Saturday, May 06, 2006

Flickr desi dive and beyond...


desi wedding Originally uploaded by ryanoceros.


Flickr: it's a such beautiful thing.

When the blogs and forums ain't doing it for me, I Fickr-dive; just add a tag like 'desi', 'Iraq' or 'hackney' into the search box on the homepage and just fall deep into into new worlds and people's lives. I find places I will probably never visit and see people I will probably never meet, yet experience them both in such vivid technicolour and in such a rich way - unlike the experiences of say reading a thousand empty one-line responses on forums or scanning the fractured image shards displayed search engine results.

The image above has no real connection to this post, beyond the fact that I instantly felt strongly about it while searching for the tag 'desi.' Coming home on the tube last night the carriage went overground just as I clicked on a 1Xtra radio rip of Bikram Singh ft Gunjan "Kawan (Jay Dhabi Reggaeton Remix)". Her vocals exploded into my ears as the sun poured over greater London and I felt a rush, that buzz I hadn't felt in a long time - perhaps since Mala's FWD>> set. Its felt like recently I've spent a long time listening to empty angry grime, second rate token cod-reggae dubstep and soulless dark, halfstep wannabe-Youngsta material - and it's not moving me.

On the point of digidub it's perhaps interesting to revisit Jamie Vex'd prophetic comments last year at grimemusic.com.

"...with dubstep, if it isnt halfstep, isnt minimal, and doesnt have blatant dub referenes, then some say its not true dubstep. How restrictive is that? Real dub is very organic, digital sequencers aren't. It takes alot of understanding and studio technique to go down the dub route. Without that knowledge, you can end up making Digidub. Im not in that."

Jamie OTM. It's not like I don't like real Jamaican dub, but as he says unless you understand how its done right it sounds cheesy. Drum & bass last year was full of hundreds of tracks that threw reggae samples over any beat and they sounded so token. And even if you were to get the sound right, how can cloning something made 30 years ago be better or more original than the original itself? Sure it gets a response on the dancefloor but mostly it's a creative cul-de-sac, unless you can add a fresh, original twist in the way the Mystikz can. To me applying the sonic ideas of 1970s dub to a 2006 dubstep context is a far more promising direction than sampling Lee Perry's back cat.

And as for dark empty halfstep, I guess I feel impulsively right now that I want more vocals in my life - I'm planning a new Keysound Radio: vocals edition. Part of me fears the dubstep pendulum has swung too far towards dark halfstep and is in danger of homogenising the scene. Dubstep does not equal bad clones of Loefah or copies of Youngsta's selection - don't get it twisted. Loe seriously knows what he's doing when it comes to minimalism; his clones don't. And furthermore what's the point of cloning anyway? Do you think Loe built 'Horror Show' by copying other producers? Find your own way.

But returning to desi, or more specifically desiton - the mutation of UK Asian desi with Latin American reggaeton - I posted a link on Dissensus about the Punjabi Hit Squad's pioneering of this sound. Since then I recorded the two stand out tunes last week. They are:

Bikram Singh ft Gunjan "Kawan (Jay Dhabi Reggaeton Remix)"

Alyssia ft Dee (PHS) "Pyar Hogiya (Desiton Remix)"

You can download them both on the same MP3 from those links, just as long as someone out there can tell me where the hell I can buy them from now AsianSounds.com has gone down.

FLICKR-DIVE UPDATE: Seems like the Flickr-dive effect isn't acutally limited to Flickr shots. Check this blog for jaw-drop shots of god knows where, well beyond my world. Afganistan?

33 comments:

grievous angel said...

I'm definitely with you with 99% of your critique. That's one reason why I wanted to do a dubstep version of Ain't No Sunshine -- vocal tune, soul not reggae, not trying to be angry but to be sweet...

But I think digidub is becoming a term of abuse when it should be strictly adjectival. I've grown up with digidub and while it's easy to make average digidub (as with any music), there's some great tunes in there. Check out Pete Murdertone's mix on Jahtari. It's quite an important link in the chain.

adruu said...

re: de banghraton - i'd be surprised if the punjabi .h.s. crew wouldnt answer an email about this, but if they are feeling territorial i'd recommend emailing the generasian people in houston. i dont know what your hearing in these tunes, but they aren't doing much for me. i'm still more of an oldschool head because i havent even scratched the surface of the old film scores/devotionals. those constantly rehashed breaks in banghra get annoying to me.

i think plasticmans japan could be an incredible vocal tune...the right sparse female lyrics over that one. lots of potential there...

Blackdown said...

it's not the breaks that are doing it for me in these tunes, its the vocal inflections and melodies.

Japan - amusingly titled since it's sampled from a Chinese film - has been vocalled i think, by Jammer and a female vocalist. Ask Plastiq for more info.

RingoKid said...

"...with dubstep, if it isnt halfstep, isnt minimal, and doesnt have blatant dub referenes, then some say its not true dubstep. How restrictive is that? ..."

I'd qualify that even more by saying if it didn't come out of london...

...london to me sounds like a dark soulless place with the spirit of dubstep now planted firmly in a grave dug by the much mentioned burial

...congrats peoples london now has it's latest exclusive underground music enjoy it for all it's worth

hold on to it real tight close a fist up round it and protect it's cultural sanctity for all it's worth...

...but the more you try to hold on to it the more it will get taken away from you

that Japan tune ain't all that either, nothing in dubstep is...

Blackdown said...

Bitter agenda against London? Pointless use of full stops to start sentences? Hello DubMug!

kek-w said...

"Desiton"...genius.

RingoKid said...

hello whitedown...

...who the hell else could it be ???

and not just london, UK in general and US as well...control freaks, empire builders, by the time we're finished all your bass will belong to us

not bitter, we doing alright out here...

..nice lifestyle, clean air, naff all fuckwits around, beats getting out there

couldn't be happier...

...and you, hows them beats fella ???

ROFL

dan hancox said...

"Part of me fears the dubstep pendulum has swung too far towards dark halfstep and is in danger of homogenising the scene."

absolutely. which is why the warrior queen vocal on skream's 'me love it' felt soooo right at dmz on saturday. dubstep party music! kinda. more vocals anyway pls... nothing more dull than sparse minimalism if it's not done properly.

alex bkbk said...

the dmz camp are possibly the only ones i trust in dubstep to constanbtly be making fresh new tunes that are genuinely amazing new music. otherwise, theres a good tune here, a good tune there... but you're right MArtin i think the blossoming of the scene since post-Breezeblock has also lead to its expansion and stagnation. I think it's a mentality thing as wel. Too many hippies, too many DNB heads, too many IDM heads. I'm not even going to deny it, hell yeah i'd love to be selfish and keep things exactly the way they were before... but its not really possible as things change. The important thing i think is to remain qiuite strict with what is and isnt part of this scene. As much as this hyper-democratic 'open-source' sort of attitude is nice, i think its the people at the heart of the scene who wil continue doing the right things and moving the whole thing in the right way while the international fanbase stand and watch. Lets not forget who runs tings

PorkJacket said...

DMZ gang, Skream and Kode9 are the dons, i would buy anything they put out even if i hadn't had the chance to hear it yet. Very different for just about everyone else out there.

Blackdown said...

"...too many DNB heads, too many IDM heads. ...The important thing i think is to remain qiuite strict with what is and isnt part of this scene."

yeah but whenever anyone expresses these kind of sentiments publically all the toys fly out of the pram. it's laughable what people tag as dubstep these days...

RingoKid said...

so who defines what is or not dubstep who polices the strict guidelines ???...the london thought police ???

...sounds like a recipe for stale cake and being forced to eat it

elgato said...

Regarding toys and prams, i have seen such comments several times... if they're qualified i wont throw any toys, if theyre presented as self-evident truths without proper explanation then im going to take issue with them. On Dissensus that time I asked you for a proper discussion on your issue with electronica and you declined...

If anything is to be done about any of the things you see to be a problem, you need to have thought through what you have to say, and lead a developed, intelligent discussion on the issues at hand, not just throw out an angry comment and let them burn at someone

dubway said...

"digidub" and "empty halfstep" -> thats exactly what i was talking about last few months. i agree

Blackdown said...

Regarding toys and prams, i have seen such comments several times... if they're qualified i wont throw any toys, if theyre presented as self-evident truths without proper explanation then im going to take issue with them. On Dissensus that time I asked you for a proper discussion on your issue with electronica and you declined...

If anything is to be done about any of the things you see to be a problem, you need to have thought through what you have to say, and lead a developed, intelligent discussion on the issues at hand, not just throw out an angry comment and let them burn at someone


Well steady-the-fuck-on Elegato I dont think that was entirely justified. i think i have a right to chose which of my battles to fight in public and which not to, whether you think you have a god given right to have each and every one of your questions answered on Dissensus.

And given I've spent a lot of time thinking and writing in depth about the various garage mutations I dont think you can accuse me of not forming a "developed, intelligent discussion."

RingoKid said...

...apparently a sometimes acquaintance of mine started a thread on dubstepforum based on your comments blackdown

Why don't you head over there and explain yourself ???

I would love to get in there and put my 2dollars worth in but I'm not allowed anymore besides i'm not all that "developed/intelligent" or big on discussion...

...watch ya back polly, maybe even just stick to farting round with ya crew eh ???

elgato said...

I didnt say you dont have developed and informed opinions, only that you havent revealed them to the rest of us. Your opinion is your opinion, but I think that if you are to go as far as to dismiss several cultures in a sentence then maybe you should elaborate a little further, for the benefit of all those you're slandering. There is no way that that can lead to what I would like: a careful and thoughtful discussion.

Of course I dont feel I have a god given right to have my questions answered, I just found it questionable that you speak about 'throwing toys out of the pram' as if you've been pushing for reason and rationality and all thats good for the scene, but those damned idm kids just wouldn't hear you out.

Also, I dont know why you characterized that question on dissensus as the beginnings of a battle, I approached it as delicately as I could, I was just genuinely interested to hear the opinion of someone who is obviously knowledgeable on the subject and might have something to offer me in discourse. I dont begin discussions from an uncompromising idea of objective authority, I was not (and am still not) looking for 'battle', it is just discussion im after.

elgato said...

I want to emphasise that im not trying to have a go, i have great respect for what you've done, and await your pitchfork columns eagerly each month. I just hate seeing things dismissed so readily, with no justification offered. Without that what is it achieving other than venting anger (for whatever reason) and alienating others?

Blackdown said...

this is not a public forum dubmugga, please dont post here if you're going to be rude - you're not welcome.

RingoKid said...

[url]http://dubstepforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=48070#48070[/url]

alex bkbk said...

whats wrong with london's key players deciding what direction THEIR OWN CREATION takes.
all the international heads need to seckle

RingoKid said...

what's wrong is when you close it up around a few key players in a certain place like what happened to jungle dnb and no one else gets a look in...

...you keep forgetting that a lot of international garage heads didn't just stop listening or making garage when it died

some went underground and started making tunes which fit quite nicely into the dubstep mould...

...it doesn't matter who created it, the more you try and hold on to some strictly london underground mystic cultural bullshit the more it will get stripped away from you

london doesn't own the music now known as dubstep...

...I don't even know what seckle means but i'm fucked if I'm going to take some journos word for how things are if he only knows how it is in one place

and fuck dubstepforum. A place for sycophantic fans and haterz to get a lil airtime for their worthless opinions and mindless worship...

...been checking in occassionally from my bro's place. Seems aint nothin much of interest getting discussed much there and only time the big players pop up is to pimp their wares

alex bkbk said...

another thing, people need to stp making waste comparisons to drum and bass like they got hiccups ygm. that was then, this is n ow, get over it, 'history' isnt going to 'repeat itself'

RingoKid said...

history always repeats itself unless you break the cycle...

...and what with the dubplate led dubstep elitist crowd, it's happening all over again

you want to know what's gonna happen next ???

...the big players wil start cloning the innovative clones who cloned them in the first place and the innovative clones will get shut out cos they can't get the exposure and if they do they'll get accused of sounding like whoever...

...it started in hiphop and unless the scene embraces the net fully and stops trying to geographically fix the music, it'll happen again

it's called eating the young or future eating...

BTW blackdown how's your site hit count on this shit eh ???

...and that pitchfork article didn't surprise me

Could you have got a burial remix if you weren't some famous music journo ???

remember what i said about conflict of interest ???

...well shit just got a lot more interesting didn't it and talk about conflict ???

keep an ear out for our next bunch of tunes too, unfuckwithable is what they are, just like me

LethalFizzle said...

dear mr blackdown, i like your blog very much, but out of interest, why are you called black down, when you yourself are not black? just wondering. is it meant to be ironic, like when the young black teenagers came out and were - shock horror - white?

Blackdown said...

Dear LethalFizzle,

I never really wanted to 'invent' a name for myself, as it seems a little contrived, but for my productions in the end, it seemed important.

Everyone in garage is obsessed with their 'ends,' a firm tribal commitment to the tribe they belong to. When chosing a production name, I therefore decided to chose this name as it suggested a group/time/sound/place i once, a long time ago, was attached to while coincidentally using the words 'black' and 'down' - which seemed to reference neatly some of the music i liked ie underground music and inner city music of black origin.

So, why did you chose to parody Lethal Bizzle's name?

LethalFizzle said...

hahaha

well, the reason i decided to parody lethal bizzle's name is that although it would be somewhat contrived, i thought it was vaguely amusing (if only to myself). but for what i wanted to post and where, i thought it seemed appropriate. i also like lethal bizzle's ridiculously over the top style of MCing where he doesnt even seem to take himself seriously, does the same thing on every track, shouts all the time, etc etc, all qualities i aspire to emulate on message board forums and comments boxes on people's blogs.

ps - the woman in the pic with the fag is really hot. do you have a link to the pic on flickr?

LethalFizzle said...

actually, i see you already have the link below the pic. my mistake.

Blackdown said...

i think she's married though bro ;)

The Incredible Kid said...

Yeah, what the hell did happen to asian sounds? I always assumed their were 100 websites just like them. I've always been a big supporter of punjab2000.co.uk but asian sounds had a much wider scope and carried a lot of things I could never find on punjab2000. I'm still looking for a proper replacement.

The Incredible Kid

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