Music Predictions 2020 and Beyond


i mean it was the spotify staff playlist for this stuff that initally coined the term “hyperpop”, and learning that made me rlly feel confident in saying i hate that shit. i hate that shit so much fam. i know im supposed to love that shit as a queer genderfluid 20 year old zoomer but im sorry i have read too much mark fisher in my short life to accept it! the hyperfemininty, in-joke meme lyrics, 2 min runtimes perfect for brainless playlisting, putting even stuff they genuinely in a glossy sheen of surface-level irony, p much a good 95% of it is pure crap.

also the most annoying fans ever, teenage internet shut-ins who spam “minecraft bee hatsune miku trans rights uwu owo” in their twitch chats to each other as if can rlly make the world hate them less. i cant blame them, most of them are probs dealing with much abuse and general lonelyness in their lives irl, and lord knows i was one of them. but goddamn i rlly cant see how this shit helps.

thinking of hyperpop reminds me of one of my fav k-punk writings of all time, Is Pop Undead?, esp in the context of the critical praise that 100 gecs, food house, etc, have able to gain in such short time:

What Pop lacks now is the capacity for nihilation, for producing new potentials through the negation of what already exists. … just because something is current doesn’t mean it is new. saying that Pop was better twenty-five years ago is NOT to be nostalgic; on the contrary, it is to resist the ambient, airtight, total nostalgia that can not only tolerate but delight in the latest regurgitations on the Indie retreadmill.

there is no real nihilation in most hyperpop from what im hearing. p much everything these guys and gals and enbies are doing are just regurgitating everything they had heard in their youth (nu metal, crunk, crunkcore, mallcore, eurodance, early american brostep, lex luger era trap, and ofc the pc music style bubblegum bass presiding hyperpop) and putting it all in a boiling calder to create a stew of obnoxiously overproduction of just generic love songs about being ghosted on twitter and then getting drunk about it. no critical commentary on the economics of the lumpenprole life most of these kids love to roleplay (all members of 100 gecs and food house are nyu alumni, and 100 gecs are currently artists-in-residence at nyc, as if the infamous racist debacle of them opening for pop smoke at the student union stage [which led to all hip hop artists banned from preforming at the college cuz of the white hooligan gecs fans recking the venue and nyc staff ending the show before pop could even preform] never happened), nor rlly any critique of pop music today at all, they all accept it and just appreciate it nicely. what bullcrap.

Let’s dispense once and for all with Popist-Deleuzianism/Deleuzian Popism’s obligatory positivity. The fact we happen to be alive now doesn’t mean that we must be committed to the belief that this is the best time to live EVER. We have no duty to search out entertainment and spread a little excitement everywhere we go. (Think of how hard to please audiences were in the mid seventies, in the midst of a veritable cornucopia by comparison with today’s grim desert; and think of what that dissatisfaction produced.) So, please, no consumerist homilies about the fact that ‘it is always possible to find good records, no matter what the year.’ Yes, of course it is, but as soon as Pop is reduced to good records it really is all over. When Pop can no longer muster a nihilation of the World, a nihilation of the Possible, then it will only be the ghosts that are worthy of our time.

as for their prospects in the future, i think they aint getting out of URL into IRL anytime soon. there’s one obvious reason why that goes for everyone, but also the specific kind of internet culture that produced this stuff will mean even after life goes “back to normal” (lol) i feel like theres not gonna be much culture outside of the same simulated virtual stuff for them. and i dont think they will actually get pop success in any real mainstream matter, the stuff is still too abrasive for iheartradio programmers to accept. maybe ull get dylan brady producing a song or two for arianda grande and that will be it.

(i will say, i do like the “glitchcore” stuff a bit more, those folks are obv doing something more subtle and psychedelic in the drainy veenier, which i appreciate)


nice to see some valid, genuine criticism about hyperpop beyond ppl saying “it just sounds like shit / it’s stupid”.
Last paragraph also has a lot of weight - it’s 100% sure it’s not gonna break the mainstream, but at the same time, almost everybody knows about hyperpop to some extent. It’s influence reaches a lot of people, but it pretty much had it’s breakthrough moment already.

Personally I think glitchcore is label that’s full of shit, some made up name / scene that ppl think is super new and revolutionary when it’s just part of years of music going through changes. It’s sort of like the hardcore continuum, except cycling through self-referential sources with PC Music / bubblegum pop / brostep. Although, the hardcore continuum is dead, isn’t it? :crazy_face:


Yeah I was quite into PC Music when they started popping up a few years ago but I couldn’t carry on with it, after a certain point I just found it a bit obnoxious. I think the @weirdoslam point about it all being swamped in a pool of irony is probably the main reason. I like irony a bit here and there but my earlier musical tastes were often either very po-faced (like indie music, Fugazi etc.) or the classic gen-x alternative rock stuff which was all very detatched, ironic and so on, and their hipster indie successors and I do regret not having a bit more unaffected fun.

That’s what I’m drawn to at the moment, like 90s garage and house and stuff where it’s sincere and unaffected, but it’s fun as well. And I find the hyperpop stuff just too detached from that actual place of joy. It’s like eating 10 bags of haribo or something, I get a sugar rush but I crash and I can’t sustain it, and if I keep going I end up feeling empty and depressed. I can’t be bothered with more ill defined critiques-or-maybe-not-critiques of slick commercial culture, without any obvious point. You can do that stuff in a meme or whatever, I want something a bit more from music.

I saw something recently where Simon Reynolds was bashing the UK garage revival because it’s just retreads of the old tunes, there’s no sense of being part of a development of culture to a new place (is that the nihilation thing?)

Previously I might have been sympathetic to that argument, if it weren’t that anything “new” was just mashing up some old stuff, making it sound faster or more obnoxious, and pushing the extremity angle. And as @weirdoslam points out you end up with stuff that doesn’t really sound fresh and isn’t really new, it is just the next iteration of an already-tired idea (magpie from different genres and push them to the furthest logical extension). Perhaps this is a consequence of us hitting a technological wall - there aren’t any obvious technological barriers to break anymore, anyone can do anything on a computer more or less. So there aren’t technical restrictions that are common to everyone pushing people in a similar creative direction, or forcing them to react in creative ways to get the most out of the gear - there’s too many options in terms of the tools you use, and most of the low hanging fruit conceptually has already been grabbed. So people are left with trying to make “new” things by retreading but by pushing things to the extreme to make it “new” or “modern”.

I’m much more attracted to the garage retreads, because they’re a bit more uncomplicated, there’s not a message really (other than DIY, being generous) - but I prefer that to the music being warped in a negative way to push a kind of trite, surface level “modern society is weird, the internet affects things, consumerism results in some strange aesthetics” message without any interesting content or critique. That’s fine for a few singles or a compilation, but you’re flogging a dead horse beyond that point.

Maybe the reason stuff like garage (and acid house and things like that) is attractive to people at the moment is that they were social and party musics in a very literal sense - insofar as it had a visual aesthetic it was often just “people are around, dancing, in a club”. I’m thinking of the video for Flowers or the original video for Re-rewind, or some of the cover art for compilations and stuff.


The MC and vocalling was often “we’re going out, we’re going to the club, here are the experiences you have at the club, we drink champagne at the club”. The scene it was describing was kind of dress-up, champagne, materialistic in a lot of ways that aren’t very suited to left wing politics. But there is a sense of collectiveness there - we’re all here in the same place interacting with each other. The dress stuff is a kind of competitive thing but also a tribal identifier, an in-group bonding thing. The drugs are booze and cocaine which are kind of social lubricating drugs rather than get-in-your-own-head drugs like ketamine or psychedelics or something. It’s a non-atomised thing. And that is something that I think people are really missing, even pre-corona (which is when the revival started) - public space has been increasingly closed down, people are living more atomised lives, everyone is on this hyper-visible social media projection of their personality, loads of people are trying to create a personal brand or do this whole Rise And Grind thing. It feels like there’s less and less space for people to just have fun, relax with no ulterior motive or aim to self-improve, and interact with each other in a non-competitive and healthily social way. Maybe there’s a desire to return to the 90s when lots of jobs that weren’t that hard to get into were paying out good money, cost of living wasn’t so absurd, there was a sense of optimism about where the future was going etc.

The UK garage revival doesn’t really seem to lean into all of these characteristics of classic garage, the club / social orientation - it’s not a hardcore continuum thing really, the MCs aren’t very interested and the DJs don’t seem interested in MCs, so the vocal stuff isn’t really there to paint that picture. It’s purely instrumental or there is a bit of singing, usually about love or generic interpersonal stuff. The visuals are normally graphic designy stuff, maybe a bit of the acid house photoshopped-brand-logos-as-flyers aesthetic - there isn’t much of a photographing-real-people-enjoying-themselves aesthetic, and there isn’t the money or interest to make videos (and presumably there haven’t been that many raves bc it seems to have started becoming a thing on the cusp of 2020, just before corona halted everything).

But even so the music itself is made for dancing, it’s slinky, friendly and approachable but can be deep enough to stay interesting to obsessives - it’s kind of the opposite of extremity-for-extremitys-sake, shred your ears, trebly hyperpop. It’s made for getting lots of people into the same place and being able to draw on and create many different moods for a sincere experience - not using a million different styles to create basically same kind of mood over an over again (maybe 2 or 3 moods if you’re lucky), and not using irony to create distance.

To return to the irony point, there is something interesting about hyperpop, in that it appears to be appropriating things that are very earnest and euphoric and giving them the irony-slick to make them acceptable to people for whom earnestness is difficult or uncool (I’m thinking here of the Harlecore thing, MC Boing and so on which has come out very recently). But it’s like oil and water, it’s interesting that people are being drawn to things that can’t really mix properly, things that are on the opposite ends of the earnestness spectrum.

Presumably the earnestness and euphoria has an appeal that people are grasping for, but can’t quite let go of their self-consciousness enough to grasp it wholeheartedly. That’s a very internet-age sentiment I suppose. Maybe the creators or fans would object to the sense that everything is ironic to them? (But I probably wouldn’t believe them if they did)

I can’t help but find the whole thing offputting anyway. I also struggle with sincerity and earnestness to an extreme degree, but I feel like trying to engage with the most extreme and guileless forms of earnestness through a distancing irony-haze is probably the worst way to deal with that. Which is perhaps why I’m attracted to the non-ironic forms at the moment.

I dunno if that all is coherent tbh, but I started writing and all that came out (I’m procrastinating atm). Hopefully one day I’ll be able to make a post that isn’t 1,500 words long.


There was some interesting discussion in a thread on dissensus about the garage revival


Cheers. Yeah, this is where the Simon Reynolds comment was from (he’s blissblogger I believe?). I’ve got some thoughts, apologies if it’s a bit spiky (I’m tired, and tbh the ppl in the thread I’m responding to can be spiky enough themselves).

From the thread:

Alot of Dissensias seems to be Gen Xs however, so I understand the critique towards retro after having seen constant innovation for decades. I have to defend retro in continuum genres though, as they were so short-lived. So good music, but for so short time, so why not make more of that stuff? Would suck to leave, like jungle, forever in 93-96.

This is an interesting point. Maybe the older lot were spoiled in much the same way the Boomers are viewed as having been re: economics. I saw a comment under a Ray Keith tune the other night saying the progression from '91 to '93 was staggering.

I think both of these are relevant points (although gen X have been spoiled re: economics as well), but the former one is the big thing for me - they’re not exhausted. I had a manic episode in 2015 and I basically had a million ideas in about 3 days with no sleep. They were often half formed and there was a load of garbage in there, but there were interesting ideas which still inform what I do today. I didn’t have the time to flesh them out or make them coherent then, so I’m happy enough to do it now. I kind of think of it like that. The relentlessness of the progression might have given the “it was better in my day” types a sense of speeding along or whatever, but it also meant productive avenues weren’t fully explored.

I think there’s a lot to be said about the material conditions, and technological conditions that prompted this flood of innovation as well. There were leaps forward in technology (or affordability of technology) that powered some of these progressions. They were creating at a time where electronic music being created by the underground was very new (when were the first independent electronic bands? early 80s?) and it was barely explored territory. You could make stuff that sounded relatively modern without having to stray too far from melody, groove, dancefloor functionality and so on.

There was an underground infrastructure where you could make fairly good money as a producer, and by doing remixes various underground producers could tap into major label money without having to compromise what they did or be tied up in rotten deals. None of these things seem to be the case any more.

So anyway, suppose all these factors (and other relevant material factors) are no longer the case. This may well mean that the heydey of rapid musical progression and mutation is over, at least until something shifts in technology, the economics of the music industry, or means of distribution. These shifts may never occur and it may be over forever. If you’re into music because you want to DJ, or be involved in a scene or community and meet people (rather than being a critical observer / dissensus guy) what do you do? If all the virtual communities that form are of people enthusiastic about the unexhausted possibilities of some genre that you like, why not get involved?

There are also material factors alluded to in the thread. You could fixate on the old stuff, but if you’re a young person without a ton of money then it’ll just be simpler and easier to buy or make new stuff than try and get some ludicrously overpriced thing from discogs, the prices which may well have been boosted by the very people who are slagging you off for looting their memories of youth for your feeble imitations.

This is Reynolds in the thread:

even the most bandwagon-jumping, mercenary-minded, shamelessly derivative track from 97/98/99/2000 has more spiritual-philosophical-ontological integrity (for want of a better word)
even the most scholarly, meticulous, well-informed and well-intended reproduction-antique effort from now

because the former are participating (even if exploitatively) in a real-time wave of innovation as it happens, rather than going back and trying to freezeframe that moment

you can get a buzz off a shoddy third-division tune from then, that you can’t get from the most immaculate recreation

I just don’t buy this at all, partially because I don’t actually think that these tracks are all recreations necessarily (although that may be true from a sort of philosophical / historical angle) - in terms of the ppl making them they might be wanting to take it into new or interesting places. Not many succeed, but I don’t really care. Some of the recreations are crap, but some are really good.

From my own experience I’ve done a few garage mixes a couple of years ago that were mostly old garage - not much new stuff was being made and I couldn’t afford it anyway, so I just played the stuff I’d got into debt to buy during my manic episode, and raided my brother’s vinyl collection. All old stuff, mixed by a not very experienced person who was about 11 when the actual scene was thriving. I liked the mixes, and I love those old tunes - but the more recent mixes I’ve done which tend to be new stuff with a few older tracks mixed in I’ve preferred much more.

I couldn’t tell you why exactly, but something about the fact that there is modern production styles in the mix there does make it feel punchier and more ‘alive’. But maybe that’s because it genuinely is more alive - people who aren’t totally fixated on the good old days are actually making new stuff with a more modern sensibility and modern tools. There is a community interested in it. Stuff is happening. It might feel like a retread if you’re a grizzled old head mourning your clubbing days, but if you were a very young kid when garage was happening then it probably doesn’t feel like that at all. And a lot of the tunes are great!

As you can probably tell from my tone I do think a bit of this is to do with gen X people grappling with getting older and doing the rave equivalent of the classic “yes, in fact, the Rolling Stones were the pinnacle of music achievement and everything since has been pointless”, but wrapping it up in a more sophisticated theoretical framework than the gauche boomers would.

There are some things I do agree with though in the thread, there are a lot of pointless vinyl only releases, and forced scarcity is something I find very annoying. I don’t like vinyl fetishism either. So that does wind me up. But it has also got me buying a few of the records rather than buying the files, so maybe it makes sense for them economically.

Final unrelated point - I understand the idea that working class / black / otherwise oppressed culture can create extremely vital forms of art that comfortable middle class white ppl might struggle to do, and that part of this is to do with their situation. But some of the attitudes you see from 1 or 2 people in that thread feel uncomfortably like a fetish to me.

Another essay… If anyone has any recommendations for articles on how to write concisely please let me know.


Yeah I’m pretty sure it is, reading your first post my mind jumped immediately to that post.

All a bit depressing really, I had always assumed the hardcore continuum would go on mutating and innovating forever but it’s gone really isn’t it. Well, nothing lasts forever, and the idea of people going back to the old sounds and having the time to truly explore and expand on them makes me feel a bit better. Went on a Warehouse Rave binge recently and the way some of their releases blends UKG and Hardcore sounds very fresh.

I pretty much agree with everything you said, I’m actually one of the people in that thread moaning about the vinyl-only releases but like you I’ve now got myself hooked into the scene a bit more and have been buying quite a lot of it so I guess it works!


I still think there’s bits of innovation and stuff going on. Even if it is derivative to some extent all the hardcore continuum genres were putting some spin on previous genres - hardcore with acid house and breakbeat hip hop, jungle on hardcore, UK garage took bits of jungle and hardcore aesthetic and jumbled it up with US garage, dubstep was a grime and garage spin off that just ran itself into a one-track hole. Grime is probably the one I’d say that was the most innovative, ironically because they all thought they were just developing garage at the beginning, but that was taking stuff from lots of different genres esp US stuff I believe.

So I don’t feel that hopeless about it. And the best bits of the continuum imo was often the flux periods where people didn’t know what was going on - I’m thinking particularly of that pre-grime period where it was more of a garage mutation, or the dark garage / early dubstep period. There was a bit of chat about this Wigflex mix concerning that period, and I did a similar one myself which I’ll link to as well.

I wonder if there’s an element to which things are labelled as a genre (‘UK garage revival’) for purposes of marketing, or grouping in an internet world without the physical infrastructure of strong local scenes and limited options. And because it’s labelled with an existing genre it feels more like it’s a retread because of the label (obviously some of it is legitimately a retread). People interpret it through the prism of the past in a way they don’t with something that has less of a distinct personality that’s been through several cycles of regeneration already like house or techno? i dunno.

The hardcore continuum may be dead (bc the material factors and infrastructure that made it are dead) but we may still see something new being birthed. It might not be centred around London but that might not be such a bad thing. There’s even the possibility (maybe this is me being hopeful really) of a kind of worldwide version of, for example, hardcore or garage’s incursions into the pop charts. So you might get a truly global underground uprising, with regional patterns and characteristics. It’s not going to be exactly the same as hardcore continuum but it might still be interesting.

I’ve been reading about reddit people disrupting the stock market by trying to inflate the stock of Gamestop out of spite towards hedge funds trying to short the stock (i.e. betting it will drop in value). Apparently they made one hedge fund lose $10 billion. So the networked society can still bring some weird shit into existence.

Another way of putting it might be that a lot of the more fashionable hardcore continuum and other dance genres were obsessed with the future, possibilities of networked society, cybernetics, human-machine interaction etc. We may well already be well into that future, but it’s turned out to be banal. There are things that suggest it might continue to be banal, or that reaction will either remain very specified to certain underground groups, and will only emerge already-captured by the majors and with all the personality squeezed out of it. But there’s nothing that guarantees that it’ll always be like that. Interesting stuff might emerge, and it might grab the popular imagination. At least we might get a less banal commentary on the boring dystopia than hyperpop. If the future really has been cancelled that’s a major shift, and major shifts can provoke major and unexpected reactions. Perhaps this is a more interesting place to be in than having a strictly defined London-based morphing subculture to track and debate.

Or maybe all of that is bollocks and I’m just getting old and cba to keep up with the kids any more, and that’s fine. :man_shrugging:

Infuriating isn’t it! My basic principle is that I can’t afford to get sucked in to the extent that I rinse my money on it so I have to know that it’s good and not just panic buy in case it goes - there’s plenty of stuff and a lot of old stuff so I’m not finding it too hard to stay healthy. Doesn’t always work but I’ve got a better hit rate these days. I like buying from DNR as well, it makes me feel like I’m at least contributing to some institution.


Yeah being a Londoner I suppose I’m looking at it in a very London-centric way, the kids in the streets aren’t fucking with dance music at all they’re all obsessed with Drill, I don’t think you’ll get radio sets banging out of cars any time soon.

But there are plenty of interesting things happening, apart from the UKG revival I’m liking the Hard Drum stuff, the the kind of 130BPMish Gqom/UK Funky/House stuff, the 160BPM stuff that Sherelle and the like are pushing and the Jungle stuff from people like Tim Reaper and Thugwidow. But it just all feels so diffuse, feels like you’ll never have a city all facing one way again, and that’s not necessarily bad it’s just different.

yeah I’m trying to be very careful! I’ve bought something on snippets and ended up really not feeling it one too many times.

I listened to that Wigflex one a few days ago and it was a nice trip down memory lane, I’ll stick yours on tomorrow!


I do get the sadness of this kind of feeling. But I dunno. Just feels like we are in a kind of splintering and diffusion that’s inevitable due to internet culture and the insane amount of stuff that’s being produced, and we’re going to have to look at things in a different way to get any satisfaction. I can see why it would be disappointing if you are used to being in the centre of things though (I’m near London but have always been on the periphery).

Things may come together in a satisfying way if we let go of the need for things to be exactly as they were before to find the good in them. The engines producing the hardcore continuum have sputtered out, but there are new engines whirring and they might produce something interesting at some point. Or rather they are producing interesting things, this might turn into a cohesive movement at some point. Perhaps not, in which case I’d rather spend my time finding decent tunes rather than deifying the glorious 90s and hoping there’s a hardcore continuum resurgence that will never come - I still spend a lot of time with that music but I don’t see the point in letting it obscure the good things that are around now.

But I’m also into my 30s now and just don’t really mind much what the kids are into. Enjoy the drill folks! I’m happy just dipping into what interests me, which changes fairly frequently.


A bit disjointed but I completely understand the gist of your writing.

About Reynolds’s comments about modern day UKG essentially being a rehash - almost 8 years ago, I remember tuning in to Rinse FM. Bicep was playing a bunch of house music, and I thought to myself, “wow, this stuff sounds like the future”. And then there came a point where I realized that not only did the tracks sounded all the same, but it was like they were purposefully produced to sound “old-school”. Since then I’ve abhorred house music (and couldn’t stand tech house’s moment in the spotlight in US radios in 2014) but I’ve warmed up since then.

I was introduced to the hardcore continuum almost ten years ago. I was just listening to (rea;) dubstep in 2012, but the following year was when things got really fun, with post-dubstep scenes / techno, electro stuff / dnb juke fusions and “130”. It was really eye opening, mind expanding to see a scene evolve and shift in real time, especially since I joined dubstepforum in 2013.

I know that by 2013, post-dubstep has come and gone, but I like to think post-dubstep / the hardcore continnum’s last legit year was that year. Blackdown was pushing this “130” sound on Rinse FM, but at the same time, people were heavily debating about the “130” scene, it’s validity, and what it was as part of the 'nuum. One thing was clear - it didn’t have a distinct sound. Still tho, people really railed on Blackdown over whether 130 was legit or not, it led to a lot of funny forum arguments At least he said "130: was a placeholder name.

Also in 2013 was the whole “grime war dubs” explosion - it basically led to the revival of grime as a genre, both on the instrumental side and the vocal side. 2014/2015 were breakthrough years - Boxed was on a roll with their nights + compilations, anthems were getting a lot of attention (Take Time, That’s Not Me, German Whip) and instrumental grime peaked in its experimental side.

There was the feeling that everyone was doing something exciting and different, not necessarily under the same banner and label, but under the same connections. Like you’d hear a dub that’s been making the rounds played by two DJs on different wavelengths. It’s hard to explain. Then by 2016, the “experiemental instru grime” people started diverging onto their own things. Boxed started doing more than just grime (not a bad thing), weightless grime producers started doing techno / noise or went on different trajectories entirely, and that experimental tangent tamed a little bit.

Final words: regardless of whether the experimental 'nuum music is dead, dormant, or has already evolved into something unrecognizable, I’m grateful to have experienced a time when there’s a lively community that still lives on today.
Disclaimer: I hope what I’m saying makes sense.


actually speaking of Drill, I was watching this a couple weeks ago and if you squint you can actually see a little bit of the continuum in there with the wheels and whatnot. At times it really feels like an grime set. I think Billy BIllions would’ve been a really good Grime MC.

Billy Billions highlights:

It’s quite nice to think that it’s still in the DNA.


I quite liked Millionz and Mwoo. One of the big sticking points for me wrt drill (aside from beat sonics monotony) was the kind of universal flow “one-two one-two one-two THREE / one-two one-two one-two THREE” forever, but I always knew I was looking at it at a surface level so it probably wasn’t accurate. But it’s nice to see that I really was wrong and that there are some interesting flows about. I’m definitely more squeamish about violence though than I was in my younger days.

I was never that desperate for reloads - it’s not really what I like in a rave. It has its place but it can kill momentum. I guess that’s how you know I’m not a proper ‘nuum head, or perhaps it’s inadequate reverence for the soundsystem culture roots or something.


It’s interesting on the Bicep point because none of it does sound old skool to me, it all sounds like modern stuff. Kind of sounded to me like the deep tech stuff that ppl have been saying was unfairly ignored. Wasn’t for me though.

A lot of the modern ukg stuff is more on that vibe of modern engineering with an older conceptual palette, but there’s some old skool style engineering and I can’t say it bothers me. I like a mix.

I wonder whether the post-dubstep stuff counts as hardcore continuum (getting into that stuff was the introduction to all this for me). It was a split off from those continuum scenes, and it used some of the same infrastructure. But always seemed a bit more internet radio vs pirates to me, and not really directly for or by the same audience (ie it seemed whiter and more middle class). There was interesting experimentation but it seemed to come from a different place.

When I think of post-dubstep stuff a) a lot of it seems like “liquid dubstep” where it’s becoming tasteful and detaching itself from some common continuum threads, becoming more like home listening music and b) the more experimental stuff that comes to mind is like Untold’s Anaconda, or maybe some of the Ramadanman stuff which I don’t think have always aged that well as dancefloor tunes.

Not to be too down on it - I do think some of it is good and I loved it all at the time. But I just find the early dubstep-before-it-was-codified stuff much more interesting and fun to mix than that late period. It seemed to be latched more into a dancefloor functionality, with experimentation coming as a kind of necessity to move the music on and avoid getting into stylistic ruts, but it didn’t feel as forced, and was never at the expense of dancefloor functionality.

This is probably a personal preference thing but I felt like the post-dubstep experimentation angles were coming from a middle class place. Wanting to take bits of the continuum that appealed but kind of sand off some of the grit and “rudeness” to make it a bit more comfortable, less exposing, less identified with the feared working class - and that’s probably why as a white middle class guy who found dance music an intimidating unknown world I was attracted to it at first. But it is why I can’t fully commit to it now.

Like hyperpop, or “weightless” or 130 it’s just a little bit too detached and self-conscious to really reach that joyful hardcore energy for me. All of those things have spots of really good quality stuff but none of them ever spoke to me much as “scenes”.

I could have a long discussion about why I thought 130 was just a total dead end, trying to flog a continuum dead horse back to life in a quite depressing way. I think there was some v good music there (the Lamont thing with Nico Lindsay on Keysound for instance) but trying to force it into this totally inorganic, engineered hardcore continuum place sucked a lot of joy out of it all for me, it felt kind of desperate. I can’t blame Blackdown for trying but my view on these things is that you have to do what makes sense to you and ride whatever wave comes, you can’t will the wave into existence. Maybe that’s too fatalistic though.


Yeah agreed, grime bars always had that air of humour that I enjoyed, drill can be kind of relentlessly bleak sometimes. Nobody is talking about dangling heads like a kangol any more.

I blame south london.


I think you’re definitely right on this, it was all for music nerds really. I think house music was really what was popular at the time, UK Funky and then Deep Tech, it was never really my scene but I went to a few deep tech raves and the vibe was really different it was an incredibly mixed crowd.

There are things that straddled the line between these though, I’d say Night Slugs did that pretty well with funky at least.


can we do a thread for 2021?


see the “and beyond” in the title :stuck_out_tongue: we can just keep predicting here forever


Yeah I think it’s kind of spun off from predictions now! By all means start a 2021 thread though, I think it would be interesting to have a place to reflect on the past very weird year and think about what it might mean.

Re: 2021 who the fuck knows. If coronapocalypse subsides it’ll be interesting to see what is still standing in terms of club infrastructure etc, and what the reactions will be to people being allowed to go out again. I’m expecting a period of people just enjoying going out again without caring too much about a novel experience. Hopefully it’ll connect people to the basics that I enjoy - decent loud bassy soundsystem, being in a place with people and feeling that kind of wordless communion.

Then I’d expect some interesting musical reactions, as people process what’s happened with the virus. I reckon you’ll get a bit of dystopia (focusing on the death, trauma, disruption, fragility of systems, inadequacy of political response) and a bit of utopia (people helped each other, virus has reinforced need for community, we need to imagine a better world etc). But then that’s probably true of most events so I don’t think that’s such a great prediction.


I enjoyed funky but did find it a little too repetitive at times. I also thought the dichotomy between the hard/dark stuff and the light and poppy stuff was a bit too much like going from a pitch black basement out into blinding sunlight. There wasn’t enough of the middle ground for me, as there was in ukg. Perhaps that’s just by virtue of it being relatively small and the rise and fall being very accelerated.

It does seem to have had a long tail though with the Nervous Horizon ppl and hard drum and that. Although again I found myself not really wanting to bother looking into hard drum because I hate the name and everything I was seeing about it was wrapped in a kind of ironic discourse about genre names and stuff. Not to be too harsh on it, perhaps it was a way of discussing the issues and weirdness of genre that we have touched on here. But it kind of turned me off for whatever reason. No doubt I’ll fall in love with it several years after it has been and gone as I usually do with these things. (If anyone has any recommendations of stuff you can buy, Bandcamp especially, I’m all ears btw!)

Agree on Night Slugs particularly, I loved a lot of those records, I think they are one of the labels that still holds up really well. With hindsight their shift towards more US club stuff (which I do prefer, as much as I like the early stuff) was possibly one of the last rites being read for the hardcore continuum. In the UK the street level people and the dancefloor cognoscenti people were diverging. Maybe that’s a stupid analysis but it popped into my head and maybe there’s something there.


about ‘post-dubstep’ - I still vividly remember a tweet from Etch - he said how back then, there was so much variety and scenes going about, and then almost overnight it all shifted towards techno / house. After all, that’s where most of the Hessle gang / experimental boundary pushing post-dbstep people went.

I could be biased since I jumped in on “130” at the same time when I was getting into the hardcore continuum, but it was super exciting. Blackdown + the Keysound crew were pushing some very interesting, foward looking stuff. I was super obsessed with Keysound’s Rinse FM shows from 2014 and before, going thru tracklists and finding amazing tracks from relatively unknown producers. Back then, people were posting their Rinse FM rips all the damn time.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be nostalgic, 'cos nostalgia can be a dirty liar :nauseated_face: but the older we get, the more we see scenes form, grow, ripen, and die / evolve.

The way I see it, post-dubstep’s a given considering the malleability of the genre. Although, even in Hessle Audio’s earliest releases, there’s traces of techno. The post-dubstep camp ended up in two ways - settling into genres, or really making a name for themselves by reaching an individual sound beyond genre.