Dropping Drinks Again
Itís not been the best of weeks. I know other people havenít had the best of weeks either. It happens. And itís at such times that joyous surprises mean that much more.

This could refer to the fact that Zeís reissues of Cristinaís gorgeous LPs are imminent. Now thereís a launch really worth celebrating. No, what I was referring to actually was a new release that caught me completely unawares - a new release that is well worth celebrating.

Now I know absolutely nothing about DJ/Rupture, but I would recommend unreservedly the Special Gunpowder set out on Very Friendly. Itís completely uplifting, infectious, and challenging. Itís the sort of record I didnít expect to hear, but like the wondrous Junior Boys set earlier this summer itís a reason to keep on and not give in.

Perhaps Iím behind the times, and DJ/Rupture is known to you all. The first I heard of the name was on Nick Luscombeís 'Flow Motion' show on Xfm last Sunday, when the track he played made me ďdrop my drinkĒ. And believe me DJ/Ruptureís Special Gunpowder will have you throwing your drinks skywards so often youíll need an umbrella.

Itís the sort of soundclash mash we used to get so excited about. It covers all bases ≠ or basses. A bit of drumíníbass, some ragga, a touch of mariachi, mad abstract hip hop, apocalyptic electronica, salsa, modern composition, low-slung dubbed out grooves which make you walk funny, dustbowl ballads, and thatís for starters. Itís the sort of record that would have been on MoíWax ten years ago. Does anyone remember MoíWax?

Ten years ago on MoíWax odd sets of soundclash mash would vehemently deny they were trip hop. They were just mad mixes of ingredients that set the imagination reeling. Appropriately Iíve just come across a great collection of La Funk Mob recordings, salvaging their songs from 1993-1997. How many of us had forgotten about La Funk Mob? But gems like 'Motor Bass Get Phunked Up', 'Ravers Suck Our Sound', and 'La Doctoresse' soon recall a time when French disko was the coollest thing on the planet. And it ainít that far from DJ/Rupture.

I am not sure I ever got my head around all the French disko permutations from those times (but isnít there a Martin James book that goes into more detail?). Boombass and Zdar were La Funk Mob? Zdar recorded with Etienne de Crecy as Motorbass who recorded the classic French house set Pansoul. Etienne also recorded as Main Basse for Source who ran the supercool Source Lab compilations for a while. Etienne was also behind the Super Discount set which epitomised French disko at its best. Well, at least French disko at its best long after the Garcons recorded their slim set of classics for Ze. I need hardly repeat that A Man Called Adam salvaged those Garcons recordings for their Other label when no one bothered about Zeís legacy.

Ah the intricacies and interlinkages of pop at its best. Because believe it or not when Nick Luscombe played that DJ/Rupture track that sent my drink flying the next song he played was from Super Discount 2 ≠ the sequel seven years on. And itís well worth the wait ≠ if you like your French disko. There are moments when the bass comes over New Orderish and the hairs stand up on your passionfruit. Otherwise itís nice to see the old names up to no good ≠ Zdar, Gopher, De Crecy Ö as though time didnít exist.

And it doesnít. Just wait till you hear those Cristina LPs again. In the meantime be brave and get hold of the DJ/Rupture set. When the dinosaurs get you down, smile and tell yourself at least you understand those who are trying to do some things differently, creatively, and vitally, and whatever they do to protect their old, tired, threatened ways wonít bring you down.

© 2004 John Carney