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Showing posts from September, 2013

BIG DADA RECORDS - 10th Anniversary Tribute Feature

(first printed in Plan B Magazine, 2007) 

1997 was an odd moment of stasis and surge in hip hop, a crossroads year in which much of what’s happened since was prefigured and set in motion. In the US, the encouraging growth in underground rap that brought us labels like Rawkus and Stones Throw was finding itself dead-ended and neutered by the cliquishness and elitism of the Bay Area and Nuyorican scenes. In the UK, British rap music was undergoing yet another crisis of confidence, ignored by the industry, isolated into tiny provincial pockets of resistance without a voice – stymied, silenced and dispersed, fatally burying its head in the sand. At a time when, worldwide, hip hop had assumed a significance that suffused pop culture, underground hip hop occupied a curiously curator-like position of endlessly retreating within the genre’s borders, insisting protectively on an old skool reactionary vision of rap while the mainstream was on fire, blazing ahead.    Timbaland, Dre and Neptunes we…


Angel Haze
Strike one — a dull-as-fuck backdrop, dull-as-fuck singing, dull-as-fuck rapping. Strike two — first heard on Zane Lowe's show, doubtless announced as if he was going to unleash seven-thousand shades of chemical warfare up your bumgut. Strike three — produced by Markus Dravs, the man also responsible for shaving the scab off whatever crusted creative boil oozed Coldplay and Mumford & Sons our way. For shame Angel. For shame. I knew by your boosters claims that you were 'doing something different in hip-hop' that you'd be soon knocking out crossover drek like this. You're out.

Arcade Fire 
Another mistaking of metronomy for feel, vagueness for profundity. Somewhere in this flabby seven minutes of pffft there's a shitty 2 minute song waiting to break out. I'm not being picky. I'm just having standards i.e demanding that a pop song gives me pleasure, doesn't bore me, doesn't coast, doesn't come…

Hating Kelis, Loving Envy, Pop in 2010

Summer 2010. Why aren't you happy? We're being catered for.
Taste of headache.
We're being catered for.
Aluminium mouth-rape.
We're being catered for.
Nausea, dry heaving. We're being catered for.
I don't go looking for problems. They find me. In this numb age music must electrify every synapse, fill the space in my atoms with fire. A tight alternative to the sloppy seconds every other less-potentially-abstract/suggestive artform is offering. But all I'm getting is a migraine of mehness, a gobfull of slurry, grossed out, gagging on the hangover before it hits, the endlessly rotating self-pity of modern pop. For the first time since 85/86 I can wholly equate 'chart' music with 'shit' music.

I'm waiting for the chorus.
But all I'm getting is verses, bridges, build and no release state-of-the-art demo-settings and all that fucking whining whining whining.
We must be in the club.
We're always in the club these days.