Favourite labels – Bloody fist records

When I first got into music around the time Hip-hop was pretty big, and besides that the first wave of house music was there, and at some point the styles began to shift. One one hand there was the mellow sound, more house/club style music. And the harder stuff, originated from the harder Techno records. This developed very fast in a very unique sound originating from The Netherlands. Starting out of Rotterdam, the Gabber sound, later dubbed hardcore, was becoming popular fast.

The fast, aggressive sound was right up my ally, so I started buying records from labels such as Ruffneck, PCP (which was one of the best labels in my opinion, more on this later), Rotterdam records, Mokum records, etc etc later I really got into the Italian stuff and Industrial strength records.

One day It was a bit busy and I started to browse in some of the more obscure corners of the shop, and found this section of bloody fist records. I got a few out and waited for one of the turntables. I really wasn’t into the terror style as to my idea most of them just pushed up the tempo with not much else. This was different, loads of cool samples, breakbeats and crazy sounds.
The records all sounded nice and gritty as well. Tracks like Shaftman and later 21% by Template where a more experimental view on Gabber. Most records had became more party oriented and based around a build up. Less experimentation and more formula. Which made it boring, at least for me. Bloody fist records was the first label I checked out that offered more experimentation. Off course they were around since the early nineties as well, I just was late.

Most of the earlier releases I missed, but I got hold of a few later on. The label stopped in 2004 , just a few years after I discovered it. It triggered a search for more experimental gabber besides other more experimental music I was getting into. It also made me record more music myself which was a good thing as well. The Bloody fist website is still there and be sure to check the Discogs website for all the releases, most of them are on youtube, be sure to check it out.

Northern Monkeys by William Routledge

William Routledge has done an excellent job with his book Northern Monkeys. If your into music, fashion and the evolution of youth culture this is your book.

It’s about the different styles in music , fashion and trends that swept across Great Britain from the 60’s right up to the 90’s. And the underlining cement is the Football terrace. But it’s not a hooligan memoir. So everybody who’s expecting a season by season tail of violence better leave this book alone.

It’s way better than that. The story’s will ring a familiar bell with everyone who has lived in those days and discovering new music , cloths or went to their first rave or concert. Remember this was the pre internet era, when you someone had new music from let’s say New York or Belgium even , you couldn’t look the artist or label up and place an order in a web shop. If you were lucky, you got the phone number or location of the record store and you could travel there. If it was in a city nearby that is.

Or if you saw some new brand polo or jacket you had figure out where they got it. And most didn’t tell you when asked.

This discovery, search and excitement of the adventures surrounding all these encounters told by various people are a lot of fun to read. I have had the book for a while now but once I started I couldn’t put it done.

This is truly one of the best books on British youth cultures I have read so far. Hats off to William for making this book happen.


Chemical waste

The whole world applauded the Paris environmental treaty. Which mostly covered the restriction of the fossil fuels. This all to prevent the rise temperature worldwide. Good work on all fronts. Everybody happy, mostly because everything that has been agreed can be easily outmanoeuvred. Simply because you can travel the world with all the carbon emission rights and buy or sell any paper deficit or surplus you might have. As with all matters which nobody really cares about. It’s near impossible to check.

Same thing with waste. Mountains of waste. And these massive amounts of waste is a more pressing problem at the moment I think. Since a very large part of the industrial waste is simply dumped around the world, where it should be disposed of in the proper way. And on paper it most likely is, at least when people are able to track it and check it. There is a massive waste trade around the globe. And hopefully somewhere someone is doing the right thing and getting rid of it the way it’s supposed to at the end of it all. Well that assumption is wrong.

I had read about the illegal dumping of loads of industrial waste in Italy in the book Gomorra by Robert Saviano. And in some articles in newspapers and magazines over the years. Last week I watched a documentary on 2doc a Dutch documentary about these illegal dumps. they used to dump it and dump tons of clean soil on top. The dumping nowadays is done by orchestrating fires , and once the fire is burning the chemical waste is dumped on the fire. This produces toxic fumes. And a lot of the toxic materials end up in the bottom due to the rain and the water used by the fire department when extinguishing the fire.

This has resulted in extreme levels of heavy metals and other toxic materials in the fruits and vegetables that farmers grow on the lands surrounding all these illegal dump sites. It has caused variations of cancer which you normally come across with elderly people , now people as young as a couple of months have been diagnosed with these types of cancer.

More shockingly the money to clean up this mess, paid for by among others the European tax payers , ended up in the pockets of the criminals that dumped it their in the first place, cleaning absolutely nothing. All this has never been checked , although there was a nice piece of paper outlining all the parameters of the cleaning. But nobody cares after the ink is dry. And in the statistics it’s probably marked as clean again. In the meantime everything stays the same. And nobody wakes up.

The documentary (in Dutch). De gifcirkel

Strange China markets and debt

It has been a strange beginning of the new year in the financial markets. China crashed a bit, and then the trading was suspended. And it happened again. Then as quick as the rule was implemented. It was withdrawn again.

The worries about the Chinese economy, and with that the rest of the world maybe justified. I don’t know. What I do know is a lot of the trading in China is more gambling than anything else. A lot of people borrow money to speculate rather then invest. And if the market doesn’t go your way the need to sell fast is much higher with borrowed money. So it may not even be a problem of the ‘real’ economy but more a problem of gambling with borrowed money. But it could mean a debt problem in the near future. Which will slow the ‘real’ economy.

Debt in all forms is bad, in my opinion. If you can’t afford something, simply don’t buy it. The only exception being to buy a house. And even then it’s very much advisable not to overspend on a house.

A lot of people are always talking about the beauty of compounding interest. Well buy simply paying off all your debt , you will save a lot of money on interest payments which you can then save or allocate to other useful goals. It creates space in your monthly budget. If you have debt and are thinking about investing in any shape way or form. Just keep it simple and start by paying off your debt. It might sound boring but it works like nothing else.