Feb 6, 2012

Bleep Years day one: Plone's Be Rude To Your School (1999)

Welcome to the first installment of Bleep Years in which I funnel entire years of my life through the narrow confines of single tunes.

1999: Plone's Be Rude To Your School

Plone were a one-hit wonder for Warp Records. They turned the ear of several national magazines when they released their debut single Plock, although it was probably an appearance on a Warp Records compilation that caught my attention. Their playful, playground techno was best summed up in Be Rude To Your School, a track on their 1999 debut album For Beginner Piano.

I still think it's one of the best techno pop songs, and it was a cheery addition to my DJ sets at the time. I'd become quite adept at beatmixing big beat and drum 'n' bass, and 1999 saw me pulling off long, technically involved sets. Amid all of this, though, was a frustration that beatmatching was not enough.

What I saw as a 'John Peel aesthetic', which puts the song before technical proficiency, meant that I started dropping in tracks that were impossible to beatmatch. This meant the complexities of Windowlicker, a classic single from 1999, and this catchy little track from Plone.

Be Rude To Your School sparks images of DJ venues and of friends in smoky bars. The turn of the century was very much about me learning to DJ beyond just keeping beats together. Plone, in that regard, made me a more playful DJ, a silliness I was to mine for many years to come.

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