Thursday, January 13, 2005

You've probably heard about Tony Wilson relaunching Factory as F4 Records and how the first single out the end of this month is by "Moss Side-based Grime collective" Raw-T, with an album, Realise and Witness, to follow in March.

(Another Manc grime crew, ETC appeared on that Cameo Ixtra show, doing a long--very long, actually--set. And they're not bad at all. Cool to hear all the usual content delivered with a slight Northern accent. (faint flashbacks to MC Tunes and what was that Mancrapcru containing the guy, Kermit, who went on to be in Black Grape?).

It's really exciting to think of Grime spreading to other urban deprivation zones across the UK. And Lord knows Manchester has as an even longer claim on the concept of "grimy" than East London--cradle of the industrial revolution, Hard Times, Gradgrind, etc (Maybe they should have called themselves Gradgrime). When it comes to grey-souled dismalness, Moss Side and Hulme (even more desolate now it's been "regenerated" with sad plantations of maisonettes and privatized-space shopping centres replacing the infamous Crescents) could beat even Dalston, I think.

(Plus they don't call it Gunchester for nothing)

Raw-T-- it'd be nice to think they chose the name as homage to the lucid, elegantly knotty thought of philosopher Richard Rorty, wouldn't it? Sadly, I fear it's a pun of some kind. It has a distinct hip-house, "pump up the jam"-era whiff about it.

Tangentially connected, Paul Gilroy's slim new book Postcolonial Melancholia looks interesting, in the intro he says something to the effect that his thinking therein (on changing notions of what Britishness now constitutes, national identity crisis and attendant feelings of post-imperial blues, who are we now and where are we going?) was generated through engagement with the words/sounds/ideas of Mike Skinner, Ali G, Ricky Gervais, Ms. Dynamite, and, get this, Pitman... Doesn't mention Lady Sovereign or any other of da Grimesters I don't think... But still, Pitman, that's not bad at all, for a professor, like.

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