Tuesday, April 14, 2009


When Warren G first jacked Michael McDonald’s sublime “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)” for his almost as good “Regulate” it seemed kind of, well, weird as fuck to me.  Mainly because I was a pretty deluded punk rock kid who, like a lot of my naïve contemporaries, viewed Public Enemy as the rap norm and anything which deviated from their heavy and righteous political programme as suspect. I certainly didn’t consider, y’know, AOR fluff to be a suitable basis for hip-hop. In retrospect it seems a fit as tight as two pieces of a jigsaw. McDonald’s adopted Los Angeles is twenty miles from G’s native Long Beach, and McDonald’s music—the early solo tracks and those with Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers—tells part of the tale of California in the mid-70s—early 80s just as much as g-funk tells the part of the tale of the early-to-mid-90s.

I’m less sure what to take from the unexpected appearance of McDonald on a dubstep track by the straight-outta-Leeds Pangaea. His voice is blanched out beyond meaning with extreme reverb Burial-style, possibly due to inner city alienation or because expressing emotion too directly is a bit icky innit or simply as a contrast with the itchy and bone dry layers of percussion. I gotta say though, dubstep crew should start repping for the UK with samples of obscure jams by homegrown talent like Hue and Cry or M People.

And just so no-one can say that at Rocktimists we’re not down with the dubstep sound of six months ago I’ve also been enjoying Skream’s “Galassia”, a twenty-seven minute entry into the Nike+ Original Run series. I’m never going to use this for its intended aerobic purpose but unlike LCD Soundsystem’s patchwork “45.33” it does seem possible. (I did pitch Nike a series of fifteen second run for the bus tracks by grindcore groups but no go). Really though, just as Burial suggests the sound of zone one to three London night buses, the sleek, ever accelerating variations on simple two-note bass swing and kick of “Galassia” suggest late-night driving at speed, like a 21st century response to Giorgio Moroder’s ”The Chase”. Or possibly the spiralling synth-swells and almost disco syn-drum sounds reference the galaxy that 'galassia' translates to from the Italian.

Pangaea - Router (Original Mix) [ysi]

Pangaea records for Hessle Audio and tracks are available from Boomkat.

Skream - Galassia (Radio Edit) [ysi]

1 comment:

Jules said...

The Pangaea track's absolutely killer. Despite the fact that there's plenty of rubbish dubstep out there, there's so much great dubstep coming out of London at the moment. Love it.