London’s unique, lickety-split digital version of rap was built by teenagers with little-to-no formal musical training, taking whatever cheap (or free, illegally “cracked” and downloaded) software they had to hand, creating strange, glowing, sci-fi sounds from whatever tools they could find.
Grime’s early-2000s pioneers like JME, Skepta, Wiley, and So Solid Crew broke the mold with none of the synths, samplers, and drum machines that had been vital to hip-hop production, instead doing much of their world-building on basic PC software like FruityLoops Studio. Inevitably, the sound was determined by the technology itself.
One of grime’s only consistent formal attributes is that, like its sibling genre dubstep, it runs at around 140 beats per minute — the consistency is important for DJs to be able to mix records seamlessly. Producer Plastician is not the only one to have observed that FruityLoops’ default tempo is set to 140bpm, which “may have a lot to answer for.”
Everybody wants to know what’s inside, but we checked with heritage resources and the local museum and neither of those people seem to be interested in it.
Who are these incurious people?!
Learning to use a fork.
—Brian Eno, A Year With Swollen Appendices
- 100g self-raising brown flour
- 100g natural yoghurt
- a pinch of sea salt
- optional: a pinch of poppy seeds, herbs or spices
Split in two then roll to 2-3 mm thick. Cook in a dry pan over high heat for a minute or so on each side.
While it’s hard to characterize today’s zeitgeist in just one word, however, it’s easy to capture it with two characters — Cosmo Kramer and George Costanza.
Less helpful are the opinions of the moronic, racist alt-right, who recently blundered their way across his blog and, well, you can guess what happened next.
I’m used to cultural conservatives calling me racist for talking about racism. But I wasn’t sure why this guy was harping on the word “postmodernist.” It’s an accurate description of my scholarly approach, but it also describes everyone I know. It would be like disparaging me by calling me an American. This is before I found out that “postmodernism” is a Jordan Peterson buzzword.
Then, a couple of weeks later, the real excitement began.
This isn’t the time for ambiguity, or irony, or publicity-seeking controversy. Those days are gone, and I miss them, as I am part of a generation that profiteered from the assumption that political correctness was a done deal, and now we could have fun jumping in and out of its boundaries, like street kids round a spurting water main. But the Nazi-saluting pug bloke has just joined Ukip so his racist dog doesn’t seem remotely funny any more.
If Breitbart or Spiked can roll out your comments approvingly online you have fucked up. Nowadays, your true intentions have to be written through every inch of your content, like the word Blackpool through a stick of rock, so at any point the useful idiots of the hipster “alt-right” and their fellow travellers in the opinion industry chose to snap it, it still can’t be repurposed. The trouble is, there’s no longer any way to make the case that Morrissey ever meant anything other than what he says.