Eddy Says

Eddy Says: Never mind the style, feel the width

By | Published on Monday 26 October 2009

High Rankin

A wise man once said: “Dance music (in a very general sense) is the only really forward-thinking genre. Most music is obsessed with staying how it was ten years ago. But dance moves fast. So fast that new genres are formed all the time, and become unfashionable almost as soon as they’ve been thought of. I think it’s equally the strongest and weakest thing dance music has going for it”.

Actually, that wisdom came from our own Andy Malt, editor of the Remix Update, and it was just last week he said this, when we were discussing that ‘steroidal dubstep’ movement. He’s a very insightful chap and a darn good writer, were lucky to have him here at Remix Towers. Anyway, this brings a very interesting point to light. How do you achieve any kind of career and longevity in an industry like this?

Of course, obviously, if you make a record that’s a classic then you pass into the great halls of Dance Valhallah, like Orbital or The Streets or Leftfield. Then it doesn’t matter what you do afterwards, you’re a Hall-Of-Famer. But what of mere mortals, producer DJs that put out the odd 12″ or may have a label under their guidance, most of whom leave all their eggs in one genre basket? What happens when the inevitable backlash against that genre kicks in?

For example, what’s gonna happen when dubstep comes in line for a good kicking from the dance press and the online community? It’s all very well being attached to a genre, it’s focused I guess, but if you’ve gone so far as to call yourself ‘GodfreyDubstep’ on Twitter then you’re going to look a bit silly when the dogs turn on you and you suddenly change your name to ‘GodfreyElectro’ or ‘GodfreyDnB’.

With all this in mind we should admire the gumption, cojones and forsight of the nu-breed of genreless producers gathering momentum these days. I’m talking about a wave of tweak-heads who show no fear and are willing to give anything, within reason, a go. They are not attached to a genre, but skip gleefully across several. These guys are hard to pin down, and so those hounds won’t pick up their scent.

Under normal circumstances the gentleman’s cologne of High Rankin (pictured) would be easy for those hounds to track, but the boy is so brilliantly slippery that he will be forever safe. He’s a fine case-in-point. The most dashing man in electronica, with the facial hair arrangement of Tim Sheridan and the wardrobe of Chris Eubank, used to make drum n bass, and now makes filthy, dirty bass music, sometimes dubstep, or a glorious hybrid of breakbeat, electro and miami bass. He’s even making pop music in an outfit I can’t tell you about. It’s really good pop music too. He’s a bonafide renaissance man, unpigeonholeable, infectious and admirable on every level.

Noisia would be another great example. Not content with their ferocious, dazzlingly technical drum n bass production, they make another incredible hybrid of house/breaks/electro.

Doorly, the Wax On resident has won many new friends with his scattergun approach. A dubstep mix here, an electro mix there… I’m liking how he rolls very much. I’ve a feeling that Tonka will reveal this breadth of palate, their debut offering is so joyously multi-genre in just one song! They produce with a sense of gay-abandon that is refreshing.

You could add HervĂ© to the list, ‘Baseball Bat’ was a glorious, seemingly High Rankin-inspired bit of turbo-rock-step, and even Crookers, whose latest single is basically ‘dubstep lite’. I don’t like it very much. But it shows a bravura that I admire.

I could go on, but I’ve made the point now. These lovable, slippery, genre skipping producers are who I am taking my hat off to these days, and their up-for-anything attitude is something I think we can all learn from.

I’ll leave you with a quote that has inspired me over the years and it hopefully encapsulates what I aspire to, and given The Remix is just an extension of me, what my show is about, my DJ sets, and whole approach to making music. I don’t even know what film it’s from, I think it’s a Clint Eastwood fillum, or something, and the scene is two bare knuckle fighters about to go hammer-and-tongs at each other. Before the first haymaker is thrown the adjudicator, in a southern twang, says: “You know the rules boys… there ain’t none”.

X eddy

Eddy Says from this edition of the CMU Remix Update.

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