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10th May 2016

Opinion: Rewinds

Tai Kolade hates rewinds. Tai Kolade hates rewinds.

“Bound 4 the bound bound 4 the reload”… yeah Oxide and Neutrino, maybe not.

“Re-e-wind when the crowd say bo selecta”… Oh sorry Craig, can you hear that silence? Maybe it’s because the crowd never says bo selecta!

This is not a rant at old school garage, oh no, this is a rant at the rewind. Just picture it now, there you are cutting your shapes or windin’ on down and then THAT banger comes on. You know, the tune that makes you and your fellow revellers come bounding through flinging their limbs about and then… the rewind, the pull up, the reload, whatever you want to call that irritating scratching sound of the DJ spinning back the turntable. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

Why? For me, its always to do with the timing of which they hit reverse. As I placed the scene before, the rewind occurs at that peak of excitement, when the mix of inebriation and joy hit the special summit of euphoria and then, so suddenly, with a few flicks, it’s gone. No matter what the song is it will never rise to hit that same level of euphoria as you (Mr or Mrs DJ) so deservedly had them at and then so nonchalantly threw away. What bonus do you get from the rewind? The song’s lost its impact, and I’ve lost my exuberance. Before you had the crowd hitting the ceiling, now they barely get 3cm of air. I’m not hyped anymore… I’m not hyped anymore. You see?

Maybe I’m wrong. Do I simply not understand the use of the rewind? Are rewinds an ingrained expectation within some genres? The cries from the crowd muffle my apparent obverse distaste for it. Let’s take Grime for example. When the bars of the MC stab across the dance floor, “Everybody’s locked in like them man ah hard”, but after yet another rewind (the jockey has already done it three times already in the night), the track’s oomph is long gone. This isn’t just a problem confined to DJs, it’s infiltrating live acts too. How can Jay Z and Kanye have the audacity, I repeat, the audacity to reload ‘Niggas in Paris’ 11 times when they perform it!? (Note: they were in Paris when they did this and they did stop at a normal interlude in the song to the rewind it). You can say this is not exactly the same as DJ rewinding, but in essence, it is. It’s a form of self-indulgence that they believe that what they just played was so good we deserve to hear it again.

Doing some research, I have found that the rewind is ingrained in some music cultures. Reggae historian David Katz points to the plausible beginning for the rewind being in Jamaica 1968, where an instrumental played by Ruddy Redwood sends the crowd into hysteria. He was made to play it for 30 minutes over again and again. But this was something that the people had never experienced before, a new sound. Something that was historical. Not some bait song that you know will get a half-hearted reaction, and has been overplayed just music ten too many times.

It seems that I am not alone in my disdain. For those who support my noble quest to stop the rewinds, there is a website that stands up for our cause. Subtly named, you can download pdf stickers and iron-on t-shirt labels to openly show you hate. Those who don’t want to go this far, an obnoxious “BOO!” will be enough.

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