Monday, November 30, 2015

crystal clear memorE

via Karl Kraft, who notes that cf. your usual shit quality VHS rave tapes from late 80s and early 90s, these are unusually crisp and clear: 

"It says something about how we experience the past now that this footage almost feel like 

some kind of re-enactment with perfect costumes / art direction than historical archive in the 

grainy VHS patina that we usually get."

Saturday, November 28, 2015

ragga zombie


produced by Insolent Bwoy!

(via this triffic list)

(via the Man like Woebot)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

comps of legend

Epic list of  JUNGLE TEKNO comps from Man Like Woebot!

 + commentary with a polemical emphasis on techno  - and an anti-emphasis vis-a-vis Amentalism and Roots 'n 'Ragga, contesting their status  as cornerstones of Nuum

I think I have all of these, pretty much

On CD though - i could never see the point of the vinyl slabbage versions - surely the thing with comps is either A/ continuous through-play or B/ reprogramming your favorite bits into killer sequences,leaving off the filler and duff-ige crew that all but a few inevitably shove in there

These comps were so crucial for those of us stranded in the sticks - or in my case NYC, much of the 92-93 period - without access to the specialist stores with the vinyl 12 inches

As for M like W's  polemic

I knew from earlier snipes that Matt thought Amen was a calamity for jungle, or at least a severe restriction of possibility....  "all those other breaks out there that could be used" ...

I dunno, though, there's so MANY fantastic tunes that run on Amentalism, and such a wide range - from LTJ Bukem's "Atlantis (I Need You)" all the way across to Renegade "Terrorist" and mad topsy turvy tumbling-down-the-stairs Remarc  / Dred Bass et al  type full rinse jobs....  it is the privileged pulse of junglizm for a reason yunno...    

As for reggae as not crucial, just a flavour... and too often a bad idea

Three little words!

- rewind
- dubplate
- MC

(The way MCs function in nuum-genres is very little to do with how rappers work in hip hop, and a lot to do with the MC - or deejay as they confusingly call it - on a sound system.... improvising with an arsenal of catch phrases)

A fourth keyword - jungle itself - comes from junglist, as in "alla da junglists", as in Arnette Gardens in Kingston being the (concrete) jungle, yard tapes reaching the U.K, getting sampled...   Proof surely that Reggae Owed Credit ...

I'd agree that the only indispensable element is breaks  - and thus hip hop = the privileged cornerstone, the origin

There are important tracks, artists, labels in the broad stream of this music that barely connect to the Jamaican thing

But taking the continuum as a macro-entity - as music + scene + vibe + microeconomy + demographic.... taking into account all the worldview mood-tropes and concepts like Babylon and downpression and dread...  the reggae elements are crucial

(Could hardly fail to be given the parentage, the ancestry of so many of the participants)

But even just as a music-form, isolated from its subcultural matrix, its rituals...

Here's a fifth little word, or phrase -  "drum and bass" ... as in "strickly drum n bass come an wine up yah waist"

The bass is second in command, as it were

And for sure there are B-lines in hardcore / jungle that are fast 'n' bippy, or that detonate more like electro 808 boom.... but an awful lot of them involve simple bass-note patterns played slow and low, repetitive cycles .... an aesthetic that comes straight out of reggae...  even the more abstract oozy ones, the whole feel of the bass is dread

The counter-examples are legion, just a few that spring to mind -  "Bludclot Artattack"..."What's My Code" ... Bert & Dillinja's "Lionheart" .... DJ Nut Nut & Pure Science "The Rumble", the original or the "Boom Shaka Mix"

Matt brings up postpunk echoes but one of the reasons darkcore often sounds PiL-y is the sinister Wobble-y bassige

Now, thinking of  someone directly and consciously influenced by postpunk.... Goldie ... he was someone who did complain about the surfeit of ragga tracks in 94,  who was incensed by General Levy's outrageous putsch

But then Goldie in his pre-rave years had been through a Rastafarian phase...  did a track called "Jim Skreech" (surely not unconnected to Big Youth's "Jim Screechy")... did a track called "Jah"...  has basslines and echoey bits in "Menace"

Personally I love the Jamaican element....  the thunderbass in DJ Solo "Darkage"...  the ragga-techno of "Mixed Truth" by, well, now you mention it, The Ragga Twins.... "when i was a yout' i loved to smoke collie weed"...   the fast-skank of SL2 "On a Ragga Tip"

The fact that Jamaica is close second place to hip hop as foundation of the macro-genre is shown by the fact it's the rootical and raggamuffin aspects that carry through, or resurface, in UK garage and 2step....  and not the hip hop element at all really...  the dub-sway riddim, the dancehall raucousness, the lover's rock sweetness ...   New Horizons "Find The Path" and "Slam Down Ya Body Gal", Gant "Soundbwoy Burial", Double G "Special Request"....

(Reggae is also right there at the start with bleep - Unique 3's "Weight For the Bass (Original Soundyard Dubplate Mix)", Ability II's "Pressure (Dub)", Ital Rockers etc etc)

I think of jungle - and nuum generally - as this sort of terrain over which the different source-genres are contending to take the upper hand, as it were  - a three-way collision that then becomes  a battle zone - hip hop vs reggae vs techno (and perhaps house is in there as well)....  and naturally different participants (meaning both producers / DJs and listeners-opinionators) will have different allegiances...  and these allegiances / preferences shift also through time....

For sure, with all the fundamental structural bases and prime flavours of the nuum -  hip hop, techno, reggae, souljazz ....  each of these can get to be mixed blessings,  pass from thrill to tedium when overdone

All lead to bad things ultimately, or dead ends....

Amentalism led to breakcore, ultimately....

Techno led to neurofunk / Photekism

And the dread/ bass-meditational side of junglism led to the more placid 'n' ponderous side of dubstep

Stop Press; further interesting discussion on this Dissession, at, where else,  Dissensus -  involving Droid, Woebot and others.

Friday, November 20, 2015

sample sorcery


into this

with a bit of this in there as well?

sampladelic wizardry from Jamie Myerson

Thursday, November 19, 2015

groove science

interesting post by Steven Shaviro at The Pinocchio Theory  about interesting book by Mark Abel -   Groove: An Aesthetics of Measured Time

"Abel’s other major point, which I find entirely convincing, is his demonstation....  of how metric time — time conceived as an empty and homogeneous linear successions — is a product, not just of modern scientific technologies (like the ever-more accurate clocks that have been made since the 17th century), but specifically of capitalism, with its ubiquitous organization of commodity production, its appropriation of labor power as a commodity, and its need for the close measurement of time both in order to discipline workers, and as a measure of value more generally... 

".... the underlying structure of capitalism can explain why metric organization is so central to Western music of the last five hundred years or so, while it is absent from other historical forms and traditions of music. Metric organization is central to European classical music, and it is picked up with a vengeance in the groove of popular music ever since sound recording techniques became widespread...

".... the heart of Abel’s argument with and against Adorno.... for Adorno 20th century classical music at its most successful (e.g. in the earlier Schoenberg, according to Adorno), resists the universal capitalistic imposition of metrical time by refusing meter as much as possible, and by drawing on (or retreating to) the few areas of culture that have not yet been entirely overwhelmed by metrical regularity. For Adorno, all popular music — everything that has a groove, in Abel’s terminology — capitulates to the regularity of meter, and this is what ultimately stands behind Adorno’s criticisms of popular music as conformist and formulaic, as merely filling up a pre-existing form, as offering only trite and inconsequential minor variations which never affect the basic underlying tyranny of meter as commodified or Taylorized time, etc. Abel’s counter-argument to all this is that it is precisely by being metrical with a vengeance, by using meter in a far more intense way than classical music ever did, and therefore by proliferating syncopations against a metric beat which is the dialectical condition for these violations of metrical logic to take place — it is by doing all this that groove music at its best is able to subvert homogeneous clock time or commodity time.

"Thus it is by means of Adorno’s own dialectical logic that Abel defends the emancipatory possibilities of groove music; and even suggests that the 20th century classical music that Adorno at least ambivalently championed only represents a conservative retreat, since it simply disengages from metric time rather than working inside it to challenge it. Groove music at its best provides an antidote to Adorno’s, and indeed Jameson’s, pessimistic position that resistance to reification can only emerge from spheres of humanity which have not yet fallen fully under the sway of commodification, 

"... Abel’s thesis makes a lot of sense in the specific case of Afrofuturist music, and more generally of Afro-diasporic music of the Black Atlantic...."

Friday, November 13, 2015

Enforcers 4

A talisman of an E.P. for me

Those two tracks especially, but also this one

This one I had no memory of at all though - and even playing it again now it doesn't ring any bells

But with the Tek 9 and the Manix - that whole AA side of Enforcers Volume 4  - that was one of the key moments when I realised.... this stuff was way more musical than the stuff at that time that was considered to be properly musical....   that this stuff was far in advance of the stuff that most folks then considered superior

The other EPs have many high moments

Vol 6 / Vol 7 double-pack almost eclipses Vol 4 just for these two tracks

Myerson - a God for all time - just for that one tune. Flora Purim like a tropical bird flitting through the rain forest....

Neil Trix  ! Name that movie sample...

Incredibly fond of Vol. 8 also on account of this gorgeous gorgeous remix of Tek 9's "Slow Down" by the Man Like Nookie

And this collab between Gerald and Goldie also delightful

The Enforcers series concept was something like  "probes" - music that was "forward" for the scene, a bit ahead even for Reinforced (the scene's vanguard, alongside Moving Shadow)

The picture disc thing Reinforced was doing with this series (and for a few other releases) was saying "this is something special.... something to have, hold, keep, cherish.... this is artcore"

I think I have them all.... at least the first run of when-it-was-essential....  the early ones picked up well after the time of their release ....

One, bizarrely, I found in CD-single form - Vol 3 I think.  I'm pretty certain I came across that in the discount annex of Tower in New York!  That's where had washed up a sizeable number of CD-singles put out by optimistic UK technorave independent labels in 91-92 - during the boom years, when Suburban Base and so forth were having chart hits -   they must have been imported and distributed by Tower only to never find their market and washed up in the clearance annex....   I found a CD single of Nasty Habits there, a CD-single of 4 Hero Journey From the Light, a Moving Shadow CD EP too I think.... various odds and sods on even smaller labels. All on CD-single!

But I digress. Early on, the Enforcers series is not solid gold, but always interesting....

That was on Vol 3 - a surprisingly small fraction of which EP is on YouTube, I discovered

"Rolling Like Scottie" is up there but embedding disabled.

This is the unreleased original that was remixed for Vol 3

Vol 5 was a strong one but for some reason doesn't linger in the memory like the EPs that flank it on either side temporally

When did I stop bothering with the series? I'm not sure I got the 9 / 10 double-pack. Seemed like it was running out of steam a bit....

No recollection at all of Vol. 11 / 12

Vol 13 / 14 seems to be folding back on the label's own history

I was gone by this point... swept into UKG and 2step

Then a long gap .... more than a decade? - until Vol. 15/ 16

Thursday, November 12, 2015

the building of a new break

Boymerang, aka Graham Sutton, on building a brand new break, with a "new old" feel, back in the day:

You'll have to throw your mind back to a time before computers were audio-manipulators, to when everything was hand-made in a hardware sampler, and the computer was merely a MIDI sequencer.

The gear at the time consisted of:

Atari ST running Cubase

Emu E4 - 16 outs

Roland JV1080

Boss SE50

Mackie SR24:4

Sony Portable DAT

...and that was pretty much it!


Step 1: got the original Amen Break, played at original speed, and hand-chopped it in the E4 up into *every* constituent hit, including tiny-tiny flams etc etc.

Step 2: sequenced all the fragments, moving the pieces by the tiniest of amounts, so they played identically time-wise to the original.

Step 3: Using the timing refs from step 2, replaced all
the sounds (still at old skool original tempo). Only rule was no sound could come from a break that I'd heard already used. You can probably spot at least a JV ride in there.

Step 4: Kept engineering different layers of background noise etc etc, til it sounded "new but old", at least to me.

Step 5: Resampled the whole break to DAT, then dumped it back to the E4.

Step 6: Replay back at sped up DnB speed to check for tone and vibe etc. Usually this would then involve going back to Step 3.

Step 7: CHOP CHOP CHOP - one new break to use!

Hehe, it sounds like an easy operation written like that, but honestly, it was fucking time consuming. Probably took a week or two til I was happy. 

I was so happy when I started hearing others using it, starting with Dilinja's Silver Blade, as I'd left a couple of free bars of just the break in the track so it could grabbed.

[via Droid in this interesting Dissensus thread on the Studio as Instrument]

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

when trance seemed like a good idea

if all trance sounded like "Freedom of Expression" i might have gone the other way

nah, not really ....  junglist, me!

still, ripping tune eh?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Friday, November 6, 2015

drumtrip junglemix heaven

great Drumtrip mix from a while back based around unreleased tuneage - "a mixture of dubplates and test presses ripped to mp3, and tunes only ever released on CD or on compilations".
"There are also a couple of remakes in here. A remake, in this context, is a lost tune that has been painstakingly remade sample by sample by a few extraordinarily dedicated fans".

01. DJ Trace – Definition Of Living
02. The Invisible Man – The Journey
03. The Undergraduates – Space (The Dark Remix)
04. Droppin’ Science – Volume 1 (94 Mix)
05. Wax Doctor – The Saint (Dubplate Mix)
06. Dillinja – Follow Me
07. Photek – Say It
08. J Majik – Your Sound (Digital & Photek VIP)
09. Dillinja – Baby Your
10. Doctor G – Bassface
11. Dillinja – Lion Heart VIP
12. System X – Mind Games (95 VIP)
13. Roger Johnson – Crazy Day Dreams
14. Photek – Feeling Up
15. The Undergraduates – Into Da Future (Droppin’ Science Remix)
16. Dillinja – In My Soul
17. The Invisible Man – Drifting

similar concept with this mix

couple of other great drumtrip mixes

mixrace old and rare

this one by Brian Badonde with the concept being the most expensive jungle and hardcore 12 inches - the one's that'll set you back the most should you try n buy em

are you getting enough rufige?

didn't know G man had an album out six years ago

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

the musician as outsider

Named after the Colin Wilson book, presumably?

That period of late 90s Reinforced got well congested - Vortexion, Arcon 2, The Sonar Circle, Nucleus and Paradox, Seiji, Alpha Omega, Procedure 769 etc

But good to see them lot sticking to their guns as late as this

Quite possibly still sticking to their guns although 2011 is the latest emission from P Man as far as i can tell

Talking of people sticking to their guns...

A young man I met at a class on electronic music last week told me I should really check out what Doc Scott's label 31 Records is doing

I was like, 31 Records is still going?

Remembering "Shadowboxing" as some kind of pinnacle of the 20th Century, but not much else by them...

This was the comp he recommended I believe

Liking this stuff a lot actually

this tune in particular

this one good too

checked this one out for the name frankly - Ghost Warrior

The young man also said to check out D-Bridge's label Exit

that one's quite ruff and churny

I fear it's a bit late for me and D&B though...

Monday, November 2, 2015

who's the gangster

a list + commentary of speed garage white labels at Vinyl Factory pulled together by William Wynne-Morgan  - the bulk of which, I must confess, I have never heard / heard of.  so much undiscovered stuff still in the nuum

next one is relick of omni renegade snares

only one copy of this one ever made apparently

not strictly a white label this