29 November 2004

I SPY...

Following on from last week's mysterious download problems, I've finally let my curiosity get the better of me and installed one of those 'tracker' thingies in my blog. You can see it's little logo below my links list. Looks innocent enough, doesn't it? But don't be fooled by the cute exterior, this thing is crafty, clandestine and maybe even a little bit evil. Since going live at 8.00am this morning, it's been busily monitoring and recording information about the number of visitors to Gutterbreakz; what regions of the world they're from, where all the referrals are coming from etc etc. You can see it all for yourselves by clicking on the icon. All fascinating stuff (for me at least), providing yet another resource for me to neurotically check on a daily basis. To be honest, when the first few hits started coming through, I started to get what might be called mild symptoms of stage fright. Like - jesus christ! Who're all these strangers reading my shit?! Coming to terms with the fact that it's not just the same 20 or so people coming here, I felt so naked and exposed all of a sudden. But that was a few hours ago. I'm over that now.

The referrals feature has already highlighted a couple of interesting things that I might not have noticed otherwise. For instance, I spotted that my mate Aaron has been talking about me with John Eden at some Reggae nerds message board . Presumably this is where all the Blood & Fire refugees are hanging-out now.

Far more interesting though is a recent post at MPC blog. The really fun thing about my Grime Scene Investigation series is that I really don't know what the fuck I'm talking about, and the fact that far more knowledgable individuals have been inspired to add their own spin on my confused ramblings is fantastic. MPC certainly seems to know his stuff (or at least gives a strident impression of knowing it) and his definitions of the various sub-genres within Grime are some of the most explicitly clear so far. The one point that all these aficionados seem to agree on is that Rephlex Grime is actually Dubstep. Now let that be an end to the matter!

Sorry, what was that? Something about MP3s? Oh christ, what with all this tracker fun I'd completely forgotten that I'm supposed to be posting MP3s and writing interesting things about them! Well, er....okay. Think I'll stick on a mid-90's drum 'n' bass tip for now, with an essential slice of urban paranoia from Photek. These Tracker programs are a bit like virtual closed-circuit television systems, don't you think? Endlessly recording the comings and goings of visitors to one's 'establishment', while some faceless operator analyses all the data: times, dates, locations...how do you know when you're being watched? "The Hidden Camera EP" came out in 1996 and it still sounds pretty good, although some of those Jazz pretensions are in evidence as on the the title track's double-bass figures and 'blue' chord changes. The 'Static Mix' clears most of that away though, leaving a skeletal, jittery groove of hair-trigger intensity that's like a soundtrack to all those late-nights walking home through a dangerous part of the neighbourhood; senses alert to every possible hint of danger. This is edgy, lip-biting stuff - an accurate reflection of 'inner city pressure', where paranoia is the only healthy state of mind. And to my ears, it hasn't dated one bit.

MP3: Photek - The Hidden Camera (Static Mix)

This is Nick Gutterbreakz, watching you watching me....