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Courses for young people in the arts Behind-the-scenes training in:
Film-making Music production Poetry Photography Live music performance Book Now southbankcentre.co.uk/1521 #1521Courses
The Quietus The Lantern Colston Hall BS1 5AR 12pm - 3am
Crack Magazine Colston Hall
Battles Savages Penguin Cafe HEALTH Maximum Joy Oliver Wilde
Beak> The Soft Moon Vessels Liturgy Grumbling Fur Sex Swing Giant Swan The Quietus DJs
Pardon My French Terrace
Special Guests Gramrcy Ben Price Malestripper Kokoro Capacity G Pardon My French
Micachu and the Shapes Blanck Mass Nicole Willis Daisuke Tanabe Gwilym Gold Duck House Slime Mild High Club Khruangbin
Carhartt WIP Academy 1
02 Academy Bristol BS1 5NA 4pm - 2am
Saturday 24 October 12pm - 6am Various Venues, Bristol Limited ÂŁ39.50 tickets remaininsimplethingsfestival.co.uk tickets.crackmagazine.net
DrunkenWerewolf x The Flux Academy 2
Scarlet Rascal Gnarwhals Something Anorak Bernard + Edith Steve Barli
Skepta & JME Ruff Sqwad & J-Cush Lee Scratch Perry Wire Speedy Ortiz Lower Dens Chastity Belt
Island Complex BS1 2LE 12pm - 6am
The Firestation The Island
Helena Hauff SAOIRSE Darwin Malestripper
Futureboogie Coroners Court
Ron Trent Eric Duncan Dave Harvey Christophe
Coroners Court 2 Studio 89
Hunee Discodromo Studio 89 DJs Corroners Court BS2 8QN 9pm - 6am
Factory Floor DJ Funk Holly Herndon Dean Blunt Mike Skinner Romare Lone Jam City Danny L Harle Moxie Loyle Carner The Blast DJs Shapes Courtyard
nd_baumecker Avalon Emerson ELA 303 Thomas Kenyon
FACT Magazine Lakota 1
Objekt (4hrs) Untold The Kelly Twins
Lakota Club BS2 8QN 9pm - 6am
Lakota 2 Elevator Sound
Hodge b2b Randomer (4hr) Vessel (live) Gramrcy
SF Lakota 3
Galcher Lustwerk (3hr) Bruno Schmidt Golesworth SF DJs
15/16/17 January 2016 – Butlins, Bognor Regis New names announced! (in alphabetical order):
ÂME (LIVE) / BICEP / DJ EZ / DJ KOZE DUSKY / EATS EVERYTHING / EROL ALKAN GEORGE FITZGERALD / GROOVE ARMADA (DJ SET) HANNAH WANTS / HEIDI / JACKMASTER JOY ORBISON / JULIO BASHMORE KERRI CHANDLER / SKREAM ANDHIM / ARTWORK / B.TRAITS / BODDIKA / CATZ ‘N DOGZ DEETRON / DJ BARELY LEGAL / GERD JANSON JASPER JAMES / KAMERA / LEMMY ASHTON / LIL SILVA MUMDANCE / NOVELIST / PARANOID LONDON (LIVE) THE BLACK MADONNA / TODDLA T BOOK YOUR PLACE £50 DEPOSIT
3 Nights / 3 dance floors / Pool Parties / DJ competition / Pub Quiz / Rave Karaoke (and you’re only ever metres away from your bed) Accommodation included Tickets available from £169pp / Book in groups of 2/3/4/5/6/7/8
Highlights Exhibitions Prem Sahib: Side On 24 Sep 2015 – 15 Nov 2015 Lower & Upper Galleries
ICA and K11 Art Foundation present Zhang Ding: Enter the Dragon
Music programmed by Zhang Ding in collaboration with NTS Radio 12 Oct - 25 Oct 2015 ICA Theatre
Smiler: Photographs of London by Mark Cawson
Events FRIEZE ICA BAR in association with K11 Art Foundation 12 – 16 Oct 2015
London’s first official Frieze ICA Bar at the ICA. Each night special guests present an evening of music and DJs in collaboration with NTS Radio.
ICA Off-Site: Digbeth, Birmingham in association with Selfridges Live + Loud | 2–4 Oct 2015 119 Floodgate Street, Digbeth, Birmingham. Exhibition opening hours Sat & Sun: 11am–6pm Tim & Barry present Tom of England Fri 2 Oct, 8pm–12am Just Jam present Barely Legal, Crack Stevens, Stratcha DVA, Tsunga Sat 3 Oct, 8pm–12am
Panel Discussion: Radical Thinkers: Crisis Economics Tue 6 Oct, 6.30pm
12 Oct - 29 Nov 2015 ICA Fox Reading Room
Panel Discussion: Why Sculpture Now? Sun 11 Oct, 5pm London’s Squats and Counterculture: 1970s to Now Thu 15 Oct, 7.30pm Writer and artist Neal Brown chairs a panel discussion with artists Viv Albertine, Jimmy Cauty, Peter Doig and Rut Blees Luxemburg. Friday Salon: What makes an Artist an Artist? Fri 16 Oct, 7.30pm Culture Now: Kirill Medvedev Fri 23 Oct, 1pm Artist’s Talk: Prem Sahib Wed 28 Oct, 6.30pm Smiler Gallery Tour: Gareth McConnell Thu 29 Oct, 6.30pm
Worthless Objects Thu 8 Oct, 6.30pm Online journal tender presents commissioned works by poets and ekphrastic texts – most often a response to visual art – that draw on a typical source material.
Keynote: Mirage, 20 Years On Fri 30 Oct, 6.30pm Symposium: Mirage, 20 Years On Sat 31 Oct, 11.15am Where are we now in relation to structural violence, de-colonising culture and the power of aesthetics and its explorations of complex formations of racial identities?
Cinema Summer Sale: 22 Jul – 20 Aug 2015 / Every Wednesday 2-4-1 on selected screenings after 6pm
Institute of Contemporary Arts The Mall London SW1Y 5AH 020 7930 3647, www.ica.org.uk
Film Onwards and Outwards Until December 2015 at nationwide venues
A unique programme of films made by British women filmmakers over the last 50 years. Includes sreenings, talks and events, which draws attention to the conditions of production for women working in the UK’s film industry, and establishes a dialogue about these key issues.
59th BFI London Film Festival 7 Oct – 18 Oct 2015 Catalan Avant-Garde: La Plaga (The Plague) Tue 27 Oct, 8.50pm
A moving portrait of life on the outskirts of Barcelona.
Andrey Zvyagintsev Retrospective 29 Oct - 3 Nov 2015 The ICA and Cygnnet present the first ever UK retrospective of the films of influential Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev.
Letters to Max | from 2 Oct 31/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets | from 2 Oct The Lobster | from 16 Oct
The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848
JEFF MILLS Speaking to Christian Eede, the legendary innovator reveals an ethos which always looks ahead and recognises techno as an artform with truly stimulating potential
FLOATING POINTS Sam Shepherd is steered by a steadfast sense of musical discovery and an equally unerring sense of humour. Rob Bates spoke to the audio adventurer ahead of the release of his debut LP, Elaenia
VISIONIST Often associated with the instrumental grime movement, Louis Carnell has embraced more experimental territory to reflect his inner anxieties
LENA WILLIKENS The rising Düsseldorf-based DJ operates outside the confines of genre categories
EDDIE PEAKE Crack’s Art Editor Augustin Macellari speaks to Peake about the fictitious distinctions between high and low culture on the eve of his Barbican installation
MÁRCIO MATOS Lisbon’s Principe Discos is one of the most exciting record labels on the planet right now. Duncan Harrison speaks to the talent behind the collective’s distinctive cover art
LE1F With his long-delayed debut album imminent, the rapper talks to Tom Watson embedding his act with political potency
MAXIMUM JOY In their first major interview since their reformation, the experimental post-punk outfit discuss the political parallels between then and now
Jeff Mills shot exclusively for Crack by Henry Gorse Bristol: September 2015
EDITORIAL Poster Run
TURNING POINTS: CRAIG DAVID A household name and one of the first garage artists to truly cross over. For this month’s Turning Points, he recounts his roller coaster career to Billy Black
AESTHETIC: SKINNY GIRL DIET The grunge-punk trio execute stone-cold cool for our regular fashion feature
DIGRESSIONS Baines’ World Piggate Special, Tall Order with Weezer, the Crossword and advice from Denzil Schniffermann
20 QUESTIONS: CHILDBIRTH The potty-mouthed punk band’s Stacey Peck tells Sammy Jones about her armpit tattoo, college acid trip and how she’d seduce a lover with scary music
PERSPECTIVE: THE BLACK MADONNA In this unflinchingly honest op-ed, the Chicago DJ describes the disastrous effects of corporate interference with the dance music industry
10 Oct 17-19 Oct
Nina Kraviz Bjarki (Live) Exos Room 02
Terry Francis Joseph Capriati
fabric 16th Birthday 30 hours of non-stop music
Craig Richards Terry Francis Ricardo Villalobos Apollonia Ben Sims DJ Qu Dan Ghenacia Dyed Soundorom Felix Dickinson Jamie Jones Marcel Dettmann Matrixxman Paranoid London (Live) Prosumer Shonky Steffi Virginia + Surprise Guest
Crew Love Soul Clap Mike Dunn No Regular Play (Live) Nick Monaco (Live) Room 02
Edible Eats Everything San Proper Tom Trago
10 Years Of Leftroom Room 01
Craig Richards Matt Tolfrey Laura Jones PolyRhythmic (Live): Kate Simko & Tevo Howard Sam Russo Room 02
Skream Ryan Crosson Patrick Topping
from Saturday 11pm to monday 5am
07 Nov Room 01
fabric 84: Mathew Jonson Launch Mathew Jonson (Live) Craig Richards KiNK (Live) Room 02
#waslos London tINI Sammy Dee Jus-Ed
fabric Oct/Nov 2015
Executive Editors Thomas Frost firstname.lastname@example.org Jake Applebee email@example.com Editor Davy Reed Marketing / Events Manager Luke Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Editor Anna Tehabsim Online Editor Billy Black Junior Online Editor Sammy Jones Editorial Assistant Duncan Harrison Creative Director Jake Applebee Art Direction & Design Alfie Allen Graphic Design Yasseen Faik Marketing / Events Assistant Lucy Harding Editorial Assistant Duncan Harrison Staff Writer Tom Watson
CRACK WAS CREATED USING: KELELA Rewind ILOVEMAKONNEN Trust Me Danny MILEY CYRUS Space Boots LO SHEA Root Causes RIONEGRO Lugareña ISIAH RASHAD Nelly GIRL BAND Pears for Lunch
ONETHRIX POINT NEVER I Bite Through It THE SLITS Spend, Spend, Spend MUREAN HUMANOS Miseress JAM CITY Dream ’15 JENNY LEE blind NICOLE DOLLANGANGER You’re So Cool ELEVEN POND Watching Trees YOUNG THUG Wanna Be Me
Art Editor Augustin Macellari
SONIC YOUTH The Empty Page
Words Josh Baines, Denzil Schnifferman, Marea ViergeNoire, Robert Bates, Tomas Fraser, Rob McCallum, Augustin Macellari, Adam Corner, Joe Goggins, Angus Harrison, Henry Johns, Gunseli Yalcinkaya, Nathan Ma, Ollie Terrey, Jason Hunter, Francis Blagburn, Tamsyn Aurelis Eros Black Photography Henry Gorse, Tom Weatherill, Charlotte Rutherford, Elliot Kennedy, Ben Price, Brian Whar, Vivek Vadoliya
Illustration Toby Leigh, Edward Chambers Advertising To enquire about advertising and to request a media pack: email@example.com CRACK is published by Crack Industries Ltd © All rights reserved. All material in Crack magazine may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of Crack Industries Ltd. Crack Magazine and its contributors cannot accept any liability for reader discontent arising from the editorial features. Crack Magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any article or material supplied for publication or to edit this material prior to publishing. Crack magazine cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to supplied materials. The opinions expressed or recommendations given in the magazine are the views of the individual author and do not necessarily represent the views of Crack Industries Ltd. We accept no liability for any misprints or mistakes and no responsibility can be taken for the contents of these pages.
Davy Reed, Editor
TALKING HEADS Air
Film Editor Tim Oxley Smith
Fashion Charlotte James, Scarlett Burton, Sara Argy
Stacks of flyers have spilled across our desks, and the unmistakable aroma of freshly-laminated posters lingers around the office. It can only mean one thing. The lead up to Simple Things can be pretty intense. Since we got involved with the booking, programming and promotion of the Bristol festival back in 2013, the weeks leading up to the event have required plenty of extra curricular activity – there are still huge logistics to consider, there are freshers’ fair stalls to be managed and there are Facebook cover photos to be updated. But it’s worth every second of the grind. With Simple Things’ truly diverse, credible line-up and its ambitious programming, we just couldn’t be any prouder for it to represent us. Of course, as the Editor of this magazine, I’m flagrantly biased. Asking me if I endorse Simple Things is a bit like asking Iggy Pop if it’s a wise idea to invest in some car insurance. It’s like asking John Prescott if he fucks with MoneySupermarket.com. So, as your not-quite-impartial source of information, I’d like to remind you one more time before I shut up: Simple Things is happening on 24 October, and the line-up is ridiculous. But if you’ve shared our excitement about the musical developments of 2015, then hopefully you’ll know that already.
GANSTA BOO Yeah Hoe GHIBLI I’m Looking For You GOLDEN TEACHER Shatter MF DOOM My Favourite Ladies PEVERELIST Roll With The Punches RICK ROSS Foreclosures COKI Red Eye AXODRY You TOTAL ABUSE Scabs ADDISON GROOVE Dancer
Issue 57 | crackmagazine.net
Respect Enas Ismail Ahmed Faik Miss Red Clare Dover Alexa Bondi de Antoni Sylvie Weber Sinky
O ur g uid e t o w ha t 's g o ing o n in y o ur cit y
MASAYOSHI FUJITA Vortex Jazz Club 26 October
LOWER DENS Scala 29 October
SIMPLE THINGS Battles, Savages, Skepta & JME Various Venues, Bristol 24 October £39.50 + BF It’s that time again. With over 60 acts performing across 14 stages, it’s tricky to sum up Simple Things if you haven’t been before, but let’s try and paint a picture for you. Following an Opening Concert on Friday with Godspeed You! Black Emperor in the Colston Hall’s grandiose main room, Simple Things kicks off at 12pm on Saturday and runs until 6am. Alongside the Colston Hall’s main room, Lantern venue and uniquely situated foyer, the acts will appear across the stages of the Firestation, 02 Academy, the Coroners Court and the Lakota club – all of which are an easily walkable distance from each other. In terms of guitar-orientated acts, this year you’ll be able experience the incredible Savages, Bristol’s Oliver Wilde, Micachu & The Shapes, the leftfield black metal of Liturgy, Wire’s endlessly influential post-punk and the witty, sex-positive indie rock of Seattle four piece Chastity Belt. With Battles performing a headline slot, the fusion of live performance and electronics will also be represented by Dean Blunt, Factory Floor, Geoff Barrow’s Beak>, the Prince-indebted sensuality of Jam City and Holly Herndon, while your cravings for high-octane grime will be satisfied by Skepta & JME and the deeply respected veterans Ruff Sqwad. And for those intending to stay out until the early hours, the festival’s numerous dance stages will cater to whatever your vibe is with acts like house OG Ron Trent, Mike Skinner, ghetto house dirtbag DJ Funk, Hunee, the fast-rising Crack favourite Objekt, notoriously brutal techno artist Untold, Helena Hauff and so many others on the bill. In terms of music policy and setting, it’s arguably the most adventurous day festival in the UK, and we couldn’t be more excited. We’d love to see you there.
POWER HOUSE: HE AD HIGH B2B PROSUMER Patterns, Brighton 17 October £8 PITCHFORK PARIS Thom Yorke, Beach House, Deerhunter Grande Halle De La Villette, Paris 29 - 31 October Prices Vary
When we spoke to Shed this summer, he reiterated how excited he is about the Head High alias. Navigating through a world of gripping and visceral house with former Hard Wax colleague Prosumer. It’s a perfect recipe – the thundering, effective soundscapes of Head High folded in with the partystarting choice cuts of Prosumer. Of their recent shows, Shed said, “He’s more into disco music, more into late 80s Chicago house… on that past tour, I’d be going to Prosumer and saying ‘Achim, no disco. We play power house here, no disco’”. Head to Patterns and see if they can come to some sort of agreement.
There are certainly worse ways to spend your weekend than watching some of the best bands on the planet perform inside a former slaughter house in Paris. Between the Grande Halle De La Villette’s two alternating stages, this year’s Pitchfork Paris line-up includes Thom Yorke (who’ll perform under the banner of electronic-leaning Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes album), Battles, Deerhunter, dreamy Baltimore duo Beach House, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Spanish 60s nostalgics Hinds, indie rapper Rome Fortune, the hugely respected French DJ/producer Laurent Garnier and Four Tet, while the likes of Omar-S, Rustie and Galcher Lustwerk will perform at the festival's after parties.
EX HEX Scala 2 November
ILLUMINATIONS Micachu and The Shapes, Mykki Blanco, Holly Herndon 30 October - 8 November Various Venues, London Prices Vary
ALEX G 100 Club 20 October
STORMZ Y KOKO 29 October
LONEL ADY Heaven 7 October
FABRIC 16TH BIRTHDAY WEEKEND Kurupt FM, Ricardo Villalobos, Felix Dickinson fabric. 17-19 October £20 / £30 Did you ever watch My Super Sweet Sixteen on MTV? That show where obscenely rich kids got people like Pitbull and Bobby Valentino to perform for their 16th birthday? This is fabric’s turn. But rather than Fat Joe flying in to perform a three song PA, they’ve kept it closer to their tastes and programmed a 31-hour spectacular spanning the whole spectrum from Brentford troublemakers Kurupt FM right through to the enigmatic selections of Ricardo Villalobos. Residents like Terry Francis and Craig Richards will also be in tow to steer the latter half of this landmark celebration in the right direction. A fittingly dazzling marathon for London’s definitive club.
EZR A FURMAN O2 Shepherd’s Bush 22 October
As if there wasn’t enough going on in East London already, Illuminations is a series of gigs, film screenings and talks attempting to bring some of the most interesting cultural stuff going to the capital’s East end. Head over to The Dome to brush up on your avant-garde metal with Liturgy, scope Titus Andronicus’ set at Village Underground, see Micachu and The Shapes take over Oval Space or pop into Hackney Picturehouse where you can check out a fictional tale of a musician’s hardship in Rain The Colour Blue With A Little Red In It. The choice is yours and luckily you can’t really make a bad one.
CURTIS HARDING Village Underground 28 October
NINA KR AVIZ fabric 10 October
JUAN ATKINS Fire 9 October £15 How to introduce a man who needs no introduction? Juan Atkins is techno. One third of the Belleville Three, originator, alongside Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May, of the Detroit techno sound and producer of seminal tracks like Cybertron's Clear, his contribution to electronic music is immeasurable. Papa techno is making a rare appearance in London as part of Tribal Sessions’ new residency at Fire. As they come to the end of their summer run at Sankeys Ibiza, the party will take over Fridays at the Vauxhall club. Catch Atkins alongside Shlomi Amer, Redshape and Blue Hour this month.
GIRL BAND Patterns, Brighton 3 November
DESTROYER Islington Academy 30 October £15
ADE DOCK YARD FESTIVAL RPR Soundsystem, Surgeon, Truss NDSM Werf, Amsterdam 17 October 33,50€
THE GARDEN Dingwalls 4 November
JANE FITZ Dance Tunnel 10 October £5 Over the years, Jane Fitz has quietly and steadily built a reputation for herself as a DJ with little interest in the dizzy heights of superstardom, opting to foster a following built on eclecticism, craft and curiosity. Through international sets, residencies, and her own parties, the Hackney DJ has become one of the most trusted and respected figures in UK clubbing. For this takeover of Dance Tunnel, Fitz is joined by Mancuinian DJ and producer Willow for an evening of dancing to some of the most interesting and carefully picked selections on the map. Fitz’s arsenal spans from cloudy house right through to barbed acid house – a journey worth tagging along for.
DJ MARFOX (CS13) Dance Tunnel 9 October
JOANNA NEWSOM Eventim Apollo 9 October
Among the many notable events in Amsterdam Dance Event’s comprehensive programme is the Dockyard Festival, which consists of five stages situated by the water, decrepit cranes and derelict warehouses of the city’s NDSM area. Hosting many well-respected names in house and techno, the line-up includes Rhadoo, Petre Inspirescu and Raresh of RPR Soundsystem as well as Truss, Monika Kruse, Surgeon and his Lady Gaga-affiliated collaborator Lady Starlight to name a few. A prime example of how the power of minimal electronic music can be enhanced by an austere and industrial setting.
MARC CAWSON EXHIBITION ICA 12 Oct - 29 Nov
L AUREL HALO Oval Space 29 October
Dan Bejar found fame as the vocalist for The New Pornographers but it’s his kinda-solo Destroyer project that’s really thrust him into the limelight. This year has seen the release of his latest album under the Destroyer alias, Poison Season. It’s a histrionic, theatrical record that flits between honest indie rock songwriting and epic melodrama without batting an eyelid. He’s a charismatic, occasionally erratic performer too. Last time we saw him live he spent almost the entirety of his set cajoling the audience while perched on a stool. Just so you know what to expect.
RIVAL CONSOLES Corsica Studios 14 October
JAMIE X X Cargo 15 October
CLOCK STRIKES 13: NINJA TUNE PART 1 St. John at Hackney 30 October £25 + BF
JEFF MILLS The Barbican 24 October
LEGOWELT Corsica Studios 16 October
“It’s an emotional head trip full of hallucinations, foreboding, insanity and tragedy,” Kevin Martin recently told us. “But ultimately, this record is a treatise on unconditional love.” Martin, who is most commonly known for his work as The Bug, was talking about Edition 1 – the collaborative album between Austrian experimental guitarist Christian Fennesz and his King Midas Sound project. To see true innovators from such disparate worlds come together to perform their beautiful, intense album at St. John at Hackney church will feel like a true privilege. Also on the bill is the ever intriguing Dean Blunt and Shackleton, who’ll be showcasing his ambitious live project ‘Powerplant’. This one’s going to be special.
JAY ELECTRONICA Electric Ballroom 8 November
DECK A This young Bristolian producer makes the kind of British sub-driven, rave-influenced techno that you can picture going down a storm as it bounces off sweat-soaked walls of a tunnel at 5am. His Berlinvia-Bristol sound morphs from staggering syncopated beats to stomping techno, carrying a kind of adaptable hi-octane intensity you expect to hear from the likes of Shed to Surgeon to Shackleton. Launching brand new Berlin label SPE:C this month, this is seriously intoxicating stuff.
O 002 1 Pearson Sound / Truss : @DeckaUK
FR ANCES Frances is a 21-year-old artist from Newbury, who made a considerable splash with her Grow EP earlier this summer when the gorgeous piano balladry of the lead song garnered praise from the likes of Annie Mac (who premiered it on her Radio 1 show) and The Quietus. While Frances’ second single When It Comes To Us saw her experiment with RnB melodies over moody, downbeat electronica; the title track from her forthcoming Let it Out EP (released 16 October) unveils her bold pop ambition with an infectious, confident chorus that you can realistically expect to be hearing on the radio soon.
O Let It Out 1 Rhye / Adele francesmusic.com
If you caught Novelist & The Square at any club or festival this summer, the chances are you heard Elf Kid’s signature track Golden Boy. That song – along with Pengaleng – provides the perfect introduction to Elf’s youthful, energised flow and his flair for catchy, pull-up inducing hooks. ‘Golden Boy’ is an apt title for the fast-rising MC – at just 19, he’s become the focus-point of Lewisham’s finest grime crew since their leader Novelist recently announced his departure on Twitter. “Obviously Nov left and went to do his own thing now but I fully support the decision,” Elf says. “He didn’t leave on a bad note. I’m fully repping The Square… 100% still pushing The Square and I’m fully supporting Novelist as well.” Elf’s style – while totally fresh sounding – takes a lot from the genre’s forefathers. As well as citing JME as a role model from a business and musical perspective, he had a chance encounter with another grime giant when he was cooking up his biggest banger. “I met Wiley on the day I recorded Golden Boy. He was in the studio with me when I put down the first lyrics... It was like a blessing! He was literally like ‘Go with your vibe. Enjoy it. Just keep going’. When he says something, you always remember it.” The only problem Elf faces is the pressure now that Novelist has moved on. “People look at me like I’m next in line, but I feel like that’s how you spoil someone’s career. I don’t want any of the pressures. I still want to be Elf Kid.” Like Nov, he’s got a truly distinctive flow and he’s showcased a willingness to body beats that exist outside of grime blueprints. Most recently, he racked up 20,000 SoundCloud plays with a freestyle over Jamie xx’s Gosh. “As long as it sounds sick to my ears, I can bar on it.” So despite the challenges Nov’s departure might bring, it looks like things could really get exciting for the newest Golden Boy of the Blue Borough. Even his family are starting to catch on. “I come from an African household, it’s nuts to them that their child is doing this sort of music,” he says. “They were like ‘Why are you doing this? Stick to your A levels’. Then when they saw Pengaleng on TV my aunty was like ‘Rah!?’. They saw this is obviously something. They need to understand that this is what I want to do.”
O Golden Boy 1 D Double E / Shorty
MUNCIE GIRLS Muncie Girls are Lande, Luke and Dean, an indie-pop-punk trio from Exeter who are self-admittedly as “catchy as the plague.” Their live shows are simultaneously sweet and savage (check out that drumming for a start) and their hooks and choruses are so deceptively straightforward you might be surprised when they’re still rattling around your head days later. They’ve released a duo of EPs and a split with Great Cynics so far and there’s even better news for 2016: having recently signed with Animal Style Records in the US, Specialist Subject Records in the UK and Uncle M Music in Germany, the band will be releasing their debut LP next year. Stoked.
O The Real You 1 Personal Best / Doe : munciegirls.co.uk
Taggarik is the brainchild of a pair of individuals known as Illusory and Bodok. They’re from Canada which – in case you didn’t know – is one of the coldest places on earth. Their two-person atmospheric black metal assault is the frost-bitten curse that rises from beneath their homeland’s frozen crust. There's only one song available online so far and it’s brutal, raw and almost unreasonably tense. The ten minute opus is called Stalwarts of Suffering and it’s taken from their upcoming split with fellow newcomers Circle Of Salt. It’s getting a release on Greysun Records - the formidable US based distro responsible for scraping out the furthest corners of gory, avant-garde and extreme music.
O Stalwarts of Suffering Wolves In The Throne Room / Altar of Plagues : taggarik.bandcamp.com
DUKE GARWOOD HEAVY LOVE OUT NOW
H. HAWKLINE IN THE PINK OF CONDITION OUT NOW
STEALING SHEEP NOT REAL OUT NOW
KID WAVE WONDERLUST OUT NOW
KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD QUARTERS! OUT NOW
GWENNO Y DYDD OLAF OUT NOW
HOOTON TENNIS CLUB HIGHEST POINT IN CLIFF TOWN OUT NOW
DRINKS HERMITS ON HOLIDAY OUT NOW
FEVER THE GHOST ZIRCONIUM MECONIUM OUT NOW
EAVES WHAT GREEN FEELS LIKE DELUXE EDITION 16/10/15
KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD PAPER MÂCHÉ DREAM BALLOON OUT 13/11/16
NOTS WE ARE NOTS OUT 20/11/15
JOCK SCOT MY PERSONAL CULLODEN OUT NOW
THE NECTARINE NO. 9 SAINT JACK OUT 27/11/15
ROUGH TRADE SHOPS PRESENTS HEAVENLY 25 2 X CD, OUT NOW
Turning Points: Craig David Words: Billy Black
“If you’re always on a high, what you gonna do when you’re in the boxing ring and you hit a low?”
Craig David rose to fame on the back of one of garage’s biggest crossover hits. The 1999 single Re-Rewind, a collaboration with Artful Dodger, saw him storm the charts before he’d even released a song under his own name. The ensuing string of hits included Fill Me In, Seven Days and Walking Away – all taken from the huge commercial success that was his debut album Born To Do It . Two more UK platinum albums and an Ivor Novello award followed, but Leigh Francis’ crude impersonation of him in the Bo Selecta! series was prominent in British public’s consciousness for a number of years, and the singles from 2007’s Trust Me charted poorly in comparison to his commercial peak. But for a number of reasons, Craig David is feeling as optimistic as ever right now. From his Miami home, he spoke to us on the phone to reflect on his highs and lows. Mid-late 90s: Getting on the mic for the first time My dad was the head of the West Indian Club in Southampton, and I’d go along to the club and get up on the mic. When your dad’s the chairman, they can’t say no. Then I started DJing and MCing on the South Coast with DJ Flash and there was a guy from Manchester called DJ T-Bone. We would play clubs on the South Coast and they’d let me have like ten minutes on the decks while they were chatting to girls. I loved it so much, I’d be like “Oi that girl’s looking at you,” just so I could jump on. I’ve been in the studio recently with some of those guys. I linked up with Toyboy and his crew the other day and they’re on a sick tip right now. 1999: Getting in the studio with Artful Dodger Southampton’s a small place. I’d heard Artful Dodger were making music and they knew I was MCing and singing. Then we were DJing the same club night one time and decided to get in the studio. As soon as I got out of the studio, we put the tape on in the car and it was like – BOOM – straight away we’re imagining this going off in the club. It took off, Born To Do It took off and the rest is history.
2005: Moving to the US I was coming out here from 2001. I was doing some filming and I fell in love with the place. There were palm trees, beaches. I got this opportunity to have my own place here and I wouldn’t have to go back and forth. I’m grateful that music gave me that opportunity. I’m glad people are coming out to see me. But trust me, if it wasn’t like that I’d still be making albums, still hustling. If you’ve got hustle inside you, it doesn’t go away. 2007: Creative struggles When I was coming up with the songs for [Trust Me] I was torn. Torn between the studio and going round the world promoting the album. I didn’t have the time and space to create again. So now, we’re 15 years in and I’m working with young guys and getting that energy back – that sixteen year old, hungry, ready to shut down everything vibe. If you’re always on a high, what you gonna do when you’re in the boxing ring and you hit a low? How you gonna come back from that? For me personally I’m knocking the orange cones out, I’m opening up on the fast lane and I’m going all the way. Present: Kurupt FM Radio 1 takeover and looking forward MistaJam came to me and he was like ‘Craig man, you gotta come in here and just roll up on the mic’. [Kurrupt FM] are sick. They’re giving the UK garage scene a re-up. I got proper excited just by the whole energy on it, Big Narstie doing his thing, and then dropping that Fill Me In and Where Are U Now? freestyle. When I came out the building, I just got that same feeling when I was in the car playing Re-Rewind. It was like BOOM. Next thing you know, my phone’s blowing up and my manager’s calling me and I was like “man, I think I came in there and we shut it down,” If I didn’t give it my all, then I sold myself out. There’s too much talent there, you just have to give it all. This last year has been amazing. Craig David is expected to release new material later this year
Jeff Mills: Future Focus “It kind of died away, but earlier in the 80s a lot of techno was about futurism.” One of the most formidable producers and faces of electronic music is speaking down the phone to me early on a Sunday morning, our meeting having faced all kinds of complications following schedule changes and failed Skype calls. They might call him The Wizard, but he still gets laptop trouble. This is Jeff Mills of course, the trailblazing, future-conscious, science-fiction obsessed Detroit techno pioneer, the man whose work, as part of Underground Resistance, with his label Axis and in more than 30 years of DJing, has fostered much of what we hold dear about the techno scene today. Exchanging a few pleasantries (last night’s gig was fine, thanks for asking) and with time already lost to the volatility of technology, we get straight to it. Only in the two months prior to our conversation, I had witnessed Mills perform in two different settings: watched on by throngs of mad-for-it, entranced clubbers in the mercifully dark warehouse sweatbox of London’s The Hydra and before that, in front of thousands gathered in Amsterdam for the annual Dekmantel Festival, where he was headlining for the second consecutive year. Locked into the ruthless thump of his Dekmantel set, a wall of red lights formed a distinctive contrast to the austere sounds emanating from the raised booth from which Mills worked away. Both aformentioned sets would see him dressed all in black, hunched over the assortment of equipment laid out before him, head down, a steely determination in his face, hands busy throughout as he flits between seamless transitions and additional flourishes of live instrumentation, blurring the lines between the two distinctions that we have rather conservatively come to know as the DJ and live set. “There should be a desire for more rather than less,” Mills says as we get onto discussing the ongoing debate between
analogue and digital that befalls electronic music, and particularly techno. Throughout our chat, his tone remains assertive, yet notably warm. “To just choose one is fine of course, but DJs should try to use all of the technology available, because that is more interesting.” The belief that DJs should be doing more is one of the primary driving points behind Mills’s latest project Exhibitionist 2, for which he assembles a selection of new and unreleased productions alongside reinterpretations of anthems such as The Bells. 2004 saw the release of its predecessor, a DVD and CD concept that aimed to capture and explain the processes of the DJ in the form of a 45-minute mix caught on camera, during which Mills juggled with three turntables and a CDJ throughout. After one watch of Exhibitionist, you’re left in awe of his ability. So where does Exhibitionist 2 differ from that first volume then? Predominantly, this latest volume goes some way to capturing Mills's ongoing embrace of live instrumentation into his shows, mainly via the hallowed piece of technology that we have come to know as the 909, a piece of kit that allows Mills to truly seize what it means to improvise and work on-thefly. “The latest edition focuses more on improvisation,” he says, “trying not to have anything planned or pre-programmed and just pressing record on the camera, doing whatever and letting the camera capture it. ‘If you want something that’s very genuine,” Mills argues, “the best way to do it is to simply make and play music and not have any idea of what you are shooting for.” Referring to the concept of pre-planned sets as "quite frightening", Mills sees the element of impulse as key to fostering a narrative between the performer and their audience. “I want to encourage thinking for the moment and if we begin to think more like that as DJs and producers, then we’ll capture more of the character of the person that is behind it.” What about dance music in 2015 then? Some days before our conversation, New
York DJ and producer Levon Vincent had sparked widespread debate having taken to his Facebook page to rail against the current techno climate. “Techno has never reminded me so much of heavy metal as today’s era,” he said, posing the question: “Why has the scene shut down all the cultural collage, the melting pot, in favour of just angst/angry music?” Putting Vincent’s statement to Mills, he’s far more diplomatic in his response, seemingly wary of painting with too broad strokes. “The genre of music itself,” he says, “is so suggestive that it’s hard to get a consensus on what is actually happening and it doesn’t make much sense to try to figure that out.” But one of the common lines that can be traced through Mills’s career is his interest in futurism and how that relates to techno. “Any successful genre of music has to move forward and part of that process isn’t always the best,” he argues. To Mills, it seems advancement is the aim and stagnation the enemy. Where so many elder statesmen can often be found bemoaning the commercial bastardisation of their craft, Mills approaches it all from a more rounded perspective, grounded in realism. “Something has to be said for the fact that in the year 2015 this is the most successful genre, and DJs are working almost at full tilt at various festivals and parties,” he says. “For the most successful DJs it’s great, because we still have the bedroom producers that are continuing to experiment while at the same time you have the superstars who are making a million dollars per DJ set.... That what these guys are doing is possible, people like David Guetta and Steve Aoki, has to be inspiring for young people.” Jeff Mills’s history is well-known, tracing back to the emergence of Detroit techno in the 1980s, his Underground Resistance days through to the founding of his very own Axis Records label in 1992 and later onto film work, including last year’s Man From Tomorrow documentary, and myriad different projects and creative disciplines. Now in his 50s, Mills is working and
Suit: Dior Homme
Words: Christian Eede Photography: Henry Gorse Stylist: Charlotte James Stylist Assistant: Candice Bryant
Shirt and jacket: Sean Suen
26 creating more than ever. This month he will spend a day working in the confines of The Rembrandt House Museum, composing three new tracks that have been inspired by the Dutch artist’s early painting Philosopher in Meditation, an event that will form the centrepiece of this year’s Amsterdam Dance Event programme. A week later, he will return to the UK for Light From The Outside World at London’s Barbican Centre. This show will mark the latest in Mills’s ongoing fascination with classical music by teaming up with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. So why is he so keen to combine techno and classical music? “It’s a chance to try to create different pathways and different options for how people can enjoy the music other than just dancing in a club,” he says. “If you’re not lucky enough to be able to be out until six in the morning and your life just isn’t structured that way, then there should be other possibilities to be able to hear this music. We have conformed to a certain way in this industry that makes it all very passive, putting the emphasis on having a good time at the end of the night and not looking at the artistry of what DJs can do.” Projects such as Exhibitionist 2 and his upcoming Barbican performance are Mills’s personal means of striving to subvert and question expectations and norms within this music – actively aiming to open it up to the unreached masses and flying in the face of those who are unable, or often unwilling, to think more deeply about techno; to examine its place in today’s political and social climate, its grounding in futurism and its meditative, hypnotic qualities. “We really fall short of what the night could be if there was more thought behind it,” he says, “so it’s dance music and people are dancing, but what are the other things that can be done? We don’t ask that question enough.” Considering the intensity that – even with a degree abstinence – comes with being a hugely in-demand artist in the dance music economy, you wonder whether Mills ever considers taking a break from it all. “No,” promptly comes the answer. “I’m always trying to increase my work rate more than anything by working with more people to produce more. We only have so many years to be active before many things can happen. Health can happen, family can happen and the world can change drastically. I’m trying to create as much as I possibly can with the short time that we all have. There is no chance of me slowing down if I can help it.”
Soon, Mills will return to his studio to start work on a new project making use of The Visitor, a ‘UFO drum machine’ co-created by Jeff and Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki. The machine is inspired by the tale of 'The Battle of Los Angeles', an exchange of fire by the US navy in 1942 fearing attack from Japan upon seeing a strange object in the sky which many now believe to have been a UFO. Designed to resemble that unidentified object’s apparent three-legged structure, it took six years to assemble and was built from one of Mills's oldest 909s, dating back to his Underground Resistance days, which he gave up especially for the project. “There will be a very conceptual science fiction performance with aspects of live and DJ sets,” he says. “What I want to try to do is bring a science fiction story to life with the machine as the focus. I’ve been thinking about it for quite some time. This machine will allow me to really be able to do that.” “I am trying to do so many different things to let people know that you don’t just have to settle for being a DJ if you have different ideas,” he says. “You should be able to explore them without criticism. If people want to dance, let them dance. But, if people want to listen, there should be support for that.” It’s an idea that reoccurs during our conversation. Jeff Mills is inspired by the transcendental potential of techno music, and the roots of his passion are entirely divorced from conventional ideas about hedonism or club culture. “When I was young, I would look very intensely to try to find things that would help me understand what I could possibly do and where I could fit in,” he remembers at one point, before resuming his focus towards the future. “The majority of what I’m doing now is for other people to look at, experience and hopefully expand upon. To take it even further, so that the cycle of inspiration can continue.” Jeff Mills appears at The Barbican, London, 24 October and Club To Club, Turin, Italy 4-8 November
Madame T: Pleats Please Issey Miyake Shirt: Issey Miyake Men
“I’m trying to create as much as I possibly can with the short time that we all have. There is no chance of me slowing down”
Coat: Martine Rose Gloves: Riina O Jumper: Mills's own
28 This is the third year Crack has been involved with Simple Things Festival. In this time we like to think we’ve pressed our unique stamp on the event, and with a lineup of which we’re extremely proud, this year that feeling is stronger than ever. Even in the years before we were involved, Simple Things always stood for musical innovation, and we’re proud to present so many stages of different genre and style that go into making the day of the festival as varied as possible. From techno to postpunk, to orchestral music, to noise, to grime and disco, Simple Things continues to try and appeal to the music fan that is tired of the same line-ups and the same structure.
Battles Beak> Blanck Mass
Chastity Belt Christophe
Danny L Harle
With 18 hours of music and 14 stages on display, the opportunity to experience music in a wealth of different settings should make Simple Things 2015 the most invigorating to date. Here is what you can expect, stage by stage.
Dean Blunt DJ Funk Eric Duncan
THE CRACK MAGAZINE MAIN
STAGE: COLSTON HALL 1
Giant Swan Gnarwhals STUDIO 89: CORONERS 2
Back again with the disco ball, the decor and the vibes, disco perfection will once again rear its beautiful head at Simple Things in the form of Studio 89. With NTS darling Hunee and Berlin party heads Discodromo at the helm, this one will run very late.
With two headliners this year in the form of the thrilling four piece Savages and the math-rock stylings of Warp Records’ Battles, the Colston Hall main auditorium is set to be acoustically lit-up and awash with exactly the kind of music we’ve pushed in Crack Magazine over the years.
Simple Th THE QUIETUS STAGE: COLSTON HALL LANTERN
The Quietus bring their credible music policy to the Lantern this year with a typically intense line-up of music. The Geoff Barrow fronted band Beak> and the experimental black metal of Liturgy top a bill that will see the intimate setting transformed into a musical treat for true connoisseurs.
Crack’s Recommendation: Savages
Crack’s Recommendation: The Soft Moon
Gwilym Gold HEALTH
Crack’s Recommendation: Hunee
Helena Hauff Hodge Holly Herndon Hunee
THE COLSTON HALL FOYER
Bristol’s most dynamic gig space returns. The opportunity to watch acts from different heights and angles up and above the Colston Hall stairway and in front of the acts performing makes this an ever popular stage. The variation is huge this year with the Fuck Buttonsaffiliated Blanck Mass and art-punk experimentalists Micachu and the Shapes taking top billing.
Lee Scratch Perry Liturgy Lone
Crack’s Recommendation: Blanck Mass
THE PMF TERRACE Pulling the very last strains of summer sunshine in Colston Hall’s outdoor space, the Pardon My French terrace has become a regular staple of Simple Things. The all-day dancing starts early and finishes well after the sun goes down with a special guest headliner announced on the day. Crack’s Recommendation: Gramrcy
Loyle Carner Maximum Joy
THE FIRESTATION A full 17-hour programme in one of Bristol’s most interesting spaces. The afternoon sees the party in full effect courtesy of The Streets’ Mike Skinner and the booty house master DJ Funk. The intensity is ramped up further in the evening with the live progressive techno from Factory Floor, the brooding Dean Blunt, the cinematic glitch of Holly Herndon and the Ninja Tune affiliated beats of Romare.
Micachu and the Shapes Mike Skinner Moxie nd_baumecker Objekt Oliver Wilde
THE SHAPES COURTYARD:
Pardon My French
Back again to keep the ravers happy during the day, the technoloving Bristol party collective that is Shapes are bringing Bargain resident nd_baumecker over for a day session in The Island’s courtyard. Expect colour and party.
ELEVATOR SOUND: LAKOTA 2
DRUNKEN WAREWOLF X THE FLUX: ACADEMY 2 The sweatbox that is Academy 2 plays host to the cream of local guitar talent.
Crack’s Recommendation: Hodge B2B Randomer
Ruff Sqwad & J-Cush
The police cells’ dystopian atmosphere and dark enclosed space will open up as the courtyard ends. The industrial influenced electro and techno of the much lauded Helena Hauff will be the primary draw on a stage of much intimacy.
Scarlet Rascal Shapes DJs
Crack’s Recommendation: Helena Hauff
Skepta & JME
THE CARHARTT STAGE: O2
Crack’s Recommendation: Skepta and JME
Ron Trent THE CELLS: THE ISLAND
Crack’s Recommendation: Gnarwhals
The Carhartt Stage pools a day and night line-up that combines some of our favourite bands with a couple of our favourite musical personalities past and present. The madcap reggae stylings of Lee Scratch Perry will offer support to the brotherly dons of the grime world, Skepta and JME, and during the day the influential post-punk of Wire will be supported by a cast of Crack endorsed bands such as Chastity Belt and Speedy Ortiz
Two of the UK’s finest emerging techno stars take centre stage in the Elevator Sound Room with Hodge and Randomer taking over for four hours.
Studio 89 DJs
SF: LAKOTA 3 Bristol’s close knit party crew Strange Fruits take control of Lakota 3 with deep, New York house master Galcher Lustwerk playing for three hours. Crack’s Recommendation: Galcher Lustwerk
FACT MAGAZINE STAGE:
The Kelly Twins
The belly of Lakota will be pushed to its limits by two of our favourite electronic artists at the moment in the form of Untold and recent feature star and compiler of our 100th mix – Objekt. With online music staple FACT in partnership, this is set to be one of the heaviest rooms at this year’s festival
The Quietus DJs The Soft Moon
Crack’s Recommendation: Objekt
FUTUREBOOGIE STAGE: CORONERS 1
Bristol debuts don’t usually come as big as this with Chicago house master Ron Trent making his first appearance for Bristol stalwarts Futureboogie. With Metro Area’s Eric Duncan also on the bill expect this stage to be well-attended by those who are looking for the party vibe. Crack’s Recommendation: Ron Trent
Simple Things takes place in Bristol on 24 October Godspeed You! Black Emperor play the official Opening Party at Colston Hall, Bristol, 23 October For more information and tickets, visit simplethingsfestival.co.uk
Despite his dedication to peripheral sounds, Floating Points is free from the pretension of the crate-digger cliché Words: Robert Bates Photography: Tom Weatherill
Certain themes emerge when reading about Sam Shepherd, better known as Floating Points. There’s the classical music background, former residency at Plastic People, PhD in neuroscience and epigenetics, extensive record collection, love of studio gear, and ‘jazzy house’ – more on that later. While he hasn’t given a lot of interviews, most of this information is shared knowledge among his fans and peers. He doesn’t let this glut of information trouble him. “It’s just whether it’s interesting or not! It’s all pretty benign I think. No one knows about all the really dark stuff,” he laughs. Shepherd’s debut album, Elaenia, is due for release in November on his new label, Pluto. As one of the first stops on his PR train, we meet in a nondescript bar in Stoke Newington, and as I press record for this interview, I suddenly notice he has a bag full of records. “I have this... unending desire to find new music, whether ‘new music’ is music being made now, or music made years ago that I haven’t heard before.” As he takes a few sips of sparkling water, I ask if rare records are more important than common ones. “Nah, not at all. I guess it has to feel exciting to me.” As we speak, Shepherd often cadences his words like this, in ways difficult to represent in text. In conversation, it conveys strength of feeling, passion. He leans on words like Theo Parrish leans on EQ. A crate-digger from the age of 13, Shepherd talks engagingly of growing up “obsessed” with finding new records,
Though he’s hopelessly committed to records, he’s not quite guilty of the same vinyl fetishism you see online, like those slo-mo HD videos of a needle hitting a groove. “I was only buying records because it was the cheapest way of getting hold of the music at the time," he claims. He even suggests that he would be using “those CDJ machines” had he started out now. As he talks in these short bursts, I detect not one iota of ego. Vinyl has staged a comeback over the past few years. While this is, for the most part, a good thing, there has been a spike in the trend of labels putting out limited runs – 300 copies or so. This makes music unobtainable. “I don’t believe in trying to make your record as exclusive as possible,” Shepherd agrees. “It’s only good for the internet; people talking about music instead of listening ... it’s bananas, why don’t you make more copies? Then we can listen to it and talk about it.” Though he’s not entirely innocent in this respect. “I’ve done it,” he admits. If Shepherd sees his records going for silly money, he’ll press more. Sometimes, however, he is hamstrung by legal and technical issues, and cannot. “Some had artwork screen-prints that don’t make economic sense at high volume. It’s interesting, I see the allure of pressing few copies, to get ‘hype’. But really, truly, what people should be doing is making a great record that everyone has. Not a great record that everyone talks about.” His rhetorical style is compelling. I nod sagely in agreement. The conversation turns to the new album.
“The tracks started as a set of very long improvisations,” he begins. “I’m a pianist by training. I’d be playing things and think, ‘this could work’, and I’d work on structuring a song around it, records bits, play it again, cut it...” As he’s been touring and developing as an artist, Shepherd has collected more and more studio equipment: “It’s very geared towards experimentation with sound. Every little weird thing is patchable. I could put a piano through a set of guitar pedals, whatever.” He launches into an impassioned discussion of his modular synthesiser and the current vogue for these. But have we reached ‘peak modular synth’? “Well, I’m not one of these guys that spends all day on the Muff Wiggler forum... honestly. I have been on them, but...” I can’t help but laugh. Composing ourselves, I put my most pretentious question to him: if there is a symbiotic relationship between a musician’s creativity and their machines, could the same be true of the relationship between Shepherd’s PhD work, and his art? He soon becomes contemplative. “I used to go home after working 12, 16 hours in the lab. I spent a lot time trying things that didn’t work. Music gave me something to go to and hope for ... I’m making it sound quite sad!” Born of those studio sessions, Elaenia is a body of work that’s whole is bigger than the sum of its parts. I mention that some of the record has a (and I literally make airquotes) “jazz” feel to it. Shepherd bristles. “I don’t really know what ‘jazz’ is anymore. Such a loaded term.” He concedes that there’s a core of it that could have been
based around improvisation, is harmonic, and rhythmic – all of which are found in ‘jazz’. But each, individually, he argues, is found in loads of other kinds of music too. “Whenever someone calls my other stuff ‘jazzy house’, it makes me feel slightly sick. I guess people like to have labels to organise their iTunes or whatever. But what really matters is whether they like it or not.” Shepherd is talented and lucky enough to make a living from creating music. Many musicians are not. Indeed, the general position of the musician is an increasingly precarious one. “A musician now can’t just be a musician anymore,” he replies. “They have to be an entrepreneur too. And that’s sad, because there are some amazing musicians who just aren’t interested in the business side.” As the co-founder of the globally renowned Eglo Records imprint, Shepherd is by no means naive to the business side of things, yet he freely admits to being confused about the future direction of the record industry. What do Spotify, Apple Music and the rest ‘mean’? “The rhetoric is a mess!” he exclaims. “You hear about these people who get played 14 zillion times and only get paid 14 pence. This is a problem!” But Shepherd isn’t closed to the idea of digital music platforms. He gestures to the street outside as he says, “I can see four people walking past right now listening to music on their iPhones or whatever. They’re probably listening to Spotify, because it’s convenient. We shouldn’t really fight the technology; that’s dumb. But there definitely should be a fairer system for renumeration. I hope the record labels
“I have an unending desire to find new music”
lobby on behalf of the rest of the music population, because they have a louder voice than each of us individually. That’s a lot of responsibility”. If you search ‘Floating Points interview’ on YouTube, you’ll eventually come across a piece he did in Sao Paulo. There’s a moment when Shepherd picks up a record he hasn’t heard before, places it on a turntable, and listens to it for the first time. A variety of thoughts appear to jostle for pre-eminence as his eyes dart from left to right. What’s he actually listening for in these records? “Definitely not the lyrics! I got this Brazilian record recently and the lyrics turned out to be, ‘Banana tree, I don’t know, banana tree, I don’t know what, banana tree, where are you’... but it’s such a killer record!” He then reaches into his bag and pulls out some records. With renewed enthusiasm, he describes them to me. “This one’s an orchestral type record, this one’s Ana Maria E Mauricio, a dance-pop record. Unbelievably rich orchestration, harmony… DJ Nuts tells me the lyrics are some of the most beautiful poetry they’ve ever heard. They died in a car crash almost immediately after they wrote this...” He trails off again. “But I’m sure I’ll soon be one of those nerds, buying crazy rare Northern Soul records that sound like someone’s bashing a trash can in your face.” As our conversation draws to a close, my attempt to coax out some details on subsequent releases on Pluto, Shepherd’s new label, proves futile. He’s tight-lipped. “Nice try!” he laughs. Shepherds sense of humour is key to interpreting his music. Even in the more ‘serious’ elements of his productions, he pursues architectural, layered beauty, complex rhythm, experimental sounds, with infectious enjoyment, rather than alienating hauteur. When I get up to leave, he mentions going for a wine tasting. We both mumble something about not knowing anything about wine, agreeing that “wine is for enjoying, not intellectualising”. In retrospect, that may be exactly how he approaches music. Elaenia is released 6 November via Pluto. Floating Points appears at Club To Club, Turin, Italy, 4 - 8 November
Italojohnson Jackmaster Jaymo & Andy George Justin Robertson Kahn & Neek Klax Krystal Klear LA Priest Lakuti Little Boots Loefah (all night long) Lone (Live AV) Lonelady Manu Delango Mike Skinner (DJ set) Andrew Weatherall Mini Mansions Acre Monki Bicep Mr Bongo Soundsytem Bill Ryder-Jones My Nu Leng Born Ruffians Nathaniel Ratelift & The Night Sweats Dave Harvey Palms Trax Dekmantel Pangaea Soundsystem Paul Daley Denis Sulta PBR Streetgang DJ Haus Peverelist & Kowton Ducktails Pinch B2B Logos Florian Kupfer Ryan Elliott Fort Romeau Seven Davis Jr Frank Carter & SGT Pokes The Rattlesnakes Sidney Charles Gerd Janson Special Request Girl Band Spector Head High B2B The Black Madonna Prosumer The Hoosiers Heretic The Coronas Ho99o9 Tove Stryke Honne Volte-Face Hospitality Brighton www.patternsbrighton.com 10th Birthday Youngsta
Words: Tomas Fraser Photography: Vivek VadoliyaÂ
With nimble textures, Visionist paints his own tormented headspace
35 I’m sat with Visionist, real name Louis Carnell, on a table of a Brixton branch of an old Wetherspoons pub. It’s a brash, cluttered setting, and it could seem like a bizarre location to discuss his new album Safe – a deeply reflective and personal record that tells the story of a distressing phase in the producer’s life. But although he’s perceived to be a complex character – one often misunderstood through the eyes of social media – Carnell is markedly relaxed and open about his troubles. As we pick at the threads that tie it together, one of my biggest questions surrounds the album title. For anyone with a vested interest in Carnell’s music, ‘safe’ is hardly the word to describe the dark, melancholic and fragmented sound that has come to characterise his producer guise. Listening to the LP too, it seems that Carnell has drifted further from his affiliation with instrumental grime towards more abstract territory. This is by no means a ‘safe’ record. “When I first conceptually wanted to write the album, I was dealing with anxiety,” he says of the album’s title. “The whole thing about anxiety is that it’s from the mind, you catch yourself questioning things – my way of dealing with it was taking myself out of said environment. That made me feel safe again. Say I was in a club and I suddenly feel a bit unwell or not right, I’d take myself off and the minute I’d be in that cab on the way home or back to the hotel, I’d immediately feel safer and I’d have calmed myself down.” These incidences weren’t isolated either. “I actually did CBT [Cognitive Behavioural Therapy] and that’s where they teach you to get out of your comfort zone. All these environments I’ve had issues with, I’d been in lots before – it’s not about the place. It’s easy to not go out a lot because by stepping outside, you’re not in control of your routine. They want to teach you to have control of your mind, but not your environment, if that makes sense.” How these feelings impacted on his music can first be seen throughout the two-part EP series I’m Fine, which preceded the album. Released by J-Cush’s stateside imprint Lit City Trax, both EPs felt like records that were born out of suffering. But, as the title testifies, they were more a riposte to, rather than a coming to terms with, Carnell’s personal anxieties. On Safe however, he lays everything bare, perhaps as a reminder to himself that troubles are always better shared. “I always work from home, my bedroom studio”, he tells me, leaning forward to take in the space around him. “The album was written over the best part of about
six months and I didn’t use any samples I’d used before. I knew I wanted it to be jittery. I wanted you to be on edge, to reflect my anxiety.” For all its weightless textures, Safe is firmly anchored in the culture of London. Despite the intricacies of both his own music and contemporaries who push boundaries in similar ways – M.E.S.H, Arca, Evian Christ etc. – his clubbing outlook is relatively humble. That’s not to say he isn’t a familiar face at the city’s more challenging, forward-thinking music nights, but he is keen to acknowledge how his friends and more generally, London itself, keeps him ticking over. “My music is very London-centric,” he explains. “All the influences are from the music I’ve grown up with, even the trappy influences. I’ve been to parties in London where they play that sort of music and enjoyed it; it makes it a London experience. More broadly, I write genres the way I want them to be heard. As much as it draws from grime, it draws from house, garage and everything else. There’s hints to so many elements to it but it’s just my world. Deal with it.” And deal with it we should. Listening to Safe from edge to edge, you come out of it feeling dazed and perplexed, almost as if you’ve woken up trembling after a vivid, nightmarish dream. The official press release stated that Carnell wanted to ‘trace the arc of a panic attack’ with the album, and its jittery, off-beat twists and turns never give you a minute to rest. As far as highlights go, the broken, contorted trap bounce of Let Me In is a candidate, as is the brilliantly-titled Tired Tears, Awake Fears – a dwindling, near-hypnotic three minutes dedicated to a prolonged period of insomnia. As with everything Visionist however, the music only tells part of the story. The tracklist itself feels shrouded in his own brand of mystery, with titles like 1 Guarda, SinCere and Vffected garnering attention. “‘1 harder’ is a Jamaican saying and my dad is Jamaican, so it’s my take on bashment and dancehall,” Carnell explains. “Guarda sounds like guardian and I had one parent, it’s always been me and my mum, so one guardian. My dad wasn’t there, I have met him but that was not for long – I didn’t want him as part of my life, and so the track is about that relationship between me and my mum.” As for Sleep Luxury, it has a similar personal significance. “The amount of nights I didn’t sleep last year, it was ridiculous. Sleep became a luxury; I got to points where I’d celebrate falling asleep. When I was younger, I’d fall asleep anywhere. It reminds me of when I used to go to Greece on holiday and lay back
and float in the sea. That was peace for me and so the track has that fluid, watery vibe.” It’s becoming clear that Carnell’s work on Safe was not only meticulous but thoroughly well-designed and considered, as to paint an accurate picture of Visionist the artist, rather than Visionist the beat-maker. This level of detail also feeds into the album artwork (an all-white, animated portrait), a subject Carnell is eager to discuss as he starts to sip his second glass of lemonade. “The other part of Safe is what I’ve done with the artwork,” he says proudly. “I’m white-faced out. It draws on public perception, society and what it considers a ‘safe’ face. It plays on the race thing too, like actually being at airports and being stopped constantly because I have a beard. When I didn’t have a beard I was never stopped at airports. Last year I was going to the same places constantly, with the same equipment and they’d stop me. Heathrow was the worst. I grew up with my mum in an all-white family so I know that environment – being white is as
much a part of my culture as being black.” Taking it a step further, Carnell was also keen for the art to reinforce the core theme of the album: anxiety. “I’m bruised and because anxiety is a mental thing, you can’t see it, so the bruising you can see represents what it does. I’ve also got the wrap around me, which is to do with protection, damaged goods. Is it damaged? Is it new? Is it worn? That kind of thing.” Wherever Visionist’s career goes after Safe, from speaking to him for just over two hours, I got the impression that this was a piece of work he’ll always treasure. From the conceptualisation, to the tracklist, to his own inner turmoil and to the artwork, it’s an album that communicates more than just feelings. This is his answer to his own, deepest darkest fears, played out and immortalised for us all to digest. “The happiest people are the ones that don’t think too much,” he explains. “I’ve never been that person.” Safe is released 9 October via PAN
“I wanted this album to make you on edge, to reflect my anxiety”
BERNARD + EDITH
FATHER JOHN MISTY
I Love You, Honeybear
Girls Like Us
Perpetual Motion People
Maze of Woods
Grey Tickles, Black Pressure
The Light In You
Colours Of The Night
With a cult status that never faded away, Maximum Joy have chosen todayâ€™s cultural climate for their return
39 Even if you’re not already familiar with the name Maximum Joy, chances are you will have absorbed their essence through the enduring appeal of the experimental postpunk scene they were a short-lived but significant part of.
Photography: Ben Price Words: Adam Corner
After a long absence, it’s been announced that the band will play their first gig in over 25 years at Simple Things festival, and their home-coming show will relocate them to where it all began: Bristol’s musical underground, albeit three decades later. “The feeling is excitement,” says founding member Janine Rainforth. “Incredulous, but excitement mainly. It’s been a really interesting process to revisit music that you’d sort of put away. I’m finding a lot of new meaning in it”. If the band had put the music away, though, the wider world never quite did. With credible and influential DJs like Andrew Weatherall and Optimo showcasing Maximum Joy material in compilations and mixes, their sound has pricked up the curious ears of younger generations.
“New wave and indie-pop is how it was coined it at the time. Labels are difficult for musicians… I saw the world through punk eyes and there was a lot to kick up and make a fuss about. Not just the establishment status-quo but the complacent hippies who needed an awakening jolt, which is what punk gave them. “I’m not conscious of too much recognition in the sounds of today’s bands,” he continues. “More in the attitude, and I think they’re going to need it. Something’s brewing. Complacency has returned. I think another jolt is on the agenda.” The early 1980s were famously a time of political unrest. Thatcher’s attack on the concept of solidarity ripped through the social fabric, generating structural changes that our current crop of dead-eyed overlords are ruthlessly amplifying and extending. The parallels politically between ‘then and now’ are almost impossible to avoid. “I agree,” says Rainforth. “It is a very similar political climate, in terms of the desperation that a lot of people are feeling. That’s a strong word I know…”
Janine Rainforth’s distinctive yelps and spectral vocal melodies are one feature that marks Maximum Joy out from their early 80s peers, but it’s the rhythms that reign supreme. With the ingenious Adrian Sherwood at the controls, their one and only album, Station MXJY, kicked like a mule – a fusion of energetic, dubbed-out disco punk and lowslung funk.
Musically, though, the response to Thatcher’s Britain seemed more robust – with the punk and post-punk movements both trading in an explicitly politicised currency. The Sleaford Mods are currently riding high on a wave of nilhistic anti-capitalist energy, but is wider culture keeping up?
“The influences for Maximum Joy were many and varied,” the band’s saxophonist and songwriter Tony Wrafter tells me over email, “jazz, reggae, funk and punk, soul, hip-hop (The Last Poets, Africa Bambatta & The Sugar Hill Gang) dub and ambient. We weren’t constrained by any single style but felt free to take what we wanted from it… we played all over Europe. In those days we lived in squats and out of each other’s pockets.”
“When we were playing, there was an independent record label revolution happening alongside the political revolution,” explains Rainforth. “Whereas now the internet has revolutionised how people get music, and I think there’s two schools of thought on that. Because it’s so fragmented the way that people access music and culture, there aren’t the groups on the street, because its all virtual, all on social networks. But the other perspective is that this allows much more cultural grouping, because things can be international… The Occupy group – that is a movement that is coming from the internet. But there isn’t a musical movement to go with it. It’s that feeling of belonging, that is the basis of any cultural group. People need that feeling of belonging.”
“We weren’t constrained by any single style, we felt free to take what we wanted”
This melting pot of influences was shared among the definitive bands of the late 70s and early 80s – Gang of Four, The Pop Group, The Slits or even US acts like Talking Heads and ESG. You could argue that this intersection between genres has had such a lasting appeal because it fuses the best bits of disco (the irresistible rhythm) with the satisfying depth of dub and the rebellious spirit of punk. So to what extent do they align themselves with the “post-punk” category? “Post punk – is it a derivative or consequence of punk, or simply a time-based convenient title for what came next?” Wrafter ponders.
“It feels to me that in the 1970s we were pushed into a siding, whereas now in 2015 it feels like society’s been derailed,” Wrafter says, when our correspondence takes a similarly socio-political turn. “We need something bigger and more serious than punk rock to get us back on track this time.” Maximum Joy play their reunion show at Simple Things, Bristol, 24 October
Issue 57 | crackmagazine.net
“People are slowly realising the beauty of diversity”
Riot Boy: never deterred, Le1f is here to shake the party up Buoyant and irresistibly charming, Le1f lets out a giggle. The Manhattan-born rapper and producer is trying to tackle issues of prejudice and discrimination without forgetting his duties as an entertainer. “How do you talk about politics without being that person at the party talking about politics?” he asks. His vocal timbre is deep and wheezy. His tone is relaxed, but he’s armed with a sharp wit. Le1f’s career trajectory spans over six years, three mixtapes and two EPs, and with his forthcoming debut album Riot Boi – which will be released via a joint venture deal between XL Recordings and Terrible Records – he’s about to step on a higher pedestal. But this time, he’s not settling for apathy; baring his sharpened teeth to condescending critics and backwards-thinking rap conservatives. While studying ballet and modern dance at Connecticut’s Wesleyan University during the mid 00s, Khalif ‘Le1f’ Diouf met the singer, painter and future housemate DonChristian Jones. Together, they cohabited with a group of musicians and artists. Le1f, immersed in dance, began to compound cut’n’paste samples and beats for college performances. Prankish and tough, his compositions were as much a product of Dizzee Rascal’s Boy In Da Corner and MIA’s Arular as they were a flirtatious homage to the likes of Aliyah and Beyoncé. By 2008, Le1f’s talent as a beatmaker was fully realised. He co-produced Das Racist’s debut single Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, the alternative rap anthem which would kickstart the trio’s career. Yet it wasn’t until April 2012 and the release
Words: Tom Watson Photography: Charlotte Rutherford
of his first mixtape Dark York, where the artist emerged from behind the computer screen to the centre stage. “The whole thing was an experiment,” Le1f says about his formative stages as an emcee. “Not so much socially, but more so for myself. Dark York was out of hunger. It was my first time being a real rapper. Not just a producer adding vocals. There was a lot of learning on how to even be a vocalist, which is why the early mixtapes are so lo-fi. The confidence was still being built upon.” By “testing out the waters,” Diouf was able to hone in on his own idiosyncrasies while actively challenging the prejudices of rap. As an openly gay African American performer, he was pigeon-holed by the press with the highly debatable ‘queer rap’ tag alongside artists such as Cakes Da Killa and Mykki Blanco. But in 2012, Le1f broke through with Wut – a brassy stroke of sexual salvation. The music video, which entails Le1f perched on the lap of an oiledup, Pikachu masked male model donning tight black underwear, decimates social impediments and confronts reactionary censors head-on with infinite sass. But despite his creative fruitions, Diouf is the first to admit to being almost too much of a perfectionist. It took two years to write, record and master Riot Boi – a record that has been delayed and postponed and reassessed intermittently until it was finally complete in the winter of last year. “I wanted to make sure that I showed my progress and my reliability lyrically,” he says defensively. “I needed to get all of these points across without people having to dig too. And somehow, through the politics, I had to keep my experimental makeup, my grunge,
my edge and grit that I enjoy about my music. That was harder to achieve this time as I was working alongside other people. But a lot of frustrations lead to new findings.” Riot Boi encapsulates exactly where Le1f is as an artist. With the contributing aid of producers such as SOPHIE, Evian Christ and Dubbel Dutch, Le1f weaves a commentary concerning race, sex, and injustice. But how did he really confront these issues without losing his playfulness? “That was the hardest part for me,” he says. “I had written the songs Koi and Rage knowing I wanted to use to them to flesh out all of these moral issues. I made those songs in 2013 just before coming to this weird phase. Some kind of writer’s block. But, as usual, the world continues to spiral. Arab Spring happened. The press finally started airing police brutality cases. There was like this flood of things that actually affected my life that were main topics of conversation, by which point it became clear what I wanted to say and how I want to say it. “I always thought I was too young and uneducated to be the person speaking on these topics,” he admits. “I had to give myself time to understand it all. Once I got that, it was then just about how that could be relatable on a larger scale.” And while sexuality is paramount to Le1f’s character, it frustrates him that some people ignore the other aspects of his identity and message. “The press around me is so much about my sexuality,” he sighs. “I had to dig into what was causing my actual angst in the world.” One of these pangs, Le1f says, is the gentrification of New York. With less DIY venues to collaborate with,
the city’s underground music community is struggling to find the space to deliver their respective sermons. “Everyone like me and Junglepussy and Princess Nokia are getting love online, but there’s not really a space for us. It’s funny when people write about ‘the NYC scene’. There is no scene. There’s a community without a space.” Despite the western media’s increased attention towards the trans movement, police prejudice and brutality, gay marriage, creatives such as Le1f are the subversive voices who are often lost without the stage to project from. That said, Le1f is by no means a pessimist. “People are slowly realising the beauty of diversity,” he says. “That it’s something that someone owns. That it’s fun to be dark skinned. That’s why I dedicate a song to Grace Jones, Alek Wek and Naomi Campbell on the album. It’s so important to appreciate black women and their subversion and beauty. And by doing so you not only address the politics, you make it playful. “For me, everything is like playing in the dark,” he says in conclusion. “There’s a darkness to my music that some people who just know Wut and Koi wouldn’t understand. But that’s definitely where I live. In this sassy, dark, purple place.” Riot Boi is released 13 November via Terrible Records
Lena Willikens: Craving the Unexpected
I'm sat with Lena Willikens backstage at a Hessle Audio x Cómeme showcase at London’s Village Underground. The DJ/ producer’s sound occupies its own space on the genre’s spectrum, weaving krauty drones into her productions and delivering DJ sets renowned for their unexpected turns. Germany has a long history at the more idiosyncratic end of techno, but in a scene where it sometimes feels that no stone is left unturned, Willikens is rolling a rock right over. “I moved to Düsseldorf as the local electronic music status quo there got my interest,” Willikens explains. “I ended up working at Salon Des Amateurs, a space where kraut and techno, past and present are all interwoven.” She’s now been a resident at the infamous nightspot – known for its eclectic mix of music and open-minded crowd – for six years. “The scene in the city has had a huge impact on me, and playing a long-term residency forces you to play different music every time you’re at the space. It’s challenging, as you don’t want to bore people with the same shit. You want to surprise them with your latest discoveries.” Willikens is perched on the edge of a greenroom sofa, slowly dragging on her cigarette. She’s sporting a t-shirt designed in collaboration with visual artist Sarah Szczesny, who also directed the video series for Willikens’ Phantom Delia EP, which was released in January and ranged from minimal wave to dark and mutated techno. Her first release of productions, the Phantom Delia EP was issued via the Berlin-based label Cómeme, whose support has helped establish Willikens as a talented purveyor of her slightly left-of-centre sound. “People
that like to pigeonhole music can be irritated by me, but these are not the people that I’m trying to address,” she claims. “For me it’s about sharing good music with open minded people. As a consumer myself I love being surprised, when there’s a mood change, or a weird beat, break or change in tempo. Everyday life is full of ups and downs and that is mirrored in the way I DJ as well as produce.” Having known Matias Aguayo, founder of the Cómeme label, since relocating to Cologne six years ago, Willikens was subsequently asked to host her monthly Sentimental Flashback show on Radio Cómeme, which has become synonymous with the unlikely blending of records from labels like Crème Organisation with music from Ethiopia, Iran and countless other musical outposts; cosmic disco to post-punk and contemporary dance music to early Japanese synth pop. “I don’t think in genre and culture borders at all,” she says. “There are so many treasures in terms of musical output that I can’t find a reason why you should only dig in your own society. Everything is interwoven and influenced by each other, so the term ‘world music’ doesn’t make that much sense to me.” Testament to this statement, Willikens appeared at this year’s Live Soundtrack Festival in Barcelona, performing music to the film Japanese Girls At The Harbour, which saw her accompany a DJ set with music performed on the Theremin. “I played the piano for 13 years, so I know how it feels to merge with your instrument,” she explains. “I’m more interested in instruments which are barely under my control like synthesizers and my Theremin. I’m planning more performances of this kind in the future.”
Enthusiastic and obliging, Willikens is keen to wrap up the conversation, as Berlin based Borusiade – who Willikens discovered on SoundCloud and personally recommended to Aguayo at Cómeme – is stepping up as punters flood through the Village Undergrounds’ doors. Willikens is on deck a few hours later with a set that is nestled between Pearson Sound and Ben UFO. It’s a set that defines her uniquely distinct and daring style, as she steadily forms a landscape throughout its duration, building a densely textured picture of sound, in full control of every aspect as the mix progresses. “I never plan my sets,” she had concluded earlier. “Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m going to play until I’ve heard the last track of the DJ playing before me. I see it as more of an intuitive, trippy excursion. I just hope I can take some people with me – what I really want is for them to lose control and leave their bodies.”
Lena Willikens appears at: Patterns, Brighton, 21 November Clock Strikes 13, Corsica Studios, London, 19 December
Words: Robert McCallum Photography: Brian Whar
Auteur jams! Smalltown Supersound 2015
DAN LISSVIK “Shuvit!” (EP) BJØRN TORSKE “Nedi Myra” (reissue) BJØRN TORSKE “Trøbbel” (reissue) TODD RUNDGREN/EMIL NIKOLAISEN/HANS ANDRÉ BRATTEN “Math Ilium Ion” IDJUT BOYS “Versions” DUNGEN “Allas sak” ANDRÉ BRATTEN “Gode” V/A “Auteur Jams”
Smalltown Supersound are DJ Harvey’s Wildest Dreams - Lindstrøm - Biosphere - Neneh Cherry - Dungen Bjørn Torske - Carmen Villain - Todd Rundgren/Emil Nikolaisen/Hans-Peter Lindstrøm - Idjut Boys Kim Hiorthøy - André Bratten - Dan Lissvik - Mungolian Jetset - Brian Reitzell - Prins Thomas
Testing sound system technology in optimum environments
Sound systems play a significant role in enhancing and affirming the nightclubbing experience. If the sound’s shit, the night is invariably shit. For those who attend nightclubs with the primary objective to listen to and digest music, it’s essential that there’s a proper system which can satisfy their demands and allow the music to reach its full potential. In the current climate of club closures and the seeming reliance on pop-up venues with imported sound to satisfy ravers, the level of audio professionalism has been whittled down to a few key players. Those with the acumen or bravery to not just open a nightclub in this climate, but to also install a world-class sound system are seemingly few and far between. This is why we are in Ibiza with two of the experts in the field – Pioneer Pro-Audio Manager Alex Berrand and Pro-Audio Specialist David Ferreria – for a tour of what exactly what goes into making a system work. Pioneer’s status in this incredibly competitive industry has no doubt been elevated by their dominance of the DJ market and their heritage in home audio, but as Alex explains their comparatively recent entry into the incredibly competitive pro-audio world required thought and brought all of Alex’s history in the industry to the fore. “Before I worked for Pioneer I came from Ministry Of Sound,” Alex explains. “So using this experience, we were looking to create a system that would be suitable for a super club and extend the range from that point. There was a gentleman who I used to work with called Gary Stewart who built the Paradise Garage sound system and designed the original Ministry Of Sound system in 1992. That system presided in
there until it was old and I took it out. When I took it out Gary Stewart was livid with me. He was like, “who do you think you are?” So I had to explain to him that times had changed, tastes had changed and technology had changed. “So ultimately, the way I see it is Gary Stewart is the blueprint of early nightclub system design but when you merge that together with what we're doing at Pioneer Pro Audio the synergy is exciting but also creative, cause you cannot deny the old systems really worked, and they still do. Anyone can build a speaker box, but building something from a heritage design like Gary created infused with todays technology makes something quite phenomenal.” Fast-forward to Saturday night and I’m standing in the middle of four huge speaker stacks in an empty Sankeys Ibiza. Our music of choice? Mathew Jonson’s recent fabric 84 mix. The sound is blistering. David and Alex are scurrying around from mixer to the amplification room, tweaking, measuring and refining while the rest of us take in the sheer weight of the Pro-Audio system. The four colossal GS Wave stacks definitely don’t mask any subtlety as I stand smack bang in centre of the Main Room dance floor while engulfed by a propulsive sound. “Realistically we wanted to create a system that was powerful, but ran at a comfortable idle level with plenty of headroom,” Alex explains. “When you’re pitching to install world class club systems, you don’t want to be selling them a product that you need to run at 100% to get the best results. Headroom is hugely important.”
Words: Thomas Frost
The technicalities of sound dispersal and the act of installing such a system are explained to me in finite detail. The GS Wave’s acoustic lens is designed to soften the high-end frequencies which cause the most immediate discomfort to your listening experience, but ultimately it’s the expertise of the Pro-Audio team’s installation that refines the sound. “There are so many factors when putting together a system for a club,” David tells me. “Size of the room, acoustics and the number of people that will be in there. It’s all unique and bespoke, so that’s the challenge. You have to create products that fit these niches.” So after witnessing the other end of the sound spectrum in full effect at Sankeys that night in the form of bass-led grime DJ Preditah, we moved our focus to other areas of installation the duo specialise in. Over the next 48 hours we see Pioneer Pro Audio installations in renown Km5 restaurant, a special installation for The Float My Boat Ibiza boat parties and an installation in a €10,000 per night penthouse hotel room in the Ushuaia Tower. This bespoke installation showcased a huge breadth of ambition, with the sound in a hotel room reaching a majestic level of quality, showing us that the Pro-Audio range stretches far beyond the gargantuan levels reached in Sankeys.
Being regularly surrounded by extremely loud musical output, the conversation turns to how quality sound can protect your hearing as much as damage it. Alex is passionate about this subject. “People are delusional to the fact that tinnitus, which can be caused by high frequency, can actually be caused by high and low frequency. If you hear something harsh your body naturally turns off. Bass – there’s no warning. Your body doesn’t react in the same way, so for that reason bass is more damaging to your hearing, but without conscious detection, pardon the pun but bass is the silent assassin.” What is especially evident from our time together is the passion for the finite details of each installation. “There isn’t one installation that wouldn’t be credited by myself or David,” Alex says. “We want to fulfil the trust in the venue owner and the installer, that we’re with you all the way. You aren’t just buying something and we’ll see you later.” It’s this attention to detail that separates the audio wheat from the chaff in what is a very specialist small world that services millions of clubbers every weekend. Thomas Frost's trip to Ibiza was paid for by Pro Audio Technology
Produced exclusively for Crack by Mรกrcio Matos - principediscos.bandcamp.com
LAW Magazine unearths everyday beauty
Words: Francis Blagburn Photography: Elliot Kennedy
“Fashion is an industry. Style is an inherent quality." This quote from Welsh photographer Jason Evans could be something of a mantra for LAW magazine, an independent publication that’s as hard to define as style itself. Initially conceived as the final project for Editor-in-Chief John Holt’s university fashion course, the magazine has grown in size and now benefits from worldwide distribution to readers in Paris, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong. The pages of LAW feature dispatches from everyday life in the UK. Disparate people and places, united by a singular aesthetic, are pulled together and – often – their stories are elaborated on in accompanying text; poetry, lyrics, short essays and interviews. Issue 6, which was
released back in May, featured an eclectic list of subjects: female toilet attendants, Scunthorpe fans, Subaru Imprezas, water towers, conceptual artists and a woman called Monica who “fucking hates her job”. The magazine positions itself outside the constant flux of the fashion world, where a throwaway culture can easily break an aesthetic under the strain of shifting trends. “I don’t really like LAW being associated with fashion, as such,” explains Creative Director Joe Prince. Starting the magazine, he says, was a reaction against the exclusionary and inaccessible world of printed fashion mags that bore no resemblance to his fondest memories of reading print. “Growing up I was always into the Argos catalogue and the Free Ads and Match and Shoot football magazines. Angling Times. These sorts of magazines. I
couldn’t really relate to i-D, you know? We used to fight over the Argos catalogue. We weren’t really ever fighting over i-D.” A quick look around John’s studio will testify to his taste. British Homing World, the UK’s premier pigeon racing weekly, lies neatly on the coffee table beside a book on fly fishing. It’s an off-kilter taste for two contemporary creatives, but one that sincerely influences the spirit of LAW far more than any haute couture fashion journal. The truth of this is evident from the infectious sense of wonder both have when they discuss the great outdoors. Growing up in the Fens, John was surrounded by countryside, and he discusses the area with the same raspy, wistful optimism Joe exhibits when remembering summers spent riding crosser
Artworks included in Issue 7's Contributors' Letter
“A lot of people are in their own world, especially in London,” Joe argues. “Everyone just rushes past each other, no one spends any time to stop and appreciate the smaller things in life.” It’s an observation which ultimately underpins the LAW view of the metropolis. It’s why they dedicate whole essays to understanding multi-use-gamesareas, or conduct lengthy interviews about Walthamstow Bowling Green. It’s an approach learned in the country and applied to the metropole: take the time to stop and appreciate the world around you. “We’ve got this longing to go back to our roots and just be outdoors. At the end of the day, we love being outside and photographing and experiencing everything, not being sat in front of a computer and having to send emails.” It’s no surprise, then, that Issue 7, the first ever themed edition of LAW, is going to be entirely based on ‘The Outdoors’. In order to inspire work around the theme, John sent out a hand-made Contributors’ Letter featuring three pieces of his bespoke
artwork, and the lay plan pinned up against the wall shows that they’ve already commissioned insightful works, many of which are nearing completion. But just as I’m getting curious, I’m shown a framed scrap of receipt paper with an address scrawled on it in the shaky handwriting of an elderly woman. It’s something of a non-sequitur, but turns out to be a decent illustration of what to expect from the forthcoming edition. They’ve just been to the Fens to photograph for the new issue, Joe explains. On the way they drove past an old woman on a stall with a sign saying ‘Plums and Damsons’. “She looks amazing and we’re like, shall we stop? Yeah, fuck it. Let’s stop.” When they spoke to her, they discovered that her name was Grace and she’d sat on the same stall for 56 summers and never missed a day’s work. She was glad to have her portrait taken in front of her four acres of orchard, and she subsequently wrote her address down so that they could keep in touch. “We could print that in the mag and just say to everyone, ‘Send Grace a note or a nice letter,’” Joe says. “If we want to do that we can, there’s no restrictions”. But even if Grace doesn’t make it into Issue 7, it’s not an admission of defeat. The
spontaneous humanity within their exchange – the sense of connection – will certainly feature in one guise or another. John is particularly excited about a shot taken of an ex-serviceman taking his daughter fishing for the first time on Deal Pier in Kent, as well as some beautiful photographs of an abandoned power plant, and a shoot they did with James Pearson-Howells of the audience at Speedway race track. None of these places or people are conventionally beautiful, of course. I’m curious about why John and Joe are so set on documenting people “LAW isn’t an opinion of the world in terms of politics,” comes John’s clear answer. “It’s just extremely personal”. His is a creative mind honed not in the world of fashion’s elite, but in the front room on a Saturday night watching Blind Date. LAW is ordinary people’s lives captured not for some gritty appeal or unwholesome curiosity, but for the simple, timeless beauty of the everyday. If there’s one message the magazine communicates more clearly than any other, it’s that style is a precious entity, and if you stop to look you can find it just about anywhere. Issue 7 of LAW is out mid October. For more information, visit law-mag.com
“We’ve got this longing to go back to our roots and be outdoors, rather than being sat in front of a computer and sending emails”
Issue 57 | crackmagazine.net
bikes around the abandoned railways and Coal Pits of Gedling, Nottingham. The Fens and Gedling are a far cry from East London, but it’s clear that both John and Joe would like to remain true to the spirit of those places today.
Lasting Imprint: Márcio Matos and the unmistakable image of Príncipe
Príncipe Discos has harboured a generation of voices from the barrios surrounding Lisbon, exposing the world to their explosive Afro-Porto mixture of Angolan styles like kuduro and tarraxinha and their raw energy. Despite the appeal that comes with any brand new sound, so far the label has remained truly independent. Press, booking, A&R and artist management is all handled in house. The operation is so small, in fact, that all Príncipe artwork is handled by one of the label’s four founders, Márcio Matos. All copies of each release are individually hand-painted and stencilled so that every copy is unique. The images are distinctly DIY – from the blotchy brickwork that adorned their first ever release to the ink curling and trailing off the canvas on 2015’s Soul Of My Father by DJ Firmenza. For Noite Príncipe, their monthly party and MusicBox in Lisbon, Márcio uses a collage style. And for their upcoming party at London’s Dance Tunnel as part of the Clock Strikes 13 event series, Márcio has turned in a collaged piece where an overprocessed image of Henry VIII has got two hand drawn swords poking out his eyes. It’s meant to be fun.
Issue 57 | crackmagazine.net
With Márcio submitting an exclusive artwork to Crack for this issue’s pull-out poster, we called him to talk about his work ethic, his influences and why the future belongs to the kids.
How important is it to you to keep your work with Príncipe independent? It’s a natural thing. I don’t search for things that I don’t like. I don’t do posters for some brands because, for me, to use a logo it’s a bit complicated. Our records don’t have any references to any brands or anything. For me that’s the rule. If I had to put more brands on it I wouldn’t do it. I would prefer to quit. The posters for the monthly parties have more of a mix of stencilling and word processed text and digital images. Is this an intentional separation? The records are totally different and I had to mark the difference. I have two different ways of working; I have collages and I do drawings. [The parties] are more free, they are more pop. We need to contact people with images that they recognise immediately. I have sometimes done stencilling for posters, but I managed to blend the collaging in with it and for me it works very well. How do you approach making artwork for the different artists? Nidia Minaj sounds very different to Niagara… I adapt by thinking about the person because I know them all very well. Sometimes I ask them what they like. For example, Niagara – I usually connect them with waterfalls and horses. Sometimes it goes a lot further than the initial idea but I always try and connect with them. Nidia was our first girl and I think the cover is more feminine.
Since the label has taken off, have any other artists or brands approached you for your work? Only when you guys asked to do this [poster], I thought for the very first time about the image of the label. I’m not expecting anything! I have been working in painting for 15 years. I’m not very social, I prefer to be on that. I’d prefer to do thousands and thousands of drawings. Most of them are lost – no-one will see them and that doesn’t matter. Are there any other Portuguese styles that have influenced your work? Of course, I especially like the renaissance painters. And our churches are beautiful, all the iconicism of that and all the symbols. The decor and the traditional art of the jewellers here in Portugal. For example, the drawing for Alma Do Meu Pai by DJ Firmenza is very connected with that kind of Portuguese thing. It’s the Scorpio, it’s about friends and those things are already related with Firmenza. We managed to blend the old drawings and the Firmenza way.
Words: Duncan Harrison
What do you think the future holds for Príncipe? Let’s see what the kids will do with their music. They will decide what the future is. The future has to come from the music. If you’re talking about Príncipe, then you’re talking about the music. The kids nowadays are very influenced by talking about the label and they are producing a kind of music that reflects the attention. That’s a concern. But there are some surprises coming. There are two new records coming, we’ll see what they will do. Turn to pages 46-47 to find Marcio Matos’ exclusive design for our pull-out poster. Príncipe’s DJ Marfox, Nidia Minaj and DJ Firmeza appear at Clock Strikes 13, Dance Tunnel, London, 9 October
Issue 57 | crackmagazine.net
â€œEntertainment is demonised in the art world. Some of the things that have inspired me the most are very much a part of popular cultureâ€?
With the opening of his ambitious Barbican exhibition, Eddie Peake advocates cultural incongruity and sexual sincerity
Previous Curve Space commissions I’ve covered for Crack have been as much showcases for sophisticated new technological developments as they have been artworks. The first, in 2013, was Rain Room, a work by artist collective Random International. The epitome of spectacle, it was a dramatically lit and unique immersive experience; an opportunity to walk through the pouring rain without getting wet. The following year I went to United Visual Artist’s Momentum; where giant robotic pendulums, capable of arresting themselves mid-swing, were installed with the intention of doing strange things to our perception of time. This time I’m speaking to Eddie Peake, celebrated ‘bright young thing’, graduate of Slade and Royal Academy Schools and multi-disciplinary artist responsible for The Barbican's new commission The Forever Loop, which opens this month. In contrast to the technology-focussed Curve shows we’ve featured previously, this is sure to be a profound and cerebral exhibition. Having said that, as an installation which features a maze structure, a chequer-board dance floor, brightly coloured animal sculptures and continuous live performance; Peake’s playfulness, lightness of touch and visual generosity should ensure that it won’t be any less engaging. Peake has garnered a certain amount of notoriety for a selection of dubious tales
surrounding his practice and career, which have been dwelt on fairly extensively by a lot of the interviews, profiles and features on him. Firstly, his distinctly NSFW homepage: a lasciviously-lit photograph of a large and erotically cradled erection. Second, the naked game of five-a-side he curated, choreographed and staged for his second year show at the Royal Academy. The third is his success, versus his age, versus the fact that he was still in education when his career took off and he was signed to the White Cube. This third point is dismissed by Peake fairly soon into our interview. “The one problem [with studying at the RA] that’s really annoying is that like nine out of every ten things that are written about me will say “young art star, Eddie Peake” or “Eddie Peake, who only recently finished art school,” even though I’m five or ten years older than some of the other artists they talk about and who they don’t say that kind of stuff about. And it’s all because it kicked off for me when I was at the RA.” Peake’s not actually that young – he was born in 1981. But as he says, the fact that he was still in higher education during his ascent into the public (or at least art-public) eye is enough to support a ‘young art star’ narrative. It’s worth noting that Laure Prouvost, who won the Turner Prize in 2013, is only three years older than him. But while that third point is easily dismissed, the erection and the naked football are a different matter. Rather than selectively-
contextualised journalistic hot-air, these are in fact important signifiers in the semiotic of Peake’s visual language – a complicated, highly developed and extremely sophisticated practice that encompasses and interlinks myriad mediums, disciplines and themes. His work spans not just media and discipline, but also cultural platforms. Alongside his art practice, he also has a record label, HYMN, has directed music videos for Gwilym Gold, collaborated with Actress and co-runs the gay clubnight night Anal House Meltdown. He views these different elements together, as “definitely all part of one whole thing. It’s all my work as an artist.” The network his practice encompasses is pretty daunting to engage with; each aspect of it in some way informs or relates to another. At the same time, his meaning is distinctly unfixed: “There are artists who figure out what they want to make work about, and then they make the work,” he says. “And then there’s artists who make the work and then figure out what it’s about, and I’m the latter kind.” This is not to say, however, that the meaning he retrospectively gleans from his work is in any way less serious or significant than if it were something he had planned in anticipation of making. In discussion, I flippantly refer to the image on the website as, variously, a “stiffy” and a “boner.” It’s too much to suggest that he’s unimpressed by this (also frequently reported is his charm as an interviewee), but he definitely refuses to
engage on any sort of schoolboy terms: “In my mind, the erection thing is quite matterof-fact.” Sexuality is something that Eddie Peake takes extremely seriously in his work, rejecting any comparisons to the kind of Carry On… style humour that could be perceived in the staging of a naked football match, and arguing that this behaviour is like a carpet under which important dialogues about sexual identity are brushed. “I can’t stand that kind of thing. I can’t bear puns and innuendos,” he says. “I feel like, why not just have it out there for everyone to see and talk about that, rather than using euphemisms?” At the same time, though, Peake views what he does as “entertainment,” and he’s wary of the art world’s tendency towards
distinguishing between types of culture as ‘high’ and ‘low’. “Entertainment is very demonised in the art world,” he argues. “I’m not saying all entertainment is good, but some of my favourite things that I’ve encountered, the things that have inspired me the most, are very much a part of popular culture. “And when I say popular culture,” he continues, “I mean quite a broad spectrum of things. At one end there’s Nicki Minaj and Madonna and Prince, and then at the other end there’s Roland Barthes, Judith Butler, so on and so forth, and they’re all on a continuum together.” With this in mind, he firmly positions his own practice on that same continuum, and refuses to distinguish between the cultural influences he draws upon when making his
work. Indeed, he kind of gets off on what he describes as “jarring incongruity,” something which informed his decision to appear in one of Kendrick Lamar's music videos last year. “The only thing in the video I’m doing is making a painting,” Peake says. “It’s possible to imagine a slight shift in how that video was made. It would have felt like a street looking guy making a graffiti piece – that would have looked like a conventional hip-hop music video, but the guy that made it was very particular in saying that ‘I want this to be you just making an artwork.’ I don’t know if he was thinking it was really incongruous, but it felt like that to me, and that was what was exciting about it.” This desire to juxtapose contemporary art with cultural modes that many in the “art bubble” might look down on, and the thrill
Why not just have sexuality out there for everyone to see and talk about, rather than using euphemisms?"
A blueprint of The Forever Loop in Peake's London studio
that comes from the resulting incongruity, is born of a desire to demystify and democratise art. This desire has inspired another one of Peake’s significant works, made for his final show at the Royal Academy. For the duration of the exhibition, he installed pirate radio institution Kool FM into the Royal Academy to broadcast. As a gesture it was typically multilayered, with Kool FM at the same time providing a kind of autobiographical metonymical connection to his influences and past, and functioning as direct means for expanding the elitist artbubble to include demographics for whom it normally holds no sway. “I think there was a sort of beauty in that,” says Peake. “It did feel like a magical social moment, for me at least, when I’d come in and see a crowd of rude boys standing around, nodding their heads, and then a woman just finished her Mayfair Yoga class, trotting through with her Chihuahua.”
of a decade training as an artist in two of the most highly regarded centres for art education in England, if not the world. His skill is in drawing key disparate elements together – collaborators, imagery, references and themes, and formulating them into simultaneously sophisticated and inclusive art works. “I think that’s how I approach all my shows, actually,” he tells me. “I want them to be enjoyed, to give a lot to the viewer and reward the viewer’s work. It is work, looking at art, I think. But at the same time I want it to be delivered in a way that also might trigger a thought process that’s serious.” The Forever Loop runs at The Barbican from 9 October - 10 January 2016
For all that, Peake is down-to-earth and inclusive in his practice, there’s also no concealing the fact that he is firmly institutionalised. He’s spent the best part
Words: Augustin Macellari Photography: Tom Weatherill
Issue 57 | crackmagazine.net
Aesthetic: Skinny Girl Diet
Words: Farah Hayes Photographer: Francesca Allen Stylist: Charlotte James Stylist Assistant: Susan Daniel Make up: Sara Argy Hair: Scarlett Burton
Ameilla Jacket: McQ Alexander McQueen Bra: Candice Bryant Belt: What The Butler Wore Trousers: What The Butler Wore Cuff: Riina O
With all the negative political and cultural forces trying to crush our selfesteem, it’s no wonder that the empowering spirit of punk is summoned so often. Skinny Girl Diet are a band who inspire confidence. The North London trio consists of guitarist/vocalist Delilah Holliday, her sister Amelia Cutler, who plays bass, and their cousin Ursula Holliday on the drums. While still in their early teens, the band performed their first gig opening for Viv Albertine of The Slits, who inspired their original name, Typical Girls. By 2013, the band had released two EPs of lo-fi, lyrically potent grungepunk as Skinny Girl Diet – a sardonic reference to proanorexia Tumblr pages. With the guidance of culturally informed parents and the freedom to explore different eras in a digital age, Skinny Girl Diet’s image is a melting-pot of many influences. In discussion of the style icons that have directly inspired them, Ursula references the radical 90s grunge outfit L7, David Bowie and Sophia Loren; Deilihah mentions Marc Bolan, 50s Hollywood star Jayne Mansfield and Frida Kahlo; while Amelia cites actresses
such as Lea Seydoux and Winona Ryder. For our Aesthetic shoot, we styled Skinny Girl Diet with a combination of retro clothing and pieces from labels such as McQ, Moschino, Vivienne Westwood, Versace, MISBHV and Claire Barrow – who happens to be one of the band’s favourite designers. “She was the first person in fashion to reach out to us a couple of years ago,” they tell us. “Her clothes are divine.” This month, Skinny Girl Diet release their new EP, Reclaim Your Life. Musically, they may have cleaned up their sound a little, but their attitude still exudes righteous ferocity. “Reclaim Your Life stands for so much,” the band declare, “fighting against all oppressors and getting what society doesn't want you to have – power, selflove and a strong mind.”
Delilah Top: Beyond Retro Trousers: Alexander McQueen from NOTHING SPECIAL Necklace: Stylist's own Earrings: Kirsty Ward
Reclaim Your Life is released 16 October via Fiasco Recordings
Ursula Jacket: MISBHV Scarf: Charlotte Simone Skirt: Moschino
Delilah Top: Candice Bryant Necklace: Kirsty Ward
Ursula Jacket: Candice Bryant Dress: McQ Alexander McQueen Ring: Lion Studio
Ameilla Blazer: McQ Alexander McQueen Bra: Atsuko Kudo Scarf: Charlotte Simone Trousers: McQ Alexander McQueen Rings: Lion Studio
Ameilla Blazer: McQ Alexander McQueen Bra: Atsuko Kudo Necklace: Vivienne Westwood from NOTHING SPECIAL Earrings: Kirtsy Ward Boots: 2NDDAY
Delilah Jacket: McQ Alexander McQueen Skirt: 2NDDAY Boots: Delilah's own
Ursula Jacket: Versace from NOTHING SPECIAL Top: Claire Barrow Trousers: Vintage Moschino Necklace: Ursula's own Shoes: Fabulously Fetish
Ameilla Blazer: McQ Alexander McQueen Bra: Atsuko Kudo Necklace: Vivienne Westwood from NOTHING SPECIAL Earrings: Kirtsy Ward Delilah Jacket: McQ Alexander McQueen Ursula Jacket: Versace from NOTHING SPECIAL Top: Claire Barrow Trousers: Vintage Moschino Necklace: Ursula's own Shoes: Fabulously Fetish
OASIS FESTIVAL Marrakech, Morocco 11 - 13 September
On approaching the entrance at its debut event in Morocco this year, it looked as though Oasis had the potential to be the new paradise destination for dance music fans we’d hoped for. Found in the outskirts of Marrakech and at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, attendees entered the festival through the tall gates of Fellah Hotel, a modernised version of the classic Moroccan riad. With the gentle thud and patter of a funktion one in the distance, they then made their way through Fellah’s winding paths, protruded by cacti that are under-lit by a psychedelic fluorescence. The spiky silhouettes evoked the look of an Acid Western – which seems entirely appropriate for a festival bringing the party to a new frontier here in Morocco. Stepping through the hotel reception you arrive at the Desert Oasis Stage, where Crack would play
host throughout Sunday. Opening proceedings on Friday, though, was a bouncy DJ Tennis, performing from the DJ booth situated on a patio about two stories high, overlooking the pool. Tennis laid down some thunderous floorfillers such as John Talabot’s remix of Jamie xx’s Loud Places, the track that epitomised his set. The proceeding sets from Agoria and stage headliner Âme continued in a similar vein, with tumultuous main room drops that kept the audience enthralled. The Bamboo Arena, Oasis’s other stage, is a more enclosed space. Here, the light-touch tech house stylings of Ushaia resident tINI and Panorama Bar regular Cassy offered up a counterpoint to the boys over on the Desert Oasis. Their music rolled around the overhanging trees, fulfilling a much more intimate party urge. The following morning, yoga was
available in the the Bamboo Arena, which by all accounts was superb. But instead, we embarked on a trip to the Old Medina in the centre of Marrakech. Taking 20 minutes by shuttle bus, it was an easy journey which exemplified the Oasis ideology, one that incorporates their party into the surrounding area of the ancient city. We arrived back from the Old Medina with just enough time to put on our swimmers and slip into the pool at the Desert Oasis for the vibesman, Axel Boman. The Studio Barnhus co-founder delved in and out of flavours impeccably to see out the hazy sunset, before switching up the sass with HNNY’s reincarnation of Beyonce’s Yonce. We headed to the Bamboo Arena to refuel on some kofta grill and a slice of Ellen Allien’s set ahead of DJ Harvey. Like a slow cooked tagine, his four hour transgression
of Balearic, dream funk and melodic techno would all come together for tonight’s particular journey from the talisman of taste. Opening with beatless soundscapes, Harvey created a replenishing aurora. After a while, this was broken-through with a sumptuous lazy drum beat – and we’re hypnotised hereon in. As he swept through the rest of his set, we recognise tracks like Kuniyuki’s remix of Lord of The Isles’ Geek Chic, Rainbow Disco by Prins Thomas and feel good alt-hit of the summer: Renee Running by Dude Energy, all contribute to a lesson in the art of subtletly. Sunday began in the pool with Kali G and Secret 47: two DJs from Rabat who kicked-off Crack’s take-over of the Oasis Desert stage with a fusion of berber music and techno before handing the poolside soundtrack duties to Pardon My French and Will Saul. Gerd Janson played to the dispersing sun as Axel
did the previous day, unleashing a utopian two hours with the ever poignant Still Going Theme resonating around the desert air. With Derrick Carter playing a typically sleek set over Desert Oasis, it was Pachanga Boys that saw us out. With their blend of euphoric earthy textures, we ended our weekend of debauched luxury. Overall, Oasis had achieved what so many fail to pin down, by crafting a truly relaxing dance music festival. For those looking for the sun soaked, laid-back festival experience, it comes highly, highly recommended.
Words: Tim Oxley Smith Photography: Oasis Festival
Oct 30: TRIBAL SESSIONS Nicole Moudaber, Wade Jozef K & Winter Son
Oct 24: Sankeys Saturdays Present Get Twisted TOUGH LOVE, Franky Rizardo Bontan, Jozef K
NOV 6: TRIBAL SESSIONS Hector Couto, Cuartero Traumer
OCT 31: SANKEYS SATURDAYS HALLOWEEN Miguel Campbell, Djebali, Sam Holt
NOV 13: SHELTER Doorly, Kydus + More TBA
NOV 7: SANKEYS SATURDAYS MJ Cole, Matt Jam Lamont, DJ Q, Jozef K
NOV 20: MAGNA CARTA Josh Butler, Mark Jenkyns Alci, Igluu
NOV 14: SANKEYS SATURDAYS Andhim, John Dimas, Michael James
NOV 27: SWAMP 81 Zed Bias, Loefah, Paleman Chunky
NOV 21: SANKEYS SATURDAYS TODD TERRY, FRANKY RIZARDO BONTAN, JOZEF K
DEC 4: SHELTER Doorly, Kydus + More TBA
NOV 28: SANKEYS SATURDAYS THOMAS MELCHIOR, STEPHANE GHENACIA CHAPPELL + MORE TBA
DEC 11: JAGUAR SKILLS AND FRIENDS Jaguar Skills + More TBA
DEC 5: SANKEYS SATURDAYS Sonny Fodera, Bontan, Sam Holt, Jozef K
DEC 18: MAGNA CARTA Leftwing & Kody, East End Dubs Alci, Igluu
DEC 12: SANKEYS SATURDAYS Dungeon Meat, Terrence:Terry, Adam Ross DEC 19: SANKEYS SATURDAYS Matt Jam Lamont, Jozef K + More TBA
#SankeysMCR www.residentadvisor.net www.facebook.com/officialsankeys twitter.com/Sankeys_Mcr
W E E K LY S AT U R D AY S S AT 1 0 OC T
SAT 17 OCT
S AT 24 OCT
SAT 31 OCT
THE BLACKBOX PRESENTS:
LOLA ED PRESENTS:
THE LAST EVER FACE:
THE HAUNTING PRESENTS:
S AT 0 7 NOV
SAT 14 NOV
S AT 21 NOV
SAT 28 NOV
THE BLACKBOX PRESENTS:
THE BLACKBOX PRESENTS:
JOY ORBISON FOLD ADAM SHELTON LEWIS OXLEY
HOLD YOUTH DIEGO KRAUSE ADAM SHELTON LOPASKI
JAMIE JONES ALEX ARNOUT CASSY CLIVE HENRY ENZO SIRAGUSA HECTOR SAMU.L TANIA VULCANO
DJ T ARGY ACID MONDAYS ADAM SHELTON JACK WICKHAM
MIRKO DI FLORIO ROTH$TEIN REIDY
PARANOID LONDON ADAM SHELTON TOM CRAVEN LOPASKI
S AT 0 5 DE C
SAT 12 DEC
S AT 19 DEC
SAT 26 DEC
KNEE DEEP IN BIRMINGHAM:
THE BLACKBOX PRESENTS:
PORTAL PRESENTS VIVA WARRIORS:
BILL PATRICK JACK WICKHAM LEWIS OXLEY
HOT SINCE 82 HEIDI ANJA SCHNEIDER NEIL PARKES
RESIDENTS: A D A M S H E LT O N
NINA KRAVIZ BODDIKA ADAM SHELTON
L O PA S K I
SVEN VÄTH SUBB-AN TIM GREEN SPECIAL GUEST TBA
RUSS YALLOP SPECIAL GUESTS TBA
STEVE LAWLER SKREAM DETLEF ANEK ADAM SHELTON ROTH$TEIN REIDY DANIÈL
A S PA R T O F T H E
T ICKET S: T HE RAINBOWV E NUE S .CO.U K L OWE R T RINIT Y S T RE E T B IRM INGHAM B9 4 AG
SUBLOADED: 10 YE ARS OF TECTONIC The Black Swan, Bristol 25 September
WHP15: WELCOME TO THE WAREHOUSE Store Street, Manchester 26 September
GWENNO Louisiana 23 September Much has been made of Gwenno’s use of her mother tongue on her debut LP, Y Dydd Olaf. Welsh is seen as a minority language in Britain, even in South Wales, so to record a full album yn Gymraeg and expect it to be commercially viable seems ambitious. But Y Dydd Olaf, despite being indecipherable to most with its language and offbeat themes, has been applauded across the board. As well as being really, really pregnant behind her Korg sampler and keyboard, Gwenno ia resplendent in a sparkling gown that is a perfect match for the grand themes she tackles on her LP. Before every track she’s compelled to outline what each one is about for the benefit of her English audience and gives an English translation of the Welsh language titles. Patriarchaeth (or Patriarchy) is simply described as “shit, isn’t it?” “Yes,” we all nod back, including the knot of older blokes that have clustered at Gwenno’s feet. Good. As we watch her ripple her deceptively joyful synth-pop into the shinyeyed crowd there’s something undeniably evocative about watching a soon-to-be-mother singing about male oppression in her mother tongue. Diolch Gwenno a H. Hawkline – bendigedig, as we say in Wales. . ! Sammy Jones
If last year’s return to Store Street was The Warehouse Project returning to its roots, then the 2015 season appears to show a night series that has found its feet all over again. After Jackmaster pulled in potentially one of the biggest crowds of the entire evening, Daphni returned to the Warehouse after a triumphant headlining turn as Caribou last season. His DJ set was as challenging, diverse and massively enjoyable in a main room setting. One of his most effective selections was a mid-set airing of classic EskiBeat cut The Morgue which had a resurgence this year when Skepta used it for Nasty. The highlight of the second room programming was Job Jobse, who took control of room two with an assured and mesmerising set which one could only expect from a figure behind the Trouw machine. While the crowd thinned out as he competed with the heavyweights of the main space, the set maintained focus while traversing genre and intensity with ease. Even after a decade, the prime concern of the WHP team is to create the best experience possible. There was something energising about the business-asusual approach of this re-arrival at Store Street. It doesn’t cross your mind to raise a glass and wish a brand a very happy birthday when it feels so enduringly young.
! Duncan Harrison N Jody Hartley
END OF THE ROAD Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset 3 - 6 September A family of peacocks wait patiently for Mac DeMarco to take to the stage. Parakeets brawl while Palma Violets play the best of 2012 in the background. A Roman temple, host to detailed diorama of the festival site, shimmers as dragonflies flit from the nearby pond. If you hadn’t guessed already, End of the Road isn’t exactly three days of debauchery. It’s leafy, laidback, and lovely. Fairy lights and origami birds dot the thick trees around and, instantly, you feel at home. That said, Ought prove that UK teens will mosh to anything, even the desolate, thoughtful sounds of the Montreal underground. Tame Impala’s headline slot is so smooth, so precise, that you could forget you’re listening to a live set. There’s a good spread of old and new here – fresh one Eventually becomes a chantable classic, Lonerism stomper Elephant appears, and there’s a couple off Innerspeaker too. It’s a classy set, but we do wish there was a bit more off-piste madness. After taking in a disappointingly karaoke-style set from Du Blonde, we see Girlpool deliver a show with an icy precision that’s full of glowering intensity. Drinks are up next, and the live version of their LP Hermits on Holiday is a hard sell. Cate Le Bon bites back a laugh as half the field clears, and to be fair, for the uninitiated, it is a bit of a racket. As we traipse to the car park for one last Dorset-based snooze in the boot (don’t ask) we feel calm, collected and, weirdly, rested. End of the Road captures a covetable mix of aesthetic, atmosphere and artful curation, and we feel that if it keeps its lineups much like this one, people across the land will already be dropping their deposits on next year’s edition. ! Sammy Jones N Gaelle Berri
“We are required by law to hand these out”. Upon entry to the Black Swan we are handed a dayglo slip of paper, informing us that tonight’s ‘infrasonic bass frequencies’ can make you feel ‘anxious, queasy or disorientated’, and ‘may also cause blurred vision’. If this happens, it's wise to take yourself outside. This could only be one of the UK’s key bass exploring institutions unleashed in one of Bristol’s notoriously anarchic venues. First and foremost, tonight is a celebration. A lot has happened to dubstep since Tectonic helped light its fuse a decade ago. Though the fertile ground mined by those involved has now birthed a wealth of styles that are increasingly splintered and diverse, tonight is a message that the key factors involved are still very much alive a well. With a host of unannounced artists, we counted 18 DJs across the line-up, all performing in one sweatbox room. After the scene was set by the formidable run of Ishan Sound, Peverelist and Hodge, Distance, The Bug and Miss Red, the energy in the room undeniably hit its peak during the last five hours of freewheeling back-toback-to-backs. Highlights, of the many, include sudoriferous jungle from DJ Die, a Coki track that got five reloads, Kahn and Neek’s destructive dubplate of The Bug’s Skeng, and a 20-minute surprise set from Slimzee and Riko Dan. With the honour of the last tune passed on to Kahn, it was an emotional end as the crowd held lighter in the air to give thanks to bossman Pinch. A passionate display of a rich and ongoing legacy – one that refuses to quieten down. ! Anna Tehabsim
UP C O MING LOND ON SHOWS
CRISTOBAL AND THE SEA Bir thdays Fri 02 Oct.
BOXED IN XOYO Thurs 15 Oct.
BORN RUFFIANS The 100 Club Weds 07 Oct.
CHASTIT Y BELT The Victoria Thurs 15 Oct.
BL AENAVON The Waiting Room Thurs 08 Oct.
THE SOF T MOON Electrowerkz Weds 21 Oct.
FATHER JOHN MIST Y
FATHER JOHN MIST Y
Corsica Studios Weds 28 Oct.
O2 Shepherd Bush Empire Weds 28 Oct.
O2 Shepherd Bush Empire Thurs 29 Oct.
WAXAHATCHEE Islington Assembly Hall Thurs 29 Oct.
SILENT HILL LIVE The Laundr y Sun 01 Nov.
TIT US ANDRONICUS Village Underground Thurs 05 Nov.
MARIK A HACKMAN
NOVELL A Moth Club Fri 30 Oct.
SONGHOY BLUES KOKO Weds 04 Oct.
MICACHU & THE SHAPES Oval Space Thurs 05 Nov.
ZOL A JESUS
THREE TRAPPED TIGERS & LITURGY The Dome Fri 30 Oct.
HOLLY HERNDON Oval Space Weds 04 Oct.
MYKKI BL ANCO The Laundr y Fri 06 Nov.
JOSH T. PEARSON
Union Chapel Fri 06 Nov.
Islington Assembly Hall Sat 07 Nov.
St. John at Hackney Sat 07 Nov.
ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER
BILL RYDER JONES
Village Underground Sun 08 Nov.
The Victoria Tues 10 Nov.
The Lexing ton Weds 11 Nov.
ALEL A DIANE
By The Sea: FOALS
Bush Hall Weds 11 Nov.
Oval Space Fri 13 Nov.
Dreamland, Margate Sat 14 Nov.
SCAL A Sun 22 Nov.
The Victoria Thurs 26 Nov.
KOKO Mon 30 Nov.
WILLIS EARL BEAL
Moth Club Mon 30 Nov.
Bethnal Green Working Mens Club Thurs 03 Dec.
XOYO Tues 19 Jan.
ILLUMINATIONS EXPLORATIONS IN MUSIC, FILM & ARTS MON 30 OCT - NOV 08 30/10
BL AENAVON THREE TRAPPED TIGERS & LITURGY EVAN CAMINITI ILLUMINATIONS AT THE DOME
31/10 - ADDITIONAL DATE ADDED DUE TO DEMAND
SILENT HILL LIVE FEAT. AKIRA YAMAOKA
PERFORMING HIS LEGENDARY SCORES TO THE SILENT HILL VIDEO GAME ILLUMINATIONS AT ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY HALL 01/11
SILENT HILL LIVE FEAT. AKIRA YAMAOKA
PERFORMING HIS LEGENDARY SCORES TO THE SILENT HILL VIDEO GAME ILLUMINATIONS AT THE LAUNDRY 01/11
THEY WILL HAVE TO KILL US FIRST PLUS Q & A WITH SONGHOY BLUES ILLUMINATIONS AT THE BRITISH LIBRARY 03/11
HEAVEN ADORES YOU
LONDON LAUNCH EVENT ILLUMINATIONS AT PRINCE CHARLES CINEMA 04/11
JAM CITY & CLAIRE TOLAN ILLUMINATIONS AT OVAL SPACE IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE BARBICAN 05/11
ILLUMINATIONS AT VILLAGE UNDERGROUND 05/11
MICACHU & THE SHAPES ILLUMINATIONS AT OVAL SPACE 06/11
MYKKI BLANCO PRESENTS C-ORE ILLUMINATIONS AT THE LAUNDRY 07/11
JOSH T. PEARSON
PLUS SPECIAL GUEST RICHARD DAWSON BRIANA MARELA & LETâ€™S EAT GRANDMA ILLUMINATIONS AT ST. JOHN AT HACKNEY 07/11
BLANCK MASS ILLUMINATIONS AT ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY HALL 08/11
ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER GAZELLE TWIN ILLUMINATIONS AT VILLAGE UNDERGROUND 08/11
get tickets and full info at www.rockfe e dback.com
RAIN THE COLOUR RED WITH A LITTLE BLUE IN IT PLUS DIRECTORS Q & A & DJs ILLUMINATIONS AT HACKNEY PICTUREHOUSE
www.IlluminationsLondon.com www.rockfeedbackconcerts.com www.songkick.com
Live MELVINS Panorama Bar, Berlin 24 September
RUN THE JEWELS Dismaland, Weston Super Mare 4 September
DIMENSIONS Fort Punta, Croatia 26 - 30 August At this point, Dimensions seems matured; after a series of tried and tested programmes as well as a few seriously unfortunate weather incidences, the well-loved event is ironing out the creases and finding its stride. Although much of the music comes via the DJing format, the opening concert features some stellar live sets. The exquisite Floating Points ensemble treated the audience to a smattering of unreleased material, presumably from his forthcoming debut album Elaenia while Little Dragon gave a more conventional performance, igniting the party atmosphere. Closing the show was the ever magical Four Tet, who’s set began with soft bursts of ambient that steadily escalated into a colourful explosion of some of Keiran Hebden’s best dancefloor-focused tracks. The boat parties provide another jewel to the crown of Dimensions. The NTS party featured a line-up of residents like Kutmah, Moxie, Shamos and the power coupling of Jon Rust and Charlie Bones. The whole thing was such an ecstatic affair that a conga broke out, taking nearly everyone by surprise. A big mention has to also be made to the Audio Asylum and Abandon Silence event, as Motor City Drum Ensemble’s heady disco and classy house produced an electricity like no other boat party I’ve ever experienced. By now, Dimensions know just what works for their crowd within the strikingly unique, 2000-yearold amphitheatre that they call home, as they continue to invite their now regular cast of acts to perform to an increasingly loyal clientele. We’re not sure what can be improved on next year, but we’re looking forward to finding out.
! Ollie Terrey Dan Medhurst
TOK YO WOLRD Eastville Park, Bristol 26 September From tiny acorns, mighty raves grow. Bristol’s Tokyo World has mutated from a homegrown party for like-minded mates to a 15,000 capacity event featuring a fire-breathing volcano, and it’s now capable of attracting techno royalty like Jeff Mills and Derrick Carter alongside the more established bass-orientated acts that have always dominated the festival’s line-ups. And on a sun-drenched Saturday in September, the transition from local attraction to full blown festival was complete. The unseasonably good weather clearly helped to get the punters through the door early, and the DJs in a raucous mood: by 5pm the bulging crowd on the Mutiny drum ‘n’ bass stage was looking encouragingly like a 5am gathering. As the sun dropped behind the Shapes stage, Midland shifted from nu-disco nuggets to stylish mid-pace house, and DMZ legends Mala and Coki rolled out rumbling, heads-down bass weight at the Tokyo Hifi shack. Jeff Mills cut a slightly forlorn figure back on the Shapes stage, but brought a welcome dose of sleek motorik techno to the festival’s closing session. Booking Roots Manuva as the main stage headliner was a shrewd move: his forthcoming album contains some of his strongest material in years. If the set’s slower moments couldn’t quite hold the crowd’s rapidly diminishing attention span, then the longstanding rapper’s tunes weren’t to blame: Tokyo World was really all about the DJs, and the crowd came ready for dancing the night (and day) away. ! Adam Corner N Shotaway
A fairground worker hisses at me as I pass through an array of makeshift security passes: “Why are you smiling?” I stare blankly at the pool of drowning refugee figures floating in Banksy’s boat ride game. This is Dismaland. Bemusement park and land of nightmares. And then faint trill of Rockerfeller Skank rings in the distance – Wait, what? Fuck, that's Fat Boy Slim. As Norman Cook played Let it Go, the delighted fans are more than happy to sing along. I can’t help but feel a discrete irony about the whole situation, but then again, maybe that's the point. Run the Jewels have always commanded their audience with a certain crushing chutzpah, and after promising to ‘burn this joint to the ground’, tonight is no exception. Their booking feels apt – in a recent interview with Banksy, Killer Mike admitted to feeling scared ‘a system exists that wishes not to see all people live with human dignity and respect’. Under the allseeing eyes of David Cameron, the duo play tracks from throughout their catalogue. “You want a whore in a white dress / I want a wife in a thong,” goes Angel Duster, a subtle dig at the male braggadocio, while Love Again sees a gentle shift in the chorus from ‘I want that dick in the mouth all day’ to ‘I want that clit in the mouth all day’. Previously in the night, EL-P had warned the moshing crowds to be careful of ‘the ladies getting crushed at the front’ – a refreshing alternative to the misogynistic sleaze of other rappers. Admittedly cyncial at first, Dismaland proved to be the perfect venue for such a politically weighty performance. The artist's grounded attitude fit perfectly in the venue's maxim of equality and liberty. Strictly, no Fuckboys allowed. ! Gunseli Yalkcinkaya
The Melvins and Big Business at Panorama Bar is undoubtedly one of the most inviting gig listings we´ve seen recently. They should put metal on in here more often – Berghain´s industrial heritage makes it a perfect match for the genre. There´s still a lot of black, same as weekends, only tonight t-shirts bear the names of Isis and Neurosis. Since 2006, bassist Jared Warren and drummer Coady Willis from Big Business have made up half of The Melvins´ line-up. So when you see The Melvins, you often get Big Business thrown in as support. Those attending tonight evidently know what a great band Big Business are too - the room is full for the duration of their set. They play 40 minutes of dark, inch-perfect stoner – such incredible noise for just two people. Willis and Warren reappear onstage 20 minutes later alongside lifelong members of The Melvins, Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover. What follows is a mind-blowing ninety-minute set which swings from the camp bravado of The Water Glass to the sludge of Billy Fish. Crover and Willis impressively smash their drum kits in perfect unison. Osborne remains a phenomenal frontman and guitarist. Looking suitably weird in a black poncho covered in giant eyes, he´s still sporting his trademark silver afro, with a menacing undercut added in for good measure. When the noise stops, we are left in a state of complete awe. That The Melvins continue to deliver this feeling after all these years is incredibly impressive. ! Jack Bolter
BOSTON MUSIC ROOMS LONDON WED 07 OCT
X AMBASSADORS DINGWALLS LONDON TUE 13 OCT
MARLON WILLIAMS EAGLE INN SALFORD TUE 10 NOV
EXCHANGE BRISTOL TUE 27 OCT SOUND CONTROL MANCHESTER SAT 31 OCT THE DOME LONDON THU 05 NOV + 5 MORE DATES
CLEAN CUT KID
BULLINGDON OXFORD THU 05 NOV THE PRINCE ALBERT BRIGHTON FRI 06 NOV
O 2 ACADEMY 3 BIRMINGHAM MON 12 OCT HEAVEN LONDON TUE 20 OCT
CLAY & KASSASIN STREET BIRTHDAYS LONDON THU 15 OCT
YO LA TENGO
O 2 SHEPHERD’S BUSH EMPIRE TUE 20 OCT
LEADMILL SHEFFIELD SAT 31 OCT LIBRARY BIRMINGHAM TUE 03 NOV
O 2 ACADEMY BRISTOL TUE 10 NOV RITZ MACNHESTER WED 11 NOV THE FORUM LONDON SAT 14 NOV INSTITUTE BIRMINGHAM SUN 15 NOV
A THREE DAY AND NIGHT MUSIC FESTIVAL
NOVEMBER 3RD, 4TH & 5TH 2015 LONDON
LIANNE LA HAVAS
SAM HENSHAW • JIM CAESAR • RAT BOY PRETTY VICIOUS • ZIBRA • ANTEROS BROLIN • SUNSET SONS • THE BEACH COMMUNIONS • FEWS • HACKTIVIST CLEAN CUT KID • WILL JOSEPH COOK + MANY MORE
EVENTIM APOLLO HAMMERSMITH THU 12 NOV
INSTITUTE BIRMINGHAM FRI 04 DEC O 2 ACADEMY BOURNEMOUTH SAT 05 DEC CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE MON 07 DEC O 2 ACADEMY BRIXTON MON 14 DEC
@ L N S o u rce
Ti c ke t s | E xc l u s i ve s | Wi n | l i ve n at i o n .co. u k
VARIOUS ARTISTS [Cease & Desist] DIY! (Cult Classics From The Post-Punk Era 1978-82) Optimo Music
JULIA HOLTER Have You In My Wilderness Domino
It’s been a long, hot day in Manhattan. Kanye West, Riccardo Tisci and editorial representatives from The Fader and Hypebeast are sat round a long, white table in a minimalist penthouse office space in the Lower East Side. “Let’s build a superstar,” Kanye says, sipping on a glass of ice-cold carbonated water. Rodeo plays out like moodboard. Rather than actually coming across like a rapper’s debut, it’s more of a confused mishmash of rap music ephemera from the last 12 months. While there are a number of enjoyable moments, it would be impossible to pin down a ‘Travi$ Scott sound’. 3500 sounds like Future at his most anthemic, Apple Pie sounds like a particularly good Rich Homie Quan song and standout cut Maria I’m Drunk is the Young Thug / Justin Bieber collab we’ve always dreamed of – Scott’s presence almost gets in the way. On Piss On Your Grave – a two-year-late Yeezus afterthought – Travi$ barks, “This is the moment I’ve been waiting for”. The culmination of all that hype is little more than a carousel of buzzwords and style-biting. Fitting then, that the front cover is of an action figure. Much like Action Man, all the parts on Rodeo are present and correct but that is all they are – parts. “But, he isn’t actually, really, doing anything?” says Tisci, nervously catching Kanye’s eye-line. “They’ll never notice”.
Julia Holter’s last record, Loud City Song, made a serious impact across the end-of-year lists back in 2013. That album was a huge accomplishment; ambitious in its thematic approach, experimental instrumentally and palpably atmospheric, which is perhaps why – rather than try to top it with another LP in the same vein – the Los Angeles native instead took a left turn with Have You in My Wilderness. This is an altogether more intimate affair than Loud City Song, largely shorn of the overarching narratives and oblique literary references that had so often coloured Holter’s previous work. In fact, this is probably the most accessible record she’s made to date. It’s not that there is any shortage of the avant-garde approach that she made her name with, there is glacial majesty in the languid, orchestrally-underpinned likes of How Long? for instance, as well as minimal, airy charm over the course of the six-minute Betsy on the Roof, which is punctuated by choppy piano. Instead, the album has real pop credentials, especially with tracks like the breezy Everytime Boots and Silhouette, where lush vocals wash over an off-kilter beat. The road to mainstream success is littered with artists who have tried and failed to make that jump all too suddenly; it’s something you suspect Holter won’t have any trouble with. Have You in My Wilderness sees her positively gliding towards accessibility; she sacrifices none of her experimental credentials, but demonstrates no fear of allowing her sound to evolve, either.
!!! As If Warp
YOUNG THUG Slime Season Self-Released
Nic Offer is an incredible frontman, with arguably the best dance moves in the business, and the musicianship within his band makes a !!! gig a guaranteed great night out. But in recent years, the Sacramento dance-punk outfit have sometimes struggled to transfer that energy into the studio, and on As If, too many of the songs barely register at all. There are parallels between All U Writers, and the house vibe on Slyd from 2013´s THR!!!ER album. However, where Slyd slapped you in the face and triggered an immediate physical reaction, All U Writers never takes off. By the same token, Every Little Bit Counts appears to flirt with the disco style which worked so nicely on 2013 summer hit, One Girl/ One Boy, but the songwriting just doesn’t hold up. Latest single Freedom ´15 sums up the issue with As If. The song starts off well enough, but falls down with a passé synth riff for the drop at the chorus, and then the song fades out when it´s really just getting started. Sick Ass Moon and Funk (I Got This) hint at the sort of off-kilter dance record !!! probably should be making right now, but it feels like the success of their previous, most accessible album has confused things here.
! Duncan Harrison
! Joe Goggins
! Jack Bolter
During a recent interview in France, Young Thug insisted that he’s from another planet. “And I’m ready to go back to it,” he said. “This shit petty. Like, earth. Close-minded people”. His frustration is understandable. While his outsider perspective has allowed him to create a unique style, his rise has been met with panic and suspicion from his many haters. Young Thug broke through with his 2013 mixtape 1017 Thug. The then 21-year-old ATLien and Gucci Mane protégé pierced through the saturated trap market by paying zero attention to the genre’s rulebook. Aesthetically, he made a striking contrast to his Brick Squad peers too. His lanky figure was wrapped in tight-fitted, often feminine clothing and his tattooed face was decorated with septum and lip piercings. There have been many artists who’ve marketed themselves by subverting the hyper-masculine norms of gangster clichés in recent years, but they’ve often found themselves relegated to an alternative fanbase. Atlanta trap often portrays an intense, cold-hearted world – one in which deviations from masculinity risk costing you money, power or your life. Much of the fascination around Young Thug, therefore, has been based on the fact that his eccentricity seems radical, rebellious and uncontrived. Slime Season is the delayed pre-album mixtape in the run up to Young Thug’s (also delayed) first ‘official’ LP HY!£UN35. As his recent music videos prove, Thug is now acutely aware of the content-generating potential of his weirdness. He’s become a full-blown style icon and he’s slipped inside the stronghold of mainstream hip-hop. To unfamiliar or ignorant ears, Young Thug’s vocals might sound like total gibberish, but close listenings of Slime Season reveal his technical prowess. Rarri and Stunna see him reprise the aggressive splutter that he perfected on the 1017 Thug classic 2 Cups Stuffed, while on the more restrained London On Da Track-produced songs he skillfully weaves the kind of off-key melodies explored on his recent Barter 6 release. Slime Season’s highlights are That’s All, Wanna Be Me and Calling Your Name (which with its chipmunk vocals, EDM synths and Ellie Goulding sample, could be a radio hit if the vocal performance wasn’t so bizarre), where the sweet sound palettes encourage his unlikely romantic side, exposing undertones of love beneath his libido and glimmers of poetry in his unblinking vulgarity. Because for all Young Thug’s surrealism, he’s best when he’s dealing with emotions that are very human, and among Slime Season’s many incomprehensible squeals, there’s a bold confession to be dug out: “Im’ma earthling in disguise.” ! Davy Reed
TR AVI$ SCOT T Rodeo Grand Hustle / Epic
This one’s been a long time coming, for various reasons. A selection of under-the-radar post-punk 7”s unearthed by JD Twitch, it’s a slice of the raw late 70s/early 80s sound that creeps its way into even the most crowd-pleasing sets of Glasgow’s finest tag-team, Optimo, of which Twitch forms half. For fans of the beloved DJ duo, the release goes further than finally solving a few track ID queries, it comprehensively assembles them (the double-vinyl version also comes with detailed notes of each track written by Twitch). Then there’s also the ceaseand-desist letter sent by Sony. Delaying the release by roughly five months, it ordered Optimo Music to destroy all initial copies, arguing that the compilation’s original title - Now That’s What I Call DIY - infringed the copyright of its long-running Now That’s… series. Though Twitch responded to the “nightmare” situation, saying, “the only person I am angry with is myself,” if anything, the incident amplified the release’s importance. This microcosmic display of corporate force couldn’t have been more potent – directly and unintentionally rubbing against the slogan on the original cover: “it's easy, it's cheap, go out and do it”. Among its selection of low slung, wigged out post-punk is a display of unshackled, oppositional, risk-taking music by individuals shunning corporate ambition. Despite being thrown together with minimal resources – each track carries the rough around the edges feel of its initial recording – there’s a seductive urgency that runs through its veins: Tesco Bombers’ provocative tale of a “sexy terrorist”, the purring softness from Industrial Records’ Dorothy, and the raw innocence of The Prats’ Disco Pope are just a few examples. For those craving the wide-eyed abandon of the era, it’s a window into a cherished, now enviable, period of unfettered selfexpression. ! Anna Tehabsim
06 R ABIT Communion Tri Angle
EMPRESS OF Me Terrible Records
‘This one’s for your heart and for your mind / The melody’s in 4x4 time / Get it right and it rings true / And now they’re coming out in droves / Out the forest and to the shows / There’s nothing else to do’. Those are the opening lines to The Libertines’ comeback album. Sadly, their vow to rouse us with their heartfelt sincerity falls flat. It’s actually a reworked Babyshambles demo – and it’s not even one of the better songs they could have scraped from Doherty’s late noughties creative dry patch. The album’s lead single Gunga Din was an accurate indicator of this records’ direction. With help from their under appreciated rhythm section, the band explore a ska reggae influence before Doherty and Barat (and Barat especially) come across like parody acts of the punk-inspired poets they once were, and the band’s raw appeal is sanitised during the chorus by producer Jake Gosling – who’s worked on numerous albums by Ed Sheeran and One Direction. For those who once had a strong emotional connection with The Libertines (which is pretty much most of us, it seems), there’s the occasional moment to be enjoyed here. And on a personal level, it’s hard not to be moved by the realistic potential of a happy ending for the band members. But while their honest fatalism can be compelling, the strangely unwitty lyrics on Anthems for Doomed Youth make the world of The Libertines feel like an uncomfortable cliché, and to pretend that this album is a genuine return to form would be to do Up The Bracket’s legacy a great disservice.
If you were to attempt to apply a pattern to Rabit’s deliberately indefinable Communion it would most likely be one of call and response. It is a record that throws bursts of chaos, dense thuds, swallowed samples and frenetic, sliced rhythms out in clouds, like black ink, before letting them settle Rorschach-like, in disassembled meaning. Rabit, real name Eric Burton, has spoken of his inability, or at least reluctance, to label his music. Many have declared it grime, yet the desire to attach a club environment to his work is misguided. Communion exists comfortably alongside the ethos of producers like Lotic or Arca, willing to take the landscape of dance-focused electronic music, but happier still to remove its functionalities and repurpose its materials to achieve commentary or abstract reflection. When Communion is at its most successful, it is able to marry these two, offering enough in the way of natural attractiveness to allow automatic engagement, while continuing to challenge and comment. During the best examples of this, double header Burnerz and Glass Harp Interlude for instance, Burton proves himself an emerging master of dark adventurism. Blending seductive, yet aggressive, production with enough doubt and poignancy for the assaults to sink in. The danger, as with many of his contemporaries, is that the abrasiveness distracts from the truth. The meaning may end up lost on many who have been drawn to his work by its brute force, or sheer noise — many of the album’s weakest, or at least most vague, moments are its loudest. This is a record that finds its real power in the space between attacks. The echoes after the fact. It is a communion between violence and thought.
It took Seth Troxler one take, a single take, to complete his curation for 2015’s final DJ Kicks compilation. You could argue that the speed, almost flippancy, of its creation is testament to the selector’s self-endorsed pluckiness. Regardless of intention, or lack thereof, Troxler’s contribution is an imperative inclusion to the series. The whole thing hemorrhages delicacy and elegance. It’s the closest you’ll get to having the DJ breezily sweep through songs as if he was lounging on your sofa. And while it initially presents itself as a set teemed with clashes and irregularities, Troxler maintains a dexterous control between blends. As he's ascertained in interviews, it’s a very honest collection. Tuskegee Music and Soft Touch label’s alumni emerge alongside time-honoured originators such as Derrick May, Mood II Swing and Byron Stingily. It strides with a customary Troxler chutzpah, beginning with intimate ease and elevating to a state of salacious sleaze. Separately, every track stands up, from Phil Pharnell’s edit of Herbert’s Suddenly to Sweet Pussy Pauline’s vocal rounds on Dean Street Crew's The Credit Card. Together, Troxler forges a loose narrative, subtly sardonic and infinitely aware of itself. It certainly doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but as Troxler attests himself, “It’s good music that works to listen to at any time.”
! Henry Johns
! Angus Harrison
! Tom Watson
THE LIBERTINES Anthems for Doomed Youth Virgin EMI
Like the running pages of a diary, Me provides a glimpse into the head and heart of Brooklyn singer Lorely Rodriguez. The simple cover and simpler name suit the music, stripped of the gloss usually associated with contemporary pop. And if the power of her voice is anything to go by, there are no frills required. Rodriguez wrote the album during an extended trip to central Mexico, where she spent a good amount of time mulling over her life in Brooklyn. As a reflection upon the gentrification of her native city, the album follows a two-pronged path whereby her estrangement is both situational and personal. Through clever wording and visual themes, the lyrics elicit a double meaning. In Standard, Rodriguez cries, “I’ve been living below the standard/With a hunger that feeds the fire/I’ve been eyeing your plate of diamonds,” while in Water, Water, her words depict the swelling prices of water to an aqueous slosh of synths. In both, her words are equally as political as they are romantic. If these lyrics are a window into her soul, then Me is a glassy projection into the young artist’s struggles. What concerns her is class, but within these abstract problems is plenty of room for the personal. However, as we dig further into the album, it becomes apparent that Rodriguez’s lyrics are about self-forgiving, too. Need Myself sees her declare, “Can I get up on my knees/and find a rhythm of my own,’ while Icon begins, “I’ve been taking too many pills to be sleeping”. Rodriguez is no saint, but she doesn’t claim to be. She is a crystalline reflection of the modern woman.
Why make one effortlessly cool mix when you could make three? And why release this triple-length album – a sideways tribute to the New York institution Paradise Garage – on a conventional format, when you could bury a USB key in a tin can (which you need a tin opener to get inside)? It was very tempting to simply list the 57 tracks included on this beautifully curated collection, which veers from mischievous curios and Italo oddities, to strungout disco-tinged house, to Kurt Vile, with a dozen other styles in between. As you’d expect from a man who releases a mix in a can, there are some truly strange and playful moments – the varietyshow space-funk of Mistral’s Starship 109 is a good example. Cosmic strings sweep in and out, and the music veers between slo-mo washed out lounge and taut, melodic techno. Actress, Hieroglyphic Being, Villalobos and Luke Abbot all make an appearance, and are all given a chance to breathe. But above all this a confident and creative DJ reminding us that when done this well, playing good records one after another (sometimes barely mixed together at all) is an artform that will never, ever get tired. Another three hours would have been more than welcome.
After the release of their debut LP Impersonator, Majical Cloudz toured heavily. A portion of that schedule was spent playing massive arena dates with Lorde. It all added to the curious sensation and massive success of Majical Cloudz. The starkness and intense sincerity of their debut left them with a following and a position where half of the alternative music press were behind them without really being able to justify what separates all the other emotive, stripped-back synth indie. Are You Alone? looks to continue this cult of personality. Fortunately, it is a cult grounded in gorgeous, cinematic pop songs wrapped up in introspection and woebegone lyricism. Heavy features one of singer Devon Welsh’s best vocal performances while Downtown builds into one of their most self-assured and stirring crescendos to date. If Impersonator was an introduction to their vacant navel-gazing then this record spends some real time in the zone. Flickers of stillness and even joy tangled up in Matthew Otto’s theatrical, minimalist production. Despite the album's frequent moments of effective drama, the sound here is inoffensive, and it is still unclear what’s made Majical Cloudz so popular. It’s either their genuine fearlessness, or their way of making heartache easy to consume.
! Gunseli Yalcinkaya
! Adam Corner
! Duncan Harrison
PRINS THOMAS Paradise Goulash Eskimo Recordings
MA JICAL CLOUDZ Are You Alone? Matador
SETH TROXLER DJ Kicks !K7
08 07 VARIOUS ARTISTS Ostgut Ton | Zehn, Ostgut Ton There is a loyalty attached to the Ostgut Ton label that stretches far beyond Berghain’s numerous walls and beyond the artists that form the musical structure of the club. While many of the artists that appear on this compilation (a 10th anniversary 10 x 12” vinyl release) of original production material have their own outlets for releasing music, Ostgut Ton feels inexorably like the glue that stitches them all together. In 10 years it has arguably helped position some of its foremost artists as international leaders in their field, and in essence helped foster a reinvigoration and love for the tougher end of the techno and house spectrum. 30 different artists and 30 original productions make up nearly three and a half hours of music in what is likely to be the labels’s most coveted release to date. Musically, the gems come come in rich variation that eschews any pre-conceived ideas as to what 30 Ostgut Ton tracks might entail. This is not 30 tracks of pounding techno, though the first killer track on the compilation comes in the form of Ryan Elliott’s bpm raising Smith Lake, where relentless propulsion is tethered by a killer bass hook. Other notable creations come in the form of Steffi’s etro-electro slice of futurism on löweborschtel. The efforts from Substance and Luke Slater’s LB Dub Corp sound like they were created with Berghain’s main chamber in mind, all echo and drive. Possibly the most majestic piece comes in the form of the production duo Barker and Baumecker, whose 10 minute epic Love Is A Battlefield draws on broken beat influences, euphoria and an open-minded structure reminiscent of more linear Apex Twin productions as much as anything. Other highlights come in the form of Atom™ & Tobias’s paranoid and sinister Physik E7532, the frantic minimalism of Efdemin’s unten links and the softer melancholy on Virigina’s Never Underestimate. It’s the musical scope of the compilation which makes Ostgut Zehn an essential acquisition for anyone with an affinity to the sound of the Berghain, but also for anyone with an admiration of Ostgut’s continued collectivism. ! Thomas Frost
BENJAMIN DAMAGE Obsidian 50WEAPONS
It’d be easy to peg Kurt Vile as a slacker but let’s face it, he’s far from lazy. Alongside six EPs, B’lieve I’m Goin’ Down is his sixth album in seven years and it’s a marked progression in songwriting that leaves him sitting pretty on top of a big pile of would-be rivals. Vile’s brand of poppy Americana has come a long way from his more subdued, hazy lo-fi roots. He’s now capable of writing certified earworms with ‘proper choruses’ and everything. Opening track Pretty Pimpin’ is the perfect example of this new, more focused Kurt Vile. It’s upbeat and catchy, echoing songs like KV Crimes and Never Run Away from 2013’s Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze. Sure, on first listen the lyrics come off as pretty corny and cartoonish (“All I want is to just have some fun, and live my life like a son of a gun”) but that’s just par for the course with KV. Elsewhere on the album Life Like This brings an endlessly looping, buzzing piano to the equation and Lost My Head There slinks into something that almost sounds like dusty, Southern disco. On the whole, B’Lieve I’m Goin’ Down is a more upbeat and polished album than any Vile has released before. It’s also far less compelling. What it makes up for in pace it lacks in lushness and warmth. Even the slower songs like That’s Life Tho (Almost Hate To Say It) just don’t feel complete. B’lieve I’m Goin’ Down ain’t bad, but whatever’s next for Kurt, we just hope he takes a little more time getting there.
With the release of Benjamin Damage’s second solo album, Modeselektor’s 50Weapons label is calling it a day. Clearly the label – and Damage – are feeling nostalgic, because Obsidian feels like a long, lucid love-letter to the recent past. Emerging in the blizzard of new talent that swept out of UK bedrooms and across European dance floors around 2010, Damage’s productions were characteristic of the defining music shift of the time, fusing house and techno with the remnants of dubstep’s derivatives. On Obsidian, there’s nothing quite as teeth-rattling as previous single Swarm. Instead, the focus is on sleek, nuanced but tough technobased productions, with nods to the defining artists, sounds and aesthetics that have shone brightly over the last decade in underground dance music. The spacious Transmission sounds like vintage Martyn, while Shimmer layers hands-in-the-air synth fades over a rhythm and melody that evokes a laid-back Lone. The sonic markers pegging Obsidian to the post Hyph Mngo explosion are not hidden: the dreamy-but-driving style of production; the skittering breakbeats wrapped around a techno thud. The introspective epic Pulse Width could be a guest spot from Modeselektor themselves but when handled with such skill and care, it is a celebration not a tribute. Although it now sounds like a Nathan Barley outtake, the notion of ‘future garage’ was a well-meaning attempt at capturing an explosion of creative energy in electronic music. Obsidian never resorts to lazy retro re-hashes, but offers a welcome trip down memory lane to a point where the best days of this ‘future’ genre were still yet to come.
"Grime as high art,” Logan Sama said. This is how he endorsed FabricLive 83. A curated exhibition of 24 exclusive instrumentals featuring 66 of the UK’s spearheading spitters. But what exactly does his high art allude to? Avoiding capitalising on grime’s zeal, Sama’s ‘high art’ is referring to something all the more intimate. Its principal intention is to elicit the excitement of pirate radio’s salad days, where an artist’s bars would dictate who would be eulogised and who would be defamed on the school playground. Here, Sama recaptures the guileless hysteria of pirated late night sessions with Dewey Decimal precision. It’s a warts and all collation of glossed up verses and 16 bar whomps. Exploiting his bloating black book of MC contacts, Sama merges a cavalry of renowned mainstays with a swell of upcoming voices. Jammer, Flowdan, Wiley, D Double E, Ghetts, Kano, Bossman Birdie, deliver fire with familiarity, almost acting as pedestals for the likes of Jammz and AJ Tracey to propel from. Signature, archival bars are commonplace, but recycled over disparate production styles. The siren of Footsie’s Brake Light sounds from left to right as D Double E recites Lovely Jubbly, while modern day classics such as Grim Sicker’s Black Bin Bag Him are soldered together with unrecognizable sounds. Across the mix, there is a library of these instances, too frequent to highlight in one sitting. And that is the cardinal objective of FabricLive 83; to ration every MC’s hunger to deliver standout soundbites. Every 16 is a compendium of hostility; recklessly skittering from one spitter to the next. Sub-bass spills over staple 2-step rides almost racing alongside verses. From the likes of Faze Miyaki, Terror Danjah and Teeza, there are 24 beats spanned over 70 minutes; each as progressive, mischievous, and animal as the last. Unsurprisingly, almost every MC commends Sama during their time on the mic. This is a 'credit where credit's due' scenario. While openly conceding that he has not physically created anything you hear on FabricLive 83, Sama is piloting grime as a higher form of art; one with a footing in the past but a head locked in the future. Logan Sama's compilation is the evidence of grime’s inability to vegetate and its itching to develop at an almost infallible pace.
The ghost in the machine is calling, and it’s in the form of a whirring synth. Howl is the new album by Rival Consoles, the London-based electronic producer Ryan Lee West, and it features fellow Erased Tapes collaborators Fabien Prynn and Peter Gregson. From primal rhythms to doleful improvisations, the album follows from last year’s Sonne; and if the former is West’s vision of colour, then Howl is an exploration into a darker, more monochrome territory. Viscid beats tack statically into droning basslines and like the monotonous flap of a revolving door, each track upholds a certain uniformity reminiscent of an early Jon Hopkins. But unlike the former, Howl holds an organic naturality that puts the man in the machine. This humanised take on techno provides both individuality as it does innovation. With darker undertones, West’s music paints an unsettling pitch. Walls opens with a ground shaking rumble that collapses into an array of dispersed patters, while 3 Laments opens with a mechanical cooing to arouse humane images of weeping or mourning – as the name suggests. Afterglow throbs to a post-endorphin pulse, momentarily flashing to the events of the night before the glow, and somewhere between the guttural sizzle of bass and the light reduction of drums is the mind of a man whose music, though made by a machine, is very much alive.
! Billy Black
! Adam Corner
! Tom Watson
! Gunseli Yalcinkaya
KURT VILE B’lieve I’m Goin’ Down Matador Records
RIVAL CONSOLES Howl Erased Tapes
LOGAN SAMA FabricLive 83 fabric
The Debut Album Out Now Live at Village Underground November 26
preSent eSSential new releaSeS from:
VEGA INTL. Night School
hippo CampuS The Halocline EPs
Blaenavon Miss World EP
Ltd. 2x12” / CD / DL
12” / DL
Out 16th October
‘South’ and ‘Bashful Creatures’ available on 2 x 12”
Out 30th Oct
Out 20th Nov
Deluxe CD / DL
Contains Re-Covered EP
Out 6th Nov
Music In Exile
Out Now / 6th Nov
S t a r G a z e and deerhoof preSent Chamber Variations EP 12” / DL Out 27th Nov
A Dream Outside
Ltd. 12” / CD / DL
Ltd. 12” / CD / DL
Ltd. 12” / CD / DL
Pelicans We EP
Film Of the films we’ve seen over the past month, three of them are inspired by true events. But in an age of mistruths, is there any benefit of proclaiming it? With no disrespect meant for the people these films pay homage to, we were underwhelmed by epic-fail that is Everest and its basic depiction of humanity. Then there were not one, but two Tom Hardys in the doppelganger gangster movie Legend – a romanticised telling of the Kray twins’ story which, despite being pretty silly, might just be a little smarter than it looks. At least Straight Outta Compton was hugely exciting, even if it was guilty of painting the members of N.W.A in an overly flattering light. It seems that no matter how much the “based on a true story” footnote has a commercial pull, the wider public are only going to cough up the fee for a cinema ticket if that “reality” is smothered with a little gloss.
ME AND E ARL AND THE DYING GIRL dir: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon Starring: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, Ronal Cyler II
STR AIGHT OUT TA COMPTON dir: F. Gary Gray Starring: O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jason Mitchell, Paul Giamatti N.W.A might have once been deemed too raw for Hollywood, but they’ve now established themselves in the pop culture canon by telling the story themselves. The film – directed by previous collaborator F. Gary Gray – credits Dr. Dre and Ice Cube as producers, and Cube is portrayed by his son O’Shea Jackson Jr. It’s the highest grossing music biopic of all time. Straight Outta Compton shows us some of the group’s more vulnerable emotional sturggles that were buried with their amoral public image – most interestingly the tenderness of the father-son relationship between Eazy E and the group’s manager Jerry Heller, who’s always been accused of betrayal. As it’s been well publicised, the women who played a major role in the N.W.A story are barely featured – most notably Michel’le, the singer who claims she was repeatedly assaulted by Dre during their relationship, or Dee Barnes – the TV host who Dre attacked at a record release party in 1991. Straight Outta Compton is a thrilling movie. It’s a big-budget, well-informed depiction of marginalised young men who had the courage to stand up to their oppressors and the talent to channel their fury into incredible music. But by shamelessly eclipsing N.W.A’s darkest tendencies, there’s times when Dre and Ice Cube’s ego-driven manipulation of the story feels like a bad joke. ! Davy Reed
As everyone who has watched Seth Rogen's 50/50 knows, a comedy about cancer is not by virtue of its topic either brave, interesting or of any entertainment or artistic value whatsoever. So it's a pleasure to watch Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, a film which tackles the topic with integrity whilst offering some brilliant character comedy and clever film references along the way. The angle which the film takes on cancer has less to do with the disease itself and more about how we (fail to) deal with it. Arch-protagonist Greg (Mann) is a narcissist who sees his family and acquaintances as 2D characters tasked with propping up his own selfindulgent self-loathing. His friends, Earl (Clyer II) and Rachel (Cooke), are very much 3D, but we only catch glimpses of this through the frosty glass of Greg's self-involved perspective – the prism through which everything else in the picture is filtered. This does mean that the character of Rachel falls totally into the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope, and Cyler's performance is restricted mostly to repeating 'dem titties' over and over, but if this is seen as a by-product of Greg's own limited interest in them, then the film makes sense. Come the end of the film, when it was all over, I wished I could have learned more about the infinitely more interesting 'Earl' and 'the dying girl' than 'me'. But that's a pretty good simulation of grief.
IRRITATIONAL MAN dir: Woody Allen Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey Abe Lucas (Phoenix) is a maudlin, alcoholic, borderlinenihilist philosophy professor newly appointed to a Rhode Island college. Preceded by tales of notoriety and philandering, his arrival on campus incites the attention of two rather disparate love interests; married science professor Rita (Posey) and ingenuous student Jill (Stone). Distracted by his depressive cynicism, Lucas does little more than concede to their attentions until overhearing a chance diner-booth conversation. In a swift diametric to earlier narrative musings, he decides that he has one clear purpose, the achievement of which will give his life a rich depth of meaning previously lacking. He begins to plot a murder. Although Phoenix and Stone undoubtedly deliver, Posey is the standout performance as Rita, throwing herself at Abe with an impressive mix of confidence, candour and desperation (“you're not going to send me back out into the rain without sleeping with me, are you?”). Darius Khondiji’s luminous cinematography and the repeated cadence of Ramsey Lewis Trio's jazz track The In Crowd offer a sunny contrast to the darker events unfolding onscreen. But eventually, Allen (now 79 and you expect, considering his own mortality more than ever before, an issue that he claims has troubled him since the age of five) leaves us with the bleak thought that despite our intentions – bad or good – there is nothing any of us can do to escape the seemingly random hand of fate. ! Tamsyn Aurelia-Eros Black
EVEREST dir: Baltasar Kormakur Starring: Jason Clarke, Emily Watson, Jake Gyllenhaal
! Francis Blagburn To be honest, the idea of a Hollywood film about the biggest mountain on the planet seemed as appealing as actually climbing it ourselves. Which is 'not very'. Could there be any salvation? A cast of big names perhaps? Based on a true story, Everest is led by that bloke who keeps on appearing in every big film you see, Jason Clarke (look him up... yeah that guy), the average-Joe typecast and the poster boy of mediocrity – who admittedly does pretty well here. Emily Watson, as ever, is a class act; Josh Brolin, as ever, is a Republican and Jake Gyllenhaal: a dude. Kiera Knightley's closest brush with realism was her runny nose in the closing scenes – which actually became really distracting. Despite the many scenes of epic struggle, the sense of relief we felt when she finally wiped her nose was the most satisfied we felt throughout the entire film. On the plus side, there's some great vintage North Face in there. ! Tim Oxley Smith
LEGEND dir. Brian Helgeland Starring: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, David Thewlis There’s an assumption that’s been made by more films than it is possible to mention – that the prestige of history is enough in of itself. That the legacy of real world narrative provides a seal of quality. Sadly though, truth doesn’t necessarily equal greatness. Brian Helgeland’s telling of the Kray twins story, against the polished Gatsby-esque CGI of a 1960s London, is far from being boring or thoughtless, yet as a historical biography, it has more in common with a Guy Ritchie movie than it does other great criminal character profiles such as . The decision to cast Tom Hardy as both Ronnie and Reggie Kray is — while effective as far as it provides visual rhythm and violent comedy — something of a gimmick. Not a gimmick in a cheap or shallow sense, but a gimmick in as much as rendering the every shout, shove, and punch a nod to the ridiculous mythology of these two gangsters. Perhaps, then, it is missing the point to complain that the film relies too heavily on humour, star power, and glamourised environs. Perhaps, for a story as already steeped in cliché and distanced so far from the truth as that of the Krays, the only option is to create a film as outlandish as its dubious origins. But in doing this, the film’s legacy in cinematic memory – unlike that of its subjects – is likely to be fleeting at best. ! Angus Harrison
79 NOT IN MY LANGUAGE Wu Tsang 30€ Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
Inspired by queer, trans and immigrant groups in Los Angeles, American artist Wu Tsang explores narratives that construct self. Enlisting artists like Total Freedom, Nguzunguzu and Boychild, much of his work explores explored the importance of nightlife to queer communities. Named after his solo exhibition in Europe, Tsang’s debut book Not in my Language offers a concise look at Tsang’s stimulating perspective on social displacement. LIAM HODGES SOCKS iwantthemsocks.liamhodges@ gmail.com We once lent Big Sean a Liam Hodges jacket that had punkish patches sewn into it, and he absolutely loved that shit. Now we’ve found out that Hodges is releasing some socks soon, and while I’m sat here typing this I’m trying to fight off a strong urge to order a couple of pairs. Liam Hodges is one of our favourite designers right now, and if he's good enough for Sean, he's definitely good enough for you.
TRAVI$ SCOTT ACTION FIGURE $150 travisscott.myshopify.com Would you like this action figure of the stylish rapper Travi$ Scott? It is 150 dollars. I’LL NEVER WRITE MY MEMOIRS Grace Jones £10 simonandschuster.com
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‘If the fuck don’t feel right, don’t fuck it,’ proclaims professional provocateur Grace Jones in her muchhyped autobiography, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs, and what Miss Jones says, we tend to pay attention to. INWMM intimately details her wild ride from Jamaican schoolgirl to Paris show-opener to New York’s Queen of Disco, ultimately proving what we knew already: Jones is an icon through and through.
camp.com This Chastity Belt-branded bucket hat is particularly special. If, like us, your love for the Seattle-based band grows everyday, get one of these to show your appreciation.
CRACK WHITE TEE £15 crackmagazine.net
PRINS THOMAS’ PARADISE GOULASH Eskimo Recordings Our can opener’s broken so we’re not 100% sure what’s inside this can of Prins Thomas’ Paradise Goulash that landed on our desk earlier this month. On the off-chance that there is actually a spiced Hungarian stew inside we offer our apologies to anyone expecting a quirky delivery system for 3 CDs rammed full of excellent spaced-out Norwegian disco tunes.
Pair this white Crack tee with some white shoes, white trousers, a white jacket and a nice white balaclava. You might feel like some kind of snowman-on-fleek at first but just remember: everything will be all white in the end.
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Goldenvoice Presents BABY STRANGE
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YEARS & YEARS
11.10.15 MOTH CLUB HACKNEY
27.10.15 OUT BRIXTON O2 ACADEMY SOLD 28.10.15 OUT BRIXTON O2 ACADEMY SOLD
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ALL WE ARE 14.10.15 SCALA
15.10.15 BUSSEY BUILDING
JP COOPER 15.10.15 KOKO
ANNE-MARIE OUT 21.10.15 SOLD OSLO HACKNEY
+ TRUST FUND & PARAKEET 21.10.15 DOME TUFNELL PARK
21.10.15 OVAL SPACE
+ PROTOMARTYR & SPRING KING 01.11.15 SCALA
BROKEN HANDS 03.11.15 OSLO HACKNEY
RIVRS 04.11.15 BARFLY
ROME FORTUNE 04.11.15 FIELDS BREWERY
19.11.15 OVAL SPACE
+ MICHAEL KIWANUKA 18.11.15 OUT SOLD O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON 19.11.15 OUT SOLD O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON
JOHN NEWMAN 23.11.15 UT KOKO SOLD O
LION BABE 24.11.15 HEAVEN
PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING
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VAULTS 11.11.15 KOKO
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20.01.15 THE 02
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OCT – MAR
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Releasing Vinyl LPs, Collectable Editions, CD & Digital since 2003 www.invada.co.uk
• 4 brand new tracks written, arranged and produced by Beak> Geoff Barrow, Billy Fuller and Matt Williams • Limited edition ‘River Avon Blue’ coloured vinyl (400 copies) • Regular edition Black vinyl (1600 copies)
ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK BY BEN SALISBURY AND GEOFF BARROW • • • •
Double LP/CD includes bonus material unavailable on digital version White vinyl Double LP (1500 copies) Includes Download Card Limited second pressing to Blue vinyl now available in store
• The incredible seven-track sequel to ‘EP I’ features ‘Motorcycle Cop’ and Power Glove remix of Invada stablemate - The Fauns’ ‘4AM’ • Invada Store Limited edition Red/White splatter vinyl (200 copies) • Regular edition Solid Red vinyl (800 copies)
ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK MUSIC BY JAMES NEWTON HOWARD
• JNH’s haunting score now available for the first time on vinyl • Regular and bespoke artwork sleeves • Coloured vinyl (details tbc)
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The #clickbait news rounded up by Josh Baines Time, they say, is a healer. They who say that time’s a healer have never really revealed themselves, but the rest of us blindly go along with it, telling each other and ourselves, that, yep, time’s a healer. We don’t really know why we say it. We say it though, don’t we? Things happen and we convince ourselves we’ll forget them, that life’s onward march, life’s unhaltable march towards our inevitable deaths will throw up other obstacles that make our current worries look like fuck all. Still, time’s a healer, though. The thing is though... it’s not. We do not forget and we do not forgive. We may do these things temporarily and injustices against us may momentarily fade from view, but they don’t ever go away. Nothing ever really goes away. We live with what we’ve done and what we’ve had done to us. Our fate is to accept that we cannot escape. We are doomed to repeat that which we told ourselves was unrepeatable. All of us live in an unceasing cycle of action and regret, regret and action. Still, time’s a healer, though.
Denzil Schniffermann Love, life and business advice from Crack’s esteemed agony uncle
It’s now widely believed that the Prime Minister of England fucked a dead pig in the mouth. The Prime Minister. Fucked. A pig. A dead pig. In the mouth. He fucked a dead pig. The man who makes decisions on behalf of 53 million people, he once decided to fuck a dead pig in the mouth. He has lived with this memory for all of his life and during the entirety of his reign. He fucked a dead pig. A dead pig. He fucked it in the mouth. Still, time’s a healer, though?
When I went to university in 2005 I had to pretend I was into grime for social convenience. Now, as I've just started my Comparative Literature degree in 2015, I’m having to contend with the same problem. Is it undignified for a guy approaching 30 to join in on a moshpit every time Shutdown comes on at a house party?
Don’t give into peer pressure my friend. I had the same problem with the metal scene in the 80s. All these hairy types rubbing up against you in the club, sweating all over my tailored shirts and contaminating my carefully deployed Old Spice scent. I had to combat them with some Spandau Ballet and Fisherman’s Friend – did I succeed? A year after I graduated I was traversing the Canary Isles on Duran Duran’s yacht.
Cornell, 29, Hemel Hempstead
I’ve been working late nights in the office a lot and I’m concerned about my health. Every meal I have seems to have high salt content and come in some sort of wrap, and I think I’ve had more conversations with the guy at the off license across the street than my own boyfriend this week. How can I efficiently balance my diet?
As man who prioritises business over pleasure, exercise and marriage, I’m no stranger to long and solitary evenings at my desk. To make ensure that I get my sustenance, I usually pack a vegetable medley in a tupperware box. It’s a blend of tinned beetroot, turnip, brussel sprouts, peas and parsnips and I often treat myself to a splash of bovril dressing. It gives me terrible indigestion, but fortunately I own a brand of antacid tablets – Scniffermann’s Soothers – which help it settle nicely.
Katie, 27, Cardiff
You sound like a prick. Want to fight?
Look I understand your annoyance and I’m certain that the root of your angst stems from jealousy. I’d refer a man of your age to some good old fashioned anger therapy and if that doesn’t work, why not take up smoking as a last resort? If all else fails I’m warning you that my tantra lessons don’t just get the old Denz libido pumping, they serve to make my old right hook quite a mean proposition too. I’ve already tapped your phone by the way, so I’ll be ready.
Frank, 30, Corsham
Problems? email firstname.lastname@example.org
Crossword Across 04. Electro double act who want to make you d.a.n.c.e (7) 06. No, she regrets nothing. Why, who’s asking? (5,4) 07. Man Utd’s No. 7 with the flicked up collar (7) 09. Robotic house and disco dudes who used to be GREAT and are now SHIT (4,4) 13. Big big bike race (4,2,6) 16. Luc Besson’s action-packed cab-com series (4) 17. Gooey round cheese (y) (9) Down 01. Someone who just bloody loves France bloody hell stop going on about it (11) 02. Yes (3) 03. Big nosed actor extraordinaire (6,9) 05. Are you mad? No, I’m a Parisian river (5) 08. Bread dipped in egg and then fried in a pan and then eaten by a person (6,5) 10. French chips (5) 11. No (3) 12. Big white mountain (4,5) 14. Ultimate fashion icon Coco. And it’s not Ice T’s wife (6) 15. Place in Canada where they speak different (6) Solution to last month’s crossword: THEME: FRIENDS. ACROSS: 04. SMELLY-CA7, 09. DAYS-OF-OUR-LIVES, 10. BAYWATCH, 12. GUNTHER 13. A-BREAK, 14. THE-ONE-WITH, 16. OH-MY-GOD DOWN: 01. GAYGAS 02. RELAXI-TAXI, 03. MARCEL, 05. TWO-PIZZAS, 06. UGLY-NAKED-GUY, 07. BANANAHAMMOCK, 08. PURPLE, 11. URSULA, 15. EMMA
IVY TRIPP LP / CD / DL
HEYDAYS LP / CD / DL
bEfoRE THE woRLD wAS bIg LP / CD / DL
FrAnkiE & THE HEArTSTringS
DECEnCY LP / CD / DL
Don’T wEIgHT Down THE LIgHT LP / CD / DL
Too LP / CD / DL
mYTHoLogIES 2LP / CD / DL
bREAkIng mY PHonE DL
W i C H i TA’ S 1 5 T H A n n i V E r S A r Y pA r T i E S 29 TH oCTobER
22nD noVE m b E R
ISLIngTon ASSEmbLY HALL. LonDon
LOS CAMpESinOS! AnD oSCAR THE SCALA. LonDon
T I C kE TS: www. R oC k f E E D b AC kCo n C E RTS .Co m W W W.W i C H i TA- r E C O r D i n g S .C O M
20 Questions: Childbirth
“We have each other’s names tattooed in our armpits” Words: Sammy Jones
With songs that discuss a gal’s godgiven right to have a good time (and the inevitable guilt that accompanies that), the anxieties surrounding women with traditionally “unfeminine” hygiene habits and the clueless ways people enquire into how lesbians “do it”, you’d be forgiven for assuming Childbirth’s output leans on the serious side. You’d be dead wrong. Last year’s I Only Fucked You As A Joke, for example, is basically the most fun song about regrettable sex ever, and song titles such as Siri, Open Tinder and More Fertile Than You give you an idea about what goes down on new album Women’s Rights.
What was your favourite cartoon when you were a kid? I really liked The Smurfs. I had a Smurfmobile, which was a little tricycle that I ride around my neighbourhood on. And I was a Smurf for Halloween, the only girl one, Smurfette.
They’re a supergroup too. Shapiro is of Chastity Belt, Bree McKenna is part of surf-pop quartet Tacocat and the third part of the trio, Stacy Peck, is also one half of Pony Time. We spoke with Peck early on a Monday morning and, to our delight, discovered what happened when she dropped acid at college, what a “Breakfast Pile” is, and whose name she has tattooed in her armpit.
What is your favourite sitcom? I used to be a really big Roseanne fan, and I really liked 30 Rock.
What’s the worst hotel you’ve ever stayed in? My family used to go to Mount Rushmore every summer, but once our car broke down on the way and we stayed at this place that had a bed that you could put coins in and mirrors on the ceiling. I was about eleven.
Do you have a signature recipe? I do this thing I call “Breakfast Pile”, where you get frozen hash brown squares, and you mash those up in a pan, put eggs on it, and then whatever else you have in the refrigerator on it. So any leftover vegetables you have, any condiments, you just pile it all on. It’s really good with steak sauce. Wayne’s World or Bill & Ted? I’m gonna say Wayne’s World. If you were going to try and seduce a potential lover, what music would you play? Halloween scary music, so then they’d be really scared, and they’d have to snuggle up. And you’d be all “no, no, shh! It’s okay. I’ll protect you.”
If you could pick a surrogate grandparent, who would it be? Rhea Perlman from Cheers.
What would you want written on your tombstone? “She was pretty cool.”
Do you have a favourite board game? Cluedo.
What’s your favourite drunken snack? In Seattle they have all these hot dog carts around at night, just knowing that you’re going to have a little too many, and then BAM! Hot dogs.
Which one do you usually pick? Colonel Mustard, which is kinda weird cause he’s my least favourite character in the movie. When is the last time you sprinted as hard as you can? Yesterday I really had to haul ass to catch the bus. This guy even commented on it. He was like, “Great effort!” It was like we were on a sports team together. Did you appreciate that? Normally I don’t enjoy comments from people on the street but with that one I thought “Yeah, that was a good hustle! Thank you!” Have you ever taken acid? Yes, in college. I dropped off the newpapers that the paper delivery person was meant to deliver. We were like “We have to do this. The papers have got to get OUT. We’re the only people that can handle this.” Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met? I met Roseanne and Tom Arnold in Iowa when they were opening up a restaurant there. My mom and I went to the grand opening of “Tom and Roseanne’s Big Food Diner.”
Have you ever shoplifted? No. I have a lot of anxiety so just the idea of shoplifting is terrifying to me. Have you ever had a nickname? Right now I’m “Cool Mom” in Childbirth ‘cause I’m older than everyone else. I’m 12 years older than Julia. We like to pretend that she’s my daughter. In junior high I got called “Pecker” and “Peckerhead” because my last name’s Peck. What is the worst job you’ve ever had? I had a job in a factory and it was my job to affix the metal bendy things onto clipboards. It was me and a bunch of middle-aged ladies who had just given up. It was really depressing. Do you have any regrettable tattoos? All my tattoos are really stupid but I don’t regret any of them. Julia and I have each other’s names tattooed in our armpits. It makes Bree feel really left out. I told her that she should get her own name. So mean! I think you should have her name in your other armpit. We’ll see. Women’s Rights is out now via Suicide Squeeze Records
Illustration: Ed Chambers
Perspective: Disco Demolition Marea Vierge-Noire, aka The Black Madonna, is a Chicago-based DJ and producer. Here, she describes a disillusioning transition in Beatport’s business practices, and predicts an imminent implosion of the mainstream EDM market.
the staff. They were funny, kind friends who did everything in their power to help us and they were a dedicated, passionate band of people who believed in dance music and embraced technology. We became leaders in the movement to adapt catalogues for the mp3 format.
I used to vend mixtapes at raves in the nineties. I wouldn’t call it so much a job, but it’s how I kept the lights on. Once the magic had gone, I left my mixtapes behind and went to college. You can imagine my surprise when a former colleague from the mixtape “industry” called me and nearly outright demanded that I come to Chicago to help his new business – a record label group – begin the process of distributing their massive catalog in the new world of digital dance music.
In 2009, I sat on a panel at Winter Music Conference to talk about “The Future Of Digital Music.” It was the best attended panel that year for a very good reason. Many of the attendees were desperate for guidance, with their whole catalogues in danger. At this point, I still believed in Beatport, but back in the office concerns soon emerged in private.
A store called Beatport had changed the way people thought about discovering and buying dance music. Labels and distributors sprinted to catch up to the first major disruption in the market since DJing, as we understand it now, became a widely practiced art. When I arrived in Chicago ten years ago, it was apparent that the vinyl industry was unprepared to meet this challenge. It felt like every day we got a call that someone distributing our stock in Europe had gone belly up overnight. In that time, Beatport went from a novel business concept to the most important ally we had in the fight to survive. We loved
get a pay cheque. For that reason and others, I eventually left that field and found my way into the world of DJing and touring. Beatport was acquired by SFX. We now know this to be one of the great harbingers of the brave new world of popular EDM. As I sit here today, I can tell you that the utterly unsympathetic email that people received from Beatport at the beginning of August was the email that we feared in our office every single day, abruptly telling individuals that they had “trapped certain earned label payments.” But to no one’s surprise, major labels participating in the new Beatport streaming service still received their money. You can guess who did not.
The corporate money came. Trusted employees vanished. Beatport began dispassionately culling “underperforming labels.” And who gets hurt when only the most successful, slick, well-funded and marketed labels are allowed a voice in a store that controls 85% of the market? The market starts to look a lot like the people that control most of the wealth in the world. The market gets whiter, straighter and more masculinised. The labels we saw cut first were underground Chicago labels. They were often black owned businesses. We were a company built on Chicago house music. We argued passionately in defence of our roster and often lost the fight.
According to Insider Trading Report, as of 20 September Beatport’s parent company, SFX’s shares plummeted 92.47% in just a year. This is one company, one piece of the EDM puzzle, but I believe it is emblematic of much, much more. With DJs throwing cakes like Gallagher smashes watermelons, eventually people would grow tired of EDM’s antics. So much money was poured into a really untenable and silly model. And like disco, when the big money came in, the mainstream dance movement became a swollen, nightmarish and homogenised version of the thing that people originally fell in love with.
The month Beatport didn’t pay would be the month we locked the doors and I didn’t
Disco’s popularity quite literally exploded at the racist, homophobic riots at Disco
Demolition Night in 1979 in Chicago’s Comiskey Park, where many watched disco records blown to smithereens on the baseball field. I would argue that popular EDM’s demise is a little less of a bang and more of whimper, as the corporate money limps out of a genre that came with an expiration date, but not before completely demolishing more small stores and labels than I can count. I don’t know what will happen to Beatport. I am sure that for all its problems, the vast majority of people that work there are kind, thoughtful and good. I am sure they’re just trying to do what a lot of us are trying to do, which is find our bliss working with dance music. My hope is that with the end of this period of large-scale corporate investment in dance culture we will experience the renaissance that came after disco in the late seventies and early eighties. People didn’t stop dancing. They found their way to hip-hop and house. The were reabsorbed into subcultures. They found their way to The Warehouse and Frankie Knuckles on the remnants of what used to be the mainstream. We can only wish for such an amazing blessing. The Black Madonna appears at Bugged Out Weekender, Bognor Regis, 15-17 January 2016
The Sankeys installation comprises the GS-WAVE series 3-metre dance floor stack with GSA technology, and the XY Series in-fill speakers. All powered by Powersoftâ€™s high performance K Series amps with built-in DSP. This comprehensive line-up guarantees versatile installations that deliver superb sound and complete coverage throughout venues of every shape and size.
visit www.pioneerproaudio.com to learn more about our GLOBAL installations. venues include Sound Nightclub LA, Sankeys Ibiza, UshuaĂ?a, Pikes and Bierfabriek
Let’s Jam - EP Parts 1 and 2 Oct 9
XL Chapter VI compilation
XL and Maharishi present
Insomniac / Should’ve Been A Drummer Oct 16
Gatefold double LP, 1000 copies only, each with its own unique sleeve design Coming soon
Modern Warfare - EP Parts 1, 2 & 3 Oct 23
Kontrol EP Oct 30
The Classic MA1 Jacket Coming soon
Featuring Jeff Mills, Floating Points, Visionist, Lena Willikens, Eddie Peake, Marcio Matos, Le1f, Maximum Joy, LAW Magazine and more..