Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Interesting and mildly fractious wee thread on Rephlex's Grime 2 comp, not heard it yet myself, but I did notice when in London coupla month ago what one participant here takes the piss out of--all the "ethereal’/"mysterious Orient" type feminine vocals, oddly reminiscent of Dead Can Dance at times, or Trans Global Underground. Perhaps in some weird way this is the genre's attempt at pop-diva/melodic aspect. Someone else compared the vibe to Massive Attack, which fits totally with the group's post-Mezzanine use of Goth-lite femme-vox, Liz Frazer, Sinead, etc, with the one remaining Massive chap outing himself on the last album as total 4AD fan.

Martin Clark's lick here on the aesthetic of presha is pretty convincing, although often that ominousness thing can cross the line into shlock. C.f. death metal, it’s amazing how corny musics can become in their headlong flight from "da light" or elements associated with cheese/pop.

On the Rinse tapes I came back with, the rhythm side of darkdubstep seemed to be getting interestingly different, a considerable distance beyond 2step or even four-to-the-floor garage. Really industrial without actually sounding like "industrial" the genre in any of its historical stages. Clanking, centreless non-grooves, torpid and weirdly lateral in feeling; the percussion distributed around an absent drum pulse, as if along the rim of a crater; almost all the forward propulsion energy coming from the dark river of low-end. I find the sound easy to admire but not so easy to love. And a little of it goes a long way. That'd probably change in the full-immersion club situ and under the influence, though.

Personally I think the Grime title is a misnomer on those comps if only cos the music doesn’t sound that dirty, it’s actual real clinical and slick. Even the bass has this oily-shiny inorganic quality (slick as per Valdez, as Simon SD put it in his ace metaphor of seabirds stuck in the bassgloop). They don’t him Plasticman for nothing, eh?

No, the solution, to my mind, would be to lop off the ‘e’ and call the comps Grim. Or even Grimm, for added evocation of bordering-on-hoky spooky/macabre-ness. (Macabre Unit indeed--pure death metal!).

Grimm, that’s what I’m going to call the darkdubstep/Croydon t'ing from now onwards. So you have Grime and its taciturn brother Grimm.

(Few more and I'll have to do a kpunk style glossary).

PS On one of those pirate tapes the MC keeps using using the phrase "stiff beats" as a praise term--intriguing semantics in terms of its gender-coding and renunciation of swing/funk ethos. Theweleit biznizz.

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