Friday, July 20, 2007


Bliss-up to the links to Derek’s sites, someone who has been brave enough to stick his head above the parapet of doubt by suggesting that the new Burial gear is, a bit samey. “A coda to the album” may turn out to be a generous appreciation of the unknown amphibian’s latest reverbs.

I'm with him too on Tinchy's forthcoming album on Takeover. He was always 'star material' and this lifeless r&g explicitly acknowledges that the mainstream fields could be courted on their terms.

In other generics - jungle on L Double's show was tearing on Wednesday. And it took me back to that particular social gathering (long extinguished in my life) away from the rave - round your mate’s, dance radio show or mix tape or cd pumping out. If weed’s involved, your whole body will be shaking on the sofa, a much better communication of your enjoyment than the stoned syntax and confused commentary. Text for the rewind if it’s on the radio, maybe just rinse out on your throne or, even, get up and dance. On this show, it pleased me that some d&b is showing that it can switch from the tired Pendulum extremes to just plain hardcore nutty again, songs maintained by their sheer effrontery, their outré infantilism. Here, jungle plays a headfuck role, get on the dancefloor and have so much coming at you by way of superfast amens, insistent riffs and grimey bass and mid-range undertow that the bombardment serves as a clean-out in a way that the genres tied to the matrix can’t. The two that caught my ear in this vein I think were by Roughcut & Foxy, the former employing a demented android voice against the digi-screeches, the latter with Scheme revisiting the Bad Company end-of-days riffs. You can see how this senseless dementia still reels in the youth.

A certain electro-house clanker whose ID escapes has been in my head for a while now, after hearing its attenuated plink-plonk riff at a Brixton party a few months ago. It’s probably been out for ages but grows on you like Tiefschwarz’s take on Spectrum did a few years ago. So it was a nice surprise to hear it quaking out of a car stereo coming down Honor Oak Park the other day. This is an indicator that the repopularisation of house via the funky strain is taking all the other 4/4 vibes with it into far more of a mass acceptance than it could have hoped for a few years ago. In general, nothing is likely to replace garage as the main car stereo round my southeast ends any time soon.

As I have appointed myself unofficial chronicler of the nascent Ronson-led rock soul scene – a couple more motifs of this movement have emerged in recent weeks. Some remixers have revamped Frankie Valli’s already-tidy cut Begging, adding some generic noise-out guitar that these days is not EQd to add any weight to the sonic texture but floats well enough on top of the 60s American blue-eyed soul. Still, must admit that with the addition of a third element, a ravey piano, that enough bases are covered and I’m reeled in.

Now the Coral are joining in too, opting i'm sure completely co-incidentally for a Detroit stomp on their latest single. Cynically, this is another way for the less progressive indie kids to get out of the latest dance craze, the heroic energy of new rave, while comforting themselves that they do indeed still like a jig to music with substance and that they’re right-on multiculturalists, a l’Office actor Martin Freeman (in himself emulating the leader of narrow-horizon rock Paul Weller – the Style Council didn’t go that far).

Lastly, Czuk’s anarchist choir The Slackers are putting on a show at the South London gallery on Saturday. As he says: “If you're anywhere near London and if you like the sound of singing 'Ke Arona', a lovely South African 'all power to the people' anthem in four-part harmony, with quite a few other people, then come along. No previous singing experience is required and the clothiest ears are welcome...”
They’ll be on from 8-9 or thereabouts. The night also features The Errorists and DJ Rubbish and is called Banding Together.
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