28 November 2005


The link to ElSid's mix appears to be dead, so this one's for 'anonymous' and anyone else who missed it:


There's also a new mix by his partner in crime Paul Rose (in his guise as Skuba) doing the rounds this week. Interesting to see the contrasting vision, with Paul's gloriously self-serving, monomaniacal selection focusing on stiff half-step patterns, plunging cyberdub vibrations, economically applied splashes of spikey melody and amorphous reverberating textures. Quite similar to a DMZ set in some ways, but Paul's definately finding his own sound. I find his purist/minimalist approach just as stimulating as El Sid's eclectic/maximalist vibe. I don't know these guys at all, but on the strength of these new mixes one could assume that they have quite different ideas about where the underground is heading. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but there's nothing wrong necessarily with a partnership in conflict as long as it stays healthy and open-minded. I would've been interested to see how they worked together when back-to-back at Noir last Friday, but it clashed with Plasticman's Level gig, so I had to pass on it. Maybe next time...

SKUBA MIX 22/11/05

BTTB-X-Series: Scuba
22.11.2005: 22.01 Uhr, FSK
Scuba - "Dub #1" (No Info 2005)
Scuba - "Kill Me" (No Info 2005)
Scuba - "Words" (No Info 2005)
Scuba - "Thump" (No Info 2005)
Scuba - "Plate" (No Info 2005)
Scuba - "Sleepa" (No Info 2005)
Distance - "Nomad (Scuba Re-Edit)" (No Info 2005)
Scuba - "Harpoon" (No Info 2005)
Scuba - "Aqualung" (No Info 2005)
Scuba - "Brown" (No Info 2005)
Scuba - "Timba" (Hotflush 2005)
Scuba - "Dream" (No Info 2005)
Scuba - "Thank U" (No Info 2005)

(Thanks to THC for discovering and hosting!)

Regardless of my ill-founded observations, the immediate future looks very bright for Hotflush, with the second Skuba EP due to drop before the end of this year, followed closely by the eagerly awaited 'Remix Series' early in '06. Keep an eye on their blog and website for updates.

By the way, I've got several 'vintage' Hotflush mixes in my archives - Paul's "Dub 'n' Breaks" mix from Feb. '04, plus another more recent one (no date specified, but I think it was from early this year), El Sid's "Collectibles" from Feb. 05 and a Pyrotechnics session from 27th May '05. As far as I'm aware none of these are currently available as an MP3 download, so if anyone missed them first time and is interested in checking a bit of Hotflush evolution, give me a shout and I'll reload them as well (assuming there's no objections?!).

27 November 2005


Had a tremendous time at the Level club last night. Plasticman was once again unbe-fucking-lievably great. This time he was using his laptop with one of those clever programs that allows you to manipulate digital files using a standard turntable, giving him the flexibility and control that can only be achieved with a proper deck but still pushing new digital innovation. After a shaky start due to problems with one of the styli, Plastic proceeded to completely melt my brain with a crucial selection of beats. Not many of his own tracks though. True, he played "Cha" and "Vio-lent" but also Wiley's "Merkle" and "Ice Cream Man" (that's the one with the bleepy sound like a bar-code reader) , Slew Dem's "Grime EP", Skream's "Request Line" (was that a brief 4x4 remix I heard in there somewhere too?!) and the classic "What" by Wonder among many others. But it's the way it all gets channeled through Plastic's consciousness that makes it so special. I haven't heard any dj who can match 'n' mash beats as precisely and spectacularly as the Plasticman. Listening to him last night, or on any of his recorded mixes, I'm often struck by that 'what the fuck is this?!' sensation - there's a blinding culture-shock newness about the best Grime that, for me, is at it's most mind-fuckingly extreme when orchestrated by the guiding hand of Plasticman. There just aren't any reference points for this sound. It's like music's just been invented all over again and, for a jaded old raver like me, that's something to be truly treasured. His confidence seems unstoppable now. State of the art, at every level.

Maximum respect to Pinch, Blazey, Joker and the various MCs providing first-class support. Zero respect for Lethal Bizzle for failing to show up. Big-up Appleblim, Wedge, Tom and the gang for reaching, plus the surprise appearance of Jamie from Vex'd, who happened to be in town on 'business'. A pleasure, each and every...

Special mention for my bloggin' colleagues Psychbloke and Kek-W for attending, although Psychbloke left early as per usual and missed all the fun - here's his brief post on the subject. Kek came up all the way from Yoevil. Although he's been writing fairly regularly about grime and dubstep, I think this was the first event he's been to and, judging by his own post, he had a great time, even if he was the oldest swinger in town (I'm a spring chicken compared to Kek - I just hope I'm as enthusiastic about new music when I get to his age!). Kek's excellent account of the evening pretty much covers everything else so I wont bother repeating it. My only slight grievence was that the PA wasn't bassy enough and far too trebley - I was getting mild tinitus, which I don't normally experience at these sort of events. Plasticman and entourage were all heading over to Noir afterwards, and I reckon Kek would've gone along as well, but it was 2am and I'd had enough so we agreed to call it a night. Great to see him again anyway, and hope he bagged a few tunes at Rooted this morning before heading back home.

25 November 2005


In one of my occasional e-mail exchanges with the mighty Blissblogger, Simon recounted how he recently played out some classic bleep 'n' bass, with a set that sounds uncannily similar to my own at Ruffnek Discotek a couple of months ago:

"I actually deejayed Geeta's birthday at Sub-Tonic at the weekend (clashing with Kode 9 who was playing a few blocks away) and did a 1990 set (cos that was when she first got into music seriously), played some 'Baggy' (One Dove, Stone Roses) but it was mostly Bleep -- you would have enjoyed it, inept mixing aside! -- and then I went from Warp/Unique 3, etc straight into Loefah's 'Bombay Squad' and Skream's 'Request Line' (thought I'd merk Kode 9 !) . The crowd (slight exaggeration) really dug it, heavy sub-dub presha."

Cool! Wish I'd been there to witness it. One of the things I found when assembling the tracks for my dj set was that, once you get past 'Warp/Unique 3', it's actually quite difficult to find other truly great, timeless Bleep classics. Sure, lots of tunes sounded nice to my ears in a nostalgic way, but it's hard to imagine how they'd make much impression on a new audience today. Thinking about it, a lot of UK House and Techno in those days was quite tepid in the sense that it focused on being soulful and smooth with very little aggressive content; very much in awe of it's Chicago and Detroit influences, which is probably why I was still listening to a lot of rhythm-heavy Industrial stuff (Front Line Assembly, Ministry, etc) and also taking a keen interest in the new hardcore sounds emanating from Belgium, which seemed to have a much heavier quantity of 'darkness' - an element I've always been drawn towards. But more on that another time - it's getting late here and I realise that I havn't prepared anything for this week's retro post. I know I keep hinting about recording a Bleepy mix for download, but right now my expectations for it are far greater than my actual capabilities! But I've been gradually ripping some of the old vinyls, so for now here's a couple of the tunes lying around in my harddrive. I don't think either of these are currently available anywhere legally, but if anyone knows different let me know and I'll remove 'em.


Someone mentioned this one in my comments box last week, so thought I'd share it with you lot. It's definitely one of my favourites of the period, really pushing the sound into new experimental areas. It's from "The Black Steel EP", released on Network Records in 1991.


From the "System Overload EP", released on Zoom Records in the same year. One of the guys from Ubik has a little tribute site here. I really like this track, and I played it at Ruffnek. Dunno why really...too tired to even try explaining. I'm off to bed - I need my beauty sleep if I'm gonna manage the Plasticman gig tomorrow night.

22 November 2005


Earlier this evening I was hanging out with my eldest kid in his bedroom, watching him on one of his Playstation games. I'm not really into those things myself. I'm not very good at them and the games are too complicated for my little brain to cope with. For some reason I started lecturing him about how simple, addictive and totally brilliant computer games were when I was a lad. My generation were the first computer game obsessives, trading cassettes in lunch break at school filled with all manner of primitive bleepy zero-pixel gaming nonsense and loading them into our ZX Spectrums and Vic-20s. Then I started regaling him with fond memories of the original iconic video game: Space Invaders. It came out as an arcade machine in the late '70s and was an overnight sensation. Whenever I saw one stationed in a public place I'd be pestering my dad for 10 pence (or however much it cost back then) so I could play it. My son seemed vaguely interested in what I was saying (which is quite unusual these days), so I thought I'd have a look on the internet and see if there was anything I could show him to illustrate what Space Invaders was all about. Lo' and behold, straight away we found this site, which covers the history of the game, along with many images, wallpapers, screen savers, merchandise etc, etc. AND....you can actually play the original game on your PC, for free. It does a pretty fine job of replicating the original graphics, along with that particular bloopy music that accompanied it. My boy found it quite amusing...a bit like looking at cave paintings for him, I suppose. He soon got bored and went off to do his thing, leaving me staring at the screen and drinking in the nostalgia for something that hadn't even crossed my mind for years. Problem is, I'm already getting addicted to playing it again. I've only just managed to tear myself away to tell you lot about it. This is bad fucking news. If the blog goes quiet for a few days...you know why.

PS. Don't play the game!!! It'll have you in it's grip quicker than a month's supply of crack cocaine.

Don't say I didn't warn you...

21 November 2005


Hell Science Dept


00:00 Capslock
04:38 Bill Trouble
13:55 W.T.F.O
17:12 Dubmugga
23:11 Grrrind
31:25 Sparticle (feat. Jordan Reyne)
35:53 Winter Mourning
39:58 Rainforest

Regular visitors to the Dubstep forum will no doubt be familiar with Dubmugga, the outspoken mouthpiece of New Zealand underground production team Hell Science Dept who, along with Baddie, are the only artists (that I know of) pushing dubstep influences on the Kiwi Isles. Listening to their mix, I was impressed by the production quality, in particular the drum programming which is hard and 'steppy' whilst maintaining an undeniably fluid funk factor that I could envisage working in, say, a Search & Destroy set. One big difference I'm feeling is Hell Science's willingness to get into longer, extended exercises in repetition. It's almost trancey, though not in the sense of Trancey Techno, more like 'eyes rolling in the back of head' voodoo mantra trancey - a sense of losing oneself in the rhythm of the drums, which is quite sharply in contrast with UK underground's emphasis on head-nodding bassline skank and restless, angular beats.

One thing I would've liked would be a few more riffs and melodies to add some extra 'hookiness' to the barrage of beats, bass and atmospheric dub effects. When I put this to Dubmugga he kind of agreed:

"Yeah, we got an old keyboard that just needs midi'd up so we can actually play melodies and stuff in real time as opposed to step-editing them in. Hence the lack of melodies cos it's a li'l bit hard faking subtle nuances one note at a time by shuffling little boxes around on a screen."

Also, I was thinking the basslines could be a bit more upfront and twisted ('wobbly') to get the UK scene's attention. Dubmugga responds:

"The wobbly bass thing is something we are almost trying to steer clear of cos it's almost expected and we don't really want to clone anybody's sound to the point where we even try to keep the beats pretty straight. Might do a Toasty/Boxcutter/Ve'xd type one for a change..."

I know that Dubmugga is keen to point out that, although influenced by dubstep, he doesn't see himself as being a part the whole dubplate culture thing we've got over here. So what are the aims of Hell Science, and how do they wish to be perceived...?

"I'm hoping we can carve out a little niche for ourselves with a readily identifiable sound that still registers with the dubstep community yet reflects the geographically altered strain of the musical virus which went underground after UKG died and mutated to spontaneously appear all over the globe as dubstep."

Hopefully this will be a good start...

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...

13 November 2005


Okay, firstly a big thanks to everyone who left comments and e-mails over the last couple of days. Sometimes my conviction gets a bit shaky, so it's good to get a lift from you guys. The old egos firmly back in place now, so looks like I'm gonna keep spouting bullshit at this blog for a while yet. Then there's the contents of my real inbox this morning:

Gutta's mail

A promo of DJ Maxximus' "Bass The World" mix CD straight outta Germany, plus a cd-r of fresh joints all the way from New Zealand, courtesy of Hell Science Dept. The international community reaches out to the Gutta once again - it fucking exciting and deeply humbling at the same time. I'd be crazy to throw in the towel now. The story ain't finished yet.

A couple of points raised that need answering...

Robert thinks I should try blogging less often, which might be true. I'll tell you why I post so regularly: Guilt. I just can't seem to summon the strength to write those longer, more involved posts I was doing earlier in the year, and my insecure little brain thinks that by firing out lots of less substantial posts I can make up for it. That's fucked-up, isn't it?

The thing about comments. I do get a bit frustrated sometimes when I don't get much reaction to (what I consider to be) open-ended posts that invite opinion. But I know I get my fair share of comments, and I know I'm as guilty of not leaving them at other blogs. How do you think my man Patternloader must feel? Dunno how many hits he's getting, but here's a guy out in Milwaukee regularly writing thoughtful, deeply personal posts on his life and music and getting practically no feedback whatsoever! Dirt, innit.

Which brings me to Cyclic Defrost's suggestion that many people "just read the RSS feeds of various blogs". Probably some truth in that, but these site feeds are useful for keeping track of blog updates. I'm currently using Kinja to track blogs. It seems to be working okay and I like the way it only gives you the first couple of lines of a blog entry - you have to physically (in the most abstract sense, of course) visit the actual blog to read the whole post. Call me a sentimental prick, but I like to actually enter a blogger's personal space when reading their work. It just seems more personal than an endless stream of entries on a site feed. It's really easy to set up your own Kinja digest, and if you're still navigating the blogosphere manually, I reckon you should give it a go. Or just check my Kinja digest regularly (the button is always at the bottom of my links bar). Quite a few blogs on there that aren't on my blogroll here (I've been a bit lazy with updates I'm afraid). Also, any bloggers out there who aren't on my Kinja list who think they should be, get in touch! Let's keep the blogger momentum alive. And yes, Paul - you gotta get back on the blog trail too!

Btw, thanks to Headphone Sex for the link to this article on 'blogger-speak'. Haha! To be honest, most blogs I read seem to write in a pretty straight forward fashion, but I quite like the idea of a whole new language ('Bloglish'?!) developing from the frenzied minds of the bloggers. One of the problems I have with writing reviews, especially with instrumental music, is that it's hard not to keep repeating yourself with the same descriptive terms. Maybe I should just start making up some crazy batshit and let you lot try to figure out what I mean? I'm gonna start writing about "mong-tastic lightcone somascapes", "polarity-reversing neutron flows", "steel gate ionosphere trax","turd-inducing lofreq plexi-shimmers" and "fully fermented fruits of tha Fruity" from now on!

11 November 2005


RinsessionsSpeaking of Rinse FM (well actually I wasn't, but Blackdown was), my constant companion for the past few weeks has been the epic 6xCD "Rinsessions Vol.1" mixtape pack. Each CD features hour-long mixes from some of the station's biggest names in Grime, including Roll Deep, Ruff Squad and DJ Slimzee (which all feature instrumentals with live mc's spitting mercilessly over the top, and yes - Roll Deep spin Skream's "Request Line" - the only evidence of dubstep's existence on the whole package!), a 'vocal grime' mix from Logan Sama which I'm enjoying far more than I thought I would (although I wish Logan hadn't doused his voice in so much reverb - it sounds too glossy/muddy) and a straight ahead UK Garage disc from Jiggy B, which sounds like pop music by comparison. My copy is one of the first 500 with the bonus DVD of interviews too (thanks to Tom @ Rooted for tracking down a copy for me).

All good, and a nice overview of the current state of Grime for those of us who don't follow that side of things so closely. But of course for me it's all about the Plasticman disc, surely one of his most amazing mixdowns so far. It's a four-deck mix featuring 51 tracks over the space of 60 minutes, and it blows my mind every time. Plastic is so fucking on it that words fail me. Kneel to the Boss, muthafuckaz! Along with established riddims like Slew Dem's "Grime EP" (that's the one with the 'machine-gun' snares that I've been a bit obsessed with since I first heard Kode 9 spin it on Rinse a few months ago - finally got hold of my own copy this month, but the instrumental version's only a couple of minutes long! Jammer's vocal version is brilliant though), IMP Batch's "Gimp", Mark One's "Plodder" and Jammer's "Murkel Man" (brilliant, once again), there's plenty of fresh beats to explore, like Plastic's own "Funeral Vibes", featuring superb haunting pads that remind me of Aphex circa "Selected Ambient Works" (yeah, its that good - please let it be on the album, along with the equally brilliant "A Walk In The Car Park" - not included in this mix unfortunately). One of my favourite sections is a real surprise moment ( also displaying Plastic's sense of humour) when he drops the instrumental of Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" under an acapella of Crazy Titch's "Singalong" (trust me, it works) and from there straight into the "Cha VIP" - one of the biggest adrenalin rushes I've experienced in...ooooh...decades. The other big surprise comes right at the end, when he finishes with a grimey bootleg of "Planet Rock" by Ed DMX. I wonder if Plasticman's ever heard the original?!

Of course it's a bit disappointing that no dubstep djs were involved in the project (at least N-Type got to design the sleeve!) , but believe me - the Plasticman disc is worth the price of admission alone. Besides, six CDs for under 20 quid? Fuckin' bargain, mate! Comes in a fat DVD case too. If you buy this, along with Youngsta's purist "Dubstep Allstars Vol.2" and the new "Back To The Underground" mix CD from Search & Destroy & Quiet Storm, you'll have a pretty good overview of what's been happening on Rinse this year.

Whilst I'm all hyped about Plasticman again, it gives me great pleasure to announce his return to Bristol later this month, supporting Grime superstar Lethal Bizzle at the Level club on Friday 25th, with additional support from our own Pinch and Blazey.



This looks pretty unmissable to me. Who's up for it? Unfortunately this event clashes with Noir at the Blue Mountain club, so looks like I'll have to miss seeing Slaughter Mob and Hotflush in action. Shame, cos I would've enjoyed linking with Paul and El Sid, and I've heard reports that their set at DMZ was excellent (even though most of the audience had left by that point!). ThinKing's concept of showcasing breaks-affiliated dubstep crews at D'n'B events seems like a good move in terms of spreading the knowledge, and I will reach a future Noir , but put me in a corner and I've gotta go with the breakless pure futurism of Plasticman and co. everytime.

10 November 2005


Welcome Home WoebotWell it's already big news at other blogs, but I gotta add my piece. Y'know for the past few months I've been entertaining serious ideas about quitting the blog life, due to an increasing sense of irrelevance and the irrepressible feeling that all the energy was in the forums these days. Maintaining the blog seemed almost like an egotistical urge to maintain a certain cult of personality, when logic told me to just let my consciousness dissolve into the forum matrix - to become just one tiny fragment of the group mind. Yesterday my blog identity hit an all time low, partly due to Simon's decision to end his long-standing and highly respected blog Silverdollarcircle, and also the fact that Blackdown snubbed the bloggers in his Pitchfork article (and it's not a case of bigging anyone up Martin, it's about stating the facts). So yeah, I was pretty dispirited with the whole thing, yet somehow managed to tear yesterday's Rinsessions post from my guts in an effort to prove to myself that I still had something to say. Did I succeed? Dunno. Only one person felt inspired to leave a comment. I never understood why some blogs don't have comments boxes. For me blogging is a two-way thing. Gutterbreakz represents my headspace, but if nobody responds to it and stimulates me in return then what's the point? (incidentaly, have you checked Random Generator recently? The lack of comments has led him to honing his MP3 blog down to the absolute bare essentials. It's like "you can't be bothered, so why should I?" and I completely understand his reasons). There was a time when my comments box was a busy place, but now it's usually derelict - further proof that the forums are where it's at now.

But there is hope. Back in January this year Matt 'Woebot' Ingram, Wire contributor, one of the most respected bloggers ever and a personal inspiration for my own entry into blogdom, made the same decision that I have recently been hurtling towards: go with the forums. He created his own forum Dissensus and retired his blog indefinitely. But now, suddenly, he's back! Great timing Matt, you've lifted my spirits no end! I don't always agree with everything Matt writes about (still completely mystified by his dismissal of dubstep) but he expresses himself so brilliantly on so many topics. Take his recent thoughts on objectivity in music journalism, for instance. He totally nails that one - I hate boring objectivity too - and I'm totally biased and always favouring like-minded people who contact me and send me tunes, etc. But it's an unconscious thing that I'd never analysed before - Matt illustrates his point beautifully and hits me right between the eyes, makes me realise what I've been doing all this time (and will continue to do!) . Mind you, I have to take issue with him for not knowing about the Testone video. I thought you read my blog, mate?! Obviously not, otherwise you would've known about it! Congratulations on your return, anyway. Long live Woebot! The blogs will rise again!!

09 November 2005


Shoot the fucka

Gutterbreakz FM - November 2005

Hell Science Dept - Cold Tap (dub)
Appleblim - Girder (forthcoming on Skulldisco)
S.N.O. - God Loves a Tryer (Terrain)
Skream - Skunk Step (Big Apple)
Skream - Affekz Rmx (Southside)
SLT Mob - Pull Up (Urban Graffiti)
Search & Destroy - Killamanjaro (Destructive)
Warlock - TV Controls Your Mind (Rag & Bone)
F1 - I Hate You (Southside)
Agent X - Killohertz - Alias Rmx (Heatseeker Recordings)
Imp Batch - Fusion - EJ Rmx (A.R.M.Y. Bullet)
Black Ops (DJ Dread-D) - Are 1 (L.D. Cats)

My first mix with the new decks, though I'm afraid they haven't magically turned me into a great dj. If anything it's even more inept and pitiful than usual, which I ascribe to the fact that I'm 'breaking them in' and they respond to touch in a different (probably more accurate) way to the old belt-drives. Never mind, give me six months with these babies and hopefully I'll be able to call myself a 'competent' dj at last. But for now it's all work in progress - guaranteed raw, live and messy. Gutter skillz alert! Still, 'God Loves A Tryer', innit?

Wicked selection of tunes though, if I say so myself. We kick off with a lush exclusive from the Hell Science Department that seems to be coming from the same zone as much of the material on the Vex'd album - harsh beats with spacious, atmospheric arrangements sending shivers down my spine everytime. Hopefully be hearing some more from these guys soon. Hot talent!! Also finally got my hands on the first release from N-Type's Terrain Records, and about bloody time too! He was spinning these tunes on Rinse and saying the EP was 'coming out soon' back in the summer. S.N.O. is apparently some kid from Manchester. The North will rise again!

Two tunes from Skream this month. I dunno, you wait for new material for ages and then two EPs hit the streets at the same time. The Southside EP is only a limited (and pricey!) test pressing at the moment though. Not sure when (and if) the full release will appear, but keep yer eyes peeled. And don't forget that "Request Line/I" has finally arrived, although I haven't actually picked that one up yet. To be honest I've heard those tunes so many times in mixes over the past few months I'm almost bored with them! But of course I'll be purchasing a copy regardless very soon. My man Kek's enjoying it anyway.

Some new personal discoveries including Warlock, who's material on Rag & Bone packs a serious punch. Check his biog at their website. Seems like he's been around as long as I have, which might explain the hard techno edge in some his productions. Nice to hear some brutal kick drums and busy 909 hi-hat patterns again on "TV Controls Your Mind". Then there's F1, who's had a couple of releases on Southside Recordings which I'm very impressed by. Don't have any info on this artist yet though. Anyone care to enlighten me?

Possibly one of my favourite tunes of the year is "Fusion" by Imp Batch (their "Gimp" is pretty sexy too), specialising in dramatic yet extremely catchy orchestral hooks that make me wanna go nuts and pogo around the room like an imbecile everytime I hear it. Why isn't this in the Top 10 National Charts?! Moving to the other extreme, I've been picking up quite a few Jon E Cash/Black Ops releases recently, including the mighty "Cash Beat", but had to go for DJ Dread-D's totally bonkers "Are 1" which simply defies classification. I reckon he must've been off his tits when he programmed that beat, which sounds like a Sublow/Jazz/Rock/Improv band falling down a flight of stairs. Enjoy...


Looks like I'm not the only blogger who fancies himself as a dj. I notice this week that both Dozer and Headphone Sex are having a stab at recording their own extended MP3 showcases, both coming from very different angles. Dozer's latest Dozercast explores the outer limits of electronica in an unmixed form, interspersed oddities from the past cut with random found dialogue, whilst James' first attempt at a mix came out remarkably well. Ignore his comments about a 'few dodgy bits' - his mixing makes me look like a right fool! Mind you, if I stuck to 4/4 disco beats like that I'd probably have a bit more success.

Good on ya, lads!

06 November 2005


Returned home early yesterday to find that my next door neighbour had taken delivery of the 'as new' Stanton turntables I bought off e-bay (see pic in previous post). Wahey! Okay, so they're not exactly Technics, but these entry-level direct drives are a big step up from those crappy belt-drive decks I was working with before, and I got them pretty cheap. Plus a fresh wad of vinyl that I ordered whilst away had also arrived (Blackmarket's delivery service super-fast, as always. Also ordered a couple of releases from Independence Records for the first time ever. Too pricey, but I needed those tunes. Excellent service there as well.) Spent nearly £100 on tunes. Now that's what I call retail therapy!

But what to do with the old decks? I'm gonna give 'em to my old buddy Mike. Or perhaps I should say 'relinquish my stake in their ownership', as we bought those decks between us many years ago. We wanted to make it as djs, but never really got very far. Basically, if anyone we knew was throwing a party, we'd turn up with our gear and play, sometimes right through till dawn. Ahhh, great days. But like most of my long-term friends (all now in their mid-thirties/early- forties) Mike let his music obsession slip into the background as the weight of adult life took over. I still manage to drag him out with me occasionally, so he knows a bit about dubstep now and is always up for hearing new sounds, but he needs to be led. He's got a great collection of vinyl collecting dust in his attic though and hopefully having our old decks will inspire him to start spinning them again. Go Mikey!

Anyway, I went to the Electrotoxic night in Belfast last Sunday and had a wicked time. As always the locals were very friendly and the venue (Lavery's 'middle bar') had a nice vibe with the black walls and the pink circles - like a kinky TARDIS interior or summit.

One slight problem: Boxcutter didn't play!!

It was so frustrating. Poor Barry was having some 'technical problems' with his lappy - basically it kept crashing. He'd set-up some unearthly drones with his guitar and delay pedals that buzzed Doppler-style around the room like malevolent mosquitoes - I was enjoying them on their own! But the goddam 'puter just didn't wanna join in the fun, so Baz had to admit defeat and walk off stage. Heartbreaking! But he took it well (better than I did anyway) and of course it was lovely to finally meet the man in person after regularly corresponding for most of this year. Hopefully we'll be seeing him play in Bristol at some point next year (although it might be worth bringing some cd-r back-ups next time, eh Bazzer?).

Boxcutter @ Electrotoxic
"Work, you bastard!!!"

At least I got to see Tim Exile in action. I'd heard reports that his live laptop performances were a bit special, and those reports turned out to be true. Okay maybe his junglist/breakcore style was a bit too messed-up and frantic for my current tastes, but it was fascinating to watch his energetic, humorous, improvised performance, which included processing his own voice in real-time. He seems to have a slightly irreverent approach that's quite similar to Shitmat in terms of his choice of samples. At one point he was playing around with 2 Unlimited's pop-techno hit "No Limits", and I'm sure I heard a loop of Boney M's "Rasputin" in there too.

Exile @ Electrotoxic
"No No, No No No No, There's No Lyrics!"

Mind you, I was seriously hammered by that point, so might've imagined that bit. I had my crappy little digital video camera with me, and thought I'd have a go at capturing some of the vibe. Here's an 8 minute clip of Mr. Exile.

The audio is completely fucked, but I had an excellent view and it's interesting to watch what he's doing. Might give some of you kidz a few ideas about what can be done with a laptop and some extra bits of hardware. Might take a while to download though, so don't bother unless you're really interested.


You might recall back in April I featured a jungle mix from Peverlist aka Tom Ford, proprietor of Rooted Records, Bristol's finest underground record shop. Top geezer. Anyway he occasionally plays out, even though he claims to 'hate djing'(!), and sent me a recording of his 4am set at Congo Natty last month. There's an MC giving it large for most of it, although Tom can't remember his name. Strictly old skool junglist bizniz, seen?

Peverlist at Congo Natty October 2005

DJ Die - 'Live 'n Direct' (Full Cycle)
Roni Size - 'Fashion' (Full Cycle)
Krust - 'Set Speed' (Full Cycle)
Andy C - 'Roll On' (Ram)
The X - 'New Dawn' (Jump Up)
Da Intalex - 'I like it' Remix (Intalex Productions)
Ninja Man - 'Jungle Move' Remarc Remix (Street Tuff)
Major Popular - 'Good Body Girls' Jungle Mix (Jetstar)
Capleton 'Cold Blooded Murder' (Street Tuff Records)
The Godfather - 'Somebody' Shut Up & Dance Remix (Red Light)