Posts from 22nd August 2000

22
Aug 00

New stuff on Surface Vs Depth

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New stuff on Surface Vs Depth: Some reviews wherein Gareth preaches the truth: “Continuing to prove that, for now at least, the ‘mainstream’ is way ahead of the ‘underground’ in terms of innovation and experimentation as well as in pop savvy.”. Right on. Also, he makes a mean tape, though whether it would actually ‘work’ I don’t know. And my comments about his Islington piece on Blue Lines were hardly ‘flaming’! Sob! Superior stuff, as always.

We used to have a poster of Billie

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We used to have a poster of Billie on our wall at work in which she would explain, using crudely blue-tacked speech bubbles, the intricacies of weighting, sampling and pricing to curious market research executives. This kind of thing appears to be a banker, if the Britney Spears guide to Semiconductor Physics is anything to go by. If you read any other weblogs, you’ll already have seen it, but come now, you could hardly expect me not to jump on this particular bandwagon!

OUTKAST – “Bombs Over Baghdad”

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OUTKAST – “Bombs Over Baghdad”

You get, what, half a second to take cover – a drawled “Yaay-uh” – and then Outkast hit you with the whitest-knuckle hip-hop you’ve heard since “Welcome To The Terrordome”. Less intense, but just as unrelenting and much speedier. “Bombs Over Baghdad” is the first rap track I’ve heard which really takes on board a Harder! Faster! dance aesthetic and comes up with the kind of kinetic videogame viscerals you used to get from hardcore. It is, let us not mince words, a fucking awesome record. In fact it’s one of the handful of records you’ll hear this year which sound like nothing you’ve heard before, which leave you groping for the wildest possible descriptions and knowing they still won’t be enough.

Fred came up with Timbaland meets the Bomb Squad, which gets the drool factor right but doesn’t quite match the sound of the record, its logic-denying shotgun wedding of delirious blitz-breaks and hot Southern funk. The first time I heard it I was baffled – it sounded good but nothing seemed to fit together. Then I heard it loud, and it worked: things don’t quite fit together, like extra parts hammered on to soup up a car. “Bombs Over Baghdad” could fall apart at any second, and that’s such an exciting feeling.

So what does it sound like? I’m saying Sly And The Family Stone forced at gunpoint to lay down a drill-and-bass track: your metaphors will probably be just as crazed. (We should have a contest). I’ve no earthly idea what it’s about – damn-all to do with Bombs or Baghdad, as far as I can see: but you get a message over anyway. Outkast are not to be aesthetically fucked with. You get wipe-out beats, an amazing doomed-up organ bassline, then cascading laptop bleeps, then a psych-funk guitar solo and speed-limit scratching. And disco backing vocals and chanting, too. It’s wonderful. Please, please find it.

So yesterday I went shopping

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So yesterday I went shopping. I bought Belle And Sebastian’s “This Is Just A Modern Rock Song”, which isn’t modern, doesn’t rock, and is a wanksome seven-minute dirge that barely qualifies as a song. Thumbs down. I also bought the retrospective (read: hits) album by KRS-One, which is excellent. So here’s KRS’ Philosophy.

There’s a book to be written sometime by someone about what happened to political hip-hop in the early 90s, though the accepted basic thesis seems to be ‘the biz couldn’t sell the political stuff to the kids, so they pushed the entertaining gangsta stuff instead’. That’s undoubtedly true, but you wonder also how much impact the movement of many of the big political names towards fringe groups like the 5% Nation had. How much blame must political hip-hop shoulder for its own demise?

“Tom, I want fifty-plus versions of Hot Butter’s synth-pioneer tune ‘Popcorn’ and I want them NOW!”

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“Tom, I want fifty-plus versions of Hot Butter’s synth-pioneer tune ‘Popcorn’ and I want them NOW!” OK, loyal reader, here you are.

And speaking of nutcases….

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And speaking of nutcases…. “The British Dialogues” is a (very partial) record of the newsgroup war that erupted earlier this year when self-proclaimed musical revolutionary ‘Art S. Revolutionary’ invaded uk.music.alternative to spread his visionary gospel (Summarised: that 4 old men controlled all music and there had been no true hits in the US since 1980). uk.music.alternative wanted none of it: sparks flew. This is an edit by Mr.Revolutionary himself, so a lot of the best jokes have got cut out, boo hiss.

When I was 13

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When I was 13 for about six months I would write down every song I heard that I really loved on a big bit of paper. I don’t know why I did this, something about writing the titles down cemented my bond with the songs, maybe. Anyway, after a bit I got bored and stopped. Some people never did. The person responsible for the Greatest & Worst Songs Radio Playlist site, for example, has obsessively been compiling, commenting on and mathematically analysing his vast sprawling lists for obviously several years. His site is hard work but entertaining, in part because he is a nutcase who believes that there’s been a secret trade embargo on British music for the last decade-plus, and that Britpop masters (like, ooh, Adorable and Blancmange) are being unfairly kept off the airwaives in favour of hip-hop.

Geri Halliwell Online News

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Geri Halliwell Online News: yes! these are the kind of vital links you expect and deserve from NYLPM. It’s a pita entirely dedicated to Geri Halliwell, and unlike the woman’s official site it doesn’t attack you with twelve pop-up windows. (via the usual source)