Album: Waiting For You
Reviewer: Rory Gibb
Writing Disorders: Purple Hemorrhage
Phrase Foul: “breathy androgyny effortlessly”
Rory, there’s a tendency for music writers to write about dub and its endless sub-genres as if more than 0.00001% of the internet-cruising world knows what the hell they’re talking about. Coupled with a longwinded tendency, it’s a recipe for barely readable text. Here’s a snip from your opening paragraph:
“A flashing LED on the abandoned mixing desk beats an off-centre syncopation against the sparse kick-snare pattern, emerging from the three backlit, clouded figures ahead. Behind whispered dub poetry and ghostly, barely-there wisps of feminine voice, the sub-bass is a shadow, a thick and viscous tar that binds each base element to one another, creating an elastic structure with room to flex. Voices flit from speaker to speaker…”
Ok, I’m guessing you’re talking about a performance of some sort here. But why you needed to wank out such a confusing opening paragraph filled to the brim with hyphens, commas, and impenetrable adjectives is beyond me. If you write “ghostly,” you don’t need to follow it with “barely-there.” All tar is thick and viscous. That’s what tar is.
…on a final note…Oh my god. When will dudes of a certain age and a certain weight stop calling it a “feminine voice” sung by a female vocalist? It’s a woman’s voice.
Thankfully you follow the paragraph up with an explanation:
“King Midas Sound’s performance at Hyperdub’s fifth birthday party last month was an early revelation, proof (as if any more was needed) of Kevin Martin’s sizeable versatility and vindication of the more contemplative moments of The Bug’s London Zoo album.”
So, if the need for additional proof was tenuous at best, then why did you lather us with that ponderous concert reference? By the way, who’s Kevin Martin, and what does he have to do with The Bug? These are all questions you might have answered in the first 100 words in a more perfect world. Instead, we got your sinewy poetry. What a trade.
The confusing mess continues:
“At the time, his calmly forceful ruminations were lost amongst the jungle of distortion and ragga aggression that characterised ‘Jah War’, ‘Poison Dart’ and ‘Murder We’; given an album’s length to breathe they expand to fill its psychic space with ease.”
So Rory, after clogging your opening paragraph with commas, you can’t spare a single one to make the clunky coda in this sentence a bit easier to understand? Better yet, couldn’t you have omitted it entirely? “Given an album’s length to breathe” doesn’t exactly scream insightful. And Jesus, man…amongst? Who the hell says amongst? Was it too painful to write “among” or “amidst?” (if this is a British thing, I’ll relent. You’ve got enough problems.)
I figured that after flinging that whopper of a first paragraph on us, you’d outdo yourself on the conclusion. I was right.
“Instead it offers gems buried deep amongst its cityscape’s gently fluorescing streetlamps and slow-moving traffic, crafting a distinctive, defiantly twenty-first century urban soul music that, given due care and attention, leaves an afterglow simmering long after the CD spins to a halt.”
Holy goodness, there’s “amongst” again. Try saying “amongst its cityscape” three times fast, Rory, and you might get a handle on how unnecessarily bloated you made this sentence. If only you’d given that due care and attention to your writing, you might not have been featured here. By the way, please eat something. The all-tea diet isn’t good for a growing boy. (If you’ve got Marfan’s, my bad.)