Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Luka, original grime believer, asks a painful question, and gets some good replies.

Horrendous thought that London's pirate airwaves are over-run with funky house!

That was what struck me last year on my two visits to London: first, that you couldn't hear grime on the streets coming out of cars, and second, that it was really hard to find a grime station on the FM dial. Whereas back in 1999, when 2-step was bubbling on the underground, seething but yet to break into the pop mainstream, there were dozens and dozens of UK garage stations.

Perhaps this prefigures the long-overdue paradigm shift* from the 'Nuum. Alternatively,it could be the final sputtering out of that narrative.

* Don't think dubstep is it, a/ cos it's been around for almost six years already, and b/ the analogy is much more c.f. drum'n'bass breaking off from jungle, i.e. dubstep breaks off from UKgarage and becomes something totally different--techy, instrumental, abstract and thus having far more potential appeal globally,
precisely because it's de-localised, stripped of grime's parochial character (and characters). It's city music, sure, but not London music to anything like the same degree that grime is.

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