Sunday, October 27, 2019

we like it i like it you like it too

Now this here is not the last d&b tune ever that I've liked...

But it's the last one I loved loved luvvdit2dabone

In the summer of 2002 "LK" was getting played nonstop on the pirates - well actually on the pirate, singular - since there was just the one playing drum + bass, amidst a whole heap of UKG and proto-grime pirates - at least that I could pick up in the part of West London where we were staying (I was over to do research for Rip It Up). I was surprised there was even one pirate, so far had the d+b slipped out of nuum's orbit by that point.

But that's where I heard it, on the one and only drumnbass pirate.

I associate this tune's skittering beat with my 2 year old running madly round and round the little coffee table in the rented ground floor Ladbroke Groove flat were staying in.

A family favorite it was. A little lightning bolt of sheer joy.

So it's "LK" and Dizzee's "I Luv U" (the instrumental version) and "Pulse X" that are my abiding musical memories of that summer.

Mostly I was holed up in the British Library going through old copies of Sounds and The Face, or trying to chase down the elusive Keith Levene and going round to Martin Fry's gaff and doing little expeditions to Bristol and Manchester and Sheffield, to soak up any surviving postpunky vibes and interview relevant parties. A curry with Richard H. Kirk. Steven Morris's house way out in the Cheshire countryside.

I think I only managed to go to one club that entire summer.

Although very fond of the Stamina MC "all I know is this tune / tear up nuff venue" chat on the single version, I ultimately prefer this instrumental version

Went and bought that garish yellow green sleeved CD single.

Made it my #2 fave single of 2002

Strangely though I have never until this moment heard the original song that it is - not based on, but largely composed out of, in terms of melodic, harmonic and textural substance.



DJ Marky - went down to Movement once or twice, pretty good. Vibe a bit V Records / Full Cycle, tuff but tasteful. 

But I also saw him deejay in São Paulo  - and he was slutely tearin

D&b was hot there at the end of  the 1990s. Not with the general populace, but the cool kids. It was such a huge city and population that it could support all these different music micro-cultures, and some of them were incredibly Anglophile, obscurist Anglophile.

I was there for a music festival - talking about I'm not sure what (rave culture I expect )

4 Hero were there and did a music production workshop. They also, if I recall right, did some kind of not hugely fruitful live stage jam session with Azymuth, or members thereof. I think the whole concept was British music(ians) meets Brazilian music(ians).  Better on paper. 

In the music workshop, I asked Dego and Marc "What in your opinion are THE most must-to-avoid d&B structure-arrangement and/or production cliches? The ones that make you groan when you hear them in a track? That you'd never in a million years allow to bear the Reinforced label, let alone the 4 Hero one?"

They seemed tickled by that. Hint of a smile broke on their otherwise impassive and laconic faces.

Can't remember what they said though. They mimed out, vocally, a few well-corny drops and intro lick cliches, I think.


Spiro said...

As well as getting non-stop play on the pirate(s), I remember 'LK' getting non-stop play on daytime Radio 1! DnB certainly had a bit of a moment in the commercial spotlight in 2002 - aside from the absolutely incredible 'LK' which charted fairly high, Peshay's disco-dnb jam 'You Got Me Burning' was also doing the rounds on Radio 1 and scraping the Top 40. Andy C & Shimon's 'Body Rock' hit the charts around the same time, and of course we can't forget Puretone's 'Addicted To Bass' - which, even though it was a pop project and nothing to do with 'real' dnb whatsoever, it was a pretty impressive imitation: all frenetic flailing breaks and tearin' techstep bass, and all the more impressive to hear those kind of sounds all over mainstream daytime radio!

It's interesting how dnb had this moment in the mainstream while receiving barely any attention on the pirates - I guess it had been around long enough by this point to gain some mainstream acceptance, while the pirates, much more ahead of the curve, had moved on to fresher things. It wasn't until about 8 years later that dnb would return to the commercial spotlight (and then some!) when the likes of DJ Fresh and Chase & Status spearheaded the massive return of dnb (this time aligned with dubstep) as a short lived yet inescapable chart presence. Of course this time, sadly, the pirates were nowhere to be seen.


wow i didn't notice that - d&b on radio 1 - if i listened to the radio at all, it was the pirates!

Spiro said...

I was living in out-in-the-sticks Worcester at the time and it wasn't until a couple of years later that I discovered I could sometimes pick up the odd pirate from Birmingham (or maybe there weren't any running with a strong enough signal at that time) - for my 12 year old self Radio 1's evening and weekend shows were one of the only ways I could hear music that wasn't Britney Spears or Blue! Luckily there were a couple of great vinyl shops that served me well!