Saturday, December 27, 2003

STRANGE LIMBO BETWEEN XMAS AND NEW YEAR’S EVE READING BONANZA

And a belated merry Boxing Day to our Great Britain and Commonwealth readers!

Worlds of Possibility with tthe Beatnik’s eye view of the year

heronbone with the AvantYob take, + prognosis for Grime in the04

what technicolor got in its Xmas stocking


Woebot sets the tone for 2004 with a splendid ragga-jungle 94 bizniz mix… well I haven’t actually downloaded it yet, it would take about 5 hrs on my set-up, but just the tracklist alone gave me a mighty memory-rush

In the basement, where the storage lockers are, I was looking for the tree decorations, saw a cardboard box fulla cds, ‘oh go on then’. Ah! A rich seam of jungle cd comps. Deemed at some point ‘second division’ and packed away-- what was I thinking? Jungle Hits Volume 2 with lots of Tom & Jerry, junglized versions of dancehall tunes by Capleton, Half Pint, Frankie Paul, Ninjaman), Jungle Hits Volume 3 (with Splash’s incredible “Babylon”--“alla da youth shall witness tha day that Babylon shall FAAAAAAAAALL!”, even more dancehall remakes); Drum & Bass Selection 5 on Breakdown, edging into that spare militant/minimal 95 hardstep/rollers/jump-up sound, still quite a bit of ragga vibe in there though--SS remixing Cutty Ranks ‘Limb by Limb’--H.M.P. [how long did it take me backintheday to realise that stood for Her Majesty’s Prison], Pure’s “Anything Test” as included in the Woebot Mix, stuff by Bizzi B & Pugwash, Rude Bwoy Monty, Zinc, Phantasy, and Ganja Max's fabulous "Rinse Out."

Funny thing, at the time--1994--the ragga-jungle vibe was a tiny bit oppressive just because that was pretty much all you could hear at raves. The only Moving Shadow stuff that got played would be ‘Terrorist’ by Renegade aka Ray Keith (#1 Amen tune ever) or ‘Dred Bass’ by Dead Dred, and they weren’t exactly archetypal Shadow. (And now those tunes sound better than an awful lot of the more "less obvious", "less crowd-pandering" Shadow stuff of the time). But all that ‘ambient jungle’/intelligent-leaning stuff, it got a tiny bit of play on the pirates, but on the floor, forget it: you’d go to an event and it would be wall to wall ragga-jungle and “The Burial” played once an hour. That’s why Speed was initially a sound initiative, just to showcase the stuff that wasn’t get played out. And initially Speed wasn’t at all successful. I don’t think it ever did draw da massive, as such, just a mixture of inner-scene producers and trendies.

Now, in one of the closets, I have a whole box full of Kool FM tapes…

Monday, December 22, 2003

Xmas Reading Bonanza

STOP PRESS: ONE XTRA--da missus on best of teevee 2003

Woebot on his mate Gwen the nutty record collector/dealer--lots of lovely full color scans (note to self: must MUST get a scanner) of the covers of incredibly pricey/obscure records as touted by Gwen. Matt in agony about the $1000 records he covets but can't buy. I am so out of these guys league, i don't think I've ever spent more than $28 in real money on a single slab of vinyl. (When i say real money i mean not the monopoly money you get from Music & Video Exchange when you trade stuff in for exchange which doesn't count cos its promo lead into gold yagetme)

k-punk awakes with a speculation on the future madeleines/involuntary mnemonic triggers for 2003. a hard one to guess, this, the most unlikely tunes remind me of past years, often ones i didn't consciously register at the time or particularly care for


technicolor
with an amazingly thorough overview (scroll down a bit) of the year. must concur especially with the comments on Grime (amazing, yes, but it could have moved so much further/faster) and dance (the glut expands but who on earth is buying the stuff?). Exhibiting true obsessive-compulsiveness Jess then returns a bit later with a list of great tunes he forgot to include, reminding me of one i forgot: Kanye West, "Thru the Wire". Love the way that this is basically just a guy playing a portion of one of his favorite records over and over, pitched up ardkore stylee so that Chakha sounds even more heliumgasmic, over this great sloppy-seeming beat. Another fave i forgot: Field Mob, 'Sick of Being Lonely', crunk but amiable, even plaintive.


skykicking
with a thought-provoking post on
the disappearance of "rhythmic danger" from drum'n'bass--triggered quite a few thoughts at this end which hope to put down here sooner rather than later

bit late on this one but just in case anyone's not checked it a terrific piece on the 'screwed and chopped' phenomenon in texas rap by tufluv--the entry is Wednesday December 17

todd burns on best xmas album EVER Crunk and Disorderly
--on which subject, i'm no scholar of this particular form, but it strikes me that Ying Yang Twins "Salt Shaker" is a pretty advanced production. Lots of interesting sounds whizzing about in them; multilayered bass noises, farty eruptions. Sorta like Rabelaisian bleep'n'bass, where LFO stands for Lewd Frequency Oscillations. [You have to admire also the frugality of the 'Salt Shaker' video. One location--a fire station; one prop, a fire truck; a few models (c.f. the hundreds of scanty clads in your average rap video). No special FX. If they skipped on catering and just got several tubs of chicken wings and a dozen supersized sodas in , well the budget could come in under.. 10 thousand? That's chicken feed!]

Naked Madja with Part 2 of the epic year round-up.
Interesting comments on Grime's inhumanity and absence of a redemptive vision. I get where marcello's
coming from but for me the coldness and harshness
and uninvitingness of the music IS the humanity, IS the emotion. That's how the world/life has treated these guys and that what's coming out in the music: the sonic equivalent of the skrewface. that was what was fascinating about the Wiley interview at hyperdub, the way he related to the coldness in his music to the
cold rage when he was kicked out by his granny because he'd been getting into trouble
with the law; he felt totally abandoned yet knew it was his fault, except on another level it wasn't,
'society is to blame' -- but that to me shows how there's a total existensial/emotional AND social/political dimension to these bleak impersonal-seeming machinic instrumentals. that said, for sure, there's much tonnage of shite grime trackage or pure functional mc tools

silver dollar circle has a great little rant (might have to scroll down a bit) about all the things wrong with modern culture, i found myself in total agreement, EXCEPT that the trigger for the rant is Daft Punk, who don't to me seem the embodiment of emptiness and blank irony Simon takes them as. Things like "One More Time" and "Digital Love" seem full of pure openhearted love and joy, and also really potent ammunition for those who argue that irony and awe can coexist and are not mortal enemies. (Whereas The Darkness, say, seem like really potent ammunition for the opposed view).

Thursday, December 18, 2003

FAVES 2003


TOP 23 DISCRETE SONIC ARTIFACTS
(all categories; unranked
)

Junior Boys, "Last Exit"

Dizzee Rascals, "Vexed"

Dizzee Rascal, "Sittin' Here"

Dizzee Rascal, "Do It"

Jammer, "Black Man Freestyle" over "Pulse X" (Luka pirate tape)

Kano, "Boys Love Girls"

Vybz Kartel, "Sweet To The Belly"

Wiley, "Ice Rink" (Wiley juggling all the MC versions in a row live on radio premiere, Luka pirate tape)

Cabaret Voltaire, "Fuse Mountain"

Cabaret Voltaire, "Dream Sequence Number Two Ethel's Voice"

Cabaret Voltaire, "Henderson Reversed Piece Two"

Villalobos, "Dexter"

Bigga-Man, "Trump" or "Funny Song" [still don't know]

Bright Eyes, "One Foot In Front of the Other"

DJWrongspeed, "Talk 'n Ads"

DJWrongspeed, "Old Skool"

Animal Collective, "Panic"

Unknown Artist, "Strings of Death" [imaginary title] + unknown MCs (Luka pirate tape)

LFO, "Blown"

Essentials crew, Deja  Vu FM show date unknown (Scud tape)

Hi-Tension, "British Hustle"

Freez, "Southern Freez"

Remarc, "Thunderclap"



TOP 23 SINGLES/TRACKS/VIDEOS


1st Equal/
Dizzee Rascal, "Vexed"
Wiley featuring various MCs, "Ice Rink"
Kano, "Boys Love Girls"
Vybz Kartel, "Sweet to the Belly"
Junior Boys, Birthday EP
Villalobos, "Dexter"

7/ Bigga Man, "Trump" or "Funny Song" [still don't know!]
8/ Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz featuring the Ying Yang Twins, "Get Low"
9/ Bright Eyes, "One Foot in Front of the Other" (off Saddle Creek 50 comp)
10/ Mark One versus Plasticman, "Hard Graft 1/Hard Graft 2"
11/ Outkast, "Hey Ya"
12/ Outkast, "The Way You Move"
13/ Sean Paul, "Get Busy"
14/ Unknown Artist, "Strings of Death" [imaginary title]
15/ The Surgery featuring Mr Bigg Shott, "Shott The Weed"
16/ Kelis, "Milkshake"
17/ Codex & Flexor, "Crazy Girls"
18/ Dizzee Rascal, "Fix Up Look Sharp"
19/ Jon E Cash versus Capleton, "Clear Conscience"
20/ Data 80, "Baby, I Can Forgive (extended mix)"
21/ Black Ops, "Haywire (sub low mix)"
22/ Schneider TM & Kptmichigan, "The Light 3000"
23/ Jammer, "Weed Man"

Runners Up (unranked): Simon Sez, "Shut Ya Mouth", "Golly Gosh"; Sharky Major, "Ain't a Game"; Vive La Fete, "Noir Desir" [heatseeker tune/fastest riser]; Wiley, "Ground Zero", "Frostbite"; K2 Family & Dem Lott, "What! (Secret Service Remix)"; Jammer, "One And Allâ"; Coldplay, "Clocks"; White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army", "The Hardest Button to Button"; Sean Paul, "Like Glue", that one wot versions "Uptown Ranking"; Bonecrusher; Beyonce, "Crazy In Love (unreleased cuz nonexistent vocal free and rap free dubstrumental)"; 50 Cent, "In Da Club"; Tatu, "All The Things She Said", "How Soon Is Now"; Chingy, "Right Thurr"; Lumidee, "Uh Oh" (unreleased cuz non-existent Autotune Pitch-Correct Mix)


TOP 13 ALBUMS/COMPILATIONS

1/ Dizzee Rascal, Boy In Da Corner
2/ Animal Collective, Here Comes The Indian
3/ Villalobos, Alcachofa
4/ LFO, Sheath
5/ N.A.S.T.Y. mix-CD by Jammer, Deuce magazine July 2003
6/ DJWrongspeed, Pirate Flava
7/ Michael Mayer, Fabric13
8/ David Banner, Mississippi: The Screwed and Chopped Album
9/ Ward 21, U Know How We Roll
10/ DJ Scud & Panacea Present The Redeemer, Hardcore Owes Us Money
11/ Various Artists, Crunk & Disorderly
12/ Vybz Kartel, Up 2 Di Time
13/ Soundmurderer + SK-1. I<<

Runners up (unranked): Stars Like Fleas, Sun Lights Down On the Fence; Lightning Bolt; Heroin (Orthlong Musork); Richard X; Ragga Ragga Ragga 2003; Elephant Man; Yeah Yeah Yeahs; Dinky; The Mover; Data 80; Mr. Scruff, Trouser Jazz; Bubba Sparxx; Kraftwerk; Akatombo, Trace Elements (Swim); More Fire Crew; Various Artists, Bricksmack (Drosstik); OutKast; David Toop, Black Chamber; Various Artists, Street Beats Mixed by Slimzee and Femme Fatale Featuring B-Live and Gods Gift; Matthew Dear, releases beyond counting; Platinum Performers 2 Fast 2 Ferocious free cd, Deuce winter 2003; Tobias Thomas, Smallville; Various Artists, Rephlexions; The Bug; Various Artists, The Biggest Dancehall Anthems 2003


TOP 13 REISSUES/RETRO

1/ Cabaret Voltaire, Methodology '74/'78. Attic Tapes;
2/ Soundmurderer, Wired for Sound
3/ The Blue Orchids' The Greatest Hit + EPs (new on LTM/Darla)
4/ Remarc, Sound Murderer
5/ Various Artists, British Hustle: the Sound of British Jazz-Funk from 1974 to 1982
6/ Factrix, Artifact
7/ 23 Skidoo, The Culling Is Coming
8/ Al Green, The Immortal Soul of Al Green
9/ Pyrolator, Ausland
10/ Essential Logic, Fanfare in the Garden
11/ Television, Marquee Moon and "The Dream's Dream" on Adventure
12/ Jean Cohen-Solal, Flute Libres/Captain Tarthoporn
13/ Arthur Russell, The World of Arthur Russell

Runners up (unranked); King Sunny Ade, The Best of the Classic Years; Palais Schaumburg; Animal Collective/Avey Tare & Panda Bear, Danse Manatee/Spirits They've Gone, Spirits They've Vanished; Metal Urbain; Various Artists, Cool As Ice; The Door and the Window; Nervous Gender; Fred Frith, Guitar Solos; Bad Company [not the rock band silly]; Lory D; Ultramarine remixes; Roy Ayers anthology; Bad Brains; Charalambides; Various Artists, Nice Up The Dance; The Passage, Pindrop/Degenerates/Enflame/For All and None


UNOFFICIAL COMPILATIONS
(unranked)


Grievous Angel Soundsystem vol 1: Nervous Ragga (P. Meme)
Radio-Phonic+ (J. House)
The Forbidden Zone, 1967-73 (J. Savage)
In The Sprawl, Vol 1 and Vol 2 (T. Finney)
Beta Lounge Record Club Shipment no. 13 (P. Sherburne)
Bounce Alliance: New Orleans, Miami, London/Swizz (M. Ingram)
Speed Garage 'Lost Classics' (M. Ingram)
Longhair Round Up 2003 (M. Ingram)
Australian Post Punk Vols 1-4 (J. Dale)
Robert Haigh, Vol. O: Before Breaks Began (M. Gascoigne)
Omni Trio, The Eps #1/Works #2 (S. Reynolds)


OLDSTUFF: NOT REISSUED BUT REDISCOVERED/REVELATORY

Home T/Cocoa Tea/Shabba Ranks's "Pirates' Anthem"
Human League/Martin Rushent, Love and Dancing
Gong, Camembert Electrique/Flying Teapot/You
Donald Fagen, The Nightfly
The Meters, Rhino double-Cd
Thomas Leer, 4 Movements/Contradictions
The Residents, The Commercial Album
Tubeway Army, Replicas
Gary Numan, The Pleasure Principle
Lard Free, oeuvre entiere
Byrds, Younger Than Yesterday
Goblin, Suspiria
Boston,"More Than A Feeling" (especially video on VH1 Classic)
Anthony Red Rose, "Tempo"
Dirtsman, "Hot This Year"
Guru Guru, Hinten
Love, Forever Changes, "7 & 7 Is"
Madness, many tunes
The Beat, first album, "Too Nice To Talk To"
The Specials, first two albums, singles
UB40, "The Earth Dies Screaming"
The Fall, oeuvre entiere
Black Chiney, Mixes 1 to 128 (chest ya Mr. Maplestone)


ON THE FENCE
Basement Jaxx
Matmos
Speicher
Sylvian
!!!

OFF THE FENCE
Luomo


UNACCOUNTABLY LOST ALL APPETITE/CURIOSITY
Jay-Z
Missy/Timbaland
Neptunes
Radiohead

OVEREXPOSED
Pharrell's face
Pharrell's falsetto


IN MY STOCKING PLEASE SANTA
(hint hint hint)

Miles, Jack Johnson five-cd box; Shirley Collins, box + Love, Death and the Lady; Pitman; Scott Walker box; Ze compilations;
Sub Rosa electronic anthologies; Linda Perhacs; Nurse with Wound, Soliloquy for Lilith 3-CD; Soft Machine BBC sessions; Annette Peacock I'm The One; Topic folk box; David Toop book; Bangs anthology


WORDS
The usual suspects (my cru my dogz BLOGGAZ 4 Life believe it m8 ---er, cough, I say chaps, keep on keeping on, eh?!); Deuce; Paul Morley, Words and Music (even though it's wrong), Greg Tate, Hendrix bk (bit short though innit); Eric Hobsbawm, Interesting Times.


OTHER
The Office series 1; Italian postwar politics; Scottish people; Sheffield people; Bedekar Pickles, Kieran Press-Reynolds; Da Missus; the endless treasure of VH1 Classic; Bridget Riley retrospective at the Tate; short but sweet six days summer sojourn in London, with no rain!

UNFAVES (NON-MUSIC)
The Office series 2; virtually everything on TV; domestic politics; global politics; woes of various sorts cutting dark swathes across the lives of friends and contemporaries.


MOST ANTICIPATED FOR 2004
Wiley album; N.A.S.T.Y. and/or Jammer albums; Dizzee #2; a proper Streets release would be nice eh Mike; Junior Boys full length; more Arfur Russell reissues; Animal Collective/Avey Tare/Panda Bear overload; 10 yrs since 1994 junglizm nostalgia in overdrive (started already, just couldn't wait); finishing the book.

PREDICTIONS/WISHFUL THINKINGS
Rap gets worse before it gets better; dancehall gets better before its gets worse; grime stays level AND underground BUT 3rd pirate radio hardcore continuum win in a row for Mercury; continuum's yin/yang light/dark musical/antimusical pendulum swings the other way in the form of a 2step revival (dis one 4 da ladeez massif); microhouse abruptly peters out, just like that; MACROhaus (Felix 'Don't You Want My Love' meets Giselle Jackson 'Love Commandments' meets The Mover meets Energy 52 'Cafe Del Mar') blows up ENORMOUS; Jay-Z comes out of retirement; Marcello Carlin comes out of retirement; Madonna gets Screwed; David Stubbs, Kodwo Eshun, and Paul Kennedy start blogs; nu-metal just, like, totally ENDS leaving all the weird hair 'n' bad beard bands as stranded and fucked as Poison Warrant etc were circa grunge; mysterious but aesthetically-astute virus cause out all post-Green Day/Blink 282 pop-punk vocalists to permanently lose their perky puppy-like overmelodious voices, hooray!; mid-Eighties revival begins in earnest, Williamsburg rife with bands imitating Kitchenware sound and Ron Johnson roster; Kane Gang The Triffids and Balaam & the Angel reform for School Disco: The Bad Music Era; bottom drops out of the mutant disco/negroclash market and Hip-House, New Beat and possibly even Hi-NRG are the new hotzones.


IN CONCLUSION

Merrie Xmas, and hope y'all get whatcha want in and for the 04.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Lists lists lists lists with twists (good on yer Woebot) but nobody, except Marcello, can be arsed with making any substantive commentary on the artifacts in question, let alone hazard anything resembling an Overview. Well I’m with the majority this year: Faves, due any day now, is going to be on the, ah, perfunctory side. Partly cos I’ve not got the time, and partly cos almost everything on it I’ve already said plenty about here during the past annum. As for an overview, you must be kidding! Who'd even attempt such a thing, you’d be throwing yr hands up in disparation (excruciating pun intended) within minutes. The Big Picture don’t bear contemplating really (even grime wasn’t THAT astounding). This is a time for the minutiae-minded (chest ya Tufluv, Finney) but be wary y'all--tis a thin line between alertness to those small but significant shifts and unwittingly teaching yourself to settle for less and less. Titillating, for sure, when Mr. Michael Mayer started dropping tunes with a Glitterbeat stompy feel in NYC the other week (that’s shuffletech, right?) and downright delightful to hear an actual honest to goodness T.Rex bassline on one track, but it takes more than a slight intra-scenic shift towards the quasi-lumpen to shake my world, rearrange my mind, make me raise my voice even. So bring on the Macrohouse, the MACRO-everything. Be unreasonable demand the momentous.
…but we’re not out of the prog fog yet…

Monday, December 15, 2003

Feeling

----The face of Wayne Coyne--the most appealing countenance in all of modern rock, don’t you think? I wonder what he’s going for with that image. It’s sort of Andrew Gold mixed with Jeff Lynne. I imagine him as this rising-but-not-quite-made-it-yet songwriter circa 1975, driving across LA on his way to a meeting with Linda Ronstadt’s people, in hopes of getting a tune on her next album.

----Marley Marl’s sampladelic production of “Ain’t No Half-Steppin’” by Big Daddy Kane--a gorgeous mist of near-microtonal plinks and dissonant chings, the instrumental source whereof is tough to ascertain through the haze (Rhodes keys?).

----Ryuichi Sakomoto, B-2 Unit. Amazing stuff (unbelievable, really, for 1981), even better than the “Bamboo” EP with Sylvian. Can finally see why “Riot In Lagos” is such a talismanic reference for certain Detroit types and Black Dog sorts.

----Various Artists, Crunk and Disorderly. Tis the season to be grimy: featuring Lil Jon & East Side Boyz, Lil Flip, Three 6 Mafia, Pitbull, Bone Crusher, Youngbloodz and more, the best Xmas album EVER!!! Favorite tune, sonixly: Konkrete featuring Big Boi’s eerie “D-Boy Stance”. Favorite tune, vocal performancely: over the brontosauran slow-stomp of “Guess Who’s Comin’ To Town” Bonecrusher emits a gruff rasp as heavy-breathed as Tad after bingeing at Taco Bell. Favorite tunes, conceptually: Ying Yang Twins “Ho! Ho!”---and yes it’s the obvious gangsta-Santa pun; David Banner’s “It’s Christmas Time (Jingle Bells)”--the chorus (to the tune of that carol that goes “god rest you merry gentlemen”) is “it’s winter time and we still cannot find a job/we fill out applications but you treat us like we’re slobs/so we rob and we steal/we’re just trying to get a meal/cos it’s Christmas time and we’re broke again, broke again”; Killer Mike’s “A Christmas Grind”, which starts with a shotgun blast and has this oddly Streets-soundalike-y chorus that goes “it’s Christmas time/I’m on the grind/Gonna take what’s yours and make it mine.” Not exactly tidings of comfort and joy, then.

---Kelis, “Milkshake”. Sounds like the ‘Tunes have been listening to Liaisons Dangereuses.

----The 808 B-line in “The Way You Move”. Jungalistic but smoove--worthy of Alex Reece.

----Finding Speakerboxxx/The Love Below for $2 in Kieran’s school fair. Two bucks!

----Also finding a CD of sound library music, Bite Hard: The Music De Wolfe Studio Sampler 1972-80, subtitled ‘An Eclectic Selection of Progressive British Sountracks’. (Hooray for hip East Village parents deciding to purge their CD collections as toys and Thomas the Tank Engine videos take up every square inch of their apartments!). It was the word ‘progressive’ that grabbed my eye, but although there’s a fair bit of Moog on this it didn’t quite live up to my hopes of Goblin-lite or Graaf-zak. Worth the two bucks though for “Spiro”, a 1975 rimshot and hi-hat heavy drumkit workout with ominously distorted and sustained guitarchords that sounds uncannily like something of ACR’s The Graveyard and The Ballroom. (Which is just about to be reissued by Soul Jazz).

---the almost hardcore tempo, wonderfully jaunty breakbeat tune they use in action or chase scenes on Powerpuff Girls.

----David Banner, Mississippi: The Screwed and Chopped Album. Screwed and Chopped by Michael Watts of Swisha House.
Bit weird listening to the fucked-up rmx w/o ever having heard the original album, I suppose, but this is great-- a late arriving contender for my Top 10 of the year. Love that droopy, slurry sound, like slipping helplessly into the slough of despond. A woozy-Uzi feel, like gangstas whose psychological armour is melting, releasing a long pent-up lush melancholy at times oddly redolent of Gary Numan at his most Satiesque and grandly pretty ("Down In the Park", say). There’s also sounds in there that seem vaguely gloomcore in flavour (whereas your non-screwed crunk has this stabs and distorted bassdrum sounds that sometimes approach a sort of downtempo gabba. The avant-lumpen, get-low impulse is transglobal, certain noises seem to have universal appeal). The chopping aspect might be even more interesting than screwed’s 16 rpm deaccelerated effect--at times the combination is like watching/experiencing a car crash in slow-motion, all blunted impacts and drawn-out metallic lacerations. Guess it’d be kinda interesting to get “on the vibe” for the full drug-music-tech interface insight. But as much as I’m a major Lester Bangs fanboy I’m not going to start necking Romilar or its modern counterpart. So I’ll have to content myself with being in the same position of those who heard and dug the sped-up voices in ‘ardkore without understanding their relationship to the E-rush. (Actually I don’t think I’ve done a downer of any description, unless alchohol counts, so got no reference points to draw on whatsoever. Do they still make quaaludes?). (Related topic: how certain drugs seem to have cultural effects and ramifications, whereas others (glue, say, or valium) don’t seem to generate anything in the way of subculture or musical effects; seem literally infra-cultural or even anti-cultural. I’d have put Robitussin or whatever these guys are sippin’ in the non-culture-generating bracket but it seems to have crossed over to the other side (as I guess ketamine did, eventually).

-----DJWrongspeed, Pirate Flava
Another late arriving contender for the Top Ten. For almost a whole year this chap Wrongspeed was doing a weekly 15 minute show on Resonance FM (between May 02 and February of this year--whythaFUCK did no one tell me?!?! Not that I’m living within radio range, but… there's arms that coulda been twisted, pleas and wheedling that could have been made). Then Resonance had to pull it after a complaint from the Radio Authority. More like sound art than music per se, each ‘Pirate Flava’ episode was a collage of culcha-matter gleaned from the pirate airwaves of London---MC patter, phone-ins, ads, tunes, station idents, rants. This Pirate Flava CD, kindly sent by Wrongspeed, starts with a 30 minute Megamix of what I guess must be highlights from the entire series: a fantastically compressed audio-archive of a decade plus of renegade broadcasting. But in some ways the next segment, “Talk’n’ Ads,” is even more amazing: Radio Babble-on of quirky, nutty, or offensive public speech. Or maybe that should that be Radio Babel-on--a profane and promiscuous tapestry of slanguages, dialects, creoles, patois, pidgins and outright foreign tongues, that reveals and revels in London as one of the great cosmopolitan cities of the world. Ads for morning-after contraception (reedy-voiced adolescent Black British boy--“oh shit the condom’s burst! Oh that’s okay you can’t get pregnant the first time”), community-conscious sermons about guns and how civic-minded adults really ought to step in to defuse teenage squabbles before they escalate, conspiracy theorists, religious nuts, ads for hair salons in Tulse Hill, phone-ins full of banter and larking about, but also sometimes hate and bigotry (some ugly examples of black homophobia: “in Jamaica, they stay in the closet… and when we FIND where the closet is, we’re gonna set it alight”), amateur lady-MCs gamely rhyming about playas who need to stay monogamous, advice and counselling from the utterly unqualified and self-appointed. It’s forbidden popular knowledges and minor languages ago-go. Next up is the pure E-rush of “Old Skool” (which wonderfully includes some material from before I started taping-- 89/90/91 days, when the DJs still had a touch of Smashy and Nicey about them: that old style smarmy patter of discotheque deejays who’d announce requests and dedications in a laughably TransAtlantic ‘smoove’ voice. Nice also to rehear the wobbly-nerved tones of Colin Faver, cheesy quaver). Finally there’s a fab garridge/2step collage called “UK Shed Mix”. Wrongspeed really ought to archive the entire series on the web (you can’t get the old shows on Resonance, unlike most of their other programmes, presumably 'cos they had to pull them after the Radio Authority's warning)


Not feeling


----All those Devo tunes in adverts (particularly rife on children’s TV channels for some reason). I know those guys have to keep up the mortage payments, but still…

-----Ludacris, “Stand Up”. Sonically: makes me think of Chain Reaction after they stopped being any good, circa CR 20, great ugly slabs of tectonic sound. Luda-wise: the larger-than-life brashment vibe now seems painfully overstated and quite irritating.

-----Luomo. You know, I’ve listened to that album more times than many of my ab favs of 03, and all I can say is: you guys are nuts! It just sounds incredibly meek, prissy, and characterless to these ears. More Latin Quarter than whatever cool Eighties reference points you care to bring.

----Sickly sensation of doom as you contemplate those forthcoming Liars LP titles--They Were Wrong, So We Drowned; “Steam Rose From The Lifeless Cloak”; “There’s Always Room On the Broom”; “If You’re a Wizard, Then Why Do You Wear Glasses”; “They Don’t Want Your Corn They Want Your Kids”, “We Fenced Other Houses With the Bones Of Our Own”; “Flow My Tears The Spider Said”. Not that titling was ever their forte especially, but…

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Treading on Thin Ice. Over at hyperdub Instalment #2 of that fabulous Martin Clark interview with Wiley. Amazing stuff re. turning rejection (being kicked out by his granny for being a bad bwoy) into a cold cold inner fireball of motivational energy. (And to think there's those out there who still think you can somehow enjoy/understand Grime without even registering its content/context!!!). The album is called Treading On Thin Ice and it's due early 04.