The Wire

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Showing posts from 2009|05

Jackmaster mixes it up for The Wire

Lisa Blanning

An exclusive mix from Glasgow's Jackmaster which was originally broadcast on our Adventures In Modern Music programme on Resonance FM last week. Jackmaster is a resident at Numbers, works at Rubadub, and has his hands in a number of labels as well, including Dress 2 Sweat and Wireblock. Originally I asked him for half an hour, but he provided over an hour's worth of music and with so much unreleased material, I wasn't going to protest! Thanks, Jack!!
I'm not sure what it is about Glaswegian DJs (maybe one day I'll bore you all with my theories about places like Glasgow, San Francisco and Detroit), from Optimo to Kode9 to all of the Numbers crew, but they tend to mix it up a bit more and Jack's tracklist is no exception. A good mix all around which is especially interesting to reflect the changing face of UK dance music, but for my money the latter half really gets things bumping. Download it (128 kps, 71mb) by clicking here.

Tracklist:
1. Elecktroids - Future Intro
2. Lando Kal - Fuzzy Ankles (Wireblock)
3. Lunice - Wobble (Unreleased)
4. Guido - The Way You Make Me Feel (Punch Drunk)
5. Shabba Ranks - Mr Loverman D.M. Ragga Hop Remix (Epic)
6. Dials - Riggle Giddum (Unreleased)
7. Rustie - Ultraman Remix (Unreleased)
8. Debruit - Pouls (Musique Large)
9. Redinho - Mo Brap (Wireblock)
10. Ghosts On Tape - Equator Jam (Wireblock)
11. Peter Digital Orchestra aka Fulgeance - Red & White (Wireblock)
12. Apparat - Hold On Modeselektor Remix (Shitkatapult)
13. $tinkworx - Coelacanth (Strange Life)
14. Shadow Dancer - What Is Natural (Boys Noize)
15. L-Vis 1990 - United Groove (Mad Decent)
16. Apple - Chantes (Unreleased)
17. Lil Silva - Different (Unreleased)
18. Sticky - Juneirah Riddim (Ltd.)
19. Emvee - Nocturnal (Wireblock)
20. Secret Agent Gel Feat. Coppa Kid - Crew (Bok Bok Remix) (Unreleased)
21. Starkey - Knob Twiddler (Unreleased)
22. Dorian Concept - Trilingual Dance Sexperience (Unreleased)
23. 77Klash - Pressure (Unreleased)
24. Touchy Subject - Wicked Act (Wireblock)
25. Crime Mob - Knuck If You Buck (Accapella)
26. DJ Oddz - Strung Up VIP (Black Majik)
27. Mr. De' - Detroit Zoo (Electrofunk)
28. Joker - Purple City (Kapsize)
29. Low Deep - I Know (Colourfulstate)
30. Redinho Bare Blips (Wireblock)
31. Clarke - Dirty Pixie (Warp)
32. Ludacris - Pussy Poppin'
33. AFX - Analord 9 Edit (Rephlex)
34. Bonecrusher - Never Scared (So So Def)
35. Rustie - Jagz The Smack (Stuffrecords)

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Continuous Flow

Derek Walmsley

A search for Company Flow on Amazon yields the following book suggestion: Natural Laws Applied to Production: Show How Modern Industrial Organization is Based on the Principle of Continuous Flow. by Mathews Conveyer Company. Funnily enough, the title sounds rather like a Company Flow lyric.

You Tube linkage

Derek Walmsley

Two highly recommended You Tube selections for you – on the Fact Magazine site Droid of the Woofah magazine and the Wearie website has selected 20 ridiculously good ragga tracks. I'm unacquainted with quite a lot of it, but there's several foundational beats here, including some of the rhythms that forged reggaeton. With artists with name such as Major Mackerel and Gregory Peck, you can't really go wrong.

If your appetite was whetted for Omar Souleyman by Clive Bell's piece in The Wire 304, check out this video. I can hardly imagine how good weddings in Syria must be.

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Basic Replay

Derek Walmsley

Honest Jon's night at Plastic People last night – Sleeparchive, DJ Pete/Substance and Mark Ernestus of Basic Channel, some of the best German electronic names essentially – had a strangely arse-about-face feel. Not that that's necessarily bad, far from it.

Around 11.45pm Sleeparchive was banging out Minimal Techno, the crowd fully locked-in, although this was unapologetically functional music. DJ Pete then played solely dubstep for an hour or so. For the crowd, which thinned out noticeably, it was odd for someone to come all that way just to lay down the same stuff we're used to hearing week in week out. It was almost like the early 90s, when rock 'n' roll's original Killer, Jerry Lee Lewis, stooped so low as to profess a love of this new MTV fad.

The set certainly 'worked' pretty well, with DJ Pete cranking the faders and EQs maniacally, gleefully unleashing fat basslines, locked in to the music. Strange, then, that the last set by Mark Ernestus, who looked almost unsure of what he was doing, was so much more interesting. Ernestus looked weirdly nervous, filing through his dancehall 7"s again and again, like a DJ wishing he'd bought more tunes. He played each of his dancehall instrumentals in full with a slightly awkward pause in between. It was as refreshing as a blast of cold water in the face, though, these immediate, synthetic recordings, with no sonic detailing or muso production depth, just sharp angles and edges.

It was the one set in the evening which didn't properly 'work', and yet because the building blocks were unfamiliar, it was easily the best of the night...

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Alexis O'Hara mix tonight



Just a heads up that I'll be playing Alexis O'Hara's special guest mix tonight (Thursday 7 May, 21:00 BST) on the Adventures In Modern Music show on Resonance FM. She's currently in the middle of constructing her Squeeque: Speakerbox Igloo (yup, an igloo constructed from speakers) at Galerie Skol in Montreal. The exhibition is up for just 2 days. More info here

The tracklist for the mix includes, according to Alexis, "montreal musicians who are all my friends. it runs the gamut from bluegrass to electro to dance to experimental to noise to pop"...

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ad-miring the 'nuum

Lisa Blanning

Here's my slightly revised presentation from last week's Hardcore Continuum seminar (thanks to Steve and Jeremy for making it all happen). I was actually going to do more revision, but as K-Punk reminds me, one can endlessly revise and then it'll never get posted or published anywhere. Plus, perhaps it'd be disingenuous to present something here superior to or bearing little relation to what was actually presented there.
For anyone interested who couldn't make it, you can find Alex Williams's and Blackdown's pieces on their respective blogs already. As well, if you haven't seen it already, footage of Simon's talk on the 'nuum from earlier this year can be found from FACT Liverpool's site here. And of course, his original articles which outlined his ideas about this have been made available on our own website, (introduction to the online re-publishings here)

Redefining Hardcore
As an American living in London, I’ve got something of an outsider’s perspective to all of this. In fact, when I first heard the term "Hardcore Continuum" I didn’t know that the reason Simon Reynolds named it as such was in homage to the trend that kicked it off: Hardcore Rave. Yet the idea of a Hardcore Continuum made instant sense to me, without any need for explanation.
But with the knowledge that “Hardcore” refers to Hardcore Rave comes an image of the ‘nuum like a line (or lines) of dominoes, each microgenre along the way acting as a catalyst to a successor down the line, furthering the kinetic motion. Unfortunately, the linear quality of this may be exactly what prevents some from fully embracing what is otherwise an insightful example of pattern recognition.
For myself, I prefer to think of another definition of ‘hardcore’: something or somebody completely uncompromising in vision or commitment to an idea – in this case, the music. For me, the Hardcore Continuum is hardcore in this manner for two reasons. Firstly, the rigidity of the format: electronic beat-driven music originating in the UK, designed to make people dance. Secondly, more importantly, it’s the constant search for new ideas; an undertaking to innovate instead of resting on tried and tested formulas. When thought of in this way, ‘hardcore’ becomes defining ethos instead of ground zero for the phenomenon.
This hardcore drive in the UK producers whose work we’re talking about today may differ slightly from the more political rock and punk artists the term is more often associated with. While it’s probably safe to say that all of these key producers have strived to be a little different than their predecessors, it’s often the case that there may be additional underlying motivations. These can include relief from boredom, the hope to turn a quick buck or perhaps only the need to feed an audience that thrives on novelty. It’s not a question of “doing it for the right reasons, man”. Instead, the end product maintains strict standards of one-upmanship that hone an edge of competition and permutation. This ever-shifting landscape of club culture is both the cause and effect to the constantly evolving sounds until neither the audiences nor the artists will settle for less than the newest and the best. There’s no time for complacency when you’re hardcore.
When ‘Hardcore’ is redefined as above, it helps clean up the more contentious issues of Reynolds’s existing model. It’s easy to throw out the more arbitrary presuppositions – “ridiculous sublime” is one – and a seemingly necessarily causal relationship between the microgenres. It doesn’t matter that they come from each other (although a connection is certainly audible almost all of the time); more that they all come from the same place – Britain – and serve the same purpose – making people move, stepping it up beyond the previously established sounds, one mutated dance form at a time.
Once you give birth to something, it has its own life, it exists in its own right and belongs to the world. Reynolds knows this and has stated that he is happy for others to grapple with the notions that he has proposed and take up the development of his ideas. They are not so sacred that his framework cannot be adjusted. But the limitations are not within the concepts surrounding the Hardcore Continuum, but rather lie within the people who would deny the value of its ideas and refuse to take it upon themselves to improve upon them.

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