Saturday, September 10, 2005

Oh Babylon Bwoi..What A Piece Of Brightness

Breakcore as a genre developed relatively organically since the late nineties. Utilising the peer to peer file networks of the net and the DIY ethos of hardcore punk as a distribution mechanism. It bubbled away in the underground gabber sound system scene of the mid-nineties and amidst the pathologically violent sounds of digital hardcore in Germany. A genre with a high producer/consumer contention ratio it veered from the early influences of an extremist axis of Atari Teenage Riot/DJ Scud on the European and the schizophrenic death throes of 'appy 'ardkore in the UK to quickly became a point of shelter for music fans of an extreme bent who delighted in its culminating formulae of mashed up, twisted samples from a disorientating array of different genres.

With an armoury consisting of elements of early rave, punk, ragga, and cheeky pop samples in a DIY explosion of beats mangled on cheap, or pirated software like Sony Acid - a monster was born. Like early nineties 'ardkore it can be tempting to dismiss it as the soundtrack to a shopping centre being invaded by legions of Burberry hat wearers trying to simultaneously eat their own jaw. You'd be mistaken, considering the production qualities of recent developments in the genre. Meshing wrenching, classical string soundtracks to wavering breaks in an intricate hyper edit, Venetian Snare's latest “Rossz Csillag Alatt Született” leaves no one in doubt that we are just going to have to re- assess what is being passed off as proper dance music. After Snares pounded the TBMC to dust last April, its his bad “bwoi” renegade laptop, Planet Mu label mate Shitmat's turn to do the business on an Irish crowd down in Galway on Friday, 26th.

Residing in Brighton, one of the scene's key geographical nodes, this master manipulator of the amen beat and rapist of cheese pop, takes his impetus from Tigerbeat 6's Kid 606 and catapults the genre breakdowns of dance music through a window. With the broken shards he starts afresh. Meshing the DIY impulse of old school techno together with ragga, the delirious kicks of gabber and the infectious breaks of jungle, his 2004 Full English Breakfast release saw the Big Ben chimes, the English Anthem, Aerosmith, the Snowman song and Rage Against the Machine kicked to death by the bastard off spring of an early Prodigy with the pop sensibility of 2 Unlimited. The standout track The 1995 Morris Dancer Massacre dug a hole for itself on many underground DJ charts. His earlier Killbabylonkutz release took the infamous “Babylon Bwoi” vocal and cut its throat across an albums worth of material. From the cheeky Jackson$ with Michaels finest melodies soldered on to a ragga vocal collage, with Ace of Bass Babylon cheekily reworking the early nineties chart monsters. None of this should work, but believe me it does.

Gig promoters Suitementale have being blowing the roof off sweat box venues in Galway with nights of breakcore mentalism for the past few months and all reports are good. After Duran Duran Duran and Donna Summer breaking venues there down to their very last compound, Shitmat's next up to the mark. Support on the night comes from Keanie and NoizeReducation 1 regulars from the Leechrum roster who put on the daring Leechrum crossover fest in August, and Herv, Dublin label Risc's glitchy gameboy guru who has been making overtures towards a harder sound recently. After his Lesser Spotted Burberry Hat EP, with its wink and nod to the excesses of gabber, complete with monged pill-head rantings over the top received regular airplay and frantic promotion by the late John Peel, resulting in Shitmat DJ-ing at the RADIO 1 celebration of his life work, you can be guaranteed that this is a night of ruthless sampling and frantic bpm's not to missed.

Shitmat plays The Boat Club in Galway City on Friday, September 23rd. Tickets are €10 on the door. See

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