Saturday, December 30, 2023

"London Massive!" (the declensions of "Madness On The Street")

Ooh gosh this sounded so so phuturistic when I first heard it  -- all the dainty little keyboard quivers and squiggly blurts, the flickered vocal delays and twitchy hyper-syncopations.

"Respects to All Passion FM Crew" - respects plural! Each and every one gets their own personal nuff respect...  

Then -  now calling themselves the Stamp Crew, rather than Richie Boy & DJ Klasse feat. Fai -  came this revamp with the wonderful recurring shout-out to the "Lon-don Mas-sive"  

That I remember and bought at the time.

But I don't remember this version with the bubblin-criss MC doing his best Creed impersonation


Ah the "London massive" bit is actually on the original 4/4 bounce version  - flipside to the 2step "Madness"  - but it's not made as much of as it is on the subsequent declension

That wriggly oil-slick legato B-line is very DJ Narrows / Niche / Northern Bassline

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Lost In Nuummas

At Christmas, my  17-year-old niece was playing tunes and this one grabbed my ear like a terrier snatching turkey shreds from under the table.  

I was like, "I know that groove"

I had an irresistible urge to inform her what the tune underneath the tune was - regale with tales of buying the 12-inch at the time... just how exciting the UKG-into-2step moment had been. 

But I resisted it. Who wants to be the boring old uncle droning on about things prehistoric? 

Funny thing is, this grime refix of Some Treat - which I'd never heard - is itself really old, from 2009. Back then only slightly older than my niece,  Chip(munk) is now in his mid-30s!

The kingdom of atemporality isn't it, music today? Chronology all jumbled, sequence flattened out.  Doesn't matter to the youngers, and why should it? They find what they need by lateral drift. 

Later, I remembered there was yet another intertextual layer, a deeper stratum of nuumological history beneath. 

Some Treat's "Lost In Vegas" (1998)  is itself a partial rewrite of Shut Up and Dance's 1990 tune "£10 To Get In"

The Suzanne Vega element - doubtless heisted indirectly, via the 1990 dance bootleg turned smash hit by DNA - is just one element of deliciousness that gets transferred from "£10 To Get In" to "Lost in Vegas" to "Going On Sho". 

There's also the "turn it down... cos it's too fuckin' loud". 

Now where's that bit from? 

It reappears in a couple of Luke Vibert bits - including a tune named "Turn"

And Shut Up and Dance self-sample the Vega lick for just a flicker in this tune 

But back to the meat in the middle of the Nuum Historical Sandwich

I don't remember this remix 

But I do remember the name Angel Farringdon 

Ruff 'n 'rollin' - lovely flickers of filtered breakbeats draped across the 4/4 pump 'n' flex

Flipside is tuff 'n' slinkier still

Delicious clattery swing to it. The horn fanfare! The peculiar thin whistling refrain. And that gluey rolling B-line. 

JBR - Johnny Biscuit Records! 

Who was Lil Smokey, then?

Angel Farringdon - that's  Helen T, aka Helen Taylor - who engineered and programmed Some Treat 

That was their one shot - this follow-up is tasteful and flava-free. Spindrift is a Helen T alias.

Angel Farringdon did a record with Russell Square, tee hee. Credited to The Railway People on the white label. 

But although there's another portentous horn part, just like in "Clean Riddem", it's not quite in the same league. 

I do like like the backwards-vocal - combined with the ceremonial-sounding horn, there's a bit of an "Eastern promise" vibe. The reverse drums bits. I suspect a past in drum + bass. 

This is identified as "Prototype" but appears to be the same tune. 

Angel Farringdon also did a record with Warren Street, tee hee hee.

Helen T's discography is much more extensive than Some Treat's. Multiple identities, a string of releases.  

El B was prevailed upon to darkdubrmx this one

There are some vaguely hardhouse, London underground acid, and breaksteppy things later in the discography

Back to the peak moment

What days they were... 

In my mind I always cluster "Lost In Vegas" and "No Fighting" / "Clean Riddem" with this glorious one-off by Napa-Tac, which samples heavily from SUAD's contemporary Rebel MC

It's like the two ends of the '90s - 1990 and 1999 - are in communication, forming a loop, a perfect circle - or rather an imperfect circle, as things cycle around without merely repeating and reiterating.

You know it's coming...  you know it

That's why they call it a continuum, folks!

Aha, here's what I wrote about "Lost In Vegas" back in '98 when rounding up the year's blisses

SOME TREAT -- Lost In Vegas (JBR)

A tribute to/remake of Shut Up And Dance's 1990 (or was it even 1989?) track "Ten Pounds To Get In," this samples the Suzanne Vega vocal-riff from "Tom's Diner" that SUAD must have got from DNA's unoffical-then-subsequently-sanctioned dance version of the S. Vega track. We're talking multiple levels of citation here, serious intertextuality. On a broader level it's a tribute to the hardcore continuum--getting on for ten years of London's multiracial rave scene, a culture of mixing it up, of hybridising hybrids and mutating mutations; the continual reinvention of flava and vibe. A tradition of futurism. Roots N' Future = the endlessly fresh now.

Now I think about it, that might be the very first time I used the term "hardcore continuum".

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

the family that raves together


This reminds me of when I doing my on-the-ground research into the 2-Step / UK garage culture, around 1999. I came across this flyer for an event that provided a creche. .So you could go to the rave and bring your toddlers and small children with you and they would be left in the care of a qualified child-minder. 

I'll never forget the kicker to the sales pitch: "So there's no excuse, bring the fucking kids".  

And that's why the piece ended up being called "Adult Hardcore" - the idea was that the teenravers of 91-92 were now settling down, starting families. (Another bit of evidence: seeing a guy behind the counter of Rhythm Division in E3, bottle-feeding a baby nestling in the crook of his arm, backdropped by a wall of UKG white labels).

But  this is different - this is going with your kids and raving together with, albeit in the dance music equivalent of those hardcore matinees for under-21s that used to have in the USA. 

Raving en famille? That really is the absolute end of the generation gap.

I wonder if this an outlier, or whether there'll be more and more events like.

 C.f. rock festivals today, which are real family affairs. You hear of a teenager who'll go to the festival with their parents and they'll all stay in a tent together. Or groups of schoolfriends going to the festival, along with all the parents - the kids going off on their own, the parents likewise socializing mostly with the other parents. Regrouping back at the tents. 

A friend of ours did that with her daughter and her daughter's friends and the friends's parents. Each generational grouping would wait until the younger / elder grouping was out of sight before getting their drugs out.