Wednesday, July 16, 2008

who's got?

The way I battle/I battle like I’m in Iraq.
The way you battle/you battle like you’re a beginner, star…


-- Ghetto, "Who's Got?"

So on the whole I don’t, and I won’t, be reviewing my own gigs: come along if you can, but me reviewing them just doesn’t feel right. However last Sunday was a special one for Dusk and I, as it was the launch party of our debut album at the very club that inspired us to make music.

Now I know when you stick your head over the parapet, you can expect to get shot at, and you know what? It’s a fair cop. But check this little beauty of an email I received on Monday…

Sunday set at FWD‏
From: XXX (XXX@gmail.com)
Medium risk: You may not know this sender.
Mark as safe | Mark as unsafe
Sent: 14 July 2008 19:04:11
To: martin_clark7@hotmail.com

Hey,
FWD was quite strange last night: One Man and Joker were fantastic - Joker's set really peaked up at the end, and I was looking forward to some Blackdown / Dusk beats to round it off perfectly.

I know you've been a leading proponent of FWD moving back to Sunday night, and returning to its dubby / non-wobbly roots, and I've got a lot of time and respect for that position. I also recognise that good DJs try to stay dogmatically true to their own brand and style. In your recent interview with Appleblim he said Sarah gave him the advice:

"don't play to the crowd [...] you're here because you have a certain
selection and taste"

However, like many things, I believe compromise is the way forward.
Yes, a DJ needs to carve a niche for himself, and develop a unique
sound. However, this does not preclude giving the crowd what they
want. It's about responding to the atmosphere and vibe in your own
way, which is personal, and yet pleasing.

Unfortunately, I have to say you really missed this mark last night.
Joker's set finished with that banging Roni Size remix, and the crowd
was really hyped up. We were all expecting a more laid back, dubby set from you, but to go from that energy down to nothing was disastrous. The final nail was not to grow the set's energy at all, leaving it at the "warm milk and slippers" level for the full 30 minutes that I stayed for.

I don't know if the metaphorical and actual lights were shining in
your eyes too much for you to see, but the dance floor ground to a
halt, with the only movement being that of people leaving.

I don't know if it was just a bad set or if you actually achieved what
you set out to do last night. If it's the former, then I wish you the
best of luck for next time. If it's the latter, then I'd ask you to
limit your crusade for a return to the roots of dubstep to your blog,
and when you're playing the closing set in a busy club full of paying
punters, give them what they want, because unfortunately, they don't like what you've got.

Well, well, well. Seems General Doughnut here thinks I should “give people what I want” by “limit[ing] your crusade for a return to the roots of dubstep to your blog.” Alright mate, you want to have it right here, you got it…

Let’s take it blow by blow. First para, nothing to see here: move on. Second para:

“I know you've been a leading proponent of FWD moving back to Sunday night, and returning to its dubby / non-wobbly roots, and I've got a lot of time and respect for that position. I also recognise that good DJs try to stay dogmatically true to their own brand and style.”

Ah OK, nice. We’re on the same page. DJs Lead and not follow. Moving FWD>>, never backwards eh?

However, like many things, I believe compromise is the way forward.
Yes, a DJ needs to carve a niche for himself, and develop a unique
sound. However, this does not preclude giving the crowd what they
want. It's about responding to the atmosphere and vibe in your own
way, which is personal, and yet pleasing.


Ah. Now hold on. So it’s about carving your own niche, being unique and responding in your own way, but somehow compromise is the way forward?

Now, let’s not pull any punches here so Junior Spesh here doesn’t get the wrong chicken in a box. When it comes to music, especially dubstep, I absolutely, 100% do not fucking want anyone who’s anyone right now to do any more fucking compromising. Now, of all times in dubstep, please could everyone just not compromise, whatsoever, about anything? Burial, Kode, Mala, Shackleton, Martyn, Zomby, Joker, Sully, Guido, Darkstar, Ikonika, Appleblim, Quest, Starkey, TRG: could you all please just do you, to the max.

There should be no pandering to Johnny-come-latelys, no getting bogged down in formula, no forgetting your lines when you get on the big stage, no policy U-turns now we got elected - otherwise what the hell was all that time spent in the wilderness for, when we could have fucked off to breaks and toured Australia’s superclubs with Tayo?

Cos this is the thing, right. Dubstep’s got it superclub moment right now – hand up even I’ve played a few of them myself this year (who would have thought it!). Dubstep’s finally got the audience it deserved, but if I’m honest, quite a few people who got us to the main stage have found themselves bricking it while looking into the bright lights.

It’s been a great source of personal pain to see innovators deviate from what made them exciting and vital. I’ve had to deal with it and move on and accept that things have changed. So those left who still have “it,” please: no aligning “compromise” with “forward,” or is that Forward>>, motion.

"Unfortunately, I have to say you really missed this mark last night."

OK fine, that’s your view: fair comment.

"Joker's set finished with that banging Roni Size remix,"


He didn’t actually, but I’ll let you off.

"and the crowd was really hyped up."

They weren’t actually – I was in it until 5 minutes before my set half worrying that they weren’t going off to “Holly Brook Park” and “Snake Eater” and feeling responsible because I’d booked him to play, but half thinking “fukkit, this is FWD>> and people are committed to exiting new sounds. Stop worrying.”

"We were all expecting a more laid back, dubby set from you, but to go from that energy down to nothing was disastrous. The final nail was not to grow the set's energy at all, leaving it at the "warm milk and slippers" level for the full 30 minutes that I stayed for."


Well done Police Chief Wiggum, better call for extra doughnuts and cancel the backup because this is a prize piece of detective work: you came to see a 2 hour set and judged its entirety on 30 mins. You going for detective of the month were ya?

Now sure, we were the last set of the night, which you might expect to come a little harder but consider the circumstances. It was a) Sunday night b) our own launch party c) a two hour set and d) Forward>> - a place committed to new sounds not full of “’ave you got ‘Cockney Thug’ mate?” types.

We started with an Appleblim anthem, Pev’s “Waterfalls remix,” a DJ you seem to rate. We mixed it into our own “Con/Fusion ft Farrah” which got rewound in Dub War in New York – and we were coming off the back of the Bomb Squad, not doing the warm up set. We played some of Grievious Angel’s 2step, not dis-similar to the garage you enjoyed Oneman playing, followed by my 2step remix of Martyn’s “Broken.”

I don't know if the metaphorical and actual lights were shining in
your eyes too much for you to see, but the dance floor ground to a
halt, with the only movement being that of people leaving.


But I’ll definitely give you it, it was a mellow start and we should have mixed quicker. So?

Here’s the thing right: if you want someone to rip the arse off it from the get go, go see someone else. Our thinking is twofold. Firstly, without the mellow, there’s no hard. Without the gentle, there’s no hectic. Without the quiet there’s no rowdy. Our sets build, because we don’t want to end up in some harder/faster contest that’ll lead dubstep into some 150bpm, zone-of-fruitless intensification (© Simon Reynolds) tear-out-competition that deadout genres like d&b now find themselves in.

Secondly - and this point is the main reason why I’ve chosen to blog this piece in public – this harder/faster issue goes to the heart of what dubstep promised to be and now is. Dusk and I were happy with the new dark swing era, the Velvet Room, Zed Bias, El-B, Horsepower era. Then Ghost imploded, Zed went broken and a new era began, which was dominated – production wise - by Skream, Benga, Mala, Coki and Loefah. And in came the halfstep era, which I admit, took some getting used to. For two or three years, literally no one but producers and friends of the DJs came to the gigs and the subzero temperatures of the dancefloor felt at first alien. But I began to appreciate them for being genuinely unique within dance music, that this form of urban music could exist that didn’t need to always “go off.” It was something unique at a time when a lot of other critics were saying dubstep was less than the sum of it’s influences.

Had no one come to the gigs indefinitely, it might have not worked out, but the concept was proven as Mala, Loefah and Coki brought scale to the equation, with the success of their night, DMZ.

Things have moved on from then, I fully appreciate that, and Dusk and I are not looking to win a halfstep contest these days: quite the opposite, as we’ve championed the return of percussive and 2step flavours, amongst other vibes yet have tunes that go far lower than these on the album – one has only one kick and one hat per bar! But I don’t see why this unique element in dubstep needs to be abandoned totally, just because the scene got popular, as truly unique elements are hard to come by, trust me

"when you're playing the closing set in a busy club full of paying punters, give them what they want, because unfortunately, they don't like what you've got"

If you’d stayed a little longer Wiggum, you’d have noticed our sets, as they tend to do, got a little wonkier and grimier. By the time I’d dropped the Durrty Goodz “Concrete Streets” accapella/Joker/grime anthems/UKG rollout mashup dub I’d spent week damaging my sleep patterns making last week, it was pullup time. “Focus VIP” and “Focus” did what they do and “Kuri Pataka” got the rewind.

Then we went old school, into Reach n Spin and then the pullup on the ultra deep Steve Gurley’s “Hotboys” vox which did something to Soulja I have never, ever seen. I double dropped Dizzee’s “I Luv U” into Skream’s “Request Line” which had hands reaching for both decks, as did the MAW mix of “Sounds of the Future”. By the time we rolled into “Splash’s “Babylon” and Omni Trio “Renegade Snares” I was literally, physically fighting people off to let the tune roll out, rather than get pulled again. And this isn’t me giving it the ‘bigun (NO EGO), this is simply a statement of the facts about our set.

So bruv, the way we battle we battle like we’re in Iraq: it’s going to be a long grind, but ultimately we got the big guns. The way you battle, you battle like you’ve been kept in the dark…

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey man, big up. Remember what Mala said at the end of your interview with him:

'M: Just do your thing and enjoy your shit. Serious. Don’t worry about the rest of the world.'

Blackdown said...

yeah. mala's a wise man...

grievous angel said...

poor thing got tired out and couldn't last the distance. Opening with Pev's mix of waterfalls is too soft? nonsense. Kuri pataka gets a rewind? Not surprising but that is a MASSIVE BANGER in every sense. the blackdown and dusk set would've been huge... and no-one, whether it's MAW or fatboy slim or sneak or FK or el B or mala, would go hard straight off the back of joker's last two wobbly things.

Elijah said...

so he paid £8 and only stayed till like 10.30? Lightweight

Anonymous said...

everyones entitled to their opinion bruv.

AlgiersTwin said...

^ everyone is entitled to their opinion, and what we have seen is two people both giving opinions.

it always has to be about doing your own thing on the night.

DecksAndTheCity said...

Yeah but mailing it anonymously plus insults isn't really the way to go is it, and it was Blackdown's launch night so maybe he should have bothered finding out about what Blackdown's music is about before he paid for it and then sent him a lengthy, anonymous diss. (And tried to get more of a grasp on what FWD is about as well). It's funny he had the time to write all that as well innit.

Blackdown said...

oh dont worry mel, i have his name, i just did him the favour of leaving it out...

... maybe he wrote his "review" during the hour and half of our set he missed? ;)

Jonu said...

Big up Blackdown. Glad you're doing what you're doing

Anonymous said...

pass the bifta, it's gonna be a long night ...

Anonymous said...

Tell you what, seeing as he goes on about being a paying punter, how about he asks Sarah Soulja for his money back.

After all, he came to see a Dusk and Blackdown set which he admits he thought would be more laidback than the "Where's My Money?" tune that Joker played last, so he should have good grounds for a refund.

You know, along the lines of "I knew what I was coming to see and I only stayed for a bit of it - Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells."

I'm sure she'd understand!

Or perhaps he just had an off night and was letting off steam. The internet is full of people doing this.

The one lesson he should take from this is to stay around longer - he probably would have enjoyed himself if he had, everyone else did! He certainly wouldn't be describing Splash - Babylon as milk and slippers music, or whatever it was he said...

Personally I get a bit annoyed when DJ's only get 30 minutes or so for a set - they can never build a set up or hit you from different angles. Seeing Martyn do an all nighter and Oneman roll out for 2 hours is what makes going out clubbing fun. That said, a six-hour Fabric-style prog-house set is likely to leave me a bit cold: there are limits!

The other thing is: it would've been a bit off not to hear some album material at an album launch - and an album full of bangers is a rarity (and unlikely to last long in the box either). Imagine what this guy would've been like at a Burial album launch!

Anonymous said...

"So bruv, the way we battle we battle like we’re in Iraq: it’s going to be a long grind, but ultimately we got the big guns"

Big guns aint worth shit in a guerilla war but i'm interested to know exactly what big guns you think you've got ?

You ever think that rather than battling you shoulda just stayed an embedded journo ?

"...and no-one would go hard straight off the back of joker's last two wobbly things."

NO HOMO

DOUGHBOY said...

"Forward>> - a place committed to new sounds not full of “’ave you got ‘Cockney Thug’ mate?” types. "

and...

"we don’t want to end up in some harder/faster contest that’ll lead dubstep into some 150bpm, zone-of-fruitless intensification (© Simon Reynolds) tear-out-competition that deadout genres like d&b now find themselves in.

massive ROFL

The P Man said...

I used to play bass in bands as well as backing up singers. I played a show severeal years ago backing up a singer guitar player.The singer played the first half of the show solo, accompanying herself on guitar. The band (bass and drums) came out for the second half.One of the local scribes did a write up of the show for the weekly paper here. He didn't even mention the presence of a band. Clearly he didn't stay for the duration of the show, or bother to notice the additional instruments which were set up on stage, and were talking about a paid writer here! Pretty laughable.

Big up Blackdown. I agree with his comments

"we don’t want to end up in some harder/faster contest that’ll lead dubstep into some 150bpm, zone-of-fruitless intensification (© Simon Reynolds) tear-out-competition that deadout genres like d&b now find themselves in."

DJ's play a huge part in preserving diversity in music by playing a full spectrum of tunes during their sets.

Anonymous said...

"Deadout genres like dnb" - wow, ignorant bandwagoning there. Trendy dubstep arrogance at its best. You see yourselves as pioneers on the bleeding edge of now, we see you as a bunch of funny Jafaikans who think they're a lot cleverer than they actualy are.

Think on this: it took dnb over ten years to descend to the level of wobbly, cookie cutter shite that it did, before fixing up again. Dubstep got there in a fraction of the time. I guess you could say that it's exhausted its options already.

Anonymous said...

i would probably pay £8 just to hear a dj double drop luv u/request line. sounds like a wicked night!

starkey said...

wow. i can't believe that someone actually hit the "send" button on that e-mail.

Gizmo and The Tottaly Stoned Gremlins on Acid Band said...

fuck this guy. he reminds me of some people who are breakin my balls because i play tunes by appleblim and pev. the iraq quote and the dnb quote: wouldnt say that but its ur opinion so....

i wish i could have that set in athens.

sherlock said...

"Think on this: it took dnb over ten years to descend to the level of wobbly, cookie cutter shite that it did, before fixing up again. Dubstep got there in a fraction of the time."

don't be an FOOL. the internet has acelerated everything. you can't compare the two timescales.
Some dubstep dj’s have started pandering to the larger crowd, that’s a fact. and for those who remember the totally hypnotic moments of innovation in the early days it can be a shame to hear the generic seeping in but the times they are a changing. We shouldn’t get down on the success that we felt the scene deserved and punters shouldn't expect the same shit every time they go out.

And to say dnb has fixed up is a bit brave. the majority is still at best throw away with a few bits rising to the surface that will stand the test of time

The P Man said...

I don't think DNB is a deadout genre. I do think that many dj's who play DNB,as well as many dj's who play Dubstep succumb to pressure to play sets comprised of all big hard anthemy tunes.That get s boring pretty fast.

Dubstep vs. DNB ... Really ? Was that what this conversation was about ? I don't think so.

"In matters of taste there can be no dispute"

Anonymous said...

lol Sherlock is An Hero ;P

To say that the majority of dnb is throwaway shows a definate ignorance - fact is, there's probably more than 10 times the producers making dnb than there is dubstep, all over the world, and ten times the variety and innovation.

What dubstep do you think will "stand the test of time"? I would say Burial, at most, will be remembered, and possibly some bits by Toastyboy. The rest, for instance Night or anything by Benga, is pretty much throwaway.

Anonymous said...

martin, as a journalist do you not think this post was quite unprofessional? surely an email you think so unfounded deserved nothing more than to be forgotten about.

I also found your "deadout genre" comment unnecessarily dismissive and one that could be very easily leveled at huge swathes of the dubstep community.

Finally I'd like to congratulate you on your recording career. I feel though, that as you've found more success in this area, your ego has grown also and the quality of your writing slipped.

Don't believe the hype.

sherlock said...

yo. at the anonymous person who took issue with me,

are you therefore saying the the majority of drum and bass these days WILL stand the test of time?

anyway you're right, who knows what will stand the test of time in any scene. we're all caught up our own musical bubbles. all i know is that a lot of my piles of dnb 12s that were "of the moment" are now a bit dissapointing.

i hope my dmz records will still be as amazing in 10 years.

on a side note be careful who you you brand with "definate ignorance" that would presume you know me, mine are observation bassed on my knowledge, and i don't stick my head above the wall unless i have an good understanding of the topic, i'd be stupid to be ignorate on a topic and post here. i'm not about to write a cv, so i guess we'll never know if i have the qualifications to comment but all the same.

back to the topic, blackdown can you play a bit more classic breakstep and shapeshifters in you sets

sherlock said...

EGO? look we can argue over each others turn of phase and nit pick sweeping statements all we like but it's a bit harsh having a go at blackdown who really doesn't have ego.

This is blackdowns blog and he can write whatever he likes on here.

pollywog said...

'back to the topic, blackdown can you play a bit more classic breakstep'

hahaha... that is so funny considering he doesnt even acknowledge the genre

...for me, blackdown is the man who killed dubstep

distancing it from breaks, pissing on everyones halfstep efforts and limiting it to a london ting while also using his position as dubstep journo to further his own wack productions and dj ambitions...

...I'm hoping he fucks over the funky scene and leaves dubstep well alone now

jonny mugwump said...

The move back to sunday is going to bring these people out of the woodwork and get rid of them. Good. That was one seriously brave and committed move and one that i truly admire- absolute faith and what keeps the 'underground' in motion.
This person is a jerk- why would ANYBODY launch into a hyperset unless the entire audience is on crack?!?
Also, all that paying punters crap- please. I go to FWD wanting the unexpected- i don't go there expecting anything other than something exciting at whatever tempo. The scene right now is fresher than ever- the berlin connection is so fresh, the grime connection gets stronger, aquacrunk (sorry but i love that label) just rocks and then parallel artists drop an album like London Zoo which is possibly the strongest work of his whole career.

The only criticism i have of the Sunday move is i just got a new fucking job on sunday nights and i can't fucking come :(

jonny mugwump said...

oh yeah, i meant to say- the whole point- your set sounded awesome- i'm now living in the skream/ dizzee segue and i never got to feel it.

Big big up to you.

Blackdown said...

Well, well, well. I speak a little bit of my mind then duck out for some sun and look what happens, hehe.

Out to all the supportive comments – which were the majority: your time.

As for the remaining minority...

@ anon of d&b

""Deadout genres like dnb" - wow, ignorant bandwagoning there. Trendy dubstep arrogance at its best. You see yourselves as pioneers on the bleeding edge of now, we see you as a bunch of funny Jafaikans who think they're a lot cleverer than they actualy are.

Dear Junglist 4 Life,

I'm not ignorant of jungle/d&b. I bought my first 12" in 95, went to Headz @ the BlueNote and was Knowledge Magazine's News Editor for two years. I've done work experience on Bailey, Flight (RIP) and L Double's (RIP) 1Xtra shows.

Thing is, dubstep is littered, from top down, with jilted ex-junglists, from Loefah to Mala, Burial to Kode9, Dusk to myself.

Bottom line is you took an amazing multicultural London scene and made it faster, louder, harder, noisy, rhythmically constrained, arrangement “formula-ed”, less multicultural and ultimately completely isolated.

Your new producers had no musical influences beyond “Wormhole” and confused the value of creating emotion with chaining VSTs and making their mixdowns louder. Your headlining acts, notably Pendulum, are an embarrassment to underground music.

By the time came that you’d realised you’d shat on your own doorstep, you didn’t even have the ability to clear it up yourself. You held secret headz meetings to try and slow the genre, but even they couldn’t wipe the shit off the mat.

So if dubstep is so not cutting it, why are so many d&b fans and producers running screaming from d&b to dubstep? The list of d&b producers trying dubstep now (Martyn, Marcus Intalex, Benny Page, Shy FX, Chase & Status, Tech Itch, Pendulum...) speaks volumes.

And don’t even try it with the “Jafaikans” crap, given the pitiful 2004/5 fashion d&b went through, sheep-like, of clumsily sampling every 70s reggae record to death.

At least dubstep artists like Kode9, Digital Mystikz and The Bug have bothered to actually engage and record full vocal tracks with Jamaican or Jamaican-heritage artists.

"To say that the majority of dnb is throwaway shows a definate ignorance - fact is, there's probably more than 10 times the producers making dnb than there is dubstep, all over the world, and ten times the variety and innovation."

Don’t get me wrong, I think there are some good and interesting d&b producers and I also think dubstep has got worse in the last two years (if you’re talking % quality), but “fact is” if you want to talk factors of ten of variety and innovation between dubstep and d&b, I think you need to use a reciprocal of that value bro.

@ anon of media watch

“martin, as a journalist do you not think this post was quite unprofessional? surely an email you think so unfounded deserved nothing more than to be forgotten about.

I also found your "deadout genre" comment unnecessarily dismissive and one that could be very easily leveled at huge swathes of the dubstep community.”


So moving past the “professional point,” as my blog is obviously unpaid but I nonetheless do try to maintain some kind of standards, I think your first paragraph is answered by your second. I could have replied privately, but I felt there was a point to be made, as you indeed say, about large parts of dubstep, that was worth sharing. Turns out people wanted to debate d&b too.

“I feel though, that as you've found more success in this area, your ego has grown also and the quality of your writing slipped.”

Well, that’s unfortunate. Ego is ugly, which is why I a) don’t (usually) write reviews of my own gigs and b) wrote “NO EGO” when I did.

But I do reserve the right to really express my frustrations in public once in a while. Many of the producers do it in private – I think we’ll see some leave the genre this year if I’m honest – it’s just mostly me who does it in public.

As for slipping of standards of my writing, that’s obviously up to you, but I’d hate that to happen even as I am kinda now also, as well as a blogger and columnist, a producer, label manager/A&R, art director, booking agent, sleevenote writer in residence and radio DJ. Fuckitt doe, I’m *not* complaining. It’s all good.

@ pollywog...

...for me, blackdown is the man who killed dubstep”

Ah BaitWoggler, you’ve made some farcical, outlandish and scientifically unverifiable claims in your time, believe me, but this one is right up there. Now I have the power to murder entire genres? Nice, I look forward to that...

SClear said...

I can't comment on all this cause I had to jet off early... but Joker was sick!

Anonymous said...

"Ego is ugly, which is why I a) don’t (usually) write reviews of my own gigs"

Maybe not "reviews" persay but I would estimate there's now about 4,000 words and the first four entries on your blog relating either directly or indirectly to your album still.

Blackdown said...

True but then about 2,000 words a month get sucked into Pitchfork and probably the same amount for Rinse/Tempa sleevenotes.

There's only so many hours in the day, and only so much to be said.

And hell, if I can't notify people of Keysound news on my own blog, where can I?

Anonymous said...

that was not a sly bro, mans just miss ur writing/views on non-Dusk N Blackdown issues still. keep doin ur ting

Anonymous said...

that was not a sly bro, mans just miss ur writing/views on non-Dusk N Blackdown issues still. keep doin ur ting

Anonymous said...

Blackdown, what dnb do you think is good? I ask because lately all I've wanted to mix is garage/2005 dubstep and jungle, so I'd be nice to find some recent music... -- the same anonymous poster who made the first comment

chras said...

I largely agree with what you've said, people who leave a night after half an hour have no right to throw opinions like that about.

I would say one thing though. You talk about jungle isolating itself, yet comments like -

"Forward>> - a place committed to new sounds not full of “’ave you got ‘Cockney Thug’ mate?” types. "

- from an influential figure in the scene like yourself run the risk of isolating newcomers, and without them, new influences are lost and the scene will stagnate and become isolated. I don't think there's any need to rag on d'n'b, jungle or those who are ignorant to the finer points of dubstep, because without them it will go nowhere.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone would have expected DJs at MetalHeadz at the BlueNote or Speed at the Velvet Rooms to have played General Levi to encourage people into the scene, so why should already well-known, played-to-death tracks get dropped at FWD>>?

It's not like it's the only dubstep/grime rave in London - there are plenty of other places you can go to hear that kind of style and they're hardly underground and difficult to find e.g. FABRIC(!!!!)

Anonymous said...

Problem with D&B is that it has stagnated a bit and many producers seem to have got really cautious in their output and not taking chances any more.

I hope with the focus of the media elsewhere, fresh sounds from the underground bubble up to the surface and knock the likes of Pendulum off their conservative, predictable, heavy metal perch!

chras said...

im not suggesting that all raves should be a replay of fabriclive39, noone wants that. i'm just saying to mock people who don't know much about your scene puts them off and prevents growth, which is exactly what jungle was being criticised for.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, mocking isn't clever. That's not how I read Blackdown's comment. If anything I read it as a little dig at people who already know the scene and have developed somewhat conservative tastes over the past few years.

Actually, dig out some old Muziks or Mixmags from around 1999/2000. You'll find loads of d&b producers being interviewed who had no idea what hardcore was or else hated it and others that had been into metal. They wouldn't have been able to tell a Lords of the Null Lines from a Lord of the Rings Finnish Eurovision Entry.

These people were *not* mocked (and I'm not saying they should've been) but the scene still went really really conservative.

I'm not saying there should be an entrance exam to dubstep - of course not - but I am saying that fans of more conservative-sounding genres who do not appreciate why the scene started or the ethos behind it (e.g. the drift from formulaic happy 4x4 to more experimental and often dark breaks in hardcore -> jungle -> d&b, the evolution of bass, space and rhythm in dubstep and a move away from standard 4x4 UKG or 2step) don't need pandering to.

By appealing to the lowest common denominator d&b lost it's way. Let's not have the same happen to dubstep.

hosta said...

Thanks Blackdown for your words and work.
It is inspiring. I'd love to hear those tunes (your set with dusk) on a big system!

Respect from mtl.

markoos said...

blackdown, going back to the way you responded to a little criticism from this guy - do you not think you might be taking things a bit too personally? I mean, 'you can't please all of the people all of the time' and all that...to be honest, I'm with Anon (from Media Watch - as you put it).

Maybe next time you could just take it on your shoulders - they are big enough, having carried all dem 12s since 95...?

pollywog said...

Ah BaitWoggler, you’ve made some farcical, outlandish and scientifically unverifiable claims in your time, believe me, but this one is right up there. Now I have the power to murder entire genres? Nice, I look forward to that...

yeah cuz...

...you killed the scene and your latest championing of greivous angels shit just proves it

it was never about what you could do for dubstep, it was about what dubstep could do for you...

...and that was get you dubs, gigs and credibility off your insider journo status

you're as fake as it gets and the only reason you don't champion what could be the saving grace for dubstep ie breakstep is cos you can't make it yourself...

...all that cultural misappropriation and faux deepness you lace your trax with just masks the fact you're a talentless hack out for himself

you can fool some people sometime but sooner or later you gotta pay the piper...

Blackdown said...

... and everyone knows you're a psychotic troll, so i'm not too fussed what you think :)

Anonymous said...

Pollywog,

Why should anyone take what you say seriously anymore?

You've spent years now, tearing down any establishment or structure you see in music scenes. Why exactly is that? Where are your singles on 12"? Where are your gigs in NZ? Is Pollywog just a vacuum on the internet?

Sort yourself out and stop salivating over Martin Clark's viewpoint, which is obviously a massive turn on for you.

Hate and love is a powerful thing.

Signed,
#1 Breakstepper

pollywog said...

what doesn't kill you makes you stronger...

Uh-huh said...

yeah cuz...

...you killed the scene and your latest championing of greivous angels shit just proves it


Fuck me. This lad's a wrong-un. Put the fucking kettle on Polly, because I need a cuppa to work out the bizarre logical steps required for this paragraph of yours to make any fucking sense.

(1) How did Blackdown "kill a scene" that has thousands of registered users on its main forum, and hundreds of nights and gigs every month? Not to mention more tunes out digitally and on vinyl than ever before with radio shows pushing the sound in every possible direction the world over?

(2) How does Blackdown championing Grievous Angel prove he killed the scene? It might seem obvious to you but please could you elaborate for those of us less obsessed with Blackdown's alleged nefarious work as Chief Spoiler of All Things Dubstep?

(3) As Blackdown is "fake" - and given he's been writing about dubstep since before it was called dubstep (including making journeys to Croydon involving 3 nightbuses on a Sunday when the nights had more DJ's than punters) - I would like to know your "realness" credentials. You know, some evidence that you are something more than the internet blowhard you so successfully pretend to be.

pollywog said...

blackdown should be flattered i ascribe such a lofty act as killing a genre to him

so ok then...

1)...does 1000's of registered users who cant take criticism and have settled for halfstep with misappropriated cultural references as the definition of dubstep remind you of anyone ???

how did that happen ??? Well you could start with blackdowns wiki definition and pitchfork articles which rules out the breakier side of dubstep that doesnt fit into his adoption of the hardcore continuum and the wieght people ascribe to his opinion on that froum

2)...championing GA's latest effort as the saviour of 2 step in the last 'grime/dubstep' pitchfork at the expense of those more worthy to me says something is dead in the scene. I mean c'mon, some middle aged blogger decides to make wack tunes and cos he's a mate with a mag and blackdown has an album out you dont think thats a bit incestual ???

3)...using the cliqueyness of the croydon dubstep mafia and keeping it london by means of a privileged position somehow seems fake and does an injustice to the global and regional scene which originated online and spontaneously the world over after the collapse of garage/2 step

as an example, darqwan and mark one did as much as any of the croydon lot to initiate dubstep but they're from sheffield and manchester arent they ???

...square peg round hole

Think what you like about me. Im neither psychotic nor destructive for its own sake. if i tear shit down its to rebuild it in a better image.

Face your fears, acknowledge the demons, kick their arses. You are right about one thing. I'm not what i pretend to be and one thing i am not is insecure enough to post an email i wouldn't give 2shits about to justify an inflated perspective about myself and what i do...ala mr clark

If hes a role model for dubstep, then FOR ME he killed it hence the proliferation of dub zombies and halfstep clones and if net chatter is a gauge of popularity then why isnt it a buzz with GA's and blackdowns sonic efforts ???

Lastly, if you want 'realness' credentials then look me in the eye and lets talk as men over a beer and weed session otherwise it's all cyber realness that doesnt count for shit in my world but that some take far too seriously

Blackdown said...

Breakstep, breakstep, my mother didnt love me, boo hoo hoo.

Next!

pollywog said...

dry your eye mate...

...and talking of destructive. How about instead of breakstep you do a pitchfork piece on 'our sound' and 'our sound 2' as a continuation of the 'nuum ???

the breakbeat after all is the cosmic constant underpinning the 'nuum strangely absent in dubstep but alive and kicking in...

well you know ;P

Blackdown said...

bro you - and only you - winge like it's 2004. you need to wake up and smell the coffee.

it's 2008, everyone's moved on to bigger and better things: that argument's long since dead.

pollywog said...

oh you mean all the hipsters have moved on to funky, bassline/niche and fidget ???

fuck that shit, theres no innovation in that pap. Its the musical equivalent of mashed up leftovers for breakfast after a pot luck dinner with some africans, sth americans and jamaicans the night before...

...but sorry cuz what argument is dead again ???

cos it seems like the same shit since way back when on dissensus and ilx and dubstepforum but only the names change

Answer me this then. You were worried once about dubstep going the way of d'n'b and it has so what can save it/turn it around or is it too late ???

and don't say rehashing 2 step cos that really is back asswards, like loefah in that interview trying to recreate jungle before d'n'b subverted the conscious aspect or burial making ghostly hints at the past, uncertain of a future

yes it is time to move on so for me, only breakstep can save dubstep and continue the 'nuum if you believe in it...;)

what thinks you ???

cólz said...

oh dear.

DJ Shiva. said...

"When it comes to music, especially dubstep, I absolutely, 100% do not fucking want anyone who’s anyone right now to do any more fucking compromising. Now, of all times in dubstep, please could everyone just not compromise, whatsoever, about anything? Burial, Kode, Mala, Shackleton, Martyn, Zomby, Joker, Sully, Guido, Darkstar, Ikonika, Appleblim, Quest, Starkey, TRG: could you all please just do you, to the max."

I think I kinda love you for this statement. :D

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