Thursday, April 29, 2004

Wiley and techno...

I was reading some of the customer reviews of 'Boy in the Corner' on earlier - interesting that for most US listeners they posit his sound squarely as hip hop - presumably because garage in the US means Todd Edwards and 4/4. I've always thought Diz's record is reminiscent of early Public Enemy, with all the sirens and the clatter, and there's obviously a big electro influence. And if you stripped the vocals off 'I Luv U' you'd have something which could comfortably sit on a more esoteric Warp release. And now, obviously, Rephlex are about to release 'Grime', which collects together stuff by Plasticman, Mark One and Slaughter Mob, and persues the dubstep/breaks side of the grimey scene. Now, K-Punk calls the Forward>> stuff 'Croydon Techno' (more on this, here), and now Gutterbreaks spends a bit of time looking at the links between Eski beat and Techno. He writes:

"I've always been a fairweather Garage listener, merely dipping my toes in occasionally but never committing any allegiance. A lot of it leaves me cold, especially when it gets a bit too 'urban', but prior to the imminent release of Wiley's long-player I'd just like to say a few words on the subject of Eskibeat. I bought the new single "Wot Do U Call It", but other than that all I'd heard previously were various MP3's. I like the instrumentals best. Tracks like "Freeze","Blizzard" and especially "Icepole" are definitely on my wavelength. To me, Wiley should be viewed outside the confines of UKG/Grime, as the latest visionary in a long line of electronic innovators within dance music. I hear echoes of Richard H. Kirk's early-nineties electro experiments like "C.C.E.P." (as Sweet Exorcist, with Parrot) and "The Mood Set" (as Xon, with Robert Gordon). I would also put forward the idea that Wiley is Britain's answer to Juan Atkins. I always felt that Atkin's sound was colder than that of other Detroit artists; soulful but with a dagger of ice through it's heart. He developed a new sound, 'Techno', from the ruins of a previous genre, 'Electro', just as Wiley has created his Eski mutant from the ashes of Garage. And it took one of Juan's disciples, Derrick May, to 'break' his sound to a wider audience, much the same way that Wiley's protege Dizzie Rascal broke into the mainstream first. "Wot Do U Call It" is as potent a statement of intent as Model 500 classics like "Off To Battle" or "Techno Music".

Anyway, another list: ....liking:
1. Wiley - Treddin' On Thin Ice (better than I thought it would be!)
2. Michael Mayer - Fabric 13 (excellent and odd Germanic tech-house)
3. Graham Coxon - Bittersweet Bundle of Misery / Morrisey - Irish Blood, English Heart (new singles!)
4. James Lavelle - Romania (seems to have escaped the instro hip hop rut now)
5. Ellen Allien - Live at May Day 2003 (a barnstorming electro set - her album Berlinette is ace too)

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