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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Resonators at Samphire Festival on 07/07

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Resonators at Flatlands Festival on 01/07

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Resonators at Brighton Spiegeltent on 18/05

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Friday, April 28, 2017

James Van Der Beek: 'I lived in fear of teenage girls'

What has James Van Der Beek been doing since his days as the Dawson’s Creek teen heartthrob? High-minded nonsense with a layer of ridiculous on top, the star reveals

Dawson Leery is the TV character that no one will let James Van Der Beek forget. The teen drama he moped about in for seven series is nearly 20 years old, and his career has been on a curious trajectory ever since, but still the possibility of a Capeside reunion is all that anyone wants to ask him about. And so Van Der Beek begins our conversation by bringing it up before we’ve even ordered coffee. “That’s the question that comes at the end of every interview,” he tells me. “Somebody says, ‘OK now, I apologise, you know I have to ask…’”

Well, seeing as he mentioned it, would he indulge the show’s many fans – one of whom is absolutely not sitting opposite him in a hotel bar this morning and totally did not spend a lot of her early teens imagining that one day she’d fall for someone who spoke in impossibly long monologues – with Dawson’s Creek The Movie? Is there a Netflix-enabled future in which Michelle Williams, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson and himself would play midlife versions of their former breakout roles?

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by Kate Hutchinson via Electronic music | The Guardian

Dom Servini + The Brother Rusty – Soul All-Dayer at The White Horse with 28/05

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Dom Servini at the Jazz Café for Soul City on 26/05

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Dom Servini at Bussey Building (Peckham) on 20/05

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Dom Servini at The Jazz Café for Soul City on 19/05

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Sylvan Esso: What Now review – peppy, irreverent bleep-pop for coffee lovers

(Loma Vista)

US pairing Sylvan Esso released their self-titled debut record in 2014, full of oh-so-quirky electropop seemingly engineered for artisan cafes (unapologetically or inadvertently, it even featured a track called Coffee). Now they’ve followed it up with a second, slightly meatier effort – though you can likely still imagine its riffs melding nicely with the smell of a freshly brewed AeroPress.

Lead single Radio fizzes with Tune-Yards-style energy, as vocalist Amelia Meath – formerly a folk performer – takes a swing at the manufactured music world (“Faking the truth in a new pop song / Don’t you wanna sing along?” she asks). Kick Jump Twist is a slice of irreverent, beepy, minimal pop with a robotic zeal, while Die Young is a more mournful take on the template, underpinned by a brilliant, 80s arcade-game synth line that fades away only to make repeated comebacks. Elsewhere, Sound makes a play for the Japanese House’s ambient soundscapes, but adds little of the duo’s own personality.

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by Hannah J Davies via Electronic music | The Guardian

DOM SERVINI’S ALLO LOVE OLD SKOOL CHART :: APRIL 2017

  1. Robert Maalouf – Mahdoume (Voix De L’Orient LP)
  2. Julian Bahula’s Jazz Afrika – Son of the Soil (Tsafrika Records LP)
  3. Manfred Krug / Gunther Fischer Quinttet – No.4 Du Bist Heute Wie Neu (Amiga LP)
  4. Sir Douglas Quintet – 1+1+1=4 (Philips LP)
  5. Jorge Ben – Africa Brasil (Philips LP)
  6. Don Brown – I Can’t Say No (First American LP)
  7. Nel Oliver – Nel Oliver (CBS LP)
  8. Dee Dee Sharp – The Bottle or Me (Gamble 7)
  9. Risco Connection – It’s My House (Black Rose Music 12″)
  10. Wham – Wham (GRT LP)

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Gas: Narkopop review – austere and immersive

(Kompakt)

Last year, the storied Cologne label Kompakt released a box set of Gas’s ambient, techno-derived works: Box. With hindsight, that well-received retrospective now seems like a palate-cleanser for this first new Gas album in 17 years, from Kompakt co-founder Wolfgang Voigt, who releases under many aliases. Narkopop consists of 11 typically unnamed but numbered tracks of austere, saturated electronic polyphony. Ambient is an even more subjective genre than most, so depending on your internal state, passages like the 11-minute Narkopop 2 suggest that Voigt’s awe at the natural world might be evolving towards churchy iridescence. Alternatively, it can sound like being plunged into a dark, Dante-esque forest, with only a muted aortic throb to guide you home. Immersive, to say the least.

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by Kitty Empire via Electronic music | The Guardian

Friday, April 21, 2017

Arca and Dream Wife: this week’s best UK rock and pop gigs

The avant-garde producer tours his most personal album yet, while the band that started out fictional play skewered guitar pop for real

The Venezuela-born, London-based composer’s third album was his most personal yet, connecting his avant-garde electronica with intimate, improvised lyrics. His ambition? To create a “healing balm that can ooze out from the heart in the face of strife or confusion or loss”.
Roundhouse, NW1, 28 April

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by Harriet Gibsone via Electronic music | The Guardian

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Readers recommend playlist: songs about gases, from oxygen to helium

Our reader takes a deep breath and gives life to your suggestions, with Jean Michel Jarre, Regina Spektor and Rihanna all featuring on the playlist

Here is this week’s playlist – songs picked by reader Marco den Ouden (who runs the Marconium website) from your suggestions after last week’s callout. Read more about how our weekly readers recommend series works at the end of the piece.

Gases are vital to life on Earth. And the importance of oxygen to human life is celebrated in Jean Michel Jarre’s monumental 1977 hit Oxygène Part II, which starts us off this week. From the lungs to the heart, some artists have compared oxygen to love – and vice versa. Love is Like Oxygen, sing glam-rock group the Sweet.

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by Marco den Ouden via Electronic music | The Guardian

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Can this man clean up EDM? 'They find all kinds of things in those pills'

Gary Richards was instrumental in the rise of electronic dance music in the US. Now his challenge is grappling with the surging number of drug-related deaths on the scene – including at his Hard Summer festivals

Gary Richards is battling middle age as hard as he can. The former party host at the heart of the 90s rave scene in Los Angeles, he’s now 46, a dad, and a multimillionaire promoter whose rave empire was bought out in 2012 by a multinational corporation. But that doesn’t mean he’s slowing down. His just-released EP as Destructo, his DJ name, is called Renegade, to reflect his position as an artist who does things his own way. “I don’t put up any rules or walls,” he says. “I don’t feel that my sound is one style of music. It’s a smattering of lots of different things.”

The same could be said of his role as a genre-defying promoter. When he founded Hard ten years ago, Richards anticipated EDM’s explosion in America before almost anybody else, and in the process has achieved nearly unrivaled success. But the music’s ascent has paralleled a different, terrifying trend: the recreational drug landscape has begun to change dramatically. New, unregulated chemicals manufactured in China have come to America and can often be found on the electronic music scene, including everything from so-called “bath salts” to deadly stimulants and amphetamines. The result has been a vast, uncontrolled cultural and pharmaceutical experiment with a rising death toll. And Hard has become a staging ground for the experiment.

Related: EDM's 'summer of death' reporting is more than just tabloid raving

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by Ben Westhoff via Electronic music | The Guardian

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mika Vainio's quiet influence on electronic music was deafening

Vainio, who has died aged 53, made his mark in the 1990s as one half of Pan Sonic and collaborated with everyone from Björk to Suicide’s Alan Vega. A tribute to a soft-spoken artist whose music spoke volumes

As one half of Pan Sonic with Ilpo Väisänen, Mika Vainio had a transformative effect on the deconstructed techno that lurks around the fringes of dance and electronic music. In fact, when news of his death last week, at just 53 years of age, was announced, I could think of few artists of his generation who had such a large influence in their field.

Vainio’s influence on ambient and industrial electronic music was somewhat unspoken in his lifetime. He was not a figurehead of a scene, but pretty much all booming palettes of mechanical sound being made today nod in some way to Vainio and his work with Pan Sonic (who started out as Panasonic in 1993 before the Japanese electronics manufacturer of that name threatened legal action).

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by Jennifer Lucy Allan via Electronic music | The Guardian

Monday, April 17, 2017

Anderson Paak review – bristling funk and fevered ballads from the R&B ace

Forum, London
Paak barely pauses for breath in this irresistible sprint through his hard luck/good fortune tracks: this is a man unafraid to break a sweat to bring the house down

“Are you ready to lose your mind, London?” yells Anderson Paak, clad in beanie, bomber jacket and black jeans and leaning in to a frothing, selfie-ing crowd. He’s standing atop an exercise bench he’s been pogoing on for the last couple of minutes, exhorting the room to “Bounce, bounce, bounce”.

Then, barely pausing for breath, he darts behind the drumkit to lead his band the Free Nationals through a brief, bristling burst of funk, before slowing the beat for some hazy, sweet R&B. This, clearly, is a man unafraid of breaking a sweat to bring the house down.

Related: Anderson Paak: ‘If Dre had called five years ago, I don’t think I’d have been ready’

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by Stevie Chick via Electronic music | The Guardian

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Hifi Sean: ‘I was consumed with guilt because I’d hurt people’

After 90s success with the Soup Dragons, Sean Dickson moved to New York, came out and broke down. Now, as Hifi Sean, he’s ready for the spotlight again

Sean Dickson was scared when he made his first Hifi Sean track. “I’d not made music for nearly 15 years,” he says, “and I was terrified about it!” But everything is going swimmingly. Having just turned 50, Dickson has a bona fide hit with the gospel-house of Testify, which managed to be big both in Ibiza and on Radio 2, a successful album, Ft., featuring a host of his musical heroes, a beautifully remixed version of that album ready for Record Store Day and another record under way featuring a full Bollywood orchestra. But for most of this century he wasn’t sure he’d ever return to music.

Dickson grew up in Bellshill, just outside Glasgow. He was musical from childhood, and his parents encouraged this, first with classical guitar lessons then, when he became obsessed with Soft Cell, by buying him a Roland TR-808 drum machine and SH-101 bassline generator. Indie pop was the name of the game in his teens, though, when he befriended fellow Bellshill boys Norman Blake and Duglas T Stewart. The three would “invent a new band every week to play at the local hotel”, often with outrageous names like the Child Molesters. Eventually this separated out into Stewart’s BMX Bandits, Blake’s Teenage Fanclub and Dickson’s band the Soup Dragons.

I had to forgive myself twice. Once for the hurt I caused, and then for the time I’d wasted away from music

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by Joe Muggs via Electronic music | The Guardian

Little Dragon: Season High review – an overdue day in pop’s sun

(Because)
Having seemed on the verge of a breakthrough for so long, Sweden’s eccentric electronic four-piece finally indulge in pure musical pleasure

The worst thing a reviewer has said about Little Dragon is that they make the kind of music you hear in Urban Outfitters. The second worst thing is that they were the band that almost made it.

It’s true that the Swedish four-piece’s breakthrough album six years ago, Ritual Union, may have been the fashionable synthpop you’d hear while shopping for cut-off denims and retro cushions. It’s also true that the follow-up, 2014’s Nabuma Rubberband, while it was nominated for a Grammy and attracted polite critical applause and decent enough sales, was hardly their moment in the sun. And yet this fifth album, Season High, is so warm and dreamily upbeat that you might need to wear those denim cut-offs just to listen to it.

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by Bernadette McNulty via Electronic music | The Guardian

Spoek Mathambo: Mzansi Beat Code review – lightening up for the dance floor

(Teka Records)

Littered with crude synths, vulgar lyrics and migraine-inducing basslines, Spoek Mathambo’s music is known for being dark, twisted and often brilliant. On his latest record, however, the Soweto-born producer opts for glossier, club-friendly house beats better suited to the dancefloor than to attentive, repeated listens. Incorporating everything from Zulu folk to caffeine-jittery township tech, Mzansi Beat Code offers a varied, vibrant selection of South African styles, but Mathambo’s productions sound less raw and adventurous than on his previous albums. He’s kept his parental-advisory label with X-rated tracks such as Want Ur Love and Landed, and there are glimpses of his weird ingenuity on the trance-flavoured No Congo No Cellphone, but the album lacks his usual edge.

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by Isa Jaward via Electronic music | The Guardian

Actress: AZD review – electronic maverick gets playfully deep

(Ninja Tune)

Banishing the spectre of retirement raised on 2014’s Ghettoville, Wolverhampton-born electronic producer Darren Cunningham returns with his Actress persona revamped and his sound reanimated by such typically high-flown inspirations as chrome, universal consciousness and the art of James Hampton. Rather than arcane and austere, though, his fifth album is by turns bleakly beautiful and playfully rampant: X22REME’s fast and funky techno disports itself with snorting minotaur synths and a deep discussion about meaning, while Dancing in the Smoke builds from dark, dubsteppy atmospherics through an itchy, tense rhythm to what sounds like a galactic synth battle. Runner, meanwhile, offers a spry re-soundtracking of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, with its cap also doffed to Blue Monday, while CYN fractures a sample of NYC hip-hop hero Rammellzee hypnotically through heavy synths and lurching machine rhythm, and Faure in Chrome metes out similar treatment to the composer’s Requiem. It all adds up to a deep, rewarding record from a musician with many roles left to play.

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by Emily Mackay via Electronic music | The Guardian

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Spoek Mathambo: Mzanzi Beat Code review – triumphant collision of South African styles

(Teka Records)

As well as a singer, producer and instrumentalist, Spoek Mathambo is a curator, bandleader and street hawker on his new record, championing talent from across his native South Africa. The country’s various dance styles get triumphant airings: there’s robust, Black Coffee-style deep house on Black Rose, with a closing half-tempo rap that finds spiritual elevation in oral sex; elastic sirens from ghetto-house legends DJ Mujava and DJ Spoko are threaded brilliantly through The Mountain and Pula; there are nods to the stuttering, drum-loaded gqom style, best of all on Sifun’imali Yethu, which features Jumping Back Slash witheringly comparing your wealth to the size of an Oompa Loompa. There is beautiful songwriting, too, with Loui Lvndn feeding in nimble, strangulated soul vocals that blend Busta Rhymes and Sampha, and sister duo Kajama creating a unique ballad in I Found U, as ramshackle guitars twine around another uncertainly propulsive drum pattern. Note to Drake – this is what a “playlist” release really looks like.

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by Ben Beaumont-Thomas via Electronic music | The Guardian

Actress: AZD review – a brilliantly twisted, introverted take on dance music | Alexis Petridis' album of the week

The fifth album from one of electronic music’s most admired producers comes with a lot of high-concept baggage, but the music speaks for itself

Darren J Cunningham cuts an intriguing figure in dance music. He’s not the only former professional footballer to try his hand as a DJ, but the West Brom striker is presumably the first one to subsequently establish himself in the world of cerebral post-dubstep techno. His releases as Actress suggest an artist not at home to the idea of wearing one’s intelligence lightly: he seems to wear his like a hi-vis jacket, with trousers to match. He has made work inspired by Milton’s Paradise Lost and Jamie James’ “anecdotal history of the symphony of science and its counterpoint, the wisdom of music”, The Music of the Spheres. 2014’s Ghettoville arrived accompanied by an epilogue poem: “Spitting flames behind a white wall of silence. The machines have turned to stone, data reads like an obituary to its user.”

For all the reviews that seem to take this stuff at face value – quoting Nietzsche and Heidegger at you and loftily referring to his work not as albums or singles but “audio communions” – there’s occasionally the sense that some of this might be emanating from a man with his tongue lodged in his cheek. In one of his rare interviews, he suggested his working practices amounted to “smoking a lot of weed and seeing what happens”, while tracks bearing names such as Shadow from Tartarus and Uriel’s Black Harp rub shoulders with the noticeably earthier-sounding Doggin’ and Supreme Cunnilingus.

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by Alexis Petridis via Electronic music | The Guardian

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Music You Missed: the best Australian underground releases from RVG to Nadia Reid

Our quarterly music column returns to dig up the best releases you may not have heard in the past three months

Last weekend in Melbourne, and the week before in Brisbane, A Rock & Roll Writers Festival returned for a second year to put songwriters, music critics and novelists on stage to discuss their craft. Speakers included Adalita, Bunna Lawrie, Tim Rogers, Jess Ribeiro and Jenny Valentish. I took part in a panel with three other music critics.

The festival claims to “celebrate the creative relationship between writing and music”, though it does much more. First, it asserts that contemporary music, writing and the confluence of the two actually matter in Australian culture. That alone slakes a terrible thirst. Second, it asks why they matter and how.

Related: Underworld review – born-again dance legends show no sign of slipping

Related: Mogwai, Ulver and 500 litres of blood headed to Tasmania in June as Dark Mofo returns

Related: Al Grigg from Red Riders: 'Where in Sydney can you make a whole bunch of noise these days?'

Related: 'I'm like a secret assassin': Poo Bear on writing for Justin Bieber, Skrillex and Sam Smith

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by Kate Hennessy via Electronic music | The Guardian

Scrimshire supporting Jazzie B at The Red Lion on 29/04

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Wah Wah 45s at 10th Record Store Day on 22/04

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Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Quintet at Shake The High Road on 27/05

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Wah Wah Radio – 2017 #3

Scrimshire on his own this month with a mix for you and a tiny sprinkling of chat.

William Florelle – As The Sun Sets (Wot Not Music)
Titeknots – Mustard Flower (Press Something Play Something)
Atjazz – Track 1 (Mix 1) (AtJazz Records)
Jullian Gomes – 1000 Memories feat. Sio (Yoruba Soul Mix)
Class Action – Weekend (Larry Levan Mix) (Sleeping Bag Records)
Juxtpose presents Wu Kush – RD6Q#S0119GF (Ennio Styles Mix) (Heard and Felt)
Sonzeira – Um Toque (Tahira Rework) (Virgin)
DJ Tennis feat. Pillow Talk – The Outcast (Life On Planets Edited Acoustic Version) (Kompakt)
Anchorsong – Slider (Radio Edit) (TruThoughts)
Kraak & Smaak – So Clear feat. Meeka Kates (Jalapeno Records)
Hardkandy – Second To None (Wah Wah 45s)
Chip Wickham – La Sombra (Spaceways Radio Edit by Carlos Nino) (Love Monk)
Cathy Tornbohm – Everlasting Night (Self Released)
Moonchild – Cure (TruThoughts)
Scrimshire – I Was Love (Wah Wah 45s)
Meeka Kates – Caught Up (Boogie Angst)

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Underworld review – born-again dance legends show no sign of slipping

Sydney Opera House
Karl Hyde and Rick Smith level the Opera House with a relentless two-hour set that doesn’t stop to draw breath

On Rust Never Sleeps, Neil Young sang: “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.” But what if you’re two sixtyish techno artists whose works have always evoked a steely futurism? Well, based on Underworld’s thrilling set at the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday night, a third option exists.

Related: Underworld: ‘It doesn’t matter where music comes from – it’s how it connects’

Related: Underworld: Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future review – dance music pioneers reach a state of bliss

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by Stuart MacFarlane via Electronic music | The Guardian

'I'm the only trip-hop artist in Palestine!': the musicians shaking up the occupied territories

Refugee rappers, ska stars from the Golan Heights, the Kraftwerk of the Levant … meet the acts redefining Palestine in the shadow of the walls and the watchtowers

Guests arriving at international music conferences are usually welcomed with a bit of a meet-and-greet by the pool, an ice-cool daiquiri and some tasty canapes, perhaps. They are not normally whisked off to sites of forced evictions and summary killings. But when the host city is the Palestinian capital, Ramallah, normal rules – as with most of life in the occupied territories – do not apply.

The hilly West Bank town has just hosted PMX, the first ever Palestine Music Expo. Dreamed up by three locals – a rapper, a composer and a journalist – and a British record label boss, PMX showcased a blossoming of musical talent among a people whose voices have struggled to be heard. What emerged after three memorable days of talks, tours and live performances could form the blueprint for a whole new music industry – and even the re-branding of a nation.

Related: The insider's cultural guide to Ramallah: 'A misunderstood cosmopolitan bubble'

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by Tom Horan via Electronic music | The Guardian

Monday, April 10, 2017

10 of the UK’s best boutique festivals

When it comes to festivals, size matters – though often small is best, as we found in our roundup of dance and DJ-driven events around the UK

Just outside Glasgow, Kelburn Garden Party is a colourful event held in the grounds of an appropriately colourful castle: a 13th-century stately home daubed with the work of Brazilian street artist OSGEMEOS. Among the hidden corners of the garden will be art, performances and the intimate stages that make up the festival. There’s also the “Neverending Glen”, a trail that leads through the forest to find multimedia art installations, sculptures and secret events. This year headliners include poet and rapper Akala, Mr Scruff and The Hot 8 Brass Band, while Scottish dance music stalwarts Optimo will be collaborating with Canadian producer Jayda G for a takeover with the Numbers crew, bringing a bit of Glasgow party flavour to the proceedings. The festival also goes all out for families, with many events and entertainments for kids throughout the weekend, on top of the Kelburn estate’s existing attractions.
• 30 June-3 July, adults from £104, children from £21, under-fives, free, kelburngardenparty.com

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by Will Coldwell via Electronic music | The Guardian

DJ Paul Oakenfold treks to Everest base camp for 'highest party on Earth'

Superstar DJ to perform at 5,380m to mark 30th anniversary of Ibiza trip which sparked Second Summer of Love

British DJ Paul Oakenfold has reached Mount Everest’s base camp, where he plans to host the “highest party on Earth”, performing a set at 5,380 metres (17,600 feet).

The three-time Grammy nominated artist, 53, is marking the 30th anniversary of his famed trip to Ibiza that sparked the Second Summer of Love, one of the biggest revolutions in British youth culture since the original Summer of Love in 1967.

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by Nadia Khomami via Electronic music | The Guardian

The Can Project review – warm tribute to avant-rock innovators

Barbican, London
The London Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Can founder Irwin Schmidt, before Thurston Moore led a more freestyle rock jam in an amiable homage

German avant-rock innovators Can may have influenced some big-time fans – from David Bowie and John Lydon to Joy Division – but as their biographer Rob Young has noted, theirs was “an anarchic democracy and everyone who joined it had sacrificed another, surer path to be there”. The Barbican and Goethe Institute’s 50th anniversary gig reflected their eclecticism by presenting the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Can founder/composer Irmin Schmidt alongside a freely jamming band led by longtime fan Thurston Moore – and it was a warmly ambitious accolade, even if the originators’ mix of anarchic democracy and the liberating monotony of classic krautrock’s machine-mimicking grooves was a hard balance to catch.

The 79-year-old Schmidt opened the show with the LSO to perform his symphony Can Dialog (co-written with Gregor Schwellenbach), and 2008 ballet suite La Fermosa. Can Dialog wove classics including Halleluwah and Sing Swan Song into percussively spiky minimalism, and densely layered orchestral structures, sometimes echoing Schmidt’s former teachers Karlheinz Stockhausen and György Ligeti in music of sonically fascinating, if rather inchoate, glimpses.

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by John Fordham via Electronic music | The Guardian

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Arca: Arca review – strange worlds to enjoy, if not fully understand

(XL)

A working knowledge of Spanish will illuminate the Venezuelan-born, London-based digital auteur’s self-titled third album. His previous work, influenced by hip-hop and club culture, occasionally featured Arca’s treated voice. But Björk and Kanye contributor Alejandro Ghersi has now begun singing in his native language. On songs like Anoche or Reverie, the effect is Björk-like; on Desafio, it is borderline conventional – until you grapple with the lyrics. Understanding this avant garde artist has rarely been simple: sexuality, suffering and fluid states all recur in his quicksilver works, like the punishing, yet beautiful Castration. Words make Arca’s tense, sad hyper-modernity a little more accessible, if no less strange.

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by Kitty Empire via Electronic music | The Guardian

Friday, April 7, 2017

British DJ sentenced to year in Tunisian jail for Muslim call to prayer remix

Berlin-based Dax J who left Tunisia after incident was charged with public indecency and offending public morality

A British DJ has been sentenced to a year in jail by a Tunisian court after he played a remix recording of the Muslim call to prayer in a nightclub.

The London-born Dax J, who left Tunisia after last weekend’s incident, was charged with public indecency and offending public morality, said Ylyes Miladi, a spokesman of a court in the town of Grombalia.

Related: Tunisian nightclub shut down over Muslim call to prayer remix

Related: Emel Mathlouthi: ‘It’s important to be out there as a creative woman from a Muslim culture'

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by Nadia Khomami via Electronic music | The Guardian

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Arca: Arca review – ecclesiastical grandeur meets bleeding-edge dissonance

(XL Recordings)

Related: How cruising, graveyards and swan songs inspired Arca’s new album

With its eerie silences, foreboding chords and hymnal chanting, Arca’s third record really does manage to erect a sonic cathedral around your ears. This ceaselessly pioneering producer – who has brought his bleeding-edge sensibility to the work of Björk, Kanye, FKA twigs, Frank Ocean and Dean Blunt – takes ecclesiastical tropes and ingests them into his warped, dissonant and giddily contemporary world. Using his own voice for the first time – a move encouraged by Björk – Arca improvises melodies and lyrics in Spanish, backed by a filleted version of the startling industrial noise found in his earlier work. Exquisite opener Piel captures the interplay between poise and prostration that has made Catholic ritual such a rich artistic seam, while arch humour is provided by Whip – hyper-real lashing accompanied by the sound of a powering-down robot – and Desafío, which takes disposable Eurotrash pop and makes it worthy of pious contemplation.

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by Rachel Aroesti via Electronic music | The Guardian

French pop star Jain: an electropop journey from Congo to Colbert

The UK and US are catching on to the synth-playing singer, whose explosive sound blends global influences in a multicultural rebuke to the likes of Le Pen

Jain has gone awol. It’s early March and the French pop star is due to soundcheck for a second sold-out night at L’Olympia in Paris. Her name is in foot-high letters above the 19th-century venue’s front door. Just before 5pm, the 25-year-old, born Jeanne Galice, rushes up Boulevard des Capucines looking apologetic. She had gone home for a nap and missed her alarm. Sleep is at a premium – in less than a week she will fly to Austin for SXSW, where she will play eight considerably less glamorous shows in three days.

L’Olympia should have been the end of the campaign for Zanaka, Jain’s first album. It means “child” in her Madagascan mum’s first language, and documents Jain’s youth, spent in the UAE and Republic of Congo thanks to her dad’s job in the oil industry. Released in France in November 2015, it went gold three months later. But since the UK and US are now catching on, the promo cycle is starting again. There has been some daytime Radio 1 airplay, and Chris Martin said her song Makeba, a funky tribute to South African singer and activist Miriam, was one of his current favourite tracks. In February, Jain performed Come on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, flanked by eight singers wearing her trademark white-collared dress. She wrote the song in her teens, and made a point of including it on her debut. “It’s the song that started everything, so I wanted to say to this girl of 16, you see, your song is working!” she says backstage after the soundcheck has finished.

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by Laura Snapes via Electronic music | The Guardian

Monday, April 3, 2017

Tunisian nightclub shut down over Muslim call to prayer remix

Owner held and English DJ apologises after playing recording at Orbit festival in north-east of country

Tunisian authorities have shut down a nightclub and begun an investigation after a DJ played a remix recording of the Muslim call to prayer, an official has said.

A video, widely shared online since Sunday, shows clubbers dancing at the weekend to music that includes the call to prayer at the club in the north-east town of Nabeul.

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by Agence France-Presse in Tunis via Electronic music | The Guardian

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Roland founder and music pioneer Ikutaro Kakehashi dies aged 87

Tributes paid to Japanese engineer who created drum machines and synths used throughout music scene in 1980s and 90s

Tributes have been paid to the man behind the synthesiser and drum machines that revolutionised electronic music in the 1980s and 90s, Ikutaro Kakehashi, who has died aged 87.

The Japanese engineer founded the Roland Corporation in 1972 and invented a range of electronic drum machines and synthesisers used throughout popular music since the mid-1970s – by performers from Prince to New Order, Dr Dre to Kraftwerk.

A man who changed Music Ikutaro Kakehashi the Man behind the Roland Synth,808 and more has sadly passed. Thanks for the Electro sounds.

What a musical legacy Ikutaro Kakehashi left RIP... https://t.co/18DpVcRRwr

RIP the man behind so many of my favourite studio toys ❤️ Ikutaro Kakehashi, Founder of Roland, Dies at 87 https://t.co/qPDaeaqp7J

RIP Ikutaro Kakehashi. like many others, am in his debt. the thing that started me in electronic music was a roland alpha juno 2

Our hearts are w/ our brothers & sisters at #Roland after the profound loss of Ikutaro Kakehashi, model of resilience & genuine trailblazer. http://pic.twitter.com/ZDJWrBQPlE

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by Ruth McKee and Jamie Grierson via Electronic music | The Guardian

Jamiroquai review – Jay Kay reclaims his crown as prince of flamboyant funk

Roundhouse, London
Could Jay Kay and co’s party grooves, laser-beam energy and daft headgear have any relevance in 2017? Well, if the hat still fits …

It’s a decade since Jay Kay told the press he was going to quit music to focus on flying helicopters and looking for “the right lady to have children with”. In the intervening time (and notwithstanding 201o’s stodgy disco album Rock Dust Light Star, their worst performing album to date) the sonic qualities that first made the group popular have slunk back into fashion. Forward-facing young US artists have cited Jamiroquai as an influence: you can hear it in the hazy grooves of Syd tha Kyd, Tyler the Creator, Chance the Rapper and Anderson Paak, while jazz-inflected chillout and easy listening form the ever-growing underbelly of most streaming services.

There have been some sizeable shifts for the band in the past 10 years, however. The problematic Native American headdress Kay used to wear has been swapped for an LED helmet, its spikes flaring open a bit like the hissing dilophosaurus in Jurassic Park. Or an alien sea creature. Or a niche, glow-in-the-dark sex toy.

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by Harriet Gibsone via Electronic music | The Guardian