this Saturday’s National Free Culture conference at Harvard is real! and it got boingboinged no less. Not sure what I’ll be speaking on exactly, but i’ll keep it innerestin’ & brief, plus i’ll be participating in a digital music workshop later in the day.
i was gonna write about Wiley‘s new album, but that should wait for a week or two until the U.K. MC/producer’s latest work is buyable. so i’ll reach back — six years! — to Wiley’s massive chilling ‘Ground Zero’ riddim.
“I made “Ground Zero” on September 11th,” he says, “It’s a bit weird: it’s got feeling to it. I just felt like my towers had crashed down. I’ll tell you the truth: I made it on that day because I felt down – on the floor.” Because of a woman it turns out, but “The Americans I really want them to hear “Ground Zero” to see if they relate to it. When the towers fell down, the newspapers had a face in the dust.”
i was just gonna post the devils mix, then i realized you should hear the original to understand the full subtractive power of the devils version of it. so here’s both. With Henry Flynt squeezed between.
Like screw music, Wiley’s devils mixes/bass mixes are radical, philosophical in their simplicity and implications.
Wiley – Ground Zero (devils mix)
Henry Flynt – Guitar Rebop (from Hillbilly Tape Music)
Wiley – Ground Zero (main version)
Q. How did the idea for the beatless “devil mixes” come about?
A. Nah it’s not “devil mix” you know? I called it that because it sounded evil to me innit. But I don’t call it “devil mix” anymore because when I started calling it that I started to get lots of bad luck, if you understand. I called it that because it sounded evil but really, why didn’t I call it “god mix” then? Because I don’t believe in the devil. The more and the more you say his name, believe it or not, he’ll come closer to you. And that is the truth, I swear I am not joking. “Bass mix” I call them now, cos it’s just bass. The devil mix brought me too much luck. I was selling the devil mix of Eskimo and they were selling so fast. I bought stuff with the money, bought a car and crashed it. So it just turned me off.