Low End Lowlife: 20.03.12

It's Matthew Bayfield's turn to talk.

Posted on Mar 20th, 2012 in Features and Interviews / By Matthew Bayfield
Low End Lowlife: 20.03.12 A bereavement is more or less always a moment of relevance in a person's life, from family members, to pets, to friends and neighbours. A death in the world of celebrities, particularly those from the creative arts, always seems to have a vast impact on a social level, largely through its regular documentation in the press, online and on television. As much as we mourn the loss of great thinkers and critical minds or a dedicated spiritualist and charity worker, it is the death of the artist that we feel most prominently, as generally speaking it is they with whom we connect most personally. From a heart breaking ballad seemingly penned just for you, to a hand drawn image or performance on the screen which seems to encapsulate a feeling only you could interpret it can sometimes feel like we have lost a loved one when a performer with whom we connect is lost. It is therefore, with heavy heart and bleary eyes, we yesterday lost a true maverick in the world of acting. A titan of the screen whose performance were regularly known to have eaten up the entire set... Yes my friends last night Walford's resident scene (and pie) stealer Heather Trott gracefully bowed out of Eastenders after taking a shot to the head from a deliciously ironic photo frame proclaiming a woman who hated her to be her best friend. As if to add insult to this mortal injury the shot was delivered by a bisexual, deaf teenager to the soundtrack of George Michael all on account of poor Hev being in the wrong place at the wrong time as said assailant uttered a careless whisper or two... Truly the Lord saves his cruellest jokes for his most gifted children. On the plus side of course with a BMI like Heather's you might just be able to get a half price rate on the crematorium fees on account of the sheer levels of flammable fat that'll be pumped into the old furnace... Let’s just pray the undertakers have done their risk assessment and know how to deal with a chip fat fire. Wet towels boys. Wet towels

Still, never one to focus on the negatives, let's take a quick peek into what tunes should bring a lift in spirits to the mourners at the wake, as all things considered 'Wake Me Up, Before You Go-Go' could play out as a touch insensitive...I'm sure the deaf one won't be dancing either, as I heard guilty feet have got no rhythm, so that blows any chance of some fancy footwork action.

Dismantle returns to the Bearded decks this week with two new slabs of hysterical electro for the freshly conceived Black Gold label, helmed by Croydon's Kutz, longtime purveyor of heavy electronic steppers, aided and abetted by DJ Primecuts, who, for those unaware, makes up part of the legendary Scratch Perverts. As label heads go it's a fairly auspicious start but of course it would all mean very little if the tunes they were pushing were a turgid crock of bollards... Thankfully Dismantle's 'Detonate' and '2 in 1' are the tunes in question so we can all rest easy whilst our hips work out. A-Side 'Detonate' has been, well, detonating dances all over the shop with its swelling alarm styled synths and moombahton-esque vocal trimmings all rolling through on a lean, pulsing rhythm section whilst AA '2 in 1' takes those high pitched synths even further, nudging into a more squelchy groove before diffusing into something which sounds akin to a VCR having a nervous breakdown amongst some furious drum pads. Both these tracks channel a pure sonic rush like very little else this year, and it is apparent why these tracks, particularly 'Detonate' have been taking a prolonged battering by many a fine DJ for quite some time. This, coupled with the fact there have been but a mere 300 copies pressed (all with some delicious black & gold hand screened covers) and to the best of my knowledge isn't available on download means you should make like Ghandi once said to his loyal followers and "shit or get off the pot" ...admittedly I can't find any historical reference for that quote, but it sounds like the sort of wisdom the great man was known to dispense. As an added treat for those who want to hear some more forthcoming Black Gold amongst a host of other new releases from some essential labels, check out Kutz recent barnstormer of a mix for Fabric here. Remember, Ghandi went hungry so you don't have to!

If there is one thing nearly as much fun for myself as misquoting and generally devaluing cultural icons it is most probably disco music, and this week Duffstep (pictured), trading under his Duff Disco alias is peacocking through Bearded's headphones pushing the product with two dancefloor orientated reworks ideal for people who enjoy corduroy flares and drinking Party Sevens via his Duff Disco imprint. A-side 'All Good In Duff's Hood' brings the prerequisite strut every good pimp needs, opening with loose shimmering guitar then settling nicely into a toasty rump shaker of a bass groove. By the time the pianos come in you should probably have your paisley silk shirt off and medallion swinging so hard it could chip the teeth on a go-go girl. Over on the flip 'Dusty' is a more languid affair ready for when the gin's all gone, the ladies are round, the incense is lit and the gloves are off. All you need to know is rolling bongos, single malt smooth bass and jazz flute fools. If garage music proved in the late nineties that running round clubs in sunglasses carrying a bottle of "champs" makes you look like a complete dick then thank Duff for reminding us that disco music has been proving since the seventies, and continues to prove here, that jiving round clubs in sunglasses with a gin & tonic and a perm makes you look sexy like a chocolate strawberry. You dig turkeys?!

Much like perm'd artiste, oil painter extraordinaire Bob Ross once told me (again I may be making this up) when we were sipping crème de menthe and painting a seascape together "to truly appreciate the lighter tones you must also respect and understand the dark", and by that token quality control Fuhrer Distance drops another two impeccable gems on his Chestplate label, this time courtesy of new kids on the block Sleeper & District. I called them the new kids on the block but I don't think either one of them is Donnie Wahlberg. He doesn't have time for dubstep, he's making shit telly with Tom Selleck. Luckily for us Sleeper & District have a great deal of time for dubstep: A side 'Terraformed' takes a deep, warm sub frequency and rides it on a skittered 4/4 rhythm, imbuing it with a tense, almost paranoia-inducing pulse and is a fascinating expansion of the Chestplate aesthetic whilst still retaining the style that Chestplate has made unequivocally its own. Meanwhile 'Zero Day' takes a leviathan deep block of bass pressure and drops it amongst a mix of vicious half step stomp, subtly placed electrical grunts and ethereal touches almost like a low end chamber choir to create another brooding, labyrinthine cut. From Sleeper & Tunnidge' excellent releases earlier this year, to a standout showcase in Room 3 of Fabric recently and the signing of Razor Rektah, Chestplate is making more noise than ever before, so, if you haven't been paying attention previously you really should think about getting off your beanbag/futon and sorting yourself out you hemp wearing waster.

You can also pick up the newest Boddika release this week, courtesy of Loefah's ever immaculate Swamp81 label. As is always the way with Swamp 81 you can expect a heavyweight platter accompanied by some wonderful pen and ink sleeve adornment courtesy of London based artist Ashes57. If there is one thing regularly missing from current day 12's it is without doubt sleeve design, so it is especially nice to find the package receiving as much care and attention as the contents within. The contents I speak of are two brand new numbers by the names of 'Acid Jackson' and 'Basement'. On the A-side comes the more swinging of the two compositions 'Acid Jackson'. In my opinion this is one of Bod's most infectious to date carrying those trademark syrup thick, crispy 80's synth lines and a wonderful cowbell spearheaded percussive streak that more or less highlights how boring every UK funky (or whatever the hell the genre is called) attempt to put a cowbell in a track can truly be. Over on the flip comes the lower slung 'Basement', still carrying some thick, rubberised synth work, this time surging over tapping percussive rolls and a sub kick thick like the neck of dear departed Ms Trott.

So that's it for this week. We lost a legend of screen and stage, but gained some beautiful music to move our spirits in our loss, so it's all swings and roundabouts in the grand playground they call existence. As an added bonus, who knows? You may even get a couple of classy Vol-au-vents at the wake. Chin(s) up people!

Don't forget, you can also find me mocking death and plugging pastries on Twitter @Lowendlowlife too my friends!