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DJ/Rupture on Grime / Dubstep

debate, appreciation, interviews, reviews (events or releases), videos, radio shows

Postby boomnoise » Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:14 pm

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Postby elgato » Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:32 pm

very interesting thoughts, and wonderfully written

agree mostly, but there seems too much determinism about what dubstep 'does'... it perhaps almost always does in practice ("cut out the body, leave a trace in hopes that the aura remains"), but the language used doesnt seem to leave open any artistic potential in sampling and recontextualising vocals (ala Stone Cold, Dem2 etc)

but its true say, too many arbitrary dub/dread signifiers around these parts

its all about answer by pinch... he's not fucking about with that one. i'll be very interested to hear the original to see what happened in between. likewise with cay's cray... two of the deepest tunes going, and theres a good reason (other than two of the deepest producers being behind them!)
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Postby smog » Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:22 pm

how does something like anti-war dub fit in? i don't think the message or impact is lost in that vocal sample.
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Postby riff » Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:42 pm

rupture is always interesting, always worth a read

suppose he is right when he is talking about the instrumental vs vocal styles if you look at it from his specific point of view, but from a depoliticised viewpoint I think his point works less well. not that it is possible, but if you could decontextualise music and react to it purely as sound then I think dubstep is a much ritcher aural environment than grime. to use the slightly tired virus analogy once again, more than any other genre I have come across, dubstep has mutated and developed new sounds, textures and structures - I mean to take just 3 examples: dmz, skream and kode 9 - they all come under the dubstep banner but they all sound so utterly different. this, for me, is just one of the reasons that makes dubstep so astonishingly exciting.
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Postby doomstep » Fri Sep 29, 2006 4:58 pm

Its funny elgato, he builds a sound argument then blows holes in it by posting that Wiley/Various bit, Rupture is great like that, I never get the feeling hes looking for any kind final destination, always moving.

Its interesting he compares the use of JA samples in dubstep & breakcore. I can see the link but I dunno. I def dont get a "downloaded accappela" vibe from Mala or Coki tunes.

hhhmmm now wheres that beardy, chin stroking smiley at........
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Postby ufo over easy » Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:05 pm

Cool article. Nicely written, and I like the way he treats controversial issues.. good example of criticism that isn't completely obnoxious :)

doomstep wrote:Its interesting he compares the use of JA samples in dubstep & breakcore. I can see the link but I dunno. I def dont get a "downloaded accappela" vibe from Mala or Coki tunes.


I can only actually think of one released tune that has a 'downloaded acapella' vibe to it, and that's the one he mentions - Way Of The Dub. But if you ask me with that tune it adds something, as the best thing about it is that it's like a mashup gone dubstep. That kind of happy-go-lucky cut and paste style of production that I used to love about jungle..
:d:
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Postby doomstep » Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:12 pm

yeah Ben, for sure, but that tune feels so 'properlly' Jungle influenced to me, and so naturally so, like you say, which I think is to do more with the elemnts that aren't vocal samples

this is what I find so endlessly fascinating about sampling in general, sounds are free from there origins, because technology makes it so easy for them to be, but at the same time carry the wieght of those origins.
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Postby municiple » Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:30 pm

Dub is version.
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Postby narcossist » Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:46 pm

yeah interesting stuff.

my interpretation was that rupture sees the use of patois samples as a cheap shortcut which removes the words from their context and offers little in the way of enhanced meaning and this dub posturing makes tracks less enjoyable to him.

Think if the arguement is that using traditional dub sounds/samples is merely a lazy attempt to emulate others the point is lost. When producing a tune, at least from my perspective, the idea is to get people moving using whatever is available to you - standardly a sequencer, a few synths and a hd full of samples.

If a "dub signifier" sounds good to me i'll use it: the analytic or political impications of having done so ne'r cross my mind. I'd love to be able to afford to pay someone and hire the studio time to record real meaningful vocals, or have a rack full of hardware so dope that i wasn't just building sample collages with basslines, but its simply not financially practical.

Genericism is obviously a bad thing for any scene but i've yet to hear of anyone complain about the overuse of sub/drums/bongos/wobble bass/ atmosphere or any of the other cornerstones of dubstep. Sampling is an essential part of electronic music and adds imo an important organic element.

Sorry got a bit carried away there....... :D
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Postby ufo over easy » Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:47 pm

doomstep wrote:yeah Ben, for sure, but that tune feels so 'properlly' Jungle influenced to me, and so naturally so, like you say, which I think is to do more with the elemnts that aren't vocal samples


It's funny though, I bet if I were to hear a version without the soundclash samples and gunshots, it'd sound empty :)

narcossist wrote:my interpretation was that rupture sees the use of patois samples as a cheap shortcut which removes the words from their context and offers little in the way of enhanced meaning and this dub posturing makes tracks less enjoyable to him.


In my opinion that shift in context is one of the coolest things about dance music. Of course it's crap if the re-contextualisation doesn't add anything, or enhance the tunes meaning, as you say, but then that's just bad sampling. I'm not convinced it's a decent argument against sampling in general.

I think that's more or less what you're saying anyway, but I'm not sure :D
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Postby doomstep » Fri Sep 29, 2006 5:52 pm

UFO over easy wrote:
doomstep wrote:yeah Ben, for sure, but that tune feels so 'properlly' Jungle influenced to me, and so naturally so, like you say, which I think is to do more with the elemnts that aren't vocal samples


It's funny though, I bet if I were to hear a version without the soundclash samples and gunshots, it'd sound empty :)


my word yes, all about the relationship, cant have one without t'other, didnt wanna give the impression I thought the samples in that tune where surplus t requirements at all.
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Postby narcossist » Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:00 pm

UFO over easy wrote:
doomstep wrote:yeah Ben, for sure, but that tune feels so 'properlly' Jungle influenced to me, and so naturally so, like you say, which I think is to do more with the elemnts that aren't vocal samples


It's funny though, I bet if I were to hear a version without the soundclash samples and gunshots, it'd sound empty :)

narcossist wrote:my interpretation was that rupture sees the use of patois samples as a cheap shortcut which removes the words from their context and offers little in the way of enhanced meaning and this dub posturing makes tracks less enjoyable to him.


In my opinion that shift in context is one of the coolest things about dance music. Of course it's crap if the re-contextualisation doesn't add anything, or enhance the tunes meaning, as you say, but then that's just bad sampling. I'm not convinced it's a decent argument against sampling in general.

I think that's more or less what you're saying anyway, but I'm not sure :D


yeah totally mate, love a good sample, I think the true playaz sampling all the early Wu-Tang soundbites got me into it. IMO underground music forms are normally pretty spot on when it comes to sampling to create a mood.

Within more commercial circles i often get the feeling the tunes already written then the sample bunged on at the end, if the song is written around the sample it generally works a lot better.
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Postby ufo over easy » Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:06 pm

narcossist wrote:yeah totally mate, love a good sample, I think the true playaz sampling all the early Wu-Tang soundbites got me into it. IMO underground music forms are normally pretty spot on when it comes to sampling to create a mood.


Haha.. '96/'97 jungle, for a while every tune seemed to consist of amen/apache/life could switch-ups over Method Man and Ghostface samples and reese bass :D Awesome stuff!
:d:
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Postby elgato » Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:14 pm

narcossist wrote:If a "dub signifier" sounds good to me i'll use it: the analytic or political impications of having done so ne'r cross my mind. I'd love to be able to afford to pay someone and hire the studio time to record real meaningful vocals, or have a rack full of hardware so dope that i wasn't just building sample collages with basslines, but its simply not financially practical.


yeh i guess i was crossing issues there, my beef with signifiers as it were isnt 100% rooted in the arguments at hand.

a fair bit is probably to do with the perceived thought (or lack of) behind it... sometimes you just get the feeling that theyve gone like hmm what will make this move better yup guitar stab there we are ppl will be skanking down the aisles. it just feels lazy. wheras you look at ancient memories or something and it feels like a different game, like theyve really drawn from the music theyre working in the tradition of, and using aspects of the aesthetic of, but brought a new angle to it

i think as has been said way of the dub works because he's taken the whole ethos behind the music not just a sample. for me thats what makes qawwali so incredible... he's obviously listened to qawwali (the form) a fair bit, and drawn on that, but recontextualised it. its not just a beat with a sample. sometimes that can be nice, and a tune will make me dance or smile, but its not what makes me tingle if you know what i mean... and when theres so much music which does make me tingle i start asking whats the point
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Postby narcossist » Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:43 pm

completely understand what your sayin elgato, ancient memories and qawwalli [sp?] are unbeleviably good tracks and both reflect their intended cultures super-well. DMZ and Pinch are top notch producers and rightly respected for it, I guess their knack for aesthetic conciousness is part of what makes them so good. :D
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Postby m9918868 » Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:47 am

Dj/Rupture's remarks are spot on and are quite similar to what Sherburne wrote in the Wire last month.

Dj/Rupture wrote:standard dancehall hype samples -- all serving as surface gloss to contextualize it as dub, soundclash, virile macho, whatever fantasy patois boasts alight in the collective imagination of their target audience.


This -oddly enough- reminds me a fair bit of my thoughts about Rupture's own mixtapes though.
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Postby grievous_angel » Sat Sep 30, 2006 11:54 am

These cultural appropriation arguments are in themselves problematic, because if you apply them fully, you start critiquing old skool jungle records for ripping off dancehall. Or at least having to make ludicrous distinctions between Congo Natty (proper regage head, proper rasta, therefore "allowed" to sample) and say Krome & Time (just ripping off the COnversation riddim without context) and DJ Hype ("allowed" to sample hip hop, but not allowed to sample reggae"). You wind up tying yourself up in knots. And there's another layer of irony and contradiction when you consider how reggae itself has evolved - usually by comprehensively ripping off previous generations' work and recontextualising it. (Just see how rocksteady has been plundered repeatedly - and brilliantly).

So I personally have no problem with people appropriating reggae samples in dubstep, whether it's a downloaded accapella or not.

What I have a problem with is a) if it's a crap record and b) if real money is made and you don't pay the original artist. But, lets face it, most dubstpep records don't make real money...
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Postby elgato » Sat Sep 30, 2006 12:06 pm

i dont necessarily stand in this position, but it seems that a perspective such as ruptures could easily be reconciled with accepting old-school jungle, as it represented an innovation in re-contextualising... taking the old but bringing it into a focus which was new
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Postby alex bk-bk » Sat Sep 30, 2006 5:38 pm

interesting stuff going on in the comments to that thread

i see exactly what Rupture is saying,
certainly with him on the grime as raw black contemporary voice aspect vs the editorial control that dubstep has. Producers, when editing live input from musicians and vocalists, can be considered despotic, certainly. Theres definetly a top-down structure there. Vitally it comes back to a question of good taste / personal taste. Nobody likes cliches, but peoples theshhold for them varies so much. Half the time i do find the toasting samples really cheesy, it can put me off in a dance.

my biggest concern is the closed data-loop issue. i like vocal music, i like the vocal tradition, and i want to see new ideas being coveyed this way, rather than just hearing not-very-subtly recontextualized old ones. But its becoming obvious that dubstep isn't the right music for this kind of expression, which may be why im losing touch with it.

Another thing - the reggae sampling can at times seem a little try-hard, a bit to keen to apply specific contexts to a potentially more ambiguous music, a bit aspirational basicaly. Same goes for the (in my opinion not very good) slew of recent dubstep refixes of good reggae songs. Ones I've heard recently, like Sizzla - Solid As A Rock and 'Cham - Ghetto Story versions, don't really touch the original or work with the vocal to generate any more energy or emotion, so what's the point other than to continually re-inforce dubstep's supposed alignment with reggae?
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Postby bedward » Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:05 pm

dubstep can be dread without directly plundering reggae etc.

the "dub" in "dubstep" is/was more a process than a style reference.
i think ppl lose sight of that sometimes and forget that dubstep is a new style.
just making dub-referencing electronica is not very new or original.

obviously skream and digital mystikz love their old school dub, it's apparent in their writing styles.
they're not just making grime with a JA soundbite thrown in.
other folks lean towards different musics/feelings/models.

the use of eastern melodies can be sublime cos of the way they float over the beats and bar structures.

formulaic approach to music-making is waste.

btw: DMZ isn't just Digital Mystiks.
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