i really don’t like that word. there’s no real reason for this, but it just sounds horrible to my ears. i guess any of that pseudo-management-bureaucracy-jargon-speak that they indulge in on any of the various apprentice shows is going to sound nonsensical at the best of times, but even worse when it comes out of the mouths of these power/fame-hungry zombies who launch their (reality tv) careers on a platform of unhealthy, overzealous ambition.
not that i’ve a problem with industry. one of my favourite tracks of late is the from azari & iii‘s release on turbo, the worker. it’s a plodding, no-nonsense technoid track that does exactly what it says on the tin. it works. grinding, pulsating and serious, it sounds like it was created in a warehouse, crafted by workers to the sound of the very track itself. another track in that vein is hector & nate‘s jomo, just out on scattermusic. the belgian duo have put together a useful ep, not of club bangers but of effective club tools – the label’s own promo descrives jomo’s “cascading percussion that’s already proven to cause ultimate chaos on the dancefloor”, and while i can’t vouch for this chaos, the percussion is swirling and atmospheric and definitely works in my head. wooooooooork.
i haven’t blogged in, like, a week, which is a crazy long time. my excuse is that this time last week i was in a field in belgium, and i deigned not to bring my iphone with me. i didn’t even tweet for five whole days, which must be some kind of record. while i was there i saw some crap shows, some ok shows, some good shows and some great shows. i won’t call out the crap or ok people. there’s a full sort of rundown here, but i’ll just tell you what i loved.
plastikman – rolling thunderous acid techno bleep apocalypse renaissance man – djs who were thoroughly entertaining didn’t just play what every other dj played (ie no pon de floor, no afrojack, no swedish house mafia) flying lotus – this was a weird one. he sort of laced through a bizarre set of hip-hop/rock/glitch/dubstep, moving from nas is like to idioteque in the space of about eight minutes. beyond that, he seemed to be having more fun playing tracks off his laptop than most ones-and-twos djs i’ve ever seen. Continue reading →
ok now that those two are out of the way, check this out. another track on rcrd lbl that you might have missed is from la-based them jeans. it’s called tips, and there’s something really quite special. the various subgenres of dance music seem to each be following a particular path when it comes to the inherent sonic textures. them jeans is going down a completely different route. i’m hearing things i’ve never heard before. that’s rare. the theme sounds almost like the imperial march, but it’s put together in such a way that i’m finding it difficult to describe it. underneath this darth vader wowee theme there’s a dark, smoky vibe that’s reminiscent of nadastrom, it’s housey, it’s groovy, it’s a winner.
another track that’s caught my attention is a remix by a guy called john howes. the original track, by vanstrom, is called smith n wesson and it’s a dark, heavy techy affair, almost in jokers of the scene territory. howes takes it down a notch. it’s a bit slower, it’s got these delightful his and claps, and the taxi driver sample, rather than seeming less appropriate than it does on the angry snarling monster, is lent an air of mournfulness and despair. the slow, simple disco theme, i don’t want to use the term plods, but it bounces along at a leisurely pace without seeming forced. more tortoise than hare if you get me.
Ahead of his show at Night Flight in Dublin this Friday, I got the chance to talk to the dirty bird himself, Mr Barclay Crenshaw, aka Claude VonStroke…
Where did the bird thing come from? Dirtybird, Beware of The Bird, Bird Brain…
The label had been named Dirtybird by chance based on a drawing i used to do when i was a kid. Then I had an idea to call my album Beware of the Bird. Then as soon as i thought of that title I got the idea to buy this giant bird mascot costume. It was just like a set of dominoes… one bird leads to another right down the line.
You’ve done a lot to make techno more “fun” – since ice cool minimal seems to be on the way out, what do you think is coming next?
I don’t really care because i don’t ride the trends. I play whatever I think is the best music being made. The next thing coming is probably more crap, more posers, more critics fawning over so-so stuff… and then there will of course be one or two genuine pearls in that bucket of clams somewhere. Continue reading →
tiga is a strange character. i love some of his tracks and remixes, his label is pretty awesome, and any time i’ve seen him dj i’ve had a great time. but some of his album tracks leave me cold and a little disappointed. don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic tracks on sexor (pleasure from the bass, good as gold, 3 weeks) and ciao! (the opening four tracks) but the rest of it really is just filler i think. it’s sad. i remember the first time i heard sunglasses at night. it was haunting, robotic, and cool as hell. then tom middleton mashed it up against the timeless blue monday for his 2002 mix the sound of the cosmos. this particular bootleg was released on city rockers, and, though i can’t remember how or where, i picked up the mp3 some years back, and and now i share it with you.