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SOPHIE Crack Magazine | Issue 88


carhartt-wip.com


GORILLAZ • QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE

THE SCRIPT • JAMES BAY • MARSHMELLO • ALICE IN CHAINS • RAE SREMMURD

ANNE♥MARIE • AT THE DRIVE IN • BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB • CRAIG DAVID PRESENTS TS5 • THE VACCINES • VINCE STAPLES • RIVAL SONS • TRIGGERFINGER • STEVEN WILSON • LITTLE SIMZ • KALI UCHIS • GANG OF YOUTHS • JADE BIRD • KEIR • OTZEKI • SEVN ALIAS • TOM GRENNAN

THE KILLERS • LONDON GRAMMAR

SNOW PATROL • BEN HOWARD • FRANZ FERDINAND • ANDERSON .PAAK & THE FREE NATIONALS • RUSS

ANGUS & JULIA STONE • AIR TRAFFIC • ARSENAL • THE KOOKS • CHVRCHES • FIRST AID KIT • IAMDDB • WALKING ON CARS • WOLF ALICE • DERMOT KENNEDY • CURTIS HARDING • TOM WALKER • COURTEENERS FACES ON TV • ISAAC GRACIE • SAM FENDER • TODIEFOR • THE WHITE BUFFALO

PEARL JAM • JACK WHITE

JACK JOHNSON • FLEET FOXES • KHALID • MGMT • STONE SOUR • STEREOPHONICS • THE BREEDERS

PETIT BISCUIT • JORJA SMITH • BLACKWAVE. • ANGÈLE • JP COOPER • THE STRUTS • THE LAST INTERNATIONALE • SUSANNE SUNDFØR • STIKSTOF • DURAND JONES AND THE INDICATIONS • EMMA BALE • FLIGHT FACILITIES • THE MAGIC GANG

ARCTIC MONKEYS • NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS

NINE INCH NAILS • POST MALONE • PAROV STELAR • EELS • NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS • DAVID BYRNE

FEVER RAY • KALEO • GEORGE EZRA • ROMÉO ELVIS X LE MOTEL • NAO • SIGRID • NOVASTAR • RONE • ALBERT HAMMOND JR • NAAZ • PVRIS

THE ACADEMIC • THE AMAZONS • EQUAL IDIOTS • IDLES • PALE WAVES • WARBLY JETS

TICKETS : PROXIMUSGOFORMUSIC.BE & TICKETMASTER.BE


Opening Concert Performing in a 2,000 year-old Roman amphitheatre:

Kraftwerk 3-D Nils Frahm, Moodymann

Nubya Garcia, Josey Rebelle, Debora Ipekel Main Festival:

Aaron L Alessandro Adriani Alex T Alexander Nut Alfa Mist Alix Perez Alleged Witches Amoss Amp Fiddler Anastasia Kristensen Ant TC1 Ariwo Ash Lauryn Avalon Emerson Avoid aka Vladimir Acic Azymuth & Marcos Valle Bambooman Batu Ben UFO Billy Nasty Bjarki Bjeor Bluetrain (live) Bonobo (DJ) All Night Long

Born Cheating Borut Cvajner The Bug (In Dub – DJ Set)

Butter Side Up DJs Central Processing Unit Champagne Funk Children of Zeus Church of Sound The Comet Is Coming Conor Thomas Cosmic Slop Courtesy CPSmith Craig Richards Daisy Moon Darker Than Wax (RAH,

Funk Bast*rd & Marco Weibel)

Darkhouse Family Darwin dBridge Debora Ipekel Detroit In Effect Dimensions Soundsystem DJ Labud DJ Lag DJ Python DJ Stingray DMX Krew (live) Eda Eddy Ramich Electrix Records The Exaltics (live)

Fort Punta Christo 29 Aug — 2 Sep 2018 Pula, Croatia

Ezra Collective Fatima Felix Claus Felver Fixate Gigi Masin Gilla Halogenix Harri Pepper Heels & Souls Heinrich Dressel & Teslasonic (live) Helena Hauff Hessle Audio Hunee Il Bosco / Red Laser Disco Ilija Rudman Insolate James Holden And The Animal Spirits

Jan Kincl & Regis Kattie (live) Jlin Joachim Joe Armon-Jones & Maxwell Owin Jogarde John Talabot Jon Hopkins (live) Jon K Josey Rebelle Josh Cheon (Dark Entries) Julio Victoria Just Nathan K-HAND Kamma Kancheli (Bassiani) Kerem Akdag Kiara Scuro Kid Drama Klaps Kuniyuki (live) Kwasiba Savage Lady Blacktronika aka Femanyst

Lebawski Lee Gamble Lefto Leo Leal Lexis London Modular Alliance (live) Lucy Locket Mala Marcellus Pittman Margaret Dygas Mark Turner (The Orbit) Masalo Massimo Mephisto Maurice Fulton

MC Fokus MC GQ Michael Upson Milo Mimi Molinaro Mona Lee Monty MXMJOY : [maximumjoy] Nas1 Nicolas Lutz Nina Kraviz Open Mike Eagle Oyvind Morken Palms Trax Pangaea Paula Temple Peanut Butter Wolf Pearson Sound Peggy Gou Petar Dundov Ploy Poppy Ajudha Red D Red Greg Roli rRoxymore Sam Hall San Soda Saoirse Sean OD Sheridan Shy One Silicon Scally aka Carl Finlow (live)

Skee Mask Skeptik Skeptical SNO Sonja Moonear Sons of Kemet SP:MC Steve O’Sullivan (live) Steve Spacek Sue Avenue Thang Tom Hannah Total Refreshment Centre Underground Resistance pres: Depth Charge

Umfang Upwellings (live) Volruptus Volster Volvox Will Lister Willikens & Ivkovic WLC Yazmin Lacey Yuri


CROSSTOWW N CONCERTS

W

P R E S E N T S

Teenage Fanclub Presents

Songs From

Teenage Fanclub The Creation Records Years Night 1 : Songs from 91-93 Night 2 : Songs from 94-97 Night 3 : Songs from 98-00

November 13 / 14 / 15

MONDAY 21 MAY 2018

UK TOUR 2018

OSLO

Electric

THURSDAY 21 JUNE

ELECTRIC BALLROOM

LONDON

Ballroom

PLUS

UK - MAY JUNE 2018

LONDON

BY A R R A N G E M E N T W I T H X- R AY

IN ASSOCIATION WITH ATC LIVE

TICKETS ON SALE TODAY AT 9AM

London

WEDNESDAY 06 JUNE

ROUNDHOUSE - LONDON -

H Limited number of season tickets H available to see all three shows

NEW ALBUM TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL OUT 18 MAY

teenagefanclub.com

COURTNEYBARNETT.COM.AU By arrangement with X-ray

BY ARRANGEMENT WITH X-RAY

WEDNESDAY 24 OCTOBER 2018

EX DU T ET O O A RA VER D D WH DE AT ELM D E ING DE MA ND

O2 FORUM Kentish Town London

ASH-OFFICIAL.COM

UM OUT NEW ALB

18TH MAY

BY ARRANGEMENT WITH X-RAY

ASH-OFFICIAL.COM

THE CAT EMPIRE

UK TOUR 2018 WEDNESDAY 20 JUNE

EUROPEAN TOUR OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2018 UT DO THURSDAY NOVEMBER SOL15

O2 SHEPHERD’S BUSH EMPIRE LONDON

P LU S S P E CIAL GU E STS

★ FRIDAY 16 NOVEMBER ★

ROUNDHOUSE - LONDON -

BELLYOFFICIAL.COM

WEDNESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER 2018

ROUNDHOUSE - LONDON -

BY ARRANGEMENT WITH X-RAY

BY ARRANGEMENT WITH CAA

THECATEMPIRE.COM

BY ARRANGEMENT WITH UNITED TALENT AGENCY

FRANZFERDINAND.COM

13 | 06 | 18

10 | 08 | 18

LION

STEVEN PAGE

29 | 06 | 18

12 | 09 | 18

- THE LEXINGTON -

- UNION CHAPEL -

THE SHEEPDOGS

JIM WHITE

- BORDERLINE -

- THE LEXINGTON -

T I C K E T S AVA I L A B L E F R O M

SEETICKETS.COM - GIGANTIC.COM - ROUNDHOUSE.ORG.UK - TICKETMASTER.CO.UK - STARGREEN.COM @CROSSTOWN_LIVE -

/CROSSTOWNCONCERTS -

@CROSSTOWNCONCERTS


& THE FREE NATIONALS


AUGUST ROSENBAUM TUES 1 MAY SERVANT JAZZ QUARTERS KEDR LIVANSKIY THURS 3 MAY THE PICKLE FACTORY JAMES HEATHER WED 9 MAY ST PANCRAS OLD CHURCH THE LONGCUT THURS 10 MAY THE LEXINGTON JERKCURB THURS 10 MAY OMEARA TONY NJOKU SAT 12 MAY OFF THE CUFF HALEY HEYNDERICKX WED 16 MAY OUT SOLD THE ISLINGTON

BECKIE MARGARET THURS 17 MAY ST PANCRAS OLD CHURCH

ERLAND COOPER THURS 24 MAY T OUOLD ST PANCRAS SOLD CHURCH

COMMON HOLLY FRI 18 MAY THE ISLINGTON

RINA SAWAYAMA FRI 25 MAY THE GARAGE

SAM EVIAN TUES 22 MAY THE ISLINGTON

LICE FRI 25 MAY SEBRIGHT ARMS

ALEX NAPPING MON 20 AUG SERVANT JAZZ QUARTERS

BASEMENT REVOLVER TUES 22 MAY PAPER DRESS VINTAGE

THE MEN FRI 1 JUNE OSLO HACKNEY

(SANDY) ALEX G WED 5 SEPT ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY HALL

EZRA FURMAN WED 23 MAY O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON

PINK KINK TUES 5 JUNE SEBRIGHT ARMS PET DEATHS WED 13 JUNE SEBRIGHT ARMS

CAR SEAT HEADREST WED 23 MAY ROUNDHOUSE

ROSTAM THURS 14 JUNE SCALA

PALM THURS 24 MAY CORSICA STUDIOS

GROUP LISTENING MON 9 JULY ST PANCRAS OLD CHURCH

BEDOUINE MON 9 JULY THE LEXINGTON

MARTIN KOHLSTEDT MON 8 OCT ST PANCRAS OLD CHURCH

KING TUFF THURS 16 AUG MOTH CLUB

GWENNO THURS 18 OCT ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY HALL SOLOMON GREY THURS 25 OCT UNION CHAPEL LORD HURON FRI 26 OCT ROUNDHOUSE

JOSE GONZALEZ THURS 20 SEPT ROYAL ALBERT HALL MITSKI WED 26 SEPT O2 SHEPHERD’S BUSH EMPIRE JIM GHEDI THURS 27 SEPT ST PANCRAS OLD CHURCH

KELLY LEE OWENS THURS 15 NOV VILLAGE UNDERGROUND LUKE HOWARD TUES 20 NOV BUSH HALL HOOKWORMS SAT 24 NOV O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN

PARALLELLINESPROMOTIONS.COM


Crack Magazine Stage Field Day Saturday 2 June

01

Fever Ray Cornelius Mount Kimbie ZHU Princess Nokia Earl Sweatshirt James Holden & The Animal Spirits Jimothy Lacoste


The Main Stage supported by BBC MUSIC

Nile Rodgers & Chic BASTILLE ° JON HOPKINS

KAMASI WASHINGTON ° BAXTER DURY !!! (Chk Chk Chk) ° IAMDDB ° palace

JOY CROOKES ° DAN OWEN ° MY BABY ° BILLY LOCKETT ° MAHALIA CONFIDENCE MAN ° CARMODY ° Freya Ridings ° STEREO HONEY And featuring an afternoon with

The Valley

Late Night Parties & Revelry

GROOVE ARMADA

GEORGE FITZGERALD ° PEGGY GOU WAZE AND ODYSSEY ° SEVERINO MIKE PICKERING HACIENDA DOM CHUNG ° COUSN ° HOT BLOOD THE HEREAFTER

BBC MUSIC INTRODUCING After Sunset

EXPLORE THE NIGHT REALM

THE HUSTLE LATE-NIGHT DISCO WITH SECRET SPECIAL GUESTS THE SKILAMALINK RIOTOUS MERRIMENT AROUND THE HOUSE PIANO

Cabaret, Comedy and Variety Introducing… The Be All & End Hall

THE TRAVELLING BARN

Woodburner Presents KABARETT VERBOTEN JIM JONES & THE RIGHTEOUS MIND WITH MISSY FATALE AND GUESTs CHELOU ° BEARCUBS

The Great Brain Robbery Presents

HENRI HERBERT & THE FURY SON OF DAVE TOM MANSI & THE ICEBREAKERS BLACK KAT BOPPERS ° ANNIE BEA FRED STITZ ° JOAO MELLO NATTY BO ° LADY KAMIKAZE GUS ROBERTSON ° WALTER CHINASKI THE PEOPLE PILE ° SENORITA SCARLETT Returning favourites

The carousel with Shangri La Superstars Continental Drifts & Global Local

THE SWEET LIFE SOCIETY CUT CAPERS ° WARA ° HENGE

BOURGEOIS & MAURICE

HACKNEY SHOWROOM presents LUCY McCORMICK & TRAVIS ALABANZA PECS DRAG KINGS ELLE & THE POCKET BELLES SOLE REBEL TAP ° STUMBLE TRIP CLOWNS SWING PATROL THE WILDERNESS CHORUS LINE WITH THE BEE’S KNEES Live Musical Celebrations

RONNIE SCOTT’S PRESENTS: THE PEE WEE ELLIS FUNK ASSEMBLY AFRIQUOI ° MY BABY ° HENGE THE WILDERNESS ORCHESTRA PRESENTS ‘GOD’S JUKEBOX’ HIP HOP KARAOKE / OH MY GOD! IT’S THE CHURCH

MEADOWLARK ° SAM GREEN RUM BUFFALO ° AGBEKO DON KIPPER ° SOUNDS OF HARLOWE JALEN NGONDA ° AILBHE REDDY

GRACE LIGHTMAN ° JOE DOLMAN ° FELIX M-B FELLOW PYNINS ° WAAJU ° THE DYLEMA COLLECTIVE PYAEN ° PATCHWORK JAZZ ORCHESTRA GABRIELA EVA ° CHIMINYO Front Room Songs Presents

KEFAYA ° DAVID KEENAN MOBIUS LOOP ° TOMMY HARE Cut A Shine’s Sunday Hoedown

FOREST OF FOOLS HOLY MOLY AND THE CRACKERS CUT A SHINE ° THE RELATIVES


LUKE S ITAL-S IN GH

6 MAY

T HE S KA V EN GERS

6 MAY

CA R L EEN AN D ER S ON , N IKK I Y EO H, SP EECH DEBELL E & N UBYA GARC I A 21 MAY L ES A M AZON ES D 'AFR IQU E

27 MAY

C O N C R ET E L AT ES : KIAS MOS D J SE T

15 JUN

CON C R ET E L AT ES : V ES S ELS D J S E T & L I VE C O N C R ET E L AT ES : EAT STAT IC D J SE T WHY TE HORSES E XPERIENCE LOST HORIZONS

23 JUN

13 SEP

14 SEP

BILL RYDER-JONES MOSES SUMNE Y

16 JUN

20 SEP

21 SEP

BOOK NOW

MORE GIGS


fabric MAY 2018

05 ROOM 01

CRAIG RICHARDS & SETH TROXLER (ALL NIGHT LONG) TRISTAN DA CUNHA ROOM 02

SILENT SERVANT THE HACKER PRESENTS AMATO (LIVE) JAY CLARKE

12 ROOM 01

PATRICK TOPPING PAUL JOHNSON TERRY FRANCIS ROOM 02

CLUB BAD MELÉ ADAM PORT ANDREW HILL 19 ROOM 01

FRRC: BY RICARDO VILLALOBOS RICARDO VILLALOBOS CRAIG RICHARDS VERA AMIR JAVASOUL ROOM 02

POWELL LONDON MODULAR ALLIANCE (DJ SET) ROBERTO 26 EXIT FESTIVAL LAUNCH ROOM 01

ELLEN ALLIEN BJARKI TIJANA T ROOM 02

KANGDING RAY (LIVE) HENNING BAER BLACKHALL & BOOKLESS


019 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

Executive Editors

Publishing

Print

Contributors

Thomas Frost tom@crackmagazine.net

Crack Industries Ltd Office 1B 31 Berkeley Square Clifton Bristol, BS8 1HP

Editor Anna Tehabsim

For any publishing enquiries please contact publishing@crackmagazine.net

Editorial Assistant Rachel Grace Almeida

Words Chal Ravens, Caroline Whiteley, Christine Kakaire, Aniefiok Ekpoudom, Joe Zadeh, Jake Indiana, Gabriel Szatan, Steph Kretowicz, Oli Warwick, Jake Hall, Callum Copley, Tomas Fraser, Robert Bates, Karl Smith, Kathy Iandoli, Theo Kotz, Ben Murphy, Xavier Boucherat, Adam Corner, Lara C Cory, Kambole Campbell, Grace Barber-Plentie, Beth Webb

Creative

Digital

Design and art direction by Plinth. Visit plinth.media for more details

Head of Digital Louise Brailey louise@crackmagazine.net

Commercial & Events Commercial Director Luke Sutton luke@crackmagazine.net Marketing Manager Ben Horton ben@crackmagazine.net Marketing Assistant Oscar Henson oscar@crackmagazine.net Advertising Enquiries advertising@crackmagazine.net Amsterdam Operations Jack Dolan jack@crackmagazine.net

Subscribe Get Crack Magazine delivered to your door each month

Creative Director Alfie Allen alfie@crackmagazine.net Graphic Designer Jack Wells jack.w@crackmagazine.net

Associate Editor Davy Reed

Online Editor Duncan Harrison duncan@crackmagazine.net Digital Assistant Vivian Yeung vivian@crackmagazine.net

Photography Renata Raksha, Vitali Gelwich, Eamonn Freel, Lukas Korschan, Kira Bunse, Mike Chalmers, Theo Cottle, Harriet Blake, Andy Hughes Fashion Luci Ellis, Sam Thompson, Themba Mayo Illustration Caterina Bianchini, Tom Winfield, Tim Lahan

Video Production Benjamin Brook

The Christmas Steps

Senior Developer Saul Martin

Manager Tom Bird

Respect Jodie Banaszkiewicz, Katerina Koumourou, Joss Meek, Aiofe Kitt, Katerina Marka, Tom Adcock, Joe Hatt, Jamie Woolgar, Philipp Maiburg, Alexandra Bondi de Antoni, Ben Ayres, Meg Greenhorn, Ebi Sampson, Hannah Curran-Troop

Carhartt WIP Worldwide

Sameheads Berlin

Rough Trade East London

Urban Outfitters UK Wide

X Records Bolton

Phonica Records London

Rush Hour Amsterdam

Patterns Brighton

ICA London

Paradiso Amsterdam

The Christmas Steps Bristol

Rokit True Vintage London

De Marktkantine Amsterdam

Idle Hands Bristol

Ace Hotel London

Melkweg Amsterdam

Arnolfini Bristol

Kristina Records London

Red Light Records Amsterdam

Watershed Bristol

Islington Mill Manchester

De School Amsterdam

Chapter Cardiff

Piccadilly Records Manchester

Hard Wax Berlin

Spillers Records Cardiff

Oi Polloi Manchester

Michelberger Hotel Berlin

The Art School Glasgow

Soup Kitchen Manchester

OYE Records Berlin

Rubadub Glasgow

Rough Trade Nottingham

KW Institut For Contemporary Art Berlin

Belgrave Music Hall Leeds

The Harley Sheffield

Voo Store Berlin

The Shipping Forecast Liverpool

If you would like to stock Crack Magazine please contact stock@crackmagazine.net

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Our monthly print edition is stocked in over 100 cities and towns across Europe Selected Stockists

Subscription for 1 year / 12 issues £20 UK inc p&p £60 EU inc p&p £90 Rest of world inc p&p

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© All rights reserved. All material in Crack Magazine may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of Crack Industries Ltd. Crack Magazine and its contributors cannot accept any liability for reader discontent arising from the editorial features. Crack Magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any article or material supplied for publication or to edit this material prior to publishing. Crack Magazine cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to supplied materials. The opinions expressed or recommendations given in the magazine are the views of the individual author and do not necessarily represent the views of Crack Industries Ltd. We accept no liability for any misprints or mistakes and no responsibility can be taken for the contents of these pages.

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NACHT DIGITAL

Beatrice Dillon Bjarki Blawan Burnt Friedman Courtesy Cubic Space Collective Demdike Stare DJ Dustin Don‘t DJ Evigt Mörker Holz Izabel Jan Schulte Kinzo Chrome Maayan Nidam Make Me Manuel Stallbaumer & Stefan Schmidt-Dichte Mozhgan Objekt Optimo Paquita Gordon Portable Rroxymore Sofay Steffen Bennemann Violet VTSS Wolf Müller & Niklas Wandt XDB

AUG 03—05 2018

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AMBIENT FLOOR Adel Akram Ana Bogner Ben UFO Chilling The Do DJ Carpet Crawler 3000 Et Kin Feuerbach Good News Huerco S Johanna Knutsson Michelson Nina OneTake Trester Vai Weber Wolf Müller & Cass.

Øyafestivalen 2018 · Oslo, Norway · 7–11 August

Kendrick Lamar

(US)

· Arctic Monkeys

(UK)

Lykke Li · Arcade Fire · Cezinando Fever Ray · Patti Smith · St. Vincent Charlotte Gainsbourg · No. 4 · 6lack (SE)

(CA)

(SE)

(US)

www.oyafestivalen.no

(FR)

J Hus

· Grizzly Bear

(UK)

(US)

· Brockhampton

Goldie

(UK)

(US)

DJ set

Jenny Lewis WITCH

· Sleaford Mods

(ZM)

· Jorja Smith

(US)

· Skatebård

· Superorganism

(US)

(NO)

(UK)

(UK)

(US)

(US)

· Noname (NO)

(US)

(UK)

· High On Fire · Smerz

(US)

Get your tic ke ts to da y!

· Wolf Alice

DJ set

(US)

(NO)

... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead Converge

(NO)

(US)

+ more!

Day and week tickets available at Ticketmaster.no


021

Contents

Waka Flocka Flame:

Jayda G:

30

38

46

crackmagazine.net

SOPHIE:

Rapsody:

The Divine Queer Secrets of Berlin’s Post-Drag Sisterhood 64

Jimothy Lacoste 56

Editor's Letter – p.23 Rising: Giant Swan – p.27

Discover – p.29

Mixtape: Parquet Courts – p.75

Recommended – p.24 Grabbeplatz Forever – p.42

Reviews – p.77

20 Questions: Stephen Malkmus – p.97

My Life as a

Retrospective: Consumed – p.91

A Love Letter To: Blog House – p.98

CONTENTS

52


ROBERT SMITH’S

15 – 24 JUNE 2018 C U R Æ T I O N -2 5 | D E AT H C A B F O R C U T I E | D E F T O N E S | T H E L I B E R T I N E S M A N I C S T R E E T P R E A C H E R S | M O G W A I | M Y B LO O DY VA L E N T I N E N I N E I N C H N A I LS | P L A C E B O | T H E P S YC H E D E L I C F U R S 6 5 D AY S O F S TAT I C | A LC E S T | F R I G H T E N E D R A B B I T | G O D I S A N A S T R O N A U T | K R I S T I N H E R S H LO W | M AY B E S H E W I L L | M O N O | T H E N O T W I S T | S U Z A N N E V E G A A D E A D F O R E S T I N D E X | T H E A N C H O R E S S | A N D A LS O T H E T R E E S | B L A C K M O T H S U P E R R A I N B O W | T H E C H U R C H DOUGLAS DARE | DRAHLA | EMMA RUTH RUNDLE | FEAR OF MEN | HILARY WOODS | I LIKE TRAINS | INDIAN QUEENS J A M B I N A I | J A M E S W A LS H | J O Q U A I L | J Ó N S I , A L E X S O M E R S & PA U L C O R L E Y | J OY C U T | T H E J OY F O R M I D A B L E K Æ L A N M I K L A | K AT H R Y N J O S E P H | K I D S M O K E | T H E K V B | LO O P | M AT T H O LU B O W S K I | M O O N D U O P L A N N I N G F O R B U R I A L | P G . LO S T | P U M A R O S A | T H E S O F T M O O N | T H O U G H T F O R M S | T R O P I C O F C A N C E R T H E T W I L I G H T S A D | V E X R E D | YO N A K A E AT S TAT I C D J S E T | K I A S M O S D J S E T | V E S S E L S D J S E T & L I V E Media Partner

# M E LT D O W N F E S T

© Andy Vella


When I tripped out of university and into Crack Magazine’s office in May 2013, I had no idea the role would evolve from Intern to Editor. So lately I’ve been taking stock of the journey. Five years have notched up innumerable late nights, double digit-hour stints in distribution vans and hundreds of little victories. Oh, and thousands – hundreds of thousands, somehow – of these magazines, spat out of our printers in Bristol and slung into locations across Europe, propped up in countless corners, jostling to catch your attention.

Nines Haze ft. Fundz Destiny’s Child Lose My Breath Proc Fiskal Washing Dishes Speedy Ortiz I’m Blessed Amen Dunes Believe Amnesia Scanner AS Chaos ft. Pan Daijing Facta Dumb Hummer Novelist Smiles ft. Pascall Moodymann Got Me Coming Back Right Now ft. Amp Dog Knights Kamaal Williams Situations (Live in Milan) Octavian Hands Curl (Taz & Meeks) Obviously Gucci Mane Exclusive Freestyle 4 (MVP) SOPHIE It's Okay To Cry Ravyn Lenae The Night Song The Weeknd Try Me

SOPHIE shot exclusively for Crack Magazine by Renata Raksha at her home in Los Angeles, April 2018

I’ve been especially sentimental about the many fearless artists who shape the identity of this magazine. Cultural firecrackers intent on blowing up binaries and more than a handful of legends along the way. The stories most meaningful to me are those which celebrate the creative visionaries overlooked by the mainstream. Those who use their voice to open up vital conversations. Artists who see music as a lens through which to view our world, and at the same time dare to imagine new futures. This month’s cover star embodies these ideas. SOPHIE pushes music to its sensory extremes. Her radical sound riffs on sexuality, our material-driven culture, and the thrills to be found where the two interact. This approach has seen her rub shoulders with the likes of Madonna and McDonald’s. But this new step – becoming visible after five years in the shadows – feels like her most significant to date. As she tells Chal Ravens, SOPHIE is driven by work which can resonate and “live in people’s real lives”, offering something tangible to embrace as they navigate the world. At Crack Magazine, we echo that sentiment. We hope you find an idea in this issue which reverberates far beyond these pages. Anna Tehabsim, Editor

023

Crack Magazine Was Made Using

crackmagazine.net

May 2018

EDITORIAL

Issue 88


024

Angel Olsen Union Chapel 1 May

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

Junction 2 Festival Adam Beyer, Carl Cox, Nina Kraviz Boston Manor Park, London 9 June £65 + BF

Vundabar The Lexington 2 May

Crack Magazine at The Great Escape Patterns, Brighton 19 May

Ben UFO, Lena Willikens + Kassem Mosse XOYO 11 May

The collective of content aficionados at Crack Magazine are the stuff of legends, with the storied crew being the subject of myths and Chinese whispers, spoken about in revered tones at parties. Nah, all jokes aside, if you’d like to come party with us, we’ll be hosting a night with Berlin experimentalist Laurel Halo, noise makers Giant Swan and Mancunian selector Willow in one of our favourite UK cities this summer. It’ll be alright, you should come along.

Just under the A4 motorway in west London, all the way out in – wait for it – Zone 4, Junction 2 Festival is here for another year of electronic music across all genres. This year’s line-up sees sets from house heavyweight Carl Cox, techno extraordinaire and Drumcode Records founder Adam Beyer, minimal genre-bender Nina Kraviz, poignant techno duo Tale of Us and many, many more. Earthy areas mingle with bespoke industrial features, you can trawl through woodlands, fields and rivers as you get across all five stages – evoking the spirit of the halcyon days of UK rave.

Parklife Festival The xx, J Hus, Chvrches Heaton Park, Manchester 9–11 June £65–85 + BF

Yo La Tengo Royal Festival Hall 4 May

Raye Village Underground 31 May

Daniel Blumberg Rough Trade East 4 May

Sónar Festival Gorillaz, Thom Yorke, Helena Hauff Various venues, Barcelona 14–16 June €180 + BF

Parklife Festival returns to Manchester, where you can catch some of the world’s biggest hitters and emerging artists all at once. In Heaton Park’s municipal surroundings, you can find Pharrell and co heading up the bill with the recently-revived N.E.R.D., Skepta and BBK running shit on the main stage, Jon Hopkins with an entirely new live set, Kelela’s future RnB, Stefflon Don’s commanding bars, The Internet’s soft-focus grooves, and countless acts spanning across all genres. On a dancier note, there will be sets from The Black Madonna, Bicep, Honey Dijon, Peggy Gou and more DJs all over the map. It goes without saying that there’s something in here for everyone.

Ghostface Killah + Raekwon Troxy 11 May

EVENTS

The balance between cuttingedge and crowd-pleasing is always tricky to nail, but Sónar have got it down to a fine art. This year Thom Yorke, Gorillaz and LCD Soundsystem headline but the real standouts are a little further down the bill. Grime godhead Wiley will be making his Sónar debut, as will breakout Washington DC rapper GoldLink, while we urge you to embrace the cognitive dissonance as you dance in short-shorts to Helena Hauff. Experimental collaborators Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto are also charged with bringing the festival to a close with a brand new live show. Unmissable, again.

All Points East LCD Soundsystem, The xx, Björk Victoria Park, London 25–27 May £169.95 + BF The organisers behind California’s pop cultural behemoth Coachella plant their flag in London’s festival landscape with All Points East. To ensure they hit the ground running, they’ve locked in a line-up that’s so big that, well, it can’t fail, can it? We’re talking the kind of blockbuster programme that makes room for LCD Soundsystem, Patti Smith, Lorde and The xx, alongside tipped newcomers like New York underground star Yaeji, Incensio’s DJ Python and SE London-via-France rapper Octavian. As well as the three-day festival in Victoria Park, there’s a 10-day conference and three standalone shows, one of which is headlined by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. Consider the bar well and truly raised. DJ Koze Hydra 5 May

Iceage Scala 8 May

Vladimir Ivkovic The Pickle Factor 25 May


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Octo Octa Corsica Studios 25 May

Bonobo Alexandra Palace 31 May

Lente Kabinet Motor City Drum Ensemble, Peggy Gou, Kelela Het Twiske, Amsterdam 26–28 May €68 + BF Armed with lush Amsterdam woodland and some serious speaker stacks, Dekmantel have transformed their city's summer festival scene. Applying this formula to the leafy Het Twiske location for their smaller sister event, Lente Kabinet expands over two days this year for the summer warm-up we deserve. Propping up vibes by the riverside are festival regulars like Ben UFO, MCDE and Orpheu the Wizard, but the line-up separates itself from Dekmantel proper by weighing heavily on live acts. Artists like Warp Records star Kelela, jazz-funk hero Kamaal Williams, Congolese artists KOKOKO! and Marie Davidson's Essaie Pas will perform live, while hyped selectors like Peggy Gou, Tzusing and Bufiman ramp up the pace. Dekmantel-lite has never looked this good.

Quite possibly the only time Gucci Mane and Slayer will share a stage this summer, Secret Solstice is full of unique experiences. Held in the greenest patch of Iceland's capital, it pulls together acts like Bonnie Tyler, Death From Above, J Hus, Steve Aoki and IAMDDB across 96 hours of never-ending daylight. There will also be a roster of upcoming Icelandic artists, who are notoriously political in their outlook, and of course the aforementioned Gucci and Slayer. The former will be continuing his triumphant wave and the latter will be raising hell at the festival as one of the last stops in their colossal final world tour – bowing out under Iceland's surreal midnight sun.

Tourists and Bilbao locals flock to the top of Kobetamendi mountain each year for this special little festival. Uniting indie with rock, pop with electronic and dance, each year the team behind Bilbao BBK Live bring a diverse line-up to the picturesque location for a blissful escape in remote surroundings. Arguably the best stage, Basoa is a relatively new addition, but that don’t let that make you think any less of its dance line-up, as it’s set to host some of electronic music’s finest purveyors – think Ben UFO, Avalon Emerson and Hunee – in an intimate woodland area. See you at the top.

Gala Festival Peckham Rye Park, London 27 May £35 + BF There’s nothing much better than having a banging line-up at the foot of your door, and Gala Festival turns it out every year. Taking place May Bank Holiday Sunday, the Peckham Rye Park all-dayer is bringing us a day-to-night party with live performances from Honey Dijon, Mr Scruff, Maurice Fulton, Horse Meat Disco, Mafalda and many more DJs that have been explicitly inspired by the disco and house movements. You can also get your grub on, with a host of London’s most revered independent food and drink vendors setting up shop on site. Judging by last year’s sell-out show, tickets will be flying fast – if you’re looking for a good-time party, Gala is where it’s at.

Actress + LCO Barbican Centre 25 May

Joe Armon-Jones Ghost Notes 24 May

Big Freedia Village Underground 24 May

Gigi Masin The Jazz Cafe 10 May

Men I Trust Electrowerkz 22 May

AVA Festival Larry Heard, Hunee, Jayda G S13 Warehouse, Belfast 1–2 June £45–£75 + BF

Japanese Breakfast Islington Assembly Hall 15 May

The Breeders Roundhouse May 30

If a festival was measured by the sum of its meme-able moments, then AVA would be on top. Belfast's sprawling house and techno festival is forever etched into the annals of the dance music internet after videos of its rowdy crowd went viral last year. The absolute scenes that took place at Boiler Room's open air stage are far flung from your average, camera conscious crowd – dancers have a naughty glint in their eye as they proudly represent a scene known for its full throttle enthusiasm. This year it's up to Floorplan, Helena Hauff, Bicep, Midland, Mall Grab and more to facilitate the mischief. See for yourself, or risk casting an envious eye over the content left in its wake.

When Kim Deal left Pixies to pursue a solo music career, it was initially met with disdain, as are most member departures of iconic bands. But soon after she formed The Breeders with Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses, and the rest was history – the scuzzy, alt-rock four-piece went on to release four studio albums to critical acclaim, and now, after a decade out of the game, they’re back with a stomping new record, All Nerve. If you know what’s what, you’ll get down to the Roundhouse and see them in all their kick-back-at-thebullshit glory.

Oshun Ghost Notes 14 Ma

EVENTS

Secret Solstice Stormzy, Slayer, IAMDDB Reykjavik, Iceland 21–24 June €175

Bilbao BBK Live David Byrne, Young Fathers, Avalon Emerson Kobetamendi Mountain, Bilbao 12–14 July €60–155 + BF


VICTORIA PARK LONDON, E3

FRI 25 MAY

SAT 26 MAY

SUN 27 MAY

LCD SOUNDSYSTEM THE XX

BJÖRK

Glass Animals > Richie Hawtin CLOSE Dixon > Nick Murphy fka Chet Faker Chromeo > Young Fathers George Fitzgerald LIVE Hercules & Love Affair > Roman Flügel DJ Tennis > Gerd Janson Superorganism > Hookworms Oscar and the Wolf > Confidence Man Eclair Fifi > Fort Romeau Knox Fortune > Lo Moon

Friendly Fires > Tom Misch Flying Lotus 3D > The Black Madonna Django Django > Kelela Mashrou’ Leila > Sylvan Esso Khruangbin > Maribou State DJS Parcels > Alexis Taylor > Yellow Days Yaeji > Octavian > Mr G Live Agoria Live > Allie X > ItaloJohnson Byron The Aquarius > Bones Garage DEBONAIR

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Phoenix

Lorde > Justice Sampha

Beck Father John Misty

Soulwax > Lykke Li > Popcaan BADBADNOTGOOD > Rhye Stefflon Don > Rex Orange County Omar-S > Hunee > ABRA Sevdaliza > DJ Richard Call Super > Shanti Celeste DJ Python > Kojey Radical Jesse James Solomon Her > Beatrice Dillon

JUST ADDED

DESPACIO Featuring James Murphy & 2manydjs ALL WEEKEND LONG PLUS MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED FRIDAY 01 JUNE VICTORIA PARK LONDON, E3

SATURDAY 02 JUNE VICTORIA PARK LONDON, E3

SUNDAY 03 JUNE VICTORIA PARK LONDON, E3

EXCLUSIVE 2018 UK SHOW

Nick Cave � The Bad Seeds

THE NATIONAL

+ very special guests

VERY SPECIAL GUESTS

THE WAR ON DRUGS FUTURE ISLANDS WARPAINT > CAT POWER

THE HUNNA > BLOSSOMS

THE HUNNA BLOSSOMS PUBLIC SERVICE > BROADCASTING

FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES

BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE > SPOON FRANK CARTER & THE RATTLESNAKES

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD > THE AMAZONS

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD > THE AMAZONS

PLUS MANY MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED

PLUS MANY MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED

AMBER RUN > THIS IS THE KIT THE DISTRICTS > ROSTAM PLUS MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED

Subject to Licence. Line up subject to change

PATTI SMITH AND HER BAND ST. VINCENT COURTNEY BARNETT THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS THE BLACK LIPS BAXTER DURY NADINE SHAH SHAME BO NINGEN

allpointseastfestival.com


Words: Rachel Grace Almeida

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Rising: Giant Swan Giant Swan are bringing space to the dancefloor. Channelling chaos and tranquillity in equal measure, the Bristol-based electronic duo, comprised of Robin Stewart and Harry Wright, have never done things in a hurry. Their special brand of “technonon-techno” is full-bodied in execution but sparse in temperament. This project is a jump from their other band, The Naturals – where The Naturals emerged with scrappy, sanguine indie bops, Giant Swan shock with meticulous craftsmanship and aggressive distortion. The only way to enjoy Giant Swan is to let them encompass you wholly. Industrial sounds hit you like a wall, but it’s the subtle intricacies of blissed-out drone, ambient textures and erratic

Sounds Like: Apocalyptic, dronedriven techno with melodic undertones Soundtrack For: Losing your shit in a sticky basement party File Next To: Container / The Body Our Favourite Tune IFTLOYL Where to Find Them: @GiantGiantSwan

beats bubbling underneath that puts them at the forefront of their scene. Armed with only two guitars, pedal boards and their voices, their set is entirely improvised. No show is ever the same, constituted of free-form movements, rather than a programmed setlist. In spite of the unruly nature of their live shows, the two run a tight ship – their intuitions play off each other so naturally, it’s easy to forget they’re making it up as they go along.

However, Giant Swan is a project borne out of the sheer desire to bring the fun back into the rave, which is something Harry and Robin both say is missing from a lot of dancefloors. “Techno is supposed to be about celebrating unity and losing inhibitions, with everyone under one roof united, living for the weekend. There is less of that around now – there are a lot more chin-strokers, and it’s arguably the most po-faced genre at the moment,” declares Harry. “When you get these social areas brought up within the techno world there seems to be a lot of contradictory attitudes and entitlement, both from the audience and DJs.” Dance music, at its core, is built on the politics of tolerance, mutual understanding, and, above all, inclusivity. However, the genre still remains a hostile territory for marginalised groups of people. While Giant Swan’s music isn’t explicitly political, the environments they find themselves performing in are – there’s a sense of collective responsibility that is shared by both artists and audience members in positions of privilege, and that’s something they’re both aware of during their sets. Harry and Robin both speak about it openly, without caveat. “It’s good for us to know our place within it – we're not trying to represent a group or a movement or a genre, but rather be openminded and engage in new opinions and discussions to further our knowledge,” Robin unpacks. “I think a lot of people aren’t prepared to admit they haven’t got it all worked out yet. We'd be the first to admit our principles, opinions and politics in the dancefloor are still changing and growing.” And with each show they play, with each set that spirals intuitively into wild, headspinning intensity, it really feels like they are. Giant Swan perform live at Crack Magazine’s event at Patterns, Brighton, 19 May


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Discover

Kadhja Bonet

ALASKALASKA

Few artists capture the smokefilled haze of adolescence quite like Biig Piig does – her woozy tunes sound like the winding down of a house party, or the sleepy ride home on a night bus after being out all night. The 20-year-old London-via-Ireland rapper, singer and producer is making lo-fi, jazz-tinted RnB straight out of her bedroom above her family’s Irish pub, delivered with the kind of deadpan vocal inflections that keep her simple-yet-poignant lyrics about friendship, heartbreak and the joyful mundanities of relationships completely in balance. With three forthcoming EPs, it’s safe to say that Biig Piig is making big moves, but taking her time with it – just like her music does. File Next To: Erykah Badu / Smerz Our Favourite Tune: Vice City Where To Find Her: soundcloud.com/biigpiig

File Next To: Wild Beasts / Blood Orange Our Favourite Tune: Bitter Winter Where To Find Them: soundcloud.com/ alaskalaskamusic

Barrie

Repro In our era of sleep entrepreneurs and mindfulness apps, it’s easy to forget the therapeutic potential of searing, uncompromising techno. The stuff that hovers around 140BPM, making your eyeballs shake and hitting a hard refresh on your central nervous system. Repro hasn’t forgotten. A central figure in Copenhagen’s techno scene, he runs the Euromantic label and forges super butch, piston-powered warehouse snarlers (his 2017 EP was called Leather, Still & Fist, just FYI). Repro’s latest release, the Ectothermsigned Feel Extraordinary EP, tempers the screeching BPMs with melancholic pads and a downtempo track, but really, it’s all about the sweaty-palmed catharsis. Feel better yet?

We did it – we finally found the perfect song to soundtrack your lazy summer days in the park, thanks to Brooklyn newcomers Barrie. Warm and glowing, their debut single Canyons twists and swirls into a dream pop gem, carrying a psychedelic jazz undercurrent that feels both part of the present musical wave and completely unique in equal measure. In the song, vocalist Barrie Lindsay’s hushed, reverb-laden croons describe a surreal visit to the cinema, and the subsequent night-to-day shock of stepping outside. Something tells us their visceral jams are going to be sticking around for a while.

File Next To: Peluche / TOPS Our Favourite Tune: Mother Maybe Where To Find Her: soundcloud.com/kadhja-bonet

File Next To: Elder Island / Men I Trust Our Favourite Tune: Canyons Where To Find Them: barrie.bandcamp.com

File Next To: Regis / Paula Temple Our Favourite Tune: Gust Of Residue Where To Find Him: soundcloud.com/repro1305

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Biig Piig

Sometimes, when talking about music, the phrase ‘genrebending’ will do. But London six-piece ALASKALASKA takes experimentation to a whole new, accessible level. Here you won’t find outlandish samples or otherworldly textures; rather, you’ll see a host of popular genres – jazz, electronic, indie, straight-up pop – at play. What makes their music so special, however, is its wonkiness – no note is ever the same, and tuned-down synth effects make for a dizzy-in-a-good-way listen. With one self-titled EP under their belt and a newly released single, we can’t imagine ever getting sick of it.

Kadhja Bonet is a bit of a musical anomaly. While she wears her 70s soul, psych and jazz influences on her sleeve, her tunes sound entirely individual and otherworldly. Since releasing her debut record The Visitor in 2016, Bonet has carved out a unique space in music, recruiting velvet-smooth vocals, stopand-go bass lines and chiming keys to create a genre-warping saga with each song. Her newest single Mother Maybe takes on this format, with an added flair of avant-gardism in the form of distorted falsettos. This is music to sway to from another planet.


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EARTHLY

As she takes the leap from provocative producer to radical popstar, SOPHIE uses synthetic sounds to enhance the visceral thrills of our physical world

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PLEASURES


Shirt: Christopher John Rogers Jacket: Stylist's own

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Words: Chal Ravens Photography: Renata Raksha Photographer's Assistant: Margot Padilla Styling: Mindy Le Bock Hair: Fitch Lunar Make Up: Melissa Murdick


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Jacket: Mugler (Pechuga Vintage) Pants: Stylist's own Shoes: Marc Jacobs

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But question marks have hovered over SOPHIE from the start. Through her affiliation with PC Music figurehead A.G. Cook, who collaborated with her on music for QT – a tongue-in-cheek pop avatar with a kink for caffeinated drinks – SOPHIE caught some of the flak directed at the divisive producer collective. This isn’t serious music, levelled the PC Music haters, who seemed anxious not to be duped by these confusing corporate sellouts. In one early interview, SOPHIE described the genre of her music as “advertising”; a year later, she storm-proofed her burgeoning career with the spoils of a McDonald’s commercial which used Lemonade as its soundtrack. Her provenance was mysterious, too. She has avoided giving out biographical information – though PC Music stans have dug up evidence of her former band, an electro-punk outfit called Motherland (clips still survive on YouTube, for the curious). There was also the question of her gender identity. Though she had only ever offered the name "SOPHIE" in promotional material, without specifying pronouns, many listeners understood her to be a male producer working behind a female alias – a

In person, SOPHIE is surprisingly straightforward. Softly but carefully spoken, and framed by a triangular wedge of auburn curls, her face is porcelain-clear and Pre-Raphaelite pretty; her cheekbones aren’t quite the prosthetic Everest’s modelled in the videos, but they’re not far off, either. We meet in Soho the day before she unveils her new stage show at Heaven, her first live performance in London. “People have commented at shows that it's a very young, queer audience,” she tells me, and it’s younger fans who seem to engage most deeply with her music. They don’t have the same hang-ups about sincerity, she thinks; their relative lack of context means they don’t hear her avant-garde sound design as anything other than pop. More than that, “people write to me quite often and tell me the music has played a genuine reassuring and life-giving role in their lives, or whatever they're going through. So if I can do that, those are the people I care about, and I don't care about the other people who are going to look at things in a bitchy, annoying way, basically,” she laughs. The show is a juggernaut: elongated by platform boots and a swinging ponytail, SOPHIE becomes a mile-high fantasy object, shrink-wrapped in latex as she lip-syncs lyrics and wheels her synth on a hostess trolley. She’s flanked by Cecile Believe, who play-acts the ditzy karaoke diva, and FlucT dancers Sigrid Lauren and Monica Mirabile, who accentuate the flesh-and-blood reality of their bodies by hoisting each other around the floor, mouths agape. It’s raw and sexy, but winkingly artificial too. At one point, SOPHIE’s performance is interrupted by a sequence of lasers synced to synapse-scything electronics. It’s a harsh contrast to the show’s other memorable highlight, Immaterial Girl, a track as effervescent as anything she’s produced for British

It’s a dramatic curtainup on SOPHIE’s next phase as a frontwoman. Her sudden visibility is partly political. “If you really want things to be integrated, respected and accepted then you want to do a thing and get on with it and have your work acknowledged, rather than anything else,” she says. But there was an internal shift, too, “of just feeling like… the only way I can put it is having fun in your body. Seeing it as something you like and love and want to have fun with, and is going to carry you around and enable you to do things you want to do.” Like a material to be manipulated? “That kind of thing, yeah. It's not like a weight you're carrying around with you that's fighting against you.” Before now, she says, “I never felt that way, which is why I had to present things in the way I did. But my intentions have been clear from the beginning, in the way I wished to be referred to and the way that things should be presented visually. I did the best I could.” She picks her words with care. “It's tough when firstly you want to be seen as a woman, and you want to be seen as an artist and an individual. So to have something like your gender identity preceding everything that's written about you is difficult. It can be humiliating to be singled out in that way.”

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pop star Charli XCX, her frequent collaborator. The title flashes on the video screen, before shrinking down to “material”. In this slick gesture, SOPHIE telescopes her opposing obsessions into one: real and fake, human and machine, organic and synthetic.

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Last October, the Glasgow-born, LA-based musician known as SOPHIE made her first proper public appearance in the self-directed video for It’s Okay To Cry, one of three singles released ahead of her debut album, OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDES. Singing straight into the camera, the formerly faceless producer becomes a frontwoman for the first time, stroking her enlarged cheekbones and flipping her curls under studio rain. But beneath the artifice, there’s a softness, a realness, as she exposes herself both visually and emotionally. “Was that a teardrop in your eye?” she sings through delicate breaths. “I never thought I’d see you cry.” The song is unlike anything we’ve heard from SOPHIE since she seized our attention with Bipp, Elle, Lemonade and Hard. Those four tracks, released on Scottish label Numbers between 2013 and 2014, painted an alternate pop reality in garish colours: helium-choked hooks, elasticated songforms, synthetic flavours and carbonated ecstasy.

perception alloyed by interviews in the New York Times and Rolling Stone. Watching the videos for It’s Okay To Cry and the next single Ponyboy, where a ponytailed SOPHIE thrusts and struts in unison with New York performance duo FlucT, it becomes clear that we’re witnessing a high-stakes reveal for a previously camera-shy artist. The third single, Faceshopping, makes the point explicit: “My face is the front of shop,” runs the hook, as spoken by Cecile Believe, also known as solo artist Mozart’s Sister, who appears throughout the new album and stage show. The verse speaks to the thrill of engineered enhancement: “Artificial bloom, hydroponic skin, chemical release, synthesise the real.” In SOPHIE’s cyborg universe, fake is no longer a category.

“People tell me that the music has played a genuine reassuring role in their lives.Those are the people I care about”

If 21st century life could be pinned down to a single feeling, maybe it’s the one where you’re just overwhelmed by the sheer scale of it all. Confronted by every last nanoparticle of the self-sabotaging Anthropocene: oil and plastic, uranium and latex, a huge floating garbage patch in the Pacific. A world stuffed full of manufactured shit. It’s funny, though, how we police the boundaries of the artificial; surrounded by synthetics, people are still quick to allege a fake.


034 Corset Top: Christopher John Rogers Shoes: Adidas

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“Mainstream music is not exclusive, it’s not elitist. And those are the standards that I want to maintain in my music”

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Jacket: Helmut Lang seen by Shayne Oliver Shoes: Stylist's own Guards: Stylist's own


Her fascination with the physical properties of latex, metal and silicon (her merchandise has included a dildo-like, but apparently purposeless, silicon “product”) aligns her with the kind of electronic avant-gardists whose track titles riff on maths formulas and chemical elements. “Autechre, particularly, have been my heroes for a very long time,” she says. “There's something so fundamentally human about their music, and the way that it's just describing a material world. It's almost like you're sticking your hand into a goopy material. Everyone can have some experience of that, it's a very human thing. You're literally just responding to materials and emotions through sound. So I don't think there's anything geeky about that – it's really the framing of it that's made it this exclusive thing.” The framing of it as 'intelligent dance music' made by blokes with machines? “Exactly. Something that I wanted to do with SOPHIE music is to frame the understanding of how people can relate to sound in a human way – in a way that's not blokey or geeky, and in a way that can live in people's real lives.” Despite her music’s cerebral appeal, her sights are set on the mainstream. Kraftwerk and Pet Shop Boys, artists who have balanced an uncompromising approach with a pop aesthetic, have been a huge influence. She finds “experimental” music to be exclusive and predictable: “It's a look, it's a sound, it's a style. It's not actually experimental,” she says pointedly. Mainstream music is much more appealing, “purely because it lives in the lives of so many more people. It’s not exclusive, it’s not elitist, and those are the standards that I want to maintain in my music.” While SOPHIE’s own music has the slippery ability to thrill and repel, she’s also made her mark through a catalogue of collaborations, with production credits for Madonna, Le1f, Vince Staples and teen pop misfits Let’s Eat Grandma. The best of them have sprung from her ongoing relationship with Charli XCX, whose Vroom Vroom EP in 2016 was solely

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produced by SOPHIE, while last year’s Pop 2 tipped perfection with the inclusion of the SOPHIE-produced Out of My Head. “We work so fast together,” she beams. “When I've been in the studio with Charli it's so powerful, what she does and the way she feels music… it’s just so aggressive and raw. And I think I can try and match her as a producer as well. We'll do three or four songs in a few hours and we'll be like, ‘next one, next one…’ It's so invigorating.” Through her deal at Roc Nation, Jay-Z’s top-tier music management agency, SOPHIE has also had a chance to share her ideas with some of the biggest pop artists on the planet. Roc Nation co-founder Jay Brown, who’s also Rihanna’s manager, was an early supporter. “It came from him coming in the studio when I was making beats and being like, ‘Oh yeah, this is hard.’ And then Timbaland came in and said the same thing,” she says, almost embarrassed by the praise. “Those are people that just encourage you to do exactly you, and just wanna make the hardest, realest shit that they can get to. I'm normally the one who's trying to compromise and be like, ‘Oh, I need to make something that sounds like Rihanna.’ They're like, ‘No, you just need to be as expressive and as weird and as much yourself as you possibly can be.” Her search for the “hardest, realest shit” feels like an urgent response to our bewildering moment of 21st century excess. It’s a Whole New World, as she frames it on a blistering new track – a magnesium-bright explosion that sounds like Autechre taking the controls of an animatronic Taylor Swift. Like her elaborate stage show, SOPHIE’s new music thrives on the faultline between artificiality and sincerity: a thrilling but terrifying place to be. It’s her reaction to “the complexity of the situation we're in, as people living now,” she explains, halting as she extracts a thread from her spiralling thoughts. “You can have contradictory feelings about everything and things don't make sense. The range of knowledge available to us is so confusing. "But also it's surreal and it's ridiculous,” she concludes. “I'm trying to get to a point where I can just embrace that feeling fully, as a human.” OIL OF EVERY PEARL'S UN-INSIDES is coming soon via MSMSMSM INC / Transgressive Records

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Fundamental to every SOPHIE track is an interest in materials, their properties and interactions. She synthesises every sound from scratch, using an Elektron Monomachine and Logic to build up huge libraries of samples. “There always has to be a link between the lyrical ideas and the sound itself,” she says. “A sound will be the initial spark, a very physical response to sound that ties together some of the things I’m thinking about.” The metallic creak in Ponyboy, for example, “was like a mechanical animal of some sort that I was finding sexual,” inspired by thoughts of JG Ballard’s Crash.


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After the mainstream left him disenchanted, Waka Flocka Flame is happy to walk a more independent path

Rebel Yell

Shirt: Liam Hodges T-Shirt: Martine Rose From Matchesfashion.com Tracksuit Bottoms: No Licence Shop Trainers: Nike Jewellery: Waka's Own


Since having an epiphany during his first trip to London five years ago, he’s been keen to extol the virtues of healthy eating, although he’s recently conceded from a vegan diet to pescetarianism. “I lost my sense of direction, my drive,” he remembers of his days with a carnivore diet. “I think when you’re older, you gotta eat differently – you don’t break down things as quickly, or can’t produce things like you used to. You just gotta respect that.” Today, the 31-year-old is in a jovial mood, every bit the charismatic charmer that got him signed up to VH1’s Love & Hip-Hop reality TV series alongside his wife Tammy Rivera. Our interview’s been set up partly so we can discuss Flockaveli 2, the forever-delayed sequel to his 2010 debut album. Largely considered a classic, Flockaveli spawned Hard In Da Paint – an intense battle cry of an anthem that showcased Waka’s husky tone and explosive ad libs as well as the melodramatic, orchestral Lex Luger sound that would, for a while, mould the trap music archetype. But Flockaveli 2 doesn’t arrive on the suggested late-March release date, and instead we get The Brickhouse Boyz, an eight-track collaborative project with veteran trap beat-maker Zaytoven and fellow Atlanta rapper Big Bank. With a certain degree of pride, Waka tells me that – aside from a distribution deal with Entertainment One – he’s now operating independently. He’s been loudly critical of the mainstream music industry since the beginning of his career. In 2015 he took to Twitter to blame Atlantic Records for allegedly shelving Flockaveli 2, even offering to buy himself out of his own

In recent years, the collaborative aspect of contemporary hip-hop hasn’t been known to guarantee creative chemistry. Prolific rappers often trade hastily-recorded verses to create eye-catching tracklists and to keep their names afloat online. Waka admits labels have tried to force dud collaborations on him in the past. “They’ll be like ‘Hey, get Migos on the phone, they hot!’ But they just want money. When people say that, it just makes me not want to do music. That’s what drew me away from music – not because they don’t believe in me, but because they don’t even like the artists, they just like the money I’m bringing in. Fuck y’all. It’s not genuine.” The Brickhouse Boyz EP is out via Brick Squad Monopoly, the subsidiary of Gucci Mane’s 1017 Brick Squad imprint owned by Waka. Gucci and Waka were introduced by Waka’s mother Debra Antney, who managed Gucci from 2007-2009 alongside a promising rapper from Queens, New York going by the name of Nicki Minaj. Before becoming bitter rivals, Gucci and Waka were best friends. Gucci christened Waka with his stage name, encouraging him to start rapping in 2008 before releasing his debut mixtape Salute Me or Shoot Me a year later. Under the 1017 Bricksquad banner, they would enlist fellow ATL trap rappers like OJ Da Juiceman, Frenchie, Wooh Da Kid and the late Slim Dunkin to churn out a relentless stream of hard-hitting mixtapes, becoming a dominant force in the Atlanta scene with their exhilarating charisma and raw depictions of the trap house lifestyle. “It was like we always had a point to prove. All this [Atlanta] shit ain’t about soul food, farm houses and getting crunk, we got some gangstas down here,” Waka says of the early Bricksquad crew. “We were respected in the streets – music happened after. People do background checks, that shit came back with flying colours.” He lets out a devious laugh.

insults and accusations thrown around in a bizarre Twitter rant in 2013, Waka vowed to never work with Gucci again. Although Gucci Mane’s remarkable reformation has since given him wholesome celebrity status, the pair have firmly refuted the idea of a reconciliation. Waka made his feelings clear on last year’s hostile diss track Was My Dawg, the cover art of which depicted Gucci’s silhouette. Around the time that the original Bricksquad movement disintegrated, Waka Flocka Flame became one of the prominent rappers to fully embrace the somewhat controversial trap-EDM crossover trend. The era counted producers like Harlem Shake producer Bauuer and – on the slightly more leftfield side – Lunice and Hudson Mohawke’s collaboration TNGHT (feeling uneasy about the scale of aggression their music was provoking at their sets, they put the project on indefinite hiatus). Excited by the moshpit-inspiring potential of a trap-EDM hybrid, Waka toured with cake-throwing EDM giant Steve Aoki,

collaborated with Flostradammus and teased work with Skrillex and Diplo.

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Close associates have speculated that Waka Flocka Flame and Gucci Mane’s relationship began to sour when Waka was becoming a breakthrough star off the back off Flockaveli, and Gucci had ended his business with Debra Antney. Although Gucci could proudly watch his influence on a new generation of Atlanta artists like Future, PeeWee Longway, Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan and Migos, around this time his behaviour was becoming increasingly erratic, keeping his name in the headlines for all the wrong reasons and landing him stints in county jails as well as a psychiatric hospital. Following

While EDM’s bubble has burst, for rappers, the North American festival circuit is booming, becoming more of a priority than ever before. Waka claims he was the first to open those doors, but tells me that he’s chosen to dial back on the festival thing. “I’m over the money,” he says. “It’s cool, but there’s no fun in the money – you can’t enjoy the festivals. Artists are so fucking boring. I’d love to do festivals if security wasn’t allowed and artists couldn’t come with more than two people. People come with five securities, 10 people – it’s wack. Sometimes people don’t even come out of the green room. There’s no vibes.” Waka Flocka Flame seems to have endured the most dispiriting aspects of the music industry, and although he’s a significant figure in the story of contemporary hip-hop, at this point it looks unlikely that he’ll be ranked as a mainstream musician in the foreseeable future. But he carries the air of an artist who’s fully content with independence and constantly inspired by the energy he sees in the crowd at his live shows. While hip-hop gossip sites have been eager to report his disagreements with SoundCloud rappers like Lil Pump and Lil Xan, he insists he takes no issue with the younger generation, and he enthuses about the slick new styles in the Atlanta rap scene. “It’s drip-hop,” he says of the new wave. “It’s swag-hop. It’s ice, it’s flexin’, it’s vibey. Fashion, swag, money, cars, it’s the glitz and the glamour of drip-hop. They say you drippin’, they mean you stylin’, you profilin’. Like ‘oh them motherfuckers drip right there',” he points at my trainers. Converse All Stars are drippin’? “Yeah! You know why? They sauce. Your sauce drippin’, when you’re walking, you’re spillin’ right now.”

Words: Davy Reed | Photography: Theo Cottle Styling: Sam Thompson | Stylist's Assistant: Themba Mayo

The New York-born, Atlanta-based artist has long been public about his passion for animal rights, having worked with PETA to campaign against cruelty to dogs as far back as 2011. The move showcased his sensitive side, perhaps shifting perceptions of an artist playing a major role in the mainstream breakthrough of trap music, the intense form of hip-hop named after slang for a drug dealer’s den.

contract. While his last retail album, 2012’s Triple F Life, saw him enlist commercially successful collaborators such as Drake, Flo Rida and B.o.B, Waka insists that Flockaveli 2 won’t pander to the pressures of big name guests.

And no matter what the future brings to Atlanta, this was the city that shaped Waka Flocka Flame. It’s where his heart is, and he’s staying put. “I ain’t never gonna move,” he declares. “Why leave? It’s the mecca. It’s home.” The Brickhouse Boyz EP is out now via Brick Squad Monopoly

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Waka Flocka Flame is a dog-lover, and he doesn’t let you forget it. Over the course of an afternoon in London, rarely five minutes goes by without the rapper showing off his 12 French bulldogs with the hundreds of videos and photos he keeps on his phone. When a couple strolls by across the street with a Frenchie on their lead, Waka dashes over the road, charming them with his expert knowledge and cradling the dog affectionately during our photo shoot.


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“The labels don’t even like the artists, they just like the money I’m bringing in. Fuck y’all. It’s not genuine”

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Jumper: Raf Simons From Matchesfashion.com Jeans: Waka's Own Jewellery: Waka's Own


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Jacket: Martine Rose From Matchesfashion.com T-Shirt: Balenciaga From Matchesfashion.com Jewellery: Waka's Own


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Grabbeplatz Forever Words: Caroline Whiteley Photography: Kira Bunse MUSIC + CULTURE

Dßsseldorf was once a darling of the avant-garde scene. Now, a collective of artists and DJs are inking a new chapter in the city’s cultural legacy


In partnership with Carhartt WIP

Ich Liebe Dich, La Düsseldorf’s final single, is a love letter to the city that gave groups like Fehlfarben, Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft and industrial pioneers Die Krupps their start. While Ratinger Hof has since long gone, Düsseldorf’s historic quarter is still the beating heart of the city’s creative scene – currently fruitful ground for music and art alike. At its core is the compact Altstadt (old town), which hosts two large contemporary art museums – the Kunsthalle and Kunstsammlung NRW – as well as the Kunstakademie art school. The nexus between art and music in Düsseldorf dates back to the late 60s, when members of avant-garde movements such as ZERO and German Fluxus founded the Creamcheese club. The astonishing venue contained a 20-metre-long bar and 24 televisions lined up on two shelves, broadcasting what was taking place in the "action space" in the rear section of the club. Over the years, this included performances by Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, Can and German Fluxus artist Joseph Beuys. In the 70s and 80s, punk and new wave musicians found a home at Ratinger Hof. From the 90s to the early 00s, the Unique Club, a former strip club with plushy separées around the dancefloor, provided a cultural bridge between German nightlife and the UK scene.

Flash forward to the present. Tucked into the brutalist structures of Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, the Salon Des Amateurs has established itself as the one-stop-shop for adventurous music. Since its inception 14 years ago, the Salon has given rise to artists such as Lena Willikens, Vladimir Ivkovic, Jan Schulte and club owner Detlef Weinreich, aka Tolouse Low Trax. The latter three sit across from me on the Salon’s long leather seats, occasionally taking breaks from recalling the early days of the club by pulling at their cigarettes or sipping beer. At first, the Salon acted as the museum’s bar, with parties happening infrequently. Visitors came to have a few drinks and listen – nights rarely ran past 2am. “Gradually, nights became longer and it developed a momentum of its own,” Ivkovic recalls. His face is still rosy from a recent trip to Brazil, where he shared the stage with Lena Willikens at Dekmantel’s São Paulo edition. Willikens, who is now based in Amsterdam, came to Düsseldorf in the mid-2000s to study at the Kunstakademie art school and was immediately drawn to the city’s music scene. She worked as the Salon’s bouncer before establishing a residency from which she launched her international DJing career. Schulte, on the other hand, grew up near Düsseldorf and started coming to the Salon around 2006, when he was 21-years-old. “One day I heard there was this club where they play music like nowhere else. From my first evening [at Salon] I was hooked,” he says. “There were a lot of nights when only 20 people were there but the flair was always the same.” He equates finding the Salon to an epiphany, as the type of music that interested him didn’t exist anywhere else. “We always played what we felt was right, any tempo or any style. There's no light show and no smoke machine, so there's no distraction [from the music],”

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In the music video that accompanies krautrock band La Düsseldorf’s 1983 single Ich Liebe Dich, lead singer Klaus Dinger spray paints a heart on the concrete in front of Ratinger Hof, a legendary underground club that was located in Düsseldorf’s historic downtown district. By then, Dinger had been briefly involved with Kraftwerk and founded NEU!, a group that is retrospectively considered one of the founders of krautrock music and a significant influence on a variety of subsequent post-punk and electronic music artists.


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Ivkovic explains. Schulte, the youngest and most excitable of the trio, concludes that in the electronic music scene “the vibe has only gotten freer, and let's hope it stays that way. I was the second generation of Salon-goers and now I can see another generation rising.” One of the many promising musical projects to come out of the Düsseldorf creative scene in recent years has been the dream pop duo BAR, aka Band am Rhein. Members Christina Irrgang and Lukas Croon – who also plays in the Düsseldorf-based band Stabil Elite – met during an interdisciplinary theatre performance in 2013. They have been making balearic and new wave-inspired music together ever since. When I ask them about the musical status quo in Düsseldorf, Croon says he too has noticed a new generation of artists thriving within the city walls. “Some incredible DJ talents and bands have come out of the scene recently,” Croon says. “It's nice to see these things are still happening and that what we did was sustainable. It shaped the next generation." Other members of this new school of musicians pushing the scene forward include local selector Lauritz Baudisch and curator of the popular YouTube channel, no obi, no insert. Promoter Kaspar van de Water recently launched Callshop Radio, Düsseldorf’s own experimental online station, while the young label Aiwo records boasts an impressive string of releases from local talent such as Phaserboys, Giraffi Dog and DJ Normal 4 & Bufiman, one of Jan Schulte’s aliases.

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“Apart from the Salon Des Amateurs, the Kunstakademie has continuously played a huge role in Düsseldorf’s music scene,” says Nora Zielinski, who DJs and produces music as Die Make-Up. A few years ago the art school kids hosted a monthly party called Single Club, which quickly became well-known outside of

the Kunstakademie crowd. “It was one of the only parties that went on for 24 hours, and it always had a theme that was rooted in the arts. Some of these parties took place in the basement of a bowling alley called Aggis Bistro. Popup and permanent locations like that definitely influenced the local scene, too.” Citing forward-thinking, female-fronted electronic music crews like Discwoman and Paris-based collective TGAF as an influence, Zielinski and a few musician friends were disillusioned with what they experienced as a mostly male-dominated local scene. They decided to join forces and launch DIANA, an all-female collective of producers and DJs. Since their inception only six months ago, DIANA have played at Salon Des Amateurs, the Franzmann youth centre around the corner from Salon, in other cities along the Rhine, and have even secured a gig at Düsseldorf’s Open Source Festival this summer. As DIANA member Leonie Savalas says, “few local promoters realise the issue at hand and make an effort to reach out to women DJs. But if you come to them and advocate for yourself, they listen.” Talking to the group, you get a sense for how collaborative the city really is. Düsseldorf, with its small community of record collectors, one-off venues, and experimental university parties, offers space for artists to grow without the pressures of professionalism and competitiveness commonly attached to larger cities like Berlin. BAR’s Christina Irrgang says moving to the “cool, angular and architectural” city gave her another perspective. She believes that art dealer Hans Meyer deserves a lot of credit for promoting collaboration between musicians and the art world for over five decades. Meyer is most well-known for bringing Pop Art to Germany, but exhibitions at his gallery – located right next to the Kunsthalle and


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Salon Des Amateurs at Grabbeplatz – would also feature appearances by bands like Kraftwerk, The Who and Steve Reich. After exhibitions ended, the crowd would head to Creamcheese for a nightcap. It’s this rich history of creative collision, she says, that makes this place special. “The city is very small, so this interaction across the spectrum of art – whether that’s music, the theatre, visual or performance art – is ever-present,” Irrgang tells me. “Every artistic movement has come into contact with one another here, and that has been passed on again and again. And while you may not even consciously pick that up, you can feel it."

MUSIC + CULTURE

Carhartt WIP's capsule collection with NEU! is available worldwide on 26 April


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k a e r F Out MUSIC

Words: Christine Kakaire Photography: Lukas Korschan


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Behind the decks, Jayda G is possessed by the spirit of disco. With enough energy to resuscitate any dancefloor, she continues to shake off the haters


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“The most important thing is that I come across as genuine. People can be pretentious and I don't want anyone to feel that at my show”

Beyond her innate good nature, there are plenty of things for Guy to feel giddy about. Having already unveiled her new NTS Radio show JMG Sessions earlier this year, this summer will see the debut release from Guy’s new imprint JMG Recordings. It’s a separate project to Freakout Cult, the three-year-old record label that she co-runs with Sex Tags’ DJ Fett Burger, which will allow her to flex in solo mode as both an artist and a label head. “JMG Recordings has been in the works for a long while,” she says, “because I like being connected with all the ins and outs of the test pressing, artwork and distribution, and knowing who is actually getting the records.” The first JMG record will be closeknit affair, featuring a return pairing with Alexa Dash, a vocalist and fellow Canadian who has featured on Guy’s warehouse-indebted tracks IGA and Diva Bitch. The flipside of the record will mark the debut of Saul G, Guy’s older brother. Their collaboration

promises to continue the soulful house music tradition of spoken word poetry vocals. Further along in the year Guy will embark on another project with another record label. She is now signed to Ninja Tune, with a debut Jayda G album in the works, slated for release through their sublabel Technicolour. Also on her horizon for 2018 are additional transatlantic trips from her base of two years, Berlin, to her hometown, Vancouver, as she will be summoned back to Canada at some point to defend her Master’s Degree thesis. I posit that her sound signatures as a DJ and producer – maximalist disco and boogie, tropical breakdowns and sing-along choruses, house jams with gospel flourishes – may provide a needed counterpoint to the grimness of her area of study, Environmental Toxicology. “Yes!” she answers, before my sentence is complete. “Definitely. Music has been an outlet to get away from the heaviness of a very intensive program. Environmental depression is actually a thing when you're in the sciences. You're like, ‘Everything sucks, the apocalypse is gonna come soon.’” After we tangent off briefly into environmental issues: climate change, plastic microfibres in waterways, and the plight of whales off the coast of Vancouver (her particular area of study), the mood is temporarily dimmed. It’s a good moment to tackle another unpleasant topic: what it is about Jayda G that aggravate some people so bitterly.

The criticisms that trail her online – her mixing style of fast cuts and volume fades supposedly fail to meet some kind of universal benchmark – have exposed pockets of resentful rigidity that speak to the electronic music community’s taste for skill-policing and gatekeeping. What appears to lurk below the surface are uglier ideas and presumptions which regularly reference Guy’s musical tastes, gender, age, and appearance. There is little acknowledgement within these criticisms that DJing is a term that covers a lot of stylistic ground, or that Guy’s individual taste was developed through her years spent as one of Vancouver’s foremost selectors. “Of course it does bother me,” she says of these critical voices. “Well, no. It does to a certain extent. I'd be lying if I said it didn't, but I choose not to let it seep into my work and into my psyche. I've gotten a lot of flak for not beat matching perfectly, [but] you guys check yourself, because these things aren't worth it in the end. They're not what I'm about. There are other DJs for whom that is what they're about. Awesome. That gives them whatever they need to get up there and do their thing, and that's great!”

and the more melancholic textures that have begun to creep into Guy’s productions. Diva Bitch and the 2017 cut for Geography Records, Shake It All Down, feature more pensive notes and enigmatic moods than she has revealed before. However, it just isn’t that deep. Through fits of renewed laughter Guy explains the internal processes that are defining this next phase of her sound, none of which knock the shine off her sunny outlook. “It wasn't purposeful at the time of making those tracks,” she says, “but I’m laughing because I've been in the studio making my album, and when you're doing really consecutive work you start seeing your own tendencies towards certain things. It’s funny because basically what you said has been my own realisation the last few months. It's me being, like, ‘Go on! Push yourself! Do something different!’ But there is also a shift in my music. Where to, I don't know. You'll see it in the record to come.” Jayda G appears at Field Day, London, 1–2 June

“Underground club culture has been my main foundation in a lot of ways and I love its [appreciation of] the obscure,” she continues. “I can't tell you how many people of all shapes, sizes, colours come up to me and are like, "Yo, thank you." That's what matters.” It’s tempting to draw a link between the chorus of backseat-driver DJ commentary directed at Guy, which grew to its nagging peak last year,

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Jayda Guy describes herself as a genuinely happy person, but she doesn’t have to. It’s apparent in the radiant joy she exudes from behind the decks as Jayda G, and the bright disposition of her cut-up disco and proto house jams. “I try to be as much of my true self as possible,” she says one sunny afternoon in the quiet back room of a Berlin cafe. “The most important thing, at least when it comes to DJ sets, is that I come across as genuine. People can be pretentious sometimes, and I don't want anyone to feel that way when they come to my show. I want them to dance and have a good time and really be themselves. That's makes it worth it in the end.”


Produced exclusively for Crack Magazine by Caterina Bianchini - caterinabianchini.com


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Soul Power

Words: Aniefiok Ekpoudom Photography: Mike Chalmers

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Rapsody made one of 2017’s most underrated albums. Through perseverance and emotional strength, the North Carolina rapper is delivering her message to the people


Laila’s Wisdom, Rapsody’s second studio album, is a melodic cocktail reserved for quiet moments, stirring something deep within. Lyricism at its most poetic, storytelling at its most raw, there is freedom in the North Carolina rapper’s words. In a landmark year for rap full-lengths Laila’s Wisdom picked up two Grammy nominations, one of which made her the fifth woman ever to be nominated for best rap album at the awards ceremony. Embracing vulnerability and strength at once, the album tells cinematic tales of love and power. On Black and Ugly, Rapsody learns to love herself, while on U Used to Love Me she falls out of love with another. The seam is bound by producer 9th Wonder, who colours Rapsody’s diary entries with soul samples from Nina Simone, Otis G Johnson, The Meter and Bootsy’s Rubber Band, while the album’s guest vocals include Busta Rhymes, Anderson .Paak and Kendrick Lamar. When I meet with Rapsody during her visit to London, it feels like encountering a penpal in person. In many ways I feel like I know Rapsody, as Laila’s Wisdom opens a frank conversation about her fears, frustrations, and the intimate revelations most people don’t disclose so freely. So I approach the

falling for hip-hop and abandoning accounting to wander the back roads of a tough music industry with the encouragement and support of 9th Wonder. “Making it in this business is extremely hard, making it as a female is even harder, and as a black female whose skin tone is darker, it’s even harder,” she tells me. “My path is totally different from your average artist, and it messed with me mentally because

After a few moments of small talk, I quote a lyric from her track Ridin – “Went searching for myself, and I ain't find shit” – and I ask her if she feels she’s made progress. The response comes quickly. “I’ve found a big portion of who I am,” she says. “But most importantly, I’m comfortable in living and owning it. Growing up I was a popular kid, and I think I used to dim my light so other people could feel comfortable, but now it’s like ‘no, let all the beautifulness shine and glow and be confident and walk in that!” “It’s challenging fighting with yourself. It can be frustrating,” she goes on. “But I think anything that’s uncomfortable is growth, and once you start, other people appreciate you. They say, ‘I like this open you, this butterfly out of a cocoon you.’” Rapsody was raised in the small farm town of Snow Hill, North Carolina, which has the total population of a large secondary school. She once felt that, as a woman in the South, there was a future foretold for her: one of high school and college, white-collar careers and eventual marriage. So she attended North Carolina State University, majored in Accounting, and set upon the road mapped out for her by generations prior. But she soon took a sharp left turn,

I was so concerned with what others were doing as opposed to trying to find my way.” Rapsody released her first project in 2008. While she earned respect as an underground figure and scored credible collaborations, fame didn’t arrive until she was in her early 30s, when her verse on Kendrick’s 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly propelled her name to wider consciousness. “I’m sure a lot of artists may not want to admit it, but we definitely go through it,” she says of her struggles with self-

doubt. “Some people hold on longer, but it crosses your mind, like ‘maybe this is too hard, am I wasting my time? I’ve spent 10 years in this, am I going to spend my whole life trying to get this and never get it? And then look up and I’m 50 years old and broke with nothing to show for it?’ The saying is: fall down seven times, get up eight.” “9th [Wonder] would say to me ‘your path is not going to be like anyone else’s.’ You know that saying? Come to the fork in the road and you go right or left. Or you could go knock down a tree and make your own path. I had to knock down the trees to figure it out. That’s what it was. I put the blinders on and I could only look forward and not care about what was happening to the left and right of me – it didn’t matter. I just fell in love with what I was doing.” We fall silent for a moment. In my peripheral I see the label publicist and gather that our conversation, at least in person, is coming to a close. “Who is Rapsody?” I ask. Her face settles, she leans in and looks inward. “She can be quiet,” she says, “she’s loyal, she cares for people. She likes to make people feel good but that’s a quality she had to find balance in because she can be a people pleaser. In pleasing other people, you dim your light sometimes.” Laila’s Wisdom is out now via Jamla / Roc Nation

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conversation guard down. “We don’t do handshakes, we do hugs,” Rapsody says. Leaning forward with a wide grin across her lips, her voice is soft with a southern twang. Wearing jeans and a Roc Nation hat, she exudes the same calming energy that scents her music.

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“Making it in this business is extremely hard, making it as a female is even harder, and as a black female whose skin tone is darker, it’s even harder. My path is different from your average artist”


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Jimothy Lacoste Words: Joe Zadeh Photography: Eamonn Freel Styling: Luci Ellis

Jimothy Lacoste is blessed, and he wants you to feel blessed too. In fact, he wants everyone to feel happier. He wants everyone to stop taking Xanax. He wants people to come outside during the summer. He wants everyone to feel less insecure and underconfident. But most importantly, Jimothy wants everyone to enjoy his strange and endearing lo-fi rap songs. Not just everyone in the UK, but all the kids across the world. When I first encountered the London artist (age withheld, probably in his teens), I thought he was an elaborate joke. In my defence, much of what he does presents itself as comedy. In his music videos, he freestyle dances in a strange and rhythmic manner, climbs on top of double decker buses, and hangs perilously on the ends of trains to get free rides. He recently penned a viral love song to the London Underground called Subway System, and often fills his lyrics with motivational self-help messages about drinking water, avoiding drugs and creating a stable financial situation. But I also couldn’t stop looking; there’s something strangely addictive and serene about his thrown-together universe, and something very pure about his whimsical teen rebel vibe. Over the last year, his songs have garnered him a devoted following, including a fairly popular meme account dedicated just to him.

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Jimothy doesn’t like that people think his music is a joke – it pisses him off, frankly. To Jimothy, the way he raps and acts is just him being a teenager. If older people like me find that funny, cool, but it was never intended to be.

“Dancing on top of things, train surfing and having old ladies in my videos might seem silly, but that is just me being me,” he tells me over two glasses of water at a cafe in Hoxton, east London. He’s wearing a yellow Lacoste jumper with the collar of a blue stripe shirt peeking out. “A lot of my music is actually quite deep,” he says. Really? I thought. One of the lyrics I’ve always found funniest is from Summer is Long in which he raps, “Spain is cool/ everyone has a nice dad/ unlike London City/ everyone’s stressed and sad”. It’s funny because it’s true: those chain-wearing bronze dads, lean but big all at once, reassuringly hairy, watermelon in hand, reclining on the beach as they watch their kids play 200 yards away with the ice cool calm of a sniper. But then, in an interview on NTS, Jimothy talked candidly about growing up without a father. Suddenly, the lyric did seem very deep and poignant. Jimothy puts the way he thinks about things down to his “high consciousness”. As a kid he suffered from dyslexia and dyscalculia and was sent to what he describes as “a school for children with additional needs”. As the years went on, the school became progressively more geared towards children with quite serious disabilities. He wasn’t able to transfer to a different one, and became quite lonely. Teachers would speak to him as if he wasn’t intelligent. “I wasn’t a social media kid at all,” he tells me. “I didn’t have Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat. So, I began being alone in my thoughts, and alone with me all the time. I was talking to my

consciousness everyday without me realising. Then I started waking up in life, you know?” He wrote and produced his first proper song in college using an iPad app, despite having no musical experience. He had just overcome a bout of depression, and really felt like he’d found himself. Inspiration was coursing through his veins, so he took his phone out and started thumbing in lyrics. “Yes, I’m feeling quite blessed, yes yes, not depressed,” he wrote. But he was almost too inspired: thoughts pinged around his brain like Coco Pops in a zorb. “Please don’t call my girl a hoe, don’t make me hit you with my elbow” he wrote. "I hope I don’t sniff cocaine/ don’t really really wanna go insane” – that’s another. Every little thought that wandered into his mind went down. He made an instrumental on his iPad, added some Kraftwerky synths, and called the song, “TIMMY” (his real name is Timothy Gonzales). When he showed his friends, “They freaked out,” he says, “I was like, you know what? I love doing music.” Somewhere around this time, he read a book. It’s the only book he has ever read in his life, and he’s read it 13 times. But whenever he tells people about this book they say, “Fuck that book, man!” “What is the book called?” I ask. He looks at me as if he’s not sure he wants to say, but then opens his mouth. “How To Be a 3% Man,” he says. The full title is How to Be a 3% Man: Winning the Heart of the Woman of Your Dreams. “But it's not about

picking up women, it's nothing like that at all,” he says, clocking my surprise. According to Jimothy, the book helped him overcome shyness and insecurity. It taught him to chase his dreams, break down walls and not to let other people tell him what to do. Jimothy thinks that if more people read this book, then marriages would prosper, the idea of divorcing wouldn’t exist, and people would feel better about themselves. He says he wouldn’t be where he is today without it. And so ends my sermon with the blessed boy, Jimothy. When I ask him what’s coming next, he retorts “me being me”. He smiles mysteriously, before his publicist punctures the dramatic pause to inform me that actually there will be a new single called Spanish coming out, probably towards the end of May. “Yeah,” says Jimothy, adjusting his square frame glasses, “but the one thing you should never do is expect anything from me, because when you expect from an artist you are only ever going to be disappointed. Don’t expect. Be open minded. Let’s just see what happens next.” Jimothy Lacoste appears at Field Day, London, 1–2 June


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Jacket: Barena Shirt: JW Anderson x Uniqlo Trousers: Woolrich Belt: Lacoste Trainers: Adidas


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T-Shirt: JW Anderson x Uniqlo Jacket: Paul & Shark Trousers: Topman Trainers: Adidas


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The Divine Queer Secrets of Berlin’s Post-Drag Sisterhood

ART + CULTURE

Somewhere in between drag queens, performance artists, and club kids, eight figures of Berlin’s thriving underground queer-performance scene discuss their art, the hedonistic playground in which they live, and how to define drag in an increasingly genderless, post-drag world


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Words: Jake Indiana Photography: Vitali Gelwich Make-up: Sarah Hartgens


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I don't know why I moved to Berlin exactly, but it certainly was not to become what a friend and mentor described as "the Weird Al Yankovic of drag". I wouldn't even say I moved here per se; that implies a conscious decision, while my arrival here felt like anything but. It was as if I was possessed by a force of nature, one that I have since come to think of as a ‘divine queer energy’. It is a very real, tangible power, and in the near century and a half it’s held sway over this city, it has been concerned with only one task: pulling together the world's most precious, most radiant queers and giving them the space they never had to play and experiment, to live without fear and love without shame, to be free. It is in this fertile breeding ground of identity that I discovered Cheryl, a woman who represents me at my most gloriously actualised – a physical rendering of my brain's superego that has a Brooklyn accent, a boundless sense of wonder and an innate aesthetic urge to mix at least three prints at once. She has become a fixture of Berlin's ever-expanding queer performance scene, treating everyone she meets to pop songs rewritten as treatises on gender, sexuality, bodily functions, and the insanity inherent in living in a non-stop nightclub.

ART + CULTURE

She is one of many colourful personas that populate the back rooms and toilet stalls of this millennial-Weimar utopia, and it is an immense honour to now have the pleasure of introducing you to a few of these strikingly gorgeous and talented individuals. This is a group of the city's best and brightest, a selection of my peers that are colleagues, friends and family in one. As a rag-tag group of émigrés whose origins span four continents, we do not mean to suggest anything so bold as the idea that we – are – Berlin’s drag scene, or that we fully represent it in the slightest. Few of us even feel comfortable using the term 'drag' to describe what we do, only relying on it as cultural shorthand to give a slight indication of our distinct blend of no-holds-barred gender-fuckery. Of course, the essence of our work thrives in its inability to be defined, and in an age where those leading the conversation are attempting to set the boundaries of what drag is and who can take part, it's more important than ever to take up the mantle of subversion. Here, in the most limitless city for queer expression in human history, we are honour-bound by the legacy of those who came before us to share the ultimate lesson of the divine queer: only in shattering the rules of identity entirely can you begin to be free.


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Top row: Psoriasis, Martini, Reverso Middle: Cheryl, Reverso, Mikey Bottom: Cher Nobyl, Collapsella, Ida Entity


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Ida Entity I see myself as gender fluid, and my work is about playing with both masculinity and femininity; what certain objects or choices say about your gender identity. The humour is very Berlin – it is very much created from the party scene; the drugs, the people, the sexuality, the queerness, the freedom. They’re things we can discuss in a light way that – at the bottom of it – are actually quite serious, or necessary to talk about. There's this certain magnetism about Berlin that's indescribable. What drove me here is the celebration of personal expression; you can really find yourself and feel supported. As a performer, you have to be confident in your vulnerability, and the more honest and vulnerable you are, the better the connection you can create. My drag persona is very much just me, but a more extreme, exaggerated version. It's been different because I'm a woman, biologically at least. I feel very supported being a woman in this space. Whatever you do on stage, there’s a tension, because you're already changing something. Drag has become so much

Psoriasis I describe my art, my drag, as an explosion, one that would be perfect if it could be snapped or teleported on stage to create the explosion itself and be instantly taken away after a show. Nothing should happen before or after; I appear, explode, and then disappear. I like the idea of art creating itself, but also deconstructing itself, and I like to make people feel uncomfortable – I don't really want to entertain. My natural look, my movement, and my body is not something people would normally think of as ‘cute’ or ‘beautiful’, and I exaggerate those qualities in my drag. Psoriasis is very aggressive and loud, she takes up every space; she’s too big, too dysfunctional. And just too much, mostly. As Psoriasis I feel like I have the right to scream and be loud; I can call someone out and say what needs to be said, and people will listen, because I'm huge and colourful and screaming. When I finished high school I thought, ‘Okay, I need to move to Berlin, become a drag queen, and go crazy.’ So I put on make-up every night, went to see drag shows at every queer club. I didn't know it at the time, but I was trans. There’s a big misconception of seeing trans women as drag queens; that they are ‘dressing up as something.’ For some time I thought I couldn't be a drag queen, because I wanted to be trans. But I realised they are completely different things. I want to create ‘me’ as the real identity, as the person I want to be, the person I am deep inside, but there's also the stage identity – the persona, the character that needs to be created. Trans and drag are not exclusionary, nor should they cancel each other out. They can exist next to each other. For me, drag is not about femininity or about impersonating women. It’s about being crazy and expressive with your own art, finding an outlet to channel everything you feel into the world. Literally anyone can do it, and anyone can call what they do drag. MIKEY. I write songs first and foremost. I was writing a lot about my gender identity and trying to find where I fit in through my music, but currently I'm getting more into the spiritual side, my place in the universe and writing about bigger journeys. It wasn't until I spent time in New York – where I found like-minded people I connected

with in a more drag club, nightlife, sense – that I started experimenting with my look. Now my drag performance side is coming together with my melodramatic songs. When I perform I'm trying to make people aware of the potential higher self they can be; and the experience of being on stage expressing that can really feel like flying. The people in the audience don't get to have those moments; there's something very therapeutic about being in the middle of a room, controlling the space, controlling the energy and giving my story to them and having them connect with it. I don't want to say what I do isn’t drag; in every city I’ve lived in I've been part of the drag scene, the drag culture. It is drag, but everything is drag. Life is drag. It’s just different levels of what we're seeing and how we present it. Now, drag is being free and doing whatever the fuck you want to, without having to call it drag or without having to be something in particular. I very rarely go out clubbing not in my look for instance, but it's more about wanting to go out and be that persona. When I'm in drag or dressed up, that’s my higher self. It's being the best human I can be, and that's what I want to present to the rest of the world. I have a motto which is the only rule I have for drag: ‘If you're not taking yourself out of your comfort zone, you're not doing drag.’ Collapsella What I do as Collapsella is very diverse. It involves music, dance, video, and it's very absurd. I use absurdity to convey real emotions. There’s a lot about identity, whether it's one’s gender identity or identity as the construction of your personality. And I discuss issues that queer people face in general. For instance, I recently made a performance on the chemsex culture in Berlin, and another about the ‘twink-daddy’ dynamic. They can often be political. Collapsella is a character, but it’s (which is Collapsella’s preferred pronoun) an abstract version of a very, very incensed, loud version of me. As if you would pump me up a lot. Collapsella is the abstract; the "Picasso" version of that. It doesn't give a fuck about anything; about what anyone else thinks or about being obnoxious. By using it as a vessel to express these things, I become more grounded, more human. I don’t define drag. There are many influences from drag culture in what I do, but I wouldn't call it drag; it's something that I'm constantly thinking about. But the difference between calling something ‘drag’ and calling something ‘performance art’ is your intent with what you do. I've done performances that I’d call ‘drag’ when my only intent is entertainment. But if there is something I'm trying to say, when I want my audience to go home and think about my performance, that goes beyond what I would define as ‘drag.’ Cher Nobyl Cher Nobyl is a journey of artistic experimentation. We're related to a very, very large extent. Maybe our aesthetic

is not the same, but what I see, what I live, and what I learn influences the way I perform as Cher. I love Berlin because I see freedom and I see people blossoming. Everybody comes here as a bulb and blooms into a totally weird and original flower. It's the perfect laboratory for contemporary identity. It made me blossom into a strange flower as well; I felt the change, and so did my family and friends back home. I was received so well performing as Cher Nobyl that when I returned to Bucharest it made me think twice if I should come back here. But Berlin is my biggest source of inspiration, and I don't feel that all my lessons here are learned. Drag is what you are, combined with what you know, and a dash of what you’re learning. It’s wearing a braver side of yourself, perhaps a more polished or opposite side, and taking a stance, hoping that someone will hear you. It's not just about wearing the wig, the make-up, and the heels; drag has no such rules anymore. Well, maybe the heels. Some of my peers wouldn't consider what I do as being a drag queen, but that's what I'm doing – queer drag activism. Drag taught me how to avoid being stuck on the spectrum of identity and embrace fluidity – walking in heels for more than one year definitely has an impact on you and how you see identity and gender. It's taught me how to listen, not just hear. And ultimately it brought me closer to my mother. I've always loved her a lot, and I’ve found a way to express that artistically, through embodying her grace with Cher Nobyl. Martini Cherry Furter I never considered myself a drag queen until I moved to Berlin; I’m mostly a burlesque performer. But when I arrived here I moved very quickly into the drag scene. Mainstream drag – the kind we see from RuPaul – I don’t identify with at all. Berlin opened my eyes about that; there’s a different drag scene here, with different representations of what drag can be. I like the gender-bending aspect – I couldn’t normally play with gender as much in burlesque. As Martini, it’s more about the story. Most of the time I’m talking about a personal story and using her to put it on stage. And being myself means presenting as a Caribbean black queer person, which is something rare on a European stage. My goal is to express what I am and not be stereotyped, to not be an ‘exotic persona’ who can be caricatured. Being on stage feels like home. When I’m performing I have the space to express myself and have the sensation of really being heard. Freedom is what attracted me, and still attracts me, to Berlin. When I arrived here I discovered true acceptance, both in society and within the queer community. It’s so enjoyable to have the possibility of going in the metro without being looked at as a strange animal. I’ve learned humanity here – for myself and with my relationship with people – and that feeling is priceless.

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more than perfect make-up, a wig, and miming to a song – it's a performance space that is a comment on gender identity, and an outlet for people who feel oppressed and unable to express themselves, or unable to see themselves in society. It's taking centre stage and saying "look at me," instead of feeling the need to hide. Drag is really just about empowering people. That's what's needed for this community: to create not only a space where everyone feels accepted, but a space where you can be empowered. Fuck what people think, fuck the expectations. Do whatever the fuck you want.

ART + CULTURE

ReveRso My work is an act of a non-paralysing terror. It’s about being on the opposite side of something, the reverse side – the side that people choose not to see through. It desires to construct a world that goes only in ReveRso. The most important aspect is transformation, or, mutation. I love that idea – that I can just change. You introduce a character and you morph ‘it’ through an idea, so ultimately that character becomes ‘un autre.’ You emerge as an opposite, a reflection of someone else, someone transformed. When I’m ReveRso, it takes over everything. Berlin has really helped me to build this persona; through my time here I know that my art comes from a place of honesty. It's pushed my work to be more creative – it brought me to the person I am now. It's accumulated so many interesting people from all over the world, and it doesn’t matter if you have money or not, people here are full of ideas. It's beautiful and colourful – messy, even – and nobody cares. It has changed quite rapidly, which is fine, but sadly it’s less unpredictable now. Before there was always a bit of danger, every corner had something, there was more risk. To me, 'drag' is being self-aware of who you are, to the extent you can express anything. It’s finding something within you and liberating it. Drag is about creating the fantasy of a more playful self. However, I don’t call what I do drag, I’m a performer. When we’re talking about drag – what it means to be a 'drag performer' nowadays – I don’t want to fit that pattern. I’m not trying to impersonate a woman, I don’t want to be defined by my gender. I’m more into being a creature – a sense of being something else. The transformation of ReveRso is about how you can engage with that – finding out about your strengths, your weaknesses, your desires, your darkness and everything in between. The transformation is everything.


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My Life as a Mixtape: A. Savage from Parquet Courts

Words: Rachel Grace Almeida

The record that had an irreversible impact on me growing up: I’ll settle on Crass – Yes Sir, I Will [Crass Records, 1983]. It introduced me to the concept that punk wasn’t just something that was aestheticised. Up until that point, I only knew punk to be something that was codified and aligned with a certain aesthetic, reinforced by whatever music history I could get my hands on at the time. Having heard Crass’ first record Feeding of the 5000, I was familiar with them at their most traditionally anarcho-punk, but what resonated with me was the message that punk was a state of mind. It introduced me to a lot of politics that I’ve had in my life since – you know, a lot of stuff about anarchism and collectivity. That really changed it all for me. A song that breaks my heart: I associate Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones [1971] with a moment of deep heartbreak. I considered the

song a bit corny before this moment, but I was moving to New York and my girlfriend was moving to San Francisco and I just remember packing up the house, with that song on in the background, and the both of us just hysterically crying. It’s definitely a song that I don’t think would have had that emotional impact otherwise, but moving out of a cohabitated residence with someone you were with while that song plays – odds are pretty good that you’re going to cry. An album that caught my attention with its artwork: There’s a band called Futurisk and they have a record called Player Piano [Clark Humphry Records, 1982]. I saw it on a record store wall before it had been re-released, and later I found out it had been re-issued by Minimal Wave Records here in New York. The cover is orange with a very bold typeface – it’s quite minimal, but not in the way you’d expect minimal nowadays to be. I’m attracted to album sleeves that stir this sense of curiosity in you – the kind that you see and really wonder what it sounds like inside. I’ve found quite a few records that way – it’s not that the cover looks cool, although in this case it does, but more about when it creates this sort of puzzle and you’ve just gotta get to the bottom of it. That’s what inspires me. A track I’ve recorded that is deeply significant to me: On the new Parquet Courts record, there’s a song called Freebird II that is very special to me. It has to do with

something I could say I haven’t talked about much in music, which is the way I was raised, situations around my upbringing, and my parents. I don’t speak much about my personal life in interviews because I’m not too carefully interested in having a public persona, but this song is the most I’ve ever talked about my past. I like to reveal myself not through biography, but through lyrics. Those are my stories – that’s my own way of talking about myself. Wide Awake! is released May 18 via Rough Trade

MUSIC

Since Parquet Courts formed in 2010, they’ve always centred their music around resistance, in some way or another. From challenging hypermasculinity, to exploring themes of death, love and collectivity, the Brooklyn four-piece remain one of the most relevant bands that have adapted with the times. Now, they’re gearing up to release their sixth studio album Wide Awake! A party album at its core, it captures the duality of powerhouse punk bands like Youth of Today or Gorilla Biscuits, delivered in a more polished case thanks to Danger Mouse’s touch on production. Ahead of its release, we caught up with lead vocalist and guitarist A. Savage to discuss the songs and records that matter the most.


Creative Industries Degree Show 8–13 June 2018 City Campus Arnolfini | Bower Ashton | Spike Island uwe.ac.uk/conform

IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

ABELLE / ADAMOV / ANDREY VISHNEVSKY / ARCHIE HAMILTON / ARTUR LÄÄTS / BARAC BORIS / BOYM / CALL SUPER / CHRISTOPHER LEDGER / CRISTI CONS / DANA RUH DANIEL AVERY / DASHA REDKINA / (DEEP) MARIANO / DENIS PUNCH / DEWALTA / DORIAN PAIC DVS1 / EISI / EL / ENZO SIRAGUSA / EXIT SAFE MODE / HIPUSHIT / I-F / ION LUDWIG (LIVE) / JANINA JUHO KUSTI / KAMRAN SADEGHI (LIVE) / KATJA ADRIKOVA / KOVYAZIN D (LIVE) / LEGOWELT (LIVE) LIPELIS / MAHER DANIEL / MAJKEL / MARTIN KLING / MASHKOV / MAVA B2B NEBUKAT / MERIMELL MIHKEL MARIPUU / MIKE SHANNON / MOMO TROSMAN / MR. & MRS. JONSON (LIVE) / NASTIA NIKITA ZABELIN / NIMA GORJI / OCTO OCTA (LIVE) / PARALLAX DEEP / PER HAMMAR / PERC PHILIPP GORBACHEV (LIVE) / PTU / REGIS / RON MORELLI / ROSSKO / EXIT SAFE MODE / SARIIM SHAUN REEVES / SHUTTA / SLEEPARCHIVE / SOFIA RODINA / TARAN & LOMOV / TANEL MÜTT TARMO PALUOJA / UNDERGROUND RESISTANCE PRESENTS DEPTH CHARGE VOLITION IMMANENT / YANATACKY AND MANY MORE!

03. – 05. AUGUST 2018 RUMMU, ESTONIA

MOONLANDFESTIVAL.EE


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Live

Rina Sawayama Borderline, London 28 March

With the city ritually pouring itself into pubs at the end of the working week, for musicians with delicate material a Friday night gig risks a restless crowd. There are moments of quiet beauty in serpentwithfeet’s gospel-inspired ballads that could be spoiled by the sound of overspilling bar chatter. But serpentwithfeet – real name Josiah Wise – is an entertaining and compelling showman, keeping his Friday crowd transfixed with the sublime beauty of his voice and a surprisingly comical performance style. Appearing onstage in a white leather coat with his glitter-smothered chest glistening under the gold lighting, the New York-based, Baltimore-raised artist is equipped with nothing but a microphone and a keyboard he rarely touches, remaining alone on stage with the exception of a brief appearance from his doll Brandy, who was present at every studio session for his forthcoming debut album soil. Basing the set on songs from soil with material from 2016’s excellent blisters EP, Wise improvises throughout the show. He goes off-script to give hilarious and intimate details of a relationship – the gluten-free muffins, the dog shit treaded through the house – and he even lightly mocks the strange lyrics of his most popular song, Four Ethers (“it’s such a lofty concept!”). But Josiah Wise also taps into the tragic aspects of life. He sings of his grief boots and his grief perfume, and of the significance of being able to articulate your sadness. He abruptly exits the stage after 35 minutes and doesn’t return for an encore, but his work here is done. Among all the laughter, a few tears have been shed. Time for a drink.

Snowbombing Mayrhofen, Austria 9 - 14 April

The Streets Heimathafen, Berlin 11 April Sitting on Karl-Marx-Straße, arguably one of the busiest roads in Neukölln, is Heimathafen – a people’s theatre that directly translates to “home port”. Despite its entrance facing a torrent of noise and movement, the venue still remains quietly tucked away, as if to remain anonymous. Tonight, it’s the scene for The Streets’ first-ever live date after a seven-year hiatus, and it’s hard not to draw parallels between the two: both have always been in exposed in plain view, yet somehow remained private; both are grandiose in theory, but understated in practice; both were borne out of a need to serve and be served. It’s been nearly 25 years since Mike Skinner started The Streets, and his music remains more relevant than ever. Their first record, Original Pirate Material, is a collection of genre-bending songs celebrating the mundanity of the British existence – being skint, getting too drunk, falling in love, smoking spliffs, getting dumped, going to the chip shop. The songs managed to sound unlike anything you’d ever heard before, yet they felt completely familiar at the same time. He became the unspoken leader for the stuck-in-the-middle people of our generation, looking for comfort in the form of reliving the intimate, possibly overlooked moments of their adolescence. As Skinner walked onstage to the broken beats of Turn the Page, he made a point to tell the crowd that “the world has changed a lot, but I haven’t fucking changed”. This disclaimer set the tone for the show: whatever it was we were in store for, it was going to be sincere. And it was. What followed was a slow-burning greatest hits set spanning across all five of his studio albums, including lo-fi, house-tinged bops Weak Become Heroes and It’s Too Late; pill anthem Blinded by the Lights; and set closer Fit But You Know It, during which Skinner started a circle pit and jumped into the crowd. Throughout, his deadpan, almost toneless vocals still sounded as blunt as they did on record all those years ago; they still comfort you like the smell of your nan’s house or a hug from a mate. As the show came to a close, Mike Skinner thanked the crowd for sharing this moment with him, making for the most intimate moment of the night. It had been a long time coming, but like everything he does, it wasn’t rushed – pacing is key. The unique way he has approached boredom, conflict and heartbreak through his music is done with a quietude that encourages you to take a step back and breathe. And that’s the magic of The Streets – even when they’re taking you down the darkest roads, they still manage to guide you with a flickering light.

! Davy Reed ! Rachel Grace Almeida N Harriet Blake

The annual snow-sports-beats bonanza that is Snowbombing was suitably high-spirited this year, with raving going on until the small hours and punters dancing awkwardly during the day in ski apparel at 4000ft above sea level. The most bizarre event of the festival was a rave hosted by local celebrity Hans The Butcher, whose produce is much loved by the carnivores who attend Snowbombing. Rising to the occasion, Peggy Gou and Artwork performed a light-hearted B2B, both embracing the strangeness of the surroundings and delivering the kind of spontaneity Snowbombing has become famed for. At The Racket Club venue, Dizzee Rascal’s set provided an entertaining and expected mix of old hits as well as Raskit material, alongside his divisive crossover pop hits. AJ Tracey’s Forest Stage set didn’t draw a huge crowd, but the West London MC supplied enough energy to instigate a mosh pit in the front rows. Final word has to go to Liam Gallagher, who was a serious coup for the festival considering he sold out 40,000 tickets for his upcoming show in Finsbury Park this summer. Getting to see the Britpop beast prowling up and down the stage, permanent scowl attached, dishing out stinging put-downs to the audience was undeniably entertaining. It polished off a week that was high on saunas, skiing and a carefree festival atmosphere that has been honed over time. ! Thomas Frost N Andy Hughes

“I’m just an ordinary superstar,” sings Rina Sawayama, adorned in a metallic sweatshirt dress, as a frantic crowd repeats every word back to her. We’re at Borderline – ­ a sweaty underground basement club nestled under the winding streets of Soho – but tonight this dingy haven feels infinitely bigger. The ‘down-to-earth star’ stereotype might seem cliché, but Sawayama – who remains unsigned by choice – embodies this ethos, announcing later that she’ll be staging an impromptu meet-and-greet. The queue snakes around the club, but she is unflinchingly patient, gracious and makes every fan feel like a long-lost friend. This is Sawayama’s power. Tonight she barrels through a series of hits lifted from debut mini-album RINA, as well as a few exclusive new surprises. Fans – whom she refers to as ‘pixels’ – sing, dance and erupt into frenzied applause when Sawayama and her dancers transition seamlessly into full choreography. It’s an ode to the pop stars of yesteryear, the ones unconcerned with credibility and genuinely enamoured by flawless dance routines, huge hooks, and a trusty key change. Sawayama unashamedly embraces these icons, adopting their saccharine melodies and sing-song choruses into stadium-sized pop songs which bristle with electronic production. A handful of new tracks are equally hook-driven; the melodies seem sweeter and the production slightly less industrial, yet they fit Sawayama’s pop-with-a-twist mould to a tee. Part of this success is due to candour, but most of it is down to pure hard work (she even packages her own merchandise). It’s this human touch which makes Sawayama’s cyber-pop work so excellently in these sweaty, intimate surroundings. She might claim to be an ordinary superstar, which is true to an extent, but perhaps the more appropriate term is ‘accessible superstar’ – there’s something distinctly extraordinary about her ability to command a stage. ! Jake Hall N Englesia Monica

REVIEWS

serpentwithfeet Village Underground, London 13 April


Edition I

Electronic music and other arts UCM Campus - Madrid June 8 and 9, 2018

Acid Pauli • Apparat DJ set • Black Coffee Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons DJ Tennis • Floating Points Solo live Gerd Janson • Guy Gerber Hot Chip Megamix • Hunee • Ibeyi Kiasmos • Larry Heard aka Mr. Fingers Palms Trax • Petit Biscuit • Róisín Murphy Tom Trago • Tune-Yards Awwz • Cumhur Jay • Danny L Harle Dekmantel Soundsystem • Delaporte El Búho • Henry Saiz & Band • HVOB Jamie Tiller • Kalabrese • Kelly Lee Owens Lovebirds • Mateo Kingman Rodriguez Jr. & Liset Alea • Sahalé • Tako Tornado Wallace • Yaeji • Yanik Park Get your tickets on

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Proudly presenting the first instalment of our new Artist Series David Rudnick - We Live As One

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05—18 MOTH Club Valette St London E8

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Programming

Friday 4 May

LADYBIRD

Friday 18 May

KHIDJA

mothclub.co.uk Thursday 10 May Friday 4 May

HATCHIE

Saturday 19 May

MACHINE WOMAN

HELIOCENTRICS Friday 11 May Monday 7 May

THE CAVEMEN

Tuesday 22 May

BUZZ KULL

ED SCHRADER’S MUSIC BEAT Saturday 12 May Tuesday 8 May

SPECTRUM Wednesday 9 May

HER’S Friday 11 May

J.D. WILKES & THE LEGENDARY SHACK SHAKERS Sunday 13 May

GNOD Wednesday 16

THE BUTTERTONES Tuesday 22 May

OUR GIRL Wednesday 23 May

AIDAN MOFFAT

BLUE HOUSE Wednesday 16 May

THE NINTH WAVE

Thursday 31 May

STATIC PALM

The Lock Tavern 35 Chalk Farm Rd London NW1 lock-tavern.com

Thursday 17 May

ACID DAD

Sunday 13 May

BOYTOY Thursday 26 May

LEVITATION ROOM

Tuesday 15 May

RASCALTON Thursday 31 May

TEAM PICTURE

The Waiting Room 175 Stoke Newington High St N16 waitingroomn16.com Thursday 3 May

Wednesday 16 May

BODEGA Thursday 17 May

WUTIP Friday 18 May

VACATIONS

BREATHE PANEL

Friday 4 May

Saturday 19 May

ALEKSANDIR

JAMES TRAYLEN

Sunday 17 May

EXPLODED VIEW

Shacklewell Arms 71 Shacklewell Lane London E8 shacklewellarms.com Wednesday 2 May

BENIN CITY

Saturday 5 May

GHOST CAR Friday 11 May

VICIOUS CREATURES Saturday 12 May

GUSTAV GOODSTUFF

Monday 21 May

IS BLISS Tuesday 22 May

AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS Saturday 26 May

TERMINAL GODS


YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN ELECTROWERKZ 20 JUNE

STARCRAWLER THE GARAGE 11 MAY

7 JULY

THE WAITING ROOM

BARBICAN

DEAD SEA

ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER

14 MAY

18 JULY

GHOST NOTES

CAMDEN ASSEMBLY

OSHUN

MAMMUT

15 MAY

4 AUGUST

OSLO

EAST LONDON

SNAIL MAIL

VISIONS FESTIVAL

15 MAY

14 AUGUST

BERMONDSEY SOCIAL CLUB

HEAVEN

BONIFACE

22 AUGUST

BIRTHDAYS

HACKNEY ARTS CENTRE

16 MAY

U.S. GIRLS SCALA

KEVIN MORBY ANNA BURCH MOTH CLUB 6 SEPTEMBER

SCALA

ST PANCRAS OLD CHURCH 13 SEPTEMBER

CAFE OTO

SCALA

SOCCER MOMMY

22 MAY

14 SEPTEMBER

ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY HALL

SOUTHBANK CENTRE

JOSH T PEARSON

LOST HORIZONS

24 MAY

20 SEPTEMBER

ROUNDHOUSE

SOUTHBANK CENTRE

UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA

BILL RYDER-JONES

24 MAY

25 SEPTEMBER

THE LEXINGTON

VILLAGE UNDERGROUND

MUTUAL BENEFIT

27 SEPTEMBER

OMEARA

HEAVEN

28 - 30 SEPTEMBER

DIY SPACE FOR LONDON

MARGATE

6 JUNE

DRAHLA

THE LEXINGTON

BY THE SEA FESTIVAL O2 SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE

OMEARA

CECIL SHARP HOUSE 13 OCTOBER

OSLO

O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN

LOS CAMPESINOS!

7 JUNE

18 OCTOBER

CORSICA STUDIOS

OSLO

23 OCTOBER

OVAL SPACE

SCALA

25 OCTOBER

OSLO

THE WAITING ROOM

PEAKES

20 JUNE

31 OCTOBER

ELECTROWERKZ

KOKO

YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN

8 NOVEMBER

THE GARAGE

ST PANCRAS OLD CHURCH

11 JUNE

WAXAHATCHEE OVAL SPACE 14 JUNE

AISHA DEVI OSLO

TUE.29.MAY.18

FRI.18.MAY.18

TUE.29.MAY.18

THU.20.SEP.18 FRI.21.SEP.18 SAT.22.SEP.18

MON.21.MAY.18

WED.30.MAY.18 THU.20.SEP.18

TUE.22.MAY.18 THU.31.MAY.18

THU.20.SEP.18 FRI.21.SEP.18

THU.24.MAY.18

SAT.22.SEP.18 WED.06.JUN.18 TUE.22.MAY.18 WED.26.SEP.18 THU.27.SEP.18 WED.06.JUN.18 WED.23.MAY.18 FRI.28.SEP.18 FRI.08.JUN.18 WED.23.MAY.18

SUN.10.JUN.18

FRI.14.SEP.18

WED.23.MAY.18

WED.10.OCT.18 THU.24.MAY.18

WED.13.JUN.18

THU.24.MAY.18

MON.18.JUN.18

FRI.12.OCT.18

DREAM WIFE

20 JUNE

STARCRAWLER

WED.16.MAY.18

PUMA BLUE

14 JUNE

AISHA DEVI

FRI.14.SEP.18 SAT.15.SEP.18

WESTERMAN

11 JUNE

WAXAHATCHEE

TUE.29.MAY.18

S. CAREY

7 JUNE

ALASKALASKA

TUE.15.MAY.18

JULIEN BAKER 4 OCTOBER

BORN RUFFIANS

TUE.29.MAY.18

29 SEPTEMBER

7 JUNE

AMBER ARCADES

THU.10.MAY.18

LET'S EAT GRANDMA

6 JUNE

LIDO PIMIENTA

TUE.29.MAY.18

OSCAR JEROME

29 MAY

FRANCOBOLLO

WED.09.MAY.18

TITUS ANDRONICUS

22 & 23 MAY

XYLOURIS WHITE

SUN.27.MAY.18

4 SEPTEMBER

20 MAY

ALICE PHOEBE LOU

SAT.05.MAY.18

ARIEL PINK

16 MAY

OUI LOVE

NEW SHOWS

20 JUNE

HALEY

THU.01.NOV.18 FRI.22.JUN.18 THU.24.MAY.18 FRI.09.NOV.18

19 NOVEMBER

ALELA DIANE

WED.27.JUN.18

UNION CHAPEL 21 NOVEMBER

UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA ROYAL ALBERT HALL

THU.24.MAY.18


OCEAN WISDOM

MAJESTIC CASUAL

GUNDELACH

THU 10 MAY

SAT 12 MAY

SAT 12 MAY

RED KITE

BLADEE

RAY LAMONTAGNE

TUE 15 MAY

WED 16 MAY

T LD OUMAY WEDSO16 & THU 17 MAY

HEADIE ONE

SAINT JHN

FUTURE BOUNCE PRESENTS

TUE 22 MAY

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XOYO

HOXTON SQUARE BAR & KITCHEN

LYLA FOY

JOE KAY

THE FIN.

THU 07 JUNE

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LOLO ZOUAÏ

ROO PANES

DAMIAN

THU 21 JUNE

MARLEY

ELECTRIC BALLROOM

+ HOLLOW HAND + LULL

FEATURING: CHROME SPARKS + CRAYON + NOAH SLEE

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TUE 12 JUNE

O2 ACADEMY ISLINGTON

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EVENTIM APOLLO

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THOUSAND ISLAND

“JR.GONG”

LP @ THE CURTAIN HOTEL

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LIAM BAILEY

REFLECT + RESPOND = NOW

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OMEARA

TOM GRENNAN TUE 16 OCTBER

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086

Releases

06

07

REVIEWS

Beach House are remarkably consistent. Since the Baltimore duo, comprised of vocalist and keyboardist Victoria Legrand and guitarist Alex Scally, started releasing music in 2006, they have exuded the same dull glow from the beginning; their back catalogue of woozy dream pop always finds a way to take up whichever space it inhabits: Bloom was guitar heavy, melody-driven, and demanding to be heard, but always on their terms; Depression Cherry took a more morose turn, with the focus on the atmosphere the songs created, rather than the one it already lived in. 7 is their seventh full-length record, and it consciously strips away the distractions and brings the focus back to the instrumentation. While the record is mostly hookless, gaseous in form, it doesn’t disarm them. The main takeaway is a feeling of rosetinted catharsis, and whether or not it’s shared with the listener, a point remains, more obvious than ever: Beach House refuse to compromise their agency over their sound. With 7, Beach House continue to prove that if you say something quietly enough, people will lean in. !

Rachel Grace Almeida

08

John Maus Addendum Domino Records Moomin Yesterday’s Tomorrows Wolf Music

Beach House 7 Matador Records

09

07

The title of Moomin's third LP, Yesterday's Tomorrows alludes to the kind of music that comprises most of the album – past-revering, with nods to more contemporary sounds. The album is in two halves. The first is made up of four very safe, very conservative and totally inoffensive deep house tracks that are difficult to get excited about. The second half is more interesting: two drum ‘n’ bass tracks and two instrumental hip-hop tunes that, while still bound by the conventions of those genres, are identifiably ‘Moomin-esque’; naggingly melancholic, and simple in a profound, pleasing way. Despite only having three chords, Into the Woods is a great example of how to effectively pace a drum ‘n’ bass track. After the first couple of minutes, the tune falls away. Then, the silence is pulverised by the kind of sub-bass that would set ravers grinning, punch-drunkenly, until the break cracked across their eardrums and compelled their weary limbs back to dancing. Fruits, which closes, is another highlight, and showcases Moomin’s talent for blissed-out loops and Dillaesque beats. While neither is groundbreaking stuff, it is refreshing to see a producer known mostly for doing one thing very well try other things. The deep house of complex jazz chords played on a Fender Rhodes chained rigidly to a four-to-the-floor beat is getting increasingly conservative, workmanlike and dull. Moomin deserves praise for trying to break out of it. !

Robert Bates

The thought of music by contemporary intellectuals is often a daunting prospect. Who, after all, hasn’t imagined Slavoj Zizek dropping his muchanticipated debut and winced? Still, there are exceptions and John Maus, perhaps, sits chief among them. A continuation of sorts from 2017’s Screen Memories, Addendum is both what it sets out to be and an album very much in its own right. A collection of 12 songs worthy of their place within the Maus cannon, rather than just a bookend, it’s heavily armed with both a poignancy and a muchneeded kind of dance-yourselfhappy, laissez faire attitude. Opening with sludgy bass notes and tight snare hits, on first impressions Outer Space can’t help bring to mind Mark Mothersbaugh’s irrepressible Life Aquatic score. But, joined quickly by synthesiser chimes more akin to Tears for Fears and Maus’ own recognisably laconic vocals, the combination makes clear very quickly that Addendum is content neither to be a pop culture echo nor a nostalgic tribute. Like Running Man earlier, 1987 makes no bones about betraying the influences it wears so visibly; the former, bizarrely, has tinges of Men Without Hats’ Safety Dance, while the latter – perhaps even more strangely – veers sharply and exhilaratingly at one point towards a convergence with Pulp’s Common People. As a record, Addendum is both a surprising collage of notquite-disparate influences and a whole that nearly sums up Maus’ eclecticism, esotericism and singular vision. Many things at once, it is far from simply a coda. !

Karl Smith

Parquet Courts Wide Awake! Rough Trade Records

Cardi B Invasion of Privacy Atlantic In less than a week on from its release, Cardi B’s debut album Invasion of Privacy reached record-breaking milestones in the charts. Cardi already had a strong foundation in pop culture, but the record was always going to make or break her lasting success. Thankfully, she delivered an album that not only solidifies her place in hip-hop, but also speaks directly to the tone of the times. Cardi arrived in the midst of an era where women were tired of being muted. Movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp were as much about exposing the misogynistic ills of the entertainment industry as having the strength and courage to call out those ills by name and face. Abuse was no longer par for the course, and the notion of “you’ll never work in this town again” was dead in the water. As for Cardi, the former reality TV star went viral during the reunion episode of her season of VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: New York, when she challenged co-star Peter Grunz for suggesting he’s financially supporting his paramours. Part of Cardi B’s televised allure was her brashness, which carried over to her major label debut single Bodak Yellow. Her Instagram videos – often featuring no make-up – were an equal balance of funny and honest, making the artist an accessible superhero. With Invasion of Privacy, Cardi B presents her take on message music. Some might misconstrue the songs’ overtones as being anti-girl power; on the contrary, both Cardi B and her critics’ points read similarly – questioning the desire for women to tear each other down. At a time where women should be unifying and supporting one another, Cardi B continuously echoes the sentiment that there’s enough love, money, and success for all of us. Cardi, after all, is just out to enjoy her unorthodox success story. Songs like Best Life (with Chance the Rapper) paint a portrait of the rapper trying to live while the internet nurtures #CardiBIsSoProblematic trending topics. On tracks like Money Bag, she’s clearly not trying to be anyone but herself: “I been broke my whole life, I have no clue what to do with these racks”. That’s not to say she doesn’t like to flex, as on She Bad, or consistently calling her man a “bitch” on Thru Your Phone. But songs like Ring bring a vulnerability that anyone in love can experience, asking themselves whether or not they can swallow their pride and reach out during tumultuous times. In an era where women are no longer afraid to speak up, Invasion of Privacy is an extension of that movement in her own vision. With bold authenticity and self-awareness, Cardi B proves that a little self-confidence goes a long way. !

Kathy Iandoli

Over the course of this decade, the consistently sharp New York-based band Parquet Courts have made an impression on the consciousness of a generation. With Wide Awake! – their seventh LP if you count their efforts with tweaked line-ups – they make their mark indelible. It’s their angriest work, and yet it’s their most polished. It’s quite possibly their best. Thematically, the band reproach modernism and the penchant for individualism and nihilism that comes with it – territory they have tread before – but this time guitarist and principle singer Andrew Savage seems much more comfortable with his anger. Musically, Wide Awake! is more of a departure – partly because the band recruited Danger Mouse as producer, whose influence can be felt in an added sheen and production flourishes, like the growled narration and g-funk squeal on Violence, a blistering attack on gun culture and tacit acceptance of brutality. More generally, the band embrace the dance: drawing out pure funk with the title track and a crooning groove on closer Tenderness. Austin Brown, who delivers two of his best ever turns as frontman with Mardi Gras Beads and Death Will Bring Change, states that with Wide Awake!, the band aim “to stand in opposition to [hateful culture] — and to the nihilism used to cope with that — with ideas of passion and love”. That they do so with a record so close to boiling point, again switching up their sound, is exactly what makes Parquet Courts such a special band. !

Theo Kotz


087

07 09 09 08 Grouper Grid of Points Kranky

Rival Consoles Persona Erased Tapes Rival Consoles, aka Ryan Lee West, has always stood out as an anomaly on the Erased Tapes label. Ever since his earliest excursions – such as 2007’s The Decadent EP or his 2009 debut album, IO – West has drawn from abstract techno and IDM to make what is ostensibly dance music. His sound is far heavier to that of the neoclassical composers who make up the roster. And yet, on his fifth album and most high profile release, Persona, it’s possible to discern similarities with label-mates Nils Frahm or Ólafur Arnalds. With beats or without, West’s skill lies in coaxing melancholy feeling from his instruments – something his label mates excel at, too. Inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film of the same title, Persona finds West exploring introspective moods within the linear beat structures of techno, amid quieter ambient moments. Coating his synth sounds in distortion and thick layers of tape on Memory Arc, he conjures an epic, spinetingling mood. On the title track, waves of pitch-bent shoegaze electronics break in dramatic fashion over 4/4 beats and swung percussive rhythms. Untravel has a spiralling trance riff you can imagine powering some late 90s Gatecrasher anthem, but with the beats removed, it has a mournful air. The best moment comes with Be Kind, a quietly devastating piece of echo-soaked Rhodes keys and delay-laden crackle. Persona is without doubt his best yet. !

Ben Murphy

The latest release from Grouper, aka Liz Harris, features the same stripped back instrumentation heard on 2014’s Ruins, using only piano, voice and occasional field recordings. Beyond that, Grid of Points is a very different record. The heavy, water-logged pianos have been swapped for brighter ones that gently ring with life. The oncemuted vocals are relatively pronounced – on opening track The Races, Harris performs a breathy a cappella; the effect is like that of her throwing open the studio window, and letting a breeze gently kick up dust from the floor. Then there’s the songwriting. Tracks from Ruins were orderly, relying on repetition and vaguely conventional structures, but Grid of Points is an unruly thing. Its seven sparse pieces, some of which better resemble sketches, are full of distracting moments and curious details that stick in your memory. Halfway through Parking Lot is a string of repeating chords which, like a roadblock, slow things down and reinforces attention. Driving, Blouse and Breathing all finish unresolved, their notes left to hang in the air like difficult questions. An off-kilter key in the heady Thanksgiving Song is a pleasantly jarring moment, arriving just before a very long, mid-song fade-out. It sounds like the piano is being slowly wheeled to the back of a warehouse, and away from the microphone. Absence and understatement have always been favourite tools of Harris’s, and in Grid of Points she deploys them to full effect. A sense of loss pervades throughout, but somehow, the album is also a strangely feel-good release – one that resonates with quiet, compelling confidence. !

Xavier Boucherat

Novelist is a relentless innovator. In the space of four years, he’s gone from releasing 2014’s Take Time with Mumdance – an experimental track widely acknowledged as a jump-off point for grime’s mainstream boom – to collaborating with Nick Hook and Chase & Status. More recently, he pioneered Ruff Sound: a harder, faster strain of grime with beats shifting between 152-160 bpm. The 21-year-old’s debut album is an independent, selfproduced record that charts his journey to this point. Although touted as the first potential grime star of his generation back in 2015 (gracing the covers of both Crack Magazine and then Mixmag in the space of four months), Novelist never really made the jump to the mainstream – nor did he give the impression he ever really wanted to. As is clear across all 15 tracks on Novelist Guy, he is as switched-on as they come, a conscious lyricist with one eye on the rest of the world. One listen to Stop Killing the Mandem, a slogan he was famously pictured with at a Black Lives Matter demo in London back in 2016, and you realise he’s more than just an MC: "Until I get answers I’m gonna be on the roadside screaming Stop Killing The Mandem". Not only are his bars a frank rejection of the trappings of modern life, crucially they’re also accessible, digestible. The album itself rattles with fiery unpredictability. The beats are rough and ragged, aside from lush, ambient interlude Clocking the Game, moving between the playful glitches of Happiness in the Cold to the pure, weaponised grime thrill of Nov Wait Stop Wait – his most iconic bar, first referenced on 2014’s Take Time. It does lack the polish and finesse of his previous work. Some of the more experimental cuts, including the dizzying, skittish rush of Man Better Jump, do miss the mark. But as a collection of tracks, Novelist Guy embodies the integrity and moreover the fearlessness that makes him such a captivating young artist. !

Tomas Fraser

Iceage Beyondless Matador Records

08

Elysia Crampton Elysia Crampton Break World Records The Amerindian producer returns with another set of dense sound collages. Following the unsettling dissonance of 2016’s Demon Cities, this self-titled release returns us to the chaotic and emotionally charged landscape visited in 2015’s American Drift. This time round, Crampton has drawn even more on the rhythmic traditions of her Andean heritage. These include styles such as Kullawada and Huayno. Though complex, they are made for dancing, and have an almost celebratory feel. This creates a particularly brilliant contrast when paired with Crampton’s metal influences, which feature throughout. Moscow Mariposa Voladora’s heavily processed power chords have an air of the apocalypse about them, pulsing mournfully beneath an industrial racket of snares and smashed glass. Elsewhere, the rhythms speak for themselves. Solilunita is largely percussive, a storm of ritual drums and metallic clatter which bleeds with urgency. It’s a sharp addition to an album which, considering it’s under 20 minutes long, makes a very full statement – one which cements Crampton’s status as an exciting and wholly unique force. !

Xavier Boucherat

When Iceage blew up at the turn of the decade, no one predicted longevity from Copenhagen’s teenage punk sensation. Their debut LP New Brigade, released in 2011, was powered by intense adrenaline-levels that were surely impossible to sustain. All the while, the band’s hostile relationship with music writers stirred up a storm of sensationalist press – a double-edged sword for any new act. Iceage’s ambitions to graduate from blood-spilling basement shows and to “not only cover the emotions that come with a clenched fist” transpired in 2013 with Morals – a piano ballad inspired by Italian singer Mina’s 1965 song L'Ultima Occasione. By third album Ploughing Into the Field of Love, singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt’s lyricism had moved beyond nihilist posturing to barstool romanticism. Beyondless, Iceage’s fourth album, delivers an anthemic 10 track collection. Brass sections boost single Pain Killer, which sees Rønnenfelt joined by Sky Ferreira for a lovestruck duet that leaves them short of breath, as well as the hook of the densely distorted stomper The Day the Music Dies. On the sluggishly-paced Catch It, Rønnenfelt slips towards a state of despair, threatening the only mid-album droop until the band accelerate to a faster gear with ease. Perhaps their finest moment is the closing title track – a euphoric blast during which Rønnenfelt envisions himself as a vagrant wandering the city, a ricocheting bullet and being lost at sea. While Beyondless is a record that honours the lineage of the great musicians that came before Iceage, this music is too alive and too lustful to be sterilised by the praise of rockist bores. It’s the sound of a band who’ve been bound together by music since they were kids, and they’ve not lost an ounce of passion along the way. !

Davy Reed

07

Jon Hopkins Singularity Domino Records Jon Hopkins’ aesthetic has been perfected over a series of albums that span the last two decades. It has evolved from the ambient sounds of 2001’s Opalescent, through the trip-hop influenced rhythms of Contact Note, and into the rumbling bass explosions and gemstone melodies that characterise 2013’s Immunity and his new solo album, Singularity. This trajectory has gradually moved away from material that – in hindsight – sailed a little too close to the anonymous early-noughties chillout filler, and towards an otherworldly place that is crunching and cataclysmic on the one hand, deft and delicate on the other. Singularity continues this journey with galactic grandeur. The stuttering Emerald Rush is a beauty – a lolloping rhythm coupled with a melody miasma that oozes out of the speakers. The following track, Neon Pattern Drum, teases in but evolves into a shadowy techno rattler, before Everything Connected pushes the trancerush button and the floor falls away for the raucous-butcelestial centrepiece of the album. The soft, meandering keys of Echo Dissolve, and the choral contentedness of Feel First Life provide a gentle counterpoint, before the barely audible Recovery returns the album to the note it began on. Singularity is the satisfying sound of an artist who – instead of petering out after a couple of early victories – is still perfecting his craft nearly two decades after he started. !

Adam Corner

REVIEWS

Novelist Novelist Guy Mmmyeah Records


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089

Using science-fiction to explore real socio-political struggles, Janelle Monáe contributes to the revolutionary spirit of contemporary pop culture

08

Words: Steph Kretowicz

The only thing is, everything has been updated or corrupted in service of Monáe’s subversive, revisionist ends. It’s an approach that has typified her work from the beginning. The ArchAndroid recontextualised the evil antagonist robot of Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent film Metropolis into the messianic saviour of a minority community of androids. The Electric Lady flipped the harmful racial stereotypes of popular soul, funk and rock into self-actualising assertions of the primacy of black cultural influence in the United States.

Monáe’s third full-length follows a life’s work interrogating gender and sexuality, prejudice and class, framed within carefully constructed and highly allusive science fiction worlds. It just so happens that now those themes are more relevant than ever. So instead of hiding behind the “android” persona of a time-travelling Cindi Mayweather – as in 2010’s The ArchAndroid and 2013’s The Electric Lady – Monáe recognises the times call for a more direct approach to addressing them.

Unlike its predecessors, however, there’s an urgency to Dirty Computer that hinges on a contemporary moment of political oppression and resistance. “You told us, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal,” says the sound byte of a rousing sermon by an unnamed speaker for Crazy, Classic, Life. The celebratory affirmations of a softrock anthem sees Monáe gleefully asserting, “I am not America’s nightmare/ I am the American dream.” The commanding hip-hop sway of Django Jane redirects the wounded machismo, echoing the flow of Drake into Monáe’s intersectional feminist ends: “hit the mute button/ let the vagina have a monologue.”

Hence, Dirty Computer is set in an American near-future where difference and individuality has been outlawed under a totalitarian government. Pop cultural touchstones have been misplaced, blurred and garbled out of linear time. A short introduction features the 60s psychedelia and surf pop of the title-track, featuring the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, while a clear reference to Madonna’s Vogue appears on album closer Americans.

Visibility and empowerment are the key imperatives underpinning Dirty Computer. Co-released via her own label Wondaland Arts Society, Sean Combs’ Bad Boy and Atlantic Records, the album hits on a revolutionary zeitgeist, alongside other mainstream milestones which have amplified

previously marginalised subjectivities – like Black Panther and Moonlight, the Times Up and Me Too movements. The new wave reggae fusion of I Got The Juice featuring Pharell Williams touches on the defiant feminist war cry of the day (“if you try to grab my pussy cat/ this pussy grab you back”). The jangling funk rock of Screwed with Zoe Kravitz flips shame on its head with the double-barrelled innuendo of how to really fuck things up (“you know power/ is just sex/ now ask yourself/ who’s screwing you”). Typically dense with historical reference points, as well as contemporary interrogations of realworld issues, Dirty Computer is the ecstatic protest album for an era that will keep people pondering its cultural significance for generations to come.

Janelle Monáe Dirty Computer Wondaland Arts Society/ Bad Boy Records/ Atlantic Records

REVIEWS

“I’m afraid that you just love my disguise,” Janelle Monáe croons on the ballad Don’t Judge Me. Flanked by a string section and acoustic guitar, running water samples and wah-wah effects, the futurist lounge jazz towards the end of Dirty Computer echoes a theme that’s close to the Atlanta-based performer’s heart. On the surface, it seems like a line lifted from a tentative love song. But it's more than that. It is in fact a multi-faceted emblem of an album of great weight – an oeuvre that is concerned with the “Other”.


Optimo (Espacio) | Dan Shake Tornado Wallace | Parris Mitchell DJ Bus Replacement Service Mark Grusane | John Gómez D. Tiffany | Wes Baggaley | Jaye Ward Phil Mison | Bullion | iona | Kane West Kenny White | Jyoty | GiGi FM DJ Vegetable | Flørist | Calypso Steve Ece Duzgit | Aaron L | a boy from outer space | Ash Bubble Chamber | Tommy Gold | Nemo | Castro Moore Childsplay | Eva Geist (live) | DJ Keith Lorraine | Dorado Tomas Station | William | Vio DJ | High Tracksuit | Float A Bort | Wharfwhit | Voyeur | Terry Juarez | Miles Russell Arturas | Lucid Stannard | Mastermind | Muddled Miranda Nadine Artois (Pxssy Palace) | Ossia deejays | Period Sets Pretty Pretty Good | Ranieri | Sonny | Extrapolation

HTER F E

IV AL

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Records | Rónán | Fergus | Sayang | Tumu DJ | Pablo V

Find out more: www.the-tower.co.uk Facebook Soundcloud Instagram /thetowerfestival 29th June - 2nd July 2018


091

Consumed Richie Hawtin’s fourth studio album as Plastikman paved new roads for minimal techno

Words: Oli Warwick

Hawtin’s explicitly ambient projects – his collaborations with Pete Namlook, or the twee early 90s bleeps of his F.U.S.E alias – still bore the naive hallmarks of early machine music. Consumed spelt out an entirely different concept, stripping away what people had known about Plastikman, laying out a new manifesto in this exploration of minimalism. “There’s something intriguing about this album,” rRoxymore told Electronic Beats in 2015. “The music is like a big vacuum that sucks you up. Time stops. I find it mysterious and luminous. It’s fully cathartic.” The cover alone sets the mood: the black, die-cut sleeve peers into a murky midnight blue void. It’s austere in its form and oppressive in its tone – the perfect primer for the sound that ensues, all low-register pulses and

What makes Consumed such a vital album to this day is that, for all its unflinching experimentation, it’s actually not hard to listen to. It can fill a space without drawing unwanted attention. Various strains of techno adopted ambient principles early on, but Consumed demonstrates the merging of styles reaching a kind of maturity. The sound palette is subdued and the repetition is unforgiving, as if it positively shuns your attention. To get lost in the album is the real treat though. After opener Contain, the slow 11-minute ebb of Consume is the true gateway in; a seemingly endless bassline pulse and dubby splashes taking on an organic quality as they unfurl through billowing clouds of bluehued vapour. The muted, slow-techno thud of Cor Ten demands submission, while the distant choral pads in Converge strain towards the light, only to be pulled down by the strung out, backroom whirl of Locomotion. It’s worth pointing out that, however radical Consumed was, it wasn’t alone in its field. Tracks like Cor Ten have a distinct parallel with the Berlin sound of Basic Channel and the Chain Reaction label, and in particular the work of Monolake and Porter Ricks – a similarity that didn't go unnoticed at the time of its release.

However, in presenting a challenging new direction, Consumed marked a significant turning point for Hawtin. It was the first release on M_nus Records – the true vessel for his minimal explorations – and just one year later he would release his stillessential Deckx, EFX & 909 mix album. In the end, the album’s crowning glory is its title track. Edging in just enough harmony to lift the blanket of fog above head height, it’s the perfect tonic after the shadowy exploits that precede it. As the looping melodic phrase steps out to be heard without heavy processing, its devastating simplicity sums up minimalism in all its glory. As a marvelous parting shot, the riff drifts into grainy distortion at the end – a rare imperfection that makes the track, and indeed album, all the more special.

REVIEWS

Leading up to the release of his fourth studio album, Consumed, in May 1998, Hawtin was perceived differently. His most famed alias, Plastikman, broke new ground with the sparse, brittle acid double-drop of Sheet One and Musik, and his Plus 8 label with John Acquaviva was a huge influence on the emergent techno culture in the US and Europe. While his productions up to that point were exploring minimalism in techno alongside Robert Hood and Daniel Bell, the overall sound was still pretty raw.

understated rhythmic ticks echoing out into a deafening negative space.

Original release date: 18 May, 1998 Label: M_nus

Richie Hawtin is a complex figure in modern techno – these days, his on-and-off stage exploits generally overshadow his music. Whether it’s bad behaviour (throwing speakers at people, getting kicked out of Berghain) or questionable concepts (such as the fashion label Richly.Hawtin), he’s lately become adept at diverting attention away from a watered-down, formulaic strain of the minimal techno he helped pioneer through the 90s and 00s.


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093

Film

07

07 05 Ghost Stories dir: Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman Starring: Andy Nyman, Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse

! Kambole Campbell

Lean on Pete dir: Andrew Haigh Starring: Steve Buschemi, Charlie Plummer, Chloë Sevigny What is it that draws British directors to American odysseys? Is it the iconography of the wild west? Certainly, Lean on Pete, Andre Haigh’s third film following Weekend and 45 Years, is visually captivating from start to finish, detailing the relationships between Charley (Charlie Plummer), his father (Travis Fimmel) and most importantly the titular horse with whom he embarks on a crosscountry journey when tragedy strikes. Yet the beautiful way in which Haigh captures the expansive landscapes never really justify why he chose to make this story. Why America? Why Charley? These are questions we’re never given answers to, making for a film that drags instead of engages. A bravura performance from Charlie Plummer almost redeems the film. While he’s not the biggest star in the cast – that honour falls to Steve Buschemi and Chloë Sevigny who both give solid supporting performances – there’s something endlessly watchable about Plummer. Think of a much more muted version of Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights and you come close to Plummer’s performance; boyish innocence mixed with sullenness and resilience. Lean on Pete has a lot in common with Andrea Arnold’s most recent film, American Honey. Both films were road trips across the America, both helmed by British directors. And both films could have benefitted from a shorter running length. Because inside Lean on Pete’s two-hour-plus running time is a story about one boy’s motivations, obscured by Haigh’s infatuation with the American West. A shame, as Haigh is one of our most interesting directors, and while Lean on Pete never rises to the highs of his previous films, it’s a sign that Haigh is an extremely talented director who is willing to step out of his comfort zone – even if the risk doesn’t quite pay off.

The feature debut from French filmmaker Coralie Fargeat, Revenge is a hyperstylised thriller that takes the tropes of a gaudy rape revenge exploit and turns it into something far more subversive. A film of three acts, Revenge begins with a secret trip away for Richard, a wealthy married man and his mistress Jen (Matilda Lutz). On a quiet hilltop away from it all, the pair enjoy short-lived privacy until two of Richard’s associates show up unannounced, thirsty for a hunting trip. Instead of a Straw Dogs-esque descent into violence, the extended party are shown laughing and drinking together by pool before Richard leaves and events turn sour. This feels impossibly relevant in a current climate where wealthy men manipulate social situations to prey upon women, and uncomfortably more so in the aftermath where Jen is offered money and a job by Richard in place of her silence. From here on the plot takes a step back – a simple cat and mouse game is all that’s needed – and Fargeat unleashes a party bag of sensory tricks and treats. A seething colour palette of sky blue, burning browns and hot pink will make your pupils dilate. Blood literally trickles down the camera, and a lengthy nightmare sequence teaming with maggots and short sharp shocks feels like pin pricks on skin. While Jen is undoubtedly the victim of Revenge, her attackers’ suffering is long and loud, their egos and rage the only things left intact. The sound design is heightened for maximum effect, her attackers’ pain the focus of her unflinching lens. But Revenge is a film so intent on this aspect of storytelling via its shifting male and female gaze that character development takes a hit; Jen’s essentially a blank slate, with only her blind instinct for survival and retaliation against her attackers left to define her. Still, the bag of film school fireworks makes for an entertaining show and marks Fargeat out as a name to watch. Above all, Revenge is a well needed dose of feminist anger, something we’re likely to see a lot more of in the coming years. ! Beth Webb

08

Beast dir: Michael Pearce Starring: Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn, Geraldine James Jessie Buckley is spellbinding as the anti-hero Moll Huntford at the heart of Michael Pearce’s debut feature film Beast, which tells the story of a disillusioned woman who falls for a dubious but handsome outsider in the midst of a town stricken by a spate of murders. Despite the open spaces, rugged coast lines and bucolic expanses of her home in Jersey, Moll feels hemmed in by society and smothered by a controlling mother. She wants to explore the murkier side of the pastoral paradise, where rumours of witches and Nazis linger and the horrors of the ‘Beast of Jersey’ could befall such a safe and isolated community. The success of this film is indebted to the phenomenal and courageous performance of Buckley and her chemistry with co-star Johnny Flynn, who plays her mercurial lover and suspected killer Pascal. Buckley consistently destabilises our empathy with turns of crippling tenderness, unbridled wildness and nuanced malevolence, building a sublimely conflicted character with as many misgivings as the carefree and impulsive Pascal. Beast flirts with genre; thriller, family drama, love story and even hints of folk-horror, but is ultimately a story about facing up to the potential for evil in both the self and others. The truths at the heart of this hyper-real tale of estrangement, loneliness and the desire for freedom are explored with elemental finesse by the director of photography Benjamin Kracun, who captures the crude and mysterious beauty of Jersey’s landscape and pitches it against the cultivated, oppressive community of Moll’s family and social life. Conventional camera work is employed for the despotic home and family scenes whereas a less-structured, hand-held approach is used for the scenes between Moll and Pascal, intensifying the already heightened sense of reality. If you can break free of Buckley’s spell, you’ll realise the themes explored in Beast reach beyond the specificities of narrative and character and into the timeless realm of myth and fable, to uncover an uncomfortable truth that we all must confront. ! Lara C Cory

! Grace Barber-Plentie

REVIEWS

First conceived as a play by directors Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman (who also stars), Ghost Stories transcends its stage origins and adherence to well-worn horror tropes to bring existential terror to match its more visceral scares. The film follows Professor Philip Goodman (Nyman), a man who’s committed his life to debunking the supernatural. Opening on footage of a melancholic bar mitzvah, the film uses its premise to explore the horror of what life means without a belief system. As he is confronted by a hero of his, another professional sceptic, the film breaks from fauxdocumentary into a more formal film, exploring three cases: a night watchman who has a really bad time in a derelict women’s refuge, a teenager hunted by a strange creature after his car breaks down in a forest, and a business man who believes he is being haunted by a poltergeist. Each tale is tight and efficient, and backed by a haunting, melodic score from Frank Ilfman. While the three settings are fairly self-contained, creative trickery and great framing make this feel like more than the typical stage adaptation. The film is laced with a dark, oddball sense of humour that feels uniquely British, which is nice to see in a horror film that looks this polished. The three stories appear as tales of fear about the loss of control, as well as being very creatively conceived to scare the living daylights out of you. These segments are all anchored by great performances, particularly by Alex Lawther (Black Mirror, The End of the Fucking World), who channels the nervous energy of his past performances into something very unsettling. It’s a shame that the film is unable to play things straight for its entirety, opting for a swerve in the final act that feels somewhat rote. However, while none of the scenarios in Dyson and Nyman’s adaptation are particularly new ideas, Ghost Stories’ general contemplation of seeking comfort in faith and fear of the unknown, make the film feel like far more than the sum of its – still very solid – parts.

Revenge dir: Coralie Fargeat Starring: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe


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095

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Good news for all you vintage hardware fetisihists out there: Roland have announced a partnership with Puma. Together the two titans will be dropping an exclusive sneaker, inspired by the TR-808 synth. A release date is yet to be announced, but if you’re a music and sneaker head, you know they won’t be available for long once they’ve dropped.

REVIEWS

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A Love Letter To… Blog House

Words: Gabriel Szatan Illustration: Tim Lahan

The best thing about Blog House? Everything but blog house. There’s a few misconceptions about what we might loosely call the blog era. Blog House has become a catch-all umbrella term for a nebulous internet period circa 2006-8, as well as a genre… sort of. Lower-case blog house isn’t even really very house-y. It’s a digitised cloud of proto-EDM adrenaline rush. The sound of bands selling their guitars and buying turntables (but still staying bands). The undigested lunch of a generation conditioned to treat music like finger food. Second is the timeline. Some of the most memorable bombs of the late decade – the maximalist edits of MGMT and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, for example – came a little after its moment in the sun. By mid ’08, a Day N Nite remix package featuring Crookers had sold a million copies in the UK alone, and Justice had a feature film out. Everything from there was a debris slide.

OPINION

The other is that it was predominantly French. The Ed Banger-Kitsuné duopoly was colossally influential, setting in motion a million imitators, setting off a million tinnitus sufferers, and setting back bitrate quality a million years. Yet it feels oddly un-bloggy to me. While that side of the scene is undeniably emblematic of a time when sweat and sleaze dripped down the back wall of dance music, the leather

and posturing are a carry-over from the indie explosion of the previous five years. Typecasting the blog era as solely about grinding electro-rock does it a disservice. What feels most worth excavating and cherishing from the period was an intoxicating atmosphere of discovery and cross-pollination. Specialist music forums had been around since the 1990s, though by comparison they were in beta mode. Surging bandwidth in the mid-2000s truly opened the floodgates. Sites like Hype Machine, and the carousel of access it prised open, were a revelation. Skirting around the era’s must-read blogs, You Can Call Me Pelski, Curb Crawlers, Mudd Up!, Gorilla Vs Bear, Palms Out Sound et al, was not just informative but enjoyable to boot.

moments. Previously niche regional sub-genres of rap and club music – Bmore, hyphy, snap – suddenly started Trojan Horsing international airwaves (Laffy Taffy, This Is Why I’m Hot, Crank Dat). Kanye, incensed by a not-yet-anthemic We Are Your Friends beating out Touch the Sky to an MTV Video award in 2006, inadvertently stumbled into a day-glo world of SoMe animation and Daft Punk hooks which would form the backbone of his 2007-dominating Graduation.

If you focus on the overarching spirit rather than any specific sound, a different picture emerges of an enviably carefree few years. The mood was warm, goofy and open; amateurism was absolutely acceptable. A thousand and one genres came and went, and the market for remixes was on steroids. The best DJs and bedroom bootleggers of the era were two parts fearless and one part idiot savant, instigating a dialogue at 128kbps and watching sparks fly. Glitchy re-rubs of Cut Copy? Sure. Jit edits of Olivia Newton John? Why not.

Moreso than Justice's crunching Cross or M.I.A.'s worldly Kala, Vampire Weekend's debut is perhaps the most impactful of all albums boosted by blog infrastructure. The internet-natives’ magpie approach to pop culture kick-started a sweeping change for the monochrome indie rock scene. It wasn't the only effect they had, either: keyboardist Rostam Batmanglij held down an internship at the Oxford Dictionary during the group's early days, where he successfully pitched the addition of "crunk" and "mash-up" to the annual updates. What could be more 2007 than that?

All this chalk 'n cheese commingling led to a glut of delightful crossover

The sheen of nostalgia admittedly can't mask a lot of the awful fashion

and awful music that came out then. The world moved on and took with it purple hoodies, Diplo’s credibility, and all those sawtooth re-versions of Klaxons’ Gravity’s Rainbow. Yet lately there's been small steps toward a positive reevaluation – and I’m here for it. It’s no coincidence there’s a ripple of activity every time contemporary DJ cognoscenti get deep in Twitter threads over old Switch bangers. It's not necessarily because all those old tunes sound good. It's because they sound fun. The tunes don’t have to be scrappy, or jab a finger in the ear of the listener just for the sake of it. But every so often the industry can do with reminding itself to be a little less stiff. You might not be like me, thinking more regularly about a .zip of crunk Radiohead remixes than whatever Ostgut Ton full length came out six months ago, but try putting on a Girl Talk mix rather than a Giegling one at your next afters. I know which’ll raise more of a cheer.


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