The New Nokia Tune Dubstep Edition Review

Nokia Tune Dubstep Edition — Nokia Self-released; 2011 Worst New Ringtones

I

September 2001. My world shifted, and I'm not sure why. My thoughts — sure, call them that — were thrown asunder by nightmares of planes and jihad. But as a 13-year-old, transferring Jay-Z songs onto an MP3 player built from rare earth minerals I didn't deserve, I wondered: Why Now? My thoughts weren't on Afghanistan. I was considering my new phone.

The world. Your world. Friends, lovers, the back seat of a Saab. How had I found myself holding that silver bar? I'd switched off the shell, from blue to metallic grey — it was the early aughts, let's not forget. Things swirled out of that phone as a world moved through tumult.

The Bush years. My first Nokia. What do you call crimes when the court's as culpable? I threw my ham sandwich on the footpath and fired up Snake. Lunch was over. But the feeding had yet to commence. That dot matrix reptile was a lot like our country at the time — swirling, confused, always running into walls. God damn you, Cheney. I thought someone had texted me — at that time, our generation's Pony Express — but it was just my mum again.

"I have to work late, take the metro home after practice." Typical. The bourgeois order was funnelled through my Nokia daily, but belying all that noise was a melody. Digital. Cold—but refreshingly so. Ann Arbor lake water cold, not the coldness of the police state. Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo.

The Nokia tone was a ballast; the piping bleats of an underclass just opening its bleached eyes. It was universal. It was the womb. In its crests and valleys, we found a familiar call: Answer this, each Nokia purred, It's your sister. Only the ignorant few called it beeping — I'm sure Seurat had his sceptics! It was Sputnik's clarity, a telephone clarion akin to some national anthem for a culture not yet born. But it would be. And it would be undone.

"On the other hand, if there's an underlying core of poetry that I go to, I go to the sea. I've lived on the sea all my life. I live on the sea in Cape Breton." - Richard Serra

II

Some things have changed since those afternoons on the carpeted floor. Wars fought, debts unpaid. Dubstep.

To label dubstep merely a sonic movement is to call cubism an errant line. What sins have been committed in the name of occidental hegemony have found recourse in the harsh synths of London's urban young. So what greater dismay could there be than to find this battle cry appropriated by the moribund corporate organ? The Finnish skeleton's ruined it — this is Kissinger playing the saxophone.

The "Dubstep Edition" of the new tone (embedded above) — already cheapening itself with commodity parlance — mistakes familiarity for populism. Oh, the tropes are all there: the crushing bass, the suffocating synth maelstrom. But there's no form. It's as sterile and assembled as the 100 million handsets it'll be preloaded on. Where lies the grit and triumph of the East End? Where do I hear the fingerprints of Skream on the wobble? Where is James Blake's egg salad sandwich? This is no "ringtone" — this is a gravel heap of dreadful appropriation. No melodic tribute is paid to Nokia's original, indicative of a company that's lost its way.

The Dubstep Edition is neutered. The vocals creak. The bass, emasculated. The narrative, erased. Will I answer the phone when this ringtone harpie makes its cry? How could I? It's a parody of itself, the open wound of a culture, betrayed. Today I finish my chai, and as one vessel dries, tears form. Equilibrium.

With apologies to Pitchfork


Comments

    WOW! The sound of that ringone coming out of my laptops speakers. . . my ears are screaming!
    Id hate to hear that coming out of a mobiles tiny speakers.

    This ringtone is in no way iconic. Its trash!
    Can not believe this won.

    Go here:
    http://nokiatune.audiodraft.com/
    And listen to 'The Great Marvelous'. Got thousands of votes above every other entrant.
    A clear winner and a damn site better than this dubstep piece of crap!

      Agreed! This is just awful!

    Look if you don't like dubstep then fine, but, as a mature listener of music, having gone through nearly all electronic music genre's, I appreciate and ejoy dubstep.
    Especially the dark grindy stuff.

    I'm not even going to ask what kind of "crap" you listen too.
    Dubstep or Grime started with a more mature ear waay back, just because the youth of today are latching onto it is no reason to write it off!
    I think Nokia are showing some dare and flare in choosing this and i commend them for getting rid of that most annoying of ringtones that just shouts "i'm a mobile phone newb" when it rings out in the streets.

    So much for unbiased reporting.

      Whether it's good or not, if you listen to dubstep you know it's about the bass, and on a mobile phone speaker it's going to sound plain shit.

      I don't mind myself some dirty dubstep but I wouldn't bother listening to it unless I have some form of bass-driving sub otherwise it's a lot of noise.

    I laughed so hard when I first heard this. This is the sort of thing The Onion would run, except it's real.

    This is awesome. How do I get it on my iPhone?

    My first thought when I heard that Nokia wanted to change its iconic tune was "why?". Nokia may say that it wants to reinvent itself a little bit, but in business they're going about it half-arsed. Firing a thousand people and outsourcing Symbian^3; but then keeping S60 and dozens of new handsets on their range.

    When I first heard the new "Dubstep" ringtone, again it sounds like a half-arsed attempt at change. The iconic tune is there, buried beneath a half-finished mishmash.

    This whole episode has inspired me. I'm going to track down the original low-fi beeping Nokia tone from the 5110 and stick it on my phone.

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