Monday, March 27, 2017

if you can make it there



Tasty new mix (third in a trilogy that includes Detroit and  Chicago) by Woebot dedicated to the proposition that NYC was the engine of dance music innovation between 1986 and 1996

I'll shall have to ponder that....

When you take Todd Terry and Joey Beltram out of the picture...  I don't know if I think of New York as the hot spot during that decade.

The Nu Groove stuff  is pleasant, a little sedate and dinky to my mind ... Strictly Rhythm is lush, it does the bizniz...  garage is garage...

But feels like often NYC points towards things (as with e.g. the Bonesbreaks records) that are taken much much further elsewhere

Nitro Deluxe was a co-parent of bleep but there's really only 2 tracks there - "Brutal" and "Mission"

Beltram -  soon surpassed by his Belgian, Dutch and German offspring (and then veers off in a not-hugely compelling pure techno direction)

(And there's no getting round the fact that the  best record Industrial Strength ever put out was German - "We Have Arrived" b/w "Nightflight (Non-stop to Kaos)")

Still New York is New York  - the most populous, racially mixed, nightclub-dense city in America, and the equal-first gayest too -  so it's always going to be coming up with a steady stream of goodness

I always forget about this one, for instance - a high point of the Woebot mix



Wracking my brains but can't think of the title but there's a tune by the Horrorist (& Miro I think - as SuperPower) that closely replicates the "Searchin'" groove

I wonder if this is actually the first piano-vamper? Didn't the Italians get there first?  How about Inner City's "Good Life"? No matter, top tune



Landlord - one of those strange outfits that only put out the one fantabulous perfect record, before dispersing into oblivion

Unlike

Todd-is-God



That came out in December 1991 - so wasn't it more like Todd keeping up with state-of-rave riffology-91-style, than actually pioneering it? (Not that he hadn't done a hella bunch of pioneering in the late Eighties)

Beltram's finest moment, contends Woebot - contentiously!



Very nice -  but pull the other one mate, doesn't rival the epochal weight of E-Flash or Mentasm 

Now if I was doing that mix I would have squeezed these in somewhere: 



(or one of the other many, equally splendid mixes)

Still prefer this to "Can You Party"...



(Would you believe - embarrassing this - but only really quite recently noticed the vocal lick in that comes from the start of "Planet Rock")

(And equally embarrassing - really only days ago I clocked that the other main vocal lick turned into a sample-stutter is from T. La Rock's "It's Yours" - later also used in a famous Nas tune, right? Not that I give one shit about Nas)

(Actually interviewed T. La Rock in '87 - but got a horrible feeling I never wrote it up.  He did a couple of fantastic records produced by Mantronik - "Back to Burn" and "Breaking Bells" - so that was my impetus to seek an interview - but then the next one was really weak, which deflated said impetus)

Ah but these Afrika Bambaataa and T. La Rock samples.... that does bring up one thing where I would say NYC has indeed had  an edge over Detroit and Chicago -  something that enabled it to anticipate the hybrids that blossomed fiercer elsewhere (i.e. London) - namely the way that house mingled with electro and hip hop.  So you get hip-house, you get breakbeat house...  later on you get Armand "I A Raw Individual" Van Helden ,with his B-boy affectations/ aspirations that nonetheless turned out be musically productive affectations / aspirations,... Earlier on of course you had Mantronix (much bigger in the U.K. than in their home city).

You can't imagine a record coming out Detroit or Chicago that would use a T. La Rock sample, can you? That right there is the affinity between the NYC action of this era and things like Unique 3 or Shut Up and Dance or Prodigy....

And one last Manhattan-and-boroughs classic - one of those generic-yet-consummate tunes. By JB's other half in Second Phase - Mundo Muzique, aka Edmundo Perez.  A perfect welding of 303-acid and Mentasmoid/Dominator blare - resulting in a singularly groggy-druggy record. Oh and hark at the E.P. title - Tranztechno! So in '91 the idea of ''tranz" was already circulating...




Saturday, March 25, 2017

the last point at which d+b had half-a-point?



that sort of cleanly-dirty production, that stereofield-snaking b-line thing

totally linear in its propulsion, none of the bebop-style drop-the-bomb B-line thing you got with classic-era two-lane-tempo jungle, where the bass in a sidling motion in relation to the drums..

flattened out in that respect but still in its narrow swingless way a rush

reggae influences burned off completely but also hip hop too - breaks that don't break, bass that pummels rather than booms

the drums become this whirring skitter



the hard rock name fits, although Motorhead would be far more apt - especially as so many of the tunes are to all intents and purposes identical














in an odd way a distant cousin to gloomcore  -  but with nothing close to the same lushly emotive atmosphere

yes this next one would seem to be a totally apt tune for them to be remixing



except they really make a silk purse into a sow's ear don't they?

they won't let the doomy riff ring out, they fuss it up, fill out the sound

still i really wouldn't mind having caught them in their prime

but i had long jumped ship to UKG and 2step ysee

breakbeat house









Thursday, March 23, 2017

drummer drummer drummer drummer drummer drummer get wicked wicked



via this tuff mix by Recoil (via Drumtrip)




as is this triffic tekno-pumper scratchadelic track that is one of my long-unknown Mystery Tunes off of a Lucky Spin / Don FM tape from 93  - mystery now solved, ta Recoil!






Monday, March 20, 2017

Exocet



via



a comp from a few years back which i only just got around to checking out

love the squinky-textured riffs on that tune  (and the fact that the YouTube poster misspells "Safety" as "Saftey"!)

more from the mysterious Exocet

hip-housey - with early appearance of the "what is going on? and what are you being so nice to me" soundbite as later used by... Mixrace, am I right?



bleepy 'n bassy



that's all from the debut EP

a good start!

from the next 12 inch, not quite as compelling




losing focus (12 inch #3)





Thursday, March 9, 2017

so sumo me



Jon Dale points me towards this 1996 album by Soichi Terada as recently referenced in a FACT feature on Terada + Shinichiro Yokota as great Japanese house music geniuses:

"In the mid-90s, a massive influx of drum and bass caused house music to fall by the wayside in Tokyo. Terada was was enamored by the excitement and sub-bass pressure of jungle. “I was addicted to drum and bass [from] 1995,” he says. “It was so fun to experience the sub-bass sound in a club. I loved to go the drum and bass parties much more than the house events – in the late ‘90s I had a drum and bass disease, personally.” He went on to produce what he calls “sumo jungle”; sampling sumo fights from TV and utilizing the huffs, smacks, gongs and chants into his own strain of drum and bass, as heard on 1996’s Sumo Jungle LP."
This album is actually rather terrific, just as a mid-Nineties drum'n'bass full-length that strikes a sweet balance between dark'n'ruff and coffee-table-esque musicality - reminding me of Omni Trio at the mid-point between Deepest Cut and Haunted Science

And then the sumo soundbites - especially the ululating chants - are a really nice garnish on top. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

wobbly bass hooked lurcher - jiggling, burbling throbber

archive of disco columns by James Hamilton, pioneering British disco journalist

https://jameshamiltonsdiscopage.com/

I came across his stuff when researching Energy Flash in the British Library, I think by the Nineties he was writing for DJ magazine maybe - as opposed to Record Mirror, his home in the disco and post-disco club music days. And I was struck by -

A/ his very precise measurements of b.p.m.  - and not just the main b.p.m., but the b.p.m in all the different sections of the track.

B/ his great nifty turn of phrase which in extremely compressed manner could convey the vibe and flavour of a groove and also  the various key appeal-elements in a track (the bass, the synth-riff etc). All of this done in not more than a tweet or two's worth of words per track.

His column was very useful for my researches because he reviewed a lot of ardkore and rave tunes as well as house etc. His having monitored the bpm down to fractions of an integer (he measured the tempo by brain and hand, apparently - counting it out and tapping) enabled me to  track the monstrous increase in b.p,m. between a late 91 tune, say, and how fast tunes had got by mid-93. It was like a jump of something 20 to 25 bp.m. in around eighteen months - a surge that felt cataclysmic and apocalyptic at the time and that had effect of driving away huge swathes of the rave audience into more clement zones of the dance culture, winnowing the audience for breakbeat down to just a (pill)headstrong hardcore. Rave dived into a Zone of Fruitful Intensification.


Saturday, March 4, 2017

every decreasing cycles (say hello, "wave" goodbye)

an electronic dance music trend so indistinct, it's reduced to a suffix with nothing to hang the suffix on!

[via Dissensus]

making me feel like I'm in some Groundhog Day scenario, as old-familiar rhetoric-riffs recur uncannily, dismally e.g.

"Wouldn’t it be great if our tracks resonated so deeply with people they start breaking down on the dance floor crying? We’re trying to make the most emotional tracks possible. This surely has to be the best result of that?

If the discourse is son-of-blubstep, the sounds are like the clinical missing link between Joker and BT






Or (continuing the 2009 premature-flashback theme, like Emeralds on an off day layered over a Happy Shopper trap beat.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"Bangin B-Line present..."



mix of nearly all of the Invisible Man by Drumtrip's Law

tklist

1.. The Invisible Man – The End… (Drug Induced Psychosis Mix) – Timeless
02.. The Invisible Man – The End… (Alternate Mix) – Timeless
03.. The Invisible Man – Twisted – Timeless
04.. The Invisible Man – On A Mission – Timeless
05.. The Invisible Man – Cyclone – Sublogic
06.. The Invisible Man – Power – Timeless
07. The Invisible Man – The Beginning – Timeless
08.. The Invisible Man – The Tone Tune – Good Looking
09.. The Undergraduates – Space – Camden Tunes
10.. The Invisible Man – Skyliner – Timeless
11.. The Invisible Man – The Flute Tune – Sublogic
12.. The Undergraduates – Into Da Future – Timeless
13.. The Invisible Man – The Bell Tune – Good Looking
14.. Mysteron – U Don’t Know – Timeless
15.. The Invisible Man – Skyliner (Remix) – Timeless

gagakutronic

GIFtronica

Sunday, February 12, 2017

got me all a-glow



another tingly memory from my secret life as jazz-funk (semi-)fan

such a sweet melody, such a cool clear vocal -  a rapt stillness of longing

love the song's strange mood of wistful desire - suffused with anticipatory poignancy - as if staying inside that sweet ache forever might be better even than arriving at the destination

adding charm, the slightly clunk lyric - "like it very much", "just you and me my dear", "got me all a-glow"

the ordinariness of young English love

like Ingrid Mansfield Allman's image too - inventing Janelle Monae a couple of decades ahead of schedule

the official video (with boosted audio), a real lo-budget murky  affair -



(how this same combo could then produce the abomination that is "I.O.U." is a mystery for all time(

oh dear, they were a proper jazz fusion band at heart



 Ingrid-less tunes like this are why i wasn't a jazz-funk fan






Saturday, February 11, 2017

the only life i know



liked this as a lad (Crawford's breathy jazzed vibrato, the slinky leisurely funk, the deliciously flecked light-touch breakdown that first comes in at 1.30)

but didn't pick up on the drug references... or the darker message (to you rudey)



actually interviewed Randy C would you believe, in '86 or '87.... a favour to a fellow journalist at MM who had taken on too many assignments... lovely lady, naturally

Monday, January 30, 2017

Not Playing by the Rules 95mix by Scud



another mid-90s ravekore mix by DJ Scud aka Toby Reynolds (no relaysh)

mix-message + tracklist:

Schisms and camps were forming and from the Hardcore Techno POV, Jungle and breakbeats were contested entities. Was "Da Base II Dark"? The more cutting edge DJs and producers were mixing it up though and breaking down the structures; hints of "Breakcore" were emerging from the 4/4 stomp and the Reese beast was unleashed. Also arguably the year of the French underground explosion? (Explore Toi, Epiteth, Gangstar Toons Industry, Network 23 releases galore, Teknivals etc)
Tracklist:
01 Lorenz Attractor: Complexity Crisis (Praxis 13)
02 Manga Corps: War Dancer (IST 14)
03 Alec Empire: Sieg Über Die Mayday-HJ (Mille Plateaux)
04 Cylob: Metel (Rephlex 15)
05 Cylob: Skraip (Rephlex 15)
06 Patric C & DJ Moonraker: Untitled (Napalm 6)
07 Kinesthesia: Meltdown Man (Rephlex 14)
08 Choose: Slowgan (Drop Bass Network 21)
09 Somatic Responses: Cyclotron (SSS 02)
10 Pilldriver: Pitch-Hiker (Lost 9)
11 Laura Grabb: W1-W5 (IST 12)
12 DJ Pure & Ec8oR: Violent Shit (Loop 04)
13 Monoloop: Kills Again (Fischkopf 06)
14 Asylum: Da Base II Dark (Metalheadz)
15 A.D.C: Multinoise (X-Forces 01)
16 DJ Trace: The Mutant Remix - Rollers Instinct (SOUR)
17 Curley & R-Zac: Untitled B1 (Network 23 06)
18 Heist: Corridors (Neuroviolence Remix) (Praxis 11)
19 P.Server: Plunger (Fischkopf 07)
20 Somatic Responses: Macroshack (SSS 02)
21 DJ Yubba: Acousta (Praxis 12)
22 C-Tank: Breakcore (Overdrive)
23 Ingler: Erratum (Epiteth 02)
24 Gangstar Toons Industry: Untitled B1 (GTI 05)
25 The Speed Freak: I'm The Butcher (Drop Bass Network 29)
26 Jack Lucifer: I Am Living Death (Kotzaak 04)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Vocal Tune / the Top 7 jungle-D+B albums of all time



Did Peshay ever get to do an album?*

Cos twelve variations on this would give The Deepest Cut a run for its money as best jungle album ever....**

Love the can't-be-arsed / all-that-needs-to-be-said quality of the title "Vocal Tune"

Could just as easily - as deservedly - be titled "Drum Tune". Beats so criss.

The vocal in question is, of course, from this - diva-only breakdown starts at about 5.56





* He did.

** What's the competition? Meaning single-artist non-best-of, so that takes compilations out of the running

I'd say it goes:

The Deepest Cut aka Music for the Next Millennium

then Black Secret Technology

then Parallel Universe

then a tie between New Forms and Timeless (programmed on your player to skip the wank bits)

then a tie between Haunted Science and Jacob's Optical Stairway

then

then...

That's it, isn't it?

I mean, what else is there?

The rest seem either a clear case of couple-of-good-tracks + unnecessary remixes of the classic tunes you loved as singles but have been now rendered not-nearly-as-good. Or really washed out, watery, misguided attempts at quasi-organic musicality / home-listening. (Path that P-man seems to have gone down, judging...)

Foul Play, E-Z Rollers, Adam F, Alex Reece (not that I had much in the way of expectations there!), Grooverider...  all disappointing...

I guess some would rate Photek's long-form efforts...

Two Pages seemed really good - both the "musical" disc and the harsh disc -  at the time, but I can't remember a thing about it.

Source Direct's album similarly impressed then but leaves barely a memory trace.

28 Gun Bad Boy is a bit early to count as jungle / D&B and anyway isn't a real album, what with that megamix taking up such a huge swathe of it...

It is a track-oriented genre, jungle / D&B, and it's on that basis that it stakes a mighty claim to be the greatest dance genre ever - and also a generator of great compilations galore.

But albums - that was never really going to be its forte

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

(c)old rush 94, or, Ajax for the Ears!

Toby Reynolds (no relation) aka DJ Scud with a 94-circa hardtekno ravekore mix

blurb:

Some of my favourite tunes from the zenith of the creative (c)old rush of the '90s. It was all going down in '94! Jungle was on the rise; the CJB was looming; The Spirals had just emigrated to France; but the bunkers and warehouses were still dripping with sweat, blistering hard analogue mayhem and pounding kick drums. Neck that wrap of speed, put on your urban camo and dance into the strobes!
01. Difficult Child: Big Bang (Magnetic North 06)
02. VCF: Start of the Art (Magnetic North 08)
03. No Face: Love or Kill (Praxis 06)
04. Fly by Wire: Last Voyage (Magnetic North 09)
05. Centuria City: The Dungeon (Hot Trax 2931)
06. Program 1: MF SKulls (PCP)
07. Death: Electronic Realisations Chapter 1 (Trope 10)
08. Cyberchrist: Salvation (DJ.ungle Fever 10)
09. No Face: Master of the Lost Souls (Praxis 6)
10. Woody McBride: Talking to the Sun (Magnetic North 11)
11. Koenig Cylinders: Liberation (IST 06)
12. Nick East: Increased Outline (Drop Bass Network 11)
13. The Crusher: Red Lights (Kickin 50)
14. Sulfurex: Point Break (Extortion 01)
15. Disasta Blasta: 2 Hard (SS 15)
16. Distortion Bastardz: A2 (SS 06)
17. Liquid Bump: Flood (Hot Trax 2924)
18. Nick East: Access (Drop Bass Network 11)
19. Diesel M: M-Ziq Mix (Choci's Chewns Blue 01)
20. DJ Jackal: Drumtrax Pt.1 (Praxis 9)
21. Biochip C: Untitled (DJ.ungle Fever 05)
22. Ilsa Gold: Elizabeth Short's 78 Hours Rave (Main Frame 11)
23. Zekt: Dreamstate (Drop Bass Network 20)
24. Liquid Bump: Kickquake (Hot Trax 2924)
25. Zekt: External (Adam & Eve 14)
26. Gringo: Slayer (Mono Tone 24)
27. M.C.P: Untitled (Fischkopf 4)
28. DJ Bleed: Sexy Intelligence Council (DHR 02)
29. Mescalinum United: Symphonies of Steel Part 1 (PCP)
30. Woody McBride: Hellion (Drop Bass Network 02)
31. Mooses on Acid: MC 202 BPM (Drop Bass Network 15)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

fave raves

little promo-thing around S+A i did for iD about me fave clubs /raves ever   (not sure why they didn't ask for fave glam tunes, then)

leitmotif theme: the crowd-as-star