it happens for a reason

staying up late is easy.

Friday, July 21, 2006



so, it transpires that THE track of sancho panza, the one i was going on about the other day, is 'the whistler': miraculously, It Happens For a Reason reader Nebbesh guessed what it was from my somewhat tawdry (love that word) descriptions, thus saving me from whistling to the staff in Phonica. you should get this tune. it will make you smile.

last night we tried to relive the heavenly delights of sancho panza at the glade: Freddy love, one of the sancho panza DJs, was playing out at the Bar Music Hall, at the epicentre of intidatingly cool east london. so we thought we'd pop along and have a little dance.

and...well, i guess there was a valuable lesson in the night: sometimes, you've just got to accept that the party's over. we'd come hoping for the glories of sancho panza, but we were faced with an empty bar in shoreditch. freddy love was still great, of course, focussing on house so old school i have no idea what it was or what to say about it, with little bits of cosmic and italo-disco here and there. even in the cold light of an empty dancefloor, the tunes stood up, and that's testament to the man's impeccable taste. at the end, we had a little dance just for form's sake, but really it was overwhelmingly clear: the fun that was the Glade is over, and real life starts again here.

it was the first of freddy love's 'vinyl factory allstars' nights at the bar music hall: i think they're set to be regular events. i think in a few months this might become quite a big thing: sancho panza has a pretty huge following, and freddy love is offering it for free. so you should go to the next one, and then you can tell your friends that you were hip to it way before them. and there are few better feelings than that.
OK! i've been listening to Trae and Hawk's 'swang' so much recently. it is, as Hawk says in his verse, a 'soothing song'. because my emo heart beats (flutters?) so meekly, i kind of want all hip hop to sound this gentle, this pretty. but then i spend most of my life listening to grime MCs go 'ARGGGHHH!!!' so that can't be true.

whatever. one thing that i love about 'Swang' is that lyric of Hawk's, where he goes, 'i'm Fat Pat's clone, his heart beats still through my flesh and bone'. I mean, JESUS CHRIST- what a lyric, what an image, what an idea! With just a few words, Hawk overturns the standard musician's traditional focus on the Individual and originality. He sacrifices his self-hood, and sees his duty as preserving and continuing the work of another. he's just a cipher for someone else. that's pretty radical.

the mythologisation of deceased artists in southern hip hop is quite fascinating, and hawk's verse in 'swang' is a nice example of it. i was talking to dave stelfox once and he was saying how many of the hip hop artists he met in Houston would tell him that DJ Screw was God. i replied that it was interesting that such a thing happens in hip hop, as that kind of boundless praise and awe for an individual is more usual in techno- people saying that jeff mills is some kind of god-like figure on the scene, for example- or house: the whole 'todd is god' thing.

but dave said, no, with the houston guys it's not a metaphor, it's literal: they really do believe that DJ Screw was, and is, a God.