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Franz Ferdinand stomach punched popular culture in 2003. With the Laverne and Shirley themesong (“We’re gonna make our dreams come true. Doin’ it our way”) as inspiration*, Alex Kapranos and Paul Thompson (of the recently reformed The Yummy Fur**) got together with a few more pals and did it their way. Their way was to make “music for girls to dance to”; flattening the drab state of pop with a debut full of melodic, infectious and competent hits.
After 2004 NME decided to put a pale-faced gerbil on every cover, indie-pop was dull, the game was a bogey. Popular culture no longer applied to anyone and the ubiquity of their début seemed to eclipse the bands escalating sense of sex and drama --leaving their other albums from the zeros seem somewhat less exciting. However, what is still thrilling about the band is their disregard for this kind of consensus, as Malcolm Ross of Josef K and Orange Juice fame noted on their posters, album covers and videos the “nod to art references…come from the band members” and their absence of “a svengali manager, or some camp stylist in the background” combined with what Kanye West described as “whitey crunk music”, make Franz Ferdiand’s mainstream global success and this session from 2003 something to be celebrated.
So in another piece of gross nostalgia: “Long live the Austro-Hungarian empire!”
**playing Nice & Sleazys 07/01/10
Posted at 17:45, 5th January 2010
It's cold. Brrr cold. In summer it's hot. Wooo hot.
The West End is a cluster of elegant Victorian crescents, boutiques, coffee shops... The West End Festival is a celebration of the pulsing, bohemian spirit that keeps this unique city idyll alive... Blah.
Eh, aye. Cheers tripadvisor.
Subcity is a cluster of tasteless fan dans. Subcity at the West End Festival is a celebration of the obnoxious noises that keep the station alive, and the locals up at night.
Case in point: NASA's set at the festival in 2009. While that guy from the organic greengrocer was doing interpretive dance for confused tourists on Byres Road, Subcity's finest bass makers were in Kelvingrove Park, corrupting the youth and showing the rest of the festival how it's done.
Photo by Apesod
Posted at 22:21, 4th January 2010
Boom Monk Ben & Full Phat aimed to get you aggy.
In 2010 [twenty-ten], Boom Monk Ben is doing much the same thing. The kids are still getting aggy, they just might not call it that. This four-deck set with fellow Subcity alumni Full Phat is typical of Ben's open-doors policy to genre; a passion for diversity which would see his fledging promotions and music organisation Mixed Bizness develop into a Glasgow partying institution, capable of filling the Glasgow School of Art week in, week out. In amongst cuts of The Cure, Technotronic and whatever else was in the bag, you can even catch the track that gave Ben's unique style a name.
Full Phat was a popular fixture at Subcity parties: appearing at the Research Club (on numerous occasions), Freshers Weeks, an FM Launch, even taking it to the public at the West End Festival. If you've got a sweat-drenched memory of a Subcity night, chances are Full Phat was involved. Adding to his considerable live repertoire, Full Phat's trademark house sound has made its way onto a variety of releases.
Recorded at Subcity Block Party 2 at The Arches in 2004 // Photo by Arch Stanton
Posted at 19:17, 2nd January 2010
In 2006, in the early hours of a February morning, the corridor outside the Subcity studio was packed with drunk clubbers ready for a now legendary after-party with breakcore madman DJ Scotch Egg. After a gig at Mono organised by Megapixels, and some persuasion from the hosts of ASCII, the Japanese producer played an explosive set with Germlin (Joe Howe, aka one-half of Gay Against You) and Osaka’s DODDODO.
During the distorted screams and tri-Gameboy fury, a security guard ominously walked down the hall, turned, clocked the party, paused…inserted some change into the vending machine, brought a can of Coke, turned back and left. Without saying a word. The party continued and the music of some imagined future continued to pound down the hallway in all its demented saw tooth glory: DODDODO’s noise merchantry and Germlin’s total future-punk mayhem.
Although, we haven’t punchered a hole in our Nike Air max’s, or shaved our heads asymmetrically like true gabbers, Subcity “team meetings” are often Megadrive battles (very short battles if someone remembers all the special moves in Mortal Kombat) in homage to this night/morning and the world of ASCII, “the first ever videogames based radio show”.
Posted at 22:05, 31st December 2009
DJ Itchy & Surface Empire.
Do you think you're a lucky person?
Luck had nothing to do with it.
This set, recorded in The Arches at Subcity's second Block Party in 2004, was not easy; it doesn't necessarily hold the fuzzy, saccharine sense of nostalgia that usually comes with an artist's knowing retrospection on the ubiquitous humble beginning. The group's first performance to a crowd of this size (1200 people) had to compete with technical problems, logistical problems and the small matter of playing a style of music that was effectively non-existent (apart from the rare novelty track, Glasgow hip-hop was an alien concept) to an audience that was, largely, unaware.
It's funny how the mind plays tricks on memory.
This session offers something else, something different. It captures the genre bending talent of DJ Itchy and his natural turntablist inclination, qualities that would later be identified as idiosyncratic of the anti-niche that the young Glaswegian has carved out for himself under his current moniker --Hudson Mohawke. Surface Empire MC Dom Sum displays the party-centric attitude of 'fucking with genre and sensibility' and bringing fun to hip-hop and hip-hop performance, that would result in his then-underground club night LuckyMe developing into a music and arts collective that would define quality in a newly acquired global scene.
Lyrics from Surface Empire's "The Making" // Photo by Arch Stanton
Posted at 15:52, 31st December 2009
DJ Assault, AKA Craig Diamonds ("he can be himself and shine at the same time?"), the booty bass legend, is all about making people dance. Especially women. He likes to call the music he produces 'accelerated funk', but when it comes to his DJ sets which are always accompanied by his sexually charged live vocals, Assault claims genre means nothing as long as the booties are bouncing and the crowd are tearing the club up.
Contrary to his reputation for starting fights with world famous DJs, probably not helped by 'fighting talk' name, Wee Cheesy's introductory anecdotes about the man portray him as somewhat of a gentle giant. His reaction video to the internet hype over his clash with Alan Braxe shows him in this light. His sleepy and childlike attitude to everyday situations make for a difficult man to get to the right place at the right time, but when he gets there, the reward is sweet (and ridiculously sweaty).
This is his set from Saturday 21st March 2009 (when Assault eventually did make it into the country) at Pivo Pivo.
Posted at 19:34, 29th December 2009
|Errors // 02.03.04||Subcity Archives||listen|
|SHITDISCO // 22.02.05||Subcity Archives||listen|