Is this still dubstep? Does anyone care? This, obviously, is the chart-baiting coming together of Messrs. Skream, Benga and Artwork, all leading lights of the dubstep, uh, ‘scene’ and all familiar to anyone who’s listened to remixes of pretty much anyone over the last year or so.
This is clearly not about staying true to underground roots, thankfully. It’s about stealing a march on the usual filtering of dance music through into the mainstream, often as appropriated by scene-chasing laggard pop stars. It’s all over the place now anyway and that can only be a good thing. And there’s better to come.
Incidentally, their wikipedia page lists ‘trancestep’ among their chosen genres. A coinage too far, I don’t doubt, but also not exactly descriptively inaccurate.
The Hundred In The Hands are one of my favourite new(ish) bands. A duo who once formed part of something called “The Boggs” (the less about that the better), they put out a frankly awesome single called Dressed in Dresden a year or so ago. Since then they’ve been filtering through bits and pieces here and there, with an album due pleasingly soon. They’ve been touring the UK (or touring London and some festivals, more accurately) for the last week or so and although I’ve thus far failed to catch them, I plan to do so SOON. Tom Tom finds them progressing from the guitar-led sound of their debut single into more minimal territory. Combining the vibe of the Kills circa No Wow with a refreshing mannered cutesyness, it’s a slow-burner but one that repays repeated listens.
They support the Dum Dum Girls at Cargo on Friday 30th.
This one’s here mainly for the rather splendid video, which features an orchestra playing drum’n'bass, a spooky zombie kid, and increasingly nightmarish stuff as it goes along. Watch it.
As for the tune, Netsky is a Belgian D’n'B (or liquid funk, apparently) dude who recently signed to Hospital (home of High Contrast) and I’ve mainly been loving because of the excellent Eyes Closed, which I don’t think has a video yet, but is basically awesome.
Yes, I know, old. I don’t think this needs any apology though, because if you haven’t heard this yet (you probably have) then you probably should. And particularly watch the classy, if vaguely unsettling video.
ceo is Eric Berglund off of Swedish electro-poppers The Tough Alliance, gone solo to create even more majestically dreamy stuff like this. Definitely a keeper.
I fully admit that I’d bypassed New York duo Ratatat until this year. No idea why – partly perhaps to do with my general lack of interest in instrumental music, and partly because they have a silly name. Maybe mainly because of that, actually.
So, anyway, when I decided to give LP4 a listen, I pretty quickly figured out I’d been missing out. It’s very self-confident instrumental music, to the extent that it sounds almost pop (in sort of a 70s retro way, but not) yet you don’t miss the vocals. Gorgeous, delicate, hazy tunes, that feel like they should be soundtracking something pretty and summery. Or, you know, a bloke with a box on his head walking around a city. Either works.