Posts tagged ‘dance’
Long delayed (it was scheduled for October 2011 but wasn’t ready until December), this final volume in the series was definitely worth the wait.
It begins with a mix from Connecticut resident Darren Milos – aka – Lim. The deeeep dub techno of Darren’s “Verges of Tears” version sounds like the best damn 12″ Deepchord Presents Echospace never made. It’ll make you wonder why Lim isn’t a massive star of the international electronica scene.
Next up comes a submission from Mute Branches. Like the Lim mix, this is notable for its highly dynamic structure as well as the crystalline clarity of its mix. Mute Branches is, it turns out, James Cresswell, a prodigiously talented 20-year-old from the depths of England’s Black Country.
The B-side begins with a remix from legendary Vancouver electronica duo coin gutter, whose mix builds slowly, gradually ramping up the hypnotic intensity over the course of 11-and-a-half minutes. The series concludes with another murky, chaotic mix from CSAF mainstay connect_icut.
As ever, the full track-listing is provided below, with embedded players for previewing the individual tracks. Click on the download link to get the whole thing as a single .zip file.
1. Lim’s Verges of Tears (9:39)
2. Mute Branches Remix (7:04)
1. Coin Gutter Mix (11:24)
2. connect_icut 2011 Mix (7:43)
Here are the full details:
Vincent Parker’s remix is packed with swagger. Or should that be stagger? In any case, every time you think this track is going to fall flat on its face, Vincent pulls everything back up into place. He even supplied his own artwork to go with the mix (see below). A class act all ’round.
The connect_icut mix starts off atmospheric but brings in the beats just when you need ’em. Like Vincent’s mix, this a fevered exercise in raw improvisation, with all the bloody edges left un-sanitized.
The Luminaries mix is rather more refined and contemplative. It’s based around a series of bleak time-stretched drones, which betray very little trace of the original samples. These are arranged around ominous silences that – while undeniably spacious and panoramic – do little to dispel the claustrophobic mood of the first two tracks.
1. Vincent Parker Remix (5:21)
2. connect_icut 2011 Mix (7:25)
1. The Luminaries House of Bhutan Remix (10:15)
The first volume of Pirate Soundz got a pretty good reaction, so here’s volume two. This time around, the focus is on grime – which emerged, around the turn of the millennium, as a rave-spawned UK equivalent to Jamaican ragga or American hip-hop.
As you might expect, then, most of the tracks here focus on emcees spitting (sometimes) morally-questionable lyrics. The only instrumental tune is Low Deep’s “Str8 Flush”. Nevertheless, this compilation should provide a reasonably accurate overview of the grimy production style – which mixes the bass-heavy rudeness of rave with the rhythmic itchiness of US R&B, all topped off with cheap-and-cheerful VST synth melodies. Notably, two of the songs here are credited to ace producer Terror Danjah, rather than the emcees they feature.
Actually, one way or another, the same handful of names and voices keep cropping up throughout the mix. The fact is, grime was (and continues to be) an extremely localized scene, centred around a small area of East London. Grime is inseparable from its very specific place of origin, which may explain why it has never developed the kind of global prominence enjoyed by dubstep (a style which developed around the same time, from the same roots).
Still, listening to Pirate Soundz Vol. 2, you’ll have a hard time thinking of grime as any kind of failure. These tracks sound majestic and energizing and they were compiled to sound just that way. There’s no real attempt to be chronologically correct or historically comprehensive here, just a desire to present this music as something triumphant, uproariously witty and fundamentally unstoppable. That’s why the comp starts with “Don’t Give a Fuck” by Lykez – it’s hardly a classic grime standard but damn does it ever kick hard!
Basically, you’re going get a lot of pleasure out of this mix and you’re going to want to go out and spend some money on some actual product by the artists featured herein – plenty of whom have CDs and LPs in print. A good place to start might be with the first Run the Road CD – an epochal compilation, which was the source of several tracks presented here.
Two last things:
1. Big up to the Blissblogger, who inadvertently suggested a lot of the tracks that made it onto the final track-listing.
2. As ever, if you were involved in creating, publishing, manufacturing or distributing any of the music on this compilation and you object to Bubblegum Cage III sharing it, please just say the word and the right thing will done, without hesitation.
Here’s the full track-listing for Pirate Soundz Vol. 2.
1. Lykez – “Don’t Give a Fuck”
2. Roll Deep – “When I’m ‘Ere”
3. Ruff Sqwad – “Lethal Injection”
4. Trim – “Money Up Front”
5. Jammer – “Destruction VIP”
6. Wiley – “Pies”
7. Wiley – “Where You Gonna Run To?”
8. Terror Danjah – “Reloadz”
9. Terror Danjah – “Cock Back V1.2”
10. Kano – “Boys Love Girls”
11. Lethal Bizzle – “Pow”
12. Durrty Goodz – “Axiom”
13. Dizzee Rascal – “I Luv You”
14. Crazy Titch – “Sing Along”
15. Low Deep – “Str8 Flush”
16. Tinchy Stryder – “Move”
17. Slew Dem – “16 Bar”
18. Trim – “The Lowdown”
Pirate Soundz is a new series of compilations, which will provide an outsider’s view of the music that has emerged from London’s pirate radio culture over the last 20-or-so years. This first volume concentrates on the twinned inner cities of jungle and drum & bass. Generally, it eschews the more conventionally musical “progressive” drum & bass to examine the more eccentric aspects of hard-and-fast jungle. Experts in this area of endeavor are asked to go easy on the layperson-compiled tracklist but they are also encouraged to suggest alternatives, via the comments box.
Pirate Soundz Vol. 1 begins with a couple of tracks that demonstrate how ‘arkore rave music evolved into jungle, with increasingly complex splicing of sampled drum breaks taking over from swooping synths and sped-up vocal samples as the music’s main narrative element (Rufige Cru, Nasty Habits). If the compilation itself has a narrative, it’s something to do with rave’s descent from euphoria into paranoid ganja psychosis – with samples from then-contemporary US rap hits providing a crucial undertow (DJ Zinc, Elementz of Noise). Where a more explicitly progressive sensibility is in evidence, it comes – once again – through the elaborate, time-warped drum programming (Tek 9, Photek).
As ever, if you were involved in the creation or marketing/distribution of this music and you’re offended by its appearance on this compilation, just let Bubblegum Cage III know and the decent thing will be done. For those of you who would like to do the decent thing yourselves by actually buying some product from the artists featured here, it’s worth noting that two other comps were particularly helpful in the creation of this mix. The first was Routes from the Jungle, a 2CD collection put together for Virgin Records by Kevin Martin aka The Bug (available via Amazon). The second was Here Come the Drums, complied for Caipirinha by Wire magazine writer Peter Shapiro (available from Amazon). Both are well worth buying. Anyone who can provide alternative routes to actually pay for some of this music are encouraged to drop some links in the comments box.
Here’s the full track-listing for Pirate Soundz Vol. 1:
1. Rufige Cru – “Killa Muffin”
2. Nasty Habits – “Here Come the Drumz”
3. 4hero – “Wrinkles in Time”
4. Tek 9 – “A London Sumtin”
5. Boogie Times Tribe – “Dark Stranger”
6. Roni Size & DJ Die – “Music Box”
7. Photek – “Ni-Ten-Ichi-Ryu (Two Swords Technique)”
8. Omni Trio – “Thru the Vibe”
9. Optical – “Slip Thru”
10. Ed Rush – “Bludclot Artattack”
11. DJ Zinc – “Super Sharp Shooter”
12. Aphrodite – “Woman That Rolls”
13. Elementz of Noise – “Other Side of Town”
Couple of news items from the CSAF recording company. More details on these later but here are the headlines, for the time being:
2. The four-headed laptop beast known as hmbkr will be making its live debut at the Western Front in Vancouver on March 18th. You should add it to your Last FM calendar.
The last three entries in CSAF Records’ 10-20 2010 series…
VOLUME 14: connect_icut – “Garbo Sings” (CSAF127DL) 16:38
Like several of the 10-20 2010 releases, “Garbo Sings” is an outtake from Blonde Sound, a connect_icut album that, at the time of writing, is nearing completion. This one really showcases connect_icut’s increasingly structured approach and it was very, very nearly included on the album’s track-list. In the final analysis, though, it was just too damned epic to be kept within the confines of a mere long player. It had to be set free, online. Seriously, this is 17 minutes of huge!
Download in .zip format
VOLUME 15: Not Me – “lss (Example)” (CSAF128DL) 11:04
As 2010 comes to an end, “lss (Example)” points to the future of CSAF, generally and Not Me, specifically. It’s taken from a demos album released to provide guidance to participants in the 2011 12s project, a series of “virtual 12-inch singles” featuring new remixes of Not Me material, from an as-yet-unspecified selection of artists. In and of itself, this is probably the deepest, darkest and most accomplished Not Me track so far, mixing elements of minimal techno, dubstep and glitch.
Download in .zip format
VOLUME 16: Old Wyoming – “Your Violent Nature” (CSAF134DL) 11:59
Old Wyoming is the new project from Brad Lynham of Empty Love. “Your Violent Nature” is a truly serious piece of heavyweight analogue drone. Recorded and mixed on December 20th and 21st 2010, in Montreal.
Download in .zip format
The massed editorial staff of Bubblegum Cage III just got back from Seattle and – frankly – we don’t have a lot of time on our hands, so let’s get a move on, shall we?
ROOM40 10th ANNIVERSARY SHOWCASE
Rafael Anton Irisarri – AKA The Sight Below and one of the organizers of the festival, apparently. Lovely guitar-and-laptop business. Kept it short and sweet.
Lawrence English – The Room40 label boss turned in an excellent set but he certainly wasn’t as concise as Rafael Irisarri. Went on a bit and also attempted a seamless transition into Grouper, which fell a bit flat.
Grouper – Ah but when Liz Harris picked up her guitar and started to sing, the evening really took off. Boy does she ever have a knack for making apparently vague, slurred melodies hit home with absolute precision. Uncanny!
Ben Frost – Backed by a wall of guitar amps, Frost put in one of the more showy laptop sets of the festival. He favours brutal volume and dark themes but has the good taste and technical acumen to keep the sound crystal clear at all times. And those wolf sounds, corny on record, are genuinely terrifying live. Still, the none-more-intense, nature-is-cruel shtick does get a bit much after a while. The fact that he sites Ayn Rand as an influence and looks like the young Hitler doesn’t help.
OPTICAL 1 – BETWEEN SPACE
Robert Henke – Seated at the center of the fancy Nordstrom Recital Hall, The Monolake man presented a set of unusually lucid dark ambiance. His visuals involved fading black-and-white images into each other, using some crazy Jitter filter that superimposed the texture from the emerging image upon the outline of the present one. Stark and impressive.
Murcof – Got a standing ovation for his rather mediocre set of tepid, modern-classical-tinted electronica. Goodness knows why. Terrible visuals-y visuals, too.
Mark Van Hoen – The ex-Seefeel and Locust fellow began with a few pieces of jaw-droppingly brilliant video-sample collage, before complaining that his computer wasn’t “responding” properly and going on to do some more standard (but still brilliant) music-with-video pieces. At the end of his set, he stomped away, looking displeased. One of the highlights, nevertheless.
RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY ON THE FLOOR
Shlomo – Flying Lotus and Burial have a lot to answer for, don’t they? Goofy, lumbering stoner beats.
Teebs – Part of Flylo’s gang, rocking hyper-compressed psychedelic beat-scapes. Not bad. Got the crowd of Friday night drunks moving a bit.
Headhunter aka Addison Groove – Gutless and brainless amalgam of electronic dance music’s most mind-numbing cliches. Needless to say, the crowd loved it.
Mount Kimbie – And this is why it was worth sitting through Headhunter. The post-dubstep duo’s first North American date, apparently. Bits of playful live instrumentation (and vocals!) plus plenty of dub chaos made this wonderfully casual set reminiscent of the Mouse on Mars boys at their best. Seemed to confuse the party crowd, though, who only really got going when some rather heavy guitar riffing was brought in. Well, this was Seattle, after all.
OPTICAL 2 – TACTILE IMMERSION
Noveller – Though we’re heartily sick of seeing avant rockers using those green looping pedals everybody seems to have, this was an undeniably skilled and affecting set of solo guitar atmospherics. Plus she had the best merch of the festival – psychedelic cat tote bags!
Fennesz – A torrential downpour of guitar noise and Mego-style laptop chaos. Pitched somewhere between Plus 47 Degrees and Black Sea, this was heaven for Fennesz fans. Lillevan’s live visuals made a superb match – layer upon layer of splashing, clashing, cascading liquids. Rafael Irisarri came on for an encore, which may have been a distortion-drenched version of “Endless Summer”. The show in Vancouver the next night was great too, though rather more hesitant.
Oneohtrix Point Never – The artist of the year. Daniel Lopatin seems to be moving away from his signature synth arpeggios, towards a more digital sound, centering on his Korg ES-1 sampler. This set moved from ominous drones to processed live vocals and ended with some of Lopatin’s mangled ’80s pop remix magic (aka “echo jams”). The visuals, by Killingfrenzy, were pitch perfect and genuinely dreamlike – snakeskin-textured visions of the city at night, morphing and trailing.