Wednesday, June 16, 2004


Antibalas, Who Is This America? (ropeadope)
An Afro Beat Orchestra, which ought not to be my bag AT ALL, being a Fela’s-not-all-that kinda fellow, but the longer tracks like “Elephant” and “Sister” by this 17 piece Brooklyn collective (no it really doesn’t sound like my bag AT ALL do it?) are actually rather compelling; also dig the weird jagged horn playing of “Indictment”. And a nice sour keyboard sound.

Doctor Mix and the Remix, Wall of Noise (Acute)
This Metal Urbain spin off is where Jesus & Mary Chain nicked all their ideas from.

Beckett & Taylor, "Lies/More Likes"
Spandex, "Snakeskin Teeth/Abusing the Body"
(both Hand on the Plow)
K-Punk spoke truth.

Robag Wrhume Wuzzelbud, KK (Musik Krause Recordings/Kompakt)
Mmmm, maybe an Era of Consolidation for electronic dance music isn’t such a hellishly middling and even-tempered proposition after all. Still think Kompact are the most Over Rated label on Earth at present though.

Various Artists, 10 Years of Cheap Records: The Anniversary Compilation, 1993-2003 (Cheap)

Makes a good case for a label I had completely, I mean completely, forgotten the existence of. Mid-Nineties, post-jungle/trip hop, pre-drill’n’bass/IDM nostalgia ahoy! I’ll be pulling the Clear Records records out the closet next. Still got that “ahead of its time” Clatterbox album with the mid-80s drum machinery on it.

The Eternals, Out of Proportion (AntiFaz)
Derek Walmsley, whose blogg I will link to when I get it together to update the links (chronic back(b)logg believe) reckons this mini-LP, which preceded the just-out very interesting full-length on Aesthetics by some months, to be the superior record. He could be right. It’s definitely more

Various Artists, Crunk Classics (TVT)
Well I honestly have no idea if these actually are classic crunk songs--the Canon on a single CD--or just some recent tunes cobbled together, but it’s not all Lil Jon by any means, and it rocks.

Various Artists, Box Bloody Fresh (Box Fresh Recordings/East Connection)
Box Shoddy Fresh more like (track listing all out of order on the ‘Garage’--meaning Grime--CD), the R&B and Hip Hop disc can get right ropy at times, and THE FUCKING DVD DOES NOT WORK IN AMERICAN DVD PLAYERS, WHAT THA FUCK?!?!?!?, THIS IS THE ERA OF GLOBALIZED CAPITAL CAN THEY NOT MAKE A DVD THAT WORKS IN ALL PLAYERS FOR FUCK’S FUCKING SAKE?!?!?!?!?!?!?. Still good to have ‘Cock Back’ and ‘Armhouse’ and the rest on ceedee. Thanks to Susan for bringing it over, along with a large Marmite.

Really Feeling

Offshore presents Troubled Waters, mixed by DJ Clever (Offshore)

Bit of a turn-up for the books this one--the best drum’n’bass mix-CD I’ve heard in... probably six and a half years. Since it all went crap, in other words. This is like the last six years never happened--the one-bar loop, the grrrr-grrrr B-line, the Optical-damaged pounding aerobic tedium of all it. An alternate history taking off from Source Direct and the later, still-good Reinforced and those precious few Metalheadz moments, spliced with some Bukem-ite aqua-funk-but-with-balls. Not mash-up, not ragga, but (Soundmurderer & Remarc hindsight-adjustment withal) that was never all that jungle had to offer, was it? I suppose this is more properly described as drum & bass. The breaks still break, the bass actually moves (rhythmically and melodically) rather than just riffing Bad Company-style--but it’s not anthemy; indeed the fractured flow aesthetic makes it quite a tracky experience. Stand-out subsequence for me is probably Intex Systems/”Drum Track 1”[ruff!!!]>>Sileni/”Twitchy Droid Leg”[TITLE!!! And an accurate description!]>>Paradox/”I Get A Kickback” [full-kit funkspasm], but really it’s all good; DJ Clever takes you on the proverbial “journey,” right through to a lovely idyll-coda with Alaska’s “Rare Earth”. Nice to see some old Moving Shadow bods in the mix--Justice, and Sean O’Keeffe of 2BadMice/Kaotic Chemistry/Deep Blue fame, which last moniker he’s still trading under here. The tunes are all on Offshore BTW. Shimmering rainforesty beat-foliage and texturhythmic mayhem, Troubled Waters’ll Kodwofy your bodymind. It reminds me of the last time I really brocked out to D&B in BOTH full polyriddim delirium AND absolute present tense (as opposed to time-travel-tinged experiences a la Ripley, Soundmurderer, etc), and that would have been this set by Dego MacFarlane in 1998, an almost-empty basement at this club in Manhattan called Speeeed. The music danced me. I get that feeling from this CD and it makes me hungry to hear Clever (a chap called Brett who works at Breakbeat Science and runs Offshore) drop it live through an engulfing system. Plus the cover is a cute seascape picture. Out in mid-July.

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