Sunday, January 31, 2016

ghosts of '91 (Plymouth raves)

more on the story of these rediscovered visual documents in the Plymouth Herald!

"It will never be the same again," said 55-year-old Little Kev. "The atmosphere we used to feel from these places where there would be 2,500 people just partying to one DJ, with fantastic visuals, light shows and incredible sound quality – it was just amazing. "It was genuinely real. At a later stage raves became more professional and it went from being quite underground to being the in-thing to go to.

"The atmosphere was far bigger and better than anyone will ever experience again. We used to say Plymouth was the best kept secret in the whole of England."

Friday, January 29, 2016

"and other rave-ghosts"

When Assembled Minds's CREAKING HAZE and other rave-ghosts came through the mail around the start of the year, I confess my initial reaction was to feel a little catered to. The coordinates (hauntology + rave nostalgia) felt a wee bit bang-on-the-nose in terms of an appeal to my niche demographic. 

But then I gave it a play...  and it turned out to be great. 


And differently great - nothing like Burial or Caretaker, or all the revenant-jungle I've been posting  here, or anything else in this vein really...

Rippling reverb-misted pianos and a sleepwalk trance of drum machines and pumping bass - the vibe is much more Ultramarine's "British Summertime" than ardkore. And there's this sound that's in most of the tracks:   a high-pitched "peaky"  timbre that is...  ecstatically edging into dissonance, is the best I can do by way of describing it. 

It reminded me of what Trevor Horn once told me: his belief that great albums have the same sound running all the way through - his example was The Blue Nile's Hats - so that every track is a chip off the same lustrous block, refracting slightly different.  

I asked Matt Saunders  - a/k/a Assembled Minds  and who also runs the label Patterned Air Recordings that Creaking Haze is out on -  about the sound, and this is what he said: 

"The sound was an attempt to capture the warmth of tape in the low end, and a kind of 78 vinyl scratchiness in the upper, tapes and records that have become frozen repositories of events passed by. I love the idea that when you play an old record, particularly ones recorded first take, no production, no making alterations to the moment as it actually happened, you’re reanimating that moment, projecting the sound of the room and the sound of the event into the present and into a new room and a new event. Making a portal between distant events. 

"Originally, I’d wanted to write tracks with a very high melody, low bass and not much in between to create a kind of musical skeleton, not much on the bones! It’s something I want to pursue further. 

"Combine that with recording to old tape, analogue synths and creaky effects, and mastered through old valve and analogue gear and you have an album that is threaded with the same DNA and hopefully, sounds like an event that happened somewhere else, sometime else."

I'd say he's succeeded in creating that "elsewhere / elsewhen" effect - you definitely go into a space when you start listening to the album, and nothing jolts you out of it while you're in it - the power of same-but-different c.f. eclecticism / versatility.

Apparently Matt has been working away at Creaking Haze on and off for seven years now, starting off with the idea of "all these old ravers were collectively re-living raves in their daydreams, trying to attain the euphoria their middle-aged lives lack."  (Again with the uncomfortably on-the-nose / close-to-the-bone !). "Almost like yearning for an acid-rapture." He also says that his goal was to make a record that "sounded like it came from a definite but intangible ‘place’, a place it had existed and lived in, and degraded somewhat, gathering a patina in its journey from where it existed to now. The idea of the album existing somewhere, spectrally, in the ghostly collective memory of old ravers was there in essence from the start, and grew stronger as  the album came together."

More Patterned Air patter about Creaking Haze

"Traditional analogue studio rituals, sci-fi dreaming, shimmering ravecore techno and arcane LED-lit magical practices make an odd kind of vintage haze. It is the Assembled Minds’ intention to collide wide-eyed sci-fi ambition with dirty workshop magic./// 'Creaking Haze' is an investigation into how a 70's British horror movie would sound, if a strange kind of proto-rave dance music had been at the director's disposal. We call this 'techno-Morris-horror'. Enter our world, wide eyed..."

and more

"The creaking haze of near forgotten, ages-old Saturday nights out; spectral dance music; flashback drug events; our young wide-eyed ghosts staring into the cardice fogs of synth-storms and heart accelerating drumbeats"

and even more

"Creaking Haze is foggy, hauntological techno; a strange mix of British suspense/horror film tension and euphorically happy-beat-cycling. Listen closely and you’ll hear rust-flakes from the eerier moments of Tubular Bells, broken pistons from a flipped Detroit techno juggernaut, even flickery moon-bell-echoes of Morris jigs and baton clashes. It’s a wyrd electronic album of rural myth and country-fear and it’s flipside, city-rites and night bus anxiety…"

and yet more

"This is an album that almost doesn’t exist.

It’s a cloud of old memories; a collective remembrance-pool of distant Saturday nights out, rave-fields, night-clubs, dancing, getting intimidated, getting high, feeling the love of the tribe but always looking over our shoulders for some dark threat or other. And best not mention the bad trips.

We’re getting lost in daydreams of flickering techno-rituals and the blinding lights of open-til-4am chippies. We’re dancing and belting around in the swirling whiteout haze of decades gone-by, and the highs we’re indulging in from these vaporous remembrances are becoming unbearably addictive. They’re almost too good to ever come back from; they’re so much better than the shit we have to deal with in the real world. So when the whole of the tribe is back in the rave-fields in a simultaneous collective recollection, every one of us dancing in the eerie pulsing fog, perhaps then we’ll choose to stay there in that moment, and fade away happily, if slightly intimidated, into our own memories."

The artwork and packaging is great too (photo nicked off Robin the Fog) although I have already lost the little leather tie thingy with which you seal up the package!

Now somehow I completely missed Matt's previous group Magnétophone  (on 4AD) even though it's up my street seemingly.

This isn't even the first Assembled Minds album, either. There was also the more Radiophonic oriented Tomorrow Curves, "a collection of analogue sci-fi soundtracks and voltage controlled incantations". 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

disappear in retroraveland

at least two or three things covered in the new Wire are rave revisitings / manglings - Brood Ma, Phork, one other that's slipping my mind

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

do you remember when it was all about the drums? (memory project)

even more jungle-revenant and hardcore-hauntology bizniz!

Downpour is Chris Adams from post-rockish outfit Hood with "part two of a memory project studying the provincial drum and bass scene spanning the years 1992-1994"  

or as he also describes it 

"drum and bass seances... summoning up the ghosts of '94" !

(via Jon Dale)

And here's the first instalment, from 2014

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

imaginary forces / basic rhythm

nice use of fragments of rufige cru in that one

Type's press release for Anthoney J. Hart / Imaginary Forces / Basic Rhythm:

"Anthoney Hart is hardly a newcomer. Cutting his teeth spinning hardcore, jungle and D&B at legendary pirate radio station Rude FM, Hart eventually began producing under the Imaginary Forces moniker, channeling his early influences into noisier, more abstract territory. As Imaginary Forces plumbed the depths of abstraction, Hart was keen to find an outlet for dancefloor material, and that’s where Basic Rhythm comes in.
Hart wanted to reference the hardcore and jungle he grew up obsessing over, but not simply as an exercise in nostalgia. Avoiding breaks altogether, he went back to the samples that littered the genre, reframing them with contemporary rhythms. Raw Trax is not an attempt to recapture the sound of jungle or hardcore, but a new twist on a familiar setting.
This isn’t a dull academic experiment: Basic Rhythm was always intended to be fun to listen to, fun to dance to and fun to mix. Raw Trax delivers in spades."

from a Quietus interview from a few years ago:

Anthoney J. Hart: The initial inspiration to start came from my older brother. He was involved in the warehouse rave scene in London and he used to send mix tapes down to my older sister, as we were living in Hastings at the time. I ended up stealing one of his mix tapes, simply titled "Da Mix", from her room, and it blew me away. I still remember half the track list from it... Sonz Of A Loop Da Loop Era - 'Far Out', Manix - 'Stupid Dope Mix', and so on. I was 11 at the time.
The next year we moved back up to London and I started buying records from Music Power in Ilford, and Total Music in Bethnal Green. The first LP I bought was the Sub Base For Your FaceLP because it had 'Far Out' on it. By the time I was thirteen I had started to save up money to go to a studio in Ashford to attempt to make jungle tracks. By this point I was buying my records from Boogie Times in Romford, home of Suburban Base, and even had the privilege of playing my first demo to Danny Breaks (Sonz Of A Loop Da Loop Era) and getting advice from him on how to construct my tracks.
Unfortunately my first attempts at making music were obviously pretty poor, so I focused more on my DJing. By the late 90s I was playing on a pirate station around Romford, until I eventually landed a spot on London's Rude FM. I stayed on there for a few years and started to make drum & bass tracks. But by early 2003 I had become bored with the way D&B had become so rigid in its approach, sticking to a very strict set of sounds, rules and formulas. I left Rude FM and changed my name, but still kept trying to make more experimental D&B until I was offered an opportunity to release my first album. [That album] ended up being a personal failure for me in many ways, but this failure had also told me explicitly that I needed to let go of D&B and move on to working on what I truly wanted to do.
It was quite a hard thing leaving behind a scene that I had spent over a decade involved in from its very beginning. I then spent a lot of time working on many different ideas and approaches until I got to the second album where everything seemed to come together in a way that I felt happy with. It was a huge step away from the rigid parameters of dance music, but still had that driving energy and beats."

The Present - Energy & Sound Vol. 3

A new Energy & Sound EP from the excellent The Present

Monday, January 25, 2016

gremino mix

tasty mix from Gremino

Gremino - Online Underground Dance TRACKLIST
01. Chaams - Achieve The Balance

02. Lexxi - 5 Star

03. Shining Force - SYN Flood

04. Shining Force - Initiative


06. DJ W3C - Digital Void (Minciisha Ieraksti Remix)

07. Top Shotta - ACC 600

08. GRRL - Go Up

09. Poolboy92 - Lips

10. Andrew Juke - Diamond Horse

11. Banshee - Coldwave VIP

12. Andrew Juke - School1

13. Seaofmanny - #seajunk

14. P4N4 - Fountain (DJ New Jersey Drone remix)

15. Dj New Jersey Drone - Ridin Bangin

16. Lechuga Zafiro - Ayida Weddo (Gremino Edit)

17. Mr One Hundred - Axis Jab Jab (Feat. Bunji Garlin)

18. Dj New Jersey Drone - Energy Useeyz

19. Wasted Fates - Vision Wars

20. Wasted Fates - Free Like El Capo

21. Dj New Jersey Drone - Go Flame

22. Andrew Juke - Eggcream

23. Jlin - Infared (Bagua)

24. Poolboy92 - Lick

25. QT - HEY QT (Andrew Juke Remix)

26. Gremino - Lightspeed

27. Om Unit - The Red Curtain


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

anybody from London

[via Jack Jambie]

more clips from the EP - an exercise in jungle techno - or "junge techno" as they spell for some reason

Saturday, January 16, 2016


Dom Datwun enticed me to listen to this jungle + footwork EP by mentioning the magic words "Foul Play"....

tasty stuff

don't hear that much footwork in it though, or maybe it's just so well melded that the effect is just really crisp 'n' deadly d&B from circa 95-96

like droppin' science or one of that sort of outfit....

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

G on DB & D&B

G now has an MBE!

Beats are pure Kemet Crew, but the melody / mood reminds me of this era

Thursday, January 7, 2016

durban poison

FACT article on gqom by Ben Murphy

definitely the most disorientating (yet still  dance-conducive or dance-instigative  - were not talking Conceptronica / NuBraindance)  sound to come along since footwork

listening makes me wonder how people move to it

feels like it implies a 4/4 that it doesn't actually contain, or that was there but has been rubbed out largely

a not completely built house

from the piece

I think I heard about gqom music in 2012,” says Citizen Boy, who believes the style comes from “an old genre called Sgxumseni, which means ‘make us jump’.” He adds: “DJ Clock and DJ Gukwa used to produce it, then after a while Naked Boyz arose and they took the spot like it’s the genre gqom. It’s almost the same as gqom, but the difference is that Sgxumseni is a four-step and gqom is a broken beat — it can be a three-step or two-step beat.”


In Durban, the drug of choice is ecstasy, which fuels “bhenga” dancing at local gqom parties and occasional events at larger clubs like the city’s Club 101. ... Citizen Boy is quick to acknowledge the impact that drugs have had in the gqom scene. “There’s this drug called qoh, or ecstasy, it makes them crazy. If there’s a party somewhere there’s always going to be someone who has ecstasy. Drugs play a huge role in the gqom scene, it makes people feel confident and they start to dance to the music — even if they can’t dance, they will dance to it.”


"It isn’t completely clear who christened the genre, but gqom – a Zulu language colloquialism meaning ‘drum’ – translates as something like ‘noise’ or ‘bang’ in current parlance, says Citizen Boy.

Bangs 'n' works. Banging tune

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


a Woebot tip

he singles out this one in fact, which has a proper video video and all

Sunday, January 3, 2016

House Not House

Dom Datwun with a guest mix + interview on Mark Radford's Rinse FM show playing a loada new excluses on his House Not House label