KID SHIRT

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

THE GREEN SHADES OF VAL DOONICAN

By a strange coincidence, Betty, I've got that EP too (was there a similarly titled LP?):



My Dad bought it back in the Sixties and it was a staple for many years in our household, along w/ Spike Jones, "Spanish Flea", "A Walk in the Black Forest", etc. I loved it when I was a kid: novelty songs, innit. But the title (I keep thinking it's called "The Greener Shades of Val Doonigan" !), the spooky greens on the typography and Val's crooked front tooth used to freak me out. Well, actually, they still do.

RSD: "CORNER DUB/PRETTY BRIGHT LIGHT"

The third release from the Rooted Records in-house label Punch Drunk is this mighty speaker-rattlin' duo of dubbed-out riddims from RSD:




RSD is legendary Bristol Dub n Beats don Rob Smith (Smith and Mighty, More Rockers). Tom says: "Nothing avant-garde or 'clever' about this release. These are functional soundsystem stepper rhythms. Very much a Bristol sound over a 'London' sound. I've followed Rob's music for a long time and met him through working at the shop..."

On "Corner Dub", militant digi-drums stride imperiously across a sub-woofer-blowin' lo-end landscape that slowly starts to dissolve in a blur of ricocheting delay and skittering sound-FX. Smith makes it all seem effortless: the beats are taut n tight and the production flawless: this is a masterclass in sound-engineering that encapsulates almost 30 years of Bristol Lo-end culture... it should equally appeal to 70s Dubheads like myself or Farmer Glitch, as well as anyone with an interest in Dancehall, Dubstep or post-Jungle beats.

"Pretty Bright Light" is more overtly 'Dubsteppy', I guess, with some serious bottom-end that's been making my Wharfdales wobble over the last few days...playing it right now and can actually feel the air move and vibrations in the soles of my feet. Some ghostly bloodclaat chat shifts in and out of the drum patterns, while the beats have a languidly-skippy rollage reminiscent of Old School Jungle; ah, but that bass-line: oooh nasty...

Punch Drunk very much reflects Tom's own tastes, which are open-minded and eclectic (Post-Junglism is a phrase he seems fond of...) and refuse to be tightly chained to any one specific genre. Respekt due.

KOMPLEKSI: "SARA PAIN"

I've mentioned Finnish electronic-group Kompleksi before. The band recently got in touch, so hopefully more info on them to follow, but, in the meantime, check out their strangely melancholic travelogue-themed vid for "Sara Pain":



"She was a skinny girl with a shirt and tie. Her name was Sara Pain. Her name was Sara Pain. Her name was Sara Pain. Sara Pain. Sara Pain."

The footage and edits remind me of the sort of homemade promos that Cabaret Voltaire used to put out on Doublevision many moons back. Trust me, the track's a real grower.