Monday, July 24, 2017

jazzual








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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

when you need to feel love



jongaliss



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

























Afrobeats




















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"




Bukemish




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

mysterious!

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

acidmonium







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.