Link or you’ll miss it III
Well a delayed link roundup this week, as I continue to learn exactly how much time babies extract from a routine no matter how much time you try to allocate to them, especially once the health scares kick in. All fine now, though.
Anyway. My interview with Mala is up. A real shame we had to cancel Cosmonaut on Sunday after he had a disaster with his records & the Belgian rail system; sincerely wishing he tracks them down OK, and hopefully we can do something even better in future. Like I said before, and as you can hopefully see from the interview, he’s quite a philosopher. It’s so good when you meet a musician who can talk about things like “being true to yourself” without sounding trite, because they’ve actually put serious thought and hard work into understanding what that really means and putting it into practice. There are a select few artists who live and work in a world of their own in the best possible sense – who bring their own imagination out into the real world then work within the ruleset which that dictates, not any received wisdom about how an artist of their particular style or background should sound or behave. It’s that William Blake thing: “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s.” Years ago I interviewed the late John Balance of Coil, who held forth on this topic very interestingly; he cited Robert Wyatt, Kate Bush and Lemmy as examples of people who not only work in their own world to their own rules but bring us into that world. These were all examples I could totally agree with – and I think Mala is another.
What’s particularly intriguing to me about Mala and the DMZ crew is that they further extend the world of their shared imagination into the real world by virtue of the dances that they promote. As we discuss in the interview there is the sense of the DMZ (de-militarised zone) as a real formalising of the “leave your troubles at the doorstep” ethos of clubland hedonism into a very real psychological shift that takes place when punters enter the club space. Not just the American hippie-raver ultra-free-marketeer idea of the “temporary autonomous zone”, but something a bit more specific, a bit more rooted in locality and personal vision. Someone else who has always done that is Optimo, who had their last ever club night in their existing form in Glasgow on Sunday, after a run of some thirteen years. As this footage of the finale of their final night shows, they have a unique and very special approach to club music; anyone who gets a crowd of people like that going spare to Fleetwood Mac is OK by me. Here is the full five-part, seven-hour recording of their final night.
In altogether more corporate mode, I’ve also been working for the Ministry Of Sound. Never imagined I would, but they asked if I would do the sleeve notes for their first dubstep compilation, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find that they were serious about licensing a really broad range of the sound and not simply the lairiest most mobile phone speaker-friendly student rave “dubstep remixes” of pop dance anthems. It’s strange to observe this continual emergence of dubstep into the relative mainstream after some eight or ten years slow growth in the shadows; I’ve documented it in various places now this year, notably for the Red Bull Music Academy – but also for the Bloc Weekender programme, and for an upcoming article on the MTV website (should be up on Friday) – and had some very interesting responses. But more on all this anon.
Here’s something I did on Thomas Fehlmann, Scuba and Berlin techno for The Arts Desk.
And here’s what I’ve been looking at in the last week. Or nine days.
Billy Bragg haranguing the BNP in Barking again. I interviewed Billy for Word a while back, he is as excellent company as you’d expect.
My Top 3 Weekly Last.FM artists: Trurl And Klapaucius (37), Thomas Fehlmann (30) and Scuba (24)
Just happiness, plain and simple…
Shame on me, I let this new Ramadanman single slip through the net in my reviews, but it’s pretty essential. So SPRINGY.
Sitting in human poo smoking crack all day? What fun Bogota must be.
Massive punch up with smoke bombs and EGG FIGHT in Ukranian parliament today. Brilliant.
I know everyone thinks it’s sacrelige for Rusko and Caspa to remix a classic but I really like this – it’s quite floaty.
Of course Rusko can be spectacularly cheesy too, but I can’t help quite liking this shamelessly slutty piano-rave thing
This has to be the YouTube performance of the century, surely? “Big Booty Bitches” indeed! (safer for work than the title might imply)
Mmmmm… scary drones! A recording of Brendan Murray / Perispirit / Xela show in Boston
Toy robot, ninja empire, repurposed bits of other films, Garfield phone - what more could you want? – thks Philie T
If you like Nick Drake / John Martyn, or dark American folk, or lush arrangements, this new Sam Amidon album is THE BUSINESS – presence of Beth Orton always a plus in my book too.
Incredible: Alicia Keys’s engineer has leaked The Neptunes' drumkits! Surprised to find they don’t just use Korg preset sounds… but anyone who makes music should cop these immediately.
More glorious rare garage / early dubstep available at Noodles's DPR store: El-B ft. Rasia ‘Lately’ – hoping this represents the beginning of a full-scale Ghost reissue programme.
A grim, yet sadly familiar story - Scott Storch, from A-list rap/r&b producer to rehab. Really fascinating and thorough bit of storytelling. – via Paul McGee
Thoughts on Erykah Badu's nudity - frankly I’m down with anything that calls itself “Crunk Feminist”
And talking of lady pop star’s bodies, it’s quite enjoyable to watch the intellectualists scrapping over GaGa… I think this piece is pretty good actually
Giorgio Moroder was SEVENTY on Monday. Happy birthday to a brilliant brilliant man. Here the brilliant Chrissy Murderbot has made a whole Moroder mixtape!
Is it grime? Dancehall? Dubstep? Doesn’t matter: Badness and Cotti are each a guarantee of absolute quality… together they’ve made ‘Team Wolf’ & made it available for free download.
This is really not good: Garry Shider of Parliament/Funkadelic has cancer and no medical insurance, and his family are appealing for help - via George Clinton's MySpace. US musicians of a certain age are having a bad time of it at the moment…
Ghostly International pre-empted a lot of the current lurching electronic hip hop thing with Dabrye, and they’re still doing it v v well with Shigeto
South African sci-fi noir “in a city twisted by crime and magic” recommended by William Gibson?? PRE ORDER PRE ORDER PRE ORDER
Another lush “Italian UK Garage” track from Aquadrop!
Nice work John Squire, almost good enough to forgive The Seahorses…
Hyperactive NYC skateboard electro rap by Mr Starcity & NY Lurkers - looks a bit goofy and hipsterish, but sounds GREAT
Haha do crate-diggers feel about this Gap t-shirt how rockers did about Miss Selfridge doing Motorhead Ts?
You can always count on MJ Cole to make some great beats but even by his standards the ‘Riddim EP' (out this week) is HEAVY
This is the best thing in the whole election
These multiples of Mac money make me dizzy, no wonder Steve Jobs gets messianic
Scary. Spectral. NYPD release 215 pics by serial killer in hope women can be found alive and well:
Not much is as cool as this: Walter Jackson ‘It’s an Uphill Climb to the Bottom’ + slo-mo Wigan Casino footage – via Edwyn Collins
Mock & Toof are SO much better than Delphic, Friendly Fires or any pther “NME indie-dance” TRUFAX
Gotta get up got to feel good, gotta get up got to feel good… <—- more innocent times
I loved No Lay when she was part of grime duo Unorthodox “back in the day”, then she sort of vanished but now —-> BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE LONDON mixtape
If he gets in / So does he
Genesis P Orridge hosts garage sale in NYC: “You have to get rid of stuff, even if yr an underground legend”
Found out that William Gibson is on Twitter. May actually be digitally startstruck.
“What’s on the end of the stick, Vic?” “Ohh, it’s PJ Harvey designing a magazine for Francis Ford Coppola”.
David Cameron sings ‘Common People’. Bit blunt-edged but brilliantly done
Good polemic re sexisim in arts – but interested to see how Bidisha threatens to follow up this threat to boycott organisations and events guilty of tokenism, though; she’s always been happy to aim right for the centre of the centre when it comes to the arts establishment in the past.
As I keep saying the BNP are so haplessly stupid they’d be lovable if they weren’t evil. Just check out the guy on the left dressed as “some bloke from the Lebanon”
A picture that really disturbs me
Diplo's blog can get a bit starry-eyed sometimes, for example I know from personal experience that he is wrong about lack of slums and class segregation in Cuba, but nevertheless this story is a very good read, with a whole lot more to say than your average DJ, and his enthusiasm is infectious
Anyone ever seen ‘Vibrations’? Looks like the ultimate techno movie of all time! trailer clip (seriously, this is incredible)
Actually this might be the best thing about the election. Marina Hyde is completely on fire right now – and note the publication time on that article, it must have been written pretty much “live”.
“I’m just a rich boy, nobody likes me…”
"Right, the story is we’re all raving in a shop, right, then we all run out and go and rave in a forest" IT’S A WRAP! Again, more innocent times. This video makes me unaccountably happy.
Amazing. Pictures From The Daily Mail: a window into a nightmare.
Download the first ever Skream & Benga Show - not, as they say, for the easily offended.
Oh my: ‘Joystep' = today's “Intelligent Urban Music” – this is the piece I'll be replying to on the MTV website this week.
How to start the day with a spring in your step: STAPLES SINGERS
Bit embarassing, this: return to bad old days of describing music as “intelligent” as a euphemism for “by white people” :(
So farewell Adrian Chiles, the One Show will be an intellectual wasteland without you. Great work as ever, Cassetteboy.
Small but perfectly formed 27-min DJ mix with brilliant Aaliyah action over at BassMusicBlog
Not lo-fi, just DIFFERENTLY-fi - Heiroglyphic Being's house music from another planet. Also, this by Lukid goes nicely alongside it.
Funny haha blog about how amazing websites were in the 90s. Especially Peter Stringfellow's.
D-Styles scratching over ‘Zig-Zag’ by Rustie
Shameless, ridiculous would-be subliminal bullshit by Sky News
Mmm, superstoned Brazilian-hiphop-soul: Jneiro Jarel remixes Arthur Verocai “Balada 45"
Ooh yeahh, it’s the shekshy shoul mushic from Amshterdam!
Hours’ worth of West African pop music from the 1970s!
Some serious immersion in samplism from Primus Lata
"the pseudo-modernist communicates constantly with the other side of the planet, yet needs to be told to eat vegetables to be healthy" Fundamentally flawed but interesting look at the shallowness of the Weird Wired World
Good interview with Scratcha/DVA here - and MAN I love that Durrty Goodz track.
Demented freestyle and fascinating blog by Philly rapper Hollowman (from TEAM-A NapaClappa 2-5-2 $ex-Money-Murder!)
Music industry “not falling off a cliff” shocka - instructive video
A graffiti blog ‘Plastic Bones’, good name, nice pictures
Fantastic raggedy old grime here – thks Dan Hancox
Can’t remember who pointed me at Toys & Techniques blog but it’s a treasure trove of psychedelic-pop-art-sci-fi history
Endless Massive Attack bootlegs/rarities - most interested in the ancient stuff e.g. Eric B & Rakim remix
Whether or not the sun comes back this Spring Mix of hiphopsoulfunketc by The Last Skeptik should get you feeling sunny
If I’m ever in doubt in this life, I ask myself “WWDPD?”. WHAT WOULD DARRYL PANDY DO? It doesn’t help, but it’s fun.
Now this from Diplo is REALLY good – really worth watching right through: a look at New Orleans bounce / sissy bounce…
Do you fancy a technicolour rave nightmare?
New Bomb Squad dubstep DJ mix – and a clip of serious 808 molestation
Cameron “playing rather loose” with his statistics shocka
Now this is a new genre I can get with - Mumdance has invented "KERPLUNK!" music and it’s heavy.
My PREVIOUS top 3 Weekly Last.FM artists: Actress (30), Wiley (23) and diskJokke (13)
OooooooOOOooo a proper cosmic DJ mix from Amen Ra here
Johann Hari vs Richard Littlejohn, a deeply enjoyable spat
If you’re on Facebook, please join Hope Not Hate's fan page. They’ve just shot past the BNP in number of supporters this week, keep the movement going.
"Hi Joe, the Canadian Arts Council will pay for you to go to Mutek in June - interested?” “Ummmm… let me check my diary…”
ACID HOUSE FROM 1972!”££$%£$%
OK well if you’ve got this far, well done, enjoy all that stuff, and see you next week. Ish.