Oh alright, one last one, then I’m off for a few months

I also picked up the Dizzee vs … oh fuck, who was it? Can’t remember… battle off the roll deep site. Firin! Like I said before, better as an accapella.

Now I’m gonna turn it into a tech-stop roller. You’re gonna HATE it!

Oh, a bit more news about a bunch of other new tracks I have up at the bassnation site soon — when I rescue my post off UKD. It’s some ragga techno, some electro-ragga, and some ragga jungle. Some of them are good!

I do TRY and get my facts straight (were there many glaring innaccuracies in Ra piece?), because essentially that’s laudable, but I’d warn readers that what I’m up to is imparting my enthusiasm. I don’t really want to get mired in research and I’ll freely admit that sometimes I haven’t got a fucking clue what I’m talking about (er, Italo for starters).

I’ve been meaning to talk about this for a while. Look, let’s get one thing fucking straight. The blogging scene isn’t some virtual kleenex so PROFESSIONAL writers can show off, let off steam, show us how it’s done — show us what they REALLY want to write. What a load of crap. I’d have thought anyone who’s ever heard of punk would know something about that.

But REAL blogging isn’t about Director’s cuts. It’s not some fanzine Heaven’s Gate. It’s about real people finding a voice and connecting with people, not about polishing your online CV. Criticize a a blog all you want — fuck, I’ve slagged off enough people on here, why I’ve even slagged off Ingram, and he’s slagged off me — but let’s not get too, ‘ow you say, bourgeois about it. Let’s not impose turgid PROFESSIONAL standards on the people’s press. Let’s not go all 1974 ya dig?

Don’t get me wrong. The PROFESSIONAL writers are alright in their place — they can join in. I like a PROFESSIONAL writer’s blog as much as the next man, but lets sort our values out here people. The reason why Reynolds — to pick a random (huh!) example — is thick with the blogging crew is that he does a good blog. It’s home made, it’s not subbed, it’s a FAN’S writing. That’s the deal. That’s what it’s about. Why do you think he rates Luka’s writing, and Matt’s for that matter? Cos it has the content and it has the chops and you know what? It wouldn’t get published in a PROFESSIONAL’S journal of record in a million years, not in that form. They’re not wannabes. They’re the real thing.

I figured this out real early reading one the first blogs — Doc Searls’ one. (Not to be confused with Doc Sheils BTW — oh for a Doc Shiels blog!) He’s both a real writer, and a real FAN, and he knows the difference, and can articulate the journalistic ethics he has to pursue when doing his thing. And, most importantly, he knows which side of the fence is most important in blogging. Of course, the tedious fucks slagging Ingram off probably have never heard of him…

Ingram’s piece on “Un Ra” is so bad, ill-informed and patronising it makes you wonder whether he bothered to listen to any of the records he mentions.

I was in two minds whether to put the link in here but on balance felt people should make their own minds up. All I can say is… that’s a bit rough Marcello! Get a sense of humour mate! I thought it was fun, entertaining piece, and read it that way — maybe you’re taking this a leeeetle too seriously? I mean — “patronising”? Leave it out. Join in the fun or keep schtum cos this was only a larf. The whole premise would, I’d have thought, precluded your comments but I dunno. I don’t want to namedrop — actually I DO want to namedrop, shamelessly, repeatedly and often with both wild innaccuracy and invention, just not here, not now — but Matt described the piece to me the night before when we were out on the piss* and it came out just great as far as I could tell. We are not talking musicological critique here. Despite the fact that Matt — poor fella!! — does not “indulge”, this was a little bit of flight of fantasy, a bit of — yes I’ll use the word again — fun. I’d have thought a small apology would be in order, but as Eden always says at times like this, if it wasn’t for in-fighting, schisms and pointless argument, we wouldn’t have any political development. I’ve never understood this, but he always says it, so there you go.

* Actually we were in an extremely nice restaurant, but we’re not mentioning that now.

You’ve got to admit it, in terms of the instrumental, Garage has REALLY dropped the ball. You could happily listen to a whole evening of without an MC as recently as 2001, but now they’re pretty dull on their own.

Yeah, but deliberately. I mean, the whole shift to MC-led trax — which was, like, inexorable from summer 99 onwards — meant that the backing track became kinda functional. Just a backing track. Nobody cares unless they’re spittin’. Interestingly, on the Roll Deep website’s mixes, the MCs are going all the time until the DJ drops something a bit retro, a bit more uptempo, something with a groove and a melody — and then the MCs take a breather. There’s no space for rapping. Of course, from the DJ’s point of view — and the crowd’s — this is their chance to actually have a dance instead of just nodding their heads to the spastic slo mo (just kiddin, folks!).

Anyway… you’ll probably all be disgusted to hear that you can still listen to great MC-free garage on the radio and online, real old skool vibe but with new tracks (I can hear Skykicking sharpening his pencil with gritted teeth!). Just listen in to Femme Fatale’s show on 1Extra (yeah, you’re all laughing out loud now!). I recorded her last show into the Mac — fantastic, especially for an old Upfront FM fan like me, cos she did a loud of shouts to old Upfront faces and dropped some ’98 2step tracks. Kicking. She also played an MJ Cole remix of Battle which was ace, as you’d expect (I always had ideological problems with Battle but never let them interfere with enjoyment of it as a tune). Now, I have no idea just how “dead” 2step is out there in garageland (shades of the Clash!) — probably pretty stone cold judging by the track listings on Juno (if there’s an audience, there’s a product right? Right? Errrrrrrr…) — but it still sounds pretty fucking fabulous to me. And any chance to re-open the sores of the “2step is dead — and it’s shit — and it’s conservative” debate has got to be worth a giggle!