Catching up

Mostly I dream about small annoyances or finding myself in a remote part of the city when an abysmal darkness suddenly falls. But the other night, I dreamed George Clinton was in my kitchen. We were making a pot of funk, you know, for dessert. Obviously, he did most of the work while I watched and learned. It was just a small pot, served maybe 4 people, and the funk was pink. Luminous pink, like liquid Turkish Delight but glowing from inside. George crumbled a bit of chocolate into it and mixed that around with his fingers. We had a really nice time together.

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Elsewhere, in the last couple of weeks:

Martin has done the Sam Shackleton interview that I wish I’d done (but only he could). Shackleton is easily one of the most interesting producers of any style to emerge in the last couple of years. Check his releases on Mordant and his own Skull Disco label. And while he’s been working similar themes over the course of his last few releases, he’s made that musical territory entirely his own and the tracks just keep getting better. Sam is frank and funny as he talks about making music, working with Appleblim, his relationship to the dubstep ‘scene,’ and putting on the now defunct Skull Disco parties:

Now my idea of a party is one where people let themselves go and are bang into the music, and I was reading this book at the time about a tribe from Cameroon who dug up their ancestors remains so as they could enjoy watching the festivities while the living members of the tribe played music, danced and got pissed. I thought ‘that’s the spirit!’ So I decided to call the label Skull Disco.

Read the interview and download an all-Shackleton mix by Dubsta.

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Boomnoise blog!

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Many thanks to Bruno Belluomini for sending a copy of his debut vinyl release – a split 12″ with Belgium’s Ipiki OoKami. I’m particularly feeling the opener “Taka Fogo” which has shades of Funk Carioca in it without being self-conscious about it. I’m normally not a fan of Amens in dubstep but they’re used sparingly and well here. I’ll most certainly have this in the bag when I play out (for the first time in 13 years!) in a couple of weeks with old school Hamilton UKG head Matt Tsunami. Details to follow.

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More Amens – Wayne&Wax @ RiddimMethod takes an offhand remark on dancecult-l about the Amen break as “the most sampled rhythm ever” and runs with it. How do we trace the routes of the dematerialized, diasporic and, often, covertly reproduced sounds of rhythmic sampledelia? Wayne reminds us too, that not all sample-based music is made in English.  Also check Wayne’s bloggariddims mix below.

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Compared to grime, which has reinvented the DVD as DIY mixtape, dubstep has so far shied away from representing itself in video. There was the short BBC doc and there are plenty of distorted camera phone movies on YuToob, but little else. Until now at least. Last night I finally had some time to watch the new Bristol dubstep documentary Living Inside the Speaker which arrived in my mailbox last week. “Cooked up, collated and cobbled together… on a £300 camcorder and a microphone that cost £20,” between February and June 2006, the footage and interviews go back to first monumental Subloaded event in April 2005 and move up though the near-present with a refreshingly underexposed set of faces and voices. While the film follows the “dubstep primer” approach to a point, it’s entirely Bristol-centric and doesn’t bother with the usual London litany that every other music mag (see this month’s URB) has been churning out in recent months (Though, a proper London ting is begging to be made. Maybe a little DVD add-on for Roots of Dubstep vol. 2, eh Martin? *nudge nudge). We get to hear from Pinch, Tom and Chris at Rooted, the whole HENCH crew, Atki2, Elemental and others, along with Nick Gutterbreakz as well. I was hoping to see Thinking and (*edit: Nick tells me Thinking is there by the name Diccon) Appleblim in there but no luck. Still, we do get a rare chance to hear a few producers discuss which tools they use and how they use them (instead of the usual ‘in front of the desk’ photo op). Also interesting was seeing Dubstudio’s facilities. While London runs on old-style acetates, Bristol seems to have taken to the new ‘everlasting vinyl dubplates’ that have appeared in the last year or so.

You can get your own for a mere 5 quid at Rooted Records.

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Finally, in other Bristol news, a big congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Gutterbreakz on the recent addition of a happy, healthy baby boy to the family.

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Time to mark 150 exams…

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