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  1. #1
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    Default my list.

    my list will be a nostaligic trawl through foundational formative musical expereinces and will be posted and edited here in installments

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  3. #2
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    prehistory

    what i rememeber most was the cassetes my dad would play in the car. he only had a small collection and the car would regularly get broken into and whatever tapes were there would get taken. he always replaced his best of sam cooke. sam cooke the man and his music. it had a picture on the front of sam smiling and looking so impossibly handsome. https://lastfm-img2.akamaized.net/i/...bc6c31eef7.jpg
    so relaxed and at ease in his own skin. as close to a god as a man can get. and his voice used to thrill me like none other, as a very young boy, and probably feeling more romantic and more in love with the idea of love than i ever would again. it was really this cassete tht unlocked the gate of those feelings and incohate yearnings. on the backseat and swooning with the window a screen and the world scrolling by. the grey crash barriers. the sickly trees. the soot stained brick and the graffiti in white block letters, applied with a paintbrush. the political struggles of the '70s and '80s. G. Davis is innocent. Free Nelson Mandela. that London, as a set of tones and textures and a scale that is now being superceded never to return. how empty it still was.
    the song titles are still so overwhelmingly evocative for me. i hear the song start just by reading those titles and the whole complex of sweet sad emotion that is attatched to them. the christian mystery of hem of his garment, the first song, which is, the account of a miracle, he makes christ present, the scene, the time, the beleif and the wanting to beleive of the petitioner, you're there, right there in the bible
    She stood there cryin' "Oh Lord" (Oh Lord)
    "Oh Lord" and "Oh Lord" (Oh Lord)
    "Oh Lord" (Oh Lord)
    And "Oh Lord" (Oh Lord)
    Said "if I could just touch the hem of your garment
    I know I'll be made whole right now"
    nothing else has ever made christianity seem so pure, so untainted, it's that tapping into the root of yearning-
    the very centre of need- of being incomplete- torn from the mother and wailing, breathless with fearful sobbing, seperated from womb dark or the circuit of mouth and breast broken and all alone, the need which is the primal need and underpins all wanting, if i could be made whole right now....
    but there's something that renders that very incompleteness erotic, voluptuous, we wallow in that lack, enjoying its presence, and enjoying the imagination of its cessation, fulfilment, and his whole body of work is suffused with that, and that's why he's a truly great artist and saint, one of the great geniuses of music. it goes like this
    1 Touch The Hem Of His Garment
    2 That's Heaven To Me
    3 I'll Come Running Back To You
    4 You Send Me
    5 Win Your Love For Me
    6 Just For You
    7 Chain Gang
    8 When A Boy Falls In Love
    9 Only Sixteen
    10 Wonderful World
    11 Cupid
    12 Nothing Can Change This Love
    13 Rome Wasn't Built In A Day
    14 Love Will Find A Way
    15 Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha
    16 Another Saturday Night
    17 Meet Me At Mary's Place
    18 Having A Party
    19 Good Times
    20 Twistin' The Night Away
    21 Shake
    22 Somebody Have Mercy
    23 Sad Mood
    24 Ain't That Good News
    25 Bring It On Home To Me
    26 Soothe Me
    27 That's Where It's At
    28 A Change Is Gonna Come

    even a song called 'having a party' can make me cry. "I'm having such a good time
    dancing with my baby" the sadness at the core of that. "here they have a lot of fun/putting trouble on the run" to quote from 'twistin' the night away' to tear a space for pleasure from brutal time, to wrench it from history, and doubly, to have faith, the faith of hem of his garment, the faith of a change is gonna come, that history will be redeemed.to beleive in the goodness of love and music and dancing, to affirm and preach the goodness of those things, and the emotions, the direct primary colours of living. anything less is not quite enough, is not saintly, is a fall. so this is really the beginning and the benchmark and everything i aspire to in life, its the gospel for me. this is what it means to be an ascended master.


    astral weeks

    this is the other cassette that made a huge impression on me. i don't like any of his other albums. they aren't magical. this is magical. it occupies a completely diferent place to sam cooke. this is the mystic. this is other pole of my spiritual life, the other tent pole, and the canvas stretched between the two. sam cooke is in the world van morrison is in the mystic, just for the duration of this one album, somehow he gets there. water everywhere, the river and the mists, and the water reeds, and the wind in those. the swirls and eddies, the rising and the ebbing and the flowing of water, to aspire to the ineffable. these are the things which teach you to live. to say, this exists- you can go here. "to be born again, in another world, in another time... i'm nothing but a stranger in this world" it sends shivers up my spine. and to know, really know, that this is true- that there is a part of us that is not of this world, and that music can sketch the contours of those other places, so that we remember.
    I don't listen to either of these albums much. i don't want them to lose the connection to my childhood and i don't want them to lose the connection to my dad, who died 5 years ago. they're like sacred artifacts kept under wraps except for special ceremonies when the veil is lifted and theyre brought out in the light of the tabernacle.
    i didn't understand his voice, i mean, i didnt know where it came from. it's not embodied. "wrapped up in your magic shroud as ecstacy surrounds you/this time i'ts found you" i knew sam cooke was a black american, from a particular time and place, warmly, urbanely human. this voice, i could barely even gender, but i knew what it aspired to and what it was invoking.

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  5. #3
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    first steps

    woolworths rap compilations volumes 1 and 2

    i'm roughly the same age as hip-hop. it was the first thing, culturally, i was aware of. in the sense of recognising an electricity in the air. to see this current energise people, to pick them up and fill them with its energy so that they are transformed by it, to see that power at work within the wider culture. it would of been around me, as a child, i would have heard it in the streets, but it's really covent garden i remember most. the chrome angelz had painted there and of course the b-boys were there. one guy would put a skateboard helmet on and spin on his head. him and his partner dancing there. i remember one day me and my friend jonathan, his mum took us there for the day and we spent the whole day volunteering again and again and again. just wanting to dance and dance again with them. not willing to leave or let anyone else have a turn. the music, i can't remember but it's obvious what it would have been. i know it was my introduction to the future of synthetic sound. men, muscular, atheltic and graceful, dancing like robots to robot music and knowing, this is the most vital force in the world today.
    i must have done some kind of job for my parents and got given some small a mount of money in exchange, and i walked into stratford shopping centre, to the woolworths there, knowing nothing, and got, first one, and then, a week or two weeks later, the other, of these compilations. i can't work out what they were, other than that there must have been a music of life connection. i just have my memories. it was mostly uk artists like cookie crew, demon boyz, mc duke, overlord x, she rockers, and derek b. i knew all all the lyrics to derek b's get down.
    "got back to her place in a flash real quickly/she knelt on the floor began to unzip me/two big things like basketballs/down below was like niagra falls/we kept on going for hours and hours/straigh after that to the bathroom for a shower/just before leaving she held me close and said/"I think you're the greatest thing in bed"'
    the other songs i really loved were asher d and daddy freddy-raggamuffin hip-hop and demon boyz-northside plus only buggin' by u.s. act whistle, which introduced me to and intoxicated me with 'vocal science' for the first time.
    this time really set up a lot of my pavlovian responses in that sense i guess. like the 808 for instance and how i still cant resist it. there's something so vital about it, an ur sound, and it's the beginning of my engagement with that particular and peculiar specfically english MC tradition.

    dave angel? on pirate radio

    i didn't know anything as a kid. i was, still am to a large degree, in a bubble. so massively radically introverted that the outside world barely existed and only made an impression if it resonated and was transformed in 'the crucible of my soul' and music was really one if the only things that crossed over that boundary and made itself present for me. the other kids i grew up around always seemed, always were, more worldly, more plugged in. their parents were 10 years younger, they had big brothers and sisters and whole networks of uncles, aunts, family friends and cousins that introduced them to things. for me everything existed as rumour, clues gleaned from overheard conversations. well around 88'/'89 when i was coming to the end of my time in junior school i became aware of a new cultural current, something strange and secret and cultish, not public in the way hip-hop had been, not played out in the streets. the cool kids in school were wearing white t-shirts with huge white or acid green or neon pink smiley faces on them, they were wearing wallabies or kickers and screaming aceeeid in the classroom and in the playground. I heard them talking about these huge parties, bacchanal, delerious.... i heard them talking about sunrise and centreforce which, it turns out, was broadcast from just down the road at bow flyover. i didn't know what the music sounded like, but i did... when i fiddled with the tuner on my dads radio, sticky with kitchen grease, crackling with static, i knew it as soon as i heard it. i can't remember what station i found, and in truth i can;t remember the dj though my head says it was dave angel, but i do remember it introduced me to a whole new feeling complex, that it evoked and invoked no other music ever had. this was something truly alien, part of no human inheritance, something wholly new, something which repelled and seduced at once, as all truly strange and previously unencountered things do, cold, anorganic, and yet, the rumours of this music had already opened this space up in imaginative anticpaction. acid.
    a huge moment as my first real encounter with both pirate radio and the birth of the uk dance counterculture.

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    I'd like to respond in more detail when I'm at leisure to, but I love this list already. If I had a family, we'd sit around the fire reading each subsequent installment like the Victorians read David Copperfield. (Incidentally, idea for parody trump autobiography title 'Donny Coppafeel'. Park that.)

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    The Sam Cooke album isn't on Spotify but someone's made a playlist of it: https://open.spotify.com/user/terran...pN6I9AI8AQvm0Y

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    pulse fm

    what does it mean to imagine the alien? how do we create our own future? how does the truly novel come to be? i remember in this period how quaintly retro hip-hop seemed to me. how the future seemed to be wholly invested in hardcore.
    nothing could be better for a childs development than hardcore. its crude intensities are made for a childs sensibility. music as pure rush, as sensation, the equivalent of supersour fizzy sweets or red hot gobstoppers. i knew this music was about drugs. designed to simulate and intensify the experience of drugs. but i had never had drugs. so i was in a similiar position to hearing sam cooke sing about love and desire and feeling my heart swell and ache in response as a pre-pubertal boy. how do these precursors to 'the real thing' act? they are like the tibetan book of the dead. they map and guide you through an experience and an initiation you have yet to undergo, they are pre-echoes of events on your own horizon.
    but is it possible that the imagined experience is more intense, more real, more vital than the lived expereince? is it the lived experience that is mere shadow?
    is mdma as fun as hardcore makes it sound? 9 times out of 10 i'd say not even close.

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  16. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    first steps

    woolworths rap compilations volumes 1 and 2

    i'm roughly the same age as hip-hop. it was the first thing, culturally, i was aware of. in the sense of recognising an electricity in the air. to see this current energise people, to pick them up and fill them with its energy so that they are transformed by it, to see that power at work within the wider culture. it would of been around me, as a child, i would have heard it in the streets, but it's really covent garden i remember most. the chrome angelz had painted there and of course the b-boys were there. one guy would put a skateboard helmet on and spin on his head. him and his partner dancing there. i remember one day me and my friend jonathan, his mum took us there for the day and we spent the whole day volunteering again and again and again. just wanting to dance and dance again with them. not willing to leave or let anyone else have a turn. the music, i can't remember but it's obvious what it would have been. i know it was my introduction to the future of synthetic sound. men, muscular, atheltic and graceful, dancing like robots to robot music and knowing, this is the most vital force in the world today.
    i must have done some kind of job for my parents and got given some small a mount of money in exchange, and i walked into stratford shopping centre, to the woolworths there, knowing nothing, and got, first one, and then, a week or two weeks later, the other, of these compilations. i can't work out what they were, other than that there must have been a music of life connection. i just have my memories. it was mostly uk artists like cookie crew, demon boyz, mc duke, overlord x, she rockers, and derek b. i knew all all the lyrics to derek b's get down.
    "got back to her place in a flash real quickly/she knelt on the floor began to unzip me/two big things like basketballs/down below was like niagra falls/we kept on going for hours and hours/straigh after that to the bathroom for a shower/just before leaving she held me close and said/"I think you're the greatest thing in bed"'
    the other songs i really loved were asher d and daddy freddy-raggamuffin hip-hop and demon boyz-northside plus only buggin' by u.s. act whistle, which introduced me to and intoxicated me with 'vocal science' for the first time.
    this time really set up a lot of my pavlovian responses in that sense i guess. like the 808 for instance and how i still cant resist it. there's something so vital about it, an ur sound, and it's the beginning of my engagement with that particular and peculiar specfically english MC tradition.

    dave angel? on pirate radio

    i didn't know anything as a kid. i was, still am to a large degree, in a bubble. so massively radically introverted that the outside world barely existed and only made an impression if it resonated and was transformed in 'the crucible of my soul' and music was really one if the only things that crossed over that boundary and made itself present for me. the other kids i grew up around always seemed, always were, more worldly, more plugged in. their parents were 10 years younger, they had big brothers and sisters and whole networks of uncles, aunts, family friends and cousins that introduced them to things. for me everything existed as rumour, clues gleaned from overheard conversations. well around 88'/'89 when i was coming to the end of my time in junior school i became aware of a new cultural current, something strange and secret and cultish, not public in the way hip-hop had been, not played out in the streets. the cool kids in school were wearing white t-shirts with huge white or acid green or neon pink smiley faces on them, they were wearing wallabies or kickers and screaming aceeeid in the classroom and in the playground. I heard them talking about these huge parties, bacchanal, delerious.... i heard them talking about sunrise and centreforce which, it turns out, was broadcast from just down the road at bow flyover. i didn't know what the music sounded like, but i did... when i fiddled with the tuner on my dads radio, sticky with kitchen grease, crackling with static, i knew it as soon as i heard it. i can't remember what station i found, and in truth i can;t remember the dj though my head says it was dave angel, but i do remember it introduced me to a whole new feeling complex, that it evoked and invoked no other music ever had. this was something truly alien, part of no human inheritance, something wholly new, something which repelled and seduced at once, as all truly strange and previously unencountered things do, cold, anorganic, and yet, the rumours of this music had already opened this space up in imaginative anticpaction. acid.
    a huge moment as my first real encounter with both pirate radio and the birth of the uk dance counterculture.
    Was it this one? https://www.discogs.com/Various-Hard...elease/1632263

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    think it must have been thanks jim volumes one and two with the sinom harris megamixes at the end. i remembered the cover art being cooler than that but it must have been that cos all the songs are the same!

  18. #12
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    kool fm 94.5

    I've got really a deep reluctance, horror of, writing about this becuase it is no longer a live and partisan issue. the energy has fizzled out, dissipated entirely. we're now all middle aged. can i really, would i really write about it? it's all been talked to death. we won all the arguments.

    there's two angles of approach,interelated, to jungle that i personally would be interested in seeing fleshed out and i don't consider myself suitable for either job. the first, to which the second is inextricably linked, is as jungle as a kind of culminating chapter in a particular, accelerated, history. the history that is, of west indian immigration to the uk. in the same way i was interested, very early on, in grime as an early chapter in the story of african immigration to the uk. as a visible, audible, conversation between immigrant community and host nation, as a site of tension and attraction, syncretism and so on and so forth.
    the other angle, is something i've been gesturing towards from the beginning really, and that's the specific history of the mc in the uk and other people have kind of picked up on this over the years so it doesn't seem nearly as pressing as it once did. everyone now knows of unity sound for instance. everyone now knows about fast chat. these are things which have become common knowledge and are appreciated. kool fm was really defined by and set apart by the mcs. really you were listening to kool for navigator, 5-o, remedee, ragga twins, etc etc and that was really becasue of thir link to unity and the sound system tradition and an earlier phase of that history of west indian immigration.

    but anyway, that's that. as a kid i used to tape kool every weekend, super sunday, all that. my most treasured posession, and the only tape i still have from the pirates pre-grime, is the nye 93 into 94 night on kool when i was sick and in bed listening. they drop we are ie at midnight. the whole thing is beautiful so full of love and grace and togetherness. the sense of mission and momentum is palpable, electric. and of course the whole thing was over a year or two later. dead in the water. finished.

    it's the evangelical sense of mission and destiny that really made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. 5-O was the man who really embodied that more than any other. he had a presence and a sense of beleif that was so powerful and you did feel you were part of a communion, 13, 14 years old at this point, sanyo radio, bedroom, romford road below, the 25 bus going back and forth between oxford circus and ilford... but all that was a long time ago now.

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  20. #13
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    ive mentioned this before i know but i found simon reynolds, '98 or '99, just by googling for jungle mcs. there was nothing. no conversation. not a single scrap of chatter on a forum, nothing. i knew there were other fans cos these guys were all famous, in their way, but online, invisible. the only thing i found was a piece by simon, on his old website, pre blog, about pirate radio in the hardcore days that was so brilliant that i don't see any need to write anything that overlaps with that piece at all. i'd just be repeating what hes already said. i can't find that piece now but it must still be floating about. if i find it i'll quote from it.
    this was a time when all these arguments were still live, and these were still partisan issues. reynolds fought for hardcore and for jungle and garage and grime when respectable opinion was still turning its nose up. seems unbeleivebale now in a time of diplos stripmining local 'urban' scenes but that's how it was.

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    (as an aside there is a tendency to privilege 'authentic' reggae in these discussions and undervalue 'plastic' r&b. but hopefully that is starting to change)

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  23. #15
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    that terrible sickening fact the internet made inescapable-that there are millions of you. born in the same instant of time subject to the same forces moulded by the same formative experiences formulating the same jokes at the same moment
    Last edited by luka; 06-10-2017 at 06:20 PM.

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