Jammo’s Music Report 03.07.2021

Eye eye chicken pie! It’s been a few months since I’ve written one of these posts. Usually, this would be down to laziness on my part but, to be honest, I’ve had to take a wee break from music listening in general of late. I’m not sure why: A pandemic depression-related slump? Insta-deejay-wankstains vexing me daily? Or, perhaps just the fact that I’m turning 40 this year! Who knows?

Long story short, I’ve fucked off my social media accounts and will only be updating this blog from now on. I may write a longer post about the reasons for this at some point, but needless to say, it’s bad for my mental health, creativity and the rest — yadda-yadda-yadda. If you want updates, I’ll be doing a little newsletter every so often. It’s very Y2k. I hear that’s in now.

Anyways, here’s a little run down of what I’ve been listening to over the last few…

Brooklyn Funk Essentials – I Got Cash

“Fuck your fencing and screw your squash, Piss on your Paulo and your Pavarotti, Fuck all that shit you call music and pretend to enjoy! I got cash, Mega cash, I’m happy with that!”

Ana recently reminded me of this gentrification-bashing belter from Brooklyn Funk Essentials’ 2000 ‘Make ’em Like it’ album and I’ve had it on loop for days. Put it in your ears immediately!

Suicidal Tendencies – Institutionalized

Recently, my 12-year-old has been getting into 90’s Hip Hop and Punk. So, being the sad, desperate-to-be-relevant dad that I am, I’ve taken to crafting expansive Spotify playlists for him to explore and enjoy. I know, I know, we’ve got that on vinyl haven’t we? But, like it or not, this is how the young folk consume music. Anyway, devoted father that I am, I made him a cracking Punk and 80’s Hardcore playlist. Featuring all the usual stop-offs: Buzzcocks, Dead Kennedys, Ramones, Undertones, Stiff Little Fingers and of course this ranty, guitar-shredding, bandana sporting tale of shit parents, mental health and Pepsi.

“I go: There’s nothing wrong mom, And she goes: Don’t tell me that, you’re on drugs!, And I go: No mom I’m not on drugs I’m okay, I was just thinking you know, Why don’t you get me a Pepsi?”

He loved it obviously!

I:Cube – Cubo Live Sessions Volume 2

The first of two ‘Versatile’ records I’ve been ragging of late. Featuring four tracks of masterful live acid from the legend that is I:Cube. Funky, weird, spacious and dubbed out. Just how I likes it! Stick it on and tell your mates.

Gilb’r – On Danse Comme Des Fous

Beautiful all-embracing electronic excursions from Gilb’r on ‘Versatile’. From the monophonic Moogy noodling of ‘Plantlife’ to the sputtering percussive dreamscape of ‘Mr Knockbottom’, ‘On Danse Comme Des Fous’ is a reet ‘new agey’ journey of a record. Highly Recommended.

—/// Bonus Bits ///—

It’s not all music, is it? I’m well cultured me, so here’s a little list of other bits I’ve been enjoying of late…

Podcast: Thinking Allowed: ‘Lad Culture’ in Higher Education – Fugitives from the Law in Philadelphia (2014): Laurie Taylor talks to Alison Phillips about ‘Lad Culture’ and gender performance among men in British higher education and Alice Goffman about her study ‘On the Run’, which focuses on the Criminalisation of entire African American communities in Philadelphia.

Telly: This is Pop! (Netflix, 2021): A nice little series of documentaries about various subjects surrounding pop music and culture (you know I loves me some pop). The first few were great and really well researched, for example, drawing parallels between T-Pain’s use of autotune and Suzanne Ciani’s early adoption of the modular synth, but it seemed to change the format around the fourth episode, opting instead for a very basic historical narrative. Covid related break in the chain? who knows, still, it’s worth a peek.

All clips are cropped to one minute and encoded at mega lofi settings. I don’t own the rights to this music, so, If you see my shitty blog as a threat to your being able to buy a mansion, hot tub, gold chain then mail me and i'll take it down x 

Jammo’s Music Report 18.04.2021

It’s been a heavy week of Peng Valley work so here’s what I’ve been ragging through the ear holes whilst noodling away on the wacom.

Metro Area – Metro Area

Good things come to those who wait, and oh, how I’ve waited. Around the time this album was released — in 2002 — being skint and that, I’d made a solemn oath to only buy old sample records and never new music. Especially not electronic music! Loads of drunken rants full of lines like “If it’s made on a computer, why can’t it stay on one?” ensued. Of course, I was wrong. Long story short, I didn’t buy this then and spent the best part of the last 15 years kicking myself for it. The MP3s have worn the fuck out! Thankfully they’ve only gone and re-released it for a ’15 year anniversary triple vinyl package’ simultaneously making me rush out to buy it and feel old in the process. I won’t bang on, It’s pure disco wonderment and I’m a happier old man for it!

Super Rhythm Trax – Super Rhythm Trax Compilation

A stellar collection of wall to wall bangers housed in a tidy package designed by street artist Run. Hard to pick a favourite to be honest, it’s reet good!

Missy Elliot – Miss ‘E’ So Addictive

An absolute classic from Missy including one of my all time favourite horizontal R&B wobblers ‘X-tacy’ I can’t tell you how many times I left an early noughties rave, off my pickle, to sit in the bath listening to this.

FFSYTHO Ask About me (Jabru Mix)

Absolutely bananas glockenspiel led, bass-heavy UK Hip Hop. Serious flow, excellent lyrics and heavy drum rolls. What more could you want?

Cyberdine Systems Corp – Program State

Glitched out, heavy static electro brilliance of the highest order. Pure machine music!

—/// Bonus Bits ///—

It’s not all music is it? I’m well cultured me, so heres a little list of other bits I’ve been enjoying of late…

Podcast: How to Burn a Million Quid / BBC 4 Extra Podcast

Wicked little six piece podcast based on the life and times of the KLF

Film: Quincy / Netflix

Co-directed by Rashida Jones, this lush little portrait of Quincy Jones, paints a tidy picture of the Jazz legend as a loving, caring person, who could possibly do with easing up on the workload. It’s funny, charming, and tragic in equal measure and packed to the gills with wicked footage.

Jammo’s Music Report 9th April 2021

Tell’s you what, this lockdown is really starting to grip my shit. No end in sight, kindergartens open, kindergartens close. School opens, school closes. The house is full, the house is quiet. You know how it is. But, just like Albert Ayler said ‘Music is the Healing Force of the Universe’, so here’s what’s keeping the ship afloat this month.

Ginuwine – The Bachelor

A work of genius, as far as I’m concerned. Timbaland at his level best, odd, cold and full of soul. An all time fave that never fails to please. much needed at the moment.

Dogpatrol – SNKRX06

Mannheim vibe merchant Dogpatrol returns to the wonderful Sneaker Social, for another bass dripping tour de force through Bruk, 2Step and Hardcore. All I want is a warehouse and a bunch of sweaty bodies.

Anne Müller – Heliopause

I bought this record by Berlin cellist Anne Müller for Ana’s birthday (she loves her Ambient/Neoclassical zeug) and it’s just jaw droppingly beautiful. Get it in you!

Don Armando – I’m an Indian, Too

A reet biketastic Disco banger! Fonda Rae on Vocals. Nothing beats ragging it round the streets to this!

Jammo’s Music Report 16th March 2021

Aye aye, chicken pie. It’s raining a lot, I feel, at times, detached from my body. Wading through treacle. Lockdown biting harder. Here’s what’s getting me through…

Thundercat – Dragon Ball Durag – Brainfeeder

Joy igniting brilliance taken from the recent ‘It is what it is’ on Brainfeeder and on loop in our house for days now. Thundercat is the only person on earth who could deliver the line “I may be covered in cat hair, but I still smell good”

Outsiders w. Duckett guest Grimes Adhesif [12.03.2021] – Mutant Radio

Duckett’s radio shows on Tbilisi’s Mutant Radio have been staple listening for a while and this ones a belter, featuring a tasty 1hr mix from me old mate Grimes Adhesif, playing a reet heads down selection of his own productions from Ambient wobblers to dubbed out Techno bliss.

A Man Called Adam – CPI (Andrew Weatherall’s Godiva Mix)

Just fucking lovely! Wild sample heavy excellence from the guvnor RIP

Mark Pritchard – MP Productions EP1 – Warp

As far as my tastes go this tickles em all: from Darncehall iterations on Bleep bangers, to zen dubstep, and dystopian Musique Concrète inspired library excursions. Big Mark never fails to take extract funds from my dwindling account.

Shintaro Sakamoto – Love If Possible – Mesh Key

Beautiful, slide heavy, Japanese Psyche Pop from the master.

Cheers then xoxo

Writing about music

A subject which I’ve been considering a lot lately is ‘writing about music’. It’s an odd thing, I’m shit at grammar, I grew up between Germany, Wales, and England and have no noteworthy GCSEs to my name. But, for reasons beyond my comprehension, I’ve always felt the need to write about the music I’m listening to. And so, for many years and under various guises* I have tried, as best I can, to put into words and sometimes pictures, how I feel about it.

It always ends up the same. Years, or sometimes just months into it, a shadow descends and sucks all of the fun out of the thing. Am I repeating myself? How many times can I get away with writing ‘Bangin”, ‘Floaty’ or ‘Dubbed-out’? The answer, sadly, is FOREVER! The interweb has a short memory and most people don’t read more than a couple of lines of text (Obviously if you read this far, I don’t mean you. You’re great!). Why am I wasting my time with this? Who cares about my opinion? Why do I waste my time supporting artists who rarely return the favour? All valid questions, which I largely ignore. The fact is, I don’t get out much. I don’t like groups in general and for the most part, am anti-social. Networking isn’t really my bag, either, yet I still wonder why I never get any DJ gigs — funny that!

So, this is it. In the absence of a stronger desire for social interaction and in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, the interweb is the place where I do my music chat, and, although I seem doomed to repeat this cycle, there are probably some rules I can put in place to stop the shadow from taking over. A deeper analysis, as to what I dislike and how best to avoid it.

The main thing that irks me is writing about new music, by which I mostly mean new electronic music. I get a bunch of promos and, if truth be told, a lot of stuff is decent, but writing about it on the interweb seems, to me, to be an utter waste of time, when I could just whack in an audio clip, a YouTube embed or, better still, post a link and you could make up your own mind. It really doesn’t matter if I like it does it? For me, personally, the interweb-based ‘new release’ review is a bit of a dead-end and can largely be replaced with a link or an embed. The popularity of recommenders like Definite Party Material (38.400 subscribers at the time of writing) goes some way to proving my point. These services are, in my opinion, excellent and as far as I’m concerned, do exactly what is required i.e.

Here’s the track > Listen to it > Buy it (if you like). Job done! Instant gratification.

Dancefloor music, for want of a better description, is especially complicated to write about. “HOUSE IS A FEELING” and all that. After all, it’s supposed to be progressive. Meshing samples of disparate musical worlds with mad synthetic sounds to create some kind of bastard child of music. The ultimate punk music, at least, I think that was the point? But all too often, when describing it, the same tropes rear their head: ‘Amen break’ this, ‘Acid line’ that, you know the sort of thing. And then there are the platitudes. Sometimes when reading reviews I wonder if the writer has actually heard the music, or whether they are literally regurgitating the press release. If I hear another basic techno-by-numbers record compared to Yasuaki Shimizu, Tom Moulton, or Philip Glass again, I swear I’ll go full Rambo!

Without the context of a dance floor, it’s just weird. It’s no good banging on about mind-melting techno-zeug if you haven’t heard it LOUD in a room full of sweaty mentalists and let’s face it, in relation to anything released between 2020 and 2021, none of us have! It kind of misses the point. It’s come to be a bit like pulling teeth for me, like a job. How I’d imagine it is to be an advertising copywriter. Plugging products and trotting out a cavalcade of SEO-friendly buzzwords in the hope that something sticks. This, in my opinion, is the antithesis of what underground culture is supposed to be. I know, I know, this all sounds dead negative but it’s not really. It’s just an exercise in cutting the fat. It’s one of the bigger reasons I stopped working on Cambrian Line. It started to feel detached from me. At the risk of repeating myself… like a job!

I’ve been really inspired of late, reading Jerome Hill’s ‘Record Picks’ posts on Instagram (see @djjeromehill #jeromesrecordpicks). It’s been so refreshing reading about music within its context, with heart, and with a real back story. In that spirit, I’d rather concentrate on writing about music that has really made me turn my head: life-changers, mind-melters, things I’ll carry with me forever. Music that I can weave a story out of. Something personal, something lived in. Of course, as this is just a personal blog, I’ll continue to post current tunes and charts but as short recommendations. Maybe this way I can keep the shadow at bay and enjoy it!

  • RIP Fat Pigeon† 2002-2004, Quantum Bleep† 2008-2011, Cambrian Line† 2012-2021