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Tag Archives: dan hancox

Not pissing in the ocean. But how much does that matter?

Not pissing in the ocean. But how much does that matter?

Are you a neophile? Do you hunger for novelty?

Are you a magpie, snatching each shiny object within your gaze and devouring any worth it might offer before looking up to continue your search, hunger barely dented? Does the idea of a static culture, free from the everyday bombardment of data on the information superhighway cause you to break out in a cold sweat?

Do you like Zomby?

I feel an affinity with his influences – 80s video games and 90s UK rave – which coaxed me away from resisting the largely lumpen, monochrome sound named dubstep and reminding me of the need to diversify. But to what end?

Zomby’s appeal exists also as part of THE NEW. Specifically the much derided (by him, amongst others) term ‘Wonky’, on the subject of which posts can be written as intricate and expansive as this increasingly notorious article. Although many genre terms refer to textural elements or structural rules, Wonky appears to exist purely as part of a dichotomy with an opposite – the wonkification of music is to change it, make it different and it is those factors which, when (and only when) viewed in contrast with the un-Wonky, necessitate the term.

The cult of the new deems Wonky to be good, as it is different. Unfixed time signatures, rhythms almost arrhythmical in nature, gloopy, undefined sonics… all unusual in dance music therefore worthy of intense scrutiny. This championing of all things Wonk has given my little neophile brain a bit of a bruising, the increasingly academic and opaque nature of the internet chatter surrounding such artists as Zomby has begun to repel me, leading me to forget what I saw in such music in the first place.

When I started college, I chose English Literature. We began by reading a book, the name of which I can’t recall and do not wish to as its content here is irrelevant. The next term was spent picking apart and analysing the text, to the point where it could no longer be enjoyed as a single piece of art and I could only appreciate it as a huge jigsaw of factors, elements and influences. I dropped the subject immediately.

I never wanted that to happen again, but I fear this unrelenting wall of comment, opinion and analysis which constitutes the interweb many be once again undermining the direct, sensual and physical appeal of music which feeds my mind and body. I once again refer to the excellent Dan Hancox and direct you to his Buffoon Empiricist Manifesto: (I implore you to read about it here)

Buffoon Empiricism is a response to the terrible perseverance and proliferation of information and music online. Everyone can access everything, all of the time. Every message board post has a download inside. Every riposte has another riposte. Club music has become more of a spectacle than ever in the last five years; regarded, consumed and critiqued from a metaphorical and physical distance.

Yes, dancing is far preferable to RSI. Zomby’s One Foot Ahead Of The Other EP is out 7th September on Ramp, featuring the track below. It’s awesome and right now, it doesn’t matter why.

L-R Gemmy, Joker and Guido. Thanks to Dan Hancox for photo

L-R Gemmy, Joker and Guido. Thanks to Dan Hancox for photo

Dan Hancox writes about music well. He combines the intelligence to unravel sounds and themes into clear theories with the warmth and honest enthusiasm of someone who is obviously a music fan. His blog is well worth following, although I found his recent fried chicken/pirate radio analogy a little hard to swallow (oof!).

His piece for the guardian on Bristol’s ‘purple’ trinity of Joker, Gemmy and Guido comprehensively sums up the appeal of their rich, dayglo sound; the influence of classic video game themes and g-funk, the importance of using melody to reclaim dance music from the clutches of male dominated xtreme bass-fetishism and the issue of synaesthesia – unavoidable thanks to the trio’s colour orientated reference points. There’s very little I can, or would want to add. So I wont. Just read it.

Of the three, Guido is the one I know the least about. This 29min mini-mix however provides a tasty bite size introduction to his take on purple – the most melodic of the three, not shying away from synth-sax and the easily misused autotune to bring the patterns to life. Grab it here, courtesy of Numbers and their ace podcasts.

Guido – Tantalized
Guido, Aarya & Ruthless – Beautiful Complication
Guido – Chakra
Guido – You Do It Right
Guido – Orchestral Lab
Gemmy – Johnny 5
Guido – Mad Sax
Joker – Do It!
Guido – Tango
Joker – Digidesign


A few Joker remixes (more often than not with Ginz who worked with him on the awesome Purple City) of more mainstream artists have been cropping up on the internetz with all – like this re-rub of carnival house perennials Basement Jaxx – severely pwning the originals. That combination of tropical fruity keyboard twirls and pixxellated bass give it the delectable glow the original only promised…

…come back! Yes, it is Zero 7. No, I haven’t heard the original. The bassline here burns like a digital heatwave before the increasingly recognisable purple synth riff rides over the top like… *a few adjectives later* …, so I don’t think we need to hear the original. This really is er… ‘massive’. Yes, that’ll do.


Grab his mix from the Barcelona SONAR 2009 festival here, thanks to FADER. No tracklist yet, but there’s some lolworthy video of a man whose star is most definitely rising. Watch him fly.

lolcano eruption!