29 September 2007


It was good to get out on the town again last night, it's been far too long! Though to be honest the Four:Twenty minimal house session in the mainroom at Timbuk2 was a bit of a let down. Too clean, clinical and functional for my tastes, I'm afraid. Even Daniel Stefanik, who I know is capable of some seriously deep, aquatic vibes, seemed content to roll out a mildly interesting set of percussive belters. I spoke to him briefly, and he seemed a really nice chap, so don't wanna diss him out of hand, but it just wasn't my kinda thing. Everybody played off fucking cd-rs or laptops and the sound was really harsh - dead digitalia with too-heavy 4/4 kick drums. The crowd was sparse and a bit lackluster, apart from one or two who looked like they'd been chemically enhanced, plus a few old ravers around my age swaying around with absent looks on their faces, as though whatever force had once gripped them had long since departed. Admittedly, my observations are based on no more than half an hour of intermittent experience, so maybe I missed the good bits.

The smaller room was where it was all happening - Bristol dubsteppers in the muthafucking area ripping up the joint for a hyped little crowd of enthusiasts. Of course the soundsystem wasn't good enough but that was to be expected. Wedge, Peverelist, Komanazmuk and Gatekeeper all smacked it hard, though I think man of the match was Appleblim by a hair. A minor triumph then, but still I felt a bit deflated by the lack of 'crossover' with the minimal crowd. I saw Mr Stefanik checking Peverelist's set for a while, but generally it seemed like two separate scenes in uneasy co-existence in the same building. Or maybe that's just how I perceived it. Whatever, I might give it another go next time and see if things improve.

Big-ups to Pinch attendance! His debut album is finally due for release at the beginning of November. Watch out for my review, hopefully coming in issue 2 of Woofah magazine.


Blissblog on Neil Landstrumm's "Restaurant Of Assassins" elpee. I bought the album myself a few months ago, after a couple of people recommended it to me for it's Bleep 'n Bass influences. I've been enjoying it, and admire the way Landstrumm is trying to take that set of 'dormant potentials' forward. But I think part of the problem for me is hinted in Landstrumm's 'Ravestep' term: there's just a bit too much of the rave elements; the breakbeats, the samples, the clutter, for it to really hit the g-spot for me. Too much London/Home Counties and not enough South/West Yorkshire, maybe?

It's difficult for me to quantify... I mean, I like a lot of oldskool breakbeat rave, its just that the best Northern bleep stuff was operating in some spacey zone where House-meets-Electro-meets-Dub. If Neil exorcised about 30% of the extraneous noise, he'd be getting to where I'd like him to be.

But don't let me put you off! It's still a wicked album. Highly recommended and commendable. I just have this serious fetish thing going on.

23 September 2007


I have a feeling that service will be even more intermittent than usual round here for a while, so here's some mixage to keep you going...

First up, here's a mix from Bristol's Adam Kidkut, who runs the Immerse label. Recorded back in July, and recently featured on Artofbeats Radio, it's "a good representation of what I listen to, the direction Immerse is going and what people can expect from the radio show Diccon (aka Thinking) and I run on Passion Radio".

Kidkut - Artofbeats Mix

Wedge - Overfiend (Gatekeeper refix) - Reduction (forthcoming)
Djunya - Brahman Dub - Immerse (forthcoming)
Borg - Kisses of Fire - Immerse (forthcoming)
Peverelist - Roll with the Punches - Dub
Kuma - Lost in Translation - Immerse (forthcoming)
Migrant - No Name - Dub
Shackleton - Blood On Your Hands - Skull Disco
23hz & Numaestro - El Rif - Dub
Ramadanman - Rosetta - Dub
Mala - Lean Forward - DMZ
2562 - Resistance Dub - Dub
Skream - Losing Control - Tempa
Distance - Delight - Planet Mu
The Cinematic Orchestra - Reel Life - Ninja Tunes
Gatekeeper - Let Go - Punch Drunk
Trg - Ghetto Romance - Dub
Kuma - Dawn Stepped Outside - Immerse (forthcoming)
Burial - Forgive - Hyperdub
Boards of Canada - You Could Feel The Sky - Warp Music


I was stuck at home looking after the kids last night, so couldn't reach Highroad's Skull Disco special (I sent along my Doppelganger instead!). After I'd put the little darlings to bed I thought I'd cheer myself up with a bit of mixing. Actually, I mix most nights, but usually just for fun and practice. It's a great way to unwind and de-stress, just losing myself in the beats. Minimal techno's particularly good for that. Sometimes I might record onto cassette just to listen to in the car, but last night I thought I'd leave Audacity running and see if anything good happened. So here's a half hour of spontaneous techno jamming...

Gutter's Techno Jam

Andy Stott - Made Your Point (Modern Love)
Blunt - City Rain (Soultek's Emotive Restructure) (Dpress)
David Hausdorf - Untitled (Styrax Leaves)
Convextion - Grey Sky Warm Car (Down Low)
CH-Signal Laboratories - Hypnotica Scale 1 (Sandwell District)
Siobhan Donaghy - Don't Give It Up (Carl Craig Dub) (Parlophone)
Tadeo - Reflection Nebula 056n (Apnea)
Daniel Stefanik - Growth (Statik)

Some new stuff in there like Andy Stott's latest offering but also a few bits I've had lying around for ages like that Carl Craig remix of Soibhan Donaghy (yes, that fit lass who used to be in Sugerbabes - straying dangerously close to the mainstream here, but trust me Carl's dub is a fucking trip). The mix starts out deep 'n dubby, then briefly goes all melodic and 'Detroity' care of Convextion (who's been bringing hours of pleasure into my life this year) then getting deeply fucking minimal and ending up with some abstract shit from Daniel Stefanik, who I'm hoping to witness in action this weekend at the Four:Twenty/H.E.N.C.H bash (which is apparently gonna be a regular bi-monthly event - fantastic! - a club where I can freely wander from a techno room to a dubstep one sounds like my idea of a perfect night out).

This mix is pretty typical of the sort of thing I do for private/personal pleasure: unplanned, relying on intuition and a bit of luck, always striving for the risky looong transition between tracks, resulting in some sublime moments as well as a few dodgy bits where the beats start to drift, etc. This is just a small selection from the tunes I've been buying this year, but can't be bothered to write about. I mean, what is there to write about them? It's about the feeling...you either get it or you don't. Words literally fail me. I shall endeavour to record and share little mixes like this a bit more regularly in future, just to try and express where I'm at these days.

18 September 2007


Oh those crazy Scandinavians. I accidentally discovered this shit whilst idly surfing the web a couple of weeks ago. 'Skweee' is a sort of hybrid electro/hip hop/grime sound that been bubbling on the Swedish and Finnish underground for a while, centered around two record labels - Flogsta Danshall (Sweden) and Harmönia (Finland). I really like it. Maybe its because I've been listening to so much 'deep/sophisticated' music this past year, but I find Skweee's naively melodic hooks and clunky robo-funk beats really refreshing. You gotta love all those cute 7" singles too. I don't want to make a big deal about it, but for anyone curious to find out more, there's a Dissensus thread, or if you're really serious, get on board at the Nation Of Skweee forum/resource.

17 September 2007


I'm a bit late on this one, but for anyone who might not have heard, issue #1 of Woofah magazine is now available. This is the brainchild of John Eden & Paul Meme, fellow bloggers who've been in my links bar from day one. Bloggers producing printed material? Believe it. I'm all about oldskool formats, its just that there's very little on the magazine racks that interests me these days. But this little A5 b&w reggae-grime-dubstep publication hits the spot, featuring interviews and reviews written by a bunch of cool people, several of whom cut their teeth in the blog world. Highlights include Paul STN's interview with Pinch, Matt B's interview with Iration Steppas' Mark Iration (which includes some fascinating reflections on Mark's time in Ital Rockers, during the whole Northern Bleep 'n Bass period), and Dan Hancox talking to Skepta (discussing among other things the origins and impact of that "Stageshow Rhythm" - as featured in my Blogariddim mix).

Seasoned Grime commentator Simon Hampson contributes an intriguing look at some of the freshest new talent to emerge (nice to see a bit of focus on the producers for a change) whilst Eden and Meme trawl through the latest mixtapes with the rabid enthusiasm of the newly converted. Droid and Paul Autonomic turn-in some solid reviews, whilst Howard Slater single-handedly kicks-off the Shackleton backlash. Ouch!

There's plenty of humour too, with a strip cartoon by Woebot and an hilarious piece of grime fiction by Martin C (no, not that Martin C, apparently) that had me laughing like a drain. Photo contributions from, among others, my old mucker Jack Rampling and the lovely Georgina Cook. My only complaints would be that the text is sometimes hard to read when overlaid on images and that there's maybe a wee bit too much unused page space - nearly a third of the rather meagre dubstep reviews page is blank space! (No doubt they'll have no shortage of things to write about when all the review material starts flowing into John's PO Box, or failing that get Doppleganger to draw some of his cool cartoons!) But these are very minor gripes in what is a very impressive debut issue. Order yours today - I can personally vouch for the speedy delivery. Big-up all concerned!

15 September 2007


Jesus, I just heard from Droid that my Blogariddim has had 10,164 downloads so far. "Probably the fastest accumulation of downloads we've had in such a short space of time", so he tells me. I suspect it may have had a late push after Blackdown linked it in his latest Pitchfork column (thanks for that, Martin - shucks, I didn't know you still cared). Thanks also to all the other bloggers and forum users who linked and spread the word. Incidentally, some of those Echospace twelves are back in stock at Boomkat, for anyone still trying to hunt them down...

11 September 2007


The latest Blogariddim comes from Ben UFO - "This Is The News" is a pretty darned crucial selection that surveys the perimeters of dubstep innovation (with a few backwards glances along the way). This is where the shit is heading. Nice to see the Bristol crew represented too. I gave Ben some early exposure over two years ago when I hosted his intriguingly forward-thinking "Snap Crackle & Pop" D'n'B mix, and since then he's immersed himself in the dubstep scene, to the extent that he's now co-running a label called Hessle Audio with Ramadanman and Pangaea. I picked-up the first release, a superlative dark 2-Step outing by TRG, a few weeks ago. Then just this week Ramadanman sent me a cd-r with a few forthcoming tunes on, which I'm listening to right now. More on that another time, but this is definitely a label to watch!

10 September 2007

DJ/rupture & Andy Moor

with Agaskodo Teliverek + V.i. + DJ Gutterbreakz

(Thu 11th Oct 2007 / 8pm / £5 adv)
A combustible encounter between turntablist DJ /rupture (Tigerbeat 6) and guitarist Andy Moor (from cult band The Ex), plus inspired support from two more acts.

Rupture is a favourite in Bristol, ever since he tore up Venn '05 with a perfectly pitched and headily eclectic DJ set. Andy Moor is a member of legendary band The Ex (Touch & Go). From their anarcho-punk birth in 1979, they've tirelessly explored a melting-pot of styles: noise, rock, jazz, and African and European folk. Performing together, this promises to be an electrifying face-off between Rupture's transglobal beat-science, and Moor's muscular guitar style. Be warned!

Support from high-octane Hungarian duo Agaskodo Teliverek (which means "the rearing stallions" in Hungarian). They call their unique, mashed-up style of guitar-based music "Psycho Goulash", combining Dick Dale-esque guitar riffage with manic electronic beats. Odd, fun, and very wrong.

Plus V.i., a future primitivist for whom machine static and buzz are integral. Within his music there is a sense of Richie Hawtin's dedicated vision, Kraftwerk's dis/utopia and Pan Sonic's harnessing of a powerful instrument. Deeply pure and emotive. (more info)

This looks like a whole bunch of fun. I've been asked to provide DJ support throughout the evening, spinning tunes in-between the live acts (probably playing to an empty room whilst everyone dashes outside for a quick smoke) and then in the bar area afterwards. I think I'll go for an eclectic mix, with the usual dubstep, grime and techno, but maybe a bit of electro, ambient, jungle, dub, industrial, lo-fi and whatever else I can squeeze into my record bag. Thanks to Mark for the invite and also to Ralph for hooking us up. Looks like a top night...hoping to see a few local headz down there...?

04 September 2007


A couple of invites arrived in my Facebook account today. The H.E.N.C.H family's monthly showcase at The Tube Bar, Bristol is on Thursday 20th September, with the mighty N-Type headlining. Haven't seen him for ages, so I'm quite tempted to go hang-out there.

But - whoa! - what's all this...?

On Friday the 29th, H.E.N.C.H host room 2 at a big Four:Twenty Recordings night at Timbuk 2. Oh my fucking days. Headlining the mainroom is Daniel Stefanik, who's astonishingly congealed dubby-techno "Starless" EP has been a regular on my turntable recently, but combine that with sets from Bristol's finest - Appleblim, Peverelist, Komanazmuk and Wedge - and you've got an unmissable night: the so-say Dubstep-Techno alliance made flesh. I'm there. Absolutely no fucking doubt. Miss this at your peril, bredrin...

And as if that wasn't enough excitement on a Tuesday morning, an advance cd-r of the new Boxcutter album arrived through my letterbox too. Happy days!

03 September 2007


For anyone suitably switched-on by my Blogariddim podcast, there's a tasty interview with Rod Modell and Steve Hitchell just published over at Textura. It's a fascinating document of their respective backgrounds, ideologies and working methods that I think backs-up much of my own observations, particularly the way that Hitchell brings a structural element to the agenda. I didn't really mention much about the use of analogue synths and signal-processors, but here they make their commitment to the older technology implicit. As anyone who remembers my final 'Guttertech' post from last year will know, I basically ran into a brick wall with software studios, so I can totally empathise with their need to keep the electronics 'organic'. Essential reading!

Incidentally, I discovered the interview via Infinitestatmachine, a new blog collective, barely a month old but already spitting out plenty of informed/opinionated posts on house, techno, vinyl vs. digital and all the other stuff I like to read about. Bookmark now!

02 September 2007


Just back from another brief family holiday to find a couple of hot flyers in my inbox. This Friday (7th September) Ruffnek Diskotek celebrates it's second birthday in fine style with a headlining set from the original dubplate don Hatcha, along with the incomparable Monkey Steak. Looks like fun! All happening at The Croft on Stokes Croft, Bristol from 9pm-4am.

Then later in the month, Highroad returns with a Skull Disco special featuring Appleblim, Shackleton and Gatekeeper, at Cosies in Bristol on the 22nd. They even got Zeke (who designs all the Skull Disco sleeves) to create the flyer too! This looks awesome, though it also clashes with Under_Score's big rave at the Blue Mountain with Baby Ford headlining! But this might all be academic for me anyway, as Mrs. Gutter is already booked for a big hen weekend in Brighton with her girlie mates, leaving me in charge of the kiddies. Frankly, I'm not optimistic that I'll find an all-night babysitter. Shit happens...