Friday, July 29, 2022

Rap attack

The female Aphrodite (yes I know, doesn't work in mythology, but it makes sense in jungle). By which I mean - trampoline B-lines, pretty melodies, taking the increasingly narrow and unpopulated path of jungle-as-fun and jungle-as-pop (but in truth, production-wise just as sharp and technical as any Photek or J Majik tune -  hence the alias Engineers Without Fears)

I mean listen to this

As a DJ she could play as hard as anyone - I remember her bashing brains alongside Hype, Darren Jay, Randall down Paradise 

Tuff little B-side

Should mention sidekick Aston of course - credits often say written by Rap, produced by Rap and Aston

I'll tumble 4 ya

Don't know this remix by Desired State

Nor this mix

These neither

As DJ Rap, this is terrific 

Reese bass - before or after "Deadly Deep Subs" / "Terrorist"? 

More than solid stuff via an alter ego 

There was a misguided 'pop' oriented album, with her vocals prominent...

But before that a whole album with Voyager (aka Pete Parsons), with the okay agreed rather yukky title Intelligence, but likely more than solid contents-wise (I've not delved and have no recollection ever hearing at the time). 

Few years ago I saw Rap do an in-store at Amoeba the performance connected to an Ableton conference in LA that I participated in. It wasn't great, mainly because the volume was feeble - the set-up seemed worse than your average 1980s music center - and there wasn't enough of a crowd or the right sort of audience responses in the brightly lit store. But I bet she still kills it when playing the nostalgia circuit. 

DJ Rap rockin da Amoeba massif

Monday, July 25, 2022

leapniks and rave gear

"An All-Night Rave at the Alexandra Palace"

An all-night 'trad' ball held in the echoing and chilly infinity of the great hall of the Alexandra Palace. Band followed band from 9-30 PM until 7-30 AM the next morning. The audience were dressed almost without exception in 'rave gear'. As the essence of 'rave gear'  is a stylized shabbiness, the general effect was of a crowd scene from a biblical epic.  To describe an individual couple, the boy was wearing a top hat with 'Acker' painted on it, a shift made out of a sugar shack with a C.N.D. symbol painted on the back, jeans, and no shoes.  The girl, a bowler hat with a C.N.D. symbol on it, a man's shirt worn outside her black woolen tights. 'Trad' dancing in the contemporary sense is deliberately anti-dancing.  When I first went to jazz clubs, there were usually one or two  very graceful and clever couples.  But today the accepted method of dancing to trad music is to jump heavily from foot to foot like a performing bear, preferably out of time to the beat.  I have no explanation to offer for this unattractive fad, unless it is to underline that they have no connection with the lovers of pop music, all of whom dance rather well in a somewhat mechanical way. Trad musicians have christened these self-made elephants 'Leapniks'.

from George Melly's Revolt Into Style - original source for this is an article he wrote in 1962 on trad jazz and dance crazes for the New Statesman

Thursday, July 21, 2022

mad for ads

Here's that Luke Owen show on NTS about pirate radio rave adverts archived for your listening pleasure. It is linked of course to the smashing new  Death Is Not The End compilation of rave ads but contains an abundance of things not on the comp and a huge number that are completely new to me

Wednesday, July 20, 2022



added / nicked from Club Labrynth Facebook page

Thursday, July 14, 2022

the greatest label of the Nineties?

Pearsall, aka Randall Helms, launches a new mix series in celebration of Moving Shadow - there'll be a mix dedicated to each of their golden years, starting with this one for 1993

Update: and already here's the one for 1994  with a release rationale at the blog

Begging the question for some (including me) of why not start with '92? Pearsall explains why and discusses the ongoing series here at his Sonic Rampage blog

Could I pick a favorite Shadow tune from 1993? It would be very hard, but it would be this mix of "Open Your Mind" (rather than the Tango which P-Man plumps for).  Hearing it on the pirates and initially not knowing what it was - I couldn't believe music like this could exist.  

And then '94 -  I wouldn't really know where to begin, so ample are that year's riches - but Blame's "Anthemia" would have to be on (omitted from the Pearsall mix - possibly impossible to mix into a mix?) and Omni Vol.4's "Original Soundtrack" just for the intro.... But also EZ Rollers "Believe (Foul Play Remix"... and.... but... also 

As for the title of the post - that's infinitely arguable, I'm sure, but if there was one that might just pip Shadow to the title, it would do that through sheer grandeur of vision-quest  and it would be Reinforced. 

But Moving Shadow would vault ahead of the Rivet boys if the honorific was shifted slightly and became "the most beloved label of the Nineties". No more miraculously overflowing source of euphoria exists for me in that decade than this label's output. 


Friday, July 8, 2022

London Rave Adverts - a new pirate radio compilation from Death Is Not The End


Luke Owen of Death Is Not The End has just today released a new volume in his compilation series collecting pirate radio ads from the '90s. Here's my blurb for Pause for the Cause: London Rave Adverts 1991-1996 Vol. 1.

 "Back in the early ‘90s, whenever the pirate radio MC announced “a pause for the cause”, I usually pressed pause on my cassette recorder. That’s something I would regret years later, when ad breaks had become cherished mementos of the hardcore rave era. Luckily, back in the day I often left the tape running while I went off to do something else. So a fair number of ad breaks got captured accidentally for my later delectation. Not nearly enough, though. So in recent years I started combing through the immense number of pirate radio sets archived on the internet.  Sometimes the tracklists would note “ad break” or “ads”, helping to narrow the search. But often I’d just stumble on a bunch in the middle of a pirate show preserved on YouTube or an old skool blog.  A few of my original unintended “saves” and latterday “finds” are included in this wonderful collection by audio archaeologist Luke Owen. It’s the latest in his series of compilations of UK pirate radio advertisements, with this volume focusing on the audio equivalent of the rave flyer: MCs breathlessly hyping a club night or upcoming rave, listing the lineup of deejays and MCs, boasting about hi-tech attractions like lasers and projections, mentioning prices and nearest landmarks to the venue, and occasionally promising “clean toilets” and “tight but polite security” (“sensible security” is another variation). Some of these ads are etched into my brain as lividly as the classic hardcore and jungle tunes of that time. (Most rave ads incorporate snippets of current music, of course – big anthems and obscure “mystery tracks” alike).   Names of deejays ring out like mythological figures: who were Shaggy & Breeze, Kieran the Herbalist, Tinrib, Food Junkie?  Putting on my serious hat for a moment, I think these ads are valuable deposits of sociocultural data, capturing the hustling energy of an underground micro-economy in which promoters, deejays and MCs competed for a larger slice of the raving audience.   But mostly, they are hard hits of pure nostalgic pleasure, amusing and thrilling through their blend of period charm, endearing amateurism,  and contagiously manic excitement about rave music’s forward-surge into an unknown future. The best of these ads give me a memory-rush to rival the top tunes and MC routines of the era."    

Here hear -  and buy - Pause for the Cause, which is available digitally and as a limited-edition cassette. 

Death Is Not The End has a regular NTS Radio show and this Sunday Luke will be playing a batch of radio ads not on the new compilation (including a few more of mine). It broadcasts at 8pm GMT on Sunday 10 July, then will be available on the archive via this link sometime early next week.

One of my contributions to Pause for the Cause. 

Here's my Guardian piece from last year on the first two collections of UK pirate radio adverts that Death Is Not The End put out. 

And here's a longer interview I did with Luke about his label and the interest in pirate radio transmissions.

Since then Death Is Not The End has out a collection of a different era of pirate radio - Brooklyn Pirates: Neighbourhoods in the Sky, 2014-2021 - compiled by David Goren, an audio archivist based in Brooklyn. 

Saturday, July 2, 2022

why don't you love me - NOW!

 A long-running mystery tune abruptly identified!

An early work by Neil Trix (who a few years later I'd interview by phone for the Ambient Jungle / Nuum Series #2 Wire piece, largely on account of his majestic audio-canvas "Gesture Without Motion" which appeared on Enforcers 6 & 7)

This first salvo = ruff n tuff Brit-B-boy breakage, in that "Drum Trip II" sort of zone

But where's that insistent (indignant?) diva vocal from?


Another killer Trix tune that is a bit of 'mystery track' for me if not a frontline urgent-to-identify

More FBD Project darkcore - bit of a classic, with the downswooping slime-sounds and doomy bass-steps

Regarded highly enough to get the Johnny Jungle remix

the Trix mix

"Warning: This is a Serious E.P." 

The Future! That's where we're heading, that's where we're already living!

"some of us live for the future" the voice wheedles slimily

According to Discogs, the FBD in FBD Project originally stood for Funded By Drugs  

Then later on it stood for Future Beyond Dance

In that little shift, the story of rave is distilled 

From ardkore to artcore

From the frenz-E of NOW! to an increasingly kitschy palette of futuristic imagery, titles, names and sonix

Bang-In-Tunes though, as the label name Trix & cru stuck with right through to 1998, continues to fly the rave flag  

From Discogs:

"Bang-in Tunes was originally a Coventry record shop with close links to The Eclipse and Amnesia House. The shop's Baby&Gun art work was done by Coventry graffiti artist Toz.

The label was owned by Luke Coogan & Neil Trix (aka FBD Project), with much of the studio work done in the basement studio of the shop on Hale St. Coventry.

Launched as a hardcore label the first release came out in 1992 and was followed by some classic dark side in 1993 before moving towards the more intelligent drum & base style from 1994 onwards."

stop press: Michaelangelo Matos directs me to the actual Bang-In-Tunes mixtapes lovingly audio archived on the internet!

the first one

with the tunes ID-ed here

the second one on YouTube


I must do a proper trawl through the Bang-In-Tunes discography at some point

I shall leave you with "Gesture Without Motion", the T.S. Eliot "The Hollow Men"-via-Marlon Brando  / Colonel Kurtz via Apocalypse Now sampling epic done for Enforcers 6 & 7

I remember listening to this over and over on headphones on the beach at Shelter Island that summer. 

A VIP unreleased version that came out a few years ago

Friday, July 1, 2022

stalkerish feverish (Thirdform's neurofunk recommends)

In a recent comment in an older post, Thirdform sez that  Neurofunk is not a completely barren zone 

These are his recommends for "stalkerish feverish" killers.


Gloomcore-ish title there! Bass-design is like Jaco as Terminator2

More "pretzel" precisionizm

"The Black Son Empire turns it into a cyborg switched up monster.

"Cusp of gabber" bizniz

It's odd, probably in '95 and '96 and right through into '97, I was following d&B more fanatically than ever - buying a huge number of 12-inches, blagging every compilation and album going, going out to clubs every week. 

But (unlike the 92/93/94 stretch) I rarely revisit those tunes.  

The pirates tapes I have from '95 onwards, which are plentiful (mostly taped in a frenzy while back in the UK on a trip or vacation) - I never ever play. Nor do I seek and acquire the many pirate sets from post-94 that are out there to be nabbed. (Partly it's cos D+B gets too professional - the nutt-E-ness is gone. But it's also the kind of the tunes in the sets.)

Tune-wise  - there's some things from '95, fewer from '96, almost nothing from '97, that I'll pull out (and the ones I do, they'll tend to be on the smoother, more cinematic side of things - or full-length album statements)

So I'll rarely play techstep even though No U Turn et al was absolutely a moment when my faith was floodingly restored. And a phase that resulted in some of best nights out ever in NYC. Not sure why - if I was to put on "Squadron" or "Metropolis" I'm sure it would be as mindblowing as ever. But the urge never comes. 

The one tune I probably do give a spin regularly over subsequent years would be "Shadowboxing'" - just IMMENSE.

Then neurofunk is really when most things I loved about ardkore / darkcore / jungle / early artcore - these things just go  AWOL. It's like a whole new culture almost. It becomes a form of techno again - but not techno in the Belgian sense, or gloomcore sense. 

Perhaps the stuff leading up to neurofunk doesn't appeal because I can tell where it's going - it's a hindsight-taint. Disappointment ahoy!