Sunday, November 21

Power Bottom

[Listening to:  Razed in Black - "Damage Inc." ]

Monday, November 1

That's My Jam: Bombshock

I've never really been much of a rave guy.
I was always a little too old for it, to be honest. I like big parties in the middle of nowhere with tons of girls taking the kinds of drugs that promote nakedness just as much as the next guy -- but even with that possible awesome benefit, I rarely if ever could get past the music.

I've written a lot in the past about my varying degrees of tolerance for techno music, including my enjoyment of DnB over other styles in the genre because I always felt it was the closest thing to actual musicians performing rather than a DJ mixing pre-recorded elements together. I appreciate DJ skills, and sometimes honestly wish I knew how to navigate turntables -- but my taste for that kind of music definitely skews more towards the hip-hop side of things.
Simply put -- I'll take five seconds of Terminator X over five minutes of Baby Anne
any day of the week, no matter how tiny her outfit might be while she's on the set.
My main problem with techno and rave DJ music is that they throw too much in. The sound tends to get jumbled with noises and beeps so much that it's hard to enjoy the real essence of what makes it's so infectious and danceable, which is that constant breakbeat underneath it all.

For my taste the whole thing almost always becomes a mess of stop and start button pushing, backwards scratch preset effects and ambulance sirens -- and the more I watch these guys work (Endo remains a sanctuary for the sound, which can sometimes be a good thing when they get a particularly inspired DJ, but is usually just amateur hour on the mixing board) the more I notice that all they really seem to do when they're up on the turntables is start a CD of pre-recorded mashups and then dance around while waiting for the right opportunity to sweep the midrange levels up and down to create flange effects.
To me that's not really creating music -- it's more like constantly screwing with
the car stereo when I'm trying to listen to it, which gets old really, really fast.
I have a number of dear friends who love the music and remain active in the scene -- so I get to hear quite a bit of it when I hit the clubs, and despite all the advances in technology the sound hasn't really changed that much over the years (you might be thinking to yourself, "Rave music? Didn't that die like ..10 years ago?") But if you're willing to dig there are some surprisingly interesting acts to be found out there -- especially coming from the British labels. Which is good, because despite how dated and silly it tends to sound on first glance -- all you really have to do is spend a weekend in Miami to realize that even if the general public wore out on it a decade back, beep-beep-boop music will never, ever go away.
Which is why I'm constantly amused over my love for Hadouken!
I'm pretty sure I first stumbled this Leeds 5-piece outfit with the killer band name on MySpace back in the day when I first heard a track called "That Boy, That Girl" -- it was just one of those songs you come across on someones profile that gets it's hooks into you and won't let go, so much so that you find yourself checking into the bands profile page and downloading anything you could find on it.

The sound comes across much like you'd expect it to at first -- co-opted video game sound effects for beats, repetitive rhythmic figures, and vocals reeking of a British accent -- but the difference here (one that I find pretty significant) is that this is a band. Even with all the post production touches added on, the sound here all comes from the instruments and the players.

It's funny -- the lyrics on their first two albums were all about partying and getting wasted before sneaking into clubs, but the ones on all their new stuff are about picking fights and beating people up.
Not really sure what the deal with all that is -- but I really digging the edge all this aggression is bringing out of them.
I'll never lose my love for my metal and soul records -- but when I get in the mood for this stuff and put it on in the car, it's probably a good idea to make sure your seat belt is securely fastened, because when that beat hits -- things get moving pretty fast.
Take it away, babies.

[Listening to:  The Cramps - "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" ]

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