Thursday, October 22, 2015

clank's coming

cold new release on House Not House

lighter but nice - with UKGish trace elements

HNH being Dom D's label

some tunes on other labels Datman recommend, all of varying degrees of wintry vybe

good wolfy noises on that one! v. much in the Tradition

tryna think of a pun to do with jack and frost....

nah, snot happenin....

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

the Novum

"The breakbeat is actually made up of two mono files on the sampler, which I adjusted separately, so that when I stuck them together, I had the break riding up and spinning around in the stereo soundfield. It sounded like nothing we'd ever heard, it was a revelation -- we listened to that for hours and hours." - Rob Playford, on working with Goldie on "Timeless"

(via Dissensus)

time to get ill(bient)

never imagined anyone would get into the historiography of illbient, but i guess we really are running out past

Friday, October 16, 2015

deep tepid

not been following deep tech terribly closely this year, but each time i dip back in - gotta say .... it feels like it's treading water

all those directions that seemed so promising this time last year - the music getting more twisted, darker, abstract-y, bass-ruff.... coming from figures like Hugo Massien, Theo Nasa, Area 8... and to lesser extentCamo Crooks, Psionics, RS4, Shay/Sinista and others ..... they don't really seem to have come to fruition

the above is a recent-ish mix that da cognoscenti were buzzed about

but i dunno tho...  a diva lick and a bass drop, is that really enough in 2015?

Dominic Datwun diagnoses on Dissensus thread

"Deep Tech's always had opposing poles, pulling towards both the tradition of UK club music and international house music. This year deep tech's been pulling a lot more in the house direction - a good example would be the fact that House ENT, Top Shelf Recordings, Definition Music, Shadow Music - who were all pushing the harder, more 'UK' side of the sound, have all gone quiet. Other labels like Audio Rehab are pushing the more housey end of things, as are a lot of the producers themselves. Though that sounds like a recipe for the scene becoming more bland or loosing it's identity - which was always super vague anyway, with producers calling their music 'house' as much if not more than them calling it 'deep tech' - I don't know if that's really happening. Though it would be a shame to see that harder edge stuff disappear - and we're definitely pushing that sound with a lot of our future releases on HNH - it's not gone completely, and a lot of the housier, tech house stuff is wicked, with that UK energy carried across in the vibe if not obvious samples."

some tunes he recommends:

"something for your mind your body and your soul" - out comes the antique sample, for the umpteenth time! or has it been revoiced? 

faint flicker of a smile raised by the "alla da youth shall witness the day that Babblon shall faaaaaalll" sample ... but if only the trak was one tenth as exciting as Splash's "Babylon"

funktional but not spectacular is how these deep tech 2015 choons strike me -  they do the bizniz in the clubz i'm sure

chugging and banging

this more cold-digital tune recommended by someone else on the Diss-thread is nicely icy

good reverby micro-chasms in this production

Friday, October 9, 2015

EDM bubble burst?

Mark Hogan on "EDM after the drop", focusing on the drastic devaluation of entertainments mogul Robert Silllerman's company SFX, which was buying up rave promoters and so forth like nobody's business only a year or tow ago.

"On October 14, SFX faces a self-imposed deadline for considering offers to buy all or part of the EDM-focused conglomerate. SFX's D-Day arrives after multiple postponements, and after its colorful chief executive, the veteran radio and live music impresario Robert F.X. Sillerman, scrapped an offer to buy the roughly 60% of the business he didn't already own. The backdrop is a precipitous fall in SFX's market value, from more than $1 billion when it went public in October 2013 to around $70 million as of October 5."

Choice quote from Philip Sherburne:
"Just sonically, Avicii or mainstream EDM sounds to me like Van Halen's 'Jump,'. It's the same synthesizers; it's the same pleasure centers. You could say that Alesso is Bon Jovi. Bon Jovi took metal or hard rock and aimed it squarely at a very mainstream, middle-American public. That's exactly the same thing: These artists have taken what was once a subculture and redesigned it along a pop format. I don't know the economics of hair metal, but it seems to me pretty clear that [with EDM] we're in the era of the Wingers and the Whitesnakes."

If only EDM was as good as "Jump"...


certainly subverts received ideas of what African music should be....

if it's like any kind of house before it's like the most mechanistic posthuman clanking-grinding sort of tribal house tunes Danny Tenaglia might have played in the mid-90s around about 3-AM

Adam Harper piece on the sound, in which he says: "Gqom tracks are very long and harmonically static, often built on single-note or octave string drones, and the rhythmic interest comes in the form of off-beats that are so commanding they often trick your ear into thinking they're on-beats, an effect that imparts a feeling of weightlessness"

Thursday, October 8, 2015

DB meets D n B #2

originally i was going to call these posts D n B jumpers #1 and #2 (and possibly #3, #4, etc - if i could think of more examples)

then realised the two perpetrators both abbreviate to DB

Derek Bailey

and David Bowie!

in both cases, although strictly and sternly speaking, bandwagon jumpers.... the two DBs make a pretty good fist of it, and one has to admire (considering both were getting on a bit) their enthusiasm for the New Thing

yeah I was impressed that DB(owie) in the interviews around Earthling talked rather knowledgeably about DnB - referencing the Kemet Crew and Congo Natty and things like that. Not your Bukems and Goldies and entry-level coffee table DnB, but proper rinse-out ragga-junglism.  He'd done his research, or got someone else to do it for him.

"Little Wonder" has a pretty plaintive  little melody and endearing vocal -  gels surprisingly well with the beat

oddly the vibe of the song itself is almost flashback to the first album - the Newley-esque music hall tunes - but it's mashed into a fairly fierce thicket of 'renegade snares'-like choppage

Wish the whole 'so faraway' / guitar noise middle-8 sort of bit wasn't there though

still overall, good stuff . . indeed i think this might be his best single of the 90s, but then I can't say I've tracked the other output obsessively.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

D B mets D&B #1

seem to remember having this CD - got sent it I think, 20 years ago  -  and being disappointed in it, from a junglistic listener's perspective - beats seem a bit standard Amentalist rinse, 94 rather than 95....

now sounds quite exciting, although still not really sure the two aesthetics coexist fruitfully - they seem to confound each other a bit, get in each other's way

what Derek's doing, basically, is a lot more interesting than what the Ninj chappy's doing

DB is not exactly sparring here with the jungle / D n B equivalent of Oxley or Bennink or indeed himself for that matter

most of all though you just gotta love Derek's open-ness to the New - he got into jungle by hearing it accidentally on the radio, coming across pirate stations, is how i recall the story

here's bits from an interview with Derek Bailey done by Stefan Jaworzyn, for  Music from the empty quarter no. 12, 1995.

Derek Bailey:
Well, I did some recording... The jungle music's by Ninj - a beautiful piece, about 50 minutes - in fact it's five pieces I think. He does mainly studio work I believe - an interesting character. So he'd done his thing... I got to the studio - all this had been arranged from New York by Zorn and Laswell - the day before we were supposed to tape it. The studio was run by Mick Harris, a nice little place... I set up and tried a few things, then said to him, "Have you got a chair because I sit down to play.' And he said, 'No'(!) then, 'Well, there's one in there' but it was no good because it had arms. So he didn't have any chairs - but there was his drum stool. So I said, 'Well, I'll try the drum stool' but the drum stool was broken and it kind of weaved around. It spun round, but not only did it spin round but it conducted a circle in which it would spin - it would spin round in a circle, if you see what I mean - the upright was not upright...So it was a fairly skilful business just keeping upright on it. (I should have asked Zorn for a chair. I realise now that when I got to Birmingham I should have phoned him and said 'There's no fucking chair here John - get a chair!'). We got talking about the way to record, and he played me a bit of the jungle stuff and I said, 'Don't play it just now.' Then I went back to the hotel, and I remembered about the chair, so I rang him up and said, 'Tomorrow, get a chair'. And he said, 'It's impossible.' So I left it with him anyway... I turned up the following day and there's no chair! I used the drum stool. It turned out that the drum stool wasn't really a problem. What was a problem was that Mick didn't seem capable of mixing a DAT and a live instrument. There were also some things that went on that were somewhat in the chair vein - like I played with the first piece then said, 'I'll just have a listen to that'. he replied, 'I didn't record it.' and I said 'What the fuck do you think I was doing?' and he said 'I thought you were just getting used to it.' So we started again. Anyway, we finished after about 40 minutes - by which time I'd been into the control box a few times. And by, let's say the third take, it was possible to detect that there was a guitar player. Now I was playing comparatively loud, but that doesn't mean anything if you're mixing - you're at the desk with a DAT and a live instrument - but there was nothing there (on the DAT). Eventually, as time wore on, I could hear some plinking and plonking behind this very nice jungle stuff - a bit like rain falling on a roof, very softly. I said, 'Just turn the fucking thing up Mick, don't worry about what it sounds like.' but we never made it onto the tape; after about 40 minutes my spirits started to sag...
I have to say his enthusiasm was the only thing that was sustaining me - he seemed knocked out by what was going on. It's just that none of what was going on was making it onto tape! So I finally said, 'We're going to stop this now.' And Mick - it seemed with some relief - said, 'Yeah. Maybe you could record it at Laswell's studio.' I bet I could. And they've probably got chairs too... So the two lads helped me down with my equipment and I got a taxi back to the station and that was the end of that session... It just completely baffled me - he seemed so relieved when I said 'Let's pack this up'... It was getting louder, but I was getting exhausted - when it finally got to the point where it was starting to register on tape I thought it should have been over!


one of these years i really will have get to grips with Derek Bailey's corpus

Monday, October 5, 2015


criminy, i like a groove armada, how did that happen?

other good dancey songs with 'pleasure" in the title

from grime to gloss

textbook case of digi-maximal syndrome -   sounds shinier and bigger, but structural features of the music are same as a decade ago

vaguely heartening in a way that fake-strings refrains are still such a big thing in grimestrumentalism

the Troll version is good though   - nice roiling sewer of brosteppy splatterbass, in a Raffertie-esque faecal-fiesta sort of way

overall sound quality is so darn slick and sheeny though

the perfect stormzy

I think I'd like this much more if it actually did sample New Radicals.

judging just from that one, you'd have to say grime is a completely static art form - that could be 2003

it's like if rock's exemplar artist of 1978 sounded like The Yardbirds  Small Faces

this one is a bit more NOW!-ist

digimax detail in the production

but again, in its fundamental structure....   it's not a genre that's moved very far from the days of "Chosen One" and "Boogeyman"