Monday, March 27, 2017

if you can make it there



Tasty new mix (third in a trilogy that includes Detroit and  Chicago) by Woebot dedicated to the proposition that NYC was the engine of dance music innovation between 1986 and 1996

I'll shall have to ponder that....

When you take Todd Terry and Joey Beltram out of the picture...  I don't know if I think of New York as the hot spot during that decade.

The Nu Groove stuff  is pleasant, a little sedate and dinky to my mind ... Strictly Rhythm is lush, it does the bizniz...  garage is garage...

But feels like often NYC points towards things (as with e.g. the Bonesbreaks records) that are taken much much further elsewhere

Nitro Deluxe was a co-parent of bleep but there's really only 2 tracks there - "Brutal" and "Mission"

Beltram -  soon surpassed by his Belgian, Dutch and German offspring (and then veers off in a not-hugely compelling pure techno direction)

(And there's no getting round the fact that the  best record Industrial Strength ever put out was German - "We Have Arrived" b/w "Nightflight (Non-stop to Kaos)")

Still New York is New York  - the most populous, racially mixed, nightclub-dense city in America, and the equal-first gayest too -  so it's always going to be coming up with a steady stream of goodness

I always forget about this one, for instance - a high point of the Woebot mix



Wracking my brains but can't think of the title but there's a tune by the Horrorist (& Miro I think - as SuperPower) that closely replicates the "Searchin'" groove

I wonder if this is actually the first piano-vamper? Didn't the Italians get there first?  How about Inner City's "Good Life"? No matter, top tune



Landlord - one of those strange outfits that only put out the one fantabulous perfect record, before dispersing into oblivion

Unlike

Todd-is-God



That came out in December 1991 - so wasn't it more like Todd keeping up with state-of-rave riffology-91-style, than actually pioneering it? (Not that he hadn't done a hella bunch of pioneering in the late Eighties)

Beltram's finest moment, contends Woebot - contentiously!



Very nice -  but pull the other one mate, doesn't rival the epochal weight of E-Flash or Mentasm 

Now if I was doing that mix I would have squeezed these in somewhere: 



(or one of the other many, equally splendid mixes)

Still prefer this to "Can You Party"...



(Would you believe - embarrassing this - but only really quite recently noticed the vocal lick in that comes from the start of "Planet Rock")

(And equally embarrassing - really only days ago I clocked that the other main vocal lick turned into a sample-stutter is from T. La Rock's "It's Yours" - later also used in a famous Nas tune, right? Not that I give one shit about Nas)

(Actually interviewed T. La Rock in '87 - but got a horrible feeling I never wrote it up.  He did a couple of fantastic records produced by Mantronik - "Back to Burn" and "Breaking Bells" - so that was my impetus to seek an interview - but then the next one was really weak, which deflated said impetus)

Ah but these Afrika Bambaataa and T. La Rock samples.... that does bring up one thing where I would say NYC has indeed had  an edge over Detroit and Chicago -  something that enabled it to anticipate the hybrids that blossomed fiercer elsewhere (i.e. London) - namely the way that house mingled with electro and hip hop.  So you get hip-house, you get breakbeat house...  later on you get Armand "I A Raw Individual" Van Helden ,with his B-boy affectations/ aspirations that nonetheless turned out be musically productive affectations / aspirations,... Earlier on of course you had Mantronix (much bigger in the U.K. than in their home city).

You can't imagine a record coming out Detroit or Chicago that would use a T. La Rock sample, can you? That right there is the affinity between the NYC action of this era and things like Unique 3 or Shut Up and Dance or Prodigy....

And one last Manhattan-and-boroughs classic - one of those generic-yet-consummate tunes. By JB's other half in Second Phase - Mundo Muzique, aka Edmundo Perez.  A perfect welding of 303-acid and Mentasmoid/Dominator blare - resulting in a singularly groggy-druggy record. Oh and hark at the E.P. title - Tranztechno! So in '91 the idea of ''tranz" was already circulating...




Saturday, March 25, 2017

the last point at which d+b had half-a-point?



that sort of cleanly-dirty production, that stereofield-snaking b-line thing

totally linear in its propulsion, none of the bebop-style drop-the-bomb B-line thing you got with classic-era two-lane-tempo jungle, where the bass in a sidling motion in relation to the drums..

flattened out in that respect but still in its narrow swingless way a rush

reggae influences burned off completely but also hip hop too - breaks that don't break, bass that pummels rather than booms

the drums become this whirring skitter



the hard rock name fits, although Motorhead would be far more apt - especially as so many of the tunes are to all intents and purposes identical














in an odd way a distant cousin to gloomcore  -  but with nothing close to the same lushly emotive atmosphere

yes this next one would seem to be a totally apt tune for them to be remixing



except they really make a silk purse into a sow's ear don't they?

they won't let the doomy riff ring out, they fuss it up, fill out the sound

still i really wouldn't mind having caught them in their prime

but i had long jumped ship to UKG and 2step ysee

breakbeat house