luka

Well-known member
I'm fascinated by this list not the boring old American stuff but the English stuff that was being made when I was an infant, the whole sense of the world I grew up in but was too young to be aware of.
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
But imagine Quincy and Michael getting hold of English rasta when you listen to English rasta it's very important to hold these two ideas in your hand at once, the actual song, and the Michael Jackson version, that's called the method of dialectics

Thought you were anti-dialectic? Please don’t make me think of Digital Rasta as English Rasta, or Michael Jackson doing a cover. Shudder.
 

luka

Well-known member
Dancing ghosts is something you could put into relationship with bleep and bass and it would be both better and worse at once
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
I'm fascinated by this list not the boring old American stuff but the English stuff that was being made when I was an infant, the whole sense of the world I grew up in but was too young to be aware of.

Fits the Grim Britannia vibe, TG press shots around Hackney captured this over and over. Dereliction everywhere. That’s why what C&C achieved post-TG remains uniquely stunning. Imagine them presenting Dancing Ghosts as a demo to GPO and the subsequent outcome - it would never have been released. The organising composer vs the orchestra, where mutiny becomes the only sane route out. Hallelujah.
 

luka

Well-known member
Yeah I'm really meditating on it and also playing my early memories eg 4 hero early 90s memories as a compare and contrast. A secret history of England.
 

luka

Well-known member
Newham had money EU pumped into it in the 90s but before that it was the world of this list in a way. Syringes, football violence, decay
 

luka

Well-known member
Focus in laser on what works it's pared down its more advanced but you lose some of the wider affect field
 

thirdform

Well-known member
Dancing Ghosts was cited in the first few pages. Massive tune, then and now. The relationship between industrial and house is far more interesting to these ears (than anything overtly seedy). Dancing Ghosts rests at that threshold/intersection. It hasn’t aged a day. C&C retain their punch because they repeated the trick over and over. Yes, some of it can sound a tad 80’s, but there’s a depth to the sound-worlds they created and curated, supported by serious production chops. The longer you spend in their company, the stronger the signal resonates. Ideas and no talent? Have to strongly disagree there chap. And we haven’t ploughed into hip hop, afrobeat or house fully yet. Let’s not get too reductive about timelines or talent too soon.

Psycholand is always there - in the subtext, in the background - lurking, waiting, gestating the old dark gods into new forms. We won’t necessarily see another F Bacon, or experience Soho’s worst historical elements, but their potency is just below our psychic surface and there are more cracks into those worlds than ever. You’ve just got to poke around.

tbf i like that idea of people in the UK making music without talent, the problem is a lot of the punk 77 boys were precisely too talented. 10 years before, in 1967, they would have all been in a blues rock band and wanking over Eric Clapton.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
cabs are fucking great though, proper baader meinhof anglosaxon gloom ina di dancehall, that's what made post-punk so great and the clash so booooring, one of the worst bands of that time, apart from the first album which is decent enough garage i suppose.

 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
VOA's purple means it has a visual cue when fumbling through records. Turns up so many times. Domestic bliss for a while for friday night's going out ritual, hoofing speed. Saturday's too. Paul Smith boot-cut jeans, boots, parka, walkman for Forest outings.

Cross thread and a bridgehead to House (this could be a trainwreck). One thing about industrial or whatever you interpret this range of releases as, CV and TG could give you soundscapes that laid it down for you to explore sonic depths. The currency was working shit jobs to fund as many record shop trips as humanly possible. The drug of choice


and then a different path to beguiling


House, with hindsight, didn't seem like an event or a revolution. The influx of American electro and culture in general was heavy in Britain and the relationship across the Atlantic for British music is usually mutual. It came as a rumour from football lads and student mates who'd gone to Manchester. Chemise is primo example of a song heard a few years before that slithered up and dared you not to fall in love with the symphony of joy and to get your swagger on. An all out groover. Get some


1985, C&C sound is a wonder


On the other side of the mirror of time, the shift in music with examples like Mystery of Love was subtle - we've touched on good ol' groove - but the development is a strange refinement that opened up machine drum programming. If you were a kid in the 70's you heard a lot of unquantised 4x4 disco indirectly, on top of any number of bands or genres from previous eras, the collective funnel of sound that you inherit almost subconsciously. The universe of human potential for trance states and euphoria is what cemented House into my soul. There are multiple streams that diverge and converge over subsequent decades, but what gets you is the ear worm. A benevolent discovery and the start of an addiction



A serious addiction. Recording sony tapes at ridiculous levels, chasing the rapture. Eating chunks of draw, mindmelding into the breeze trying to get your fuck on. Desire is a more delicious conscious phenomena when it's satiated


Moonwalking in an underpass


Possession



Selectadisc was a long running store in Nottingham, but if you chipped in and fair dodged you could get to Eastern Bloc in Manchester. Brilliant day out, dodging firms, You know when you hear a clip of a track/song/tune (the lexicon eh) and you have to chase it up? No hiding the quest from there, you MUST hear more by any means. A lost rite of passage journey that you don't see as finite at the time, because you're a dick.

The only way to do this is to go at 1987 and '88, largely due to the chemical bomb attack that was about to rain down for the next god knows how many years, compounded by thousands of hours in a space/time warp-drive. You could feel a shift happening as the trite got even more trite in comparison. Still under threat of the bomb. Chernobyl. Thatcher and Tebbit and weird goings on in that there London


Wasn't just House that seared itself on the collective and individual, this is when Coil clicked

 
Last edited:

WashYourHands

Well-known member
Exposure to music had a confluence in Nottingham and a lot of what follows was gifted to me through the city. A crossroads city. Liminal. Not Brum, not Sheffield or NW. M1 stop and on the doorstep to Mam Tor. Infamous for guns and just about any dodgy Robin Hood skit there's ever been, sovereign citizen-hero socialist from the harrying of the north


Home to Alan Sillitoe and host to Ray Gosling. Two European Cups. Brian Clough. Torvill and Dean. Shane Meadows. The breaking group NG83 put the marker down with quality of music and a riot of fun. Add the West Indian Cavaliers social in summer. An anarcho-squat world that intersected with students and the typical boundary towns whose subjects rolled in every weekend for a symphony of violence and alcohol.

Indulge me with a brief overview of the milieu's essentials




 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Remember Selectadisc of course... and also, as I've said before, living in Nottingham from 95-99 I enjoyed reading those Sillitoe books and living (near enough) in the streets where they were set. And of course watched that film but that was later I think.
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
At least someone here is cultured. Ok, enough procrastinating. There's no right or wrong way to do this and, as a lackadaisical approach isn't an option, best to write.

House. What is House, to quote LFO? Repetitive beats, 4x4 or 1/1 time, structured across 110-125bpm range frameworks. Organ keyboards, synths, drum machines, samples, vocal work. As many moods contained therein as there are human emotions. Cities, networks, labels, producers, distributors, record buyers, record players, sound system collectives. Parties, dancing outdoors or in venues, individuals, groups, paid admission or free. Steeped in myth, scalped and pimped for £ and material gain. Drugs. No drugs. A liturgy of sub-genres. Shamanic but scoffed at, yet somehow it survives. There are at least 4 House threads on Dissensus, so something in this spectral chain of operations must be working.

House keyed its way into my heart by persistence of intuitive seeking, always returning to why this music fit a modal form that allows for genuine transcendence. Why could one composition elevate you like a human kite and another fall a long way short? The gated arches into this vast universe aren't like a cathedral's - there's no genuflection and incense, no guilt or shame. The threshold breaker was rhythm and succinct architectural ideas around composition, groove and harmony. A behemoth sized intro is best served at this juncture. For a pointer we have to shift our focus back a tad to 1983(ish) and include a gargantuan slab of bass and rhythm, topped off by a vocalist who has you in the palm of her hand. Behold


Drool. It's ok to drool with ESG. The moody female ear-worm lilt, its slightly melancholic tease and funk on the scale of an ancient Egyptian pyramid. A creeper that grew and grew. I remember a school friend trying to breakdance to it on a piece of cardboard one weekend, ghetto-blaster on in an underpass, except the dozen kids gathered round broke into a mass improvised funk-out when this specific song dropped. Instantaneous possession. A tune of precedence and presence, which still felt like a continuation rather than an accelerated, sci-fi departure. As there's padraig (u.s.) proto-House thread, i don't want to detour too much. In no time, a series of records arrived that blew the saloon bar doors open and ultimately changed the course of my life. 'On and On' and 'Dancing Ghosts' have been referenced already, so to illustrate how minor adjustments in music production can still prove revolutionary and why they've been sought out like a homing beacon (before exploring any live setting), shapeshifting forms like these are a necessary illustrative and ritual porthole pointing toward the divine


The chopped 'H-h-h-h-h-hooouuuse' segment of House Nation's vocal editing fully follows the repetition mandate. The intuition to run with it while it was being composed is another matter though. That someone caught this idea and mapped it out amazes me still. It took the groove of a track like Moody and machine-fed it through a crucible of chrome minimalism. Musical and harmonic perfection, underpinned by genius arrangement and pacing. Hearing it at a friend's home, who now had 2 technics turntables, it hypnotised by both the audacity of its licks, chops and structure, but also the red dotted band that hovered around the turntable's red light as it played. The game was on.

Some time in between Christmas 1987 and NYE a group of us travelled with an older sister and fake i.d.'s to the Hacienda and even though we stuck to trips and speed, my mate's sister was clearly in a world of wonder once inside. I'd never seen anyone dance like that before. Ever. She was fluid, uncontainable but with so much grace and synchronisation. There were no Ritzy monkeys, hardly anyone over 35 and no edge to 98% of the venue's regulars. As the night churned through galactic sized gears, you lost yourself in lighting beams and the sheer bollocks of the thump. The universe itself slowly turned inside out and something, a connection, lost knowledge, provocative bewitchment, unity and fun (essentially) ripped through my soul. Somehow, in fuckin Manchester with its wanker fitba teams and coded haircuts, i'd found an alternative home.

Apart from one distinct no-go area corner for dealers, the evening was a lurid technicolour adventure into a different mode of engagement with both rhythm itself, twisted interpretative movement and these gurning, peaceful, joking mass of nutters. The odd wink, faces lit up with revelation, barely able to contain this ineffable joy. Their expression were similar to the familiarity of finding a lost secret (maybe that was the acid) and that secret wanted to let go and free-fall head-first like a diver into the mystic. Oh dear, the boy's in love.

3 other records from that long night of the soul need citations




When we eventually came back down to Earth the only subsequent quest worth fuck all presented itself - who was making all these records and how many could we afford per week? There was only one personal answer - start selling draw too. When i bought KC Flight at Eastern Bloc a few weeks later, the cellophane seal opened and with all the Burroughs, RAW and TOPY 23 fixations resonating in the cultural milieu, '123bpm' echoed back in clear, stark print. The collision of this magic tempo was an egress into new zones of reality, where your duty, job, recreation time, sketchily earned £'s, ears consumed by possession, were all in alignment. Your primary reasons for being now expanded exponentially alongside sex. As luck would have it, Graham Park was based in Nottingham and a local club, The Garage/Kool-Kat/The Garage, started a floor for all things new and electronic. There was only one missing piece to this fantastical puzzle and that changed on NYE a few nights after our Manchester mission, somewhere in a anarcho-squat type dive in Forest-Fields. My mate Chrissy led me into a corner as dub soaked the mix of cold and sweat he handed one of these. We'll deal with the consequences asap

nYjEFsjrtS5kU57SzXK-QI9y1Jc3g5DF93zyr5A9zrC-Y_w39XzBvXk3ROWuMZ_nstAUx7hDlQxa-pVtNDMb


Don't know if i'll have time to post another 87/88 synopsis before the seasonal madness breaks, so everyone stay safe, stay House and take care. And if you can't jive with House, no stress, there's a long way to go.
 
Last edited:

Leo

Well-known member
great stuff to end the year, continuing a great thread, thanks @WashYourHands. love the back-in-the-day hacienda story. I I could go on about seeing ESG a few times back in the day, but this thread is about you. ;)
 
Top