Tuesday, 12 October 2010

I am counting bleeps

I had a feeling this was rolling into some guitar based – keeping the indie spirit [dead or] alive and sometimes it was the sound of machines that soothed my heart and perhaps I should write about that.

I guess those industrial towns that bring the soul down were crying out for the onslaught of technological future music and despite my loathing of a system that exploits and plunders people as commodities I’m thankful Detroit has burned and burned over the years. Because to be honest this is where I trace most of my musical journeys [oh you can say it was New York or Chicago or London and Manchester] but i think my heart lays somewhere in that Motor City. Admist the burned and broken buildings resides soul and I know you got soul.

But I don’t want to be all historical – and social – and political today – I just want to write about beats and bleeps. We know that these tunes are political statements – they are weapons – they undercut the banality of pop culture in an effort to create something new. They are opinions – wrapped up in LFO modulation calling out from that thick black vinyl to those who see new futures and horizons.

They make me want to dance.

I guess the thrill of the pill and the sublime experiences of acid house culture stay with you over time – but I was dreaming to the sound of repetitive beats for a long time before [if you count The Ronnettes – Be my Baby as a floor stomper] This Scunthorpe soul was amazed by the KORG catalogues in ‘Paul’s Music’ and Roland keyboards on TOTP – in fact the first instrument I owned wasn’t a guitar - it was CASIO MT65. Sort of creamy white with a few orange switches – it had simple drum loops and sounds you couldn’t modulate. But it felt like a synthesizer to me – like I was a member of The Human League or Depeche Mode.

And over time I would return to the euphoria of the acid bass line, the heavy beats and gated reverbs of ‘dance music’ – I just call it ‘music’ but you know some people get hung up on all of that. So it turns to late Saturday night this weekend just gone. Emma has ventured out – in celebratory style to drink, eat and laugh - looking happy and beautiful as she leaves for the taxi. Which leaves me at home with the twins and Constance – thankfully sleeping and thus giving me an evening to.

So where to start – as ever it starts with the beats – not the guitar and I find ‘High Tech Soul’, a DVD ordered some time back and still yet to be viewed. That’s because of children, tiredness and the fact that Emma knows that Derrick May ,Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson will not make her laugh like The Odd Couple or Miss Congeniality will. Nonetheless this paean to the emerging Techno scene of Detroit – the history it is not – but all the greats are on show – discussing those underground sounds that make you get down, finds its way to the DVD and I watch enthralled and amazed at the sound that Detroit produced – I remember those nights when Eddie ‘Flashin’ Fowlkes played – or Ritchie Hawtin or Weatherall and I was all out of breath and smiling and giddy and fawning and super charged and on it.

And then as I check the Guide [you see it’s The Guardian in our house – not just on Weekends either – papers should be delivered] I see that Fabric are hosting the 25th Birthday Party for Metroplex,with Juan Atkins manning the decks amongst other legends of Detroit.

And I am home – with children listening

And I am still dancing

MODEL 500:  No UFOs 1985