30 March 2008


Anyone who's been reading this blog for the past couple of years will no doubt be familiar with the name Forensics (aka Krys Taylor - one of those shady characters who I associate with). Co-host and resident dubstep dj at Ruffnek Discotek, he's also well-known to the international crowd through his mp3 and internet radio mixes along with his incontinently prolific output of self-produced material, which is the focus of attention here on account of his latest collection of 'tunes' (I use the term in it's most figurative sense).

One of the many cd-rs Krys sent me over the years was called the "Deadstep EP". Such a perfect name for his sound - I wish I'd thought of it. Nominally working within the halfstep framework, Krys often accentuates the 70 bpm undercurrent to the point where it's hard to discern any vestige of the 'true' 140 bpm tempo, resulting in a catatonically stilted, zombified groove that absolutely fails to work as dance music for anyone with a pulse.

Have you ever seen Krys trying to dance? Wrapped in a black overcoat, shoulders hunched, hands clutching a beer and illicit spliff, feet firmly rooted to the floor, twitching and swaying in an awkward, ungainly fashion. That's a visual representation of his music, which is the nearest thing to an audio representation of THC-induced paranoid psychosis I've ever witnessed.

His latest 10-track collection is called "The Singularity", released as a CD and download through Digital Sin Recordings. Maybe it's the extra mastering 'zing' added by Pete Forsaken, but I reckon it might be Krys' finest work to date. The sounds really leap out at you, and that's Krys' biggest strength as a producer - the 'sound design' aspect, layering dramatic bursts of hi-tension sound against ambient background shades and occasional soothing melodic passages. Obviously there's a lot of attention to detail in the way Krys arranges these atmospheres, and once you accept that it works more like quasi-soundtrack music or even Industrial music rather than dance music, you can begin to appreciate the work that's gone into it.

Forensics. Why not try something different today..?

Forensics on blogger

Forensics on Myspace

Buy The CD at Barefiles

Buy The Download At Tunetribe

26 March 2008

Aaah...those were the fucking days, my friend...


First Scuba, now Shackleton...who else is relocating to Berlin...?

25 March 2008


The genuine article: proper ruff Studio One dub elpee straight outta Kingston, Jamaica...

I think there were various other editions of this collection, probably with more attractive sleeves, but you gotta love those silk-screened disco bags - notice the red 'bleeding' effect at the top. Proper hand-made job.

This one's a bit more fancy...

I wonder where they 'borrowed' the cover image from? Tasty clear orange vinyl too...

...but still with the nasty label printing...

These dubs were mixed by Mr. Coxsone Dodd himself. Clearly he wasn't in the same league as Tubby/Jammy etc, but there's some nice equalisation effects on the hi-hats here and there. But the best thing about these is hearing those riddim tracks originally engineered by Sylvan Morris...the classic raw Studio One sound with the 'thudding' bass (apparently achieved by mic'ing the back of the bass amplifier, capturing those stray lo-end frequencies). The vinyls are a little crackly here and there, but still sound gutsy.


So I thought I'd bought the original Sleng Teng riddim compilation, released on Jammy's label in 1985...

But when I looked at the record within, it turned out to be a UK pressing on the rather more obscure Tad Records, with an altered tracklist...

Still a wicked album though! But now I'm wondering if the record was always packaged in a Jammy's sleeve or whether it got in there by accident (or design) at some point in it's life...?

24 March 2008


Heh, over a decade since our paths last crossed and Jake hasn't changed a bit. Within ten minutes he was offering me half a pill and, as usual, I politely declined. And he might've ditched the vinyl in favour of Ableton, but he's still an insatiable whore when it comes to djing, giving the crowd exactly what they want, in this case 'filthy electro-house', making sure that everyone has a damn good time in the process. It was an annoyingly infectious set - me and Doppleganger were physically unable to resist, especially when those familiar oldies started appearing in the mix - Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams", Utah Saints' "Something Good", Josh Wink's "Higher State", some Housed-up Metallica riffs blending into "Blue Monday" - a veritable smorgasbord of guilty pleasures. I used to spend many an hour hanging around with Jake in the dj booth back in the day, and I always marvelled at his consummate crowd-pulling abilities (in contrast to my totally moody, selfish approach) and all those memories came flooding back this evening. It was lovely to see him again and reminisce on times gone by and remember other friends I'd almost forgotten about, even though I kept having pangs of guilt about missing Jabba over at Cosies.

By contrast, Richard Carnage's earlier set was more my usual vibe - deep and minimal with some wicked oldskool acid and techno thrown in, though not sure if he was ready to deal with a gaggle of girls on the lash demanding 'more tunes with vocals' and other such requests. This is what happens when the underground clashes head-on with mainstream clubbing. But I think Richard gave a good account of himself under such trying circumstances. Check Tape blog for Richard's own account of the evening, along with some comments about the previous night's Peverelist/Bass Clef event and details of the next Tape in May, where Patchwerk Man will be making his first public appearance since about 1996.

We left just after 2am, having quickly tired of the following dj's bland tech-house set, though apparently the party carried on until 7pm, in which case I must've gone home, grabbed a few hours sleep and got up again before it had even finished - I'm usually up and about by 6.30am whether I like it or not!

21 March 2008

19 March 2008


Finally released: Peverelist's "Infinity Is Now" (as featured in my Blogariddim mix last summer). The flip is the untitled tune on the recent Patchwerk Man 'Solidarity Mix'. Apparently it's called "Junktion" now. Buy Buy Buy!!

You can also hear Infinity in this fresh mix from Kid Kut (Immerse records), which was recently broadcast on French radio...


1. Kontext - Aeromonarch Attacks / Immerse Dub
2. Sigha - Winter Sun / Dub
3. Untold - Reminder / Dub
4. Quark & Ruckspin - Paint By Numbers / Dub
5. Kuma - Lost in Translation / Immerse
6. Burial - Nite Train / Burial
7. Pinch - Qawwali / Planet Mu
8. Ramadanman - Blimey / Hessle Audio (forthcoming)
9. Pinch - 136 Trek / Punch Drunk (forthcoming)
10. Peverelist - Infinity is Now / Tectonic (forthcoming)
11. Relocate - Dot Dot Dash / Iberian (forthcoming)
12. Marc Ashken - Roots Dyed Dark (Skream Remix) / LeftRoom
13. The Bug - Skeng (Kode9 Remix) / Hyperdub
14. Pinch - Bootz / Dub
15. Kontext - Falling to Weightlessness / Immerse Dub

You can also catch Peverelist playing at Tape this Friday, along with Bass Clef (dj set!). Full details from Mr. Carnage at Tape Blog.

17 March 2008


The countdown to the big Four-Oh has begun. I really should think about retiring my ass.

Happy St. Paddy's Day, btw...

16 March 2008




...has finally arrived! Now with full colour on the cover and expanded content. I've been particularly enjoying Droid's interview with Shut Up And Dance's PJ, the second part of Matt B's interview with Mark Irration and Paul Meme's interview with Scuba, who's forthcoming debut album "A Mutual Antipathy" is really interesting. I'd say that Scuba is shaping-up as the Beaumont Hannant of dubstep, though I suspect the comparison might be lost on most readers. Whatever - watch out for it!. The dubstep reviews section has expanded dramatically after myself and Kek-W muscled our way in. I see they chose to use Kek's review of Peverelist's "Roll With The Punches" over mine, which is understandable cos it's much better, but if you want to read my version it's now here. Also, I wrote a second batch of reviews just before the deadline but looks like they couldn't squeeze them in, so now you can read those here, cos they'll be far too old to bother including in #3. Nice to see Paul Autonomic reviewing Micheal E. Veal's excellent book "Dub" and also Doppleganger getting some of his art in print. All told this is a bloody good read, so I heartily recommend you get over to the Woofah site and order yourself a copy before they sell out...

13 March 2008


You fucking kids today don't know you're born. Back in the day, when men were men and computers were clunky, funky steam-powered boxes, we made 8-bit beats with just 512k bytes of RAM. I bought my Amiga 500 sometime in 1992, and it felt like I'd been given the keys to the studio - the possibilities seemed limitless. The Atari ST might've had the built-in MIDI ports and Cubase platform, but the Amiga could be used as an all-in-one sampler/sequencer which, combined with a Fostex four-track recorder and a little Zoom multi-FX box, was all I needed to get on the path to 'serious' music production on a tight budget. The midi interface, analogue synths and sound modules came later, but right through the '90s, the Amiga (shortly upgraded to an A1200 with - gasp! - 2meg of RAM) was always the nerve centre, sending instructions along the midi-chain.

Commodore Amiga, I salute you!

12 March 2008


So I got curious enough to find out why I get so many hits from so little new content. Part of the answer comes from my back-catalogue of images, especially the above pic of Lady Sovereign, which I posted just over three years ago in this post (I'd give the photographer credit, but unfortunately I can't remember where I sourced the pic from originally).By far the most Google search-engine queries that bring people to my blog are "Lady" and "Sovereign", followed by "MP3". Actually, if you check the top ten search queries it makes for pretty depressing reading:

14019 6.86% lady
13475 6.59% sovereign
7205 3.53% mp3
6754 3.31% gutterbreakz
5143 2.52% download
4696 2.30% grime
3370 1.65% the
2441 1.19% dubstep
2163 1.06% blogspot
2013 0.99% free

The top 10 website referrers were as follows:

7404 6.69% http://blissout.blogspot.com
4004 3.62% http://gutterbreakz.blogspot.com
2833 2.56% http://www.mp3blogs.org
1721 1.55% http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org
1676 1.51% http://www.scissorkick.com
1603 1.45% http://www.headphonesex.co.uk
1450 1.31% http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubstep
1361 1.23% http://20jazzfunkgreats.blogspot.com
1314 1.19% http://www.kidkameleon.com
1303 1.18% http://kidshirt.blogspot.com

Surprised to find I was my own second biggest referrer, after the mighty Blissblog. But then you got that MP3 blog aggregator coming in third.

11 March 2008

Interesting article on the effects of MP3 sharing blogs from Steve 'Little White Earbuds' Mizek, which I came across while catching-up on the latest posts at Infinite State Machine, where Pipecock has a few thoughts of his own on the matter, and I can relate to much of their comments. You probably noticed I stopped sharing single-track MP3s ages ago, even though, as Steve honestly acknowledges, it can bump-up the readership considerably. I still get about 8,000 visitors a month (god knows why) but that's still a lot less than in my mp3-whoring days. I was one of the early pioneers when it came to sharing out underground dance music, and maybe I helped make certain things popular or maybe not. Looking back I think certain things I shared show a clear error of judgement. I reckon I got carried away with the blog's runaway success and believed my actions were beyond reproach. I made some stupid mistakes and I've learned from that. Occasionally these days I will upload a 128kbps mp3 mix when feeling strongly motivated to do so, and I might still give away some of my own stuff cos it's pretty much worthless crud anyway, but I draw the line beyond that.

Non-mp3 sharing is a moral decision, but also reflects my lack of interest in the format itself. After the battery on my old i-Pod died I never replaced it and I don't miss it. It was an interesting medium to experiment with for a while, but these days I'm pretty much 100% a vinyl listener/consumer again. I listen to the odd mp3 mix plus a few unreleased tunes that friends send me, but that's about it. I find that the audio clips at places like Boomkat/Juno etc provide sufficient navigational aid when buying my records via online vinyl emporiums, and I also enjoy buying and selling secondhand items on e-bay, discogs, etc. Very occasionally I'll get some time during the day for a bit of proper crate-digging along the Gloucester Road. I know I spend a lot more money than I need to and access only a fraction of the music available to me in digital format, but I'm fine with that. I have literally hours and hours of digital files that I never listen to and probably never will. I think I'll delete it all soon. Vinyl provides not only a more satisfying audio (and visual) experience, but also helps to give focus and impetus to my listening/collecting habits. If I spend 20 quid on a rare secondhand album, you can believe I'm gonna really appreciate that record far more than a Soulseek file which will probably be listened to once and then forgotten in a folder somewhere.

But that's just looking at things from a personal perspective. Then there's the wider concerns about harming the artists and industry. To be honest, I couldn't really care if the major labels get raped to within an inch of their lives, but I really hope that the undergound/independent scene(s) and supporting retail outlets can continue to exist in some form, even if its just at subsistence level.

But enough sermonising from me. You do whatever your conscience tells you to...
Heatwave contribute their third Blogariddim on a conscious dancehall tip. Looks tasty. Congrats are also in order after their previous 'An England Story' podcast got turned into an official release on Soul Jazz.

And in case you missed any of the other Blogariddims, they're all still available here.
So Portishead have a new album coming out, eh?

No vinyl release?

Can I bring myself to give a shit?

I used to know adrian Utley a bit. If there's any 808 drums on the album, it might be the one I sold to him in about 1996...
Sad announcement from the Doppleganger.

Who else am I gonna find of my own age-group/lifestyle to go raving with now, eh?

Any other Bristol-based dads-behaving-badly, fast approaching 40 can apply for the job...

10 March 2008


Not one but two Ruffnek Discoteks this month, with a slightly more intimate night at Cosies on Saturday the 22nd.

Nice to see Jabba aka Moving Ninja getting himself about now that he's relocated to Bristol. Plus Atki 2 and all the usual suspects for a mere 3 quid.

But I'm also tempted to check out this night as well...


With Guests
The Kelly Twins (UFO/Best Before:)
Jamie Quinn (Mode)
Richard Carnage (TAPE/Best Before:)
And residents
Bella Beatz
Jake Davis
Lewis Brady

Dojo Lounge, Park Row, Bristol
Sat. 22nd March
10pm - 7am - £5/7 entry

last entry 4am

Well, maybe I just fancy trying something different, but the main reason for wanting to go to this one is that one of the residents, Jake Davis, is an old friend of mine. We had a few musical adventures together in the '90s, though I lost touch with him for several years. But thanks to the wonders of Facebook we were reunited last year. Still haven't seen him 'in the flesh' yet, so maybe this will be a good opportunity. Also Tape's Richard Carnage is playing, so it must be good, right...?

09 March 2008

08 March 2008


All good at Ruffnek Diskotek last night. I had the pleasure of lining-up alongside residents Brother Wetlands, Forensics and Beavis in the front bar, spinning an hour and a quarter of strictly '89-'91 Bleep & Bass, though it was hard to gauge the reaction. The bar area at the Croft is like a big U-shape, with the dj booth tucked away in a far corner. From where I was positioned it looked like I was playing to an empty room, but afterwards I was reliably informed that there were plenty of people vibing on my set, out of sight around the other side of the U-bend (where the entrance and bar are located) and even reports of some sporadic dancing. The set began with Rythmatic's "Frequency (Depth Mix)" and finished with Ability II's "Pressure Dub", rinsing all the classics in between. I did bring "Tricky Disco" along, but in the end couldn't quite bring myself to play it. There was one guy who came up a couple of times to enquire what I was playing - in both cases it was Sweet Exorcist tunes ("Testfour" and "Samba" to be precise). Clearly that guy needs to get some Sweet Exorcist in his life immediately. But regardless of crowd response it was just sheer pleasure for me to bring those classic platters out for a spin once more. I'm sure there were quite a few people there (Joker included) who were still in nappies when those records were released.

Dub Boy kicked things off in the main room, followed by Atki 2 (filling-in for Toddla T who had apparently come down with a nasty dose of food poisoning), but I missed most of their sets due to my own commitments next door. Then came Loefah. I first saw and met Loe in this very room almost exactly three years ago, and back then the music he and Skream played had maximum shock-out value. Since then he's had an immeasurable influence on the development of dubstep, resulting in countless second-rate 'plodstep' copycats, though I don't blame him for that - when you set such high standards of sonic weight and innovation it's inevitable that other producers are gonna leech off your style. I enjoyed most of his set last night, it was exactly the sort of thing I expected from him, but there's the problem - I didn't really get any sense of surprise or development, despite the fact that 90% of the set was unfamiliar to me (whether that was because they were new tracks or simply because I don't follow the London scene too closely these days is uncertain). The handful of tunes I did recognise - including Coki's "Spongebob", Kode 9's "Skeng" and some Bristol flava courtesy of Jakes' "3kout" - give some indication of the vibes on offer, and Loe delivered a textbook heavyweight set aided by MC Dread's staunch hosting skills. But I came away with no impressions of where Loefah the producer might be heading next. Maybe he'll end-up becoming a sort-of Derrick May figure - an iconic representative of the scene who never actually makes any new records. Consolidation, regulation, but where's the innovation...?

The answer came forthwith, when Headhunter stepped-up to unveil his latest productions. The first thirty minutes was fucking incredible - drawing on the textural language of dub-techno but freeing it from it's metronomic conservatism, bringing a fresh sense of bounce and fluidity to the beats, without sacrificing the depth, taking his cue from the peerless sounds of Basic Channel/Chain Reaction but making it his own, the same way he did when he first started writing dubstep tunes. As the set progressed it did start to wander into more established Headhunter territory, but at his current work-rate I doubt it'll be long before he's building entire sets out of his new future-dub direction. Apparently he has Tempa's full support in this, so hopefully we'll be seeing more of this style appearing in his released work over the coming months. Headhunter stands alongside Pinch, Peverelist and Appleblim at the vanguard of Bristol's fruitful exploration of the dubstep-techno crossover. London might be looking to Funky House for inspiration, and the North is on a Bassline House mission, but I know where I wanna be right now.

Brother Wetlands

Forensics & Gutter

Beavis - the Yout'man Rootsman

Loefah and mc Dread

Strictly Dreadwise


Full House

Thinking & Gatekeeper

Gutter, Atki 2 and Dub Boy


As reported in that Tory rag and other places, the perm is totally back, thanks to retro-1981 BBC series Ashes to Ashes. Had a weird flashback last night when I noticed this lady stood in front of me in the Ruffnek crowd - though it's less '81, more like Madonna circa "Who's That Girl"in '87. Saw a couple of fellas with full-on Keegan perms too. Maybe they were off their tits on ketamine when they went for that look. But when I first met Mrs. Gutter all those years ago, she swore by her perm, blue eyeliner and pink lipstick, though now she loves her straighteners and refuses to revisit her old look, no matter how much I beg. I fucking love '80s fashion, me. Always have, always will. Though I should point out that I've never had a perm myself. I don't really do fashion statements, I'm more into seeing what everyone else is wearing.



Headhunter at Ruffnek Discotek last night.

That's all you get for now, muthafuckaz.

More pics and commentary to follow...

03 March 2008

Apparently Simon 'Blissblog' Reynolds has contributed a Bleep 'n Bass Top 20 for the print version of Fact magazine. I say apparently because I haven't actually seen it, though I believe it's now available. Luckily Simon sent me the original unedited 'director's cut' text file, so I know what's included in the list and I must say he's done the genre proud. Maybe my list wouldn't be exactly the same, but it's such a narrow field, in a time frame spanning roughly 18 months from late '89 through to early '91, that it's inevitable that we'd be in agreement on most of the killer anthems. Obviously I can't divulge the list here, but suffice to say it does include tracks from my Rob Gordon discography and UK Pressure Mix, so you know it's gotta be worth checking out. I'll be playing a choice selection of Bleep classics at Ruffnek Discotek this Friday (at the management's request!), so if you're living a stone's throw from Bristol and you're even slightly Bleep-curious, come on down to the Croft and check it out. Plus you get to see Loefah, Headhunter and loads of other cool people too!