Christopher Partridge –
Dub In Babylon (Equinox)
reviewed by John Eden
The subtitle is “Understanding the evolution and significance of dub reggae in Jamaica and Britain from King Tubby to Post-Punk”. Which is right up my street. This is an academic book, but it manages to avoid the worst excesses of post-modern jargon and so should be readable to most. The first couple of chapters deal briefly with the history of Rastafari and dub and are OK, not exactly exciting if you have ever read a book on the subject before. Partridge writes well and quotes from a gratifyingly diverse set of sources which suggests he’s put the work in.
The pace then picks up as we move onto an examination of “Sound-system Culture and Jamaican Dub in the UK”. [Read more →]
Ritalin War Dance / Neurosis Orchestra – SPB12020
The a-side is two tracks by Ritalin War Dance (Robert Schirmer and Martin Maischein aka Goner aka Heinrich at Hart). A2 Eye Flys resonates with a mixture of dub and experimental noises and distortion that creates an impressive dark feeling. The b-side by Neurosis Orchestra opens with Lucid Dreams that is dominated by dark guitar riffs and dub influenced doom ambiences. B2 Trap is the beat oriented track (140 bpm) with an enticing groove, distorted synth lines interlaced with some heavy bass. All the tracks, including a1 Hypertonic Solutions, are a physical journey of beats and moody ambiences that demonstrate thoughtful and well developed structures. Recommended! [Read more →]
Anonymous Series Vol.2- Praxis 45
The second of three volumes of anonymous broken noise that forces the listener/user to experience sound without any judgments about names/egos. Tracks range from the melancholic detuned synthetic strings, bass-quakes and cut-up broken tek beats of A1, to the snarling distorted mid, industrial dubstep riddim, cone-rattling subs and twisted, mangled double speed breaks of A2, to the spacious atmospheres and more
tek orientated broken beats of B1, to the strange b-movie atmospheres and lofi breaks of B2. Essential tools and limited to 300 copies. [Read more →]
Brandon Spivey & Coexsystems – Sound Extremism / Kali Yuga
It looks like in 2012 we hear an acid comeback and this transparent, limited seven inch on Audio Riots, a new german label, fits in. The A side from Brandon Spivey, who released several acid hardcore 12″s under different names in the nineties, and a 12″ on Phase Distortion Records recently, brings a stomping hardcore track and a nervous acidline reminiscent of some of the tracks he made as Agro on Epsilon Records in 95/96. The only strange part in this track is the vocal sample throughout which sounds a bit displaced but its just a little drawback, its a good track after all. The B side is the real hit on this one. Coexsystems, who is a producer from germany, made a fast forward pushing track with a classical build up, including breakdowns that just play the relentless acidline alone in order to bring up the tension, and that is what makes the track come alive. The tracks are around the 4 and 5 minutes marks so they could have been a bit longer for the full effect, but it is still a good acid-core vinyl after all. [Read more →]
V/A – Nice Up The Dance: UK Bubblers 1984-87
This is a crucial compilation covering the UK MC explosion of the 1980s and more besides. When Saxon soundsystem unleashed a wave of unstoppable Mic Chatters it inspired a whole new generation to compete for room at the control tower. Lyrics became hyper competitive and related to life on the mean streets of the UK rather than harking back to Kingston. Vinyl releases inevitably followed, though Greensleeves were slightly beaten to the jump by South London rivals Fashion Records. This reissue showcases the 12” releases on Greensleeves’ mighty UK Bubblers sub-label and is very much a game of two halves.
Disc One is a nigh on perfect selection of deejay madness, backed by The Regulars band performing hard do-overs of Studio One riddims, often with soundsystem-style bass crossfading. It kicks off with Saxon’s Tippa Irie and Daddy Colonel at the top of their game on “Just A Speak”. The duo swap lines over the Answer riddim, fast chatting about everything from London bus routes to arguments with shopkeepers. There’s a bit of mickey taking out of each other, but all in the name of rocking the dance. Daddy Rusty follows on the same riddim with “No No Way” – a rhyming stream of consciousness featuring football, girls, grief with bus conductors and, well – you name it. The third tune on a ramped up Answer is Daddy Sandy’s massive “Riddle Bubble”: “I don’t teef, me not a criminal, I don’t take injections I don’t pop pill, I don’t smoke things that I can’t handle, electricity run through a cable, that’s how we get the power for the turntable, in other words you see this sound is operational, you throw rubbish in a bin you make a bundle, if a boy come jog me, he feel me knuckle, me take of me belt lick him with the buckle, if him don’t feel that me kick him in the temple. You fi bubble, seh you fi bubble bubble…” [Read more →]