Friday, September 28, 2018

funky kota

Indonesian music writer Gembira Putra fills me in on the electronic dance action in his country, which centres around a style known as "funkot" - short for funky kota, a mixture of breakbeat, trance, house and an Indonesian pop form known as dangdut.

Top tunes recommended by Gembi 

And here's a piece, translated into English,  by Gembi on the history of Indonesian electronic dance music

Monday, September 24, 2018

when the old sounds newer than the new

two philosophically suspect but undeniable banging tunes from Pearsall's mix of "new old skool"

mix-rationale in full here


"If we’re honest, most of the tracks on this mix betray precisely no influence from musical developments of the last 20+ years, something that, to me, brings up many interesting questions.
"This is because the original hardcore rave sound arose in a musical, social and political context that is very different from the one we experience today, a whole confluence of events that cannot be recreated. It also can’t be ignored that the scene was like a huge hive mind focused on relentless change and innovation – the speed of change was breathtaking, and probably without much parallel in recent musical history....
"So it’s an interesting paradox with tracks like the ones I’ve selected for this mix, in that they are very consciously imitating a moment in time when musicians were desperately trying not to imitate, but to innovate and to keep progressing. It’s a bit like modern guitar bands still reaching for that classic garage punk sound, in a sense.
"But the question is: does it matter? If the music sounds good, if it is fun and gets people dancing, who cares if it was made in 1992 in a studio in Hertfordshire stacked high with primitive synths and samplers or in 2018 in a bedroom in the Netherlands on a laptop loaded with soft synths?
I guess for me it doesn’t really matter. (Otherwise I wouldn’t be spending so much money buying this stuff on vinyl, duh).
And I don’t think it really matters for the artists or labels, either – sometimes music is just there to be enjoyed, so maybe I should shut up, stop overthinking things, and have some fun, right?"

Saturday, September 1, 2018


cool piece on the history (and prehistory) of the rewind ritual in rave by Harold Heath at DJ Tech Tools

"There’s a clear line of influence from Kingston Jamaica straight to, for example, the Four Aces club in Dalston which housed the legendary hardcore night Club Labyrinth...  a sprawling venue, formerly a West Indian drinking club which had featured appearances from reggae acts like Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff and Dennis Brown. The rewind was already at home at the Four Aces, and it quickly became part of the hardcore ravers scene there. Lots of rave and hardcore DJs had West Indian backgrounds, so incorporating rewinds into their rave DJ sets was a logical progression."

"just a couple of miles down the road from Labyrinth was the legendary Telepathy raves in Stratford, co-promoted by Bret Telepathy [who explained]: “We…come from West Indian backgrounds. We grew up here. The Reggae flavours we incorporated, things like the MC because that what we were used to. Things that are industry standard now like rewinds – we created that at Marshgate Lane. We said, “Tell ‘em “Stop the tune. Rewind it.” (Brian Belle Fortune All Crews, 2004)."
the absence of these demographic links and migration of rituals explains why it never caught on in e.g. hard banging techno, house, or trance. but as the piece also explains it wouldn't have fit the vibe:
"DJs like Sasha and Digweed were celebrated for long drawn-out transitions between tunes, ravers at seminal London tech house nights Wiggle and Heart & Soul would whoop with joy as the hi-hat on a new tune was bought in, cheering the mix as well as the tune. Trance DJs might mix a pair of key-matched tunes together for minutes on end; this was not a DJing environment in which ripping the record back to the beginning was appropriate. House and techno tracks had long intros and subtle builds, they didn’t tend to have a well-known intro that would immediately send a crowd into paroxysms of joy and wild abandon"