Thursday, August 31, 2017

Bicep: Bicep review – analogue deep house duo flex muscles on fitfully riveting debut

(Ninja Tune)

After months of shaky-cam YouTube uploads from fans capturing unreleased material, paired with the kind of feverish rapture that usually accompanies UFO sightings, Belfast deep house duo Bicep finally release their debut LP, and it fitfully lives up to expectations. Built with the rounded corners of analogue gear rather than the planed-off shards of digital, the aesthetic is of vintage techno, both breakbeat and ambient (their nostalgia is unlined by Vespa, an interlude with impressionistic raver vox pops). Their fiendish melodic coherence is sometimes riveting, particularly on the the Caribou-esque rushes of Opal or adrenal spikes of Aura – one of the dance tracks of the year. Even the cheesily “exotic” vocal sample on Spring works when paired with a stern, exacting synth line. But it’s filled out with greige ballast, be it the Reich for Dummies of Drift or the tame trip-hop of Ayr and Vale.

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by Ben Beaumont-Thomas via Electronic music | The Guardian

Hercules and Love Affair: Omnion review – relapse and recovery on the dancefloor


On paper, the dance collective Hercules and Love Affair’s fourth album seems like a risky endeavour. The topic of mainstay Andy Butler’s relapse into drug addiction and his recovery hangs over Omnion. It should be a tough subject for an album thick with four-to-the-floor beats to address – who wants to be reminded of the downside of hedonism while lost on the dancefloor? – but Butler has form in hitching difficult topics to dance music. The gorgeous 2014 track I Try to Talk to You featured John Grant singing about his HIV-positive status. Here, on My Curse and Cure and Wild Child, the lyrical remorse chafes intriguingly against the musical euphoria, while the title track sets Sharon Van Etten’s affecting vocals against swooning electronics. Elsewhere, Butler’s ability to co-opt unlikely voices to his musical world is as impressive as ever, from the Lebanese indie band Mashrou’ Leila to the Horrors’ frontman Faris Badwan. The latter’s appearance on the gospel-infused, filthy-minded Controller is as improbable as the end result is fantastic.

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by Alexis Petridis via Electronic music | The Guardian

Gonimoblast Live with Maja S​​K Ratkje and Arve Henriksen review – electronica with improv clout

(Stoney Lane)

Gonimoblast are a London and Midlands five-piece electronica band, formed by bassist Chris Mapp after an inspiring trip to Norway’s Punkt festival, and including Polar Bear electronicist Leafcutter John and free-jazz drummer Mark Sanders. The group recorded two successive live shows for this limited-edition, screenprinted double album, with celebrated Norwegian adventurers Maja SK Ratkje (vocals) and Arve Henriksen, who plays flutelike, wind-toned ambient trumpet. The effects often suggest rubbed wineglasses or babbling brooks, but there are plenty of smoky, mysteriously hooting jazz-horn sounds and the participants’ jazz links are plain in both the rhythmic language and the collective improv feel. The disconsolately echoing purity of Ratkje’s chants dramatically contrast with churning electronic undercurrents and Mapp’s fast-moving basslines, while her scat-like staccato inventions rise amid orchestral effects like hordes of violins. Henriksen’s half of the set is more song-shaped, as his plaintive trumpet exhalations and querulous-chorister vocals wheel amid fast, free-swing drum patterns, church-organ reverberations and nudging jazz-piano chords. It’s electronica, but with plenty of mood-swinging clout.

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by John Fordham via Electronic music | The Guardian

R&B star Kwaye on being discovered in an Uber: ‘I thought it was a bit weird’

A chance encounter in a Los Angeles cab led the British Zimbabwean singer to his first recording contract – and critical acclaim. He talks about the politics behind his funky R&B

Popstar ascents have become so predictable – unknown guest on dance track later re-emerges as a solo act – that it’s easy to be cynical of more elaborate backstories. And Kwaye’s is fairly eyebrow-raising. Within the first week of a year studying abroad at UCLA, the Zimbabwe-born, London-raised student met a producer who offered him some discarded tracks. In one day, Kwaye wrote a song called Cool Kids, about a generation creating its own culture.

Then he found himself in an Uber driven by “a former music industry exec”, and played him the song. The driver soon texted saying that a friend who ran an indie label wanted to meet. He picked Kwaye up and took him to the offices of Mind Of A Genius, where founder David Dann offered Kwaye free studio time, and signed him later that year.

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by Laura Snapes via Electronic music | The Guardian

LCD Soundsystem: American Dream review – virtuosic comeback full of harmonies and humblebrags | Album of the week

Packed with aural allusions to Bowie and Eno, LCD Soundsystem’s comeback is a virtuosic tribute to their heroes – and themselves

Last year, Suicide’s eerie 1979 song Dream Baby Dream started surfacing in all sorts of places. It soundtracked images of buildings buckling in Adam Curtis’s film HyperNormalisation, blasted through Andrea Arnold’s road-trip movie American Honey and, following Suicide frontman Alan Vega’s death in July, was resurrected live and on record by Pearl Jam, Savages and Arcade Fire’s Win Butler.

Related: LCD Soundsystem – 10 of the best

An unavoidable question percolates through American Dream: are LCD Soundsystem ​​also one of the greats?

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by Rachel Aroesti via Electronic music | The Guardian

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

'Exorcise the language of domination': how NON Worldwide gives voice to the black diaspora

A cross-continental blend of record label and social network, NON Worldwide uses the internet to fight back against the silencing of African culture. Its founders discuss how they’re writing a new kind of black history

A year after NON Worldwide formed in 2015, its three founders played a set in a church in Amsterdam. All had to cross borders to get there: Chino Amobi from the US, Angel-Ho from South Africa and Nkisi from London. Despite having built one of the electronic underground’s most exciting collectives, it was the first time they had been in the same place at the same time.

A combination of experimental record label, radical art project and social network, NON is a community of musicians that straddles the African diaspora, slipping between borders and timezones to fight against the silencing of black people everywhere.

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by Varaidzo via Electronic music | The Guardian

Michael Jackson, George Michael, Prince and more: readers share their favourite albums turning 30

To commemorate Michael Jackson’s Bad album turning 30 this week, we asked you for other albums from 1987 that still mean something to you

This week marks 30 years since Michael Jackson’s Bad album confirmed the King of Pop as one of the most successful artists of all time. But Jackson was not the only artist to produce a classic 1987 album. Both the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy enjoyed successful hip-hop breakthroughs, Bruce Springsteen released his ultimate break-up album, and the Morrissey/Marr partnership managed one last hurrah before consigning the Smiths to history.

To celebrate these releases, we asked readers to name their favourite albums from 1987 and explain why they still matter 30 years on.

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by Guardian readers and Tom Stevens via Electronic music | The Guardian

Sunday, August 27, 2017

On my radar: Susan Wokoma’s cultural highlights

The Crazyhead and Chewing Gum actor on a podcast about grief, some mind-blowing electronica, and the perfect pre-theatre venue

Born in Southwark, south London, Susan Wokoma made her acting debut aged 18 in Bafta-winning docudrama That Summer Day (2006), before going on to train at Rada. Wokoma has since starred in Channel 4’s Crashing, as Cynthia in E4 comedy Chewing Gum, and as the lead in E4/Netflix co-production Crazyhead; she made her film debut in 2013’s Half of a Yellow Sun. In 2016 she won the BBC audio drama award for best supporting actor for her role in the radio adaptation of Marie NDiaye’s Three Strong Women. From 25 September, Wokoma will star in James Graham’s political comedy Labour of Love at London’s Noel Coward theatre; from 20 September she will be in Dave original comedy Porters.

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by Kathryn Bromwich via Electronic music | The Guardian

Hype Williams: Rainbow Edition – more hazy mystery

(Big Dada)

UK electronic act Hype Williams have always been shrouded in hazy enigma, so it’s hard to know whether to pay attention to the announcement that their lineup no longer includes Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland, and is now a project by “Slaughter” and “Silvermane”. Whatever the case, Rainbow Edition glimmers with all the uneasy, floating ambience of their earlier work, cut with spoken word and a surreal interpolation of Scotland the Brave (Loud Challenge). With celestial choral waves (Spinderella’s Dream), glitchy hip-hop confidence (#blackcardsmatter) and prismatic swaths of synth, it might feel aimless, but the meandering is beautifully immersive.

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by Tara Joshi via Electronic music | The Guardian

Friday, August 25, 2017

Alma, Finland’s green-haired millennial pop hope: ‘I have way more fears than you’

She wowed Finnish Pop Idol at 16, and now five years later is tearing it up with Sub Focus and Charli XCX. So, how is this garish introvert handling fame?

Alma doesn’t seem quite sure if she wants to be invisible, or the only person you could possibly be looking at. Her long hair is the shocking green of cartoon toxic waste – so bright it feels dangerous to look at it directly – but today, she has tucked most of it into a black hoodie pulled up over her head, the zip of her coat tickling her chin. “I have this hair, unfortunately,” she says, as if she had no say in the matter, “that glows from kilometres away.”

When she is tearing her way through a live set, all snarls, swagger and diva hands, the 21-year-old Finnish popstar seems fearless. She prowls up and down the stage, holding the mic like a battle rapper and belting out song after song without a flicker of inhibition. She makes muscular, tropical house-tinged pop music, whose subject matter is some variant of not giving a toss. But as it turns out, most of the time she is terrified.

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by Alexandra Pollard via Electronic music | The Guardian

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hype Williams: Rainbow Edition – fractious dub collage

(Big Dada)

Following excellent solo projects, Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland return to their duo Hype Williams, whose cut-up dub songcraft has been one of the most compelling voices in the European underground this decade. Or do they? Their label’s site says they’re no longer involved, but the pair are known for their inveterate fibbing. Either way, there’s none of Blunt’s deadpan chat and only a couple of (possibly Copeland-delivered) female vocals, a shame as some of the tracks are pleasingly punchdrunk trip-hop instrumentals that cry out for a top line, however meandering.

Related: Hype Williams: do they ever speak the truth?

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by Ben Beaumont-Thomas via Electronic music | The Guardian

Susanne Sundfør: Music for People in Trouble review – smoky, orchestral adventures that derail brilliantly

(Bella Union)

‘I’m as lucky as the moon, on a starry night in June,” sings Sundfør on her album’s acoustic opener. It’s a misleadingly cutesy start. After 2015’s disco-infused prog record Ten Love Songs, the Norwegian songwriter and producer is having her Biophilia moment. Inspired by travels around varied political and social landscapes, from North Korea to the Amazon rainforest, there are trickling water sounds, wiry bleeps and animal peeps throughout. Sundfør is startlingly back-to-basics at times – there are even schmaltzy ballad tones – but frequently her straightforward songs derail brilliantly.

Related: Susanne Sundfør: ‘Making Ten Love Songs made me feel naked, without skin’

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by Harriet Gibsone via Electronic music | The Guardian

Portico Quartet: Art in the Age of Automation review – reunited foursome make dreamy, layered trance

(Gondwana Records)

On their last album, they slimmed down to a trio, signed to Ninja Tune Records and reinvented themselves as an ambient synthpop outfit, with help from various guest vocalists. Now they’re back on their original label and reunited with Keir Vine, who provides those distinctive and hypnotic steelpan-style patterns on an instrument called the hang. Jazz purists may have lost interest in the band by now: saxophonist Jack Wylie rarely improvises in any meaningful way. Instead, his languorous lead lines are pitched somewhere between Arve Henriksen’s FX-laden trumpet and Graham Massey’s soprano sax in 808 State. But among the rather snoozy trance dirges are some delicious moments. Opening track Endless invokes Massive Attack’s Unfinished Sympathy, while A Luminous Beam mixes a punky two-note bassline with junglist breakbeats and astral electronic burbles. Best of all is the title track, a beautiful, symphonic layering of hushed horns, temple gongs, warm synth pads and dreamy strings.

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by John Lewis via Electronic music | The Guardian

Tattoos, gravediggers and traffic cones: the KLF take Liverpool

Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty are staging a three-day series of events to mark their collaborative return after 23 years – and they’ve already formed a new band, Badger Kull, after day one

“It’s not a book launch.” Bill Drummond’s first five words may come as no surprise to anyone who’s followed his and Jimmy Cauty’s inventively abstruse creative partnership since their 1987 appearance as the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, the band who’d later storm the charts as the KLF.

For the purposes of writing a novel, 2023, which is either impenetrable or terrible or both, they’re now the JAMs again, sitting side by side in an independent Liverpool bookshop having arrived at midnight in a customised ice-cream van: a) blaring out the KLF’s What Time is Love?; and b) with a coffin in the back. This comes ahead of Welcome to the Dark Ages, a £100-a-head, 400-capacity three-day event drawing on themes from the book and the duo’s 30-year history. They’re rubber-stamping books instead of signing them, because of course they are.

Related: The return of the KLF: pop's greatest provocateurs take on a post-truth world

Related: GoogleByte v Beyon-Say: an exclusive extract from the KLF's chilling novel about the world in 2023

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by Peter Robinson via Electronic music | The Guardian

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

'Be the maddest one in the room': how to make a nightclub last for 30 years

Glasgow’s Sub Club is celebrating its 30th birthday, having weathered bad 90s techno, empty dancefloors and fake IRA gunmen. Its leading lights explain how they’ve carried on for so long

Thanks to a generation who prefer festivals, a class of gentrifiers who’d rather not have repetitive beats near their valuable real estate, and the need to please everyone from the police to local councils, it’s arguably harder than ever to run a nightclub. And yet Sub Club in Glasgow is now celebrating 30 years in the game.

DJs Harri and Domenic are permanent fixtures and hold the longest-running club residency in the world, having given up pretty much every Saturday night for 23 years. We asked them, along with the club’s manager Mike Grieves, about how they’ve lasted so long – and how anyone might hope to replicate their success.

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by Ben Beaumont-Thomas via Electronic music | The Guardian

Thursday, August 17, 2017

UNKLE: The Road, Part 1 review – cinematic, orchestral and pensive

(Songs for the Def)

When James Lavelle ran hip 1990s label Mo’ Wax, his genre-busting UNKLE project called on stars from Thom Yorke to Ian Brown, before Lavelle’s career nosedived in a blizzard of cocaine. Today, the guest list – ranging from soul singer Eska to Tricky-like rapper Elliott Power – isn’t so starry, but it is effective, and Mark Lanegan delivers the strings-soaked symphonic goth of Looking for the Rain with typical aplomb.

Elsewhere, Lavelle’s bankruptcy has brought reflection. UNKLE’s cinematic first album in seven years opens with actor Brian Cox asking, “Have you thought about the mistakes you’ve made?”

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by Dave Simpson via Electronic music | The Guardian

Ghostpoet: Dark Days + Canapés review – grey-sky thinking about modern life

(Play It Again Sam)

Poet and musician Obaro Ejimiwe’s fourth album opens with a groan. So the mood is set for the rest of this exhaustingly bleak record; a grey-skied documentation of modern hot-button issues such as the refugee crisis (“No-one knows / How many / On the boat / Violent skies / Won’t tell us / Where to go”), social media (“Instagram your foes”) and modern dating (“we swipe left and figure it out”). Often its lyrics are a little on the nose, but musically it’s subtle, atmospheric – macabre Massive Attack ominousness on (We’re) Dominoes, tetchy, barbed post-punk on Freakshow, and aching elegance and eeriness on Dopamine If I Do, while Trouble + Me seems to rework the burgeoning reverence of Radiohead’s Street Spirit. Of course, Ghostpoet is merely exploring the world around him, but unlike Radiohead’s OK Computer, incredibly insightful and prophetic 20 years on, its unambiguous, unbridled hopelessness is wearing.

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by Harriet Gibsone via Electronic music | The Guardian

Chase and Status: Tribe review – dubstep duo can't decide between chart and club


London duo Chase and Status have long been a paradox. They thrash out meat-and-two-veg drum’n’bass and brostep for North Face-wearing teens, and have written for the likes of Rihanna, but also have enough cachet on the dance music scene to attract a variety of cross-genre collaborations on this fourth album. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it feels like at least three projects haphazardly packaged as a single unit.

There’s lots of good stuff: the dancehall-flecked Big Man Skank and the contributions from grime heavyweight Kano, rising soul singer Tom Grennan and rap crew Section Boyz, to name but a few. And then there’s the clunky: Craig David’s by-the-numbers garage on Reload, and extremely bland features from the likes of Blossoms and Slaves, offering a poundstore Prodigy impression on Control. Plus, Emeli Sandé-featuring Love Me More, which, minus the breakbeats, is pure Radio 2.

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by Hannah J Davies via Electronic music | The Guardian

Matthew Bourne: Isotach review – piano at its most spartan and hypnotic

(The Leaf Label)

With his recent Radioland tribute to Kraftwerk and his Moogmemory projects, Yorkshire-based pianist Matthew Bourne has shown that he’s one of those rare jazz musicians who knows how to grapple with a synthesiser, rather than simply playing it like an organ or a piano. Weirdly, these solo piano pieces – completed over an 18-month period when Bourne had virtually stopped practising his instrument – sound as if he is interrogating an alien sound source on an upright grand. On tracks such as Isotach and Isopleth, simple phrases are stated and restated, as if Bourne is thrilled by the sound of a piano for the first time in years. The parallel fourths on Extinction nod towards Radiohead’s Everything in Its Right Place; the parallel fifths on Isothere recall one of Harold Budd’s ambient piano pieces; while Isotherm sounds like Bourne is lingering quizzically on a single Erik Satie riff. The results are spartan, hypnotic and beautiful, if gloriously unresolved.

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by John Lewis via Electronic music | The Guardian

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What’s it like to pull off a DJ set at eight months pregnant? Anna Lunoe explains

Visibly pregnant women are seldom seen on stage, but the Sydney-turned-LA DJ says she never considered stopping

“I didn’t even imagine that I would keep DJing pregnant, cos I just didn’t think anybody wanted to see that,” says Anna Lunoe, down the phone from Los Angeles.

The Australian-born, US-based DJ has just stopped working for the year, but not before capping off a tour with a set at California’s Hard Summer festival, which saw her climbing the decks while eight months pregnant.

no words.. ❤️ @coachella @skrillex . @jbasjel

good news! ur gonna get 2 lunoe's for the price of 1 all summer long c u tomorrow coachella !

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by Stephanie Convery via Electronic music | The Guardian

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sunfall festival review – dance goes deep as Princess Nokia hits the heights

Brockwell Park, London
DJ masterclasses from Helena Hauff and Ben UFO ease the sting of entry queues, while rising hip-hop stars and techno parties create a 16-hour marathon

On paper, this audiophile event showcasing the dance and hip-hop underground is one of the smartest, most necessary dates in the festival calendar, but harsh reality intervenes. As at Boomtown the previous weekend, the British tolerance for queuing is pushed to its absolute limit by the three-hour wait to get in, followed by another serious queue for booze to soften the pain; many attendees have their day unacceptably truncated.

If it helps them feel better, they didn’t miss much early on. London producer Romare flirts with some intriguing polyrhythms, but his Latin percussion breaks have their rangy funk smoothed out by being too neatly looped; the very tame live sax and flute lines, devoid of passion or direction, worsen matters. Similarly directionless is Roy Ayers, who has some enchanted devotees, but whose interminable, fussily meandering vibraphone lines are a struggle for the rest.

Related: 'It's all about feeling': Chicago dance great Larry Heard takes house to the heavens

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by Ben Beaumont-Thomas via Electronic music | The Guardian

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Oneohtrix Point Never: Good Time OST review – stunning thriller soundtrack includes standout Iggy ballad


Following seven albums of shapeshifting electronics, Daniel Lopatin is tasked with scoring a Robert Pattinson crime drama, Good Time. Divorcing film scores from their visual cues can feel alienating and pointless, and on initial listens it’s hard to stop wondering what those cues might be. But by garbling snatches of film dialogue, Lopatin starts to create a sense of this being a separate psychological thriller, and dedicated headphone immersion proves thrilling. The film nods are everywhere – the futurist grandeur of Brad Fiedel’s Terminator soundtrack, heavy shades of John Carpenter and Alan Howarth’s malevolent, exacting synthscapes, and touches of Vangelis and Popol Vuh’s ambience; Romance Apocalypse recalls the amphetamine clatter of Jan Hammer’s Miami Vice theme. But the sheer density and erratic energy is all Lopatin’s own. It ends with one of Iggy Pop’s great late-period triumphs, a stunning ballad called The Pure and the Damned where Iggy, blending vibrato with catarrh, asks: “Death, make me brave.”

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by Ben Beaumont-Thomas via Electronic music | The Guardian

Ricardo Villalobos: 'Techno music melds the classes together'

The Chilean-born DJ and producer has endless stamina – and a 20-year career to prove it. As his music gets ever more nuanced, he tells of where his passion started, and where his growing family is taking it

It’s 7am when I walk into Fabric, and it smells terrible. The superclub has been open since 11pm, hosting an afterparty for the Lovebox festival where many of the patrons spent the day. With everyone’s antiperspirant a distant memory, the air is rich with a summery musk, a little like rotten peaches.

Until 11.30am, a period when most other Londoners are walking dogs, burping babies and pondering an elaborate fry-up, the dancefloor remains packed for what is one of the great techno pilgrimages: an early-morning set from Chilean-born DJ and producer Ricardo Villalobos. He has been on since 6am, and is now vogueing happily around the Fabric booth, long arms reaching this way and that as he pulls together a set of extraordinary, often contradictory grooves. Around the minimal techno he is known for, there are bits of flute, salsa rhythms, a commanding edit of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Relax, and a 10-minute stretch of ultra-slow dub.

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by Ben Beaumont-Thomas via Electronic music | The Guardian

Readers recommend playlist: songs about France and French things

Our reader has listened to your suggestions and picked tunes from Debbie Harry, Jean Ferrat and Black Box Recorder among others

Here is this week’s playlist – songs picked by a reader from hundreds of suggestions on last week’s callout. Thanks for taking part. Read more about how our weekly series works at the end of the piece.

It’s fair to say that the UK and France haven’t always been the best of neighbours. That said, I do think there’s a certain unique, mutual love and admiration – they send us their cheese and wine; in return we send M&S and decent music. France and French things in general have inspired some great songs. My selection is both something of a compare and contrast exercise and a little amuse-bouche to tickle those musical taste buds.

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by Pairubu via Electronic music | The Guardian

Monday, August 7, 2017

Dom Servini at Casper Bar in Montenegro on 23/08

The post Dom Servini at Casper Bar in Montenegro on 23/08 appeared first on Wah Wah 45s.

via Wah Wah 45s

Dom Servini at Casper Bar in Montenegro on 22/08

The post Dom Servini at Casper Bar in Montenegro on 22/08 appeared first on Wah Wah 45s.

via Wah Wah 45s

Friday, August 4, 2017

'It's all about feeling': Chicago dance great Larry Heard takes house to the heavens

A prog rock kid who created existential club tracks with two tape decks, the producer known as Mr Fingers is a true pioneer. He talks about loneliness, day jobs and why Instagram is killing the dancefloor

When you listen to a Larry Heard track, the first thing that hits you is the bassline: elastic, erotic, condemned to endlessly repeat itself. It may dart distractedly from place to place, climb upwards only to fall back to where it started, and always sound sad and fraught, but it presses doggedly on. It’s an existential crisis you can dance to.

The cosmic bassline on the 1986 smash Can You Feel It helped open acid house’s spiritual dimension; on 1987’s Bring Down the Walls, the bassline chafes against the kick drums to create claustrophobia amid a song of freedom. Last year, fellow Chicagoan Kanye West slowed down the bassline of Heard’s Mystery of Love for his track Fade, in thrall to its nagging power.

If someone turned up the bass and the people went ‘Yay!’, you knew people liked bass. It was supply and demand

Everyone's peering and leering, taking pictures and video. It’s awkward, the opposite of how clubs were

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by Ben Beaumont-Thomas via Electronic music | The Guardian

Björk announces new album: 'This is like my Tinder record'

Icelandic singer marks a change in mood from her breakup album Vulnicura, saying her new songs are about being in love

Björk has announced an as yet untitled new album, saying it is “about being in love”.

The Icelandic singer’s previous record, Vulnicura, was a dark and fraught album that reflected on the breakdown of her marriage to artist Matthew Barney. Conversely, the new LP is “my dating album,” she told Dazed magazine. “This is like my Tinder record.”

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

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by Ben Beaumont-Thomas via Electronic music | The Guardian

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Elza Soares: End of the World Remixes review – samba legend gets an electronic victory lap

(Mais Um Discos)

Despite being in her late 70s, the Brazilian samba legend Elza Soares had a banner 2016, putting out the triumphant and progressive album The Woman at the End of the World, and performing at the Rio Olympics opening ceremony, imperious in a purple wig. She gets a victory lap here, with a raft of remixers showing how easily she slips into modern Latin dance. A line is drawn with another Portuguese colony, Angola, and its kuduro style, with DJ Marfox getting hectic while Nidia Minaj pitches Soares down for a minimalist take on Pra Fuder. Omulu, meanwhile, brings her voice right to the front of the mix for the title track, in all its glottal vibrato and gloriously audible salivation. As with every remix album, there are some inconsequential versions, but the curators do a smart job of showing the breadth of Brazil’s electronic scene, from Ricardo Dias Gomes’s placid ambient to Marginal Men’s sinewy reggaeton shuffle.

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by Ben Beaumont-Thomas via Electronic music | The Guardian

Marc Almond webchat – post your questions now

Various artists: Re:works Piano review – tiring, tedious and boring


In 1917, Erik Satie coined the term “musique d’ameublement” – furniture music – in a radical stunt of deadpan performance art. “It’s new!” he wrote in his manuscript. “It isn’t tiring! It isn’t boring!” Satie’s rogue irony pre-empted muzak by several decades and set in motion (or anti-motion) the slow cogs of ambient music and experimental minimalism. Then there’s the dross. The most callous kind of crossover saps the integrity of both forms being crossed. Decca – once a stamp of prestige, now part of the Universal label group cashing in on the trend for insipid “neo-classical” – releases the next in its Re:Works series with this grim chillout collection of electronic remixes. Cheerless, senseless and overproduced, it smothers the remaining life out of Pachelbel’s Canon, weirdly straitjackets Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and trashes the maverick surrealist stasis of Satie’s Gymnopédies and Gnossiennes. It’s not new, it is tiring, it is very boring.

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by Kate Molleson via Electronic music | The Guardian

Brian Eno reissues review – back to the future with his most beautiful music | Alexis Petridis' album of the week

After leaving Roxy Music, Eno created solo albums – Here Come the Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), Before and After Science and Another Green World – presaging everything from post-punk to My Bloody Valentine

Glam rock made stars of some unlikely people. From Sparks’ Hitler-moustachioed Ron Mael to Slade guitarist Dave Hill, it was an era packed with people who, at any other point in rock history, might have struggled to get any further than a record company’s reception area.

Among their number was Brian Eno. It wasn’t that he didn’t look the part – a man who can carry off blue eyeshadow, a diamante choker and a black cockerel-feather collar in broad daylight is clearly possessed of a je ne sais quoi that’s handy in the world of entertainment. It was more that no one seemed able to say what he actually did, including Eno himself: in interviews he would describe himself as “a non-musician”, and his role in Roxy Music as vaguely involving “treating” the other band members’ instruments with a synthesiser and “talking about the ideas behind the music”.

Related: Brian Eno: ‘We’ve been in decline for 40 years – Trump is a chance to rethink'

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by Alexis Petridis via Electronic music | The Guardian
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