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just like a drummer

i wake up with the thunder of your typewriter, every night

Tag Archives: SertOne

I have simply not featured enough Hip-Hop on this site. And saying that in its simple frankness is a rather large short sight (there is a paradox in there somewhere), because I have not actually featured any Hip-Hop on Just Like A Drummer. I don’t think it would be fair at all to say that this gaping hole like gap in what was designed to be a blog of “the eclectic”, is down to a sheer lack of material. I would be more likely to blame it on my fear of talking about anything Hip-Hop. It’s something I’ve been working on and something that has only developed in the last year or so when I actually started putting serious listening time into the genre. What I would once have described as my musical Achilles heal – which I would now lump onto Metal, shudder – I would now describe as a facet of music that gives me more joy than almost any other. I like the fact that I have so little baggage, dialogue, rhetoric (hence the talking about Hip-Hop anxiety) and basic understanding of what makes this music tick. I enjoy that feeling of delving my hand into a dark box, not knowing what is inside the cardboard, and not fearing my inability to narrate what I cannot see, but feel instead. Though I suppose there is fear, because I have as of yet chosen not to talk about it.

My friend Richard (Howard, one half of the glorious Deep Burial) has been working with me on this, although I think he would see the venture less in the psychotherapeutic light, and more in the vein of giving a girl musical recommendations and putting up with her childlike naivety of what each individual song means in the greater scheme of things. It begun as a genuine attraction to the work of Eazy-E. Despite the expectation that I would probably enjoy the foggier end of rap due possibly to my reputation amongst friends as a “bit of a goth” – Important distinction must be made between the “lunar goth” usually connoted by the word, and this altogether singular definition which pertains to finding beauty in the mundane and which I’m not sure wasn’t just a synonym for ‘hipster’ – it seemed I was destined to embrace the cheesier end. Upon listening to the first mix Richard made me, ingeniously titled “The Mad Rapper in the Attic – Gothic Hiphop from the vaults” with my best friend Niamh over cereal, I was shocked. Mostly at how vastly against the grain of my expectations it was, but also at how much I liked it. Niamh on the other hand hilariously asked “Why is that man so angry?“. To be fair, it was Gravediggaz, “Diary of a Mad Man”.

From there flourished an interest that is now flirting with obsession but one that is still so infant that I’m too embarrassed to even talk about it. Because it seems such an insular genre. I think most are, when you look at them from an alien perspective, but hip-hop has always been one for me that I never quite thought I would penetrate. You can’t bullshit hip-hop like you can most other things. It’s a language, you know. And its so highly technical, and I have always been more of an appreciator of “I like it just cause, like, y’know, I can’t explain it” type criticism. I just genuinely don’t know how its all put together. I’m starting to see that less as a failing, now, and more as a bonus. Because although there is something to be had from the admiration and genuine appreciation of listening to something and seeing how it stitches onto itself, mapping it with your ears and knowing exactly how much blood and sweat and unadulterated talent went in to each individual decision on the record, there is also something pretty amazing about listening to a song for the first time and just going “wow”. Wow. I have no idea how they did that. It’s uncanny, and its pretty blissful.

And this is all a round about way of saying that I don’t care anymore, I’m going to talk about Hip-Hop. And I’m going to start with SertOne and his delicious debut EP, The View From Above released on Melted Music this February.

SertOne is an instrumental electronic artist from Portadown, Armagh and this seven track EP is the best thing I’ve heard in ages. Really. It’s maddeningly toe-tapping, different from anything I’ve heard, particularly in this country. It’s definitely kind of Dillaish, but hell, has that ever been a bad thing! Stand-out track for me would be “Past, Present, Future” (which features the most ridiculously cool and creative samples I have ever heard) and the psychotically beautiful interlude “8mm” which sits in the middle of the record like the pips in an apple. The whole EP is hugely dynamic though and doesn’t lag at any point, but sort of stutters along with wonderful assurance. It’s kind of perfection, to be honest; all dark and maddening, like the sound of your brain slowly unravelling.

The record will be out following an EP launch on February 25th at Morrisson’s in Belfast, at which point you can get your hands on one of the limited edition (run of 100) cd, hand-packaged by SertOne himself. Pretty damn rad. CD also comes with three bonus remixes, so extra incentive to part with your dollars.¬†Also worth noting that this is Melted Music’s first release as a label and they are looking to be one to watch. Fucking exciting.

For your pleasure,

Past, Present and Future РSert One РBBC radio Ulster РATL  Р24/1/11

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