Friday, May 22, 2009

Here come di hotstepper [word 'em up]

Ah, the 90s.... thank God that's over!

To me, 2009 has been the year where dubstep has fulfilled a lot of its promise. As you can read here in my Scuba feature, it feels like we're no longer dealing with the 'angry boy music' a la Casio of the grime era.... not only that, but a lot of the producers are now taking on a lot of what was interesting about the earlier 2-step/garage patterns... Ramadanman's Humber (and the Sven Weisemann flip) even have shades of Force Tracks, to my ear.

Here come di Philip Sherburne with a mix that, for me, perfectly pitches all these influences into a 90 minute curveball.... this is such a great mix, a perfect episode for what is shaping up to be a great series by the Hose and Yves de May.

Get on it here

Also, I'm hardly sure I need to tell you about Scuba... for any of you who missed it, here's the mix he did for XLR8R. Keen SSGs also take note that we may be seeing more from Mr P Rose on this URL soon...(not just 'cos he looks a bit like Chris) but 'nuff on that for now, here's that most musical of diving apparatii, in the mix. The closing tracks are fucking slamming, every time I hear 'em I bump the stereo and ruin my relationship with my neighbours (again).

Dive, Dive!

Last, but certainly not least, another fantastic mix, this time from Untold (Jack Dunning), whose latest EP (which appears on Sherbs' mix) is one of the freshest and most exciting to have been released this year... not even sure *what* you call Untold's music. It's far too original to be genrework.... this fella is making genres. And this mix is also dope.

You've been told

Okay, back to the hokey 90s clips... ...more proof of the fertility of Jamaican rhythms, I guess...



  1. I really started listening to electronic music in earnest last summer and one of the first things I checked out was Appleblim's RA podcast, RA.110 I think.

    I had no clue at the time, but that was one hell of a forward looking mix. It had both Ramandanman's "Humber" and Appleblim + Geiom's "Shreds" on it almost a year before they would be released. I remember going batshit trying to find those tracks.

    I strongly urge anyone who hasn't heard it to check it out. I can't wait to see Appleblim at Mutek next week!

  2. Ini Kamoze is awesome. Most of his stuff is Sly and Robbie produced and is amazing and nothing like hotstepper.

  3. martyn great lengths has been my dubstep (techno/d&b/garage hybrid) sound of choice of recent times. the predecessor was most certainly scuba's a mutual antipathy. And before that, pinch's (no vocal)underwater dancehall. is there much of a dubstep scene hitting the Oz clubs? interested to hear if the sound is spreading

  4. i definately passed over the sherburnator's podcast initially, but have since really given it some time to digest. really fantastic stuff. thanks for the heads up.

  5. Im sorry but I find this whole vibe of

    "angry boy music' a la Casio of the grime era.."


    "we couldn't wait for the bulk of it to grow up and learn some sophisticated sound design techniques"

    to be a bit patronising. Its not that I dislike the whole techno/dubstep thing nor do I like the aggy wobble angle of caspa and co but there is a ton of interesting dubsteppy stuff that falls between those two catagories (from 2005 all the way up to 2009) and to dismiss it all in that manner leaves me cold, comes of as ill informed or very arrogant imo.

  6. Scuba's N16 mix over at the Hotflush website:

    Amazing sounds. Better flow than the XLR8R mix in my opinion.

  7. @ Karl:

    yes, that's definitely true - I speak from a position of some ignorance. But I have very little interest in listening, even though I did have an interest in two-step/garage and what led into early dubstep. I just didn't like the dominant directions for a while.

    ...could you recommend some releases that might challenge my lazy dismissive assumptions?

  8. Labels like dmz, tectonic, tempa and planet mu and artists like mala, loefah, pinch, vex'd and more were(and still are) doing dubstep that isn't in the techno crossover camp nor fits the aggy loud angry boy sound.

    bass heavy, dubby, spacey sounds that sounds quite unlike most other music (while some of the technostuff just sounds like speed up dub techno imo)

    I'd say that its only in 07 and 08 that the whole wobbly pissed up, over compressed, over filled stuff became the dominant sound, 05 and 06 when dubstep broke through were filled with a lot of great and unique tunes

    each to their own of course, but I just don't like all the great dubstep being labelled derogatorily because of the wobble sound that dominates it today (and has come to signify the genre to a lot of people I guess)

  9. That Sherburne mix is a cracker alright...


    Interview with Scuba, not sure if it was on this last post that I came across the link, my browser is taking about 10 minutes to refresh as well so apologies if its a double post.

    Best interview ive ever heard an electronic musician give id say...

  11. @ Karl: you're right, of course... but I've given all those guys their due (or at least I thought I did when it came out) and I find... there's this bit in (this is going to be a long bow to draw, so brace yourself) Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own where she disses Rudyard Kipling's writing for having 'nothing of the feminine' in it.

    ...I think that a lot of the earlier dubstep (again, I'm generalising) tended in this direction. AND (just when I thought it was me), two of my female friends told me 'that dubstep, it's *boy* music'.

    ...and a recent disco fan added:

    "It sounds like war! It's war music!"

  12. Not really interested in getting into the debate, but I can say there's a wee bit of a scene here in Oz - Syd and Melb both have nights where the deeper, more techy vibes get a good run. Headhunter's recent tour went really well, with nary a 'wobbler' in sight.

    I do find it a tad strange, the whole 'girls don't dig it' tangent, because there are quite a few female producers doing really good things, on really well respected labels.

    Either way, make sure you peep Sigha, Juswan, Spherix and the soon to come lowercase label - all focussed on the space between dubstep and techno.

  13. all dubstep irritates me. even the stuff that sounds suspiciously like 2-step records. why not just play the old 2-step records? they're still better than all this shit.

  14. hey tom, did you listen to the mix? there's actually one old 2-step record in there! (well, perhaps slightly post-2-step, but close enough...)

  15. Absolutely loving that Phillip Sherburne set.

    Will I sound clueless if I ask whether that Nina Simone track was just a mix that was allowed to play through, or if it was genius on the decks/laptop?

  16. @PC

    In 2009 do we really have to continue talking about music in such binary terms as feminine/masculine or light/dark? Not to mention the critical bankruptcy in assigning specific sonic qualities as gender specific.

    In any case even if you accept such premises I find it ironic that it wasn’t until after the period we’re discussing (04-07) that the music found itself lost in a sludge of ‘masculine’ generic signifiers (wobble/half step). If you back and listen to a lot of the key tunes you’ll find them awash with ‘feminine’ touch points (swing, soul, emotional depth), from the slinky 2step inflected beats of Horsepower to Mala deep future soul vibe.

    Just to single out a single producer it really is worthwhile looking back at some of the simply outstanding music Mala has put his name to:

    These tracks are all incredible. Rhythmically diverse, outstandingly produced, spacey/futuristic and sounding like little else that has come before or since. The very opposite of ‘angry adolescent boy music’.

    I really find it hugely arrogant and ignorant when journalists generalise and dismiss a hug wealth of music on the basis of totally unfounded opinions. And that’s not even getting into the horribly patronising tone of the whole ‘sophisticated sound design techniques’ comment.

  17. hey anon,
    no, that nina simone-sampling track had nothing to do with my skillz on the decks, sadly (for me!). it's a ramadanman edit/remix/"refix," whatever you want to call it. stunning track.


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