Thursday, October 16, 2008

Weareie Live in the Mix

There's a couple of gigs coming up featuring the weareie Cru which may be worth a look for d+b and reggae/dancehall fans:

First up, Naphta comes out of retirement (for the nth time) tomorrow night to play at Don Rosco, T-woc and !Kaboogie's Wobble night at the horrifically renamed 'Twisted Pepper' (formerly Traffic) on Middle Abbey St. The old goat will be playing a set of 'dirty techstep', alongside the dubstep residents, so get your 10 euro ready and head on down around 11 or so for this slightly incongruous combination (great flyer btw).

The following month, Sunday November 16th has me making a debut appearance alongside Ireland's premier soundsystem at the excellent Worries Outernational 'Dancehall styles' session at the (also horrifically renamed) 'Button Factory' (formerly the Music Centre) in Temple Bar. It's been a while since I've played out any dancehall, and, with a huge weight of tunes to get off my back, I have a bulging bag of early 90's roots riddims lined up. Expect a tuff selection featuring loads of classic riddims with artists like Garnett Silk, Stitchie, Bounty, Bailey, Papa San, Shelly Thunder and Tiger in the mix... Doors are at 10 and admission is free.

Both gigs will hopefully be recorded and given the weareie treatment, but if you want to be sure of hearing these sets you'd better get your asses down there for each night!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Blogariddims 50 / Terminus

Well here we are at the last ever episode of Blogariddims. Some of you may think that we‰¥úre crying wolf ‰¥ă after all the first series ended ambiguously with episode 24, but that was never intended to be a definitive ending, just a pause for breath as I rallied the troops and looked for new blood. We're ending the series with a collection of short sets from some of the most crucial contributors, each of whom has produced roughly 7 minutes of music that has been slotted together to form this CD length final episode. Initially this set was going to consist of a drunken spoken word monologue from myself in which I aired all my grudges and complaints from the last couple of years. Unfortunately I ended up with a 5 hour recording that couldn't be edited down to a comprehensible 74 minutes rant. John Eden also suggested that my final post should be a 'Blogariddims - exposed' tabloid piece where I named and shamed those who fecked up the schedule in one way or another, but TBH, I just wouldn't know where to start with that... ;)

So I relented in the end and think the alternative solution is actually pretty good, and I suppose it has the added benefit of embodying the eclectic community spirit of the series in one episode, We've decided to go all conceptual with the blog posts for this one as well. In order to get all the info for this one, you're going to have to follow the links from blog to blog which have all been posted with military precision at exactly 5pm today (fingers crossed).

The full running order and links to each post are below, and the link to the next blog is at the bottom of this post.
So for the last time (thank god) - Download direct below, subscribe here, or peruse the series at your leisure here.

Blogamuffins - Blogariddims 50 / Terminus (107.2mb.mp3)

1. Nomos
2. John Eden and Paul Meme
3. Matt B
4. The Rambler
5. Wayne
6. Droid
7. Gutta
8. Heatwave
9. Hal
10. DJ Flack
11. Slug

First up is Paul Nomos over at Deeptime... Tempting as it may be, don't just cheat and read the next post here - you'll spoil it for yourself!

Blogariddims 50 / Terminus : Stars of the 90's

OK, all going to plan, you've come to this post from Wayne's summary of his mini-mix. If not, go there now, or if you're totally confused, go all the way back to the start and continue from there...

I had a lot of trouble pinning down exactly what to do for this slot. Myself and Slug originally planned to string together 6 minutes of hardcore jungle breakdowns, but as the project panned out and it became evident that we would each need to do a piece, we decided to split up - Slug to complete his epic 'theme from blogariddims', and myself to dip a toe into one of my favourite sub-genres - early 90's dancehall instrumentals. I've covered some of this ground before in Blogariddims 16, and there's a lot of reading to go with this episode, so I won't bore you with too many verbose ramblings and simply stick to a short introduction.

Needless to say, this is more of a 'proof of concept' set for one of my countless and perennial 'planned-but-not-yet-executed' mixes, and one that is very close to my heart, as I've been tracking down these riddims on 7" and LP ever since I was first exposed to them via various radio shows and cheap compilations. I'm now at the point where I feel that I can confidently execute a set charting the progress of this strain of dancehall via some of the most prominent riddims (and dances) of the period. Whether or not I'll ever get the time to do so is another story... Anyway, as any collector will tell you, often the hardest thing to get your hands on is a decent instrumental. I've lost count of the times I've bought 7's online or on sight in a shop hoping to get the version on the B side only to find the same track on both sides (Penthouse are the worst for this), 'ghosted out' vocals that make the version un-mixable (stand up Steely and Cleevie), or a totally different version (everyone, but especially Jammys). It's basically pot luck as to whether or not you'll ever find the version! Now maybe this is an insidious plot to ensnare nerdy DJ types like myself into buying every 7' on each label (its working guys!), but more likely its simply down to the haphazard production environment in which a lot of these records are pressed.

And before you ask I'm not interested in 'silencing black voices' ;). On the contrary, in a genre dominated by the deejay and singer I want to give the producer more of a voice and allow these works to shine as the wonderful slices of Jamaican electronic music that they surely are...

1. Butterfly Riddim - Jammys
2. Bogle Riddim - Madhouse

3. Bruk Wine Butterfly Riddim - Mad house

4. Bulldozer Riddim - Digital B

5. Leaping Frog Riddim - Stone Love

6. Yuh Dead Now Riddim - Shocking Vibes

7. Big it Up Riddim - Madhouse

8. Mudd Up Riddim - Pickout

Gutterbreaks takes the next installment of this episode with his 7 or so minutes: 'It's the end but the moment has been prepared for'.

See you later!

Theme From Blogariddims (Adieu)

You should have come to this post via DJ Flacks section of this episode. if you didn't, go there now, go there now, or if you're totally confused, go all the way back to the start and continue from there...

We end this selection and the podcast with Slug's 'Theme from Blogariddims'. it seemed apt to end with something from Slug, as not only has he contributed 18%(!) of all the mixes in Blogariddims, he also produced the jingle, ran the cast whilst I was away, did a lot of audio clean-ups and tweaking on various episodes, and basically provided invaluable support throughout the whole project. Whilst i was on the forums revelling in all the glory and praise that running a high class podcast brings, Slug was beavering away in the background... so please, raise a glass to everyone's favourite gastropod and the unsung hero of Blogariddims as he describes his contribution to this selection:
Slug sez: The original blogariddims ident music (the distorted strings fade-up with the typewriter sounds at the beginning/middle end of each blogariddims) started it's life as a patch on my nord modular that was really just a series of 6 timed ocallators, on the 4th beat , 16th beat, 12th beat etc. A recording of this and some editing and delay in soundforge and the inclusion of a edited recording of my wife using her typewriter, gave us the first 15 second jingle. Half way through blogariddims (25) i updated the ident in ableton live to include wood blocks and strings - basically just following and replacing the original pattern (and it's wacky time signature).

Since then this ableton version has been sitting on my computer and i've been dipping in and out of it every now and then with the idea of making something more out of it. When droid first talked about episode 50 we had a very different idea for a shared contribution from us (see next post up) - but that didn't really pan out. For my part making a longer version of the ident seemed liked a better plan and the final 8 mins or so of Blogariddims 50 is the result. It's changed quite a lot over the last year but a lot of the original ideas still remain - it still explores different timing (more around the 4th and 6th beat) lots of delays and the circular fades of the ident. This version was recorded live, from ableton and them processed (and compressed) in forge
So - how do you measure success in a project as amorphous and disparate as this?

Since Blogariddims started 2 years back we've had over 200,000 downloads, a quadruple vinyl release and been part of an exhibition, it's been syndicated on Harvard college radio, Radio Magnetic and the Windows media guide (with an audience of about 1 million), it has involved 30 bloggers/DJs from all over the world, and I know for a fact that it has helped some of its contributors get gigs and achieve wider recognition... so in many ways i guess the podcast has wildly exceeded expectations, and I hope it will continue to provide some entertainment in the future as the episodes will remain available to new listeners ad infinitum. Most importantly I think, each set stands on it's own as a quality production and I think this is a real testament to the skill and passion of the contributors... regardless of what kind of style you're nominally 'in' to, you can sit down and listen to the whole cast without being jarred out of your seat by a careless selection at any point (well I can anyway).

From the fairly humble aim of simply exploring different styles and different approaches of presenting music without getting
too bogged down with technique or genre constrictions, the podcast blossomed into something more thanks to the knowledge and passion of its contributors. It goes without saying that Blogariddims would be nothing without this motley cru. As a small tribute to these foolhardy souls, I have immortalised them in the 'Blogamuffins' section of my link bar. And what about my role? In one of my initial emails fishing for contributions I asked them to consider me as nothing more than a bureaucrat (and not a very efficient one at that). Now obviously I've done some spectacular episodes myself ;) but when it comes to managing this thing I don't deserve much credit... a few emails and the odd bit of coding was all it took. All kudos should go to the hard working bloggers who sacrificed their time and effort and graciously submitted to my endless harassment to make this cast what it is. in particular I'd like to thank those who provided moral support, did multiple episodes or stepped in at the last moment to fill a gap in the schedule (Gutta, Halverson, Paul Nomos, Tim Rambler, Gabriel and the Heatwave cru) and especially the redoubtable John Eden and Paul Meme, who provided sympathetic ears to my constant moaning as well as going far beyond the call of duty with the quantity of work they submitted. I feel I should also apologise to those whom I have unjustly harangued in the name of the almighty schedule...

This is going to turn into an Oscar speech if I continue any further, so Id just like to finally send out my love to all subscribers, listeners and fans who've supported the project and bigged us up on the forums over the years...

Its been fun!