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Issue 74

Future Islands


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Nuits sonores

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Room 02 20/20 Vision Guest TBA Ralph Lawson Bobby Pleasure


015 Crack Magazine is a free and independent platform for contemporary culture Published and distributed monthly by Crack Industries Ltd. For any distribution enquiries please contact distribution@crackmagazine.net

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FESTIVAL AND TOUR IN ASSOCIATION WITH RANDOM ACTS

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021

Contents Future Islands : Yours Sincerely - 32

Editorial - 27 Before They Were Big New Music - 31 From the Periphery

Despite their remarkable boost towards commercial success, Future Islands are committed to the hearton-sleeve emotion of their theatrical synth pop. Ahead of their new album The Far Field, Francis Blagburn meets with the trio in London to discuss long-distance relationships, the distinctive influence of Theodore Roethke’s poetry and textural peculiarity of jaffa cakes

Reviews - 69 Gig reports, product reviews and our verdict on the latest releases in music and film

Stefflon Don: Get Real - 40 Following her explosive mixtape, the UK rapper is primed to transcend the London scene. But, as Niloufar Haidari finds out, she’s still keeping it extremely, unmistakably real

20 Questions: Juliette Jackson - 93 The Big Moon might be about to break through with their debut, but their singer and guitarist still has love for Robbie Williams and S Club’s Paul Cattermole Perspective: The Real Potential of our Digital Dreaming - 94 Can the internet age ever be truly progressive, and how can we frame it as such? Digital expert Andres Colmenares considers the radical possibilities of our online lives

Aesthetic: Klein - 60 The South London singer and producer gatecrashed the experimental scene with her fiercely weird sound and Facebook-scouted girl-groups. Our extended editorial squints into the mirage

crackmagazine.net

Turning Points: John Lydon - 91 In conversation with Gwyn Thomas de Chroustchoff, the PiL frontman discusses joining the Sex Pistols, getting too stoned with Lee “Scratch” Perry and embracing every moment that life gives him Dirty Projectors: Clarity in Complexity - 44 Following his break-up with former bandmate Amber Coffman, David Longstreth has chosen to continue the Dirty Projectors project alone. Here Longstreth discusses articulating his emotion and being influenced by Kanye and Solange with Francis Blagburn

Jay Daniel channels the new spirt of Detroit - 50 The prodigious Motor City talent talks flipping existing power structures with Rob McCallum

COUM Transmissions: Regrouping in Hull, the UK’s most radical art collective are digging up the roots of their rebellion - 54 Before Throbbing Gristle, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti began their lives as art degenerates in Hull. Augustin Macellari traces back those early steps with them

CONTENTS

Regular Features


Opening concert in a 2000 Opening concert in a 2000 year old Roman amphitheatre year old Roman amphitheatre

Grace GraceJones Jones Moderat Moderat Yussef YussefKamaal Kamaal

Moses MosesBoyd: Boyd:Solo SoloXX Main festival in an abandoned fort Main festival in an abandoned fort

Jeff JeffMills Mills Theo TheoParrish Parrish (All Night Long) (All Night Long)

Marcel MarcelDettmann Dettmann Floating FloatingPoints Points (Live (Livesolo solo&&DJ DJset) set)

Cymande Cymande Nina NinaKraviz Kraviz Shuggie ShuggieOtis Otis Daphni Daphni Danny DannyKrivit Krivit Ata AtaKak Kak(live) (live) Helena HelenaHauff Hauff Gilles GillesPeterson Peterson

Hessle HessleAudio: Audio: Ben UFO, Ben UFO,Pangaea Pangaea &&Pearson PearsonSound Sound Joy Orbison Joy Orbison Levon LevonVincent Vincent Dopplereffekt Dopplereffekt(live) (live) Alexander AlexanderRobotnick Robotnick(live) (live) Amp Fiddler (live) Amp Fiddler (live) Tama TamaSumo Sumo&&Lakuti Lakuti Demdike Stare Demdike Stare(live) (live) Sadar Bahar Sadar Bahar Yussef YussefKamaal Kamaal(live) (live) Antal Antal Horse HorseMeat MeatDisco Disco Mike Dehnert Mike Dehnert Binh Binh Nicky NickySiano Siano dBridge dBridge Alix AlixPerez Perez Paul St Paul StHilaire Hilaire &&Rhauder Rhauder(live) (live) Conforce Conforce Radioactive RadioactiveMan Man(live) (live) MNDSGN MNDSGN

Romare Romare(live (live&&DJ) DJ) Kaitlyn Aurelia Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith (live) Smith(live) Jonwayne Jonwayne London LondonModular Modular Alliance (live) Alliance(live) Luke Hess Luke Hess Randomer Randomer AAMade MadeUp UpSound Sound(live (live) ) Dan Shake Dan Shake Equiknoxx Equiknoxx(live) (live) Sassy J Sassy J Josey JoseyRebelle Rebelle Serge Serge Randall Randall Interstellar InterstellarFunk Funk DynArec (live) DynArec (live) Doc DocScott Scott Skeptical Skeptical Alma AlmaNegra Negra(DJ) (DJ) Mungo’s Hifi Mungo’s Hifi Kid KidDrama Drama Gary GaryGritness Gritness(live) (live) Hanna (live) Hanna (live)

Øyvind ØyvindMorken Morken Powder Powder DJ DJOkapi Okapi Moses MosesBoyd Boyd Onemind Onemind(live) (live) Upwellings Upwellings(live) (live) Kerem KeremAkdag Akdag(live) (live) Thris Tian Thris Tian Leo LeoLeal Leal Cosmic CosmicSlop Slop Dimensions Dimensions Soundsystem Soundsystem KAMMA KAMMA Bane Bane Mafalda Mafalda Sofie Sofie Andwot Andwot Donna DonnaLeake Leake Sam SamLloyd Lloyd Debora DeboraIpekel Ipekel Aaron L Aaron L Harri HarriPepper Pepper Heels & Heels &Souls Souls Andrew Hill Andrew Hill ++Many ManyMore MoreTBA TBA

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027 Future Islands shot exclusively for Crack Magazine by Henry Gorse London: February 2017

Crack Was Made Using Octo Octa Fleeting Moments of Freedom (Wooo)

Tim Darcy What'd You Release?

Syd Nothin to Somethin

Tinashe C'est La Vie

Future Mask Off

Sylvester I Need You

Visible Cloaks Screen

Diet Cig Sixteen

Neana on the Trak The Trak Rekord

Brian Jonestown Massacre Fact 67

Future Islands Shadows ft. Debbie Harry

In Flagranti TV Fashion Show

Sleaford Mods Messy Anywhere

Nathan Fake DEGREELESSNESS feat. Prurient

Don Cherry Brown Rice

Timothy J Fairplay Seven Corners

Lana Del Ray Love

Objekt Needle & Thread

Clark Peak Magnetic

Minimal Compact Waterfall

Anthony Parasole Infrared Vision

Dizzee Rascal Bubbles

Elena Colombi Dekmantel Podcast

Barbara Lewis Hello Stranger

Having formed in 2006 and released three albums of raw, romantic and artful synth pop, the Baltimore trio upgraded from Thrill Jockey to the bigger independent label 4AD for the release of their more polished 2014 album Singles. Then the Late Show with David Letterman thing happened. Future Islands gave an incredible performance, showcasing Samuel T. Herring’s beloved dance moves – an eccentric expression of unfiltered emotion – to the wider public. The performance racked up millions of views online, and Letterman relentlessly plugged snippets of Herring’s performance in the next episode in hope of turning it into a meme. The band’s tour dates quickly sold out, and as new crowds flocked to watch that guy do the dance, old fans rolled their eyes. But of course Future Islands’ theatrical music was always suited to the bigger stage, and it was good to see them succeed after so many years of the DIY grind (“For all the hard work we’ve put in, we felt that we deserve a shot,” Herring told me just before Singles was released). Future Islands are now set to release their fifth album The Far Field. With this month’s cover story we’ve chosen to present them in a way which we feel highlights the nuances of their character, with our photographer Henry Gorse capturing the band’s playful charisma, and Francis Blagburn exploring the emotional intensity of Herring’s lyrics in his article.

This idea of maintaining integrity while upscaling is something which has occurred to me a few times while putting this issue together. Elsewhere in the magazine you’ll find fast-rising MC Stefflon Don extolling the virtues of keeping it real, Augustin Macellari considering if the anti-establishment power of the COUM Transmissions collective still remains now they’re the subject of a well-funded City of Culture retrospective, and a review of Stormzy’s Gangs Sings & Prayer – an album which sees the Wicked Skengman strive for chart success by juggling hard-hitting grime with big pop ballads. And while I’m not claiming that our distribution numbers are as thrilling as the transgressions of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge or the UK’s most hyped MCs, we have been able to share some very exciting news in recent weeks. We’re proud to announce that this issue will see the launch of our new Amsterdam edition, and that Crack Magazine is also now stocked in all Carhartt WIP stores – meaning you’ll be able to pick up this publication in Tokyo, Shanghai, New York, Copenhagen, Bangkok, Melbourne, Paris, Lisbon and many other cities across the globe. So thanks for all the support. If you’ve been with us for a while, we’ll make sure to hang on to the qualities which made you pick up the magazine in the first place. Davy Reed, Editor

MASTHEAD

There’s no wisdom in ditching a band just because they got big, but for Future Islands’ longterm fans, it was hard not to feel overprotective during their sudden shoot to fame a couple of years back.

crackmagazine.net

Issue 74 March 2017


028

Recommended O ur g ui d e to wh at's goi n g on i n y ou r c i ty NASTIA Kamio 5 March

SPECTR ES Birthdays 23 March

FACTORY FLOOR Heaven 30 March

RØDHÅD fabric 24 March LOVE SAVES THE DAY Little Dragon, Kano, Move D Eastville Park, Bristol 27-28 May £82.50 Summertime in Bristol is always special. It’s a picturesque city regardless of sunshine, but things get particularly scenic at the start of summer. To welcome that in, Love Saves The Day returns. The city’s annual bonanza of glitter, grime, tassels, techno and general guilt-free good times is back to bring the season in right. We’ve got our own stage again on the Sunday this year and we couldn’t be happier with who’s playing. Lose your mind to Mykki Blanco, lose your inhibitions to Stefflon Don, lose your self-consciousness at 67 and lose your understanding of jazz-fusion at BadBadNotGood. Just try not to lose your friends, phone or cash.

LAKKER The Pickle Factory 9 March £12.50 It’s been almost a decade since Dara Smith and Ian McDonnell released their debut album Ruido as Lakker, but it wasn’t until last year’s R&S-released sophomore effort Tundra that the Irish duo began to garner due praise. Whilst the name might evoke images of grey, windswept landscapes, Tundra was anything but monotonous. Blending Lakker’s tendency towards widescreen composition with the urgent severity of their club oriented output, the album was an accomplished affair replete with intricate sound design and spectral processed vocals. Lakker bring their singular approach to techno with a live set for Oval Space’s Ovation series, alongside ULTRAMAJIC mainstay Chambray. Prepare for glacial atmospheres and blistering percussion.

GRRRL ZINE FAIR Moth Club 12 Marc

THUNDERCAT Heaven 28 March

MICA LEVI (DJ) Village Underground 24 March

CAR SEAT HEADR EST Electric Ballroom 23 March

LORENZO SENNI Oslo 29 March

You can think of Car Seat Headrest as Blink-182 with a terrific hangover. OK, that’s probably an unfair comparison. But singer-songwriter Will Toledo is just as melodious as the aforementioned pop punk progenitors. His acerbic sense of humour is largely self-deprecating, delivering witty one-liners over undeniable hooks that lean on damn good songwriting. In 2016 he went from bashing away at music in his bedroom to releasing one of the year’s most critically adored albums. Who knows what 2017 will bring.

KEHL ANI KOKO 5 March The hype had been building around Kehlani’s debut album for years. Her fans – a loyal army who go by the Tsunami Mob – had been with her since day one and were patiently awaiting her defining first statement. Then, in January, SweetSexySavage came out and their prayers were answered. On her debut, Kehlani’s sweet hybrid of throwback RnB, contemporary pop and sharp-witted lyricism fully came into its own. It’s a record we are still replaying in the office frequently and – thankfully – Kehlani is visiting Europe to play the songs live. Go and fall head over heels with Oakland’s finest.

EVENTS

67 fabric 10 March

There are plenty of middle-ofthe-road bands out there these days, but you’re unlikely to feel indifferent about Spectres’ drawn-out explorations of distortion. With members of the band running Bristol’s Howling Owl label, Spectres are at the forefront of an openminded underground scene that’s united experimental performers, leftfield electronic music producers and lo-fi indie bands. Having had tracks from their debut album Dying totally sabotaged by the likes of Factory Floor, Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite and leftfield techno producer Gramrcy for the accompanying Dead remix album, the band’s new LP Condition sees Spectres return to the noise-rock formula with added intensity.

DJ STINGR AY Oval Space 31 March

KL AR A LEWIS Cafe Oto 7 March


029 THROWING SHADE Archspace 10 March

BR ITISH MUR DER BOYS Oval Space 25 March

Rumblings from the British Murder Boys bunker have been getting louder of late. First that Amsterdam gig last year, and now a handful of dates across Europe. For this, we must give thanks, for the potency of Surgeon and Regis’ admixture of punk aesthetic, black humour and libidinous, grazed-knuckle techno remains undiluted by the swathes of army surplussporting techno producers who’ve sprouted from the scorched earth they left behind. But before heritage words like Important and Influential settle around their name too much, this, their first London show in six years is here to remind you how terrifying hilarious and downright vital BMB really are. New music next?

SAFE AS MILK FESTIVAL Butthole Surfers, Shirley Collins, Princess Nokia Prestatyn Pontins, North Wales 21 – 23 April £199 R AY MANG Hoxton Square 11 March Since releasing his debut 12” Number One in 1996, Ray Mang has gone on to release on labels as diverse as R&S, Eskimo Recordings and DFA. The UK disco don and Mangled label boss is a true stalwart of the scene, and brings his pulsing, groove-driven sound to Hoxton Square Bar this month alongside Kate Boss. One for the heads.

Enter new player. Billed as leftfield without the field, Safe As Milk makes its debut with an adventurous line-up that sets out its stall in no uncertain terms: Jeff Mills & Tony Allen, Shirley Collins, The Residents, GAIKA, Hieroglyphic Being and Butthole Surfers are just some of the acts shacking up at a holiday camp in North Wales. Clearly, Safe as Milk know their demographic as a defined DIY streak runs through the event, with lathe cutting, artist exhibitions and a marketplace playing host to wares by Ninja Tune, House Of Mythology, PAN and Blackest Ever Black all taking place across the three day festival. See you there.

DE LA SOUL Roundhouse 10 March

PUSHA T Kentish Town Forum  3 March

JENS LEKMAN The Oval 29 March

STEVE GUNN St. John Bethnal Green 3 April

CONVERGENCE FESTIVAL Shobaleader One, Andrew Weatherall , Actress Various venues, London 21 – 25 March

Without a doubt, Field Day is one of our favourite events of the year. Through rain or shine, we make our way to Victoria Park safe in the knowledge that some of the most exciting artists on the planet will be playing to crowds that really want to be there. With Aphex Twin headlining a brand new spectacular electronic stage, the day will also welcome the indomitable Run The Jewels, the hashtag-coining bars of Lady Leshurr, the emotive shoegazing of Slowdive and the unhurried smoothness of Moodymann’s selections. There are few line-ups more diverse and few more reliable. Move fast.

CLOUD NOTHINGS KOKO 21 March

FLOATING POINTS (LIVE BAND) O2 Academy Brixton 15 March

PLANET GIEGLING Village Underground 4 March Giegling have become a rare phenomenon in dance music. The Weimar label and collective have summoned a considerable cult following in recent years with their no frills aesthetic and buy-on-sight releases. Another key to Giegling’s appeal is that the label, its releases and the events thrown by the collective all capture a certain, indefinable atmosphere. They’ve packed up those feels and set their sights on world domination with their globe-trotting tour, Planet Giegling. Aiming to tie together the separate threads of their artistic hub and “explore all the hidden spots of the giegling universe”, the collective will travel 18 cities including New York, Tokyo, Tel Aviv and Tblisi, and this show at Village Underground. Expect transcendence.

Since 2014, London’s Convergence has sought to explore the increasingly fraught intersections between music, technology and art. Befitting its broad purview, the festival takes place across a number of venues in the capital with the kind of programming that throws up interesting juxtapositions without being too try-hard. Highlights include Manuel Göttsching reviving his Ash Ra Tempel project – with Ariel Pink on bass vocals – and a chance to catch Actress live with support from Raime, Randomer and a DJ set from Mica Levi. This being an interdisciplinary affair, a full programme of panels, workshops and discussions will keep the dialogues going throughout the daytime.

ANNA METRONOMY DJ SET Shacklewell Arms 3 March DEKMANTEL SOUNDSYSTEM The Pickle Factory 3 March

EVENTS

FIELD DAY Aphex Twin, Abra, Flying Lotus Victoria Park, London 3 June Fourth release tickets: £64.50


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New Music

Clocking up the best part of 20,000 views in 24 hours, Birmingham duo Lotto Boyzz’ instantly-infectious No Don is still making waves. Centred around a lithe bassline and a breathy falsetto vocal sample, their killer hook is poised to be heard ubiquitously across the coming months. Leaning more towards silky RnB than some of the artists linked with the new hybrid London-Afrobeats sound (J Hus, Belly Squad etc), their music brims with a youthful, effervescent charm. Effortlessly blending sugary choruses with super-smooth bars, the Lotto Boyzz are worth a gamble.

O No Don 1 Belly Squad / J Hus : @LottoBoyzz_

MIKE

VL ADIMIR IVKOVIC

FAYE WEBSTER Atlanta’s Awful Records crew are an open-minded bunch. While a lot of the group’s prolific output could be loosely described as hedonistic hip-hop or lo-fi RnB, the collective is also encouraging of experiments in sound, style, sexuality and identity. New signing Faye Webster’s sound is a blend of Americana, folk, country and indie rock. A gifted photographer, Webster has shot Atlanta rap A-listers such as Killer Mike, Migos member Offset and her childhood classmate Lil Yachty, and she’s been involved with the Awful Records scene for years. While the Americana and hip-hop genres are seemingly disparate, Webster's excellent country cover of her boss Father’s track Cheap Thrills (‘What we gon’ do when that drink get low/ Something for that nose, but your friends can’t know’) – makes you think that maybe they’re not so different after all.

Düsselorf’s Salon des Amateurs has a nigh-on mythical reputation. An unassuming bar/club built into the Brutalist structure of the city’s contemporary art gallery, it’s cherished for its loose, anything-goes approach and a music policy that can generally be summarised as: the weirder the better. The policy is fueled by the club’s esteemed residents, all pushing each other into the wiggiest realms of their respective record bags. Lena Willikens and Toulouse Low Trax are two Salon staples who’ve recently found acclaim far from the intimate confines of the club. Hot on the heels of them is Vladimir Ivkovic. Besides running his label Offen Music and label managing for Loco Dice's Desolat, Ivkovic been a resident at the club for over 12 years, during which the fiercely bearded DJ has found his record collection chiseled to cater for all wild diversions, as ready to veer into gleaming esotericism as he is abrasive blowouts. Enter the new king of oddball club trips. O lOve tape 1 Intergalactic Gary / Helena Hauff : soundcloud.com/vladimir

“I was about 10 when I first started like play-around rapping, but I never took it too serious till I was like 14.” Speaking to Crack Magazine over iMessage, Bronx-based rapper Mike has the general demeanour of somebody beginning to take things seriously – rap and otherwise. “While I was in England I use to bump a lot of Skepta and some super old grime shit,” the the 18-year-old explains of his influences. “Once I moved back to the states I eventually got into DOOM, he changed my whole perspective on music.” With formative years spent in Hackney, Essex, Philadelphia and The Bronx, Mike delivers bars built from teenage anxieties with a transatlantic tone and an angular flow. Now in his first year of college, Mike has released numerous projects via BandCamp, including last year’s longest day, shortest night LP. “I’m waiting for all things to go through so I can drop out, school really isn't a healthy environment for me,” he says. “Being in school forces me to answer to a lot of people and I don't like it, and also I always get anxiety being around too many people or being told to do things.” Remaining in full control seems to be what weighs heaviest on Mike’s mind as a young man getting into music. He rolls with a DIY collective who go by Slums – DJs, rappers and producers who are beginning to gain momentum in New York. Mike’s own music is a fitting emblem of their ethos – lo-fi instrumentals and a style of rapping that seems to borrow from California backpacker rap tropes and East Coast street-preaching in equal measure. “I want to learn patience, create new music, new sounds and let people feel something different, you know?” Mike tells us as our conversation begins to wrap up. “I’m also trying to make a living off of music as well!” With the insight of an OG and the eagerness of a college dropout, Mike’s moment is only just beginning.

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O Alone 1 Wiki / Vince Staples mikelikesrap.bandcamp.com

FLOR A YIN-WONG Raised in London, the daughter of immigrant parents, Flora Yin-Wong has spoken about her fraught relationship with her own heritage. Indeed, an attempt to make better sense of it became the thematic undergirding for her PTP-released mixtape, City God. Her densely populated sound design was given new angles with the addition of fragmentary samples of Canto pop, Buddhist chants and other field recordings gleaned from her travels. Now based in Berlin, YinWong has contributed a track on the forthcoming PAN compilation, mono no aware. The PAN co-sign makes sense, suggesting an alignment with Berlin’s community of international artists, many of whom create boundary-pushing music that explores the intersection between identity, otherness and underground dancefloors. Flora Yin-Wong’s own tracks – with their conflicting samples and intriguing tonal shifts – rarely find much resolution, preferring to assemble and implode is varying iterations. There’s a message in there somewhere.

O Alone, Again 1 Allison Crutchfield / Jessica Pratt : fayewebster.com

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O Lugere 1 Amnesia Scanner soundcloud.com/floraytw

O Track 1 File Next To : Website

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Future Islands:

Words: Francis Blagburn Photography: Henry Gorse

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‘A lot of songs on the new record are about going from pure joy and beauty, to something falling apart”

Samuel T. Herring has discovered a jaffa cake and he’s holding it up to the light, eyeing it with awe. His bandmate William Cashion needles his rocking chair forward, arching up to get a closer view. “It’s really cool and weird,” he confirms. “A very strange thing.” Sam takes a bite and recoils. “It’s like my teeth just ate into a pillow.” Samuel T. Herring

The three members of Future Islands have been in the same room for a very long time and it’s starting to show. The Baltimore-based trio are in the middle of a maelstrom of press unlike anything they’ve experienced in their eleven years as the band, and our interview falls somewhere in a string of nights hopping across European capitals, telling the world about their fifth album The Far Field. With the world now watching, the release of The Far Field comes at a crucial moment. The LP is the much-anticipated follow up to Singles, the 2014 breakthrough album which elevated Future Islands from criticallyacclaimed artpop outsiders to one of indie rock’s most in-demand live acts. We’re tucked away in a spacious room, below ground, in a boutique hotel in the Bethnal Green area of London. There’s a lot of laughter. Sam is every bit the frontman, beaming confidently in the centre, flanked on either side by William, who plays bass, and Gerrit Welmers, the band’s programmer and keyboardist. Gerrit has a kind of cult status in the room: he speaks in sardonic comments, always to the spluttering laughter of the others. William is relaxed and more talkative than I’d expected, especially when he

learns that there’s a debate in Britain about whether jaffa cakes should be classed as cakes or biscuits. He spends the conversation leaning back on his rocking chair, alternating between total sincerity and a kind of stoner-philosopher schtick that’s complimented by the verbal tics of a North Carolina upbringing; dude, bro, dope. At times I feel as though I’m clambering clumsily over the architecture of their in-jokes, but for the most part they let me in on the gag. First forming in 2006 out of another band, the Kraftwerk-inspired Art Lord & the Self-Portraits, Future Islands have put in work over the years. As a threepiece, they developed their distinctive sound with romantic, melodic synths, a post-punk bass tone and Sam’s theatrical growl. Pre-Singles, they took three DIY albums on self-managed tours across countless small venues. “A big thing about our early days is that we wanted to grab people’s attention and make an impression,” William says, explaining how Sam developed his instantly recognisable performance style, for which he beats his chest and runs at the edge of the stage like a caged animal, his face a deep well of feeling. He always goes hard, thrusting, lurching and jolting in unexpected directions, a process he admits is tough on his body. “He’s always done that, even in basements,” William confirms. “He used to knock the headstock of my bass and knock it out of tune all the time.” With a performance on popular US talkshow Late Night with David Letterman to promote their single Seasons (Waiting on You) in 2014, Future

Islands’ unique style finally attracted the attention of the world. Sam danced as boldly as he always does, and let his vocal slide in and out of screamo roars delicately, pulling the camera into a vortex whenever he chose. The video gained millions of views and raised the band’s profile massively, helping promote Singles (which saw them move from Chicago label Thrill Jockey to Grimes’ and The National’s label 4AD) as well as upgrading their tour accommodation arrangements from friends’ floors to hotel rooms. But the internet is fickle, and a Lettermanendorsed meme risked reducing Sam’s performance style to the status of a cheap visual catchphrase. Something about the hype was lacking. Future Islands’ desire to return to their roots is clear. “The old records have a certain feeling because they were recorded in old houses or a skate park, and they were made using three or four microphones and an old portable board,” Sam explains. “Whatever our buddy Chester [Endersby Gwazda] had, we used to record. Because of that, those records have all these, like, ghosts to them. Like the sound of a space. With Singles, we kind of went against that. I think was really important for us to make that record the way we did, because we wanted to just make as hi-fidelity a recording as we ever had the opportunity to make. But the feeling was that we went too far and became maybe a little too polished.”

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“There’s a fucking moon cake over here.”


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When touring for Singles eventually ended, the band took a breather to work on various solo projects. Among them is Peals – Williams’ experimental project with Bruce Willen of the now-defunct Baltimore post-punk outfit Double Dagger – and Gerrit’s project Moss of Aura. William and Sam released a record as The Snails, a live ska band for which they indeed play while dressed as snails, and Sam also raps as Hemlock Ernst – an endeavour which led to him teaming up with respected hip-hop producer Madlib for 2015’s Trouble Knows Me EP. “Hemlock gives me this whole other outlet where it’s completely about flow and wordplay rather than melody,” Sam explains. “There are certain songs on the [Future Islands] record, especially that first verse on [opening track] Aladdin, where I’d never written anything like that before – it’s that weird flow that just flew out of me. I wouldn’t have done that if I hadn’t been writing hip-hop verse as well.”

Samuel T. Herring

When the time came to return to the studio, pairing with acclaimed producer John Congleton helped recapture the spirit of their earlier albums. “Going into recording, I was like: I want to bring some of that feeling back,” says Sam. “And luckily John Congleton was all about it. He was referencing our history.” Congleton also introduced the band to new musical avenues, including setting up a duet with Debbie Harry on album highlight Shadows. As William says, “She definitely made the song her own.” It’s not just the sonics of The Far Field that echo their earlier work. Like 2010’s In Evening Air, the artwork for this new album is by visual artist (and former Art Lord and the Self Portraits member) Kymia Nawabi. Likewise, the titles of both In Evening Air and The Far Field are lifted from the poetry of Theodore Roethke, a 20th Century American writer who has been a lifelong influence on Sam. The imagery from Roethke’s poems resonates with the album’s themes, particularly the sense of getting older and the idea of the road. The title The Far Field is taken from the following passage by Roethke, which could almost have been written by Herring: I learned not to fear infinity, The far field, the windy cliffs of forever, The dying of time in the white light of tomorrow, The wheel turning away from itself, The sprawl of the wave, The on-coming water.

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Sam read these poems religiously when touring earlier albums, and the spirit of the words sunk in. “He was really the first poet that, like, pulled something from me,” he says. “That book of his collected poems, The Far Field, became a book that I carried around. The first four or five years of touring that we did,

I had that book. The Far Field and Jack Gilbert’s The Great Fires became my meditation and also the things that, like, calmed me on the road. They were both books that helped me get over – if I’m still over – an ex-girlfriend, the person In Evening Air references many times. I haven’t actually read that book for four or five years but it doesn’t matter because he is like a part of me. The way that he uses words, the way he goes against rhyme at times, putting the beautiful beside the grotesque, it still mesmerises me.”

The album often returns to the sense of continuing onwards on endless roads. ‘How it feels when we fall, when we fold, how we lose control, on these roads’, goes the chorus of lead single Ran. After years of touring, does he feel that writing about life has become almost the same thing as writing about the road? “I do think that our lives have blended. After all of 2014 and 2015 being on the road, I needed to go home, we all wanted to go home after 2015 because we’d just been on the road for so fucking long for Singles, but after being home for a few months I was just like, ‘I need to leave!’ I was just aching to get back out there, and I think we all felt that.” Much of the emotional power on The Far Field comes from singing about lost love broken by the strain of distance. It’s a theme familiar to the band’s discography, speaking openly of the strains of maintaining – or failing to maintain – relationships whilst on tour. ‘And I went off and saw things I've never seen/ I really wanted you there’, Sam lamented on In Evening Air song Long Flight. He’s just as open about the topic in person. “My love life is so messed up because if I meet somebody in Baltimore then it’s a long distance relationship and if I meet an amazing person on the other side of the country then it’s a long distance relationship. No matter where I am it’s a long distance relationship. That’s really defeating at times. I found myself in love at the beginning of 2016 and that definitely informed this album... It was like a fireworks display that started with the finale and it quickly died. A lot of songs on this record are about that six months going from pure joy and beauty to

something falling apart to figuring it out again.” Sam is responsible for the lion’s share of emotional expression when Future Islands perform, but Gerrit and William have both maintained long distance relationships for the past few years, and the strain of distance can be tough on them too. Asked whether they bring this emotional heft to live performance, Gerrit insists he’s more focused on trying not to mess up, but William feels differently. “I do channel sometimes,” he reveals, to raised eyebrows and

swiveling heads, as if it’s the first time he’s ever said so. “Missing Elena. I think about my family, I think about North Carolina, I think about Baltimore. During certain songs like Song for our Grandfathers, it takes me there in my mind. I’ll try to go there.” When Future Islands go to that place, they take the audience with them; many fans have found solace in their work. In turn, Sam has found solace in the audience. “We found that sharing truth and vulnerability has helped people, people who have become supporters of what we do and who have become part of our family. Those people get something out of the exposing of self, bearing of truth, in those times. When I was writing In Evening Air, I was tearing myself apart as a young man. Like, no one understood how I felt, but I wrote those songs and performing them gave me peace of mind that people did understand what I was going through because they were going through it. “Light House [from Singles] is a song that has been a staple for us because people know that that song is about suicide and the fear of the darkness and somebody helping them,” Sam continues. “We’ve probably received more mail about that song than any other song. Like, that song has helped people, because of a conversation that I once had with someone I loved who helped me at that time. It’s a song for those people that understand.” On the new album, Through the Roses deals with a similar sense of vulnerability, and of pulling through to overcome darkness with solidarity. “I had a clear vision,” Sam says. “Not in writing the words, it was more like I had written the words and then I could see

it all. I saw 10,000 hands in the air held together, people crying and singing the song. And I know that sounds clichéd and corny but I’m sitting in my older brother’s room in Asheville, North Carolina, writing this down and singing it to myself and I can see it and I’m, like, about to cry thinking about it. I saw the clear vision of what it is.” Sam’s vision of a crowd singing seems like an antidote to the sense of loneliness that Through the Roses describes. He quotes the lyrics – ‘the clutch of nothing, the curse of wanting’ – which allude to the theme of suicidal thoughts. “Wanting everything but having nothing,” he elaborates. “It takes me over sometimes and I don’t know what to do. I was sitting there alone and that really hit me hard. But the idea – you know – the ‘we’ is the audience. The we was always the audience. We can pull through.” Sam has brought the whole room with him, and as he finishes talking the pressure unfolds. There’s a sense of relief, like we’ve all come through something together. “I was about to fucking cry right there!” he acknowledges, slumping back on the comfy sofa. “I love you guys. I love all you guys.” The shift in mood feels natural. When we wrap up, he takes a jaffa cake and begins pretending to sob while improvising a song about the curse of jaffa and its hold on him. “The curse of jaffa takes me!” he sings. William laughs and looks on. “I think it’s a biscuit,” he suggests. The Far Field is released 7 April via 4AD. Future Islands appear at Lowlands festival, Biddinghuizen, The Netherlands, 18-20 August


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Stefflon Don

Born in Birmingham, Allen’s family moved to Rotterdam when she was four years old. It wasn’t until she was a teenager that she moved back to London, where she’s lived ever since. Was it a culture shock? “School was really different. I looked different to the rest of the kids, my accent was funny, my swag, everything, you could just tell I was a foreigner,” she says, laughing. “I was 14 but I was a baby [at] 14, the other kids were like 14 going on 27. People grow up faster here, everyone was way more advanced than me.” Nonetheless, it didn’t take Allen long to adjust. “I had really thick skin so even when I knew I didn't fit in I just got on with it,” she tells me. “As the months went on I started adjusting, started picking up the swag and the lingo. [The other kids] realised I wasn't having any of it. Any of what they were trying to chuck at me, I wasn't having it. I think they liked that about me, that I wasn't really scared of anything. Before the year was done I was one of the most popular kids in school! The turnaround was crazy – I thought I was gonna hate that school for the rest of my life.” This confidence and comfort in being unequivocally herself shines through in Allen’s personality. In terms of flow, she switches between grime and UK rap as effortlessly as she does from a London accent to patois, and she attributes

her musical versatility to her diverse upbringing: “I don't have a sense of division in my music. I'm always open to try new stuff and different styles. Growing up in two different places opens your mind to two different cultures and two different ways of living. It helps make my music more broad rather than being just one sound.”

Words: Niloufar Haidari Photography: Elliot Kennedy

Allen put herself on the UK music map with a series of remixes and cameos, rising to fame in 2015 with her take on Lady Leshurr’s #LUKATAR and a gender-flipped version of Section Boyz’s Lock Arff. Arguably, both go even harder than the originals. Going on to collaborate with everyone from Lethal Bizzle, Giggs and most famously Chicago RnB star Jeremih on the London track for his Late Nights: Europe mixtape, she dropped her first solo track accompanied by its video – full of bad bitches having a good time together – last November. Titled Real Ting, it shares a name with her debut mixtape, which dropped a month later after a year of steadily increasing hype around the then blue-haired artist. Real Ting went to number four on the iTunes hip-hop chart after being streamed over three million times in the first month of its release. True to her word, the mixtape sees Allen switching between sensual bashment (Tight Nooki), fierce rap (16 Shots) and smooth RnB (Gangsta), including Jeremih, Donae’o and Abra Cadabra as featured guests. Despite dabbling in hairdressing and cake-making before she began to take rapping seriously at 19, Allen is adamant that she always knew she wanted to be a musician. Growing up, she looked up to Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown, Missy Elliott and Destiny’s Child. “Missy,

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“Four sugars and no milk please,” booms Stefflon Don when asked if she’d like a cup of tea as she arrives at our photo shoot. The peculiarly nonBritish tea preference is a reminder that the ascendant artist, real name Stephanie Allen, spent much of her youth living outside of he UK.


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“If you don't like what I put out, I don't really care. I’m not here to please anyone”

the way she used to do her videos, the stuff she used to come out with, everything was so unique,” Allen tells me. “I feel like the most unique people always stood out to me, the people who just said whatever was on their mind.” The influence of such charismatic artists is arguably central to the widespread appeal of Stefflon Don. Allen's rise to fame has been fast, with a set at Glastonbury under her belt before she had signed a record deal or even released an official single. “I think people nowadays love realness,” she muses, “they can see through fake, they can tell when someone styles you and you didn't like it but you still went ahead and did it. Everyone wants to be themselves and everyone wants to feel comfortable, and if you can project that and make them feel like they can be themselves, I feel like that's a good thing. I think that's what I probably give off. Do you, always do you. When it all comes crashing down, you don't want it to all crash down and it was never you. Then you're just fucked.”

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As is (depressingly) the norm with a female artist who is unapologetically confident and growls lines like “pussy too good to fuck for free” whilst surrounded by beautiful women having fun, the comments under her work are often like a lesson in boring misogyny 101. Has she reached the point where she’s stopped paying attention? “No, I love reading my comments!” she laughs, “If I love something I put up, there's nothing you can say to make me feel any way different. If I didn't like it and

someone commented on it then it might affect me, but if I love everything that I put out it doesn't affect me, no one can affect me. If you don't like it I don't really care, that's up to you. It's not about you. I'm not here to please anyone. You probably don't have any money, or a job. You don't have a good life otherwise you wouldn't be on Youtube commenting negatively on people's videos.” With co-signs from Drake, a place on the BBC’s Sound of 2017 list and a track on XL Recording’s New Gen compilation – curated by tastemaker and former GRM Daily editor Caroline Simionescu-Mari – under her belt already, what’s next for Stefflon Don? “I've gotta live up to the expectations and bring some real shit, some more real shit – I know I'm gonna release an album at some point, when I'm not sure. Maybe the end of this year. But I've got music ready for whatever - whatever the world wants from me I got it!” Does she still bake cakes? “Not really, I don't have much time” she laughs, “I don't think I got the sauce anymore”. And finally: who she would like to collaborate with in the future? Drake? Nicki Minaj? “Ed Sheeran,” she tells me with a giggle, “I wanna wine on him on stage or something”. Grime’s favourite white boy with a guitar could definitely do worse. Stefflon Don appears at MADE Festival, Birmingham, 29 July


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Dirty Projectors:

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Words: Francis Blagburn Photography: Juan José Ortiz Stylist: Cristina Planelles Stylist's Assistant: Cristina Alguacil

My own memories of immersing myself in Longstreth’s music are prefixed by years of skirting around it due to this misconception. Everything I’d heard about Dirty Projectors – who were emblematic of an adventurous spirit among US indie bands in the 00s – emphasised labyrinthine inaccessibility; I pictured Arcade Fire in a library, and was put off. But I’ve discovered that the overly-intellectual sound I’d imagined was a caricature of Dirty Projectors’ music, especially with this new selftitled record, the first Projectors album for five years. Speaking to Longstreth over a Transatlantic phone call on a rain soaked London evening (and a wintery LA morning), my preconceptions of him melt away. Now more than ever, he seems happy to talk frankly, a sentiment that’s audible on the new record. Which is fortunate, because the new record is a personal one, focusing on developments with the line-up of the band and his break-up with former bandmate Amber Coffmann. But is the Dirty Projectors LP a statement of unremitting despair? Longstreth argues not. “For me the album says ‘yes,’” he says. “It affirms love. It affirms hope. It's not a bleak thing or a hopeless statement.”

With tender songs like Little Bubble and the hopeful sense of resolution on closing track I See You, it’s a valid interpretation. But there’s also a huge amount of pain on the album which Longstreth sings of in honest terms. The changing nature of the line-up is something of a sombre topic. “It's always been reforming around the songs,” Longstreth says. “It's been that way since when I started it, but the last couple records have seen a stabilisation of the line-up. I'm a little bit surprised by how people are like ‘ok this is business as usual,’” he says, in regard to the record being made by himself alone, “and I understand how there are other people who miss the version of the band that came before; Amber and Nat and everyone. They're incredible musicians. Great, compelling.” Here, his words break down. “I get pretty bummed about it. I'm making an album that I have to make.” Dirty Projectors is an album which pours out these feelings with naked language, and the difficulty of the breakup is not glazed over. The bluntness of the opening line alone, (“I don’t know why you abandoned me”) is a far cry from the poetic, non-literal lyricism he used to embrace. It’s part of a broader shift in Longstreth’s approach to songwriting. “I've learned so much from collaborations,” he explains. “Producing the Bombino record [Azel]. Working with Kanye and Solange. I couldn't have made the album without any or all of those people, they informed a different approach.”

Shirt: YMC Suit: Libertine Libertine Belt: R M Williams Shoes: John Varvatos

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Over the course of the many albums David Longstreth has released, he’s come to be seen as being a little aloof. As the de facto leader – and now sole member – of Dirty Projectors, Longstreth’s tendency to write polyrhythmic songs with multi-part melodies has encouraged the idea of a highly technical and unreachable mind; a kind of Mozart of American indie rock.


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“For me the new album says yes. It affirms love. It's not a bleak thing or a hopeless statement”

Shirt: Soulland Coat & Trousers: Theory Over coat: Amour Belt: R M Williams Shoes: John Varvatos

From the sound of the album, Longstreth seems to have opened up the Dirty Projectors formula to drink in a broader range of music. Single Cool Your Heart features vocals from the RnB star Dawn Richard, who has entered an experimental chapter in her career as D∆WN. The influence of Kanye West, who Longstreth worked with on Rihanna and Paul McCartney collaboration FourFiveSeconds, is also faintly present. Keep Your Name features an 808 and Heartbreaks-style sultry beat alongside an eyebrow-raising quasi-rap section (though if this had to be compared to one rap icon, it would probably be Kendrick.) Longstreth also sings about listening to Kanye on Up in Hudson, and Work Together references his own approach to music making in a way that resembles the stories about Kanye’s hyper-intense approach to work: “Complex plans and high ideals/ But he treats people poorly/ Is his ceaseless ambitiousness proxy for a void he’s ignoring?” When asked about what it was like to work with Kanye, Longstreth is straightforward. “Yeah, supercool, his level of commitment to what he was doing, in the moment [was amazing].” 

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He’s equally praiseworthy of Solange, who he’s known since she covered Stillness of the Move, which appeared on the Dirty Projectors’ album Bitte Orca. It’s a song that’s intricately tied to his feelings for Coffmann, who cowrote it with him, as eluded to on the new LP: ‘Maybe I could be with you/ do the things that lovers do/ slightly domesticate the truth/ and write you Stillness is the Move,’ Longstreth sings on Up in Hudson. “It was 2009, before Bitte Orca,” he remembers fondly of Solange’s cover. “She covered it in the

next weeks or months, and we played a little show with her that summer in New York, at a party for fashion week which is happening [again] right now. We played a version of that song Tell Me by Groove Theory. There's a guy part that comes in at the end of that song. I had so much fun trying to harmonise.” Longstreth would go on to be a guest producer on Solange’s A Seat at the Table, and she co-wrote Cool Your Heart. At some point in Longstreth’s career, a fog was cleared. “I was happy with lyrics that were oblique and opened up a variety of meaning,” he says, “[but] I've realised that songs that stick with me as a listener, as a human, are the ones that tell stories and draw on the experience of the writer.” On Dirty Projectors there’s a sense of freedom in his ability to express himself. And even if some of those emotions are hard to digest, at least he doesn’t have to hide them. “This is something that I learned from working on these collaborations with people who have a real strong vision for pop,” Longstreth concludes. “Having a mental picture, working towards an image. That's what you're working towards; you don't need to be led by the music. The music is the wheels you're spinning to get to the picture. That helped me feel a little less beholden to what the music was telling me to do. It gave me a different sense of who the boss was.” Dirty Projectors is out now via Domino


Produced exclusively for Crack Magazine by Tom Abbiss Smith - www.tomabbisssmithart.com


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Jay

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Words: Rob McCallum Photography: Vivek Vadoliya Styling: Charlotte Moss

It’s 2002 in the Wayne County area of Detroit and Jay Daniel is in trouble with Miss Cope, his seventh-grade teacher at the Detroit Academy for Science, Maths and Technology. It’s a repeated issue, as he’s spent the last five minutes making beats on his desk using only his hands. It’s something he would spend a large part of his young life doing – after starting to play the drums at the age of four – and carry through to his adult life. Now 26, he’s widely known as a discerning producer of percussive led yet rough edged homegrown American house music, all built around the inimitable sound of an Akai MPC2500. His first EP, Scorpio Rising, landed in late 2013 on Detroit legend Theo Parrish’s Sound Signature, whilst his second came the following year, a double-pack 12” on close friend Kyle Hall’s Wild Oats label, titled Karmatic Equations. He then went on to feature on Abyss on FunkinEven’s Discipline EP on Apron Records, before launching his own Watusi High label in Spring 2015 with his School Dance EP. They were a varied collection of releases that suggested an artist not wanting to be confined to straight-forward house but, following the inaugural release on his new label, everything went quiet. Daniel maintained his busy touring schedule, DJing at parties across the globe, but in his downtime would spend extended periods in the studio he’s put together in his mother’s basement at home in the Highland Park area of Detroit. The resulting recording dropped on Ninja Tune imprint Technicolour at the back end of last year, with Broken Knowz providing one of the most intriguing listens of 2016. Weaving jazz, soul, funk, hip-hop and myriad other sounds into his production, it took the blueprint of his more club orientated tracks but shifted the attention away from the dancefloor and onto its intricacies.

“I was just trying to kick open the door and remind people what time it is,” Daniel says about his debut full-length. “I could have done a traditional house album, but I wanted to experiment. That’s given people a lot more about me as an artist, and has opened the door for me to go in whatever direction I choose now.” I speak to Daniel as he’s sat backstage the Corsica Studios venue in South London, and he’s reflecting on the point that he realised he’d hit something special whilst recording Paradise Valley and Knowledge of Selfie from Broken Knowz. “They’re where I really hit the nail on the head for where I want to be musically,” he enthuses. “I was totally sober and remember just thinking, ‘Damn. I’m really feeling this.’ But the album feels like the tip of the iceberg, as I still have a lot more to say based on that sound.” And Broken Knowz marks a distinct shift in approach to recording that Daniel says he is now taking into the club tracks he’s working on in the studio. Disillusioned with the constraints of drum programming and its deficiencies in translating human emotion, he began recording his live drumming into a multitrack mixer. The result is a combination of deep grooves and percussive workouts that he says are born from “subconsciously studying” the jazz he was listening to in the lead up to making his debut. Reading science fiction and afrofuturist writers like Samuel R. Delany and Zadie Smith informs Daniel’s music too (“It helps me distance myself from things going on around me in everyday living”), and the result on Broken Knowz is a body of work with a much stronger narrative than what’s expected of most electronic music LPs. “It’s about colonialism,” he says on the subject matter of the album. “The

role it plays on black music and the commodification of it. So Broken Knowz is me protesting that, using the platform I have. If you look through history, black music has been the pioneer for pretty much ever genre; rock and roll, soul, funk, whatever. And there’s a fine line between appreciating black music and respecting it, black people, and the art that comes from them, and then just making money off it.” Broken Knowz is embellished with references to this theme too. The title is a reference to the Her Em Akhet, the Sphinx from ancient Egyptian times that some believe had its nose destroyed by British troops. The album’s press release also states that the title references the knowledge stolen from Africa by Europeans, whilst opening track Last Of The Dogons is a nod to the Malian tribe of the same name, who were linked to the ancient Egyptians and scientists discovered were astrologically way ahead of their time in the 70s. Elsewhere, Paradise Valley was a neighborhood in Detroit that served as an entertainment and business hub of densely populated African-American residential area that people that had migrated from the south through the first half of the 20th century, until it was destroyed by the I75 highway in the 1950s. Niiko is Somali dance, and Yemaya a goddess in Yoruba culture, a Nigerian tribe that uses drums to call on ancestors. “You can use music as your shield to protect yourself,” Daniel explains. “And money can’t replace that. With the album, I wanted to challenge the theory that everything has to fit into a genre in order to be marketed. For me stepping out of that realm is freedom, and a healing thing.” But despite breaking the mould of what’s come before from him, Broken Knowz is still indebted to the burgeoning Detroit scene he

is part of, which has also recently spawned Kyle Hall – who Daniel runs his Fundamentals party with in the city – as well as Generation Next and John FM. These are all artists Daniel says will continue to shift attention back to Detroit’s house music scene, which is in his blood as his mother was the vocalist on Carl Craig-produced Planet-E classics Stars and Feel the Fire in the early 90s. For 2017, Daniel tells me that he’s focused on pushing the Watusi High label he launched in 2015 with his School Dance EP, using the exposure for Broken Knowz as a springboard to push the imprint to a wider audience. He hopes to use this as a platform for up and coming artists in Detroit that aren’t getting the support they deserve, as well as his own material. “It all comes from the spirit of Detroit,” he says of his productions. “And this next generation is definitely starting to turn heads.” Looking to the future Daniel also says that he’s been busy working on a live show, performing his music with other musicians, as well the upcoming releases on his label. “There’s no pressure on any of it though,” he concludes. “As right now, I’m exactly where I need to be.” Broken Knowz is available now via Technicolour


052 Jacket: Stussy Under jacket: Norse Projects Trousers: Our Legacy Cap: Stone Island X Supreme

MUSIC


053 Hoodie: Blanks Factory Varsity: Supreme New York Trousers: Vans

MUSIC

“You can use music as your shield to protect yourself. And money can’t replace that”


054 Cosey Fanni Tutti

Words: Augustin Macellari

COUM Transmissions:

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055 ART

“Communicating with people is what it was all about. We didn’t need to frame it around some definition of fine art”


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Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

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“When the establishment mutates to become more tolerant of alternative views of life, even then it’s still rooted in corruption at a very deep level”

with a lifetime’s practice behind each of them, they were mind-blowing. Cosey sat calmly before a projection, pumping out her soundscapes as women’s faces warped and twisted, family photos bled into street scenes and dogs mutated in the murky visuals behind her.

Among these is the East Yorkshire city’s tidal barrier, a huge structure built to prevent tidal surges into the River Hull, which has been customised with some interactive light art. Called City Speaks, words spoken into a nearby mic are electronically transcribed, then beamed up one of the barrier’s towers in gigantic digital text. It’s a gamble, giving Hull’s residents a voice and trusting them not to say horrible things with it. In the city centre, meanwhile, a 75-metrelong wind turbine blade has been lifted into place. It was the first one to be made in a nearby Siemens factory and juts completely across Queen Victoria Square into the air like a big bone.

Genesis, meanwhile, was a striking presence, with blonde hair to h/er shoulders, giant lips, and a head torch shining like a third eye on h/er forehead. “Memory,” s/he murmured. “Let’s talk about memory.” S/he was hypnotic; spoken word in a singsong voice that muttered, crooned and growled. I became so entangled in h/er words that I was lost, snapping-to after half an hour, back into the venue to look around at other transfixed faces.

At the Humber Street Gallery, meanwhile, in Hull’s freshly defibrillated ‘Fruit Market cultural quarter,’ visitors are invited to consider memory. The gallery plays host to the first major survey of COUM Transmissions – the pioneering and extreme performance art/work/lifestyle that eventually mutated into the industrial music and visual arts group Throbbing Gristle, launching the careers of two of the UK’s most radical artists: Cosey Fanni Tutti and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. The pair performed on the opening night – separately, though on the same bill – and participated in a panel discussion with other former COUM members the following day. Onstage,

(Some context may be required here. In 1993, P-Orridge began a welldocumented project of transition, alongside h/er wife Lady Jaye. The transition was not from their respective birth gender assignations, but rather a shot at transcendence; a surgical expression of love so deep the couple were compelled to step away from their individual identities, towards unity in one another as the Pandrogyne. As a consequence of the project, which has not been abandoned in spite of the sad passing of Lady Jaye in 2007, Genesis prefers s/he as a pronoun and, as a rule, refers to h/erself as “we”.) Styling itself as a retrospective, the Humber Street Gallery show is more of a survey. It presents snippets from the COUM Transmissions archive: photos, paperwork, notes, doodles, letters, film and the odd artefact. There are also talking heads: video interviews with

members of the group filmed especially for the purpose of illuminating the content of the exhibition. COUM Transmissions ran from 1969 to 1976, across two cities – Hull and London. Initiated by Genesis, after an out-of-body experience in the back of h/er parents’ car whilst driving through the Welsh countryside, the collective set out to test the limits of creative expression, and question the legitimacy of those limits in the first place. Things, as you might expect, took a dark turn. This is tracked in the exhibition in a shift from colour documentation to black-and-white. “It was quite frivolous at the beginning, and very colourful,” Cosey remembers, over the phone from her home in Norfolk. “Joyful, in a way. But even that in its own right at that time was confrontational, because it wasn’t a good time to be out on the streets doing things that were unusual.” The collective was comprised of marginalised or peripheral figures, glued together with Genesis’s guidance and charisma. After a hellish time at a private school in Warwickshire, which s/he pinpoints as responsible for h/er lifelong rejection of any kind of human authority, Genesis spent a brief period at university in Hull (where s/he was declared to be the UK’s most promising young poet by Philip Larkin) before dropping out and moving to a commune called the Exploding Galaxy in London. The commune encouraged relentless self-analysis through peer review, and imposed a depersonalisation programme centred on the disruption of routine. Clothes were shared communally, and no one was allowed to

sleep in the same place two nights in a row. Genesis left, had h/er out-of-body experience and returned to Hull where s/he met Cosey at an ‘acid test’ party, and began to implement the lessons of the Exploding Galaxy. “In Hull we were definitely having fun, and making fun,” Genesis tells me. The group’s early actions were “about analysing the future options of the self: maximum potential”. The colour photos on the walls of the gallery testify to the playfulness of COUM’s early exploration. Cosey made the group costumes, each of which took on its own identity – became a skin for participants to step into and share. The pictures record hippies in macs and buttons, pushing prams and engaging a bemused public in street theatre. The material on show becomes heavier as it plots the collective’s more insistent probing at the border of personal and public. Cosey and Genesis left Hull in 1973 and headed to London, where they used sex and tampax to assert their indignation at socially constructed shame. Videos in the exhibition show Genesis gamely wanking, or stripping down and pissing into a bottle, brazen attempts at examining the dark honesty of the private in the glaring, conservative light of the public. Cosey, meanwhile, experimented with her own personal boundaries as a nude model. In 1976 COUM’s efforts culminated in Prostitution, an exhibition at the ICA that acted as a retrospective of the work of the collective. The show, infamous for featuring pornographic images of Cosey and a variety of

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This year, Hull is the UK’s City of Culture, and it’s taking its duties extremely seriously. Millions have been raised and spent. And with a special focus on legacy, high-profile installations and interventions have been made around the city.


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“COUM was just one step in a lifetime’s cultural conflict with the status quo”

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

bloodied props, is still considered one of the most controversial exhibitions in British art history. The show whipped the tabloids up into a froth, MPs raged about it in the Commons, and it left COUM with nowhere else to go. “With that amount of notoriety we were kind of stuck,” Genesis says. “Because if we carried on doing things that were intuitive, it would seem like spectacle and be viewed as spectacle.” Though by the standards of the day they clearly transgressed, transgression was never what motivated them. Rather than cause offense, they sought to engage deeply with creativity, and through that to question. “When you work so intensely with yourself in the way that I did you tend to think that it’s normal, because it’s your own little world,” Cosey explains. “It’s only when you get out into public that you realise, actually, people think this is a bit odd.” For all the material on display in the Humber Street Gallery, there are remarkably few artworks. If you were to measure COUM Transmissions by the standards of conventional art exhibitions, the retrospective could be considered a disappointment. What it offers, rather, is a two-layered perspective on the endeavour and times of a group who shocked society in a way that now seems impossible.

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The exhibition presents nostalgia and memory side by side; the talking heads gush with sentiment as they recount their experiences as members of COUM. They are balanced by the

frankness and objectivity of the archive, which, like memory, contains holes – gaps, negative spaces where the art should be. It’s interesting to think about whether Hull’s City of Culture programme’s proud showcasing of COUM Transmissions represents a success, or a failure. The group worked tirelessly to challenge society’s boundaries; does its newfound spot in the bosom of the institution demonstrate its struggles were a triumph? That it made a difference and legitimised the questioning it engaged in as acceptable part of social discourse? Or, did the institution simply expand enough to smother, label and dis-empower fringe actions? “Communicating with people is what it was all about,” Cosey argues. “We didn’t need to frame it around some fine art definition of fine art… It’s just that now the art world has recognised what we do. Everything has caught up with us, if you like.” Genesis goes further. “There’s obviously a brief, but pleasant, vindication that what was written off across the board as degenerate insanity is now appreciated as actually having meaning and reasoning within it,” s/he says. “[But] even when the establishment mutates, and sometimes it appears to become more beneficent, understanding and more tolerant of alternative views of life, even then it’s still rooted in corruption at a very deep level. And therefore its accolades and

its negative criticism are equally invalid, by nature of its moral corruption.” These answers go a little way towards further invalidating the show’s formal success, at the same time as reinforcing its importance. While formally fairly incoherent, this exhibition offers an invaluable portrait of a sort of philosophy of protest; a willingness to explore alternative modes and systems of living, and to question orthodoxy, of a sort that can't really exist in an age where the establishment has come to shield itself, taking cover behind the cooly ironic detachment of its citizens.

What’s more, COUM is far from the pinnacle of either Genesis or Cosey’s achievements. It was a beginning, not an end. An environment in which two unique artists began to define their parameters and hone their techniques. As such, maybe the exhibition shouldn’t be approached as a retrospective, so much as an introduction. For Genesis, “COUM was just one step in a lifetime’s cultural conflict with the status quo.” This show, s/he therefore declares, is simply “a snapshot of a beginning of a war of attrition between creativity and dogma.” COUM Transmissions runs at Humber Street Gallery, Hull, until 22 March


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Klein

Photography: Dexter Lander Styling: Victoria Higgs  Hair: Virginie P Moreira  Make Up: Riona O’Sullivan  Photographer’s Assistants: Wilbert Lati + Léo D’oriano  Stylist’s Assistant: Geri Doherty  Words: Niloufar Haidari

“I wish we had a smoke machine” Klein muses as I walk into the eccentrically decorated ex-council flat that’s serving as today's shoot location. The “accidental” experimental musician moves effortlessly between looks, channelling glam aunty meets X-Files for the Tumblr generation: pink wraparound sunglasses, jewel-toned satin shirts and a table of (imitation) diamonds on standby. Right now she’s wearing a floor length robe the colour of a Cadbury’s Roses toffee wrapper and holding a cup of tea. Klein was raised in South London, and although much of the commentary around her has focused on her Pentecostal Nigerian upbringing, she’s ready for a change of narrative. “I'm kind of over people constantly referring to my Nigerian heritage,” she tells me. ‘I'm more British than fucking James Blake and I don't hear people talking about where he's from. Can the angle just be that I'm sick?”

STYLE

Klein started making music almost by accident. Acting on an interest in field recording, she would layer sounds recorded on her phone then distort them beyond recognition. Since then she’s inadvertently gatecrashed the experimental electronic music scene with her fiercely weird sound and her unusual artwork. Although she laughs at the fact that her music is technically

not electronic at all. “I layer it up and finalise it on a computer but most of the sounds themselves are recordings of me playing instruments and making samples from that,” she explains. “I've never used a preset in my life, that's all I'm saying.” In fact it’s only recently that Klein has even accepted herself as a musician. “I was in so much denial about the fact that I was making music. I used to cuss my friend Jacob [Samuel] and be like ‘Jacob you luuuurrrvve making music, you're such a neek’. Then suddenly one day about three months ago I was like, wait, I love making music!” Does she see any correlation between her music and her style? “I'd say that nothing seems real,” she says. “Especially with my music anyway: elements of it seem classical but also not, parts of it are like, off, and it's the same with me. On the recent [Lagata] EP, where I'm singing I follow the formula of writing a pop song but then layer it with something that's maybe more dark." With the Porta Lewis project, the "ultimate girl group" that Klein recruited via Facebook, this process is laid bare. On their yeah we're about release, the trio's crooning harmonies and chatter are chopped up, distorted and refined into a sublime and queasy collage. "My music has all these elements that mean you can't really

pinpoint why you like it,” Klein says, “and I think it's the same with my look.” There’s a regal feel to Klein’s style, and she says she’s really into “classical 18th century looks fused with modern stuff” at the moment. Though when it comes to style icons, Brandy, Britney and Christina are the names that roll off her tongue. “I like that they distinguish between how they dress for shows and music videos and how they dress for themselves. I can relate to that because I feel like me on an everyday basis is very low-key and casual but with Klein and doing shows, I wouldn't say it's super out-there but it's more dramatic, more glam, more ethereal.” With confidence and a taste for glamour, not only is Klein sure she’s headed for the Grammy’s – “it’s not if I get nominated, it’s when” – she’s already got her outfit planned too. “I'd keep it really simple: fitted ball gown, boob tube, nice diamond choker, hair slicked across the eye so I can't see anyone that's pissing me off.” klein1997.bandcamp.com


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062 Coat : Art School Earring: Slim Barrett

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063 STYLE

Earring: Slim Barrett Top: Contemporary Wardrobe Jacket: Stylist’s Own


064 Top: Vivienne Westwood

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Vintage Jacket: Cenci Choker: Klein’s Own


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Top: Vivienne Westwood


067 STYLE

Dress: MARIEYAT Jacket: Stylist’s Own Earrings: Slim Barrett


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Live

Words: Dan Cole + Josie Thaddeus-Johns Photography: Camille Blake + Andres Bucci

CTM 2017 Various Venues, Berlin 27 January - 5 February

Pushing for emotive responses within experimental contexts can be challenging. And often we fear what we don’t understand. Continuing to challenge a city with a high demand for boundary-pushing art will always be difficult, and ensuring that there’s heightened diversity and inclusivity across the CTM programme is of increasing importance.

And across the nine days, the festival delivers on its promise to champion diversity. Perhaps most significant of the events is the special collaborative project with NON Worldwide – the politically-charged, nationdefying collective who hold down a three-night residency titled The Great Disappointment. In collaboration with acclaimed choreographer Ligia Lewis, their residency intertwines with radical forms of musical and physical expression. The opening concert with Nora Turato and Tanya Tagaq explores similar themes. Turato stalks out onto the stage in stilettos and a tuxedo. And then she starts talking. A confrontational semi-rap, her phrases rush out in a slick mess, alternating between Holzeristic aphorisms and lifestyle-blogger platitudes. Her delivery is confrontational and weird, as she awkwardly and aggressively trespasses into the rows of audience seats in HAU1. Tanya Tagaq opens her show by telling the audience how depressed she is at the state

of the world. She performs traditional Inuk throat-singing that she grew up with from her home in the Inuit community in Nunavut, Canada. Her band adds screeching and elemental electronics, strings and drums, all improvised directly for the occasion, but Tagaq’s voice is by far the most affecting instrument onstage. She appears to be directly connected to the power of the Earth, harnessing it into guttural, flowing sounds. Excitingly, the legendary Genesis Breyer P-Orridge performs spoken-word that’s accompanied by Wolf Eyes’ Aaron Dilloway. The performance is filled with occultist symbolism and sounds from beyond the realms of reason (and reality). Later that night, and we’re drawn to the powerhouse of RnB and bass music at YAAM. It’s a night where women rule, and leftfield Vancouver rapper Tommy Genesis steals the show. The Awful Records mainstay curses with fury, owning the stage and summoning respect from the ever-attentive crowd. Not to be

outdone, the night also provides a stage to rising UK emcee Nadia Rose, who’s followed up by Israeli dancehall artist Miss Red and the low-frequency bass-oscillations of The Bug’s soundsystem. The Bug’s collaboration with Earth’s Dylan Carlson was also hotly anticipated. Taking place on the last day of the festival, we arrive to catch the final, fleeting moments of Stara Rzeka’s opening set. His gentle, folky voice gives way to drawn out, single-note metal chugs wrapped in unwavering ambient detritus. It’s hard to say whether the sound comes from a guitar or something on his electronics-strewn table. Heartfelt applause was responded with heartfelt thanks, before a swift changeover sees Kevin Martin and Dylan Carson take their places. They each take and stretch out the composite parts of their chosen genres, melding them into a looping, droning whole as the roving spotlight behind them refuses to acknowledge the giant disco

ball rotating silently against the darkened coving. A brief saunter up Karl-Marx Straße finds us at SchwuZ, the venue for CTM 2017’s last dance. It’s a sprawling warehouse complex, that in tonight’s iteration features a vast main room and a drastically smaller, more compact, more industrial second space. The night’s theme centres around the vague and amorphous concept of deconstructed club music, with Negroma, Toxe, Ziúr and Marie Davidson all providing their own visceral, slamming interpretations across both rooms.  Undoubtedly, the highlight is MikeQ’s performance alongside the Berlin Voguing Out collective. The capacity of the main room swells in anticipation as he takes to the decks, delivering a concentrated volley of pummelling kicks and crashing Ha samples before the members of voguing collective stride across the stage. Within

minutes the dancefloor has been split down the middle and a makeshift runway is created. As BVO co-founder Mic Oala works the mic, members of the collective work the floor alongside those plucked from the surrounding throng. It’s a transformative, inclusive and celebratory end to the festival, and an emotive reminder of the Love in this year’s CTM theme.

REVIEWS

For 18 years now, Berlin’s CTM festival has been championing adventurous music and art. The sprawling programme of installations, club nights and specially commissioned shows prides itself on bridging the gaps between wildly experimental, global scenes. While 2016’s title 'New Geographies' neatly summarised their ethos, advocating a borderless approach on a continent where doors are closing in response to the refugee crisis, this year’s theme captured the feelings of our current socio-political landscape: Fear, Anger, Love.


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Live

WILEY The Roundhouse 9 February

Tucked away between Bristol’s Cabot Circus shopping mall and the city’s liberally-minded Stokes Croft area, The Surrey Vaults pub is an important DIY space where exciting things can – and often do – happen. On any given night you might find DJs playing Oi-punk, skate film screenings, or ear-splitting experimental noise blaring from its intimate upstairs room. Tonight the venue hosts Carla dal Forno, whose LP You Know What It’s Like was one of Blackest Ever Black’s stand-out releases last year. The upstairs room is packed to the rafters – quite literally, with people clambering onto benches and spilling up the staircase for a better view. Carla dal Forno stands below a tasselled lampshade lit by a single orange bulb. Opening with a wave-break of white noise, the show begins with What You Gonna Do Now? The close confines of the room lend the performance a real immediacy, with each repetition shifting the refrain from rhetorical to interrogative. During You Know What It’s Like's title track Carla dal Forno’s vocals swirl in and out of the mix, sometimes obscured by reverb and cacophonous drums, but for the following track – a cover of Blue Morning by cult New Zealand folk group The Kiwi Animal – her voice cuts through bell-clear. Carla dal Forno often simultaneously evokes a sense of both glassy-eyed detachment and closeness in her delivery. Back downstairs after the set , the mood soon eases back into the atmosphere of the Friday night pub fug. But for a moment there, during the closing lines of Fast Moving Cars , the crowd are totally transfixed.

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! Ben Horton Danny Nedelko

SONIC ACTS FESTIVAL Various Venues, Amsterdam 23–26 February This year’s Sonic Acts – titled The Noise of Being – asked what it means to be human in an ever-changing network; how our bodies sense and perceive. Spread over four days, this year’s edition of the Amsterdam festival kept its audience shifting, rotating, and reversing around the normalised ideas we all share. To open, the festival took us to De School for a line-up challenging the definition of noise itself. The turbulent volume of JK Flesh, Violence, Emptyset and Aisha Devi created a wormhole of sensory overload: sound being unrestrained and released as a physical force of rhythm and texture. Following this, Donna Haraway: Story Telling For Earthly Survival, a documentary portrait by Fabrizio Terranova, captured a thread that ran throughout Sonic Acts’ packed conference and film programme. Welcoming us into her home, Haraway explained that imagination is our best way of thinking. Her thoughts mirrored Sonic Acts’ Speculative Fiction panel, discussing how we can see science fiction and storytelling as a reflection of the now. The speakers – Laurie Penny on the importance of fan-fiction and politics as science fiction, Ytasha Womack on Afrofuturism and Daniel Rourke on men and monsters in John Carpenter’s The Thing – all explored ways that self-development and social change are ignited by these fantasies. Saturday night’s schedule at Progress Bar was a highlight, reconsidering the club space with Bruxist Mirror IV: the interactive VR installation by designer Sam Rolfes. Taking place in the crowded basement, it enjoyed a constant flux of hyped up bodies ready to engage in a warped reality. Upstairs held a curation of artists who each follow a strikingly singular outlook: the alien transmissions of Klein under a huge LED strip, God Colony with the giant persona of collaborator Flohio punching around stage, and the enigmatic Adamn Killa and Killavesi. Billed alongside the likes of Le1f and DJ Marfox, the night excelled for also saluting its local underground figures: An Ni, Lyzza, Yon Eta and Wartone. Spread across the festival’s evening schedule was a collaborative project with the Stedelijk Museum. It explored archives of two avant-garde composers: Maryanne Amacher and Martin Bartlett. On the weekend of what would have been Amacher’s 79th birthday, four interpretations of her work came to life in full volume. Closing the festival was the premier of Glaswegian filmmaker Luke Fowler’s Electro-Pythagorus: A Portrait of Martin Bartlett, an intimate discovery of the Canadian experimental artist that too few of us know. In the end, the festival asked more questions than it answered – tracing the patterns of a world in flux, we have a strong suspicion that was its aim.

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! Jo Kali Pieter Kers

! Tomas Fraser N Ashley Verse

Sonar Reyk javik Harpa, Reykjavik 16–18 February Lying just outside of the Arctic Circle, Iceland is a place that you expect to find covered in snow in mid-February. In fact, grey sheets of rain lashed the menacing volcanic geology that the nation is famous for as we arrived for Sonar Reykjavik. Now in its fifth year, the event is housed in the twinkling Harpa concert hall in the stylish downtown area of the city. The suspiciously British climate didn’t go unnoticed – the locals were genuinely distressed that the freakishly warm weather (while parts of Australia on the other side of the world baked in record temperatures) had robbed them of the winter that makes Iceland the unique, frozen, imposing paradise that it is. But if the snowmobiles were parked up for the season, the Sonar line-up, spread across four floors of the concert hall (including a carpark), offered an abundance of distractions from the no-winter blues. Sonar Reykjavik is a slickly run festival in a city (and a country) that continues to punch above its weight creatively and culturally, more than doing justice to the Sonar name that is as much about the diversity of the programming as it is a recurring style or genre. True to Sonar tradition, the three days of programming crammed in an eclectic range of artists. Local Icelandic acts were scattered throughout the schedules – Halldór Eldjárn and his robotic drum whipped up a gentle rhythmic storm, while the dark-side, spacey trap of sxsxsx got two airings in one evening, the second to replace Nadia Rose, whose flight couldn’t land in the fog smothering the island. Down in the car park, the sounds were darker: after a drilling by the monotone majesty of Ben Klock on the Thursday, both Helena Hauff and Blawan B2B Exos stepped up to shake the foundations on Friday. Hauff – now surely one of the hottest tickets going – carved a path through taut, gothic electro, while Blawan and Icelandic veteran Exos pummelled their way through a set that was somehow dripping in style despite being executed at a thousand miles an hour. With a raft of Icelandic and international hip-hop in the programme, rappers were well represented. The playful intensity of Tommy Genesis landed a big crowd on the first night, with the bravado of Execute’s ‘I’d rather be snake than a ladder’ getting a welcome encore. Hearing De La Soul’s hits first hand was still a treat, but frustratingly extended call and response sections rendered the performance more pantomime than privilege. The unexpected highlight, though, was a raucous and life-affirming set by the techno experimentalist Vatican Shadow. To a room seated in a cinema style, he whipped up the crowd into a reverential frenzy as he shook and jerked around the bank of equipment at the front of the auditorium. There’s something irresistibly decadent about leaping around in a cinema, and Vatican Shadow provided just the excuse to loseit in the aisles. ! Adam Corner N Berglaug Petra

REVIEWS

CARL A DAL FORNO The Surrey Vault s, Bristol 3 February

The surreal atmosphere at The Roundhouse suggested that this wasn’t your average grime gig. The venue was packed by 8pm, the crowd a mixture of young, wide-eyed teenagers and older, grumpier fans positioned towards the back of the room. For all the sense of occasion, the staging was modest, perhaps an ode to Wiley’s back-to-basics rhetoric. For him, it’s always been about being the best on the mic, not off it. Looking back, it’s probably the one thing that stopped him breaking the mainstream with the same force and momentum of contemporary artists like Stormzy. As Wiley took to the stage there was a huge roar from the crowd, before he launched straight into a barrage of new album tracks, rattling them off at a rate of knots, barely giving himself time to catch a breath. When he did, much of his interaction with the crowd was in relation to the special guests he had joining him — an exhaustive list of grime’s past, present and future. London had turned out for him. With Lethal Bizzle and Devlin – who he had welldocumented beef with in 200506 – the hatchet was buried live on stage, as both MCs saluted Wiley before taking their bows. Out of nowhere Skepta appeared on stage to perform Godfather track U Were Always, Pt.2, but the biggest moment of the night was reserved for Stormzy. It was perhaps symbolic that Stormzy was the only guest to perform his own material on the night too, the crowd going absolutely wild to new single Big For Your Boots and viral smash Shut Up, but Wiley didn’t seem too bitter. For the first time in his career, he seemed happy with his lot. Wherever his music goes from here, this was his legacy — played out live on stage. And he deserved every moment.


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06 RE AL ESTATE In Mind Domino BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE Don’t Get Lost A Recordings

As the rising swells of political division reared-up into a wave of poisonous polarisation in 2016, ‘the News’ morphed from being wince-inducing to terrifying and traumatic. The temptation to withdraw could be overwhelming. But the core message of Anohni’s Hopelessness – a sentiment inscribed on the album artwork – was: ‘don’t look away’. Hopelessness was an astonishingly articulate political critique, a wail of anguish, and a fizzling musical collaboration between Anohni’s unique songwriting and vocal style, and the righteous production of Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never. Titled Paradise, Anohni’s follow up EP is a companion piece that picks up the lyrical themes of her previous album – personal, spiritual and political struggle – and scatters their ashes across unrelenting production: darkly melodic, but ultimately caustic and unsettling. The title track welds a brittle but booming rhythm to Anohni’s despairing call-to-arms, and the stark, apocalyptic Jesus Will Kill You is a fiery, unforgiving rebuke to the cosy, warped moral assumptions of the self-appointed protectors of Western democracy: ‘burning oil fields, burning hope… your wealth predicated on the poverty of others,’ she sings. Maybe it goes without saying, but Paradise is a grim and intense listen. And for this reason, there will be those who understandably wonder whether that’s really what they need right now. But if Paradise isn’t an easy record, it is an important one. Post-Trump, Anohni’s message is even more potent. Don’t look away.

Real Estate have always been a band of continuity. Their strain of wistful, middle-American suburban-folk has never required colossal gear-shifts in order to reflect change. Instead, their maturations between albums have been subtle as they contemplate existence through gentle undulations. It’s notable then, that the New Jersey band have recently had to process the relatively major departure of their lead guitarist Matt Mondanile, who is now focusing on his Ducktails project. Mondanile, along with bassist Alex Bleeker and singer/guitarist Martin Courtney, was part of the trio of childhood friends that Real Estate was once centred around, and he’s now been replaced by another friend of the band, Julian Lynch. The test seems to have left Real Estate soul-searching. Yet In Mind finds them in unwavering confidence on an album which, while perhaps not the finest of their career, occasionally reaches delicate new heights. Picking up from their previous album Atlas, their nominally ‘laid-back’ sound offers more pathos than can be expected, as tracks like opener Darling or the winding Same Sun are stained with an idle melancholy. Mondanile’s exit also seems to have encouraged the band to experiment. The guitar-work is looser and at times harsher, and album closer Saturday features the rare use of plaintive piano. But it’s when they indulge the warm current of more familiar instrumentation that Real Estate truly soar. Romance is a drifting, laconic pursuit for Real Estate. Just as they lace guitars and humming synths with deft simplicity, so their lyrics prefer to profile the gentle strokes of the human heart with minimal fuss. Judging by In Mind, it’s this modest clarity that has enabled them to not only survive losing an integral player, but has also meant they still sound as quietly timeless some four albums and eight years after their debut LP. It stands to reason, there will always be space and time for speaking plainly.

Norfolk native Nathan Fake is part of a strain of adventurous British electronic producers such as Luke Abbott, James Holden and Aphex Twin. Born in mostly rural surroundings, these producers make melodic, glitchy electronica that’s sensitive to the environment that continues to mould them. In Fake’s case, that sensitivity is alluded to in the tracks that bookend his new album Providence, feelings 1 and feelings 2. The former is a jagged sequence of arpeggiated synths, while the latter is a dreamy, soothing bubbler. This album, which is Fake’s first LP in five years, feels like a cathartic exercise for the producer, a release of tensions that resolve in characteristically emotive ways. It charts a journey from a state of unrest to one of reconciliation. The title track, for instance, is hectic, shimmering, and feels shot through with anxiety, the Korg Prophecy synth Fake used for this album being pushed to its MIDI-90s limits. Similarly, HoursDaysMonthsSeasons feels full of semi-reverential foreboding, punctuated by kicked triplets that fade as the sense of danger grows. CONNECTIVITY is another highlight, a high tempo exercise in tonal intervals. It’s the sort of thing a hyperactive kid might make if left alone with a synth. But the album often feels lukewarm. unen is ‘soundscaping’ of the kind that doesn’t demand repeat listening. REMAIN fails to emotionally connect with the listener and RVK’s potsand-pans percussion is less interesting than it is grating. Still, Nathan Fake is an extremely talented musician, and there’s plenty to explore here. It’s good to have him back.

“Who’s gonna stop me? You, him?” asks Stormzy on Big For Your Boots, the lead single from Gang Signs & Prayer. The real question is, can anybody? For all the debate about his day-one grime credentials and perceived YouTube freestyle come-up, Stormzy has assumed his position at the top of the grime pyramid as if it was his all along — and his highly-anticipated debut album is the official confirmation of this. GSAP an album that is as aggressive as it is tender; defined as much by its bravado as its personal reflection, with gospel-influenced pop balladry making up around a third of the album. Stormzy’s made no secret of his ambition to be the biggest and best artist in the UK, not just the best grime MC. But he also uses GSAP to take shots at those who still doubt his pedigree in claiming the latter. For someone criticised within the scene for his unusual trajectory in grime terms — no radio sets, no Eskimo Dance, no ‘grind’ — there are references to the genre’s roots across the tracklist. The Crazy Titch skit is particularly deep, especially given Titch’s legendary standing despite over a decade passing since he was incarcerated for murder, while there’s also a reference to a classic Dizzee Rascal freestyle: ‘I roll deep on these/ put these MCs on deep freeze’, is echoed on Return Of The Rucksack. Although a likeable, positive character away from the booth, these criticisms still clearly irk Stormzy, bringing out the darker, more aggressive side to his music that caused such a stir within the scene to begin with. There’s also a host of carefully chosen features and producer credits, striking the right balance between underground grit and mainstream gloss — a balance that has eluded so many other grime albums of this ilk. Raleigh Ritchie sings a radio-friendly chorus on Don’t Cry For Me, and J Hus slices through the greaze with a quotable hook on Bad Boys, which features a show-stealing verse from OG grime spitter, Ghetts. There’s also emotional vocals from singer MNEK on Blinded By Your Grace, Pt.2, the second of two devotional, gospel tracks and Wretch 32 on the mellow, reflective 21 Gun Salute. Although executively produced by lauded engineer Fraser T. Smith, Stormzy also enlists veteran grime producer Sir Spyro to produce two of the album’s biggest, hardest-hitting tracks; Big For Your Boots and Return Of The Rucksack. Some might argue GSAP lacks out-and-out bangers, and there’s grime purists who might have felt a little cynical about Stormzy’s unapologetic pursuit of the pop charts. But Stormzy makes music to get things off his chest – whether good or bad — and this album listens like the work of an artist who is totally comfortable in his own skin. Nothing feels contrived or forced — the grittier tracks bang as they should and the insular, reflective moments are offered up with genuine emotional weight. Take it or leave it, the release of GSAP is a monumental moment for UK music. Now let’s see where Stormzy, and grime, go from here.

Don’t Get Lost is Brian Jonestown Massacre’s first full-length to be entirely recorded in Anton Newcombe’s Berlin studio, and the city’s influence clearly has our iconic frontman excited. There’s an unmistakable krautrock feel that envelopes eight-minute opener Open Minds Now Close, a subtle 4/4 that thuds beneath Fact 67 and the slinky Acid 2 Me Is No Worse Than War could easily slip into a woozy Berghain Sunday under the right set of circumstances. The record has been touted as something of a trip down memory lane for the band. Though one area they’ve neglected to revisit is Newcombe’s knack for writing a great pop song. And while it’s great to hear the band enjoy some psychedelic self-indulgence and jazzy interludes, I couldn’t help but feel a little cheated at the lack of hummable tunes. Still, there are moments of sheer elation to be found here. The excellent Throbbing Gristle sees Newcombe collaborator Tess Parks lay down a smoky vocal on a relentless swell of pretty distortion, a cameo from British poet Shaun Rivers lends a grim drama to the bass-heavy One Slow Breath and Rike Beinert (who you may remember from the band’s last EP) closes the album with a soft, German language spoken word piece. Things get even more adventurous with Geldenes Herz Mens, a silky, instrumental jazz meditation that somehow slots effortlessly in to the album’s decidedly abrasive core. While it comes as no surprise that Don’t Get Lost is eclectic and experimental, it’s comforting to hear Newcombe & Co making their influences come together coherently. There’s a definite purpose to this genre-hopping, and what the album might lack in pop sensibility, it makes up for with its free-spirited charm.

! Adam Corner

! Angus Harrison

! Rob Bates

! Thomas Fraser

! Billy Black

ANOHNI Paradise EP Rough Trade

NATHAN FAKE Providence Ninja Tune

STORMZ Y Gang Signs & Prayer #Merky Records

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07 THE SHINS Hear tworms Columbia

As the former DJ and engineer of Odd Future and co-leader of The Internet, Syd’s debut solo album was always going to attract curiosity. While the media circled around the Odd Future controversy during the first half of the decade, Syd came across as notably laidback and unconcerned about the limelight. But Fin is a successful presentation of the LA artist in her insecurities, her sexuality and her aspirations, and it sees her compelling identity as a solo artist shine. One should not be fooled by the seemingly sweet and gentle range of Syd’s voice. Fin, like much of The Internet’s neo-soul orientated material, serves to provide us with a soundtrack befitting of both good and – more notably – bad behaviour. The record is impressive in its ability to construct a cohesive space within which Syd’s softness fuses with a significant darkness – “If I go to hell I hope my bitches get to visit,” she purrs on Nothin to Somethin. The lack of apology, at a time like this, in a body like hers, must be seen as a political act in itself – a powerful dismissal is made on the first track to “shake em off/ there’s nothing you can tell me/ I’m grown”. Musically, Fin is comprised of silky RnB, soft yet commanding vocals and trap embellishments. Over (featuring the fast-rising Atlanta singer 6lack) and Dollar Bills are decadent in their sound: party tunes adopting what could be perceived as a typically masculine tone, through braggadocio and emotional detachment. However, Syd performs this shift knowingly, revealing on Dollar Bills: “I’m feeling like a man/ and she’s dancing like she knows I am”. Got Her Own, on the other hand, addresses the mystique and curiosity surrounding the modern independent woman, who “was a dreamer, but she’s sleeping all alone.” Fin is short and sweet. And over the course of its 37 minutes, the music blankets you in a comforting haze for enough time to keep your senses stimulated. In typically casual fashion, Syd has described the project as an ‘in-between thing’. But to ignore the thrilling potential here would be a huge error on both her part and ours. ! Natty Kasambala

Even as recently as a few months ago, it was hard to see it for Migos. In the two years following their 2014 commercial flop Yung Rich Nation and the untimely incarceration of member Offset, it seemed unlikely that the Atlanta rap trio would ever live up to the inherent promise of their breakthrough hit Versace. Despite an opportunistic chart blip for Look At My Dab, 2016 saw a string of unremarkable Migos singles that went nowhere. Then came Bad And Boujee, a quiet storm take on trap that optimised the Migos formula of choppy vocal rhythms and repetitive hooks. Initially released last October, after Offset’s “rain drop, drop top” hook inspired countless Twitter memes at the tail end of last year, in January Bad and Boujee peaked atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US. The strongest Migos full length release to date, Culture makes the most of this lucky career surge. Bangers like Call Casting and the Gucci Manefeaturing Slippery call back to the strongest material on their many mixtapes. Bridging the trap house and the strip club, All Ass mixes business with pleasure as Offset and Quavo make strides towards storytelling instead of the non-sequiturs and streams-ofconsciousness they typically offer. Though early adopters fell in love with the backmasked sonic swirls and deep bass of second track T-Shirt, much of the record’s best material resides on its back half. The Zaytovenproduced Brown Paper Bag subtly coaxes atmospheric beauty out of Migos’s chosen subgenre of trap, while Deadz caters to its more maximalist, bombastic urges. Still no doubt eyeing a path for himself, Quavo turns respectful romantic on the comparatively poppy Out Yo Way. No matter what happens with Migos in the future, Culture solidifies their onceshaky stature in rap.

Saturday Night begins in full voice, with Tim Darcy’s oddball ideas made flesh and blood by choral harmonies and occasionally harsh but often velveteen arrangements. “You got a tall glass of water and you’re bored with it, bored with it!” the Ought frontman announces on the opening track, delighted, like a wayward preacher exposing the holes in his rhetoric as he’s in the business of delivering it. “At the end of the river, there is… more river!” Warbled, incisive lyrics leap over the barn-dance swagger of strummed guitars, and introduce the magnetic world of Darcy’s eccentric imagination. Written and recorded, for the most part, whilst Darcy was working on Ought’s LP Sun Coming Down, this debut solo LP is a document of borrowed minutes in an out-ofhours rehearsal space. Over ten tracks Darcy freewheels through chaotic, romantic songwriting that pays greater dues to folk balladry than Ought’s usual post-punk output, and peels back to a shivering, vibrant kind of intimacy. Still Waking Up sees Darcy figure himself as an old-fashioned crooner, borrowing half-finished phrases from time-burnished love songs to pinpoint the queasy feeling of falling too deep, too fast in to a relationship that’s unlikely to last. You Felt Comfort builds poetic, nostalgic neurosis in to a bittersweet, euphoric unravelling that feels like a long lost Jeff Mangum B Side, while Found My Limit strips down to an dreamlike chiming, ticking, tapping as Darcy slurs and murmurs. The oldest song on the record, Saint Germain, ruminates on creation and selfdiscovery as the vocals drown in a psychedelic sea of echoes and cymbals, reaching us from somewhere else. Saturday Night is violent and warm, seeding new life and capturing Darcy’s unexpectedly theatrical range with heart, humour and generosity. Over the title track’s bruising strings, he offers a sermon on the importance of fighting for space to think: “Wish I’d run away sooner, to save time.”

Spectres are fond of antagonising their audience. Fans in the vicinity of the band’s renowned and ferocious live set will leave with agonised ear drums and sad souls, while unwitting shoppers who happen to be perusing the record shelves could be similarly discomfited by their album artwork. A man’s agonised, desperate, drowning face graced the cover of their first full length, the aptly entitled Dying, and a contorted amalgam of human and fungus is seen on the cover their new LP, Condition. It’s fair to say that you can expect extremes of behaviour from Spectres. But, though can expect, you can never predict. Album opener The Beginning of an End kicks off proceedings in a curiously subdued fashion, whereas Rubber Plant deals in percussive guitar and offkilter rhythms that are similarly atypical of the band’s output. Welcoming The Flowers meanwhile is more familiar: vivid, lucid, nightmarish guitars, pounding drums and little respite, and any low-key section is steeped in anticipation for the more overtly terrifying part that will follow. Such is the appeal of Spectres: they are not necessarily for people who wish to actually enjoy music in the conventional sense. Instead, they continue to carve their niche amongst listeners who wish to be moved, shaken, challenged and disgusted. A fitting soundtrack to the year’s dystopia.

“I started messing with my Dad’s guitar/ He taught me some chords just to start me off/ Whittling away on those rainy days/ And that’s how we get to where we are now.” It’s not surprising that James Mercer’s musical origin story is far from scandalous. New song Mildenhall tells the tale of an indie musician who attributes his success to “cheap beer and rock ‘n’ roll” and a classmate’s loan of a Jesus and Mary Chain record. It’s hardly ripe for a salacious biopic, but for The Shins’ fifth record, Heartworms, Mercer has chosen to walk us through his adolescent memories. Whatever it is he’s looking for, it’s hard for us to find. It’s been sixteen years since The Shins’ debut Oh, Inverted World became code for a specific kind of quirky indie intellectualism, and thirteen years since the band’s cult success grew world-wide after Zach Braff’s Garden State (2004) urged: “You gotta hear this one song; they’ll change your life, I swear.” But since an “aesthetic” shake-up in 2009 left Mercer as the last original member standing, he’s taken pains to emphasise that he’s running the show. The first record Mercer’s produced singlehandedly since 2001, Heartworms distances itself assertively from his work with Danger Mouse as Broken Bells, and perhaps from 2012’s off-the-boil Shins album Port of Morrow too. Special effects and studiously flamboyant vocals result in surrealist, cartoon pop that’s stuck in the adolescent. “I’ve never done time/ But I’ve done the crime/ Of wanting/ Something that could never stay,” Mercer scrawls in his diary on Cherry Hearts. Ticking all the boxes of an “adorkable” rom-com, Fantasy Island embellishes: “Hitting the fire alarms desperately wanting attention, I was just a boy/ Out there on my own/ Wishing I could fly.” Turning his memories into just another teen movie, Heartworms can’t shake the weight of Mercer’s own expectations – as, deep down, he might have suspected all along. “I took a pledge to grow up,” he admits on Half a Million, “I’m just too lazy to make amends…That’s why the pattern still remains.”

! Gary Suarez

! Katie Hawthorne

! Jon Clark

! Katie Hawthorne

TIM DARCY Saturday Night Jagjaguwar MIGOS Culture Quality Control / 300 / Atlantic

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GHOST CULTURE Nucleus EP Phantasy It feels like you can split James Greenwood’s output into two categories. On the one hand there’s this sure-handed machine manipulator who engineered much of Daniel Avery’s Drone Logic album, and on the other is a songwriter in a more classic mould. These interests have pulled him in more directions than most contemporaries venture: equally comfortable turning out deep, club-ready workouts (Red Smoke) or synth pop gems (Mouth). His eponymous debut went further, fully concentrating on his ear for melody with a record of more traditional pop tracks. After last year’s techno release Safe/Multiply saw Greenwood’s sights squarely on peak time, the Nucleus EP swings his focus right back to where Ghost Culture was left, only this time eschewing lyrics and singing. Opener Coma, augmented with a familiar palpitating bounce and quiver, is probably the straightest of these tracks and, as such, the least rewarding. Perseus builds around an airy top line and breakbeat, then darkens, before soft Computer Love-esque pads cut through, squaring off in satisfyingly joyous flutter. These tracks are encircled by three essentially unnamed pieces. All three are a little looser and more breathable, but each is distinct and evocative: ICO130 a mournful android’s lament, NGC1275 like a 3-D rendering of some classical landscape painting. If Safe/Multiply was the sign of Greenwood nailing his club tracks, then this is where the potential shown on his early A-sides and LP comes home. All of that delicious dust and spacious leeway we’ve come to expect is enhanced, and by shifting the responsibility for the essence of the songs from man to machine, the melodies cut through in a way Ghost Culture promised but didn’t quite pull off. ! Theo Kotz

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YOUNG MARCO Selectors 002 Dekmante

According to the internet, a rag-and-bone man is defined as: ‘someone who collects of unwanted household items and sells them to merchants’. This rather gruelling and humble occupation suggests an existence where maneuvering is essential to survival. In the recent life of Rag’n’Bone Man, no such has movement been necessary. Annually, the industry picks someone to be fucking massive – the “chosen one”. The already confirmed winner of The Critics Choice Award at this year’s Brit awards, Rag’n’Bone Man follows in the footsteps of a veritable who’s who of British musical mediocrity (Jack Garratt, Tom Odell, James Bay, Sam Smith). Pooling every available resource, said performer is thrust on everyone with relentless ferocity across every available medium. This is Rag ‘n’ Bone Man’s year, and you’re powerless to stop him. Following three independently-released EPs that didn’t really hint at the adulation that was to follow, the speed of Rag‘n’Bone Man’s ascent since releasing last summer’s chart-topping single Human must be utterly dizzying for him, but they want us to think that he’s keeping it real. The songs on this album of the same name go in hard on the struggle, and on the pain. Bitter End tells of years of toil: “Too many years of battle scars/ And now we're broken/ And all the words you said/ Been hanging over my head for time/ And all of the lines we've crossed/ They’ve finally bust us open/ As a thousand tiny paper cuts of life.” The theme is repeated on the painful lament of Odetta: “You're always searching for destruction/ Now you bare the scars of a path in which you chose/ It takes a brave and a stronger kind of woman/ To follow where such a broken man can go.” Marketed as an everyday bloke with oh so much soul (he got the word tattooed across his knuckles to emphasise this point), the Bone Man can clearly pen a big chorus, and his ability to project these lyrics with power is not up for question. Over 12 tracks (a staggering 19 on the deluxe edition) that borrow exclusively from sanitised retro-soul tropes, Human attempts to make every last lyrical and musical drop sound like the most profound, life-affirming thing you’ve ever heard. It’s utterly draining. A vocal talent – no doubt – but the whole affair is left feeling inauthentic by the very fact the only thing this album shoots for is all encompassing authenticity, over and over and over again. I don’t buy it. A one note soul-record for those bereft of soul.

Since Devlin released his debut mixtape, Tales From The Crypt – still ranked as one of grime’s greatest ever by some day-one fans – in 2006, his stark and lived-in outlook has always set him apart. In his early days, as part of Dagenham’s OT crew and later, The Movement alongside Ghetts, Wretch 32, Scorcher and others, Devlin was fierce, angry and pulled no punches – as evidenced by a well-documented spat with Wiley in 2006 (see his ruthless Extra Extra diss on Tales From The Crypt). Devlin’s performance is something of a paradox – hard, bludgeoning, angry flows meet measured and thoughtful lyricism. This paradox feels most poignant on The Devil In’s opening title track, which sees Devlin sharply battle his demons amidst talk of dark places and ‘run down houses’. Dig a little deeper, and the lyricism speaks of an overarching vulnerability. Some tracks are designed to hit home harder than others, especially the booming 50 Grand, which features an excellent guest verse from Skepta. But the album is defined by its insular moments – see Blow Your Mind, Just Wanna Be Me and rhythmic curveball, Stay in particular. On Life the album’s overriding, soul-searching narrative resonates loudest. “What’s life about? Will I find out later?” he asks. It might feel melodramatic to some listeners, and Devlin can’t always provide the answers, but The Devil In revels in its sincerity more successfully than previous albums, Bud, Sweat & Beers and A Moving Picture. At the age of 27, Devlin is now considered one of grime’s elder statesmen alongside the likes of Kano and Skepta – each of whom had similar major label struggles over the years. He might not always get the props he deserves, but for Devlin music has never been about the spotlight. As this LP affirms, it’s been about fighting “the devil inside – the side you just don’t see.”

Dekmantel’s new Selectors series returns after last year’s debut, which was curated Motor City Drum Ensemble and comprised of an unmixed collection of obscurities from the top-tier DJs’ huge record collection. Amsterdam native Young Marco, given his connections to Dekmantel and digger credentials, was the natural next entrant. He does not disappoint. Part of Marco Sterk’s charm is his commitment to his own taste – the Selectors 002 press release admits that he’s cleared a few dancefloors over the years. And while it’s popular opinion that a good DJ should mould a set accordingly to the mood of a crowd, I’d argue that the sign of a great one is the ability to pull a crowd along, wherever it is the selector wishes. Across Selectors 002, this is the path trodden by Young Marco, who drags us from the N64-loadingscreen funk of Danny Boy’s Diskomix (Disko version) through to Personal FX’s deep celestial roller Objects In Mirrors. Marco largely sticks to this sonic palette throughout: loose variations of house and disco, playful and dreamy in equal measure. Larry Heard’s ambient house cut Dolphin Dream, for example, drifts with an otherworldly cheek, evoking the retro-futurism of classic sci-fi like Logan’s Run. Ghostwriters' Swizzle, too, carries more than a hint of mischief in its bouncy modular synth play. While some of these records are going for hefty sums on Discogs, tracks like Green Baize’s Spick And Span or The Force Dimension’s chugging EBM number 200 FA (Extended Mix) are not beyond anyone with the inclination to obtain. In this way, Selectors 002 avoids accusations of functioning simply as a rarities repress (admirable though that can be). Of course, it can serve that purpose too; having this many gems on wax is well worth the price. But what makes this another worthy extension of this series is how it feels cohesive as a body of tracks while doing a great job of showing off Young Marco’s singular quirks, proving him to be an uncompromising selector who’s easy to enjoy.

! Thomas Frost

! Tomas Fraser

! Theo Kotz

DEVLIN The Devil In Devlin Records

PHARMAKON Contact Sacred Bones

MARIO BATKOVIC Mario Batkovic Invada Records If – like me – you can count the number of solo accordion albums in your collection on one finger, then the latest release on Geoff Barrow’s Invada imprint is a pretty mind-blowing place to start. Mario Batkovic is a Bosnian musician who specialises in intense, otherworldly accordion compositions. His self-titled debut album (completed with the explicit aim of pushing the instrument to its absolute limits) is a unique, dramatic, unsettling and astonishingly vivid set of solo performances. Naff ‘Balkan Beats’ this is not – the sonorous, horizonscanning keys and melodrama of Nils Frahm is a much closer reference point. Epic opener Quatere sets the pace – Batkovic moves from distressed chirps to foreboding groans, with every wheeze and gasp of the instrument harnessed for either a rhythmic or melodic purpose. The next track – Gravis – creeps along like a disfigured marching band: broken, cinematic and darkly joyous. The changes of gear are at the heart of the album’s appeal – just as a somnambulant section lulls you, a surge of energy erupts from Batkovic’s hands and the song is somewhere else entirely. The centre-piece of the album is the grandiose Inuente, a weighty, panoramic sweep through a sonic range that it is difficult to believe comes from a single instrument. A leftfield offering for sure, but it’s much more than a ‘curio’; Batkovic’s debut is soulful and stirring stuff. ! Adam Corner

While Margaret Chardiet’s previous album as Pharmakon, 2014’s Bestial Burden, explored the harrowing disconnect between mind and body, Contact seems to go a step further, asking: ‘What does it mean to be human?’ Chardiet’s conclusion is as captivating as it is horrifying. The release of Contact comes at a strange time in political history; Trump’s inauguration and the radicalisation of right-wing powers has left a putrid dissonance in the minds of liberals across the world. It could be argued that Contact (released on the 10 year anniversary of her Pharmakon project) is a reaction to these events – an unorthodox plea for change. ‘Empathy! EMPATHY, NOW!’ cites the artist’s press release for Brooklyn-based label Sacred Bones. Structurally, the album follows the four stages of trance: preparation, onset, climax and resolution. Amidst the chaos of the industrialised static and Chardiet’s bloodcurdling screams, this four-part format provides strange sense of order to the listening process. It’s this use of structure that lends itself to sonic growth and complexity, which sets it apart from so many other experiments in confrontational sound. There is one track, however, that makes you teeter on the edge of sanity.  Sleepwalking Form, a seven-minute epic, is a shrivelling and uncomfortable mass of noise, with ritualistic drumming that pervades through the entire song and detonates in one final screech. It might not be enjoyable, but boy, is it powerful. ! Gunseli Yalcinkaya

R AG’N’BONE MAN Human Columbia

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SUPERSTITION

WINTER/SPRING 201 7 FRI 3RD MAR

BLAWAN HEADLESS HORSEMAN (LIVE), HENNING BAER, CSGRV SAT 4TH MAR

GIEGLING ATEQ (LIVE), DJ DUSTIN, DWIG (LIVE) EDWARD (LIVE), KETTENKARUSSELL (LIVE) LEAFAR LEGOV (LIVE), KONSTANTIN, VRIL (LIVE) SAT 18TH MAR

MIND AGAINST SOMNE, AETHER SAT 25 TH MAR

MAEVE MANO LE TOUGH, BAIKAL, THE DRIFTER, ED DAVENPORT (LIVE) FRI 31ST MAR

SMALLVILLE LAWRENCE, CHRISTOPHER RAU, SMALLPEOPLE, RVDS SAT 1ST APR

FIGURE NACHT LEN FAKI, JEROEN SEARCH (LIVE), SETAOC MASS SAT 8TH APR

DVS1 ALL NIGHT

VILLAGEUNDERGROUND.CO.UK


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With Original Pirate Material reaching its 15th anniversary, South London poet and playwright Sabrina Mahfouz looks back on Mike Skinner’s armchair garage revolution

Original Release Date: 25 March, 2002 “As we progress to the checkpoint/ I wholeheartedly agree with your viewpoint/ But this ain't your typical garage joint/ I make points which hold significance” - Let's Push Things Forward I was never a big fan of The Streets. In 2001, when Original Pirate Material was released, I was busy working at pirate radio stations (mainly Delight FM) and living for garage raving in real-life surroundsound every night of the week. Summers were spent in Ayia Napa, the rest of the year mostly in South London, so my raving team and me were spoilt for local choice. This didn't mean we wouldn't also travel North, East and West all in the same night just to catch the best sets as they happened in each of the four-step corners of

a New Labour London, which seemed to be brimming with possibilities and a surplus of dancefloors. We devoured tape packs of the raves we’d been at, we tuned into stations we knew our mates were on, we had guest list to everything. Mike Skinner’s slightly downbeat, everyday chat delivered in soft Brummieaccented lyrics – which were partly about a music scene I was embedded in, being experienced from the cosy doldrums of bedrooms and living rooms – didn't fit with my reality. More importantly, it didn’t fit with my epic hopes for the scene. I believed in its ability to lift those who didn't often see themselves represented in empowered positions to platforms of influence and progress. I looked towards it as a genuine pathway to a more visibly diverse representation, before diversity was a box-tick, rhetorical necessity for all companies. People I knew (granted, all male) who were mostly non-

white, who had completely self-funded their musicmaking were in the charts, on billboards, TV screens. I imagined this was the first step to seeing those people in parliament, on business boards. Naïve perhaps, or not. Of course, that’s not what happened at all. Instead the music was banned from being played publicly in London and the myth of opportunity and social ascension dissipated as quickly as it had grown. But I didn’t know that in 2001. Then, within my immediate group of garage heads – which included promoters, managers, venue owners, MCs, DJs and producers – it was more than just not being a fan of Original Pirate Material, there was a tangible sense of annoyance that after so many years of developing a scene and guiding it (however misjudged that would prove to be) into the fickle mainstream, it seemed predictable – but still a pisstake – that a white guy doing what sounded like poetry

about garage was the thing that the music industry press lauded and supported. NME ranked it at 46 in their 100 best albums of all time list and critics universally praised it. Strange then, that eight years after being unimpressed hearing Mike Skinner speak plainly about the ‘sex, drugs and on the dole’ lifestyle, I found myself at an open mic poetry night in East London, telling lyrical tales of a different world I was by then a part of – stripclubs – to a small audience and absolutely loving it. This poetic storytelling unexpectedly became my new career, and it's evolved over the years to include theatre – allowing me to put UK garage on stage for my show With a Little Bit of Luck at the Roundhouse in London. I owe more to Mike Skinner for this than I could ever have imagined back in those heady days of romanticised, creditfor-all capitalism punctuated by feel-good garage beats. I'm not saying he was the first, but he was the first I'd heard and

unwittingly absorbed, and who spoke in stories about a nonAmerican world, about people who were like me – even if at first I wouldn't admit it. Crucially, Mike Skiner made it seem accessible, this ability to get people who had never lived what you were talking about, to listen to what you were talking about. I still think it's partly a result of an industry and society effected by endemic racism and prejudice that it took this album to give garage widespread critical credibility. But now I also have a deep appreciation of the way Skinner felt compelled to share stories from a very particular time in the UK with a huge audience, creating something that will remain as a reminder of not all, but much, of what a cultural movement garage was – whether it was being experienced on a sofa or a dancefloor. Sabrina's new book The Things I Would Tell You, an anthology of writing from British Muslim women, is out now

REVIEWS

THE STREETS Original Pirate Material Locked On/679 Recordings


Lanzarote

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079

Film 10 07 08 08

MOONLIGHT dir: Barr y Jenkins Starring: Ashton Sanders, Naomie Harris, Mahershala Ali PREVENGE dir: Alice Lowe Starring: Alice Lowe, Jo Hartley, Kate Dickie

JACKIE dir: Pablo Larrain Starring: Natalie Portman, Peter Saarsgard, Greta Gerwig Over the decades we've had a multitude of songs, artworks and retellings commemorate the assassination of John F. Kennedy, consequently lifting the event into the realms of myth. Pablo Larrain’s Jackie is no exception. Teetering on the precipice of fact and legend, the film follows Jackie Kennedy in the hours succeeding her husband’s death in 1963, and her transformation from America’s First Lady to America’s widow. It is a spectacle of political theatre: the camera follows Natalie Portman’s incessantly protean Jackie like a shadow through an infiniteseeming White House, to a haunting soundtrack of discordant strings and grandiose themes, composed by Mica Levi. In Jackie, there is a complex character at work: she is meticulously measured and seems all too conscious of her role as public-curator to her husband’s legacy. Beneath the fictional gloss and pageantry, however, there are moments where the façade tears loose. In one scene after her husband’s assassination, Jackie is looking at her reflection in the mirror. Like her previously immaculate Chanel suit, which is now stained in blood, Jackie appears coiled and broken. Portman's depiction of Jackie Kennedy blurs the boundaries between the public and private and as such, delivers a poignant, bitterly profound portrayal of America's most conflicted First Lady.

In recent years Eddie Redmayne has embodied the British gentleman through the likes of Theory of Everything and Fantastic Beasts. These are the types of films that transmit soft power to the rest of the world, encouraging people to believe the UK is a-ok. Like fuck it is. British values aren’t principled and measured, they’re cheap and nasty – like Wetherspoons and dogging. Refreshingly, the only stiff upper lip we see in Alice Lowe’s directorial debut Prevenge, a comically-black critique of modern day Britain, would be due to rigor mortis. Along with directing and writing Prevenge she also plays Ruth, a pregnant mother who believes she is being instructed to kill by her soon to be born baby. Fueled by these paranoid delusions and with a brilliant supporting cast of Jo Harley (the mum from This is England), Kate Dickie (The Witch) and Kayvan Novak (Four Lions), Lowe sneeringly picksoff dead bits of flesh from British society – be it ‘hipster sops’, upper management psychopaths, misogynists, fitness freaks and major charity organisations – all with the joy of hearing an Argento-esque horror soundtrack play out on the streets of Cardiff.   ! Tim Oxley-Smith

20TH CENTURY WOMEN dir: Mike Mills Starring: Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig While Richard Linklater’s retro college film Everybody Wants Some! charmed us with its lighthearted stylishness last year, 20th Century Women provides an omnipresent portrayal of the same era. Set in 1979, the film follows personal accounts of what happened when the hippies lost, paving the way for a right-wing celebrity to become US president – the first time round. Mills blends archive news footage with citations of mind-shifting literature being read in California and the contemporary music and fashion of the times, weaving it into the context of family drama and providing social commentary. Concerned about the lack of parental support for her 15-year-old son due to his absent father, Dorothea (Annette Bening) appoints Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and Julie (Elle Fanning) to guide him through his formative years. Through Abbie’s introduction of punk music and radical feminist literature, Jamie becomes ever more estranged to Dorothea, who then begins to question Abbie’s life-lessons and, in turn, her generation. And it’s in the showdown we find Bening and Gerwig to be in amazing form. The conflict between their characters leads them to constantly second guess each other and themselves, until they finally realise that they’re far more similar than they thought – women who’ve challenged the rules of their respective eras. Led by astute performances, 20th Century Women beautifully declares: wisdom is relative. 

As the coming-of-age story of a gay man of colour in America, Moonlight is both a significant social commentary and a personal portrait of human desire. The twin sides of the film – the social and the personal – coalesce into an overwhelmingly beautiful story, executed perfectly with astounding performances all round and the confident, slow pace of Barry Jenkin’s Oscarworthy direction. Moonlight is a film about sexuality, but the expression of sexual desire is mostly gestural rather than explicit. In one of the only direct depictions of open sexual expression, the audience’s view is the simple image of a lover’s hand cradling protagonist Chiron’s head. The body language summarises the twin vulnerability and intensity of the moment. This simple gesture is typical of a film that excels through plain but powerful imagery both visually and in dialogue. Chiron says at one point that he cries so much he feels he could turn to drops, and it's an idea that reoccurs throughout; in the ocean, in bathwater, in ice in the sink. But the film ends with Chiron staring out into the ocean, with water finally transmuted from an image of loneliness into one of openness and liberation. ! Francis Blagburn

! Tim Oxley-Smith

REVIEWS

! Gunseli Yalcinkaya


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081

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BABY ROMPERSUIT teklifestore.com $14.40 Unconditional love is essential for good parenting. That said, no one wants their kid to develop rubbish music taste. Get the nipper off to a head start with this Teklife rompersuit to ensure they carry footwork’s honourable legacy on to the next generation.  PHILLIP GL ASS BUDDHA MACHINE bleep.com/merch 20.99€   Buddha Machine, the little plastic boxes of chill that feature a built-in speaker for ambient electronic compositions, is the brainchild of FM3, the Beijing-based duo Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian. This special edition is made in collaboration with Phillip Glass to commemorate his 80th birthday, and it includes seven blissful, unending loops by the composer.

THIS MEMORIAL DEVICE David Keenan faber.co.uk £14.99 David Keenan is one of the most influential critical voices in underground music. Having written regularly for Wirr, documented peripheral noise bands with his England’s Hidden Reverse biography and also contributed to our Perspective op-ed series, Keenan has now had his debut novel published. Set in the small Scottish towns of Lanarkshire during the late 70s and early 80s, This Memorial Device tells the story of young minds imploding after punk rock, and then exploding with possibility.

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REVIEWS

A nice understated addition to their current menswear spread, Carhartt WIP present this insulating, stylish hooded pullover with a graphic on the front and back. As with all WIP goods, you can count on their lasting power. Stay snug in style.


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The new album In Mind out 17 March 2017 realestatetheband.com

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VeNUe

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Oval space

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the Pickle Factory

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the Pickle Factory

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the Pickle Factory

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Oval space

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088

Crossword Across 1. Punk icon, foamy space filler 3. Queen with a show stealing bump 5. Official goddess of the court 6. Girls to the front 9. 8 March, this one's for the ladies 10. Crenshaw’s theory 11. Cat, riot, grabs back Down 2. Les Vierges Noires 4. Ring my, naughty captain 7. Be free my little mammaries 8. Chained, martial arts-trained badasses

Answers Across: Poly Styrene, Beyoncé, Serena Williams, Kathleen Hanna Women’s Day, Intersectionality, Pussy Down: The Black Madonna, bell hooks, Nipple, Suffragettes

Self Portrait serpentwithfeet

Bryan Ferry or Katy Perry? Who Said It: The former Marks & Spencer muse, or the I Kissed a Girl star? 1) “I can't drink a wine if it has an ugly label.” 2) “I love those documentaries where everyone is fabulous and always perfect.” 3) “I like LA, but I shouldn't live there.” 4) “Mary J. Blige, she's got all these fur coats and hats and stuff. She's good, I like her.” 5) “I don't feel like I'm very pop-star lame, but I'm definitely not hipster-cool.”

Answers: 1) Ferry 2) Perry 3) Ferry 4) Ferry 5) Perry 6) Perry

DIGRESSIONS

6) “I really like to look like a history book.”


089

Rise

This month's artist takeover was created by @van_gaubergen, who was responding to the word 'Rise'.

If you're interested in contributing to this series, please email artsubmissions@crackmagazine.net


091

Turning Points: John Lydon

“The punk army bores me really seriously. I've never done anything in my life to wear a uniform”

Words: Gwyn Thomas de Chroustchoff

We had a phone call with Lydon, covered in ink as he put the finishing touches to Mr Rotten's Songbook, a limited edition book of lyrics, artwork and annotations that is due out this month. Mid 60s: Childhood Illness I started hallucinating at age seven, then I slipped into a coma and woke up months later not knowing who I was.

Thank god for public libraries, cause that's where I spent most of my time. It was two years of hell at primary school before meningitis, because being left handed at a catholic school run by nuns, they'd whip you senseless to try and make you write with your right hand. So, yeah, my childhood was stolen from me, but hello! I've got it all back now, and I treasure those memories, and they help me write songs in amazing ways. I still try to tell the truth, because when you can't remember anything at all, you have to rely on what these strangers are telling you. When you find out that is a slight lie, it can really damage you. 1975: Joining the Sex Pistols The turning point was my “I Hate Pink Floyd” t-shirt. That's what attracted them to me, the fact I was prepared to stand up and say something like that; I mean, they were as sacrosanct as the royal family, which was another turning point. [The seventies was] a world of complete, horrible chaos – strikes everywhere – and those were the alleged 'adults' at work. And there we were, these little whipper-snappers, and somehow we were paid attention to. Maybe we just hit the nail bang on the head at exactly the right time.

February 1978: Meeting Lee “Scratch” Perry in Jamaica Oh, listen, we all got too stoned that day. He is a kindred spirit, very much so. I do appreciate the fact that he takes major risks musically, and these people will always fascinate me. He ran into all manner of troubles, and gained a name as “difficult to work with”. He's not – none of us are – we want to work, but we want to work honestly and creatively, and not just roll out the same old turgid, popular beat of the moment. Summer 1978: Forming Public Image Ltd I wanted PiL to be an absolute, definite step in another direction. Rather than just attacking institutions, start some soul searching of my own. It's a combination of humanity's different experiences, and without those differences we're not worth nothing. The punk army bores me really seriously; I've never done anything in my life to wear a uniform. The record labels were dubious about our efforts and they would hinder us financially at every moment, and that made us all the better musically. It was all very much that you've got to do it yourself, because the institutions would not support you. The institutions wait until they find a more commercial

imitation of said creativity. 2009: Reforming PiL It’s very difficult to find the right combination of people. [Who] musically disagree, but emotionally and responsibly have an empathy for each other. That does sum up the current PiL. It's in a fantastic healthy place. There's a documentary coming out soon, about the difficulties of trying to reform all this, put it all together. I'm not the kind of person that's ever going to run out of steam. I had a lot taken away from me when I was young, so every second I'm alive, I'm gonna fill it. Mr. Rotten's Songbook is released 31 March

MUSIC

John Lydon was brought up by Irish parents in a small flat in North London. He grew into a rebellious teenager, and his attitude and look caught the eye of Malcolm McLaren, leading to Lydon being asked to front The Sex Pistols. He then became notorious as Johnny Rotten. After much controversy, including the release of the charttopping single God Save the Queen during the British Queen's silver jubilee week, the band disintegrated in 1978. The same year, after a trip to Jamaica with Virgin Records boss Richard Branson and photographer Dennis Morris, Lydon founded Public Image Ltd, alongside bassist Jah Wobble and ex-Clash guitarist Keith Levene. Influenced by dub and other experimental music, PiL was one of the first post-punk bands, active until the nineties before reforming in 2009.


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L ATE NIGHT REVELRY, VIBRANT DANCEFLOORS

FRONT ROOM SONGS, WOODBURNER, TWO FOR JOY, THE LOCAL & THE EFDSS

THE LOVE HOTEL ° THE HUSTLE THE CAROUSEL MOVIMIENTOS’ TROPICAL DANCE PARTY THE GREAT OUTDOORS

MY BABY ° THE BREATH ° LENA LAKI BLACK PEACHES JOSIENNE CLARK AND BEN WALKER

THE RETURN OF FESTIVAL FAVOURITES…

TALKS & DEBATES WITH THE BEST THINKERS...

WILD SWIMMING THE SATURDAY NIGHT SPECTACLE TATE BRITAIN BOATING & ARCHERY THE SCHOOL OF LIFE THE BEARDED KITTEN FORAGING & BUTCHERY FRONTLINE CLUB ° THE RSA CRICKET MATCH PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY


Words: Davy Reed Photography: Jennifer Lo

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20 Questions: The Big Moon’s Juliette Jackson

“Nothing could damage the relationship I have with Robbie Williams’ music”

What was the last book that you read? Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. What’s your favourite computer game of all time? Mario Kart. Who’s your favourite member of Slipknot? I don’t know any members of the band Slipknot. Can I say my favourite member of S Club 7?

Yes that’s absolutely fine. Paul Cattermole. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Drying the floor of a cheesy nightclub. I had to go to the dancefloor and dry up the spilt drinks and everything with blue roll while people were dancing around me so they wouldn’t slip over. It was full of hen-dos. Ah man... Dark. What’s your favourite emoji? That red tribal mask with a goofy smile. What’s your signature recipe? I make a really good roast dinner. I’m good at roast potatoes. Do you have a specific technique for them? Yeah I do, but I’m not going to tell you it. What was the name of your first ever band? Of Maggot Kin. And what did Of Maggot Kin sound like? Really dark death metal. I just stood around while they rehearsed, but they said I was in the band. Who’s your favourite person to follow on Instagram? Oh I don’t know I don’t have a favourite person. There’s a good one of Meryl Streep in food.

Meryl Streep in food? Yeah it’s pictures of Meryl Streep in pictures of food, so she’s dressed like an avocado and stuff. Who’s the most famous person you've ever met? I met Robbie Williams and I made a total idiot of myself. He was in the kitchen of a studio where everyone was singing Happy Birthday to someone I didn’t know. I hid under the table, and then Robbie came in with the cake. It was a bad situation, because I used to love Robbie Williams so much. But I did meet him later and he was asking for directions, but I was so star-struck that I forgot the way. Have your awkward experiences with Robbie Williams affected your relationship with his music? Nothing could damage the relationship I have with Robbie’s music. If you could pick a surrogate grandparent, who would it be? Jarvis Cocker. Is he too young? He could be a young Granddad. He’s got a real Granddaddy vibe about him. Corduroy, tweed... I’ve heard that he dresses his kid just like him. So if he was your surrogate granddad, then you might have dress like Jarvis. Yeah, I could dress like Jarvis!

Is there a No.1 Big Moon fan? There is one guy called Pete, who got a tattoo of our logo, and he brings us presents to all our gigs. Like cuddly toys and bags of Percy Pigs. Yeah, he’s really cool. Describe the worst haircut you’ve ever had... My mum once befriended a woman who did home hairdresser visits, and she cut my hair like a mushroom, kind of like a bob but with this extra long mullet thing beneath that went down to my shoulders. Can you image that? Kind of like after an atomic bomb when it makes that big mushroom cloud. Is there a piece of advice you wish you’d give to yourself ten years ago? I would say to my teenage self: ‘Don’t be afraid to poo, wherever you are – school, at your boyfriend’s house. Don’t be afraid to poo freely.’ What would you like written on your tombstone? “She Pooed Freely” Love in the 4th Dimension is released 7 April via Fiction

MUSIC

Some fun facts about The Big Moon: a cover of Madonna’s Beautiful Stranger is a staple of their live set, their singer/guitarist Jules has eaten dog food, drummer Fern has an NVQ2 in Spectator Safety, bassist Celia is inspired by Samuel Smith’s Taddy lager, guitarist Sophie hugs each member and says “Well done, good luck, I love you” before every gig, and their lyric “Pineapple juice, tropical Rubicon courage” is actually about something really rude. Some of these facts may be expired or unverified. Fake news even. But that doesn’t really matter, because the funnest fact of all is The Big Moon are finally releasing their debut album Love in the 4th Dimension in April. In celebration, we managed to get a slot in Jules’ schedule of back-to-back conference calls to discuss Robbie Williams, home hairdressing and healthy bowel movement.


Perspective: The Real Potential of our Digital Dreaming

Illustration: Ed Chambers

Andrés Colmenares is the co-founder of the Internet Age Media, an event which invites speakers to discuss the new opportunities thrown up by a constantly fluctuating digital age. Here, Colmenares cites recent political protests to argue that the internet can be used to redistribute power – if we harness the potential of imagined utopias.

destructive machine that deliberately spreads ignorance, confusion and manipulation. Hint: google ‘agnotology’.

Let’s have a think about the metaphors we’re using to understand the internet. The early dominant spatial metaphors such as “cyberspace”, “web”, “information superhighway”, “virtual village” and – more recently – “cloud” have an implicit vision of what the internet should be. And they have deep political implications.

Today, utopia could be more than a singular fantasy or contemporary dream. We should use it as a tool to be conscious of the difference between what is possible and a reality that we can’t stand anymore. Utopias can give us access to diverse perspectives and desirable realities that empower us to organise and find a direction to the chaotic transformation our world is experiencing.

These metaphors reveal intentions and indicate where power is concentrated. But as time goes by, the metaphors get deeply embedded in culture and end up shaping not only our perception of reality, but also the future development of the internet itself.

OPINION

We are navigating complex times. It is mandatory to question and constantly examine the dominant metaphors and narratives to determine if they are reflecting properly the realities of the internet because, like many other technologies, the internet is not good or bad. It just reflects who we are as humans. So in order to navigate these complex imaginary geographies, we also need to decide the best possible direction for them. One that avoids transforming the internet into a self-

The “no place” where we should be heading was defined 500 years ago by the English social philosopher Thomas More, and branded as a concept that we should now reclaim from the past: utopia.

We should acknowledge our status as utopian animals and remember that it is our collective imagination that defines reality and creates the cities, political systems and even the algorithms that shape our decisions. We should not lose our capacity to dream in a collective way and imagine ourselves living in better futures. And this is not a call to ignore dystopias. In fact, understanding them is fundamental. But we need a balance in the future’s narratives to feel empowered and encouraged, not just being pessimistic consumers and evangelists of a dark future. 

The time to revise how we think about ‘the future’ is now. And here’s an idea of how we can make the future great again. Take a napkin and a pen. Draw a dot and three lines that escape from it. Label each line with one of the following ways of thinking: long-term, critical and planetary. Now you have a canvas, a mental space to cultivate freedom and enjoy creating DIY utopias. Here is where you can translate an emerging critical optimism into a mandatory critical resistance. And the word critical should be understood here as being skeptical and demanding as well as crucial and urgent. We need to question, stop and break the algorithmic, mental and physical ‘Berlin walls’ being built around and between us. Recently, there have been exhilarating examples of the impact of collective dreams that are fuelled by the internet. The Women’s March movement mobilised more than five million people around the globe, sending out the message that women’s rights are human rights. The ‘Casa nostra, casa vostra’ (Our house is your house) campaign organised the biggest protest in Europe against the obsolete policies about borders and refugees.   The influence of these examples of internet age resistance goes way beyond the streets – it is augmented by the digital platforms we use everyday. As social media theorist Nathan Jurgenson writes in an essay about Digital Dualism and the Fallacy of Web Objectivity: “Our augmented reality is

one where the politics, structures and inequalities of the physical world are part of the very essence of the digital domain”.   It is time to accept that we live in post-dichotomy age. The online/offline metaphor is not valid anymore. And the consequences are huge. Just think about the corporations monetising clicks, an apparently banal behaviour that has concentrated unthinkable amounts of power in companies such as Google or Facebook. We need to question the dominant business model of the internet, understand how it works and how to use it instead of being used by those currently defining the metaphors. What if there was a massive click strike, and maybe just for one day millions of users didn’t ‘like’ posts on Facebook? Let’s get political as we all get digital. If politics is basically about the distribution of power, there is a lot we can apply from how digital networks work. Most institutions, models and frameworks we use to operate our societies today were cultivated in a very different time and for different functions. It is time for us to imagine, cultivate and invent what happens next. Let’s demand better metaphors. Internet Age Media’s 'The Renaissance of Utopias' weekend takes place in Barcelona, 27-30 April 


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aj tracey, amnesia scanner, anderson .paak & the free nationals, arca, beautiful swimmers, benji b, carl craig’s versus synthesizer ensemble, cashmere cat, christian tiger school, clams casino, clark, damian lazarus, daphni & hunee, david lang “death speaks”, de la soul, dj shadow, eric prydz, evian christ, fat freddy’s drop, forest swords, gaika, giggs, heidi, hvob, jon hopkins (dj), julián mayorga, justice, kinder malo & pimp flaco, lcc, lena willikens, little dragon, lunice, marcel dettmann & dr rubinstein, marco carola, marie davidson, moderat, nadia rose, nico muhly, nicolas jaar, nina kraviz, nosaj thing + daito manabe, optimo, overmono, pan daijing, prins thomas, river tiber, roosevelt, rp boo, seth troxler & tiga, soulection, soulwax, stööki sound, suzanne ciani, t q d, the black madonna, tommy cash, valgeir sigurdsson, vitalic - odc live, ylia and many more. Get your tickets now www.sonartickets.com an initiative of

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Crack Issue 74  

Featuring Future Islands, Stefflon Don, Dirty Projectors, Jay Daniel, John Lydon, The Big Moon, Klein, COUM Transmissions and more

Crack Issue 74  

Featuring Future Islands, Stefflon Don, Dirty Projectors, Jay Daniel, John Lydon, The Big Moon, Klein, COUM Transmissions and more