Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Where Were U In 92? (mixtape)

Werk Download

Due to incessant reader requests for a tracklist, and after much persuasion, Zomby, Darren and SBlair finally emerge from a bedroom full of smoke to provide you with their personal commentary for Zomby's "Where Were U in 92" mixtape – enjoy. Or as Robbie Dee puts it, 'Are you still fucking mental out there yet?'

I never heard these tracks in a rave – I didn’t reach my first rave until 1993 – these were tunes that I first heard on the tapes being passed around at the time either recorded in raves or mixed by the older kids in my school who were ahead of the game – ahead of us anyway. A few of the tracks I came to later as I dug around in second hand shops. No point even starting to list the tunes that aren’t on here…

Ridiculous that this tune isn’t played in full – but the mix is only made up of tracks that I have on vinyl and I missed this one so was grabbed from youtube as it had to be on there one way or another, BODYSNATCH – EUPHONY, AKA ‘Just 4 U London’. If ever London needs its own anthem look no further – makes me ache with pride – but you don’t hear that vocal here, or the beat, just this sound from the intro.

Over that you have Robbie Dee mc’ing at a Fantazia rave in ’92. Used to sit around smoking weed at an Olympic level, twisting our half-formed, adolescent minds listening to tapes like this. It always made you feel like you had come into the scene too late. And moments of mc’ing could become biblical.

Then straight into MANIX – SPECIAL REQUEST. First bought the record for ‘Feel Real Good’, but this track is the killer for me and I wanted to avoid the whole piano thing and keep the mix darker and tougher but still with that rave sound to connect it to the Zomby album.

Out of that into STRUCTURAL DAMAGE – REALLY LIVING which was on a Fantazia tape we used to listen to. The sounds of those stabs do something strange to me – fuck, I’m back in Duffy’s bedroom!

Again, I bought 2 BAD MICE – 2 BAD MICE (REMIX) for its more famous a-side ‘Bombscare’ but it was a toss up between this and ‘Waremouse’ for pride of place on the mix. For some reason this won.

CODE 071 – A LONDON SUMTIN is another track to get the cockney pride rising, and has to be one of my favourites on here even though I came to it late during a Reinforced crate digging session. Incredible.

Could have chosen almost any of Goldie’s early releases, but went for RUFIGE KRU – MENACE. How many ideas are there in this tune? When I first started listening to this stuff Goldie was a complete mystery, almost a myth, the guy that made ‘Terminator’ which was the tune that really opened me up to hardcore.

He features again on 4HERO – THE ELEMENTS (FIRE AND WATER REMIX), credited alongside Marc Mac and Dego. Came to this tune late too – my giddy teenage mind wasn’t ready for this shit.

Next up, time to get the rave started, DMS – VENGENCE, produced by Acen, another hardcore legend who helped really define the sound. Good times.

CRIMINAL MINDS – BAPTISED BY DUB made perfect sense to my stoned 15 year-old mind with its reggae flavoured build up and jump into frenetic e’d up mayhem. I’m getting sentimental now.

Time to take it back down with 4HERO – STUDENTS OF THE FUTURE (THE 4TH DIMENSION 4HERO REMIX), though I’m now wondering if it’s the (NOSTRADAMUS: REVELATION RUGIGE KRU REMIX), the picture disc is confusing. Either way it’s bad.

After the pirate radio clip ¬we drop into STUDIO 2 – DIRTY GAMES, the ultimate floppy bass monster. What the fuck is this music?

JOHNNY JUNGLE – FLAMMABLE is from ’93. Hardcore? Jungle? Somewhere in between I guess.

Then a clip of MC GQ – ‘look at the crowd’ from a World Dance rave I was at, and a snippet from a Kaotic Chemistry track ‘Space Cakes’ which would have been on here if I could have found the record in my collection, and then into INTA WARRIORS – YOUR LOVE IS YOURS, produced by Grooverider.

Back to Robbie Dee pushing the boundaries of the English language with his ‘Are you still fucking mental out there yet?’ question. Then into DUB II – BADMAN (TUFFNESS MIX). It doesn’t get much more hardcore than this track. Brash, incessant, relentless and contributed to a generation of English kids talking in patois.

Last up is DJ TRACE – LOST ENTITY, another from ’93, just felt like putting on a heavy Amen tune.

taken from Dazed & Confused Magazine

Saturday, 25 July 2009


Mired in a miasma of fog, submerged rumbles contort to rise through jagged cracks in the industrial concrete. The trunks of passing trucks shake rattle-rattle with subwoof swells that cause arm hairs to stand at full attention. A palette of gray haze glazes the district over with an artificial sheen of Saran-wrapped grit. The digital junkyard awaits its daily shipment of crashed hard drives and cracked circuit boards: a reliquary of forgotten technology. Tethered telephone lines conduct melodies in the thick hum of electric air. Somewhere, off in the distance, a jackhammer jots encrypted notes as notches in rock. Welcome to Hazyville.

A muffled diva croons an indecipherable hook that resembles the word “Pecans” on the opener, “Again The Addiction.” From the jump, warbling underwater TurboGrafx tones suck you into their vortex with Freestyle vocal sputters and shuffling hi-hat stutters. A cold distance emanates as the track slowly thaws. Spastic, manic, and paranoid, it scores virtual reality high-speed chases through slick streets, blurred data racing past. “Ivy May Gilpin” comes equipped with the sway of a digitized rainforest, 808 congas tapping under echoing bird chirps, and slow-growing synth moss. If not for its adrenaline-paced rhythm, it might lull to relaxation, but as percussive layers mount, the tension rises toward the tree canopy. “Mincin” is a scraping metal-on-metal throbber that wears down ears like grating gears of a bulldozer. Both nervous and stirring, it rewards those who can escape unscathed by its jarringly rough edges.

This is the music playing at hovercraft assembly lines and robot weddings; mechanized emotion, carefully constructed by the human hand.

People call this dub-step. People call this Detroit. People call this wonky. Darren J. Cunningham, a.k.a. Actress, calls this Werk. His imprint, born out of a Bristol Hyperdub monthly, has provided Cunningham the forum to foster some of the finest forward-thinking, beat-driven movements out of the UK, with a roster that reps Lukid, Radioclit, and Disrupt. Some four years in the making, the fervently awaited Actress long-player dropped hot on the heels of the radical Zomby release, Where Were U In ’92? While Zomby garnered Werk Discs their deserved propers from everyone and their glowstick-laden candy-raver moms, Actress barely blipped beyond the cliquish Boomkat radar. Not quite a full-blown felony, but at least a petty crime, as Hazyville is easily one of last year’s most slept-on electronic releases. Perhaps this U.S. release will change that.

Taken from http://melomaniacsdietpills.wordpress.com

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Anti-Mercury Awards

Never Mind The Mercury Prize: Here's The Quietus' Jovian Bow Shock Award - July 09

It took a pot of tea to come up with a better list than the Mercury
Prize. Who'll be taken out for a pizza come September?

The powers that be will have you believe that The Mercury Prize,
formerly called the Mercury Music Prize, formerly known as the Cif Lemon
Mercury Music Prize and currently known as the Mmmm! Danone! Mercury
Prize for sponsorship reasons, is an annual music prize awarded for the
best album from the United Kingdom or Ireland. It was set-up by the
British Phonographic Industry and British Association of Record Dealers
in 1992 as an alternative to the industry-dominated Brit Awards. But in
a scientific experiment we decided that it would take us in the office
(John Doran, Luke Turner and Kev Kharas) literally 40 minutes and a pot
of tea to come up with a much better list. Lo and behold, this is
exactly what we have done with a minimum amount of box ticking, bung
chucking, misjudged diversity sensitivity and (in the case of Florence
and the Machine) utter fucking wrongness.

Anyway, here it is: the album shortlist for The Quietus Jovian Bow Shock
Prize in association with Il Bacio Express Pizzas on Stoke Newington
Church Street. The rules are pretty much the same as with the Mercury
Prize except we've chosen good albums. When we decide who the winner is,
we'll take them out for a pizza. We can highly recommend the Franos
which has artichoke, goat's cheese and slices of roast potatoes on it.

As rumours reach us from multiple sources that several judges were
amazed to see Lily Allen's It's Not Me It's You not reach the final
twelve, given that most people seemed to be in agreement about its
worthiness, we have to ask, what exactly is the point of this prize?

Seriously, awards: either do them properly or fuck off.

The Horrors - Primary Colours (XL)
Various Productions - The Invisible Lodger (Fire)
Teeth Of The Sea - Orphaned By The Ocean (Rocket)
Manic Street Preachers - Journal For Plague Lovers (Sony)
Micachu & The Shapes - Jewellery (Rough Trade)
Zomby - Where Were You In '92? (Werk Discs)
Simon Bookish - Everything / Everything (TomLab)
That Fucking Tank - Tanknology (Gringo)
Pet Shop Boys - Yes (EMI)
Actress - Hazyville (Werk Discs)
PJ Harvey & John Parish - A Woman A Man Walked By (Universal/Island)
Benge - Twenty Systems (Expanding)

Full feature:


Monday, 20 July 2009

Joy Reel

This needs so much more attention. What else are people listening to? If Lone's forthcoming album Ecstasy And Friends can measure up to this double-A side he'll surely be fighting off the paparazzos and falling into beautiful women. 'Joy Reel' is exactly what it says it is; a 25th Century rush of startled, glassy tones and whining, galaxy-warped mecha-soul that for some reason reminds me of Bristol's 'Purple Sound', only less reliant on bass and more given to whirling treble. Benji B must fucking adore this. For fans of Zomby, Dam-Funk, Terrence Dixon.