Monday, 10 August 2009

Tentative Mixing aka Shameless Self-Promotion

Most of the people who are in contact with me through various combinations of Dissensus/Twitter/Facebook will already be aware of these couple of recent mixes I've put together, but I thought it would be worth archiving them here too. Here's the first -
Cooly G - Narst [Hyperdub]
Geeneus - Yellowtail VIP
Shystie - Pull It (Ill Blu remix) [It's Funky]
Roska - Gone to a Better Place [Roska Kicks and Snares]
Emvee - Nocturnal [Wireblock]
Alison Hinds - Roll It Gal (remix) [1720 Entertainment]
Roska - Our Father [Roska Kicks and Snares]
Royal P - Like That [Rhythm Division]
Cooly G - Love Dub [Hyperdub]
Stush - We Nuh Run (Sirens riddim)
Maxwell D - Industry Watching (Inflation riddim)
Benga - 26 Basslines (L-Vis 1990 edit)
Untold - I Can't Stop This Feeling [Hessle Audio]
Wiley - Eskimo [WileyKat]
Gremino - Be and See
Untold - Anaconda [Hessle Audio]
DJ Oddz vs Tempa T - Strung Up Hype (Oneman blend)
Burial - Unite [Hyperdub]
Kode 9 - Babylon [Hyperdub]
Benga - Roller [Tempa]
Joker & Ginz - Re-Up [Kapsize]
Zomby - Aquafresh [Hyperdub]
Starkey ft Durrty Goodz - Gutter Music [Keysound]
Rustie & Joker - Play Doe [Kapsize]
DVA ft Badness, Riko, Flowdan, Killa P - Bullet A Go Fly (Dusk & Blackdown remix) [Keysound]
Zomby vs The Streets - Sound System Banger (Bare Bones blend)
Joker & Ginz - Purple City [Kapsize]
Gemmy - BT Tower [Planet Mu]

And here's the second -
Rustie – Zig-Zag [Wireblock]
D-Malice – Gabrielle refix [Diamond In Da Ruff]
Sticky ft Ms Dynamite – Bad Gyal (Crazy Cousinz remix)
Slackk – Bambara Fly
Hard House Banton – Reign (edit) [Spoilt Rotten]
Perempay & Dee – Buss It [self-released/Ministry of Sound]
Maxwell D – Blackberry Hype (Different riddim)
Moony – Donnie [UK Funky]
MJ Cole ft Digga – Gotta Have It (funky dub) [Prolific]
Roska – Elevated Levels [Roska Kicks and Snares]
Apple – Chantes [Ministry of Sound]
Mala – Left Leg Out [DMZ]
Ramadanman – Revenue (Untold remix) [2nd Drop]
D1 – BG [Tempa]
Sticky ft Ms Dynamite – Booo [Social Circles]
Zinc – 138 Trek [Bingo Beats]
Dusk & Blackdown ft Durrty Goodz – Concrete Streets [Keysound]
Newham Generals – Mind Is A Gun [Dirtee Stank]
Maniac – Ugly [GPP]
James Blake – Air & Lack Thereof [Hemlock]
Footsie – 3 Plates [Dirtee Stank]
Mark Pritchard & Om’Mas Keith – Wind It Up [Hyperdub]
Jamie Vex’d – Radiant Industry [Planet Mu]
Joker – Hollybrook Park [Kapsize]
Rustie – Tempered [Kapsize]
Ikonika – Phonelines VIP

To justify making a blog post of this I should probably have a wee rambling chat about the thought process behind, in my typical style. Read if you want, skip if you want:
I'm still very much at the learning stage with this whole thing, and these two mixes represent my first attempts at putting togther something for other people to listen to. As I've made sure to say wherever I've posted them, I'm not under any illusions as to either of them being some kind of masterpiece: they're done on software, there are certainly a few clangs and clatters, and also some points where although the tunes are in time and in harmony with each other they just weren't the best choices to put together.
Just by looking at the tracklistings you'll see that the mixes span different genres, primarily house/funky, grime and dubstep shading into wonky/purple/post-dubstep stuff (btw, can we please start a campaign for better genre names in UK bass music, starting this instant? It gets embarrasing writing/talking about these things!) You'll also that they incoporate some older tunes in among new or recent ones. However, I wouldn't want to overemphasise any eclectic or free-floating aspect to my mixing. There is a kind of logic to how I put these together.
Mainly it's to do with energy. I'm rather dissapointed and suspicous of the way that in the last couple of years (particularly in the dubstep sector, it has to be said) the old opposition between a 'mainstream' centred on the dancefloor and an 'experimental' fringe aimed more at the head has crept back into dance music discourse. Insisting on this rigid distinction, in my opinion, can only lead to both sides losing out drastically. Historically the best raving music has always been populist and cutting-edge. Therefore in these mixes, I am totally unabashed about aiming to keep energy levels high throughout, but equally I want to express this energy in a variety of ways, including by showcasing what I take to be some quite forward-looking music.
Of course, in part this style of mixing is imposed on me by not being a dubplate DJ, by mainly only having access to released material. As I hope to discuss in future posts, my belief is that notwithstanding its venerable tradition, the dubplate approach currently has as many drawbacks as it has plus-points. I both hope and believe that we'll start to see more people doing it differently. Not being able to rely on hype surrounding the newness of a tune or the priviledged access of a particular DJ to it has forced me to really think about my selection and make sure each tune both stands on its own merit and contributes to the whole mix.
Increasing the tempo gradually over the course of the mixes works as a simple way to build them to some kind of peak. But at the same time, having each of them end in tracks which use the halfstep should ensure that the contrast between beginning and end isn't too sharp. (In the near future I want to try doing mixes which go from faster to slower to faster again, again to allow different kinds of intensity to come through). Different styles of UK bass music are placed side by side not to show off my diverse taste, but instead to explore the inherent similarities and points of overlap between them, and challenge the way people have divided themselves over very minor distinctions. The same but different. Similarly, when I include an old tune, it's to highlight the way they can sometimes uncannily foreshadow what is going on now.
At the most abstract level, I want to use these mixes to explore the emerging aesthetic which I've mentioned in previous posts, which is this slightly odd combination of tension and euphoria, where the two elements don't so much balance each other out as both conflict with each other and reinforce each other.
I should state absolutely, though, that I do not take myself too seriously in all this. I'm practicing quite hard with this - indeed harder than with anything for a long time, and it's something where I can experience myself progressing along the learning-curve in real time, which is both a big pleasure and something of a rarity for me - but ultimately I see it as a hobby. I hope a few people that I know download and find something to enjoy in the mixes, and probably my long-term aim would be to play in person for friends and acquainances, just for fun. If the opportunity were to arise in the future to do local or internet radio, or indeed play out at a club night, that would obviously great, but it's not my main aim, and the chances of it transpiring this way are low.
I've added a somewhat patchy discography on to these, for those wanting to chase down any tunes they don't have. I decided it was best to restrict myself to the tunes that were fully released and where (or so I think ;D ) I knew the label, due to the rather uncertain status of some of the other tunes (how do you label them? - forthcoming, unreleased, unknown, legitimate free release, semi-legitimate free release etc etc.... ). Any corrections or additions to this would be welcome, go to the comments box as usual.
Should have another mix, in similar style but hopefully a bit longer, done soon. But for now, enjoy these!

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