Prancehall’s Bass Odyssey, Part 9

March 20, 2008

Late last Sunday evening, as my Lil Wayne concert ticket sat waiting in a courier's depot in West London, and as beads of beer sweat seeped out of my sorry pores, I travelled down the M4 from Bristol back to London. For the past few months, I've been DJing at a Bristol night called The Blast. Over in the South West, the parties are more fun, the people are friendlier and it wouldn't surprise me if soon the music will be better. The guys at The Blast put on amazing Fabric-style line-ups, which can be enjoyed without the hassle of having to deal with scores of gormless tourists and gurning 17-year-olds bumping into you all night. On Saturday, I was so drunk I had total memory loss, but I've been told I was found near the place I was staying out on the street at 7 AM trying to buy a bike off a tramp for 60p so I could cycle back to the club to play another set. That's surely a sign of a good party.

Unsurprisingly, I never made it to the Lil Wayne show on Sunday, but check the video above to see how we treat rappers we've paid at least £25 to see. Welcome to London. Instead, I spent the night listening to a mix CD given to me by a Bristol MC called Koast.

Koast, "The Koast Is Clear"

The above track was co-produced by Bristol's dubstep dude Forsaken and grime dude Joker. If Timbaland was a teenager from Bristol who grew up on a diet of grime and computer games, he would sound like Joker. Also, I'm sure I've mentioned before how a lot of dubstep sends me into a rage with boredom, but Forsaken's deep, musical, percussion-led production is a welcome antidote to the dark, slowed-down d&b that is plaguing the genre. The same is true of a lot more Bristol producers.

For the last few years, glacial Germanic minimalism and powerful Croydon sub bass have been consolidated by forward-thinking producers in the South West to form something as inspiring as dubstep initially was. Taking influence from techno labels like Basic Channel, artists such as Pinch and Peverlist, and their respective labels Tectonic and Punchdrunk, have helped to craft a sound that will long outlast the current bong-shaped-bouncy-castle-cod-Jamaican-vocal dubstep dreck that former Pendulum fans are smearing their knickers over.

If you're interested in hearing some more of this stuff, as well as other types of dubstep, check this mix of solely Bristol productions by Forsaken. (Tracklist at the bottom of this page.)

In other hilarious but totally expected news, I heard while the video for "Wearing My Rolex" was being shot yesterday, Wiley decided he wasn't into the idea, so refused to take part and instead sat in a car all day. I'm picturing Wiley slumped stubbornly across the back seats with his arms folded with label people continuously coming and trying to coaxe him out. In the end they had to shoot the video without him. I once went to Roll Deep's studio in Limehouse to interview him and the rest of the crew, but when I arrived he decided he didn't feel like talking so sat in the room next door smoking weed throughout the time I was there. It seems as hard as he tries, Wiley won't be able to derail the success of his new single, though. Radio 1's painfully dull, but somehow hugely influential DJ, Jo Whiley (AKA a corpse with a pair of headphones), has made "Wearing My Rolex" her single of the week, meaning thousands of Stereophonics fans will now probably go and buy it to play at shit local discos in remote village church halls. I'm predicting it easily going top ten when it's released. I wouldn't even be surprised if it got to number one.


Forsaken: Make no Mistake

01. Intro

02. Gemmy - Back 2 the Future

03. Koast - Koast is Clear

04. Joker - Retro Racer

05. Komonazmuk & Whiteboi - Shankstep

06. Headhunter - Sushi Brain

07. Joker - Snake Eater

08. Diem - Sitar Dub

09. Gatekeeper & Appleblim - Tomb

10. Headhunter - New Dawn

11. Forsaken - Sensei

12. Pinch - Qawaali

13. Gatekeeper - Tense Past

14. Wascal - Protocol V2

15. RSD - Pretty Bright Lights

16. Monkeysteak - Lighthouse Dub

17. Forsaken feat. Ben Blackmore - Sagrada

18. Peverelist - Roll With The Punches

19. Peverelist - Infinity is Now

20. Forsaken feat. Ben Blackmore - Calles Traseras

21. Appleblim & Peverelist - Circling

22. Forsaken - Boat Noodles

Posted: March 20, 2008
Prancehall’s Bass Odyssey, Part 9