"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one." - Charles Mackay
Saturday, March 26, 2005
B-MORE club music is coming down the WIRE
Da City Bass Line

Baltimore Club

Baltimore club, the ebullient and aggressive convolution of house and hip-hop that has germinated in Baltimore over the past fifteen years, is one of the city’s most unique and valuable musical manifestations. The sound is a deeply funky and eminently danceable style, developed in a scene of clubs, where DJs, producers, and dancers collide to create a bouncing and booming cross-cut rhythm unlike anything else coming out of the world’s urban sound systems. Although it is by Baltimorefor Baltimore, club is standing on the verge of national attention as much as anything our city has produced since John Waters. DJs in Philly, New York and L.A. are beginning to catch on and prowl B-more record stores for the tracks from our beloved cultural backwater.

The basic structure of quintessential Baltimore club boils down to several elements: a booming a-symmetrical bass, a quick chook-chooka-cha rhythm as distinctive as a Bo Diddley beat, and a sung or spoken “jingle” repeated and cut up into variations of increasing rhythmic complexity (called the sing-sing break or the think break).

Rod Lee, the revered master and one of the style’s originators, recently launched his own label, Club Kingz Records. His “ Let’s get HIGH ” track with K-Life, settles into a stroboscopic flicker on that single key word, “HIGH HIGH HIGH HIGH…” and feels like the summation of everything you’re on the dance floor to get.

Like the raw force of early rock, club is a propulsive, hilariously vulgar music for folks in need of release. “My music comes from anger,” Rod Lee told Stephen Janis in a recent interview in the local arts journal Link. “You got people going to the club to have a drink ’ cause they’re mad at their females. You got guys going to the club to get away from their bills … If you could sit there and make someone dance after they got divorced [laughter], I know I’m good!”

Non-club-going Baltimoreans have caught on to the sound listening to Friday night broadcasts on 92.3 FM. Some of the best DJs, including K-Swift, Frank Ski, and Cornbread are featured every week spinning at the most visible nightclub for the club sound, Club Choices on Charles Street. Rod Lee also has a regular Friday evening residency on the station.

Meanwhile, nationwide hipsters and tastemakers, like East Orange, New Jersey’s WFMU program director Brian Turner, have started ordering club tracks to add to their collections. While the original outlet for club, Music Liberated on West Saratoga, closed its doors after the death of proprietor Bernie Rabinowitz two years ago, and DJ Technic’s Club Tracks store just folded, Rod Lee plans to fill the gap this year with new shops on Monument Street and West Saratoga.

—Ian Nagoski


Baltimore club music is the style which mr Swiss Beats is appropiating (aka biting) in order to make these new songs for cassidy ,T.I , Memphis Bleek, and Jae (Ness ate him) Millz. Its basically a looping style which use's Hip Hop phrases which would make good old uncle Luke blush. either way its party worthy and its not on MTV, so those in the know go give it a listen.
R J Noriega
posted by R J Noriega at 3:29 PM | Permalink |


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