Friday, 10 October 2008

Clownstepping, across the universe...

I saw this post from the amazing Jim Bergerac, one of my favourite drum & bass satarists (are there more than one?), and I simply had to repost it on here.


Out of touch rock critics have no idea of what clownstep is

I was brought up by hippies, and one of the habits I have picked up from my ageing parents is an enjoyment of the type of meat-and-potatoes rock magazine that has dead people on the cover every other month. There is nothing better than reading a retrospective article on Jim Morrirson's passion for anal sex when you are sat on the toilet after a lentil curry, and a 9am rundown of the greatest prog rock symphonic concept albums is generally more interesting than the reading alternative at my mum's house - a rumpled copy of Surfer Magazine and some chakra-location manuals for aged white yoga enthusiasts.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that all of DOA's hard work over the years has paid off, and that the mainstream media is finally taking its first tentative steps back towards those halcyon days of the mid 90s, when you couldn't open The Face magazine without seeing yet another double-page spread of Goldie, Bukem and MC Bassman shooting grouse with Guy Ritchie, or turn on a BBC 2 youth drama without a teenage stabbing set to the sounds of Wax Doctor, Alex Reece or something on Joker Records that sounded like a broken fairground ride. Oh, how far we have slipped since that golden time. It's a travesty that Remarc's 96 version of the Blue Peter theme tune got canned because of the gunshot noises, and that the GLR back catalogue is only kept afloat by the soundtrack needs of the daytime home decorating slot on Channel 5. Somebody toss Limewax a bone and get him the gig doing the new music for Tweenies. I'm predicting big things.

Anyway.

This month's Word Magazine has a feature where different rock critics are quizzed on a variety of obscure musical topics (for points!), one of which is the eternal quandary "What the hell is clownstep?". As nobody got to phone a friend, and Phil Jupitus was not reading the answers from an autocue, not a single one of them could get it right.

The article is online, although the online one doesn't seem to have reproduced the answers. I have nothing better to do today.

http://www.wordmagazine.co.uk/conte...boffin-face-off

What the hell is clownstep?

James Delingpole (Daily Telegraph): "Is it something to do with Gnarls Barkley?"
Peter Paphides (The Times): "I don't know. I'm not sure I want to actually."
Gavin Martin (Daily Mirror): "It's a musical genre. More than that I don't know."
Robert Sandall (The Sunday Times): "Blimey! Is it a sub-genre of the popular South London dubstep scene?"

Adrian Thrills (Daily Mail): "I really have no idea."

Robert Spellman (Daily Express): "It's a sort of hip hop dance where people dress up as clowns. Fictionalised violence. French guy made a documentary about it."
Andy Gill (Independent): "I suppose if I mention dubstep the ground will swallow me up. Is it a subset of dubstep?"
Alexis Petridis (The Guardian): "It's a sort of hip hop dance like the Aunt Jackie. Hang on, it's a microscopic variant on dubstep and grime, isn't it?"

Conclusions:

*The man from The Times, whilst not entirely well informed, possesses the same kind of unformed psychic ability that makes dogs howl when Shabba D comes near
* Dubstep should rebrand itself as 'Aunt Jackie' for a level of media exposure that exceeds its current reach, which is obviously limited to Vice Magazine, an inch square box in the Guardian guide and the seat next to Mary Anne Hobbes on the tube
* Clipz and Hazard need to fix up their mailing lists
* It's probably Pendulum's fault somehow

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Free vinyl? Lovely f*ckin jubbly!


I know, I know, my generosity knows no bounds. Basically, I walked in to work the other day to find a returned package that I sent to a well known drum & bass DJ, full of lovely white labels. Apparently this ungrateful bugger didn't call at the Post Office to collect their free vinyls, and I'm not sending them to them again. So, I'm going to send them to one of you lucky buggers instead.

I have no idea what's in the package, don't even bother asking, I can't be arsed to muster enough energy to open it, it's hard enough just typing this to be honest. Anyway, I'm bored this evening, so email me your best joke with the subject "my best joke", and the one which splits my sides the most will win the prize - jeryl@nu-urbanmusic.co.uk.

Bonus points for anyone who manages to send a joke involving drums, bass or faces.

The Jeryl Anti-Interview Competition Winner!

Oh yes kids, I told you someone would win a pile of my unwanted white labels, didn't I? Well someone did, that someone being one Nik Boan. I don't have a picture of Nik, but a quick Google image search reveals this photo, which almost certainly isn't him...




Lucky Nik won himself:

AZ005 - Clipz - Loud & Dirty / Push It Up (TC Remix)
BRUK008 - Roughcut ft. Foxy - F*ck Off (Vapour Remix) / F*ck Off (Roughcut Remix)
CALYPSO010 - Malfoy, Imp & JFM - Bear Hunter (Jaydan Remix) / Catch
CE003 - Manga - Visionaries / Goodbye
CRIT036 - Bungle - Be Like This / The Source
CRPT001 - DJ Levela - Nuke Em / Nuke Em (Dub Alley Remix)
DNR004 - NW2 - Itchy Fingers / Octopus Legs
DSR015 - TC - Where's My Money (Caspa Remix) / Tron
FCY094 - Roni Size & DJ Die - Music Box (Sigma Remix)
RBR001 - The Force - Welcome To Earth / Gadget Girl
RES002 - Noah D - Water Song / Fire Song
RETRO006 - Mutt - Lady Love / The Motions
SCR005 - Dub Alley - A Grade / Fried Piper
SKYZ003 - DJ Die - Skate or Die EP
SMOKE003 - Jaydan - What U Want / DJ Pleasure - Stingray
STYPE009 - Bassface Sascha & The Force - International Sound / The Story
TECH050 - Tantrum Desire - Xenomorph / The Last Stand
V2E006 - Vital Elements - Murda Ya Bludclaart / The Flying Saucer
WAR015 - Drumsound & Bassline Smith - Mafia / Special
WARMLP001S - Polar - In The End Album Sampler
WBAYINTL004 - Concept & Shnek - Bedford Avenue / Supastar
WESTBAYLP001-S2 - Atlantic Connection - Can't Destroy Love pt. 2 / Soul Musiq

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Creating Impulses? So says ICR


ICR has slowly and surely been taking over the internet with his fresh blend of soul infused sample-based drum & bass, and his Hungarian D&B news site Impulse Creator (http://www.drumandbass.hu/). Now is your opportunity to find out a little more about ICR, and to sample four (yes FOUR!) free mp3s. How very generous :)

Age?

26

Biggest release to date?

I appreciate every release I have and it’s hard to pick the “biggest”. For example I’m still getting flattering feedbacks on my debut record I released in 2003 (Stolen Symmetry / Rock The Sky), others begging for coming back to the sound I had earlier on my Covert Operations album (Daytrip). But I’m proud of my free albums as well (The Public Diary, Empty Pages) praised by Elhornet from Pendulum and Tony Colman, not to mention my own label’s releases.

Personally I would choose “So Unloved” on Counter Intelligence my biggest release to date – it means a lot for me; and I hope the recent 12” “Almost There/Somebody Else” is shortly going to be my biggest, supported by Marcus Intalex, Lynx, D-Bridge, Flight and many more.

Country of origin?

Hungary.

Describe your style?

Hard to describe myself, so I try to remember some critics I got. Someone told me a long time ago that my sound is very unique and definitely running but deep at the same time. I think my style is always developing in a way (it has to) – so it’s different than my sound for example on Covert Operations (which was more spacey, more futuristic). Sometimes I make harder and raw tracks, sometimes more liquid, sometimes experimenting. But I even tried myself in deep/minimal house and other genres, so it’s definitely varied. Maybe the common element is my effort to tell a story with every song. Which means – and I hope – that my sound is based on emotions, thoughts, “personal tales” – not necessarily using the common DJ-standard solutions that works on the dancefloor. Sometimes people say it’s “moody”, “musical” or “cinematic”.

Favourite food?

Not sure, maybe fried chicken with mashed potatoes and french salad. But I love my grandma’s chocolate gateau with cherry or my gf’s l├íngos (see at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A1ngos) as well.

Girl or boy?

“I love girls, girls, girls, girls. Girls, I do adore. Yo put your number on this paper cause I would love to date ya. Holla at ya when I come off tour, yeah.”

How did you get involved with Drum & Bass?

It’s been almost ten years now! I didnt really know anything about jungle or d&b back then, I just started experimenting with samples and musical forms and started to make something similar to the tunes I was listening on german satellite radio Evo Sonic, some early compilations and later the Fabio/Grooverider shows. Meanwhile I started to learn more about music, established a website which became Hungary’s leading urban music online magazine and community site, ImpulseCreator (www.drumandbass.hu) and “the rest is history” – have written almost a hundred articles and released another hundred tunes, and lately managing my digital label Misspent Music.

Instant messenger or telephone?

Definitely messenger. I don’t like talking on the phone, I was even frustrated about it for a long time so I haven’t got a mobile until I was 23 or so which is strange I know! However I don’t like to talk about personal issues via messenger either – face to face contact is prefered.

Junk food or fresh veg?

A little bit of both, but of course summer time is more about fresh vegetables coming from my parents garden.

Knife & fork or chopsticks?

Never tried chopsticks but I would love to try it eating some Japanese food.

List your three favourite tunes right now?

Goldie – Invisible, London Elektricity - Southeastern Dream, Polar – Almost & Beyond. Off the best d&b albums of 2008 – no question!

Number of releases so far?

15 vinyl releases, 2 CD albums, 28 exclusive digital releases, 4 free albums/compilations, and featured on 11 compilation CD’s.

Plug your forthcoming releases here, go go go!

Almost There/Somebody Else (Influence Records) – on promo 12” now!

Something special from me on the third release on Aaron Jay's Influence Records. 'Almost There' already has a cult following after being showcased on Marcus Intalex's Redbull Academy podcast last year. Its moody vibes, attacking drums and film score samples make this a dance floor favourite. On the flip is 'Somebody Else' which is pure vibes combining an emotionally charged but heavy piece of drum and bass.

Same New Song/Sinking Again (Mjazz Digital) – out now on digital-tunes!

Hot on the heels of brand new releases on various labels i'm debuting on the legendary drum & bass veteran, Tony Justice's relaunched MJAZZ label! Following the label's ethos Justice picked up two of my deepest, musical tracks that represents modern urban jazz.

Hagyma – Thunder At Night (Misspent Music) – out soon on Beatport!
New Hungarian musician Balazs Hagymasi AKA Hagyma (meaning 'onion') debuts on my label with a special live jazz/drum & bass crossover track that expands upon the label's musical repertoire. Special music needs special releases, so this time, presented on a 4-track single, we can enjoy this cinematic, moody, key-lead ballad in different interpretations from Macc, myself and faalb.

Forthcoming on Misspent Music: Aperture, Bop & Dephecta, Sub, ICR.
Forthcoming ICR music on labels: Counter Intelligence, Sonorous Music, Transmute, Play:Musik, Vibez, and more.

Check http://www.myspace.com/icrdrumandbasshu

Real name?

Zoltan Gal. (Zoltan came from the turkish Sultan word, means ruler. Gal is a celtic-irish originated word, means rooster. So im the rooster ruler! Otherwise the cock ruler!)

Shoe size?

US: 10.5, UK: 9.5, EUR: 44, CM: 28,55.

Tell us your best studio tip?

Honestly I’m not a technical producer, I’ve always made music with only my “ears” and “feel” – still without monitor speakers. So my advice is more general, not a practical tip: if you reached a level in producing, don’t try to sound anyone else, just follow your instincts, leave the cliches and do whatever you want.

Underground or commercial music?

Doesn’t matter what we call underground or commercial music – there’s good music and bad music in both. I try to listen good music from both, no matter if it’s pop, rock, hip hop, electronica, house, jazz, breakcore or drum & bass.

Vinyl, mp3 or CDs?

I’m not a DJ, so my opinion comes from a different angle and I don’t want to write down anything that wiser people than me have already told. For me it’s not the format what matters in the first place, it’s the content. But of course as a producer I’m the happiest if I can hold my “work” in my hand – and in both hands especially.

Who's playing your tunes at the moment?

DJ Flight, Alley Cat, ESB, Subject 13, Justice, Aaron Jay, Stunna, Hazey Haze, John Doe, DJ Krazy, Code, Lynx, DJ Ren and hopefully a lot more. Marcus Intalex, Fabio, Grooverider, Sileni, Tony Colman, DJ Trax also have played tracks from me. Sorry if I missed you from the list, much respect to every DJ who supports my music.

Xylophone or Reason 3.0? (yes, we know that's rubbish, you come up with one for X then!)

The only “gear” I use for producing is Reason. However I love the sound of a xylophone, I must have been using it in a few songs I think. But if I could learn playing only one instrument, it was piano or cello. Or hammered dulcimer – love it in Orbital’s “The box”.

Your local D&B scene, what's it like?

I think if you’re aware of drum & bass you know well that Hungary (mostly Budapest) has a healthy scene – or at least, d&b is very popular, mostly amongst teens (which means one sort of domination in sound aswell.) DJ's always love to come back here because it's still an enthusiastic crowd (check the “megaraves” we have ocassionally!). On the other hand maybe there's less 'movement', and 'innovation' in the scene now than back then and the younger crowd is less open-mindend to more deep, and experimenting sounds wich is a bit shame. Same with the producers - some repeating themselves, some experimenting with new and exciting sounds. So it’s going in circles.

Zoo or theme park?

Anything would be great to go and have some fun. I just need some spare-time and less work.

Download ICR's tracks here