The Dubstep Yamo B There Connection

Pangaea is a producer in the Dubstep vein that I like quite a lot for being one of the guys who resists the siren call of the obnoxious wobble bass.

He’s not about a bit of appropriation, specifically the chopped, screwed, and pitch-shifted R&B Vocal thing that Burial employed to great affect on his long player Untrue. He also share’s Burial’s love of ElB’s chicken scratch 2 step beats. He’s not a complete Burial clone though, but he definitely scratches some of the same itches for me.

But whether or not he’s original or derivative is irrelevant to this post; what I’m wondering is if my suspicions are true and his track “Router” contains a vocal sample of comedy punching bag Michael McDonald, of the Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers, and Ya Mo B There fame. It sure sounds like it, though I can’t identify the particular track. Furthermore, tracking it down would require listening to the Michael Macdonald oeuvre, something that could put me right over the fucking edge.


The most unfortunate Michael Mcdonald picture I could find.
The most unfortunate Michael Mcdonald picture I could find.


I found the track Pangaea sampled: Baby I’m For Real. God what a slab of shite.

KRUI Noise Radio Chaircrusher DJ Mixes

Here they are, hot off the presses. Turn your speakers DOWN before you play them because I noticed in studio that the bass on these is huge. Something I’ll watch out for on future mixes. Doesn’t sound distorted or bad, just HUGE.

Track Listings

Mix 1

CongosCongoman (12″ Mix)
New World AquariumNY
Patrice ScottDo You Feel Me
ChaircrusherSergeant Ridiculous
DeadbeatSun People
East IslandMaster of Servir
AmeSun Sugar
XDBDescap Live
VoomVoomSau Verought
Stewart WalkerStundenzimmer
Serge GainsbourgNew York USA (Chaircrusher Edit)
Bochum WeltB2
2562Moog Dub
Raymond ScottToy Typewriter (Chaircrusher Remix)

Mix 2

Omar-SLuv U Alex
Rick WadeI can’t Take It
Patrice ScottSunrise Dub Mix
Mike HuckabyFantasy
Reggie DokesMissing You
MoodymanSweet Yesterday
Osunlade139th Street
Ian PooleyIn Other Words
TyreeAcid Crash
Steve Silk Hurley feat. M DocIt’s Percussion
Cerrone ParadiseJoey Negro Remix
First ChoiceLet No Man Put Asunder
Terrence Parker vs Joe SmoothLove’s Got Me High/Forever My Love
Derrick May vs Octave OneStrings of Love/Blackwater

Universal Audio UAD-1E $99 CHEAP

UAD-1e Express Pack at for $99

Apparently Audiomidi isn’t the only place with this deal, but it’s an insane price. It lists at $499, and Audiomidi regularly has them at $299. At that price, you can buy more than one, and the drivers support up to 4 in one system.

This is a SHARC based hardware accelerator for running VST audio plugins. I tested both a UAD-1 PCI and a TCI Powercore for Grooves Magazine years ago and thought the UAD-1 was killer.

Serge Gainsbourg “New York USA” Edit

Serge Gainsbourg’s New York USA — Chaircrusher Simplistic Edit

This is a DJ tool — I could, and should spend more time on it, but I’m playing on the radio next Saturday and wanted to use this track. It’s all live drumming, and it’s only 2 minutes 18 seconds long originally — not much there to mix with. So this is re-clocked, with some of the percussion breaks looped and a proper kick drum, and Bob’s your uncle.

Knowing Gainsbourg, this song might be some sort of elaborate dirty joke, but I prefer the surface reading of the lyrics:

J’ai vu New York/New York USA/Je n’avais rien vu d’aussi haut/Oh ! C’est haut, c’est haut/New York/New York USA

I saw New York, New York USA, I had never seen anything so high! Oh so high! Oh so high! New York, New York USA!

There’s something so childlike and open about that, and that refrain of “Oh c’est haut!” is so sweet. What that has to do with an African beat, only Serge knows. But the more I listen to Gainsbourg the more I think he was a complete genius. I just have that 3CD Gainsbourg/Gainsbarre CD set, but I can see being completist about Serge. There’s so much to his body of work beyond “Je t’aime ma non plus,” “Lemon Incest,” and “Comic Strip.”

Bunker NYC Show I wish I could go to

Bryan Kasenic, a super nice guy who booked me twice to play at the late lamented Halcyon in Brooklyn, continues to be involved with arguably the best electronic music nights in New York City.  This latest one for next weekend is a completely amazing lineup.  I buy a lot of music from Boomkat, and the line-up is heavy on some of my favorite Boomkat finds.  No mistake that Andy Stott and Claro Intelecto release records on Modern Love, the Boomkat in-house label.

Department of Dance Music WTF: Kurd Maverick?

The world already had enough versions of “Blue Monday”but Noooooo, this German guy “Kurd Maverick” decided to cash in on it yet again. I haven’t heard the whole track, Gott Sei Dank! But the snippet at trackitdown is more than enough.

It’s putting a lot on this “Kurd Maverick” to say that this sort of thing is what is wrong with commersh dance music, but everything annoying, cloying and awful about modern club music is all there in this track.

And WTF about the name “Kurd Maverick?” Here’s what it makes me think of:

John McCain

The Album Cover Meme.

Noise Addicts come up with a ‘name your band, name your album, choose a cover image’ meme.

1. Go to Wikipedia and hit “random” and the first article you get is the name of your band.
2. Go to “Random Quotations”. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page will be the title of your new album.
3. Go to Flickr and click on “Explore the Last Seven Days”. The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

So here’s my album cover. Weirdly the random pic is of the Fort Kent Train Station:


A Critique Of Pure Jargon

As regards My post about Micachu, a friend wrote to me:

not intended to be sarcastic at your expense. I went through your review and xxxed out all words that either conveyed nothing to me (in my ignorance; like i know who matthew herbert is but not what that implies abotu how the album would sound) or that seemed to me to be content-free (eg “embrace the chaos”) and got the following dada-esque review:
‘xxx is a sort of next big thing-esque young woman from xxx, whose debut album about to be release was produced by veteran xxx xxx xxx. The songs on the myspace page remind me of xxx from xxx, having some of that xxx xxx xxx, though xxx seems to xxx xxx xxx a bit more than that duo. xxx xxx’s album “xxx xxx” is perhaps the high water mark of musical xxx, kind of like the first xxx record as heard by someone on a xxx xxx xxx.
xxx isn’t as deliberately xxx as that, but she’s not afraid to xxx the xxx, as she does on this “mix tape” which features some of her xxx xxx xxx on the xxx tip, with occasional vocal interjections from xxx, mashed together voices, and musique concrète.’

Fair enough I guess. I was depending on readers knowing things I can’t know they’ll know, to understand what I was on about.  On the other hand, I don’t try and live up to the same standards in blog posts that I follow when I write reviews for publication.  A big part of my review-writing narrative is the assumption that many readers aren’t going to be aware of everything I might bring to listening to a piece of Music. I’m someone who spends a large portion of their waking hours listening to, making, or thinking about music, so I have a domain-specific knowlege set a casual reader would not.

When I write on my blog, I don’t feel the same responsibility to explain, or to judge what needs explaining.  First, it’s a more personal forum, and until the big bucks start rolling in for my blogging expertise, I’m not going to waste time worrying about whether people can follow what I’m saying.  Second, with two examples of Micachu’s music included in the post, one can presumably gloss over the stuff in my post you don’t get, and judge the music independent of anything I might have to say.

Third, I think my friend goes a bit far, x-ing out some things that aren’t arcane references or untethered metaphor.  I’d think ‘obtuse’ would be part of most people’s vocabulary, and the meaning of an ‘obtuse’ composer or musician shouldn’t require a  lot of sweat to understand.

Micachu Filthy Friends Mix Tape

Micachu is a sort of next big thing-esque young woman from London, whose soon-to-be-released debut album was produced by veteran nutter Matthew Herbert. The songs on the myspace page remind me of Blectum from Blechdom, having some of that duo’s manic ridiculous WTF-ness, though Micachu hold things together more. Blevin Blectum’s album “Magic Maple” is perhaps the high water mark of musical WTF-ness; it’s the first Slits record as heard by someone on a jimson weed trip.

Micachu isn’t as deliberately obtuse as Blevin, but she’s not afraid to embrace the chaos, as she does on this ‘mix tape’ which features some of her London fellow travelers. It comprises some Grime cuts, occasional vocal interjections from Micachu, mashed together found voices, and musique concrète.


I’m not the first person to link this, but I did put it on my own server so you won’t have to poke around on the myspace page to find it or go to a megasnotload type site. You’re welcome!

U2 Who Knew?

I’ve never been a big U2 fan. I think I bought “The Unforgettable Fire” and never really went back to them. Along the way there have been a number of their songs that I liked a lot, but being U2, it was unnecessary to actually acquire a personal copy. Their music is on the radio and ‘in the air’ enough that actually owning it seems redundant. Plus, when it comes to music I’m always away from the big campfire poking around under the bushes, looking for interesting and odd things.

But U2’s performance on David Letterman last night pretty much blew me away. I don’t even know the song — it’s one from the new album. But several things struck me about the performance:

The band is supernaturally tight, and it only takes 3 of them to generate an arena-sized sound.  I know the new album has a lot of Eno’s mutters and burbles from what I read in the Times the other day, but these guys could cut an album in a day, just playing live, and I think it would be just as good.

Bono, when I hear recordings, kind of leaves me cold as a singer.  He’s always a bit over the top, in an almost Elton John way, only with a much better singing voice than Elton John.  There’s something too ingratiating and eager to please in his delivery.  But seeing him do what he does in front of an audience it all makes sense.  Put him in front of an audience and he’s several things at once — carnival barker,  ridiculous go go dancer, rock and roll singer, and regular bloke just chuffed to be there. As an aside, I’ve seen Coldplay on TV a few times recently, and I realize now that Chris Martin’s hyperactive contortionist shtick he got straight from Bono, but on Martin it looks awkward and self-conscious.

And the audience was as interesting to watch as the band in this context.  The first 2 thirds of the song, the collection of random out-of-towners and college students stayed in their seats and enjoyed the show pretty much as though they were watching it on television. But the last third of the song, after Bono got right in their faces and commanded  them to stand, they were all on their feet clapping and cheering, almost as loud as the band itself.  In the course of five minutes U2 owned the joint like they’d already paid off the mortgage.

The fact that I got this all from watching it on television really says something.  After a lifetime (Almost 30 years, dude — their first album was all over college radio when I was in college in 1980) of listening to U2 with an attitude of indifference, I get it now.  I still will get more excited on a day to day basis about Omar S and Fennesz and Burial and Melt Banana, but as far as I’m concerned U2 has nothing to prove to me any more.  They’re a great band long after most of the performers in their cohort are dead or bitter overweight night watchmen, and perhaps the best live performers currently working.  Basically it’s U2, Prince and Bruce Springsteen, and everyone else a distant second.

Jumping on the Dubstep Bandwagon, 5 Years Late….

I don’t claim to be an expert on Dubstep. I’m not British for one thing, and my taste runs to stuff that really isn’t in the clubbing Dubstep comfort zone. What I like about Dubstep is its heritage twice or thrice removed from Jamaican Dub, its re-purposing of the 2 step shuffle from UK Garage, the deep bass, and most of all, the way certain producers go their own way when the big bucks are in cranking up with the next wobbly bass stepper.

Most of these are tracks I’ve acquired (by paying for them, funnily enough) along with a few oddities, like the Random Trio track, which turned up in odd corners of the internet. I’m sure I’m doing it all wrong, with respect to real Dubstep DJs, and I’m sure my track choice is probably way too obvious to some. But it’s something I enjoyed spending a few hours lashing together, and it’s meant to be an example of the form for an article I’m planning to write…

Direct Link For Download

RECORDING TECHNIQUE: Ableton Live, sequenced live with a MIDI controller. 43 minutes 33 seconds. I did edit the last mix after I was done, but everything else is just fingers in motion.

Track Listing

1. Martin – Vancouver (2562s Pour Natuur Mix)
2. Random Trio – Marachi Kinky
3. Scuba – Twista
4. Plastician – Unhappy Shopper
5. Vex’d – Ghost
6. Mark One – Doomed
7. Skream – Bahl Fwd
8. 2562 – Greyscale
9. Burial – U Hurt Me
10. Scuba – Timba
11. Kode 9 & Space Ape – 9 Samurai
12. Burial – Archangel
13. Martyn – Virgo

Pluggo gratification

Well it took 4 days, but my shiny new Pluggo is authorized. In honor of this I put together a sort of fake techno jam:
Pluggo Test

All sounds are from Pluggo Instruments — Analog Drums, Analog Percussion, Deep Bass, Additive Heaven. Pluggo FX are Feeback Network and Chamberverb. Other than that I used a limiter on the channel playing the Feedback Network.

Of course, Pluggo is wacky, and one unusual wackiness is that the instruments can stumble rhythmically. You can hear this happening at 1:16…

I can see why a lot of people don’t think very highly of Pluggo; compared to a lot of other plugins they’re kind of difficult to control and they can sound really raw, even ugly. Of course those are the things I like about them. They’re a nice compromise between the
low level monkeying you have to do with Reaktor or Max, and the limited sonic possibilities of more straightforward plugins.

Oh and ‘Pluggo’ is also, apparently, the manufacturer of of machines that put the rubber caps on sterile blood sample vials.


SO FAR SO SO: Retrospective 1995-2005

I’ve been meaning to do this for some time, so here goes. This is a collection of unreleased songs from my back catalog. There’s all sorts of genres represented, but in choosing the tracks, I tried to pick songs that were the best example of I was doing at any given time. I haven’t dated them here, but some of them date themselves. For example, when was it a big deal to do an Amen break track? When were 90BPM hip hop instrumentals something people made a million of?

These tracks are lousy with uncleared samples; consequently if anyone actually recognizes a sample of their work and objects I’ll remove the file.

If someone takes a particular shine to a track and wants to remix it let me know. Most of these only exist as mixdowns of long-lost percursor files and sequences, but if I can provide individual sounds, I’d be happy to.

So Far So So — one zip file

1. NYE[audio:]

2. Morton’s Shadow (samples from Morton Subotnick “Silver Apples of the Moon” and DJ Shadow) [audio:]

3. Lucas[audio:]

4. Noise Dub[audio:]

5. Grandiose (with Lucas Williams on Guitar)[audio:]

6. Sweetness (samples Lush)[audio:]

7. Windchime[audio:]

8. Monked (samples Theleonius Monk and Weather Report)[audio:]

9. The Wrong Trousers (with Axy Jeeb)[audio:]

10. Mayday[audio:]

11. Little Miss (samples Raymond Scott and Elaine Elias)[audio:]

12. Inna (samples Inna & the Farlanders)[audio:]

13. Hubert (samples Hubert Laws)[audio:]

14. Honey (samples (samples Sweet Honey In The Rock)[audio:]

15. Gee Why[audio:]

16. Busy Signal[audio:]

17. AD Remix (based on samples from Andrew Duke)[audio:]

18. Labor Day[audio:]

19. Nativity (samples some crazy bible story 7″ record)[audio:]

20. Redux [audio:]

Creative Commons License
SO FAR SO SO by Kent Williams is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at