Sunday, November 22, 2015

comps of legend

Epic list of  JUNGLE TEKNO comps from Man Like Woebot!

 + commentary with a polemical emphasis on techno  - and an anti-emphasis vis-a-vis Amentalism and Roots 'n 'Ragga, contesting their status  as cornerstones of Nuum

I think I have all of these, pretty much

On CD though - i could never see the point of the vinyl slabbage versions - surely the thing with comps is either A/ continuous through-play or B/ reprogramming your favorite bits into killer sequences,leaving off the filler and duff-ige crew that all but a few inevitably shove in there

These comps were so crucial for those of us stranded in the sticks - or in my case NYC, much of the 92-93 period - without access to the specialist stores with the vinyl 12 inches

As for M like W's  polemic

I knew from earlier snipes that Matt thought Amen was a calamity for jungle, or at least a severe restriction of possibility....  "all those other breaks out there that could be used" ...

I dunno, though, there's so MANY fantastic tunes that run on Amentalism, and such a wide range - from LTJ Bukem's "Atlantis (I Need You)" all the way across to Renegade "Terrorist" and mad topsy turvy tumbling-down-the-stairs Remarc  / Dred Bass et al  type full rinse jobs....  it is the privileged pulse of junglizm for a reason yunno...    

As for reggae as not crucial, just a flavour... and too often a bad idea

Three little words!

- rewind
- dubplate
- MC

(The way MCs function in nuum-genres is very little to do with how rappers work in hip hop, and a lot to do with the MC - or deejay as they confusingly call it - on a sound system.... improvising with an arsenal of catch phrases)

A fourth keyword - jungle itself - comes from junglist, as in "alla da junglists", as in Arnette Gardens in Kingston being the (concrete) jungle, yard tapes reaching the U.K, getting sampled...   Proof surely that Reggae Owed Credit ...

I'd agree that the only indispensable element is breaks  - and thus hip hop = the privileged cornerstone, the origin

There are important tracks, artists, labels in the broad stream of this music that barely connect to the Jamaican thing

But taking the continuum as a macro-entity - as music + scene + vibe + microeconomy + demographic.... taking into account all the worldview mood-tropes and concepts like Babylon and downpression and dread...  the reggae elements are crucial

(Could hardly fail to be given the parentage, the ancestry of so many of the participants)

But even just as a music-form, isolated from its subcultural matrix, its rituals...

Here's a fifth little word, or phrase -  "drum and bass" ... as in "strickly drum n bass come an wine up yah waist"

The bass is second in command, as it were

And for sure there are B-lines in hardcore / jungle that are fast 'n' bippy, or that detonate more like electro 808 boom.... but an awful lot of them involve simple bass-note patterns played slow and low, repetitive cycles .... an aesthetic that comes straight out of reggae...  even the more abstract oozy ones, the whole feel of the bass is dread

The counter-examples are legion, just a few that spring to mind -  "Bludclot Artattack"..."What's My Code" ... Bert & Dillinja's "Lionheart" .... DJ Nut Nut & Pure Science "The Rumble", the original or the "Boom Shaka Mix"

Matt brings up postpunk echoes but one of the reasons darkcore often sounds PiL-y is the sinister Wobble-y bassige

Now, thinking of  someone directly and consciously influenced by postpunk.... Goldie ... he was someone who did complain about the surfeit of ragga tracks in 94,  who was incensed by General Levy's outrageous putsch

But then Goldie in his pre-rave years had been through a Rastafarian phase...  did a track called "Jim Skreech" (surely not unconnected to Big Youth's "Jim Screechy")... did a track called "Jah"...  has basslines and echoey bits in "Menace"

Personally I love the Jamaican element....  the thunderbass in DJ Solo "Darkage"...  the ragga-techno of "Mixed Truth" by, well, now you mention it, The Ragga Twins.... "when i was a yout' i loved to smoke collie weed"...   the fast-skank of SL2 "On a Ragga Tip"

The fact that Jamaica is close second place to hip hop as foundation of the macro-genre is shown by the fact it's the rootical and raggamuffin aspects that carry through, or resurface, in UK garage and 2step....  and not the hip hop element at all really...  the dub-sway riddim, the dancehall raucousness, the lover's rock sweetness ...   New Horizons "Find The Path" and "Slam Down Ya Body Gal", Gant "Soundbwoy Burial", Double G "Special Request"....

(Reggae is also right there at the start with bleep - Unique 3's "Weight For the Bass (Original Soundyard Dubplate Mix)", Ability II's "Pressure (Dub)", Ital Rockers etc etc)

I think of jungle - and nuum generally - as this sort of terrain over which the different source-genres are contending to take the upper hand, as it were  - a three-way collision that then becomes  a battle zone - hip hop vs reggae vs techno (and perhaps house is in there as well)....  and naturally different participants (meaning both producers / DJs and listeners-opinionators) will have different allegiances...  and these allegiances / preferences shift also through time....

For sure, with all the fundamental structural bases and prime flavours of the nuum -  hip hop, techno, reggae, souljazz ....  each of these can get to be mixed blessings,  pass from thrill to tedium when overdone

All lead to bad things ultimately, or dead ends....

Amentalism led to breakcore, ultimately....

Techno led to neurofunk / Photekism

And the dread/ bass-meditational side of junglism led to the more placid 'n' ponderous side of dubstep

Stop Press; further interesting discussion on this Dissession, at, where else,  Dissensus -  involving Droid, Woebot and others.

Friday, November 20, 2015

sample sorcery


into this

with a bit of this in there as well?

sampladelic wizardry from Jamie Myerson

Thursday, November 19, 2015

groove science

interesting post by Steven Shaviro at The Pinocchio Theory  about interesting book by Mark Abel -   Groove: An Aesthetics of Measured Time

"Abel’s other major point, which I find entirely convincing, is his demonstation....  of how metric time — time conceived as an empty and homogeneous linear successions — is a product, not just of modern scientific technologies (like the ever-more accurate clocks that have been made since the 17th century), but specifically of capitalism, with its ubiquitous organization of commodity production, its appropriation of labor power as a commodity, and its need for the close measurement of time both in order to discipline workers, and as a measure of value more generally... 

".... the underlying structure of capitalism can explain why metric organization is so central to Western music of the last five hundred years or so, while it is absent from other historical forms and traditions of music. Metric organization is central to European classical music, and it is picked up with a vengeance in the groove of popular music ever since sound recording techniques became widespread...

".... the heart of Abel’s argument with and against Adorno.... for Adorno 20th century classical music at its most successful (e.g. in the earlier Schoenberg, according to Adorno), resists the universal capitalistic imposition of metrical time by refusing meter as much as possible, and by drawing on (or retreating to) the few areas of culture that have not yet been entirely overwhelmed by metrical regularity. For Adorno, all popular music — everything that has a groove, in Abel’s terminology — capitulates to the regularity of meter, and this is what ultimately stands behind Adorno’s criticisms of popular music as conformist and formulaic, as merely filling up a pre-existing form, as offering only trite and inconsequential minor variations which never affect the basic underlying tyranny of meter as commodified or Taylorized time, etc. Abel’s counter-argument to all this is that it is precisely by being metrical with a vengeance, by using meter in a far more intense way than classical music ever did, and therefore by proliferating syncopations against a metric beat which is the dialectical condition for these violations of metrical logic to take place — it is by doing all this that groove music at its best is able to subvert homogeneous clock time or commodity time.

"Thus it is by means of Adorno’s own dialectical logic that Abel defends the emancipatory possibilities of groove music; and even suggests that the 20th century classical music that Adorno at least ambivalently championed only represents a conservative retreat, since it simply disengages from metric time rather than working inside it to challenge it. Groove music at its best provides an antidote to Adorno’s, and indeed Jameson’s, pessimistic position that resistance to reification can only emerge from spheres of humanity which have not yet fallen fully under the sway of commodification, 

"... Abel’s thesis makes a lot of sense in the specific case of Afrofuturist music, and more generally of Afro-diasporic music of the Black Atlantic...."