Thursday, April 19, 2018

What, no Whitney? The biggest Rock & Roll Hall of Fame snubs ever – ranked!

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame recognises the world’s greatest popular music stars – except for the ones it doesn’t, from Kate Bush to Kraftwerk

This week saw the latest batch of inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, but – like many other uncategorisable, expansive, eclectic and influential singer-songwriters – Björk was nowhere to be seen.

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by Alexis Petridis via Electronic music | The Guardian

Monday, April 16, 2018

Coachella review – pop's new democracy creates uneven city in the desert

Empire Polo Club, Indio, California
The highs were high – of-the-moment rapper Cardi B, discomfiting art-rocker St Vincent, cosmic jazz saxophonist Kamasi Washington – but others like SZA misfire, and the whole thing suffers from internet-era distraction

With a rumoured 40,000 extra attendees at the first weekend of Coachella 2018, the three-day festival is more congested than ever. It’s especially hard to move without stepping into the frame of an influencer’s selfie as they document outfits, record friendships and pray for a feature in a Twitter moment. This culture of validation and self-affirmation makes sense given that the festival’s culture is now predicated on reaction (reflected in promoter Goldenvoice recalibrating their booking in recent years) rather than minting trends. Hence 2018’s lineup consisting largely of mainstream urban hip-hop and R&B acts, including headliners the Weeknd, Beyoncé and Eminem (each reviewed separately).

There is a progressive positive to this: Coachella is now a playground for the global democratisation of pop. If you can cross over in the age of streaming, chances are Coachella will grant you the opportunity to realise it in a setting previously inconceivable to Billboard Hot 100 entries. In a digital epoch in which the thirst for “IRL” ownership is at its peak, the market for seeing your favourite song in 3D against crisp, larger-than-life, high-definition backdrops and desert-shaking soundsystems is strong.

Related: Eminem at Coachella review – career-spanning set is a perfect nostalgia hit

Related: Beyoncé at Coachella review – greatest star of her generation writes herself into history

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by Eve Barlow via Electronic music | The Guardian

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Mr Fingers: Cerebral Hemispheres review – house survivor still going strong

(Alleviated Records)

House music’s debt to Larry Heard, AKA Mr Fingers, is incalculable. Ever since the genre was in its infancy, he has crafted records that have spurned the formulaic, from 1986’s game-changing Can You Feel It to 1992’s subtle album Introduction, on which he proved that house could be listened to at home. This, the Chicago-born producer’s first LP as Mr Fingers since 1994, combines the two dominant strands of his oeuvre – ambient soundscapes that reach for the stars, and refined, jazz-flecked songs that possess a mournful quality.

There’s a leisurely aspect to Heard’s music too, allowing you to savour every carefully fashioned note. The vocal tracks, Full Moon and Crying Over You, bear scant relation to contemporary house, Heard’s soothing voice and the gently probing beats distancing both songs from the demands of the dancefloor. On the album’s second half, he unveils his other side, discarding soul and jazz in favour of squelchy sounds. Typically, however, Heard forges his own path, imbuing machine-made music with humanity, and while Cerebral Hemispheres won’t win him new fans, it makes clear that, at 57, house’s great survivor still has much to give.

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by Paul Mardles via Electronic music | The Guardian
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