img: DJ Flack and DJ C (via Beat Research)
Originally posted on Fat Planet
When we think of bounce, do we think of the New Orleans variety of the 80s & 90s? Perhaps Miami Bass? Or Southern Bounce / Dirty South? (bring out 2 Live Crew if you please…), which begat Crunk etc. Or update it to 2005 and suddenly we’re in the north, in Boston to be precise, for ‘Boston Bounce’, the creation of a group of local Ds & J producers, based around DJ C (owner of the Mashit label) and DJ Flack. Ths time around though, bounce seems less about ‘pussy’ infused lyrics and more about the quality of the music underneath; unsuprising as C and Flack are generally instrumentalists at heart. You might be familiar with C already (Mashit was John Peel’s ‘Label Of The Month’ shortly before his untimely death): aka Jake Trussell, he’s a purveyor of top-quality ‘junglist ragga’, perhaps best personified by his outstanding reworking of Michael Jackson‘s ‘Billy Jean’.
In describing the sound of Boston Bounce, Trussel was quoted in a recent Boston Phoenix article as saying: “My version of Boston bounce is sort of a combination of Baltimore club, German shuffle techno, and one drop reggae. It’s around 135 bpm, has a kick-drum pattern that’s half four-on-the-floor and half broken, has a shuffle or swing hi-hat feel (we also call it Boston swing sometimes), usually has some breakbeats in there, and has a snare or rim shot on the three. DJ Flack‘s stuff is around the same tempo but has a different feel. His rule is to throw in a waltz feel somewhere.”
Indeed – Trussel quotes Flack’s formula in their communal blog, already the spiritual home of Boston Bounce – Riddim Method: “The way I see the whole Boston Bounce (or whatever you want to call it) thing is a series of self imposed guidelines that are strictly for fun- I choose to see it as a list of 5 or more things and if it has 3 of them (and it sounds good) then tada- you got your self some Boston Bounce… (1). It has to be around 135bpm … (2) It has to have a bass line- (3) It has to have either a swing to it, a triplet feel, [a shuffle], or a straight up waltz in there somewhere … (4) It has to have break beats- it’s always cool to flip em, chop em and rearrange em-(5) It has to have some element that’s just plain different- a strange sound, an oddball sample or an influence of something outside of the world of traditional dance music. But really like so many art movements it’s born of a small group of friends who inspire each other, and who are inspired by other genres that are new and exciting and worth putting our own homegrown spin on.”
The best starting point for checking out this scene is DJ C’s new Boston mix, a 38-minute, 10 track primer that features tracks from DJ C himself, plus Flack, Wayne & Wax, DuoTone, Local Fields and one of the first ‘official’ releases, C’s Boston Bounce version of M.I.A.‘s ‘URAQT’, released earlier this month on XL Recordings. Also below check out links to Flack’s mashup of the Ray Charles track (made famous by Kanye West‘s ‘Gold Digger’) with a Ghislain Poirer production; a new release from Mashit – C’s version of Debaser‘s ‘Crazy Baldheads’; an early Wayne & Wax dub, originally from his ‘Boston Jerk’ album; a bounce mix of Juelz Santana, from those mighty fine people at Certified Bananas; and finally DuoTone – Flack & C’s combined project where the sexual references of Bounce’s southern compadres fall back into place.
Keep an eye on Riddim Method for more news & mp3s. For more on a Boston tip, see also Wayne & Wax’s perverse 17-minute ‘Boston Mashacre‘ mixing The Cars, Tracy Chapman, Aerosmith and J Geils Band to name but a few.