25 July 2007


Well I've been regularly listening to his Sub FM radio show for ages, but last night I finally got off my arse and made the ten minute car journey across Bristol to hang-out with DJ Wedge at his home (his bedroom, to be precise!), to soak up the vibes first-hand as his show streamed live across the world. Guest DJ for the evening was Appleblim, which seemed quite appropriate for the occasion, as it was he who first introduced me to Wedge way back when they were still living over in Bath, and was also his djing partner at that first public performance at one of the very early Dubloaded sessions. Appleblim brought an impeccable selection along, mixing-up the flavas despite having had most of his dubplates stolen recently (ouch! the financial loss alone almost brings tears to my eyes!) but I won't say much else about it because if you missed the show, you can download a recording of it here and experience it for yourself. And you can blame me for those bits where his mixing went a bit wonky, cos I kept putting him off with my inane background chatter. Apologies for that, bredrin. At least I provided the beers. Nice to see the Gatekeeper putting in a late appearance too (watch out for his remix of Wedge's 'Overfiend', forthcoming on new Bristol imprint Reduction, as reported by Kek - I got a test pressing in the post earlier this month and can attest to it's greatness). I took some pictures...

The stream is live-o!

Mic-Controller: Wedge gets evil

Deep concentration: Appleblim steps up...

Loefah test-pressing - forthcoming on Oris Jay's Texture label. Note turntable in serious need of a good dusting!

Appleblim mans the deckles, whilst Wedge checks the shout-box activity

Wicked dark 2 Step vibes from TRG. This is Appleblim's Transition dubplate, but apparently the full release is now in the shops. I shall procure a copy at the earliest opportunity!

CD-R exclusives scattered across Wedge's bedsheet

Wedge models the Mode Recordings cap, available from all good retailers. Possibly.

Gutter, Appleblim & Gatekeeper. Jesus, and I thought I needed a haircut!


It's probably gonna be a bit quiet at this blog for a few weeks for three reasons: (1) The schools have just broken-up for summer so my parenting duties will significantly increase, thus drastically depleting my mental/physical energy levels, (2) I'll be taking the family away on holiday in early August and won't be online much, if at all (3) what little spare time I do have must be devoted to planning, mixing, recording and writing my second Blogariddim podcast, scheduled for this time next month. Frankly, I'm fucking panicking about the deadlines now, but hopefully it'll all come together in time. Fingers crossed....

23 July 2007

? - '?'

Just been listening through a cd-r of new tunes from a certain local producer I know...awesome stuff, but then the final track is so fucking deep it dare not even speak it's name - listed simply as '?' by ?. The restless insectoid beats scuttle across a throbbing bass pulse as spine-chilling waves of texture reverberate across the void, occasionally crossing paths with flickering echos of a ghosted riff. Such depth, yet so much restraint. Almost painterly with it's impressionistic dabs of sound. And at 8 mins and 38 secs, it's visibily stretching the groove out, oozing beyond the standard 5-6 minute mark of most tracks I hear, and could quite easily seep past the 10 minute mark if allowed. Post-dubstep, post-Basic Channel, the next stage on (or perhaps next level down) from Appleblim's "Vansan". The future is here, and it's being made by one of my mates. I'm fucking stoked.

22 July 2007


Well the rest of the UK might be drowning in misery at the moment, but I had a lovely time at Under_Score last night. When I arrived a little before 10pm it was a bit quiet and I didn't recognise any familiar faces (though luckily I had the ever-reliable Doppleganger for company). Nevertheless, I instantly felt at home in the familiar surroundings of Cosies' tiny basement, with a soundtrack of lush dubby techno emanating from the speakers, which turned out to be the last ten minutes of Jim Petherwick's early set. Jim plays off vinyl, but also employs a loop sampler, which enables him to perform some neat little tricks on the fly, like energising Rhythm & Sounds' languidly gorgeous "We Been Troddin'" with a steady 4/4 kick, before mixing seamlessly into Deep Chord's "Empyrean", one of my favourite tracks from the recent 'Coldest Season' series on Modern Love.

Following Jim was another Under_Score resident, Placid, who kicked-off with some classic dubstep, like Pinch's "Qawwali" and Digital Mystikz "Lost City" (from the impossibly rare DMZ002 EP). I suddenly realised it's been ages since I heard those tracks in a club - you just wouldn't hear them at an actual dubstep night anymore. It was actually quite refreshing to hear djs simply playing great music without all the obsession with exclusivity that drives the dubstep economy. After Placid came Harry Glazebrook, peddling a nice line in funky minimalism with a bit of 2 Step garage thrown in for good measure, although when he tried playing a bit of Roll Deep he instantly cleared the floor - not the sort of response I usually equate with a Wiley production! After that came headliner Tom Ellis with a live laptop set showcasing his tight, fidgety minimal house sound, before Jim returned to the decks for a back-2-back session with Luke Malcher, cranking out a steady stream of top-drawer tunes from the likes of Sleeparchive, Redshape, Marcel Dettmann, T++ and a bit of Mala too.

The venue did get a bit busier over the course of the evening, and it was nice to see a pretty even male/female ratio (I'd had visions of it being a bit of a boy's club). In fact the crowd was getting quite hyped towards the end, in a mellow sorta way. A couple of familiar faces from the dubstep scene did eventually show-up - Tom 'Peverelist' and Mike 'Madboy' (the guy who made that 'Living Inside The Speaker' dubstep DVD). Mike in particular was having a whale of a time and I've never seen him so animated. For my part, having spent the past year listening to techno again in the solitary confines of my home, it was great to connect with this small band of like-minds. I guess I'd been put-off the idea of techno clubs because of some of the associations with mega-raves and pills, which is frankly a bit too wild for my tastes these days. But Under_Score had a nice intimate atmosphere and I didn't detect any obvious pill-head activity. In fact, it struck me that here was a little room full of all the people in Bristol who, like me, just enjoy minimal house/techno on it's own terms, without any reliance on chemical enhancement. It felt a bit like the early dubstep nights at Context and Ruffnek Discotek - a mini-communion of those 'in the know' which is a horribly elitist thing to say, but frankly I don't care. The important thing is, it feels like I've finally found a 'way in', an entry point to shared experience that's conducive to my way of life. Plus it was great to make a few new acquaintances like Jim, Duncan and Richard Carnage (of Tape blog infamy). Duncan has plenty of ideas for future Under-Scores, not least booking Baby Ford to headline the next one in September, which is great cos at least then I won't be the oldest person in the room for once.

Anyway, here's a few pics to finish with...

Jim Petherwick and Luke Malcher battling it out

Crowd scene, with Placid on the right

Harry Glazebrook keeping his shit funky

Feminine Pressure

Jim and Tom Ellis

Madboy in tha house

20 July 2007

My (slightly truncated) thoughts on the new Deadbeat album are now up at Fact Magazine's online reviews section.

13 July 2007


Absolutely cracking dub-techno mix from Jim Petherwick over at Tape blog. As the blog post explains, Jim is the resident techno don at the Under_Score night, possibly the only club here in Bristol dedicated to showcasing the best in minimal/dub house and techno. In the past year alone they've headlined such notable producers as Sleeparchive, Andy Stott and Claro Intellecto. I've been taking notice, but somehow never seem to be free on the night. Since my 'born again' conversion back to the cause, the only time I've heard techno in a club has been when I've played it at dubstep events (although I've also witnessed people like Appleblim and Headhunter dropping a few choice cuts in their sets) so I'm absolutely determined to reach this month's event at Cosies on the 21st (even though I know nothing about headliner Tom Ellis) to check the vibes, the beats and hopefully heap some praise on Jim and his cohorts for their unstinting dedication to the cause.


Volume 3 of Mr. Meme's 'Dubstep Sufferah' series is finally available to the general public! Interesting to see a bit of grime creeping in there (just when you all thought it was dead!), and nice to see some exclusive biz too, especially from Narcossist (aka Joe Cowton), who some might remember featured in several of my own mixes last year, plus a sliver of Bristol-H.E.N.C.H flava from Komanazmuk. A highly polished, conceptual set, as we always expect from Paul. Download and read the 'sleeve notes' at the Grevous Angel blog. Nice-up!!

PS. Check the interview Paul did for Blackdown, too...

12 July 2007


1) DJ Wedge - Sub FM - Tuesdays 10pm-12am

After taking a couple of months off to go traveling, DJ Wedge returned to Sub FM with his weekly dubstep session this week. I managed to catch most of the show, which also featured fellow H.E.N.C.H-ers Komanazmuk and Whiteboi spinning a relentless flow of exclusive material, culled from their rapidly expanding roster of Mode artists. At one point I heard Koman's "Shankstep" with the vocals from Various Production's "Hater" layered on top, which sounded spectacular. I'm not sure if that was an unofficial bootleg version, but it certainly hit the spot for me. Next week's show will have Appleblim and Gatekeeper guesting, so you know not to miss it. Speaking of which, watch out for Gatekeeper's "Let Go/Tense Past" forthcoming on Peverelist's Punch drunk imprint very soon. The flipside is the real killer tune for me, featuring some gorgeous dub-chord arrangements, clearly influenced by the Hardwax school, but propelled by a crucial electro-flavoured steppers' riddim. Yet another fabulous strand in the ever-developing web of influence between Bristol and Berlin this year. Big tune, big hair - 'nuff respect to tha Gatekeeper!!

2) Immerse Sessions - Passion FM - Wednesdays

Thinking and Kid Kut host the Immerse Sessions on Bristol's main pirate station, Passion FM. I'm not at liberty to publicly reveal the analogue frequency, but luckily the station has a live web stream here. The show will feature forthcoming releases from Immerse Records plus other exclusive material. The studio number is 07934 179 817 if you wanna give 'em a yell or request tunes. They're also actively looking for fresh content, so anyone with tunes, news or info should get in touch - radio@immerserecords.com.

11 July 2007


Been gradually working my way through "Bring The Noise" (no skipping chapters!) and of course it's a wonderful read, even when about artists who I personally detest, like Morrissey. Inevitably the book has been inspiring me to re-listen to a lot of old stuff (maybe leading to a few more blog posts in the future) particularly the 'Feminine Pressure' piece, a survey of 2 Step/UK Garage, originally published in The Wire, April 1999. The first thing I reached for after reading it was Woebot's excellent "Noir Desire" mix, and then riffling through my own (very meagre) store of 2 Step records. In truth I was never really a fan at the height of it's popularity, perhaps due to the genre's emphasis on vocals and slik production; my re-connection with the 'nuum occurring with the discovery of Eskibeat and dubstep around 2003-04. But I guess absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Listening through the double compilation Blackmarket Presents 2 Step (Azuli Records, 2000) gives a pretty good account of the sound at it's most accessible, with the emphasis on full vocal tracks, rather then those using chopped-up diva samples (generally more favoured by enthusiasts like Simon and Matt) with the notable exception of Groove Chronicles' wonderfully stealthy "1999". It's a nicely presented package, with lots of close-up photos of the turntables in the Blackmarket shop, although the printed tracklist order doesn't tally with what's on the actual vinyl grooves. Thankfully the previous owner wrote the correct running order on the labels, saving me some serious confusion. But hidden amongst all those glossy vocal numbers is "The Phone Tune", by 212, which I absolutely adore partly for it's stripped-back minimalist approach, succulent subby bassline and eerie synth melody. But also the complete lack of soulful vocals (sampled or otherwise) instead substituting matronly female phone operator phrases and other tele-tones. It's like a 2 Step update of Kraftwerk's "The Telephone Call" or B12's "Telephone 529", but the really genius bit is the use of that annoying interference you get when a mobile phone signal cuts through your hi-fi speakers. The first time I heard it, I actually grabbed my mobile cos I thought I had an incoming call! It's the sort of track I could imagine starting life as a jingle on a pirate station.

I know absolutely nothing about 212. According to Discogs, "The Phone Tune" wasn't even released as a 12" in it's own right - it only appears on this collection. Who was this mysterious producer? Is this an unusually 'empty' example of 2 step?

10 July 2007


Latest mix from my old mucker Krys Forensics (aka Tha Deadsteppah, aka Tha Doom Monger, etc). Exclusive biznizz. Don't have nightmares, kids...

08 July 2007


Scorched Earth - El Kano's latest mix is like a volkanic eruption, spewing the fiercest sounds from the firmament of leftfield dubstep and techno.

Can you take the heat...?

06 July 2007


New blog from the Dissensus stalwart. Only one post so far, but I'm liking the vibe. And of course it always gives me immense satisfaction to know that I helped to nudge someone down a fresh path. Looking good, my friend...