interesting article on media bias in the israel/palestine conflict and its impact...

this was hidden-on about page 5 of the business section-in the observer last sunday...

"[when] groups of British students [were] interviewed in 2001 and 2002 only about 10 per cent knew it was Israel that occupied Palestine - most believed the Palestinians were the settlers and it was they who occupied Israel. In 2002, only 35 per cent of the British students questioned knew that the Palestinians had suffered far greater casualties than the Israelis"


bad reviews from MP3 cds
ok, the new streets album is wicked: on the whole a similar aural palette to ‘pirate material’ and some fine mc’ing (continuing his ‘simple over complex = unique flow’ equation) still has a couple of duffers though- much like the last one.

now, before i got it, i knew it was supposed to have a narrative running throughout, but when i’ve listened to it (up until last night), I’ve thought ‘bloody strange narrative, what with our mike finding a grand down the back of the tv before he’s lost it and splitting up with a girl only to meet her’. then, in a eureka moment i worked out that my mp3 player has been playing the songs in alphabetical order.

that means i'll have to rope christine into playing some sort of game to see who can come closest to recreating the proper running order.


bizarre reggae deaths number 5:

leslie kong: died of a heart attack after being cursed by bunny wailer (august 1971, aged 37ish)


i was born and raised in oxford, left pretty sharpish after i finished school and haven’t lived there since (apart from a brief post-university stint at my mum’s). the majority of people i have met since then, upon finding this out invariably think, a) i'm rich / posh and b) i'm somehow part of the university.

obviously, there are a lot of pre-conceptions about the place, some of which are absolutely spot-on and others that are well wide of the mark. that’s why I wasn’t in the least bit surprised by the successes of the greens and the i.w.c.a. in the council elections.
(thanks to john eden)

oxford has a long history as a seat of learning, a centre of culture and it is a majestic city in terms of architecture (so long as you ignore queen street and cornmarket where, amazingly, the council has used coventry city centre as a template); when the sun shines, the sandstone sucks in the light and reflects a warm glow back at you; the 'dreaming spires' (c/o matthew arnold) viewed from the top of holloway can be hallucinogenic, especially on a misty morning, when they float in the valley bottom; the awesome open spaces; pitt rivers museum (if you had a great grandmother who travelled the world living with exotic tribes, i imagine her house would have echoes of this place) etc etc ...i won't go on,

it is also a very wealthy place. but, there is a history; an alternative oxford, that is hidden from the tourists who troop around the colleges and museums for an afternoon and then go for a punt. conflict is central to the relationship between the ‘town’ and the ‘gown’ [the university] .), there are some interesting alternatives to the university dominated (acceptable) culture and pockets of poverty (blackbird leys estate is the founding father of ‘demoing’, nationally known as joy riding) exist that you very rarely hear about.

hopefully, this history might also shed some light on recent events.

part 1- town and gown
there is to say the least, a great deal of animosity between the two groups. in more modern times you can probably add tourists to the internal hate list carried round by locals- i have seen my normally sane and docile father walk straight through a group of tourists, knocking them onto the road, all the while chuntering and muttering under his breath, rather than go round them. after all, it is ‘his city’.

within 100 years of the formation of the university, the first records of violence between the city and the students start to appear:

“Town-gown riots were recorded regularly from the early thirteenth century, but the most notorious was on St Scholastica's Day (10 February) 1355. It began as a tavern brawl between scholars and the landlord of the Swindlestock at Carfax, and lasted for three days during which academic halls were sacked, a large mob of countrymen marched in to support the townsmen, and six clerks were allegedly killed and many injured.”

another trend then reared its ugly head (and also continues to this day): the locals suffered, while the university flourished.

further examples (other than the usual drunken attacks, the traditional 5 november ruck and random violence at st.giles’ fair- which takes place on one of town’s main streets), include the headington riots of 1727:

“Last Tuesday (being Easter Tuesday), there being a Bull baiting at Heddington near Oxford, a Quarrel arose between some Scholars that were there, & two or three of Heddington, about a Cat, that the Scholars would have had tied to the Bulls Tayl. The Scholars being worsted, at wch time one Walters (lately Gent. Com. now a Batch. of Arts) & one Laun (a Civilian, who came lately from Hart Hall, but is now, as is Mr. Walters, of Edm. Hall) were sadly beat and bruised, so as not to be able to come home, but were fetched back in a chair, notice was given to other Scholars at Oxford, whereupon a great Number (some say five hundred, others about two hundred) of them went immediately with Clubs to Heddington, and committed such strange disorders, as have hardly been heard of. They broke almost all the windows in the Town (pulling down the very window bars), got into Houses, opened Chests, beat & bruiz 13 several people in an intolerable manner, were going to break all the windows of the Church, and they would have proceeded to worse mischief had not Mr. Newland the Proctor of Magd. Coll. been sent for, who coming in the evening, with great difficulty put an end to this unhappy Riot. Tis said, that fifty Pounds will not make good the glass, to except the other Damage, wch is very great, & Heddington looked very strange after this disaster. Some of the Inhabitants, upon approach of the Scholars, run away, others hid themselves, the rest that staid and were found suffered much”

Diary of Thomas Hearne, Thursday 6 April 1727

and the bread riots of 1867, when the university was getting bread in greater quantities and at a lower price while locals starved.

this tension also occurs at an institutional level- the university consistently lobbies the council and stops/ overturns decisions it doesn’t like:
until recently the post-pub night life was non-existent, i suspect because the university didn’t want its students venturing out of their college bars, thus losing them valuable income and the new ‘said business school’ was funded by blood money and involved moving a listed part of the old station despite much local opposition.

such instances lodge deep within the psyche. the local population of oxford remain peasants under a long lost feudalism. after all, for hundreds of years what the university wants, the university gets.


the streets of oxford in 'not paved with gold' shocker

from the obits page of today's independent:

"in 1933 [sir stuart] hampshire went up to balliol [college] to read greats; even in oxford there were children with bare feet in the middle of winter and everyone was aware that food was being destroyed for lack of a market while poor people were going hungry..."

obviously the writer believes that everyone in and around oxford is fantastically wealthy or he studied at the university and never left his college's walls.

or he is incapable of thinking.

this gives me an excuse to drone on a little about class war (not the organisation) in oxford when i get a little time...


"however, i'm not sure saying that "weblogs are the self-obsessed ramblings of people who have little to say and too much time on their hands in which to do it" is necessarily a criticism."..

...or after the recent outpourings over woebot, blissblog, naked maja etc, it probably is.


finally a real purpose to all this

however, i'm not sure saying that "weblogs are the self-obsessed ramblings of people who have little to say and too much time on their hands in which to do it" is necessarily a criticism...


the advert at the top of this page tells me that for only $9.95 i can get a coin of our ronnie


two decks, a dodgy mixer and a twelve year old tape recorder helps to create that ‘authentic’ sound
this isn’t a hip mix, but simply a few tunes I like, done for a friend.


dj krust- ‘true stories’ this is krust’s major label debut as far as I know (via talkin’ loud). its from the period when d’n’b producers were attempting to be seen as ‘serious artists’ who were ‘painting pictures and telling stories’- goldie’s ‘saturn returnz’ and grooverider’s ‘mysteries of funk’ spring to mind. on the whole, when a producer starts pontificating about such things, its time to walk away: its dance music and it ain’t supposed to be clever its supposed to get you sweaty.

anyway, this was released after the mighty ‘warhead’ and is certainly an attempt to appeal to more than just the dancefloor- 11 or so minutes long, menacing atmospheres, and tight production (he doesn’t simply sequence the generic ‘boom-tic’ drum pattern and press ‘play’). ideal for rolling mixes, especially into stuff like…

ed rush and optical- ‘funktion’ which along with the aforementioned warhead (both released on v recordings) were the most caned tunes of 1998 in the drum’n’bass clubs i attended. eery and distorted loops abound but as the title suggests, funky (well as funky as techstep can get).

tango- ‘war for 94’ better known alongside his mate ratty. a really nice horn refrain intro before the drop. paul meme has discussed how the drums in jungle were considerably ‘toughened up’ between 1994-95 and this is shown by the difference between this tune and the next few. time to break out an amen…

dj krome & mr time- ‘ganja man’ / remarc- ‘menace’ / dj krome & mr time- ‘the license’ / dj krome & mr time- ‘the license (rmx)’ / dj krome & mr time- ‘studio one lik’ no, they are not the rarest - tearin’ vinyl have re-released the k&t tracks more than once on their ‘classics’ imprint, they turn up on compilations such as this and the remarc tune is on his ‘soundmurderer’ comp from last year on planet mu.

tangent alert- its this sort of stuff that makes me wonder a)why the drill’n’bass/ ‘IDM’ crew think they invented mad drum programming- these were released before any of the plug 12”s and b) why the drum’n’bass massive were so scathing towards squarepusher etc - I remember getting monumentally slagged by some staff in nottingham’s selectadisc for liking both ‘proper’ d’n’b and drill’n‘bass.

but, boy these tunes still rule; amens chopped to fuck, huge bass, gangsta samples (particularly remarc’s, where a voice states that we’ve chosen “the wrong nigga to fuck with” while his mate threatens all and sundry- “i’m going to my car, get my other gun and shoot everybody’s ass”, much like old s.o.u.r./shy fx tunes).

when we saw remarc in london last christmas, it was a timely reminder of the power of this stuff when heard LOUD. I hadn’t danced so hard for years. when christine told her friend about this, she replyed “well it shows how empty their lives are”. thanks for that, lucy.

‘studio one lik’ has, turns the heat down a little (but only a little) with a nice reggae sample from the late sir coxsone, as does…

kemet crew- ‘soul pill’ sampling the ‘run run’ rhythm, another classic old-school jungle outfit/ label who released an lp of unreleased tunes called ‘amen heaven’ last year (sums it up) from which this is taken: classic ragga jungle a cut above the likes of ‘incredible’ etc. incidently, can anyone else remember when general levy was cast-out by the self proclaimed jungle arbiters of taste for that release? I was particularly impressed by the official sounding name they gave themselves, something like ‘the association of british drum’n’bass producers’.

unknown- ‘my dub is your dub’ this is a white label bought 2nd hand from the excellent (though expensive) avit records in oxford. sampling whitney houston this is a wicked hard-step tune although it doesn’t do a lot once it's started. much like modern d’n’b where the addition of an extra cymbol half way through is supposed to excite (“you’ll love this tune mate, there’s a wicked cowbell after the second drop”)

din-s.t- ‘she’s my number 1’ this guy produced the something j & dj maxximus ode to consumerism ‘versace armani vs. mercedes bentley’ and has nuff releases on, amongst others ambush. this is quite mild in comparison to breakcore’s normal fare though (I’m not sure mansfield’s ready for dj scud): it starts with lots of shouting (“mash up”, “brace yourselves” pianos, rave stabs and bass drops before starting proper, a nice stylistic link to:

hrvatski- ‘vatstep dsp’ drill’n’bass classic from the man once known to play shows dressed as a chicken and who now records ‘serious’ music as keith fullerton whitman. supposedly, hrvatski had a bit of an obsession with the amen break at one point and it shows on this. cats squeel. a speak and spell chanter, sleng teng mash up madness. this was the only reason to buy kid 606’s ‘down with the scene’ cd (it’s a remix of one of the kid’s songs and I think mike patton insisted it was on the release) until it was included on ‘swarm and dither’ (planet mu) - a fine record.

aphex twin- a track from ‘s.a.w. vol 2’ the one with what sounds like children voices moaning and groaning. like a beatless boards of canada. I guessed a rest was in order after all the drum carnage.

then to finish- dj hype- ‘you must think first (original mix)’ i’ve mentioned this before, so I won’t again.


strictly analogue

yesterday evening i got off my arse and did a mix that was requested by a friend ages ago. generally old school jungle with a few well known/old favourites (so no marks in the cool/obscure stakes). 45mins straight to cassette.

i've left the track list at home, so i'll make some remarks later.


don't mourn this fucker

finally some articles (admittedly all from the same source) to redress the fawning revisionism surrounding r. reagan's death and the claims being made for him and his policies (ending communism? making america feel good about itself? wtf?):

killer, coward, conman. more proof only the good die young (by greg.palast)

reagan (by william. blum)

good mourning, america, reagan, radicals and repetitive reactions (by mickey z)

ok, so he died a long and drawn out death that you wouldn't wish on anyone, but really- he was a lying, greedy, self serving and devisive criminal.
it makes you worry for when thatcher does one, doesn't it? what's she going to get, a state funeral? a sainthood?


bizarre reggae deaths number 4:

very recent and a shocker...

barry brown: 'fell and hit his head' at sone waves studio, kingston (29th may 2004, aged 42)


if you are particularly bored, you may wish to waste some precious moments on this monumentally pointless quiz.


phew (eases gently into chair). i can now (just) sit smugly and revel in fact that i have cycled across england. i’m not going to waffle on about the trip we did because
a) other people have done so on the C2C website
b) i’m not a mad up for it super fit cyclist so our efforts were not that impressive and
c) i have no short term memory.

however, a few comments (oh, and statistics, courtesy of our clever speedometer thing):

there is an inverse relationship between the number of england flags being flown from cars in an area and the size of its ethnic minority population.

the lake district is very hilly.

but the northern penines are mountainous

the nation's favourite 'vegetarian option' is vegetable lasagne

lapwings get very aggressive when they feel their nest is threatened and enjoy a spot of dive bombing. not only did they have a go at us (while we were cycling along, i hasten to add), but one afternoon when we were having a walk we saw two of them scaring off a buzzard using such tactics.

the youth are so bored round chester-le-street that they spend their leisure time sprinkling cycle tracks with glass and defacing/removing sign posts. in fact, it was here that (after travelling across deserted moorland and empty b roads for days) we got lost for the first time.

as we came up to the stadium of light, a little kid covered in mud looks at us as we go through a gate and says 'i'm mucky aren't i?'

sunderland can’t be arsed to celebrate the fact it is at the end of the route.

(148 miles travelled in 15 1/2 hours cycling time. average speed 9.2 mph. top speed 41.5 mph)

before we set off a friend from the big city came up, bringing with him magic discs filled with music the likes of which aren’t found up here (well, stuff taken from soulseek anyway), so i aim to spend this week trawling through them and all the other things I haven’t listened to properly yet.

on first listen a couple of germaican 7”s stood out, both on the ‘valentine’ ryhthm in a modern roots style: sizzla drops the fire and brimstone rhetoric for a moment and sings his best love song since ‘black woman and child’ on ‘i’ll always love you’ and a bloke called the gentleman more than equals him on ‘after the storm’. having looked on the germaican website, I’ve discovered that the cool ruler has done a version too, which I will attempt to seek out.

and somewhere on the blogosphere (i can’t find it now, and was only looking at it a couple of hours ago)someone has been writing about slint and in particular ‘good morning, captain’. just thinking about this song makes we want to cry.

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