bankruptcy of 'nuum as concept

ukbass

New member
just read reynolds post on funky and I really think his 'pro-cheese' stance has now gone from useful polemical stance against tastefulness to the point of snide caricature enabling him to disingenuously generalize about stuff

i mean half of the funky mixes he refers to are cheesy as hell in terms of lyrical content/cliched sounds and mc hosting, but seems like even that isn't cheesy enough for him lol

really does seem that increasingly either musically the 'hardcore continuum' is dead (as he often seems to claim) or as a conceptual framework its totally lost all traction on musical reality

i used to read him as gospel in relation to music but he seems to have lost the plot

e.g. literally the only thing compelling and relatively fresh about 'funky' musically is its rhythm, and thats the first thing he trashes. can this guy actually dance without the aid of his long distant memory of taking E
 
Simon Reynolds has the dullest blog on the internet and also increasingly no clue.

"The lack of rudeboys in funky"

Should have stopped reading there really.
 
Last edited:

nomos

Administrator
i wish sometimes people could just say "i don't like it" or "i don't get it" instead of it having to be about objective structural truths and false consciousness.

ravists, eh ;)
 
Exactly. Overanalysis of the beginnings of a regional scene from a huge distance by an ageing journalist? Nah.

Energy Flash was good, don't get me wrong.
 

ukbass

New member
Simon Reynolds has the dullest blog on the internet and also increasingly no clue.

"The lack of rudeboys in funky"

Should have stopped reading there really.
I think there has always been something essentially racist within the sonic marxism of the theorization of the hardcore continuum that reynolds has developed. the suffocating political correctness of always prioritizing black proletarian music as the ultimate is much closer to daily mail style racism than its propoents would clearly be content with. the fact that hardcore continuum proponents always seem to sneer at black musicians with divergent aspirations from those of the 'gutter' is deplorable. a case of sociology overriding sonics?
 

ukbass

New member
energy flash is amazing. there's none of that sneering tone that plagues so many contrived hipster music blogs and writers on this forum and even worse on ilx.
 

m33k +i93r

TheUnridiculousBearMix
interesting points ukbass, especially that of 'sonic marxism'.

i'm glad that people are seriously starting to renounce the talk of the hardcore continuum, as I kind of viewed it from the start as a generational thing. I found it perplexing and difficult to maintain an argument for the 'nuum thesis particularly around the time the Klaxons were everywhere, with their emphasis on their removal from the rave generation and how the ghost of rave speaks to the new crowds. Reading Energy Flash distorts the situation a little because he doesn't structure things chronologically, and ignores the splaying of rave culture into mainstream life. Rave was popularised from the start and it was the reactionary, closed-off stuff which led to a continuum of sorts. It's always been the nostalgia for rave that has driven this theory rather than an actual application to reality, and so its putting the cart before the horse to call oneself akin to the innovators and the 'rave' at large all at once, because nothing is that simple.

Not saying that any of this is necessarily bad, but the lack of a democratic application to the theory by limiting most of the discussion to London scenes (exemplified by needing to draw in niche/bassline when it was needed for the continuation of the theory and not when that particular dance music tendril grew) has always for me stood at odds with the 'scenius' idea. If you're going to argue for the prioritising of the innovators that were in London throughout the 90's, you can't bring in outside influences just because they become popular in London. I guess what I'm saying is to be universalisable the theory must be fluid enough to encompass the nation as a whole as that was the degree to which rave affected things. But then I'm of the same generation as the Klaxons, so I can only guess as to these things, but that's half my point.
 

gremino

Moster Sirphine
the fact that hardcore continuum proponents always seem to sneer at black musicians with divergent aspirations from those of the 'gutter' is deplorable.
Yep. Gutter music is from young (or atleast mostly?) angry/depressed musicians. When you grow up things get (hopefully) better, so who wants to be unhappy for the rest of his/her life? Nobody!
 

ukbass

New member
Yep. Gutter music is from young (or atleast mostly?) angry/depressed musicians. When you grow up things get (hopefully) better, so who wants to be unhappy for the rest of his/her life? Nobody!
Thats not the point though. the problem is the stereotype that young, angry, depressed musicians only want to make music that SOUNDS angry and depressed, or just because you feel a certain way/come from a certain background you should make music that reflects this, and that if you do, and that ticks all the right boxes in terms of demographic and sonic signifiers (which in terms of the nuum theorists would often seem to be 'cheesy brashness') then suddenly these people are on some politico-aesthetic high ground. that (as a massive generalization of the nuum position) just doesn't seem to be convincing anymore. in reterospect, with all the musics it was applied to, it actually didn't get at what was politically or aesthetically interesting about any of the musics. the cheese has gone moldy and i think some other angle is necessary to properly understand the evolution of british dance music which doesn't caricature the black british population based on the over importance given to the music of those in a small part of east london, or take the nostalgia for a drug filtered memory of the early 90s as arbitrary point of origin.
 

SIZZLE

gasoline for haters
Yeah it's official, Reynolds has completely lost the plot. Confirming what I've felt for quite a long time really but now it's totally out in the open, he went flying off the edge of his ignorance. A major risk of writing about things you basically know nothing about.

I'm in NYC like him and in basically the same boat but somehow know enough for this to ring klangingly false to me. Hopefully this will be the definitive stake in the heart of the nuum vampire. Basically the whole ignoring of disco thing I think has always been it's weakness and the fact that sounds which couldn't be fit into it's holistic plan were just ignored. Funky is a real wrench in the spokes for it, especially the fact that the very rude boys who have been making grime have all piled so enthusiastically into the funky scene. His dismissal of bassline is equally puzzling. To me bassline is about as 'ardkore as you get in this day and age but since I guess he just doesn't enjoy it it doesn't get to come to the party.
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
Yeah it's official, Reynolds has completely lost the plot. Confirming what I've felt for quite a long time really but now it's totally out in the open, he went flying off the edge of his ignorance. A major risk of writing about things you basically know nothing about.
Yeah, he does seem to have turned into everything that it was so good that he wasn't when he first started writing about music - afaict he's writing about the music based entirely on myspace sites, radio mixes and other blogs and on fitting those concepts into his existing model of what the scene should be like and how it should work, and not actually getting out to the clubs and engaging with the scene and talking to the people involved. This is pretty obvious in the way that his dubstep writing's becoming increasingly dominated by cliches and generalizations as well.

It's a shame because he's still very good when he's writing about stuff that he actually does know about.

Re the continuum, it still seems to hold as much water as it ever did, ie it's a very good way to look at the evolution of jungle from hardcore, as you get further from that you have to look at it increasingly as one of many strands of musical history and see garage as not only a continuation of the hardcore->jungle->garage continuum but also the soul->disco->house->garage friday night shirts and shoes continuum. And by the time you get to funky or bassline I'm not really sure that hardcore can claim a particularly privileged position in its ancestry...
 

bassnation

the abyss
And by the time you get to funky or bassline I'm not really sure that hardcore can claim a particularly privileged position in its ancestry...
those genres are as much, if not more, about house music than they are hardcore. he'd know this if he was going to northern clubs, for sure.
 

DJ PIMP

New member
i think its still going but the moniker is the thing thats wrong... should be something like 'the uk inversion of musical values nuum'...

from rave utopia to hardcore buzz to jungle depth to dnb whiteout to garage sex to grime anger to dubstep rootsicalism to bassline sillyness etc...

though all culture is reactionary i spose...
 

gumdrops

New member
funky seems very west london-y in terms of what it values - i can imagine a lot of old broken beats guys getting involved in it, if they havent already. then again they might be all snobbish and not want to get involved with a scene that has all these ex-grime rudeboys in it lol. im not a huge funky fan so far, but there seems a lot of promise for it. reynolds' problem with it is just that he doesnt like (to put it mildly) the soulboy values which funky seems to have at its heart - tastefulness, soulfulness, restraint, etc etc.
 

UFO over easy

online mahjong
finally, the reasoning that he shouldnt write about funky because he doesnt go to the clubs and hasnt spoken to the key players, he only listened to the music, seems quite ridiculous. by that criterium most music writing, including on dissensus, should be binned.
that would be fine if he was just talking about the music, but he's not. he's talking about things that you could only know if you were there - vibes at parties, the listeners demographic, rudeness... and he gets it almost all wrong..
 
Top