Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Dominic Morris aka Datwun is also enthused about the nu tech-house, or "deep tech", and points to this scene anthem as undeniable:

Do dig its slinky-but-slammin trackiness

The bass pumps

Here's another one Dom recommends

That reminds me nicely of early house, the syncopated crashy snares redolent of Nitro Deluxe or the more tracky Chicago stuff, the blind urgency

But it doesn't really sound dated, like a throwback...  it's not retro-dance

And here's another

Tuff little unit! Feeling all those the wibbles and warples  in the bass regions

It's the bass that makes it distinctive (the drums seem like they're very much in the Roland 909 palette, same sounds and similar sort of deployments as 'brutal house", jack tracks, early Detroit). But the bass -- the wet-look texture, the quiveriness, the surging mobility. A tremolo penetrativeness that must really rock your body through a club system, get deep-deep-deep inside.  

Also what I appreciate in a way is the samey-ness, the consistency - how all the tracks are like chips off the same block.  Strung together they enforce a vibe. Another version of dark-swing, menacing sensuality. 

Another goodie by Tazer

The element of "new" here is micro - the subtle tweakage and sculpting of the bass bits -- but as with a lot of the music around (e.g. the rachet 'n' B/Mustard/Power FM rap I'm so into) the overall sound also has that NOW!-ist quality  - an extreme gloss and slinky texturised sheen that's very 21st Century. Digimaximalist in feel yet, structurally, still pretty minimalist.  Almost like the Rustie sound but applied to a less-is-more, tracky aesthetic. 


I don't know if it's really left the zone I would call Hyperstasis, though. Not yet.

(C.f. Cold Recordings, or the Offmenut stuff Dom also pointed me towards)

A crafty rearrangement and recombination of the well-known, an intensification of the established

(Or in Offmenut's case, the regurgitate that ensues from an omnivorous gorging up-and-down the length and breadth of nuum history: all 25 years of it - bleep to bassline, jungle to jackin)

The hyperstatic aspect can even be seen in the name "deep tech"

Two modifiers of house (deep and tech) coagulating and losing the noun they were originally appended to!

"Deep" and "tech" both being slightly unappetising words from my perspective anyway

The Nominalist Reluctance fascinates me with current dance music in general -- this sort of shying away from, shrinking back from, the coining of new genre names - so different from the nominalist mania of the 90s, when new names bubbled up constantly, an organic byproduct of the scene's relentless mutational drive. The genre names were, for the most part, generated internally rather than imposed from outside by critics and the industry.

New Musics, historically, have announced themselves. Proclaimed their difference from the immediate past, the precursors they patricidally stomp down into passé irrelevance.  Jazz, rock'n'roll, funk, reggae, rap, acid house, techno, jungle, etc etc.  (This reflexivity of the New is totally different from the postmodern reflexity of revivalist and retro currents within pop. "Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay", or "Junglist" did not refer back to something from the archive of pop history, they announced the arrival, the emergence, of something).

But now the new waves of producers and fans happily situate themselves within existing, long-established genres.

That in itself must be indicative of something. Too much roots, not enough future.

Reminds me of the custom in some cultures or classes of naming the first-born son after the father.  So it's the next generation, the inheritor, but it has the same name: John Jnr, Alexander Hewison II.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

a fork in the road(z)?

Dirtnap2 (aka Corpsey of Dissensus) takes issue with my recent blogthought - .
 the techhouse-ificaiton of the London pirates constitutes the End of the Road(z) -  a final fatal break in the continuum....

He wonders if listening to a live recording of Lee B3 Edwards from last Friday  at Opera House, London would change my mind....  "what with the MC and crowd reactions" adding a vybe consistent with and continuumous with funky/grime/UKgarage/etc

In the preceding post based around this live set, Corpsey sounds an optimistic note about the potential of tech-house getting ruffed up just like earlier import sounds did such as US garage in 1997 becoming speed garridge:

"TBperfectlyHonest, I still feel like the tunes I’m hearing in these sets aren’t QUITE “there” a lot of the time - like this is the part of the scene’s history JUST BEFORE it becomes something totally itself and every tune you hear is firing....  I’m basically interested in the last vestiges of ‘straight’ tech/deep house being swallowed and spat up in an altered state by “urban” London’s musical digestive system. This is already happening, in fact - the reverb saturated bleeps and blops are still there, but they’re becoming increasingly syncopated and percussive. The basslines get more and more angular and threatening. Alongside the darkness, samples of RNB singers, even some jungle-ish breakdowns. Sometimes there’s even some silliness going on."

 Listening to it myself , I'm still at the stage he was earlier ("when I first listened
to deep tech it sounded a bit arid and metronomic to me (the large spaces between drum hits and bass-notes, no doubt filled with reverberation in a club)" although those clanky basslines do have a faint tang of xylo-bassy UKG and bleep-era tunes.

To me, there's an odd disjunction between the music and the vybe-elements (all the "Oi!"'and "Sarf London crew" etc, reminding me of everything I've loved before from this subcult matrix - although haven't heard anything on a par with "going out to the Cadbury Creme Egg massive" in this set as yet!).

The well-nuum-y stuff ("the MCs shouting ”Ollie Ollie Ollie”, complimenting ”the lady in the pink dress” on her dancing amid the audible sound of a crowd shouting ”Bo!” and ”Woyyyyrrrr!”)   feels like it's going on in a separate audio channel from the music.  In separate rooms, almost.

Feels like, the MC chat is coming from the endz.  But the deejay mix is coming from The End circa 1998.

dancecult - new issue

behold the new edition of Dancecult, focusing on the studio and production technology involved in electronic dance music

Table of Contents for Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture Vol 6, No 1 - 2014

Production Technologies and Studio Practice in Electronic Dance Music Culture Guest Editors’ Introduction (1-7)
                Ed Montano,      Simon Zagorski-Thomas

Feature Articles
Gateway of Sound: Reassessing the Role of Audio Mastering in the Art of Record Production (8-25)
                Carlo Nardi
Old Instruments, New Agendas:  The Chemical Brothers and the ARP 2600
                Hans T. Zeiner-Henriksen
The Creative Studio Practice of Contemporary Dance Music Sampling Composers
                Justin Morey,    Phillip McIntyre
“Waiting for the Bass to Drop”: Correlations between Intense Emotional Experiences and Production Techniques in Build-up and Drop Sections of Electronic Dance Music. (61-82)
                Ragnhild Torvanger Solberg
Fruity Batidas: The Technologies and Aesthetics of Kuduro. (83-96)
                Garth Sheridan
A Proposed Typology of Sampled Material Within Electronic Dance Music
                Robert Ratcliffe

From the Floor
The Concrete and the Ephemeral of Electronic Music Production
                Colin P. McGuire
From Grapefruit to Plastic Surgery: Experiments in Contemporary Musique Concrète
                Brian Daniel Speise
Along the Lines of the Roland TB-303: Three Perversions of Acid Techno
                Botond Vitos
Laevorotation at Boom 2012
                Reba T. Manuel

DJ Culture in the Mix: Power, Technology, and Social Change in Electronic Dance Music (eds. Bernardo Alexander Attias, Anna Gavanas and Hillegonda C.
Rietveld) (123-126)
                Carlo Nardi
Beyond the Dance Floor: Female DJs, Technology and Electronic Dance Music Culture (Rebekah Farrugia) (127-130)
                Hillegonda C Rietveld
Popular Music in Evangelical Youth Culture (Stella Sai-Chun Lau) (130-132)
                Mark Evans
Hip-Hop Turntablism, Creativity and Collaboration (Sophy Smith) (133-134)
                Mark Katz
Pop-Rock Music: Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism in Late Modernity (Motti Regev)
                Catherine Strong

Friday, June 6, 2014

Hoover Street

love the droopy mentazms draped all over this

also this messy-on-the-dancefloor number, staggering, punchdrunk -  gloomcore screwed

and hey that little girl voice at the start even redolent of the she-toddler on that Altern-8 tune

But going back to Schoolboy Q, there's actually a tune on Oxymoron called "Hoover Street"! But there's no hoover-sounds, no Belgian/Beltram stabs on that one

B boyz on E..... i'm sure, but also everything else going as well

from lean to legal

That one reminds me a bit of New Kingdom -- mindwreck slurry

Thursday, June 5, 2014

warehouse jamz

Mark Archer from Altern-8 talking to Dummy about some of his fave tunes from early 90s UK rave scene (the peg being his deejaying at Memory Box Social's  "Warehouse Raves 1988-1992. Classic: House, Techno, Acid, Detroit, Chicago, Bleeps, Breaks & Bass" at Shoreditch's The Horse & Groom tomorrow night ie. Friday June 6th)

Nice selection!

Including some tunes I never heard (or heard of) before....

Like this bleep beaut on Rham (same label what done early Guy Called Gerald_

And this very ShutUpandDance-like "mash up of James Brown, Kraftwerk and Beastie Boys"

And this housey number

Didn't recognise the title of this one but the track itself rang a bell - but then maybe that's cos its lick copied or recycled in some later tune 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

a medley of tunes in tribute to the late Alexander Shulgin

+ cautionary caveat coda

Sunday, June 1, 2014

it's grime up north

always liked that strand of Bassline that featured MCs like Murks and Bonez -  pretty much "garage rap" if it had never turned into grime - fast, fey-voiced raps over woogly warpbass and 4-to-the-floor.

dominic datwun  points to me a cat who kept on with that sub-style - DJ Pantha

while also doing "some  insanely 'real' grime

and sort of bass-line meets drum & bass

and now apparently he's prospering as a house producer under the name Arun Verone

with tracks like this

and like this: 

must say i can't hear the connection between this techy house he's doing now and what came before ....  to me  it's where the teleologic of the nuum peters out

although dom says "watch for the little 'ardcore synth strings interlude on the second build" so maybe there will be half-life and quarter-life traces still faintly detectable

but to me, the techhouse-ification of the pirates = the end of the road(z)