who remembers hard house?

yesterday i picked up the latest soul jazz collection, riddim box – excursions in the uk funky underground. funky is a genre that i’ve flirted with, but haven’t fully devoted any proper time to over the past year or so. i think that really should change. i just haven’t really known where to start, so i grabbed this comp as it seemed a great stepping stone to further enlightenment. of course i recognised names like roska, zed bias (whose name i remember from the rough garage days of 2000) and altered natives (recently interviewed on truants).

right from the start i’ve been thinking “i like this, and i want to hear more like it”, which you can’t say for every compilation or genre. one that really stood out to me was sirens from hardhouse banton, if only because the smooth liquid beats of this track are so many worlds away from what i used to know as hard house. a little digging (ie looking at the cd’s inlay) tells me that this track is from 2008 – the tracks on this comp range from 05 right up to the present – but it still sounds pretty fresh to me. a simple upwardly mobile synth line and that murky numbers-esque whisper give this track a vaguely sinister edge – something that seems quite prevalent in this whole funky scene.

continuing with the siren theme, lil silva‘s pulse vs flex (itself from 2009, my bad) kicks off with a whole load of sirens and but it’s all about the relentless snares that propel the track forward on a wave of nervous, crackling energy. on a 2010 tip, dva’s natty is full of fat but subdued bassline wobs and uncontained rolls and fills, tribal rattlings and synth lines that sound like dripping taps.

so where next? time to immerse myself in night slugs and hyperdub, and, in the real world, check out cooly g at the twisted pepper in dublin this week. ignored playaz has consistently been bringing uk funky goodness to these shores for the past 12 months, and somehow i’ve managed to miss each and every one of his bookings. that all changes on friday.

HardHouse Banton — Sirens

Lil Silva — Pulse vs Flex

DVA – Natty

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