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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, 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)