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Thread: the hardcore continuum

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Precious Cuts
    what I can't see is how anyone can posit nu skool breaks as the main intermediary between jungle and dubstep. it just doesn't any make sense at all
    Quote Originally Posted by tate
    what I don't understand about undisputed's posts on this thread is the attempt to re-write the whole 'ardkore continuum in order to delete 2-step and garage in favor of nu-skool breaks...
    I'm actually picking up on the continuum of breakbeat in UK electronica not trying to rewrite the 'hardcore continuum' to exclude 2step/garage. It follows more naturally to slow down d'n'b/jungle breaks to get nu skool/ glitchcore breaks then cross over to breakstep which took into account the 2step/garage influence with what Darqwan, Zed Bias and even Deekline were doing and from there to the fullstepping side of dubstep like the Storming and Hotflush camps and their respective sister labels dubpolice and scuba.

    The evidence for nu skool to breakstep to dubstep is in the sounds of people like protocol X, toasty, boxcutter and the alter egos of quiet storm/caspa and search n destroy/ scarecrow. More breaksy than dub and not much 2step influence.

    As for Skinnz being definitive. I'm not suggesting that, merely that i think nu skoolers and breaksteppas working in the same beat range as dubstep without halving the beat should produce a more steppier and fuller sound than d'n'b crossoverers. This is just an intuition I have based on Freq Nasty soon to enter the dubstep fray. Remember he too made early jungle. Once Freq gets on board and if he cracks it then maybe Aquasky and Quest might follow suit Baobinga to my knowledge was jsut the first. It's definitely the better option than plod.

    I'd be silly to exclude the 2step/garage progression to dark garage and dubstep as defined by the halfstep beat. The other thing I should define is that i've always made the distinction of 2step as being the light fluffy, cafe muzak, r'n'b type of stuff characterised by wookie and Mj cole and being mainly musically vocal driven as opposed to the more street sounding garage MC driven stuff like ms dynamite/sticky and so solid/oxide.

    If there were more 2step sounding stuff presently around within dubstep apart from Burial I might think different but sadly there isn't.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by the undisputed truth View Post
    I'm actually picking up on the continuum of breakbeat in UK electronica not trying to rewrite the 'hardcore continuum' to exclude 2step/garage.
    I think that might be slightly different, then. The UK breakbeat continuum would also have to include stuff like UK hip hop, hip house, coldcut's cut and paste bizness, trip hop and... big beat.

    Nu skool breaks can only really be seen in the context of a reaction to big beat in my view. We can probably argue about whether big beat is part of the continuum but I think it is a different beast.

    Interesting thread though.

  3. #33
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    its partly about the fanbase too i suppose, not just, do these different genres sound sort of similar.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by tate View Post
    what I don't understand about undisputed's posts on this thread is the attempt to re-write the whole 'ardkore continuum in order to delete 2-step and garage in favor of nu-skool breaks.
    What I don't really understand is the very binary approach that people seem to use - surely it's possible to accept a nu-skool breaks connection to dubstep without denying that dubstep is essentially an evolution of 2-step? And to recognize that junglists had a big influence on the direction of speed garage without viewing it purely as the next step in a continuum from ardkore and jungle but also as a development of US garage and RnB.

    My problem with the idea of hardcore continuum as stretching from 1992 (or whenever) to the present day is that it seems to push people into the assumption that 'nuum sounds are the only ones that count, and that 'nuum producers only ever listen to 'nuum sounds, so the very idea that nu-skool breaks influenced dubstep becomes a priori ridiculous.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    I think that might be slightly different, then. The UK breakbeat continuum would also have to include stuff like UK hip hop, hip house, coldcut's cut and paste bizness, trip hop and... big beat.

    Nu skool breaks can only really be seen in the context of a reaction to big beat in my view. We can probably argue about whether big beat is part of the continuum but I think it is a different beast.

    Interesting thread though.
    If the UK breakbeat continuum started somewhere it was probably with Madchester, stone roses, charlatans, happy mondays, candyflip et al and hiphouse, cold cut, the beatmasters and bomb the bass. Combine those elements and you get the big beat of chemical brothers, freddie fresh and fatboyslim. Substitute the indy guitar pop of madchester with the industrial noise element and you get the hardcore of hardknox and early prodigy. Most of that was running conteporanoeusly with Shut up and Dance seminal early works and rebel MC who was hip house before tribal base and congo natty.

    Where I think nu school took over from techstep in the continuum was in the glitchy production of the wunderkind of breaks for his time and still prolific Dave Tipper follwed by Si Begg in his many guises, most notably buckfunk 3000 and SI futures and of course Freq Nasty. The labels there were as previously mentioned botchit n scarper, rennie pilgrems TCR and tippers own Fuel of which Stormfield and combat can trace a direct lineage too. They were a hell of a lot closer to d'n'b/jungle or bigbeat than 2step if you follow the breakbeat continuum and easier to continue on to breakstep through labels like rat records, hardcorebeats and cyberfunk.

    Thanks tate for the Reynolds and Woebot pieces. The thing is eneff I've found out more from this thread than I have about what the 'nuum is and how it is percieved than by many others just referencing it. The other points I've made are just my unique perspective and not the undisputed truth.

    I still stand by my opinion that there is more breaks influence in dubstep than 2step. Unless of course you discount the hotflush and storming camps as not being dubstep which limits it to just halfstep. Maybe with Jay da flex Ghost trax being ressurected we might see more steppiness added. I do hope so. I would also state that there is nothing hardcore about cheesy 2step

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by the undisputed truth View Post
    If the UK breakbeat continuum started somewhere it was probably with Madchester, stone roses, charlatans, happy mondays, candyflip et al and hiphouse, cold cut, the beatmasters and bomb the bass. Combine those elements and you get the big beat of chemical brothers, freddie fresh and fatboyslim. Substitute the indy guitar pop of madchester with the industrial noise element and you get the hardcore of hardknox and early prodigy. Most of that was running conteporanoeusly with Shut up and Dance seminal early works and rebel MC who was hip house before tribal base and congo natty.
    Hmmm pre-88 you had stuff like Meat Beat Manifesto, Renegade Soundwave, Mark Stewart & The Maffia, Tackhead etc all of who were in some way connected with the industrial scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by the undisputed truth View Post
    Where I think nu school took over from techstep in the continuum was in the glitchy production of the wunderkind of breaks for his time and still prolific Dave Tipper follwed by Si Begg in his many guises, most notably buckfunk 3000 and SI futures and of course Freq Nasty. The labels there were as previously mentioned botchit n scarper, rennie pilgrems TCR and tippers own Fuel of which Stormfield and combat can trace a direct lineage too. They were a hell of a lot closer to d'n'b/jungle or bigbeat than 2step if you follow the breakbeat continuum and easier to continue on to breakstep through labels like rat records, hardcorebeats and cyberfunk.
    Didn't T-Power famously "jump ship" and go nu-skool as well? I have to say I thought most of the music was rubbish (Booming Back Atcha excepted, and maybe some of the late 90s SUAD stuff) and a lot of London clubs began to get very boring around then. Or maybe I just got old...

    "Cheesy 2-step" seems to me to fit in just as well as cheesy raver tunes, happy hardcore etc? Or is it not the cheesiness which is the issue?

    The Bug stuff I think is the best new incarnation of the nuum. Why can't more people copy him instead of copying Loefah, eh?

  7. #37
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    It's quite an interesting exercise, drawing all these lines.

    For example I can see why Paul Meme is trying to join up the dots between Saxon Studio International and dubstep via SUAD etc. Indeed I am sure a lot of dubstep fans and producers are quite keen as being seen as the carriers of that torch. But I don't quite see it myself and it's not just because I don't really like most of the music.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Gutterbreakz View Post
    Erm, that's debatable, isn't it? anyway, i always saw a spiritual link in terms of dubstep aspiring to the culture of reggae/soundsystem music. It wants to be seen as coming from that lineage, rather than from E-culture etc, surely. Maybe it's a romantic link, rather than a technical one, but it stills counts for something, doesn't it?
    It's good to have something to aspire to... but I think there is a danger in carting off the surface elements (samples, calling yourself a "soundsystem", patois titles for tunes etc) and not actually immersing yourself in the complexities of what the 80s reggae scene was actually like.

    Similarly all these bands who are retro- post-punk have all the angular guitars but none of the politics, or appreciation for other scenes. Where is the 2006 version of early On-U Sound? Or "Metal Box"?

    Perhaps this is purist of me, but the very real difficulties experienced by people involved with reggae in yesteryear are not afaik what the dubstep scene is going through now. Things move on, even in reggae (!). Perhaps if dubstep was aiming for a syncretic dialogue with UK or JA reggae as it is in 2006, then this would be less of a concern for me, I dunno.

    Off the soapbox for now.
    Last edited by john eden; 17-10-2006 at 12:06 PM.

  8. #38
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    Renegade soundwave had some wicked conscious dub style breaks stuff a couple of years ago as Red Star on the 10 kilo label and I still don't understand why that strain wasn't picked up and followed through either, although Tayo has given it a try with limited success.

    Yeah, T power putout a wicked nu skool album 'long time dead' on botchit n scarper before hooking up again with shy FX to make wannabe crossover to mainstream d'n'b ??? He did a mean nu skool remix of original nuttah too.

    The bug is definitely a man worth following but halfstep of the Loefah variety is much easier to clone for a young producer with no distinct musical heritage to draw on and little talent. Hence the proliferation of wobble bass and less than inspiring minimalist halfstep backbeats

    Regarding the cheese factor. It's hard to delineate where 2step becomes garage. I can only make the distinction with the pure MC driven side of garage. There being alot more affinity of harder/darker garage and bashment to the hardcore of the continuum than 2step.

    John have you heard Fat Freddies Drop and what DMZ did to one of their tunes - cays crays ?
    check out the original on their myspace page and the other on a joe nice mix here

    Playlist:
    DENNIS BROWN - IF YOU WANT MY LOVIN'
    XI - TAKE HEED
    HEADHUNTER - THE HAUNTED
    JUJU - PUNKS
    JUJU - PUNKS - RELOAD
    SCUBA - EXPLODE
    SACRAMANGA + GHOST - SPIRITS IN THE DANCEHALL (JOENICE VIP)
    HIJAK - BUTCHA
    SOUTH3RN DU8 - FULLY LOADED (JOENICE VIP)
    SOUTH3RN DU8 - FULLY LOADED (JOENICE VIP) RELOAD
    MONKEYTEK PRODUCTIONS - LIGHTHOUSE DUB
    SOUTH3RN DU8 - TUESDAY NIGHT DUB
    CASPA - HEARTS BLEED EYES WATER
    BENGA - WALKING BASS
    BENGA - WALKING BASS - RELOAD
    BENGA - WALKING BASS - RELOAD2
    SLT MOB - STALKER
    SLT MOB - STALKER - RELOAD
    SKREAM - ASSUMPTIONS
    DIGITAL MYSTIKZ - STEPPERS STONE
    KROMESTAR - EASE UP DUB
    FAT FREDDY'S DROP - CAYS CRAYS (DIGITAL MYSTIKZ REMIX)
    FAT FREDDY'S DROP - CAYS CRAYS (DIGITAL MYSTIKZ REMIX) - RELOAD

    PINCH - DESERTED ISLAND
    BLACKDOWN - MANTIS

    Ok so it's not the UK/JA reggae connection but polynesians have always had an affinity towards reggae worth exploring. I too have often lamented the lack of politics in music. I want my rebel music, I want my Bob Marleys. I want to hear people chant down babylon and chase the crazy ballheads. Digital Mystikz come closest politically with their titles but without the prose and poetry it still feels wanting and with scuba the music approximates but once again falls short of any political stance.

  9. #39
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    apologies to all for the derail...

    Quote Originally Posted by the undisputed truth View Post
    The bug is definitely a man worth following but halfstep of the Loefah variety is much easier to clone for a young producer with no distinct musical heritage to draw on and little talent. Hence the proliferation of wobble bass and less than inspiring minimalist halfstep backbeats
    LOL. Everyone has to start somewhere I guess...

    re: 2step it is really isn't my field so I dunno.

    Quote Originally Posted by the undisputed truth View Post
    John have you heard Fat Freddies Drop and what DMZ did to one of their tunes - cays crays ?
    I've heard a lot about them, but not checked them out yet - they seem to be pretty popular with a lot of proper reggae fans so I'll move them up the list of people to investigate now!

    Quote Originally Posted by the undisputed truth View Post
    Ok so it's not the UK/JA reggae connection but polynesians have always had an affinity towards reggae worth exploring. I too have often lamented the lack of politics in music. I want my rebel music, I want my Bob Marleys. I want to hear people chant down babylon and chase the crazy ballheads. Digital Mystikz come closest politically with their titles but without the prose and poetry it still feels wanting and with scuba the music approximates but once again falls short of any political stance.
    Yeah I remember some of the Hamilton crew coming over and forming a mutual bond over Iration Steppas in about 1998.

    Politically I dunno if it always has to be the lyrics (tho that helps for me) I think the reggae scene used to be in direct confrontation with the state and reactionaries on a regular basis.

    For example dances getting raided by the cops, closed down, not being able to play anywhere except church halls or community centres, everyone with locks being pulled over by the police ('Suss laws'), not being played on the radio, aggression from fascist groups, having to store and maintain a whole soundsystem in a garage on a council estate, no prospect of a job, etc.

    All of this and more lead to a situation where entire economies and cultures developed out of a resistance to oppression. Perhaps that was concsiouly antagonistic or perhaps it was just a safety valve under pressure - a safe space in a hostile world.

    Despite not being a religious man I can see the relevance of rastafari and black consciousness in that situation.

    A soundsystem is more than a way of playing records. There are specific reasons why soundsystems operated in JA (economic, but also a lack of access to uptown clubs with PAs etc). "Blues dances" in UK houses came about because of the history of soundsystems in JA but also because it was impossible to put on reggae nights in most nightclubs.

    The reason why a lot of people these days who call themselves "a soundsystem" don't have a load of speaker boxes and a van is because it is more convenient and cheaper. And because the music they play can now be whacked out over the internet and usually gets a regular slot in nice nightclubs. This is all for the good but I think hanging on the coat tails of the work of others is a bad idea if they have been through an inordinate amount of effort in very difficult times, usually for little financial reward.

    Similarly there are a number of objections to be made about using rasta imagery in your samples/titles if you are not actually rasta, let alone if you are white.

    Or of relatively well-off white blokes sampling impoverished reggae artists and not paying them.

    I'm not denying that soundsystem culture and reggae have been a huge influence, but I think there is a discussion to be had about respect and crediting that influence vs ripping off.
    Last edited by john eden; 17-10-2006 at 12:49 PM.

  10. #40
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    to briefly continue the de-rail:

    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    For example I can see why Paul Meme is trying to join up the dots between Saxon Studio International and dubstep via SUAD etc. Indeed I am sure a lot of dubstep fans and producers are quite keen as being seen as the carriers of that torch. But I don't quite see it myself and it's not just because I don't really like most of the music.
    the real problem i have with this is that the 'torch' has continued to be handed down throughout the 80s-90s-00s (disciples, iration, conscious sounds, vibronics etc etc), and future-dubstep fans were not on the whole aware of this- highlighted by the continued insistence that dubstep 'is the heaviest' etc.

    i guess that many dubstep fans are unaware of uk soundsystem culture full stop and having been to a couple of dances which borrow bits from it, now claim dubstep to be a new thing- or worse- the creators of it. which leads to the reggae getting sidelined.

    i know this is not true of dmz, but i get the feeling they're one offs.



    heard a demo of a simon scott dubstep tune on saturday which you might like john-paul definately will!- loefah style drums w/iration style bass and a nice roots vocal sample throughout (couldn't put my finger on it at the time, but it was in the style of barry brown etc). more reggae pillage?
    Last edited by matt b; 17-10-2006 at 02:38 PM.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by the undisputed truth View Post
    If there were more 2step sounding stuff presently around within dubstep apart from Burial I might think different but sadly there isn't.
    Have you listened to The Roots of Dubstep? Check out that or United Vibes own Dubstep history mix and you might change your mind. There's piles of Dubstep that has an obvious 2-step connection.

    I don't think anyone's trying to say there aren't any influences on Dubstep outside of those from the "hardcore continuum", but surely that's where its roots are. Infact I think to argue otherwise is just to be contrary for the fun of it. Listen to some Kode 9 sets from '03 through to now, read Martin Clark's blog and I'm almost certain you'll come round to agree with the rest of the majority of the board on this one. I mean half of the tracks on Roots of Dubstep could even be Broken Beat, which is quite clearly born straight out of the sexy 2-step you speak of.

    Still, it is dissensus so it's all cool.

    (sorry, this isn't supposed to be as patronising as it sounds...)

  12. #42
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    This argument is a familiar one, as its as much about the culture surrounding the tunes as the music itself- you probably could get to 80% of dubstep musically thru non-2step routes, but culturally in terms of its promotion and fanbase and style of clubs its pure post-garage.

    John Eden: "It's good to have something to aspire to... but I think there is a danger in carting off the surface elements (samples, calling yourself a "soundsystem", patois titles for tunes etc) and not actually immersing yourself in the complexities of what the 80s reggae scene was actually like. Similarly all these bands who are retro- post-punk have all the angular guitars but none of the politics, or appreciation for other scenes. Where is the 2006 version of early On-U Sound? Or "Metal Box"?"

    Sound words. I think in both cases you have to transpose what those genres were doing in the context of their times to the current context of today, if one had the ambition to be their equal. Too often dubstep (in a very similar way to nu-postpunk indie as you rightly pointed out) uses a series of signifiers as mere styling. I know there are some on this board who love the clash between the way they are sposed to indicate "authenticity" and their inherently plasticy nature (with the exception of DMZ themselves) but it does all ring a bit false at times. Its why all this "nu-rave" rubbish is so utterly redundant- of course a REAL NU RAVE movement, which occupied the same space in terms of aesthetic and subculture as the original but for our 2006 would be superb, but what you've got is lame post modernism.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by gek-opel View Post
    This argument is a familiar one, as its as much about the culture surrounding the tunes as the music itself- you probably could get to 80% of dubstep musically thru non-2step routes, but culturally in terms of its promotion and fanbase and style of clubs its pure post-garage.
    Yes - thats what I was trying to say earlier on without much success. Don't work backwards from now and making assumptions because of surface similarities, pay attention to the actual genealogy of a sound.

    Anyway cool debate.

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    So the hardcore continuum would exclude anything a) not London-centric and b)with no links to reggae and it's soundsystem culture at all? So something like, say, The Chemical Brothers don't fit in because even though they're probably influenced by their fair share of hardcore, they're still too studenty and techy (I'm reluctant to say white 'cause of producers like MJ Cole) to fit into this definition?

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    Colour isn't really the issue, especially with jungle...lots of white garage producers as well.

    Also a lot of key movers in jungle were suburban and outside London - Essex, Leicester, Ipswich etc. But there is a London-centricity in there definitely, thats how I've always thought about it.

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