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Monthly Archives: May 2009

If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that people REALLY FUCKING LOVE genres – especially when thrust upon unsuspecting artists by bloggers/journalists etc with quick wits and even swifter attention spans. There’s perpetually a light swarm of potential sub-genres flitting about at any one moment, some more controversial and hilarious than others, so let’s frolic through a few of them over the coming week and see if we can’t desperately wring some fun out of them.

First up, courtesy of rising dubstar and Night Slugs resident (along with Bok Bok) L-Vis 1990Dubblestep. But what does it sound like you bark, impatiently . Well, it appears to be the act of doubling up (y’know, like ‘dubble’ geddit? GEDDIT?!) the rhythm of a half-step dubstep monger, adding extra percussion to give it a brisker pace and a lighter step. ‘It’s just soca’ or ‘2-step’s coming back, heard it before’ I hear you counter wearily but hey! Stop spoiling our fun! Whether or not the form itself is brand spanking new, ’tis the method which provides the appeal. The action of taking a hulking elephant like Caspa’s ‘Where’s My Money’ remix and injecting some of the aforementioned soca/2-step energy strikes me as eminently worthwhile and each of the rerubs below sound better and far more danceable for it. So, maybe not a new sound but I fully back L-Vis 1990 and Dubblestep if it continues transforming existing tunes into slightly-different-but-superior tunes.

Download: Joker + Jakes, “3Klane (L-Vis 1990 Dubble Step Edit)” (via Mad Decent)

Download: Caspa, “Where’s My Money (L-Vis 1990 Dubble Step Edit)” (via Mad Decent)

Download: Benga, “26 Basslines (L-Vis 1990 Dubblestep Edit)”

Also, ahead of his appearance this Friday (05/06)…

5thjunefablivemyspacebanner

…he’s knocked-up a promo mix of Funky and yes, Dubblestep for you all to get on. Do it now, punk!

DOWNLOAD: L-Vis 1990 – FABRICLIVE Promo Mix

Tracklist:

1. Untold – Anaconda (L-vis 1990 Chopped n’ Screwed Mix)
2. Christian Martin – Elephant fight (Justin Martins Jungle Remix)
3. Crystal Fighters – Exatic Truth (L-Vis 1990 Remix)
4. Boris Rush – Miami Push (Franky Rizardo Remix)
5. Uncle Bakongo – Maasai
6. Emvee – Glitch Dub
7. Zinc – Pimp My Ride
8. L-Vis 1990 – United Groove
9. Lil Silva – Different
10. L-Vis 1990 – Compass
11. Justin Martin – My Angelic Demons
12. Diplo & Laidback Luke – Hey! (L-Vis 1990 remix)
13. L-Vis 1990 – Come Together

(Via Mad Decent, The Fader and Sonic Router)

jokerface

Dubstep ain’t all mid-range barking or technophile chin-strokin’ ya know. Some of it isn’t really dubstep. Some of it sounds like Dr Dre and Lil’ John dreaming about a tropical synth party where the punch is free and the coconuts taste like 808 kicks.

Joker says, in my head it’s PURPLE. Me, I’m stuck in the California Love video, trippin’ balls…

DOWNLOAD: Joker – Solid State

and then…

Download: Joker’s Purple Wow Sound Mix

Tracklist

1 Heny g – Delayed style
2 Silkie – 7-1
3 Joker & ginz – purple city
4 Joker – psychedelic runway
5 Joker – Gullybrook plain
6 Joker -Digidesign
7 Guido – Tango 140
8 Gemmy – Espaniola (SOMETHING LIKE THAT )
9 Gemmy – The box remix no.2
10 Gemmy – BT Tower
11 Gemmy -Back 2 the future 2012
12 Gemmy- ……..
13 Joker – Do it
14 Joker – Early morning
15 Benga – Buzzin
16 RSD – Naked mario kart
17 Skream – Unknown
18 Silkie – Weird piano
19 Quest – The unknown
20 Rude kid – Are you ready (instrumental)
21 Maniac – Three crows
22 Joker & Rustie -Play doe
23 Nelly Furtado – Showtime

[via Sonic Router and Fact, as ever…]

matthewdear2

A hearty welcome back for Detroit dish Matthew Dear‘s alter ego Audion, left fallow whilst the man in question took the fore visually and vocally for 2007’s Asa Breed, a deft and sultry imagining of Ian Curtis reborn as a louche synth-pop chanteuse.

His two remaining pseudonyms – False, on Richie Hawtin’s Minus label and Jabberjaw on Perlon – appear to be the outlets for his most minimal, experimental work whilst the Audion monikor delivers pulsing, graceful techno with a deep sexual charge carving gradual peaks and wide troughs into the dynamic range. Just listen below to the swarming synths in ‘Mouth To Mouth’ and ‘Noiser’ that gradually rise and fall from the morphing bass undercurrent – he manages to balance hedonism and highbrow sound-sculpting with such a fluid ease it takes my breath away each time. Equal parts dance and art.

New tracks ‘I Am The Car’ and ‘Look At The Moon’ are available now. Youtube sound quality doesn’t do them justice but hey, maybe that’s just me.

heat-wave

via dancehall/bashment DJ collective The Heatwave and Prancehall’s excellent ‘Bass Odyssey’ series on the relentlessly engaging Fader blog, it seems UK Funky with its simmering soca rhythms and bright soul energy is finding welcoming arms in the Jamaican dancehall scene. Check this Heatwave refix of golden boy Donae’o’s ‘Party Hard’ anthem for a peek into future prospects:

Download: Donaeo, Rubi Dan, Capleton, Vybz Kartel and Danny English, “Party Harder” (The Heatwave Refix)

Legendary Kingston dancehall producer/MC outfit Ward 21 are attempting to pump some much-needed fire into the staggering frame of dubstep, grab this Heatwave Rinse FM show for the evidence in amongst an almighty Jamaica/UK soundclash.

The Heatwave @Rinse FM, Thursday 7th May 2009

GET IT HERE

  • Donaeo, Danny English, Rubi Dan, Capleton & Vybz Kartel – Party Harder (The Heatwave Refix)
  • Grievous Angel & Wiley – Ice Rink Refix (Instrumental)
  • Riko Dan & Grievous Angel – Ice Rink Refix (Vocal)
  • Shystie & Sub Zero – Pull It/Bad Gal Bass (Ill Blu Remix)
  • Crazy Cousinz – Inflation
  • Aidonia & Crazy Cousinz – Bounce (Inflation Riddim)
  • Equiknoxx – Swagga Dagga Riddim
  • Lil Joe – Hey Yo (Swagga Dagga Riddim)
  • Lil Joe – Watch Me (Sky Daggering Riddim)
  • Cecile – Push Back (Sky Daggering Riddim)
  • Aidonia – Flying Dagger/100 Stab (Sky Daggering Riddim)
  • Donaeo – African Warrior (Instrumental)
  • Busy Signal – Gyal Dem Chune (Acapella)
  • Ding Dong & Donaeo – Bad Man Warrior (The ASBO Disco Refix)
  • Mavado – Neva Believe U
  • Equiknoxx – Cobba Cobba Riddim
  • Lil Joe – Wine (Cobba Cobba Riddim)
  • Spice – Badmind (Cobba Cobba Riddim)
  • Aidonia – Grab Her Nuh (Cobba Cobba Riddim)
  • Annex – Summer Bounce Riddim
  • Tanya Stephens – Party (Summer Bounce Riddim)
  • Slam – Kasablanca Riddim
  • Vybz Kartel – Badda Dan Dem (Kasablanca Riddim)
  • Perempay – Buss It
  • Natasja & Enur – Calabria 2007 (Acapella)
  • Sticky – Fugitive Riddim
  • Vybz Kartel – Stop Gwaan Stush (Acapella)
  • Maxwell D – Text Text Text (Fugitive Riddim)
  • Lady Chann – Your Eye Too Fast (Fugitive Riddim)
  • Ward 21 – Bang Bang
  • Ward 21 – Dubby Man
  • Ward 21 – Rock The Spot
  • Ward 21 – Electrocution
  • Ward 21 – The Call
  • Ward 21 – Mad Ting Riddim
  • Ward 21 – President (Mad Ting Riddim)
  • Timberlee – Gunny Gunny (Mad Ting Riddim)
  • Bibi Gardnere – Denali (Mad Ting Riddim)
  • Ward 21 – Petrol (Peanie Peanie Riddim)
  • Ward 21 – Bloodstain (Bellyas Riddim)
  • Aidonia – Bang Them (Swagger Like Us Riddim)
  • Frisco Kid – Rubbers (Joyride Riddim)
  • Christopher Birch – Baddaz Riddim
  • Vybz Kartel & Lisa Hype – How You Do It Like That (Baddaz Riddim)
  • Busy Signal – Hustling (Baddaz Riddim)
  • Beenie Man – Tek Back Yard aka Ghetto Yutes (Baddaz Riddim)
  • Sizzla – Awesome (Sleng Teng Riddim)
  • Sizzla & Capleton – Babylon A Use Dem Brain

Cheers guys!

7x7

Dublin beat label All City celebrate the completion of their enchanting  7″ series with a digital bundle wrapping all 7 releases together for only £cheap like it’s crimbo all over again. I could dive right into the highlights, rope in some comparisons and fire off a couple hastily generated franken-genres (e.g. ambient-electro-hip-soul-beat or something equally glib) but an insistent bony finger prods away at my brain-ribs. Yes kids, it’s the internet.

Since the term Wonky received a reception from its supposed champions akin to a fart in a lift, the problems with genre – especially in an area as overgrown and impenetrable as dance music (see! even that sounds pat…) – have been worthy argument fuel. On the one hand, applying catch-all terms and the obsessive compartmentalising of what is essentially an abstract art is a limiting and frequently weak approach (read this interview with Diplo again for some tres interesting points), but on the other there’s no way I’m going to exclusively map these sonic tableaus with nebulous poetry (OUCH). No-one would want that.

I could Say Onra‘s ‘My Comet’ is 90s g-funk shot through a broken super-8, lens flare saturating the colours. Or I could just say it’s super-compressed nu-skool instrumental hip-hop, y’know like Bullion or that stuff on One Handed. What it IS, is both. There’s a place for genre and giving something a name is at times worthwhile, for the sake of those eager to immerse themselves in a sound and pursue its alleyways as much as anything else. I fully understand that it’s partly a reaction against lazy journalism (which I sincerely hope this isn’t) but let’s not forget that these names sometimes help a lot of people navigate what can be dizzyingly complex world.

Back on subject however, 7×7 is a collection which takes this contemporary underwater hip-hop ambiance to places that don’t sound anything like hip-hop – Hudson Mohawke‘s wondrous ‘Star Crackout’ crackles and shimmers like a golden snow globe with a broken harpsichord and no beats whatsoever, nestling next to the fluttering dub techno of ‘Root Hands’ like nothing happened. Elsewhere the beats stagger in and out of consciousness with Mike Slott‘s loping electro slow jamz and personal favourite Fulgeance‘s bumping party circuit-breaker ‘Revenge Of The Nerds’ leading the way.

One of my musical highlights of ’09 thus far. Buy it here.

Photos courtesy of VICE photo blog, see the whole set here. Im in there somewhere.

WKfloor

lucyWK

WKsurf

Stage full from the off + rampant stagediving + multiple bundles for the birthday boy from all concerned = THE most full-contact thirtieth birthday celebrations I’m ever likely to attend, all in honour of modern day renaissance man and full-time tower of power Andrew WK. Known by many and dismissed by some due to/in spite of only one of his myriad musical outlets (über-party metal, not unlike Van Halen playing the theme tune from Funhouse while Journey rediscover thrash-punk), a relentlessly awesome alpha-person who goes from motivational speaking to playing with legendary UK experimental everything act Current 93 to presenting a show on Cartoon Network. The guy is a fucking inspiration, I file him under ‘personal development’ along with anyone else with such a superhuman ability to headbutt negativity into non-existence with nothing but an honest approach and infinite enthusiasm. Word.

badbrilobamashirt

Warming us all up (other than a sickly-sweet stroll down the last 10+ years of pop-punk) was fabricated NY socialite Bad Brilliance (website also worth checking), alter ego of Andrew Strasser – a man whose day job at PatrickMcMullan.com identifying celebrities for photo captions inspired him to create a character with a name for a face. ‘It’s a recognizable character by definition’ he notes, sagely. With the help of actress/socialite Sophia Lamar he quite literally wobbles around town looking for high society events to get escorted out of, presumably in a manner as affable as his own.

badbrilhandshake

Dude was MCing over a set of his own neon awesome cartoon crunk and spazzy electro-hop, waving his huge inflatable head around with aplomb and to great applause and I thought YES, although the term ‘performance art’ tickles my gag reflex, in reality I’d rather see this absurd, imaginative and fucking funny character chat over his technicolour soundtrack than a million+1 spit & sawdust spiky guitar bands do something authentic in a garage. Good effort Bad Brilliance, now put a record out so I can buy it.

factmix46-cooly-g

Ahead of her forthcoming release on Hyperdub, bright hope Cooly G stakes her claim to the future of Funky with yet another tight mix from the increasingly on-point FACT. As I said before, her productions provide a guiding light for those uncharmed by the jump-up chants or shmoove house grooves of some of her peers, occupying a space where intricate techno grace meets the tribal bump and soca rhythms that bring it to life – putting the dance in music without stamping out the subtleties. Not unlike N.B Funky’s ‘Riddim Box’. Check.

Download: FACT Mix 46 – Cooly G

UPDATE: get it here instead

01 Cooly G – Weekend Fly
02 Martin Kemp – No Charisma
03 Sami Sanchez – What
04 Fingaprint – Print Rolla (Cooly Special)
05 Fuzzy Logik – Safari
06 Cooly G – Narst
07 Audio Halls Beat – Dougs Wana
08 Mista P – Funky Interlude
09 Cooly G – Dis Boy Pt 4
10 Mista P – Physic
11 T. Williams – Tight
12 T. Williams & Smokey – Dub
13 NB Funky – Riddim Box (Sami Sanchez Remix)
14 Unknown – Unknown
15 Halo & Kemal – African Dream
16 Hard Soul – Self Religion (Believe In Me)
17 Bopstaz at Work – Always Into Journey
18 DJ Gregory – Vasefa Argy Mix
19 Cooly G – Hard
20 Slisonic – Can U
21 Cooly G – Love Dub Refix
22 Dennis Ferrer – Touch the Sky
23 DJ Gregory – Attend 2
24 Frank Rodger – Nothing Feels the Same
25 Jovonn – New York City Banger
26 Iza Tonic – Full Eclipse

Inspired by Serge’s top 20, thought I’d share with you all a handful of my personal favourite Italo-Disco cuts (erring toward the ones that are on Youtube), some of which he also mentions. I’m going to leave out Kano as their talent and importance warranted a post to themselves.

Dharma’s ‘Plastic Doll’ from ’82 first, produced by Luciano Ninzatti of the aforementioned Kano with a lot of their huge talent dripping from its tongue. Built around a gutsy synth riff with a punchy, high NRG rhythm this has less of the drifting, druggy pulse of the more cosmic end 0f Italo but bursts with sparkling, youthful exuberance. Playful and a little bit filthy.


Marco Galli and Maurizion Sanginetto aka M&G collaborated in ’86 for not just my favourite Italo track but one of my favourite records ever. It’s that combination of melancholy and fireworks that I don’t hear anywhere else, each melodic flourish and chord shift feels timeless and exquisite and combines into what sounds like an explosion in space.  It feels like it could go on forever, a cyclical throbbing heartbeat.

Dutch act Digital Emotion showing that Italo wasn’t just for Italy, although this is about as electro-pop as it got – some purists dismiss them as being cheesy or too commercial (rrrrr… show me some noncommercial Disco) as if writing the most unabashed fizzing synth lines is bad in some way. Punch the air to the chorus and tell me this doesn’t wipe the floor with electroclash, or most synth-pop for that matter. From ’83.

Glittering beauty from B.W.H. aka Carlo Favilli and Stefano Zito (1983 again), yet another case of a one-off collaboration birthing gold. A louche, pulsing track which melts into the most gently euphoric, mellifluous vocal line possible. Utterly charming and about as rare as anything.

‘Passion’ by the Flirts from ’82, my first flirtation (aha ha) with Italo and produced by Bobby O, one of the true Italo production stars along with Patrick Cowley and Giorgio Moroder. Brilliantly camp and the blueprint for the last two decades of dance-pop, illustrated perfectly when Felix Da Housecat lifted the synth line for his career highlight ‘Silver Screen Shower Scene’. P-A-S-S-I-O-N…

There’s always more…

serge_santiago_06

Serge Santiago is a DJ and fellow ex-Brightoner who, for me, is one of the few people carrying the torch for italo-disco with the passion and vitality it deserves. This wonderfully powerful and vivacious form of early 80s electronic dance music echoes through most contemporary ‘floorfilling material but Serge is taking it back to its raw, technicolour roots. Now’s not the time for dour minimalism – this is MAXI music.

His top 20 best italo list is a fine starting point for disco gem mining and his re-edits on his own Arcobaleno label (you can DL some from the label’s facebook page) update the originals without foresaking quality. There’s also a fine DJ Mix here for a spacey taster featuring classics from Cerrone and Gino Soccio.

Just wanted to show some love, s’all.

If you’re in London on the 22nd (with cash to burn) then make sure you head down to London Bridge for the Tectonic event at the Arches. The main room houses the expected crew (label boss Pinch, 2562, Distance, Peverelist) BUT the second room is of particular interest due to its less classic(?) dubstep nature and line up consisting of personal sideways hip-hop favorites Bullion and Paul White (of One Handed Music) with Wolverhampton UK bass channeler Alexander Nut. The real pull for me however is an appearance from Débruit who, along with fellow Frenchman Fulgeance has quietly dropped some of the most virile dancefloor music of the last year on the similarly gallic Musique Large.

MPC 2000

MPC 2000

Both worship at the feet of the enduring Akai MPC hardware sampler, an imposing grey box with massive rubber buttons that has been slowly lifted to god-like status by the hip-hop scene, most recently by its new-wave pioneers J Dilla, Madlib and MF Doom. The highly physical and spontaneous nature of composing on one of these lends itself to simple, organic music – rough around the edges but better for it. Screw quantising, forget the intricate digital editing. This is music by people, for people. To dance to, remember?

Débruit

Débruit

wwwwwwww…. wwwwwwwww…. wonky. Note the lower case guys, this is just one of the best adjectives for Débruit. Bumping kwaito rhythms and some nu-jazz undercurrents with big ol’ analogue bass. If Dorian Concept spends the next few years in the club rather than practising his keyboard skills he might come up with something as heavy as ‘Congo Whoomp‘, a track so effortlessly effective you can’t believe nobody thought of it before. There’s a little flavour of the Switch / Sinden B-more house sound but that’s just the sound of people dancing.

Fulgeance

Fulgeance

Fulgeance is more about the loops. Rumbling electro-hop pendulums swing between BLOCK-party chants like Afrika Bambaataa returning from the future AGAIN and re-teaching us how to have a good time. The Low Club EP says it better than I ever could with a Dorian Concept remix thrown in for good measure, watch out also for the forthcoming ‘Smartbanging’ on One Handed.

Oh, and here’s a mix he did for Mac Fly:

Right-click here to download.

01.bogdan raczynski – muzyka dla imigrantow / rephlex
02.tranqill – payroll (fulgeance rmx) / one-handed music
03.fulgeance – glamoure / musique large
04.architeq – birds of prey (fulgeance rmx) / tirk
05.débruit – pouls / musique large
06.fulgeance – lonely night / one-handed music
07.bullion – long promised / one-handed music
08.architeq – sleeping bear (take rmx) / tirk
09.robot koch vs cerebral vortex (flako instrmntl rmx) / up my alley
10.computer jay – distance / ramp recrdings
11.theophilius london (prod by machine drum) live @ black apple – new york city
12.lo – 2brothers / cdr
13.illa j _ r u listennin feat guilty simpson / delicous vinyl
14.stan getz – jazz samba encore / verve
15.letherette – in july focus rite / cdr
16.clark – ted (bibio rmx) / warp
17.fulgeance – sour socca / one-handed music
18.back to the future interlude (french version)
19.souleance – le plaisir / first word
20.the matthew herbert big band – the story (demo version) / k7