October 21, 2012, 1:03 pm
A little over five years ago a good friend of mine returned from Berlin with a ridiculously named German compilation album from the late 1970s. Only one of the tracks, Space’s seminal Italo disco classic “Magic Fly” was worth bothering with, the rest being a collection of eurotrash that ranged from the forgettable to the downright bizarre. Its name, “Urlaubshits”, struck a chord with me, its literal English translation being “holiday hits”, putting the album somewhere alongside the throngs of forgotten Ayia Napa and Ibiza compilations of the late 90s and anything with the words “dance”, “anthems”, and “clubland” in the title. At the time, I had decided to jump on the blogging bandwagon, being unsure of my path in life (and unemployed) following university. Having rejected guitar music of all kinds following a year in which I ditched my guitar and bought some turntables, it was clear that this blog was to be about music. At the time, music blogging still felt like a very personal thing. Each blog had it’s own personality which went beyond a hollow branding exercise, and although there was no doubt that a lot of people were doping it to raise their profiles as writers DJs, producers or promoters, the passion shone through. But ultimately, the whole scene of “bloghouse” which was driving a lot of these blogs felt as disposable as that Urlaubshits compilation. It was clear what the name of the blog had to be, as ridiculous as it was.
In my opening manifesto I pledged to dig a little deeper than other blogs, to bring the music that might have slipped through the cracks elsewhere. I strove to maintain a high standard of writing. But more than anything I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone as much as anyone reading the blog. I had toyed with doing a final “best of” mix but somehow it didn’t seem appropriate to look back, which is why my final mix explores the murky world of “bass music”, possibly the most contentious genre name that I can remember in my lifetime. The first three tracks are basically just techno, but with searing bass and breaks that sound like they’ve been directly influenced by drum & bass than anything coming out of Berlin. There’s also some contemporary grime, 136BPM percussive oddities and stuff that sort of sounds like dubstep but probably isn’t. Anyone who’s read this blog for a while will know just how far out of my comfort zone I’ve strayed since I began five years ago, and this seemed like the most fitting note to end on. I can only hope that I’ve lived up to my pledges, and that anyone that’s ever visited here has found something of interest.
Some have asked me why I’m ending the blog, and although the easy answer is “I don’t have enough time”, deep down the real reason is because it just doesn’t make sense anymore. It feels like a relic of a bygone age, before 360 media synergy and cross branding exercises to sell T-shirts and tickets to club nights. Beyond this blog being solely written by me, it increasingly feels like there’s nothing to hold together the disparate content contained within its archives. Although it will remain online to browse for the forseeable future, now, more than ever feels like the time to move on, to regroup, and refocus my energies onto something else.
Before I sign off I want to offer my sincerest thanks to Daniel Jones for finding the inspiration for this blog in that Berlin record shop all that time ago (and for kindly providing me with web hosting) and to everyone else who has taken an interest along the way.
01. Untold – Motion The Dance [Hemlock Recordings]
02. Special Request – Lolita (Warehouse Mix) [Special Request]
03. Answer Code Request – Reflected [Answer Code Request]
04. Ruff Draft – Lone Ranger [Ruff Draft]
05. Kowton – Des Bisous [Pale Fire]
06. Bandshell – Rise Em [Hessle Audio]
07. Bambounou – Mass [50 Weapons]
08. Helix – Stacks Riddim [All Caps]
09. Mickey Pearce – Tempted (F+ck Tonto edit) [Ten Thousand Yen]
10. Tessela – Darlene, Please [2nd Drop]
11. Joe – Claptrap [Hessle Audio]
12. Pangaea – Won’t Hurt [Hessle Audio]
13. Pinch & Shackleton – Jellybones [Honest Jon's]
14. Zhou – I Remain [Punch Drunk]
15. Objekt – The Goose That Got Away [Objekt]
16. Slackk – 90 Years [Local Action]