PDA

View Full Version : Theorization of the grime " discourse "



Kaiser
13-06-2005, 10:08 PM
First of all, sorry for my shoddy english, I'm French =)

Now

I can't help but notice, not only here, but on many websites / blogs I often visit, what should be called the " theorization of grime ".

In your opinion, does it contribute to the disqualification of grime as a subversive discourse ?

This, in my eye, and the disqualification of a genre's subversive potential via rapid integration / recuperation by the cultural industry, are two different things ( I trust most of you have read Marcuse, Adorno, Debord, etc. ).

Grime, to theoricians appears - or appeared - like something new, refreshing. Some people even believe that grime is on a entirely different " plane of existence " or " paradigm " than say, drum and bass, garage, breakbeat, etc. But when the reality of this never-before-heard acoustic phenomenon is " sent " through the categories of semiotics, aesthetics, linguistics, etc. we end up dulling grime's " blade ", it's as if, through these categories, we knew what grime was all about, and that nothing else had to be said about it. After depicting grime in such a manner, what's left for a theorician to do, except maybe knowingly move on to the next big sound, which will be subjected to the same treatment ?

Kaiser
13-06-2005, 10:12 PM
Wouldn't silence, and nodding one's head, be the best form of appreciation ?

It seems as if something terrible is being done to grime at the moment, a desecration of sorts.

ryan17
13-06-2005, 10:17 PM
[add thread to watch list]

gabriel
13-06-2005, 10:44 PM
sorry for my shoddy english, I'm French =)


shoddy? no way!

tempted to agree with kaiser, though i reject the idea that nodding one's head is the best form of appreciation for anything...

dominic
13-06-2005, 11:09 PM
i don't think it's theorization per se that disqualifies grime as subversive

rather, i think it has to do with the internet being the central route of diffusion -- a slightly different problem

i.e., outside of east london and essex, the grime scene has not developed as an underground scene that others slowly catch wind of

instead it's been spread via the internet through the channels of the post-rave intelligentsia -- i.e., diffused more by way of the printed word than by the power of the musical experience -- diffused more by isolated bedroom thinkers in communication with one another than by subterranean dj tribes

(granted, newspaper and magazine articles were instrumental in publicizing rave, but the rave phenomenon had already developed on its own before receiving such treatment)

plus, grime isn't nearly so strong a phenomenon as rave was -- i.e., not only is grime parasitic upon constituencies that rave created, grime has nothing to offer the wider world aside from its own sonically radical self -- i.e., there's no radically new subculture atttached to grime, no new drugs, no new modes of celebration, no new ways of relating to others, just the naked grime sound and new ways of mixing records

and none of the aforesaid is intended as criticism of people here -- i think everyone had good motives and intentions -- and indeed it's not even about people's intentions -- it's simply the way the world works today

global communication via the internet has replaced underground conspiracy and intrigue

Keith P
14-06-2005, 12:21 AM
I think its just gotten to the point where psuedo intellectual bloggers spend more time picking it apart then listening to it. Its getting quite tiring. I buy records and I enjoy playing them. Its not some life affirming, spiritual experience.

Kids on road aren't sitting around likening their culture to some black revolutionary movement. They go to raves, tune into radio and enjoy the music and raw vibes. End of
The "punk" attitude is definitely there but you're drawing parallels between 2 completely different cultures.

Its not that complex, grime was never intended to be. We're talking about a form of music that was spawned from minimal 8 bar patterns comprised of 808 samples.
Enjoy it for what it is.

.02

dominic
14-06-2005, 12:39 AM
I think its just gotten to the point where psuedo intellectual bloggers spend more time picking it apart then listening to it. Its getting quite tiring.

yes, but surely you as an american wouldn't even know about grime were it not for the bloggers

so it's a complicated issue


Kids on road aren't sitting around likening their culture to some black revolutionary movement. They go to raves, tune into radio and enjoy the music and raw vibes. End of story . . . . It's not that complex, grime was never intended to be . . . . Enjoy it for what it is

errrr, i don't think it's that simple or dispassionate (at least not in the proper east london & essex context)

and if it is that simple, then that counts pretty heavily against the grime scene

nonseq
14-06-2005, 12:42 AM
I think its just gotten to the point where psuedo intellectual bloggers spend more time picking it apart then listening to it. Its getting quite tiring. I buy records and I enjoy playing them. Its not some life affirming, spiritual experience.

Kids on road aren't sitting around likening their culture to some black revolutionary movement. They go to raves, tune into radio and enjoy the music and raw vibes. End of
The "punk" attitude is definitely there but you're drawing parallels between 2 completely different cultures.

Its not that complex, grime was never intended to be.

Music as just entertainment, a depoliticized and desensitized commodity?
I think this is indeed the general idea about music nowadays.

This locks heavily into the 'will youth be fooled again' thread.

Melchior
14-06-2005, 01:51 AM
i don't think it's theorization per se that disqualifies grime as subversive

Indeed, I don't think the majority of producers (in the widest sense of the word) or listeners of grime pay the slightest bit of attention to grime theorising on message boards. So for the vast majority of participants in grime, the theorising is irrelvevant.

I'm glad for the appeal of grime outside of it's core audience, cos without it, I would have heard a lot less (ie. I would have listened to Dizzee and prhaps wiley). But I don't think that it means much more to the grime "movement" than a few more records sold. I doubt it influences their behaviour strongly.

Logan Sama
14-06-2005, 02:32 AM
I hope this topic is a weird attempt at sarcasm.

Otherwise I feel sorry for the person left with the soggy biscuit when you're all finished wanking over it.

Tim F
14-06-2005, 02:38 AM
I think it's odd that so many people are obsessed by "what the grime scene would think of us" in a way that doesn't appear to be the case with other comparable genres (jungle, hip hop, dancehall etc.)

I think the first post is a bit bizarre. Contrasting the "reality" of "this never-before-heard acoustic phenomenon" with an illusionary knowledge-gleaned-through-discourse necessarily ignores the fact that it's <i>through discourse</i> that we're trained to recognise newness (ie. grime can only sound "new" in relation to other music and the discourses surrounding it; its newness is not an inherent property).

But we've had this discussion before...

Keith P
14-06-2005, 03:08 AM
yes, but surely you as an american wouldn't even know about grime were it not for the bloggers

I didn't have to clock people's blogs when I began ordering garage records. I've been buying from shops in the UK for awhile. Internet played a key roll for me once north american distribution went down the shitter but it had nothing to do with livejournal or blogspot.

Keith P
14-06-2005, 03:17 AM
Music as just entertainment, a depoliticized and desensitized commodity?
I think this is indeed the general idea about music nowadays.

This locks heavily into the 'will youth be fooled again' thread.

So music isn't meant to be entertaining anymore? Sounds rather dull to me.
I'm not saying that we should take away political or social relevance from music genres or the sub cultures that surround them but it seems like people are picking this shit apart way too much. Aren't all the dj's, mc,'s and producers who make this stuff ultimately doing it b/c they simply enjoy it?(unless of course they're looking to cash in)

I know thats why I play grime. I love the shit and just don't see myself focusing on another genre.

Melchior
14-06-2005, 04:24 AM
I hope this topic is a weird attempt at sarcasm.

Otherwise I feel sorry for the person left with the soggy biscuit when you're all finished wanking over it.

Yeah, but you can't be surprised that it's come to this here on dissensus can you?

Melchior
14-06-2005, 04:28 AM
I think it's odd that so many people are obsessed by "what the grime scene would think of us" in a way that doesn't appear to be the case with other comparable genres (jungle, hip hop, dancehall etc.)

I think that when hip-hop was a form of music played in a 12 block area of New York, it would have been discussed like grime is now (if the means to discuss it in this way - blogs, forums, etc. - were available).

Grime seems to be a fairly regional thing, with a fiarly small group of people making it and playing it. The beefs that you see are an outcome of this as well (all very MC Shan/BDP etc). There's no grime community for me to be part of in Melbourne, unlike hip hop and drum and bass, and even to a certain extent dancehall. So it's inevitably going to be a little 'from the outside looking in' for me.

How this works for people who live in London, I don't know.

Keith P
14-06-2005, 04:38 AM
Grime seems to be a fairly regional thing, with a fiarly small group of people making it and playing it. The beefs that you see are an outcome of this as well (all very MC Shan/BDP etc). There's no grime community for me to be part of in Melbourne, unlike hip hop and drum and bass, and even to a certain extent dancehall. So it's inevitably going to be a little 'from the outside looking in' for me.

How this works for people who live in London, I don't know.

You could've said the same thing about hip hop and Dn'B at one point. Don't get it twisted, half the kids playing Dn'B in the states are all members on D.O.A.

dominic
14-06-2005, 04:42 AM
i.e., outside of east london and essex, the grime scene has not developed as an underground scene that others slowly catch wind of

or rather, i should not have said "slowly"

before the internet, when things were more subterranean, things developed much faster

so maybe it's the subterranean networks that have broken down

or maybe grime is simply too weak a phenomenon (i.e., not the music so much as the lack of extra-musical factors) to spread like wildfire to places outside of london and essex

i.e., were grime really powerful, subterranean networks would have come into effect spontaneously

which would mean that the discourse on the blogs and on the internet, far from hurting the grime movement, have advanced it further than it o/w would have gone

but for whatever reason, grime seems to have a bit of a credibility problem in the states right now -- though this may simply reflect my conversations w/ people biased against grime

Logan Sama
14-06-2005, 05:18 AM
Grime is superficially very similar to hip hop, which is why in this country most "urban" kids outside London listen to hip hop rather than grime, because there is a far greater push of hip hop on them as something they believe they can relate to, as opposed to this music which is actually made by people like them.

Hip Hop has more marketing money.

The "subterranean networks" get drowned out by 24/7 Hip Hop marketing from US funded music tv and "if it aint a guitar band or house, we ain't playing it" daytime music programming policies on UK music with out radio stations.

Melchior
14-06-2005, 07:39 AM
You could've said the same thing about hip hop and Dn'B at one point. Don't get it twisted, half the kids playing Dn'B in the states are all members on D.O.A.

I'm sure, but DnB was well under way as a global scene by the time the internet started to be a real way to distribute music. So I heard about it from people playing it in clubs, same as everyone else.

I heard about grime through woebot.

Tim F
14-06-2005, 08:20 AM
I think though that the <i>particular</i> level of self-conscious handwringing that goes on is largely a result of the conflation of participating in the grime scene with revolutionary praxis - it's like the grime audience are the third-world workers and we are the lefty academics.

During 2001/2002 2-step garage was basically as underground as grime is now (more official compilations yes, but less press coverage too! Unless you count bad press for So Solid), but I think the sense of disparate international followers being on the outside looking in was just accepted as a fact of life. Whereas the discourse around grime seems to emphasise self-consciousness about cultural disengagement. Distance from the scene is no longer merely a practical issue in terms of engagement and enjoyment (ie. how on earth do I track down this CD/hear this pirate set/find somewhere to dance to this music); it becomes <i>ethical</i> too.

(ie. the fact that i as an Australian am enthusiastic about grime seems to often inspire suspicion, as if my location and identity prima facie invalidate any perspective I might have; this never happened when I was writing about 2-step garage).

stelfox
14-06-2005, 09:33 AM
hmmmmmm, tim, personally i don't feel this at all - all perspectives are valid, otherwise i wouldn't be able to write about houston rap (my next big paying job) or ragga or anything i happen to like. the only thing that will distance critics not directly involved in the scene (i include myself in this absolutely and i'm only just up the road from most of the action) is understanding what the hell the mcs are on about. like ragga, grime is so localized and self-referential that sometimes you can't help but miss out on some of the meanings. this wasn't applicable to 2step because it was pretty universal - the beats were the real stars, the vocals predominantly inconsequential but for adding melody. in other words, like techno or house music it didn't explicitly *say* much at all. grime does and every time bruza or riko spits a line, it reminds you/me/whoever how far away from the centre we are.

dominic
14-06-2005, 09:45 AM
the fact that i as an Australian am enthusiastic about grime seems to often inspire suspicion . . . . this never happened when I was writing about 2-step garage.

yeah -- liking the 2-step sound was not deemed trend-spotting

and djs seemed to lead the way in playing 2-step -- i.e., i heard and danced to 2-step before reading about 2-step -- and in my experience 2-step was played mainly by house djs, not by djs specializing in 2-step as such

tom west
14-06-2005, 10:10 AM
everyone in my (terribly white, catholic) high school knew about (the pop offshoots of, if you insist) two step garage: the pop kids liked it, the rock kids didn't - whereas when the dizzee record was out in my (less horrible) sixth form, it was like a decoder ring sort of thing with a half dozen people i knew

pop-garage felt unavoidable in a way that pop-grime definitely doesn't - over at the stylus singles jukebox tom ewing makes a good point, actually: (re: 'remember me') "There must be a massive disconnect for many ordinary punters between grime's ever-growing reputation as the most exciting sound in Britain and its in-store reality as an endless source of clumsy comedy records."

Blackdown
14-06-2005, 11:21 AM
...in other words, like techno or house music it didn't explicitly *say* much at all. grime does and every time bruza or riko spits a line, it reminds you/me/whoever how far away from the centre we are.

this divide is the appeal to me. i love decoding another line, another lyric, another embedded message. the divide also provides part of the excitement - part of why so many "dance music" DJs are so unappealing as entertainers is they could be your boss or work in your local chip shop. MCs living another life is intriguing.

Melchior
14-06-2005, 11:39 AM
The interesting thing about the 2-Step comparison is that for me it was kind of similar... I read alot about UKG in various media outlets (mainly The Face originally).

In NZ (Wellington at least) there was only a small handful of us listening to 2-step. There was certainly no scene or anything similar. And it seemed like a 'London ting', something that, to me at least, involved certain cultural trappings that were completely irrelevent to middle class white kid life in inner-'city' Wellington. This is emphasised even more with grime, as so much of 2-step was about dancing and having fun, where as grime seems a little darker in it's social outlook. That's a huge part of its appeal, but its also completely irrelevant to my life (lucky for me I guess...)

Noah Baby Food
14-06-2005, 01:00 PM
It's a funny old thing. Think Logan's comment is really on the money, I must say. On the one hand, RWD forums are all "WHO WD WIN OUT OF A CLASH BTWN TRIM AND GHETTO? TRIM IS BIGGLE" etc, and on the other, the blogsphere sometimes gets a little pretensious doesn't it? It's all good I suppose, people are really interested in grime for different reasons, but there's a real tendency to pick everything apart, too much in my view. at least this scene is getting documented for posterity.

speaking as a UK mo'fucker, I think the interest in grime, and what it's "about" for different people, speaks volumes about class in Britain today. It's a complicated point and I don't wanna be flippant...but talking about this music seems to lead to a lot of assumptions. I do think some of the interest is kinda like class tourism - "it's so exciting, these people talking about a life I will never understand". And the assumption seems to be - go on Dissensus, wax lyrical about grime and it's reference points etc = you are middle class, you have a media job, you are not/have not been "on road". like these producers and MCs are brave soldiers, out there living the tough life, documenting it for our benefit. and maybe people get pissed off when they feel that artists aren't being "brave" enough, wanting to make some coin - see reaction to Roll Deep's album, maybe?

personally speaking, i'm "educated" and all that shit, got a good degree eventually, know who Sun Ra and Guy DeBord are etc...but i've also sold drugs, been unemployed, robbed for a living, lived in really shit places, had family do jail, seen gun shit, blah blah blah...and i'm still broke. not saying "wow look at me, aren't I tough?"...suppose I'm saying, people get very frothy over grime coz it's so "street", but when talking about it sometimes come across a little strange and a bit patronising perhaps. some of the writing I've seen on the "blogsphere" does strike me as guilty intellectuals fantasising about tough black men. please, don't cuss me out here, like i say not trying to be flippant, just can't help thinking this more and more.

this also leads to all this "authenticity" crack. am I allowed to MC, for example? you see what I mean? and is Riko "allowed" to write a blog?

these points require further discussion and I don't wanna get sacked, so will leave it there for now.

Pearsall
14-06-2005, 03:15 PM
I've got to be honest and say that I think that a lot of this 'discourse' stuff is the purest horseshit. I think one of the real problems with a lot of music journalism (not all, of course) is that a lot of the time it isn't even about *music* but about the hand-wringing leftist middle-class guilt of the writer. I don't think that there's anything wrong with being white and/or middle-class (that being exactly what I am) I just don't want to read about how bad you feel about your background. I want to read about the music, what it sounds like, that kind of stuff, and not how you can link Bruza's oeuvre to whatever nonsense Slavoj Zizek is writing about at the moment.

stelfox
14-06-2005, 03:25 PM
this divide is the appeal to me. i love decoding another line, another lyric, another embedded message. the divide also provides part of the excitement - part of why so many "dance music" DJs are so unappealing as entertainers is they could be your boss or work in your local chip shop. MCs living another life is intriguing.

couldn't agree more. my point was that cues for those feelings of "not being part of it", even when to a small degree you are (listening to pirates, going to raves, buying mixes etc) are intrinsic within grime. nothing about 2step ever really reinforced this idea and certainly never threatened to crack your skull - it was pretty welcoming and exuberant. i don't think this discourse has been created by critics or people taking a perspective of cultural observation, it's created by and within grime itself.

stelfox
14-06-2005, 03:26 PM
I want to read about the music, what it sounds like, that kind of stuff, and not how you can link Bruza's oeuvre to whatever nonsense Slavoj Zizek is writing about at the moment.

lovely!

DJL
14-06-2005, 06:40 PM
People worry too much about what other people think of them.

Grime is exciting for me for the following points: 1. As a result of software studios producers are making music who would normally not of. 2. The internet has breached an availabilty barrier in the last few years and this is the first new musical/youth movement to embrace it and be influenced by a massively bigger pool of ideas and opinions as a result.

The kids who are coming up to clubbing age in school at the moment will hopefully tip the scales making this something really big in the next few years.

Keith P
15-06-2005, 12:05 AM
yeah -- liking the 2-step sound was not deemed trend-spotting

and djs seemed to lead the way in playing 2-step -- i.e., i heard and danced to 2-step before reading about 2-step -- and in my experience 2-step was played mainly by house djs, not by djs specializing in 2-step as such

Most of the dj's in the states who played 2-step were focusing solely on UKG. You assume too much. Granted alot of them were coming from jungle backgrounds but most of our nights were devoted solely to it.


I'm sure, but DnB was well under way as a global scene by the time the internet started to be a real way to distribute music. So I heard about it from people playing it in clubs, same as everyone else.

I heard about grime through woebot.

Thats your case then. Don't assume it applies to everyone else.

Melchior
15-06-2005, 12:33 AM
Thats your case then. Don't assume it applies to everyone else.

I'm not. But it seems to apply to a numbr of people. Equally, just because it doesn't apply to you, don't assume it's irrelevant.

Keith P
15-06-2005, 01:23 AM
I'm not. But it seems to apply to a numbr of people. Equally, just because it doesn't apply to you, don't assume it's irrelevant.

There's other factors you're not taking into account though. The "rave scene" in the US has been on the decline for years, government locks down just about anything and everything they can these days, record shops are closing left and right, and US distribution for UK music took a nosedive a long time ago. The natural alternative is for people to turn towards the net. Think about the number of users on the net today in comparison to the time when Dn'B was taking hold in the states. Its easier for people to distribute their music, get their stuff heard, and network. That doesn't necessarily make it irrelevant and has helped alot of us in the states quite a bit. Maybe the people who are searching this stuff our on the net are tired of being spoonfed bullshit from moonshine and astralwerks. Alot of us spend $ and a sufficient amount of time and frustration trying to bring this stuff over to the states b/c we're sick of listening to the same shit all the time. Remember we're only talking what? 2 or 3 yrs. since this music started forming? As I recall Dn'B's crossover into the states wasn't immediate either.

nonseq
15-06-2005, 01:50 AM
I'm sure, but DnB was well under way as a global scene by the time the internet started to be a real way to distribute music. So I heard about it from people playing it in clubs, same as everyone else.
I heard my first jungle via MTV: first M-beat 'Incredible' etc (hated it), then Goldie 'Inner City Life' (loved it)
Plus I read about it in music magazines. I bought some cd's and some was played on a late night radio show. Then they started to play it in a local club sometimes, and at a music festival I saw the first big names (Aphrodite c.s.).


I heard about grime through woebot.
I heard about grime through Simon's online writings and started downloading mp3s. I found it very exciting to already know this genre in such an early phase, and be informed about its evolution in realtime almost. Thanks Blissblogga! :)

dominic
15-06-2005, 07:20 AM
Most of the dj's in the states who played 2-step were focusing solely on UKG. You assume too much. Granted alot of them were coming from jungle backgrounds but most of our nights were devoted solely to it.

i actually stated pretty damn explicitly that i was speaking from my own experience

i was in st louis at the time, the place was the upstairs lounge, the dj was flex boogie if you know him

originaldrum
15-06-2005, 01:34 PM
funny thing is i got into blogs through grime (before we could all semi agree to call it that)!

i still remember sending "encouraging" emails to some (people here on this board even!) because i thought they would give up because no one was reading (oops)

originaldrum
15-06-2005, 01:37 PM
( I trust most of you have read Marcuse, Adorno, Debord, etc. ).

sounds a bit rich for me

stelfox
15-06-2005, 02:22 PM
jesus, ladies, calm down. the fact is that if you're talking about 2step/grime-as-scene in the US, it's pretty pointless anyway. the real evolution and birth of the scene happened in london, then the music was adopted by djs - from whatever field d&b, house etc - elsewhere after the fact. the US didn't have a 2step scene worth talking about much, really, because it was all secondary action.

cooper
15-06-2005, 02:55 PM
Most of the dj's in the states who played 2-step were focusing solely on UKG. You assume too much. Granted alot of them were coming from jungle backgrounds but most of our nights were devoted solely to it.


i don't know that this is quite accurate. while most of the people who are interested enough to go online posting on uptown/ukgww/etc would call themselves "you-kay garidge djs," in its heyday in nyc (the place in this country where it gained the biggest foothold) uk garage was largely folded into mixed r'n'b/hip-hop/etc party music sets and, really, the only strictly-2step parties there were the Dinesh/Goldspot/Wikkid! affairs, which were infrequent. almost everywhere i'd go to dj back then i'd meet people who were predominantly house djs but had a thing for mj cole/grant nelson/nice'n'ripe. the ex-junglist UKG soljas were definitely a strong online contingent, but i don't think that really reflects what you'd see in the clubs.

but stelfox is right; the US has had little to nothing to do with the genre's development no matter who played it or what else they played, and it's a vanishingly small number of DJs anyway.

stelfox
15-06-2005, 03:46 PM
my previous post has absolutely nothing to do with ownership, either, it's just a fact. people loved that music all over the word and it translated on a global scale better than i think jungle did and certainly better than grime does.

dominic
15-06-2005, 03:49 PM
jesus, ladies, calm down. the fact is that if you're talking about 2step/grime-as-scene in the US, it's pretty pointless anyway. the real evolution and birth of the scene happened in london, then the music was adopted by djs, from whetever field d&b, house etc, elsewhere after the fact. thu us didn't have a 2step scene worth talking about much, really, because it was all secondary action.

yes, but it ties into the larger question of the credibility of uk sounds in the us -- a question that the americans on this board care about

(so whether uk people care is, sorry to say, irrelevant)

i'm suggesting that rave had credibility b/c early rave sounds were close enough to indigneous american house sounds that, in the first instance, credible us djs were willing to play the records -- and then, over and above that, the rave phenomenon was so powerful there could simply be no resisting its claims

jungle/d'n'b was then the soundtrack of the hardcore us rave scene -- and so long as rave was happening big time in the states, never on european scale, but still a pretty big time scene in mid to late 90s, then no questions need be asked

2-step came in board in late 90s and was -- again speaking from my very narrow, provincial experience -- the kind of thing the more down-with-it house djs would play in the closing hour of their sets -- again, played by djs w/ serious credentials out in vast swathes of provincial, midwestern america

grime, by contrast, is being referred to as music for trend-spotters -- is this fair to grime? probably not -- and is it fair to the people in the us who are supporting grime? probably not -- but that's the perception

now when i use phrases like "credible djs" and "djs w/ serious credentials," the obvious reply is to ask why should the old guard be in charge indefinitely? why not bring in new blood? -- and these are of course perfectly valid rejoinders -- having underground stalwarts in their late 30s serve as arbiter is no less suffocating or unhealthy or burdensome than the millionare dj mafia in the uk

the question, rather, is how does the new blood establish its authority, credibility, position

if they're perceived as overly dependent on internet channels then they're gonna have a credibility problem

and, yes, perhaps the subterranean dj tribe networks of yore are something of a myth --

but again, that's the perception, i.e., subterranean networks back then versus trendspotters on the internet now

dominic
15-06-2005, 04:00 PM
sounds a bit rich for me

there are rumors afloat that the initial post was a prank (which explains the rich language)

but if the prank succeeded in suckering us all in, that's simply because it touched upon real concerns

in which case the real joke is on the jokester himself -- i.e., anyone who treats common concerns as worthy only of his cleverly stated contempt is probably a wanker

stelfox
15-06-2005, 04:24 PM
2-step came in board in late 90s and was -- again speaking from my very narrow, provincial experience -- the kind of thing the more down-with-it house djs would play in the closing hour of their sets -- again, played by djs w/ serious credentials out in vast swathes of provincial, midwestern america

dominic, this is very much only in your experience and i don't see how a uk perspective on uk music can be irrelevant.

dominic
15-06-2005, 04:41 PM
i don't see how a uk perspective on uk music can be irrelevant.

i didn't say that your perspective is irrelevant

rather, i said it's irrelevant whether you care about the concerns and passions and arguments of american participants on this board -- i.e., you have a penchant for trying to pour water on our flames

cooper
15-06-2005, 05:30 PM
now when i use phrases like "credible djs" and "djs w/ serious credentials," the obvious reply is to ask why should the old guard be in charge indefinitely? why not bring in new blood? -- and these are of course perfectly valid rejoinders -- having underground stalwarts in their late 30s serve as arbiter is no less suffocating or unhealthy or burdensome than the millionare dj mafia in the uk

the question, rather, is how does the new blood establish its authority, credibility, position

if they're perceived as overly dependent on internet channels then they're gonna have a credibility problem

and, yes, perhaps the subterranean dj tribe networks of yore are something of a myth --

but again, that's the perception, i.e., subterranean networks back then versus trendspotters on the internet now

you're missing the most important part: grime doesn't venerate the dj like house music or even UKG did. it's a very producer/mc-centric form, like hip-hop. hip-hop djs get big now through winning a trick competition like dmc or being affiliated with a group (a-trak now tours as "KANYE WEST'S DJ!!!") - they're not rewarded for selection or for bringing new sounds to light. grime doesn't really hold with this dj-controls-the-vibe business - the tracks themselves reflect that.

also, 2-step was just a little too accessible to catch on with the hipster set - that was part of what i loved about playing it, being able to drop some cheesy r'n'b bootleg that i knew was hot but was sure to turn off the college radio/rave crowd. i got kicks out of being "transgressive" by trying to keep the music on the edge between too weird/too familiar. grime is firmly in the "weird" camp - obviously the sonics, but the london accents and slang are so thick that i think most people in the US who listen can only decipher bits and pieces. it's not a sound that's open to distribution by DJs in clubs.

Melchior
16-06-2005, 12:46 AM
the US didn't have a 2step scene worth talking about much, really, because it was all secondary action.

This was sort of what I was trying to get at, I guess. I like grime a lot, just as I loved 2step, but I'd never think that NZ had a 'scene'.

What's interesting to me is that DnB (and I do mean DnB as opposed to jungle) is/was so popular in NZ at it's height. By far and away the most loyal electronic music scene (with loyal being a combination of popular and dedicated punters) in NZ. In Melbourne, half the people at big DnB parties seem to be kiwis as well. It's strange the way that it seemed to click.


there are rumors afloat that the initial post was a prank (which explains the rich language)

but if the prank succeeded in suckering us all in, that's simply because it touched upon real concerns

And it didn't really succeed, as the initial post was fairly promptly dismissed.

blissblogger
16-06-2005, 02:55 AM
can't speak for anywhere else in america, but new york had a pretty promising 2step scene, some really decent-sized parties, great vibe (pleasanter and more euphoric than 2step events in London actually), good mix of people. it all seemed to be building towards real take-off. but what seemed like the critical threshold being crossed--a great partyiat the Frying Pan, not actually on the boat but on the dock--turned out to be the peak. then the music changed to more bass-2-dark and breaksy stuff and i think this turned off a lot of folk who'd been on the verge of conversion. then went it went into protogrimy MC stuff that was even less attractive. the main local djs went off into styles and have only recently come back to promoting grime events. that said 2step in NYC (and American as a whole) had a problem in the sense that it was all imported music. also it's true that it wasn't as dramatically new (and therefore galvanising) a subculture as rave, cos it was like UK bling more than anything. nonetheless i always thought it had a lot of potential on acocunt of being such welcoming and upful music but then the music actually tacked to the darkside.