Monday, April 29, 2024

Stormin' (the Bachelard series 1 of ?)

 "like a mighty wind, like a mighty wind / spirit comes down, comes rushing in" 

and recommended by Thirdform in comments - "Acid Storm" by Machine

"It seems that the immense void, in suddenly discovering an action, becomes a particularly clear image of cosmic anger. We could say that the raging wind is the symbol of pure anger, anger without purpose or pretext....  An initial anger is a sign of fundamental will. It attacks the work to be done. And the first thing to be created by this creative anger is the whirlwind. The primary object of homo faber dynamized by anger is the vortex....

"We do not perceive the cosmogonic whirlwind, the creative tempest or the wind of anger and creation in their geometrical forms, but rather as sources of power. Nothing can stop the whirling motion. In dynamic imagination, everything becomes active; nothing comes to rest. Motion creates being; whirling air creates the stars; the cry produces images, speech, and thought. As by a provocation, the world is created through anger

"In reverie on the storm, it is not the eye that produces images, but rather the startled ear. We participate directly in the drama of violent air."

- Gaston Bachelard, Air and Dreams: An Essay on the Imagination of Movement.


bonus stormizm

the calm before the storm... idyll, interrupted



Saturday, April 27, 2024

Let's Not Push Things Forward


A celebrated remix of The Streets's "Turn the Page"

What its existence would seem to demonstrate, though, is inability to turn the page of this particular book of history. 

(What you'd want, really, is not even a new chapter, but a whole new volume).

But this is Overmono whose debut album Good Lies was hailed by the Guardian as “UK rave history... distilled to perfection” 

I'm trying to think who would've been the equivalent in rock  - when this stage of "history" getting  "distilled to perfection" would have got underway..

Oasis seems too obvious, and also belated... I feel like the process was well underway by the mid-Eighties.

You'd probably have to wind it back to earlier in the (re)Creation arc - to Primal Scream

All that said, listening to Good Lies for the first time, I'm enjoying it. There's cleverness, there's craft, it's made up out of or in reference to things I already reverence... but the echoes, allusions and twists are subtly done. In a certain sense, what's not to like?  

I was always a bit more vulnerable to the appeal of "record collection rock" than I would have liked. I couldn't quite ever be as stern about it as Mark Fisher. 

Still, it's an odd thing  - given that the foundational principle of the culture is F-FWD - to listen to this 

Apart from the overall sound quality -  clean and crisp in a 2023 upgraded sort of way - there is nothing about this track that would sound out of place in 2000. It sounds like Groove Chronicles.  

I mean, maybe the wibbly synth wouldn't have been there but it could have been, if GC had wanted it to be. 

Surging styles become settled styles.

Bit like how groups operating today can be described as - can describe themselves as - "postpunk". 

It's a stable, if not utterly static, form - akin to the blues, or folk. 

yet already flashbacking in 2009 to 2004?

This "Dubstep Heritage" series only got to two episodes!

Friday, April 26, 2024

jumpstyle versus slumpstyle

Kieran Press-Reynolds with a guest piece at Shawn Reynaldo's First Floor, while the main man takes a vacation. 

It's a report on "the holy hell of cursed jumpstyle" - a zoomer-oriented TikTok-propelled twist to the gabber continuum.  

"vyrval’s ballistic banger is the biggest tune in a growing wave of psychotic jumpstyle music that seems made to express existential fears: technology has gone too far, we’ve broken the world beyond repair, autocratic autobots will soon seize control...  In the comments of the clips that accompany these songs, people write what’s basically apocalyptic science-fiction, imagining grim future scenarios: “Me watching an AI generated video of me doing the most atrocious War crime ever.” The visual aesthetic mirrors the freakiness: unsettling cyber graphics are superimposed on neon landscapes, with distorted limbs and objects."

"At its most baleful, these songs obliterate any and all melody, leaving listeners with no chance for reprieve from their unrelenting assault. Dj Svevsx’s “jumpstyle (1)” has over 8 million plays and it’s just a 42-second spasm of feculent kicks." 

Looks bit like the Moving Shadow logo, that silhouette. 

Weathered legend returns to youth currency 

What K calls "peak slumpstyle" - the slowed + reverb remix 

Lithuian "nu-jumpstyle Jesus" Yabujin 

And his alter-ego

"What makes this internet-addled aesthetic so addictive is the way it taps into the younger generation’s collectively fried childhoods. It’s a shitposty Tower of Babble that crosses countries and languages."

Talking of shitpostmodernism, Kieran is quoted in this Kyle Chayka article in The New Yorker on corecore and "The Dada Era of Internet Memes"

Check out also K P-R's piece at No Bells on the Bushwick nightclub Rash, which was attacked by an arsonist in what may well be a hate-crime a few years ago, but has now been rebuilt and relaunched. 


The uglier aspects of this nu-jumpstyle scene reminded me a bit of this spoof  and spoof pt 2 I concocted back in 2007 (inspired by guesswho)

Old post on hardstyle, a related genre that has some militaristic undercurrents... well, overcurrents really

Jumpstyle in simpler, happier, more innocent days. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2024


RIP MC Duke 

Another of those figures who moved through the UK rap scene and into hardcore rave and jungle. 

"Can't beat the system, go with the flow" - source of the famous sample as used by (fellow former Britrap cru) The Criminal Minds, on "Baptised By Dub"


"Educated Snares" - you gotta love that title!

Associated with Suburban Base / Boogie Times - recording, with a partner, under the name e.kude

Sample from Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men there (or perhaps impersonation)


   Gorgeous Chaka Khan sample in there.

But before Suburban Base, MC Duke put out a couple of aliased records with Shut Up and Dance ("fast rap' turned breakbeat h-core)

Discogs bio: 

Born Anthony Mark Hilaire / Kashif Adham

Died 21 April 2024, aged 58

MC Duke got his big break when the emcee who had won the DMC MC Battle got on stage at the DMC World Championships after party and announced that he would battle anybody in the house, MC Duke got up and beat him. Derek B saw what happened and as he had just signed to Music Of Life asked Duke to meet him at the label the next day. While waiting for Derek B, Duke met the owner Simon Harris, and rapped live as he didn't have a demo, needless to say the rest is history.

Later he joined the Shut Up And Dance label and released two 12 inches with DJ Leader 1 under the name I.C.3..

He then went on to produce for Boogie Times/Suburban Base label and set up the Harddisk and Bluntly Speaking Vinyl label


Messy playlist of MC Duke under various guises and in various eras

Interesting that despite being MC Duke, he graduated from rapping in the Britcore scene to producing in the Ardkore scene and running labels, as opposed to being a rave MC.  

Check out the nifty little sample from Specials "Gangsters" - another example of the 2-Tone / Nuum connection

"Common Sensi", teehee

This E.KUD.CM stuff is good ruffstuff - clattery and jittery - and some classic vocal licks (“spread out and skiatter", "sekkle" etc)

It has taken me a ridiculous amount of time (well, a full half hour) to notice that the name E.KUD.C.M.  is MC Duke backwards. 

Fits the hardcore as hip hop turned inside out idea -  hip hop but the MC is the occasional ancillary phrase bobbing about amid the beats, and the drums are doing all the real talking.

Monday, April 22, 2024



"dantronix in the house" - inspired aliasing! 

Listening to this when it came out really rammed home the hardcore / Brit B-boy connection for me. 

Mantronix as  gateway drug to Amentalism  - via "King of the Beats"

                            (I talk a bit about Mantronix and going to UK Fresh in '86 in this podcast C86 Books )

Skratchadelicism   distils the equation: hip hop + E = ardkore 

Flowers In My Garden - luvved-up hardcore as hip hop pastoralized

And of course, the sample, the sample is from Woodstock the movie  - John Sebastian (ex of the Lovin' Spoonful) announcing the birth of a baby at the festival  - "that kid's gonna be far out"  (at 19.40 in this clip)

Danny Break'z was how he monikered himself early on !

The apostrophe got lost 

Then it resurfaced with the new name Droppin' Science, presumably inspired by this track 

Style Warz - flying that flag high! 

"I was more into the music than the rapping" - Danny Breaks, in this 1995 interview for German TV, dropping science on his beat-science

                                                                   (via Blog to the Old Skool, via Droid)

Handy playlist I made of Dantronix trax -  appropriately it goes in a strange loop da loop, starting  with the first Droppin' Science material and goes forward through those peerless releases, until - after "The Bear" - it doubles back to the Sonz of the Loop Da Era, er, era -  but goes reverse-chronology, from "What The..." to "Far Out".   Some remixes by him in there, and remixes of his tunes by others. It's quite a body of work 

My interview with Danny Breaks from October 1995

Quite Viberty, what he went on to do 

Friday, April 19, 2024

Assassinating Rydim (Back to the Phuture)

Breaks 'n ' bleepsy bizness

From a recent comp of very early Suburban Base / Boogies Times Record stuff

Loved their tunes so long - but I've never once thought to look see who Phuture Assassins were - the name alone sufficed. 

"Long running act made famous for their ragga tinged hardcore releases on seminal UK breakbeat label Suburban Base. Originally started off as a collaboration between Dave Jay (as Dave B) and Reesh for the very first release on Boogie Times [i.e. "I Like Techno"] , the name was then passed on to Austin Reynolds who collaborated with Krome & Time for the remaining Suburban Base releases." - Discogs

That's Austin Reynolds in the middle there, with Krome & Time. 

Phuture Assassins stuck with the "future" thematic through much of the output

All excellent stuff, but true immortality for this one - the title alone and the resonances it's set off, but the madcap rub-a-dub meets Hava Nagila frolic of it. 

Vocal lick sourced in this

Flipside starts with a Pam Ayres sample about a deejay rocking the house!

Dis, dis is my CULCHA!

Lots of good tunes that don't have "future" in the title, of course

Plus stuff he did as Austin - blogged earlier here  - 

Plus engineering many - most? - all? - of the Suburban Base golden age tuneage. 

After "Roots n' Future", Austin Reynolds folded that identity - went into other ones (including the Big Beat-aligned-I-think band Soul Hooligan) but then  reactivated the name just a few years ago

"The rhetorics of temporality" 

A 2022 EP on Kniteforce, custodians of the flame.

"The long awaited Ancient & Modern from Phuture Assassins is finally in hand and due for release on the 3rd of August. If you have heard Luna-C play live at an event this past year or so, or SupaSets 21 & 22, then you would of heard a couple of these tracks already but Austin really shows what the early days of Rave was all about with this insane double vinyl release. All inclusive and not afraid to try things. This is rave meets jungle meets industrial meets sitar music, an instrument that Austin actually plays himself."


For Kniteforce, Austin also ruffed up this Jonny L classic

And indeed another EP for Kniteforce - Babylon Newspaper

From a few years ago, Austin Reynolds interviewed by Vinyl Junkie

"I was brought up in a house with a piano. I don’t remember where I learnt it from but I started playing simple boogie woogie 12 bar stuff aged 7 or 8.  I Picked up the guitar as a teenager and did bands and gigs while at school.  You can blame Alan Suger for my recording career... one day an ad for the Amstrad Studio 100 appeared on the telly, it was a four track studio and record player combined that came with headphones, a tape of drum beats and four microphones. Myself and friends started recording as a ska band, badly named The Janitors. It happened to include Kevin Beber (D-Zone/Toxic) on drum machine. Surprisingly I was offered a record deal off the back of the tapes, but couldn’t commit to a touring schedule while I was busy failing my A levels.  These were my first dabbling’s"....

[More evidence for the 2-Tone / nuum nexus - as is his comment below from elsewhere in the VJ interview]

".... the complete set of 2-tone singles I call ‘my precious’" 

Who do you see as your major influences in music and why?

"Jerry Dammers - King Tubby - Motown - Studio 1 - Nick Drake - Ginger Baker.  From the rave scene.. ‘The Scientist’ (The original keyboard wiz in the studio at Kicking Records, he also engineered SB001) The Rebel MC. Longsy D. Shut up and Dance. Rob Playford and The Meat Beat Manifesto." 

"Early releases Shot Like Dis, Please Don’t Stand In My Way and I Get High were recorded in my bedroom at my family home. One session was attended by SB founder Dan Donnelly, myself, both of M&M and my mum on the hoover. My equipment was then moved into Dan’s Mum’s garage where I began recording with DJs and other musicians for the label at what is known as Sub Base Studio’s."  

"... One PA that stands out was my first one, an appearance as Phuture Assassins at the Eclipse in Coventry. I remember the unforgettable and overpowering smell of Vicks Vapour Rub, topless dudes on platforms covered in the stuff, smoke and lasers."  

Some people say you are the unsung hero of hardcore and that you are one of the innovators of this sound...

To be honest there were so many talented people in the rave scene in those days and so much we copied off them or owe to them.  It’s easy to say ‘Yeh I did the first this or that, but it’s a bit narcissistic.  No one really invented anything. It was all the people, clubs, records labels and technology, it was collaborative.

Scenius ahoy!

But modesty aside, Austin Reynolds certainly warrants the term "hardcore hero". 

Fave tunes of AR's according to the Vinyl Junkie interview 


Monday, April 15, 2024

Archives Fever

Here's Kieran Press-Reynolds at Pitchfork on Silence Is Loud, the debut album by Nia Archives

Love the Columbo sample!

Another highlight acc. to K P-R

The name "Archives" - her chosen artistic alias, how bizarre would it be if it was her actual birth name! - is intriguing given the historical nature of the genre she has brought back to delicious life. 

Here's what I said about her in my 'Faves of 2022'

A contemporary artist! But one whose work puts into question the whole idea of "the contemporary". My kid Kieran put me onto this. I'm slightly suspicious of my own enjoyment, given that (like PinkPantheress) this is a young woman making jungle and drum & bass -  a genre-era I’ve investments in, you've probably noticed. Beyond my own nostalgia, there’s also a lingering doubt about whether it’s a healthy development for youth today to be making music whose historical heyday was 27 years ago. Even the thing of having her own smoky vocals and songs weaving through it isn’t a totally fresh development (hello Nicolette).

But it is absolutely gorgeous stuff – my favorite is probably “Forbidden Feelings” but it’s all very enjoyable. You can hear the whole lot of it here on this YouTube playlist  I made or with better sound and in chronological sequence (although she's only been at it for a little over a year as far as I can tell) in my Tidal playlist (I don’t think you need to be a subscriber)


O.G. G-Man cameo co-sign at the start of this tune:


A book almost nobody seems to have a clue what it's about (hint: it's not really about archiving, libraries, data storage etc)

Thursday, April 4, 2024

It Began In Anglika

Slough, to be precise

"Gary Numan. Man he was dope. So important to us. When we heard that single, "Are Friends Electric?" it was like the aliens had landed in the Bronx. We were just throwing shapes to this tune, man. More than Kraftwerk, Numan was the inspiration. He's a hero. Without him, there'd be no electro."

— Afrika Bambaataa

I love this type of quote, to the point of collecting them when they turn up - Derrick May going on about being influenced by Cabaret Voltaire and Frankie Goes To Hollywood, that kind of thing. 

You never know when you'll need them, when you'll be confronted with some idiot claiming that Kraftwerk got all their ideas from The Isley Brothers. 

The idiot is - almost always - a white person. Usually a Brit too.

Most Black electronic musicians are happy - more than happy - to talk about the inspiration they got from weirdo Anglo-Euro electro

Bought this single when it was just outside the Top 40

"Techno Classic 80's Style" says one YouTube poster

Actually, it's a "Techno Classic late '70s style" - first released 1979 as the B-side to "Tar", Visage's first single.

A dance mix version was released a few year later 

Discogs commenter comments: 

"Both "Mind Of a Toy" and "We Move" are cool slices of Visage's trademark eccentric post-punk/new romantics pop, but the exclusive 12" track "Frequency 7" is something altogether different; a pumpin' proto-techno instrumental that sounds a bit like Drexciya (at least if Drexciya made music a decade earlier and wore outrageous make-up). Apparently a big favourite in Detroit at the time (1981), this is essential stone age techno"