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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

good morning, the massive.

dj rupture + his band Nettle + Nass El Ghiwane, who have been described as 'the beatles of morocco', in terms of cultural importance and impact are playing the very swish Queen Elizabeth Hall tonight. get yr skins down there...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

i'm going to miss John Peel a great deal, easily more than any other public figure who has died in my lifetime. although he introduced me to some music that i love, this was actually pretty rare- my obsessions + interests and his rarely converged- i was always a bit out of sync with what he was currently loving. but he was always a major inspiration, in his commitment to loving music without boundaries- being open to everything, giving everything a chance, regardless of genre or origin. he was an example to me of how i should try to be: and i do, now- after having my mind opening by his radio shows- try to approach everything new musically [and otherwise, perhaps] with initial enthusiasm and interest, to give it a chance to see where it takes me. he was never, ever snobbish about music and as such stood out as a fantastic rarity among most people who love music and think about music most of the time. his importance to me went beyond introducing me to specific bands and artists: it's more that he introduced me to a whole way of trying to approach music. that's why i loved his radio shows.

and also, of course, he always came across as a super lovely, genuinely nice man. and how many of those are there in the media? i've never met anyone that ever slagged John Peel off, or took the piss out of him, which is incredible when you think about it in comparison to how most people in the public eye are treated (often deservedly). everyone liked him. everyone will miss him.

Sunday, October 24, 2004


Saturday, October 23, 2004


kano + demon were on stage for 5 minutes at most. it was a shit + joyless atmosphere. we left early.

hope that other people had fun. we didn't really.

Friday, October 22, 2004

a year in grime...

basically, i think terror danjah's Aftershock owned the first half of this year with their hegemony only shattered sporadically by the odd davinche/essentials moment. roll deep have been running things for the second half of the year. 'boogey man', terror danjah's production for Roll Deep can quite nicely + neatly be thought of the pivotal moment, the changing of the guard...
and ruff sqwad will run the first half of next year. as soon as their guns n roses mixtape is out and they get back on the pirates on a regalah basis, they're gonna be the top boys.

that's my prediction anyway.

i'm really quite late in writing about this, but it needs to be done: D DOUBLE AND P-JAM- 'ANGER MANAGEMENT'. p-jam is, with eastwood + the ruff sqwad boys, my favourite grime producer of the moment. he's taken grime's already shockingly direct bass-whistle + fucked around with it even further, to create an almighty mess that bores through all his tracks and shakes you right to the centre of yr bones. this was perhaps in best evidence when p-jam tried made an r n b track ['Can't hold it in']; the results were the monumentally, stupidly, hardcore, with the bass sounding off like an airhorn right next to yr ear in a rave. but 'anger management' comes a close second in bass-mentalism. here, the bass oozes out in icky tendrils, only to double back and fold inwards. like an exploding star, it drives and pushes outwards into expansion with insane energy, then collapses in on itself, becoming hard, dark, dead, then we start again. p-jam's tracks have a dynamic, constantly shifting restlessness to them, as more and more ideas are introduced for a split second, piled on top of each of other, and then fall away. may be like the boiling-away of some hideous concoction, with the unsettled, viscous, surface bubbling and splatting messily [ha, i'm REALLY into my ridiculous similes today]. on his remix for shystie, p-jam took this element of his music to its furthest extreme, so that, despite having to listened to the track countless times, i STILL don't have a clue what's going on in it- it's still 3 minutes of glorious information overload.

D DOUBLE is wicked on 'anger management' as well, as always. he's actually a very quick + agile, almost dainty, MC despite his thugged out power and that nice lispy sloppiness he sometimes has, so he's well suited to p-jam's movements of tics and blurts. much better to suited to this, i think, than the slower-sounding, more skunked out + droney aftershock tracks that he's been doing. and it's also nice to see him return to a bit of the old ultra-violence on this track, after his forays into 'artist' status. 'what should i draw for?...hmmm, i'm not sure'; i LOVE that bit. as much as d double's recent bars about his baby daughter etc are wonderful, it's great to see him still being as over-the-top + fearsome as he used to be. also love the way that he barks out short lines on this track, leaving his flow gaping with lots of holes, letting the bass fill out the rest.

so, one for the end of year top 10 i think

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

just heard on dirty south pirate On Top FM; a bruza-esque MC growling,


over the fwd riddim instrumental.

jesus christ, that's intense

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

word has it that 'forward riddim'is gonna go top 10, may be even to number one. if it does, this'll be perhaps the purest triumph for the underground there's ever been- no mass press converage, no tv appearances, and significantly, very little legit radio play. actually, what's gonna be really interesting is seeing how radio 1 etc respond when fwd DOES get massive. i mean, how CAN it get played? how could there be a radio edit of fwd?!- there'd be nothing left...

my absolute favourite bit of fwd is towards the end, where hotshot is getting more and more insane, and then goes, 'do i have teach you how to hold a gun? SHOOT IT SHOOT IT SHOOT IT!...mac 10 SHOOT IT 9 mil SHOOT IT tommy gun SHOOT IT!!'.

perhaps obviously, part me says i shouldn't like that. but another part of me, the part that has fun and likes grime, LOVES it.
so...Fabric at the weekend, which me and man like stelfox [i STILL love writing that!] went to, was wicked. you should've been there. may be you were. anyway. Zip from those trendy fellows Perlon opened with some lushy, ultra-dainty microhouse. we were practically skipping round the room, jiggling + twitching to all those hiccups and glints...
then we have to while away time listening to the fucking 'freedom 5' doing a poor mans scissor sisters [i'll NEVER SAY 'i'll see you at the front of the mixing desk' again- yr friends are late + yr trapped there for like 2 hours]. nothing sobers you up like bad music in a club. weirdest moment of the night was going up the stairs to the entrance, to try to get some reception on my phone and find my friends, feeling considerably spandangled, i.e. EXACTLY like the 'blinded by the lights' scenario, and who should walk in but mike skinner! i wanted to go up to him and tell him that i was now doing exactly what he talks about on the song, but wisely thought better of it. i'm tempted to put this whole scene down to a hallucination, but i don't think it was. the boy skinner's really dapper in real life, by the way. he looks like a scally with a million pounds and lots of style, which i guess is what he probably is.
so, i find my friends and all is well so we go off to checkout dj rolando, the first of the two underground resistance representatives. he's amazing. probably the best thing i've ever seen in a club. it was so incredibly well paced and constructed- this gradual, unstoppable upwards spiral of intensity. and when he played 'knights of the jaguar' i wanted to cry it was so good. i know talking about DJs taking you on a 'journey' sounds boring and cliched, but when it happens it's just so affecting, you know?
Alter Ego did a live set and were totally, insanely evil and depraved. there's just something about those saw tooth sounds piled on top of each other, and that electro-glam stomp, that's so thrillingly immoral and heartless. it's...lascivious, and wrong, and nasty and everybody loved it. couldn't cope with a whole night of it, mind, and i don't understand how people do; where's the love?
andrew weatherall was wicked as well, and i'll love him forever for playing lots of schaffel and Kompakt. was nice to see everyone loving that stuff- schaffelfieber in london!
and then...stacey pullen. good christ, this is where it got really nasty. 6 in the morning and he's obviously decided to rinse out all the energy we have with ultra-functional minimal tech-house. a few hours later, the bass still pummeling/punishing us and dragging people along with it, and the dancefloor looks like a vision of hell. a kind of exciting, even slightly fun, hell. but a hell nonetheless. people stumbling around, lost, no longer there by decision or volition- you know the scene. stacey pullen had made us into cogs in his machine, worn us out, and now it was time to leave...

a shame, cuz we were really looking forward to stacey pullen. my housemate saw him play a lovely techno set to 8 people in a place outsid in japan with lots of ice once. but this...this was just HORRIBLE.

Friday, October 15, 2004


just a quick reminder that underground resistance personnel, rolando + suburban knight, will be conducting a night strike on Fabric tomorrow.


i will post properly on here soon. my energy's quite dissipated at the moment, between usual work, frantically downloading stuff on my lovely new piece of computing machinery and posting at dissensus. but i'll focus on here properly soon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

i've just got a new computer, which means that i can do some things that i couldn't do before, but wanted to:

...like link to nick's fantastic grime mp3 piece [my old computer didn't let me do links in posts]. if you haven't heard the fwd riddim yet then go over to his blog and download it and shock OUT.

and like trawling through the mp3 sections of internet record companies to see what the grime tracks i love are REALLY called [pirate djs hardly ever give track titles out...]. and it turns out that the eastwood/oddz track that i called 'revolution' and raved about a few days ago, is actually called 'the coalition', which is a slightly less good name, but it's on the 'revolution ep'. and you can listen to it by going to www.uptownrecords.com and finding the uk garage page.

i want to go to cologne so much. it must happen.

'metallica- some kind of monster' is good- we saw it last night. it's not really spinal tap-ish at all. more a moving, if overlong, film that has you hoping so much that they all pull through in the end, and that their big arena show comeback will be a success. james hetfield, in particular, looks absolutely broken and terrified beforehand, but there are a couple of touching shows of solidarity from the band, and then they get on stage...and i guess you can guess the ending [it's a happy one]. it's got that whole vulnerability and determination thing going on, which i always love [DIZZEE!]

And also, it reminded me what a great band metallica were, and can be still. just in terms of 'songcraft' [urgh!] they are amazing. it's like watching a steven spielbrerg film- even though you might not be too into the content [although i often am...], you can still appreciate just how well everything fits together, builds and falls.

searching...SEEK AND DESTROY!


Sunday, October 10, 2004

sorry to hear that matt ingram is concerned that the 'blogosphere' is past its peak. personally, i think it's never been better. some of the new [ish] blogs contain some of the best writing that i have ever read- beyond the implode, dripdropdrap, mpc, the MIGHTY kid shirt, gutterbreakz [i know yr not really 'new' nick. but the mp3 format is new innit], poplife, little dog's day, mondrian's sketchbook and so on and on...

i feel privileged to be able to be part of something that allows me to engage, in some way, with these writers. new voices are coming through all the time, and i find it all so exciting and inspiring. i do think that the time of a few blogs having a hegemonic presence over the whole 'scene' has probably passed...there's just too much out there now. but that's a good tbing, because it allows things to really open up and people to not feel afraid to get involved, because they no longer have to worry about not matching up to the Top Boys and Girls. right now, it's all just lovely cuz there are all these different styles, obsessions and opinions out there, and somehow it all fits together still, somehow there's still some kind of community i think.

i love doing this, and i hope i always will love it- i used to do fanzines and this is a million times better. the 'blogosphere' is still, collectively, the best music publication there has ever been, i think, and it's getting better and better. everyday, just by looking through the blogs that i link to, i'll read something that i think is wonderful and unique and important. as long as that still happens, i'll be so happy to be a part of this...

Saturday, October 09, 2004

ok, 2 things:

firstly, you absolutely MUST hear/buy eastwood and oddz's new track, 'the revolution' [what a great title!]. it's a return to the old style grimey melodic-brutalism, like eskimo and pied piper etc. it has everything- militant horn parts like davinche, creepy, jumpy plucked strings [like eskimo], rough + shattered slivers of beats + noise [pulse x, fwd], the trademark eastwood elastic band squelch, and marks a so welcome return to grime's hollow squarewave synth. the first time i heard 'revolution' i almost wanted to turn the stereo off...it was too much, too manic, too clearly, obviously, out of control. it's like all the greatest bits of grime condensed together and then just thrown at you all at once. multiple synth lines rain down with a cartoonish force and persistence, dropping out for a second and then striking back in. it makes me think of those storms you hear about where frogs and fish fall from the clouds: it has a chaotic, end-of the-world feel, but it's also ludicrous, almost absurd in its feverish intensity. when you hear it, it's weird, it's like it could go on forever, reaching ever higher levels of insane energy. i guess it's like 'igloo' in that respect: the sense of the producers having tapped into this primal sound that there's no natural boundary to- its crazy, and gets crazier, all the way the down...

i think it's gonna be the big grime rhythm of this winter- when dj tubby played it on his Braindead show on Rinse last week, the phones went mad, and there had to be 3 reloads in the end...

secondly, trim and lewi white's 'hugs and kisses'. some people say that, in the days when jammer was THE grime producer, it was really lewi white who wrote most of the stuff that was credited to jammer. i'm not sure if that's true, and in fact i'm slightly dubious of it cuz a lot of big producers work with jammer, and probably wouldn't be so keen to if that rumour was true, but it doesn't matter. all that matters is that lewi white is an amazing producer, and 'hugs and kisses' is probably the best track i've heard from him. i love trim's voice, and i guess most people who read this know that by now, so i won't go on about it, except to say that it's lovely to hear him doing a track for the ladies, albeit a typically [for grime] guarded expression of affection. but back to lewi white: what i love about grime, and i've said this lots of times before so sorry to say it again, is often its suggestiveness- the way that in its sketchiness, incompleteness, allusions and reference points, it prompts yr mind to fill in the gaps. it suggests what, in reality, it isn't. and this track is one of the loveliest, prettiest examples of that- a collage of little cut up dramatic string sweeps that always sound like they're just going to swirl away into some orchestral solidity, but they never do. all you get is the preliminary gestures, and it's up to you to imagine the rest. this also creates a lot of tension in the track, with the string samples often sounding like the metallic tear + whispered screech of a samurai drawing his sword in an old martial arts film. there's the same expectancy of the calm before the storm, of an insubstantial, non-physical but concrete nothingness that always seems to be on the brink, finally, of being eclipsed by something more tangible, an Event, but never is. other things i've fallen in love with about this track are its clunky, antique-digital beat, which sounds like the computerised equivalent of beating on biscuit tins, and the gloopy, naive-pop melody that gurgles in towards the end. perhaps many wouldn't think it, but grime producers still do this nursery-rhyme dreamy melodicism better than any one.

and, 2 more things-
firstly, thanks so much to everyone who e-mailed about my street anthems request. it's been so nice to get some form of contact with people who read this, and it was also really kind of you all to get in touch. so many thanks, you heroes [no heroines yet...].
if yr reading this, why not 'drop me a line' as they say. i always like hearing off nice people and i'll try to send you a pleasant e-mail back...it's weird writing something like this, cuz i really have no idea who in the world most of the people are who read it, so it's always great, and quite fascinating, to learn a little bit more about it.

secondly, me and my new housemate joe little dog's day [we live together in some huge, rambling, idyllic, blog-commune at the centre of everything, with junior researchers and other minions living with us, always on call to help make sure we bring you the very best blog posts we can, believe]. anyway, yeah, me and my house mate joe, would really, really like a vhs, or dvd copy of the BBC3 doc. 'towerblock dreams' which is about pirate radio. if you've only got an original copy, we PROMISE to send it back to you, if you post it to us so that we can copy it. i am willing to pay a small, or medium-small charge for this, and also the old offers of cdrs/tapes etc apply. so if you've got a copy, PLEASE, e-mail me.
sorry to be a scav again. but it worked laast time...

Thursday, October 07, 2004

listening to that now legendary tape of the monday night freeze fm grime special again, i've just remembered how much i love Ghetto, from nasty. he literally SPITS his lyrics out in little disdainful knots of words. kind of pointilist or whatever, you know.
"they call me Ghetto why? cuz i'm a ghetto guy. meet a ghetto girl, have a ghetto child. you ain't ghetto like Ghetto is ghetto..."

and also love that thing that slicks from ruff sqwad does where he makes his intakes of breath a percussive element of his flow, like, 'fire-blaz ah, pum pum pump-ah' where he inhales the 'ah'.

the more you hear grime MCs the more important they become to you.

not meaning to nag or anything, but owners of Street Anthems PLEASE get ion touch! come on, there must be some of you out there that own it...
ok, i really will try to stop talking about wiley here so much, but just a quick note to say that wiley's done another anti-dizzee track, in which he takes the piss out dizzee for 'leaving the hood', because- wiley alleges, the hood hates him-, and reminds him that he started all this and is still 'the only lion here'. how quickly love turns to hate. Although wiley can't quite bring himself to totally give up his paternal relationship with dizzee, being the father figure he thinks dizzee needs:- sounding like a disappointed dad he chides, 'it makes me sick, seeing my little brother with pricks'.

it's also got the greatest wiley lyric ever;

'I'm no longer human- i've become an investment'.

see, wiley's into Marxian theories of capitalist alienation from the species essence too!

i love wiley's whole thing about being so cold and committed that he's not really human anymore. partly because i think that kind of MC-superhero talk is supercool, but also partly because it matches wiley's robo-monotone so well.

anyways, the track's a lot of fun. wiley does a patische of dizzee's strangulated vowels, going 'youuuuuuu' a lot. it's funny. and the chorus is another work of catchy pop-genius, with wiley reprising his occasional sing-jaying style, and telling us that 'nobody helps people like me'. like, he helps other people more than anyone, but nobody helps him, see? it's clever.

big up poplifeblog for writing about, and posting a link to audio of, the excellent freeze fm set from monday night which has wiley, trim [roll deep], narstie [n double a], ghetto [nasty] and slicks [ruff sqwad] on. it's crazy good, and a total one off. the bit where narstie and wiley kick off the MCing section of the show, over wiley's 'shanghai beef' is one of the most evocative and exciting thing i've heard. shanghai beef, and 'straight down the middle' as well, are like the lost classics of wiley's production career. both are epic, wide-screen rhythms, which sound heroic and mighty and romantic.

ok, i need a favour- i was in uptown records the other day, and it turns out they've sold out of bossman's 'street anthems' mixtape. and so has rhythm division. so if yr reading this, and you've got a copy of it, please, please could you e-mail me and we do a deal where i'll send you some music and you can send me a cdr of street anthems. please...

Monday, October 04, 2004

hey hey why not go to this:

FABRIC- SAT 16/10/04, dj rolando, suburban knight, zip [perlon] and andrew weatherall [and loads more obviously].

and this;

FABRIC, FRIDAY 22/10/04- wiley, kano, cameo, roll deep.


come with it!

this is a message for scott somedisco, who does not have working e-mail at the moment...
thanks for the nice message, scott. i reckon i'll send you some music soon, so watch out!

yesterday was really shit wasn't it? well, it was if you lived in london anyway. it was pissy and grey all day. we just couldn't wait for it to end. at night time, when we glanced at the clock and saw that it was ONLY 9 pm, we despaired. we wanted the day to finally be finished with. our boredom pushed us into watching shit sunday telly and eating when we weren't hungry. but THEN roll deep's 'shake a leg' [which is sometimes called 'salsa'] came on the radio. i've written about this before, but i want to write about it over and over cuz it's the most thrillingly happy, silly track i've heard for ages. everything about it is joy. i LOVE it when breeze gets introduced as 'jose "breeze" fernandez'. i love the bouncy, playful synth line that's as messy in its happiness as a toddler. i love the way that it takes the component parts of wiley's deathly dark 'ground zero' and coaxes them into having a little fun. a lot of fun. i love the pissed up chorus that's not afraid to be stupid. i love thinking about how much fun they must have had in the studio when they made this. and i love the fact that the people responsible for some of the most uncompromising, harsh and challenging music of the past 5 years have shown that they can also do pop-genius better than just about anyone. but mostly i love the way that when i hear it, everything seems wonderful, every time.

as soon as Bacardi's ad department hear this track, vinnie jones' career is over, and roll deep will be massive... and thus, two birds are killed with one stone...

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