Friday, July 13, 2007

WTF, some weirdo sci-fi geek's taken over Jon Dale's old blog Worlds of Possibility and has filled it with freaky stuff about "flying testicles and cloudwhales"... Actually checking his opening mission statement, it sounds kinda interesting, what's he working on...

and in further reactivated blogs news, as reported earlier by Woebot, the welcome return of the Man Like Derek who despite the sapping grind of being the Wire's reviews editor (all those deserving micro-labels! the torrential outer-limits output to sift through and squeeze in! experimental musicians are so bloody industrious and prolific aren't they... i hasten to add this is entirely my projection, for all i know Derek finds the job a pure breeze) remarkably has spare energy for his old blog Pop Life and has even been doing another one on the sly for a while, as woebot further reported, a very on the downlow return from his retirement a couple of years ago.

i like derek's observations on rave's etiquette and crowd-spatial dynamics and how things have changed totally in today's clubs. Yes it was amazing how people managed to coexist so tightly crammed together without friction on the ravefloors of yore; the cordiality of the shoulder pat from the "just passing through"; the little clusters that would form, the transitory relations in knowing glances and smiles when certain sounds came in that worked the rush-centers. And of course you would still get the occasional throwbacks who weren't on the vibe, the drunks who'd glomm on to a girl in your group, mistaking their chemically-enhanced sunniness for come-hither license-to-hassle. But even jungle, which could be pretty skrewface and sour,was still rave in that sense of everyone being together without infringing each others private dancing space no matter how circumscribed it got. in fact the only times i recall any real friction at jungle events was when i (inadvertently) transgressed the codes; one time at Paradise, the bloke behind me saying (actually quite politely)"not trying to hassle you mate but could you move forward a bit, i'm trying to roll this spliff". And the other time, at Thunder and Joy, in 1994, when me and my friend were chatting excitedly about the music and the scene, a young kid suddenly snarled "if you wanna talk, go to the toilets, cos there's people here wanna rave". I was startled but then thought: well you know what this guy probably does want to get lost in the music, brock out without hearing an audio-commentary. So we did the polite thing and buggered off the dancefloor.

Derek's final thought about dubstep's exaggerated politeness reminded me of the point Woebot made a while back about how dubsteppers "perform" the rewind ritual... i got a bit of a sense of that at the last dubstep thing i saw, the excellent Kode 9 and Shackleton at the excellent Dub War at the excellent Love club in NY, a tremendous sound system with below the floor sub-woofers that really brought out a lot of the dimensions to the genre i'd not experienced somatically. At one point someone behind me roared "COME WIT IT MY SELECTAH!!!" or something along those lines, and it did have this curious air of... not quite ringing true, like it was
a sort of learned response, an act of role-play; there was this studied quality that relates to the general aura of scholarliness that you get off dubstep as a subculture. Like, these people really know their history...

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