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Thursday, November 10, 2005


silverdollarcircle terminates here. this is the last post. after getting on for 3 years, i've decided that this has run its course. i didn't start this blog with any firm idea of how it would turn out, but slowly it has kind of crystalized into being about some very particular things, written about in a particular way. and now, i'd like to try something new: i don't want to start repeating myself on here, and i think i've pushed this particular uh 'project' [ack!] as far as i can.

so, a clean break. but i still plan on doing quite a lot of writing, perhaps on another blog, perhaps in some kind of hard-copy thing. the major project for the next few months, though, is to get a website of mp3s of pirate radio tapes up and running, finally.

many thanks to everyone who has read this- i honestly never stopped being surprised and flattered that people did. through doing this, i've come into contact with some great people, and made friends with quite a few of them to. it's been fun.

special thanks to simon, scott, and matt who have been constant sources of encouragement and inspiration, and helped to make me feel a part of something, welcome in the 'sphere, when i was a younger in the game...

thanks everyone. it's been an honour and a pleasure.

p.s go here: pandarescue.blogspot.com

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

further evidence that there was no crypto-racism behind the 'dirty canvas' ruff sqwad night: david moynihan, the organiser, told me that the event WAS advertised in rhythm division and at rwdmag.com. so efforts to get the 'grime kids' down were definitely made.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


so ruff sqwad last friday: i think everyone thought it was weird. and i think everyone thought it was great, amazing, fun, inspiring, intense. the weird first: grime in an art gallery was always going to be odd, but the almost uniformly middle class, twenty-something audience made it odder. it was a shame that there weren't (to my knowledge)any posts about the event on rwdmag messageboard or the rinse fm board, as that'd easily attracted loads of the grime core vote. and, contrary to lazy, predictable and sometimes idiotic accusations of crypto-racism that have appeared in certain places, everyone i spoke to there wished there was a more mixed audience- this wasn't a case of white middle class people wanting to listen to working class black music without working class black kids being there. and big up david moynihan for putting on the show.

but, the lack of rwdmag/rinsefm.com advertising did unquestionably make the night an odd, and occasionally awkward, event- most notably when Ruff Sqwad arrived for the soundcheck, to a few of us sitting against the back wall watching them over this small-but-massive divide of empty space. they didn't look at all impressed with us.

But once it all kicked off, to Tiny Prancer's mighty dancehall and grime DJ set, it was great fun. ruff sqwad mingled with the crowd, old friends and comrades met up (dave, derek and matt- chestle!) and i met a few lovely dissensus folk. things were loosening up.

ruff sqwad started with a few P.As, which were OK but slightly stilted and subdued. But when they moved into the freestyle section of the show it all went crazy- they kind of contracted into the tight knot of energy, bouncing lyrics off each other. fuda guy ['eeeeeeasy man!!'] and shifty rydoz were especially awesome: Shifty a cool-as-fuck MC who sounds as lean and pared back as he looks. his syllables snap and crackle over each other. fuda guy's more the grime-jester- a big, almost lumbering kid caught up totally in the moment, eyes staring into the middle distance, as these torrents and flurries of lyrics pour out in perfect form. he does the threatening-tantrum/choking back tears of anger thing like dizzee, and-if anything- is more exciting at the moment than dizzee. tinchy stryder has this star-quality thing going on, without a doubt: you can't take yr eyes off him any time he's on the mic, looking so relaxed and so vulnerable, doing that weird, hypnotic movement with his hands, like he's patiently explaining things to the class. but more that that, it's the sound of his voice, that croak that sounds frighteningly old and frighteningly young. However, the night was more about ruff sqwad working together, sparking against each other, than individual MCs: to be within 3 feet of them as they traded lyrics and mobbed each other, to see the intensity that they have as this close unit, was what made the night so special- there was this sense of everything piling up on top of each other, on top of itself, spilling out: bodies on stage, lyrics, tunes, bodies in the crowd.

best moments of the night, though, came from roll deep's roachee.
number 1 was when he started to spit his 'when i'm ere' lyrics and the whole place went totally mental in about 5 seconds, with ruff sqwad and the crowd grinning at each other, out of control.
number 2 was when rapid announced, 'we call this 'Monster Music'', and Roachee, quick as a flash, got on the mic and said, totally deadpan, 'Yes. I like that phrase. Very much.'


Friday, November 04, 2005

"I'm not even at my peak yet. When i'm at my peak it's over. For everyone."

Sharkey Major is back!
sharkey major and Mac 10 rinse fm mp3.

this is a big MP3 AND it'll take you a while to download. it may even go wrong a few times. but i cannot stress enough how important it is for you to persevere and download this (it's been doing the rounds for a while now- first on dj lioness' blog, and then on rwdmag messageboard). 'aim high 2' was the definitive grime uh 'document' for the first half of 2005, and this Sharkey Major set does the same job for the second half of the year. Mac 10's in full attack mode, playing the most broken and fucked grime out there at the moment, with an overload of brand new tracks. he does his thing of divebombing ultra-stacatto grime rhythms on top each other- intense like driving rain.

but, even more importantly,: sharkey major is back! this is the best thing that could have happened to grime. sharkey was, is, the best MC that grime has ever had in every possible way- only Trim has recently come close. Here he sounds even more urgent and pissed off than usual, outdoing all the craziness that Mac 10 lays down underneath him with relentless storms of lyrics- they'd almost sound like streams-of-consciousness if they didn't sound so structured and on point. if you like Demon, well, i think demon got a lot of his style of MCing- that energy, that nerviness- from Sharkey Major, and Sharkey does it even better.

you might not be able to listen to this for more than 20 minutes at a time: it's mentalist stuff, and can feel like being punched in the face over and over. but, whatever, you really do need to hear this, cuz it's probably the best example of the flailing noise-energy that grime can have: think 'forward riddim' extended into an hour long mix (with better MCing!).

my favourite bit of the rinse sessions boxset so far:
-plasticman's mix of a Crazy Titch freestyle with mariah carey's 'we belong together' instrumental. that's genius!

-also, my housemate pointed out to me the other day that on the first track of the roll deep CD, Wiley goes 'big up cambridge'. Eh?

see you all at ruff sqwad tonight yeah?

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