mvuent's 2step vortex

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
i'm off to buy christmas presents, but its 8am in minessota, so with any luck mvuent will have done more when i return.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I used to LOVE Stone Cold. I had an intense experience say on my own after a rave, everyone else in bed, me sitting there smoking terribly rolled spliffs and listening to Stone Cold at top volume, floating in my chair.

But unfortunately now I find the jazzy bit a bit cheesy and the dark bassline cheesy too. But I'm a cynical old husk now with years of hardcore continuum reading behind me so
 

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
Very tricky one to answer (only on a couple hours of sleep too). So there are a few elements involved:

1) The rhythm tripping itself up.

2) The amount of variation; how much it feels like a loop and how long one turn of the loop is.

3) Rigidness; something sounds rigid if it has syncopation without variation in volume dynamics.

4) Swing.

Cool music:

So the more avant garde end of jungle trips itself up a lot, but isn’t rigid and is probably very, very slightly swung. Also maybe is based around 2 bar loops or so.

2 step is very loop-based, it’s swung and doesn’t trip itself up too much. However it has rigid elements in the drums, even while the hi hats are very slinky and sexy.

More complex Grime is very rigid, isn’t swung and does trip itself up a tiny bit. Its very loop based though.

Nerd music:

That Stenny track mvuent posted has parts where it trips itself more incessantly than 2step usually does.

I imagine broken beat is similar to 2 step but with more tripping up.

conceptronica sophie is similar to grime except not as clearly looped as grime is; more varied.

Autechre’s xylin room is very much about stumbling and tripping itself up.

yeah there was some discussion along similar lines here: https://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=14586.

suppose the stenny track was just a completely regular 4 bar loop though. nothing resembling tripping at all. it still wouldn't feel "cool" in a certain sense right? it's very similar musically to stuff we like on paper but doesn't have as much of a vibe. not trying to criticize the person who made it even, just trying to figure out what it is i personally find not-particularly-inspiring about it. like i said i think there's a "relaxed-under-pressure" thing that it lacks for me, or doesn't convey strongly enough.
 

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULFQVzFt6RY&list=PLUauGzUG35p4eAh8NazfiTbLMSBo08JII&index=11

funny intro. the first, faulty android gets launched away into space by the arrival of the beat. a brief lapse in maturity back to cartoon physics.

the rest of the song is really catchy. heartfelt yet too smooth to be full-on vulnerable. especially how she says “now that i’ve got you back.” sounds better at this speed too.

the strings paired with that “sparkle” sound that’s appeared in a few other songs make me think of comets in a night sky.

the song takes place in the future, but a future where people still dress cool by 1997 standards. no dumb star trek sweaters.

what’s going on at the end? a transition into another song? i’d want to hear more of that.
 

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70rTgd-AjuA&list=PLUauGzUG35p4eAh8NazfiTbLMSBo08JII&index=12

the rhythmic feel immediately reminds me of late 2000s aphex twin. there is absolutely no discernible difference whatsoever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xBg7p4weHI

@1min

(only sort of kidding)

some of the riffing reminds me of plastic dreams. high praise.

actually this is a great example of the same “cool complexity” thing. rhythmically the heavy swing is crowded, on the verge of getting tangled up. like a dancing centipede. but the vocals and organ sounds just float over everything untouched. hair unruffled.

the occasional scratching is nice, smooth ovals to contrast the jaggedness of the percussion.
 

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z87-Gfydt9o&list=PLUauGzUG35p4eAh8NazfiTbLMSBo08JII&index=13

immediately hit with a surge of emotion, with no context or causation. are you really sad or really happy? you start to realize you’re the latter. is your face wet from tears or from condensation in the air around you? maybe both (sorry if that’s corny but what the hell, it’s what the track made me think of.)

the mc’s voice is remote, but louder than it should be considering how high up in the atmosphere you are.

the attack of the voice used as a stab. transformed into something solid.

the bass is the earth imperceptibly rolling far below you.
 

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aiFroK2jDA&list=PLUauGzUG35p4eAh8NazfiTbLMSBo08JII&index=14

classic forgotten 90s pads.

the snare is light and sharp, you could stab someone with it. same with the scratching and stabs. hazardous industrial warehouses, rusty scaffolding.

i like how the bass comes in immediately after the vocal sample, as though the voice is an invocation that summons it.

none of the glossiness that characterizes a lot of this stuff. very loyal to hardcore and jungle. arriving via hip hop rather than house.
 

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qqCJNRTu-g&list=PLUauGzUG35p4eAh8NazfiTbLMSBo08JII&index=15

feel like with this and the last one i’ve wondered into a different neighborhood in 2step city.

some synthesis of jungle or hip hop and house, conceding more that the last one to house in terms of rhythmic feel, guiltily throwing in a ton of jungle signifiers to make up for it. they end up sounding kind of cute.

glow in the dark harpsichords.


edit: this one's not completely right description-wise but whatever.
 
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mvuent

Every dog has its day.
googling the dumb phrases i come up to describe this stuff can produce some funny results. good way to find obscure content.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I'm interested if there's something fundamentally British about 2step (despite its heavy US influences) that meant it never crossed over stateside. Cos with grime it was obviously at least partly cos Americans find British people rapping comical, but garage there wasn't so much MCing (on the records).
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
I'm interested if there's something fundamentally British about 2step (despite its heavy US influences) that meant it never crossed over stateside. Cos with grime it was obviously at least partly cos Americans find British people rapping comical, but garage there wasn't so much MCing (on the records).

Like I haven't read this thread properly yet but I notice some of mvuent's comments re: dodgy snares and comical string samples and I reckon that's how a lot of Americans would react to this older British underground music. As a sort of knock-off of US RnB but without the polish and finesse. Timbaland/Rodney Jerkins on a micro budget.

I'm not sure this still holds true for UK rap cos it's got quite sophisticated and slick now but it traditionally had a sort of amateurish cheap and cheerful thing going on. Pottering about, building RNB in a shed down the bottom of the garden sort of vibes.
 

blissblogger

Well-known member
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1c9SaPWZVQ&list=PLUauGzUG35p4eAh8NazfiTbLMSBo08JII&index=7&t=0s

thinking of the third phase thing i mentioned—maybe it wasn’t strictly a matter of getting back whatever appealed to “the ladies,” it was also about recapturing some of the childishness of hardcore. for example ‘hurt you so’ sounds a bit like this. but now shinier and more polished.

.

there was a 2step revamp of "Hurt You So". actually done by Jonny L and that other chap with the Greek name (Lysandrou?) as Truesteppers.
 

mvuent

Every dog has its day.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr1Xkp29Xoo&list=PLUauGzUG35p4eAh8NazfiTbLMSBo08JII&index=16

the drums, particularly the shuffling snare(?), are harsher, more forceful than normal for this type of rhythmic feel.

the other elements are extra bouncy and light by contrast, balancing things out.

fog of war: the vocals are distant, lo fi in a ghostly, disembodied way.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYFTjNNNEJw&list=PLUauGzUG35p4eAh8NazfiTbLMSBo08JII&index=17

brittle drums. drops of moisture appear around 1:14. becoming liquid swirls in wildstyle patterns at 1:28.

multiplying voices. appearing and disappearing in a second, practically cutting each other off at times. chatter. different colors of voice interweaving.
 
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