Friday, April 26, 2024

"jumping iz not a crime"

Kieran Press-Reynolds with a guest piece at Shawn Reynaldo's First Floor, while the main man takes a vacation.  It's a report on "the holy hell of cursed jumpstyle" - a zoomer-oriented TikTok-propelled twist to the gabber continuum.  

"vyrval’s ballistic banger is the biggest tune in a growing wave of psychotic jumpstyle music that seems made to express existential fears: technology has gone too far, we’ve broken the world beyond repair, autocratic autobots will soon seize control...  In the comments of the clips that accompany these songs, people write what’s basically apocalyptic science-fiction, imagining grim future scenarios: “Me watching an AI generated video of me doing the most atrocious War crime ever.” The visual aesthetic mirrors the freakiness: unsettling cyber graphics are superimposed on neon landscapes, with distorted limbs and objects."

"At its most baleful, these songs obliterate any and all melody, leaving listeners with no chance for reprieve from their unrelenting assault. Dj Svevsx’s “jumpstyle (1)” has over 8 million plays and it’s just a 42-second spasm of feculent kicks." 

Looks bit like the Moving Shadow logo, that silhouette. 

Weathered legend returns to youth currency 

What K calls "peak slumpstyle" - the slowed + reverb remix 

Lithuian "nu-jumpstyle Jesus" Yabujin 

And his alter-ego

"What makes this internet-addled aesthetic so addictive is the way it taps into the younger generation’s collectively fried childhoods. It’s a shitposty Tower of Babble that crosses countries and languages."

Talking of shitpostmodernism, Kieran is quoted in this Kyle Chayka article in The New Yorker on corecore and "The Dada Era of Internet Memes"

Check out also K P-R's piece at No Bells on the Bushwick nightclub Rash, which was attacked by an arsonist in what may well be a hate-crime a few years ago, but has now been rebuilt and relaunched. 


The uglier aspects of this scene reminded me a bit of this spoof  and spoof pt 2 I concocted back in 2007 (inspired by guesswho)

Old post on hardstyle, a related genre that has some militaristic undercurrents... well, overcurrents really

Jumpstyle in simpler, happier, more innocent days. 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Futuromania - out today!

The UK edition of Futuromania is out today on White Rabbit ! 

Via select record stores, comes with a limited edition freezine of bonus pieces! 

Check out this radio show about Futuromania I pulled together for NTS - also available at Soundcloud and Mixcloud

Here's an interview I did with Metal magazine's Lainie Wallace about the book. 

Here's a chat I had with Moonbuilding's Neil Mason. 

And here's a conversation with Bill Proctor for his electro-history podcast Spacelab 

Watch this space for news about more podcast appearances, webzine and radio interviews, and  upcoming events. 

US edition  out May 7 via Hachette

Futuromaniac playlists -  Spotify -   Spotify (long mix) -  Tidal (longest mix)

About the book: 

Futuromania: Electronic Dreams, Desiring Machines & Tomorrow's Music Today is a celebration of music that feels like a taste of tomorrow. Sounds that prefigure pop music’s future - the vanguard genres and heroic innovators whose discoveries eventually get accepted by the wider mass audience.  But it’s also about the way music can stir anticipation for a thrillingly transformed world just around the corner: a future that might be utopian or dystopian, but at least will be radically changed and exhilaratingly other. 

Futuromania shapes over two-dozen essays and interviews into a chronological narrative of machine-music from the 1970s to now. The book explores the interface between pop music and science fiction’s utopian dreams and nightmare visions, always emphasizing the quirky human individuals abusing the technology as much as the era-defining advances in electronic hardware and digital software. 

Futuromania is an enthused listening guide that will propel readers towards adventures in sound. There is a lifetime of electronic listening here.

Sunday, April 07, 2024


Unless we count caffeine,  I've never used a stimulant - or any kind of drug - to help with writing. Not even during the most against-all-odds of all-nighters, or when facing a pile-up of deadlines.... not even in that marathon-turned-to-sprint last leg of completing a book. 

Staring down a delivery crisis, the idea of resorting to some kind of writer's little helper, a chemical crutch, has occasionally felt tempting....  but ultimately seemed strategically unwise. What if I wrote a load of drivel in a manic state? (Okay, okay, I can see the quip coming here - let's say "more so than  the usual"). What if I just lost it completely? (Certain colleagues and their amphetamine misadventures gave me a dire warning there).

Better to power through the exhaustion, jacked up on an accelerant cocktail of will and fear and caffeine.

So I read with interest these essays at Pioneerworks / Broadcast about Adderall use, and how apparently chronic and widespread it is. 

Particularly, it seems, with those who work with text - writing it, reading it. 

The piece by Amber A’Lee Frost on how an editor can recognise if a writer is "on the stuff" was especially interesting.  She says she can spot the Adderall House Style instantly and breaks it down into various categories of symptoms:

Endless revision

Fixation on minutiae, leading to paralysis

Sprawl - the piece gets too long, goes on too many tangents, the writer can't bring themselves to throw away any of the juicy bits of information, ideas, quotes, jokes they've come up with

Punchy - wisecracking tone. 

Punchiness - picking fights, a prickly, combative, point-scoring tone.

Epiphanies - bolts of illusory revelation. 

Paranoia - spotting hidden patterns, secret connections.

What I wondered, though, scanning this list of total-give-away hallmarks of Adderall-addled prose, was - aren't many of them simply hallmarks of being a writer? Inherent tendencies towards which writers are prone? 

Especially in the age of word-processing, when you can fiddle away at things endlessly, finessing a phrase or moving things around structurally (whereas in the age of the typewriter, the commitment of the key struck and the carriage return imposed a certain finitude, a propulsive thrust onwards toward the "finished" line).  

Especially, also, in the age of the internet, where the research process so insidiously and irresistibly slides into protraction, a seeping sideways into adjacent avenues. 

But I've known fellow writers, who I'm fairly certain weren't on anything except their internal supplies of obsessiveness, who produced 20 thousand word pieces when they had been asked for 4000 tops... who have delivered the copy weeks or months late... who got so tangled up in research, they never completed at all. 

A few times in my life I've been that person, or near enough.

In a sense, the unconscious motivation of writing - or one of them - is to get oneself into this "high performance" state, also known as "flow", being "in the zone", etc. 

The work itself is the drug.

Maybe you have a kind of internal-Adderall latent within you, as a potential - it's what you tap. 

The doing of the work is dopaminergic.

You get high on these self-generated chemicals, and then the symptoms that Amber A’Lee Frost enumerates emerge.

Maybe the Adderall is just a shortcut, for those who want to get "there" quicker, as soon as possible? 


Another thought:

All these tendencies 

endless revision  / fixation on minutiae / sprawl /  excessive wisecracking / punchiness / illusory epiphany / paranoia 

These are the Zone of Fruitless Intensification stage of "the right stuff" - virtues turned to self-defeating vices...  necessary strengths that, pushed too far, become weaknesses.

Dial each of them back a bit, back into the fruitful zone, and you have:  

perfectionism / detail-orientation / fecundity / wit / polemical edge / insight / pattern-recognition