Thursday, July 08, 2004

currently liking...

A mix John made starting with radioactive man, some electro, through the murky meandering roads of dub-step, and ending in full-on libido melt-down with a clutch booty/ghetto-tech.

At first listen this is not the kind of thing I usually like, I find some of the electro-breaks techno (drexciya and suchlike) too austere and dry, and without the compulsion that 4/4 kick drum lends to other techno. 16 clicky hi-hats per bar, no bounce or jacking feeling, shuffle done away with as too loose or feminine. But at night this can be powerful stuff; radioactive man 'uranium' is gothic but more in the way of the epic anti-hero than the grimness or sleaze or claustrophobia of other dancefloor darkness.

Plasticman 'pump up the jam' TUNE! screaming ghouls in the background acres of bass. markone 'raindance' TUNE! the dub of dub-step in this case must be some kind of misnomer, there's no space here at all, every last inch of sound is taken up by the bass. like driving a tank through rhythm and sound's sonic sepulchre. warlock and and markone rival for syncopated tension, sometimes you wonder whether the beat will finally fall on the first beat, given the dancer a reference point, and I imagine dub-step will become more and more arrhythmic, and maybe lose some of it's potency for it. The rephlex compilation may influence the scene towards a bias in favour of head over hips, but one thing that the croydon dub-step sound has over the east london 'grime' mc section is it's funkiness, and the twitchy half-familiarity that garage lends the 'step versus east london's unrecognisable alien-ness. And who wants some shoddy drill'n'bass rethink of this music anyway. In fact,with the ragga-jungle retrospection in full swing making drill n bass redundant, it wouldn't suprise me at all.

This mix is the first time I've really heard dub-step outside of the booming sloshing acoustics of the End, and it gets a far more favourable reaction here. at the End the subtleties were lost somewhere in the soundsystem, and the hyper-syncopation seemed to do little for the uninitiated dancefloor. Add to that the over-exuberance of the mcs declaring every single half-thought-out CDR test press idea to be worthy of a rewind, and the croydon sound didn't lend itself to it's central london surroundings. The second rephlex grime night was better, with oris jay's straighter breaks sound more popular and danceable but probably less exilerating, but there's plenty of time yet. More anthems to be written and more beats to be explored (without falling off the edge of the world in regard to accesibility, here be dub-step's monsters), and dubstep could run tings yet.

Energy like a dog pounding away at your leg. Booty bass is probably how all dance music would sound if made by anthropologists on a mission to find what makes people dance (probably a blend of excitement disorientation and sexual energy, but maybe one day i'll expand on this). The speed and simplicity and lewdness is just pure excitement,dj assault's one trick of re-using rap and r'n'b samples keeps it relevant and also takes the piss out of so-called sexy music. destiny's child 'say my name' refrain pops up followed by a man and a woman saying 'bitch say my name', 'nigga say my name', another goes 'let me see that pussy work' over and over again until you can't stop saying it and people take out court injunctions against you. In ghetto-tech sex is not romantic, just fucking. Huge basslines too you know, but hopefully Britain won't be too boring for booty to take off hugely. Anyway what would be more fitting than the nations classrooms resounding to endless refrains of 'ass n titties ass n titties ass n ass n titties titties'. It sure beats the rubbishness of current d'n'b for high speed excitement...

1 Comments:

Blogger PRANCEHALL said...

that john is a kerazy guy. so i've heard...

July 15, 2004 at 9:34 PM  

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