Saturday, October 26, 2013

taking the PIF

grime + hauntology = my postmillenial sweet spot, obviously. Here's Robin the Fog on the Public Information Film, or PIF  -  a memoradelic talisman for those raised in the 70s and 80s, but, he notes, undergoing something of a mini-revival with the following "urban yoof" oriented PIF:

Robin imagines other possibilities for PIFs updated for postmillenial Britain starring grime MCs:
  • Lethal Bizzle neglects to don gloves while handling a sparkler (that’s a firework, not street-slang for jewellery)
  • Chipmunk leaves his Chip-pan unattended while polishing his floor and then puts a rug on it.
  •  Example neglects to stand still on an escalator and makes an Example of himself. (very clever, that one)
  • Wiley, attempting to return to his ‘Eski-Boy’ roots, acts irresponsibly on a frozen pond
  • Dappy from N-Dubz attempts to rescue a frisbee from a substation (with surprisingly graphic-yet-cheering results).
  • Tinchy Strider goes kite flying near a pylon, while an elderly Bernard Cribbins looks on from the tree-tops, concerned 

Friday, October 25, 2013

at Playboy, Frank Owen + Lera Gavin (his missus) on Molly, bath salts, "e-tards", and the vain quest for the "real thing"

also featuring quotes from Mike Power, author of Drugs 2.0, "a compelling account of how the internet has revolutionized the global drug trade"

Power's remarks about how “unity, euphoria and sex will never go out of style” and "Molly has become hugely popular right now because it is in many ways the perfect drug for the times. We’ve never been so networked yet so disconnected" rub dissonantly up against gritty Owen/Gavin reportage from the recent, drug-death-tarnished Electric Zoo rave in NYC:

"One with pasty skin and a blond goatee briefly scanned his surroundings...  took a capsule out, split it and poured the contents into his water bottle. He shook the bottle vigorously and took a sip. He winced and gagged. “This tastes like ass,” he said. “But I’ll be tripping in no time.” Nearby, close to the entrance to the show, a young Asian man was lying facedown on the grass, humping the ground. He turned his head to one side and vomited. By this point Electric Zoo’s staffers were spraying the crowd with water hoses. Overheating is a major risk factor for molly users."

Talk of unity, collective intimacy created by empathogens, etc also rubs dissonantly up against the callous responses of fans pissed off because the final day of the rave is cancelled by the organisers and the city following two deaths:

"Honestly, I do not even feel for the people who died. This is fucking stupid. I paid so much money to go to this fucking festival. Just cuz a couple people are fucking dumb you ruin it for 10s of thousands! Fuck you Zoo!”

Thursday, October 24, 2013

feel the panic

at The Quietus, an archaeology of the siren as a musical device by Robert Barry

inevitably mentions rave / hardcore en route to the Klaxons

Praga khan - rave alarm by syncrythm


Friday, October 11, 2013

nostalgie de la vitesse

Rinse FM's old skool don Uncle Dugs, while playing Crystal Waters's "Gypsy Woman": "You know what, it’s funny, how much our music changed – within a year of this tune being out, this wouldn’t have fitted in in any of the raves. It's funny isn’t it – music was changing so rapid in these days. Bpms were flying through the roof."

sets adrift on memorE bliss

a treasury of old skool -- Uncle Dugs shows for Rinse FM archived -  including guest sets and chats with hardcore luminaries like 2 Bad Mice, Frost, and Guy Called Gerald.

"Proper oral history" says the Man like Droid.

Particularly enjoyed this one, featuring "lovely bloke" Nicky Blackmarket and themed around 1991 (responding to a request for LFO, Dugs says "Not in the bag mate, that's 1990. Bit of a shtickler I am"), that being the year when Dugs went to his first rave

Monday, October 7, 2013

"it's a rave, Lewis"

my mate Sean Nye tells me this Morse episode, originally broadcast in 1992, was directed by Danny Boyle

the writer was Julian Mitchell, whose resume includes co-writing with Ray Davies the teleplay Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) (which was never actually produced)

here's the whole Cherubim and Seraphim episode

Thursday, October 3, 2013

phil sherburne at spin  lambasts the las vegas-ization of electronic dance culture

as also explored in this new yorker story by josh eels

and in an earlier spin piece

postscript: and a piece in Billboard about how clubbing is almost as big a draw to punters as gambling in Las Vegas now

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"Error 404 - Page Not Found"

So I'm trying to check out FACT mag's "Sentimental Things: The Story of UK Dance Music from 2000-2009 in 100 Records" feature series, curiosity piqued by the way it's framed in the intro blurb, as an attempt to:

"document a decade that not only won’t be repeated, but arguably...  witnesses the hardcore continuum – that lineage of UK dance music that charts hardcore’s transition to jungle, to garage, to grime and dubstep and so on, as advocated by writers like Simon Reynolds – dissolving into something else entirely"....

That something else entirely being related to "the transition from the club... and... pirate radio... to the internet as dance music’s key hub – the arena where new scenes were incubated and future classics first broke...."  

But every time I click on a year - 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005-- I end up with:

Error 404 - Page Not Found

Tempting to find something symbolic in that glitch void! An inadvertent allusion to historical consciousness being eroded by the lateral logic of netspace.

The blurb, again: 

"For better or worse though, the dim room that most people are discovering dance records from in 2013 is lit by the cold glow of a Macbook rather than Plastic People’s little red light"
Hope that glitch gets fixed quick because I would to check with my own ears if there is an audible difference in the music as analogue mediation gets steadily more displaced by digital dissemination during the course of the 2000s.

"Glutted, clotted" is one syndrome I've observed, obviously. While the clottage can be attributed to the superpowers of the software involving in the music's making, the gluttage clearly has something to do with the post-historical/post-geographical overload: the interior swarm of influences and inputs that creatives now must contend with and attempt to thrive within. (Although not dance music as such, this is very audible in the New UK Underground proselytized for here by Adam Harper, "post-noise" whose imploded genre-morphing seems to take off from "Preyouandi" and Cosmogramma more than Sheer Hellish Miasma and Burned Mind)

But I wonder (in light of FACTblurb's "cold glow" versus basement-red light-feeling contrast) whether there we willll be able to detect an audible depletion of an aura of sociality in UKdance, a sense that it's made for solitary ears rather than for a crowd-body whose Pavlovian reflexes respond to certain triggers and structures....  that it becomes steadily less about stoking a collective vibe and more about stroking the individual cerebellum. Tickling the intellect of the homebound or the in-transit earbudded unbody.

Certainly it's noticeable that in most dance writing today there's little reference to, well, dancing....  almost no emphasis on the scene, crowd behaviour,  participant-observer stuff.

Instead its primary mode is taxonomy, the tracking of genre-ological evolution and mutation, etc.

Which is to say, monitoring flows of information...  remote encounters between genres and peoples  in increasingly immaterial world...   Digihybridity... Music for a virtual dancefloor.

postscript: another thing i suspect will be audible as the years go by from the decade's start to decade's end is a decline in the rate of anthem-production...    the anthem i think is predicated on the crowd as the site of reception....    there's only been a few anthem contenders in recent years ("hyph mngo" is a sub-anthem, to my ears, falls just short; "Wut", definitely;  Joker has a smattering of top tunes that achieve anthemhood..  But even great talents like Z**by  that are steeped in nuuum knowledge don't really make anthems, by and large  his stuff is deep...  his revisiting of hardcore on U in 92 noticeably didn't involve anthemicity, it was a deepification of 2 Bad Mice et al

there is also i surmise something about hyper-eclectism that works against the emergence of anthems, which seem to involve tapping into the essence of a genre, e.g. Renegade "Terrorist" is pure jungle, certain trance or gabba classic anthems are pure trance, pure gabba...   To write an anthem today probably requires a reversion to some kind of retro mode, which may partly explain the house resurgence