Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rinse:08 Alexander Nut

Rinse:08 Alexander Nut

Nothing stings like a sucker punch. Swung from out of nowhere it connects and leaves you reeling, wondering what the hell hit you? Well mix CD Rinse:08 sees Alexander nut you fair and square between the eyeballs. And guess what: you never even saw it coming. I barely even saw it coming, and I’ve DJed after the man twice (at The End).

But Rinse:08 left me on the canvas seeing stars. It’s a heavyweight, first round KO.

I go deeper into what’s exceptional about this mix on the CD’s sleevenotes, but stepping back I think one reason is a simple factor as “selection.” Alexander has an ear for quality, much of which is unfamiliar yet grabs instantly. Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke, Morgan “Spacek” Zarate, Roots Manuva and Eric Lau all connect on a hip hop level. Then there’s Joker, Rustie, Zomby and Pinch woven seamlessly together. Dancehall and r&b go into the blend too, but Bullion steals the show.

And yes, I know, no one likes the term “w*nky” right now, not the artists concerned especially since Simon Reynolds’ K-clanger, but in many way this mix is the perfect encapsulation of what I saw when I first well-meaningly used the term: a seam of common innovation running through disparate multiple scenes: dubstep, grime, broken beat, hip hop and r&b.

In an era of access to unprecedented volumes of data, musical or otherwise, people complain the joy of discovery is being lost, that there are no more surprises anymore. Well all I’m saying is when you wake up with a purple bruise between your eyes don’t come to me looking all surprised. You’ve just been Nutted.

· Download Alexander Nut's Rinse shows from their blog. He headlines his CD launch party this Sunday at FWD>> with support from Mark Pritchard/Harmonic 313, Joker and Youngsta. If that lineup doesn’t somehow interest you, you’re on the wrong blog. Move along, move along, nothing for you to see here...

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

i like the term wonky!

Adynatoniac said...

I think the descriptor "wonky" is very useful. When I first came across it in your blog it was something of a revelation. The trans-generic term seems like a simple expansion of our musical vocabulary.

I was thinking about this in light of your previous post regarding the life-cycle of scenes: "Wonky"–like "low-end", "sour" or more well worn terms like "slow", "melancholic", "discordant"–is a great help in describing and sorting music outside of a mere scene or genre-grouping.

Personally, my engagement with the music world is such that I do not really participate on the level of the scene: I don't go to clubs; I live in Denver, CO, which hasn't much of a scene for the music about which I am passionate (though we have a monthly dubstep night I've yet to explore); and, by and large, the music which excites me is not being made anywhere near here.

Furthermore, genre designations tend to be fairly useless for my purposes. For instance, while many dubstep producers are amongst my favorite musical artists, most dubstep doesn't get me terribly excited. Or, an even better example, how useless is the "rock" section in a run of the mill music store?

The term "wonky" has helped me connect my love for Delta blues, with my appreciation for Tom Waits and my current passion for the music of Mike Slott. "Sour" helps me weave together the sounds of Ikonika, Anton Webern and those bitter horns in Bowie's "Sweet Thing".

I have nothing against scenes (aside, perhaps, some envy for those who are sociable and ambitious enough to participate in them). However, I think that this kind of vocabulary can help music lovers and makers escape the vicious cycle you describe in "On the Origin of Scenes".

I guess folks concerned with originality may tend to rankle at the prospect of being fenced in by a new genre (e.g., LuckyMe's snide quip "The Wonky thing caught on didn't it? Well, you know, whatever. Let em slogan"). And, of course, despite your clear characterization of wonky as a theme and not a genre, scenesters and pigeon-holers will inevitably seize upon any buzzword to codify a new sanctuary for the in-crowd. However, it strikes me as absurd that one should feel any pressure to censure their use of–much less apologize for coining–a catchy, fun-sounding, worthwhile, descriptive term.

One of the many things I have come to love about your approach to music–in your blogging, articles, production and DJing–is your earnest openness; openness of mind and heart that annihilates the boundary between insider and outsider, the antipathy between masculine and feminine vibes, the division between genres.

Your journalism and creation have been one of the high points of this last year. Thanks very much for all you offer.

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard the mix yet but it wont come as any suprise if it outstrips the other ones so far, especially the dubstep. IMO people like Skream and Plastician really had nothing to gain from their rinse series except get out another release.

On the other hand Alexander Nut is still pretty unknown, so something like this could blow up for him, hence putting more effort/thought into the process...

pollywog said...

im all for dropping vowels like mnml thus making funky fnky and wonky wnky...

...but then people would think it was wanky tho eh ???

starkey said...

Alexander Nut's selection is top notch. can't wait to hear this

Stephen said...

@Adynatoniac i disagree with you about the Denver scene, as I know some kids there via dubstep.fm and they talk about plenty of club rockin. Apparently the show Reso just played there was large. Check them out: http://www.myspace.com/dankdealz

the problem with microgenres in my opinion is that it promotes conformity and blocks ingenuity. one of the biggest reasons I like "dubstep" as much as I do is that eastern jam, rain, chainsaw calligraphy, vancouver, and rizla dub are all in the same genre.

that said, when something is different enough and large enough it should be its own music. i'm not sure wonky is there yet though.

as to the mix, this is not to be missed. massive respect to alexander nut.

Adynatoniac said...

Thanks for the tip, Stephen. I'll be sure the check it out. I wouldn't be surprised to find the fault lies in my shortcomings rather my city's.

paul_s said...

Mr A Nut is great, been listening on rinse, always pulls some amazing dirty little bangers.

Harmonic 313 bein a percy..

MrB said...

the wonky thing has been a bit misrepresented m but when i read what u were sayin in the 1st place i agree that u wellmeant it as an adjective.. remember the same thing happening with the word broken once upon a time. think the whole thing will evolve this year in any case. nothin is more wonky than change is it.

Marvel said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2009/mar/05/wonky-ketamine-dubstep-zomby

Marvel said...

I have been loving alexander nut for a long time. I hyperventilated when i saw he was doing the Rinse mix. well deserved. such talanted ears.

Anonymous said...

Morgan "Spaceape" Zarate?? What?

Anonymous said...

Nice edit :/