Abstract 2step mix

While you’re waiting, here’s some music to keep you entertained. It’s a UK Garage mix I did last year, focusing on the more abstract, chthonic elements of classical UKG. It’s funky as fuck and has some of my favourite 2step tracks on it.

It’s here at http://www.grievousangel.net/Abstract_2_Step_Mix.mp3.

Track listing:
Dem 2: Keep It Coming
Dem 2: Bad Funk (Big Time Scary Dub)
US Alliance: All I know (Dem 2 Dub)
El B: Digital
Leee John: Your Mind Your Body Your Soul (MJ Cole Mix) /
Wideboys Feat. Rusty: Somethings Got Me Started (Wideboys Breakbeat Dub)
MJ & Rob D: Cum Cakes!
El B: Urban Myth
Headtop: The Matrix
Dem 2: Baby You’re So Sexy (Dub)
Groove Chronicles: Black Puppet
Groove Chronicles: Holiday Da Vybe
M Dubs: For Real (Grievous Angel Twisted Dub)
Top Cat: Gal Dem Sugar
Lady Saw: Bump’n’Grind
ATFC Bad Habit (Grievous Angel Edit)
Artful Dodger / Robbie Craig / Craig David: Woman Trouble
Artful Dodger / Craig David: Drop the Funk

It’s 73 minutes long, and weighs 84Mb. More mixes are coming.

Do we need a magazine?

Yes I know no-one’s reading right now but I just wanted to pop this in here so it’s in the archive at least… There’s a lot of discussion right now about whether we can have, or need, a “proper” magazine. There’s a lot of rumination on the glory days of the NME. Eden talks about France having three reggae zines, wheras here we have none. K-Punk and many others would really like a proper music/ culture publication. But Luka suspects such a beast would be poor. Here’s my take:

I certainly agree that the NME in the 80s was better than now. It had much better writing then, which it could afford, because it had a much bigger readership. It was physically larger, and it loomed larger over the cultural landscape to a far greater degree. (Pace Reynolds — MM never had the same kudos or clout. Never had the design or photography of NME either.) People forget what a paucity of media there was then: barriers to entry meant there was little scope for voices other than the big players. It was physically and financially very difficult even to do a fanzine. This was actually rather a good thing — the fanzine underground was very healthy then. Eden first became aware of me through my writing in zines like Grim Humour.

None of this is arguable or nostalgic. But it might be nostalgic to say we can go back to that. I’m not saying it’s nostalgic to want good writing about music and culture; not at all. But it might be nostalgic to want good writing that is supported by a SINGLE substantial medium, whether print or digital. The world is different now; not better, but different.

And probably worse, which is why it’s worth us old timers whingeing to people like Luke about how it used to be. We now have fewer large magazines, and a dwindling number of specialist titles, all owned by an ever smaller number of conglomerates. Worse, mainstream titles like newspapers cover the scene. Far from promoting the scene, as one would expect, this satiates many people so they don’t need a “proper” magazine, and even if it doesn’t, it captures loads of advertising revenue from smaller titles. It’s a lot like the revenge of bars and pubs on clubland: keep the punters drinking with ersatz DJing and they no longer have an appetite for real clubbing.

I suspect that we DO need a magazine — as in US lot, blogging round here. But it’s difficult to say whether THEY need a magazine — the non-bloggers, the uncommitted.

Intermission: Music.

While you’re waiting, here’s some music to keep you entertained. It’s a UK Garage mix I did last year, focusing on the more abstract, chthonic elements of classical UKG. It’s funky as fuck and has some of my favourite 2step tracks on it.

It’s here at http://www.grievousangel.net/Abstract_2_Step_Mix.mp3.

Track listing:
Dem 2: Keep It Coming
Dem 2: Bad Funk (Big Time Scary Dub)
US Alliance: All I know (Dem 2 Dub)
El B: Digital
Leee John: Your Mind Your Body Your Soul (MJ Cole Mix) /
Wideboys Feat. Rusty: Somethings Got Me Started (Wideboys Breakbeat Dub)
MJ & Rob D: Cum Cakes!
El B: Urban Myth
Headtop: The Matrix
Dem 2: Baby You’re So Sexy (Dub)
Groove Chronicles: Black Puppet
Groove Chronicles: Holiday Da Vybe
M Dubs: For Real (Grievous Angel Twisted Dub)
Top Cat: Gal Dem Sugar
Lady Saw: Bump’n’Grind
ATFC Bad Habit (Grievous Angel Edit)
Artful Dodger / Robbie Craig / Craig David: Woman Trouble
Artful Dodger / Craig David: Drop the Funk

It’s 73 minutes long, and weighs 15Mb. More mixes are coming.

I don’t think there’s anything in there from after 1999, but there might
be one or two nuggets from 2000 I forgot about.

That last, Indian Summer, golden period of dance music before it
collapsed as a creative force… but god did it go out on a high point.
2step was for me the absolute pinnacle of dance music’s creativity.
Techno’s intelligence, house’s propulsive grooviness, r’n’b’s
sensuality, d’n’b’s harshness, ragga’s itality, breakbeat’s sheer poppy
silliness. And if there was ever a better record than Something’s Got Me
Started — soul + abstract breakbeats + plane-taking-off noises — I
never heard it.

There’s a big contrast between this and grime. For one thing, as the new
orthodoxy suggests, grime isn’t dance music. For another, Grime is
pretty monotonous in comparison, cos the backing track is downplayed.
Here, there’s scarcely room for an MC. There’s scarcely room for vocals.

Intermission

With many apologies to Mark K-Punk and John Eden, the bookmark for this blog is changing again due to unavoidable technical difficulties. Please don’t bookmark the current location unless you don’t mind changing again in a week or so, and if you’ve already done so, I’m sorry. The new location will be http://blog.grievousangel.net, but there’s nothing up there yet — I’m still sorting things like archives out. Maximum respect to Daniel from Spinwarp.com (best d’n’b producers’ resource on the planet) for his help with this.

You can’t put a better bit of Ballard on your knife

Pounding System: “I Believe”

Great stuff. Dubversion is clearly a man who needs one of my Belief Is The Enemy T-shirts. And big up Dubversion for liking the Come Together jungle remix I did.

However:
“(PS these are some things that i decided i didn’t like this week:
Bitches Brew. Vashti Bunyan. Piles. the NME (again). Nectar Cards.”

Bitches Brew is worth sticking with but go for On the Corner first if you haven’t already. And In a Silent Way for something else completely — like, simplicity. Vashti Bunyan? You’re a brave man not liking her in this neighbourhood, geezer! Piles — I reckon I could do a heavyweight piece in this subject, though no doubt someone will tell me it’s a bad idea.

Speaking of In a silent way, I presume there’s loads of d’n’b records that sample this, but I haven’t heard any. If anyone can confirm this one way or the other I’d be grateful, cos I’d love to do it and it would be fairly easy!

Click for an “all-clear” — go on, it takes seconds. And it proves viral marketing might be worth something after all.

Please tell ten friends The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of >donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman .

It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on “donating a mammogram” for free (pink window in the middle). This doesn’t cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising.

Here’s the web site! Pass it along to people you know.

www.thebreastcancersite.com

>AGAIN, PLEASE TELL 10 FRIENDS TO TELL 10 TODAY

Grime: Brit hip-hop or not?

WOEBOT: “If Grime came to be understood as UK Hip-Hop it’d be a disaster. Why? Because, put simply, Brit-Hop has never managed to get over being a inferior version of American Hip-Hop (Grime on the other hand seems mercifully oblivious of America).”

Excellent, excellent piece on this topic from Matt. Excellent because he’s not just commenting on articles in the mainstream press, he’s actually engaging with the authors. Excellent because he develops his point through detailed examination of specific, key records. Excellent because of an almost anthropological reportage on Mr Bongo. His argument is in essence that Grime shouldn’t be tarred with the UK Hip-Hop / UK-Rap brush because those genres do, basically, suck.

And quite right too.

However I feel that Grime can fruitfully be seen as being, at last, a decent British response to US Rap. As he was kind enough to point out, my view is that Grime and US hip hop are structurally similar — emphasis on the vocal rather than the backing, Black urban culture as the source, all that stuff. And, while Matt undoubtedly knows more than I do about Grime, it seems to me that Grime people do have US rap reference points. This is scarcely new. Plus uk garage crews went r&b as soon as they got popular — So Solid, obviously. Champagne garage and US R&B have always gone together.

The music doesn’t sound like US Rap though. It’ll get closer though. As I think I mentioned here before, Cameo is dropping grime tracks with girly choruses already — I preferred this to a lot of the more banging stuff FWIW.

* Cha Cha Slide looked great on the telly too.

* Oh, and great to see the Gothic Futurist article coming out, it’s fantastic. Essential post punk too.

Love, actually

WOEBOT: “A surprise and a delight, here.” Getting bigged up on Woebot is like getting an Oscar. Certainly more valuable than getting a bloggy or whatever BS award is being invented.

“Here’s one for fans of my discomfort.” Shit, that must be irritating. I guess a demanding fan can be pretty critical. For a fan of woebot is what I am — it’s the best blog out there, certainly the best music blog, even if he doesn’t like Jurassic 5 (what is he LIKE?). He’s one of a select group of blogs I try to check every day while feverishly checking UK-Dance. The rest of my blogroll:

1. Uncarved, for the crispest writing: Woebot can be fast and loose — and is all the better for it. More importantly, Uncarved does two things: he writes about more than just music, and he goes off and digs stuff out that you simply will not read about ANYWHERE ELSE. Because “Real Life” still has a thousand times as many stories as you will find on the Internet.

2. K-Punk. I don’t always agree with him — he’s far too much of a hipster-intellectual for my views to always chime with his — but he’s essential reading.

3. Reynolds for the same reasons as anyone else — i.e. his obsession with 80s scratch’n’sniff cards, the endless JPEG self-portraits of his red-white-and-blue mohican, and of course the engagingly-written recipes for rollmop herring.

Other than these three I just surf around the link side bars like everyone else.

“Nice to see so much going up big feller.” Yeah well there’d be a lot more if I wasn’;t spening every spare hour trying and failing to get this FAAAAAAARRRRRRRKING blog system working. Otherwise you’d have a series of articles about leylines in Dore (Sheffield suburb on the edge of the Peaks). Seriously.

Yeah.

PS – the gutters here have just filled with hail, but there’s blazing sunshine. Must be symbolic.