Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Observer critics’ guide to the summer holidays

Make cultural hay while the sun shines with our suggestions for reading, viewing and listening, from dreamy R&B to vintage Keanu Reeves to op art in the country

Beyond the boutique tag, Houghton festival in Norfolk (10-13 August) specialises in high-end electronic music, from minimal techno to reggae. Sensitively curated by Craig Richards, artist-cum-Fabric DJ, it boasts a cogent bill – Ricardo Villalobos headlines, Nicolas Jaar and Floating Points promise lengthy DJ sets – and an atmospheric lakeside setting with an abandoned warehouse for those old-skool rave vibes. The festival boasts proper art, too, with works by James Turrell, Richard Long and Rachel Whiteread on the bill.

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by Susannah Clapp, Laura Cumming, Kitty Empire, Simran Hans, Tara Joshi, Guy Lodge, Fiona Maddocks, Rowan Moore, Miranda Sawyer via Electronic music | The Guardian

Daphni: FabricLive 93 review – euphoric moments from Caribou’s Dan Snaith


Caribou’s Dan Snaith continues his trek from psych pop’s backwaters to the heart of the dancefloor with this mix entirely made from his Daphni project’s productions. This sort of tracklist narcissism would once have been ill-judged on club albums, but now that they have been overshadowed by not-mixed mixtapes and streamed playlists, it’s a spectacular act of generosity to give up 27 new songs to a DJ mix. Snaith’s joy at intermingling delicate melodies with steroidal rhythms and scything hi-hats persists, and he delivers several moments of handbag-dropping euphoria that will thrill whether you’re listening on a laptop or in Fabric’s room one.

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by Damien Morris via Electronic music | The Guardian

Avey Tare: Eucalyptus review – brilliant, but infuriating, beats


Avey Tare’s second solo album starts with a simple strum and ends, via reflections on the qualities of coral, with strange whirring sounds and a cry of rage. Audacious, cryptic and meandering, Eucalyptus is both brilliant and infuriating, thanks mainly to the Animal Collective man’s refusal to ditch the half-formed workouts that litter this LP. When Tare reins in his more outlandish instincts, as on Melody Unfair’s rococo folk and the jumpy tribal pop of Jackson 5, he shows he is capable of producing songs as good as any in his band’s oeuvre. Best of all is the candid When You Left Me, in which raw emotion supersedes sonic quirks.

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by Paul Mardles via Electronic music | The Guardian