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The KORT and some cool rekkids for cool kids

May 23, 2010

This space hasn’t been touched on in a few months, but for those glued to their computer screens in a similar fashion to our forefathers mesmerized by television, I’ve decided to provide some freshness to this otherwise dead-end of a blog. As my university “career” comes to an unceremonious and rapid close, I can safely say that my time spent at St. Andrews, while not necessarily time well spent, was extraordinarily entertaining and full of a wide variety of people and stimuli that has provided me with a motley group of unrelated interests. Good times all around.

I’ve been posting up music along with several melodically-minded cohorts at a new destination that’s simplified and easy to digest, the Knights of the Rectangular Table, better known as the KORT. It’s updated regularly, feel free to have a check when you’ve finished Facespacing for the evening.

The KORT is Professor Purple, who makes some deliciously savory dub, dubstep, UK funky, and house mixes; Mr. Dan Matthews, a St. Andrews favorite for years to come as the town’s go-to dance, rave and party DJ-producer; our fallen disco-electro soldier, Gavris, who couldn’t be fucked to contribute to the website, but has a special, whimsical place in the KORT legend all the same; The Great Red Shark, who’s organizational efforts, rectangular table, and astute genre-spanning knowledge formed a backbone of the group; and yours truly, a bear who’s still finding his way through the thick sea of dance, hip hop, and bass-driven genres.

We’ll be splitting up a bit over the next few months, with several of us animal members migrating State-side to set up shop in that bastion of ever-evolving musical styles, New York. We’ll be keeping you updated via the KORT, however, and hope that you hear from not one or two, but all of us in the not too distant future.

Some parting tracks of the May 23rd, 2010 moment that elicit the fantastically familiar feeling of serotonin mixing with adrenaline to create the kind of aural satisfaction associated with hearing your new favorite song:

Ramadanman- Tempest
Fulgeance- Rubiscube
House Shoes- Newports
Kavsrave- PClart
Kowton- Basic Music Knowledge
FaltyDL- To London
Illum Sphere- Titan
Eskamon- Fine Objects
Flying Lotus- Galaxy in Janaki

All of these releases translate well to the wax language of vinyl, and they are all parts of exquisitiely crafted EPs and LPs. To purchase other tracks by these artists, including full albums and releases in a variety of formats, I can not recommend Boomkat more highly for such an endeavor. Take a look and get lost for a few hours finding new music, it’s better than Facespace. Serial.


Somewhere…Under the Rainbow?

March 28, 2010

As music from either side of the frigid Atlantic becomes further and further awash with colorful, hue-bending synthesizers, from Animal Collective and Major Lazer to Joy Orbison and Joker, the dark moodiness of American indie and British dance music has dissipated into a brighter, more emotive undercurrent. That’s not to say there isn’t plenty of intense, brooding gems still being produced (Loefah’s Swamp81 label comes to mind), but the overall feeling seems to be that there is somewhat more potential, or at the very least, more fun to be had with the meticulous aural expression of color and light.

This sun-drenched electronic sound certainly has a more universal appeal, but in carrying forward some of the more primal and memorable elements of dubstep and 90s hip hop, (sub-bass, lo-fi production, and that gangsta swagggga), many of these post-millenium styles have successfully fused melodic and catchy high frequencies with a deep, attitude-spiked low.

The result of this gradual ‘naughties’ evolution in contemporary music is on display in my Under the Rainbow. Admittedly, the mix primarily showcases dance music, as it is a DJ mix or set, but the trends of synthesized color and island, tribal vibes are emblematic of the changing tides in other genres as well.

Check out my SoundCloud to stream the mix and see the tracklisting.

And to download the mix in a 300mb mp3 form, click below:
Part 1 Under the Rainbow
Part 2 Under the Rainbow
(I uploaded a 1.3 gig wav file to soundcloud by accident, my apologies is you try to dl from there…)

Enjoy and have a sunny day, summer’s just ’round the corner kiddies….

The Ignorance of the iPad

February 5, 2010

With the advent of Mr. Jobs latest market-cornering device, some are heralding a new age of touch screen dominance, with tablet pcs virtually taking over the growing cyber world.

Fuck that noise.

Mmmmm mustiness...

The Kindle, compressed mp3 files, a roided-out iPhone with an even bigger screen to break when you step on it in a state of shimmering inebriation? Nah-uh. That stale smell of dust and library paper when cracking open a paper book for the first time? Or how about actually turning a page as opposed to pushing a shitty touch-tone button that doesn’t even have the courtesy to click? Not to mention, this sad-ass piece of equipment in no way matches up to your laptop: it’s too stupid to run multiple applications and unlike it’s smaller, more sensible counterpart, doesn’t double as a phone.


Wax on, wax off...

The technological revolution is starting to outpace the desires of consumers. Apple markets its products as premium-priced, quality media products for the niche market of ‘creative’ types that want to spend a little more for something special. The problem is, this niche market is reverting back to tangible and analog forms of entertainment, in resistance to an increasingly online existence spent 8 to 10 hours a day in front of a screen. A more ‘natural’ market for vinyl records and paperback/hard-cover books has grown in recent years; for proof just check out one of the many ‘indie’ and/or popular bands and artists releasing material on vinyl over the past 5 years. And Barnes & Nobles, Borders? These places are constantly frothing with people, waiting in lines 20-deep to blow wads of cash on physical, killed-tree copies of books and novels.

People like having collections of media, whether in CD, vinyl, paperback, or DVD format. It’s the capitalist, materialist impulse that thrives in every Western society. Sure, iTunes, iPods, and the Kindle make life easy by storing everything in one place. But with this iPad business, it’s just a step too far, and too soon, in the direction of home media consolidation. Owning hard copies of your favorites will always have a place in consumers’ hearts.

With that said, a skewed slew of newish tunes stew that would sound particularly warm and inviting on a circular slab of wax…

Aardvarck- B2 (Bloom 4 EP, Kindred Spirits, 2009)
Hyetal- Neon Speech (Soul Motive, 2009)
Pangaea- 5-HTP (Hessle Audio, 2010)
Skream- A New Dawn (Swamp 81, 2010)
Pearson Sound- Plsn (Hessle Audio, 2009)
Synkro- My Own World (Mindset, 2009)
Pantha Du Prince- Water Falls (Rough Trade, 2009)
Nosaj Thing- Light #1 (Alpha Pup, 2009)
Peverelist- Clunk Click Every Trip (Punch Drunk, 2009)

Cartilage rattling business, that is.

If you like the tracks, trust, the rest of each EP or LP is worth the cashish. Buy any of these releases on Boomkat or Chemical Records, and unlike technology such as the iPad, the purchase of a vinyl version won’t become obsolete within another 18 months.

Enjoy, stay warm.

Hibernating No More

January 7, 2010

Nothing new has surfaced on this blog for about a month, as the world of the real loomed large and all-consuming throughout the month of December for this particular bear. The Internet, despite its seemingly unstoppable advances, has not yet penetrated the sacred circle of the human being’s most basic needs, and it are these insatiably mandatory requirements to a fleshy existence that have kept me from devoting a single unit of cranial electrivity to ’tis webber pager.

Having satisfied the calling of copious amounts of food, warm shelter, an abundance of liquid, soothing anti-hydration, and plentiful tangible societal contact, it’s time now to return from holiday hibernation to the faceless yet engaging universe that lays at our calloused and carpally stunted fingertips.

I’ve completed a track after starting many, bounced from genre through style into audiophilistic fixations, and I’m honestly not sure what to make of it. A new year, sure, but not necessarily a new focus. Simply a more capable, honed ability to translate and act upon a rhythmic mindset that was always there, slithering in between the various coils of semi-charred brain matter that reside in the southwestern corner of my noggin. I think I’m starting to get the hang of this production thing, as well as this “life” thing.

Will be back soonish with more tunes (melodic, deep subs, and refreshingly obsolete- I am quite into atm) and maybe a tirade or too. Definitely no tragedies though. Fuck tragedies. It’s an ano nuevo, and for the time being, tragic enterprises can unkindly burn their soul-draining afflictions into the world’s collective conscious ground. The bastards…

The Snare Bear- Cocoon

Scottish Winter

December 10, 2009

The ground never seems to get dry, rain stains the sidewalks a permanent shade of sopping wet, dampening the bottoms of my jeans, infecting my thought process with hesitation when faced with the prospect of going outside…a layer of snow would be preferable, but then again, you don’t come to Scotland for the weather. At least not in December.

Some rain tunes, then:

Breakage- Rain

Giant- Rain Mind

Kavemura- Spacedonkey

ach, aye.

Neo-con Neanderthals and how Dubstep got me through Today

November 30, 2009


National Expressing through England and Scotland today, I’ve felt the need to express my national disdain for a certain American defense related individual who represents the views of the ignorant and “hawkish” everywhere… (Dissertation research on Iranian-Israeli-U.S. foreign policy relations…neat)

In recent light of a report that has surfaced today, the 30th of November, 2009, regarding the failure of American personnel to apprehend and capture one Osama bin Laden (BBC News story right meh), the documents point to Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense from 1975-77, as well as 2001-2006, as the chief culprit of this high-priority national security fuck-up.

While the report is very partisan and one-sided in that it did not allow any Republican party input, there must be a shred of truth in placing the blame of such a monumental mistake on one person. Further evidence that they’re pointing the finger in the right direction comes in the form of a quote from Dick Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld in May, 2003: “We don’t speak to evil”

That was in response to a peace offering from the Iranian government of Mohammed Khatami, in which even the supreme leader, Ayatollah Khameini, signed off on resolving all disputed issues between the U.S. and Iran, including nuclear arms, terrorism, Israel, and economic sanctions. Another article is here, Washington Post…this actually happened.

It is too late now, as old-school, tradtional hard-liner Iranian Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been in office since 2005, and there is little hope of a reconciliation with the West while he is in Tehran. Obama is left to clean up the immature, arrogant mess created by the neo-conservatives of the W. Bush administration. Ain’t life grand.

That shit really bothers me as an overseas American. Dubstep, on the other hand, most certainly makes me feel muuuuch better. New, crazy ass Kromestar album, The Other Syde, hit stores recently, here’s a skank-friendly monster from that…


and a Gemmy track off his new Johnny 5 EP, invest in this 4-track release, it absolutely oozes with a violet-shaded, velvet-coated style of hip hop meets dubstep meets cool-as-fuck.

GemmyDolla Digital

If anything gets my mind off the mind-numbing mistakes of my homeland’s government, ’tis dubstep. Thank you, Bristol and London…

It’s not the Where, it’s the…

November 26, 2009

You almost never from a Lynch movie get the sense that the point is to “entertain” you, and never that the point is to get you to fork over money to see it. This is one of the unsettling things about a Lynch movie: You don’t feel like you’re entering into any of the standard unspoken and/or unconscious contracts you normally enter into with other kinds of movies. This is unsettling because in the absence of such an unconscious contract we lose some of the psychic protections we normally (and necessarily) bring to bear on a medium as powerful as film. That is, if we know on some level what a movie wants from us, we can erect certain internal defenses that let us choose how much of ourselves we give away to it. The absence of point or recognizable agenda in Lynch’s films, though, strips these subliminal defenses and lets Lynch get inside your head in a way movies normally don’t. This is why his best films’ effects are often so emotional and nightmarish

– David Foster Wallace, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again.

Everyone needs a direction to go in, some form of inertia that progresses one grey winter day to the next. But what would happen if you had no priorities, no agenda, an utter void of expectations that didn’t pound against the window panes of our collective minds? An aimless wander through the woods, schedules and time constraints be damned.

The work of Ramadanman seems to epitomize this same feeling expressed by Foster Wallace above, and my pathetic attempt to explain. With a soft, percussive progression, the Hessle Audio co-owner lulls you into a familiar tribal dubstep trope, only to peel that comfort and recognition away when things are too good to be true.

the Ramadanman....

Grab some fat headphones, hunt down some chilling implements, whatever they may be, and have a listen.
Ramadanman- Dayrider
and Revenue

A parting taster of Clubroot’s new self-titled LP, very meditative, earthy music right meh…check the Christian Bale sample from Batman Begins, and that mournful sub-bassline that follows…Clubroot- Serendipity Dub

Thank you come again.