsessed with records with that kind of beat, which at one point was almost all dance records

this is a particularly thwacking example, as was most of Steve Arrington's stuff, and probably Slave's too

that really strident downstroke snarecrunch, you don't really hear it in James Brown or Ohio Players

you can hear it coming a little bit with this things like this 1975 tune

was it Hamilton B who done it first?

at one point this next one would have seemed like the ultimate music to me

Gap Band probably took it as far as it could go

then probably as postdisco/boogie got to be less a band-oriented sound, more about producers + players + machines, the thwack-snare probably start to fade out

oh now i think of it, probably Parliament-Funkadelic had something to do with it, right?

this is a primo later example where the downstroke really dominates the record in a super-imposing way, like a great slash across the sound-stage

and then there was Cameo

pre-codpieces and "Single Life"/"Word Up" crossing-over-to-pop Cameo

i remember a DJ at Oxford in 1983 earnestly telling me that Cameo made the hardest toughest street funk around

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

RIP Dobie Gray

one of the greatest songs about dancing ever

the mod manifesto

people have been pointing out some earlier examples of maximalist dance - in the original baggier (maxi-er) version of the piece I had a reference to "psy-trance's Mandelbrot-mandala curlicues"

but in terms of 90s examples I clean forgot about Sven Vath

not just the critically acclaimed Accident In Paradise LP

but the critically not-acclaimed (un-acclaimed? anti-acclaimed??) The Harlequin, the Robot, and the Ballet Dancer which was bloody awful by all accounts

Jam & Spoon's big album whose album i title forget also veered prog-wards

there was also a house/trance hybrid in the mid-90s called "epic house" which if i recall meant BT

then while jungle and drum'n'bass generally was minimalist and tracky or anthemic, and even when bombastic it was bare-bones bombast (No U Turn), you did have quite a few exceptions

Hyper On Experience had a fussy, busy-busy orchestrated sound that was thrilling on their classic run of singles

obviously Goldie with Timeless and then, jeepers, the prog'n'bass orchestral epic "Mother" on Saturnz Return

this is just the radio edit i guess! the full length is 40 minutes or so

christ on a bike i've never seen that video!

IDM by the late 90s had maximalist tendencies, through its misunderstanding of drum'n'bass actually i.e. drill'n'bass. Squarepusher had some Jaco Pastorius style bass noodle in there

also Max Tundra was pursuing a sound that was pretty max at the turn of the millenium, albeit on the very outer edges of electronica in the dance/post-dance sense

when dance producers decide to do an album, they do quite often go for an ALBUM in the big sweeping overblown/prove my versatility sense and it does tend to head towards that proggy maximal zone

you could probably collate a list of these vanity projects, ranked according to utter uselessness, with the effort by Paul Oakenfold seeing off most if not all comers

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

looking-back-at-2011 piece by me on Digital Maximalism - Rustie, James Ferraro, Grimes and others - for Pitchfork

slike Terror Danjah turned into a bouncy castle

more and more I think James Ferraro is our Jeff Koons

Grimes against Nature

yer a dirrty wee radge Russ - a dirrrty dirrty wee radge