Mary-Anne Hobbs’ Final Scene Report

Mary Anne Hobbs signs off her final foray into bass culture

After 14 years at Radio 1 – three times the length of my longest relationship in any professional or personal sense – it’s exhilarating to leave on such a high. We’re at a moment when the young artists I’ve been championing are starting to cross over into the mainstream. Magnetic Man, Flying Lotus, and Burial have all done it. Now I hear that Joker has signed to Universal – so I have absolutely no doubt that he’ll have a Number One record within the next year.

This month, I’ve been tracking a sound coming from the Chicago street dance scene. Everyone’s terming it ‘Chicago Footwork’, and it’s evolved from Juke as this very raw, very primal sound that’s synched to elaborate, fast dance moves. A label called Planet Mu are getting behind Footwork, so I’d be interested to see how it crosses over on this side of the Atlantic. They’ve sent me a compilation, from which I’m going to single out ‘One Blood’ by DJ Roc.

I’ve also been loving an incredibly young producer called Al Tourettes from Bristol. His new one – ‘Habit 7’ – is just a dubplate at the moment, but remains a fantastic example of his leftfield deconstruction technique. As is Sunken Foal’s new sort-of-neo-folk track ‘Hot As Fresh Milk’.

Then there’s Teebs, who operates out of Flying Lotus’ camp in Los Angeles, and has an album called ‘Ardour’, due on Brainfeeder later this month – the opening track is called ‘You’ve Changed’.

But what I think will be absolutely gigantic is the new collaboration between Untold and Roska. They’ve got two very different sounds, but a great deal of admiration for each other. They’ve come together on ‘Myth’, and it’s pure fire – a future underground classic.

I have a weird recurring relationship with NME. Twenty years ago, I used to write about Nirvana as a journalist here. Now, I’m moving on from this column, and looking forward to giving back: to moulding the next generation of intelligent, forward-thinking broadcasters and journalists in my new role at Sheffield University.

But I still have a strange feeling I’ll be back within its pages at some point. Me and NME just have a lot of serendipity like that…

Mary Anne’s Top 5
1. Untold & Roska – ‘Myth’
2. Sunken Foal – ‘Hot As Fresh Milk’
3. Teebs – ‘You’ve Changed’
4. Al Tourettes – ‘Habit 7’
5. DJ Rocº – ‘One Blood’

This article originally appeared in the September 18 issue of NME

Subscribe here and get NME for £1 a week, or get this week’s digital issue