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VIDA DE-sign by Michael Buckingham, aka Mick Muttley

Dear friends (yeah really, one of those) I have become a women's wear designer for VIDA! http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/ ...

Friday, 24 September 2010

SubVersion Stop 110: Various Artists - Over G (Punch Music)

Clicks, pops, crackles and forward propulsion are trademark rudiments of Techno, a cocktail balancing act that threatens to be too monotone if in the wrong hands, or overtly excitable – and potentially disorganised - in others. Melodic conservatism takes the form of punctuation marks, coating the overall sound with a highly structured, sometimes straightforward glaze that becomes both the genre’s strength and weakness. In the grasp of Punch Music, we have desirable dissolution into the scented, cold mechanical atmospheres as much as warmer, honeyed yet strident dramatics that operate centred to the style’s modus operandi.

“Over G” collects four tracks that when listening one after the other, seem to defy time. It’s as if you’re lifted up off your feet like a flotation device, where the dancing blade is sharpened, bringing you down in the context of 3am at an abandoned warehouse rave. Pinning the release somewhere between Martyn’s maximalist Techno mixes, James Zabiela’s deeper selections and Monolake’s organic, heady and exuberant terminus, the work is paradoxically open-ended, allowing bubbling arpeggio synths to take centre stage on Oosh’s title piece, thick layers of percussion painting over a minimal bass chord on Nir Shoshanti’s “Awake Me”, and the ambient Techno sounds plinking and plonking underneath rigorous 4/4 and pleasing ringtone counter-melody on Muzarco’s “Light And Shade”.

Meanwhile, Omer’s “My Hands” digs harder against darkness, opening with a cactus-sharp parade of faded-in high-hats and seasick, purring-cat-on-a-treadmill bass rumble, siding with intoxication, before dropping into a ritualistic vocal inclusion: “Sometimes...” moves slowly like a hypnotic pendulum, before extending to “My hands are full of emotions”, palming off into a jacking rhythm. Whether you’re not a purist, or are in hierarchal self-righteousness, “Over G” is one of my more memorable insights into the Techno underground.



SubVersion Stop 109: Muttley & PvC - Division Dialogue

Photo: Dialogue, by Doc Ross

A collaborative mix by Muttley (SubVersion weblog: http://subvertcentral.blogspot.com) and PvC (Ambientblog weblog: http://www.ambientblog.net).

Both contributors start with a 20 minute part of the mix, then 10 and then 5 to conclude. In each part the contributor 'reacts' to the predecing part.

Part 1 - Muttley

00:00 David Tagg - Stele (Split with Hakobune, 2009)
09:00 Quosp - Pine (Soundscapes I, U-Cover, 2008)
14:25 Oneohtrix Point Never - Describing Bodies (Returnal, Editions Mego, 2010)
17:03 Kettel - Song From 4PM Herring (Myam James II, Sending Orbs, 2009)

Part 2 - PvC

19:29 Machinefabriek - Duotoon (Duotoon, self-released, 2009)
22:30 Ephraim Wegner - Flock of Sheep RMX (Audible Landcapes, Crónica, 2010)
23:53 Lost in Hildurness - Light (Mount A, Tónar, 2006)
24:57 Akira Rabelais - 1440 Promp. Parv. 5182 Wawyn [...](Spellewauerynsherde, Samadhisound, 2004)
26:31 Thomas Köner - E Dalmatinsk, Beograd (La Barca Special Edition, Fario, 2010)
27:09 Kyle Bobby Dunn - Dissonant Distances (Rural Route No. 2, Standard Form, 2010)
30:17 Balmorhea - Winter Circle (Constellations, Western Vinyl, 2010)
31:51 Francisco López - Fabrikas (Machines, Elevator Bath, 2010)
32:56 Drape - Cosmic Purces (Dream Words, Gears of Sand, 2010)
34:43 Field Rotation - Sleepless (Why Things are Different, Hibernate, 2010)
36:32 Machinefabriek - Duotoon (Duotoon, self-released, 2009)

Part 3 - Muttley

38:07 Robert Haigh & Silent Storm - Untitled (From The Air bonus CD, Seal Pool, 2007)
41:50 Stars Of The Lid - Articulate Silences Pt. 2 (And Their Refinement Of The Decline, Kranky, 2007)
45:43 Fridge - Our Place In This (The Sun, Temporary Residence, 2007)

Part 4 - PvC

49:28 Susumu Yokota - Blue Moon (Kaleidoscope, Lo Recordings, 2010)
51:31 Solo Andata - Myrmecia (Ritual, Desire Path Recordings, 2010)
53:51 Boduf Songs - The Giant Umbilical Cord That Connects Your Brain to the Centre (This Alone Above Else In Spite of Everything, Kranky, 2010)
56:57 Robyn Miller - Jungle Totem (Myst II: Riven Soundtrack; Virgin, 1998)

Part 5 - Muttley

57:57 :papercutz - The Gift Of Self (Simon Scott remix) (Do Outro Lado Du Espelho - Lylac remixes, Audiobulb, 2010)
58:33 Neu! - Elanoizan (Neu! 4, Captain Trip Records, 1995)
59:45 Zelienople - Parts Are Lost [edit] (His/Hers, Type, 2007)
1:01:16 Roger Eno - The Parting Glass (Swimming, All Saints, 1996)

Part 6 - PvC

1:04:25 Sawako - The Town (Favourite Places 2, Audiobulb, 2009)
1:06:11 Frank Rothkamm - AAA (Alt, Baskaru, 2009)
1:07:55 Mashta Uirtu - Adrearium (Unbigoted, self-released, 2009)
1:09:53 Robyn Miller - Myst Link (Myst II: Riven Soundtrack, virgin, 1998)
1:10:00 End


Sunday, 19 September 2010

SubVersion Stop 108: Muttley - Exponents Of The Guitar - for www.headphonecommute.com

Photo: "Morning Guitar" by Peter Roome

“Exponents Of The Guitar” was inspired by my father’s plans to get lessons for the instrument – to advance his skills, and make the hobby more pleasurable. The tune selection – perpetuated from a sketched timeline of recently discovered cuts – Leo Abrahams, GYBE’s “Yanqui U.X.O” installment on Constellation – and older acquisitions, such as my favourite by guitar virtuosos Gordon Giltrap with Martin Taylor: “Green Lady”, the former I saw live at Alvescot Village Hall, Oxford in 2008, are paired and generally left to reveal their rewards.

This said, there are a few layered sections – notably the starting blend matures to four tracks playing at once, and the Giltrap collaboration work inherits a doubled scale of chords when blended with Zelienople’s “Family Beast”. From reverb-heavy washes – Robin Guthrie’s “Everlasting” – to folky acoustica – Rameses III’s “No Water No Moon”, “Exponents Of The Guitar” covers a lot of stylistic bases, and I feel privileged to contribute this to Headphone Commute.


Thursday, 2 September 2010

SubVersion Stop 107: Muttley - Embrace (August 2010)

Photo: Leo Abrahams

“Embrace” embodies cherishing the moment and its temporary finesse, unearthing more controlled statements of logic, like error-correcting software stripped of psychic pollution, defunct cycles and non-confining angles.


00:00 Marc Doudin – Embrace (from Affection, Wise Owl Records, 2009)
01:56 Quosp – Green (from Soundscapes I, U-Cover, 2008)
05:19 Lamenter – The Magnamious Security Guard (from Sleeping Me, Phantom Channel, 2009)
08:13 Jan Linton – Buddha Machine Remix 1.3 (sounds from the Buddha Machine by FM3, unreleased, 2009)
09:17 John R Carslon – No Time, No Place (from Advent, Parvo Art, 2009)
10:03 Robin Guthrie & Harold Budd – She Is My Strength (from Before The Day Breaks, Darla, 2007)
12:08 Johann Johannsson – Theme (from And In The Endless Pause..., Type, 2009)
14:05 Leo Abrahams – Honeytrap (from Honeytrap, Absolute Zero, 2005)
17:50 Boards Of Canada – Dayvan Cowboy (from The Campfire Headphase, Warp, 2005)


Wednesday, 1 September 2010

SubVersion Stop 106: Kids - don't revise for exams with tunes!

We all know that listening to music changes our moods, and a lot of us listen to music all the time, when walking to work, shopping, even working in the office. But is the cognitive benefit still the same if we listen to music whilst performing a task? Are we hindering our work or everyday errands? How does listening to music we dislike affect our performance?

Researchers in Cardiff have found that listening to music that you enjoy whilst performing a serial recall task does not help performance any more than listening to music that you don't enjoy. The researchers made participants try to recall lists in presentation order whilst listening to five sound environments: quiet (with only occasional background sounds such as birdsong or nearby traffic), liked music previously chosen by the participant, disliked music (the track "Thrashers" by Death Angel which was incidentally disliked the most by all participants), changing-state vocals (a sequence of random digits spoken such as "4, 7, 1, 6") and steady-state vocal ("3, 3, 3"). Recall ability was equally poor for all music and changing-state vocal conditions. The most accurate recall occurred when participants performed the task in the quieter, steady-state environments. So regardless of whether they liked or hated the track, the music hindered their ability to remember items in the list.

This might be stating the obvious, but we maybe forget how much listening to music can distract us from what we are doing; the composers of supermarket or department store design it especially to distract us into forgetting what we are there for, to encourage us to mill around aimlessly in their shop for longer. I think that I studied for all of my exams with music playing; perhaps I ought to have done it in silence. I can only hope that the positive effect of listening to my favourite tracks counteracted any poor recall that I suffered.

Nick Perham, Joanne Vizard. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 2010; DOI:10.1002/acp.1731

Sunday, 29 August 2010

SubVersion Stop 105: Foci's Left - Exit - for www.playmytape.net

Photography: Jonathan Lees (Hibernate / Rural Colours)

"Exit" is a soundtrack for not sacrificing entertainment – whether that be a night out, quiet time, the studious, or disappointments of chasmic proportions. There are mini movements within: powered by the lyrics of Piano Magic, we are informed "Maybe it's time to get out? We all have our reasons, we all have our doubts". Grappling with environmental stress — claustrophobia, cold brush-offs, verbal abuse, rejection — is tempered by "Exit" and its noise reduction, as a distraction that has healing intent. It's a brew rather than a formula, affirmed by the congruence of drone, guitar, voice, strings, and beats. All these tracks were and are influences on my production output as Foci's Left, who's inaugural release was on Spheruleus' Audio Gourmet imprint. I thought I'd share my aural beacon from turmoil with you.


00:00 Piano Magic - Exit (from Ovations, Darla, 2009)
03:14 BJ Nilsen - Virtual Resistance (from The Invisible City, Touch, 2010)
03:53 Spheruleus - Respawn As Another Entity (from Decompose, Audio Gourmet, 2010)
05:24 MGR - Neither Here Nor There (from Innature, Barge, 2008)
06:51 Christopher Willits & Ryuichi Sakamoto - Ocean Sky Remains (from Ocean Fire, 12k, 2008)
10:47 Spheruleus - How White The Cerulean Sky (from The Disguised Familiar, Earth Mantra, 2009)
11:58 Marc Doudin - Pieces (from Affection, Wise Owl Records, 2009)
14:13 Greg Haines - In The Event Of A Sudden Loss (from Until The Point Of Hushed Support, Sonic Pieces, 2010)
14:25 Hammock - Eighty Four Thousand Hymns (from Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow, Darla, 2008)
24:07 Oophoi - Fragile Beauty (from Hymns To A Silent Sky, Nextera, 2005)
24:45 Koen Holtkamp - You Mean The World To Me (from Field Rituals, Type, 2008)
25:39 Quosp - Inelastic (from Soundscapes II, U-Cover, 2008)
26:59 The Sight Below - Fervent (from It All Falls Apart, Ghostly International, 2010)
30:02 Ben Woods - Taking Small Steps (from A Collection Of Thoughts, Wise Owl Records, 2008)
32:08 Max Richter - Journey 4 (from Infra, 130701, 2010)
32:15 Keith Jarrett - The Koln Concert Part 1 (excerpt) (from The Koln Concert, EMI, 1975)
33:46 Broken Records - Nearly Home (from Until The Earth Begins To Part, 4AD, 2009)
38:58 Spinnerette - Distorting A Code (from Spinnerette, Anthem Entertainment, 2009)
42:58 Kosheen - Coming Home (from Kokopelli, BMG, 2003)
48:17 Steely Dan - Home At Last (from Aja, MCA Records, 1977)


Saturday, 14 August 2010

SubVersion Stop 104: Muttley - In The Waiting Line - for www.astrangelyisolatedplace.wordpress.com

“In The Waiting Line”, contributed exclusively to A Strangely Isolated Place, is one concept from several that showcases artists that Muttley has specifically enquired to book for concerts in the future. Since an inspiring first concert watching Greg Haines (pictured), Muttley’s shortlist has grown to encompass classic artists such as Roger Eno and more recent pioneers in the form of Oneohtrix Point Never.

The result? A truly inspirational and unique mix that transports you to the front row of an ambient fans dream gig. Which artists would be included in your dream concert shortlist?"

Download exclusively at A Strangely Isolated Place

Friday, 13 August 2010

SubVersion Stop 103: Badmammal - Tapestop EP (goodluck/badluck CD / download)

Essentially, Badmammal’s second EP, “Tapestop”, is downtempo, but is so overwhelmingly groovy, it forms a portable dance floor. This quality transcends his back catalogue, elevating everything beyond shoegazer cliche and sugar-fuelled euphoria. Those expecting shallow caricature will be disappointed. But who’d have guessed consistency going against perceptual grain?

That’s no bad thing: synths on “Another Bed I Know” chirp their chords like a backing track to an 80s Prince movie, while “Down And Up” recalls The Cure tuning up, then swept through a wind tunnel of ramshackle drum shuffles, Slowdive-in-a-blender guitar figures, the changeable riffs rapturous and perfectly juxtaposed to “Go On”, where space blossoms, handclaps and shakers adorn a pumping beat, simple and effective melodies captivate like chicken to a hungry bull terrier, always awaiting the next move from the speaker. Breaking down on angelic pads, shifting your focus to Badmammal’s uncannily futuristic sound combinations, the expectations suggest a staple not quite yet tacked; a goal on its way to completion.

The guitar is a malleable instrument, mainly entrenched in the field of psychedelia. Badmammal’s relationship with electronica comes to the fore, Orbital-esque, on “Short Days”, where guitar parts are looped over a crisp rhythm, timbres glossy, structure slowly forming new layers, as is so typical of his laid-back approach to production and life. For the listener, satisfaction is reliable if you’re stressed from a day of indecision, unfulfilled objectives, fractured friendships or whatever obstructs a to b. The five tracks on “Tapestop”, albeit not life-altering, are hugely enjoyable slices of funky electronica, and for fans of Bonobo, Ninja Tune and even Flying Lotus, should be duly investigated.

Purchase: Mp3 release

Sunday, 1 August 2010

SubVersion Stop 102: Max Richter - Infra (130701)

A string is like an arrow to the heart – it can either puncture the spirit or carry with it magical emotive absorbtion. Whether in a quartet, quintet or cameo instrument, its sound can alleviate, act as a sobering slap to overcast mood, or cut through the murk of occult settings. Think chamber music for a context where the string makes everything humane, then paradoxically alien if manipulated in the right scale. Or consider disco for inclusivity of strings that race on their own idiosyncratic merits; sometimes painting textures of indeterminable origin; at others a cornerstone that respects past as much as present.

It’s an open book that cross-pollination of the string can be threatening – control and aspirations thwarted by simple but nonetheless aggravating formalities, whereby strings and film is not a relationship with zero elasticity. From Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti western scores to Thomas Newman’s “Any Other Name”, where piano and string temper each other like childhood sweethearts, string effects have developed countless harmonic bargaining.

Max Richter is a composer with an ear for a dime a dozen in this sense. His latest opus, “Infra”, intended as the soundtrack to a ballet at The Royal Opera House in London, sheds verbose conceptual baggage and is realised as a standalone album, one that, if you listen right, works as an appetiser to nimble steps that extend beyond choreographed dance, and into your own world of routines, chores, highs and lows.

“The Blue Notebooks”, Richter’s most acclaimed release, was all about soaring instrumental cadences and polished musical explanations. “Infra”, forgetting its earlier industrial life, represents an offroad abode where the dulcet (strings, fuzzy piano) and intriguing (interlude electronics, several tracks titled “Journey”) hold hands, and are as charming as an unkempt box of photos dusted off, and given fresh existence on your mantlepiece.

Purchase: vinyl / CD / digital

Discover where to see it performed live on Subvert Central

SubVersion Stop 101: Muttley - So We Can Sleep (July 2010)

“So We Can Sleep”, finishing the July mixtapes, sighs for individuals dispersing into less crowded constellations. As it lengthens, tunes layer to relieve each other’s characteristics. These temporary alignments, and their intensifying and diminishing moods are followed by Lymbyc Systym’s high-velocity “...So We Can Sleep”, a scorching but unharmful conclusion to the drones and fogged up timbres, guitar ambience proceeding nestled in organic terrain.


01. 00:00 Duncan O’ Ceallhaigh – 139 (from Psalms, Parvo Art, 2009)
02. 01:28 Daisuke Miyatani – Hum (from Diario, Ahornfelder, 2007)
03. 06:46 Warning Light – Further On, Monoliths (from Further On, Stickfigure, 2010)
04. 07:38 Kirill Platonkin – Heroes Of The Future (from Our Eternal Alarm, free release, 2010)
05. 07:38 Marow – Lucid Dream (Once We Were Friends) (from Lysar, Klitorik, 2010)
06. 10:00 Eluvium – Bending Dream (from Similes, Temporary Residence, 2010)
07. 11:42 Coldstream – Pan Novak (from Alarums, Under The Spire, 2010)
08. 20:47 Simon James French – Serfdom (from Anthem, Hibernate, 2009)
09. 22:28 Yasushi Yoshida – Parade For Closure (from Secret Figure, Midi Creative, 2006)
10. 24:14 Lymbyc Systym – ...So We Can Sleep (from Love Your Abuser, Mush, 2007)


All Muttley mixes on SubVersion are SC Affiliated, by way of the 15 Minutes Of Fame Mix Series.

Friday, 30 July 2010

SubVersion Stop 100: Muttley, Naphta & Statto - ATM article

To celebrate 100 entries on SubVersion, I’ve decided to republish an article from November 2006 on the Drum & Bass leftfield. Titled “Subversive Beats”, it was written for ATM, a worldwide-available urban music monthly. Thanks to the eloquent editing skills of Naphta and Statto, we managed to consolidate the meat of my final draft, creating a sum greater than its parts.

Subversive Beats - Are We Going Too Leftfield?

Every scene has a side that follows its own path – that works according to its own definition of what the form means, of what it ought to be doing, of where it ought to be going. Right now, there is a corner of drum n bass that is following its own path, making and playing drum n bass without regard for its likelihood of making them into stars or of it making them any real money – pushing it solely because it reminds them of all that they loved in the history of the music, and reawakens them to the possibility that the music can still be taken somewhere new.

Musically, the origins of this drum n bass ‘leftfield’ can be traced across a wide variety of influences, many of which were long ago abandoned by the scene’s hallowed originators. Famed cuts such as Omni Trio's anthemic ‘Renegade Snares’, Goldie’s electrifying ‘Terminator’, and the ragga-jungle shenanigans of Remarc’s ‘RIP’ all helped sculpt the foundations of this new structural and rhythmic shapeshifting that sharper-eared dnb headz are checking out today.

Of course, ever since the overwhelming techstep phenomenon of the late nineties (and the subsequent demise of experimental labels like Certificate 18, Partisan, Droppin’ Science and Reinforced) the influence of such ground-breaking tracks has been felt less and less in the drum n bass scene proper. Prodigious beat-smiths such as 4Hero, Danny Breaks, Foul Play, Polar and Sonar Circle (to name just a few) all waded off into new musical waters, leaving behind only a confusion over which bracket these spellbinding tracks could be safely filed away under in drum n bass history.

Certainly, names can prove troublesome. Just think of ‘hardcore/jump-up Jungle’ versus ‘Intelligent drum n bass’ back in the day. And ever since Breakage’s brain-bending update of Equinox’s ‘Acid Rain’ garnered attention for a new wave of break-butchery in recent years, we’ve had to endure gems such as ‘choppage’, ‘dubby dnb’, and even the godawful ‘edits’ being bandied around as possible titles for any dnb that is different. Yes, arguments regarding associations and tags can seem petty, but on the other hand, arguing about how to define what you do can also help define what’s really at stake – it can help make you think about just what you’re in this game for – make you question your own motivations (in a healthy way). And in this case, the root question (why do we still make and play drum n bass music when we no longer identify with where the ‘Scene’ is at?) has acted as a breeding ground for a whole new wave of hybridised, highly creative and essentially deviant music to emerge.

“I’m not really into labels such as ‘leftfield’, and don’t really consider us to be so,” explains Bassbin mainman Rohan, owner of an imprint whose output is now in high demand across the board. “I have seen us labelled as drumfunk / liquid / dubwise / purist... but to me, Fabio came up with the best tag for Bassbin: ‘Roots Music’.” It’s good to hear that he disagrees with the stereotypes, but clearly, one generic name can be better than another. And as anyone who works in the scene will tell you, applying a generic name to what you do can be a practical advantage in selling records. Think Fabio’s ‘Liquid’ style, which initially did the promotion of Calibre’s sound no end of good. Or consider Paradox – and how the term ‘Drumfunk’ has helped to promote his funk and hiphop-rooted interpretation of drum n bass. Seemingly both pigeonholing and separating himself, he has since managed to win over a whole new set of drum n bass audiences (most notably Hospital Records in 2004 through his collaborations with Seba). In doing so, he’s been able to set up and run four labels while also taking time to bring through a bunch of underexposed artists in his wake.

But new or different sounds need a context, an arena in which to be heard. Enter Chris Inperspective. A pivotal personality in pushing an underexposed side of dnb, he launched the now infamous Inperspective label in 1997, with the intent of releasing material from criminally under-rated producers like Equinox. “I just wasn’t hearing what I wanted to in drum n bass at the time,” he remembers. Back then, at the height of the two-step sound in drum n bass, the first Inperspective release fell on deaf ears. Stubbornly optimistic, Chris set up a night called Technicality in the heart of London in 2000, and with DJ/producers like Equinox, Senses and Breakage providing the musical backbone, he set out to demonstrate that breaks-heavy dnb could mash up the floor. During this period the club was one of the only in London to push everything truly breakbeat-orientated – one where the shapes and rhythms were pulverized and remoulded to a musical and atmospheric soundtrack. It’s an ideal that older heads noted bore comparison to the now defunct Metalheadz sessions at the Blue Note – where a melting pot of gender, colour and age was cooked up on the dancefloor by a block-rocking selection of freshly-cut tracks that consistently pushed the form of the music into new and exciting shapes. Of course the night itself could only reach so many people, despite the fact that dedicated beat enthusiasts from across the globe were making the pilgrimage. Word of mouth promotion only gets you so far. “It is hard to make people get what you’re doing sometimes,” Chris notes. “But I think that the scene as a whole needs to take more responsibility for promoting itself.”

Much-needed help for pushing Technicality and the less obvious side of drum n bass soon came. Originating in the veteran Streetbeats camp, the ‘Subvert Central’ online forum provided a platform for highly passionate, forward-thinking DJs, producers and fans to come together and outline their own versions of a dnb future, to loosely define a shared set of principles to operate by, and to communicate their message to newcomers. With chat and debate ranging from the deadly serious to the downright silly, Subvert Central enabled Chris and other dnb adventurers who had been similarly alienated from the mainstream to brainstorm, and to share their love and enthusiasm for a legacy in dnb that had seemed to have been all but forgotten. Indeed probably the most productive debate in the forum’s history was launched by Chris himself back in 2003, when he enquired as to what he might have in common with the other users on the forum. The huge and impassioned exchange of thoughts that followed unlocked an abundance of previously unaired ideas, and laid the foundations for plans that have since, for the most part, been followed through on by all those with enough savvy to take them from the computer screen and into real life. There were plenty of differences of opinion as to where to take the music, but at the end of the day, the common link for all who came to make up this little community was a shared willingness to experiment with the form of drum n bass in a way that embraced the experiments of the past – while still looking to the future. “It’s simple,” Chris states. “Every movement needs a beacon, a lighthouse for people to look upon... and for open-minded music fans, whether you’re a label owner, a fan or an artist, Subvert Central has been that beacon. I know that there’s plenty I couldn’t have done for Inperspective without it.”

High praise indeed. True to its intent, Subvert Central not only helped inspire new directions in the music, it also acted as an important resource for communication between like-minded headz in different countries, best exemplified in the success of Dutch promoters IchiOne and their ‘Subversive Renaissance’ club nights. Here Rico IchiOne began to push a fresh definition of drum n bass club night: one that actively encouraged musical diversity in a true party atmosphere. With the provision of food setting a relaxed tone that attracted a notably older crowd of music-lovers, the nights nonetheless worked their way up inevitably to a sweaty intensity. Guest appearances from the likes of Paradox, Outrage, Amit, Alpha Omega and DJ Trax have given the event’s international presence a hefty bite (helping it win it the Best Club Night at the Dutch dnb Awards in 2005). “It’s always a privilege to play at IchiOne,” says Trax. “Every Ichi party to me feels like it’s a one-off great night, and the reaction I’ve gauged from every other guest has been the same. But the thing is that these events are never one-offs – they are consistently special. Maybe it’s Rico and [brother] Ray`s relaxed and inspirational attitudes; maybe it’s the crowd the party attracts; maybe it’s the consistently good line-ups that ensure the people keep coming back and the word keeps spreading. Who knows. But personally, I feel it’s probably a combination of all of the above.”

Targeting that vibe has become something of an inspiration to a whole bunch of maverick producers ever since, with a bucket-load of otherworldly musical gems resulting. Sileni, Graphic, Dissident, Cycom and Martsman have all emerged as key pioneers in drawing from the ideas associated with dnb’s earthier roots in dub, jazz and soul, and filtering them through a futuristic palette of sounds drawn from techno and electronica. Furthermore, a crop of new imprints have since fastened onto the legacy championed by Offshore's Brett Clever in 2001, with labels such as Counter Intelligence, Intasound, Subtle Audio and Make:Shift all offering producers new platforms to flip the proverbial script – and so far, with frequently devastating results.

The final link in the chain comes in the form of radio. 1xtra has proved an undeniable force in assisting this subversive movement, with soldiers Bailey and Flight continuing to drop a selection of tracks from subversively inspired producers on their shows, while the likes of Jungletrain, Power FM and Life FM have provided key support in spreading the message online.

All in all, 2006 has been a positive year for this drum n bass that dares to be different – while still respecting, and learning from the great music of the past. “A really good night gives me such a buzz, and seeing a venue full of happy people is what it’s all about,” ends Rohan with a smile. “It doesn’t matter how big the venue is, or if there’s 100 or 600 people – as long as the vibe is there and the people are happy then I will always continue.” And who would want to argue with that? Let’s just hope 2007 is the year that sees some of these sounds projected back into the larger drum n bass scene worldwide. But if it doesn’t? I, for one, am betting that this little ‘leftfield’ will keep on doing what they do. Because for them, it’s still not about commercial success; it’s about making and playing and getting down to the music for one reason and one reason only – because they love it.

Make your New Year’s resolution to visit www.subvertcentral.com

Breakout Box - The five subversive must-haves list:

1. Fracture - Visions Of Amen [Subvert Central]

2. Equinox - Retroism [Where Are You?] [Subtle Audio]

3. Graphic feat. Beans - I Am Metal [Offshore]

4. Macc - Hallucination First [PlainAudio]

5. ASC - Windchime [Inperspective]

Monday, 26 July 2010

SubVersion Stop 99: Mount Kimbie - Crooks And Lovers (Hotflush Recordings)

Mount Kimbie are not archetypal of dubstep. Rather, with two EP’s and a smattering of remixes, “Crooks And Lovers” transfers benevolence to the dubstep album format, where they can emblazon fundamentals and shimmy a vibe from scratch. Handholds onto satisfaction are doubled: longer tracks edge little past four minutes, nourishing when the LP is played fully, and textures are like honeycombs: sticky but never soul-sucking.

An empty seat isn’t a crime, and although Hotflush are known for predation on lower tempo music that can still retain dance-ability, “Crooks And Lovers” is no DJ fodder, carving out a post-dubstep niche that will undoubtedly inspire casual imitators. There’s an all-round spark to the compositions – especially the middle-marking “Ruby”, which rolls and interweaves like a marble caught in a cement mixer. It’s calculated, divine invasion.

Elsewhere, a uniting trend of blips ("Before I Move Off"), bloops ("Blind Night Errand", "Ode To Bear"), bubble-bath synths (“Would Know”) and acoustic guitar ornamentation (“Tunnelvision”) straddle with toppings of voice, and in true fashion of effective interplay, communicate an enigmatic sonic language that while isn’t comprehensible to the naked ear – like a riddle told in Gaelic to a staunch Englishman – provides “Crooks And Lovers” with a longevity where you listen to uncover new dimensions from the production, at different times, in alternate ways.

Beats at this speed may initially seem sluggish, but later they merge into your unconscious like baby steps to counsel the daily grind. And at points, the noises display equilibrium between Planet Mu’s eDIT minus the harsh percussive thrash, and more poignantly, Burial – albeit taken out of depressive suburbia, and set free to roam the countryside.

Overall, it’s debatable that MK have teething issues with forming full works instead of sketches - it’s on the more provocatively measured numbers, with sensitively arranged structures, that they shine. But tantalisingly, you predict that there’s much more to come from the creators as they continue to mature. Case in point: “Mayor” marries a frumpy synth to what sounds almost like an electronic glockenspiel, wound around fragments of female vocal.

LP revisits are plus points to Kimbie’s hype armoury, and at 35 minutes, “Crooks And Lovers” is a prime mover in quality and quantity sweet but not saccharine. It’s electronica that while isn’t going leave you gasping for breath, will definitely engage your smile muscle. Plaudits will materialise if MK are allowed to unwind their experimental side while retaining a winning formula of musical humidity unhackneyed. A truly stirring album.

Read full review at www.hyponik.com from Monday 2nd August (site since relaunched so article reinstated for SubVersion)

Purchase: Mp3 release

What do members of Subvert Central think?


Friday, 23 July 2010

SubVersion Stop 98: Muttley - Living Free And Fearlessly (July 2010)

Photo: Leyland Kirby's inclusion to the Long Division With Remainders 4 CD Box.

This week, decisive events took place. I disbanded disabling locks lasting more than eighteen months. I am able to extend my period of normality by occasional deep breathing, but I am careful not to initiate in a breathing exercise, as this subconsciously adjoins refraining from panic and becoming frustrated with my looped thinking. A vicious circle can be avoided in this way.

“Living Free And Fearlessly”, then, may not come as a surprising byline for this collection. LeeN’s vocalist Floetic Laura sings “Aim for the top be the best you can be / You can see tests come daily, but you can be free”. My experience of hiphop is minimal, but this track always lifts me up. “Living Free And Fearlessly” clocks in at just 21 minutes – a snapshot of internal flexibility, striking out for unknown shore.


01. Greg Haines – Industry Vs. Inferiority (from Until The Point Of Hushed Support, Sonic Pieces, 2010)
02. Olan Mill – The Prescribed Individual (from Pine, Serein, 2010)
03. Leyland Kirby – 14 Versions Track 3 (from the Long Divison With Remainders 4 CD Box Set, 2010)
04. Listening Mirror – Venice Boxhead (from ...After The Briefest Of Pauses, Rural Colours, 2010)
05. Chihei Hatakeyama – Waves (from A Long Journey, Home Normal, 2010)
06. Max Richter – Infra 8 (from Infra, Fat Cat, 2010)
07. Master Musicians Of Bukkake – Coincidental Oppositorum (from Totem Two, Temporary Residence, 2010)
08. Little Women – Throat IV (from Throat, Aum Fidelity, 2010)
09. LeeN & Floetic Laura - Fear And Freedome (from Mixtape Demo Ting, free release, 2010)


SubVersion Stop 97: Muttley - Cradling (July 2010)

Lying down decreases heart rate, but shouldn’t be a crutch. For “Cradling”, I discovered music I want to hug. Ideally I listen after “Closing Down”, or skip that to accelerate the recovery process. This mix should be viable for lovers of music and lovers of another in unison.


01. Antonymes - La Fin De Tout (from Beauty Becomes The Enemy Of The Future, Cathedral Transmissions, 2010)
02. Ibreathefur - Waking In Sync (from Phosphenes, Audio Gourmet, 2010)
03. Christopher Hipgrave - Often Into Dream (from Slow With Pages Of Fluttering Interference, Low Point, 2010)
04. Christopher Willits & Ryuichi Sakamoto - Sentience (from Ocean Fire, 12k, 2008)
05. Arovane - Tomorrow Morning (from Tides, City Centre Offices, 2000)
06. Solar Fields - Magic Eye (from Blue Moon Station, Ultimae, 2003)
07. Swod - Gehen (from Gehen, City Centre Offices, 2004)
08. Spheruleus - Appliance (from Frozen Quarters, Under The Spire, 2010)
09. Olafur Arnalds - Tungli (from ...And They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness, Erased Tapes, 2010)


Tuesday, 6 July 2010

SubVersion Stop 96: Muttley - Imagined Romance (July 2010)

"Imagined Romance" soundtracks onlookers perceiving romance unfold, or anticipating romance that's realized as inert. Whenever life proposes negotiable romance, "Imagined Romance", composed of tracks with romantic overtones, replies as additive intervention. It climaxes with Piano Magic's demure piano, drums and violin on "You Never Loved This City". Frontman Glen Johnson croons "but angel, it loves you", impressioning a physical intimacy. If romance infuses my future, I can use "Imagined Romance" as counterflow without a shred of waste.


01. 00:00 Coldstream - Alarums (from Alarums, Under The Spire, 2010)
02. 02:36 Eluvium - Nightmare 5 (from Similes, Temporary Residence, 2010)
03. 05:00 Harold Budd & Brian Eno - An Echo Of Night (from The Pearl, Editions EG Records, 1984)
04. 05:03 Vincent Kuhner - Fourth (from the Hiatus EP, Audio Gourmet, 2010)
05. 05:13 Brian Mcbride - Piano ABG (from When The Detail Lost Its Freedom, Kranky, 2007)
06. 08:34 Antonymes - They Have Not Seen The Stars (from Beauty Becomes The Enemy Of The Future, Cathedral Transmissions, 2010)
07. 10:07 F.S Blumm & Nils Frahm - Writing Letters To Myself (from Music For Lovers, Music Versus Time, Sonic Pieces, 2010)
08. 11:21 Klimek - Sound Of Confusion (from Movies Is Magic, Anticipate, 2009)
09. 11:46 Infinite Body - A Fool Persists (from Carve Out The Face Of My God, Post Present Medium, 2009)
10. 14:49 Piano Magic - You Never Loved This City (from Ovations, Darla, 2009)


Monday, 5 July 2010

SubVersion Stop 95: Muttley - Bloodied - for www.dibmusic.blogspot.com

Bleeding is a metaphor for every problem and solution. Scratching the surface recklessly chances spillage, whereas the reformation yields periods to recuperate. "Bloodied" sketches these descriptions into movements, where I chose tunes with characteristic likeness to the bleeding process. Softness of touch gradually hardens towards Talvihorros; outpouring of rain from the Loscil track layers under my "Breath Of Peace"; later, currents of drone, piano, and static represent the healing of a cut. I've been aware of DIB's recommendations for years, and as some were indispensible, it's an honour to contribute a guest mix to his blog.


Movement 1 – Scratching The Surface

00:00 Will Long – Nr. 4 Melting Underfoot (from Advent, Parvo Art, 2010)
02:11 Aless – Keepsake (from I’mmobile, Distance Recordings, 2010)
02:04 Talvihorros – And Then They Walked Into The Sea (from Music In Four Movements, Hibernate, 2010)

Movement 2 - Spillage

05:42 Foci’s Left – Breath Of Peace (unreleased, 2010)
05:51 Loscil – Endless Falls (from Endless Falls, Kranky, 2010)
10:49 David Tagg – Pentecost 2 (from Pentecost, Install, 2010)
11:28 Ibreathefur – A Curvature (from Phosphenes, Audio Gourmet, 2010)

Movement 3 – The reformation

14:57 Automobile, Swift – Slow Ocean (from Enemy, Enemy, Heat Death Records, 2010)
17:44 Volcano The Bear – The Colour Of My Find [stretched excerpt] (from The One Burned Ma, Misra Records, 2000)
21:47 Alexander Thomas – Untitled (archived recording, unreleased, 2010)

Download at:

Thursday, 1 July 2010

SubVersion Stop 94: Muttley - Words Can Burn A Happy Home (July 2010)

Photo: Robbie Williams

If you can't detect differences between the homely and absurd, it's probable that there's trouble with your head in relation to your heart. So we have car boot sales to remove the physical things, tipping materiality against personal value, redeeming items we keep as more worthwhile. But when there's a mental upset that leaves us exposed or raw, it's not always that easy to trade memories for cremation of the very thoughts we despise. Patterns and habitual mindsets grow from the unconscious, causing us to retrospect our past, the losses we've made, and what we can gain from experience. Knowing this isn't necessarily a safe road to success, however. Truth and denial constrict the fundamental, scouring our brain's hemispheres, where conscience tells us what's right. And if we lack this, then there's a heavy price to pay, one that threatens to tear our theories limb from limb if we haven't been listening.

Speech, generally, gives us the vehicle to put right these qualms and render the ego-nature helpless to alteration. But as a contradiction, it can also quash the development of strong, righteous behaviour, filtering it. Beneficial righteousness can take the line of assertiveness, where we tell each other without passive aggression our problems, what we want to do with them, and if they're worth our handling from customs to doorstep. If left untempered, biting one's tongue is a worthless counter-action in hindsight of a storm being born.

"Words Can Burn A Happy Home", the 41st instalment in my mixtape chain, is centred. I've collected awe-inspiring ambience that leaves me speechless, segued it into a post-electronic-rock hybrid from Port-Royal, tagging the foundation connection of Robbie Williams' "Toxic" to leave participants with desired food for thought. "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can burn a happy home, it's true. I've got words for you" sings Williams on his b-side to "Eternity". Inherently, I channel emotions from my environment with 15 Minutes Of Fame. The subject here is a friend who needs to be told, despite their years, where they're going wrong. But I refuse going into details, as I respect them too much. This is the second set which is tight to twenty minutes, partly inspired by nrvnet's THC 20[12] concept.


00:00 Altus - Darker Skies Toward The Horizon (from Black Trees Among Amber Skies, 2010)
02. 01:01 Adam Michalak - Sixth Colour (from Seven Colours, 2010)
03. 02:49 Chihei Hatakeyama - Light Drizzle (from The River, 2009)
04. 04:47 Loren Dent - Masters And Slaves (from Empire Milk, 2007)
05. 05:30 Gareth Hardwick - Lost In The Memory (from the split with Machinefabriek, 2007)
06. 06:51 Foci's Left - Regurgitated Impulses (David Tagg remix) (from the "Spillage" EP, 2010)
07. 08:28 Port-Royal - Anya Sehnsucht (from Afraid To Dance, 2007)
08. 16:09 Robbie Williams - Toxic (B side to Eternity, 2001)


Friday, 25 June 2010

SubVersion Stop 93: Cerberus' theory on drum & bass discourse

Statto highlighted his “Tings what I listened to today” early in SubVersion’s history, whereas I’ve contemplated commenting on SC orbiting. Craftily imposed as “Leaked pictures of my girlfriend...”, Cerberus comments that, from several experiences, “people who are not much into d&b tend to listen to the 'weird' drum patterns instead of everything that’s underneath. Those who listen more often get used to the patterns and can focus more on the rest of the tune since the patterns are logical to them, they don't distract the listener and they can listen to the tune as a whole, or as it was meant to be.”

Reading this throws up intruiging conundrums: what context would be suitable for digesting the experimental side? Who’s melodies feel less incidental to percussion? And defining that d&b has a pulse, where does timing counterbalanced with tempo encourage dilapidation? “I'm in no way saying that we should leave the drums out, the more hectic the better (to some extent)” Cerberus counters. “Its just something I notice in my surroundings.” I think we can all relate. For me, exposure to drum & bass proper happened in my mid teens. I was enraptured beyond peer popularity by it sounding like nothing else. Perhaps comfort is a decider. My folks can appreciate some of it, but their critique follows the periphery that as you age, your preferences change.

Does that mean they’ve grown out of the style? Maybe yes and maybe no. It’s true to say that raver and casual counterparts aren’t mutually exclusive, but as surroundings become more ingrained to singular aesthetics (no clubbing, lack of socialisng in the “scene”), the acceptance quota weakens.

Those scenically immersed, who buy in bulk aren’t necessarily offered heightened diversity – their tastes may never progress from dance floor wobble bangers. Impulse purchasees could avoid deeper styles, but there is likelihood some day that for the sake of music being new and in vogue, transcendence is possible by the shifting nature and attitudes of the drum & bass tastemakers.

Indeed, my introduction to left-of-field D&B began through Drum & Bass Arena with a feature on Fracture & Neptune. My weekly spending habits then accomodated records around that area, with Subvert Central being advertised on the www.dogsonacid.com forum a springboard into deeper discussion. What’s more, I was able to oversee opinions from inside the machine – producers, DJs and label owners struggling or refraining from certain activities – and henceforth I became educated about the insecurities of the minority.

Thusly I deem worthiness presenting matter in juxtaposition – at times, with opposites. Otherwise people are liable to stay in their comfort zone, trance-like, with no breaks from conservatism. It’s all too easy to rest on your laurels. But when embarking towards a fresh direction, it’s possible that you forget placement of your feet beforehand. I’ve read stories of older heads getting hyper on the “then” latest hardcore anthems, however as their tastes evolve, some aren’t too keen to accept today’s market has acts like Pendulum buffering bright futures.

Of course, it's debatable the contemporary mainstream is so void of creativity, and degenerative in its influences, that listeners are incapable of integrating chopped drum edits and immersive atmospherics into their diet. Nonetheless, I believe as long as mixtapes marrying old with new exist, there is potential for healthy growth. A rolling stone gathers no moss if it’s suspended from motion, whereby fans abhorrent to tradition shouldn’t be downtrodden for naivety. It’s the duty – as it was of Doc Scott to switch up from his period in the D&B circus – to inform and not judge with contempt the new generation. They are the lifeblood of change; the key to commonplace satisfaction. That “they” are fed commerical dilutions shouldn’t be the point of conjecture – wise personalities are either reserved from malice, or pushing what they love.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

SubVersion Stop 92: Muttley - Ship's Close To Port (June 2010)

From manual labour springs "Ship's Close To Port". The music in this mix has a strong element of pretence, as if it's preparing you for arrival to a destination. I am currently absent from contact with a foreign friend, having learnt much, but nonetheless I'm not sure if I've got healthier - stress has overrided the good in certain contexts, and I'm struggling to be as raw as they are with my feelings.

The revised notions: you can love non-romantically - an easy point to digest - but if the spark isn't there, you're liable, if inexperienced, to be chasing invisible needles in haystacks. And there's no substitute for offline interaction. People hide their habits implicitly on the web, and living with someone you love can expose you to irritations from differences. However rose-tinted your glasses are from a distance, it sometimes takes grappling with the foundations to realise flippant and self-defeating behaviour arises if you're knocked for six.

Though the future doesn't have to be all gauzy black and grey when the clouds disappear, or the light of your sun shines through. There are good moments to be had if you stick with it. It just depends on your patience and stability. Likewise, dispelling mournful sentiments in crisis shouldn't be taxing on your epigraph. Individuals aren't as callous, manipulative or cold as they can seem if we strike up an honest conversation. There are points of reason to be gained on either side by opening ourselves up.


01. 00:00 Foci's Left - Regurgitated Impulses (Darren Harper remix) (from the "Spillage" EP, Audio Gourmet, 2010)
02. 01:03 Jan Linton - Buddha Machine Remix 1.5 (sounds from the Buddha Machine by FM3, unreleased, 2009)
03. 02:32 Vincent Kuhner - First (from the "Hiatus" EP, Audio Gourmet, 2010)
04. 02:50 The Caretaker - Unmasking Alzheimers (from Persistent Repetition Of Phrases, Install, 2009)
05. 04:20 Port-Royal - Bahnhof Zoo (from Afraid To Dance, Resonant, 2007)
06. 04:26 Alaska - Earthloop (from The Mesozoic Era, Outsider, 2010)
07. 05:56 Offthesky - Desert Poly (from Du Soleil, Resting Bell, 2010)
08. 10:36 Arkhaois - Oceanic (from the "Radial" EP, free download, 2010)
09. 12:36 Olan Mill - Cotton Access (from Pine, Serein, 2010)
10. 14:00 Robin Guthrie & Harold Budd - Turn Off The Sun (from After The Night Falls, Darla, 2007)


Friday, 4 June 2010

SubVersion Stop 91: Muttley - Eternal Sands (June 2010)

"Eternal Sands'" works fashion wispy impermanence, always developing and evolving, like the eternal sands of time. That observation notates the name, and a tune I made specially to contrast Harold Budd & Clive Wright. It's taken from the "Spillage" EP on the Audio Gourmet Netlabel, with remixes from David Tagg, Darren Harper and Spheruleus.

With each original track recorded three years apart, "Spilage" arose from emotional storms, where at the time (2007), music production was a keen focus of mine, whereas "Eternal Sands" juxtaposes 2010's off-the-cuff ideas that are born from a necessity to be open in a universally healing method.

There is a stigma attached to mental health that traps understanding in bubbles that aren't always easy to burst. I usually garner positive responses. With my mixtapes throughout SubVersion, there is a timeline, and therapy that is self-perpetuated.

There is another role this set plays - a more disambiguating companion to "Closing Down". I have periodic directives where I synthesise: crashes to synchronize movement; screeching noise to expel anger; gaps to prosper. The Monolake track that finalises these 23 minutes instills a counter device, where I exhale to every four beats of the bar.

I will envisage handfuls of prepared phrases that I've either written or will become mentally interacted with on the spot. If I'm solitary, they will reverberate with images of me disparaging select objects. Heart rate rises to contain the imagined. Matter repeats, darts back and forth, falls into new zones. Regularly, withdrawing results to control sensations. Any level-headed perception decreases by connected people being hurt, flames flashing across my eyes. Often, incomprehensible thinking tests my boundaries.

As I approach 40 instalments in the 15 Minutes Of Fame mix series, I'd like to thank anyone who has given me encouragement, downloaded the EP discussed, been there as a short term spirit. You are those who I wish the best for, and like beggars aren't bleary-eyed when money is thrust into their hands, I soak up the goodwill, but adrenalin won't overtake me, so I won't vanish.


01. 00:00 David Tagg - Pentecost 3 (from Pentecost, Install, 2010)
02. 03:04 Enuui - Deep Auriga (Hejira) (from Mindstate Disposition, self-released, 2010)
03. 03:50 Point 7 - 15th Of July (from What?, Toytronic, 2009)
04. 07:51 Harold Budd & Clive Wright - Plumade (from Little Windows, Darla, 2010)
05. 07:51 Foci's Left - Eternal Sands (from the Spillage EP, Audio Gourmet, 2010)
06. 10:40 Slow - Waiting For A Beautiful Mystery (from Strange Dreams, Passage, 2010)
07. 12:27 Johann Johannsson - City Building (from And Through The Endless Pause There Came The Sound Of Bees, Type, 2010)
08. 12:15 Azwarm - 3 Bells Gone (from A Morning's Work, self-released, 2010)
09. 12:59 Damian Valles - Derechos (from Bow Echoes, Resting Bell, 2010)
10. 17:40 Monolake - Reconnect (from Silence, Monolake, 2010)


Wednesday, 5 May 2010

SubVersion Stop 90: Muttley - Unconscious Fears And Fantasies (May 2010)

01. 00:00 - 03:46 Spheruleus - Moss (from Frozen Quarters, 2010)
02. 00:00 - 05:23 Relmic Statute - 1ehet Ednalnge (from Sitting Under The Lantern's Glow, 2009)
03. 00:00 - 09:21 Enuui - Slow Moving Thoughts (from Mindstate Disposition, 2010)
04. 01:34 - 05:52 Concern - Young Birth (from Truth And Distance, 2009)
05. 02:10 - 07:29 The Sight Below - New Dawn Fades (from It All Falls Apart, 2010)
06. 06:05 - 11:44 Greg Haines - Marc's Descent (from Until The Point Of Hushed Support, 2010)
07. 07:22 - 15:01 That Black - And The Spring Comes (from Timelessness, 2010)
08. 11:24 - 15:58 Simon James French - Shame (from Anthem, 2009)
09. 12:12 - 16:20 Haruki - A Century Of Losses (from The Land That Lies Behind Us, 2010)
10. 15:20 - 19:55 Olive - You're Not Alone (from Extra Virgin, 1997)

Download exclusively with TDD 3's "DE Loves" package

“Unconscious Fears And Fantasies” is a 20 minute concept mix inspired by seeing a hypnotherapist who is teaching me positive affirmations, and having a friend trek to the UK and predicting the best possible outcome. For the former, I am advised to tap into my unconscious mind because as I'm told it believes everything you tell it. Reading literature such as “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise L. Hay, tells me bodily areas correlate to feelings, and pressure points. Rebalancing your brain is available from EFT, relaxing monopolies of lucky chances spilling from one brain state to the other. Now an ingrained segment of the therapist's voice appears when things are overcast. “Unconscious Fears And Fantasies” also transposes darkness with elation – the high pitched seriousness of Greg Haines' “Marc's Descent” to Olive's rapturously reassuring “You're Not Alone”.

SubVersion Stop 89: TDD Chapter 3: Now available!

The Dastardly Diaries Chapter 3 is a non-profit collection of varied informations from the period of July 2007-2010. The editor, Muttley, specialises in ambient, modern classical and leftfield drum & bass. You can choose either "DE likes" or "DE loves" as download packages. "DE Likes" is 5 documents to read, giving you a brief insight into my mind, whereas "DE Loves" is a 75 exclusively cut clip collage, all documents, and a special 20 minute concept mix.

Download "DE Likes"

Download "DE Loves"


The DE agency has always operated on word of mouth and this chapter is no different. What some downloaders had to say about the last issue:

Originally posted by cycom

I downloaded the Endo Edition this morning and boy it's just :shock: :shock: :shock: :hyper: :hyper: :hyper:


Brilliant work, Muttley. :applause:

It'll take ages to go through all the texts, bits of information, tunes & mixes, but it's gonna be sooo sweet :love: :love:

Fantastic selection, I'm loving almost ALL of the 140+ tunes (and that's something I'd never expected):shock:

:eek: :eek: :eek: :P :hyper:

Originally posted by droid @ weareie.com

Honestly Muttley, I have lot of respect for your enthusiam and vitality... And it's fine to be a bit arrogant. If you believe in what you're doing it's only natural to defend it.

Originally posted by MetaLX

Ok! Read Muttley's TDD right now! It's brilliant. I actually appreciate your alternate perspective on things Muttley, reading this is like taking a journey into a parallel universe Star trek Stylee. Your writing is pretty cool actually, enigmatic at times, and definitely a flip of the script!

Future and contact

DE is inherently looking for high quality music and sources to promote - in these magazines, on the MySpace, via the SubVersion blog, or through physical means. If you think that your ideas are suitable, email muttley_subversion@hotmail.co.uk with your proverbial itinerary.

Promotional threads for TDD 3


As if this wasn't enough, Muttley will be creatively bumping the promo threads with outtakes from the 'zine, and audio analysis.

If you've read this, many thanks, and I hope you like what's showcased this time.

Muttley (Dastardly Exposure / SubVersion)

Sunday, 25 April 2010

SubVersion Stop 88: Muttley - In Heaven, Everything Is Fine (April 2010)

"In Heaven, Everything Is Fine" is dedicated to a family friend, who when he rings, always asks how everyone is. This mixtapes' agenda is based on the outro by Helios, where Keith Keniff sings "In heaven, everything is fine / You've got your good thing, and I've got mine". There is a sinister undertone from the instrumentation, a riposte of the fuzzy ambience that precedes it.


01. Lexithimie - Scale 3 (from No Matter How Many Time, Repeat, 2009)
02. Altus - Welcoming The Dead Days (from Black Trees Among Amber Skies, 2010)
03. Spheruleus - A Significant Circle (from The Disguised Familiar, 2009)
04. Bing Satellites - Late Summer Meadows (from Twilight Sessions Vol.1, 2010)
05. Helios - In Heaven (from Ayres, 2007)


Thursday, 1 April 2010

SubVersion Stop 87: Muttley - Alone In The Cosmos (March 2010)

Photo: Greg Haines' piano usage in Grunewald Church, Berlin

"Alone In The Cosmos" cites Fluid Radio's selectors as spiritual influence. Staking out ground is a target. An incense stick that will burn a pleasant aroma when revisited, Greg Haines and Alexander Thomas are blended to spark eye on the forthcoming SubVersion concert, while electro-rockers Glint were purveyors of the thematic lineage. "Dear brothers and sisters, dear enemies and friends: why are we all so alone here? All we need is a little more hope, all we need is a little more joy, all we need is a little more light, a little less weight, a little more freedom".


00:00 - 23:20 Paul Bradley - All That Was (Pt. 1) (from All That Was)
05:30 - 24:30 Greg Haines - Until The Point Of Least Resistance (from Until The Point Of Hushed Support)
08:15 - 12:10 Tom White -Top Floor (from A Well Known Phrase)
09:37 - 16:05 Alexander Thomas - Buffalo Lives (from Helium)
18:27 - 23:00 Glint - Alone In The Cosmos (from Sound In Silence)
22:28 - 27:00 A Silver Mount Zion - Built Then Burnt (Hurrah! Hurrah!) (from Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upward)
27:00 - 31:28 Max Richter - On The Nature Of Daylight (from Blue Notebooks)
30:56 - 35:07 Bat For Lashes - Pearl's Dream (from Two Suns)
31:25 - 33:55 Gaston Arevalo - Maritim (from Marea)
34:18 - 35:05 Hilmar O Hilmarrson & Sigur Ros - The Black Dog And The Scottish Play (from Angels Of The Universe OST)


Sunday, 28 March 2010

SubVersion Stop 86: Takeshi Nakamura's contribution to "Sonic Collage" (Pinecone Moonshine 009, also featuring Eschaton, Formication, dgoHn)

Horizons to some are desolate plains, peppered with upsetting prospects that cause us to retreat into our shell. Reversed, its an inimitably rich hotbed for discussion, where extroversion guarantees speakers a voice. Depending on surroundings, it can be squashed, set sail for failure, or bloom so segregation rules political quagmire. Much is survival of the fittest, a test of one's limits and preoccupations. Bewilderment can be irritating, and that's where strength of statement is penultimate.

"Drumfunk", think what you will, encircles these sentiments and hands down double-handed solutions. In drum & bass it was originally used by JMJ & Richie, but post-2000 breakbeat sampler Paradox propogated it to promote his funk influenced take on the genre. It's debatable whether drumfunk's stylists have broken ground from Paradox's coining, and subsquent diatribes, and if they wish to be part of it is another matter. It's either bludgeoning or elevating of credibility, but what is certain is it's spawning of a split on Subvert Central, a website tarred with the terminology brush, but actually containing more talk of outsider repertoire and subject.

Pinecone Moonshine owner Nic TVG is one individual seeing the benefits of adopting drumfunk as not a buzzword, but a term to loosely define product and its outcomes. In that sense, it consequently combats the sugar-rush of mainstream circus d&b constabulary, and pungent rudeboy attitude, something which replaced jungle's sexiness and left it to rot in the cold. Indeed, it has been said by underground heads that drumfunk is more like an extension of their beloved genre, before it commercialised and lost its exponential experimentation. Takeshi Nakamura, the latest artist on this independent entity, opposes pounding rhythmic orienteering over flippant fidget funk, hyperactive arpeggio chirping, atmospheric intrusions and subtle overlaying of miscellaneous fragments.

If the name doesn't ring a bell, it's likely that Nakamura's appearances on ambient netlabel Zymogen will have passed inspection too. Numbered rather that expressing narrative themes, only ordered by digits, the tracks merge into a coherent whole, with "1" supplanting an elastic swingbeat and tinny snares, enacting timbral gravity games with a bass groove that slithers like a wet discloth against stainless steel. "2" juts amen shards out from its underbelly, "3" warbles like a drunken rambler who's had his bottle taken, and "4" weaves melodies a la sunflower oil in stir fry, lubricating the tectonic activity and avoiding slapdash Squarepusher imitation. "Sonic Collage", surmised, finely advances a label that forages presentation and practicality lavishly on every level.

Purchase: CD

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

SubVersion Stop 85: Baby steps?

Psychologists at the University of York have reported in the March 15th edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they have performed studies that are suggesting that babies may be born with a hard-wired predisposition to move rhythmically in response to music.

Dr Marcel Zentner says that children between five months and two years respond to the beat rather than the melody of a song. Another interesting finding is that the better the children were able to synchronise their movements with the beat, the more they smiled. There are currently no universally-accepted theories as to why humans adore music, and it is a major unresolved issue in biology.

The main theory is that human ancestral individuals who could respond empathically to rhythmic beats, for example the heartbeat, would be more likely to select mates, and would be drive natural selection to trigger a happy response to rhythmic beats at a similar tempo to the heart (approximately 60 bpm). An opposing theory is that an emotional response to music evolved as a response to some other stimulus, but it also happens to be relevant for music processsing.

The infants in the study listened to a variety of music from around the world, including classical music, dance music and speech. Their spontaneous movements were recorded by 3D motion-capture, with software to analyse the extent to which the babies matched their movement to the music. It is well-known that humans also involuntarily adjust their heart rate to match a beat which is around 60 bpm, suggesting even more strongly that there is an evolutionary advantage to be aware of how fast your heart is beating.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

SubVersion Stop 84: SubVersion Recommends: Nils Frahm - Dance

"Music is a wonderful thing. I collected a few tracks which remind me why I like music so much.

01. Vassilis Tsabropoulos "The Other"

A magical piano composition. I think it is a very good opener for a mellow set. He also works together with cellist Anja Lechner. I highly recommend his work.

02. David Darlin "Dawn"

I don't think that anyone could resist this piece of music. I had it on my headphones and rode my bike through the snow and it stopped me freezing.

03. François Couturier "L´Eternel Retour"

Maybe my biggest contemporary piano influence these days. This piece is pretty harmonic, but I can tell you that he can teach you a lesson in atonal improvisation. It is simply mindblowing.

04. Alexei Lubimov - Alexander Trstiansky - Kyrill Rybakov "Spiegel Im Spiegel" by Arvo Pärt

Maybe Pärt's most famous composition in a wonderful clarinet version.

5. Dictaphone "Nacht EP"

One of the reasons why I wanted to move to Berlin. I listened to their music and couldn't believe how good their sound is. The founder Oliver Döring is also part of Swod. When you haven't heard Swod yet, then please don´t miss it!

06. Colleen "Babies"

One of my favorite Leaf releases.

07. Archivist "You Are Made Of Stardust"

Archivist is better known under the moniker Remote Viewer who was a member of Hood, before he focused more on his haunting organic electronica. He also released on the wonderful label CCO (City Centre Offices).

08. Erik Levander "Månen Viskar"

He is a wonderful clarinet player and composer. Solid gold.

09. World Standard & Wechsel Garland "Donde Lion Wine"

Isn't it nice how this piece picks up the compilation? That is also the reason why I put it in there.

10. Nick Drake "River Man"

Hmmm, I'll let the song speak for itself.

11. Serge Gainsbourg "Ballade De Melody Nelson"

Aha, now I know where Beck gets inspired. A huge album. I never get tired of it.

12. John Lurie "Bella By Barlight"

Stranger Than Paradise is a great movie and I think the music plays the main role. The perfect soundtrack for a rainy night in your car.

13. Bill Evans "Bella By Barlight"

A wonderful man who is probably one of the most respected piano players in the world. When I listen to the it makes me want to stop playing.

14. Valentin Silvestrov "Bagatellen 2"

The Ukrainian composer released a solo piano album on ECM which changed my playing quite a bit. When I am allowed to say that: this is the best sounding piano record I have ever heard. Beside that, the music is just brilliant, so subtle and calm.

I hope you'll have a good time listening to "Dance".
Nils Frahm"



Sunday, 28 February 2010

SubVersion Stop 83: Greg Haines - Until The Point Of Hushed Support (Sonic Pieces 006)

Screening doesn't merely reassure: it indicates, rightly or wrongly, if more needs to be done. Artists sketch under a pantheon of their worst critic - usually themselves. With lazy tacking banished, a masterpiece can take a day, week, month - in control of Greg Haines and his miniature orchestra (Nils Frahm, the female singer from "Slumber Tides", et al) "Until The Point Of Hushed Support" took three years. And it's not hard from listening to see why. Feedback loops guarantee chances for engrossing, exploratory sprawl, where culture's whys and wherefors indebt us with an antidote to fear. Recorded mainly in Grunewald Church in Berlin, Haines hasn't rehashed classical archetypes where narrow vision ensues decay. Rather, he's reinventing self-praxis in his most accomplished statement as a composer, and furthermore as an interpreter.

Immediately the track names tell a story. "Industry Vs. Inferiority", perhaps, nodding to detested inhospitality. Pursuing the future can be like racing to catch light at the end of a tunnel, and on this quiet work for piano, faint traces of Goldmund's locative, sibilant frequencies paint a bittersweet scene. Solo pianism can translate as secular in its stronghold of riches - granted, soundtracks support it, but the style wholly resists commercial viability. Partially this occures through its audiences' lower generational imparting of experiences, anecdotes and taste. But nonetheless, labels (and moreover businesses) demand cross-pollination, with those carrying the torch, Sonic Pieces among them, providing an outsider's ticket to protocol, as well as an abode for adventure. And that's a very brave thing to be doing.

As you listen, there is a slowly unfolding sense of weightlessness; skirting the censors with detached allure, almost as if time is frozen, waiting to be melted down. Essentially, it's precursory calm to rainclouds of beauty frighteningly affecting the aural terrain. "Marc's Descent" rallies shiver-inducing violins, bobbing and weaving through scales in a kind of slow motion blues. Long, sustained rumbles interconnect with winded melody lines. Juddering percussive drones and church organ are thickly dense, like double decker buses ploughing snowy roads. You're able to recognise a distinction in range from "Slumber Tides", as if determination enraptures Haines' muse to bear his soul deeper than ever.

Crippled momentum finding tangents can be observed as an underlying theme of Haines', from his more digestible collaborations with Wouter Van Veldhoven, to his Miasmah debut. But none have seen him so agonisingly powerful as on the last two compositions of "Until The Point Of Hushed Support". Interplay defining a stuttered pulse is a joy to behold, and when the strings finally break into the forefront, you can feel the energy peak. The melodies on "In The Event Of A Sudden Loss" are stuffed with minute pleasures, begging for renewal, and receiving it with silence and subsidence. Slowly unfolding atmospheres partner electronic warbles, until glockenspiel entrails a rising appearance of string quintet, dissimilar to Max Richter's "Blue Notebooks" highpoints. Negotiating tentative steps with mournful string accompaniment, the notations repeat, flutter into darkened air pockets, conflating to a seemingly higher cause.

It's on "Until The Point Of Least Resistance", where a dying radio whispers against choral tones that we enounter harmonic climax, yet five minutes pass and it feels like an age. This is an uncanny truce of Haines that places him arbitrary from failed revolution - an ability to scuplt literally timeless sound-spheres that take in arresting chaos and filter it through shutters; those as awe-inspiring standing vertical as they are lying horizontal. Gripping would be the adjective of choice for this phenomenal conclusion, to a breathtaking album that's massively recommended.

Purchase: CD

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SubVersion Stop 82: Atomic Skunk - Portal CD (Vernal Equinox)

Birdsong querying boundaries introduces Atomic Skunk's second commingling, "Portal". The use of field recordings layered with washes of drone recalls BJ Nilsen tranquilised of noise for noise's sake. Tied together by intelligence, slice through the blankets of reverb and you have a silhouette structurally derived from Eno's laboratory. But that's forgetting the inner integreties of Rich Brodsky, aka Atomic Skunk. As he transforms New Age's sullied perfume, reclaiming authenticity from a genre expressively blunted by over-exposure to defaults, "Portal" is goddamn spiffy, with bristling acoustic guitar frequencies painting a backdrop that doesn't impair itself with a fetish to linearity.

In practice, distances joining departure and arrival depend on measures in and out of control. It pays to elbow out distractions when under pressure, however disturbing the cyclical with foreign matter can hasten saving face. Additionally, planning disappointment well in advance optimizes the bridge from hope to regret. If fact and fantasy are to do us any service, Brodsky's "Portal" LP has fingertip care, with a liberal sprinkling of indeterminate entry and exit gates, typified by sounds of people, birds, flowing water, thunder, with glistening textures and beats that recall Eraldo Bernocchi's collaborations with Harold Budd.

With each sonic vocabularly set on a tome of 300 seconds and advancing, there's no weird consensual tug of "Chillout"'s traditional terminology and scaffolding. And that's what Brodsky's posit is - harnessing the urban grain of his multi-continetal peers while angling his masterplan into space. Violin meets twinkling stars of synth; formal evocation of barrier absence clasps your hand. Where intermingling of classic instruments (including the exotic mandolin) raise the stakes, "Portal" never threatens blockage, but entertains with gusts of jovial innocence. Recommended.

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Saturday, 27 February 2010

SubVersion Stop 81: Peter Van Cooten - SubVersion guest mix via www.ambientblog.net

"The SubVersion 15 Minutes of Fame format dictates that any mix should contain no more than 10 tracks and last no longer than 40 minutes. That's an average of 4 minutes per track. In the 'collage' mix format I mostly use, 4 minutes is about the maximum time any included sample gets played - usually far more tracks overlay at any single instance. (Check http://www.ambientblog.net to download those mixes). So I had to restrict myself and start creating a 'mixtape' mix format for this particular mix.

I tried to create some balance between the electronic and the organic. Between voice, machines and nature. But also between the sounds of infinite space (as recorded by the NASA Voyager in the 90's) and the intimate sounds of raindrops (on the Monolake track). 'Tension' / 'Release'...: the dynamics of everyday life. I truly hope this mix may help to prove that ambient music is not just meant to be 'easy on the ears'. Thanks to Muttley / SubVersion for asking me to do this mix!"


00:00 Ian Hawgood - A Film bij Chihei Hatakeyama
(Slow Films in Low Light, 2010)
04:48 Yannick Frank - Beaurieux
(Favourite Places 2, 2009)
07:56 NASA Voyager Recordings - Symphonies of the Planets 2
(NASA Voyager Recordings vol. 1, 1992)
13:00 Monolake - Watching Clouds
(Silence, 2009)
17:00 Jim Cole & Spectral Voices - Passion
(Sky - Overtone Singing in a Water Tower, 2007)
21:35 Yann Novak - Shortwaves to Longwaves
(Flowers, Dragon's Eye Fourth Anniversary, 2010)
26:54 Helios - The Jaguar Sun
(Unreleased, vol. 1)
29:35 Kim Cascone - Spectral Space
(The Astrum Argentum, 2007)
31:58 David Kristian & Ryosuke Aoike - Kenzobutsu
(Ghost Storeys, 2006)
34:17 Jóhann Jóhannsson - Escape
(And in the Endless Pause there came the sound of Bees, 2009)


Wednesday, 24 February 2010

SubVersion Stop 80: Yoru - A Different Animal EP (Rudimentary Records 001)

Cutlery isn't needed to eat, but ensures etiquette. By applying that theology, are paying audiences expecting cleanliness, or do serrated edges affirm life? Tales of product artificiality date back centuries - classical music congeals snobbishness like minimal hides and lacks resolve. "A Different Animal", Yoru's debut on Rudimentary Records, encodes and articulates a commendable spin.

The EP's four tracks genre-bend dubstep, dub techno, leftfield drum & bass and old school. Yoru strips formulae to bare bones, with a glossy finish that liberates, but also engenders observational convention. Music's development can pass us by if musings over quality are variable. Happily there's an earnestness wafting past the blueprint here, and Yoru isn't shamelessly mining components of each style - instead, arousing intrigue through utilising rhythm sparingly.

Rhythm And Sound, Martyn and Instra:mental's filaments arise to hybridise, with prospects of Yoru eschewing chronic rejection because of their widespread status. "Breathe out it's going to be fine", if one listens. "A Different Animal" isn't airbrushed or trite, but thawing frost into an absorbing multiplex. And I'll raise a glass if there's more where that came from.

Purchase @ 7digital

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