Friday, October 08, 2004


As Nick G effortlessly downloads the Mark One LP onto his i-Pod, I'm reminded that, sad old git that I am, I actually caught the bus into town with my two daughters to get a vinyl copy from the weird transtemporal aberration known only as Acorn Records.

The bus was packed with school-kids and, in the seat behind me, were a couple of young lads, only about 8 years old, each with a deck of cards, playing what I thought was Yu-Gi-Oh, or something similar. I tried to see what they were playing without being too obvious and was somewhat bemused to see their cards had the logo for FHM magazine on the back. Closer inspection revealed that the cards contained pictures of glamour models and Page 3 Girls. "My Jordan beats your Giselle," sneered one of the lads, without a trace of irony as he reached to snatch his mate's card from him. "Yeah, but my Jodie Marsh beats yours, dickhead," countered lad#1, triumphantly.

I could just make out that the cards had stats on them, but I wonder what points-system they use: Breast size? No. of 'I fucked a famous footballer' stories in the tabloids? Appearances in Okay, Hello, Loaded or Heat? Extra bonus-points for sleeping with Robbie Williams, snogging Madonna, scrapping with Jessie Wallace or having a kid by Liam Gallagher? The mind boggles...

Christ, I swear those kids were only about 8 years old. Suddenly, I feel very old...


(With apologies to Gutterbreakz...)

The Latin Rascals. Dizzee's middle-class cousins from Surrey. Their dad sells second hand cars, Mondeos and small jeeps, mainly; their mum works in a flower-shop. She's kept her figure; friends say she looks good for her age. The youngest brother just got a 2.2 in Social Studies at college and is thinking of doing teacher training. Jimmy, the eldest, is an engineer.

Their mates take the piss out of their mullets, but strangely, it seems to pull the birds.


Last night I dreamt I met Dizzee Rascal outside a pub in West Coker. Seemed like quite a nice bloke, but I was surprised to find he had a really broad West Country accent: "Awreet, me old sonner, 'ow's it goin', then?"

It was a sunny day, so we went for a walk down a long, winding country road. Dizzee produced a bag of strange, alien-looking skunk: thick, black blobs of resinous gelatin that moved around on his hand. I watched with mounting horror and fascination as blobs of the drug wiggled and wobbled while he attempted to skin up with huge beige and sepia sheets of A4: "Bloody stuff," he laughed, "more trouble than it's blinkin' worth..." His drugs were turning hairy. They were crawling around on the papers like a clutch of fat, mutant catapillars; they were completely evil, I realised, but I desperately wanted some...

Dizzee laughed through a cloud of thick, dark grey smoke: "This stuff'll take yer fuckin' face off, matey..." but he wouldn't let me have any. Everytime I reached for it, he receded away from me, laughing as his face twisted and melted like bubbling layers of black tar, his eyes turning black, then popping and bursting like bubbles of dark resin. The drug was possibly sentient; it was possessing him somehow, but I still wanted some. Layers of black, plastic-like skin were peeling off his face in slow-motion, as his features twisted and lengthened.

Later, we rehersed in the skittle-alley of a village pub. Dizzee had set up huge bass-bins and was playing a CD of a new track he was working on. I soldered together a box of wires that made a loud, fizzing noise when I pressed a small blue button. This seemed to mix really well with the wobbly, twisted, corkscrew beats and blurred, rubber-band bass coming from the speakers. We both shouted into a cardboard-box with small holes cut in the base that altered our voice into something that sounded inhuman. It scared us both shitless, but in a nice way.

Giggling, we headed back inside the pub for a pint.


The new Mark One LP on Planet Mu is fucking excellent, by the way.

A nice mixture of dense, brooding, Grimey/Sub-Lo skunkstrimentals and upliftingly-grubby little shoutalongs spread across three thick slabs of vinyl. Detuned square-wave synth-sounds give an early Warp Records/Bleep vibe to a couple of tracks, while others seem to revel in oppressive, paranoid beats and orchestral-stabs worthy of mid-period Cabaret Voltaire: you can almost hear the CCTV surveillence-cameras whirring as they track your progress through grainy archive-footage of burning, boarded-up city-centres.

But forget the comparisons: the music never feels anything other than fresh, contemporary and vital: there's some 'ting for everyone.

"Anger Management" sounds like a militant Old School Arcade Game possessed by dead RnB backing-vocalists. "Came from the Deep" is straight outa Innsmouth: sludgey, submarine beats and bleeps: the inhuman fish-bastard-hybrid of Dagon and Jaws.

"The Industry" is Bolshevik Grime: a constructivist nightmare come to life, lurching around the ruins of Chernobyl on angular, stilt-like limbs, square wheels and synthetic-hydraulics.

"Ready for it" goes something like: "Hit 'em wit the sickness/Don' get me started, byoi/Jump on the chat like Bleuuuughh/Wanna get witness/tell me, are you ready for the bleeeurrrrgh/Lyrically nauseous/From the Hood to the Marshes/everyone's like: euuuurgghhh/Can't sleep no more/I see demons/It's like the whole world's plottin' and schemin'..."

Great stuff.


I was gonna suggest that Dom's new Nazi-themed band featuring Tina from S-Club should've been called Love Camp 7...

but then I found that an American indie band had already nicked the name. Tasteless bastards.