Monday, July 24, 2017


and this one - the last word in jazzy jungle -  drum and double-bass

Thursday, July 20, 2017

when you need to feel love


relick on the next EP is even more flustered-frantic and treble-hissy, but sans the wicked bassdrop and the "jongaliss"

and that whisked-into-soul-souffle chanteuse sample comes again on this 95 tune

where does that Tinkerbell tingle of Angel Delight hail from then?

perhaps her identity should remain a mystery

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

paradigm shifty

over at Dissensus, Sadmanbarty recently posed the question: Who's the Best Artist Since 2000?

interesting answers in the thread (Kanye versus Gaga versus Gucci Mane versus Wiley versus..)

but none more interesting than Sadmanbarty's own comment, in which he averred that grime was the best music of the period (only up to mid-2000s though, after that didn't evolve - co-sign that!), and then mentions T Pain as influential-for-the-good (but not actually good, or lastingly good himself as music-generator) through his popularisation of Auto-Tune:

"The novel use of autotune has lead to some of the most paradigm shifty music of the last 17 years; late-00's dancehall, afrobeats, chicago bop and the post-Future wave of Atlanta rap."

He then picks Vybz Kartel as his #1 Best Artist Since 2000 (partly cos of his "alien autotune tracks") with Young Thug, another language-liquidizer, at #2.

That comment about "most paradigm shifty music of the last 17 years - late-00's dancehall" caught me by surprise, because, well - perhaps ignorantly - I had thought that after its early 2000s burst of ideas-packed excitement (and mainstream penetration) Jamaican music had pretty much dropped off the face of the Earth.  Certainly hadn't got the sense that any paradigms were being shifted there, at any rate.

So I asked Man like Sadmanbarty for some recommendations and he kindly obliged - not just for recent-ish dancehall, but for Chicago bop and Afrobeats too. You can listen to them all in a continuous flow at this YouTube playlist I've assembled. There are also below in the post.

What they all have in common - and it's almost a generic global-ghetto-beatz gloss that covers the surface of all music now - is the crinkled sheen of grievously over-done AutoTune. Standardized bizniz seen. AutoTune and similar devices / apps (e.g Melodyne) have established global dominion, audio hegemony. They're inescapable, and seemingly even more so in the non-West such as Middle East and North Africa.

Found it a bit wearing on the dancehall to be honest (even though there's quite extreme and inventive things being done here and there by the singers who doubtless record in the studio with AutoTune in their headphones affecting their vocals in real-time, so they work out how to push the effect). Similarly with the Chicago bop (liked the MBE stuff marginally more than Sicko Mob for some reason).

Partly the finding-it-wearing has to do with how rhythmically I can't hear anything really new going on in the dancehall - just that bashment big-beat style, often with a kind of digital smear to the drums. Perhaps that's the overall maxed-out sound quality. The end result is that everything in the tracks feels like it's made out of the same denatured stuff, it's like there's this flat plane of hypergloss. The tracks are so toppy that they feel imbalanced (one wonders how they sound in the dance). Still that reflects the fact that the treble sector is where all the innovation, or extremism, is taking place maybe, and has been for much of the 21st Century so far.

Where it sounds most appealing to me - most ecstatic - is the African stuff, especially where the rhythms are more lilting and sinuous than big 'n' bashy. The AutoTune pleasingly exacerbates the frothy fluidity of the singing and the snaking shapes of the melody-lines.

AutoTune dancehall

Chicago bop


As to that original Q - who's the Best Artist Since 2000....

no overall single figures springs to mind, i'd have to divide it up into categories and with multiple contenders jostling for the top spot

* Pop Star as Public Figure -  Kanye West versus Ke$ha (with Gaga not far behind on sheer zeitgeist points and with the proviso I've little appetite for the audio bar "Bad Romance". i suppose you would also have to honestly mention Drake somewhere here)

* Performer / Vocal Presence-  Future versus  Ke$ha versus Dizzee

* Beat-maker  - Terror Danjah versus Metro Boomin versus Mustard (aka Dijon McFarlane - no really that is his actual  name).

* Pop Group in the Bygone and Obsolete Sense - Vampire Weekend versus Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti.

* Endless personal pleasure tinged with awareness of marginality in the scheme of things - Ghost Box versus Moon Wiring Club versus Ariel Pink

* A Compelling Case to Be Made although somehow i don't quite feel it fully myself - Burial versus Radiohead versus Daft Punk

i feel i''m forgetting things from the first half of the 2000s but it all feels quite long ago and hazy

Sunday, July 9, 2017

playing trix on your mind

not forgetting this early beaut

interviewed Neil T around this Enforcers epic for this 1994 Wire "continuum series" piece on ambient jungle

soundbites from the Kurtz scenes in Apocalypse Now...

getting a teeny bit smoov for me with this one but love the vocal lick

yes going with the general drift towards slick and "soulful"


older and ruffer, better

and well weird remix

re-remix, well mashed n strange

a very odd 94 track with strange bird-like tweets and a very angular stompy beat -  can't imagine this got a lot of action on the dancefloor - cool anomalous tune though

wonder what he did after D&B? and what's he doing now?

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Dark House more like

scuttling beats + slimy samplige

my personal fave Whitehouse is i think this one, which is on the "distraught ecstasy" / "harrowed-by-bliss" tip - a cousin to Johnny Jungle's "Flammable" but better i think

mind you White House also put out:

Criminal Minds 'baptised by dub', globe + the hardcore massive "anthem", shit ton of bay-b-kane, some bizzy B, A-Zone "Calling the People", Rood Project "Thunder", buncha Remarc,

and Warped Kore, "The Power" which might actually jostle the Untouchables out of #1 spot now I think of it

One of the great hardcore labels

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Dr. S. Gachet

always loved the fact that there was a rave DJ called Dr. S. Gachet

i bracketed it alongside names like LTJ Bukem


what did these people look like?

how did they come up with the names?

Bukem - it transpired - came from Hawaii 5-0 ("book 'em, Danno")

Dr. S. Gachet, someone told me, was a character from The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

however i can find nothing to substantiate that at all

so it remains a mystery and perhaps this is as it should be

a couple of sets from Gachet at his height as a AWOL regular

here's a feature about the return of Dr S. Gachet to the deejaying scene after what seems like a rough personal patch in the 2000s following a jungle-related injury to his back and various other misfortunes

other names from pirate ads and rave flyers  (or artist names) that always tickled me

Shaggy & Breeze
Kieran the Herbalist
Gappa G
Rude Bwoy Monty


Zanesi being one of the INA-GRM concrete bos

not sure about  Arnaud Rebotini

an explanation

shades of this

and perhaps this

and also this

ardkore internationale

artist via this comp of the Singeli sound of young Tanzania, Sounds of Sisso

via FACT's best 25 lps of last quarter

compilation just one of several by the label Nyege Nyege Tapes

Monday, July 3, 2017

Renegade Snares - a book about drum & bass

Recently I was in London and kept seeing an ad for a compilation on the walkway walls of the Tube - Drum & Bass Arena 2017.

The thought - Drum & Bass, in 2017 - did my head in. Because 2017 is twenty years since 1997, the last year I fanatically followed every twist 'n' turn in the drum & bass dialectic (by 1998 I'd switched pretty much wholesale to UKG which was then mutating into 2step).

I've checked in every so often since then, heard the occasional encouraging flicker of renewed invention, but for the most part it's been a mutual divergence of paths.

20 years! That's a hell of a lot of history, though. That's four times as long as the first phase of the genre, even interpreted rather generously as summer 92 to summer 97.

That first phase - the emergent years of darkside>jungle>drum&bass (artcore-vs-techstep-vs-jump-up) have been covered quite thoroughly, but there isn't a book that looks at the whole arc of D&B's lifespan - then and now and all points in between.

Renegade Snares is the title of a project launched by Carl Loben and Ben Murphy of DJ magazine to take on and fulfill that mission. The book is being funded via Unbound.  Check it out and lend them your support.

Mission statement:

A fusion of Jamaican dancehall, American hip-hop and Belgian techno, drum & bass is a uniquely British concoction born in multi-cultural London. From its roots in the underground over 25 years ago, drum & bass has gone on to top the pop charts, fill concert halls and sound-track movies. It’s an amazing, futuristic creation that has resonated around the world.

Drum & bass has given rise to charismatic figureheads like Goldie and Roni Size, had the patronage of Björk and David Bowie, and periodically mutated into new forms, staying one step ahead of trends and fads. It’s an underground, outlaw sound that has had a remarkable impact on popular culture.
But drum & bass doesn’t, yet, have the definitive book. A few have told individual stories or given accounts of the early years, but Renegade Snares tells the whole tale. It charts this extraordinary genre from its fiery beginnings, through its mainstream acceptance and periodic movements back into the underground, gaining unique insights from all the scene’s biggest players — both established and brand-new.

Written with the blessing of the scene’s leaders, including Goldie, who’s kindly agreed to write the foreword, Renegade Snares tells the stories of DJs like Fabio, Grooverider, Hype, LTJ Bukem, Andy C, Roni Size, Randall, Ed Rush & Optical and Bryan Gee, and of lesser-known mavericks like Dillinja, Omni Trio, Remarc or Calibre – the renegades who’ve stayed true to the scene every step of the way. We’ll shed a light on the new school trailblazers too, from High Contrast, Noisia and London Elektricity, to futurists dBridge, Kasra and Fracture.

From warehouse raves and hardcore, through soundsystem jungle to intelligent drum & bass; from the Bristol sound to tech-step; the Brazilian connection to a second surge into the charts; heavy metal and neuro-funk, to its influence on genres like nu-breaks, dubstep and bass music, this is the true unexpurgated history of drum & bass we’ve been waiting for.

Carl Loben is the editor of the internationally acclaimed DJ Magazine. A music journalist for more than 25 years, he wrote for Melody Maker for most of the 1990s before joining the staff at DJ Mag toward the end of that decade. He has also written for many other titles including MOJO, Guardian Unlimited, FACT, The Quietus, the Huffington Post, Muzik, Generator, Vox, Attitude and lots more. In 2003 he wrote the Electronic Music section of the Billboard Music Encyclopedia, and has also worked as an Associate Lecturer at Solent University in Southampton.

Ben Murphy is the former editor of DJ Magazine. A music journalist for over 15 years, he’s also worked in artist management with acts including Roots Manuva and Leftfield. As a freelance writer he’s contributed to Bandcamp, Clash, Crack, Electronic Sound, FACT, The Guardian Guide, Highlife, i-D, Record Collector, Red Bull Music Academy, Songlines, Time Out, Vinyl Factory, XLR8R and more, while also providing sleeve-notes for record labels Warp and Harmless, and giving introductory talks for the respected Classic Album Sundays record listening sessions.

Friday, June 30, 2017


epic in-depth history of Drexciya the enigmatic subaquatechnolectro legends over at Red Bull Music Academy

written by old chum Mike Rubin with quotes from other old pals like Kodwo Eshun and Brendan Gillen aka Ectomorph

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Be Don or Be Gone

Trace in the place with the bad boy bass

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Roman techno

Via Valerio Mattioli, an intersting piece at RBMA about Rome's hardcore techno scene of the Nineties - involving figures like Lory D and Leo Anibaldi

Talking of untold stories about Italian left-field music, Mattioli is the author of a book that needs to be translated into English - Superonda: Storia Segreta Della Musica Italiana - which covers figures like Ennio Morricone, Franco Battiato, Lucio Battisti, Mario Schifano and more - very much doing for the Italian art-into-rock vanguard what Krautrocksampler and Japrocksampler did for their respective freak-nations.

Interview with Mattioli here about the book. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017

RIP Marcus Intalex

one of the great tunes of the great summer of 1994

pummel tunnel

bit House of God in feel - a clanky pummel through a dank reverb tunnel

which  - 26 years on from the DHS maxi-EP in question - does feel a wee bit "arrested phuture" .... but tuff tune nonetheless

ah there appears to be some kind of esoteric spiritual / philosophical thread running through this dude's releases

what with a whole album (from a year and a bit ago) based around a Buddhist concept - Vipassanā

ooh look, a track with Ike Yard aka Stuart Argabright,

on the same label as The Present  - who did some tunes I liked in a nu-darkcore vein a while back, like this (which I think they've refurbished in some way)

not sure about their newer stuff though

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Mover, Selected Classics (Remastered 2017) / Gloomcore mix by DJ Scud

DJ Scud with a new mix of 96-era gloomcore / avant-gabber / speedcore

01: Neuroviolence: Shattered (Zero Tolerance)
02: Dr Macabre: Voodoo Nightmare (Power Plant)
03: Renegade Legion: Dark Forces (Dance Ecstasy)
04: D'Arcangelo: Somewhere in Time (Rephlex)
05: Final Dream: Eternal Darkness (Audio Illusion)
06: The Mover: Over Land & Sea (PCP)
07: Decoder: Fog (Hard Leaders)
08: Headcleaner: 139A (Head Cleaner)
09: Somatic Responses: Axon (IST)
10: Trace & Nico: Amtrak (Nu Black)
11: Somatic Responses/Caustic Visions: Malignant Earth B2 (Network 23)
12: Nasty Habits: Shadow Boxing (31 Recs)
13: Trace & Nico: Squadron (Nu Black)
14: French Connection: Bio Hazard (Super Special)
15: ADC: MTA-100 (X-Forces)
16: Somatic Responses: Space Grinder (Praxis)
17: Somatic Responses: Insecure (Praxis)
18: Marshall Masters: Stereo Murder (The Rave Creator's Final Warning!) (Cold Rush)
19: Neuroviolence: Surfing on a Sea of Blood (Zero Tolerance)
20: Negative Burn: Gates of Hell (Dance Ecstasy)
21: Christoph de Babalon: Nameless 2 (DHR)
22: XMF: Grave (XMF)
23: No Name: Black Dreams (Fischkopf)
24: XMF: Antimusic (XMF)
25: Mobile Squat Base etc: Waiting, Love on the Way (Explore Toi)
26: Mindfuck: The Mindfuck (Hacker-Terminator) (Explore Toi)
27: TR & Klaus Kombat: Garde a Vue (Sans Pitie)


"See you in 2017"

A new collection of remastered anthems and atmospheres from gloomcore god The Mover aka Marc Acardipane - out May 26, 2017 

Press release: 

Over two decades have passed since The Mover AKA Marc Acardipane made his first appearance to the world of electronic dance music. Under the wings of Planet Core Productions (PCP) his releases spoke for themselves and he quickly earned a special pioneer status and cult following. The Mover was always a unique sound leaning towards the edge of darkness and abstract characteristics. 

With several releases on his co-owned label PCP as well as R&S Records and Tresor he always managed to create unforgettable milestones of raw, apocalyptic yet danceable tunes that have remained timeless and individual until today. 

With „The Mover - Selected Classics (Remastered 2017)“ on his freshly launched label „Planet Phuture“ he returns to the surface and shakes the world with a compelling assortment of the most impactful tracks in a remastered, fresh sound quality. Experience an uncompromising dystopia with tracks like „Nightflight (Nonstop 2 Kaos)“, „Into Wasteland“ or „We Have Arrived“. „Astral Demons“, „Waves Of Life“ or „Spirit Slasher“ will pull you deeper into the center of your subconscious mind and certainly leave you dazzled. 

„The Mover - Selected Classics“ is unquestionably one of those releases that can’t be ignored and must be a part of everyones Techno collection! 


Mescalinum United - We Have Arrived (Remastered 2017) 
Nightflight (Nonstop 2 Kaos) (Remastered 2017) 
Into Wasteland (Remastered 2017) 
Astral Demons (Remastered 2017)
Invite The Fear (Remastered 2017) 
Over Land & Sea (Remastered 2017) 
Final Sickness (Remastered 2017) 
Down Deep And Cold (Remastered 2017) 
Spirit Slasher (Remastered 2017) 
The Emperor Takes Place (Remastered 2017) 
Mescalinum United - Reflections Of 2017 (Remastered 2017) 

Waves Of Life (Remastered 2017) 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

dubplate archaeology

via Steeve Cross, a piece on Dominic Angas - the Dom in Dom & Roland - and his nuum-archaeologist quest for rare jungle & d+b  dubplates - including his own long-lost tune "The Trap" that got played out at Metalheadz at the Blue Note - but never got a proper release

(writes Dave Jenkins) "The Trap" was / is "a thundering, high-pressure amen workout shrouded in ghostly atmospheres that perfectly capture the mood, energy and creativity of the era. Grooverider was the only known DJ to have “The Trap” on dubplate and the sole master DAT tape was lost somewhere in the haze of weed smoke and excitement between Dom’s studio and Music House."

this quest has led to the project  Dubs From The Dungeons  "a series of mid-to-late-90s classics that were the sole preserve of Blue Note’s frontier elite and never-before-released"

initially  Dom + R dubs like this

but soon to expand to "similarly heavyweight peers’ private collections... [including] Dillinja’s massive dubplate dungeon" which will seed  “Acid Rollers” b/w “End Of The Line” 

Remember liking some of D+R's tunes a lot at the time - dark dank doom-laden amorphousness - but overall it's not a phase (96/97) I've revisited - that goes for No U Turn too for some reason, and I loved loved LOVED that stuff at the time. it was the last blast (not that I knew it, then) of my jungle-D&B passion - literally the end of the line

Monday, May 1, 2017

nuummed out

this lot have bypassed me

one online dancemag asserts that this Bristol duo  "unify garage, dubstep, grime and drum’n’bass to push the boundaries of dance music'-

nothing wrong with that sentence - just so long as you insert a "not" in front of "push" or a "hardly at all" after "dance music"!

a sort of undeniably effective but ultimately unforgivably cautious composite of ideas from across bassline, dubstep, deep tech, drum & bass, UKG and breakstep,,,,

ending up in a similar sort of redundancy zone as nu skool breaks...  tiny slivers of not-quite-novelty achieved through aggregation and compositing the already-known

and there's a similar dirtless clinical quality to the end result

a safeness / sterility that makes the sudden popping up of classic, well-worn rootical / dancehall samples like "can't set it" irritating

some of their earlier stuff (which got the Zed Bias seal of approval if that means anything in the mid-2010s...)

Monday, March 27, 2017

if you can make it there

Tasty new mix (third in a trilogy that includes Detroit and  Chicago) by Woebot dedicated to the proposition that NYC was the engine of dance music innovation between 1986 and 1996

I'll shall have to ponder that....

When you take Todd Terry and Joey Beltram out of the picture...  I don't know if I think of New York as the hot spot during that decade.

The Nu Groove stuff  is pleasant, a little sedate and dinky to my mind ... Strictly Rhythm is lush, it does the bizniz...  garage is garage...

But feels like often NYC points towards things (as with e.g. the Bonesbreaks records) that are taken much much further elsewhere

Nitro Deluxe was a co-parent of bleep but there's really only 2 tracks there - "Brutal" and "Mission"

Beltram -  soon surpassed by his Belgian, Dutch and German offspring (and then veers off in a not-hugely compelling pure techno direction)

(And there's no getting round the fact that the  best record Industrial Strength ever put out was German - "We Have Arrived" b/w "Nightflight (Non-stop to Kaos)")

Still New York is New York  - the most populous, racially mixed, nightclub-dense city in America, and the equal-first gayest too -  so it's always going to be coming up with a steady stream of goodness

I always forget about this one, for instance - a high point of the Woebot mix

Wracking my brains but can't think of the title but there's a tune by the Horrorist (& Miro I think - as SuperPower) that closely replicates the "Searchin'" groove

I wonder if this is actually the first piano-vamper? Didn't the Italians get there first?  How about Inner City's "Good Life"? No matter, top tune

Landlord - one of those strange outfits that only put out the one fantabulous perfect record, before dispersing into oblivion



That came out in December 1991 - so wasn't it more like Todd keeping up with state-of-rave riffology-91-style, than actually pioneering it? (Not that he hadn't done a hella bunch of pioneering in the late Eighties)

Beltram's finest moment, contends Woebot - contentiously!

Very nice -  but pull the other one mate, doesn't rival the epochal weight of E-Flash or Mentasm 

Now if I was doing that mix I would have squeezed these in somewhere: 

(or one of the other many, equally splendid mixes)

Still prefer this to "Can You Party"...

(Would you believe - embarrassing this - but only really quite recently noticed the vocal lick in that comes from the start of "Planet Rock")

(And equally embarrassing - really only days ago I clocked that the other main vocal lick turned into a sample-stutter is from T. La Rock's "It's Yours" - later also used in a famous Nas tune, right? Not that I give one shit about Nas)

(Actually interviewed T. La Rock in '87 - but got a horrible feeling I never wrote it up.  He did a couple of fantastic records produced by Mantronik - "Back to Burn" and "Breaking Bells" - so that was my impetus to seek an interview - but then the next one was really weak, which deflated said impetus)

Ah but these Afrika Bambaataa and T. La Rock samples.... that does bring up one thing where I would say NYC has indeed had  an edge over Detroit and Chicago -  something that enabled it to anticipate the hybrids that blossomed fiercer elsewhere (i.e. London) - namely the way that house mingled with electro and hip hop.  So you get hip-house, you get breakbeat house...  later on you get Armand "I A Raw Individual" Van Helden ,with his B-boy affectations/ aspirations that nonetheless turned out be musically productive affectations / aspirations,... Earlier on of course you had Mantronix (much bigger in the U.K. than in their home city).

You can't imagine a record coming out Detroit or Chicago that would use a T. La Rock sample, can you? That right there is the affinity between the NYC action of this era and things like Unique 3 or Shut Up and Dance or Prodigy....

And one last Manhattan-and-boroughs classic - one of those generic-yet-consummate tunes. By JB's other half in Second Phase - Mundo Muzique, aka Edmundo Perez.  A perfect welding of 303-acid and Mentasmoid/Dominator blare - resulting in a singularly groggy-druggy record. Oh and hark at the E.P. title - Tranztechno! So in '91 the idea of ''tranz" was already circulating...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

the last point at which d+b had half-a-point?

that sort of cleanly-dirty production, that stereofield-snaking b-line thing

totally linear in its propulsion, none of the bebop-style drop-the-bomb B-line thing you got with classic-era two-lane-tempo jungle, where the bass in a sidling motion in relation to the drums..

flattened out in that respect but still in its narrow swingless way a rush

reggae influences burned off completely but also hip hop too - breaks that don't break, bass that pummels rather than booms

the drums become this whirring skitter

the hard rock name fits, although Motorhead would be far more apt - especially as so many of the tunes are to all intents and purposes identical

in an odd way a distant cousin to gloomcore  -  but with nothing close to the same lushly emotive atmosphere

yes this next one would seem to be a totally apt tune for them to be remixing

except they really make a silk purse into a sow's ear don't they?

they won't let the doomy riff ring out, they fuss it up, fill out the sound

still i really wouldn't mind having caught them in their prime

but i had long jumped ship to UKG and 2step ysee

breakbeat house

Thursday, March 23, 2017

drummer drummer drummer drummer drummer drummer get wicked wicked

via this tuff mix by Recoil (via Drumtrip)

as is this triffic tekno-pumper scratchadelic track that is one of my long-unknown Mystery Tunes off of a Lucky Spin / Don FM tape from 93  - mystery now solved, ta Recoil!

Monday, March 20, 2017



a comp from a few years back which i only just got around to checking out

love the squinky-textured riffs on that tune  (and the fact that the YouTube poster misspells "Safety" as "Saftey"!)

more from the mysterious Exocet

hip-housey - with early appearance of the "what is going on? and what are you being so nice to me" soundbite as later used by... Mixrace, am I right?

bleepy 'n bassy

that's all from the debut EP

a good start!

from the next 12 inch, not quite as compelling

losing focus (12 inch #3)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

so sumo me

Jon Dale points me towards this 1996 album by Soichi Terada as recently referenced in a FACT feature on Terada + Shinichiro Yokota as great Japanese house music geniuses:

"In the mid-90s, a massive influx of drum and bass caused house music to fall by the wayside in Tokyo. Terada was was enamored by the excitement and sub-bass pressure of jungle. “I was addicted to drum and bass [from] 1995,” he says. “It was so fun to experience the sub-bass sound in a club. I loved to go the drum and bass parties much more than the house events – in the late ‘90s I had a drum and bass disease, personally.” He went on to produce what he calls “sumo jungle”; sampling sumo fights from TV and utilizing the huffs, smacks, gongs and chants into his own strain of drum and bass, as heard on 1996’s Sumo Jungle LP."
This album is actually rather terrific, just as a mid-Nineties drum'n'bass full-length that strikes a sweet balance between dark'n'ruff and coffee-table-esque musicality - reminding me of Omni Trio at the mid-point between Deepest Cut and Haunted Science

And then the sumo soundbites - especially the ululating chants - are a really nice garnish on top. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

wobbly bass hooked lurcher - jiggling, burbling throbber

archive of disco columns by James Hamilton, pioneering British disco journalist

I came across his stuff when researching Energy Flash in the British Library, I think by the Nineties he was writing for DJ magazine maybe - as opposed to Record Mirror, his home in the disco and post-disco club music days. And I was struck by -

A/ his very precise measurements of b.p.m.  - and not just the main b.p.m., but the b.p.m in all the different sections of the track.

B/ his great nifty turn of phrase which in extremely compressed manner could convey the vibe and flavour of a groove and also  the various key appeal-elements in a track (the bass, the synth-riff etc). All of this done in not more than a tweet or two's worth of words per track.

His column was very useful for my researches because he reviewed a lot of ardkore and rave tunes as well as house etc. His having monitored the bpm down to fractions of an integer (he measured the tempo by brain and hand, apparently - counting it out and tapping) enabled me to  track the monstrous increase in b.p,m. between a late 91 tune, say, and how fast tunes had got by mid-93. It was like a jump of something 20 to 25 bp.m. in around eighteen months - a surge that felt cataclysmic and apocalyptic at the time and that had effect of driving away huge swathes of the rave audience into more clement zones of the dance culture, winnowing the audience for breakbeat down to just a (pill)headstrong hardcore. Rave dived into a Zone of Fruitful Intensification.