08 February 2008


I've always been annoyed that more artists don't try to be good once they get fame and fortune, as if the lure of commercialism contaminates them to the extent that their memory fails, refuses to let them return to a time when they were genuinely entranced by the possibilities of music, of experimentalism, of pushing boundaries (though personally I've always preferred it when boundaries are shifted just a little sideways). I guess Radiohead had a good go - though they still gave off a whiff of trying too hard to be hard, of relying too much on fans buying things regardless. And then there's all the contract-breakers, like Metal Machine Music (I know the jury's still out on that one but I'm coming down on the side of those who think Lou couldn't resist a final, petulant gesture - like that footballer who said he was going to score an own goal during some tricky contract negotiations). Same probably goes for Neil Young, who may well have lost a Neil Young look-a-like competition around the time of Trans and maybe even Aphex Twin, who clearly got colder feet than most after the first album.

But, anyway, it's always annoyed me that bands never really opened up after they'd got their success - The Shamen got to hit the pop charts and then sort of died a slow, merepop death (okay, there was the Terence McKenna track that might have messed with a few minds and I guess the Hempton Manor album but that just seemed like they'd run out of ideas). Seems to me there are worlds of opportunity missed out there:

Westlife's recreation of classic Routes From The Jungle breakbeat vibe - if their producers can make them that smooth, they can make them clanky and brittle and exhuasting.

Girls Aloud covers album - you remember this, right? I still think they should do a whole album of The The covers even though I'm off medication now...

Rachel Stevens fronting Neubauten - she's be sexier than Lydia Lunch and her soft, robotic personality would suit the boys well, I think.

David Bowie - actually, don't try anything David, you can be the excception; you have children now and it's always kinda embarassing for everyone.

Cascada offering up a Shackleton remix album (not so unlikely since legend has it that the guy behind Burial is also the guy behind Cascada who's also the guy behind most of the Belgian New Beat records of the late 80s/ early 90s)

Newton Faulkner releasing a minimal tech-house album on 4 one-sided heavyweight 12"s in a black velvet case with an octopus eating fried eggs embossed on it.

And why didn't Robbie Williams just release an album of instrumental doom-sludge-Earth-y metal?

Which brings me to todays track:

Dubfire - Ribcage

This guy used to be in the ultra-popular Deep Dish (and probably still is) but in his solo guise he's pushing different buttons and this is pleasantly rumbling, broken, machine-funk reminiscent of other, more 'arty' and credible minimalist producers and not unlike the Neubauten / Lydia Lunch track Thirsty Animal alluded to above. Okay, maybe a stretch too far but the bass sounds like I imagined the bass would sound before I'd heard the Neubauten track and heard it was a ribcage being pummelled. I'd be surprised if there was no link between the two tracks, even one that was largely unconscious.

The name - Dubfire - is a little crap but credit should be given for returning; wonder who else'll give it a go?

1 comment:

doppelganger said...

Didn't one of The Shamen like...actually die when they hit the big time?

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