17 November 2005


Thanks for all the suggestions for other web hosting services. Some interesting options there, but I'm not gonna financially commit to anything until after Xmas. For now I'm just gonna be disseminating audio information by any means necessary. Aside from my own miniscule 100mb server space, Yousendit is limited but useful, whilst Rapidshare offers no restrictions on number of downloads, but only allows 50mb uploads at a time and you have to be a paid-up member to get hi-speed downloads. I've uploaded a couple of mixes that I wanted to keep online to Rapidshare and changed the links accordingly. It ain't perfect but it'll have to do for now. As I said previously, if anyone wants a mix that's currently offline, e-mail me and I'll get it to you somehow.

My server space is now cleared out completely. So what now? Well, there's a couple of mixes forthcoming at some point soon, and I'll figure out what to do with them when the time comes. But actually this situation is coinciding with my urge to get back into some 'traditional' MP3 blogging. I haven't been sharing individual full-length tracks for quite a while now, the main reason being that I've gotten too deep into the dubstep scene, to the point where I actually feel involved, rather than simply observing/appreciating, and I would feel uncomfortable sharing out tunes by people who, in a weird sort of way, I feel like I know and feel concerned for their rights and their welfare. The whole thing with me practicing my mixing and buying new decks etc is all about trying to create better MP3 mixes (which seems to be the acceptable way to share the music online) so that I can spread these amazing tracks as far and wide as possible without feeling that I'm hurting anyone or messing with record sales, etc. But it's so difficult! Nevertheless I'm gonna keep plugging away at it.

But then what about sharing a few older tunes? Since I 'dismantled' the Gutterbox back in the summer I haven't been pushing any classic cuts online, which is partly down to laziness and partly because I've been so obsessed with following the zeitgeist that I didn't have any appetite for it. But now I reckon it's time I started reppin' some old skool beats again, to once again start looking back at where I'm from, rather than only where I'm at. I'm aiming to do one post a week, with maybe 3 or 4 MP3s per post from now on. Here's the first selection, featuring some bass-heavy electronic shit from three different phases of dance muzik evolution...


Adrenalin EPIt's 1991. Drum'n'bass does not exist, yet electronic dance music is possibly at it's all time commercial peak, with all kinds of extreme ravey 12 inch sounds from London to Ghent ram-raiding the charts on a weekly basis. It sounds implausible now, but at the time it really seemed that the majors were running scared under an onslaught of independent releases from a rapidly expanding army of underground dance labels. Although easily bracketed into the 'chart-busting rave' category, N-Joi knew their production chops and had the enviable ability to combine sonic depth with accessible arrangements. "Rhythm Zone" comes from the "Adrenalin" EP (#23 chart hit in March '91) , and shows them at their most stealthy and intense, with sub bass pressure points worthy of any soundsystem fiend's attention, and enough bleep-factor to keep me excited nearly 15 years later.


Neuro ProjectIt's 1993. Drum'n'bass almost exists, in the form of early prototype darkcore/jungle. Everyone seems to have fond memories of that stuff now, but not many care to reminisce over the the golden age off album-orientated 'intelligent techno' that was developing in parallel. True, there was some absolute rubbish coming out, but still loads of fantastic music too that still moves me to this day, whenever I return to it. Neuro Project's solitary release was the album "The Electric Mothers Of Invention" on the Liverpool-based Three Beat label. I had a magazine article about them, but I seem to have lost it somewhere over the years, so can't tell you much about them, other than what it says on the sleeve notes (hey, wait a minute - "additional production on track 4 by Chris Reed" - wow, Plasticman would've only been about 10 years old back then, how'd he manage that?!). Anyway, they were a three-piece unit, augmented by several guest musicians and the album in general still sounds pretty listenable, covering most of the bases of the electronica spectrum at that time. But it's the twelve minute long "Wizard Of The Four Winds" that really sticks out for me now. Seriously dubbed-out head music, with a relentless bass undertow, strong eastern melodies and rumbling digeredoo drones. Almost like dubstep if it went from half-step to genuinely downtempo chilled-beats. Also reminds me of some of the stuff The Agriculture are releasing these days. Roll yerself a fat one and get hip to this shit, kids...


URP Vol.3Who? Actually it's one of the many pseudonyms used by Richard H. Kirk who, as far as I'm concerned, is the father of modern music. Since his early '70s experiments in Sheffield with Cabaret Voltaire, Kirk has ploughed a singular path that has seen him embrace everything from dub, avant-funk, electro, techno, ambient and beyond. He definitely gets my vote for Greatest Living Englishman. This particular track was recorded sometime between 1995-97, but only released last year on the URP Vol. 3 'unreleased projects' collection. To all intents and purposes, this is dubstep, albeit an extremely prescient prototype. The way the rhythm functions at two different tempos, with the kick/snare on the halfbeat offset by the busy hi-hats is halfstep by any other name. Over the years Kirk has acquired an enviable arsenal of outboard fx gear, which he uses here to devastating effect for some truly vicious distorted delays. It's a mixing desk dubsession in the truest sense. I'm starting to hear something approaching that analogue-saturated echo extremity in some of Loefah's latest productions. I've been following Kirk's output religiously for 20 years now. Listening to a track like this, I guess it's hardly surprising that I felt such a natural affinity for dubstep...