Showing posts with label 90s. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 90s. Show all posts

Saturday, 19 December 2020

DJ Zirk - 2 Thick + DJ Squeeky - Hog Killin'


Dj. Zirk feat. Tom Skeemask & Buck Shotz - 2 Thick (1993) 
This was the best 27 yearz ago & even better now. This scene was so DIY & regional they didn't give a fuck about what the outside world wanted because it didn't want them. Artists just wanted to be just as good or better than the other local Memphis artists. There was no internet file sharing so things were kept pretty insular and local. Sure Memphis rappers had heard west coast, east coast and Texan shit but none of them apart from the southern contingent had heard the Memphis stuff. It was all about killing it with the beats, verses & flows. Playing at the peak of your creative powers. This is surely what made the scene so strong and unique.

2 Thick is DJ Zirk's seminal and most sampled track. Zirk and DJ Squeeky were good friends. I have always assumed Zirk learnt his production chops from Squeaky but I might be wrong. DJ Squeeky is credited with creating the original trap beats around 92/93. He was also using rappers such as Tom Skeemask, Criminal Manne, Gangsta Blac & Yo Lynch who did the "double time flows & triplets"* People incorrectly now call this, 20+ years after the fact, the Migos flow. Anyway Squeeky & Zirc, the Memphis beat masters, often used the same pool of rappers I guess like Zaytoven, Metro Boomin and Sonny Digital did in Atlanta in the 10s. 


Hog Killin' one of the classic DJ Squeeky productions from I guess 94 (?) featuring Lil Grove, Outlaw & Criminal Manne. It's not on discogs that I can see but hey it's right here on the youtubes!

* Lucas Foster. See his 2017 DJ Squeeky article here.

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Kingpin Skinny Pimp - Good To Go (1994)


Before Position Normal & Ariel Pink there was zero budget hazy lo-fi 90s Memphis Hip-Hop! Kingpin Skinny Pimp was the godfather of the Gimisum Family, one of the city's best posse's during the 90s. Due to the Weirdest Hiphop Cover Art account on Instagram unearthing all the worst album cover art of regional 90s & 00s hip-hop, I've gone back to listening to 90 Memphis rap big time. I might be here for some time because I think this is just about the best music sub-genre ever. It just doesn't fit neatly anywhere putting it on the outside of everything in hip hop at the time. I guess some of this stuff got played in cars and clubs but it really feels like music for being wasted at home either on the couch or at a bbq. I'm still waiting for a book to be written on this amazing DIY cassette culture scene. It's not just the eerie recorded in their mum's toilet aesthetic that is appealing. An entire different creeping rapping flow was invented but who originated it is a contentious issue. Memphis rap themes were innovative too. They added horror, psychosis, suicidal depression, the occult, devil worshipping and apocalyptic paranoia to the criminal, pimpin & homicidal gangster game. There were also stacks of bad-ass lady rappers which was unlike most rap scenes at the time that I know of. The selling of the tapes was different too. They were often sold from stereo & car retailers. Details on the scene are still pretty sketchy with loads of wrong infos on Discogs and other sites.      

Anyway this Skinny Pimp tune is pretty out there with it's no fi psychedelic singing amongst the rapping & laid back beats. Then there's that crazy clunky sample intrusion at the 3.17 mark. What an insane trip. What year this was released is anybody's guess. It might be 1993 and it's possibly from 1995 but I'm gonna go for Memphis Rap's crowning year 1994.  



Monday, 30 November 2020

Mo Movies 37

BUT TELLY, MUSIC & POLITICS THOUGH...


I'm not in my usual rhythm for watching movies for some reason. Since my last movie post I've watched a hell of a lot of telly & listened to loads of music though. This includes the entire 80 episodes of Schitt's Creek plus the debut seasons of Ratched and The Queen's Gambit as well as seasons 3 & 4 of The Crown. These tv shows are all highly recommended but you know that already.


Then there is the politics of the authoritarian far left that are insidiously usurping fun, reason, liberty, civilised discourse and freedom of speech. They are disguised as people doing good by using slogans (& co-opting causes) that you agree with but when you look at the fine print of what they are doing and what they want, it's usually the opposite of your core values. Keeping track of Orwellian 2020 is absolutely concerning and consuming me. It's frightening. I think because this ideological revolution doesn't look the same as past revolutions ie. people revolting in the streets, rebels in the hills, military overthrowing Governments etc. but is coming swiftly through institutions (big tech, media, retail giants, schools, universities, corporations, probably the HR department for whoever you work for) people are not taking it seriously, if they know it's happening at all. Just have a quick look at The BBC, The Guardian, Oxford University, Google, Scottish Parliament, Chicago University, Patreon, The New York Times and you will soon realise these people are not following what regular rational working people think and value. They are espousing absolute nonsense while discrediting common sense à la Foucault. You must bow down to their zealous illiberal ideology or you will not get paid or get to do your PHD & ultimately you will not get to have a differing viewpoint. Sorry but this is REAL and it's happening and it's alarming!



Also Ive been listening to a lot of music instead of being in the mood for late night movies. Disco, Funk, Spiritual-Jazz, Funky Lebanese Pop, Gospel-Disco, Cumbia, 80s African Boogie, Latin/Tropical Disco, New Wave Funk, Sudanese Jazz, 80s South African Funky-R&B-Disco-Pop, Somalian Disco, Japanese Soul-Funk-Disco-Boogie, 70s Soundz of The French Caribbean and more. Listening to a lot of records from labels such as Habibi Funk, Ostinato, Analog Africa, BGP International, We Want Sounds & Cultures Of Soul. Then there's my dark side where 80s Industrial and Scandinavian 80s/ early 90s Black Metal are all I want to hear. Prince also rules as usual: Controversy, 1999 & Originals now being the platters du jour.        


Anyway telly though...Ratched was my big surprise this year. I didn't even wanna watch it but Emma kept putting it on. By episode four I was well and truly hooked. The direction, cinematography, period detail, colours and plot were all gloriously over the top. Sometimes it felt like Hitchcock, Kubrick and Paul Thomas Anderson were directing this cinematic telly extravaganza all at once! The director/show runners were definitely channelling their spirit. There was not one weak link in the astounding ensemble cast. I find it hard to comprehend a lot of people giving it a lukewarm response. Then again who cares? I fucking loved it so that's all that really matters! I didn't realise episode 8 was the final one so I was so disappointed to be whipped up into this delirious excitement to then not know when or if ever there will be another episode. I did see somewhere that there is going to be another season. 


I've now reassessed season three of The Crown. I now believe it to be nine mini-drama film masterpieces and one very good one. Getting over the casting choices for me was the biggest hurdle. In the first two seasons I only knew John Lithgow and he was so ensconced into the character of Winston Churchill I couldn't recognise him anyway. 


Season 4 of The Crown is also some of the highest quality telly ever made. The thing is I really didn't know these stories until Lady Di & Maggie Thatcher turned up (I became a teenager in the 80s). Even then I only knew the headline but rarely the story behind it. So it's all fascinating to me. The makers of The Crown have finally become quite unforgiving and sometimes scathing of these characters we all know and hate (and many love). Whilst Charles had previously been quite sympathetically portrayed now his scoundrel is unveiled. Kudos must to go to the continuing outstanding portrayals of Philip, Charles, Margo & Anne by Tobias Menzies, Josh O'Conner, Helena Bonham Carter & Erin Doherty. There is however a new contender for most outstanding acting performance in The Crown and that goes to the surprise packet of the year Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher. I've always found Scully to be a bit of a sleepy actor to the extent I thought she must have been addicted to Oxycontin whilst filming the excellent series The Fall (2013-2016). Anyway when she turned up here as The Iron Lady I almost fell out of my chair because I didn't know it was coming. I went from "Oh this is just sleepy Scully doing Maggie!" during the first episode to "That's Margaret Thatcher! I can no longer see Scully!" during the second. 


To people who have not been converted to the splendiferousness of The Crown I am recommending one episode. Fairytale is episode three of the fourth season and if it was a theatrical release it would sweep the Oscars and win eleven. Fairytale is a fairytale in the truest sense of the word ie. it's horrifying! This is the story of how fucked up everything was for Lady Diana at the palace and inside her own head before the wedding to Prince Charles. It's absolutely harrowing and brilliantly executed by all involved. I was a bit "whatever" on the portrayal of Diana by Emma Corrin but after watching several documentaries about Diana's life I'm getting that Corrin's depiction is actually pretty close to the enigmatic real life Diana.    

I've been listening to some movie podcasts and watching some movie you-tubers. I'll discuss the state of this often perplexing milieu in my next post. For now here are some lil' reviews of some movies I've recently watched. I know I've missed over 50% of the flicks I've watched but hey life gets in the way sometimes.  


JD's Revenge (1976)
For a blind buy this was a wicked and wild ride of the finest kind. In the 90s I became obsessed with 70s African American movies and particularly the tunes and soundtracks. I never heard anyone ever recommend JD's Revenge so I didn't bother checking it out until this recent blu-ray release. I mean if Arrow are releasing a movie it's like a 94% chance that it will be bloody good and I was not wrong. This is a blaxploitation flick with a difference. It fits into to the Blaxploitation-horror sub-genre and the sub-sub-genre of Blaxploitation-possession movies. First of all you get all the good stuff: The 70s threads, the cars, the vernacular, the youthfully fit beautiful bodies, the afrocentric interior design, the jazz-funk, the soul, the hair, the night clubs, the strip joints, the bars and the bloody violence. One of the best things that sets this movie apart from the pack is that it's set in New Orleans and not only that we get some amazing vision of what I assume is Tulane football Stadium, some spectacular fevered evangelism and flashbacks to 40s gangster shiiiite. Two couples go out for a night on Bourbon Street and are coaxed into a hypnotist show by a spruiker. Isaac (Glynn Turman) volunteers to be hypnotised which is a mistake that causes a crazy spiral of strange, disturbing, violent and confusing events. This ensemble cast (including Lou Gossett, Joan Pringle, James Watkins, Earl Billings etc.) are all in stellar form and the film craft is class sending this straight into my top Blaxploitation top 10 with the bullet. My favourite film discovery of 2020 so far!


Onibaba (1964) 
I knew nothing about Kaneto Shindō's cult classic of 60s Japanese horror going in and that was a good thing. So you can stop right here and go watch this film which I highly recommend. I guess to say an arty cult Japanese film is weird is a bit cliche and perhaps culturally off point but here it is definitely warranted. A film set in 7 or 8 foot high grass is probably unlike anything you've ever seen. Two women, a wife (Jitsuko Yoshimura) & her mother in law (Nobuku Otowa), are living in a hut amongst the giant grass surviving somehow through a brutal wartime famine. They are visited by Hatchi (Kei Satō) who reveals to the wife that her husband Kishi was killed after they both deserted the army. Sex, violence and horrific shenanigans ensue. For 1964 this is pretty racy stuff! Onibaba is one of my cinema (well telly) events of the year. The acting and highest calibre film-making coalesce into one of the best Japanese films period. This year I've seen a hell of lot of Japanese movies so that's saying something. Now I'm excitedly on the lookout for whatever else Kaneto Shindō directed.


Seconds (1966)
Terrific haunting sci-fi identity change story with a twist. Stars Rock Hudson directed by one of the all-time great film directors John Frankenheimer. What more do you need?


Life Is Sweet (1990)
I haven't revisited 90s Mike Leigh films, well, since the 90s. I've watched his early BBC Plays Of The Day Abigail's Party (1977) & Nuts In May (1976) several times this century. They remain brilliant & hilarious, absolute classics. When I put this blu-ray on however I thought geez this hasn't aged well at all. It took until about a third of the way in for me to start to engage and stop thinking about switching it off. Women with mental illness and shit men doing shit things is the order of the day here. Worth watching for the cast although Jane Horrocks really over acts her character Nicola letting down the rest of the amazing ensemble cast of Claire Skinner, Jim Broadbent, Alison Steadman, Timothy Spall, David Thewlis, Stephen Rea etc. This is hardly my favourite Mike Leigh movie but it's another stellar performance from Alison Steadman so...



Threads (1984)
Devastatingly realistic portrayal of WW3 and the following nuclear winter. The tone from Barry Hines (Kes 1969) & Mick Jackson might be pitch black but you cannot look away. This is film-making at its most compelling. If you thought last year's Chernobyl was a barrel of monkeys, your eyeballs ain't seen nothing yet. A MASTERPIECE! 


Titanic (1997)
This was a first time watch for me as I would have thought I was way too cool for overhyped hollywood blockbusters back in the day. An unsinkable ship hits an iceberg then sinks. Aw no! Chuck in a love story involving Leo DiCaprio & Kate Winslet's boobs. Also never trust Billy Zane on a boat. It's pretty spectacular particularly the second half when the ship finally hits the iceberg. James Cameron could have dropped the entirely unnecessary device of the story being told by Rose, a survivor, to a bunch of current day Titanic investigators and it would have been a great film instead of "Pretty good...a bit of a slog though".


Anti-Christ (2009)
This contains the most fucked up scene I've ever seen in a film ever and I've seen a few. Arty psycho-sexual Euro horror of the highest calibre. Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg are outstanding as the two stars of this utterly compelling Lars von Trier shocker. Enter at own risk.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

More UK Garridge Gold



G.O.D. - Watch Ya Bass Bins (1997)
Another tuuuuune from 97 I didn't know until this week! I'm a sucker for time-stretching and reggae/ragga samples. Oh and then there's that fucking bass. Watch Ya Bass Bins!



Box Clever - Treat Me Right (1998)
This one might not seem immediate but just hang on, it's insidious and by the end of the track it will be under your skin. This is meticulous, mesmerizing and magnificent. Love that organ sample.



Zak Toms - Bring Me Down (1998)
Another state of the art speed garage nugget that I don't recall. Worth it for the bass drop at 1 minute 29 alone. Bring Me Down is another lovely, slinky and hypnotic production.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

On the UK Garridge Tip

& A Bit Of Ye Olde Jungle



Found this choice UK garage mix today. It treads that fine line between classy, trashy, rootsy and poppy. The rhythms and sonic innovations are undeniable though. It's got classic faves Find The Path, It's a London Thing, RIP Groove etc. Maybe I haven't heard or don't remember half of these tunes which is refreshing. There are some revelations here like Don't Stop (Deeper Mix) from Ruff Driverz, Spend The Night (H-Mans Groove Dub) by Danny J Lewis and Jhelisa's very commercial Friendly Pressure (Midnight Mix), which I can only assume was a big hit in the UK. I think this gear stays really fresh because I wasn't into the scene at the time and only came to appreciate the music much later. It's not like 'ardcore/darkside/jungle where I've heard, you know, Mr Kirk's Nightmare, Bombscare, Finest Illusion, Terminator, Here Come The Drumz, Renegade Snares et al. 1000 times. Anyway this was a really spot on mix until the final three tunes which didn't seem to fit, starting with that Tori Amos track which was more like funky house. So I'd fade out the mix at around the 1 hour 12 minute mark.


Double 99's speed garridge gem RIP Groove from 1997 led me to the above mix. I'm pretty sure this is the original 6 min track.


DJ Gunshot's 1994 jungle tune Wheel 'N' Deal was sampled on RIP Groove was it not?


Wheel 'N' Deal put me in mind of this all time classic jungle Amen smasher Drum N' Bass Wise from Remarc. Wow this still sounds fucking remarkable (pun intended) and current and future... It's from bloody 1994. That's ages ago! I don't even wanna say the amount of years that is. Is 94 when the future died?


This whole sonic journey started here with Grant Nelson's classic Step 2 Me because this tune was posted at Energy Flash several hours ago.

*Some previous posts on UK Garridge:
Proto Dubstep, Speed Garage & Recreations.
UK Garridge With Simon Reynolds.
UK Garridge 101 Part 1.
UK Garridge 101 Part 2.
Uk Garridge 101 Part 3.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Jungle Mix



Pearsall from sonicrampage never lets you down with his jungle mixes. This one's called Rolled In The Jungle (Summer Ready Jungle Mix) All Killer No Filler. Just in time for a beautiful & unseasonably warm day in the North-West of Victoria down here in the Antipodes. Loving it...ooh that segue from DJ Krust's Poison to Origin Unknown's Mission Control, nice. Many a mid 90s legend here ie. Goldie, Foul Play, Babylon Timewarp, Tom & Jerry, Dillinja, Run Tings, Roni Size etc. Pearsall presents an Amen-free zone full of rugged soul, ambient drum'n'bass and tough breaks. He's mixing it up with some big tunes and a sprinkling of lesser known trax, all choice cuts. As the brief states Rolled In Sunshine is pretty much all rollers in that exquisite transitional zone before jungle splintered and either got too smooth, too harsh or too boring.

Big ups to Pearsall!



A sweet spot for me is when the jungle gets dubby and Poison certainly does that with a choice bit of sampled(?) reggae.  


The unmistakable sounds of Origin Unknown. Mission Control is pretty minimal and dubby too. A sumptuous trip into a long dark tunnel, know what I mean? 

Thursday, 7 June 2018

90s Acardipane Again


Primitive GLOOM/DOOM-CORE at its finest. Gabber stripped down to an elemental level that's almost subtle but it's not though if you you know what I mean. Sometimes I think this is just the best sound ever created, why would you need anything else?



Marc Acardipane is so in the zone here. I reckon he could have stayed there for another half an hour at least. I guess this is like an acid counterpart to the first tune.



Noisy gabber shit. An unhinged trip!


Maximal noise overload. An incredible concussive racket that goes fucking mental but somehow doesn't become a mess. It is a perfect cacophony till the end. How the hell does he do that? Acardipane at the peak of his powers. Surely one of the finest musical (?) moments from the 90s.

These 4 tunes are all by Marc Acardipane and are taken from the compilation PHUTURE released on PCP in 1994. When his day of recognition is coming I don't know but it's absurd that it hasn't. He was one of THE two or three great sonic technicians of the 90s.


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Gabba

I was thinking the other day 'We've been waiting for some kind of gabber recommencement since 2016 flipped into 2017 but nothing's happened.' I guess the scene has probably continued on in the same way that drum'n'bass still exists. What I really mean is that gabber/doomcore/gloomcore godfather and legend Marc Arcardipane hasn't resurfaced as far as I can tell (not that I've really looked). In the 90s Arardipane had this logo on many of his releases See You In 2017. 

Here are some dudes (below) with the historical knowledge of gabber giving it a retro-gabba crack (Via Energy Flash).



I wish this lecture (above) was real and was going to continue on for another 45 minutes. The track by DJ Balli & Giacomo Bella ChickenFIAT that was posted at Energy Flash is fun but hardly revelatory, hey what is these days?



God I love that thick squally synth sound! Rotterdam Terror Corps were mentioned in that above trailer.



Hardcore



70s rock (Queen samples, traces of Sabbath riffage in the synth) influences in 90s Hardcore!





Cold Rush. Atmos-Fear was recorded several years earlier than the other above tunes. This is Marc Arcardipane & Marc Arcardipane ie. he is The Mover & The Rave Creator. This is the true soundtrack for 2017.

It's 2017?
Where are you Marc?

Sunday, 1 January 2017

2017 with Marc Acardipane

WE HAVE ARRIVED IN THE PHUTURE



These first two are on the same record from 1990!!!



From 1992 this is a one sided LP.



A classic from 96. A pretty ominous title right there and a rather fitting sound for now doncha' think?

Of course these are all Marc Acardipane aliases and that was an alias for Mark Trauner. Marc was THE German producer of hardcore techno/gabba/gloomcore from 1989 onwards, more like a genre unto himself! Acardipane must have had over 100 pseudonyms and trying to collect his full back catalogue must be a futile task but it would be kind of heroic if you had them all. He had a big thing about 2017. I'm not really sure what it was, can't remember if I ever knew, but perhaps all will be revealed this year. On his record sleeves he kept saying See You In 2017. Surely he's gonna make a comeback and be as big as Beyonce....well it's a nice thought anyway. Perhaps It'll just be the end of the world as we know it and Acardipane will feel fine.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Loveless - My Bloody Valentine

Tim's Ultra Rough Guide To Rock - Part VI


After my previous post on Debbie Googe I thought I'd put up this old bit I wrote on on Loveless.

MY BLOODY VALENTINE - LOVELESS [1991]
Really do I need to spill another word onto a page about the merits of this LP? This recording is one of the most pillaged albums in rock’s history. The Jesus & Mary Chain laid down the blueprint via Phil Spector, The Beach Boys, The Velvet Underground, The Ramones, Dr. Mix & The Remix, Aeroplane Runways and more. Dinosaur Jr., Husker Du and Sonic Youth added the extra flavour and My Bloody Valentine made noise rock at its most beautiful, blurry, melodic, disorientating and come on I have to say it, BLISSED OUT (er..thanks Mr Reynolds). Kevin Shields provided his considerably unique guitar talents along with Belinda Butcher. They together did their extraordinary girl/boy vocal thing. The rhythm section was none too shabby either with the aforementioned Deb Googe on her heavy, dubby and sometimes pummelling bass. Colm O'Ciosoig provided the drums as well as occasional sampling/production/engineering duties. It all began to come together in 1988 with the release of the You Made Me Realise EP and Feed Me With Your Kiss followed by the brilliant LP Isn’t Anything. My Bloody Valentine were on an incredible roll that turned into an avalanche with 1990’s Glider EP & 1991’s Tremolo EP followed by Loveless! Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation may have taken rock to its furthest reaches but Loveless took it beyond the universe and even into un-rock regions ie. ambient and ultra vague dance-rock. This was future rock’s cherry on top. We thought ongoing sonic exploration of rock was to continue but this was it. Loveless has now become an almost melancholy sonic document, like modernist Russian architecture that’s now in ruins, because it was never bettered. Don’t let that get you down though because this is a hell of a peak for rock’s innovation to go out on. Here come the cliches. Loveless was hazy sweet languidity with a noisy and chaotic undercurrent played with frenzied and laconic enthusiasm. Like the band’s name suggested a conundrum was at work here where apathy and hysteria were used to describe the same song. Did I say deliriously indolent? No? Well I have now. What about listless exhilaration? One tends to forget this record also fucking rocked as well as swimming in oceans of intoxicating euphoria, sometimes all at once. Oh yeah, Loveless is also pop music at its finest. Ecstatic aural pleasure at its Zenith.




Someone once commented 'Why didn't they do a whole side of the sort of stuff like Touched and the in between track hazy ambient gear?' That would have been great wouldn't it?


Best opening tune to an LP ever?

That's a good game: Best opening songs to albums. Simon should rally everyone for that can of worms.

* My original review taken from the HC Website. 

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Royal Trux


There's a good 2 hour special here on Royal Trux, who were the most consistently great rock group of the 90s. This is a career retrospective of the band and Jennifer Herrema is interviewed throughout by Ajay(?).

Herrema has now got her own dublab show named after an old Royal Trux tune The Banana Question. There are 2 episodes so far and it's an amateurishly ramshackle affair with 80s hip-hop, metal, disco, classic rock etc. all sort of shabbily dub mixed. Quite entertaining. I imagine pro DJs will hate it.


Take the 90s Avant-Rock challenge here with Twin Infinitives. Hey, it took me a couple of years to realise this was a mental scuzzy masterpiece.


They started to get a bit more accessible after Twin Infinitives. Driving In That Car was a few years later from the great 1993 Cats & Dogs LP.


Morphic Resident is reaching almost FM worthy commerciality but they're still them. I'm pretty sure the story goes that the band handed over these tapes to Greg Archilla and he just did what he wanted with the mix. The band liked it and 1997's Sweet Sixteen was the result, another classic.


Another gem from Sweet Sixteen.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Massive Bass


That Safe From Harm bass is sampled from a Billy Cobham tune Stratus. It's only part Cobham's track where it comes in at the 3.05 mark but Massive Attack make it their whole tune here. It's like a warm blanket which befits the title of the song nicely!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Big Black & Stuff


I used to think this was a top tune/racket, still pretty good innit?. Those Big Black records were good as I recall. The Rapeman album and the first three Shellac 7"s I thought were classics back then, sure I haven't listened to them in years but old Steve had a bit of talent. I couldn't get fully into Shellac's debut album At Action Park so I didn't really follow his work after that. Dog And Pony Show is the outstanding tune I remember from that LP. He did a great job recording, producing, engineering (whatever he used to bloody call it) particularly on that first Breeders LP, Pod and of course Surfer Rosa from The Pixies. He recorded a million bands, most of which are probably not worth listening to. Steve produced some non angry men like Labradford and Low. He even produced a couple of good Australian bands ie. Crow and Dirty Three. One aspect of Albini's personality that really endeared me to him was that he was a huge Wildlife Documentary fan. Rock people didn't say shit like that in the 80s/90s. I thought that was pretty bloody punk or was it anti-punk? It certainly was not cool or in any way fashionable. I also liked Albini's writing. He might have been the reason I first got turned on to Slint's Spiderland as he wrote a review of it in the pages of Melody Maker, I'm pretty sure. He also produced their inferior debut Tweez. Come to think of it I'm pretty sure I read an article that Steve wrote where he went through a bunch of records he'd recorded and he slagged off Surfer Rosa. He was was just being honest, many thought he was a c***. You used to be able to just write what you thought back then and it was ok. Now all these sensitive little kittens would call him a bully or a troll, wankers! I think I'd rather be a c*** than a troll. Trolls just remind me of those stupid little dolls with pink hair.



Anyway enough words have been spilled onto pages about Albini and I'm not trying to get a job at Mojo so the reason he's being discussed here is because there's a recent podcast with a conversation between Albini and Ian MacKaye from Minor Threat and Fugazi. I was having a depressing Sunday and trying to take a nap so I thought 'Why the hell not? This might lull me into sleep'. Funnily enough the only time I ever saw Shellac was when they were supporting Fugazi at The Collingwood Town Hall in Melbourne, perhaps in 93 or 94. Shellac were an incredibly impressive live unit, Fugazi were alright but I think I may have left during their set in search of a pub (no booze at these shows, god even the Puritans loved their booze). This podcast chat is a couple of old geezers reminiscing about the good ole days. One thing I didn't know was that MacKaye had done a project with Al Jourgensen, he of Ministry and immense drug taking fame. So that must have been weird because wasn't MacKaye straight edge? How on earth did they get along? Anyway I've never heard that record by Pailhead....I might check it out....nah I doubt it. Ian and Steve discuss recording, the UK, crashing at people's houses, Chicago, Touch & Go, Wax Trax, a mutual love of Adrian Sherwood, boring shit, more boring shit and there's plenty of arse kissing despite them being occasionally critical of one another. It wasn't as boring as I thought it might have been. I must admit I did nod off towards the end, hey it was long, they are musicians ie. they sometimes make good music but that doesn't mean they're dazzling conversationalists and geez...guess what? It's only part 1 apparently.

Anyway this goes out to Ant, my first blog member who loved his Fugazi back in the day and followed Shellac long after I did. Let me know what part 2 is like as I don't think I'll be downloading that one.

A better podcast featuring Albini sans tedious twat MacKaye is here. Albini discusses his love for Baseball and it turns out he's he's a celebrity poker player and lover of cats.


I loved this cover of Supernaut when it came on the radio in 91 but I don't even think I knew it was a Black Sabbath tune at the time. All I'd heard of Sabbath back in 91 was the Paranoid album which I had on a cruddy tape and on the other side was Pink Floyd's Piper At The Gates of Dawn. That's a strange combo but I guess they both became beloved by my rock brain. I can't say I was a Ministry fan, like my mates were but this is Jourgensen and co along with Trent Reznor on vocals. Now, I did not know that he was singing on this until yesterday. Is it true? and who really cares? I still like it despite being aware of the Black Sabbath version for like 20 years now. Steve Albini would hate it.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Lunatic Asylum Mix


I don't think I've posted this before maybe some blog I frequent has, I dunno, but I only converted this to mp3 today and geez I like. The first half in particular is gloomtastic and the second half is good too in gabbalerous/hard trancemania style. It's all hardcore. All trax are from Dr Macabre aka Renegade Legion aka Lunatic Asylum aka many other monikers. This is rave music for the Apocalypse. When he gives it a bit of kick early on in the set the bass drum is so fucking thick it's awesome. If you're happy when it rains this doomcore will have you in gloomy euphoria. Bring on the end.


This 3 cd set on Megarave Records from 1999 should be in every gloomcore freak's household. It has tunes from all his aforementioned aliases plus a few others like French Connection, Slut Burger, Negative Burn, Micibri and guests Rotterdam Terror Corps. This would be in my top ten single artist compilations of all time, he being Guillaume Leroux a French bloke.

Friday, 30 October 2015

The Horror The Gloom The Doom


Halloween isn't really a thing here in Australia, despite many attempts by consumerist architects to make it so. I hate it when it gets referred to as an American custom as it quite clearly emanated from Celtic tradition and probably has Pagan roots. Anyway it's a good excuse to get out some frightening and gloomy tunes. I could have posted a hundred or more of these doomcore/gloomcore gems but here's just a handful. 


This one from Marc Acardipane is from 2002 but I only discovered yesterday. One World No Future came out after the 90s heyday of doomcore techno but it's damn fine. There's probably still a bunch of artists creating replicas of the genre and trying to keep the faith today, like there are still drum n bass people etc. 




Frozen is an alias for Miro. I think Frozen only did the one EP, Soul Saver, from 1997 where both of these tracks come from. Miro had a bunch of other pseudonyms Stickhead, Reign, Jack Lucifer, Evidence, Hypnotizer and the list goes on. He made many fine records and continues to this day doing minimal, sometimes quite dark, techno under his name Miro Pajic.


This is another 90s bewdy from Miro Pajic under the alias Evidence. This was on his 1999 compilation Hardcore Made In Frankfurt, probably released a few years earlier on 12".


Tuesday, 1 September 2015

2015 - How Shit?


I've gotta say 2015 has got to be the worst music year since fuck before the 2nd World War, I reckon. I'm stuck in 90s musical zones (see above) myself and don't particularly care that my listening isn't drifting back to the now. In fact I want to stay right in those places when and where the possibilities seemed endless. Me and the Mrs discussed a furniture shop closing down near our house the other day and ended up in the terrain of "Is that it then? Music's finite so i guess furniture is too." I was saying how these retro interior design shops had become so uninspired and formulaic, why would anyone want to spend money on this new old shit when there's plenty of old shit anyway?. The retro eclecticism, of the products in these shops, is disappearing up it's own arse at an accelerating rate. Is it that no one is game enough to say right here's a new style? So we just continue down these tasteful but conservative aesthetic avenues? Nobody's killing their idols. There's way too much reverence. We lived through a modernist time but that has gone. Where are the generation gaps? The kids don't even want one. Teenagers don't seem to exist anymore, kids don't leave home until they're over 25 now. You used to leave home and disassociate yourself from your family and become a whole new you, severed from the past. Emma went to the Bowie exhibition in Melbourne last weekend and said there were kids sans parents there. I thought what the fuck? These youngsters are going back 40 years. In 1985 diggin the 60s seemed old but it had only ended 15 years prior. When I was 17 (by then we had Public Enemy, The Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jnr., Acid House, Hip-Hop etc.) I wouldn't have been caught dead being interested in a culture that was 40+ years old. Strange days indeed.

*This is raw thought data that's still being processed in my mind.



**A retro curio in itself. First issued in 1971 (maybe the year I was born) on his Hunky Dory LP then was later released as a single in 1973 when Bowie had reached stardom. It became a massive hit in the UK.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Silver Apples Of The Moon - Laika

UK POST-ROCK TOP 14: PART 4

Fuck I loved this record when it came out in 1994. I was already into UK post-rock shit and just starting to get into jungle. I saw this as a terrific amalgam of the two. Maybe we didn't really need it but it was ticking all my aesthetic boxes at the time. I'd been big on Margaret Fiedler's previous band Moonshake since they had released the Second Hand Clothes EP in 1992 followed by the classic Eva Luna LP that same year. Big Good Angel from 1993 was the last Moonshake record to feature Fiedler and was a classic for her to go out on. I must admit I never followed them after she left. The Laika project had me very excited though. Along for the ride were ex-Moonshake bass player John Frenett and producer Guy Fixsen. Chuck in Lou Ciccotelli on percussion, My Bloody Valentine's Colm O'Ciosoig as a digital editor and even Louise Elliot from Australia's great Laughing Clowns on the sax & flute. How could you go wrong? You couldn't, Laika didn't!

Silver Apples Of The Moon kicks off with Sugar Daddy and you can feel the city streets with it's sampled noise, rain and trains. Then a sultry propulsive beat kicks in while classic 90s bleeps drift into the mix as Fixsen and Fiedler sing together. Fixsen, who had produced Moonshake, takes on a more prominent role here. As well as co-engineering, he co-writes every tune with Fiedler, sings, plays synth and other instruments including vibes, marimba, melodica, the sampler and even guitar. Laika were about unison whereas Moonshake had been about tension. Fiedler mirrors Fixsen (or is it the other way around?) taking on all the same roles in the band ie. engineering, sampling, playing all the same instruments etc. Next is The Marimba Song which has a trippy, tropical and Can-esque vibe. This tune introduced the band to the world as two versions of it appeared on their debut recording, the Antenna EP. Let Me Sleep has frenetic beats, unbelievable bass, spiralling layers of free sax/flute and a general air of cluttered urban space. Coming Down Glass is an ultra spaced out funky wind-up toy hip hop jam with flute squiggles. The whole thing sounds like it was recorded backwards.

If You Miss starts out oppressive before a vibraphone appears to brighten things up but then it flitters back to darker terrain and continues to fluctuate between the parallel universes of isolationism and blissed out ambience for the rest of the track. In the meantime the hypnotic beat maintains an amazing flow motion. 44 Robbers has Margaret rapping kinda awkwardly like Debbie Harry, taut guitar lines that sometimes veer off into noise, Pacific(state) Island soundz and an incredibly tight rhythm like The JBs. Red River could be a Moonshake tune with it's squalling sax, tense noisy guitar shapes, claustrophobic minimal bass and tumbling out of control beats. Honey and Heat is a mesmerising off kilter urban dub tune with see-sawing samples. The samples here are meticulously crafted and create an entirely unique peculiarity. Expansive rolling rhythms, loopy flutes, eerie samples, choppy guitars and Guy's whispered vocals all contribute to the strange twilight of Thomas. The delightfully jazzy, almost surf instrumental Spider Happy Hour brings proceedings to a close.

Like a lot of UK post-rock's lost generation a duality was at play on this album ie. alongside the urban intensity was also a swirling intergalactic vibe. This often gave the music a disconcerting feel which made you want to come back for more so you could experience the discombobulation again and again. On their next LP, Sound Of Sattelites, Laika would rocket off into the stars completely, leaving the squalor behind them in a vapour trail haze. Silver Apples Of The Moon is a time capsule of intersecting mid 90s musical zones. A real curio. 

Thursday, 13 August 2015

What's On The Hi-Fi Part $?


DJ Extreme - 1994 Jungle Volume 10
I can't seem to get out of 90s zones. This is a cracker of a mix. I've been working my way through DJ Extreme's mixes at Hardscore. Listened to all his 92 and 93 hardcore mixes and now I've reached Volume 10 of his 94 Jungle mixes. This is a fabulous trip into the 90s. We've got funky drummers, half-time bass lines, divas, ragga muffins, chipmunk traces, r&b dudes, sinister synth stabs, washes of ambience, drum splatters and just plain mental bass. This mix is worth it for the array of bass lines alone. You tend to forget that in amongst the euphoria of 90s hardcore a darkness lurked just as much. This mix contains big names like Dillinja, Ed Rush, Doc Scott and DJ Phantasy as well as 2nd and 3rd level playaz. Jungle was so good in 94 the B, C & D grade artists are fucking great too. The quality went deep and the beat science rewards were endless. Volume 10 isn't relentless with the beats, space has it's place here as well. Sometimes you think the darkness is going to envelope the whole set and the drums are going to conk out. That never happens though until the end, I guess. Big Ups to the Extreme.


DJ Extreme - 1994 Jungle Volume 9
Here's another DJ Extreme mix which is a bewdy too. This mix starts out with gold ie. DJ Dextrous & Rapid's Rapid. The House Crew, Tango, Marvellous Cain, Dillinja and D'Cruze all pop their heads up in this ace mix. I can't get enough of this shit and let me tell you there is a bounty of it at Hardscore. Time-stretching, remnants of hip hop, traces of 70s reggae, Ragga, Rave sirens, Amens, House, ethereal lulls, elastic booming bass, dubbed out divas, cymbal splashes, bleeps, mini ponds of euphoria, occasional swells of thick bass goo that leap into the drum n bass future and much more feature here. What's amazing is how different Volume 9 is from Volume 10 which is a testament to the genre's flexibility and breadth of vision and probably why the Hardcore Continuum would continue on for another decade before running out of steam. "They played that bloody Jungle music all night!" And why wouldn't you with choice tracks such as these.


The Church - Hologram Of Baal
Ever since Reynolds posted those Go-Betweens & Church film clips a week or two ago it has been hard to get out of these Aussie zones. You might have noticed I was/am quite the Church fan. I seem to have lost 1996's Magician Among The Spirits so I gave this another listen and wow what an underrated little gem this is. By 1998 they had probably lost at least half of their 80s fan base but that didn't mean they weren't still making legendary music. By this stage of the game we'd all ditched the paisley shirts and pointy shoes long ago but The Church continued on their merry way making druggy journeys into sound. I guess their only contemporaries at the time were Mercury Rev (a friend once described Yerself Is Steam as The Church meets Butthole Surfers), The Flaming Lips and Spiritualized. The Kranky label had been releasing psychedelic space rock for a while too by this stage but the Church weren't following trends. They just did what they did best and made one of their best LPs while they were at it. Hologram Of Baal is The Churchiest of 90s Church LPs. It solidified their 90s experimentalism while containing all of what made them great in the 80s making this an album of consolidation for the band. This LP is like a Church progress report of where they had come from, where they had been and where they were going. More gold.


BRICC BABY SHITRO - NASTY DEALER
Now this is a state of the art rap mixtape 2015 style. With most mixtapes you can usually tell which region of America it's coming from ie. Drill & Bop (Chicago), Ratchet (California) trap/weird (Atlanta/The South) etc. but Bricc Baby Shitro throws them all onto this mixtape making it hard to tell where he's emanated from. It makes sense then that he's from LA but now hanging out in Atlanta. Even though Bricc Baby's got a handful of producers here, the mixtape remains pretty cohesive. Having Young Thug on your mixtape is a blessing and a curse. Thugga will give your recording a higher profile but he's most certainly going to upstage you no matter who you are. That puts the starpower of Young Thug into perspective ie. no one in the rap game can come close to him and this has been the case since his 2013 classic 1017 Thug. Anyway this is a genre mixtape that considers the state of where hip hop is in 2015. You may not like having this plethora of rap sounds all in one place but it's almost definitive of the year or at least the decade in which it was made.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

On The Hi-Fi Part ??? - Jungle/Tech-Step Special


DA INFLUENCE MIX PART 1 - BASIC RHYTHM
I can't really remember how I found this mix. I'm not even sure who Basic Rhythm is but this is a mix of some choice mid 90s jungle cutz. Dillinja is in there and DJ Krust. Plus a whole bunch of stuff I've not heard, heard and can't necessarily id. 


TECHSTEPPIN - VARIOUS (EMOTIF RECORDINGS) 1996
Keeping the hardcore vibes going, I finally got a copy of Techsteppin. After re-appraising Tech-Step a while back when listening to the excellent No U-Turn comp Torque, I thought I'd check this out. While it's still got very faint traces of jazz (the darker side of 70s Miles Davis) there no lightness like there was was in in intelligent or jazzy jungle. Distress, claustrophobia and paranoia are at the heart of darkness in these tunes. Torque, released a year later, would pummel out any source elements of jazz in Tech-Step. Actually by the end of this cd that's pretty much what's happened anyway. This is Drum & Bass that's all about the bass. While the beats keep to an almost military-esque stringency like industrial but vaguely funky, the bass is like subterranean scud missiles breaking through the earth's crust. This thick bass goo hits you like a vengeful blow to the body. Techsteppin contains tracks from No U-Turn luminaries Ed Rush plus Trace & Nico under the aliases of Skyscraper and Rollers Instinct. I guess Doc Scott is like the godfather of Tech-Step who was from the original milieu of Darkside Hardcore (NHS EP, Here Come The Drumz etc.) and he shows up here with a sterling performance on Machines. His Tech-Step swarms, buzzes and drones with astonishingly ominous dread. Techsteppin's harsh urban nowhere reached a bleak dead end and I mean that as a compliment. This is another reason to prove that getting off the hardcore continuum around 1995/96 (which is what I did) was wrong. Get numb.

*"It's too purple. Reading that felt like someone doing a bad impression of you."

*Special comments from Mrs Space Debris. She doesn't pull any punches does she? She didn't appreciate me describing the bass as 'like underground thick pools of mutant goo'. So I rewrote it. Is she my new editor? I don't necessarily take purple as a criticism. I mean the best part of reading Melody Maker in 87/88/89 was the purple prose they used to excite me about the likes of Young Gods, AR Kane, My Bloody Valentine, Loop, Butthole Surfers etc. I was never disappointed when I got my hands on those records either.


PEARSALL PRESENTS SURGICAL SOUNDS - DOC SCOTT
Continuing on with the hardcore........Pearsall presents a mix of the aforementioned Doc Scott. This set includes Scott's remix work for the likes of System 7Spring Heel Jack and Goldie. Then we've got his own solo tunes plus those under the pseudonym Nasty Habits. Pearsall points out Doc Scott never phoned in his remixes, he makes them his own. Doc's own trax are even more outstanding. Another mix that's a bewdy from Mr Sonicrampage!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Eva Luna - Moonshake

UK POST ROCK TOP 14: PART 3

Moonshake have got to be one of the oddest bands ever. Not in a 'hey look at me, I'm freaky!' way though. They were kind of really normal which gave them an unsettling edge. You could see yourself in these guys and perhaps what you saw wasn't quite right. You felt like the daily grind of urban life had taken a toll on these people. A duality was at play here with two singer/songwriters tag teaming at opposite ends of the rock spectrum. Dave Callahan was kind of angry and on a vociferous rant while Margaret Fiedler was muttering to herself disturbingly. While Callahan and Fiedler got all the notoriety, this band wouldn't have been half as good without the most underrated rhythm section in rock history. John Frenett was on bass and his style was a marvellous intersection between dub and funk. Possibly the most awe inspiring element of the group though was the drumming/percussion of Miguel Moreland. It is hard to ascertain though how much of this dizzying percussive display is him or sequencing/sampling. I couldn't really give a shit because whatever it is, it's fucking great! Moreland made this band worthy of being named after a classic Can tune. Has drumming on an LP ever captured so much of the percussive spectrum? Moreland's playing can be really fucking heavy but he's also very nimble and can be light as a feather. The percussion here is all that and everything in between. Moonshake created this music which was an incredibly idiosyncratic expression of who, what and where they were at the time. Not only that, this must have been what they saw as a possible future pop template. It was all about strange blends and weird paradoxical amalgams. Moonshake were shouting out against the world and wanting to hide from it at the same time. They had a No Wave-esque negation happening and yet they embraced current state of the (pop)art technology. Reverence for music's past and musicianship was part of the equation too. Moonshake could only ever sound like Moonshake. Imitating this motley crew would be fucking impossible.

Ultra funky deep bass, groovy congas, surreal guitar squalls, flute, layer upon layer of sampled noise, taught guitar lines, saxophone squiggles along with Callahan's classic post-punk snarl are all jumbled into this kitchen sink mix and that's just on the first tune Wanderlust. Disconcerting atmospheres, black holes of dissonance, guitars bent way out of shape and Fiedler's cloying yet creepy vocals battle it out for a piece of centre stage action on Tar Baby. The title of Bleach & Salt Water says it all as this track is an ambient underwater urban dub whiteout. The beat here is whirling through a vortex to a startling degree. Moreland makes 3 minutes 40 seem like an eternity and I reckon I could definitely go another 20 or 45 minutes of this incredible groove. Little Thing meanwhile is rhythmic psychedelia, that's spaced out to the max. Only Moonshake could make a tune so ambient yet so tense. City Poison is like a history lesson in underground guitar noise. This is like a tribute to all the Posts ie. Post-Psych (cf.Krautrock), Post-Punk, Post Hardcore and Post-MBV. The beauty of this tune though is that it only really sounds like Moonshake. How the fuck did they do that? Spaceship Earth's clangorous guitars fly into an intense slide frenzy, then keep infinitely spiralling. Jesus, even Callahan gets melodic here! Beautiful Pigeon finds Moonshake at their most pop. Massive drums tumble wildly amongst the rest of the noise, while the bass stalks threateningly trying to hold things down as Margaret's eccentric whispers reach melodic levels as well. It was the grunge era so this could have easily been a hit but.......(?). They save the best till last, Mugshot Heroine closes this classic LP on a triumphant note. Horns go haywire, the rhythms get incredibly funky, discordant horror soundtrack strings jolt you out of your seat, ghost(town)like trumpets appear and all hell breaks loose.

Moonshake arrived at a sound (jam packed layers of samples that are piled up to bursting point that still feels like a mine field listening to it today) that was nearly pop. When you had a closer look at its dense layers of detail though it was all, well... quite bizarre. It may seem like an almighty chaotic mess but this LP is meticulously crafted down to every last microscopic sound. Producer/engineer Guy Fixsen is probably to be thanked for that. I've listened to this record hundreds of times and trying to write about it has got to be one of the hardest tasks I've ever set myself. Whatever I write will never do Eva Luna justice. You never know what's going to pop up or which turn it's about to take. This is a trip where the turbulence becomes so disorientating it sort of becomes beautiful (sort of....not really....I dunno....does it?).

Stupendous.