Friday, May 30, 2014

NUUMSTALGIA - protodubstep flashbacks; "more from 94"

Two new instances of nuumstalgia:

1/  protodubstep flashback:

Plastician is to reissue his early vinyl-only Plasticman releases of 2003-04 in remastered package

He explained to FACT that “I re-opened the original .flp Fruityloops files in the same versions of the software they were built in at the time and bounced them as wavs completely flat. I’ve not added any new effects or eq to any of them. They all contain exactly the same sounds and mix settings as they did in the early ’00s, even as basic as they are I felt it would be wrong to change anything.

But as well as Plasticman Remastered there will also be  the inevitable slew of remixes and refixes.

FACT interview with Plasticman/Plastician 

"Hard Graft" was the one I loved back in the day, when this stuff was seen as a sidestream to grime more than an entity in itself.

Indeed I included it in the Grime Primer I did for The Wire in 2005:

If you hadn’t already guessed from the name, grime inverts values. Dutty, stinkin’, even disgustin’--all are positive attributes in grime parlance. So when I say “Hard Graft” is utterly dismal, you’ll know this is the thumbs up. Grime often represents itself as gutter music. Mark One and Plasticman go further, or deeper, with this track, and seem to plunge into the sewage system. Full of clanking beats, septic gurglings, eerie echoes and scuttling percussion, “Hard Graft” makes you imagine pipes, storm drains, dank chambers.

Mark One, Plasticman and their cohorts constitute not so much a subgenre of grime as a side-genre, running adjacent to the scene proper. The sound is techy, MC-free, and more danceable than grime. Although a number of black producers are involved, you could fairly describe this style’s sonic coding as whiter than grime, and situate it on a Euro continuum running through Belgian industrial techno (Meng Syndicate, 80 Aum) through the cold technoid end of rave (Nebula II) to No U Turn’s techstep and Photek-style neurofunk (the beats on “Hard Graft” sometimes recall his “Ni Ten Ichi Ryu”). Plasticman’s nomenclative proximity to the Richie Hawtin alias seems telling.

2/  retro-rollige

Keysound Recordings present Sully's Blue EP -- "four sides of warm vinyl dedicated to classic break-based rollage ‘n’ choppage: less “where were you in ’92?” rather “who wants more from ’94?”  

The press release continues:

"One title seems to sum it up best: “Simple Things.” This double pack is not a statement about 2014, it is not trying to be a new sound, scene or development. This is just seven tracks of uncomplicated, intensely emotive, rhythmic fun – as MC’ed over by original-junglist-at-heart Riko on a recent Rinse FM show. It is concluded by a beatless “vapour dub” from Logos, as he sublimes the title track “Blue.” 

“The inspiration for these tunes essentially goes back to the free parties I spent weekends chasing in the early ‘00s,” explains Sully. “Youthful optimism put an almost spiritual spin on what were sketchy, chaotic, DIY happenings. Vision blurring subs felt like epiphanies. The EPs raw, chopped up sounds reflect that feeling: thrown together, reckless, but elevating with it.”

“Blue” is definitely a theme that runs through many of the tracks, a kind of synth-lead wistfulness. “Solitaire” riffs around the vocal fragment: “remember we like lone ranger: we ride alone, man”, while the title track timestretches “no man test” to form a kind of emotional push back, keeping all comers at arms length. “M141”, perhaps the ruffest of the EP, speaks of intoxication and submission: “taking… me… over.”

Hear here "Blue" and "Solitaire" from the EP 

Normally of course I disapprove of this kind of historical redundancy, but... but....  when it comes to certain stages of the Nuum - ardkore, darkcore, jungle, speed garage, 2step - I am quite seduced by this "more from" idea - the notion of stretching out the past, revisiting those years that went by way too fast, elongating and extending them -  turning a transition into a permanence...

Mental image of self as Oliver Twist holding out his plate and begging, "please sir, I want some more"

Harry Secombe's Beadle as Father Time scowling, then softening - "oh, all right then"

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