Critical Beats Down 10: Taking On A Typhoon
Our hunt for the Missing Beats and the futurepast of dance/club/electronic music continues to unreel the magic spools of magnetite left by a mostly local, forgotten to too many Italian scene with some German speaking sympathisers.Last time we introduced you to the modest, majestic Beppe Loda. He does not take credit for much of anything, and in the hipstasocialmedja world this is reputational suicide. As the Don of the Typhoon club, he left over 200 tapes of a totally different take on what a club, and club music could be.Again, in his humility, he gives much of the spotlight and love to Baldelli, whom he often cites as more 'electronic' than him. Much in the tradition of fine old Latin poetry, this is a Modesty Topos.A listen to any of the many mixes left reveals something else. A realisation that drum machines and synths can be fucking funky. The often minimal ingredients and sounds that do not quite exist in nature provide a palette to move to, think to, Speed up or slow down or put together.One of many subtle ways Beppe is different is that he clearly had no interest in what you heard or said before. Baldelli blows your mind by and via combining the good bits of Roger Waters' journey into his own Baby Boomer colon with Fela and various 'world' drum records. He is referring to what you know.It makes sense, to move anyone on and convince them of your view you need to show what you are offering is an evolution of what you know and feel.Beppe Loda clearly did not care what you heard or where you had been before. He was raising you up. It was not a consumer thing. You went to the club and got schooled. It was not a case of 'I think I have heard Steve Reich and this odd French police show soundtrack based on a Fairlight before, he's made it danceable.' You had to WORK and think.And back then, you had no choice. You went to Typhoon because it was fucking cool and you might get laid, or even high. The Artist in control educated you, took you to a new place.Fast forward to the nineties and noughties. Whether you are talking a squatted cinema in Turnpike Lane or Fabric when it mattered - you went for other reasons maybe, and were educated. Schooled into a faster tempo even. The artist there was in their own space and place.Now there is too much choice. And all culture is about referring to what you know, what makes you feel good and real and loved again, or ever. You know a certain tempo, a sound, and come to my night. I need to respect that, and move you on a bit. It's not very radical, but it works. We are in an age of small things. Make you feel guilty for not putting that water bottle in the right bin, as if it was not being sent to Chinese landfills anyway. Not have the standup fight needed to raise the Minimum Wage. Nothing radical, sensible.Imagine you were a Don of a time when you could pull that trick. Fuck, I went to some well dodgy places just to be with friends and THEN and then was educated about sounds, and speeds I would not have known else. Fine, there were 'drugs' (tea is a drug BTW) but the main thing was this trojan horse of friendship. I wanted to be where people I love are - and oh my, I had to raise myself up to understand another aesthetic to do that. And was brought into it.That may not, quite, be possible now.Unless and until, the people discover a Third Way.Ron Hardy. He brought you in easier, but took you farther, faster, and harder.