Saturday, April 08, 2006
Disfunktional: "If Its From The Undergound I Just Have To Commend It And Lend It To Me Mates On A Tape."
Hip hop is now looked at through the windows of time, stained with the hip hop instrumental genius of samplaholic DJ Shadow and the tight production skills and lyrical prose of MF Doom,. Through this the choice of early 90's hip hop groups to spit words in regional accents like Scary Eire's Dole Queue narration, their rave tales of keeping it going to 25 o'clock in the morning and defiant lyrics expressing the pain of the hunger strikers tying them into the republican bard tradition of Irish pubs are mistakenly remembered as having all the panache of the Zig and Zag novelty singles. Dancehall musical motiffs and spluttery ragga vocals, an odd ghetto inspiration replicated from the states that seemed oddly jarred against the realism supposedly expressed in indie bands achingly moaning in standard NME clone accents, drowned in all the originality of Ford's assembly lines.
That there is a hip-hop scene in Ireland is a as obvious as the tagging all over Dublin, that associated stain of urban expression that gets easily buffed over by the country's councils just as much as the culture industry buffs over the Irish musical underground from the punk scene, to breakcore to the post-punk vibrations of the Thumped scene gig ensembles. Of course Hot Press will pass deserved plautitudes on to Messiah J and The Expert in its usual tokenistic tantrums to prove it still has an ear. I found one expression of the hip hop scene here by stumbling into the launch of Rap Ireland in Mischief while on a college newspaper drinks out. Attended by not much more than a dozen bling bling cliches kitted out in the baggiest sports wear that shop in Georges St has to offer, female dancers gyrating above their heads and women in tow displaying all the agency and recieving all the respect of a harem. But that's not the underground, the underground always displays a localisation, a clever application of a template and the spirit exerted by Scary Eire still lives on.
Last weekend one part of the hip-hop underground Captain Moonlight, source of lame tabloid controversy for musically slamming the ruling elites of this country for their cute hoorism , played at the birthday celebrations of one part of DIY gig collective Organised Ideas. Expressing the same rage elicted from Brenden Gleeson on the Late Late Show recently, the vocalist slams a pleathora of Irish politicians for being a bunch of "dirty cunts." What is interesting about this underground hip-hop is its relationship to what remains of he Dublin hardcore punk scene, with acts sharing line-ups with more traditional ska-punk groups like Dropping Bombs, some even like Disfunctional playing at events like Reclaim the Streets and other anarchist fundraisers.
Disfunctional are punks turned hip hip heads from Coolock who provide a particularly Northside themed brand of hip hop, starting off over a year ago with tracks describing a stoned apathy about wheter its black OCB, green Rizla or Red Swan they sing the praise of a six pack of dutch while ripping into plastic laced Irish soap bar and the paranoia that can grip sprawling urban life. Their first production Feelin' Deady displayed an acute insight into the traditions of urban Dublin youth in bussing it out to Bray for cans, or the sort of open air drinking thats an offence in one part of town and a picnic in another. With several new track availible on their myspace account its obvious they've come along way in production quality and carrying of the explosive humour of their songs.
Industry Remix has to be their finest track to date, with a down tempo droning beat in the background, their two emcee's lash out at "trends and fads" how "the industry is all dead - its about time the fucking public began to show it" in a sense that leaves the put upon rage of many local punk acts to shame for its caraictured, copycat-ism They sum up more as much in lyrics like "'D' stands for distribution and selling it yourself is the only solution from stopping a stranger from owning your words and slinging it from the back of a car on your tour. 'I' stands for independent, if its from the undergound I just have to commend it and lend it to me mates on a tape, word of mouth has always been the creater of the greats then 'Y' stands for your own ideals if your not living by your own rules then your not being real and switching your beliefs just to sign deal just gets you branded with pop" as any Minor Threat inspired bands have ever done with their crust sloganeering. If you are looking to put on a gig and break down the homogeny of a line up -get in touch with them, they deserve an audience.
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About Soundtracksforthem specialises in iconoclastic takes on culture, politics, and more shite from the underbelly of your keyboard. A still-born group blog with a recent surge of different contributers but mainly maintained by James R. Big up all the contributers and posse regardless of churn out rate: Kyle Browne, Reeuq, Cogsy, Chief, X-ie phader/Krossie, Howard Devoto, Dara, Ronan and Mark Furlong. Send your wishes and aspirations to antropheatgmail.com
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