If Jay Electronica showed us how to waste a gift, Mach Hommy has shown us how to fully exploit it. Mach has been dropping some of the ridiculous lines in hiphop for the past year or so. No filler, just fucking killing it in every verse.
Here’s a few tracks from Mach that I thought everyone should hear, put it in perspective.
Hey you! Do you want to read an uneducated opinion on a throwaway piece of music? Do you want to read a shoddily written article riddled with grammar and spelling* mistakes? Of course you do! Here it is.
So there I was listening the radio as I drove back from the airport (a regional programme, of course!) when I heard this funky little tune. It’s nothing more than a soul loop and some drums, but it had a cool vibe. I thought “hey, Imma get me summa dat sheeeit”. So I did, and here we are.
The record in question (lol) is “Question” buy KH, or Kieran Hebden, were more acquainted. So I got it home, slapped it on the turntable and enjoyed it a little bit. A little bit less than I was expecting to unfortunately.
KH “Question” cover.
You see, every time I listen to it I get a bit of a sinking feeling. A hollow feeling right in the pit of my stomach. A little voice in my head whispers “this isn’t good, mate” and “what’s this fucking shite, mate”. My inner monologue has a heavy Scottish accent, and as such is quite succinct and to the point. There’s just no messing with that cunt.
You see, for as much as I like “Question” by KH, I know it’s not a good record. In actual fact, it’s exactly the type of record I fucking hate. It takes a lovely, interesting loop from an old house track and puts some heavier drums underneath it (see: “Final Credits” by Midland). That’s it. Really, its about ten minute work and is woefully uninspired.
KH didn’t write that cool little bassline, he didn’t write the vocals. He didn’t play those drums or orchestrate anything. He didn’t sing. KH was listening to some records, liked and section from one very much and said “Hey, I’ll put my name on that”. And that’s as far as it went.
Then it was played on the radio and a load of fucking IDIOTS (myself included) ran out and bought it. There was no thought process from the artist or the public. The exchanged when as so:
KH: Here’s this shit piece of music I put together this weekend.
Me: Fuck me, I’ll buy that!
Worse still, there’s a bunch of fucking weasel-fucks trying to flip it on Discogs.com for silly amounts of money. THE RECORD IS STILL IN SHOPS AND IS NOT FROM A LIMITED RUN. And even if it was, it’s fucking bullshit boring house music.
I am annoyed. This is killing my vibe.
So what am I going to do? I don’t know. I’ve depressed myself for the first time in a while here. I am genuinely disappointed that I was duped into buying such a thing when I’d be better off listening to the original sampled records. I mean, fuck, the new drums aren’t even interesting…
Well, in order to stop people paying inordinate amount of money for this below average record, here’s a copy. Listen with disappointment all of you fuckranauts…
All spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are intentional and for the sake of satire. Remember when we could just tell a joke because it was funny? Well now that’s ‘satire’.
Sitting down for the first leg of a twenty-five hour journey sucks. Mentally it’s difficult for me to know I’m stuck in a smelly flying tube for that length of time. As you can likely tell from previous interactions, I’m not much of a people person. I don’t strike up conversations on flights, nor do I enjoy being shoulder to shoulder with strangers for that length of time (or indeed any length of time).
I choose escapism – I have a phone filled with podcasts and music, and a painfully expensive pair of headphones that allow me to ignore the roar of a jet engine for as long as possible. And wine, plenty of it.
Imagine my fucking delight as I pull out my immaculate, rarely used, never out of the bastard box Bose QC25 to find out that one of the cups is no longer working.
I didn’t panic. I checked that the wiring was ok at both ends. No change. I changed the battery. Nothing. I searched some of my phones settings to make sure I hadn’t ballsed anything up. They were just fucked.
It turns out that there is an inherent manufacturing fault with the first generation of Bose QC2s, which means that sooner or later the right ear cup just dies. You better hope that it does so in the warranty period or Bose put their dirty (German?) cock right in your ass.
My shitty fucking Bose QuietComfort 25. Right ear broken
I’ve shot Bose a succinctly worded email explaining my displeasure at the situation. I’m expecting nothing back, although I will update if they do respond positively. I’d be less upset if I found out before I stepped foot on the plane, or if I hadn’t treated them with fucking kid gloves all the time. Or if they hadn’t cost near £300.
I’m stationed in a third world country for the next few days, but I did notice a Bose Service Center as I was chauffeured around. I might go in there and cause some white man drama. Sons of bitches.
What the fuck is this thing? Who are The Presets? Never having heard the original version of “Promises”, nor will I be making the effort to do so, I’m not going to say much about this remix.
I’m putting it up here for completeness really and as an oddity of a recording the I would never have recognised as a Luomo effort. If I had to make a guess, and far be it from me to put words in the man’s mouth, I would guess that VD didn’t much care for the source material given that the vocals are easily 6dB lower than they could be, and everything is deconstructed and layered in a way that exposes rather than beautifies. But, again, all conjecture on my behalf.
I told you I would finish when I got back from Italy. Amazingly, and in one in a million odds, everything in the studio worked today, so it all went quite smoothly. Of course, the Roland RE-201 did chew its tape but that’s what it does. It’s endearing I tell myself. It is.
Having some free time today I opened up the Eminent 1600 organ that my good lady bought me (she’s an enabler) and decided to fuck around with the spring reverb. It’s noisy as hell, but sounds lovely. I can see myself weeding some more sounds out of this one. Oh, and the drum sounds! Oh man, I’ll need to make some recordings of them because they are so lovely. Completely analogue of course, but deep and grainy. I’ll use those soon too.
The recording is very dense and disorganised. I really like this one. There’s not a lot of dynamics either, and what there is only exists through cutting instrumentation. It’s kind of mastered – and by that I mean I ran it through my ART Pro VLA II compressor a bit. This stuff doesn’t really need mastering now, and when it does I tend to mix into the mastering bus. You know, like a pro. A lazy pro.
BassDress Studio, after a messy session. Wooden spoon for percussion is irie.
I don’t have a title for it yet, but I’ll think of something soon enough. Listen below, I’ll put up some download link later on.
Much to my surprise, I found out that SoulSeek is still up and running, a full ten years after I last used it (imagine their gall, keeping the service running when I had stopped using it). If you don’t know, SoulSeek is a music sharing program that rose from the ashes of Napster and the short-lived but great AudioGalaxy.
Now, I know what you’re thinking “but Tony, I use torrents now – its 2016 for fuck sakes”. Well shut your fucking mouth, I’m about to drop some knowledge on you.
Yes, I know everyone has an account with what.cd / waffles.fm / hipsterbullshitsharing.cuk and I know you think that everything is available there. But it isn’t, trust me. I have looks for years on hipsterbullshitsharing.cuk for some of the L.E.S.S Productions remix CDs that were really popular years back. There’s a few available, but the majority of them are missing regardless of how much ‘bounty’ you are willing to offer. So imagine my surprise when I thought I’d do some virtual reminiscing and install what I thought was a legacy program, only to find a large collection of rare recordings – all being shared by die-hard users.
SoulSeek still has a lovely community, composed mainly of music nerds willing to shoot the breeze about old house records that only you and I know. The program it’s self has been kept up to date and is now called SoulSeekQT. It’s not the nicest looking thing in the world, but it is functional and it will give you access to a vast array of music not available anywhere else. Even hipsterbullshitsharing.cuk.
“But Tony, you said that we should all be buying music and not assisting the raping of my favourite musician’s anus”. Yes I did, you are correct, my foul mouthed friend – however ever while things are out of print / forgotten / otherwise unattainable (like some motherfuckers selling a CD with 5 tracks on it for £100 on Discogs.com) you have no option. Other than trying to remember or imagine what these things sounded like.
Anyway, in order to further prove that SoulSeek kicks fucking ass, I thought I’d search my name. Yes, me (vanity). Low and behold, some crazy bastard has music I made in 2005. Eleven fucking years this guy has had something I long forgot about and it’s there, free!
Go get SoulSeek, share your collection and download some cool shit. Add me as a friend. I’m keeping the ol’ girl running 24/7.
Also, purely for closure, here are the two extraordinarily embarrassing tracks that I made eleven years ago. I don’t know what I was thinking. I wish I could blame it on drugs, but I was never that cool.
Just For The Hell Of It (actually, the bassline in this one is the sort of simple and cool thing that I can’t write any more.)
Well, it’s been a long and expensive journey, but I have finally secured a copy of DeepChord vs. Octal Industries “Arrival / Departure”. I’ve been searching high and low for any pressing of this record for about ten years. A decade of looking, of searching record shops in mainland Europe and the UK, of hassling dudes on Discogs.com, of fruitlessly searching GEMM every week until they pulled it down (RIP my old friend).
DeepChord vs. Octal Industries “Arrival / Departure”
So after all those years (and all that money) was it worth it? Well, maybe. The music is beautiful, especially the Octal Industries cut. My copy is absolutely immaculate, both visually and audibly, so I’m very pleased. But I can’t help but feel I’ve lost more than I’ve gained. I no longer have a white whale that I’m searching for, I no longer have a reason to email random guys on Discogs to see if they’re finally looking to sell. I don’t think anything will replace this, I just can’t see anything being this sought after for such a long time. It’s not the most expensive record I own, it’s not musically the best nor my favourite, but it is for some reason or another, the most magic.
Octal Industries “Arrival” is a poppin’ repetitive electro techno masterpiece. Deep, rhythmic and just a wonderful five minutes of perfect techno. Octal Industries has never been close to equalling this level of quality again, and I can’t blame him. Perfect magic, pressed to bright orange PVC.
DeepChord “Departure” is the minimal essence of modern Detroit techno. Pulsing PWM minor chords bounce in amongst a hazy background and locked beat. You know who DeepChord is, this is his best work.
Any disc containing “Arrival” would have been highly sought after, but the fact that it’s backed with another almost master-piece makes it something very special.
I travelled 850km to see this man, and what a great set he put on.
Here are some snippets I recorded, I hope it gives you a flavour of what went down. I missed most of the more rhythmic pieces, but this was really just to serve as a recording to jog my memory in the coming years.
If you ever have the chance to see Vladislav Delay live, do it. 10/10 Magic Johnson stuff.
The Life Of Pablo is a bit of a mixed bag – it’s difficult to find any coherence and the majority of the production would be described generously as rough. I’m hoping eventually he’ll recall the Tidal version and proclaim that was a bit of an early preview, but we’ll see. That’s not to say it isn’t without its good points though, Real Friends, Wolves, 30 Hours (that Arthur Russell sample), and I Love Kanye are all fairly solid efforts.
Kanye West “The Life of Pablo”
My favourite at the moment is the weird and wonderful house track that closes the album called Fade. Fade is getting a lot of heat at the moment, and is being proclaimed as Kanye’s Worst Track™. Now I’m a contrarian at the best of times, but Kanye West “Fade” is a fucking solid piece of house music. In fact I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to call it the best house track I’ve heard in the past five years or so. What it’s doing on a hiphop album released in 2015 2016 I don’t know.
Fade has a very steady 4/4 beat, plodding along for a mere three minutes, and underpinned by the least ‘hiphop’ synth bass. I would never have guessed this was a Yeezy track, but that’s no bad thing. There’s a very poorly time stretched vocal sample (your love is fade / I feel it fade) that is used as the main hook, layered against Kanye’s heavily autotuned vocal (when no one ain’t around, I think I think too much). I chopped female vocal stab is then layered against some soul backing vocals and lots of digital delay giving it a 90’s house vibe.
I think it’s really interesting that Fade was included on The Life Of Pablo, but it’s such a lovely little track that I guess Ye thought it was too good not to use. That could be the case for the majority of the efforts on TLOP.]
After weeks of waiting I have finally received my “Blackstar” vinyl. It’s a nicely packaged, heavy weight 180g transparent pressing which comes accompanied with a lovely 12″ matt print book.
Visconti mentioned that the master for the vinyl would sound like a “good old record”. But it doesn’t really, not to my ears anyway. It’s slightly brighter than the digital releases, but certainly not more dynamic. This leads me to believe that a lot of the compression used on “Blackstar” was done during the mixing/recording process, which would seem like a reasonable assumption.