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we're happy: it's a fact.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

re. woebot's comments on grime as an outsider's term for this music;

- i guess its the distinction between a name and an adjective- loads of MCs and DJs refer to the style of music as 'grimey' ---"alright, we're gonna roll out some grimey beats" etc. in fact, isn't there a crew called 2-grimey?
and god's gift uses the term 'grimes' as an adjective.
but its true that i've never heard the term 'grime' used as a NAME for the music by insiders rather than outsiders.
but its not like us outsiders have just imposed this name arbitrarily- it all comes from the insiders' own descriptions of the music.

its not a very good name though.
but then most names for styles of music aren't all that great. 'house' + 'garage' sound a little too clinical and anodyne for me, 'punk' sounds too self-satisfied with its belief in its ability to shock + offend, can't decide whether 'drum n bass' is just dull, or brilliant in its literality.

rave + jungle + hardcore, though, those are good ones.
everyone was wandering around last night talking about how wonderful the snow was and smiling, and there was a strange feeling unity and peace.

was watching that late night channel 4 music show last night, and they said they're gonna show a live set from lady sovereign in two weeks, so that should be worth watching.

they also called snow patrol 'genius', which is just baffling really. insane.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

lummox; there's a good word.
a really good word.

other excellent cruelly underused mild insults:
-daft 'apeth.
- meff [i'm not sure this exists outside the north cheshire area, though]

horrible, cruelly overused insults;
-prat [its the daily mail of insults isn't it? marks you out as the kind of person who's going to actively FORCE their kids to sit through the living death that is blue peter on the grounds that its 'educational'...
does that make sense?]
-smeghead [i cringe just writing it]
-fuckwit [hate HATE the cult of bridget jones]

ok, that'll do.

Monday, January 26, 2004

that new kelis song, 'milkshake' scares the shit out of me; that creepy, robot, dead eyed, almost stepford wives-ish way she sings 'warm it up/ the boys are waiting'.

shudder shudder.

not too keen on that new roll deep track either [may be called 'heat up'?] its sounds like its going to start properly anytime soon, but the release never comes, and the tension wound up by that killer string riff starts to dissipate. might be good as an album opener though. and i love wiley's bit on it.

and REALLY loving that new kano and wonder track. kano's excellent as per; i could listen to him for hours. there's some special, something immediately engaging, about his cadence and rhythm that sucks you in. and its strangely lovable the way he mostly sounds like he's rapping through a smirk.

and wonder seems to have a whole subgenre of grime to himself at the moment; this new track has this atonal, stuttering synth line which manages to be incredibly catchy and funky while still being as ice-cold, woozy and pitch-black as the zombie-grime of 'What'. fuzzy and timeless as a bad dream. a little death.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

drop the bomb was good fun. 2 rooms- one of doomcore + gabber and the other ultra-blissy happy hardcore. the 'dark room' was actually a bit of a let down- curiously vibeless and lacking in atmosphere, no one really going mental or even dancing, just standing around heads nodding grimly. and it felt like punishment music, but i guess thats may be the point.

but it was ALL ABOUT hanging with the E-crazy 16 years olds in the 'happy room'. when we were at school, happy hardcore was the music the bad, naughty kids listened to, music for the kids who used to do acid in lessons and told teachers to fuck off. and me and my friends, in our indie elitist way, used to look down on them for going to helter skelter every weekend [in fact, i remember one boy even did his a-level art coursework based on helter skelter flyers]. but, like with so many aspects of my youth, i realise now that i was wrong. on friday, the happy room was a club purged of all the elements that can drag a night down- self consciousness, 'cool', maturity, an unwillingness to look stupid, jaded long-term ecstacy use-scorched mind sets with accompanying slugginess and scowls.

a true lowest common denominator night, and totally addictive and wonderful for it. pure condensed joy and exuberance: it was impossible not to yield to it.

and yet, i know i couldn't listen to this every weekend. i know it'd start to grate and infuriate. but massive respect to the kids who do make a lifestyle out of this music, who can give them selves up to unfettered joy every weekend, the 16 years old who put on white gloves and wave glowsticks and don't let the dream die...
16 year old rudeboys holding hands with each other while dancing- thats got to be important, gotto mean something,- hasn't it?

best snippets of helium voiced happy hardcore lyrics heard:
'the more i think, the less i see'
'this is a chemical world'.

best snippets of overheard conversation:
'yr a REAL NUTTAH mate!'
'yeah man, lets get on the eurostar tonight and go raving in rotterdam!'


the virtual stoa on absolutely firey hot form at the moment, esp. the demolition of paul 'the thinker' richards MP. chris doesn't suffer fools gladly, it seems.
virtual stoa was the first blog i ever read + i still think its right there at the pinnacle of the blogosphere.

a few things floating around on dizzee rascal + boy in da corner at the moment- technicolor, sasha frere jones and me as well a few days back, after a fairly long period of relative silence on him. which got me wondering about why i, and others, are starting to return to thinking about this album. partly, i guess its due to the hype and noise about dizzee starting to die down a bit, after it all got a bit silly in the summer[largely in a good, genuinely enthusiastic, rather than cynical bandwagon-hopping way]. now that there's less of a total dizzee rascal-overload it seems more appropriate and appealing to discuss him and his music. but there also might be something else here: philip sherburne wrote about how boy in da corner is such a dense, busy work, that it demands real, close attention. it leaves you feeling blitzed and dazed the first few times around- you need to digest it, mentally divide and structure it into more manageable portions of madness, sorrow and beauty and work out whats going on in each piece. but after this process of digestion, of splitting into consituent parts, comes a reconstruction as you start to see the pieces put together as a whole once more, the shift from hearing a collection of tracks and lyrics to hearing the RECORD. [i guess you could be hegelian about this: unity then disunity then unity once more [but with a higher degree of understanding this time]]. and this process of reconstruction can take a fairly long time, even months. which perhaps is one reason why talking about boy in da corner seems right once again.

i'd forgotten how darkly funny Marx can be, since i last read him properly in the run-up to Finals and so wasn't really paying attention to his humour. loads of possible examples,. of course, but my absolute favourite is this bit from Capital, where Marx reveals his dramatis personae for what they really are:
"He who was previously the money-owner now strides out in front as the capitalist; the possessor of labour power follows as his worker. The one, smirking, self important, intent on business; the other is timid, holding back, like someone who has brought his own hide to market and now has nothing to expect but- a hiding."

Monday, January 19, 2004

i'm going to this + i hope you are too:

DROP THE BOMB- oldskool rave, hard acid, doomcore, hardcore techno, gabber, speedcore, terrorcore

@ studio 33
101 tinworth street
line up=
matt green
fifth era
simon underground
face hoover
scott brown + enigma resident DJs + MCs.

and from that extreme to a more centrist position:
had my first night at fabric the other night. far more enjoyable than i imagined- i expected good music but bad people and a bad place. but actually the place was much less 'mega-club' than i imagined, with a little bit of a pleasing labyrinthine atmosphere to it, and the people weren't [generally] the coked up young professionals i'd feared, but rather yr typical E'd up largely unpretentious studenty crowd. music was dave clarke + jo jo de freq spinning electro + scissor sisters camping it up nicely. i'd never had that much time for electro before, but in the druggy bouncy vibe it really made sense. its interesting that unlike with say techno or house or breakbeat, where people generally bob and sway to the beat, electro compels you to dance to the RIFF, which somehow feels more propulsive, less conducive to a tranced out rooted-to-the-spot dance- people tended to dance ACROSS the dance floor, carried along by the sound. there's something punk rock about that- the focus on a killer riff instead of rhythmic invention + beat science [or, at least, a search for grids of rhythmic texture and density, if not invention]. actually it seems that in electro, the riff becomes the prime rhythmic device [much like in a lot of grime, perhaps], supplying the funk + vibe that the beats leave behind, so you dance along to the pattern of the melody. for a generation grown up on, and generally initiated in to the dance scene on, techno and house, that can seem radical and new, as we contort our bodies in to new shapes.
spurred on by comments from blissblog, i feel love + k-punk::: ok, i'll admit i went a bit over the top with the anti-daft punk rant. i've since discovered that too many people who i love love them too much for it not to be likely that i'm 'missing something' here. so, while i still don't like daft punk, i'm prepared to accept that they may not be, as i previously thought, unadulterated evil vacuity.
one of the reasons why that daft punk rant was so extreme was that i'd just sat through an entire film of their music and so, like with an long-ish exposure to music you don't like, i ended up feeling a bit frayed and bitter.

and the anti-ciabatta sentiment: i like ciabatta, but i don't like its UBIQUITY...nowadays it seems that loads of places only [or predominantly] sell ciabatta sandwiches because of current fashion, because of our culture's current obsession with a smug, satisfied sense of 'sophistication', which is really what that ranty list was about...]

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

just doing a bit of narcissistic reading of my own archives and realized that i've used the word 'simultaneously' quite a few times and have never spelt it correctly.

until now.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

also Delight FM 103 6-8 is DJ cruiser's show, which is wonderful- he seems to have different MCs each time and really consistently entertaining. and sometimes he plays one of his own tracks, full of film-score epic strings. once i heard an MC say over this track, in a voice that suddenly sounded very lonely, 'ok, we're going to war, reinforcements are on their way...' and it was just incredibly moving.
technicolor not technicolour sorry
technicolour also on a boy in da corner + coldness theme at the moment... excellent stuff and that list is dreamy good...

just heard an east connection track [on musketeers + lady fury's show on 99.3 Flashback FM, 10-12 tuesdays] which has the same intro as dj scud's 'kill or be killed'- the jamaican gangster from some flim i used to know the name of but have forgotten going 'y'understand, i murder people for fun...'

i'd love it if they sampled this from kill or be killed, if the breakcore scene and pirates were feeding off each other, rather than it simply being a one way direction of influence, but they probably didn't

Saturday, January 10, 2004

got laid off from my part time job today. my first experience with 'down sizing'. feel bit useless now...

whenever i start reading a blog for the first time i don't really like it, i just can't get into it. this happened even with my absolute favourite blogs. i have to persevere, almost force myself to carry on reading, to keep checking them every few days, before i start really liking them. a bit like watching a soap opera for the first time, i guess; you gradually get to know the characters, running storylines, recurring themes, little eccentrities and obsessions [but better than a soap opera]. reading the diary of someone you don't know is hugely dull, i imagine, whereas reading the diary of someone you know is infinitely fascinating [i imagine]. in a similar way, you often have to kind of 'know' the person writing a blog, by reading their stuff frequently, building a picture of them, getting into their ways of thinking in a sense, before what they're writing about really grabs you.
but what an odd way to 'know' someone.
deuce magazine this month- danny weed and [my favourite grime producer of the moment] target talk about the influence of coldplay and dido on their sound- listening to them today, that really made sense: the misty melancholy of it, the hummable poppiness, the wintry, grey skies delicate drama of it.
when i bought 'boy in da corner' in the summer, the uk was burning up and i just couldn't get into 'cut em off', it seemed to be such an imprenetrable black hole in the middle of the record, a bit of a drag, a time when dizzee seemed to take the album off the boil. but as soon as winter set in, it suddenly made sense, it fitted the new feeling in the air perfectly, so cold and unrelentless. a lot of boy in da corner, though, sounds simulateously like winter and summer: icy cold and sharp, but there's also a very hot, overbearing, claustrophobic feel: the enveloping heaviness of a scorching summer day. the record often makes me think of seeking out cool shadows on such a day: coldness as a respite, a brief haven...
[see wiley's interview at hyperdub for a much better discussion on a similar theme...]

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