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we're happy: it's a fact.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

god damn there are a lot of ironic art-school mullets in this town. urgh.

Monday, August 25, 2003

dizzee rascal and wyclef freestyle head to head live on radio 1!!! i mean, woah...just when you think wyclef can't sound any shittier he puts himself up for comparison with dizzee. who tore him apart. and said 'fuck' on daytime radio, thus getting a ticking off from 'crayzeee' tim westwood. good stuff.


i've never really 'got' the appeal of coil or current 93, so this by simon reynolds was a great read. they've always seemed a little 6th form goth poetry/trying to be sinister but just coming across as a bit daft, to me. and i've always been a quite mystified as to why so many Wire writers like them so much [and indeed why a surprising number of Wire writers are really into the whole magick/paganism thing. i know its just me being bigotted and judgemental but whenever i read all that stuff i can't help just thinking 'come on guys, grow up!'] but anyway, reynolds made a [particularly] interesting point when he argued that coil and current 93 are the whitest music ever. another contender though; punk rock. indeed, i've often thought of punk as an [intentional or not] elimination of non-white elements from an already very white pop music scene; discarding the eastern drones and chimes of psychedelia, the horns beats and rhythms of disco and funk, the amped blues of hendrix, zeppelin and sabbath, the dessicated-but-still-there free jazz influence of some prog. so that all that was left was in many [but not all] cases, basically supremely old fashioned pub rock; the whitest of white rock and roll. as a starting off point its not necessarily a bad one, and when john lydon, the clash, the slits etc etc brought in jamaican influences things started getting really interesting. but as an end point, its dire. i'm always surprised when people get so indignant and upset by those horrible Holidays In The Sun style punk festivals, arguing that such events are missing the 'point' of punk by being mired in conservatism rather than fuck-the-rules revolutionary nihilism [or optimism]. but in a way i think that kind of conservative, nostalgic approach was inevitable from some sections of the punk scene, being that muscially, punk-at first- was a rejection of 'new' musical forms, and a return to a distinctively white style of rock and roll.
and of course, its no accident that for many years punk rock has been the british far right's music of choice. john lydon and the others were, i think, right to get out when they did.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

wesley willis is dead. and thus, the rock establishment loses one of the people they liked to snigger at most...

Friday, August 22, 2003

great lyrics recently heard;

"you got coke? of course. smoke? of course. x? of course. dope? of course/
whitney's chillin, bobby's chillin/
lets get high cuz we love the feelin"

--jemini getting all sensitive.

"blair loves Bush but Bush don't wanna know"
-virus syndicate putting the politics into Grime last weekend on rinse fm. [talking of which, bit of a shock to hear the northwest accent of virus' mc replacing the typical london one. its an acquired taste- and this isn't snobbery or boring, predictable north/south prejudice, cuz i'm from the north west myself-, it just takes a while to get used to a non-london voice over the top of what was, and is at least for the moment, perhaps the most specifically london sound around. but its certainly worth making the effort of getting used to virus syndicate, even if they can be a bit preachy and hectoring at times [cf. their rap telling us all to practise safe sex]. also great to see Grime going nationwide...]

"you know i got the best flow, so go back to yr job at tesco's"
"its about that time/ gonna break down MCs like enzymes"
-unknown [by me] MCs on unknown [by me] london pirates last weekend.

Monday, August 18, 2003

proto-communist godzilla!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2003

bit of a late comer to Voice of the Turtle, unfortunately, as this is a fantastic piece of writing [which certainly made me see this weekend's bus journey trough west london differently]

another latecomer moment; how great is plasticman? [the garage one, not the techno one. although, from what i've heard by him, he's great as well...]. not as viscerally thrilling as wiley and slimzee's etc 8bar stuff, but it makes me want to cut a rug...

a thought: will anyone give a shit about ms dynamite when she returns to music, post-child rearing? am starting to think maybe not.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

in roughtrade the other day i picked up a free cd sampler of the dangermouse + jemini album 'ghettopop life'. how much fun?! and just right for these crazy-hot summer days. makes me feel humble and ashamed not to have heard of either of them before...

also listening to, and loving, Repeat's 'dialect select' a lot these days; an album put out a few years back by Toshimaru Nakamura [of the no input mixing board fame] and Jason kahn. i was never really motivated to check out any onkyo stuff before hearing this record; from what i'd heard about it, it sounded too Wire-ish in the worst possible way i.e intimidatingly cerebral, theoretical, and overall Not Much Fun. And the onkyo album which otomo yoshihide put out with his ISO outfit is so ferociously hardcore that 5 minutes in all i could think was 'want it to stop' whilst gritting by teeth. which may be the point, but, you know, life's a bit too short...

ANYWAY, 'dialect select' brings the joy and the bliss and the fun. if the colour of grime garage is pitchblack [see previous post] then this music is snowflake, orchid white with intertwining stems of feedback and gorgeous little crystalline digital pops, crackles and fizzes. what i love about the feedback here is how its such a powerful, emotive sound and yet also it teeters on the edge of nothingness; there's something about sinewaves thats ethereal, translucent. listen to most other music [even the blissful ambient work of fennesz] after a dialect select session and it sounds remarkably- and often disappointingly, solid, heavy, concrete in comparison

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

a few weeks back i wrote this prediction/speculation:

"a gutter/grime garage anticon eventually emerges, using the middle class-ness and general non-street-ness of the vocalists to develop a new aesthetic [more angst-y, more confessional, more floridly 'poetic'] . am undecided as to whether this would be absolutely dire or rather great."

since i wrote this i've been caught between thinking 'aaah that'll never happen what was i thinking', and 'actually maybe it could happen'. and really i'm still undecided about it. BUT listening to the anticon lp 'the no music' by Themselves the other day it was interesting to hear some of the similarities between those sounds and the sounds currently drifting through the smog of london's airwaves. [actuallt maybe 'drift' isn't t the right word; i can't imagine wiley or riko or nasty crew or kano etc 'drift' anywhere.] anyway, yes, the sounds. not the tunes or the structures but the sounds themselves; the way the bass no longer attempts to emulate any 'real' instrument and also rejects the gurgle and texture of the 303, now simply existing as a pitchblack brutalist low end hum and thrum and whump, all the more thrilling for its purity, its lack of colour and adornment. the way the beats are parched, brittle cut up and crinkled takes on hip hop and jungle idioms, full of clattering hi hats and snares that go snap. the weird, headfucking antique, even medieval, aspect to the some of the samples of flutes, harps, strings, and horns. the recycling of old skool party sounds which are now placed in new, alien, less ebullient contexts but still make you smile [e.g the ravey 'whooo' sounds that dizzee uses in 'fix up look sharp' and themselves use somewhere within 'the no music'].

then i started to think, 'hmm, maybe doseone is the american, artschool middle class, wannabe-beatnik counterpart to dizzee rascal; different takes on the high pitched vocal scree'. but then i thought things were getting a little too tenuous.

i'm guessing the anticon folk don't listen to grime- in interviews they come across as big windy and carl, godspeed etc etc fans- which maybe makes it even nicer that they're traveling-creating?- similar paths, oblivious to one another. [although i can sort of imagine dizzee being into clouddead]

Friday, August 08, 2003

the virtual stoa has already linked to this but i'll link to it as well as its great; d-squared's piece on communitarianism

one thing though; charles taylor a conservative? i'd always thought of him as a bourgeois political philosopher with just as much leftish credentials as Rawls, albeit a philosopher of a different strain to rawls. am i reading taylor wrong or is d-squared being unfair? [and even if taylor really is a conservative, surely he doesn't deserve to be lumped into the same category as roger scruton. after all, who does?]

work is, naturally, boring. i amuse myself by thinking of things like;

some things that i'm fairly sure lee 'scratch' perry must have done but that i simply can't imagine him doing:

-brushing his teeth
-taking a driving test
-reading the instruction manual for a new piece of studio kit.
-opening a bank account.
-going to the barbers
-clipping his toenails
- going to a parents' evening at school.
-thinking 'ok, i've got to be on stage with Tortoise in 5 minutes'.
-thinking 'ok, i've only got 5 minutes left on stage, better make this the last song'
-filling in an application form for a passport
-filling in a tax form
-buying a washing machine [and most other household appliances]
-hanging clothes out to dry
and so on and on...

i'm not sure whether this list says more about me or mr perry.

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