Thursday, April 30, 2020


Says Chal Ravens, "really enjoying The Primitive Painter reissue coming on Apollo – glittering cybertech waters, distant polygonal islands, '90s digiutopics, that sort of thing"

Now I was wondering if the artist name (an alter ego for Alter Ego, apparently - i'm stealing a Youtuber's quip here) was a reference to Felt

... and thought "nah, more likely it's directly referring  to Lascaux"

But lookee here, a nod to The Waterboys

and "Cathedral" - as in the proverbial "sonic cathedral" for 4AD-ish religiose reverb aesthetic?

Felt had this proximately titled song

and this even more proximately titled song

ah - and, stop press - as Cesar in comments points out, there is also this Felt song 

so clearly formatively rooted in mid-80s Anglo-indie this The Primitive Painter chap - or chaps, rather, since Alter Ego = duo 

now I'm wondering if that song is named after the House of Love offshoot captained by Terry Bickers of vitreous-guitar showering you with crystalline splinters renown?

The shoegaze into post-rock evolution is well documented and logical

But the shoegaze into the electronic listening music / chill out / IDM side of techno is less delineated

Chapterhouse got that album remixed by somebody or other IDM-ish (Global Communications? Future Sound of London? )

Morr Music

a German friend of mine Heiko Hoffmann - long time editor of electronic music magazine Groove, until recently - did a shoegaze compilation back in 2003

the texturitis and blissy feeling of dreampop / shoegaze was a gateway drug for E-lectronic dance and non-dance, for some, maybe

for me as a writer, maybe that applies too - texture-attentiveness (texture > text) vis-a-vis MBV et al, sets me up well for texturrythm-attentiveness about rave .... ditto "the politics of ecstasy" becomes "the politics of Ecstasy" (although in both cases I would say now that it's more like an "anti-politics" - for better or worse, and increasingly, i think worse) 

but as a listener I was into club music and synth-abetted funk right from the start of the 80s

and in fact would write about things like Mantronix  in that engineer-as-poet / new sonic architecture mode well before I became a raver - at the exact same time as I was hymning A.R. Kane in similar sort of terms (not man-machinic but certainly the human figure disappearing into the miasma of sound)

same kind of becoming-abstract, depersonalized, sensation-not-significance approach

"against interpretation" (before I'd even read Sontag's essay)

Deleuzian, before I'd ever cracked open A Thousand Plateaux 

one instinctively know what is right

and this was the right response to what the music was doing 

the missus reviewed this gig (where they were supported by The House of Love) 

later we saw Felt's final gig together 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

fashion and style

was listening to a 2step era pirate tape - Ice FM I think - the other day and heard the MC use the expression "fashion and style"

one of those buzzphrases that comes out of dancehall

"Dancehall cyaa dead yeah
Gyal haffi go spin pon dem head yeah
Fashion and style haffi set yeah
Star haffi born wa yo check seh"

It made me think of this drum and bass track by Mr Size 

But also of the UKreggae label Fashion

which had popped back into my consciousness this week anyway because music press archivist Nothing Else On has got to early 1985 and these NME articles came up in his scan-tweet project

a piece on Fashion and Earthworks

and then the following week

Any excuse to repost the videos of Smiley's two top tunes

Here's a TV mini-profile of Fashion Records

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Murder Most Foul

by far the best tune with this title

(and it's not even in the Top 15 Foul Play tunes)

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Mystery Tune #29 - Yodeling Pixie Ragamuffin Mi Rude Boy

and that i think is the last of them

at least of this hefty batch

may well generate a few more as i trawl through old tapes

shout going out to the tune-identifier massive, bigupyachess and ta v much

Mystery Tune #28 - Whispery Shivery Scuttler

Have i done this one already? I'm really not sure!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Rudewhy for years (that's why they call it a continuum, folks! pt 203048372)

Not just a titular nod to A Guy Called Gerald (with inflation effect on "28 Gun Bad Boy" - now up to 42, or is it 32 as the label of the record actually says?), but also earlier-still bleep-era samples from Unique 3 (right?)

This tuff tune via Rudewhy's triffic Speed Garage Top 100 thread at Dissensus, where this track stands at  #15. As you go higher up the chart, he starts writing some nice commentaries on some of the selections - how he found a certain record, the quest for elusive tunes, what it sounds like, strange collisions of influences.

In this list are some  Nuum-nodding tunes I'd never come across, joining the company of well-known refixes like the "Hurt You So" remake "Oh Boy' by Fabulous Baker Boys, the "Truly One" garage update by  Strictly Dubz IV ("Small Step") et al

This one nods not just in the sample from "Euphony (Just 4 U London)" but with the name - Bodysnatch / Bodysnatchers, haha

Omni Trio love shown

"Whatcha Gonna Do" / Da Intalex reflections

"Long Dark Tunnel / Valley of the Shadow" echoes in this one.

Rudewhy's focus is very much on speed garridge, not UK garage (so very little in the tasteful and deep-deep-deeper zone) and the selection cuts off before the 2step sound takes over. So it's a sweep across a sound-strand that lasts a bare year, maybe two years top  (although bassline oop North carries on doing the Double 99>DJ Narrows line and 4-to-4loor tunes pop up here and there on the London scene even after the overall sound-of-the-pirates has switched to the less banging, bump 'n' flexy 2step, with R&B flava battling it out with house vybe for control.

I downloaded all the tracks, plus a few other Dissensian suggestions, and played them as one huge bloc. It took me two and a half days! (Had to keep taking a break - after about 4 hours of this heavily scenius-not-genius, functional floor-filler in a single session, onset of diminishing returns as it all became a bit of a blur!)

It's crammed with slammige - but what surprised me was that nearly all of the selection were unknown to me. That doubtless reflects me being in NYC at that time, where only a smatter of speed garage 12 inches dribbled over to record stores, because there was zero scene for it in the USA. The junglists hated speed garridge and only later on did some of them come around to 2step; NYC house bods were not having it AT ALL. I did get my mitts on some good tunes on vinyl import, but mostly my access was through CD compilations. Tape-wise, I have hardly any speed garage 1997 ones, whereas later I have a shitload of the 2step era pirate tapes. (Gonna be digitizing and sharing to the commonwealth those soon actually).

It was a moment of generic-but-good churnage and monster over-supply....  mercenary opportunists jumped on it but still came up with the goods....   Scenius principles rule i.e. "positive unoriginality" syndrome aka depersonalizing alignment to the state of art.

All of it  - first-division, second-division, third-div - imbued with the magic of that Moment.

Still,  it's interesting how rarely the Rudewy selection overlaps with what would generally be considered the canon of that year-plus  - and almost never coincides with my own quirky faves.

Below is a messy list mixing up obvious anthems and personal peccadilloes. Almost entirely excluding 2step, except for a few edge cases. Approximate descending order, toppermost at the start....

Gant -- "Sound Bwoy Burial (187 Lockdown Dancehall Mix)"/All Night Long"
New Horizon, “Find the Path”
Lady Penelope & Abstrac, "Deeper (Part 2)
Giselle Jackson, "Love Commandments (Loop Da Loop vocal mix)
KMA, "Cape Fear"
New Horizons --"Slamdown" off Scrap Iron Dubs No. 1 EP

N ' n'G featuring Creed - "Liferide

Soul II Soul – "Pleasure Dome (Booker T Dub)"

Double 99 "RIPGroove"
Scott Garcia feat MC Styles, "It's a London Thing"
A Baffled Republic, "Bad Boys Move in Silence"
Smokin Beats feat Lynn Eden, “Dreams”
KMA, "Kaotic Madness"
New Horizons - --"It's My House (Bashment Mix)"
Ramsey and Fen – “Desire”
The Corrupted Crew / MC Neat - "G.A.R.A.G.E."

Napa-Tac "Dibby Dibby Sound"

Angel Farringdon + Lil Smokey, "Clean Riddem" 

Same People, “Dangerous”
KMA,  “Blue Kards” (Recon Mission EP)
Skycap , “Endorphin”
Dreem Teem, “The Theme”
The Heartists’ “Belo Horizonti (Ramsey and Fen Remix)
Double 99 , "Jump"
Ratpack, "The Clipper"
Corrupted Crew - "G.A.R.A.G.E. (DJ Narrows remix)
Ramsey & Fen, "Underground Explosion" (on The Off-Key Experience EP)
Fabulous Baker Boys -- "Oh Boy"
Da Stylus, "Crazy"
Ramsey & Fen,  "Love Bug"
187 Lockdown, "Gunman"
Soundscape, "Dubplate Culture"
Strictly Dubz IV, "Small Step (London Dubz)"
Underground Distortion, "Everything Is Large"


+ honorary Brits

Sneaker Pimps, "Spin Spin Sugar (Armand's Dark Garage Mix)

Nu Yorican Soul "Runaway (Mongoloids in Space)

Roy Davis Jr featuring Peven Everelist, "Gabriel"

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Mystery Tune #27 - Old Riffer Squealer Bleeper

yet another tune from that triffic skool mix Slipmatt did for One in the Jungle back in 1997

Mystery Tune #26 - Old Happy Tune

this is Bizarre Inc isn't it?  Or is it N-Joi? Something like that.

the tune is also from the great old skool mix that Slipmatt did for One in the Jungle back in 97

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

"unstableness of rave"

release rationale: 

Warm Winters Ltd. is pleased to announce JC Leisure’s latest solo release, 'Mutations For'. The album is built from the artist's collection of mixtapes from circa 1992 onwards that distil the counterculture of rave, free parties and pirate radio broadcasts.

For the last couple of years this archive has formed the basis for JC Leisure’s hybrid DJ cassette sets, a handful of which are archived on Bandcamp. Aware of each cassette's cultural legacy, with 'Mutations For' JC Leisure sets out to give the archive a higher form of autonomy. Similar to the audio-to-midi processes he developed with his band Raft of Trash (where they use the world-building game Simcity3000 as raw material) the cassette tapes are sampled live and fed to synthesizers, software patches and samplers; allowing them to write their own melodies and rhythms. Leisure has worked with and alongside these results and offers them up on 'Mutations For' as an alternative future to a counterculture's unstable history.

These ideas are explored further in collaboration with designer Afonso de Matos on the poster that forms the physical realization of this work.


"Within the recording itself, the ephemeral and the mechanical are similarly blurred. Metallic noises stand in relief against pearlescent layers of organic ambience." - A Closer Listen

release rationale: 

archaeological hybrid dj cassette set, utilising an archive of jungle / pirate radio mixtapes circa 1994

live cuts, no overdubs

with respect to all the dj’s, producers, mc’s and stations

i am merely a vessel


released May 28, 2018

(via The Wire May 2020 issue piece by Antonio Poscic)

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

good times come to me now

"A classic 8am track from the Edge in FTL from Cali breaks pioneer, Bassbin Twins" - says the poster at YouTube. And it does have that spaced-out, journey-to-end-of-night feel.

If it wasn't for the internet, i would have been tormented for hours, days, possibly weeks, by trying to work out where that sampled /interpolated vocal bit - "good times come to me now" -originated....

but thanks to the internet, i could scratch that itch instantly and discover its from this charming bit of Anglo flimsy

the prancing man in a silly hat would become superdeejay Jeremy Healey

Sunday, April 19, 2020

tekno eye candy #1 of ?? (R&Sthetics)


and other Belgian releases at the dawn of the 90ties. 

back to the R&Sthetics - some earlier ones when they were New Beat, some later ones edging out of hardcore into trance or 'electronic listening music' - both tending towards the eye-displeasing


Friday, April 17, 2020


try playing them all simultaneously !

christ, there's even more of them

oh and there's official ones too

And there's still more out there


Had a major Todd jag at the start of the year, made a mix of all my faves -  that was all I wanted to play for a couple of weeks. This, after a long, long period of never feeling the urge and almost forgetting his existence.

Two of my faves

One of the miracles of modern-era music, that sound he invented - but like all miracles it had its prime season (mid-to-late 90s) and then started to wear itself out with repetition and over-use.   The same tricks that worked so well, reapplied, but the glow not there somehow - perhaps a side effect of him being able to afford better gear? (I saw a video from deep into the 2000s of him showing how he did the Sound - his studio looked like Jodrell Bank. So much equipment, so many blinking lights. I suspect the earlier stuff was done on much more basic and limited equipment, which gave a certain raw edge to the tesselated samples, saving it from the sickly wispiness of Enya's multi-tracked choir-of-self (One of Todd's inspirations of course, Enya).

In my music folder, TE is filed under Nuum. Honorary citizenship, bestowed on no other American, I don't think.

More of my fave Todd blisscapes

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

butthole ravers

the Surfers reference more to do with the Beach Boys than the Buttholes themselves

a UKrave tune that actually samples Butthole Surfers (the soundbite intro to "Sweat Loaf")

and of course Gibby Haynes and Jeff Pinkus from Buttholes had their own "acid house" side project - the Jackofficers

back to the mysterious The Wriggler and the rest of their Tasty Flange EP

this samples 10cc "i'm not in love"

this one sounds more like PCP-ish stompy darktekno than breakbeat and - as the title heralds -  contains a lurking-low-in-the-mix slice of Siouxsie balefulness from Juju  

not available on YouTube but a later track is titled "Follow the Leader" and makes me wonder if it sampled Jaz Coleman to continue the Gothrave line

actually not that mysterious, the Wriggler -  according to a Discogs smartypants, this is "one of the first releases by Mark Pritchard aka Chaos & Julia Set, Reload, Global Communication, Harmonic 33, Jedi Knights, Link & E621"

Monday, April 13, 2020

"j'ai peur" ( transmissions du côté obscur)

at least i think that's what she's saying

darkside en Francais

this one is a beaut - ruff yet smooth

less smooth prototype

smoother alternate mix

somehow the works of D.O.P.E. have bypassed me until this point

excellent stuff

postscript 4/15

according to Original Chills in comment, the "j'ai peur" sample is sourced in this Belgian techno track

from 1991 so that's proto-darkside that's very proto then

(although a lot of acid house was proto-darkside, so perhaps more accurate to say that darkside is a flavour, a strand, running right through the stick of Brighton rock that is housetechnorave)

Friday, April 10, 2020

tuff and pingy

what a great little tune that i have no recollection ever hearing before