the sensation of muck

blissblogger

Well-known member
"the sensation of muck" is a phrase that popped into my head a long time ago when flicking through a huge swathe of house 12 inches in a store... a cumulative awareness of the lack of care taken about titling tracks or even artist names and label names, the drab typography, the generic black or white sleeves, the absence of any interesting visual framing or attempt to make the objects desirable to own in themselves

however that music was at least honestly utilitarian in its presentation, its desultory quality reflecting the functionality of the music as grist to the dj's mill

the other night, going through some used record bins (that american term for second-hand vividly brings out the forlorn-ness ness of dejected and rejected music commodities, suggesting both soiled and jilted) i decided there was a new contender for sensation of muck status -

drum & bass 12 inches of the second half of the Nineties.

here the problem is the pretension, the failed artiness or failed futuristic-ness

the ghastly logos, cyberpunk-ish graphics, the colours - and then the godawful artist names and track titles

this is the true fallen kitsch of the Nineties - even more so than the IDM and chill-out records and trance

i don't really have any pictures or videos, there are too many examples - i'm sure you know what i mean though

well there's this - and it's not even that heinous an example

 

sufi

lala
Is this to do with mucky behaviour? that state of drugfuckedness where you don't give a shit about the music, just give me something banging and another line of that dirty speed, you don't care if you lost your mates (pre-mobile phones era), about about the drink spilled over you or if you smell like you pissed yourself, or indeed if you pissed yourself - immediate gratification in order to stay fucked up for another hour is the sole priority,

something like that perhaps? and the prevalance of that attitude during the era you mention due to the immense social comedown following the glory years of early rave, no?

takes me back :love:
 

blissblogger

Well-known member
no, the 'muck' refers to the feeling what you are sifting is of meagre value, churned out, an over-supply, shoddily packaged, done with little care

but the stuff with pretensions to artiness, corny futurism etc is worse really
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
There's one of the few remaining music and video exchanges near my house and that's the exact feeling I get when I've been in there.

Records have lost all libidinal currency they once had and now are as unattractive as a dead mans cardigan
 

blissblogger

Well-known member
there's still a M&VE in Greenwich?

i find some records still have a libidinal buzz (ancient electronic and concrete, prog and postpsychedelic era things) but a lot of the dance genres feel particularly dejected - as flinch-from-touching-them as say alt-rock and grunge over-supply LPs from the 90s.

that said after my recent visit i did come home with an Eon 12 inch and A Guy Called Gerald thing with some strange for-the-US-market mixes on them

but whether i will ever actually play them, that is the question

i might just look them up on YouTube
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Yep one in Greenwich still. Funny place for it. Great stock of course but it just feels so frumpy.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
Big beat/breakbeat, house - esp progressive, trance, post 2000 electronica all suffer from the same syndrome. Its mainly a symptom of ubiquity. The same feeling you get when you go into a secondhand bookshop and have to wade through reams of Dan Brown, Michael Connolly, or James Franzen.
 

firefinga

Well-known member
That was the norm for Techno and House from the mid90s onwards

As a teen up to my mid20s I was avidly buying music mags as well as 12-Inches, although due to several restrictions (money, time, taste) which started in the mid90s, and I was predominantly buying Jungle and DnB. In Vienna Jungle/DnB had a small but devoted scene of followers, and you could get the plates in several dance-music shops there. However the sheer number of techno 12 inches always was like at least 5-10 times bigger than what DnB ever was able to shift, and we're talking the (mid)late 90s here when the music had its most intensive media coverage. With Techno I think it was the absolute dominance of "minimal" - instigated by Richard Hawtin/Mills/etc that lead to a gazillion copycats. I concede though, this might have been a phenomenon mainly in German-speaking countires.

Oh and then there was possilby even more "downbeat"/"Trip Hop" records in the shops at that time.

Of course, I don't have the slightest idea what's going on in record shops these days, since I havent been in any for over a decade....
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
There's one of the few remaining music and video exchanges near my house and that's the exact feeling I get when I've been in there.
Records have lost all libidinal currency they once had and now are as unattractive as a dead mans cardigan
That M&VE is truly depressing yeah. In fact the one in Soho is even more so. But you're totally right about records as a whole - except for a few valuable exceptions of course. You see these things on ebay where people are selling thirty thousand records or so and they expect to get hundreds of thousands of pounds i.e £5 or something on average for each record. They're always kinda disappointed when the highest offer is maybe £500, or worse, people offer them more than that, but only if they can select the good ones and leave the other 29,583 behind. You actually have to pay people to take worthless records away or bin them for you or whatever.
Before we went to Portugal I made a miscalculation in that I'd left my job and things were taking ages to sort out so I needed some money. Survived for a few months by selling records - ones that were worth something but which I reluctantly decided I could live without. I think I sold about thousand in the end but it kept two of us alive for a few months. When we got here and realised we needed a bit of space a bit more space in the flat and so we had to get rid of more records, we went through and basically got rid of the worst records. Think we chucked a similar amount to what I sold previously in the skip outside our house. Seemed kinda sad but they were totally worthless.
 

firefinga

Well-known member
I have cataloged my plates on discogs, and it's a funny experience looking at the "What's your collection worth" function there. Meaning, my collection is - theoretically - worth quite something, but I will never get that amount (even if you take the average worth which is possibly the best assumtion regarding realistic prices), let alone take into consideration the hassle packaging them and mailing them out in the end. It's like a farmer who's owning lots of land, but would have trouble finding a buyer. He is a millionaire in theory only.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Ended up at an after-party thing on Sunday (er, and Monday in fact) and this guy was telling us about how he had these 800-1000 records kicking around that he had taken off someone else in lieu of payment for some money owed. He was saying how he was gonna get back at least what he was owed cos it's good stuff - this thread came to mind and I thought, good luck mate, but I just kinda said "Yeah yeah sure".
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I quite like digging through the muck in MVE. I enjoy pulling avant and weird electronic bits from a few years ago that no gives a shit about. It's how I like to buy records, the intuitive sleuthing/Russian roulette approach. Gives me that little frisson of discovery, but maybe I'm just a hopeless case.This mix is the end product of doing this for a while: https://www.mixcloud.com/danmatic/faintheadedness/ - the best record on there came from MVE Greenwich (Bonobo - Hans Reichel). Though the excitment/libidinal content can soon drop the hell out of them, often after I've done a mix. Putting 'em on Discogs as I'm doing right now (I'm brassic) seems to hasten this process - the moment that button is pressed I can't wait to get 'em out the house.

Counter-argument: I chatted to the late great Penny Reel about him picking up complete runs of early ska and rocksteady when you couldn't give the stuff away in the early 70s. Lots of Northern Soul singles were presumably also worthless once upon a time. Maybe the post-millenials will go retro-techno and fetishise all this old tripe on 12" in a few years time.
 

rubberdingyrapids

Well-known member
interesting post. obv its not wrong, i get a weird, sickly, ugh feeling when i see second hand record shops now (feel guilty about this and remember when i used to spend half my life in them but then remember i cant really afford to do it now), but OTOH when i see a lot of new dance music that seems to get talked about (or maybe this is no diff from when IDM/electronica artists would get more coverage than whoever releasing a new single with shit artwork), i kind of hate the self consciously arty effort that has gone into the packaging etc. somehow seems more staid. but then i say this as someone who basically stopped buying records in earnest after i stopped paying attention to grime and dubstep.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
that's a banger to be fair. brutally utilitarian yes, but essentially serves the role of a techno tool. the problem came when dnb djs started doing the exact same as techno djs, just making these entire sets of tools. the problem however is its vibes music and you can't just anthem bash which tends to be like the recourse sometimes on this forum. slipmatt oldskool set, pay as u go jungle set all anthems. but at the same time you can't just disappear up your own arse, unless you're me. but I'm truly north london so being a connoisseur is built into me.
 
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