Monday, January 31, 2005

blogg-sceptic Jason Gross of PSF-fame takes the blogg plunge

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

you probably heard this already but drill'n'bashment man dem are throwing a benefit rave this weekend:

Crunk Up For Tsunami Relief

Friday Jan 28th / Rothko 116 Suffolk NYC

$6 admission, to be donated to humanitarian relief in SE Asia & Sudan

DJ /Rupture (Barcelona, Soot Records, Tigerbeat6)
I-Sound (NYC, Full Watts, Transparent Records)
Shadetek Sound System (NYC, Warp, Sound-Ink, Shockout)
Mode Raw (NYC, Change Agent)

be there or be one sorry-ass muthafukka

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Me in the New York Times on dance music's struggle to work through its midlife crisis/identity crisis, i.e. work out what it is actually about or for these days, now it's neither mainstream nor underground.

Some paragraphs that got lost but give some context and nuance:

[picking up from the knifehandchop/soundmurderer bit]
"In many ways, though, these retro-ravers are no different from contemporary rock groups like the Hives who hark back to the garage punk of the Sixties. Dance’s equivalent to the Sixties is the period 1988-92, the era of the first raves, when everything had that euphoric flush of happening-for-the-first-time excitement about it, and the well of immortal anthems seemed like it would never dry up. Next came the “1970s,” in dance music’s accelerated schema, the half-decade from 1993-1997. This was a phase of genre fragmentation, of darkness creeping into the music as drug excess took its toll, of increasing musical complexity (including concept albums) countered by punk-like attempts to get back to basics. Like rock in the Seventies, this was the period of electronic dance music's biggest sales and widest demographic reach. From 1998 onwards, dance hit a postmodern, self-referential and auto-cannibalizing phase akin to rock in the 1980s. The electronic scene became rife with revivalisms, fads for electro and synthpop, for acid house and jungle. Today, electronic dance music has reached a strange moment akin to rock in the Nineties, when it feels like there’s no clear direction forward. Grunge, to take just one example, didn’t dramatically expand the boundaries of rock form, but nor was it a straightforward revival or retro-eclectic pastiche."

and this bit about why hipster familiarity bred ennui and the cool kids moved on:

"In the hipster underground, the next generation of cool kids turned away from the "facelessness" of electronic music in favor of more, er, facefull styles--garage punk revivalists, neo-postpunkers, the new folk scene. Rather than fiddling with laptops or deejay turntables, these groups either put on a show or provided a charismatic human presence to latch onto."

and this bit from earlier:

"Despite its recent setbacks, the dance scene is enjoying a resurgence in energy after a couple of shaky years, with a spate of excellent releases boosting the morale of its dedicated hardcore following. But it’s not clear if the new stylistic shifts like 'electro-house' will be enough to pull in fresh converts or change the general perception of it as a scene that’s stalled and stagnant. To grab attention again, dance music really to come up with something startlingly new. That’s what it did over and over again in its Nineties heyday. Even if you couldn’t stand a genre like jungle, it was hard to deny that it was a radical departure, like nothing you’d ever heard before. In contrast, the new subgenres generated within dance music these past five or six years tend to have a kind of 'plausible deniability,' meaning that skeptics or lapsed believers can dismiss them as tweaks of an established formula, strolls within terra cognita rather than journeys into the unknown. Until a new piece of sound-generating technology or non-musical sociocultural factor (a new drug, a new behavior) enters the fray to shake things up, it feels like the frontiers are going to stay closed. There's still plenty of future left for dance music. It just won’t necessarily scream “the future” in your face at full volume like it used to."
Horror as "social prophecy", ectasy/dread as two sides of the same coin, “the vulgar sublime” as conjured by rufige-rummaging trash aesthetes: a classic New Statesman piece on Darkside from early 94 by Mark K-Punk (at this point seemingly a cold irrationalist), exhumed by Autonomic 4 Da People, who also mp3s an appropriately wintry soundtrack, following up on previous airing of Grooverider-at-Rage tribute "Darkrider"by the Man Like Goldie

Thursday, January 20, 2005

talking of renegade academia (as we were below) how about some ruffneck academia?

missus on sex dwarf tv
can't believe it, grime action two weeks running in new york:

!!! - BANG ON ! - !!!


free admission


the return of Paul Kennedy (Wild FleX, Sci-Fi Soul)

the legendary Cooper (XLR8R magazine)
the great Greg Poole (Wikkid! Crew)

Downstairs Lounge
129 Orchard St. (betw. Rivington & Delancey)New York City
K-punk resurrects Renegade Academia, my profile of the CCRU (and allies) from '98, originally commissioned by Lingua Franca (RIP) until they chickened out and decided CCRU were, i dunno, too far out or something

Actually this version is a remix I did for a forthcoming Paul D. Miller-edited book Sound Unbound: Music, Multimedia, and Contemporary Sound Art on MIT Press (all the usual suspects--Eshun, Scanner, Erik Davis, Manuel Delanda, Bruce Sterling, Doug Rushkopf....).

The original was even longer, had some secondary quotes on internicine Warwick University academo-bureaucratic disputage, plus sort-of-Marxist Judith Williamson offering a critique of CCRU's rabid exaltation of market forces. Proper reporterly bizniz, seen.

It also featured this description of Mark:

“a cleancut young man who speaks with an evangelical urgency and agitated hand gestures.”

Powers of observation in full effect! Got him in one! Well I had no idea he'd be praising St Paul within six years, but still not bad, not bad at all.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

autonomic 4 da people on the darkrush93 badtriptych of screaming-your-name tunes -- johnny, scottie, ricky.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

cool newish esoterrorist blogg Electric Dreams

mike mcgonigal's blogg 'Buked and Scorned

mark dery's blog(g?) The Gilded Hack

Stubbs, funny and wise, on literally pissing away his Dylan collection.

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.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Must concur with paul kennedy, you simply must go here immediately before Cameo's show from Saturday drops off Ixtra, if you haven't got the time for the full four hours, leap through to approx 15 minutes in where this incredible Essentials tune "Headquarters" (i think that's the title) drops, simon silver dollar was going on about this one if i recall. Oooh, tune of the new year already, right there. Ooh, those eerie cyberwolf-moaning sounds at the chorus bit where the drill sergeant barks "state your location, soldier" and "who you reppin'". Darkness! (Mini--Project: trace the wolf meme through Nuum history... shy fx did a lupine track once, and isn't there a Grime cru called Murky Wolfpack or something?). In response to "state your location",
the 109 MCs guesting on this track invariably say "East" or "South" or "E7", and replying to "who you reppin'", they'll name a crew--Essentials, Aftershock--except for this one guy with a delicious almost-fey voice who says "myself," like he's a one-man renegade legion. Talking of which, later on there's the return of gabba-garridge,: pure gloomcore, stomping beats, Mover/Reign-style down-drooping synths. Then there's a vast swathe of 2step, including this guy Duncan Powell who's an even better Todd Edwards-ripper-of-er than Akufen, and does this great relick of 1999's "Hold On (SE22 Mix)", even more hyperventilating than the Colors/ Stephen Emmanuel's original, and that choppy-fluttery-orchestral IMP batch "gype" tune folk have been frothing about across the bloggsphere, and i dunno, maybe it's just a fluke effloresence, but it feels like a golden age, and this isn't even a pirate show, it's BBC netradio.

from Gutterbreakz's splendid auteuristic arc through the output of A Guy Called Gerald, I liked this bit especially in the closing peroration calling for:

"a shift of emphasis away from the information-overload and dynamic complexity of glitchy drill'n'paste and towards a spacious zone where direct emotional expression can flourish again. A place where we can be 'dancing with tears in our eyes' once more"

"drill'n'paste"-- NE-O-LOG-ISMMMMM!!!!!!

Simon Silverdollarcircle while back concurred with my "bloggworld, it's like the 1970s innit" quip, albeit praps only to big up beyond the implode and kid shirt as "the punk revolution come to shake us up" (personally I'd say Captain Beefheart and Sensational Alex Harvey Band respectively, maybe). Well all I meant was that there's a vague disquieting entropic feel of fatigue and fragmentation about while also still being a lot of really good stuff being done. But that got me thinking again, being a freak for making rockhistorical parallels with absolutely anything, whether i could map out the current state-of-bloggs as really being rock-Seventies-like. All I could come up with though, was that Woebot retiring was like the Beatles splitting up, that ILM is somewhere between Exile on Main Street and Goat's Head Soup,
and that MP3 blogs were like glam'n'glitter--high on flash, short on substance. Gutterbreakz being one of the rarre glorious exceptions, of course--the Roxy Music of MP3 bloggaz, perhaps. Hats off to Nick, and applause for his decision to go less frequent and (even more) in depth.

Mind you I've been toying with going the MP3 route, although only to put up almost-utterly- unfindable-otherwise para-musical cultural ephemera such as long-lost ardkore MCs going off on imagistic/scatalogic flights, vintage pirate radio ads, or indeed recent grime pirate ads. Which reminds me, there's a couple of ads from last year that I should have put in Fave Discrete Moments: the one for rather-heavy-sounding grime rave Young Man Standing (using those opening most-doomy synth-notes of "Frontline") and the almost Sasha Baron-Cohen-worthy ad for a club in Aiya Napa, featuring a borderline offensive fake Middle Eastern person and the most weed-woozy voiceover ever--in whose wasted tones i heard the words "Grimy Limeys" uttered for the first time. It's a crew, apparently. Absolutely inspired nomenclature.
geeta on acid

Monday, January 10, 2005

grimy limeys



DJ's Dropthelime & team shadetek

monthly kickoff on 1/14/05.

location @ Rothko, 116 Suffolk Street , NYC10pm - 4am

every second friday following jan 14th

Kpunk, stunning, on Joy Division and the death-drive. Among all the other things they are, JD are like The Doors with the "eros" part of Eros Vs Thatatos completely removed from the equation. Mark oughta check out Jim Morrison's fave Life Against Death by Norman O. Brown, as it intersects with his obsessions quite a bit; indeed with the aphoristic sequel Love's Body, Brown moved from Life Against Death's focus on Freud and the plight of mankind as "sick animal" conscious of its own mortality to devise a peculiar Christian/Gnostic creed in quest of silence and quietude that I think would strike a few chords. Buddhism has a similar thing going on, I believe: grace achievable only by evacuating all earthly desire, transcending all fleshly appetites. Holiness defined as a certain deathly serenity, the depression of one's vital signs; a priestly placidity opposed to all exuberance or liveliness. Sitting on a mountain top in the lotus position for years on end, or on top of a pillar like the Eremites. A becoming-stillness, a de-animation, in Buddhist lingo, flight (paradoxically through motionlessness) from the realm of vritti--which I think means literally rhythm, but signifies the nervous agitation and bodily unrest of desire. (Of course pop music by definition and in essence is vritti-vritti-vritti all the way). Think of the hooded monk on the cover of Licht und Blindheit aka "Atmosphere" walking alone in a place of alpine elevation, remoteness, and snowbound purity, or the cowled figures in Anton Corbijn's video for that song. The monastic fraternity of the JD fans, then known (according to Joy Division biographer Mick Middles) as "the Cult With No Name."

Particularly liked the jibe against Keith Allen and this bit:

"It’s important to hold onto both of these Joy Divisions – the Joy Division of Pure Art, and the Joy Division who were ‘just a laff’ – at once. For if the truth of Joy Division is that they were Lads, then Joy Division must also be the truth of Laddism. "

One small quibble, I wasn't sure about the bit about JD as the crash after the long continuous speedrush of UK pop culture from Sixties>>punk. Surely there was a long period in the early-mid Seventies when the metabolism of rock was determined more by decelerant drugs like marijuana and barbiturate-based downers (Mandrax, the mandies gobbled by Sabbath fans, the same drug sold under the brandname Quaaludes in the USA). Hence the ponderous, doom-laden pace of heavy rock. Punk's return to mod's amphetamine mania and fast tempos wouldn't have had impact or meaning otherwise. Similarly with JD, early on, coming out of punk into something else, there is still a kind of frozen frenzy to the music. Curtis's epilepsy is pertinent here--the deathly liveliness of his convulsive trance-dance, which actually, mysteriously preceded his development of epilepsy proper. Although not exactly the same as an amphetamine seizure, there are definitely parallels here--epilepsy is an electrical disorder of the nervous system, while speed accelerates the electrical firing of neurons within the brain.

It was actually the heavy tranks that Curtis took to control his epilepsy that pushed his morbid tendencies into a fatal downspin. The barbs suppressed any lingering traces of vitality in his metabolism or vitalism in his mindset. He was luded-out. Which entailed the final utter extinction of the ludic impulse, the spark of play that makes life worth living for each intrinsic instant rather than any long term scheme of enduring value or immortal, death-defying achievement. Morrisson>Iggy>Curtis: no fun, for me, no fun. That final image of Curtis with his baby daughter Natalie makes me ambivalent about any impulse to romanticise the singer's decision to terminate his existence. Not just for her, but for himself. If he'd stuck around until she was old enough to play with, he might have rediscovered the joie de vivre.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Check out Stephen Trousse's brand new blogg Stephenage w/ interview w/ Green Gartside (and just minutes ago the Early comp arrived in the post, looking beautiful, w/ Green sleevenotes disparaging the diy-era scritsound). Praps now Stephen will transcribe that Morley interview he's been sitting on and slap it up there for our amusement and edification.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

read this on the hermeneutics of suspicion in photekno

then map onto this on the loop between sheffield 1979 electro-noir and croydon 2004 neurostep

smell the skunkanoid thread connecting "your agent man">"hidden cameras">"anger management"

ponder how the blaze-live video imagery looks like a spycam

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

two more grime-centric takes on the 04:



heinous ommissions plus a few late entries for 04-faves

Bizzy B, Science EP
Mark One, As One
Grimm and Grimm 2 (Rephlex)
Grime O4 and Grime O4b (Woebot)
Polar, "Sit Down and Dance"
Actual Proof, "Maybe We'll Stay (Sileni Remix)"
T.I., that Dance Ecstasy 2001/Mover-in-rave-panderer-mode tune
Les Georges Leningrad, Sur Le Trace Georges Leningrad
Wolf Eyes, Burned Mind
The Focus Group, Sketches and Spells from The Focus Group
Akira Rabelais, Spellewauerynsherde
Beans, Shock City Maverick
Matthew Dear, backstroke
MIA/Diplo, Piracy Funds Terrorism Vol. 1
Wasteland, October
Various, Shockout
Kode 9 + Daddi Gee, "Sign of the Dub" and "Spit"
J-Kwon, "Hood Hop"
Various/Large Numbers, The Electronic Bible
Laura Veirs, Carbon Glaciers
The Fiery Furnaces, Blueberry Boat
Various, Rio Baile Funk: Favela Booty Beats
Deadbeat Vs. Stephen Beaupre, It’s A Crackhaus Thing
Annie, "Chewing Gum"
ZNR, Barricade 3
Various, CMCD: 6 Classic Concrete Electroacoustic & Electronic Works 1970-1990
Various, England's Dreaming
Psapp, Tiger My Friend....

Monday, January 03, 2005

So i finally get round to rejigging my links and putting Woebot back at the top instead of the lapsed Woebotnik, and he only goes and plumps for retirement! Not necessarily permanent, he assures. Where Woebot(nik) sat, now you'll find Dissensus--not exactly the Kingdom of Matt, but that's where we'll find him for the foreseeable future, putting all his bloggoid-type energy
into the collectivity. Nuff respeck.
satisfy those penman-pangs (what happened?!) with this tiny wee fix