Music, Creativity & Technology www.sonar.es
Barcelona 16.17.18 June
a-trak, acid arab, alva noto, anohni: hopelessness, angel molina, ata kak, badbadnotgood, bob moses, ben klock, ben ufo b2b helena hauff, bicep, byetone, boys noize, club cheval, congo natty feat. congo dubz + tenor fly + nãnci & phoebe, cyclo (carsten nicolai + ryoji ikeda), danny l harle, david august (live band), dawn of midi, dj ez, dvs1 & rødhåd, ed banger house party: busy p + para one + boston bun, fatboy slim, field by martin messier, flume, four tet (7h set), gazelle twin: “kingdom come”, hiele, homesick, hot shotz (powell + lorenzo senni), howling, intergalactic gary, ivy lab, jackmaster, james blake, james rhodes, jamie woon, jean-michel jarre, john grant, john luther adams, john talabot, kaytranada, kasper marott, kelela, kenny dope, kerri chandler, king midas sound + fennesz, kode9 x lawrence lek present the nøtel, kölsch (live), krysko & greg lord, laurent garnier (7h set), lady leshurr, lemonick, magic mountain high, malard, mano le tough, matias aguayo, melé & monki’s nrg flash, mind against, mura masa, new order, nicola cruz, noaipre, nozinja, oneohtrix point never, paco osuna, red axes, richie hawtin, roots manuva, sapphire slows, santigold, section boyz, silkersoft, skepta, soft revolvers by myriam bleau, soichi terada, stormzy, the black madonna, the martinez brothers, toxe, troyboi, tuff city kids, yung lean and many more. an initiative of
in collaboration with
also sponsored by
authorized ticket sellers
+44 (0) 20 3239 2732
FUTURE SOUNDS, COSMIC CAMPFIRES, INTERGALACTIC RAVES… & MEXICAN WRESTLING ON AN ISLAND IN THE SUN
THE CURE MAJOR LAZER HOT CHIP THURSDAY HEADLINERS
PLUS HEADLINING THE SPACEPORT
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE AURORA BASTILLE BEATY HEART BENJAMIN DAMAGE BICEP THE BLACK MADONNA BODHI PRES. ROOTS CARAVAN PALACE CRAIG DAVID’S TS5 DAMIAN “JR. GONG” MARLEY DANNY L HARLE DAVID RODIGAN MBE PRES. RAM JAM EATS EVERYTHING ESKIMO DANCE: WILEY, SECTION BOYZ, CHIP, BIG NARSTIE, NEWHAM GENERALS, FRISCO, P MONEY, ELF KID, AJ TRACEY, JAMMZ, FEKKY, LOGAN SAMA, MAXIMUM GHOSTPOET HISTORY OF JUNGLE AND DRUM & BASS FT. ALED JONES (MC) & ROB DA BANK (DJ) HOSPITALITY PRES: CAMO & KROOKED, LONDON ELEKTRICITY, S.P.Y B2B NU:TONE, DANNY BYRD B2B BROOKES BROTHERS, MADUK, DYNAMITE MC & WREC THE HUMAN LEAGUE JAGWAR MA KATY B KITTY, DAISY & LEWIS KREPT & KONAN KURUPT FM: CHAMPAGNE STEAM ROOMS LOYLE CARNER MØ PETITE MELLER RICHIE HAWTIN RIDE SHY FX’S PARTY ON THE MOON SKEPTA SKREAM SLAMBOREE TOURIST WOLF ALICE YEARS & YEARS & MANY MORE STILL TO BE ANNOUNCED
FULL LINE-UP & TICKETS
AXEL BOMAN / BEN UFO / BICEP / CRAIG RICHARDS / DIXON / EATS EVERYTHING GERD JANSON / HORSE MEAT DISCO / HUNEE / JACKMASTER / JOB JOBSE JOY ORBISON / MIDLAND / MOTOR CITY DRUM ENSEMBLE / PROSUMER / ROMAN FLÜGEL ADAM SHELTON / ALEX FROM TOKYO / APIENTO / BAD PASSION / BRADLEY ZERO / BEGIN / CFSN / CHRISTOPHE CRAZY P SOUNDSYSTEM / DAMIANO VON ERCKERT / DAN BEAUMONT / DARSHAN JESRANI - METRO AREA / DAVE HARVEY / DISCODROMO / DREEMS / ERIC DUNCAN / ESS O ESS / FANTASTIC MAN / FELIX DICKINSON / FORT ROMEAU FRANCIS INFERNO ORCHESTRA / GATTO FRITTO / GIDEÖN / HARRI & DOMENIC / HESSLETIME / HODGE / HOMEBOY ILIJA RUDMAN / JAY L / JENNIFER CARDINI / JEX OPOLIS / JONNY NASH / JONNY ROCK / JOZIF / JUSTIN VANDERVOLGEN / KHRUANGBIN / LAKUTI / LAST WALTZ / LEXX / LORD OF THE ISLES / LUKAS / LUKE SOLOMON MAN POWER / MARK SEVEN / MAXXI SOUNDSYSTEM / MEDLAR / MICHAEL ZIATARA / MOONBOOTS / MOSCOMAN MOUNT LIBERATION UNLIMITED / MUDD / OTOLOGIC / PARAMIDA / PBR STREETGANG / PEAK & SWIFT PENDER STREET STEPPERS / PHIL MISON / RED AXES / RON & NEIL / RUF DUG / SHANTI CELESTE / SHMLSS SOLAR / ST EVE COBBY / SUBB-AN / SUZANNE KRAFT / TAMA SUMO / TELEPHONES / THOMAS VON PARTY TIAGO / TORNADO WALLACE / TRISTAN DA CUNHA / WAIFS & STRAYS / WOLF MUSIC / YOUNG MARCO ALI TILLET / ANDEE FROST / ANTHONY MANSFIELD / ASAF SAMUEL / BANOFFEE PIES / BELFAST MUSIC CLUB DJS / BEN PRICE / BOBBY BEIGE / CEDRIC MAISON / CHRIS FARRELL / CHUGGY / CRAIG CHRISTON / CUISINE DUB / CUT N SHUT DISCO / DAN WILD / DEA BRANDANA / DEANO FERRINO DIRTYTALK DJS / GALEN / HESSELTIME / HARAHONEY / HOUSE OF DISCO DJS / JAKE MANDERS / JAMES HOLROYD / JENNY JEN / JESS FARLEY / JOE LYE / JUKES OF HAZARD / KATIE BARBER / KATZELE / KRYWALD & FARRER / M3 / MANS ERICSON / MATE KOKIC / MELTING POT DJS / MILES SIMPSON MR PAUL / MR SOLID GOLD / MYLES MEARS / NVWLS / NICK BENNETT / NO FAKIN / OLOF UHLIN / ORKUN BOZDEMIR / PADDY FREEFORM / PARDON MY FRENCH / PARK RANGER / PETER LEUNG / PHIL COOPER / SEBASTIAN SPRING SHINY OBJECTS / SHAPES DJS / STEVIE WONDERLAND DJS / TAYO THAT INKFOLK LOT / TOM RIO / TOSH OHTA / WAYNE HOLLAND / WILD SIRENDA JOINING THESE CREWS: ABANDON SILENCE / AFICIONADO / ANIMALS DANCING / APE-X X CORRESPONDANT / BELFAST MUSIC CLUB / BIG WAVE CLOSURE / CLAREMONT 56 / COCKTAIL D'AMORE / CRACK / DIRTYTALK / DISCO KNIGHTS / EDIBLE / FUTUREBOOGIE / HOUSE OF DISCO HYPERCOLOUR / INKFOLK / JUST JACK / MAGIC DOOR / NOT AN ANIMAL / PERCOLATE / RANSOM NOTE X DANCE TUNNEL / RESIDENT ADVISOR RHYTHM SECTION / SALON ZUR WILDEN RENATE / SHAPES X BANOFFEE PIES / STUDIO 89 / SUB CLUB / SUN DOWN CIRLCE / SUNSET SOUNDSYSTEM TEST PRESSING / TIEF / TROUBLE VISION / WARM / WOLF MUSIC
29TH JUNE - 6TH JULY 2016 THE GARDEN, TISNO, CROATIA LOVEINTERNATIONALFESTIVAL.COM
SHURA / MURA MASA / MARIBOU STATE MNEK / CLEAN CUT KID FEEL THE REAL
CHINESE MAN / DAVID RODIGAN
HOSTED BY IN:MOTION & APEX
NIGHTMARES ON WAX
HOT 8 BRASS BAND
HOSTED BY CRACK MAGAZINE
HOSTED BY JUST JACK
THE MARTINEZ BROTHERS BEN KLOCK SKREAM / DISCIPLES JOY ORBISON
JASPER JAMES ROMAN FLüGEL SG LEWIS PARANOID LONDON
SHY FX’s PARTY ON THE MOON
SECTION BOYZ RUSTIE / LOYLE CARNER WITH VERY L-VIS 1990 B2B BOK BOK SPECIAL AWESOME TAPES FROM AFRICA GUESTS FAZE MIYAKE
PARDON MY FRENCH TOM RIO
APEX DJS DAN WILD
RONI SIZE & KRUST PRESENT HIGH CONTRAST / DIMENSION IVY LAB / BRYAN GEE B2B JUMPIN JACK FROST SAM BINGA / D PRODUCT SAM SUPPLIER / THE BLAST DJS
FULL CYCLE WITH DYNAMITE MC
DJ LUCK & MC NEAT
HOSTED BY FUTUREBOOGIE
MOTOR CITY DRUM ENSEMBLE
ARTFUL DODGER YOUNG MARCO BONKAZ FELIX DICKINSON THE DANCE OFF CREW
DAVE HARVEY & CHRISTOPHE
MUSU / GET BORN / STUDIO 89 BOOGIE NIGHTS / COLOURS & MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED
TEAK / DIRTY TALK SLIX DISCO/ BANOFFEE PIES & MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED
PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS
CHASE & STATUS DJ SET
REDLIGHT/GOLDIE 20 YEARS OF TIMELESS WHO??CARES : GIRLS X BOYS / AMY BECKER X KAHN BARELY LEGAL X DISMANTLE / FLAVA D X MY NU LENG JAMZ SUPERNOVA X JUS NOW MADAM X NEW YORK TRANSIT AUTHORITY SAFESOUL X KOMON / SPECIAL GUEST X GOTSOME MCS DREAD/KOAST/JUMA/SHADZ
SIP THE JUICE TAKEOVER
HOSTED BY LIONPULSE/HOLD TIGHT
HIP HOP VS RNB MANU DIGITAL MR THING / SHORTEE BLITZ / SPIN DOC CURTIS LYNCH FT. NANCI SIP THE JUICE DJS OBF FT. SHANTI D DUBKASM HOSTED BY SPECIAL GUEST RSD FT. JOE PENG EGOLESS / TREVOR SAX LIONPULSE GUEST SOUNDSYSTEM TBA MISTAFIRE
AFRIKA BAMBAATAA MAD PROFESSOR
SLY ONE / DJ DAZEE BODYWORK / HANNAH MULVANNY DURKLE DISCO / BLAZEY BILLY DISNEY / JETHRO BINNS SPRUNG/ ALTERNATE DJS MORE TBA & MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED
EASTVILLE PARK BRISTOL WWW.LOVESAVESTHEDAY.ORG SUBJECT TO LICENSE
31 August - 04 September, Fort Punta Christo, Croatia
15-16 JULY 2016 VICTORIA PARK
RUN THE JEWELS
MAJOR LAZER LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
29 –32 The Oval, London E2 9DT
Oval Space / The Pickle Factory OVAL SPACE ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 03.03.16 Live Nation presents Bob Moses, Special Guests TBA ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 05.03.16 Bare 3rd Birthday with Luna City Express, Basti Grub, Jnr Windross, Daniel, Leroy Roberts ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 10.03.16 Bird On The Wire presents The Raveonettes ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 11.03.16 Patterns Festival 2016 with Goldie, Love Kulture Project, Kala & more ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 18.03.16 Oval Space Music x Dial Records with Move D & Jonah Sharp presents rEAGENZ Live, Lawrence, Carsten Jost ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 24.03.16 Percolate: Love International Launch Party with Gerd Janson, DJ Sprinkles, Job Jobse, Dave Harvey, Krywald & Farrer ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— THE PICKLE FACTORY ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 04.03.16 The Pickle Factory with DJ Deep & DJ Spider ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 05.03.16 Gather Round presents Miyagi, KatrinKa, Sam Pauli, Más Black ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 09.03.16 Bird On The Wire presents The Range ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 11.03.16 The Pickle Factory presents Cosmin TRG, Tijana T, Peggy Gou ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 12.03.16 secretsundaze All Night Long with Giles Smith & James Priestley ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 18.03.16 The Pickle Factory x My Own Jupiter with Nicolas Lutz, Andrew James Gustav, Gwenan ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 19.03.16 Moxie presents On Loop with Tom Trago & The Maghreban ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 23.03.16 SJM Concerts present Ten Fé – Rescheduled to May 5th ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 24.03.16 New Business: Massimiliano Pagliara, Luv*Jam, Crucial & Fresh ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 25.03.16 The Pickle Factory with Spencer Parker, Dan Beaumont, Hesseltime ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 26.03.16 Ovation x Dark & Lovely with Big Strick, Brassfoot, NY*AK, Thris Tian ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 27.03.16 Sunday Club* with Miro, Special Guests TBA ——————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— 31.03.16 Ovation: Rival Consoles Live, Special Guests TBA ——————————————————— —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
10pm - late
11am - 10pm*
A new festival for London Saturday 9th July 2016
Anthony Naples Ben Klock Benji B Boxed dBridge Digital Mystikz Donato Dozzy Fatima Yamaha Goldie Hunee Jamie xx Jeremy Underground Job Jobse Josey Rebelle
Joy Orbison Kamasi Washington Mind Against Mister Saturday Night Moodymann Omar-S Om Unit Ryan Elliott Sam Binga Sassy J Shackleton Yussef Kamaal Trio Zomby *subject to license
Dimensions Festival Bussey Building
Deviation Corsica Studios
Studio 89 Brixton Electric
Outlook x Metalheadz Fire London
Glasgow to Detroit Phonox
Jamie & Friends The Coronet
A Taste of Afrobeat Vibrations Effra Social
Rhythm Section x Mister Saturday Canavans Peckham
ÂŁ55 Day & Night tickets include entry to our day festival in Brockwell Park as well as a night session of your choice. Tickets available from www.sunfall.co.uk
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Simple Things Festival 2016 Lineup announced soon. Register at www.simplethingsfestival.co.uk for exclusive pre-sale tickets.
Highlights Exhibitions Betty Woodman: Theatre of the Domestic 3 Feb 2016 – 10 Apr 2016 Lower & Upper Galleries
Art into Society – Society into Art 19 Jan 2016 – 6 Mar 2016 ICA Fox Reading Room
Dennis Morris: PiL – First Issue to Metal Box 23 Mar 2016 – 15 May 2016 ICA Fox Reading Room
Events ICA Associates: NTS Radio – Parallel Visions #7: Mica Levi presents Bedtime Thur 3 Mar, 9pm Mica Levi (Under the Skin), alongside Marc Withasee and Raisa K, presents a new project titled Bedtime, set to include messy music and messy dancing; childish insomnia and duck down.
Field Work: of film, sound and voice Fri 4 Mar, 6pm
This evening programme of experiments in sound, film and performance accompanies the current exhibition at CHELSEA space.
Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon Sat 5 Mar, 11.15am
A half day communal updating of Wikipedia entries on subjects related to art and feminism.
Decommissioned Talk Series: Mick Wilson, Wed 9 Mar, 2pm Michael McMillan, Wed 23 Mar, 2pm
The Legacy of Helen Chadwick Wed 9 Mar, 6.30pm
Hitchcock/Truffaut + Q&A with director Sun 6 Mar 2016, 4.10pm
Marking the 20th anniversary of British artist Helen Chadwick (1953-1996) untimely death, Louisa Buck chairs a panel examining the legacy and influence of Chadwick, with speakers including artists Cathy de Monchaux and Gavin Turk, curator Frances Morris and writer Marina Warner.
Director Kent Jones joins us for a Q&A following the screening, hosted by Sight & Sound and Little White Lies contributor Craig Williams.
Culture Now: Hajra Waheed Fri 11 Mar, 1pm
The film’s editor Walter Murch is in conversation with ICA Cinema and Film Programme Manager Nico Marzano after the screening.
Hajra Waheed discusses her practice on the occasion of her first UK presentation of the ‘first chapter’ from her work Sea Change at The Mosaic Rooms, London.
ICA Associate Poet Kayo Chingonyi presents: The Poetics of Grime Wed 16 Mar, 6.30pm
This panel discussion and series of performances explores the poetic significance of grime lyricism. Speakers include Kayo Chingonyi, Charlie Dark, Eklipse and Debris Stevenson. The talk will be followed by DJ sets in the ICA Bar. Institute of Contemporary Arts The Mall London SW1Y 5AH 020 7930 3647, www.ica.org.uk
Apocalypse Now + Q&A with Walter Murch Sat 12 Mar 2016, 3pm
Return to Oz + Intro by Walter Murch Sun 13 Mar, 2pm Birkbeck’s Essay Film Festival 2016 18–24 Mar 2016
The second edition of an annual celebration of this elusive, disruptive, and dynamically hybrid form, features UK premiere screenings from Filipino filmmaker and artist, Kidlat Tahimik, and the late Portuguese film director, Manoel de Oliviera.
The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848
PUSHA T Refusing to be held down by nostalgic principles, Pusha T continues to stay one step ahead of the rap game. Jeff Ihaza takes a trip through Midtown Manhattan with the G.O.O.D Music boss
MOLLY NILSSON Steve Mallon meets synth pop master Molly Nilsson to discuss turning thirty, breaking taboo, and her last hurrah
MAISIE COUSINS What is “feminist art”? Georgina Jones talks to the Tateexhibited Maisie Cousins, an artist who’s informing how to feel our femininity with gross-out elegance
JIMMY CAUTY Augustin Macellari makes contact with legendary ex-KLF member Jimmy Cauty to talk through his enigmatic career and newest work, depicting an all-too-familiar society turned on its head
MODERAT Apparat and Modeselektor talk to Thomas Frost about switching roles, life-defining moments, and how one theory about their new work is nothing more than “promo bullshit”
PLATTENBAU Tackling dark, industrial commentary with tongue-in-cheek humour, post-punk start-up Plattenbau are settling into their own
Pusha T shot exclusively for Crack by Christelle de Castro New York: February 2016
TRESOR The circumstances around which Tresor was first formed lay the basis for much of Berlin’s current youth culture. Discussing its many transformations across the last 25 years, Dimitri Hegemann looks to future generations to carry the torch
EDITORIAL Respect your elders
TURNING POINTS: DJ BONE The Detroit legend shares tales from the Motor City with Tom Watson
AESTHETIC: REAL LIES The team behind LAW Magazine style the London trio
DIGRESSIONS Baines’ World, RIP Denzil Schniffermann, the Crossword and Girls to the Front
20 QUESTIONS: PARQUET COURTS Davy Reed talks religious bakers, bad haircuts and nu metal with the garage punk band’s bassist
PERSPECTIVE Charlie Brinkhurst-Smith discusses the brutality of the US polices forces who are boycotting Beyoncé
Craig Richards Ben Klock Mr. G (live) Room 02
Nonplus Boddika Martyn Terry Francis
12 Room 01
Craig Richards The Martinez Brothers Jesse Calosso Room 02
Adam Shelton Subb-an The Mole (live) Yamen & EDA
19 Room 01
Craig Richards Raresh Barac (live) Max Vaahs Room 02
Terry Francis Slam Dense & Pika
26 Richie Hawtin Nastia Hito Roi Perez Room 02
Terry Francis Stacey Pullen Cari Lekebusch
Executive Editors Thomas Frost email@example.com Jake Applebee firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Davy Reed Marketing / Events Manager Luke Sutton email@example.com Deputy Editor Anna Tehabsim Online Editor Billy Black Junior Online Editor Sammy Jones Editorial Assistant Duncan Harrison Creative Director Alfie Allen Graphic Design Yasseen Faik Marketing / Events Assistant Lucy Harding Staff Writer Tom Watson Film Editor Tim Oxley Smith Art Editor Augustin Macellari Intern Henry Murray Fashion LAW Words Josh Baines, Jeff Ihaza, Steve Mallon, Georgina Jones, Gabriella Otero, Emma Robertson, Aine Devaney, Steven Dores, Joe Goggins, Thomas Howells, Charlie Binkhurst-Cuff, Gunseli Yalcinkaya, Francis Blagburn, Angus Harrison, Tamsyn Aurelia Eros Black Photography Christelle de Castro, Bafic. Maisie Cousins, Jack Johnstone, Fabian Vaccaro, Timmy Fist, Clark Merkin, Jamie O'Mara, Camille Blake Illustration Brigid Deacon, Ed Chambers Advertising To enquire about advertising and to request a media pack: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
CAPO LEE Mud ft. D Double E T_A_M Watty (Tarquin edit) PARQUET COURTS Berlin Got Blurry YOUNG THUG F Cancer ft. Quavo FKA TWIGS Good To Love WILLIAM BASINSKI A Shadow In Time CLIPSE Grindin’ DIP IN THE POOL On Retinae Q AND NOT U We Heart Our Hive RIHANNA Work KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH Wetlands OCTOBER + BORAI Necessary Force CATE LE BON No God SIOUX FALLS The Winner SLINT Good Morning, Captain
As soon as we confirmed Pusha T for the cover, I decided to do some homework. Lord Willin’, the 2002 debut album by his former group Clipse, is a classic I’d had recommended to me but never fully explored. I think the closest I got to the duo at the time of its release was from hearing their guest verses on N.E.R.D’s In Search of..., an album I bought purely because, back then, I was convinced that the Rockstar video was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. But a lot of N.E.R.D’s material was too mellow for my 12-year-old mind, and so In Search of... gathered dust on my CD rack, and I wouldn’t familiarise myself with Pusha T until his comeback in 2011. There’s a lot of history there, so how has Pusha T managed to stay so relevant? Most rappers his age have fallen off, but there was our cover star, on the same day as Crack’s photo shoot and interview, stood among contemporary hip-hop’s primary trend-setters at The Life of Pablo’s launch in Madison Square Garden. Pusha T still feels fresh because he never stopped soaking up new influences. He’s not allowed himself to feel superior, confused or intimidated by the innovations of younger generations – mistakes so commonly made by artists and listeners alike. This had me thinking about legendary status in general. How do you handle the power of your history without becoming a museum piece? Elsewhere in this issue, there’s an interview with Jimmy Cauty – the artist notorious for, among so many other things, setting fire to one million pounds in cash that he’d earned from being in The KLF. He may never shake off his reputation as ‘The Guy Who Burned a Million Quid’, but in today’s political climate, the anti-establishment energy of his current artwork feels extremely potent. Then there’s our interviews with Dimitri Hegemann and Carola Stoiber, formative members of the team who launched Tresor – a staple of Berlin’s techno scene since the Wall came down. Their perspective allows them to understand what’s becoming endangered in today’s club culture, and it encourages them to try and preserve it. Brilliantly, Hegemann launched his Academy for Subcultural Understanding last year for this exact purpose. So although the most exciting developments in music and art are sometimes born from a flagrant disregard of the previous generation’s ideas, it’s unwise to ignore those with voices that are still important. And ultimately, as long as your finger remains on the pulse, there’ll always be room for you in the movements of tomorrow. Davy Reed, Editor
BIG UPS National Parks TYPESUN Make It Right BIOME Griddled GAIKA Juice ft. Mykki Blanco LEE GAMBLE Motor System DAY WAVE You JOHN MARTYN I Couldn't Love You More IAN POOLEY What's Your Number (Jazzanova Renumber) MIM SULEIMAN Nyuli SHANTI CELESTE Being YOUNG MARCO The Best I Could Do PYROLATOR Gespräch mit der Erde BEYONCE Formation KANYE WEST Highlights YO GOTTI Down In The DM (remix) ft. Nicki Minaj
Issue 62 | crackmagazine.net
Respect Tsunami Mob Cornelius Pringle DJ EZ Radar Radio Kev Edges Jemma Litchfield James Cunningham The Vibesman CJ Amy Gettings
O ur g uid e t o w ha t 's g o ing o n in y o ur cit y
THE R ANGE The Pickle Factory 9 March
BLOC WEEKENDER Bultins, Minehead 11-13 March
BILBAO BBK Arcade Fire, Courtney Barnett, Grimes Bilbao, Spain 1-7 July £69 / £77
BEN UFO Phonox 25 March £5-10 Phonox has quickly established itself as the home of “all night long”. Not even a full year old, the club has managed to book Move D, Mr. Ties, DJ Sneak and Zip for marathon sets. How best to really get to know someone, than letting them play records for six + hours? Even when not flanked by his label co-heads, Pangaea and Pearson Sound, Ben UFO is unlikely to run out of records to play. For years now, he has consistently demonstrated that there is no genre he hasn’t already sifted through, no styles he hasn’t attempted to blend. You really can’t go wrong here.
MOXIE The Pickle Factory 19 March
The variety and choice that you’re faced with when choosing between European festivals can be overwhelming, so a process of elimination should start with the essentials. Let's weigh up the pros of Bilbao BBK. Location – a beautiful mountain-surrounded city in the north of Spain which is sunny and scenic. Cost – next to nothing. And pints are cheaper there too. Lineup – Arcade Fire, Grimes, Tame Impala, recent Crack cover star Courtney Barnett and some band calling themselves Pixies? There’s a load more names on the bill with new acts yet to be announced. Be logical. This one makes sense.
RICK ROSS SSE Arena 3 April
MOTOR CIT Y DRUM ENSEMBLE Corsica Studios 2 April
KURT VILE The Roundhouse 10 March £19.50 It’s hard to get bored of Kurt Vile. The songwriter, multiinstrumentalist, singer and producer has barely put a foot wrong since emerging in the mid 00s. His fuzzy brand of lo-fi indie seems to get better and more refined on each record. We loved 2013’s Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze so much that we made it our album of the year. Just last year he reentered the fold with b'lieve i'm goin down… – a late-night collection of jams that was characteristically irresistible. In short, Kurt Vile is the man. Go see him.
SAVAGES Roundhouse 17 March CONVERGENCE Omar Souleyman, Factory Floor, Nurse With Wound Various Venues, London 10-20 March Prices Vary Back for its third year, Convergence is a London-based events series which invites thought-provoking discussion about technology and music. This year Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood and Isreali composer Shye Ben Tzur will present their first full UK performance of their Junun project and many artists will come together to celebrate the legacy of Gil Scott Heron for the Pieces of a Man tribute. Elsewhere in the schedule – which is spread across the Barbican, Roundhouse, St John on Bethnal Green, Village Underground, Troxy and KOKO – the series also includes shows from Omar Souleyman, Brainfeeder beat producer The Gaslamp Killer, of Montreal and the uncompromising experimentalists Nurse With Wound among a long list of sessions, masterclasses and Q&As.
SLIMZEE The Nest 18 March DE AFHE AVEN Heaven 14 March £22
SECRETSUNDA ZE E ASTER SPECIAL Village Underground 24 March
JACKMASTER Phonox 27 March
Sometimes the darkest things can emerge from the most beautiful places. Take Deafheaven, for example. The leftfield black metal five-piece formed in sunny California with the express intent of creating emotive, punishingly intense music as a commentary on urban decay. Their sound sits in a distinctive snug between My Bloody Valentine and Emperor, and their theatrical stage presence perfectly reflects their soaring, gruesome soundscapes. Frequently lauded as one of the most original and exciting live bands around, you’d have to be church burnin’ mad to miss this.
21 DIXON Oval Space 9 April
BIG UPS The Lexington 30 March
HORSE ME AT DISCO Patterns, Brighton 19 March
Admit it, you’ve been searching for that missing link between Greys and Native Nod for a long time right? You’ve never heard of Native Nod… And you’re not familiar with Greys? Oh… Well anyway, let us assure you Big Ups are bridging that gap in fine style. In an era where shouty but thoughtful bands are ten-a-penny they provide a visceral, gut wrenching punch of emo-inflicted art punk that really stands out. Go on. Try it.
FAT WHITE FAMILY Coronet Theatre 9 March £15 ABR A Corsica Studios 7 + 8 March
KRISTA PAPISTA The Waiting Room 16 March AMERICAN APPAREL POP UP 91 Brick Lane Opens 4 March If you’re after some good clothes but you haven’t got the time to sift through endless vintage stock get or the cash to indulge in high end labels, then American Apparel have just made things easy for you. For a limited time from early March, American Apparel are opening a pop up store on Brick Lane, just from across the street from Rough Trade Records. The best bit? Nothing will cost more than £35.
AT THE DRIVE IN Roundhouse 27 March
LEVELZ fabric 11 March
During a performance with his project The Moonlandingz at the BBC 6 Music festival in Bristol, Lias Saudi stripped down to his boxers, exposing the names of Jimmy Saville and Rolf Harris scrawled across his body. The spectacle was oddly predictable. For Saudi’s main band Fat White Family, depressing humour has always been their currency, and with lyrics about Harold Shipman, Hitler and Goebbels and a song referencing Ike and Tina Turner’s relationship called Hits Hits Hits, the band’s recent sophomore album Songs for Our Mothers saw them provoke outrage once again. So is this behaviour simply nihilistic and attention-seeking, or are Fat White Family the potent antidote to the UK’s toothless music industry? If you’re still on the fence, their notorious live show should clear things up.
DJ FUNK XOYO 11 March
PAR ANOID LONDON Patterns, Brighton 27 March £6
HUNEE B2B ANTAL Corsica Studios 25 March BL ANCK MASS Oslo 31 March £12.50 Perhaps better known as one half of Fuck Buttons, Benjamin John Power has created another, more twisted name for himself with his ambitious solo project, Blanck Mass. While his first, eponymous effort under the monkier searched the skies for answers, last year’s Dumb Flesh claws deep into the human condition, something we’re at the mercy of “every day”. Expect a typically menacing and all-affirming show.
With a punk-ish approach to house music, Paranoid London have established themselves as modern acid kings. While their staunchly DIY attitude and attempted low profile is fueled by a genuine affliction to press, it has only fuelled their enigma. The duo’s musky, intoxicating selection of club tracks on their self-titled album was a masterclass in satisfying sleaze, and their live acid techno comprises of plenty shouting, warbling and pounding. At once provocative and down to earth, stirring and satisfying, it’s a heady concoction, and a style that is unquestionably theirs.
LEE “SCR ATCH” PERRY Electric Brixton 12 March
DAN DE ACON Village Underground 17 March
OVAL SPACE MUSIC X DIAL RECORDS Oval Space 18 March First Release: £10 Formed in Hamburg and based in Berlin, Dial have successfully straddled popularity and credibility by releasing restrained but emotionally rich “post-minimal dance music” from the likes of Roman Flügel, Pantha Du Prince, DJ Richard and so many more. Alongside sets from Dial co-founder Lawrence and label owner Carsten Jost, this Oval Space event will feature the first UK live set in five years from rEAGENZ, a duo formed by Jonah Sharp and David Moufang – more commonly known as Spacetime Continuum and Move D, respectively. Expect an adventurous exploration of club music.
EPSOM Sparse soundscapes, bleak moods and restrained tension mark the work of San Diego-based producer Sam Ruth, aka Epsom. While not much is known about him as of yet, he has released countless EPs online, the latest of which, Mausoleum Blues, just dropped in December. His Soundcloud and Bandcamp presence suggest an artist with a focused vision born from a diverse range of influences; from black metal and shoegaze to ambient drone and IDM. This eclecticism seems rife among a rising global community of young artists connecting on Soundcloud – this was the case with Epsom and Lauren Auder when they collaborated on the spacious and haunting track Post Chora. As with Auder, it’s only a matter of time before before Epsom’s talent delivers him from obscurity – and our guess is it won’t be long at all.
MASTIFF Mastiff’s debut album Wrank opens with a sample from the Shane Meadows' classic Dead Man’s Shoes in which the film’s deranged protagonist threatens to kill his rival and all his mates in a cold, unapologetic monologue. The speech ends with the immortal line ‘Get in that car and fuck off’ and that’s when Mastiff’s brutal, melodramatic assault kicks in. It’s a bold opening gambit that sets the pace for the rest of the record. The Hull based five-piece peddle a sort of slowed down take on hardcore that revels as much in the sludgy drone of early stoner metal as it does in the urgency of punk. Much like their canine namesake, Mastiff are uncompromising and tough as they come. They’re not afraid to play against the template and they still manage to come up shining, with zero punches pulled.
O Lord of the Worm 1 Sleep / Primitive Man mastiffhchc.bandcamp.com
Seattle is spitting out so many great bands at the moment it’s hard to keep up, but you must not let these guys pass you by. Boyfriends are four dudes that are nestled deep in the scene alongside a bunch of other excellent feminist bands (they’ll be supporting Mommy Long Legs on tour very soon and are highly rated by Bree McKenna of Tacocat and Childbirth), and their hooky, scratchy, defiantly DIY tunes are a celebration of a landscape that lets bands of their ilk thrive. Take, for example, The Future Is Female, their stamping jam-out that claims the future for all girlkind – what a breath of fresh air.
O Groovy 1 Talking Heads / The Spook School : boyfriendsaretaken. bandcamp.com/releases
OUR MOTHER There’s a lot of fun to be had in sifting through Bandcamp pages, our deep collection of press releases and hazy memories of lower tier festival acts to find artists to feature in this New Music section. After a few hours, you might come across band who kind of sound like Carrie Brownstein fronting blue album-era Weezer, a jungle producer who summons the spirit of ’94 or an inexplicably trendy Brooklyn trio who basically sound like Phil Collins. But, to be honest, the hardest thing is to find something which sounds original. Our Mother are a London-based four piece who seem to have quietly carved out a style that belongs only to them. With a sound compromising of electronic drum pads, piano, bass, guitar, brass and unconventional vocals, their forthcoming EP A.O.B. provides plenty of nuances to explore during a headphones listen. But the best part is that, perhaps due to the strength of the melodies, the EP doesn’t feel like an endurance test. “It’s great to aim for originality, so long as you don’t end up in the obscure/ difficult/prog-experimental bin,” the band say via email. “Our plan was always to try and make three or four minute tracks which could hook you on first listen, but which on a second play are working on a reasonably sophisticated level. We do experiment a bit with time signatures and key changes, but couldn't claim association with the ‘classically trained’ label. It should be relatively accessible pop music, and we don’t want to sound like wankers.” Surprise Machine, the first track to be shared from A.O.B., exemplifies Our Mother’s incorporation of contemporary electronic music into their formula, making them a sound halfway between an organic band and a more digital based bedroom project. “We literally record in a bedroom and practice live in a bedroom so that maybe comes across,” they explain. “We do harbour dreams of having a Timbaland-size mixing desk at our disposal, or Timbaland, but for the moment it’s just four guys making it up and trying to produce something which sounds half decent on a speaker system.” With A.O.B. set for release in April via Lucky Number (also home to Hinds, Alex G and Sebastien Tellier) and – it’s worth mentioning – a pretty cool website running, it looks like Our Mother are ready to give things a push. Although, as their first major show at 2014’s Bestival suggests, their networking skills could take some work. “We were camped in the same artist section as James Blake,” they remember, “and Joe [bass] went up to try and recommend the band. Unfortunately he’d been sick five minutes before and not really managed a great clean-up job. James B was pretty nice about it but his manager was really unimpressed. It was a stunningly bad first impression.”
O Surprise Machine 1 Koreless / Everything Everything : ourmother.co.uk
LIL YACHT Y You might have spotted Atlanta rapper Lil Yachty at the Yeezy Season 3 launch from Madison Square Garden. Alongside Young Thug and Naomi Campbell, Yachty’s distinctive look – red beaded braids with metallic teeth – was a perfect fit for the performance. It was another milestone for the artist who only started making music less than a year ago. He’s won over the support of Atlanta don Coach K who is mentoring him. Having handled the early steps of Gucci Mane’s career, the Coach knows a true outsider when he sees one. Yachty’s warbled delivery and taste for oversimple melodies makes his music totally addictive. Halfway between lullabies and club anthems, Yachty is rightly being lauded as “the new face of ATL”.
O Dragged From a Horse 1 Dntel / Croatian Amor
O 1Night 1 LoveMakonnen / Young Thug : soundcloud.com/770rd
O Track 1 File Next To : Website
Pusha T Never Felt Better Pusha T’s seen a lot. Rapping professionally since 1997, he came up as one half of Clipse and one fourth of the Reup Gang, and he’s recently earned the title as president of juggernaut hip-hop label G.O.O.D Music. He is timeless, and this is in part because rap is fun for him. He’s the game’s most passionate chess player, and as rap contours itself to continuous changes in culture and technology, Pusha T thrives by staying one step ahead.
Words: Jeff Ihaza Photography: Christelle de Castro Styling: Marcus Paul Styling Assistant: Haylee Ahumada Grooming: Alicia Marie Campbell
We’re on our way to Pusha T’s hotel in Midtown Manhattan where, having just wrapped up Crack’s cover shoot in Brooklyn, he needs to prepare for one of the most talked-about events in recent rap history. In the back of the luxury SUV, Pusha T seems contemplative, staring out of his window as we cross the Williamsburg Bridge
overlooking the East River and Manhattan. In a few hours, livestreamed to millions of viewers in theaters and online, and in front of 18,000 people at Madison Square Garden, Pusha T will stand beside Kanye West as he reveals Yeezy Season 3 and premieres his latest opus, The Life Of Pablo. “We were in the gym and he was just thinking out loud like ‘man, I just feel like Pablo,’” Pusha T tells me, doing his best impression of Kanye’s excitement. West founded G.O.O.D Music in 2004, and with Pusha T signing to the label in 2010, the pair have become close friends and regular collaborators. “Me and Kanye see things differently a lot,” he tells me. “We’ve always had that dynamic. With that kind of relationship there’s always something to pull out of the space where we see things differently. We call it ‘cracking the code’” Born Terrence Thornton, Pusha T has been a fixture in the collective hip-hop consciousness for as long as some of his fans have been alive. In the early 90s, he and his brother Gene ‘Malice’ Thornton – who changed his artist name to No Malice after embracing Christianity around 2011 – joined forces with production powerhouse Pharrell Williams, then working with The Neptunes, to form Clipse. After signing their first record deal in 1997 with Elektra records to release their debut Exclusive Audio Footage, Clipse signed to Pharrell’s Star Trak imprint. In 2002, they released the LP Lord Willin’, featuring their breakout hit Grindin’ – a bonafide classic built with little more than a sparse drum beat. Clipse’s brand of ebullient raps about the drug trade gave quick rise to a lyrically driven movement in hip-hop dubbed “coke rap”. Its main tenant: create the cleverest way to rap about your hustle. “It was more competitive earlier on,” Pusha T remembers as we zip through Chinatown. “The Clipse era was a competitive rap era for me and a competitive production era for The Neptunes.”
Sweater: LOEWE Pants: Valentino Trainers: Adidas Stan Smith Originals Watch: Rolex Earrings: Artistâ€™s Own
Bandana: Haider Ackermann Jacket: Valentino Shirt: Uniqlo Jeans: Saint Laurent Paris Trainers: Saint Laurent Watch: Rolex Earrings: Artistâ€™s Own
" Corporations now know that when they have a rap artist in the room, It's an opportunity, but they might not understand you or the music "
Following the success of Lord Willin’, Clipse fell into a music industry vortex caused by one corporation, Clipse’s label Arista records, merging with another corporation, pop music powerhouse Jive records. The relationship almost immediately proved sour, with Jive investing much more heavily in its pop stars at the time than in its “urban artists”. This didn’t even come close to stopping Clipse, the group released mixtapes alongside Philly rappers Sandman and Ab-Liva as the ReUp Gang. Eventually, Clipse would form Re-Up Records, the label that the duo released their seminal album Hell Hath No Fury on in 2006. Pusha T’s eyes are symmetrical and almond-shaped. I notice that when he concentrates, his squint flashes glimmers of light in between the sparse dreads covering his face. He appears to enjoy talking about hip-hop in general, as if replaying the ride he’s been on for the past several years with every answer. “I think with all of this, label drama, to my brother not being a part of the group, to being a solo artist,” he says, calmly, “it has played out in the best way possible today.” Back in November, Pusha T formally announced his new job role at G.O.O.D Music with his track Untouchable, which fittingly sampled Biggie’s verse from Pudgee’s Think Big. The song and the promotion felt like an earned victory for Pusha T, whose career in rap music has spanned nearly half of the genre’s existence. Stylistically, he seems to bridge the gap between more traditional rap fans and younger generations who are hungry for new trends. I ask if him if he’s looking to infuse the rap game with more lyrically focused MCs like himself. “The one thing people forget is that even though I have
this lineage and rap one way or whatever, I’m still out in the world and seeing what’s going on,” he insists. “I actually love what’s going on in rap, I’m at the same clubs and at the same parties as everyone else.” Still, as a rapper, Pusha T is as classic a wordsmith as the game has, working with intricate collisions of sounds and syllables, landing multiple punchlines while tackling adventurous beats. He jokingly tells me how he loves working with Timbaland, who made the beat for Untouchable, because he’s “cracked the code” with his characteristically eccentric production. “I’m always looking for a beat that I know nobody else can rap on,” he tells me. “How many remixes of Grindin’ are out there?” But how many of them do you remember? No one else could rap on that beat the same way. “I feel like my fan base is used to a certain quality,” he continues. “And they’re loud – if you’re not into Pusha T somebody will argue you to the ground.” Although his finger remains on the pulse, when it comes to keeping in touch with his fans, Pusha T still prefers the personal touch to social media, which he’s only moderately active on. “For me, personally, I’d rather do an in-store and be able to be in the little mom and pop shop and see firsthand like, ‘Oh this is the neighborhood where they listen to my stuff,’” he says. “I need that tangible connection.” While brick and mortar music stores
" Even though I have this lineage, I'm still out and seeing what s going on I love what s going on in rap now " are closing around the world, Pusha T did manage to recreate that tangible connection for his Adidas EQT release party where, to a room full of sneaker heads, he introduced his most recent album Darkest Before Dawn, which was modestly billed as a prelude to this year’s King Push. “I feel like Darkest Before Dawn was me rounding up my fans,” he says. “That was me getting off my personal love of how I want to make music and how I feel like my fans want to hear me.” He sounds comfortable in the knowledge that he doesn’t need to pander to the charts or chase labels down for deals – he’s been in the belly of that beast before and managed to land right back on his feet. Economically, the rap game has fundamentally changed along with the rest of the entire music industry. The Life of Pablo has debuted exclusively via Jay Z’s much-debated Tidal platform, and it feels like more rappers are seeking endorsement deals to ensure they shift units for highstake album releases. So did Pusha T ever envision rappers signing deals with Apple, as Drake and Future have recently done? “I remember thinking when I first got in the game that rap music hasn’t really made it until Jay Z is headlining a tour bigger than like, The Eagles,” he says, grinning. “Now, I gotta figure out some new goals because we went well beyond what I could have imagined.” Now, as the hip-hop industry transforms with the help of tech industry giants, Pusha T’s challenge is to remain in control. “Corporations now know that when they have a rap artist in the room it’s an opportunity,” he tells me. “The weirdest part is they might not understand you or the music, but they know it’s something.” King Push – the rapper’s third retail album
– is expected to be released this summer. The platform has never been bigger, and 2016 has every chance of being Pusha T’s biggest year as a solo artist so far. And yet, he appears to be totally unfazed. “I feel no pressure whatsoever with my music,” he claims with a playful shrug. “I don’t think that my hip-hop goes out of style. And that’s what I Iove.” Having turned 38 last year, it’s fair to say Pusha T carries veteran status on his shoulders. I ask him if he’d ever consider retirement, but he seems uninterested – the more important question is about what the future holds. "I feel like I’m doing what all of my greats didn’t do,” he declares. “Everybody who I thought was the illest ever, all of them were three, maybe five years in the game. That’s because they looked down on new shit. That’s not what we’re supposed to do. And that’s not what I’m ever going to do.” King Push will be released this summer via Virgin EMI / G.O.O.D Music. Pusha T headlines Electric Brixton, London, 27 April
Moderat: Positive Tension Words: Thomas Frost Photography: Jack Johnstone
“If you haven’t heard of Novelist in the last year you’ve been under a rock,” says Gernot Bronsert as we make our way to a Shoreditch eating spot. We’re joined by the other two members of Moderat, Sebastian Szary (his partner in Modeselektor) and Sascha Ring – otherwise known as Apparat. “He’s good but he’s nothing new in grime,” Gernot continues. “Also DJ EZ, he’s a festival headliner this year!” The local knowledge displayed by this particular member of the trio eschews the notion that the German techno scene never looks beyond its own borders. Moderat’s third album is imminent. For the many who hold them in the highest reverence, this will be one of the most anticipated records of the year, and they have never been in more demand. Their Bristol Simple Things show sold out in two days, and their London KOKO show was quickly upgraded to Brixton Academy. Last time I experienced the full Moderat live show the trio were closing the La Route Du Rock main stage with over 30,000 other people watching. At this point, they are arguably the German techno scene’s most successful musical export. But this is not without struggle, as becomes evident when I ask about the recording process for III. “It’s trial and error,” explains Apparat. “We have like 45 ideas and then we strip them down until a few are left, and then we produce them until the end. Not even all of them end up on the album. It’s a distillation process.” Does it ever get argumentative? “It does sometimes,” admits Gernot. “Good democratic decisions are always based on arguments. In the end it’s a system with no system. It’s not easy to
make every member happy with each song, but this is our filter. We have to create and write and sometimes you invest a lot of time and passion into an idea and it doesn’t get the love you were expecting it to get. Then sometimes you make some really thoughtless, shitty sketches and it flourishes.” The combined acts of Moderat unites two strands of German electronic music. Those who enjoyed the melancholia and emotionally fraught soundscapes of Apparat’s solo work saw him paired with Modeselektor, who can be credited with putting a degree of fun back into a serious German techno scene. The result is a sound that's accessible but high on intensity, thematically darker and, particularly for Modeselektor, a distinct alteration of their musical character. So does being a Moderat member come easier to Apparat? “It probably fits my image better, but I do like other things too,” he says. “When we started the first record, we didn’t really know what it was going to sound like. In the end it became a mixture of us both. Sometimes we enjoy taking different roles within our collective. I might make a beat and they write the melody.” For Gernot, variation is key. “We still enjoy being Moderat members because there are things we can do here that we cannot do as Modeselektor,” he explains. “It’s funny being in Modeselektor. When we started, me and Szary had very strong sense of humour but we always had another musical face. All these sad beats.” Apparat chips in. “It’s also an image you found as Modeselektor and the world developed it a bit for you. They haven’t always been
like this. When I first met them they had lots of melodic soft songs. They aren’t just techno hooligans.”
be Modeselektor, Moderat or Apparat, the other projects will end up in the shadow. So it’s a big decision.”
Switching between their previously defined musical roles has proved difficult. Especially so when Apparat had a motorcycle accident in 2013, in the middle of the last Moderat album tour. This event has obviously informed much of the writing on new album III, and is something Apparat is very forthright about. “Things changed for me,” he admits. “Before I was more of a party guy, drinking a lot. Afterwards I played a completely sober tour. That was really a moment to sit down and digest what went on before and what had happened to me. It was a big topic on the new record.”
III is Moderat’s most personal work to date. Apparat’s vocals are more present than ever and the production values are equally as grandiose. Sounding much more like a continuation of the more commercially successful second album, only the blistering Animal Trails feels like it could be lifted from their groundbreaking debut. When asked about the popular conception that this record is the completion of some kind of trilogy, not least because of the numerals that act as the titles to all three of their albums to date, Apparat is forthright in his response.
For Szary, the movement between their two aliases was at its most prominent in the wake of the accident. “There was this moment it all switched. We started the tour for II but after Sascha’s accident we had to switch to a Modeselektor show. We took the Modeselektor live stuff from the garage and we were like, ‘okay, we have to switch’. It was not easy.”
“It’s promo bullshit,” he insists. “We are always trying to come up with a story, but we are not conceptual at all. We just go to the studio like we did 15 years ago and we just mess around with shit. In the best case something happened, and in the worst case we have arguments and we both go home depressed. Or alternatively we crack open the vodka and we’re really happy something good happened. Saying it’s a trilogy would mean we thought a lot about it. We don’t overthink things.”
“It takes a lot of effort and energy to switch back into other projects,” Apparat continues. “We were in a really nice flow off the back of the last record and the tour wasn’t that crazy or big, so once we stopped touring and were able to make a record, we had more music to play. This time we didn’t break the flow.” “We gave it two weeks to think about getting together again,” Szary says, explaining the democracy within the group. “When you break the rhythm whether that
III is released 1 April via Monkeytown and Mute
Issue 62 | crackmagazine.net
Issue 62 | crackmagazine.net
Issue 62 | crackmagazine.net
Issue 62 | crackmagazine.net
25 years since the club’s opening, Tresor’s founders continue to fan the flames of Berlin’s nightlife
Dimitri Hegemann is a night owl. A true veteran of Berlin’s music scene, he continues to work best under the cover of darkness, helming not only the iconic Tresor, but the smaller Ohm club, an industrial venue called the Kraftwerk, and the annual Atonal festival for experimental music and art. “I’m a big fan of the nighttime,” Hegemann says with a laugh. “It is beautiful, not only for partying, it’s also good for thinking. It’s magic.” If that seems sentimental, it’s with good reason. You might know the story — in the 25 years since Tresor opened, its history has become a Berlin legend. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, the city changed. Reunification resulted in a new, fortified population of young people, a wealth of abandoned buildings, and a lack of governmental control that made Berlin the ideal place for a music movement like the one started by Hegemann (pictured left, next to a young Jeff Mills) and his cohorts. “The city was burning. I’ve never seen such euphoria in my life because both sides spoke the same language,” Hegemann explains. “It was like a melting pot of young non-conformists from all over Germany who hadn’t found a platform in their home city; so they created new visions. That was massive! Everybody had two ideas in their back pocket.” Hegemann’s two ideas? Find a space to play the music that he loved, and create a home for the like-minded artists and young people that were playing it. With strong ties to the Underground Resistance, a Michigan-based collective putting out a brand of electronic music influenced by the industrial aesthetic and factory sounds of Detroit, Hegemann, along with accomplices like Johnnie Stieler, DJ Tanith, and Carola Stoiber, brought this new sound to Berlin. It was called techno.
After time spent throwing illegal parties in abandoned buildings around the city, techno found its home in the vaults of a former department store in Mitte in 1991, and Tresor was born. According to Hegemann, “there were four points that came together: the Wall was down, the euphoria, the right space, and the right time.” For Carola Stoiber, founder of the PullProxy label, and Tresor’s original label manager from its inception until 2011, the amalgamation of these four points was the essence of this nighttime magic. “Definitely there was a magic because techno was different from anything we ever knew. It changed everything,” Stoiber says. “Everybody could dance individually on your own, in your own space. To me, that’s freedom.” With this freedom, techno flourished: communities formed within club culture, bonds that mirrored the spirit of reunification era Berlin. “Back in the day, it was about diving into the music,” explains Stoiber. “You went to meet your friends, everybody knew each other, it was all connected. People threw parties because they wanted somewhere to dance and play their music. There was a sense of community in those days that was very underground.” The importance of nightlife, though, runs deeper than just an emotional connection or a sense of community; for Berlin especially, techno is one of the city’s biggest exports, with the nightlife industry pulling in millions of visitors a year. “More than 80 percent of the tourists that come to Berlin, come because of the alternative culture – that’s an economic force,” Hegemann asserts. “It influences the entire creative culture of the city. Looking back after 25 years, it’s these alternative cultures that have really flourished.”
A thriving nightlife industry, however, has proved to be a kind double-edged sword; the source of both the said economic prosperity, and a music scene that has become astonishingly oversaturated. “In 2016 there’s a lot of competition,” Hegemann argues. “There are so many festivals, so many clubs, so many DJs… There is a lot of creativity so much so that sometimes I get bored of all this creativity!”. Stoiber agrees that the scene’s financial prosperity has altered the atmosphere. “Electronic music just took over the whole nightlife. Step by step, of course, but everywhere you go today, every club, it’s based on electronic music. It’s a big business! This is a whole economy. And because of that, the feeling is different.” What feeling, exactly? “It’s just something that’s missing,” Stoiber continues. “I don’t know what. The community that I talked about, that’s changing. Now I think the community feeling is a little bit fake, people think they are part of a community because they go out to clubs and stay there for a long time and be there… But this is not real life.” Both Hegemann and Stoiber agree that today’s club kids are partying for different reasons, and sometimes they’re the wrong ones. “This is sad, I must say,” laments Hegemann, “Club culture has become very disconnected. People long for something… They long for a moment of togetherness.” He’s not wrong; looking back on the most important musical movements in history — the Love Parade, Woodstock — these were crusades formed by the coming together of people united in fighting for a cause. Reunification era, too, embodied a sense of euphoric rebellion; Berlin seemed to need techno. “Today, the rebellion, the anarchy, the movement? Yes, it’s missing,” says Stoiber, “There’s not a lot of independent
thinking anymore. I wouldn’t say this is only in electronic music, but it would be nice to have some action going on, where people say we have to do something, we have to stand up!” For Hegemann, this lack of passion extends all the way to today’s promoters, bookers, and club owners. “The quality has changed with age. I think most people who successfully, commercially picked up techno, like in these huge festivals or clubs, this is out of control and not in line with the true spirit. You see it everywhere,” he explains, “I meet many promoters who don’t care. They’re just interested in making money, selling festival tickets for 120 bucks, boom, boom, boom... There are so many promoters and club owners who don’t seem to care. And that’s really a shame. My question is, and I wait for an answer, Berlin gives these people so much inspiration, ideas, vision… What do they give Berlin?” The whole concept comes full circle, though; such is the paradoxical way of any industry. Economic growth begets lack of passion, sure, but all the passion in the world doesn’t necessarily equal success. Even Tresor has seen its fair share of hard knocks, closing its doors temporarily in 2005 due to financial problems. “In the early days of Tresor, we had no idea what we were doing,” admits Hegemann. “We had no idea how to even sell a glass of beer, let alone throw a party. We made all the mistakes you can make, everything. Most clubs fail because they have no economic understanding. That’s what happened to us... The demand was so big, the momentum was too strong.” But since reopening in 2007, Tresor’s hold on Berlin’s club scene has remained intact. “The new Tresor has the same atmosphere, the same vibe. It’s nothing fake. And without Tresor, music culture in Berlin wouldn’t be like this now,” Stoiber argues. “People know
that, and they respect that. It’s very close and very intense, and the DJs love that. And I love it too. Today if you ask me where I get my passion, it’s definitely more about the artists. If I didn’t love the music, I wouldn’t be able to do this job anymore.” This year, Tresor celebrates its 25th anniversary with an ambitious worldwide series of parties which run until October. For Hegemann, hope for the future of club culture lies with the next generation. As such, Hegemann is constantly cultivating new ventures with which to inspire and encourage today’s budding industry heroes. 2015 saw the launch of his Academy for Subcultural Understanding, a school that aims to teach deeper awareness of music and arts, as well as the start of his Happy Locals organisation which promotes alternative projects. “There are people who still have goals with electronic music,” says Hegemann. “You need to care about the culture, about club culture. The next generation, they bring some passion. And that’s important.” “I like the idea of keeping a city weird,” Hegemann says with a smile when asked where he sees club culture heading in the next 25 years. “That’s the goal. We can only accomplish that with the nighttime. Many cities just waste this wonderful time, but here in Berlin at night… The city is shining.” The first Tresor 25 Years event takes place at Tresor on 12 March. For more information, visit tresorberlin.com
Issue 62 | crackmagazine.net
Words: Emma Robertson Photography: Tresor Archives
“ Once you break a taboo it’s just gone, it’s like a paradigm shift”
Molly Nilsson: Planetary Vistas
Words: Steve Mallon Photography: Kate Bones
Molly Nilsson is firmly in control of both her career and her aesthetic. Since 2008, she’s self-released six full-length albums of emotive, lo-fi synth pop, winning her a modest, but loyal fan base. And as becomes clear when reaching out for this feature, she also acts as her own manager, booking agent and publicist, as well as designing her own distinctive artwork for her Dark Skies Association imprint. Nilsson's sound has steadily evolved and broadened over the years, the release of her latest LP, last year’s Zenith, evinced an artist in her prime, its title a self-aware declaration of a newfound maturity and certitude. While her web presence is shrouded in mystique – until fairly recently, Nilsson was reluctant to give interviews – when I meet with her at Hackney’s Moth Club she’s preternaturally calm, open and down to earth. While Nilsson’s been based in Berlin for around eleven years, she cites Stockholm, her home city, as having fostered her earliest experiments with music. “Berlin has this atmosphere of anything goes and it’s very forgiving,” she explains of her incentive to move. “I think if I started in Stockholm I would have had a much harder time, because it used to be a lot more cool or something – people are a little more insecure there. In Berlin I felt it was okay to do whatever. Even if you fail, it’s not a big deal. It’s liberating.” Her sound may be distinctive, but Nilsson’s reluctant to cite any specific influences. “I listen to a lot of things and mostly things that are nothing like my own music – things I could never make,” she says. “From classical music to techno and trance. I’m a very disloyal listener. I think a lot of people think I listen to contemporary pop bands or something. Or a lot of people think that I’m influenced by Nico because I have a dark voice when I’m singing. But I’ve never listened to Nico in my whole life
and I really don’t like her music. But I guess people assume so because of my voice or accent, I don’t know.” Zenith is one of Molly’s proudest achievements, and while the record is an affirmation of everything that came before it, risk was also an imperative part of the process that birthed it. From the sun-kissed reggae rhythms of Lovers Are Losers, to the ravey synths of Bunny Club and the vintage, commercial pop feel of 1995, Zenith shakes off misconceptions of cool detachment with huge, feel-good melodies. “I was trying out a lot of things and breaking some taboos that I’ve had with myself,” Nilsson tells me. “At times I was like, ‘oh my god, I can’t believe I’m doing this’, but then I’m like, ‘but it’s awesome!’ Once you break the taboo it’s just gone, it’s like a paradigm shift. And then you can’t even remember what it was like before.” Lyrically, Zenith sees Molly taking on bigger and broader themes than ever before. While her songs have always been diaristic, Zenith’s tracks expand their remit from single days or specific events to months, years and decades, reflecting on planets, orbiting satellites, the rise and fall of relationships, and personal revelations. “It wasn’t a conscious thing,” she says. “Maybe when I was making Zenith I was in a phase where I did a lot of looking back and comparing myself because I was turning 30 – it’s a time when you’re kind of looking back on your twenties and this decade of your life that’s really fun. I was getting ready to go into a new decade, and I was letting go of a lot of things, but also keeping the things that I wanted to keep.” Like most creative achievements though, Zenith didn’t come without struggle. “I think the most difficult thing about the album when I started making it was that I wanted to make something very positive and optimistic with a lot of good inspiration, and I wanted to spread a good vibe with it,” she explains. “When I started making the album, it was 2014, and there were so many awful
things happening in the world. There was so much war and conflict everywhere, and it was really hard to not get politically depressed. I think I was also a maybe little bit personally depressed by it. The biggest challenge was to actually start believing in a future again. But once I found a way to do that, the songs just started coming out.” At this point I remember having read that Molly thought that Zenith might be her last album. So is she genuinely considering a retirement from music? “I think that every time I make an album – and I’ve made a lot of albums,” she laughs. “Maybe it’s just that it’s kind of exhausting, and then sometimes you just feel like ‘okay that was the last one, now I’m finished – I have nothing left to say.’ But when I had finished Zenith I actually felt like, ‘no, I will probably make like ten more albums. “I think the whole life of making music with the touring and things like that might get a little bit tiresome as you grow older,” Nilsson says reflectively. “But as it stands, I want to still be on stage in 25 years and still make albums that I’m proud of. I don’t think of last albums any more. I’ve grown up now.” Molly Nilsson appears at Field Day, London, 11-12 June
We can see him before we can hear him. Dressed in a cozy knit sweater, nestled in a woven rocking chair, Hans Tobias — guitarist/vocalist of post-punk trio Plattenbau — is silently gesturing away via a wavering Skype connection. Drummer Brandon Walsh cuts in, “Tobi, you look like a proud grandpa relaxing on his throne after a successful hunt.” We finally get the audible affirmative chuckle we’d been waiting for. Walsh, bassist/vocalist Lewis Lloyd and I are all sat on a couch with the virtual Tobi in Lloyd’s Neukölln apartment, a plan B after our efforts to fly Tobias in from Sweden for the weekend fell through. Plattenbau had its Berlin beginnings in 2011, the result of a failed Craigslist ad and a chance meeting at a summer BBQ. Like many before them, both Lloyd and Tobias had moved from their respective home countries to the German capital, seeking musical camaraderie. “Lewis actually wrote to me [before we met],” Tobias admits cheekily, “but I just didn’t have the time to answer him.” Despite this near miss, they eventually connected through a mutual friend and started jamming together. The first couple of years were rocky, as their search for a drummer turned into a never-ending saga.
Words: Gabriella Otero Photography: Fabian Vaccaro
Introducing Plattenbau: the Punk Trio Pulling it Together
“We had these people who were trying to make it so damn complicated. Just keep time, keep a straight face,” explains Tobias, visibly frustrated. As luck would have it, Craigslist finally pulled through in the form of Walsh, who — recently moved from the states and eager to find new bandmates — was the exact type of no-nonsense player they needed. Honestly, it’s not surprising that they encountered difficulty putting together a solid, committed band. It’s no secret that — while it is a hotbed for creativity and innovation — Berlin is brimming with restless wanderers, many of whom have a penchant for complacency. “In Sweden, being in a band is a big thing, whereas in Berlin, it’s sort of like, of course you’re in a band, of course you’re a DJ,” says Tobias. (As we’re speaking, Lloyd’s techno producer flatmate comes home, exhausted from a gig — because of course he does.) To their credit, the guys of Plattenbau are trying their damnedest to dispel this phenomenon. They’ve all been playing in bands from a very young age, but agree that this is the first time it’s truly gotten “serious” and they treat it as such. This year sees them embarking on their first-ever US tour in mid March, including a stop at SXSW. They’ve
poured countless hours into planning for it, booking everything themselves, navigating the bureaucratic labyrinth of applying for elusive travel visas, and even making a gag sales pitch-esque fundraising video to soften the edge of asking for money directly. When I point out the insane amount of extra work that they must be doing, Lloyd says with a laugh, “it wasn’t a choice to be DIY — believe me, I’d much rather everyone else do everything for us — but it just kind of worked out like that.” Plattenbau also happen to be on the heels of self-releasing their debut fulllength album, which finds them truly settling into their music. When a band named after an architectural symbol of the former Eastern Bloc writes their first EP about societal conformity in the basement of the ex-Stasi headquarters and entitles it Square Squares, there’s really nothing else you could call that other than a strict concept project. However, their style has since blossomed into something more organic; still cerebral, but not contrived. Their dark post-punk sound has adopted a dreamy quality: think gritty, industrial surf rock, complete with jangly guitars and the sounds of waves crashing ashore. They throw listeners curve balls: from small, hidden surprises like tambourines, cowbells, and doo-wop ooh’s, to the more remarkable dystopian
cover of 40s classic, That Old Black Magic, about which Lloyd said, “I thought it would be cool to take this cheesy song and bring a sort of cynical vibe to it. You know, cast a shadow over the love.” Contrary to what their name would have you believe, Plattenbau are wary of boxing themselves in. Yes, they’re dedicated and their music often embraces morose intensities, but make no mistake, Plattenbau are anything but dull. “We just want people to dance!” they say excitedly when asked about what they’d like people to take from their music. And as for future plans? “We’re going to put out a hit Christmas album,” explains Lloyd, “A Cold Christmas With Plattenbau.” Then Walsh clears his throat and croons, “‘The winds from the East are coming…’” and somehow, I’m convinced that if anyone could make a seasonal Sovietinspired post-punk classic, it would be them. Plattenbau’s self-titled debut album is released 6 March
NEW FOR 2016
L E T ’S E A T G R A N D M A
‘Never Be Like You’ feat. Kai
‘Deep Six Textbook’
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T H E F O R G E , C A M D E N sold out
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Jimmy Cauty: Sustained Resistance
Words: Augustin Macellari
the proffered narrative telling us about an undefined upheaval, a riot with no articulated catalyst and an odd outcome. The only people left populating the dystopian ruin are the police – the rioters nowhere to be seen. In the absence of civilians to perform disobedience it falls to the constabulary. They paint graffiti, or scratch their heads.
Jimmy Cauty once burnt a million quid. He's not supposed to talk about it, though – there’s a 23-year moratorium that bans him from talking about anything related to the incident, or about the art group he and Bill Drummond, his partner in seminal radical rave outfit the KLF, formed after they spectacularly quit pop music. The K Foundation, as they were known, announced that “the KLF have left the music business”, leaving behind only a dead sheep outside the 1992 BRIT awards after party.
Issue 62 | crackmagazine.net
After deleting their back catalogue, they spent about three years ridding themselves of their KLF earnings in various extravagant ways, finally deciding to sign the aforementioned moratorium. The K Foundation was put to bed.
to think of questions that don’t explicitly relate to anything that falls within the moratorium, a challenge that goes a long way towards justifying the need for it. Try as I might, I can’t shake the fact that Cauty and Bill Drummond once withdrew a million pounds in cash, took it to the Scottish island of Jura, and burned it all up in an abandoned stone house. Perhaps it’s a sad reflection on my personal relationship to money and value – my own inability to detach capital from life – but the scale of it, and the corresponding rejection of society and of what we value that it represents, hangs heavy as I try to think of another question.
Despite its duration, Cauty’s career is quite difficult to parse. It has occupied a distinctly non-linear timeframe – there’s a schizophrenic edge to projects, an indifference to any sort of fealty towards discipline or medium. It seems, from the outside, to be motivated entirely by ideas. There’s not so much a sense of process or practice as of action: an idea is conceived and then executed. Only then comes the question: what to do with it?
I ask what, from his career, he’s especially proud of. “I don’t look back with pride – plenty of time for that during the last 22 seconds of my life,” he writes. “Although the KLF Wikipedia entry is impressive by any standards.” It is – the relentless, aggressive mayhem that defined their presence as a band and which continued into the K Foundation, expressing itself through direct actions that sometimes pointed at clear targets, sometimes nowhere, and sometimes inwards, is candescent even through that stark webpage.
I’m interviewing Cauty about the upcoming tour of his latest work, The Aftermath Dislocation Principle (ADP), but he can’t be reached by phone, as he’s currently based on the largest of the Cook Islands, Rarotonga. Instead, we exchange emails. It’s challenging
Since those works, Cauty has mellowed in form, if not content. The soon-to-be-touring ADP, previously on show in London and at Banksy’s Dismaland, is a huge scale model representing a square mile of scorched urban earth. It depicts a city gone to seed,
The ADP’s genesis lies in his Riot in a Jam Jar series, itself inspired by the 2011 London riots. In these, he used his tiny scale models to capture incidents of vandalism and yobbery safely, imprisoning these moments like model ships, commodifying and disenfranchising them into curios. He has also customised police riot shields with the acid house smiley face, launched a billboard campaign supplemented with collectable stamps that drew unflattering parallels between the Iraq War and Disney, and been litigated against by Royal Mail for making a set of stamps featuring the Queen in a gas mask. In the early days, Cauty operated within a network of junk symbols, mysticism, and nonsense ritual. Actions that had real, potent power were performed alongside others that were meaningless. In this confusion, Cauty was dangerous – he couldn’t be dismissed but he couldn’t be lauded. Nonsense was his camouflage. His anti-establishment position was, he says, intuitive. “I don’t try to analyse the reasons why I push against the corporate world, I just do – I can’t help it. When I was young the headmaster was the enemy, then it was the police, then it was other things.” Similarly, the cooption of symbols – like the recurring, pseudo-mystical number 23 – was almost opportunistic. “In the past symbols, logos, corporate and cultural trademarks and so on were just out there to use as raw material.”
Nowadays, that doesn’t feel like enough. Logos, consumer products and the semiotics of advertising are so entrenched in our cultural awareness that they’ve lost their potency as a tool to make a political statement. The democratisation of the image has also shifted the value of visual currency – an increasingly high level of visual literacy surely means a more sophisticated palate. The net effect is that it has become easy to write off political art – as typified by Banksy, that is – as a bit kitsch. Cauty doesn’t agree. When I ask whether he agrees with the cynical eye-rolling that accompanies most arty discussions about Banksy, Cauty calls him “a giant” and asserts that “the sooner the art world figures that one out and stops crying, the better.” But, at the same time, Cauty has moved on from overt criticism – a move that seems to stem from disillusionment. “There was a time, when I made Operation Magic Kingdom, that I wanted to poke Disney in the eye repeatedly, just to annoy them. They didn’t respond, and at that point I realised the corporate world loves it when artists engage with them – even on a negative level – as it keeps them in the public eye.”
“I don’t know why I push against the corporate world, I just do. When I was young the headmaster was the enemy, then it was the police, then it was other things”
He expresses a similar kind of resigned displeasure towards another cornerstone of contemporary living: the internet. Cauty has, in the past, made a habit of destroying pieces of work. The money burning, for example, but also his and Drummond’s attempt to destroy all documentation of the event itself (which, in the end, was thwarted). He is drawn to destruction, he says, “because things have a natural short life, or decay time. Their meanings can be lost over time, and they just become background noise.” The internet has made retrospective self-curation impossible, as “nothing is allowed to fade into memory – every mistake you make is up there forever.”
Cauty places great importance on ideas occupying their right time. This is the logic he says drives the cycle of creation and, often, destruction. It’s difficult to work out if this is true, or if in fact the destruction of work instead represents a type of megalomania – an unwillingness to accept the artist’s creative death, as their ideas are transmitted into – and morphed by – the consumer’s consciousness. Either way, these twin concerns – the supremacy of the corporation, and the permanence of the internet – must both inform ways of making, and of protesting. Maybe it’s the awareness of this that distinguishes the Aftermath Dislocation Principle. On paper, in the anarchic rhetoric of the press release, the sprawling diorama could be dismissed as a straight, and boringly simple, attack – a ‘fuck you’ to the government corporation’s on-the-ground enforcers. In fact, its internal narrative – the descent of the coppers into disaffection and lawlessness – is Ballardian and powerful. There is a trailer for the work online. It joins the dots, forms a neat circle. Its soundtrack is the apocalyptic, doomy, prog-house nightmare that introduces the BBC News at Ten every weeknight. It’s not a leap to suggest that the KLF’s early bangers can be heard haunting auntie’s nightly call to worry. When I ask Cauty about the depoliticisation of young artists, and the fact that political art seems to be the proviso of people, like him, whose political awareness was shaped by unions, civil disobedience and police violence, instead of whatever we’ve been given, he replies, “I have heard quite a few people my age say they made their best work while Thatcher was in power.” With the ADP, Cauty has pushed through the shallow and overly simplistic protestart-statements that we’re usually fed. In observing rather than attacking, he has made something difficult: protest art that is neither sanctimonious nor simplistic, but rather draws us in and takes us to the heart of things. And perhaps it’ll catch on – as he suggests, “if Trump is elected, maybe we can all get back to making our best work again.” The Aftermath Dislocation Principle UK Riot Tour starts 23 April. For more information, visit www.l-13.org
Produced exclusively for Crack by Safia Bahmed-Schwartz - www.safiabahmed-schwartz.net
Maisie Self Portrait by Maisie Cousins
â€œI want to see more honest representations of what a body looks likeâ€?
Words: Georgina Jones Photography: Maisie Cousins
Maisie Cousins: Raw Beauty
Maisie Cousins is known not only for her exhilarating art, but also for her outspoken personality and intimate blogging style. The London-based photographer’s striking, but relatable imagery naturally thrives among a social media-savvy generation, and Cousins has been utilising online platforms to showcase herself and her work since she was 14. “I think I’ve always naturally shared my work online, as it gave it a home,” she explains. “It then became a way of making friends and networking with like minded people. Most of my closest friends I met through blogging in some way.” The word is well and truly out: 2015 saw Cousins collaborate with Petra Collins and present at the Tate, and she’s recently appeared on Dazed & Confused’s “Dazed 100” list. Regardless of where you might have first come across Cousins’ work, the glorious grossness of the imagery sticks with you. Her use of texture, colour and femininity all question traditional concepts of beauty. These images are undeniably beautiful in their uncomfortable nature: a gooey representation of all the snot, shit and slime that makes up humanity presented in a way that teaches you to appreciate it. Maisie says she’s “always been attracted to things that may be a bit ‘gross,’” and it shows. With her distinctive take on nudes,
Cousins’ work explores the human form from every angle, representing women with an honest gaze. The shots are more alive than living; food for thought made from jelly and snails. There’s nothing explicitly sexual in these images, but the fluids and flesh fill you with the same disturbed delight of tasting your own orgasm or someone else’s sweat in your mouth. It’s an enjoyment of the taboo, the parts of living we’ve been taught to treat with sterility. Cousins’ championing of all aspects of femininity, from pus to blood to nose hair, has repeatedly been declared a feminist statement. It’s a statement that doesn’t lose its effect in its repetition, a statement that is still powerful and still necessary – but also a statement that is easily applied when others don’t know what else to call work by queer and female artists. Although Cousins doesn’t see this as “particularly unfair”, because there should be a pride in being a feminist and producing feminist work, “what can be frustrating for a lot of queer and female artists is that it is seen as only feminist,” she explains. “The place it has in the art world is labelled purely as ‘feminist’ and that can keep a lot of doorways closed for the potential of the work and its wider audience.”
The artists that Cousins admires are ones that are as multi-faceted as she is. Her inspirations range from Susan Sontag’s essays, to the works of Pipilotti Rist and Peter Greenaway, the latter less surprising as she reveals that she’s really excited to be getting into video work for 2016. This coming year, Cousins doesn’t just expect more from herself but from everyone else too. Two major changes she’d like to see are “more artists hired for jobs instead of large advertising agencies ripping them off,” and a “more honest representation of what a body looks like.” Seeing Maisie’s own use of diverse people and their bodies, it’s obvious why the artist would want to see similar representation throughout the art world. It’s a bold ambition, but perhaps more people with follow suit as Maisie Cousins’ influence continues to grow. To see more of Cousins’ work, visit masiecousins.com
Issue 62 | crackmagazine.net
Aesthetic: Real Lies The three members of Real Lies grew up in London’s shadow, in the satellite towns of the overspill, and the city is the ever present protagonist of the stories told in their songs. The many changes that the city’s undergone in recent years hang ominously over their music, yet the band’s creative output is far more personal than it is political, a mosaic tribute to the times we live in constructed of petrol stations, night bus rides, A-road pubs and other poetic visions of ostensibly mundane suburban arcana. The unceasing changes to the social and cultural fabric of London today provides the subtext to Kev Kharas’ lyrics, but while the band’s output is anchored in a low-level anger about the the changes ravaging the capital, their approach to making music about London is always ultimately rooted in personal experience. “London feels like a soul turning black from its core at the minute; it’s getting tougher and tougher to find the breathing room,” Kharas explains. “At the moment it feels like the oxygen is reserved for a select few – rising rents and closing clubs aren’t random phenomena, they’re signs of the way the city is being run right now: there’s a real effort to design the type of people who live in London and the lifestyles that are led here.” As expected, however, any discussion of broad political trends or abstract social structures is immediately underpinned by their relation to real life. “[London] can destroy relationships, being pushed further out to the edges… getting buses home at night past airport signs… Sometimes it feels like the city is defined by rejection and heartbreak now, rather than possibility. But with that there’s a need to pull it back, to not go quietly, The fantasy might be collapsing but that gives you a chance to build something real from the rubble.” The search for authenticity, the desire to salvage something real from within a city defined by fantasy, permeates everything about the band, from the clothes they wear to the spirit of the music they make. Their sound draws influences from baggy to dub to big room house music, but they’re reaching for something more than just revivalism – they want to express what they’re part of in 2016,
even if doing so draws heavily on the sounds and visuals of the past. I’m curious to hear if they feel part of any contemporary movement, or if they see themselves as simply drawing on casual culture of the 80s and 90s? “We love old school casual fanzines like Boys Own and spend our weekends at football matches and all that, but don't agree we're part of a movement on that basic level. Obviously terrace culture is everywhere these days, but I've seen too many four-pint wankers at Football League games in fake Stone Island to want to be lumped in with that trend. Plus we feel like the implied ladishness isn't really our cup of tea. We're on more of a New Dad tip.” It might not be easy to categorise the band according to a cleanly delineated subculture, but if so that’s probably because the subculture itself isn’t so important as feeling part of something. Kharas describes his early flirtations with subcultures coming out of London as “a rejection of loneliness. The realisation that you and your friends could be part of something bigger, whether that lifestyle was to do with music, clothes, or smoking awful hash at lunchtime.” Ultimately it’s that desire to transcend the loneliness of the city that underpins the band’s approach. When asked about the cover art of the band’s 2015 album Real Life, Kharas points to references such as Tom Wood’s street photography, but is more insistent that what they created was something loose and instinctive. “I guess we take cultural references from 70s, 80s and 90s, [but] collaborating with people working and living in 2016 it always inevitably feels like we're making something for now.” That’s probably the best summation of the band’s aesthetic you’ll find. It’s an approach that draws on the visual and musical traditions of London’s recent history, but uses them to construct something far more personal than a museum piece - something real they've salvaged from the rubble. Real Life is out now via Marathon Artists
Photography: Bafic Styling: LAW mag Hair: J P Scott Words: Francis Blagburn
(This Page) Pat wears: Suit - Nick Tentis Top - John Smedley (Opposite Page) Tom wears: Suit - Burberry Polo - Fred Perry x Nigel Cabourn (Following Spread) Kev wears: Suit - Nick Tentis T-Shirt - Fred Perry x Nigel Cabourn
Words: Emma Robertson Photo: Camille Blake
CTM Festival Various Venues, Berlin 29 Jan - 7 February
Speaking to Crack late last year, CTM co-curator Rabih Beaini explained the adventurous ‘New Geographies’ concept behind the festival’s 17th edition: “We want to present music from different parts of the globe, artists who transform their culture’s own traditional music into something new.” Across a week long adventure in experimental music and art, there was little doubt about CTM’s commitment to its own ideology. To kick things off, the festival’s opening concert boasted performances from Beaini and French video artist Vincent Moon. With the HAU’s classic theatre as a backdrop, Beaini’s world premiere performance of the avant-garde piece For The Right Red Hand was a lesson in contrasts. Created especially for CTM, the piece was divided into two groups of four instrumentalists, who played mirror versions of the same composition. There was an almost jazz-like sensibility to the unhinged performance, and Sofia Jernberg and Rully Shabara’s vocals were haunting, banshee-like and
unsettling. The clashing of sound and voice and coloured lights, meanwhile, reached overwhelming levels of intensity. Romanian composers Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram brought their Hyperion ensemble to the Berghain as part of the festival’s night program. The group has a fondness for what they call “living sound,” and such dynamism presented itself in their show. With compositions titled Quasar’s Birth, Distant Supernova and Cosmic Signals, the ensemble harnessed power to their performance: huge crashes of percussion interrupted otherwise ambient atmospheres or the drone of a double bass. It was immersive and intense; if you didn’t hear it in it the music, you could see it in the performers’ faces. Tara Transitory, aka Singapore artist One Man Nation, kept that feeling alive the next evening at Berghain, opening the night’s event with what was definitely a festival highlight. An artist who refuses to be boxed in by the confines of gender roles, Tara’s self-proclaimed goal is to
provide a body-transcending aural experience. Under red lighting, her set began with a beat so bassheavy it rumbled your stomach, before she began to explore strange soundscapes that hummed, buzzed, cranked and lurched. Electronic music pioneer Pauline Oliveros participated in four different events at the festival, and it was the intimacy of her performance with Mazen Kerbaj and Karen Power which made it feel special. Oliveros’ custom-built accordion emitted curious sounds that were at once human and aquatic, like the song of a merman, watery and echoing. Keeping time was Kerbaj, a trumpet player who made use of a whole table of modular additions ranging from classic mouthpieces to what looked like a garden hose or a plastic tambourine. The two performers seemed to be in conversation with one another, energetic and at times, with a wink of humour. Still Be Here, a performance at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt that featured Laurel Halo, choreographer
Darren Johnston, and artists Mari Matsutoya and Martin Sulzer among its collaborators, was arguably the festival’s most intriguing and anticipated show. The show’s notes detailed a concert by Hatsune Miku, a singer/dancer whose image and persona was developed as a marketing tool for a Japanese vocal synthesiser product. Since her image and vocals are licensed under a creative commons, Miku has become something a worldwide phenomenon, a pop star with hit songs, videos and millions of followers. The performance, however, was a let down. While the concept seems intriguing on paper, it was hard to not be deterred by the project’s sense of emotional detachment, and some members of the audience could be seen leaving the venue before the hour long performance was over. By contrast, Robert Henke and Christopher Bauder’s Deep Web installation at the Kraftwerk felt more gratifying, despite being made up of little more than precisely timed lasers and music. The duo’s back to basics approach saw lasers interact with moving bulbs, creating a web of
lights that seemed almost alive. Grinding, clanking, industrial beats provided the soundtrack, perhaps a nod to the Kraftwerk’s factory roots. Performances by Pole & MFO and Floating Points at Astra were enjoyable — but not mind-blowing. And festival attendees often had to get to venues well before the show was scheduled to start in order to esnure entry. But such is the demand for CTM – A fearless festival, with a promise to explore new sounds from overlooked geographies that was certainly met.
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new this month
Wild Nothing Life of Pause
Emmy The Great Second Love
exm ag i c i a n
Explosions In The Sky
Scan The Blue
M .Wa rd
Father John Misty
Su i ci d e Son gs
Thank Your Lucky Stars
I Love You, Honeybear
Grey Tickles, Black Pressure
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GWENNO Y Dydd Olaf Out Now
HOOTON TENNIS CLUB Highest Point in Cliff Town Out Now
NIGHT BEATS Who Sold my Generation Out Now
KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD Nonagon Infinity Out 29.4.16
KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD Paper Mâché Dream Balloon Out Now
STEALING SHEEP Not Real Out Now
PALEHOUND Dry Food Out Now
AMBER ARCADES Fading Lines Out 3.6.16
SONAR REYK JAVÍK Reykjavík, Iceland 18-20 February
MASSIVE AT TACK Brixton Academy, London 5 February This a big year for Massive Attack. They’ve got releases, a fresh live show and – by the looks of things – nothing to be worried about. New EP Ritual Spirit has managed to reunite old collaborator Tricky, harness the best qualities of Young Fathers and make Roots Manuva sound truly relevant in 2016. Tonight's set explores Massive Attack’s entire discography, but it's the tougher moments rather than the fragile pieces that really hold you. Angel has Horace Andy's distinctive tones propelling it, and the devastating guitar breakdown is arguably their finest live moment. Future Proof, Jupiter and Inertia Creeps produce similar effects, and all backed by huge screen visuals projecting politically potent messages that we later discover have been fact-checked by Adam Curtis. Collaborators adorn the majority of the tracks, and the whole live spectacle feels like a realisation of a collective project, as each new vocalist is welcomed to the stage by 3D. Set closer Safe From Harm is a glorious affirmation of where Massive Attack came from, and the rest is an exciting indication of where they are headed. ! Thomas Frost N Timmy Fist
BEN UFO Patterns, Brighton 6 February Around nine months since being reborn from the ashes of Brighton seafront clubbing institution Audio, Patterns has quickly asserted itself as the spot for the city’s house and techno scenes to converge upon. Tonight is a perfect example of this. UK hero Ben UFO takes to the low-ceilinged basement alongside Cologne’s queen of wigged-out club trips Lena Willikens, who is ably assisted by the talents of local boy Mehtola, while Donga of Well Rounded Records takes control of the heavily fauna’d second room. We arrive at the tail end of Mehtola’s set, which sees him root through a perfectly pitched selection of deep and powerful house. Willikens took over just after midnight, with the room already full to capacity. Willikens delivered a heaving, straining mass of EBM and acid-influenced techno, by turns spooky, gnarly, and krauty. BUFO jumped on around 2am, and immediately got down to business – flitting effortlessly, effusively and exuberantly though myriad permutations of tough, crunchy house, weirdo percussive workouts and ten-ton techno. Ever the digger (and gilded promo receiver), it was almost impossible to nail down any recognisable piece of released music from Ben’s selections, though we’re pretty sure a cut from Kowton’s new album pummelled its way out of the speakers at one point. And as the pure euphoria of Pearson Sound’s Blanked echoed and swirled around the basement, closing time came and went. An extended encore of perfectly destructive jungle served to wring any remaining sweat from the heaving throng. We left some time after the official curfew, twisted Amen breaks ringing in our ears. ! N
Steven Dores Jamie O'Mara
Icelanders have got the right idea. They are number one in the world for gender equality (according to the gender gap index), 99% of their electricity is produced from renewable sources, and they incarcerated their own bankers after the financial crash. Even when the stunning Harpa Music Hall on Reykjavík’s waterfront (and home to Iceland’s Sonar edition) was left unfinished due to the 2008 financial crash, the population decided to club together to finish off the build. With the Friday and Saturday schedule not starting till the evening, and with Thursday’s programming finishing at 1am, we were introduced gently to proceedings. A key element of Sonar Rejkavíjk is to give a platform to Icelandic artists, and with the country already boasting a disproportionate amount of household names per capita (Bjork, Sigur Ros), we were keen to discover some less familiar names on the bill. The 16-piece all female rap group Reykjavikurdaetur were particular homecrowd favourites with an engaging stage presence. In the seated auditorium of the SonarComplex stage, Tri Angle Records affiliate WIFE worked through a dark and brooding set of atmospheric electronica before we headed down into the Harpa Hall’s carpark-come-basement stage; SonarLab, where The Black Madonna kept the crowd warm and focused with a pristine selection of house that worked well despite the blistering winds. As quickly as it had started, Thursday’s programme was drawing to an end, and back in the Sonar Auditorium, Zebra Katz roused the capacity crowd in the fully seated venue to a swarm of clamouring stage invaders. Leaving the venue at 1pm and facing an Icelandic blizzard for the first time, you were quickly reminded where you were in the world. For our first stop on Friday we headed down to catch the much talked about Icelandic rap group; Vagina Boys. While their name naturally polarises, their live show entertained. Autotuned vocals strung alongside sparse trap beats and decked head-to-toe in all white apparel, there were more than a few were shades of Yung Lean in their sound and look. Holly Herndon performed a festival defining set with her swirling electronica hypnotising the absorbed crowd. The ever-captivating visual live-time narrative of her show left her usual rhetoric about the NSA in the visual drawer, instead choosing to complement the country on its morals. There were pinch points to the festival, but seeing as the next room was never more than 30 seconds away, we went over to find Floating Points meandering through his live rendition of Elaenia, before heading back to see Oneohtrix Point Never gradually thin out the crowd. While sonically outstanding, it was perhaps being a little too uncompromising and not helped by the continually abrasive twisted-audio and mid-song speeches. To end the night we headed back to the SonarComplex auditorium to sit down and watch Mumdance whip up a frenzy of grime classics alongside his own sparse and moody productions. If Friday was serious, Saturday injected the fun as Hudson Mohawke tore threw a mixture of his big hitters whilst interweaving nods to happy hardcore, and TNGHT’s Higher Ground still proving impossible for an oiled crowd to ignore. Sadly !!!’s party in their pants didn’t quite work, so it was back down the the Harpa’s basement to see Ben UFO perfectly work his inert techno knowledge before Rødhåd’s dark techno closed the proceedings. One of the merits of the Sonar Reykjavík edition is that the line-up isn’t overbearing, and you can easily get to know the country without feeling you’re missing out on loads of acts. Day trips to natural thermal spas hidden in haunting snowy peaks, huge sprawling waterfalls, and even witnessing the Northern Lights (if you’re lucky) are all completely achievable in and around the festival’s schedule. Sonar Reykjavík is a must for anyone wanting to combine the experience of some breathtaking natural beauty alongside a programme of world-leading electronic music. ! Jake Applebee N Clark Merkin
TIM HECKER Love Streams 4AD
YUNG LE AN Warlord Year0001
In a rather intrepid turn of phrase, Tim Hecker stated that Love Streams, his eighth studio full length and first to be released with famed indie label 4AD, is inspired by the idea of ‘a transcendental voice in the age of auto-tune’. Such self-appraisals are often conjured due to slogan-hungry PR culture – attempts to secure some kind of thematic infrastructure that offers obscure connections between disconnected songs. But this has never been the case for Hecker. Ever since 2011’s Ravedeath, 1971, his impressions of ambient drone and sobering post-techno minimalism have been deeply rooted in abstract thought. Here, over eleven heavily processed tracks, we hear the Canadian-born sound artist emoting within a world of nihilist electronics. Voice Crack travels like the staggered filling of a download bar before losing transmission, endlessly knocking itself against a 404 Error screen. Bijie Dream and Obsidian Counterpoint patter between disarranged synth patterns, prickly ambient whirs and avant-classical orchestration. Revising blueprints from 15th century choral scores, traditional woodwind instruments have become dismembered, dehumanised and digitalised through endless software programming. Violet Monumental I and II further this artificial mangling, with sequenced vocals looping around strained harmonics and isolated clacking. There is not a single solitary moment where Hecker lacks ingenuity or blurs his intentions. Similar to 2013’s Virgins, it’s a heady decryption of computerised melancholia, a visionary decoding of primordial electronic weeping full of revelation and delicacy. So when Hecker alludes to Love Streams’ ‘transcendental voice...’ you can rest assured that he means every word of it.
Since his inception as a viral sensation in 2013, Yung Lean has cut a divisive figure in music. In almost equal measure the Swedish rapper has been hailed as a youth culture trailblazer, and derided as an unworthy appropriator; most notably in a searing Pitchfork review of his 2014 studio debut Unknown Memory, which argued that he “removes the humanity of the rappers he’s imitating, creating unwitting caricatures of those artists and not much more.” Fast forward to 2016 and his follow up record, Warlord, provides ample evidence to support both of these points of view. On opener Immortal, the down-tempo swagger of the instrumental jarringly exacerbates the weaknesses in Lean’s wooden rapping, and lyrically he often falls back on tedious irony: “I just do as I please / sipping lean as I sleep / counting money like it’s sheep / badass bitch on the side of me.” As with much of Lean’s output, tracks like Fantasy, Highway Patrol and Afghanistan feature crystalline instrumentals, but are let down by uninspired lyricism and stilted delivery. It’s not until the fifth track in, Hoover, that things begin to fall into place. Production-wise the track is a stark departure from previous work, ditching cloud-rap instrumentals for clattering percussion, heavy bass and raucous synth stabs; shrouding Lean’s vocals in satisfying chaos. Fire is another unlikely highlight that sees Lean singing over subdued, ethereal instrumentation. Somehow, his lightly-autotuned (yet still fairly tuneless) drawl feels satisfying here. While Yung Lean’s rapping leaves much to be desired, his strength lies in his nuanced understanding of aesthetics, and his willingness to take creative risks. And despite its obviously flaws on these fronts, Warlord occasionally delivers.
It’s been two and a half years since Jessy Lanza dropped her debut album Pull My Hair Back, which saw her coyly spread her breathy vocals over minimal RnB. Proving she’s no shrinking violet, she steps out from under a blanket of introversion with for this glittering sophomore album. The ferociously feminine VV Violence features a running bass line and punching synths which surge around her playful vocals like she's a newage Miharu Koshi. The swaggering 80s kick drum and iridescent synth leads of Never of Enough carries her words ‘I don’t feel like holding back’, and she surely doesn’t. However, in the midst of this glamorous electro pop soirée, a sentimental moment is never afar. The slow-dance love ballad I Talk BB is the heart behind the strong head. With an intro that would make Gigi Masin proud, her vocals soar over sparsely laid drums, it’s one for the lovers. With her right-hand man Jeremy Greenspan on co-production duty, they dabble into uncharted territory, borrowing influence from 80s japanese pop and shangaan electro. It Means I Love You takes the latter’s giddy rhythm infused with abrupt chiming synths and pitched up childlike vocals. The title taker Oh No builds with a panning takeoff before a break-beat scatters under her sopranic delivery and a spontaneous break-down takes you into the bonus layer of Donkey Kong. The smooth Could Be You returns us to the old Jessy Lanza of Pull My Hair Back – sexy, sultry, minimalist yet hits you right in the gut. The ride is high here, off the kilter, and simmering with sass.
Kanye’s instilled something lasting in his listeners across seven albums, but people’s individual interpretations of his work vary. Everyone wants their Kanye to prevail and prove that all the other versions were just a blip or an act. The never-ending vortex of think-pieces reached its peak on 11 February, when Kanye took over Madison Square Garden to launch the album. The constant online commentary – some of it progressive, some of it elementary and unhelpful – along with Kanye’s indefensible comments made separating his actions from his work more desirable than ever. But, as we know by now, to enjoy a Kanye West LP isn’t to endorse his every word. There’s definitely a lack of agenda on Pablo, which means it fails to level up to the cohesive power of Yeezus. On the plus side, it’s the first time since Graduation that Kanye seems willing to put his new world order to one side so that he can explore ideas more freely. One of the album’s key victories comes in Kanye’s willingness to be upstaged. Chance The Rapper’s verse on Ultralight Beam is masterfully composed and performed, and Rihanna sounds like she’s taking flight while delivering her stunning interpretation of Nina Simone’s Do What You Gotta Do on Famous. Futuristic production from Hudson Mohawke sits next to Madlib’s sunny samples, Metro Boomin’s hefty Atltanta trap and contributions from legendary collaborators like Rick Rubin, Swizz Beats and Mike Dean. If we’re to see Kanye as a kind of bandleader, then The Life Of Pablo is an undeniable triumph. The quality of the album’s lyrics fluctuates dramatically. There’s some tender imagery in Wolves about him wrapping his children in lambs’ wool for protection, but as per usual with Kanye, the song later requires you to embrace the cringe-factor; “You tried to play nice, everybody just took advantage / You left your fridge open, somebody just took a sandwich.” Pablo is Kanye West’s most disjointed work, and there are times where the whole thing feels like too much of an extension of the media circus that preceded it, as if he’s a little too preoccupied with creating music as reactionary content. There’s the number-crunching braggadocio on Facts, the reference to Rob Kardashian’s new girlfriend and the inclusion of a phone call with incarcerated “Wavy King” Max B – the latter a response to a petty Twitter dispute with Wiz Khalifa which probably should’ve just been washed away by the tide of the timeline. Yet, beyond all the furore, there just isn’t anybody else operating at this level. There’s a flippancy to his magic – the work of “38-year-old 8-year-old” still ever so slightly lost in the world, desperately trying to live for today while fighting for his place in the history books of tomorrow. The Life Of Pablo is a frustrating but undeniably engaging listen – dazzlingly unpredictable and fleshed out with enough strokes of radiance for us to follow Pablo’s lead and keep the faith.
Kowton’s sound is incredibly forthright; stripped of any disguise or pretension. And with the Livity Sound producer’s output only swelling with crystalline precision, you’d struggle to find a solitary dud in his discography. And what the aptly-titled Utility, his debut LP, demonstrates is Kowton’s resourcefulness in tune formulation. Instead of overburdening Utility with the excesses so many producers nervously employ in order to validate album status, here Kowton takes nine dancefloor approved tracks and cleanses them of ambiguity. Last year’s On Repeat EP was an exercise of restraint, committing to minimalism while exploring texture. Here, Kowton distills this technique while allowing tracks such as Some Cats and A Bluish Shadow to burrow down a trail forged in earlier works comparative to 2014’s Whities002 or his 2012 Keysound Recordings release alongside Dusk. Kowton’s previously experimented with spews of grime-tainted synths before melodies – see 2012’s Pale Fire release Des Bisous – but while Balance and Shots Fired channel a similar feeling of urban paranoia, here there’s a more stealthy sense of hostility. This is the pivotal difference with Utility. Before, Kowton delivered short controlled bursts of bass blown, synth hampered techno. Now, through his strict austerity, he’s masterplanned an pro-longed offence; one that utilises every strike and blow with rigorous composure.
! Tom Watson
! Steve Mallon
! Aine Devaney
! Duncan Harrison
! Tom Watson
JESSY L ANZ A Oh No Hyperdub K ANYE WEST The Life of Pablo GOOD Music / Def Jam
KOW TON Utility Livity Sound
FUTURE EVOL Freebandz / Epic EVOL is Future’s fourth album; the gap between album one and two was around two years. The gap between three and four? Seven months. Future is on one of those fabled mixtape ‘runs’, as 50 Cent, Lil Wayne and Gucci Mane have had before him, where every mixtape (and mixtape masquerading as album) is heralded a hit, even if quality begins to matter less than consistency. People love a comeback, and Future’s hotness burns hotter because his second album, Honest, recorded when he was in love with Ciara, left so many of his fans cold. And so since Monster, Future has been back to bestial basics with a series of hard-as-nails releases. EVOL has for its title a play on word, reversing the word LOVE (geddit?). But does this eye-rolling reversal actually tell us something about his music, and its appeal, which seems to have sky-rocketed the more nihilistic it has become? Future’s music is club music, which makes you wonder about those clubs. Metro Boomin drowns his sinister synth-wisps in churning two-note bass, while Future sing-raps (often) two-note odes to taking Xanax and fucking women in the mouth. The term for this music is ‘turn up’, but the Xanax obsession, not to mention the persistently gloomy notes, actually suggest a turning down, a numbing nullification of ‘finer’ feelings. With his deliberately off-key melodies, his stylistic kink of locking into repetitious patterns before dropping them unexpectedly, his mastery of segueing between a crescendo-bellow and an affectless mumble, Future excels at sounding disengaged. But what’s discouraging about EVOL is that it sometimes seems Future’s genuinely disengaged; it’s an undisciplined album, with several tracks dragging. When it is disciplined, as on Ain’t No Time, it’s mesmeric. But perhaps Future doesn’t need to be disciplined anymore. The ‘Turn Up’ generation, after all, demands nothing more than more: more drugs, more sex - more mixtapes. Perhaps unconsciously, EVOL posits the opposite of love to be, not hatred, but the inevitable response to having it all on a platter (or in a tablet) – apathy.
Besides that ominous title, there’s been no out-and-out indication from Yeasayer that this fourth full-length is meant to be any kind of swansong; on the off-chance that it is, though, then the already lofty stakes for Amen & Goodbye have been raised further still. The Brooklyn outfit seemed to have the world at their feet when their 2009’s sophomore Odd Blood tapped so incisively into the off-kilter pop climate of the time; they took all the best bits of Animal Collective, MGMT and TV on the Radio and crafted them into something that sounded indelibly all their own. The 2012 follow-up Fragrant World, though, disappointed; it sounded weirdly restrained, to the point of being unremarkable. That’s the one thing you suspect neither the band or their fans will tolerate, and on Amen & Goodbye, they do an altogether better job of pulling off what they were aiming for last time out; a mature collection of leftfield pop songs, that round off some of the garish edges of their earlier output without eschewing a sense of fun. There’s new territory explored; wild jazz licks on Dead Sea Scrolls and a switch from an industrial groove to a children’s choir on the swiftly-fluctuating I Am Chemistry are cases in point. Flashes of introspection and reserve are welcome, too – especially on the quietly simmering Uma – but some of the album’s more straightforward moments are crying out for the ramshackle charm of old; as on Fragrant World, it feels like frontman Chris Keating never truly shakes off his inhibitions. Even so, Amen & Goodbye still feels like a return to form from a band clearly still in flux; they’re heading back towards an upswing, so here’s hoping the title won’t prove prophetic.
! Jack Law
! Joe Goggins
LUST FOR YOUTH Compassion Sacred Bones
YE ASAYER Amen & Goodbye Mute MOOMIN A Minor Thought Smallville Moomin has been part of the thriving “art of the loop” sector of the genre for half a decade now. The Berlin house producer’s knack for sourcing enticingly hypnotic and emotional samples fit for looping, has made much of his output highly distinctive. With his second LP, he treads slightly lighter – even going with the first coloured art seen on any of his releases – to bring what initially sounds like a walk through a Disney-sponsored woodland. That’s not to say it is without depth or merit, but it does take a patient listen through a few uneventful tracks (including Loop No. 1, a track released two years ago) to get on side. Of the first act, the title track stands out with a very reassuring vocal sample, and several interplaying Rhodes swirlings. It’s not until we get to Alone that the album reaches anything near the emotional heights of 2014’s Time Circle. It’s eerie, melancholic but still childlike. For some unquantifiable reason, it’s these sets of samples that allow the listener to really click in to what Moomin does best: emote and entrance. Tracks like Stotheh, on the other hand, tire out the same old palette used throughout the record. The percussive variations in Time To Reflectand Unshaped are a welcome change, but what a shame they are separated by yet another previously released Moomin track – from 2013 no less. It’s these gaps that do little to justify long play formats for producers who struggle to persuade much of a narrative through their work. Stand alone they do just fine, but together it’s just loop over quality.
! Henry Murray
The upward trajectory of Lust For Youth’s sound has been in motion in since it started out as Hannes Norrvide’s raw and primitive synth project in 2009. While it’s initiation was full of harsh noise, trepidation and murk; across the five albums that span the Lust For Youth’s career (now a three piece band) this aesthetic has steadily given way to spacious, high-altitude atmospheres and shimmering grandeur that characterised 2014’s International. Compassion reaches the crest of this transformation, abandoning any lingering remnants of dirt and claustrophobia, instead succumbing wholly to glossily produced, danceable new-wave. Opener Stardom sets the tone for the album and introduces us to a new era in Norrvide’s songwriting. Themes of conflict, tension and control are replaced by a heady and convincing sense of letting go. “All around life floats free/ from you into me,” he sings over crystalline, reverb-laden guitars and vapourlike production. Compassion as a whole sees notions of fame, entitlement, dreams and aspirations tossed around with a kind of non-committal melodrama. Other times he seems to be mining directly from personal experience, as on balearic ballad Sudden Ambitions, a track in which he vent doubts and regrets around a relationship, in plainspoken, diaristic terms. While Compassion crosses over unapologetically into the realm of pop and new-wave, it still feels tethered to the post-punk and noise scenes from which Norrvide and synth player Loke Rahbek emerged, evincing a detailed and hard-won understanding of the relationship between these genres. And although it may have taken a matter of months to write and record; this album is an apex that has been reached through years of groundwork.
There are several fascinating videos of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith using her prized vintage synth, a Buchla Music Easel, on YouTube. It’s tremendously interesting to watch her deftly moving the anonymous levers and knobs and layering them into something altogether lush, familiar and odd. This is how she made her kaleidoscopic album of last year, Euclid, and how she’s created her most recent LP, the warm and ethereal EARS. Each song sets about its unfurling with an otherworldly grace, shivering into life with strange, layered rustlings that call to mind crystalline visions of interplanetary wanderings as well as the smallest gasps of the life on our own planet, before blooming into an hypnotic and irresistibly simple loop. Rare Things Grow uses a vast percussion section to teleport to a watery vista, a pricklingly alive cave might be the setting for Wetlands, and opener First Flight seems to shimmer with dew. The warmth of the horns and Smith’s treated vocals inspire comparisons to Karin Dreijer Andersson's work as part of the The Knife and Fever Ray, and though the lyrics are mostly indecipherable, they are made beautiful by their intonation and, thanks to their nonsensical quality, universality. EARS sees the human, the organic, and the cosmic cast aloft together, spinning and enveloping – the world, illustrated as perfect and beautiful.
“Kill our songs,” said Spectres. That’s what they requested from each of the contributors for this total pandemic of a record. Dying, the group’s 2015 debut was an acclaimed prolapse of dank noise and haemorrhaging industrial soundscapes. Through the aural mist, you could just about hear alternative rock song structures holding things together. Dead, a thirteen-track ‘remix’ album, perforates around the needles, shakily fissuring whatever stitched Spectres together in their basic form. Whatever Dying was, it is no more. This is not so much a collection of remixes as it is a practice in elimination. Some of it resembles nothing other than sheer dissonance. Contributions from Dominic Mitchison, Richard Fearless and Factory Floor are clement reprieves from the ataxia, applying what could be deciphered as a structured time signature. Mogwai’s familiar sugaring of atmospheric post-rock on This Purgatory is the safest; with Stuart Braithwaite playing the role of the prudent elder in a room full of rabid toddlers. But the Blitzkrieg heaved out of Gramrcy’s ‘ardkore spiked take on Lump or Blood Music’s play on power electronics for their own senseless This Purgatory is pitiless. And amidst all of this, we find Spectres themselves in their most hateful, unruly state. Their version of Where Flies Sleep is just suicidal. Painful and corrupting like the onset of some fatal body malfunction. Where Dying toyed with the idea of a band set to self-destruct, Dead is the like the final current of electrodes shooting out from a defibrillator machine, direct to a beat-restricted heart, before succumbing to an infinite nothingness.
! Steve Mallon
! Sammy Jones
! Tom Watson
SPECTRES Dead Sonic Cathedral
K AITLYN AURELIA SMITH EARS Western Vinyl
BATT LES LIVE L I T T L E B I G A G E N C Y P R O U D LY P R E S E N T S
* + -^
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WITH SPECIAL GUESTS:
EP C/B EP, MIRRORED, AND GLOSS DROP REISSUES OUT 01/APRIL/2016
TICKETS: BTTLS.COM/LIVE LB-AGENCY.NET WARP.NET
KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH THE F IELD VESSELS MIXHELL
NEW ALBUM LA DI DA DI OUT NOW
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SOCIETY THURS 17 MARCH THE LEXINGTON
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CHELOU TUES 26 APRIL THE WAITING ROOM
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EZRA FURMAN MON 31 OCT ROUNDHOUSE
MAMIFFER The World Unseen Sige Hi group. My name is Thomas, I’m a music journalist, and I’ve never heard the post-metal band Isis. A grim confession, but it’s true. Have you? Of course you have. Everyone has. Hell, the only piece of Aaron Turner-related ephemera I’ve heard or owned, full stop, is Old Man Gloom’s dainty threeinch CD release, Christmas, probably the single ‘novelty’ release of the man’s oeuvre. It’s sacrilege, I’m a fraud. Given the financial state of journalism as is, no great shakes. What does twist the knife is that this decade-long Turner ambivalence means that, until four weeks ago, I’d also never heard Mamiffer, the experimental duo he formed with Faith Colocciain 2007. Because wouldn’t ya just know it, The World Unseen is good. So good. An opus of expansive, undulating tonal drone and slowburning, piano-driven elegance, it’s intensely – almost laughably – beautiful in parts, teetering on the edge of widescreen mood-worship without ever slipping over. There's much to get lost in: take the threepart, defacto album centrepiece Domestication of the Ewe – a 27 minute track that segues through blistering low-end sheet noise, cyclical piano figures flittering tendril-like over smothering washes of densely reverbed guitar and an intricate, multi-tracked choral vocal. Or the buried hymnal that constitutes album closer Parthenogenesis. Or, especially, the crystalline almost-pop of Mara – five and a half of the year’s most superlative minutes, coming on like a more transcendent, effervescent Grouper, if only Liz Harris would drag her Wurlitzer out of the damn woods for a spell. Those are highlights, but it's telling of the symbiosis in Turner and Coloccia's writing partnership that they slip seamlessly into the record's collective suite, drifitng by in a twilit haze with no conspicuous lull. It’s too early to deem it a classic, of course, but the spare, sequential reveal of fresh texture and melody on each listen makes The World Unseen a wholly affective – and deeply satisfying – sonic experience.
Day Wave comes along with a double EP of highly infectious, tightly produced music that’s sure to reignite any love for such sounds that may have dwindled at the tail-end of one’s adolescence. The first half of Headcase / Hard To Read was released by the Californian artist last summer, now – seemingly unable to let go – they’ve been combined with a fresh batch under the banner of the 2016 release. Despite the time difference, the record is completely cohesive, using a pallette of reverberating backing vocals flanked by shimmering guitars and often a driving drum beat that stays simple to allow for the twangy but hospitable lead vocals. At times, it’s almost too cohesive; with the original driving tempo seemingly the only energy level Philips is willing to operate at. Having said this, it makes the finale, You a majestic coming up for air. Guitar riffs also start becoming oh so familiar, but distinctions can be made between tracks when they have choruses like those on Deadbeat Girl and Total Zombie. When Philips is in full swing, songs like these will be guaranteed fan-favourites. This is a perfect EP for entering the fray of popular music. It’s succinct, but only opens the gate by a small margin, leaving its fans wanting to pry open looking for more.
A big development on this new record from Katy Goodman, once better known as Kickball Katy of Vivian Girls; for one, this is the first time La Sera are now being spoken about officially as a band, comprising Goodman and her husband and long-time collaborator, Tod Wisenbaker, rather than simply as her solo project. To mark his official entry into the fold (he was heavily involved with the last La Sera album, Hour of the Dawn, too), he’s pulled in a heavyweight producer in the form of Ryan Adams, to whose 1989 cover record he contributed some gorgeous melodic guitar. Both Hour of the Dawn and its predecessor, Sees the Light, were crisp pop efforts, summery in parts and introspective in others. Music for Listening To is a more subdued effort. The guitar lines are as pretty as they’ve ever been, especially on A Thousand Ways and Take My Heart, although Wisenbaker’s consistent aping of Johnny Marr threatens to grow tiresome by the time the record’s winding down. Adams’ intention behind the desk seems to have been to keep things low-key, but homogenisation reigns instead of subtlety, and despite La Sera’s undeniable charm, the result is an LP that fails to fully exploit the considerable talents of the duo behind it.
When interviewed by Miranda July for the New York Times last year, Rihanna gave us a rare glimpse of her worldview. “It almost excites me; I know what they’re expecting and I can’t wait to show them that I’m here to exceed those expectations”. Despite the stunted album rollout and red-herring single run of last year, Rihanna has achieved just that on ANTI. Serial partygoer and trusted provider of bangers; blunt blowin’ #IDGAF @badgalriri; shadowy pop chanteuse with critical and commercial clout. These are all idealised versions of Rihanna that people have attempted to define her with over the last decade, sometimes out of laziness and sometimes out of fascination. ANTI isn’t looking to destroy or confirm any of these reputations. Consideration creeks open the gates with a heavy-footed trip-hop production and an especially hypnotising guest-spot from SZA. Then James Joint – an unwinding stoner interlude – bridges the gap into Kiss It Better where Rihanna gets her Prince on, complete with falsetto backing vocals and a gaudy electric guitar riff. Work – the album’s only real hit – bursts with dancehall energy and spacious production before the pace slows down again for the foggy swell of Desperado. This constant negotiation of styles and sounds doesn’t ease off on ANTI but there are moments like Yeah, I Said It and Love On The Brain where she strikes gold. The former is a hushed RnB diamond produced by Timbaland, the latter a doo-wop nostalgia joint with all the frustrations of unrequited love laid bare. Elsewhere on the record, things fall a little flat. The vapid touch of Travi$ Scott is impossible to miss on Woo, while Needed Me and final track Close To You seem to float off into the ether as quickly as they started. It’s the first time Rihanna’s put out records that seem to flutter without any eventual sting. In questioning what’s disappointing about ANTI, you’re forced to ask yourself what you expected. Something less apologetic? Something louder? Something a little more badass or cut-throat? In many ways, that is ANTI’s real case for being an antithesis of the status quo as a pop record in 2016. You can’t condense it into an Emoji or cherrypick a lyric for memefication. Despite its missteps, ANTI never sounds fake. It’s driven by undertones and nuance – rather than undergoing a full reinvention, Rihanna has placed herself at a vantage point where she can flirt with a number of styles and sounds. It’s a record where she spends seven minutes on a Tame Impala cover and only two on Higher – a 4AM anthem depicting overspilling ash trays and a proud lack of poeticism. This two-minute highlight tucked away before the album’s closer is perhaps the greatest Rihanna vocal performance ever. Her voice – which has often been described as her weakness – takes centre stage and soars into a raspy, weathered upper register, ultimately reminding us to accept no substitutes.
! Thomas Howells
! Henry Murray
! Joe Goggins
! Duncan Harrison
RIHANNA Anti Roc Nation DAY WAVE Headcase / Hard to Read Fat Possum
L A SER A Music for Listening to Music To Polyvinyl
PRIMAL SCRE AM Chaosmosis First International I think it’s important to establish quickly in this review that there is authentic academic theory present in the album title of Primal Scream’s 11th studio album Chaosmosis, though it’s highly complex stuff. One reviewer reduced the theory thus: Philosopher Felix Guttarri’s project is to redefine subjectivity/objectivity and to rework phenomenology and psychoanalysis. This seems a overly complex for a record that hasn’t redefined anything with its output of dated sounding electronics and confusing mix of collaborators. Haim and Primal Scream isn’t a match anyone asked for and utterly dreadful opener Trippin’ On Your Love genuinely sounds like Primal Scream satarising early Primal Scream. Thankfully the highly produced bombast of their next joint outting 100% Or Nothing is a lot better. There are obvious lyrical paths and clichés across the whole record no least on I Can Change which also feels like elevator music. Loosely the whole thing is a stab at some kind retro-synth futurism and there are dystopian themes present and most prominent on When The Black Out Meets The Fallout, the closest thing that comes to sounding something replicable from XTMNTR, which is still arguably their best work to date. On the whole though Chaosmosis feels confusing, unthreatening and disjointed, which is a shame, as you hoped they’re a band who still have a bit left in the tank.
! Thomas Frost
08 R AMS dir. Grimur Hakonarson Starring: Sigurður Sigurjónsson, Theódór Júlíusson
THE BIG SHORT dir: Adam McKay Starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling On paper, a docudrama about the 2008 financial crash is more suited to BBC Four’s Tuesday night programming than the multiplex. The Big Short though, from the director of Anchorman and Step Brothers, takes it upon itself to make blockbuster material out of the densely technical world of finance. The world of banking has been lit up on screen before of course, from Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps to American Psycho, but these films have always busied themselves with the coke binges, misogyny and excesses of the millionaire lifestyle of top bankers; they’ve never stopped to focus on the actual economics itself. Based on a book by investigative journalist Michael Lewis, the film tells the inside story of the people who predicted the collapse of America’s housing bubble that would trigger a worldwide economic meltdown of 2008, and bet against it for their own profit. The film balances a philosophical approach with literary quotes from Mark Twain and Haruki Murakami throughout, with the nail-biting drama of a heist movie. It’s a blinding success in making the mundane world of finance watchable, which is important, because to paraphrase Ryan Gosling’s narrator, sometimes the most important things in the world are mundane, and if you don’t keep an eye on them, you can’t hold powerful people to account.
In some sense, Rams could be could be considered a very Scandinavian film, a drama-meets-black comedy comparable to Nordic films like Bent Hamer’s Kitchen Stories (2003) and Dagur Kari’s Noi the Albino (2003). Rams is a story about two brothers and their ovine feud. Set in a remote farming valley in Iceland, the film begins at the annual village Ram competition where protagonist Gummi (Sigurdur Sigurjonsson), much to his dismay, comes second to his brother Kiddi (Theodor Juliiusson). Though the two men live on adjacent farms, they have not spoken in 40 years and instead communicate through letters delivered by Gummi’s sheepdog. It’s only when Kiddi’s flock shows signs of scarpie – a highly contagious virus – that the brothers and forced to overcome their ancient feud. The relationship between Kiddi and Gummi plays on a deadpan sense of humour that is as passive as it is understated, and each comical moment is approached with an almost absurdist normality. For a country that is lesser known for its films than its Scandinavian counterparts, Rams’ humanist depiction of the seemingly mundane puts Iceland on the map. Like last year’s success Of Horses and Men, Hakonarson provides a compassionate portrayal of life in rural Iceland. ! Gunseli Yalcinkaya
! Francis Blagburn SPOTLIGHT dir: Tom McCarthy Starring: Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo
A BIGGER SPL ASH dir. Luca Guadagnino Starring: Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Matthias Schoenaerts
Director Tom McCarthy, known for penning Pixar’s Up, writes and directs this based-on-a-true-story film about a cover-up of paedophilic Catholic priests in Boston. A team of journalists from the Boston Globe, known emphatically around the city as ‘Spotlight’, set out to connect the church’s senior members to a huge number of child abuse cases. With a cast of Hollywood A-listers involved – Keaton, Ruffalo and McAdams – it’s little surprise the amount of wins and nominations the film’s already recieved. That said, it’s the secondary tier of characters that provide most of the film’s authenticity. Notably Stanley Tucci, as a crusading lawyer, and the lesser known actors also who play hauntingly convincing victims of abuse. Their brief, but pivotal scenes welcomely break up Keaton’s ‘look how relaxed I am sat on this office chair’ alpha-male routine. Biographical films are, of course, a foregone conclusion, as is Spotlight’s success at the Academy Awards. While McCarthy’s diligent direction makes this a sharp critique some of America’s powerful institutions, this is an award-winning US film, and its inevitable gloss sometimes softens its realist edge.
Dream with me for a second. You and your superstar girlfriend are chilling on a remote Italian island, hiding out while she convalesces from throat surgery. Eating great food, having great sex, lying by the pool naked. You’re nailing life. Then her ex (who’s also your old boss) turns up replete with a barely veiled ulterior motive: to win her back, of course. Oh and he’s brought his smoking hot/antagonistically provocative daughter with him, who promptly starts hitting on you. The dream has become a nightmare. This is hell. Luca Guadagnino’s loose remake of Jacques Deray’s 1969 Italian-French drama La Piscine is a beautiful film, a film of opposites; dreamlike yet dark, amusing yet disquieting, delicate yet jarring. The high-calibre cast deliver to expectation but it is Ralph Fiennes as Harry, bearded, half-dressed and pulsating to The Rolling Stones' Emotional Rescue on a rooftop with wild abandon that proves the indelible takeaway scene. A Bigger Splash takes its name from a famous David Hockney painting, which Guadagnino liked because the “beautiful lightness carried so much depth”. And if his aim was to emulate its essence, he has undoubtedly succeeded.
! Tim Oxley Smith
! Tamsyn Aurelia-Eros Black
op “Bedroom p with blessed newcomer elodies” swooning m nme
Includes the singles SometImeS, Good thInGS and BreakInG my Phone LImIted edItIon neon PInk VInyL, Cd and downLoad
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WHEN YOu WALk A LONG DiSTANCE YOu ARE TiRED 26TH FEbRuARY ON CD, LP AND DOWNLOAD “Kristine Leschper’s voice is a slow, hypnotizing croon that will sooth your soul of whatever worries it might have.” Noisey “9/10” Loud & Quiet “4/5” DIY
THE ORANGE GLOW 10TH JuNE ON CD, LP AND DOWNLOAD Globelamp draws inspiration from the supernatural, fairy tales, folk music and punk to create her own psychedelic world on The Orange Glow. Her sound and compelling vocals have already earned her comparisons to the likes of Stevie Nicks, Grace Slick, Joanna Newsom and Donovan.
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75 NEW YORK MUSIC MAP newyorkmusicmap.com A2 Screen Print £85
CARHARTT WIP x MAHOGANI shop.carhartt-wip.com Carhatt have teamed up with Detroit’s finest, Kenny Dixon Jr aka Moodymann, for a small clothing selection accompanied with a UDG DJ Bag and limited 7” supplied just for the occasion. The 7” features an unheard shorter version of Moodymann’s J.A.N. as well as an unreleased B-Side, 5800 Cass Ave., which runs for exactly 3 minutes and 31 seconds in reference to the Motor City's prevalent area code, 313. The garments consist of the Detroit Soul Skate and Set U Free T-shirts and one bearing a warped take on the classic KDJ Records emblem, so you can hold it down just like Kenny.
If you had any doubts that New York has been the most fertile ground for musicians in the history of popular culture, this typographic map of its five boroughs will reassure you. A collaboration between illustrator Adam Hayes, writer Frank Broughton and Kingdom Collective, the map is made up of around 450 artist names, and it sees credible underground acts like the L.I.E.S collective, Oneohtrix Point Never and dance-punk pioneers Liquid Liquid rub shoulders with legends such as Talking Heads, the WuTang Clan and LCD Soundsystem. Fun website too.
CHRISTOPHER SHANNON X CAT COLLABORATION TRAINERS shopchristophershannon.com £300 Exclusively sold through Shannon’s online store, these sturdy-yet-stylish creps first appeared in his SS16 collection, featuring alternate laces, a reinforced toe box and a chunky gummy sole suitable for all kinds of terrain. This is the collaboration between a Central St Martins grad and the UK’s leading industrial clothing supplier we’ve all been waiting for, and if you haven’t been waiting for that, then why on earth not?
EYE ROLL PRINT Ambivalently Yours society6.com $16 Anonymous illustrator Ambivalently Yours uses illustration to challenge what’s expected from females today. Using pastel pink tones and tongue-in-cheek humour, the illustrations champion the messiness and imperfection of ‘boldly undecided girls’. Join them in embracing contradictions and achieve endless –sigh– with this Eye Roll print.
SUPPORT WOMEN WRITERS BIG BADGE Synchronise Witches Press + Zine Distro cherrystyles.co.uk £1 Come on, you know it’s the right thing to do – show your support for girls that write by pinning these all over yourself and screaming your new mantra repeatedly into the face of any male editors you know. They’ll love it.
DUTCH UNCLES / LUMISOKEA / OPTIMO / ANTAL CONSUMER ELECTRONICS / BAS JAN / KINK GONG / SPARKY
DAMIANO VON ERCKERT / BERNARD & EDITH / GUM TAKES TOOTH / RUF DUG CONOR THOMAS / MR TC / CIRCUIT BREAKER / FITH / WERK / JOY SOCIAL / H.U.M / KURO
HELMUT LEMKE “SOUNDS OF WALLS” ARTIST RESIDENCY film screenings and workshops with FILM MATERIAL / IMPLFN Breakfast & Melon Club THE NEIGHBOURS ARE BATS / NOISE ORCHESTRA / ALIYAH HUSSAIN & JOHN POWELL JONES 穴を掘る相へ FAT OUT’S BURROW
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Prins Thomas fourth album Principe del Norte out now on 4×LP & 2×CD
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“A succession of sprawling mini-epics – throbbing with energy, insidious basslines and pulsing chords – prevail.” 4/5 — Mojo “A subtle triumph, once discovered it's impossible to forget” 9/10 — DJ Mag “If you're fan of PT, you won't want to miss this.” 8/10 — Mixmag
UPCOMING LONDON SHOWS
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ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER
Wednesday 24 February.
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THE LANGUAGE night of OF PLACE : amusic & talks
St.John on Bethnal Green
Thursday 03 March.
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Friday 11 March.
BLACK PEACHES Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip) DJ Set
Wednesday 16 March.
Thursday 17 March.
DJs Workshops Spoken Word Dance Carnival Parkour Hip Hop
LET’S EAT GRANDMA
The Waiting Room
Friday 18 March.
Monday 21 March.
BORN RUFFIANS the SEA CRISTOBAL and
Wednesday 31 March.
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MELT YOURSELF DOWN
Tues 26, Weds 27 & Thur 28 April.
Wednesday 27 April.
THREE TRAPPED TIGERS
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RADIATION CIT Y
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Out FATHER S old JOHN MIST Y
Weds 18, Thurs 19 & Sat 20 May.
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Easter Special 24th March 2016 Village Underground 10pm-6am Ryan Elliott K-Hand Jane Fitz Secretsundaze Summer Opening Party 30th April 2016 St John at Hackney 2pm-11pm Lil’ Louis Steffi Kornél Kovács Moxie K15 Esa Secretsundaze May Bank Holiday Day & Night Party 29th May 2016 Oval Space & The Laundry 2pm-6am Fred P Funkineven Patrice Scott Palms Trax Shanti Celeste Herny Wu Secretsundaze
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ANTHONY NAPLES • AXEL BOMAN • BEN UFO BICEP • DJ TENNIS • HELENA HAUFF • JACKMASTER JACQUES GREENE • JEREMY UNDERGROUND • LIVITY SOUND METALHEADZ • MICHAEL MAYER • PEARSON SOUND SEVEN DAVIS JR • ZIP • JASPER JAMES p e r m a n e n t s a t u rd a y re s i d e n t w w w. p h o n ox . co . u k
03â€”16 MOTH Club Valette St London E8 mothclub.co.uk
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Shacklewell Arms 71 Shacklewell Lane London E8 shacklewellarms.com Saturday 5 March
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MODULAR PURSUITS (LIVE) DENSE & PIKA DIXON DOLAN BERGIN IDA ENGBERG MANO LE TOUGH MARCEL DETTMANN MOVE D MR.G (LIVE) N I N A K R AV I Z PA N - P OT SCUBA C OA C H PA C K A G E S AVA I L A B L E F R O M S O U T H C O A S T, N O R T H , A N D W E S T. T I C K E T S AVA I L A B L E F R O M : W W W. J U N C T I O N 2 . L O N D O N Subject to License
S AT U R D AY 4 T H J U N E 12.00PM - 10.30PM B O S TO N M A N O R PA R K LONDON TW8 9JX
85 Words: Tom Watson
Turning Points: DJ Bone
There’s a story about Eric Dulan, aka DJ Bone, visiting a Lucky Strike bowling alley in LA, where he met The Roots’ Questlove. Questlove notices Dulan’s t-shirt, spelling the word ‘Detroit’ in letterman font. ‘Hey man,’ Questlove smiles, ‘Detroit has the most talented people living there. All Detroit needs is a good agent.’ If anyone deserves Questlove’s accolade as international representative of Detroit, it is DJ Bone. From the late 1980s onwards, Bone played a significant role in the city’s techno movement. Spanning over two decades, Bone’s residencies at clubs such as Shelter and Motor have become highly mythologised. Continuing to release almost all of his music on his own imprint, Subject Detroit, and having recently established his performing alter-ego, Differ Ent, we ask Dulan about his creative sovereignty and how he still represents the city he had to leave.
1980s: Learning to listen, attending the Music Institute When I was young, my dad would play me Gil Scott Heron’s Angel Dust. I had family members who struggled with drugs. I think through Angel Dust my father was telling me ‘don’t mess around with that stuff’. That was a big thing, and it led to a hunger to actually listen to music. And that’s ultimately what drew me to the Derrick May’s Mayday Mixes, Jeff ‘The Wizard’ Mills and The Electrifying Mojo. At the same time, my friends [introduced] me to the Music Institute club. I was too young to get in, so I’d sneak around the back. Detroit is a rough city and this club wasn’t somewhere you’d want act like an idiot. There was no alcohol served. They didn’t tolerate any drugs. They wouldn’t just kick you out, they would beat your ass. It wasn’t about fashion. It was dark and [it had] some of the best music you could imagine. 1997: Motor Motor was a whirlwind. The club itself was a cigar martini bar with a humidor in the backroom. So corny. Steve, the owner, asked what it would take to have me play. I made some ridiculous demands like revamping the DJ booth and paying more money to the DJs who actually lived in Detroit. You’d get $70 if you were a local DJ, but guys from places like New York were getting around $1500. In Detroit, clubs have to close at 2am. It’s really sad but that’s the case. So I said I wanted one night a month where I had full control. That’s when we started getting acts like The Advent - Live, Dave Clarke, Goldie and DJ Funk. It was bumping. [The club] sadly fell apart because of greed. New owners started booking shit straight out of the magazines. I gave them an ultimatum: if they carried on
booking mainstream EDM acts, I wouldn’t show up the following week. They booked them and I didn’t show up. That was it. They thought I was crazy. 1998: Meeting Drexciya’s James Stinson One night at Motor, I was just chilling in the booth when security opens the door. There was this guy there who wanted to kick it in the booth. It was James Stinson. He kept on returning every other Friday. That was the relationship. We wouldn’t talk in depth about a lot, but it was a mutual understanding of respect and admiration. He was amazing to me. When he passed, Underground Resistance’s Mike Banks organised for me to say some words at his funeral. I spoke about him as a man, about what he meant to the techno community and to the world. I was half crying the whole time, it was so difficult. 2001: Performing live as part of John Peel’s Live Sessions I still get goosebumps when I think about John Peel’s live sessions. Apparently John said “I’ve been hearing about DJ Bone and I’m wondering if he could do a set. I also hear the way he plays needs to be seen so we’d like to do it live”. Up until that point, as far as I knew, the only DJs who had done a session live were Ritchie [Hawtin], Jeff Mills and Dave Clarke. They had to change the location to a larger venue because of the response. We finally get there and John answers the door. He says “Nice to meet you, let me get the record box, it’s an honour for me to carry the records”. That was the one time I was ever nervous.
00s: Moving away from Detroit You can live in Detroit, but I can tell just by looking at you whether you’re from the D. It takes a lot to live in that city. When people try and test me on leaving, I’m like ‘Man, I went from kindergarten all the way to college in Detroit.’ I paid my dues. But guys like Jeff Mills have done more for the city by leaving. Like Jeff, I still represent Detroit even if I don’t live there. 2015: Releasing M.O.M I’m a family-centric man. And that’s why it hurt so much when my mother passed. I was grieving through machines in my studio and wrote this track. It was something for me to listen to everyday until I could get back to a place where I could cope with what happened. Like medicine. I swore up and down that it wasn’t going to see the light of day. But my wife came to me with a whole proposal, where DBA records were going to release it on my mother’s birthday. I gave in. It was very moving and it helped people understand what type of person I am. DJ Bone appears at Dekmantel Festival, Amsterdamse Bos, 4-7 August
In Loving memory of The #clickbait music news rounded up by Josh Baines
DESPICABLE E Imagine if I told you that you could buy ecstasy this weekend that was shaped like a Minion. Yes, you read that right. A Minion! A little yellow Minion! One of those Minions from thick people's Facebook pages! One of those daft little things in the dungarees! A Minion! A fucking Minion! A pill! An ecstasy pill that's shaped like a Minion, a little yellow daft yellow little Minion! Imagine it. There you are, ambling up to those big strong lads who sell drugs in the smoking area, and asking for a pill, please mate, can I buy a drug and you get the drug and the drug is in your sweaty little palm and you look at the drug and... it's a Minion! Oh, you've read this story already? Nevermind. MOZZ, THE CREATOR Imagine if I told you Morrissey was in a Supreme advert. Yes, you read that right. A Supreme advert! Morrissey! Morrissey from your dad's memories of the life he had before you were born and ruined it! Morrissey the daft racist! In an advert for streetwear! Morrissey! Supreme! An advert! But I thought he doesn't like adverts! Morrissey! Oh you've read this story already? Nevermind. RIVERS DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH I can't do this any more. I can't keep writing these takedowns of content culture every single month for this magazine. Writing now brings me absolutely no joy at all. None. Literally none. I hate it. Rivers Cuomo from Weezer covered some rap songs the other week. He's also a fucking creep. WYCLEF JEAN RIDICULED ON REDDIT It is now technically feasible to reproduce without the aid of males (or, for that matter, females) and to produce only females. We must begin immediately to do so. Retaining the male has not even the dubious purpose of reproduction. The male is a biological accident: the Y (male) gene is an incomplete X (female) gene, that is, it has an incomplete set of chromosomes. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited. Wyclef John also had a bad experience on the internet. Thanks for reading.
The coroner’s report read “Death By Glacier Cherry”, and we know that Denzil Schniffermann, Crack’s beloved agony uncle, wouldn’t have had it any other way. After cashing in his share options in C&A, Woolworths and Napster a number of years ago and finally selling off Schiff’s Schnipps – the barber shop where it all began and the last of his hundred plus businesses – Denzil and his most recent wife Pam set sail for the trip of a lifetime: a cruise round the Mediterranean on the QE2. It was roughly a month after receiving an OBE for Services to British Commerce, and just before leaving Southampton with his captain’s hat on, Denzil placed the final invoice for his work on our esteemed advice column in our editor’s hands. Email wasn’t his thing. We were later shocked by the news he’s passed away at sea. The report read: “After consuming a Paella, two bottles of Blue Nun and a number of complimentary After Eights in the ship’s dining area, Mr Denzil Schniffermann was in the process of relaying a karaoke version of It’s Not Unusual by Sir Tom Jones to an audience of onlookers in the on-deck bar when he choked on a candied cherry we believe was served with a pina-colada.” Into the sunset he went, helping people enjoy their life in his final hour. The Crack office will not be the same without him.
Crossword Across 1. An emotion to feel alongside a vintage drum machine (5,5) 4. Pull a coffee… (5,1) 5. Sounds like cheeses (6) 6. That place you went for a few months and then dropped out (7) 8. North (4) 9. Keeping up with this one, running quickly towards a car (10) 10. Not bad tunes (4,5) 12. West (5) 13. Which One? (5) 14. Type of season approaching (5) Down 2. Watch this. No, but seriously. Watch it. (3,6) 3. Or can’t ye? (5) 7. A JCB made from precious metals (4,6) 11. It’s beautiful, it’s dark, it’s twisted, it’s mine (7) Solutions to Last Months Crossword: Across: 03. Changes 05. Low 06. Heroes 07. Hunky 09. Lodger 10. Vision 12. Mars 14. Jean Genie Down: 01. Pressure 02. Fame 4. Dory 8. Sound 11. Starman 13. Ziggy
EVENEMENTENTERREIN WALIBI HOLLAND BIDDINGHUIZEN THE NETHERLANDS
DISCLOSURE $ FOALS $ LCD SOUNDSYSTEM THE LAST SHADOW PUPPETS $ OSCAR AND THE WOLF SIGUR RÓS $ EAGLES OF DEATH METAL CHVRCHES $ COLLABS FT. CHRIS LIEBING & SPEEDY J $ DAMIAN ‘JR. GONG’ MARLEY FLATBUSH ZOMBIES $ GHOST $ JAMIE WOON $ M83 $ OH WONDER PAUL KALKBRENNER $ PHILIP GLASS ENSEMBLE – KOYAANISQATSI LIVE! RECONDITE (live) $ RØDHÅD $ SLEEPING WITH SIRENS $ SUM 41 $ TALE OF US AURORA $ THE BLACK MADONNA $ DOCTOR KRAPULA $ DUB INC $ ESPAÑA CIRCO ESTE FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES $ GIRAFFAGE $ ISLAM CHIPSY & EEK $ MICK JENKINS THE RUMJACKS $ TIGGS DA AUTHOR $ SEVN ALIAS AND MANY MORE TO COME...
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20 Questions: Parquet Courts
“Most famous person I’ve ever met? Fred Durst”
Most of Parquet Courts are from Texas, but they’re sort of a Brooklyn band. In April they will release their fifth LP Human Performance, but it’s sort of their fourth, because their last album was credited to Parkay Quarts. Anyway, it’s complicated, but it’s not important – the important thing is that Human Performance is an excellent record, and that Parquet Courts manage to be incredibly smart and fun at the same time. This interview was conducted with Sean, who plays bass and is now my favourite member of the band.
What was your favourite cartoon when you were a kid? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. What are you currently reading? Supernatural Strategies for Making a Rock ‘n’ Roll Group by Ian Svenonius. What’s your signature recipe? A grilled cheese sandwich. Who’s your favourite member of the WuTang Clan? Method Man. What’s the worst hotel you’ve ever stayed in? Oh man. We stayed in one of those Ibis budget hotels in Scotland on Halloween, and it was fucking crazy. It was so small, so they’d tried to find ways to give the impression it was larger. They made one of walls look like an outdoor scene, but it wasn’t a painting, it just was a like a high res printout of a photograph they’d enlarged. There was a guy texting in the photo.
Words: Davy Reed
Do you have any regrettable tattoos? I have a shit load of them, but I think regretting them is pointless. Have you ever shoplifted? You know I did one time, I felt sickening guilt. I stole Sonic The Hedgehog temporary tattoos from a magic shop when I was really young and it just fucking destroyed me. I ended up burying them in my mom’s backyard and confessing to her.
Describe your worst haircut... I had a green mohawke when I was in like eighth grade, that was pretty fucking terrible! What’s the worst live music performance you’ve ever seen? System of a Down at Reading and Leeds. If you could pick a surrogate grandparent, who would it be? A surrogate grandparent as in to have an old lady to be impregnated with my seed and for her to give birth to the child? Errrm... no, a surrogate grandparent as in to just have an old person come into your life and function like a grandparent. Ahhh, that’s a good question. For the granddad I’d pick Billy Bob Thornton, and for the grandma I’d have Jessica Rabbit, she’s probably pretty old now. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? I worked at this place Great Harvest, a chain bakery in America. They didn’t make it clear at first, but it turned out to be a thinly-veiled Christian place. I was like 17 and in a punk band, I was going on tour for the first time and the guy was like “well, this doesn’t look very good for you”. I had another job at the time in a small tapas restaurant, and he came there while I was working and fired me. That’s not very Christian of him. No it’s not, it’s more like The Grand Inquisitor or something – they think they’re doing Jesus’ work but they’re just being assholes. I’ll never forgive him, I hate that place and I hope it burns down!
Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met? I think it’s Fred Durst. Nu-metal seems to be becoming a reoccurring theme in this interview. I could talk to you about nu-metal all day long. Ok then. Papa Roach or Linkin Park? Fuck both of them. Slipknot or Marylin Manson. Shit. You see, I love both of them. But I’d pick Slipknot. Are Deftones sort of good, or are they just trash? This is a very interesting question. I think they have their moments, White Pony, for example, is actually a really good record. I think they get a pass because they don’t completely align themselves with the nu-metal community, even though they’ve collaborated with Korn and stuff. And how many members of Korn can you name off the top of your head? I couldn’t tell you the name of their new drummer, but I can tell you: Head, Munky, Fieldy, Jonathan Davis and... Brian Silveria? [It’s actually David Silveria - ed] Not bad. Ok, this is my final question: What would you like written on your tombstone? “Yep, that’s the guy” Human Performance is released 8 April via Rough Trade. Parquet Courts appear at Field Day, London, 11-12 June
Perspective: Fear of Formation Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff is the Opinions Editor at Gal-dem, an online platform for young women of colour. Here, she discusses the negative reaction to Beyoncé’s Formation in the wider context of race relations in the US. Beyoncé’s black anthem, Formation, dropped during the USA’s Black History Month and proceeded to take over the internet. While the song itself makes reference to Beyoncé’s pride in her own blackness – “I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros. I like my negro nose with Jackson 5 nostrils” – what has caused an even bigger uproar was its music video and subsequent performance at the Super Bowl. These events have caused Javier Ortiz, director of Miami’s Fraternal Order of Police, to announce that their union will be boycotting the kickoff of Beyoncé’s worldwide tour. If the boycott goes ahead, it will be yet another symbolic form of police brutality against black people in America.
executive director of the National Association of Police Organisations, who have also pledged their support for the boycott. But while they make the excuse of Beyoncé’s wealth, the main problem for the police is that she has recognised the legacy of the Black Panthers. In their eyes, the video, which shows an unarmed young boy dancing in front of a line of all-white policemen (who put their hands up in an action connected to the graffiti shown in another shot which reads ‘stop shooting us’), promotes an “anti-police message”. In response to Beyoncé’s performance at the Super Bowl, which saw her reference the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther movement, Ortiz stated, “I salute the dozens of law enforcement officers that have been assassinated by members of the Black Panthers.”
Although there are some problematic aspects of Formation and the furore it has caused – Dianca London for deathandtaxes magazine puts it best: “it is dangerous when we fail to consider the ways in which songs such as Formation or last year’s Flawless are essentially an advertisement for Beyoncé’s brand” – the logic of the Miami’s FOP is still difficult to fathom.
However, as Andrew Anthony pointed out in The Guardian last year, despite the fact that some of the Black Panthers were “pathological killers, ideological madmen and depraved opportunists… as long as African Americans are subjected to police brutality and racism, it remains a future that’s well worth remembering.” The Panthers had their problems, but saying they shouldn’t be remembered is equivalent to saying good police work shouldn’t be celebrated. Their story is even more relevant at a time when racial tensions in the US are teetering on a knifepoint of unrest.
“Why would any group of working men and women support a rich celebrity who openly glorifies murderers?” asked Bill Johnson, the
The fact that the police killed over 100 unarmed black people in 2015 makes it clear that police brutality and racism is alive and kicking in the
States. The Black Lives Matter movement might be dismissed by men like Ortiz, but it is addressing legitimate concerns that systemic racism is still a massive issue within the police and beyond. The deaths of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Sandra Bland, and all the other victims of a society favouring power and privilege intrinsically tied to whiteness, should not be forgotten. As noted by Stanley Nelson, the director 2015 movie Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, “The magnitude of police mistreatment of African Americans is real, and it’s been going on for a long time.” The irony of this incident has not been lost on the wider public. Beyoncé makes a video where she essentially says the police aren’t working as they should to protect black people. Police respond by refusing to protect a black performer. To be upset with Beyoncé over her political views is one thing, but to actively deny her protection, which categorically must be influenced by her race (can you imagine the police behaving in the same way towards a white artist?), reads as a type of brutality. The police claim that Beyoncé is fostering anti-police sentiment, but seven out of eight officers killed by gunfire in the United States so far in 2016 died at the hands of white men. “These shootings have nothing to do with Black Panthers or modern black activism,” wrote Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King in his New York Daily News column. “That, though, is the popular story in America right now, and it is nothing more than a lie.”
Illustration: Ed Chambers
Ultimately, this isn’t just about black people and the police – this is about all people and the police. Those with power should wield it in a responsible manner and just as they deserve to have a union to protect them, they also deserve to be criticised, strongly, without being able to use that criticism as a means to refuse elements of their job. Luckily, Beyoncé has the support of a whole raft of other people. Kendrick Lamar also stuck his finger up at the establishment and revelled in his blackness at the Grammys, while Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Fruit of Islam (FOI) said during a recent speech, “Look at how you treatin’ Beyonce now. You not gonna offer her police protection. But the FOI will.” Whether it’s an offer Beyoncé will take up remains to be seen – but there’s no denying that her work has unleashed opinion, black and white. To read more of Charlie’s writing, visit charliebrinkhurstcuff.com
Eats Everything fabric 86
Forthcoming in the series: FABRICLIVE 86: My Nu Leng fabric 87: Alan Fitzpatrick FABRICLIVE 87: Groove Armada fabric 88: Ryan Elliott
“A great mix from a bona-fide star.” Compilation of the Month – Mixmag
Eats Everything Tour Dates: 05 11 12 18 20 24 26 27
Mar Mar Mar Mar Mar Mar Mar Mar
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Apr Apr Apr Apr
Florida 135, Fraga (ES) Die Rakette, Nuremberg (DE) Elrow Las Fallas, Valencia (ES) Watergate, Berlin (DE) Lanificion, Rome (IT) Concrete Music, Portsmouth (UK) The Garten, Beirut (LB) Together @ Splash, Jersey (UK)
AMP Festival, Malta (MT) Caprices, Lausanne (CH) Wildlife, Las Vegas (US) Nassau Festival (King’s Day), Amsterdam (NL) 29 Apr Blue Marlin, Dubai (UAE) 30 Apr Arch, Brighton (UK)
Featuring Pusha T, Molly Nilson, Maisie Cousins, Jimmy Cauty, Moderat, Plattenbau, Tresor and more