1 hour session from February, opening for Shackleton and Reza Rekta (Anti Social) alongside the Montreal gang: Komodo, Hosta and Bus. Straightforward Ableton set here: Spooky garridge, bassline pressure, 8-bar and early, instrumental grime. Some minor edits. Channeling Slimzee in the last half – lots of favourites on display.
[00:00] Shorty – Listen (Road)
[03:30] DJ Wire – All Alone (Real)
[06:30] KMA – Klean Kards (Locked ON)
[09:45] DJ Faz – Believe (Locked On)
[13:30] Oris Jay ft. MC E-LL – ‘Brand Nu Flava’ (Props)
[14:30] Trevor T – Mind, Body & Soul (white)
[17:20] Jason Kaye – Soundboy (Hotpoint)
[19:40] Sticky – Golly Gosh (Social Circles/edit)
[20:45] Jammin – Go DJ (Bingo/edit)
[22:20] DJ Narrows – Saved Soul (Resurrection)
[24:30] Agent X – Killahertz Alias Rmx (Heatseeker)
[26:20] Dom Perignon & Dynamite – Got Myself Together DnD Mix (DnD)
[27:45] Jameson – Urban Hero (Lifestyle)
[29:50] Dub Syndicate – I Need Your Love Agent X Mix (Unit Five)
[32:30] Corrupted Cru – G.A.R.A.G.E. Narrows Mix (white/edit)
[34:20] Wiley – Before This
[35:25] Eastwood & Oddz – You Ain’t Ready (white)
[36:45] Dizzee Ras – Hoe 3 (white)
[37:30] Plasticman – Cha (Terrorhythm)
[38:35] Donae’o – Bounce Fidgets Mix (Social Circles)
[40:00] DJ Wire – Believe Me DJ Faz Mix (white)
[41:50] Plasticman – The Rush (A.R.M.Y.)
[44:10] Geeneus – Da Journey (Dump Valve)
[47:00] Geeneus – Say It (Dump Valve)
[49:15] Dexplicit – UK Ravers (Social Circles)
[52:00] Charmzy – Dan Dana (Black Ops)
[53:25] Shackleton – Stalker Gangsta Refix (Mordant/edit)
[65:10] DJ Oddz – Bump Dis (white/edit)
Ekoplekz is Nick from Gutterbreakz blog, and this limited-run, paint spattered CD-R (designed by Woofah contributor 2nd Fade) was the best thing to land in my mailbox this spring. Regretfully, when it arrived, I was in the final weeks of my first term of teaching and I simply didn’t have time to give it the review it deserved.
A bit of background: Nick has a history of supporting bedroom producers with a bit of skill and a lot of imagination. His reviews at Gutterbreakz helped launch more than a few dubstep careers. After that, he set up the short-lived Bleepfiend netlabel with the aim of digging up and releasing long-forgotten, pre-PC electronic music – home studio material from the era of 4-tracks, MIDI cables, little LCDs, and running out of memory. Most recently, though, he’s turned his attention to his own music, apparently spurred by his acquisition of a peculiar old box called the ‘P15 Ekosynth 15’ (so rare it’s not even listed at VSE). Over the years I’ve heard a number of decent tracks by Nick – mostly in dubstep and techno territory – but with Ekoplekz, he’s really begun to carve out his own musical world.
Word of the project first trickled out in late-January, via a self-deprecating email that warned: ‘if you don’t like sallow-faced, impoverished, unglamorous, lo-fi electronic music of a distinctly late-70s post punk variety then this probably isn’t for you.’ Within two months, not only had the music been committed to CD, it was getting airplay on Resonance FM and picking up a string of very complimentary reviews and mentions from folks like Woebot, Simon Reynolds, John Eden, Kidshirt and Prince Asbo. I’ll leave the descriptions to them because, frankly, they’re more attuned to the important reference points than I am…
Uncarved: ‘”Hole in my sound” catches Cabaret Voltaire at their eeriest. “Rebus Neu”is like Throbbing Gristle doing background music for Dr Who circa Tom Baker… [But] that this is no mere pastiche of the bands he loves, it has an identity all of its own and must be the product of many hours of tinkering away with the kit. If Nick is unlucky he’ll be lumped in with the Hauntologists – he deserves better than that.’
Kidshirt: ‘it’s like some Radio Repair-Shop version of Steve Reich.’
‘Confidently tentative,’ you could say about the album as a whole. It’s a potential recipe for noodly disaster, but instead we get 29 brief, purposeful (and I’d say joyful) electrostatic dub experiments at the edges of lo-fi industrial-funk. It may harbour a deep affection for Cabaret Voltaire et al. but it also manages to sound more immediate, more mutant, more lovingly crafted than so much irony-couched or DAW-glossed music at the moment.
Volume 2 is already in preparation, and will hopefully be ready in September, marked by a special ‘semi-live’ performance on Resonance FM. More details on that nearer the time.
In the meantime, there is an interim mini album available to download free on Soundcloud, featuring half-a-dozen tracks I recorded back in March, mainly experiments with the P15 Ekosynth which I bought just after finishing the Volume 1 sessions. These tracks appeared on a very limited cassette called “Doctrine 789305” which I only gave to a handful of close friends, but other than that I have no further plans to use them, so I thought I might as well share them with anyone who might be interested.
Congratulations to the Woofah crew on issue #4. Now under under new Droidian management with John Eden in a Putin-like “background” role. Two favourites from this issue: Wayne Marshall on “Sci-Fi Reggae” is a solid crash course on Afrofuturism. Emma Warren gives a rare peek into the ultra secretive world of UK dubplate cutters. And, of course, “Hot Gal Commandments.”
You might remember Mr. Bump from early on in the Blogariddims series – bottom-heavy, a bit rowdy. He dredged up those old swung beats with the rude basslines and sugary vocals – dance tunes – back when everyone was half steppin. Next came a very brief but thrilling career as a pioneer of the UK Funky thing in North America. Road trips, thronging dancefloors, specials from the likes of Sticky and Lil Silva. But Bump is fickle, and just as things were picking up, he went into deep hibernation. Rumours followed: solder addiction, more important things to do…
But just when it looked like he’d disappeared for good, up pops Bump on a bill with his old Skull-and-Bones buddy in Montreal, care of Komodo Dubs. Feb. 20, 2010 at Société des arts technologiques (SAT), Montreal.
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Here’s an 80-minute live set from Bump’s triumphant appearance at MTL Funky back in April (later featured on Kuma’s Art of Beatz radio show out of Vancouver). Some rare bits, dubs and custom edits in the mix. The recording’s a bit crunchy in spots and some good bits got lopped off either end (Heatwave ‘Do You Mind’ reggae refix, Crazy Cousinz ‘Go,’ and a dark stepper by Restless 1). Toronto Funky’s MC Plain English gets on the mic at about 28min. It was big night…
[00:00] Terry Hunter – Flying
[01:00] Lil Silva – Different (special)
[04:00] Kenny Dope – Do It (O Gutta Rmx)
[06:05] Perempay & Dee – Buss It
[08:45] Addictive – Girl Like Me (DJ Naughty Mix)
[10:45] Donaeo – Devil in a Blue Dress Instr.
[13:00] Donaeo – African Warrior Instr.
[15:10] Sticky – Jumeirah Riddim (special / Bump edit)
[17:55] Sticky ft. Simi & Lady Chan – How Very Dare U (special)
[20:50] D Malice – Monopoly Refix
[21:20] Princess – Frontline
[22:50] Lil Silva – Season
[26:30] NB Funky – Riddim Box
[28:30] Geeneus – Into the Future
[31:45] Kode9 & LD – 2 Bad
[33:35] Crazy Cousinz – Inflation
[36:30] Cooly G – Dis Boy
[37:50] Swift Jay – Toppa
[40:20] NB Funky – Compromise
[42:00] Grievous Angel – Loser Refix (special)
[44:15] DJ Gregory – Klappa
[46:30] Geeneus – Yellowtail
[49:00] Roska – Climate Change
[50:00] Lil Silva – Funky Pulse
[52:00] Hard House Banton – Reign
[56:45] Dj Gregory – Don’t PAnic (Karizma Dub)
[57:15] Lighter – Skanker
[58:50] D Malice – My Joy Refix
[62:45] Fingaprint – The Print
[64:00] Fingaprint – Takeover
[66:15] Tadow – Jump Up
[68:00] Tadow – Cowboy
[69:30] Hard House Banton – Sirens
[71:40] Wookie – Loco
[72:45] Dennis Ferrer – Touched the Sky (Quentin Harris Dub)
[75:30] Roska – Gone to a Better Place
[77:20] Roska – Elevated Level
[78:45] Aaron Carl – Oassis (Nick Holder Dub)
[80:00] Ear Dis – I Feel
[81:55] D Malice – Keep On (Bump edit)
Exceedingly literal example of SF Capital from Native Instruments with their new ‘Sonic Fiction‘ soft synth. Finally, someone has translated Eshun’s Afrofuturist conceptronics into something we can all enjoy buy: a feature rich, user friendly addition to NI’s prosumer-oriented Kore Audio platform. Developed by Jeremiah Savage… “SONIC FICTION uses concepts and scenarios from the world of science fiction as its creative source.” According to the literature, “Jeremiah’s passion for the philosophical hypotheses in the best of sci-fi literature and film translates into 100 evocative, otherworldly and yet always highly-playable instruments, with 800 individual sound variations.” Deep. If only Sun Ra had had ones of these.
I got hacked a couple of weeks ago, which has set me back a bit. That Mr.Bump/Funky post and others are coming but I had to do a lot of damage control after an iframe injection attack that left all of my sites quarantined by Google/Firefox. The good news is that the blog and Dark Disco were easy to rescue, but I ended up destroying Riddim.ca in order to save it. Long story, but it’s currently being rebuilt (something I wanted to do anyway) and should back online by the New Year at the latest, possibly with a substantial ‘director’s cut’ of my Dusk & Blackdown interview for Woofah #3, plus some vintage mixes and scans.
In the meantime…
Two debut books coming in the next month from k-aliased CCRU alumni. In Capitalist Realism (Zero Books), Mark Fisher questions why we can more readily imagine the end of the world than an alternative to capitalism, while Steve Goodman begins from a very broad definition of Sonic Warfare (MIT Press) to examine constellations of sound, affect and power. For the curious, MIT has generously posted two sample chapters (titles like ‘1993: Vorticist Rhythmachines’ bode well) along with back and front matter. Both books can be pre-ordered now.
Stand up bit of archival work over at Uncarved. I love this kind of thing – unearthing and scanning in old fragments from before the www info deluge. John really nails that feeling you’d get when an unexpected bit of print could open you up to a whole new realm of music and ideas. There was more detective work – more suspense and surprise. Instead of wiki and an evening’s downloads, I’d pore over pieces like this, extracting whatever clues and partial leads I could. Sometimes it would take years to sort out connections or hear things I’d read about. Other times it would be some massive, sudden revelation via print or tape. I’d be hard pressed to get sentimental over anything in my browser bookmarks but I’ve got 20-year-old clippings I treat like gold.
Posted in Music, Print|Comments Off on It’s yours…