Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Grime is dead! Long live UK Funky!

My long-time friend Ali came over last night and we discussed, as we always do, her 'Real Drama' theatre project from which she had just arrived, having been at the weekly meet in the NT foyer (due to the bank holiday their usual meeting place was closed so they decided to infiltrate a much-used public space to rehearse in instead, good idea I say - and they didn't get chucked out either!). Aside from one guilty American, who over-actively and patronizingly [sic] commented on how it was great to see 'vulnerable youths' doing something with their time, there was no bother and the rehearsal/sing-off went down a treat. 

Ali and I then got on to the topic of grime, dubstep and skank dancing - which she has discussed and participated in at length with her youth group, and as a result has quite a lot of interesting things to say, and demonstrate, on such matters (some of which I am regurgitating here). As a middle-class white Londoner, all of my insights into black urban music come from four sources: my two-year stint living with much sunlight on the 5th floor of the Wendover block on the Aylesbury Estate (also see these abhorrent plans for its regeneration), Wire (the magazine), youtube and Ali. I think Ali is by far the most accurate.

Anyhow, so the story goes, grime and dubstep are old hat, and the ever-changing morphology of trend has produced a hybrid form of grime which sounds a bit like electro with funky house tendencies! I wanted dirtier and bassier, and what I got was synthier and more production-hungry. I think it sounds a bit like Paul Hardcastle or even a slightly faster digital version of Marc Almond (think Tears Run Rings with Skepta's voice replacing Marc's):

Example 1:

Example 2:

After that Ali showed me how to skank-dance to it. You start with these moves:

And then:

And then (with a strangely Lynchian introduction):

And finally (as the NHS probably suggest):