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Thread: questions you are dying to ask but are too scared to b/c of music nerd cred?

  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by toasted
    what is a showerman/showerface anyway?

    i know jammer's one, and so is maximus, but why?

    I always assumed 'showerface' = focused?

  2. #32
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    ok here is Question El Stupido Numero Uno:

    was the song "Murder She Wrote" a reference to the American TV show????


  3. #33
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    The title may be from the show but it's mainly about a "loose" woman who has an abortion, I think.

  4. #34
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    A little late, but, dsp13 and john eden: thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dominic
    I have difficulty drawing a line between 2-step garage and broken beats -- i.e., there are some tracks that are obviously 2-step, but many others are harder to classify

    What exactly is the difference, both technically and genealogically?

    i.e., i know that 2-step is descended from todd edwards, etc -- but what's the origin of broken beats?

    am i correct to think of broken beats as a global, cosmopolitan movement, whereas 2-step was strictly a london ting?

    in fact, i'd like to know more about the people who founded both genres -- if there's such a thing as founding figures in mutational scene-driven music -- and what their previous involvement in dance music had been

    (this should probably be it's own thread??? -- i.e., a simple question followed by a series of questions -- but yeah, i'm kinda preoccupied with 2-step and broken beats at the moment)
    I'll take a stab as best I can - I've made preliminary efforts at digging into it.

    When I went to London summer 2003 I went to Co-op at Plastic People (also the home of FWD>>) and was really surprised that there wasn't any connection at all between that crowd and the people that came out for Heartless Crew the next night - Co-op was all like a proper young middle-class fashionista thing; kind of like the crowd I see at art gallery parties in the Mission here in SF.

    2-step and broken beat both were heavily influenced by ex-junglists. Reynolds' "Feminine Pressure" Wire piece is probably the best historical document of the early days of 2-step: http://members.aol.com/blissout/2step.htm - he describes the junglists who broke to go into 2-step as people like Potential Bad Boy/Chris Mack, Foul Play/Steve Gurley - the producers who were more scene participants than auteurs. Broken Beat was largely founded by 4 Hero, who were well into the "serious artist" phase of their career by that time and were focusing their efforts on making albums like "Two Pages." Broken Beat seemed to be about Artists from the very start - I think I hardly know of any BB djs from London who are not primarily producers, whereas garage had people like EZ, Heartless Crew, etc. who were great entertainers but not producers. Cartesian split between the genres maybe? On the surface BB is very danceable - it's swingy, ~130bpm, organic textures... but once you start to get into it it seems that there's a lot of talk about "breaking free from old musical structures" by which they seem to mean verse-chorus-verse, but they would like to place themselves within that Roy Ayers jazzfunk continuum. You hear the term "future jazz" thrown around.

    As far as I can tell, the history of broken beat in other countries is related to that of acid jazz - apparently there was a large US-hosted acid jazz email list where a lot of the development of the new sound was chronicled in the late 90s. The sound got picked up pretty fast by established names in the US - King Britt and Carl Craig particularly. Oddly enough, a lot of the American artists came from Detroit - Jeremy Ellis/Ayro, Tintonton Duvante, Recloose. There is also an outpost in Japan called the "Kyoto Jazz Massive." Not having followed it in those days I can't really say what the history is - but I do need to pick my friend DJ 99's brain about it sometime. In London you used to hear it referred to as "West London" more that "broken beat," but the sound is so international now I can't imagine that's still the case.

    Also, one of the guys from Jazzanova was pretty fucking rude to me one time, bunch of easy-listening Sunday brunch wankers.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooper
    I'll take a stab as best I can - I've made preliminary efforts at digging into it.
    pretty good stab

    and yeah, it's interesting how people like king britt and carl craig picked up the sound -- maybe b/c king britt and 4hero had previous ties??? plus, the whole phillly soul angle

    and many detroit people as well -- john beltran

    i think a lot of these people would say that broken beat has been around since the late 80s, though in name only since 97/98

    anyway, what you say chimes with what i know -- thanks for taking a stab!!!

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by henry s
    anyway, can somebody define "systems music" for me?
    My understanding is that this means 'music that is composed (or composes itself)' according to some sort of system. To borrow a Stockhausen metaphor, it's a bit like building a clockwork mechanism and then letting it go; what happens is the music. The composer comes up with some sort of 'system' (this might be technological, or intellectual) for generating music, sets the system going, and the music creates itself with little or no subsequent intervention from the composer.

    Key examples:

    Steve Reich, Pendulum Music, four microphones swing like pendulums over their speakers, making waves of feedback

    Reich: Come Out and It's Gonna Rain: Identical tape loops are played simultaneously, but variations in machine mean that the loops slowly move in an out of phase. The idea was explored further in written-down instrumental music like Piano Phase

    Philip Glass: Music in Similar Motion: A melodic idea is repeated over and over, and at every few repetitions it adds or substracts a note

    Gyorgy Ligeti: Poeme Symphonique: 100 metronomes tick at slightly different speeds until the springs run down and they eventually stop

    William Basinski: The Disintegration Loops. Musical loops are created on tape; the tape degenerates as it is played and looped; this degeneration is recorded and is the music.

    Alvin Lucier: I am Sitting in a Room: Lucier records himself speaking a prewritten text (explaining what he is doing), the recording is played back, whilst the reverberation is re-recorded and re-played back, etc. etc. The original spoken word gets obliterated by increasing amounts of echo

    Plus loads more besides.

  8. #38
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    This is also a good explanation of systems music, emphasising that slow evolution where the process is explicitly part of the sound itself is essential (as opposed to serial music or Cage where the mathematical processes or randomness can't necessarily be distinguished in the actual music as listening experience):

    http://media.hyperreal.org/zines/est...les/reich.html

  9. #39
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    What in hell's name is 'U&K'?

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooper
    an outpost in Japan called the "Kyoto Jazz Massive."
    For what it's worth this is just a group, maybe not an 'outpost'. As far as I know (though I haven't paid much attention to what they've been doing for some years now) they were more of an acid jazz collective than anything to do with broken beat. That may have changed at some point though.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambler
    The composer comes up with some sort of 'system' (this might be technological, or intellectual) for generating music, sets the system going, and the music creates itself with little or no subsequent intervention from the composer.
    I went to a talk with Oval's Markus Popp and he was trying to absolve himself of any creative responsibility by talking about his work in these terms. this exemplifies a tendency in a lot of artists who make use of "generative" methods to conveniently remove themselves from the focus of critical debate to the safe distance of "clock-maker" -- "hey, don't ask me, I just make the damn things. what they wanna do is not my problem".

    It was a little too smug and convenient and I had to point out that despite whatever systems or software (tools) he is using, there is absolutely no way authorship can be denied. Nor his personality or subjective aesthetic choices or ego, which can all be found in the music he directly or indirectly makes.

    even a clinically cut and dry and seemingly impersonal "systems" piece like Penduluum or Sitting in a Room speaks volumes about the composer's personality and taste.

    if systems music is some kind of removal of the artists's ego, then so is photography. which is absurd.

  12. #42
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    what exactly does "slew dem" mean? I know it means killing people but is it in the context of gang warfare or what? tons of dancehall and reggae songs about AK-47s and warriors and mowing down people like mowing the lawn...

    when I first got the Slew Dem 12 inch I had just seen the movie Hotel Rowanda and I know the 2 are probably unrelated but the combination made me uncomfortable to say the least.

  13. #43
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    Originally posted by confucious
    this exemplifies a tendency in a lot of artists who make use of "generative" methods to conveniently remove themselves from the focus of critical debate to the safe distance of "clock-maker"
    the architect Peter Eisenman used this "death of the author" stance in framing his late 80's buildings (Wexner Center, Columbus Convention Center)...I, too, was/am very suspicious...seemed like an obvious attempt to defray aesthetic criticism...

  14. #44
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    the whole 'are you mad? do you hate yourself?'

    what the fuck song is that? kids won't shut up about it.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by henry s
    the architect Peter Eisenman used this "death of the author" stance in framing his late 80's buildings (Wexner Center, Columbus Convention Center)...I, too, was/am very suspicious...seemed like an obvious attempt to defray aesthetic criticism...
    \

    yeah when they do that it's like "no. sorry. you are neither novel nor shocking nor cute. just stop this beating around the po-mo bush crap and get on with it like you mean it."

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