Friday, May 31, 2019

Thursday, May 23, 2019

donder en bliksem (subculture - the meaning of hardstyle)

"this is the thunder running through your veins"

trance + gabba (not enough gabber) + self-empowerment pop = hardstyle

not so much positive hardcore as positive-thinking hardcore

he might be bald and he might use distorted kickdrums, but this man's soul is pure uncut Katy Perry

What's the obsession with thunder? Is this some kind of Norse thing?

This dude is supposed to be the pioneer of H-style

It's like if Marc Acardipane = Motorhead or Sabbath, these dudes = Triumph or Survivor.

Some of the tunes in this set get a tad more interesting on the production front - skidding screeches, hysterical builds, a kind of serrated hygiene

With the "weekend warriors" Valhalla vibe, some of it reminds slightly of what I think they now call "power metal" - groups inspired by melodic metal from the Eighties.... Dio, Iron Maiden, that epic anthemic rousing sound, with galloping rhythms... boy's own stories of glory, an emptying out of the blues base residue in metal, the raunchless evacuation of sex too -  even that crude phallic-pelvic thrust sexuality  - in favor of chaste adventurism.

Was right all those years ago to connect gabba with Nintendo etc

Superheroism as a cheap rousing high

That "No Guts No Glory" looks like Disneyland for slightly older kids

Wait a minute...

"Children's entertainment" as per Alan Kirby

One tune in that Headhunterz set is titled "Dragonborn" - so yeah, very sword 'n' sorcery, Game of Thrones-y, and  Iron Dream-y.

"Dragonblood unites us all" - a  rally cry at this hardstyle festival Defqon -  which is nomadic between the Nederlands, Chile and Australia.

The relentless triumphalism - the density of "up!" words in the lyrics - the crescendo upon crescendo  - the sterile sturm und drang of the sound - it all adds up to a sort of Red Bull / Irn Bru Energy vision of fascism

Hmmm this lot seem unwholesome

Them and all

Back on the amusement park for bigger kids angle,  the baroque arpeggiated stab-patterns go up up up and down down and up up up - very much like a Big Dipper type rollercoaster

That same mix of extreme exhilaration and total control - a thrill-ride to which you are subjected, trapped inside.

Soars galore, peaks and plummets.

Sound is too bright, too clean, frictionless

Super-melodic in a Euro-melodious way, as Spiro in the comments to "kicky and volky (hardcore, intellectualized" post says

Although here it reminds me less of folk and more of "The Final Countdown" / "Winds of Change" /"Life is Life" / "One Vision"

Now if there was yodelling in it i'd probably dig it more

Wait a minute...


The Auto-Tune on this one gives it a yodelly sheen and slide

vistas of Edam-colored faces

postscript 6/13

a recent commenter to the "kicky and volky, hardcore intellectualized" post argues that hardstyle is "pure" music, enjoyed for its own sake, devoid of reference to external reality - and that attempts to analyse it ideologically are impositions from outside...

but (putting aside for now the counter-point that the idea of "pure" or non-referential art/entertainment is itself an ideological construct, hardly devoid of real-world implications or consequences), even a cursory glance across the hardstyle spectrum reveals the opposite - the music and the subculture is draped and threaded-through with ideology, it drips with the stuff: the self-empowerment personal uplift themes, the militaristic themes, the Medievalist throwback emotions of glory and honor and revenge

the common theme (as Spiro in the comments here notes) is POWER: whether its sheer sonic might, or positivity / personal empowerment, or the military and quasi-totalitarian references, the combat postures and into-battle vibes, the pyrotechnical spectacle etc etc

ready or not

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

sub-lovers (feel so good feel so very good)

love the dreamy bit that starts at 2.19

whole thing is magic, consummate

think Sub-Love did a whole bunch of very solid tunes that never quite caressed the Sublime like that one

this one from the same EP - Twisted Techno - has a nice bit of (well-known) dub-sonar echo-bleep - that lurches out of the roots-sway into a Belgian pummel tunnel  - actually some very nice sections later  (one quite LFo) - yeah, scratch the first from-memory verdict: this is a classic tune, using best phases of the 90-91-92 surge, all merged together very effectively. ruff cut breaks and sidling bass-ooze

and the EP closer very effectively uses the same vocal-hypergasm from Blame/2 Bad Mice "Music Takes" but with a different stab-pattern

Okay, this is a solid-gold classic EP, the other three tracks just the barest smidge behind lead track "Hyperactive". This one is slightly pedestrian but does the job in 91 style.

Okay on to the next EP - One by One.

Title track

Yeah I remember this one - a bit "warbling bird wuthering on".  It's very similar to the Rhythm Section sound - as indeed are most of Sub-Love's tunes. And i seem to recall reading somewhere that Sub-Love did do PAs at big rave and were getting into that Rhythm Section rave-act live-draw zone.  Actually this is a more than solid  peak hour big tent rave anthem, with a riff in the middle that is genius  -  one of those itchy subdermal-swarming type timbre-tones that ignites the fever.

"Maniac Music" - more excellence - rattles along furiously and some rootical but frantic bass shaking the foundations. then the mad rummaging eurotekno-riff.  Good creepy-sexy processed android lover vocals. Then out of nowhere, a blissy Balearic piano

The rather plainly named "Drum and Bass Programme" is the most interesting track here with some mad swirling soundtrack-based riffs stirring up a tempestuous, Bronte-esque feeling - then it goes all rub-a-dubby. Special tune.

Seems their naming-tunes inspiration ran out before their making-tunes inspiration did, because the desultorily titled "D.J. Bonus" is actually a nifty little rumpus. This YouTube sourced off a very scratchy copy though.

Third EP "Underground"   completes a 1992 run of releases that adds up to a very fine 12 track album.

Darkness descending on "Underground" with some eerie chords, a vocoder voice, and a great shivery chatterer of a riff. This one is a bit like their equivalent to 4 Hero's "Journey to the Light". But i'm also think they were giving Hyper-on Experience a run for their money, in the maximalist quasi-orchestrated ardkore stakes.  Ooh gosh and then a chiller-thriller of a icicle stab. Throwing everything but the kitchen sink in - every trick to trigger your pleasure centers.

"Change My Ways" - really not sure about that prog-rock guitar flourish that kicks things off, and then it goes off in a very strange lurch-slam groove with a blaring vaguely elephantine sound - and the overall effect is bombastic rather than boombastic. But they are allowed one really peculiar tune by this point I think - and it's definitely an oddball offering.  Hits a nice chuddering-juddering groove midway - then some scratchage - and I'm reminded of DJ Trax and I'm thinking also this group should have been on Moving Shadow. There's that same peak-Shadow quality of absurd generosity, ideas being thrown out willy-nilly, tracks that go through multiple sections. This one seems to have about 11 segments to it!

"She Moves" - lithe 'n' writhy with some nice-nasty snaking teknoriffage

This is where the energy flags a bit... Cool use of creepy "you are sleeping, you do not want to believe" lady-sample (where have I heard that before?  Moon Wiring Club? Is it Madame Blavatsky or some Gurdjieffan biddy?) (no of course not, silly me, it's the lady at the start of The Smiths's "Rubber Ring" - and apparently from "Breakthrough: An Amazing Experiment in Electronic Communication with the Dead" a flexi-disc that came with the book that document Dr. Konstanine Raudive's research into the 'electronic voice phenomenon'!)... The rest is a bit pell-mell and untogether.

This 12 inch is listed after the three EPs on Discogs, but since a remix of the lead track on the 12 inch appears on the Twisted Techno EP, i'm assuming this is actually the debut single - also from 92 - especially as it has a bit of a fledgling, not-there-yet feel. Then the three EPs must have followed. Discogs not infallible shocker.


1993 and one last blast from Sub-Love - except it's a damp squib, the touchpaper soggy and unsparking  A sense of flinching from the full plunge into the darkside -  and perhaps a touch of vacillating, both-sides-of-fence taking on trance's clinical sheen. Worse though is that there's a misconceived and not-pulled-off-at-all go at writing an original song as in a sung song, rather than a track. And there's a proper vocal here - prey to all the thin-ness that often comes with those kind of moves in the H-zone.

And that was that- until 2011 when Sublogic put out some unreleased tunes as two pricey slabs o'vinyl

"Coherent Flow" is an amusing title

One of these  Sublogic reissue / first-time-issue ardkival tunes did actually have had some kind of very limited white label release at the time - uncredited, but by the group's main man, Jody Wisternoff

Pretty cool that one and nice use of the Lennon or is it Ferry "Jealous Guy" as rave-trigger - "i began to lose control".

Overall though the material on the two Sublogic issues - as you'd expect given this stuff didn't get a release the first time round -  does fit  my first spoke-too-soon verdict at the start: that everything apart from "Hyperactive" was "good but nowhere near as good". Still it adds up to near enuff a whole other LP's worth of solid tuneage  - stuff that will please those with an insatiable appetite for "this kind of thing".  

(By the way, there seems to be little consensus or consistency about how to spell the group's name - on the early record labels it's rendered either as Sublove  (or SUBLOVE) as if all one word OR as Sub-Love. On Discogs, they do it as Sub Love. But on the Sublogic releases, it's Sub-Love.

Oh one more thing - Kniteforce put out the Legacy EP,  a remastered selection, with remixes by other legends like Liquid and Hyper-On Experience, and which includes an unreleased original mix of "One by One"

Now I knew there was a fact buried in my brain that was nagging away at me... something about what Sub Love became... or what came out of them...

The other dude in the group, present on the first couple of those EPs of '92 is one Daniel Kausman - later known as DJ Die.

Well that is a pretty excellent thing to have done, or been - a mainstay of a top outfit in two very different stages of the nuum.

For these are some of my all time favorite jungle tunes

And he was part of Reprazent as well, right? Not too shabby, not too shabby at all.

And then Wisternoff - again I knew this, but forgot it - was the main man behind Way Out West, a more pop dance proposition with a breaksy element. I can't remember any of their tunes but they did pretty well I seem recall in that boom-era of second-half-Nineties ukdance.

Friday, May 17, 2019

the sham men

(via Alex Petridis)

They did some good stuff, though, The Shamen - I enjoyed them around En-Tact

Credit where it's due - more than any of the other indie-dance crossover artists of that era, they managed to master the new musical language - and they did it by themselves. (Primal Scream needed Andy Weatherall's help).

Almost by chance - without intent, certainly -  I have seen The Shamen play live as many times - possibly more times - than any other band I can think of.

They were on a lot of bills in the late Eighties when they were pure psychedelic revivalists: Op Art imagery, liquid lightshow projections,  phased and flanged guitars, Electric Prunes-y kinda vibes, fey monastic vocals. They were sorta kinda fellow-travelers with C86, and in a different way, with the Loop tendency - but slightly too professional and clean sounding.

Closer to Porcupine Tree than Spacemen 3.

Saw them once in their uneasy transitional stage going from acid-rock to acid-house, when the results were bit clumpy and didactic.

And then a couple of times during the full-blown techno-rave stage.

Interviewed them too, for a piece that never came out. What struck me was the seriousness, even piousness, with which they talked about psychedelics as a tool of consciousness-elevation.

Then they became pop stars, with this imperishable bit of period kitsch.

Oh dear

Dearie me

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

"who ever heard of a snozzberry?!"

another one that samples "Lickable Wallpaper"

more wonkatechno

always felt there was something oompa-loompa ish about this Marshall Masters stomper

Monday, May 13, 2019

burn kali weed in a rizla (the return)

talked before about the tune on my old pirate tapes that goes "when i was a yout i used to burn kali weed in a rizla" - or "collie weed" as i thought of it, for some reason

never could quite find the track that precisely fit my memory of the tune

then this came up on an old skool group on Fbook.

Well that's not the track I am thinking of at all - it was much more rootsical proto-jungle in vibe

Sourced in this of course

Even this one seems a bit too frantic to match my memory

Was it this one (once it gets past the italo pianos)?

Here's another Pablo Gad / "Hard Times" based tune

And another

And another by the same artist (plus remixer)

A very high profile one  - overshadowed by the Crazy Arthur sample

"And they don't call it a continuum for nuttin' folks" - a UK garage version!

Loads more either adjacent to the nuum (UK hip hop, happy hardcore) or somewhere else altogether

flipside to that tune is thematically linked

this was the big surprise on

and this one - i'm not sure what category this falls in - breakstep? nu skool breaks?  Ed Solo was a UKG producer right -

surprisingly good tune - thick sound, crispy and nimble break - and the whole vocal lick is used, not just the first line, so the listener gets to learn about the grown-up way to ingest your marijuana

Not that I'm clear exactly what a chalwa (?) is to be honest

remix by Freq Nasty which name rings a nu skool breaksy bell

I note with apprehension that Ed Solo later perpetrated "a Dubstep remix of Apollo Two - Return To Atlantis / Atlantis (I Need You) (LTJ Bukem Remix)" - perhaps it's for the better that's not actually on YouTube.

and with Deekline also did retro-jungle covers of "Ghost Town" b "On A Ragga Tip / Walk and Skank"

Friday, May 10, 2019

never felt this way never felt this way never felt this way never felt this way (piano science X vocal science)

plus a little bit of guitar science


That "Welcome to the Jungle" lick - a nice jokey reference to the emergent genre of jungle tekno? But it's not a particularly jungle-anticipating tune. I think they just liked the lick - which is wonderfully clean and airy and crisply serrated.

here's the hyper remix from The Forbidden Planet EP

and another remix from the same EP

in both cases slightly messing with the aint-broke perfection of the original

Knew that tune for years, off of some comp or other

But never knew that the same vocal lick was used by Man like Trace

and also by Naughty Naughty

well it's more or less a rewrite, a replica - naughty, naughty!

tuff little version though

But who was this Jem 77 then?

They had quite a large discography

This is a really cool tune

The other two tunes from The Forbidden Planet EP

"Eruption" particularly has a really nice crisp rolling beat and enjoy the throwback-to-bleep pulse. And then some more guitar - not as scimitar-slick thrilling as the one in "Never Felt That Way".

Was one of the group actually a budding rock guitarist?

Seemingly, judging by this tune, which has a promising synthy oscillator riff, but then slips into an almost back-to-baggy midtempo breaks groove, with not-great singing, and yes some more guitar licksmanship. i suppose not so much baggy as simply breakbeat house 90-91 style.

Apparently they fled the scene and tried to go progressive house

One day I shall return to investigate the nooks and crannies of Jem 77's hardcore discography

But for now, one more time, "Never Felt This Way", what sounds like a slightly more  echo-ey mix, or possibility just a faithful transcription from the vinyl, not sure.

Love that doubling / spasming of the diva-lick at 2.35 - pure  E-lectrocution!

Ruta del Bakalao aka La Ruta Destroy

La llamada Ruta Destroy (o Ruta del Bakalao como se la conoció más mediáticamente) fue heredera directa de la «movida valenciana» y consistió en el mayor movimiento clubbing de España....  durante la década de 1980 y la primera mitad de los años 90.

Wiki Entry on La Ruta Destroy translated via Google The so-called Destroy Route (or Bakalao Route as it was known more mediatically) was the direct heir to the "Valencian movement" and consisted of the largest clubbing movement in Spain. Initiated in certain aspects the clubbing movement in the country, and had long-term consequences on the way of nightlife in Spain. It consisted of a nightlife form of thousands of young people among the nightclubs in the metropolitan area of ​​Valencia, especially on the highway of El Saler (CV-500), which included halls such as Barraca, Spook Factory, Chocolate, Espiral, NOD, Puzzle and ACTV, as well as others from the interior (OTK, Onteniente), every weekend, and with little rest, during the 1980s and the first half of the 90s. The Destroy Route is framed within the context of a country that has just emerged from a democratic transition after the Franco era, which in other areas of culture had consequences such as the cinema of the inauguration. Spanish legislation, with regard to nightlife, was still immature due to the legacy of Franco's regime, and was full of legal vacancies, which were used by the entrepreneurs of these clubs. This brought together the least concern and information about drugs in the country. [lot of stuff on the Eighties, popularity of synthpop in Spain - clubs catering to postpunk, Electronic Body Music, industrial dance tastes etc - i.e. not unlike what was happening with Belgium with EBM and then New Beat... or with Frankfurt with Andreas Tomalla's EBM oriented Technoclub from 1984 i.e. pre-existing techno in the Detroit sense. Synth stuff was so big in Spain that a not well known in their homeland UK outfit called A Popular History of Signs could tour there - I used to know a guy who played in that group]

And what follows is an eerily familar narrative arc of rise and fall, heaven becoming hell, as the hoi polloi descend on mass and the quality of the music allegedly plummets as the drug intake and the bpm escalate (naturally I wonder about that... although if there was ever a 'darkside bakalao' it's not mentioned here). Ignorant plebs swarm, the intimate and discerning small clubs get replaced by macrodiscotecas (superclubs I assume), the quality of drugs decline, prolonged no-sleep sessions leading to car crashes (especially as people are coming to Valencia from all over Spain to party, not sleeping or kipping in a sporadic way in their cars in the parking lots, which are a major focus of the scene), arrival of rough and dodgy element, criminals, backlash from media and the authorities... the old familiar story indeed - but full of quirky local variations including a unique drug element in the very early pre-rave days (although then again what was called "mescas" sound a bit like what Britravers would later consume as snowballs).

Explosion (1991-1993)
Starting in 1987, Valencia gradually began to call the attention of a large part of the youth in Spain because of its endless hours, because of the great harmony that existed and the tremendous freedom that existed, with hardly any pressure on political, social or police level, and for being the only place in the country to play a combination of avant-garde electronic music of that time along with independent pop / rock import. These generic styles encompassed mainly EBM, techno-industrial music for dance floors, gothic-style pop / rock and mostly British, dark wave, post-punk (also called afterpunk), techno, synth pop, techno-pop, new wave, new beat, acid house, etc. Since the beginning of the "route", with groups like Bauhaus, Joy Division, Birthday Party, Classix Nouveaux, Visage, Blancmange, Comsat Angels or Devo, little by little it was drifting into music less guitar and more electronic, until finally, and fundamentally from 1993, popular with fast and low quality dance music produced in studios with few resources, or imported mostly from Italy and the Netherlands. However, within the group of discotheques of the "route", each one came to have some peculiar style that differentiated it from the rest, like Barraca, which was the one that most opted for pop, with a marked accent in pop / rock with a certain feeling of romanticism, while Puzzle did it for synth pop and technopop, Chocolate for the sinister and psychedelia, ACTV for acid house, Spook Factory for techno or Espiral as a great compendium of everything. Over the years these trends evolved in each of these rooms, so that Barraca evolved into a house, pop and techno-pop sound with a good presence of vocals practically banishing the guitar formations, something that would also make the rest of rooms, or Chocolate and Spook Factory made a more radical and industrial sound that became the flagship of the so-called "bakalao", which began encompassing the most electronic and forceful styles of the late 1980s, with techno, new beat and EBM groups / industrial with very marked rhythms like Signal Aout 42, Micro Chip League, Invincible Spirit, Fini Tribe, Tribantura or Renegade Soundwave. On horseback between the years 1980 and 1990, new rooms of relevant importance were appearing. But each and every one turning to the sound that marked the most veterans. Clubs such as Heaven, formerly called Pomelo, a small cavernous room near Puzzle, but more blunt and brutalized, which had one of the most active parking spaces, causing real headaches and even faces of disbelief to the suffering Sunday Sisters who passed by it along the road from El Perelló to their apartments, and whose main sessions were on Sundays from the morning. Villa Adelina, next to Barraca, which was nothing but a chalet with a large terrace that made it famous. Area, discotheque belonging to the Espiral-NOD axis, which became really peculiar because it specialized in its sessions on Monday morning, which could be extended until Tuesday morning (something unthinkable today in a club of that size), and where it attracted those who worked during the weekend at night or in the hotel trade, not only in Valencia, but also in more distant cities such as Madrid or Barcelona (in these cities there was nothing like that scale for this type of workers ), and also to the people who still endured the party, generally people very outdated but not conflictive. The Temple, located in Cullera, not far from Chocolate, a bulwark of the popular Chimo Bayo, visually striking for its refinery industrial airs that emerged from among the rice fields, and whose sessions eminently EBM, new beat and techno combined with times of encouragement to its faithful followers, or musical-vocal accompaniment, through the microphone. For this reason, this room had its faithful audience, but also its detractors. Chimo Bayo, popular guru of the time, DJ and producer, years before had directed another room musically linked to the route (not in vain could be included), although somewhat further away, the Arsenal de Oliva nightclub, a Valencian town next to Gandía , opened since 1986. The Temple maintained its success for a relatively short time, a faithful reflection of the success of the house image, Chimo Bayo, and it ended up closing when the image of it collapsed, reopening as NOD Cullera, room that really did not manage to materialize. Other rooms worthy of being mentioned, due to their proximity to Valencia, and therefore to the most important halls, and where many people alternated between them, were KU Manises (led by their DJ Víctor Pérez), who in their early years In the middle of the 1980s, he gathered people from other nightclubs in the early hours of the morning and became one of the main concert halls. Also during a season it was known as The Central. The musical politics of this room was always the absolute domain of alternative pop / rock, synth pop and gothic pop / rock (popularly referred to as "guitar") on electronic styles such as techno, EBM or new beat, which they had a much more secondary or almost nonexistent role in this room. Over the years, especially since the 1990s, in which the "guitarreo" was disappearing, it was a nightclub where the classics were used more than in any other room, a fact that would make her the initiator and standard-bearer of the remember movement. it was formed years later and that it would spread through the main cities of Spain, and that it rescued the music of the golden age of the Valencian movement. The disco Isla, in l'Alcudia, best known for its important concerts, but with live music sessions since the mid-1980s. Outline, near Isla, in Massalavés, where Arturo Roger, DJ of ACTV, also he played an excellent musical combo on Saturday nights, although lighter than the one that made him famous in ACTV. Amadeus (or AMD) located in Alfafar, next to an important shopping center, which had previously been called Broadway, where DJ Frank DJ, one of Espiral's first DJs, and later Sucre where Dj Tete was resident (who later opened Bananas Maxi disco) and which led to morning shows in Spook with Fran Lenaers when the sessions of Sucre closed. It was always a room frequented by the urban tribes of the metropolitan area. El Torero, a cocktail bar with a terrace next to Spook Factory (in the same parking lot), with more music than this one, which started as a rock music bar, and became a small room that complemented it, as well as Tropical , in the same building as ACTV, where people prepared to enter ACTV or relaxed between start and finish Galaxy, very close to Spiral and Zone, also in the inner zone, like Karma, a small room in the shape of a pyramid. Banana's, macrodiscoteca - inaugurated by Dj El Tete - who would direct her for her first two or three years making it one of the most important halls of that era (later El Tete spent many years in Arabesco as resident DJ on the main track). Banana's was located in Sollana, near Sueca, with a huge open-air garden terrace that in its beginnings in 1987 was aimed at people of the same style as Puzzle, with synth pop and techno-pop music. Resaca Playa, first large summer terrace in Valencia, located next to the sea, in the hamlet of Port Saplaya, belonging to the municipality of Alboraya, which during the summer months began to attract, especially on Thursday nights, regular "ruteros" . Already in 1991 a truly extraordinary social movement came to be. More than 30,000 young people from all over the country congregated, only in the different nightclubs of the Destroy Route, around the city of Turia, to spend unforgettable weekends. There is talk of 50,000 in their most relevant weekends. Many of them did almost every week hundreds of kilometers just to live the so-called Valencian festival, also known as the Valencian festival. Additionally, it started to become very common to charter buses from anywhere in the peninsula for a more comfortable and cheaper trip together with people from the same place. But although this year and the next marked the end of a glorious era, the boom of young people who came from all over would continue until 1994. From 1995 onwards, the decline plummeted. Decadence (1994-1996)
As of 1992, the mass media began to echo massively this movement. Since 1993, police deployments are beginning to abound, there is a great alarm and social pressure on this movement of leisure by the media, and even politicians. In fact, while the term Ruta Destroy was coined by Vicente Pizcueta, another Valencian night guru and head of Barraca, the term Ruta del Bakalao was, on the other hand, the one that ended up being imposed, used by the media as a way to give name to one of its main battle horses, following the word Bakalao, which had been used together with Makina for years before to name the sub-genres of electronic dance music techno and EBM, which really was still far from techno Rampant years later. Another factor that had relative importance in the demonization of the Route by society was the crime of Alcácer, in which three teenagers were kidnapped when they went to a well-known Picassent room called Coolor, one of the many town discotheques that by then they existed. The Valencian press hastened to spread obsessively that the main kidnapper and murderer of the "girls of Alcácer," Antonio Anglés Martins, was a regular visitor to the bakalao clubs. So, music starts to gain bpm (revolutions) and lose quality. The years 1993 and 1994 continue attracting huge masses of young people, although they are still people with less concerns about the musical quality, seriously diminished. The varied people, the strange and eighties hairstyles and looks, that still survived until 1992 or 1993, the leather, the strident shirts and the showy clothes, are giving way quickly to the haircut to the monkfish, the big rings in the left ear, the sneakers, the tracksuits, or the bombers as a clone army. New venues relatively close to Valencia are becoming fashionable, which are directly committed to attracting the climate of cordiality, freedom and good vibes, but leaving the musical level directly on a secondary level, and attracting mainly very young people, from 18 to 20 years old. This is the case of rooms such as Local Boundary in Puebla de Vallbona or Alkimia in Játiva, formerly known as l'Almàssera. In the province of Castellón they were Punto Rojo in Moncófar, one of whose leaders was again Chimo Bayo, Industrial in Vall de Uxó or Masía in Segorbe. Even Melody in Casas-Ibáñez (Albacete), next to the border with the province of Valencia, a room that has a place in the article since it was a place where hundreds of Valencians, La Mancha, etc., camped in the vicinity, alternating with the sessions in the room itself. There are many more rooms in the Valencian area, between new rooms and others that already existed but want to get on the bandwagon of Bakalao / Makina music. Most of them were no more than mere substitutes. In 1994 you could say that the musical quality in almost all the clubs of the movement had disappeared, with some exceptions, such as the The Face room, a beautiful room with a careful decoration, formerly called Dreams Village, of good people. It was the last important addition to the movement, and a true clubber oasis in a decadent Valencia, where house was again promoted, mainly progressive house, and where you could still enjoy long sessions until one o'clock in the morning, or in Puzzle, which followed in his footsteps after a musical reconversion. Although it is also true that the Puzzle schedule was gradually cut to please politicians and citizens, going from being a nightclub eminently after-hours, closing at five in the afternoon and attracting its main audience after six in the morning, to start filling up earlier, given the loss of other places preferred by the people, and close at one o'clock, years later at twelve o'clock, then at ten o'clock and so on until nine o'clock in the morning, at the end of the 1990s. There was also the case, already mentioned above, of Ku-Manises, who began to rescue the most glorious years of that time with the call remember, and other rooms that joined this initiative. The good atmosphere that characterized Valencia is beginning to be lost, reaching its end in 1996 with sounded closures, like that of a forgotten Spook Factory, whose semi-empty parking lot was occupied mostly by the habitual faithful of the El Torero cocktail bar, located within said parking lot and dedicated to hard makina. So much was that decadence, that now in Spain the term Bakalao or Bakala is used only as a derogatory way, or badly used to refer to accelerated and simplistic electronic music, and its followers. Afterwards there were still or appeared redoubts of quality in terms of electronic music is concerned, as The Face itself (he marked his musical style with his DJs Arturo Roger, Manolo the Pirate, Coqui Selection, Nacho Ortiz, Paco Cuevas, Miguel Ortiz, Pau Thomas , Víctor Pérez, his three atmospheres: El Cielo, 99 Calamares and his main track The Face with his parties Ministry Of Sound, with the rooms of Ibiza Pacha, Space and his Djs, etc. Seahorse, missing terrace, already also mythical , and shelter of old veteran drivers and popular characters, and located on the beach of Las Arenas, with a house very suitable for dancing outdoors facing the sea and caressed by its breeze Planet Valencia, in the old nightclub Wiggle de Albal , attempt on the part of Chimo Bayo to refloat a movement already almost sunk in a room with a very industrial aspect, at that time and since that year triumph, above the rest of the clubs, ACTV and Local Boundary, among the nu evos "ruteros", young people attracted by the ancient fame of the Route. The wound was so obvious, that in front of the popular Sunday sessions of ACTV, with hard makina, it reappeared in the same room another around 1996, that of Friday night, recovering the techno of quality and not so revolutionized, but finally it did not get the desired success. Some other clubs begin a stage of serious swings or closures and reopening due to lack of interest, Barraca, while others, gradually, begin to disappear altogether, such as Spiral, Zone, Heaven, NOD, Spook Factory, etc., until stop existing the Route as such, while other clubs will survive the disappearance of the movement in different ways: well maintain their relative musical success for a few years, such as The Face or Puzzle, thanks to house music, or they will deviate musically to genres directed to extremely young audiences, such as happy hardcore and hard house, very far from the first two musically, in the case of Chocolate, and in short, all of them very far from the splendor that they had years ago. The drug commonly known as ecstasy (MDMA), which made an appearance in Valencia from 1987 and 1988, arrived from Ibiza and the Netherlands, begins to cause havoc in the clubs because it is consumed in ever more massive doses. Although in 1994, 1995 and 1996 there is still a cordial atmosphere among the people, at least among the rooms where the variety of people still persists, such as Puzzle or The Face, little by little the change in attitude of the clientele, especially in rooms such as Chocolate, with the security of the Destroy Route room with the worst musical evolution. The loss of purity of the drug and other factors, such as the attraction of conflicting people, cause more and more problems of fights and bad environment. Many of the nightclub jobs are beginning to be entrusted to aggressive individuals that really increase the feeling of insecurity. In short, already at the end of the 1990s, almost no room devoted to derivative and evolved sounds of this movement (sounds already minority), is able to successfully overcome the test now difficult to surpass the environment of almost absolute cordiality, and the Violence and aggressiveness begin to be a common trend in that class of premises. Schedules and routes
The return of the "ruteros" could sometimes be delayed until Monday night (as mentioned above, there was a nightclub called Zona dedicated almost exclusively to their Monday morning session); in the same way that the exits could be ahead of Thursday. Mention in this case for clubs such as Accion, Metropolis or Delphi, as rooms eminently Thursday night for many "ruteros". These city nightclubs, which during the 1980s and early 1990s also opened weeknight nights (at that time it was not a strange fact to go out on any weekday night for anyone who loved the night), they served both Monday afternoon-night as Thursday night as start / weekend for many people. In many cases, people who went "on the road" did not even hire accommodation in Valencia, if they came from outside, and many did not return home, if they lived nearby, but literally spent the 72 hours of the weekend " party "in the premises, except for small breaks to sleep or eat something, often in the same car or in the parking lots of the nightclubs. It also began to become frequent the habit of going out in the morning, after having slept at night. The most usual routes during a weekend were, separating between bars "/" the main sessions in open rooms during the same time, and putting in bold the most outstanding among those important sessions: Thursday night: Action / Metropolis Friday night: Spook Factory / KU-Manises / Heaven / The Face / El Torero Saturday mornings: ACTV / Spook Factory (cont.) Saturday afternoon: Espiral / ACTV (cont.) Saturday night: Barraca / Chocolate / Spiral / Ku-Manises / The Face / Spook Factory / Puzzle / ACTV Sunday mornings: Spook Factory (cont.) / Puzzle (cont.) / Heaven / NOD / The Face (cont.) / The Temple / ACTV Sunday afternoons: Barraca / Villa Adelina / ACTV / NOD Sunday Nights: ACTV (cont'd) / Puzzle / Barraca / The Face Monday: NOD / Zone / ACTV (cont.) -> same session as the previous time slot with continuity in the next one.
This table shows how the highest boiling time in the rooms of the movida valenciana went from late hours of Sunday morning until late Sunday afternoon. Although really between 1987 and 1993 these guidelines varied considerably. For example, the early Sunday morning session of Spook Factory weakened until it disappeared, while on Sunday night / early Monday they became increasingly popular. Or with the closure of the Zone room, NOD picked up its witness for the Monday sessions. This "rutera" activity used to be accompanied by the consumption of drugs, and therefore increased road hazards on the roads through which the journeys took place. The brutal social alarm generated by the "Route of the Bakalao", which led to large-scale televised debates, led the authorities to decide to take retaliatory measures against the locals, in the form of time and permit controls, and even closing some of them. they, in more or less repressive and unjust ways. In fact rooms like Zona, Heaven, ACTV or NOD were closed for alleged irregularities in their buildings and other reasons not too honest, and yet after a certain time they returned to work as they were with different names, and a more "light" type of people " All this, in short, produced a gradual decline in the displacements along the "route", in favor of the macrodiscotecas of the periphery, those of the capital itself, and the raves, and that people coming from other regions stopped coming. Drugs and their relationship with the route
You can not talk about the Valencian disco club without talking about the different drugs that circulated in its different stages. At that time, the drug was seen by some people more as a vehicle for evasion than as an end in itself same, and was more idealized and less stigmatized than now, with which almost everyone in this environment participated in it . One of the essential ingredients for which in these discotheques breathed an unpropitious atmosphere to the problems between customers and for which it was usual to engage in conversation with any stranger were drugs, and the type of drug. Alcohol was not consumed in exaggerated doses in these rooms, and cocaine was an almost non-existent drug in this type of environment, given that it was a drug consumed by other types of people, usually rich or snobbish people, or in environments where sex played a more important role Without a doubt the most remarkable drug within the Valencian movement was the "mescalina valenciana", popularly known as "mesca" or "chufla". According to some studies, it was composed of MDA or "drug of love", in English called "Hug-Drug" (drug of hug), for having an effect tending to "love everyone." It was an amphetamine derivative similar in structure to MDMA or ecstasy, but with a marked hallucinogenic effect close to LSD (these hallucinogenic effects were mainly composed of fractal vision and saturation of colors), which at high doses could become Dissociative (dissociation of mind and body), and was usually cut with caffeine or other types of amphetamine more energizing, such as centraminas or dexedrinas, amphetamines very common at that time.

Others claim that it was a compound with an "acid-amphetamine" mixture, more specifically, a mixture of centraminas and dexedrines, together with lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Supposedly, its relative similarity with the true mescaline extracted from peyote made it popularly known by that name. However there are those who claim that it was the true peyote mescaline, but most likely peyote mescaline was also commercialized at that time, but in much smaller quantities, by people who wanted to take advantage of the pull of the "mesca" and that I thought both were the same. But the truth is that peyote mescaline often causes strong side effects nausea and vomiting as well as the effects of great euphoria, drunkenness and hallucinations provided by the "mesca". The most probable hypothesis is the first one, since there are several studies that affirm it . This substance appeared almost entirely in the form of capsules, mainly green, but also red. The existence of the Valencia "mesca" was relatively short, between 1983 and Christmas 1988, when it disappeared almost suddenly, although it is a fact that until the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s there were still very rare items of those capsules. green, but at exorbitant prices. The hypotheses by which the "mesca" disappeared in that way, given that the reasons are not clear, are several. Perhaps the main factor was the appearance of another amphetamine substance, amphetamine sulfate, popularly known as "speed". This substance was cheaper to produce and buy.

In fact the price of mescaline suffered a great escalation to be placed at prohibitive prices, especially is said following the popularization of the song of Los Rebeldes "Mescalina" (1986), which would lead to drug users decant for other substances. In addition, the "speed" supposedly provided greater effect against sleep, and that was an important factor in a time in which the schedules were lengthening in an excessive way. It provided a feeling of similar euphoria, and a greater energizing effect that imprinted the body with more speed, made more suitable for the BPM (revolutions per minute) of the second half of the 1980s. On the contrary, it lacked the sensation of false drunkenness and hallucinations. This substance, consumed mostly as white powders by the nostrils, was the main substance consumed between 1986 and 1988, the year in which the MDMA or ecstasy appeared on the Valencian scene. Ecstasy came from the Netherlands and was also present in Ibiza. It began being commercialized in the form of small brown tablets popularly known as "inflones". Over time they would be marketed as pills in a variety of colors and printed symbols. He had a certain hallucinogenic character in the aspect that seemed to "open the mind to the senses", giving the impression that the senses were becoming more acute. These three were the main substances consumed in the main discos of the movida, but others such as marijuana and hashish, or LSD (the popular "tripis") also used to be seen, although with much less frequency, since they either relaxed, or they disconnected from the music.

More information on bakalao and Ruta Destroy

I suspect a lot of the analysis in this Wiki entry is derived from this book, which I believe I have somewhere

Friday, May 3, 2019

kicky and volky (hardcore, intellectualized)

Intellectualized in an essay by Jeppe Ugelvig titled "Hardcore as Folklore" (at NERO Editions)

It's about the other hardcore though.

The Eurorave continuum - Belgcore> gabber >jumpstyle > hardstyle

The peg = an exhibition, Capriccio 2000. Which "traverses electronic dance music cultures in millennial Italy—particularly hardcore—to propose a sensory tableau: of listless bodies, ritualized gestures and neon hues amidst the detritus of suburban life."

Some snippets from Ulgelvig's essay:

 "Compared to techno and house, hardcore is a type of electronic dance music still waiting to be fully understood. Low-brow, peripheral and nihilistic, it stands in stark contrast to the cultures surrounding its related genres, now firmly canonized and critically recouped for their social, political, and musical importance to cultural history.* Conventionally regarded as non-queer, non-black, and non-urban, hardcore is, in fact, antithetical to the three things that have historically defined electronic dance music. Even so—or perhaps exactly because of this—hardcore seems to have seeped into the aesthetic subconscious of continental European youth culture in the new millennium, becoming integrated as a part of a mass-cultural vocabulary.... . Hardcore, I want to propose, may slowly be developing into its very own example of European folklore, complete with its own set of myths, fantastical motifs, and fabled characters"

Some thoughts on gabber-as-folk at the end...

"From its onset, hardcore was reactionary to the fashionable and opulent party scenes of metropolitan cities like Amsterdam and London, cladding itself in a working-class, anti-fashion aesthetic."

True in one sense - opposed to chic elites. But then again, hardcore of every type has always had its own street fashion look. Gabbers played a small fortune for their favored brands of Australian sportswear. Junglists were style-conscious and similarly coughed up a fair amount of dough to look sharp.

"Hardcore’s one-dimensional and almost childish intensity is often affiliated with the deprived, post-industrial landscapes of Europe, while its participants—dressed in cheap sportswear, and with soft skinhead references—are often referred to as an embodiment of the “chav,” “tamarro,” “dresiarz” or “proll” aesthetic. In Italy, for example, the northern region of Pianura Padana became a hub for the hardcore sound in the late 1990s, as it gained traction in enormous “super clubs” along the A4 highway from Bergamo to Venice (connecting the cities of Brescia, Verona, and Padua)."

The "chav" archetype, as a locus of anxiety and condescension, is a Europe-wide phenomenon - and most likely a world-wide syndrome, given that class structures and tensions recur on much the same lines everywhere. Similar social formations crop up - if not necessarily identical in terms of music orientation.

One example is Catalonia, where the raver mentalist sound of the Nineties was called bakalao - after the local foodstuff bacalao, dry salt cod - presumably it has the same "crudely pungent" connotations as "cheesy," with a bit of territorialised regional patriotism thrown in. Note also the mispelling with a "k" in the lumpen-rave tradition of tekno and ardkore.  All the clubs were clustered along a road in  Valencia nicknamed Ruta Destroy, which became the hub of sleepless weekends fueled by pastillas ye drogas of all kinds, with people driving in from all over the country to party there.

Love the raver style touch here of people cooling themselves with black-and-white fans! I remember the daughter of a professor in Valencia  (who had me over to lecture on UK rave and Ecstasy culture in the late nineties) telling me about the scene: how mental it was, people dancing in the most full-on crazed way, jabbing the air with cigarettes almost like stilettos, the bakalao kids clad in black and white clothes. Just before I flew back home, I went to get CD comps of bakalao from a local music megastore, but they sounded fairly cheesy - in the processed, flava-less sense - when I got back to NYC.

Another example is Córdoba, Argentina, where working class and lumpen youth rally to a sound known as cuarteto - which is not electronic but based around high-energy live-bands. It's territorialized: youth follow a particular band and band-leader (the most famous is La Mona Jimenez) year after year. They go to see these bands perform more or less the the same show - raucous, risque - every week, in all-night parties that really kick off in the small hours and apparently get pretty wild. Raves, then, just without rave music.

Back to Ugelvig's essay:

"With over thirty years of endured presence in European music culture, hardcore can no longer be understood as a mere trend or fad, but qualifies instead as a kind of abstract aesthetic motif recognized by a broad range of Europeans born in the last two decades of the 20th century—from the right-leaning hooligan of the suburbs to the fashion worker of the metropolis, crafting fashion editorials that glamorize its pseudo-skinhead aesthetic.... These plural, contradictory, and mythological connotations of hardcore—escaping exact definition, yet seemingly omnipresent as an aesthetic motif—perfectly qualify it as a kind of folk culture."

One thing I'd add here on the subject of "folklore": there is something going on with the dancing in  gabber / jumpstyle / hardstyle that plugs into folk music traditions in Northern Europe. I don't want to say the music has "reactivated a race-memory," as that makes it sound dodgier than it needs to be. But there is something that's seemingly resurged instinctively within the younger generation (who probably have had only a limited exposure to traditional music and its attendant dance modes) where they move to these Eurocore beats in ways that come from the same place as Morris dancing and Irish "step dancing" (as in "Riverdance") and doubtless forms of Dutch and German etc dancing I'm unaware of. The dancing largely takes place below the knee, and doesn't involve the hips or the pelvis much at all. The body stays perpendicular and straight-spined; the arms swirl around almost like the ribbons of a Maypole, with the body as the pole.  It's not groovy, it's kicky - kicky moves for kick drum dominated / domineering music. Unfunk, perhaps even anti-funk in a sense - but it looks like a lot of fun.

Ugelvig mentions in passing an exhibition in the Netherlands three years ago called "Energy Flash - the Rave Movement"

Now admittedly I don't own the words "Energy Flash" - Joey Beltram does if anyone - but still..