I haven’t really been on here much posting about non-playlist related shit for a while, mainly for a couple of reasons.
I’ve always had this internal struggle about whether I should be devoting all of my music-consumption to strictly bass music, since that’s the epicenter my radio show and blog. And for a while it was, because I was utterly fascinated with the shit coming out of London. Like I would subscribe to Boiler Room podcasts, Rinse FM tune-ins, Martin Clark blog posts, forum subscriptions, and using my Google Reader for mostly XLR8R and Fact Magazine updates. Like man I was on my shit about that stuff.
Slowly and slowly, though, I was listening to less mixes from DJs/producers I’d never heard of, and gravitating more towards my favorites (Oneman, Ben UFO, Bok Bok, etc.), who I’ve listened to many times before. Instead of listening to a mix from Jon Rust/Reecha BR#49, I was jamming out to 99Jamz and going buck to “I’m On One” for like the billionth time.
And there’s been this ongoing, problematic qualm I’ve faced ever since I got into this type of music as to whether I should be jumping into the sound from a listener perspective or a DJ perspective.
The former has me listening to tunes on a very Dasein-manner, where I listen to these “club” tunes on a very casual manner and strictly for what it is, and how it makes me feel internally– in other words, I judge the tune on whether it’s simply good or not. And the latter involves more of an approach, acknowledging factors like whether this would sound good at a club?; will I have enough time to jump to another song quickly?; is there enough bass for the crowd to get hyphy to it?
Good example of where the lines draw on this type of issue: Zomby’s Dedication.
Going into that record from a listener frame of mind, it’s an excellent record with the same type of A.D.D. club relationship Where Were U in ’92 had. Lots of southern rap, ghost-ass Lex Luger productions, with a lot of the same macabre London underground shit that made dubstep so great to begin with.
As a DJ, this record is awesome but a disaster and almost impossible to spin on a radio show or a club. Every song is like 1-2 minutes long, and all the songs end abruptly. It’s really a huge bummer because it has a sound that I think London really should be moving towards. Which, it has, but not the way Zomby really blends it. Girl Unit has the same southern rap drawl, but it’s bound more by a techno/house spine.
Point is, this record really challenges my relationship to a capital-R record, especially when “albums” in dubstep are really frowned upon for its long format. It’s, sadly, a singles and EPs game.
But one record that can really hold its own as an excellent album, and still bring about a club-friendly tracklist: Kuedo’s Severant. It’s got the Swisha house rap sound of Houston, with the Hotlanta synth anthems, as well as covering the ghetto gothic sound of Chicago footwork, and then bringing it in full circle with the shadowy London vibes. Should I mention that the record could oddly work as a John Hughes film soundtrack?
I think of all the “albums” and tunes that have come out this year, Kuedo’s record really performs the balance act of appealing to a listener and a DJ.
But lately, the Kuedo record hasn’t been enough for me to fully devote all of my time to the sounds uneathering from London right now. Sure, I still listen to new releases (I really like the new Altered Natives), but the scramble for dubplates and unreleased material isn’t as firey as it was before.
Stuff I’ve been into, that’s really peaked my interest as of late: mixtapes, ignorant rap music, internet hip-hop.
Just expect a lot more discourse on that kinda thing, yet somehow still connecting that kinda shit to the stuff I play on my radio show, which I will continue to do. The show might form itself into something completely different than it started. Fuck, like I wish I had a copy of a tracklist from my first episode (a year and a half ago), so I can show you how drastically different it is.
The evolution excites me, though, because I feel like I’m synchronizing myself with the bass progression.