Friday, October 9, 2015

EDM bubble burst?

Mark Hogan on "EDM after the drop", focusing on the drastic devaluation of entertainments mogul Robert Silllerman's company SFX, which was buying up rave promoters and so forth like nobody's business only a year or tow ago.

"On October 14, SFX faces a self-imposed deadline for considering offers to buy all or part of the EDM-focused conglomerate. SFX's D-Day arrives after multiple postponements, and after its colorful chief executive, the veteran radio and live music impresario Robert F.X. Sillerman, scrapped an offer to buy the roughly 60% of the business he didn't already own. The backdrop is a precipitous fall in SFX's market value, from more than $1 billion when it went public in October 2013 to around $70 million as of October 5."

Choice quote from Philip Sherburne:
"Just sonically, Avicii or mainstream EDM sounds to me like Van Halen's 'Jump,'. It's the same synthesizers; it's the same pleasure centers. You could say that Alesso is Bon Jovi. Bon Jovi took metal or hard rock and aimed it squarely at a very mainstream, middle-American public. That's exactly the same thing: These artists have taken what was once a subculture and redesigned it along a pop format. I don't know the economics of hair metal, but it seems to me pretty clear that [with EDM] we're in the era of the Wingers and the Whitesnakes."

If only EDM was as good as "Jump"...


certainly subverts received ideas of what African music should be....

if it's like any kind of house before it's like the most mechanistic posthuman clanking-grinding sort of tribal house tunes Danny Tenaglia might have played in the mid-90s around about 3-AM

Adam Harper piece on the sound, in which he says: "Gqom tracks are very long and harmonically static, often built on single-note or octave string drones, and the rhythmic interest comes in the form of off-beats that are so commanding they often trick your ear into thinking they're on-beats, an effect that imparts a feeling of weightlessness"

Thursday, October 8, 2015

DB meets D n B #2

originally i was going to call these posts D n B jumpers #1 and #2 (and possibly #3, #4, etc - if i could think of more examples)

then realised the two perpetrators both abbreviate to DB

Derek Bailey

and David Bowie!

in both cases, although strictly and sternly speaking, bandwagon jumpers.... the two DBs make a pretty good fist of it, and one has to admire (considering both were getting on a bit) their enthusiasm for the New Thing

yeah I was impressed that DB(owie) in the interviews around Earthling talked rather knowledgeably about DnB - referencing the Kemet Crew and Congo Natty and things like that. Not your Bukems and Goldies and entry-level coffee table DnB, but proper rinse-out ragga-junglism.  He'd done his research, or got someone else to do it for him.

"Little Wonder" has a pretty plaintive  little melody and endearing vocal -  gels surprisingly well with the beat

oddly the vibe of the song itself is almost flashback to the first album - the Newley-esque music hall tunes - but it's mashed into a fairly fierce thicket of 'renegade snares'-like choppage

Wish the whole 'so faraway' / guitar noise middle-8 sort of bit wasn't there though

still overall, good stuff . . indeed i think this might be his best single of the 90s, but then I can't say I've tracked the other output obsessively.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

D B mets D&B #1

seem to remember having this CD - got sent it I think, 20 years ago  -  and being disappointed in it, from a junglistic listener's perspective - beats seem a bit standard Amentalist rinse, 94 rather than 95....

now sounds quite exciting, although still not really sure the two aesthetics coexist fruitfully - they seem to confound each other a bit, get in each other's way

what Derek's doing, basically, is a lot more interesting than what the Ninj chappy's doing

DB is not exactly sparring here with the jungle / D n B equivalent of Oxley or Bennink or indeed himself for that matter

most of all though you just gotta love Derek's open-ness to the New - he got into jungle by hearing it accidentally on the radio, coming across pirate stations, is how i recall the story

here's bits from an interview with Derek Bailey done by Stefan Jaworzyn, for  Music from the empty quarter no. 12, 1995.

Derek Bailey:
Well, I did some recording... The jungle music's by Ninj - a beautiful piece, about 50 minutes - in fact it's five pieces I think. He does mainly studio work I believe - an interesting character. So he'd done his thing... I got to the studio - all this had been arranged from New York by Zorn and Laswell - the day before we were supposed to tape it. The studio was run by Mick Harris, a nice little place... I set up and tried a few things, then said to him, "Have you got a chair because I sit down to play.' And he said, 'No'(!) then, 'Well, there's one in there' but it was no good because it had arms. So he didn't have any chairs - but there was his drum stool. So I said, 'Well, I'll try the drum stool' but the drum stool was broken and it kind of weaved around. It spun round, but not only did it spin round but it conducted a circle in which it would spin - it would spin round in a circle, if you see what I mean - the upright was not upright...So it was a fairly skilful business just keeping upright on it. (I should have asked Zorn for a chair. I realise now that when I got to Birmingham I should have phoned him and said 'There's no fucking chair here John - get a chair!'). We got talking about the way to record, and he played me a bit of the jungle stuff and I said, 'Don't play it just now.' Then I went back to the hotel, and I remembered about the chair, so I rang him up and said, 'Tomorrow, get a chair'. And he said, 'It's impossible.' So I left it with him anyway... I turned up the following day and there's no chair! I used the drum stool. It turned out that the drum stool wasn't really a problem. What was a problem was that Mick didn't seem capable of mixing a DAT and a live instrument. There were also some things that went on that were somewhat in the chair vein - like I played with the first piece then said, 'I'll just have a listen to that'. he replied, 'I didn't record it.' and I said 'What the fuck do you think I was doing?' and he said 'I thought you were just getting used to it.' So we started again. Anyway, we finished after about 40 minutes - by which time I'd been into the control box a few times. And by, let's say the third take, it was possible to detect that there was a guitar player. Now I was playing comparatively loud, but that doesn't mean anything if you're mixing - you're at the desk with a DAT and a live instrument - but there was nothing there (on the DAT). Eventually, as time wore on, I could hear some plinking and plonking behind this very nice jungle stuff - a bit like rain falling on a roof, very softly. I said, 'Just turn the fucking thing up Mick, don't worry about what it sounds like.' but we never made it onto the tape; after about 40 minutes my spirits started to sag...
I have to say his enthusiasm was the only thing that was sustaining me - he seemed knocked out by what was going on. It's just that none of what was going on was making it onto tape! So I finally said, 'We're going to stop this now.' And Mick - it seemed with some relief - said, 'Yeah. Maybe you could record it at Laswell's studio.' I bet I could. And they've probably got chairs too... So the two lads helped me down with my equipment and I got a taxi back to the station and that was the end of that session... It just completely baffled me - he seemed so relieved when I said 'Let's pack this up'... It was getting louder, but I was getting exhausted - when it finally got to the point where it was starting to register on tape I thought it should have been over!


one of these years i really will have get to grips with Derek Bailey's corpus