Monday, 28 June 2010

It aint gonna be the same...

LCD Soundsystem - Yeah (Crass version)

It really isn't. RIP LCD. Not a lot of bands have produced freshness like this in recent years.

Sunday, 27 June 2010


Prince - Controversy

Controversy has to be one of the most important pop songs of the 80s. Truly seminal, it set a blueprint for not only dance-based pop in that decade but for the more interesting side of house music in the 1990s and beyond. One look at the live version at Bloomington and anyone who went to the Daft Punk Alive tours in 2007 can see exactly where they got their inspiration.

Live in Bloomington 1983

Lyrically it brought a serious edge to what could have been a tongue-in-cheek, self-referential record. "Some people want to die, so they can be free" is juxtaposed with "Some people call me rude, I wish we all were nude, I wish there was no black and white, I wish there was no rules". Yes, it is slightly ridiculous but it sought to speak to all those teenagers finding themselves and dealing with not fitting into society's or their own family's expectations.

The move from the driving 4/4 beat into the chorus is magical, and comes from nowhere - resetting people's assumption of what could be achieved with dance music. Unlike the 4/4 driving tunes that Talking Heads were producing at the same time, Prince managed to marry the danceability of house/disco with killer hooks and populist choruses.

The disco revival of 2008 gave the song another audience, with younger DJs and artists, like Holy Ghost putting it into mixes alongside tracks by artists such as Hercules and the Love Affair.

Holy Ghost! - I will come back

And even less obvious artists like Minus' Jesse Heartthrob have spoken about the influence that Prince, and specifically Controversy, had on their musical development.

Live in Houston 1981

Controversy might have seemed like an obvious song title and topic for Prince to have opted for, but he managed to deliver something that was so much more than simply a headline-grabbing slab of forgettable pop.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Next big thing

Kode 9 and Spaceape

I'm predicting jungle is going to come back in a big way during 2011. I've said it.
I am basing this completely on the fact that Kode 9 put together a jungle-inspired mix for Fact recently and that drum and bass has been so dire for the past decade.

Dance music )and music in general) moves in cyclical phases and now seems to be the ideal time for jungle to comeback. Of course, people like DJ C, Dj/Rupture and Kid 606 have been keeping up the darker riddims - but the mid-range frequencies that inspired dubstep produces to focus on actual bass, have dominated d'n'b.

If it does comeback around it'll be interesting to see how Radio One will deal with it. By playing d'n'b consistently on peak time shows, djs like Zane Lowe, have encouraged the radio-friendly tunes that producers like Pendulum and Sub Focus create and the kids like so much.

Yes, they have brought the scene into the mainstream, but it has also stopped producers trying to do anything interesting.

Soundman & Don Lloyde ft. Elizabeth Troy's 'Greater Love'

Kode 9 digs out the best of now, with older tracks like Soundman & Don Lloyde ft. Elizabeth Troy's 'Greater Love' showing young producers how to bridge the gap between jungle and the jazzy/broken beat influenced tunes that people like Joy Orbison and Actress are creating.

01. Soundman & Don Lloyde ft. Elizabeth Troy | Greater Love | S.O.U.R.
02. Lemon D | Manhattan Melody | Conquerror Records
03. Dope Style | You Must Think First | Ganja
04. Nut Nut | Special Dedication | Hardstep Records
05. Undercover Agent | Oh Gosh | Juice Records
06. DJ SS | MA2 remix | Formation Records
07. 12-10 Series Mk 1 | All That Jazz | Back 2 Basics
08. L Double featuring Bassman | Da Base Too Dark | Metalheadz Dark00
09. Urban Jungle | Back In The Daze | Unknown
10. Sacred | U Ready 4 Dis (Kall The Kops) | Pursuit Records
11. Fusion Forum | Vintage Keys | Reinforced
12. Maldini | Def Roll | Phat Trax
13. Bad Influence feat. DJ Rush Puppie | Time & Time | Prime Time Wax

Big tunes! I want credit if I'm right and if not... let's not talk about it.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

I've got my head straight and my shit together

Minor Threat

How can you not love Minor Threat? Ian MacKaye is awesome.

In My Eyes