Posts from November 2002
“A time has come to make a decision, are we in this thing alone? Or are we in it……together!” It’s the kind of spoken voice sample that you might associate with some massive rave anthem. But the strained and looped response, “together”, is far from convincing. There comes a time in a nightclub or on a dancefloor when the drugs begin to wear off, when the direct link between brain and music begins to split, and severe concentration is required to maintain the feeling. Together is a record for this time of night. It’s no surprise for a Bangalter and Falcon record to be extremely stripped down, but this just invites the listener to think even harder. The opening question seems to resonate through the whole track, and it never gets a satisfactory answer.
Bangalter and Falcon have been accused of mocking the listener with records like these, and maybe they are. The sampled voice at the beginning is surely aping the style of Coldcut’s Journeys by DJ or one of the mid 90s Warp compilations. But the real mockery is in that nonstop loop, “together, together, together, together”, all the way through the song. It feels like a smack in the face to rave culture, not only are we not in this together, but the very question is a crazy one. Did you really believe they were asking it? Did you actually feel that?
I end up stuck on these kind of questions any morning after I’ve been out. Most people who’ll ever dance to Together will too. I guess when you blur the line between dreams and reality chemically, it doesn’t magically reappear.
Michaelangelo Matos goes out to dinner and hears some music there.
XZHIBIT – “Choke Me, Spank Me (Pull My Hair)”
X’s paean to rough sex fails because a)the hump-thump beat is strictly missionary-position; b)X sounds far too polite about it (and isn’t creepy enough to work that to his advantage a la Slick Rick); c) it’s not Xzhibit asking to be choked and spanked, which really would be something new. Though in fact there is something new – to me – in this, which is the first overtly jokey, entirely disrespectful 9/11 reference I’ve heard on a hip-hop record. “See her twin towers and I’m ready to crash” slavers Xzhibit – the terrorists haven’t won yet.
Whirlybird: a familiar and pleasing aesthetic – wonder who’s behind it? Great to see Mike Jones’ Boris Becker piece get an online airing, too!
It Makes No Difference…: it’s a music weblog we haven’t linked yet! Olav loves his music and writes a lot about it – sorry Olav for the most generic description over but it’s 9.25 PM and I’m still in the office. Down tools. Switch off. Go home. (The rest of you read this instead.)
Hey, do you remember when R&B used to get called “man-hating” all the time? That was a strange one. Songs about useless boyfriends are a barnacled pop tradition, but strap them onto platinum beats and suddenly masculinity is under siege! TLC’s “No Scrubs” – pretty much the core and only example backing up this flimsy argument – got some men so angry they recorded a ‘parody’ version which sat sheepishly in the Import racks for a while before slinking off with its tail firmly between its legs. And speaking of firm between the legs, you have to wonder what Sporty Thievez will make of “Girl Talk”, which tackles tackle with the same pitiless plain-speaking “No Scrubs” applied to wallets.
Calling All NYLPM/FT Contributors! – and regular readers too, actually! The end of the year is upon us and once again Freaky Trigger is going to attempt some year-in-review thing. What I’d like you to do if you’ve got a moment is send in (email below) the tracklistings for a best-of-year CD compilation – one disc, 75 minutes or so, made up of the tracks you think FT’s readers absolutely must download that came out this year. They’ll be run on the sidebar of the look-back article, with any left over going up here. Thanks!
Charles pulls pint in a new village pub: aka the Poet Laureate in Poundbury, Charles’ own postman-pat styled heritage village. Making the Poet Laureate possibly the most expensive theme pub in the world. Ananova declines to answer certain important questions – such as, “What beers?”, “Is there a juker?” and “How long has Poundbury been publess?” (since I’m sure it was founded aaaages ago). The village is however the site of the Official UK Shania Twain Fanclub which will please some publog contributors. Highlight of this report is the very polite comment from Ted Hughes’ widow regardin his opinion of the pub – “One can never answer for someone who is not there for themselves but he certainly supported the prince’s vision and ideas for Poundbury as much as he knew of them”.
‘There’s a feeling in my heart that tells me if I keep doing this shit I’m gonna make it.’ But no guarantees. And a bell tolls for thee, ominously. Someone cues up a brutal kick sequence on their Playstation in probably the time it took to cue up the DAT. Meanwhile in the background someone pisses on the electric fence ringing the council block, and ‘you might get jacked for your space’ if you can’t keep up with the now unending torrent of WORDS spilling from the garage. Roni Size once slapped some upright jazz bass over classy breakbeats and cheekily called it the ‘Now Sound’ to endear himself to the Blue Note fans colonizing the jungle. This is the Now Sound fer real, and it sounds like a 50,000 volt cattle prod surge to the spine.
It’s high time I stopped calling things cheesy and just used the word ‘great’ when it’s what I really mean. The new Space Cowboy single is great. I’ve never liked power rock, and I suspect I never will. But I feel I can understand it. I feel I can understand it because of singles like this one. Just Put Your Hand In Mine is part of a French house revival which becomes more fascinating with every new release.