Thursday, July 10, 2008

Too premature for a new groove?

Perhaps you're like me and are a little snowed under by crushing electro, and an avalanche of irony. I thought I was just feeling my age, but then friends of mine in their late twenties started echoing my sentiments and I was quite amazed. The whole irony sketch was kinda funny — in a, polite, upper middle class/hipster in art school/daddy's paying for my apt in Williamsburg/Lower Haight/Mission/I'm too gentile to get real sarcasm sorta way — for a coupla years between 2001 and 2004. The '80s were exhumed and rinsed through Ableton/Vice Magazine etc. etc., and a great consumerist peace fell across the land as the U.S. plunged into a smidgen of right wing lunacy and a coupla little skirmishes in the middle east. Don't worry, be ironic. Don't know anything about music/culture/literature/fashon/facial hair? Be ironic. It solves all those problems of ignorance.

I'm dreading the moment when the '90s gets dragged from its crypt in full on mode because we'll get MC Hammer before Main Source and Haddaway before Todd Terry. And perhaps the only respite from all the inanity will be in the shape of that phenomenon that my friend Disco Dave in Socal has been alluding to since the late '90s; essentially how a groundbreaking genre is pounced on by white hispters ten to fifteen years after it was relevant. Currently, early, raw Chicago house is undergoing this process. Jack trax are now de rigeur fuel for the music oriented conversation of blog informed, bright, young, angst ridden rich kids with more than a passing interest in ESG and Arthur Russell. Yawn!!!! It's Marcus Mixx this and Jackmaster Curt that, of course punctuated with a "Oh, you haven't heard of that." Heads up kids, you hadn't heard of it either until you read about it on some blog, 'cos those records never left Chicago, and the only ones that did were smuggled out by savvy djs like Colin Faver and Jazzy M. So said Mark Moore in The Face Magazine dance music column of May 1988. I can photocopy you the killer article on Detroit techno that also appeared in that issue 'cos my copy is falling apart.

Bile aside however, I strayed into a local music emporium t'other day (as they say up north, where it's reputedly grim) and saw the glorious Nu Groove compilations gleaming under the mix of daylight and florescence. Reissues or booties? Who knows, but the toons on there are quite swiftnific. Thrill to "Annhilate" by Joey Beltram's Lost Entity project, gasp at Rob $teal's "Give In To The Rhythm," and wet yourself to 331/3 Queen's Debbie Trusty sampling "Searchin.'" These came out on the Network (formerly Kool Kat) label out of Birmingham, England, which was owned by an ex-Northern Soul dj named Neil Rushton. He recognized that Chicago, Detroit and New York didn't stop innovating musically after the early '70s and sought to expose the restless youth of the isles to the electronic vibrations emanating from those cities in the mid to late '80s.

Thank god he did, because some choice deck fodder was pressed on those two great imprints (Kool Kat is a treasure trove of rare mixes, exclusive to the UK versions). Add the Jack Trax label into the stew and we was drowning in a sea of house. So before you cut your hair into a flat top, try to download House Party from Limewire and practice your walking man dance, please listen to "Legends" by Project 86, and if you think Justice make hard electro shit, listen to the Lenny Dee track in the playlist at the end of this piece. That's what the kids were bouncin' around to in 1992. As the song says, "Whatever comes tomorrow happened yesterday." Give in to the rhythm.


SeeqPod - Playable Search

No comments: