Sunday, 21 October 2007
Do you enjoy your hardcore?
Disregarding the fact that the current discussion of 'jumpstyle' absolutely reeks of being a hoax, that fact that it is being talked about at all is still quite interesting. This DMZ fellow seems like the sort of concept that gets invented as a joke over a long sunday afternoon spent sat in the Old Blue Last; a mixture of the rebel/refugee chic of MIA and the ground-up organic exclusivity of Dubstep, with a bit of paramilitary turbofolk unpleasantness thrown in for good measure.
Last time it was Doom Metal and its unbelievably earnest self-regard that got hipsters interested, with people queuing along Bethnal Green Road to attempt to see Sunn 0))) etc. and now, we are being led to believe, it is this scene that we should be crashing into (although anyone who's been out in the Slavic bars along Kingsland Road will know that this is already occurring). I recall that there was an interview with Sunn 0))) posted on the the Touch radio website, where fans spoke up and bemoaned the sudden surge of vicarious interest in Black Metal coming from readers of The Wire and its milieu, wanting to protect the authenticity of their passion from the intellectual faddishness of the modernists. You can see this process at work elsewhere; any time you go to FWD on a friday night in shoreditch there's an almost 50/50 split in the demographic of the audience between the true headz and the people (like myself), who started listening via Burial etc. In fact, was there not a grime night held at the whitechapel gallery for people who felt intimidated by the prospect of attending a real grime night?
Another connection between black metal and gabba / post-gabba music is their completely hermetic music theory. Just check wikipedia for exhaustive descriptions of either the importance of basing an entire sonic universe on the 'devil's interval' of the tritone, or the precise method by which one can create the correct clipped thud kick-drum sound. And anybody who has read or heard a metal fan trying to explain their musical system in terms of the western classical method will know how embarrasing that can be, not because of its inadequacy but because it has no need to be explained thus. This is just to say that there is also structural exclusivity to these musics, that they are not empty vessels of sound waiting to be culturalised.
It's safe to suggest that the internet has facilitated these fads in music, where people can safely search out the most extreme or random things possible, resulting in 'ordinary' people simultaneously owning music from all possible positions, essentially breaking down any kind of genre barrier or exclusivity. Intellectuals can profess their adoration for the 'Umbrella' song and their little sister might have a couple of Fennesz tracks that they like on their i-pod. This is no bad thing, striated boundaries in music are pointless, and we should be pleased that their disintegration continues. It's just that the conjuring up of 'scenes' to satisfy the taste for something organic and non-corporate is only different to the spectacle in terms of quantity. A 'passion for the real' perhaps, but searching for it in forms that it has already taken is not helping anyone.
Anyway, any mention of hard dance of any kind automatically takes one back to Glasgow, and this lot, Ultimate Buzz, actually played a gig at a real school disco at my secondary; an hour long set sandwiched in between two bouts of ceilidh dancing. The video has a certain Taggart-ness about it, I feel.
And this is perhaps the quintessential Scottish Rave tune: