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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wah Wah Radio – 2017 #4

Dom brings you plenty of sunshine rhythms this time round. Enjoy!

Nomade Orquestra – Intro / Jardins de Zaire (Far Out)
Loos Leaf – Green Eyed Stare (Loos Leaf)
Bottle Tree – Open Secret (International Anthem)
M’Bamina – Mosi Zole (EVM128 Edit Overdub) (Africa Seven)
Chiwoniso – Gomo (Cumbanacha)
Soothsayers – Roll River Roll (Wah Wah 45s)
Rite Sound Productions – You Have Forsaken Me (Rite Sound)
Compro Oro – Ababa Boogie (W.E.R.F.)
Emanative – Ominous Shanti (Emanative)
Il Est Villaine – Yama Yama (Bahnsteig)
Earthboogie – Mr Mystery (Leng)
Noface – Young Larry (White)
Enzyme Black – Oh My Dayz (Enzyme Black Recordings)

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

DJ Shadow: 'Music has never been worth less, and yet sampling has never been more risky'

In Australia for a ‘block party’ curated by the Avalanches at the Sydney Opera House, the pioneering DJ spoke about the evolving challenges of his craft

“Sampling isn’t just about dusty 45s anymore,” says Josh Davis, and he ought to know. As DJ Shadow, Davis has been responsible for some of the seminal, pioneering works in the genre, beginning with the critically acclaimed Endtroducing in 1996. His debut full-length album, it was composed entirely of samples, the first of its kind.

“My agenda back then was like, planting a flag in the soil and saying, ‘This is my art form, sampling is my art form, the sampler is my instrument,’” Davis tells Guardian Australia. “It’s real, it’s authentic, there’s art to it, there is a discipline, it’s a craft. And that’s what I wanted to represent. Now, obviously, 25 years later, we all know that ... The art of sampling in itself is no longer novel.”

Related: DJ Shadow review – a hyper-evolved beat frenzy

Related: Me and the muse: DJ Shadow on his sources of inspiration

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by Stephanie Convery via Electronic music | The Guardian

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Making sounds with Suzanne Ciani, America's first female synth hero

She was one of the few women working in sound design during the 1970s and here she talks about a long career, from appearing on Letterman to how she ended up making the famous Coke noise

It might not seem so much of a stretch any more, but imagine spending your entire life in a tempestuous relationship with a machine. Not a sleek smartphone or tablet – we’ve seen how that can escalate in Spike Jonze’s Her. Instead picture a tapestry of tangled multicoloured wires, knobs and buttons, a bulky modular synthesizer otherwise known as the Buchla. Suzanne Ciani has spent much of her career testing the limits of one of these cumbersome instruments. So dedicated to its oscillating drones, burbles and bleeps did she become that has jokingly referred to the Buchla as “her boyfriend”. At times that affair was “traumatic”, she says now, down the phone from her studio in the Californian coastal enclave of Bolinas, sounding like both Marilyn Monroe and a Woodstock hippie. “Technology’s always very risky – you never know when it might break.”

Related: Alright everyone, chill: why ambient is one of the sounds of the summer

Related: New age of new age music: 'It used to just be for hippies and unassuming types'

Related: Don Buchla, modular synthesizer pioneer, dies aged 79

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by Kate Hutchinson via Electronic music | The Guardian

Friday, May 19, 2017

Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson: American Style review – avant-garde pioneers going nowhere

Royal Festival Hall, London
The boundary-crossing musicians’ state-of-the-nation collaboration has melancholy and charm, but proves less than the sum of its parts

Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson go back a long way, to the heyday of New York minimalism in the 1970s, when Glass was one of the pioneers of that new musical language, and Anderson was just starting out on her boundary-crossing career with its mixture of wryly humorous narratives and multimedia performance art. Their creative paths have crossed occasionally since, and American Style, their latest collaboration which they have been touring since last year, is a retrospective of sorts. In fact it conjures up the laid-back atmosphere of a meeting between two old friends, who get down to reminiscing and worrying over the direction their country is taking at the moment.

It’s all rather low-key (more or less always the same one, in fact, as far as the music is concerned), one-paced, and lacks any real sense of shape. Even the state of the US today seems to arouse more disappointment and sorrow than anger, and the fact that the two are sitting down in front of an audience of a couple of thousand seems almost irrelevant – it’s more a private collection of memories than a performance. Glass sticks to his piano, Anderson commutes between her trademark electric violin and a sampling keyboard, but there’s a cellist too, Rubin Kodheli, whose main role seems to be to flesh out musical textures or add swooning melodic lines, usually to counterproductive effect.

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by Andrew Clements via Electronic music | The Guardian

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Readers recommend playlist: songs that say hello

A reader welcomes you into a playlist with greetings from Gorillaz, Shonen Knife and Soft Cell

Here is this week’s playlist of songs picked by a reader from your suggestions, after last week’s callout. Read more about how our weekly Readers recommend series works at the end of the piece.

Hello! HELLO! Is anybody there? Gorillaz open our playlist with a loud hail. A1 M1 may not otherwise be on topic, but I had to open with the word itself – sampled from the Day of the Dead – didn’t I? I’d made a decision that I wanted our “Hellos” (or equivalent in other languages) to be greetings to strangers: whether uttered as an exclamation, declaration or question, and was looking to avoid obvious familiarity. Unfortunately that meant I redirected several excellent songs that came knocking at my door looking for friends, family and lovers down the hall to apartment (I’ll publish a B-list in the comments later!).

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by Richard T Clayton via Electronic music | The Guardian

Dele Sosimi at Mangle (London Fields) on 28/05

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Simon Reynolds meets Jlin: 'I got part of my ideology from Coco Chanel'

The footwork producer has taken influences from across the map to make dance music that sounds like nothing else. Is Jerrilynn Patton the future of electronica?

Black Origami, the title of the new album by electronic warrior Jlin (real name Jerrilynn Patton), is a perfect analogy for her creative process. It always begins, she says, with nothing: no formula, no preconceptions, no sampled materials, just the blind urge to make. Origami, similarly, “starts out as a blank sheet of paper”, she explains. “Which you bend and fold, and then you end up with this beautiful, complex thing.” Jlin’s elegantly angular beat-constructions rather resemble origami’s blend of geometric planes and exquisite delicacy. “Taking simplicity and making it complex – I got that ideology from Coco Chanel,” she adds.

The album title is an extension of an earlier and equally apt analogy that Jlin made on her 2015 debut Dark Energy, with the track Black Ballet. The ballerina’s movements look effortless and weightless, but the audience never sees the blood-soaked wraps around her feet or the stress damage to her spinal discs; likewise, listeners are transported by the eerie levitational grace of Jlin’s music but don’t hear the hundreds of agonized hours of detail-work and fanatical focus embedded in each track.

Related: Fancy footwork: how Chicago's juke scene found its feet again

When a person listens, they’re hearing my vulnerability. Literally every time I sit in this chair – it’s a fight

Related: White flight followed factory jobs out of Gary, Indiana. Black people didn't have a choice

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by Simon Reynolds via Electronic music | The Guardian

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Soothsayers at Citadel Festival on 16/07

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Honeyfeet live + Scrimshire at LBC Summer Festival on 29/06

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Soothsayers (live) + Dom Servini at LBC Summer Festival on 22/06

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Resonators at LBC Summer Festival on 25/06

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Dom Servini – Unherd Radio Show #2 on Soho Radio

Listen again here!

Marvin Parks – The Mystery of Man (Schema)

Julian Bahula’s Jazz Afrika – Woza Cindi (Tsafrika)

Soothsayers – Blinded Souls (Wah Wah 45s)

Lord Echo – Makossa No.3 (Soundway)

Majid Bekkas – Mrhaba (Cervo Edit) (Banana Hill)

Little Girl Wonder – It’s My House (Black Rose)

Nel Oliver – I Have a Good Job (CBS)

Oddisee – Things (Mello Music Group)

Alkalino – Take It Easy (Alkalino)

El Michel’s Affair – Tearz (Big Crown)

Album of the Month – Natural Resources II (Perfect Toy)

Evolution – Empty Room (Perfect Toy)

Willie Brown – Love That Stranger (Perfect Toy)

Bobbi Humphrey – Home-Made Jam (Epic)

Three Pieces – Self Dealin’ (Mukatsuku)

B.Bravo – Freak It feat. Trailer Limon (Bstrd Jazz)

Witch Prophet – Wish I Knew (WP)

Francesca Sortino – Little Sunflower (A. MA Records)

Don Brown – Tango (First American)

Joao Selva – Pessoas (Favourite)

Tomah – Twice Take (TV)

Jorge Ben – Oe Oe (Faz O Carro de Boi Na Estrada) (Som Livre)

First Light – Daybreak (London)

The Bombillas – Tortuga (F Spot Records)

Ezra Collective – Enter The Jungle (EC)

Gunn High School Jazz Reunion – Red Clay (Tramp)

Ruby Rushton – Moonlight Woman (22a)

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Dom Servini – Unherd Radio Show #1 on Soho Radio

Listen again here!

6th Borough Project – Showtime (Roar Groove)
The Breathing Effect – Wood Thrush (Bandcamp)

Yusef Lateef – Morning (Jazzman)

Elle Olsun – Crying Over you (Do Right!)

Thundercat – Them Changes (Brainfeeder)

Moonchild – Cure (Tru Thoughts)

Doug Carn – Sweet Season (Black Jazz)

Everything But The Girl – Each and Every One (Blanco y Negro)

Soothsayers – Eagle Song (Wah Wah 45s)

Sheila Rickards – Jamaican Fruit of African Roots (Sheila)

Alogte Oho Jonas and his Sounds of Joy – Zota Yinne (Philophon)

Bastien Keb – Yela (First Word)

Duct Tape – Who am I to Ask (BBE)

BodyMoves – Mamita (Shapes of Rhythm)

SJOB Movement – Freedom Train (EMI)

Blood, Wine or Honey – Anxious Party People (Unreleased)

Dele Sosimi – I Don’t Care (Books Remix) (Wah Wah 45s)

Anchorsong – Slider (Tru Thoughts)

Calibre – Grow (The Nothing Special)

Penya – Cham Bomb (On The Corner)

Dick Griffin – Now is the Time (Trident)

Bobby & Bobbie Fulton – Massa’s Grand Boy (Got to Have Justice) (Bobby Fulton Enterprises)

Marc LaRoi Cummings – Struggling Together (Setting Sun)

Arabi – Times Three (Sound of New Orleans)

Rob Mehl – House on the Rock (Aloah Got Soul)

Christian Prommer – Tin Man feat. Adriano Prestel (Truccy Remix) (Compost)

Al Massrieen – Sah (Habibi Funk)

Arthur Indenbaum – So Close to You (Chanterelle Records)

Nancy Wilson – I’m in Love (Capitol)

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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Noga Erez: ‘I get told by people not to talk about what is happening in Israel’

With songs that deal with sexual assault and the tensions in her homeland, the 27-year-old from Tel Aviv is Israel’s most defiant star

Surveillance states, manipulative media, sexual assault and social media storms – these are natural headlines for any news programme in 2017; less so the themes of an album by a rising pop artist. For Tel Aviv-based musician Noga Erez, however, songs are her way to “process the issues that bother me about the world”. Her music is clattering, confrontational and takes no prisoners. Dance While You Shoot is an agitated attack on a government that she tells me is becoming “more extreme, more religious, more nationalistic”; a track titled Global Fear speaks for itself. You won’t find Erez writing any straightforward tales of cheating hearts.

“I got a lot of advice not to talk about what’s happening in Israel,” says the 27-year-old, taking off her sunglasses. Her hair is rolled into multiple shapes on her head and, with her structured rain mac made of neon orange mesh, she looks like she’s stepped off the cover of the Face, circa 1998. “People who care about me told me, ‘Listen, don’t go outside and start talking about things,’” she continues. “And for a while I thought, ‘This is what I’m going to do – whenever I’m being asked about it, I will avoid it.’ But I can’t, because the songs are about it. People think it’s brave but I just think it’s… necessary.”

If you take away culture away from places then it doesn’t do good to anyone, it makes that place even worse

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by Kate Hutchinson via Electronic music | The Guardian

Friday, May 12, 2017

Arca, Deadboy and Mr Mitch: the new wave of beat-makers becoming pop stars

As more and more leftfield producers are stepping up to the mic, it’s making their forward-thinking beats as personal as they are progressive

At his London show last month, electronic producer Arca, AKA Alejandro Ghersi, showed that stardom in the world of dance music doesn’t have to look like blokes pushing buttons on laptops in front of LED screens. Instead, the Björk and Kanye collaborator showcased his latest, self-titled album – a collection of boldly experimental Spanish love songs – wearing nothing but a codpiece, a matador’s jacket and mechanical stilts. It was the first time he had sung – both live and on record – transforming into a performer of Gaga-like proportions.

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

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by Adam Bychawski via Electronic music | The Guardian

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Readers recommend playlist: songs about hedonism

A playlist in the pursuit of pleasure, with Pet Shop Boys, Magnetic Fields and Lionel Richie all joining the party

Here is this week’s playlist of songs picked by a reader from your suggestions, after last week’s callout. Read more about how our weekly Readers recommend series works at the end of the piece.

There were two prime considerations for inclusion on the list this week. It occurred to me early on that while there were plenty of lyrics suggested which simply referenced drink, drugs or general over-consumption, it would be more appropriate if a song contained some sort of exhortation to indulge in such excess. It took slightly longer for the penny to drop that given this week’s topic, I didn’t need to spend as much time as usual worrying about whether anyone other than me would enjoy the selections.

It’s got everything you need for your complete
Entertainment and instruction
Sun, sex, sin, divine intervention,
Death and destruction
The Sodom and Gomorrah show

I eat my dinner in the bath tub
Then I go to sex clubs
Watching freaky people
Getting it on

There’s whiskey, and bad cocaine
Poison get you just the same
And if that don’t kill you soon
The women will down at the Spanish Moon

And when we’ve had a couple of beers
We’ll put on bunny suits
I long to nibble your ears
And do what bunnies do

Ageing black leather and hospital bills
Tattoo removal and dozens of pills
Your liver pays dearly now for youthful magic moments
But rock on completely with some brand new components...

Here, have you tried the blue ones
I hear he’s got some new ones
Sleep is not an option tonight

Let’s hit one more place before we go home
Let’s go in when it’s dark and come out with the sun
I know we’ll be wrecked all day we’ll be broke and undone
But let’s hit one more place

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by Scott Blair via Electronic music | The Guardian

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

‘A lost freedom’: When new age travellers found acid house – in pictures

Matthew Smith’s book Exist to Resist captures the moment in the 90s when ravers, new age travellers, drugs and protest collided in a joyous movement – until the government got involved

In the wake of the second summer of love in 1988, acid house seemed to alter pop culture as a whole; its influence changed everything from the sound of indie bands to the productions of Stock Aitken Waterman. But few groups embraced it with quite the enthusiasm of new age travellers. Dance music played by travelling sound systems, the equipment easily packed into trucks and transported, quickly supplemented or even supplanted the long-standing soundtrack of Hawkwind-ish acid rock on the circuit of free festivals they had frequented since the 70s. Increasingly, the free events began to resemble raves, the crowds swelled by an influx of those disillusioned with the commercialisation of the post-acid house dance scene.

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by Alexis Petridis via Electronic music | The Guardian

Trance producer Robert Miles has died, aged 47

Best known for his No 1 hit Children, the artist has died in Ibiza, Spain, after a short illness

Robert Miles, trance producer and DJ best known for his No 1 hit Children, has died aged 47.

News of the Swiss-born Italian artist’s death was first reported by DJ Mag Italia, who claim he died of an “unspecified illness” but this has yet to be confirmed. Producer and longtime friend Joe T Vannelli verified the reports to the Press Association, saying: “Yes man, (it) is a tragedy.”

R.I.P Robert Miles. Very sad news! https://t.co/AU3knJDeDV

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by Guardian music via Electronic music | The Guardian

Monday, May 8, 2017

Dom Servini at Southern Soul Festival on 29-30/06

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Dom Servini at Southern Soul Festival on 29-30/06

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Dom Servini + Scrimshire at Bussey Building on 17/06

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Dom Servini + Nightmares on Wax on 16/06

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Dom Servini at Merchant’s Tavern on 15/06

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Dom Servini plays at a private event in London on 10/06

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Dom Servini + Lefto at The Jazz Café on 09/06

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Wah Wah 45s at Mondomix Festival on 03/06

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Dom Servini at The Jazz Café on 02/06

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Perfume Genius: ‘I thought I'd grow up to be a woman’

Mike Hadreas talks sexuality and the days of reciting Twitter T&Cs with his drug dealer. Now, he’s sober and wondering: what would Springsteen do?

Related: The industry closet: queer pop from Little Richard to Frank Ocean

The night before our interview, Mike Hadreas, who makes soul-baring, emotionally lurid pop-rock as Perfume Genius, flooded his hotel room. He’d just arrived in London from Berlin, the last leg of a European press tour in support of his excellent new album No Shape, was in the shower and accidentally left the sink taps running. By 2am, his room was filled with hotel staff armed with towels. It was, he says, the sort of drama that would have troubled him a few years ago. “I thought I’d struggle to sleep afterwards,” he says through a haze of vape musk as we amble towards east London’s Hackney City Farm, “but I managed.”

I pushed it to a different level than most people did; they would stop and I would continue

I was thinking of a pop star like Bruce Springsteen, the confidence … when they give people music, everyone’s like: Yes!

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by Michael Cragg via Electronic music | The Guardian

Dom Servini at Giant Robot on 01/06

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Saturday, May 6, 2017

10 of the UK's best music festivals for families

Kids’ discos, circus workshops, craft corners, PG-rated comedy … not forgetting proper music lineups, from Stormzy to Happy Mondays - here’s our pick of the events all the family can enjoy

Alfresco was conceived by a music-loving couple who aimed to blend underground sounds with a family friendly hook. Highlights include Alexis Taylor, Psychemagik and Optimo, and kids’ activities are centred on arty and sporty workshops.
26-28 May, Tunbridge Wells, Kent; adult day £22-£38.50, 5-17 years day £19.25, weekend family £214.50, camping from £49.50. alfrescofestival.co.uk

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by Arwa Haider via Electronic music | The Guardian

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Juana Molina: Halo review – unsettling folktronica from arch experimenter

(Crammed Discs)

Juana Molina is a quietly unsettling singer-songwriter from Argentina who specialises in experimental folktronica, mixing acoustic styles and electronica in songs that constantly switch between charming and quirky to downright spooky. On the album cover, her face appears to have morphed into a bone, like a witch from some ancient ceremony, while on the slow and doomy Lentísimo Halo there are references to an evil light which appears in Argentine folk tales. The daughter of a tango musician, Molina may sing in a trance-like whisper, but she understands the importance of rhythm; many of the songs are underpinned by a sturdy bass line, over which she adds guitar, bass or keyboards, playing all the instruments herself on several tracks. There are sturdy melodies on the quietly charming Cosoco or Cálculos Y Oráculos, but even an apparently conventional song is soon transformed by her edgy and intriguing off-kilter soundscapes.

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by Robin Denselow via Electronic music | The Guardian

Dom Servini at Merchants Tavern on 18/05

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Dom Servini at Jazz Café for Soul City on 12/05

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Readers recommend playlist: your tribute songs

With musicians such as Elvis Costello, John Lennon and Lead Belly paying homage to their heroes, a reader picks from your suggestions

Here is this week’s playlist of songs picked by a reader from your suggestions, after last week’s callout. Read more about how our weekly readers recommend series works at the end of the piece.

There is an air of unabashed friendship to the song that starts our list of tributes. Blossom Dearie wrote Dusty Springfield with Norma Tanega, who had a close relationship with the singer. One can presume she knew Springfield well and thought much of her: “Petals fall from her glance ... Flowers float from her dance.”

Related: Orrin Keepnews obituary

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by George Boyland via Electronic music | The Guardian

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Fatboy Slim: Glastonbury is running out of headliners

Veteran DJ and Worthy Farm regular says lack of ‘legends’ is forcing festival to rebook artists who have already topped the bill

Fatboy Slim has claimed Glastonbury festival is running out of headline acts.

In an interview with NME, the DJ, whose real name is Norman Cook, said the festival has become “more middle class” and “less dangerous”.

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by Guardian music via Electronic music | The Guardian

Dom Servini + Buttering Trio at Camden Assembly on 12/05

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

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Resonators at Tropical Pressure Festival on 16/07

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