Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year, New School!


New years was pretty straight. Heather and I went downtown and watched the fireworks go off at midnight, but kept it pretty low key all weekend. Which was nice. We don't get to do that too often and it was BLISSFUL. Fucking fantastic. This year is starting off with a bang! A BANG I TELL YOU!

Why is everything so great? Well first off I got my new keyboard in the mail (well UPS... R.I.P. Ford) today... brand spanking new fresh out the box... and it came with Ableton Live Lite, which I have desperately been seeking. I'm going to home and fucking go wild with that thing. Y'all don't even KNOW! I'm going to write a song that's going to bring peace to Israel and Palestine... seriously. Seriously.

I also heard from the GM of my absolute favourite record company ever today. Not about anything that would be interesting to you guys. Just heard from him. Which I thought was way cool... because that's the shit that makes your day/week/month. I mean, when someone who doesn't really even need to pay attention to you gives you the time of day, that my friends, is true kindness. So having said that please pick up something from Hot Chip, Sia, The Chemical Brothers, Air, Fatboy Slim, DFA, Phoenix, Placebo or one of the other amazing albums that Astralwerks has to offer... because you and I both know that America has not seen a label with that much talent since the 60's and they deserve our support through thick and thin.

OK... on to the post. As I've been working on my album I've been kind of going through everything I possibly can to get a feel for what music should sound like in 2007. Although I haven't figured it out what MY music should sound like, I can tell you the sound of 2006 was dubstep... in full effect... and the leaders of this burgeoning new school movement are easily Kode 9, Burial, and Various.

Dubstep, in case you didn't know, is a combination (obviously) dub and 2step/hip-hop. Here is what Wikipedia has to say...

Dubstep is a genre of music which takes its name from the largely South London-based dark 2step sound that originally came out of productions by El-B (as part of both Groove Chronicles with Noodles and then the Ghost camp), Zed Bias, Horsepower and Steve Gurley in 1999-2000.[citation needed] Like another garage hybrid, grime, it uses dark sounds, but differs from grime in being largely instrumental. It also predates the evolution of grime by several years.

Interesting yeah? I cannot claim to have some thorough knowledge of the genre at all. I can tell you a lot about 2-step... and I can tell you a fair amount about Grime... but dubstep is something I've been largely out of the loop about until Pitchfork started doing their column this last year (which I only recently have really gotten in to). Said column (This Month In Grime/Dubstep) has announced the scene's 'crossover into the indie mainstream' and therefore it's about time you got up on this shit! UNLESS you really really got into the XLR8R article in 2002 and you already know everything about dubstep (I remember listening to something from Horsepower Productions back then and thinking 'this is cool, but this could very well be the new 'hip-house'... a rad genre with few records to it's name and an even shorter life span'... obviously I was WAY wrong)!

To bring you up to speed.. here's a little documentary the BBC did...

And here's one from MTV:


Various have been hailed as the post-millennium Portishead, and have more or less made good on that label. They have become of the darlings of the scene so much so that Thom Yorke recruited them to do a remix of 'Analyse' for him. The album goes from harsh, to light-folksy-depressing, to buoyant dub, to epic singles and it just keeps delivering over and over. It's a well polished, and near perfect, debut. Here's ONE of my faves and that Thom Yorke remix (courtesy of Dead Air Space):

Various- "Lost" YSI

Thom Yorke- "Analyse (Various Remix)" YSI

Thom Yorke- "Analyse (Various Remix)" zShare


Kode 9 (with The Spaceape MCing) has made a classic with his album 'Memories Of The Future'. It's everything you want out of dubstep... it's dark, it's minimal, it's fucking experimental but it's still accessible. It's a dream come true and you need to get up on that shit like yesterday! I listened to this album about 5 times yesterday...

Kode 9- "9 Samurai" YSI

Last off is Burial who is on the Hyperdub label along with Kode 9. Burial has also been hailed as one of the greatest in the genre and it's easy to see why. I'm not going to post Burial's singles (and therefore best stuff) but I thought you might be interested in this b-side to the 'Distant Lights' single. It shares more with So Solid Crew, tempo wise, than these other sort of 'narcotic' beats.

Burial- "Pirates" YSI

Hope you guys dug this dubstep stuff. It's goooooooood. I can't get enough of it! If there are any other English dubstep artists you think I should cover (or you are one) let me know! You can find all these artists on, my favourite place on the internet, eMusic! And if you join eMusic from right here, not only do you get free songs and a free trial, but I also get a little kickback! Which would be much appreciated!



Anyway, I will be back soon with more music!

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