Paul Rose/Scuba’s Hotflush Recordings has long held an ambivalent spot in my heart of hearts. Since setting up shop in 2003 as one of the very first dubstep-focused labels—back when ‘dubstep’ looked much different than how it would only a few years later—I was enchanted with much of the label’s early output. However, I’ll never forget listening to the label’s first comp collecting its early twelves, Space and Time, and feeling an overwhelming sense of disappointment with the halfstep tracks, thinking “Oh no, this is going to be like Trip-Hop 2.0” (and let’s be real: nothing ‘2.0’ has ever been particularly good). At the same time, early platters from the likes of Toasty, Eric H, and Toasty still hold up today, demonstrating just how exciting and fertile the early space that opened up between late UKG and early grime and dubstep was. That ambivalence caused by the Rose’s flitting between the bleeding edge of the underground and more hotel lobby-friendly sounds has become one of the defining hallmarks of both Rose’s career and his A&R inclinations. In addition to breaking artists like Joy Orbison, Mount Kimbie, and Sepalcure alongside putting out some of the best material from Untold, Sigha, and Rose himself (via his Berghain-friendly SCB moniker), the label has also put out plenty of maudlin, big room-primed stinkers. And, honestly, that’s kind of awesome when you think about it as the label approaches its fifteenth-year anniversary and still pivots between mainstream-palatable fare and more adventurous material. Having stumbled into the Hotflush section of my collection the other day, it felt like high time to revisit five of my favorite deep cuts from the label’s imposing discography…let’s get to it!Read More
Interviewer: Why do you make your songs so noisy with feedback?
Jim Reid: The last record had no feedback on it.
William Reid: The last record was acoustic, mate.
Jim: It still ‘ad no feedback.
Will: Look, it’s all reverb anyway, not feedback.
-Jesus and Mary ChainRead More
I prefer the format-- longer, evolving, repetitive rhythms-- but I get that from dub just as much as house and techno. I'm also into the futurism and otherworldliness, which were obviously influences on jungle and so by default, dubstep anyway. Everyone is influenced by house and techno whether they realize it or not-- it's foundation. It can be misleading to describe new music using words that have 90s contexts though. I've got a dubplate of a tune by a young Bristol producer that sounds like a 1990 Derrick May record. I know for a fact he has never heard a Derrick May record. Is he influenced by Derrick May?
What is left of the futurist thought of sonic invention in an age when the military-entertainment complex cuts to the micrological core and control operates flat with becoming? Did the future get lost in the labyrinth of Web, in the rhizomatic networks of ubiquitous computation?
-Dan SickoRead More
Abstract beatz, math rock, intelligent Techno, proper Drum'n'Bass, these clever genres for stupid people resurrect the premodern opposition in which the mind is bizarrely superior to the body. By frustrating the funk and impeding the groove, clever music amputates the distributed mind, locks you back in the prisonhouse of your head. Far from being futuristic , cerebral music therefore retards you by reimposing a preindustrial sensory hierarchy that shut up your senses in a Cartesian prison.
-Kodwo EshunRead More
Forty-two years ago, when I achieved the first successful wireless transmission in Pontecchio, I already anticipated the possibility of transmitting electric waves over large distances, but in spite of that I could not hope for the great satisfaction I am enjoying today. For in those days a major shortcoming was ascribed to my invention: the possible interception of transmissions. This defect preoccupied so much that, for many years, my principal research was focused on its elimination.
Thirty years later, however, precisely this defect was exploited and turned into radio—into that medium of reception that now reaches more than 40 million listeners every day.
-Guglielmo MarconiRead More
Been revisiting a lot of older heat as it’s always a good time to access the archives. Was going to write a primer on the criminally slept-on Quickspace—RIYL Electrelane, Pram, Stereolab, Too Pure—but also just have been listening to the below jammer a shit ton lately, as I’m wont to do at least once a year. I don’t get band envy often, in terms of bands I daydream about having living another life to play in, but Quickspace has always been one. If anything, would be down to take down a Bez-like role. Oh well, till the next one.
This album rules. And it’s got a certifiable banger in the octave layering, double-time jammer that is “Free Radio.” Saw that Jay Glass Dubs’ quote about using his genre science to construct historical hypotheticals and it’s like, you ever hear of Temporal Marauder or Karen Novotny X, homie? His new album is GREAT btw<3
Just a miraculous fucking way to start the day, really.
The darkseid of “Pop That:” the mournful beat underpinning Culture II disc two highlight “Open It Up” is hearing the cosmoMolly comedown morph into an endlessly rural Fentanyl dependency. Over the type of N64-packaged horn section that sounds like an organgrinder leading a homeless orchestra, Quavo, Offset, and Takedown wheeze and exhaustedly detune post-aspirational fantasies in one of my fave pseudo-bangers of the year. Old money never dies.
All accordions everything.
Artistic expression, expanded beyond recognition from the grudging gifts offered by the masters as a token substitute for freedom from bondage, therefore becomes the means towards both individual self-fashioning and communal liberation. Poeis and politics begin to coexist in novel forms--autobiographical writing, special and uniquely of manipulating spoken language, and, above all, music. All three have overflowed from the containers that the modern nation state provides for them.
In answer to that rhetorical question up above, probably not, but a boi can hope<3
And it makes me hurt because even the black boys aren’t attracted to me, even the Latino boys. At the same time, only white boys have been nice to me. I’m also not looking for white validation, I don’t need them to validate me. I just wanna have sex with them.
I like how their bodies look, I like how their skin looks and I’m not afraid to admit that. And maybe I am exoticizing them and maybe I’m not. But can white people be exoticized, you know?
Was lucky enough to get hipped to both that blazing new Specter album and this truly inspired effort by Italy’s DJ Khalab in the same week, but the latter has been taking me infinitely longer to fit into words. This subtle effort is a quality 2Bridges jammer that has been keeping the autumnal midwestern vibes on the bucolic side.
He gets that gregarious “dapper Dan” style from his father, he says: “You look at photos of him from back in the day, it’s like Eddie Murphy in Raw: full leathers, V-neck with the hairy chest – when my dad walks down the road, everyone knows him, you know?”
-Dan Hancox in conversation with D Double E
The excessively awesome Jackuum reviewed. Bi-di-bup-bup…bi-di-bup-bup…BI-DI-BUP-BUP!Read More
Heyyyyy everybody! First off, I just gotta give mad shout-outs to all the homies of all walks who have reached out—considering my recent posts here and on SoMe were a bit dire. It means the world. Secondly, being back in Ohio working on my mental health has been just, well, hard (for a totally ridiculous/self-sabotaging reason too). But it just feels like things could have gotten so worse and the fact that I listened to those who I trust about their concerns says I’m at least maybe getting better at asking for help. Thirdly, I’ve largely disconnected from social media for the time being. But will certainly post there when I post here (ugh, Web 3.0…OVER IT). Mad love and peace to everyone reading this<3<3<3 (Oh, and this should be a quick round-up of music I was feeling this week, save for the new Specter album which will get a post of its own). Also hoping to start publishing chapters of the book or whatever I seem to be writing on the HCC, London Black Music & The Black Atlantic, but it’ll come when it comes. Along with plenty more I hope….Read More
Not quite an album review as much as a critical preview, I haven’t been able to procure a copy of Robert Lippok’s promising ‘designer techno’ album Applied Autonomy released on the revamped Raster imprint I’m just too lazy for digital piracy at this point, to be totally honest. Like, I’ll hear it when I hear it and I’m good with that. Regardless, my circumstances did not keep me from writing up two of the tracks that represent the album’s two structuring thematic impulses, so let’s get to it.Read More
So while I’ve been trying to make this site a bit more user-friendly, site redesign forthcoming, at the end of the day there’s just too much music that I’m genuinely excited about to review at length. This post was intended to simply draw your attention to a recent reissue via Burnt Friedman’s Nonplace label of German percussionist Manos Tsangaris’ super-ahead-of-its-time 1990 Elephant's Easy Moonwalk Through The Night two-tracker, augmented with an equally exciting new B-side cut. But we also touch on a mid-90s Memphis rap touchstone, a lowkey classic early 70s French neo-noir soundtrack, and a trio of recent and long overdue reissues from the Portuguese and Italian labels Holuzam and Soave. It’s a quick but heady dive so strap in!Read More
Been trying to do more streamlined reviews up in here as I realize reading 10,000-word write-ups of a few records can be a bit trying if you don’t know me personally. Today is all about Bristol label UVB-76 whose post-dnb, noise-drenched technoid excursions stand out from so much other contemporary neo-industrial music. Let’s get dark.Read More
A fairly confused write-up of Lukid’s latest outing, the ragga jungle throwback EP How Bout U? on new label Refreshers. The fatigue from writing about hardcore for the past four months is real, people.Read More
OK, apologies for the WIP but took a minute to really take stock of the records new and old that are hitting shops right now that are worth your and my time. This is largely an exercise in imaginary wish fulfillment as I’ll likely not be able to get many of these records before they sell out. But fear not, I got you covered with a selection of Japanese tribal ambient, British library music, Toronto noise techno, stripped-back spiritualist beats, and much more!Read More
What the hell is this bullshit?! Like many other dorks, I greet those Boomkat ‘special record’ emails with a healthy bit of skepticism. No matter how sincere they may be or how cynical, the passion that permeates each mailer is often enough to at least get me to check the record out. So when I read about computer rave hooligans EVOL making the ultimate rave tool by stitching together 303 classic acid turnes (or rather momentary glimpses of them) into a twenty-minute functional chin-scratcher, I was admittedly hopeful that such a gimmicky concept could work. Well, to say I was wrong doesn’t even begin to articulate what ensued.Read More
Trying to figure out how to not lose my apartment, it’s been tense times over at Zurkonic HQ. Though as far as coping mechanisms go, writing in my free time is perhaps not the worst possibility. Still, as June has felt more like an oppressive August (at least in my mind) and we’re now in the midst of the slow season for record releases, that doesn’t mean there’s been any shortage of good new music. Following up from last week’s grouping of the recent missives coming out of the UK, we widen our purview to include Russia, Indonesia, Berlin, and many others who are providing us with the mad notes.Read More
I almost didn’t do it. The idea of reviewing the new Timedance comp seemed like an invitation to lose myself in a larger project I’m working on. But it also presented a chance to at least try and hear this singular comp with different ears. Of course, that’s wishful thinking so please join me somewhere in the middle from where I will be reviewing this album today;)Read More