Tag Archives: youngsta

*Music History for your Walls*

SHOP: http://drumzofthesouth.bigcartel.com/

*MUSIC HISTORY FOR YOUR WALLS* Limited Edition prints – Dubstep & Grime 2004-2005 now available to purchase- http://drumzofthesouth.bigcartel.com/
This one’s of SKEPTA & Plastician at FWD>>

I put up a few of my early Dubstep and Grime images on Big Cartel, to make it easier for people who request prints of them. They’re all from around 2004-2005, all taken in London on Digital camera – at Plastic People except for the one of the lathe, which was captured at Transition Mastering Studios, on film.

Photography shows the passage of time…

Smoking is now banned in UK clubs; Plastic People is now closed; DMZ, who feature in one of the pictures minus Coki celebrate 10 years this year; Skepta and Boy Better Know are leading Grime’s renaissance – the genre never went anywhere, but it’s seemingly in a new chapter, as highlighted by Skepta and BBK on stage with Kanye West at The Brit Awards earlier this year.

Transition Mastering Studios is still in Forest Hill, still captained by Jason. I visited him last year as part of a photo series about Mastering Houses for FACT – he’s still as busy as ever, still trusted by hundreds of producers and DJ’s to produce weightly, soulful low-end; what HAS changed for him and most of the other studios I visited however, is that engineers are increasingly working alone, without the producer or DJ next to them. Also, bedroom producers are now often trying to master music on their own, with sonically disastrous consequences. It’s the internet age.

As for my work – it’s evolved, as it should; I don’t blog as much and have started working with film (fruits of labour, will ripen soon). I still love anything to with cities, am still moved by London and it’s layers of narratives and history, my work is published frequently, I am commissioned often and am always looking for new publications to work with, especially print media as it is King (Monocle, I’m looking at you right now). More than anything else, I love that people buy my images for their walls. I have a new website… www.georginacook.net

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Why everyone is sad about Plastic People’s closure.

Security

Smiley Security at Plastic People ©GC

Beloved club Plastic People closed down last weekend. The first time I went there was with Mala, sometime in 2004, on a Thursday night for Forward>> – I was trembling with adrenaline as I walked down the stairs and into the basement. There were lots of blokes, some of whom I recognised from Croydon. After some hellos and introductions (probably to Sarah Souljah, among others) and a drink at the bar, I went through the black curtains into the dark chasm of bass and space and became immersed in sound in a way that I’d never been before.

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Crazy D, Plastic People. ©GC

The next few years following that, Forward>> became a regular weekly pilgrimage. I’d come home from work, have some food, get my camera together, get in my Mum’s car, put Rinse on the radio and feel excited from the moment I left the house to the moment I was back in the basement, where a sense of seriousness would then kick in.

Circus ©GC

The Bar at Plastic People ©GC

By the bar, I’d meet and greet (or nod at on the dancefloor) Coki, N-Type and Walsh, Skream, Youngsta, Sarah, Loefah and Pokes, Kode9, Spaceape, Blackdown, Distance, Jamie from Vex’d, the Steppa gang, Scientist, SLT Mob, Cyrus, Crazy D, Youngsta, Benny Ill, D1, Dan Hancox, Bok Bok and Manara, Appleblim, Shackleton, Elemental, Boomnoise, Letty and Tom, Chantelle Fiddy, Melissa Bradshaw, Emma Warren, Hanna and Darkstar, the three DMZ/FWD>> regulars that I called the random trio among others. Pinch would pop in from Bristol and Joe Nice and DQ from the U.S.

Bouncy Crew, ©GC

Bouncy Crew at BASH, Plastic People, ©GC

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One of my pics of Youngsta playing FWD>> at Plastic People.

Youngsta’s dark, solid sets became a staple and the thing I’d most look forward to.  It was at Plastic People that I also first experienced the energy of Grime via Roll Deep & BBK and there that I witnessed the merging of Dubstep & Grime in Skream’s Request Line, which I spoke about in this Guardian piece.  It was at Plastic that I first met Burial and where I started to really get my head around sound, frequencies and their capabilities. I also took a load of photographs there, like the relatively well known image below, often battling with whether to use flash or not.

Skank by GC

“SKANK” FWD>> Dancefloor, as seen in SLANG MAGAZINE, Portugal.

Hand Shake, ©GC

Warrior Queen & The Bug, BASH @ Plastic People, ©GC

Drumzticks ©GC

Drumzofthesouth, Plastic People ©GC

The fact that these memories are all from one Forward>> and Rinse Nights, says a lot about those particular events, bit also about the club itself, which was also hosting other forward thinking nights such as Co-Op and CDR.

Loefah and The Bug’s BASH also happened at Plastic People with guests including Warrior Queen, Nicolette and Ari Up (The Slits). I had the honour of doing the door on one occasion.

Plastic People was an important part of life for a very long time. And it doesn’t matter that it got to a point where I would no longer recognise anyone when I went there (the names above went on to set up their own nights or labels, tour around the world, run record shops and write books). It just meant that the place had become important to a new crowd. Like Croydon’s Black Sheep Bar which sadly closed last year, these venues facilitate honey moons – a particular group go there, love it, make it theirs for a number of years then naturally move on to make space for a new crowd to enjoy a new honeymoon.

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Plastic People, ©GC

Such third places foster community. They also facilitate innovation by allowing people from different places, interests and backgrounds to mesh together to create new ideas, new things.  I’ve read and heard countless tweets and statements over the past few days from producers saying that they would make tunes to play specifically at Plastic People, punters saying they met some of their best mates there and lots of people saying it changed their lives.

SO WHY DID IT SHUT DOWN? According to this article, the management felt it time to move on. Which is hard to accept considering how many other London venues have closed or been under threat of closure. Madame Jojo’s, The Joiner’s Arms, Vibe Bar, Black Sheep Bar, Micro-universes for so many people, ALL GONE.  Fabric nearly closed last year, Ministry of Sound the year before that and currently, there are battles to keep Tin Pan Alley (Denmark Street) and The Curzon Cinema alive. The truth is that London is changing rapidly because of development. Cross rail and The Overground have sprung up. On the one hand, Londoners can now get about this country of a city a bit more easily (ironically when the Overground was introduced, I was living abroad and wished it had existed when I was going to Plastic People every week).  On the other hand, more transport links mean more developers who know that areas are attractive to live in if they’re well connected.

“2008 to 2013, 41% of planning applications within a kilometre of a Crossrail station cited the new railway as a justification for the development proceeding, equating to around 53 million square feet of residential, commercial and retail space.” GVA

Expensive flats, offices, shops and posh eating places are springing up where great clubs, pubs and bars used to be (or next to them leading to noise complaints). There’re not attractive to me, nor most of my friends, family and acquaintances. Arts and culture are attractive, interesting, vital and good for the economy, but alas, they don’t seem to be a priority to London’s current mayor; money does. At least we have memories though, right?