09 September 2003

Picked up a couple more of those saucy lookin' Soul Jazz compilations last week. First up, "That's My Beat - Kurtis Mantronik Selects Classic Old Skool Hip-Hop, Electro & Disco Cuts". Now, this includes a cut by Japanese synth-poppers Yellow Magic Orchestra called 'Computer Games'. Despite my long term effection for the synthpop genre, and despite them getting name-checked by LFO on 'What Is House', I never got around to checking out anything by YMO, so this is the first thing of theirs I've ever heard. Shame on me. It's a nice li'l number, but what struck me was the opening series of bleep tones, which immediately got my sample-spotting ears to attention. After digging around in my collection I finally worked out where I'd heard them sampled: 'Hooligan 69 (original version)' by The Ragga Twins. Y'now, that is such a cool track - I love those old Shut Up And Dance rave tunes. They're so brutal, so unsophisticated. Just lay down a bunch of sounds from old records (in Hooligan's case YMO and the intro to Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy') chuck a breakbeat under 'em, add scuzzy woofer-shattering sub bass, and then do some freestyle rapping/toasting over the top. Very little studio trickery or any attempt to disguise or mangle the samples. It's zero-pretension-ruffneck-biznizz, and we at Gutterbreakz heartily endorse (and occasionally practice) this working method. Shame it had to end. I hope Marc Cohn is rotting in hell, the fucking spoilsport.

My other purchase was "New York Noise - Dance Music From The New York Underground 1978-1982". It rocks. Big time. My knowledge of No Wave was previously limited to a bit of ESG (although surely Suicide, Blondie and Talking Heads must've all qualified at some point?), so I'm thoroughly enjoying having my ass educated by this tasty selection. Stand out track so far is the hip-hop one by Rammelzee Vs K.Rob. It's like an artrock version of Sugarhill Gang. The Contortions sound like Pere Ubu jamming with Minutemen, which is a GOOD THING. And Glenn Branca's 'Lesson No.1' appears to be on a Steve Reich tip. Not sure if this stuff is better than my Brit-funk faves ACR and 23 Skidoo, but still sounds invigoratingly fresh. It makes me wonder...I mean, I quite like the Strokes, but they're basically a traditional rock 'n' roll group. I don't hear the sort of invention in their music that I hear in this No Wave stuff that's like over 20 years old. Why aren't more forward-thinking NY discopunk outfits like DFA or Liars as massive as the Strokes?

All hooligans just BROCK OUT!