Look at that smooth bastard. Honestly BBC, just because you were replacing Mary Anne Hobbs doesn’t mean you had to style his replacement as though he was a male model auditioning for a non-speaking role in Dr. Who. At any rate, it all comes out in the radio wash, where noone can hear you scream when you fluff a transition, though Allah knows such a mistake will be spotted immediately if you do, regardless of whether you look like David Beckham or David Starkey. And Benji B‘s skills as a selector require no airbrushing of any kind, as his August 3 late-night Radio 1 show proved beyond a sliver of a shadow of a doubt. [DOWNLOAD via the always-on-time Mymanhenri.]
Rather than run down Hudson Mohawke’s much-praised, much blogged mini-set (from which you can snag his characteristically grandiose remix of Aaliyah’s “Are You That Somebody”, better to give some shine to the set that preceeded it, and the man whose finger is pushing down so hard on the pulse of the beat scene, the the motherfucker’s heart might exploooode:
Pearson Sound, “Untitled,” Unreleased (18:32)
A descending organ lick and a vocal snippet are the heart of this tune, but the body is the clattering beat that’s as jittery as a footwork set, but twice as danceable. I get restless leg syndrome just listening on my couch. There’s a real Detroit vibe to it, though, making this more than just a drum(programming)circle. Moar like this, pleez.
Martyn, “PopGun,” Forthcoming Brainfeeder LP (31:46)
The first time I heard drum ‘n’ bass on a real system was wandering into a randomly-discovered dance shop on Dundas West called Traxx I think. It was an oasis in the middle of a bunch of strip malls and body shops. Not owning a car, I only managed to get there a couple of times, and walking in was about as record-scratch-stare-scene-from-High-Fidelity as you can imagine for a then-pudgy nerd like myself, but the feeling of a creative vista opening up in front of you like rolling up the blinds and seeing the ocean, is something I’ll remember forever. The skittering shuffle drums of “PopGun” are more UK garage than pre-techstep DNB, but the DNA — James Brown yelps, blurry whirling-dervish bass — is taking me back to that first-love feeling. I literally cannot wait for this album.
Dorian Concept, “The F*cking Formula,” re-edit (50:32)
And there’s that fucked G-Funk again that I just can’t resist. The bassline on this song is a squiggle that could have been on a Zapp record if it weren’t so honking ooogly. Something else I can barely resist is breaking into a kind of Tash-from-the-Alkoholiks patois when I hear this stuff, so you’re lucky I only work in print. Do people still do double dutch? This could soundtrack a round.
In sum: if this is the calibre of jawns we’ll be taking in this fall — to say nothing of HudMo joints next year — I may start posting every day. Brothers ain’t ready.