Wednesday, 27 October 2010


Simon Reynolds:

    Dem 2's "Don't Cry Dub" of Groove Connektion 2's "Club Lonely" is an even more ear-boggling feat of robo-glossalalia. This 1997 remix sounds like the missing link between Zapp's vocoder-funk mantra "More Bounce To the Ounce" and Maurizio's dub-house. Snipping the vocal into syllables and vowels, feeding the phonetic fragments through filters and FX, Dem 2 create a voluptuous melancholy of cyber-sobs and lump-in-throat glitches: "whimpering, wounded 'droids crying out in desolation!", as Spencer Edwards puts it.

    "You can add a different soul that wasn't there", is how Dem 2 describe this kind of vocal remixology. "Deconstruction" is not too strong a term, for what is being dismantled is the very idea of the voice as the expression of a whole human subject. "Instead of the 'organic' female singer of early garage, you get a legion of dismembered doll parts," says journalist Bethan Cole, who's writing a book about the diva in dance music. On tracks like Dem 2's remix of Cloud 9's "Do You Want Me" or Colors featuring Stephen Emmanuel's "Hold On (SE22 Mix)", the vocal --a paroxysm of hairtrigger blurts and stuttered spasms of passion--doesn't resemble a human being so much as an out-of-control desiring-machine. What you're hearing is literally cyborg --a human enhanced and altered through symbiosis with technology.

1 comment:

  1. The above post made me think of this.

    Although the vocals aren’t cut up, this is a great music video of Pinch's "Get up" feat Yolanda. It epitomizes the female voice’s sexuality, forcing the vocals to the forefront of the song. Such an intense focus on the mouth causes it to distort, sexualizing it even more. Maybe you could argue, taking the voice away from the human-center and thus visualizing it as an “out-of-control desiring-machine”. Great video…and tune.