Issuu on Google+

FREE Issue 14

Art, Music, and Matadors

The Fourteenth Issue

Baths Gary Numan DJ Funk Doc Daneeka

14 Plus

Other Lives // Cloud Control // Crazy P // Lee Nutland // Aled Simons & more...

Friday 7th October




Bowski / Waifs & Strays / Untold Pariah / Dwindle / BASS ACHE DJS

Camo & Krooked Album Launch


Fridayy 14th 14 4tth Ocotber O otber Oc


Caspa Ms Dynamite Redlight True Tiger ft: Sukh Knight, Blue Bear

& Scandalous Unltd / Sigma / Lunice Dark Sky / Ed Rush / Rockwell / Swindle The Heatwave / Rack N Ruin / Woz Arsequake / Dubious / Fire Man Sam Trap Magazine Djs / ROD AZLAN DREAD / KOAST / REMIDY / C-STRIKE-Z

Saturday 8th October

Saturday 15th October



Fake Blood Jamie Jones Heidi L-Vis 1990 & The Neon Dreams / Boy-8-Bit Tickets: £14.50/16.50 Door times: 2200-0600

Friday 21st October



Tickets: £16.50. Door times: 2200-0600

Friday 28th October

Saturday 22nd October




Mungo’s Hifi Full Soundsystem JAHTARI & SOOM - T / IRIE ITES / RADICAL GURU

CIAN FINN / The Bug :Live Feat Flowdan Kenny Ken / Dubkasm / Remarc / Komonazmuk J:Kenzo / More Rockers / Buggsy:Live Bizzy B / RSD / ARIES / Dub Boy Tickets: £12.50/ £14.50 Door times: 2200-0600

Saturday 29th October


Tale Of Us Shaun Reeves Soul Clap Space Dimension Controller / Midland Tom Rio / Dan Wild / PARK RANGER SOLID GOLD Tickets: £12 / 15 Door times: 2300 - 0700

Tickets: £16.50 Door times: 2200-0600

Saturday 5th November


Friday 4th November







Tickets: £14.50 / 16.50 Door times: 2200 - 0500

Tickets: £14.50 Door times: 2100-0400

Motion Ramp Park 74 - 78 Avon Street, Bristol, BS2 0PX T: 01179 723 111 Tickets available from Also Available from: Bristol Ticket Shop


fabric oct/nov 77A Charterhouse Street, London, EC1. Opening times are from 11pm to 8am. £18 (advance tickets). £19/£10 student. £9 after 4am, and £6 from 5am. fabric operates a 24hr drinking license. fabric 59: Jamie Jones — out now fabric 60: Dave Clarke — 17th October fabric 61: Visionquest — 5th December

Craig Richards Terry Francis Agoria Âme Anthony Rother (Live) Art Department Ben Klock Black Dog (Live) Blawan Chaim Clara Moto Claude Vonstroke Convextion (Live) Damian Lazarus Dave Clarke Dexter (Live) Dinky dOP (Live) Dyed Soundorom Eats Everything Eddie Richards Fred Everything Funk D Void (Live) Gary Beck George Fitzgerald Hypercolour 5th Birthday Ian Pooley Jef K John Digweed John Tejada (Live) Joy Orbison jozif Justin Martin Karotte

Kiki (Live) Kruse & Nürnberg Kyle Hall Lee Burridge Lee Foss Legowelt (Live) Luke Slater (Live) Maceo Plex (Live) Marc Houle (Live) Marcel Fengler Margaret Dygas Maya Jane Coles Michael Mayer Moodymann Octave One (Live) Pearson Sound Peter Van Hoesen (Live) Redshape presents Palisade (Live) Rhadoo Ricardo Villalobos Serge Shifted Slam Soul Clap Space Dimension Controller . ŏ Swayzak (Live) Tom Trago Tiefschwarz Tomas Barfod Vakula Will Saul









Photographer: Filip K Model: Sarune Stylist: Elle Sheriff Clothes: Recession

Respect Doc Daneeka Steve Coogan Elle Sheriff Chris Goodfellow Angelos Epithemiou Rob Sonic Gill Loats Joey Barton The Matador Luisa Zilio Futureboogie

14 16

For those who are cracked let the light in:

is going monthly. Yeah that’s right kids, say that one a bit louder. CRACK IS GOING MONTHLY!! Those vicious Twitter and Facebook rumours weren’t the work of errant muckspreading forces on the world-widened interweb, oh no! We are now in the glorious position to bring you a monthly dose of your favourite magazine without succumbing to cardiac arrest.



Creative Director / Managing Director Jake Applebee Editor / Managing Director Thomas Frost



Junior Editor Geraint Davies Marketing Manager Luke Sutton



Fashion Paul Whitfield Intern Alfie Allen


Contributors Mavis Botswinga Christopher Goodfellow Mystic Greg Lucie Grace Trotman Adam Corner Hulio Bourgeois Lee Nutland Aaron Wilson Michael Freeby Alex Turner James Wilson Pat Bradbury David Reed Ian Ochilltree Lionel Taplin Robert Darch Dan Fowler Crack Magazine Studio 31 Office 12 Berkeley Square Clifton Bristol BS8 1HP

So from that bombshell to another. If you happen to be reading this inside the concrete circle that is the M25 then you’re probably one of the first to pick up Crack’s fledgling London edition. THAT’S RIGHT, A LONDON EDITION! We don’t fuck about. From Bristol to Cardiff and now the cultural capital of the universe, we thought we’d give spreading our wings a good old go. As we’ve decided to give ourselves roughly double the workload that we have at the moment and expose London to our wonderful Crack (oh, how we laughed), we decided it would be best to enter London with a moderate bang, so our London Launch Party at The Nest on the 12th with Trophy Wife seems an apt way to enter the capital. The fact that we are in a position to expand in this way is an encouraging reflection of the impression Crack has made in the last two years. It has acted, and will hopefully continue to act as a useful guide to some of the most captivating music and art around, as well as having that unique ability to take itself a little less seriously than Nathan Barley. Oh shit … aren’t we called Crack? … time to get those frameless out I suppose.

Tom Frost

Jake Applebee

Crack has been created using:

CRACK is published by Crack Industries Ltd Advertising To enquire about advertising and to request a media pack contact:

07747779952 Thanks to: Eleanor Glen, Bertie ‘Mac’ Davidson, Mike Applebee, Louise Trimby, Filip K, Inma and Vincente, Ruined Lou, Lora, Markland, Stanley Donwood, Dave Bain, Turbowolf, Beak>, Appleblim, Lego Castles, Tall Ships, Ben Howard, Taking Tiger Mountain, Laurie Rollitt, Jay and Sophie, Scotty 2 Hotty, Tatty, Jamie Atherton, Kane, Annie Davis, Big Dave Frost, Moussa, Simon Jutton, Johnny De Mearns, Lex, Jack Clemoes, Frost clan, Applebee clan, Jayne Applebee, Rowena Mayhew, Donuts Crew, Jon Payne, Avalaan Boys, Dan 02 Academy, Matt Start The Bus, © 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.

Buck 65 - Wicked and Weird Cloud Control - Death Cloud OK Pilot - Teeth How To Dress Well - Ready For the World Presk - Headway Big Business - Focus Pocus Nas - It Ain’t Hard to Tell The Scientists - Swampland Pacer - Circles Around a Square Bombay Talkie - Typewriter Tip Tip Tip Elvis - Viva Los Vegas Magnetic Fields - How to Say Goodbye Benjamin Damage and Doc Daneeka - Creeper Les Savy Fav - Dirty Knails Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Forever 28 Weezer - In The Garage Al Green - Simply Beautiful Joker - Back in the Days Campion - Loneliness’ Scuba - Adrenalin Solid Gold Dragons - Serious Lover Crazy P - Changes (Lukas remix)

Dizzy K - Be My Friend The Groovers - The One Jose Gonzales - Hints The Field - Everyday Flight of the Conchords - Business Time Kings of Convenience - Rule My World Maceo Plex - Can’t Leave You (Tale Of Us Remix) L-vis 1990 - Lost In Love Force And Styles - Wonderland PJ Harvey - Let England Shake Junip - Rope & Summit Trophy Wife - Wolf King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - Bats In The Attic Leadbelly - Where Did You Sleep Last Night? Julianna Barwick - The Highest Other Lives - For 12 Grace Jones - Pull Up To The Bumper The Cure - A Forest Bjork - Hyper-Ballad Wilco - One Sunday Morning Mogwai - Get To France Village People - In The Navy

Factory Floor - (R E A L L O V E) Turbowolf - A Rose For The Crows Space Dimension Controller - 2257 AD Brandt Brauer Frick - Bop Jonquil - Lily Lou Reed - Walk On The Wild Side Talking Heads - Love For Sale Civil Civic - Street Trap The Horrors - Moving Further Away John Tejada - Unstable Condition Funk D’Void - Diabla (Heavenly Remix) Manic Street Preachers - Faster Kenny Loggins - Dangerzone Kurt Vile - Heart Attack Rocket From The Crypt - On A Rope Wyclef Jean feat The Rock - It Doesn’t Matter Ferryman - Tokyo Noon The Wedding Present - Kennedy Legowelt - Sark Island Acid Michael Bolton - How Can We Be Lovers Telefon Tel Aviv - The Birds Korn - Blind












Download doc daneeka’s exclusive crack mix @

THEM to pick their top 3 records / Albums of the moment. ENJOY.




DJ Funk - Booty House Anthems I DJ Funk - Booty House Anthems II DJ Funk - Booty House Anthems III



Azeda Booth - Mysterious Body EP Azeda Booth - In Flesh Tones Azeda Booth - Tubtrek EP




POLAR - Yonight Matthew I Am Batman Cerebral Ballzy - Junkie For Her Fucked Up - The Recursive Girl


Thundercat - Is It Love? Rustie - Ultra Thizz Gwen Guthrie - Seventh Heaven (Larry Levan Remix)

GARY NUMAN Prick - Animal The Mission - Tower Of Strength Battles - Gloss Drop



Colourmusic - Tog Arvo Part - Te Deum The Ramones - 53rd and 3rd




Deerhunter - Revival Grinderman - Palaces Of Montezuma Battles - Ice Cream


Esperanza - Ink Rufus feat Chaka Khan - Masterjam Album Francis Inferno Orchestra - I’ll Meet You In Salt Lake City (Soul Clap Remix)


ALED SIMONS The Monks - I Hate You The Black Lips - Modern Art David Lynch - Speed Roadster


d . o . t . h . i . s c


a c








Wolf Gang


The Correspondents

Thekla 3rd October

Bugged Out!

Thekla 6th October

Trinity 8th October

Motion 8th October



Bombay Bicycle Club

Foreign Beggars

Ben Howard


Hessle Audio

The Fleece 9th October

02 Academy 12th October

The Fleece 12th October

Thekla 14th October

Start the Bus 114h October

Motion 15th October

Skepta, Tempa T


John Foxx

FWD: Rinse

Just Jack Halloween


Thekla 19th October

02 Academy 20th October

Thekla 20th October

Motion 22nd October

Motion 29th October

Croft 8th November

c.r.a.c.k.i.n.g music



Rachael Dadd

Roll The Dice

Rachael Dadd is from the same Bristol DIY folk collective that has spawned the likes of Rozi Plain. Crack discovered her after we heard her played on BBC 6 Music by Lauren Laverne no less. A soft voice and varying arrangement on the her two EP releases this year: the acoustic Elephants Swimming and the building, multi-instrumental Table, showcased her music as diverse. Folk, but in more of a traditional ilk, Rachael’s sound is fragile and waistcoat free.

Stockholm based synth experimentalists Roll The Dice are a duo that have harnessed some haunting sounds and conceptual magic on debut album, In Dust. Each track is a progressive analogue synth journey that allows the listener to be transported through a paranoid and claustrophobic world. Having generated fans in the last year such as Kieran Hebden and Caribou, their work is receiving the kind of praise it rightly deserves.

Tune: Table

Tune: Maelstrom

Javeon McCarthy

Clapper Priest

A man with one of best R&B voices around, Bristol’s Javeon McCarthy is the silky vocalist behind the Futureboogie Recordings smash by Julio Bashmore, Father, Father. Following on from that release, McCarthy released the touching and soulfully sparse Love Without A Heart, to much acclaim. It’s that great-voice combined with the ability to pen a well-erittrn song, but also deliver his vocal with real sincerity, that has marked him out as very hot talent.

When we got an invited to sample the dub-reggae stylings of Clapper Priest at 5am on a CD Walkman at The American Diner in Glastonbury, who were we to refuse? What we didn’t expect was a high octane MC treat from a chap who puts a bit of time and effort into his quick lyrical jabs. The EP he gave us, rather amusing entitled, Wargwan, has been smashed on the office stereo ever since. We would give you a proper photo of Clapper, but he told us we already had a snap on the front of the CD. Paparazzi these days!

Tune: Love Without A Heart Tune: Holidays Of Justice

Owen Howells


A rising star in London’s techno circles, Owen Howells’ heady, quirky take on the techno sound is earning him many plaudits. His recent Chips and Beans EP release on the exceptional Isle of Man based Wunderkammer Recordings is a selection of slowburning techno jams that could comfortably sit in many a techno megastar’s set without feeling remotely out of place. His recent Fiendkast Podcast also showcases his skills as a selector. A bet for bigger things.

The rise to prominence of The Computers has drawn wider attention to a UK punk scene, which, while small and resolutely underground, has been thriving for some time. One band consistently ploughing their way around the country’s less glamorous venues are Bristol’s Caves. This three-piece create an earnest, raw punk rock racket, but it’s female singer/guitarist Lou’s impassioned vocals which really make them stand out from the gruff and throaty crowd. Debut album Homeward Bound is a lovingly crafted collection that can be found on a makeshift merch stand surrounded by sweaty blokes in a filthy club near you.

Tune: Grumpy Tac Tune: Same Way Back

d . o . t . h . i . s



The Fleece Throughout October Prices vary from £8 - £15 On any given month, a quick flick through the Fleece’s listings is guaranteed to offer up an armful of eclectic barnstormers, and this October is no different. A show from London hip-hop and grime veterans Foreign Beggars on the 12th promises to be explosive, while audaciously talented young upstart Benjamin Francis Leftwich brings his haunting acoustic sounds on the 20th. Female-fronted Glaswegians Sons and Daughters roll into town on the 22nd, splashing around in the edgier end of the indie-rock pool, and perhaps most mouth-watering of all, Silver Apples perform on the 24th. The legendary New York duo were pioneers of psychedelic electronica in the late 60s, not least for groundbreaking signature number Oscillation. Phenomenally influential throughout the history of electronic music, frequently cited (and occasionally imitated) by the likes of Portishead, this is a rare opportunity to catch original member Simeon in the flesh.

Fabric 12th Birthday Weekend Caspa, Goldie, Craig Richards, Terry Francis, Ricardo Villalobos, Soul Clap, Space Dimension Controller and Moodymann 21st/22nd October £23 In some ways, the fact that it’s Fabric’s birthday again is deeply saddening; where the hell has the last 12 months gone? However, if last year’s On & On with Luciano is anything to go by then rest assured we’ll soon forget the doom and gloom of the winter months to follow. After a storming performance earlier in the summer, this year sees Ricardo Villalobos return to bend our minds again. With support across two days from a healthy dose of Hot Natured, Pearson Sound, SDC, Soul Clap and Steffi (to name but a few), this birthday is set to be the biggest yet. We guarantee you’ll be there across the entire 48 hour marathon. Berlin, eat your heart out because on this weekend, there’s only one place in Europe to be.

In:Motion Throughout October Prices vary from £12 - £17.50 You just knew they were going to nail it. In:Motion have announced the programme for their series of Autumn parties, and it’s pretty much monolithic. In October alone you’ve got ample opportunity to leave yourself a bruised, quivering wreck until the new year. Bugged Out! on the 8th sees Fake Blood, L Vis 1990, Jamie Jones and Waifs and Strays welcomed to the warehouse, and the following Saturday (15th) boasts a list of talent as long as a tall man’s arm with the Hessle Audio Presents bash: Jamie xx, Pearson Sound, Ben UFO, Blawan, Jamie Woon, Peverlist, Kowton ... holy shit. And for a guaranteed evening of deep and sexy house, the Just Jack Halloween party (29th) sees Tale of Us, Soul Clap and Space Dimension Controller getting down. For full line-ups and ticket info, go to

Big Chill Bar 2nd Birthday Saturday October 15th Free When the Big Chill bar arrived in Bristol in 2009 it was warmly welcomed as a much-needed new haven for good food, good booze and good music, as well as a top-notch place for doing dances of an evening; the spirit of one of the UK’s most enjoyable festivals distilled into a location you can stroll to. Two years later it’s gone from strength to strength, so we’ll be merrily heading over to celebrate its birthday. The party includes a headline set from celebrated dance vocalist Robert Owens, plus appearances from Futureboogie’s El Harvo and those damned Pardon My French rascals.

Wu Lyf Thekla October 25th £8.50 World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation have provided a stagnant UK alternative scene with a timely kick in the seat of the pants. The Manchester collective arrived in a tempest of impeccably-designed enigma, releasing a single press shot of a bunch of kids with faces covered, shrouded in smoke in an urban landscape, lauded live performances centered around their home city’s An Outlet venue causing fervid whispers in underground circles. Of course, this would have meant nothing if the tunes didn’t stand up. Fortunately, however, they really, really did. Epic piano and organ-led sounds, dominated by Ellery James Roberts’s uniquely hoarse and impassioned vocals, epitomise superb debut album Go Tell Fire to the Mountain. This is going to be brilliant.

Tracey Emin and Louise Bourgeois RWA Until 23rd October £5 Last year art mourned the loss of one of its most powerful and distinctive voices. Louise Bourgeois was an outstanding figure in contemporary art, particularly revered for her work in sculpture and for creating her own form of intensely personal, ‘confessional’ art. In this respect, she has a natural heir in Tracey Emin, who despite being immediately associated with the shock factor of her contributions to the Young British Artists, is an individual who has taken this concept of the ‘confessional’ and developed it further than anyone. It’s fitting, therefore, that prior to her death Bourgeois handed her final set of prints to Emin in order to add to them as she saw fit. The result is a powerful yet humorous collection which seamlessly encompasses the idiosyncrasies of two of history’s most important female artists.

Apparat Arnolfini October 14th £13.50 There’s a reason Sascha Ring is one of the most respected figures in all of electronic music. Ever inventive and with an astonishing ability to adapt, it’s fitting that this performance takes place at the Arnolfini, hub of all things creative and dynamic in Bristol. His sound has taken many forms over the course of a 15-year career, creating tastes rather than following them, including perfectly thought-out collaborations with the likes of Ellen Allien, and the brilliant Moderat alongside fellow trailblazers Modeselektor. Latest offering The Devil’s Walk wanders into more euphoric territory, but expect this live set to also feature many of his more beatsy creations.

Crack And Havana Club Present… Trophy Wife + Special Guests Going Monthly Launch Party w/ free drink on entry The Croft November 10th £3

Pardon My Friends The Bank October 22nd Free until 23:30, £2 after

Crack is back in the live music game with a new venue, same free drink on entry, and a monster reason to celebrate – WE’RE GOING MONTHLY! Our parties with Havana Club Rum in the last two years has seen some of the finest new musical talent come to Bristol, so in order to give this tasty bit of expansion news the celebration it deserves, we’ve booked Crack favourites Trophy Wife ahead of their superb new Bruxism EP. If you’re happy you’re getting double your dose of Crack then come and help us celebrate at The Croft on November 10th.

The last Pardon my Friends bash at The Bank was an absolute belter. Seriously. Packed out, a phenomenal live gymnastics performance from Phileas Thugg (accompanied by an expertly-crooned Ain’t No Fun), a very special guest appearance from a very special guest, a delightfully arranged selection of cheeses, and moustaches aplenty. This latest event is sure to offer a similar array of coagulated dairy nourishment, along with Jethro Binns, Sam Mole and Pardon My French bringing all the hits to move yo bits.

*ZQ[\WTIVL?M[\ ÅrÅÅ uvÅÅÄÅ  Å ÅxÅ ‹Å ÅyÅÅ Å ÅruÅÅ Å ÅrvÅs Å ÅÅ Å Å  “ Å

 sr Ă…Ă… Ă… Ă…ss Ă…Ă…Ă…Ă…Ă…  Ă…Ă… Ă…Ă…

  Ă…syĂ… Ă… Ă… Ă…   Ă…   Ă… Ă…szĂ…

 Ă…   Ă…  Ă…


M Shed Princes Wharf, Wapping Rd Bristol BS1 4RN tel: 0117 352 6600 Open Tues–Fri 10am–5pm Weekends 10am–6pm

NZMMM`PQJQ\QWV U[PMLWZO Clifton, Bristol 1987 Š Martin Parr/ Magnum photos

Vote for your favorite photo in the show – it could become part of the museum’s collection.


THURSDAY NIGHT LIVE CLUB every week will see some of the best local up and coming talent performing live in the bar 6TH BENNY SENSUS 13TH EL PATIO PRIMA PLUS DJ’S 20TH MATT WOOSEY EXPERIENCE 27TH HYDE

“legendary� Mark Taylor (Bristol Evening Post) “they know what they’re doing and they do it so well� Tony Benjamin (Venue Magazine)


STUDENTS - FEAST ON A BIG CHILL BURGER FOR ONLY £3.95 MONDAY - THURSDAY 5-8PM Delicious gourmet burgers with fish and vegetarian options available sÅÅrÅ  ÅÅ Sunday - Wednesday all day and night Hire our large upstairs georgian study room and bar for FREE, the room is perfect for any occasion from a birthday party to a business conference - *we can also arrange catering and any other special requirements please ask at the bar or email the address below or call uts on 0117 930 4217 Reservations welcome – to book a table please email: For more info on the advertised events, private hire or to find out more about the Big Chill Bar visit us at: find us on facebook Opening Sun –Wed 12.00pm – 12.00am Thu 12.00pm – 1.00am Fri–Sat 12.00pm – 3.00am The Big Chill Bar, 15 Small Street, Bristol, BS1 1DE

3 Courses for ÂŁ21 2 Courses for ÂŁ17 Join us this Christmas at The Spotted Cow, we can cater for small groups or large parties and will make your meal or party stress free and memorable. The Spotted Cow is a great Christmas setting with food from our highly regarded kitchen, our large log fired wood burner and plenty of candles!


Roasted Butternut Squash & Cumin Soup with Sage Oil & Parsnip Crisps (v) Home Cured Salmon with Rye Toasts & Horseradish Cream Fig & Honey Roast Walnut Salad with Somerset Blue Cheese (v) West Country Ham Hock Terrine with Pickled Vegetables & Dijon Mustard Sauce


Ashdale Dry Aged Beef Sirloin with Yorkshire Pudding & Madeira Gravy Devonshire Free Range Turkey Breast with all the trimmings and Port & Cranberry Jelly Rare Roasted Duck Breast with Seville Orange Sauce Pan Fried Red Mullet with Squid Ink Risotto & Pancetta Beetroot & Parsnip Rosti stuffed with Bath Soft Cheese & Red Onion Marmalade (v) All served with Buttered Brussels Sprouts, Goose Fat Roast Potatoes, Honey Roast Carrots & Parsnips and Braised Red Cabbage


Apricot & Amaretto Brulee with Almond Biscuits Dark Chocolate & Hazelnut Torte with Brandy Chantilly Cream Iced Raspberry & Nougatine Parfait with Winter Berry Compote A Selection of West Country Cheeses with House Chutney & Homemade Crackers For parties of 12 upwards we can offer a feast of a whole roast locally sourced Suckling Pig plus a starter and pudding for ÂŁ30 per head All of our meats are organic and our ingredients are cooked from fresh and locally sourced where possible

139 North Street, Bedminster, Bristol tel: 0117 963 4433 / Contact The Spotted Cow to make your reservation

C p

. r

r o


. l

a e

. m

c .


. a


k g



// any problems? Contact our mavis.botswinga@


Mavis Botswinga. //

©Paul Piebinga

When Crack was having luncheon in its favourite sandwich eatery, we stumbled across Mavis. Two hours later she’d told us how to sort things out with our girlfriends and had given us advice on sex, drugs and how to survive this mean game called life. She sorted us right out.

Dear Mavis

Dear Mavis,

Dear Mavis

I got a life sentence for stealing some Garibaldi biscuits when all this shit kicked off in Hackney. How do I get out?

I own a chip shop in a rough part of town and it’s all getting too much for me. The local youths keep coming in and taking the piss. They ask me to wrap em up a battered sausage then when I turn round they’re gone. You can’t put a battered sausage back on the shelf after it’s been wrapped, everyone knows that. They come in and call me things like ‘Fred the Fish’ and ‘Batter Boy.’ I wish they’d just treat me like a normal person like the bloke who runs the Chinese.

I’m a spent force. The days are getting darker and so is my table-tennis ability. I used to be the envy of not only my immediate office, but also all the offices on my floor. They used to flock to see me in the designated games room during their lunch hour. My forehands became the stuff of legend and the spin I could induce with my cutting slice shots left many an opponent a-dizzy as the ball wildly careered off their bat. My flamboyance earned me the nickname ‘The Matador’. Then it all went awry. First the office slags, then the partying and finally the heroin. It all became too much for me and my wild addictive personality took over. I was no longer The Matador … I was the bull, and I was out of control. My crashing forehand withered into a paltry slap. My backhand became a spineless punch. But now I’m clean and I want the glory days back. How can ‘The Matador’ rise from the ashes?

Rich, 19, Dalston Mavis:

We promptly asked her whether she fancied helping THE COUNTRY with its problems. This is what she's got to say.

You seen The Shawshank Redemption right? Get yourself good at the old sums and do the tax returns for all the prison staff. That should get you back on the street in no time. Then you can get a job with a bank and you spend the rest of your life stealing what the fuck you like, ripping off everyone and it’ll be perfectly legit. Boom ting!

Dear Mavis Smiffy says Love Hearts are the best gurners, but I reckon it’s Doves, so we had a gurn off. Now I’ve got a jaw what aches worse than ever and Smiffy has started listening to Ministry of Sound chillout records on repeat because eeez convinced imself he’s never going to be able to relax again.

Yours hanging on by a very thin thread, Rod, 45, UK Mavis: Maaaate, I would take eight of dem chips and stick em on a piece of mighty white with some utterly butterly on that shit, then BANG, stick a bit of red on there, BANG a bit of the HP, then ... wait for it ... BANG, a bit of dat taaar taaaar. Another bit of loaf, chuck it on a china plate, maybe half a rissole and a can of shandy bass and we in the zone.

Christophe ‘The Matador’ Edwards, 24, Bristol Mavis Says: First ting first, put all your junk in a trunk and throw it off a cliff. Never heard of a table-tennis wizard junkie. Secondly manz wanna get yourself to Spain and actually become a matador. Become the Matador and the forehand will surely follow. Believe.

Deano, 21, Swindon Mavis: Love Hearts are ace.

If you have any problems that need addressing please get in contact and drop our Mavis an email:




Illustration: James wilson words: alex turner

dj funk /


Every few years, Chicago comes back with a vengeance. From the cheaply-pressed experiments of the mid and late ’80s that defined house music, via the likes of Green Velvet’s Relief Records responsible for updating the genre a few years later, to today’s crop of juke / footwork producers who have bent the template into something new and strange, the city’s influence never sleeps for long. Charles Chambers, a.k.a DJ Funk, has been something of a cult figure for much of that time. Part of a wave of producers emerging from Chicago’s South and West sides in the early ’90s, Funk, along with names such as Waxmaster, DJ Deeon and DJ Slugo, helped create the sound that came to be known as ghetto or booty house. Ghetto house stripped minimal jack-tracks even further back to ultrasparse rhythms and keyboard lines and pushed up the BPMs to 140 and beyond. It also added graphic, Miami bass-influenced raps and call-andresponse chants, and a structure based around bass, toms and claps that has evolved into the sounds being created by footwork producers such as DJ Spinn, DJ Nate and DJ Roc – showcased over here on Planet Mu’s Bangs And Works compilation from earlier this year. Funk’s own style has stayed resolutely raw, basic and filthy, with his tracks making regular appearances on some seminal mix albums over the past two decades, from Jeff Mills’ 1996 Live at the Liquid Room to Jackmaster’s recent Fabriclive 57. Successive generations of voguish artists have been influenced by him, with Daft Punk name-checking him on Teachers, Justice seeking his services to remix Let There Be Light, and Herve teaming up with him on Bounce That Ass. Yet in many ways Funk, away from his sporadic appearances in UK clubs, has remained elusive. Look for him on the internet and, away from a MySpace page and YouTube clips put up by fans, there’s not much there. And while Dance Mania, the label he mostly releases on (and took over in 2005), has put out a limited number of digital reissues, much of the back catalogue is hard to come by. So it was with massive excitement that Crack caught up with DJ Funk after his recent Bristol date at Timbuk2…

You’ve been pushing your sound for over 15 years now – what do you think has kept it in demand so long? Not giving up, doing my thing. One thing I got mad at a lot of artists for is that they would make a genre or sound, and then they wouldn’t do it no more, they went super pop and sold their souls to the devil. I think that you need to keep doing whatever you are doing. Even if I wanted to do different styles of music – pop, reggae, house, or fuck it, opera! – at least I’m gonna do a ghetto opera!

How have things changed in Chicago since you started to release records in the early ’90s? Technology – people can afford equipment. The first house guys worked in studios that cost hundreds of thousands. Then it went to equipment costing thousands. Now you can get a program for free. The good thing about this is it lets some of the guys who are now prominent, but who were really poor, make music. I mean don’t get me wrong, I started out super poor and saved up all my motherfucking money – but now it just [clicks fingers] means the competition is there. In terms of how the styles have shifted, a lot of people in the UK are getting into stuff by younger Chicago producers – even though no one here can really dance to it! What do you make of the juke and footwork sound? I think it’s beautiful. When I came up, the BPM was maybe 120 to 130, and ‘national’ BPM was like 128. You can keep a motherfucker on the floor all night at 128. With the ghetto stuff we set the BPM to 140, even though I fucked up a bit and sometimes set it to 150 [laughs]. With these guys they’re pushing it up to 160, and faster – so they can mix it with rap music and hip-hop, which is good. And I feel kind of honoured that the shit I been doing has inspired some other shit. And what about the scene in the city – I know there’s sometimes a perception of there being just one ghetto house sound, whereas different styles came out of different neighbourhoods. Is there more of a single scene now? I can’t really see it like that – it’s just about whoever’s making music. These guys are making more of the newer jukey style, but obviously there’s been a major bounce off from ghetto house styles, and another bounce-off from the likes of Lil Louis, the Hot Mix 5, and the guys who made the Trax records. And it just got mixed up, it got faster, and that’s what those guys are feeling. You played some more recent stuff out tonight – are you still planning to continue producing yourself? Tonight? You see the titties in my face?! I’m not trying to be a superproducer, but what I do is just make stuff that’s relevant to my life. If you try to be super-pop, make a super-pop record, it kind of fucks you up a little bit. I like to be at the show playing music that I’d actually like to be dancing to myself, the shit that’s gonna make me happy. Then hopefully it’ll make everybody else happy – and I’ll get some titties in my face!

which might be a minute, two or three, it doesn’t have the same effect without all that money behind it. So you can put out all the tracks you want – they might all be ghetto hits – but unless you put out a full album there’s not so much point. And have you any plans to reissue any more of the older Dance Mania tracks? A lot of people are into that stuff but it’s not always been easy to get hold of. Well, I’m still in touch with the original owner, Ray Barney, and we’re working on some stuff right now. But it’s got to be mastered up, it’s got to be right, you feel me. Yeah, it’s strange though, because a lot of your old tunes – Work That Body, Pump It, Run, Pussy Ride – have cropped up on loads of mix albums. You’re an influential guy, but if you go on the internet there’s hardly anything – I’m talking interviews, music – out there apart from on YouTube. Well a lot of artists are like this with the internet [bends over and makes to hold arse cheeks open]. They’re all over it, all over Facebook, they’re like “interview me, interview me”. I don’t like that. You go on YouTube and everything of mine that’s been put on there has been put there by fans. That’s enough for me. So what are your favourite all-time tracks for the club? I don’t really judge my tunes – I made Booty House Anthems 1, 2 and 3 and I produced most of the stuff on the last one. I go around, and I see what DJs and fans really like – so I kind of let them choose the music. And what do they like? Pushing titties in my face! But no, I made all these tunes a few years ago, and I’ll be trying to work and make songs, but you can’t just come up with anthems. So I do the same shit as an old rock ‘n’ roll group, what they do is they go around and gig songs, and people pick out some of them as their new anthems. So has there been as much booty in your life as there is on those anthems? Is that how you stay so skinny? There’s been way more than you can ever imagine! [laughs] Not to brag on it, but…yeah, lots of booze, lots of beautiful people – I’m an older cat now, but all of that keeps me young.

What about Dance Mania – what’s the state of play with that now? ----------I own the company, but it’s really hard right now. I’ve bought up a lot of music, but I really want to put out Booty House Anthems 3 and piggyback other stuff off that. When I come out with that, there’ll probably be like 3-400 new songs on Dance Mania you can download. If you put out your pop record, even your techno record, it might have like hundreds of thousands [of dollars] behind it. But if you put out a ghetto house song,

Tune: Pussy Ride


© Michael Freeby

With debut album Cerulean, LA’s Baths merges complex beatmaking with emotive songwriting in spectacular fashion

b /



Trying to group the LA beat scene under one heading is an exercise in futility. Like the city which birthed it, the conveyor-belt of producers which pours from its studios form a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-talented musical amalgamation. But even in a world so indefinably diverse, the arrival of Baths made everyone sit up and take notice. A large, bespectacled, openly gay young man complete with delicate yet prodigiously intricate percussion, euphoric synths and heartscratchingly sincere lyrics delivered in vulnerable falsetto producing structured, memorable songs...was this another LA beatsmith? Another name to place under the increasingly oversubscribed banner of ‘chillwave’? Or a genuine singer/ songwriter who just happened to spill his guts via the laptop rather than the six-string? “I know it’s super frustrating for a lot of people who are in that LA beat ‘scene’ to be told that they’re part of a scene, especially for someone like Flying Lotus, who’s making records that are so far reaching outside of that,” states Will Wiesenfeld, Baths’ by day alias, of the success the movement has achieved on this side of the Atlantic. “I think just because there are so many names under that umbrella making good music – I’m not necessarily talking about myself here, I’m talking about people like Nosaj Thing, Daedalus and Flying Lotus – that I think the positive reaction is pretty much unavoidable. They’re getting positive reactions in all parts of the world, the UK being one of them.” A self-conscious, and even self-deprecating interviewee, Will’s reluctance to place himself as a peer to the acts he mentions belies a confidence in his own ability. Perhaps this reluctance is born, in a sense, from a certain separation from much that goes on. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he is undoubtedly as much songwriter as producer. It’s a distinction of which he is conscious. “I come from a songwriting background, and I’ve mentioned plenty of times that Bjork was my first obsession. Songwriting: that’s the type of music that I fell in love with, electronic music being used as a vehicle for that. I think music I’ve recorded in the past has been a lot more rhythmically abstract, whereas for Cerulean it was much easier to understand the beats. That’s sort of the point, I think, with that album.” This aesthetic is something which stems from a background spent not hunched at a desk, face aglow with the laptop screen, but sitting at the piano stool. “I was classically trained on piano from age four to twelve or thirteen, around eight years,” he tells us. While this training may have served as ideal preparation for Will’s future vocation, that was the furthest thing from his mind at the time. “It was really brutal and intense for me playing classical music. It was all muscle memory, I was running through the motions of playing that music, but I really wasn’t


s /

feeling anything I was doing, and at that point in time I asked my parents if I could stop taking lessons. I thought I hated music and that I wanted nothing to do with it, and it was only after a long hiatus of not playing piano that when I came back to it, I completely discovered how in love with it I was and how important to my life it had the potential to become. Almost around that exact time I heard Bjork first and everything just flowed together. I started playing and recording and I was desperate to start trying to write my own music.” But beyond a doubt, those gruelling years have paid off. The sense of structure and instrumentation in Baths’ music is nothing short of remarkable for one so young. In retrospect, Will recognises the role his formal musical education continues to play in his methods. “I see piano as the thing which makes it easier for my ideas to come through. The classical training that I had makes it so there’s not this barrier of tinkering with music to try and achieve a particular sound. It’s kind of like if I have an idea, I can just play the part almost immediately, or figure out what I need to do right away and I don’t have to dwell on something for too long. So yeah, I owe a lot to that.” What’s more, Will stands alongside the likes of Nicolas Jaar as a truly forward-thinking beatmaker, seeing the medium as an opportunity to experiment with sounds, rather than reassemble percussive standards. His beats are constructed from a complex range of indefinable sounds, clicks and snaps and crunches, a daring and painstaking technique which has seen him compared to the great J Dilla. “It’s the way I’ve always made music,” he states, seemingly unaware of how striking and innovative his methods are. “I’m drawn to the idea of not being able to pinpoint what you’re listening to. If you can’t identify a sound, I think that’s the greatest thing. It bugs me a lot in music, particularly in my own music, if you can very easily tell the instrument that you’re listening to, particularly with something like a synth where you can hear midi notes or synth parts which are really obvious.” A true rarity in the electronic world, where anonymity and a sense of enigma are to be revered, Will’s readiness to present his bare bones is genuinely refreshing. From fragile vocals to lovelorn lyrics, many of the tunes presented on Cerulean are seemingly paeans to relationships past, present and future. When asked whether becoming vocalist as well as producer was a longstanding intention, he is typically understated. “I always wanted to be, I just couldn’t sing early on. I gradually worked my way into being more confident with it. I guess at some point there was a switchover where I become comfortable enough to start singing on my own music.” What’s more, he laughs that even the terminology of the world in which he now thrives evaded him until recently. “I didn’t even know what the word ‘producer’ was, by the way, up until maybe three years ago. I really can’t give myself much credit, I was totally out of the loop. I just thought it was ... I just thought you were called an ‘electronic musician’ or something!” And as to whether penning sincere love songs like Lovely Bloodflow, Rain Smell and Departure was a - - - - ->


“Once I came out I was able to write more

truthful lyrics, to write about things I actually cared about, like writing about male subjects in the songs ”

© Michael Freeby

natural step for him, he explains: “I don’t know if ‘natural’ is the right description for writing lyrics. I definitely have to put effort into it, but when it happens it seems to be drawn randomly from inspiration. I’m not sure if the songs in question were intended to be ‘love songs’ either. Love is pretty much the most broad subject in the world so I think there is stuff in them about love, but they’re also meditating on other things.” While Will may be uncomfortable with a description as simultaneously limiting yet vague as ‘love song’, there’s no denying the fact his sound is one which seeks to move the listener, utilising drawn out, melancholic synths and samples of children’s voices on the likes of Aminals. “Absolutely,” he says. “I’ve a real affection for atmosphere and being able to invoke an emotion not just with lyrics, but with the music itself, or vice versa, where the lyrics inform the emotion and the music serves to pull that out even further.” This is a quality he also looks for as a listener, “stuff that sounds very honest, very emotional, but in a realm that’s maybe not the most accessible way to talk about those emotions, like electronic music.” Of course, another aspect which separates Baths from the pack, and surely provides inspiration to many, is his sexuality. Will is quick to point out that while this is something he is entirely open about, he has no desire to be thought of as a ‘gay musician’, rather that he is a musician who is gay. “The two things aren’t separate, it’s just an extension of who I am. Once I came out I was able to write more truthful lyrics, to write about things I actually cared about, like writing about male subjects in the songs. That’s basically the only big difference that occurred with that, just that I could be more honest. Sometimes it makes for a more interesting subject matter, but I don’t want to delve too far into that because it’s not a major focus for me musically.” Such is the intensely personal nature of the project, it seems hard to imagine Baths as anything other than a solo venture. However, when discussing Baths’ future, particularly in the live arena, Will seems entirely open to the concept of expanding to include further members. “I only was a one man show for this first album out of necessity. I wanted to be able to travel. It’s a big scheme to be able to pull all of it off,” he jokes. “But I come from a band background, like the group as Post-foetus that I had before this. I still wrote all of the music, but it was six people onstage and I had a live drummer, cellist, guitarist, bassist that I wrote parts for, an additional singer, and then myself singing and playing keyboards and doing some computer stuff and we were switching roles. That’s what I’ve always wanted for this, but it just didn’t make sense with the material on this first record. But I’m intentionally building the second record for a band, and that’s been the goal for a while.”

Although Baths is the project which has brought him wider UK attention, Will has long been known to anyone with their ear to the Los Angeles ground. Despite his tender years, Baths is his third project of note, having already made considerable waves with the aforementioned Post-foetus, and the more ambient leanings of side-project Geotic. So does Will see Baths as his final goal? “The name Baths is really just the next name for Post-foetus, it’s an evolution of that, and it’s basically the name that I’d like to ride out for my whole career I think. Just because it’s the most simple and sounds the best, looks the best, all that other stuff. I’m very fond of it. But to say that I’ve arrived at my final goal [laughs], that’s a little weird, cause I was really happy with the first record, but I feel like I’m not even close to achieving some of the sounds that I’m aiming for. I still feel like I’m starting out, and with everything I do I always feel like there’s so much to learn. I hope that, from album to album, it’s going to be different and it’s a different project every time. But I hope the name Baths will stick for as long as possible.” It’s an alias which resonates with an almost iconic simplicity, though Will can’t pinpoint its exact origins. “I don’t actually know how I got there. I very much enjoy taking baths. There’s a lot of good connotations with the word to do with cleanliness and purity and maybe introspection I guess. I take baths and retreat into my own head, go over things and come up with ideas. It’s a name that feels very natural and that I was going to use for an album or maybe a song title or something like that, but I was able to adopt it as a pseudonym.” It’s hard not to cringe oneself into powder about having asked if Baths was Will’s ‘final goal’. In our defence though, it’s equally hard to remember that he has not long turned 22. His life as a musician is in its embryonic stages, as indeed is his life as a whole. “There are a lot of goals in my life that I’m sort of embarrassed to admit at the moment. I have other aspirations outside of music, but music is 100% all I’m focussed on right now.” And having taken a huge step with his much-lauded first album, yet with panoramic scope for development, there’s plenty to focus on, and plenty of focus to steal.


Tune: Lovely Bloodflow

Part 1 Sat 24 Sep - Sat 19 Nov Entrance to the exhibition spaces is free, open Tue - Sun 11am - 6pm

Music at Arnolfini 7 Oct Beacons: Yvon Bonenfant 12 Oct Full Moon Orchestra 14 Oct Apparat 25 Oct Fire! With special guest Oren Ambarchi + John Wall & Mark Durgan 27 Oct Philomel - Elektrostatic Vs Arnolfini Plus live art, licensed cinema, courses, bookshop and cafĂŠ bar




Art Lee Nutland is the illustrative brain behind Crack’s MediaSpank visualisations and one of the most creative and roundED artists we’ve worked with.

l e e n u t l a n d / /

“Drawing Obama as Hulk Hogan; that’s not something

that comes up on your to-do list very often! ”

~Daemon Drink © Lee Nutland

Lee Nutland has a very unmuddied attitude towards his artistic history. “I started drawing picture after picture of Bucky O’Hare when I was very young and haven’t really put down the pencil since. I’ve grown up in a small town in Somerset (the home of cider, despite what Cornwall/Devon/ Dorset says) and bar the three years spent at uni, I’ve been here all my life. I was pretty set on doing something ‘arty’ since school and studied graphic design up until I went to Falmouth and decided to draw pictures for three years, which was the best decision I ever made.” It’s this single-mindedness towards his trade that has seen Lee regularly contribute to Crack through politically-charged and amusing illustrations in our regular MediaSpank column. Loaded with a childlike innocence, yet thematically juxtaposed with some of the hardest political topics of the day, Lee’s illustrations satirise the political climate with an impressive degree of skill. A sense of humour resonates throughout most of his pieces. Clearly comfortable with the work/life balance of his pay-the-bills work alongside

illustration commissions, Lee’s employment in a music store in Yeovil provides him with the balance to push forward an ever-increasingly successful illustration career. “I currently work full-time in a music store selling Glee CDs to people that should, quite frankly, know better, and in the evenings/days off/holidays/ any spare time, I draw and paint pictures for people that track me down. Working in the record store is a blessing in disguise though. A fair proportion of what I earn goes back into the tills with the amount I buy. It leads to a massive amount of inspiration, and a fairly impressive CD rack. I don’t seem to function well without music playing in the background, so it kind of keeps me going.”

How’ve you found the transition from graduating from uni and finding illustration work? It’s not been easy! I still do the ‘day job’, so trying to find a balance between the two is the biggest battle really. One day I’d love to just spend my days drawing, and actively pursuing jobs, but at the moment I’m really

lucky and people come to me, and it usually works out fairly well. It does mean work is the biggest part of my life, with evenings and days off spent drawing. There’s not a lot of time for much else, apart from the occasional trip to the pub! Drawing very rarely feels like work though, and it’s not as if there’s much else to do anyway, living in a small town at home with your parents! You studied at Falmouth College of Arts. How was that for you? Falmouth was amazing, the greatest three years of my life, without a doubt. It completely changed me as a person. I know that sounds a bit cliche and overdramatic, but it really did. The location is incredible, I mean being able to go to the beach on your lunch break is spot on, and with the university not being very big you get to know everyone, a real diverse range of people all studying completely different things, and you all hang out together. BA Illustration was intense though, five full days a week for three years, and by the third year we were in the studio for almost 12 hours a day. But I wouldn’t have had it any differently. - - - - ->


~Rhino Š Lee Nutland


~Wolf © Lee Nutland

“The stereotype of boozy men with beards and flannel

shirts – it’s too good to pass up, and everyone likes a drop of Jack! ”

What artists are inspiring you at the moment?

the image to scan it. Then reassemble it in Photoshop where it’s coloured.

Whatever catches my eye really. I’m a massive browser, especially on the net. I’m a big fan of Mcbess, Keaton Henson, Dan Mumford and Jordan Buckley, but the guy I always go back to is Jim Phillips. The guy is a legend, his work for Santa Cruz and his rock posters are timeless.

I hand-draw everything. I carry four staples: paper, pencil, rubber & fine liner. Nearly all my work is set with a hefty black outline, probably drawn from watching 90s cartoons like Biker Mice From Mars and The Hurricanes and reading graphic novels instead of ‘proper books’. Drawing is just something I do, and have pretty much always done. I rarely use the term ‘illustrator’ because it seems too formal. I’d rather have a BA in Drawing Pictures, though that does suggest not a lot of thought goes into it, which is about as far from the truth as you can get.

Can you talk us through your creative process? I plan everything in my head, so I’ll be filtering through ideas and mental images of what might work and what won’t. Sometimes it’s pretty immediate and straight from the word go I’ll know what I’ll be doing, normally because the client’s been quite specific. Other times it can take a while to form ideas. I normally find a beer helps on those occasions. Then when I’ve got the image in my head, I’ll just start drawing, a sketch to start with using pencil on paper and it then develops and evolves from there. When I’m happy with it, I’ll ink it with a single line, erase the pencil, and then work over the lines to thicken them up. I normally draw the pieces out much larger than the size they’ll be printed, so I then have to cut up

How’ve you found drawing for our MediaSpank series, and have you enjoyed crafting illustrations based on the political themes from issue to issue? I’ve loved it, I’d not done any editorial work for a few years so it’s been something a bit different. Credit to Chris Goodfellow (MediaSpank’s esteemed writer) though, when the article is well worth reading then half the work has been done for you. I really like the diversity too. I mean,

drawing Obama as Hulk Hogan; that’s not something that comes up on your to-do list very often! It may sound a bit nerdy, but I make sure I’m always up to date with current affairs. I watch the news religiously, and my most used app is BBC News. It’s good to be given the opportunity to add my own little visual comment to what’s going on in the world. You seem to have an interest in Deep South themes, with some of your work incorporating bourbon bottles and hicks on porches playing banjos. What is it about these themes that interest you? It’s mainly the music. I like Deep South inspired rock, like Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The stereotype of boozy men with beards and flannel shirts – it’s too good to pass up, and everyone likes a drop of Jack! One day I’ll go and do a tour of the Deep South, but at the moment, just imagining it will have to do. I’m also into a lot of Americana when I think about it. The 40s, 50s and 60s mainly. Everything from that era is so iconic. I mean who doesn’t want to go to an American diner for a burger and shake?!


IMAGES FROM TOP TO BOTTOM ~ Sloth ~ Media Spank for C R A C K 12 Š Lee Nutland


~Hicks © Lee Nutland

There is also an intensity to some of the facial expressions in your work, both in your human and animal depictions. Some are angry and threatening, and others have wild laughs and unsettling smiles. Are you drawn to extremes in your work? You feel most alive when you have these emotions. I think people can relate when they see a picture of someone with intense emotions. You instantly recognise the emotion and completely understand and connect with what the character is thinking/reacting to. I mean, me and my mate both looked exactly like a couple of my characters when we were sat in the cinema the other day and found out Jurassic Park was getting re-released in HD! So much can be said in facial expressions. What could take a couple of lines of text to describe could be conveyed in a single raised eyebrow or cheeky grin, and I like pushing those characteristics. The viewer will instantly love and relate to or dislike and be suspicious of a character – one way or another they make an instant connection.

I get commissions from clients that like my way of working, mainly from word of mouth. As with any creative process, my work is always evolving, you always try to better the last piece, push it a bit and try some new things out. Drawing full-time is still the aim, though I’ve toyed with the idea of learning to use Illustrator to try and speed up the process, but it just doesn’t seem to work for me so I’ll keep going with the fine-liner and the late nights! As dream commissions go, I don’t know. Diversity is a great thing, doing all sorts for a wide variety of clients always keeps you on your toes and keeps it interesting. I’m happy to give anything a bash, but to be paid to design skate decks and snowboards would probably be up there. Does your work in a record store provide you with any inspiration for your work?

in the pub. There is just something about being in a pub that seems to solve any problem or block you’re having. I am a great believer in them: a crossword, friends and a pint, joy! And as you’ve probably figured by now, music is fairly high up on my list of priorities. I just wish I was patient enough to learn to play an instrument, but I’m not, so I just listen to others play them ... normally in a pub, funnily enough. What are your future plans? Future plans? Normally I don’t know what I’ll be doing come the end of the week. I’ll keep drawing for whoever wants me, and I’m planning on doing a lot more paintings over the next couple of months now the nights are drawing in, so maybe a solo show at some point. And a move is also on the cards, I may be knocking around Bristol some time soon!

I don’t want to be mean, but some of the characters you get coming in to the shop...priceless. Endless material to work from! ----------

What direction would you like to see your illustration take? What would be your dream commission?

What makes Lee Nutland tick beyond his illustration work? To be honest an awful lot of my time is spent working, but when I’m not in the shop or drawing I can probably be found stimulating the economy


~Huk Bottle Š Lee Nutland











Oklahomans Other Lives produce an irresistably rootsy sound, combining a huge pool of influences with gorgeous and life-affirming results

Š Jeremy Charles


Yeah, I mean a lot of people have actually criticised the vocals and you know I really stand by it. It’s something where I wanted the vocals to coexist with the music, rather than be at the forefront. The lyrics and vocals are meant to be less of a personal narrative and more of a third

What element makes a gig the most enjoyable for you?

Yeah, we’ve been on the road for four months so there’s been periods where everyone is really exhausted, but then we maybe have a really great show and it perks everybody up. Or even we have a day off and everyone gets a good night’s sleep. So it’s back and forth but everybody’s really enjoying what they’re doing right now and that keeps everybody’s spirits up. Fatigue is part of the job but the important thing is that everybody’s really enjoying what they’re doing.

You’ve been touring for several months now and must be welldrilled – does fatigue set in, or are you all as fresh as the day you set off?

When we decided to record the album we consciously chose not to think about live. We didn’t ever play the songs live and they were recorded piece by piece, so when we got to the end of it and we were rehearsing we ran into a little bit of a dilemma because there are so many instruments and there’s a lot going on. We basically gathered up all the instruments that we used and the record kind of gave us a roadmap as to what to do live and which instruments to have live. We are able to reproduce it, I mean we use Ableton – playing a lot of loops, and people are using two or three instruments in one song sometimes, so I think it’s working. I hope so!

How have you been able to translate the layers and flow of the record to your live performance?

Well, I would gravitate towards songs like Dark Horse, Woodwind or Landforms, those are probably the three, I guess, favourites. But I like those tracks because they really stray away from the traditional rock instruments. They’re the more composed songs and I just like how there is a lot of interplay between the instruments and it’s not a case of one riding on top of the other. They all kind of work together and were written that way. So I think in my mind those three were the biggest success in terms of an overall goal.

It’s perhaps not appropriate to ask if you have a favourite track from Tamer Animals given the contextual nature of each song, but if not a favourite track, do you have favourite moments?

Umm, not exactly. I’ve always been interested in records and it’s not really a fight for me, it’s a real natural thing to want to make a complete work. I think there is that trend of singles and that’s fine, but I think for music lovers the album will always be there, just because it’s a representation of a period of time. So at least for me it’s something that I’ll always aspire to do.

The increased emphasis on singles resulting from download culture seems to have caused a decline in artists recording albums as a whole – were you conscious when recording Tamer Animals that you wanted to fight that trend?

Words: Aaron Willson

Tune: Dark Horse


As far as I’m concerned finishing that record by ourselves, and I say by ourselves but I can’t forget to mention Joey Waronker who also co-produced it and mixed it, because he did such a fantastic job, but finishing that record has so far been our best achievement. Just because, like I’ve said, it’s a record we’ve wanted to do for a long time and it felt really nice to complete that.

What do you think your best achievement as a band has been?

We’re just taking it all in. Everywhere on the road is kind of a new experience and you don’t quite know what you’ve picked up until after it sinks in. So it’s probably affecting us in ways that we’re not aware of, but it’s all really enjoyable. I think there will be some changes for sure, but I think we’ve laid down at least the foundation that we’ll probably build off of – there’s a little bit of the language that we’ve developed musically that I think we can take from. There’s a lot of different ideas floating around so you never know what the next record could be, so I’m interested to see what could come out. It could be a little bit of both, I’m not sure.

Do you think your writing is taking a new tangent or do you think it’s a development of the same direction? Do you think you’ve picked up any new influences on the road?

You know, I’m writing right now. We do the East coast with Mates of State after Bon Iver on the West coast and then we come back to Europe again in October and November. But this whole time I’ve been writing, hopefully we’ll have some time this winter to record at home. But I think it’s going to be touring for the rest of this year and some of next year.

After finishing your tour, what’s the next stage for Other Lives? Will you be writing and recording again soon?

Well we’ve had a really mixed reaction here the past two shows, but it doesn’t seem like there’s that much difference. But we’re really happy to be here, we’ve wanted to come here for a long time and we’re so grateful to have an opportunity to be in the UK.

How does playing in the UK compare to the US?

There are some nights where the audience is really there with you and you make a real connection and it’s really as simple as that.

“We were sick of back-beats and just a hi-hat and a snare;

Your vocals are noticeably less at the forefront of this record in comparison to your debut effort, what motivated you to make this choice?

Well, our first record we did in a proper studio and we found it to be a little too confining and the time restraint was a little too much. So we decided to do it in our own space, in our own time, where we weren’t watching the clock. We felt like we needed that time to create the kind of record that we had been wanting to make. Living in Stillwater gives us some creative freedom and some financial freedom also. We were able to spend eight hours a day in the studio for 14 months, and to have that kind of luxury allowed us to do all the things that we’ve been wanting to do. We put the hours in and we really wanted to, it was really fun, we had a blast doing it every day. It was great to wake up and look forward to a full day of work.

You recorded Tamer Animals in your hometown, Stillwater, Oklahoma – what was the thinking behind this and what do you feel it allowed you to achieve that you couldn’t otherwise?

Crack caught a leisurely morning word with Jesse Tabish while the rest of the band slept their way to Green Man Festival.

The recent showering of praise should come as no surprise to a band that have worked incredibly hard to establish themselves as an original voice in the music world. Poised for the wider acclaim they so clearly deserve, Other Lives have done themselves nothing but favours by embarking on their current mammoth world tour. Having recently played a resoundingly successful live session at Radio 1’s Maida Vale Studio, they have really hit their stride. And if general critical huzzah is not enough, TBD Records label-mate Thom Yorke has provided a much-coveted stamp of approval.

The studio environment may have inhibited Other Lives’ self-titled debut record somewhat, but their foundations and experience meant that the band was ideally placed to serve up a complex and distinctive second effort in Tamer Animals. Never comfortable within the constraints of genre labelling, the deliberate rejection of these expectations has yielded Other Lives’ best work. Tamer Animals is a natural expression of their talent; musicians at ease with their surroundings and the process they’ve created for themselves.

Other Lives haven’t simply solidified out of a dreamy vapour to suddenly take hold of our attentions. The five-piece from Stillwater, Oklahoma originally came together in 2004 as instrumental ensemble Kunek, and after adding vocalist Jesse Tabish to the mix, released the album Flight of the Flynns two years later. Alongside this addition of vocals, the essence of instrumentalism lived on under a new name, Other Lives, with a natural inclination to compose rather than songwrite evident in their sound.

The percussion on the record has a really interesting complexity that again seems to be a development from the last album. How do you think this has affected the sound of the record?

Transporting the listener from the humdrum din of towns and cities to a place detached from our own, Other Lives’ intermingling of Americana, folk and classical music is refreshing and emotionally stimulating. Their sounds invite the exploration of landscapes and lives not dissimilar to our own, yet somehow haunting and magnificent. Layered, ethereal and uplifting, this is the kind of music that gets under the skin and resurfaces time and again. It was kind of interesting because a lot of the music had been written and then we searched a lot for drums. We were sick of back-beats and just a hi-hat and a snare; it’s like strumming a G chord on a guitar, it just doesn’t resonate, I’ve heard it too much. So we searched and searched for different sounds and different approaches, we tried a lot of layering. We treated the percussion just like the violins and everything that made up the sum of it.

party. So I wanted it to act more as an instrument that sits in with the music rather than on top of it.

You’ll struggle to find a band more aptly named than Other Lives.




it’s like strumming a G chord on a guitar, it just doesn’t resonate, I’ve heard it too much.”




c c



o u n t r o / /

d l

© Cloud Control


As places go, the Blue Mountains in New South Wales is a pretty special place. As opposed to the world-famous Bristol establishment with its permanently sticky floor and musty ceiling characterised by uber-gurners and juddering basslines, this is over 4,000 square miles of dramatic canyons, stunning vegetation and unique rock formations. It’s the kind of place you can turn 180° at any time and see yet another breathtaking view which would change your or my life; a remarkable, never-ending panorama illustrating what this planet, or at least the bottom half of it, has got to offer. Yet when we speak to Jeremy Kelshaw, bassist and one fourth of psychfolk-rockers, and the Blue Mountains’ current favourite exports, Cloud Control, we find him at home in Dalston, East London. Not only this, but we speak to him on August 10th, a point in time which will stand long in the memory of any Londoner. Violence, lawlessness and mass discontent had struck the capital over several nights previous, and had indeed erupted across the country. Suffice to say, finding himself nestled amongst the hoards of feral idiots ripping the place to shreds and then setting the shreds on fire and then tweeting a photo of all the fiery shreds could scarcely be more removed from the world where the Cloud Control story begins.

The band’s dedication to making an impact in the UK and Europe is exemplified by the step of uprooting their lives to move here. In a British culture obsessed with staring longingly down at our Antipodean brethren, with their beaches and their koalas and their Christmas Day barbies, it’s difficult to comprehend someone wanting to come and join us lot in the drizzle, and perhaps even participate in our newly-found national sport of brick lobbing. Cloud Control follow in the footsteps of a number of Australian bands to have experienced recent success in these parts. The likes of The Temper Trap, Cut Copy and the theatrical shenanigans of Empire of the Sun have doubtless found themselves a European audience. Jeremy looks at this Australian music scene with plenty of positives. “There’s been some great bands coming out of Sydney in the last couple of years and I do think the scene has gotten stronger. It’s just my impression, but it seems there are a lot more Australian bands playing bigger venues back home, which is


layer upon layer of textured vocals and timeless instrumentation. It’s in those gorgeous, almost Mamas And Papas-esque harmonies which rear their heads frequently that Cloud Control truly excel. Jeremy confesses that he and drummer Ulrich found themselves putting the hours in to keep up with natural front two, Heidi and Alister, on the vocal front. “I think we’ve all really improved through the process. To combine singing live with playing your instrument, it’s really not easy. But Ulrich and I, we’ve been told that our vocals have really improved, and it’s so important to be confident enough to bust out loud, powerful vocals, and know they’re going to be on key. It’s really exciting to get to a stage where your voice becomes as much of a force as your bass or your drums or whatever.” The band revel in a smooth and delicate 60s-tinged sound. Whilst reluctant to admit to being overly influenced by that decade, Jeremy admits that “the era is an amazing one of people making really inspirational music. We haven’t gone out specifically to do that, but obviously we do use those jangly guitars which are hollow-bodied, I play a hollow-bodied 60s bass, Ulrich plays a 60s kit, we use lots of vocal melodies and harmonies so ... with all that instrumentation it’s very easy to go down that road, I guess. We’ve never tried to avoid it, but at the same time it’s not something we’ve searched out.”

“I love playing live, I love being out there. I wanted to do

“The Blue Mountains – we use the term ‘mountain’, but anyone from Europe or the Americas or from anywhere else in the world would probably say they’re not mountains at all,” says Jeremy of the area which birthed him and his bandmates. “What it is, really, is a huge area of wilderness, lots of rivers and canyons and what we’d call ‘bush’, just as far as the eye can see. It’s truly an area where you could get lost for days on end.”

Having reached such an assured position in such a short space of time, thought inevitably turns towards a follow-up record. With critical acclaim, an evergiven the opportunity to do that is amazing.” expanding fan base and the pressure which goes along with their much-vaunted Australian Music Prize in tow, surely there is a danger that expectation might outweigh the ethos of time, space and ‘craft’ which led to the strength of their first album? Jeremy’s relaxed tone suggests the band feel no such compulsion. “We’ve Such a remote location can’t be conducive to a bunch of kids trying to start really exciting. I mean, no one pays attention to record sales these days, so booked a studio at the end of the month near where we live, so we’ll have up a rock band? “Well, we were in the lower mounds, which is a bit closer the main way to gauge how a band is doing seems to be where they are on that for about three weeks to start creating stuff, and if anything gets good to the city, so the best of both worlds I guess. But no matter where you the festival bill and what venues they’re playing. But there’s a lot of bands enough we’ll take it out on the road – get a feel for it in the rehearsal space, are, you can just travel five minutes and you’re right out in the wilderness. back home playing 2,000 capacity venues which would usually only be adapt it for the live show, and then adapt it further for recording. We There are plenty of bands in the Blue Mountains, so many spare garages reserved for international acts coming to town.” want to try and craft something and understand the song before we take and so much spare time, but nowhere to actually play gigs. So as soon it into the studio. And you’ve got so many tools in the studio, why would as we started wanting to play shows, the drive to Sydney wasn’t that big The manner in which the band rose through this scene makes their you ignore them just because you don’t have them in the live space? The a deal.” determination to leave their comfort zone and immerse themselves in two are completely different.” In terms of a time scale, the only suggestion the UK all the more admirable. “At the end of touring this album we had given is “hopefully some time next year.” This relationship between the rural and the urban is something which reached around the 1,500 capacity venue level, which is really cool.” This Jeremy feels has bled into the band’s sound on debut album Bliss Release, a impressively burgeoning success came to a head with the band being And as tentative plans are made for what may well turn out to be a joyous and irresistible collection dotted with intriguing moments of lyrical bestowed with the Australian Music Prize, their equivalent of the Mercury highly-anticipated release, Jeremy makes it clear that it’s an album he fully variety from lead vocalist Alister Wright, most notable on the sublime Music Prize, in March. It’s an honour which capped off a remarkable cycle intends on being involved in. Rumours had recently been rife on the everDeath Cloud. “It’s reflected in the way we wrote and recorded the album, of success earned off the back of a single record. “It’s judged by a panel of reliable internet that Jeremy had, in fact, left the band after they appeared a bunch of it was written in the Mountains and a bunch in the city, and what I guess you’d call ‘industry people’ – people from bands we grew up with a replacement bassist for their set at Australian festival Splendour then when it came to recording, it was divided between the two. A lot of it listening to, distributors, label people and live music representation – so in the Grass. But as Jeremy explains matter-of-factly, “my wife and I had was recorded in my parents’ lounge in this beautiful valley, and some was it’s pretty amazing to be judged by such a respected crowd and for them our first baby, and we had her in London, so I took six weeks off.” So was recorded in deepest, darkest Sydney.” to decide that ours was the best album of 2010.” Plus, after some coaxing, there any question that you wouldn’t return? “No, no. Never!” comes the Jeremy bashfully confesses that “the money ... y’know, the money came at immediate reply. The mention of Jeremy’s parents is telling. Cloud Control is a family affair, such a good time for us. That just went straight into the bank and paid born as much from friendship in a close-knit community as musical off so many debts. It also meant that we were able to come over here and As well he might move to fervently deny such rumours. Cloud Control ambition, a process which Jeremy refers to as “organic”. And the family actually, y’know ... eat and stuff.” 30 grand is nothing to be sniffed at. are a band with a luminous future, and as being greeted like old friends ties are also literal, with brother and sister Heidi and Ulrich Lenffer on at Field Day, Reading and Leeds and several other shows over the last keys/vocals and drum duties respectively. As any sibling will attest, the To receive this prize for a first offering in a contest with a separate category couple of months has shown, the UK is more than ready to have our lives prospect of going on an extended tour in a cramped van together is, to put for Best Debut Album is all the more remarkable. A bit of context on its illuminated by some Blue Mountains magic. it bluntly, bloody horrendous. “Man, they’re good, they’re good,” laughs production, however, makes it clear that this was not some slap-dash first Jeremy. “As with any brother and sister, they have their moments, but you attempt. “I guess it’s a classic first album, in that you write tunes over a have to have a good sense of humour. If you don’t, the road will eat you.” very long time, and there was no pressure at all to get the album done. We - - - - - - - - - really took our time over it and tried to ‘craft’ something”, Jeremy reveals. There are many a young band who’ve been ‘eaten’ by the road. It’s a road “When our record label gave us our budget and said ‘do what you want littered with vast amounts of potential; countless individuals who, once with it’, our thoughts were ‘we can either go to a studio and blow it all in a Tune: Death Cloud they were out on that endless trail, found the physical and mental demands couple of weeks, or we can use it differently and take our time.’ So we had simply overwhelming. This has never been the case for Jeremy and his a friend who’d been recording bands and been getting some great sounds cohorts, though. “I love playing live, I love being out there. I wanted to do that were right up our alley. We took all his gear and moved it into my nothing more in my life than to be in a band, I’ve always been a performing parents’ place, and to his place, and crafted it over about six months.” musician, so to be given the opportunity to do that is amazing.” The word ‘crafted’ is an incredibly apt one which reoccurs several times. Words: Geraint Davies The love and painstaking time poured into the record is made evident in

nothing more in my life than to be in a band, so to be





© Emyr Glyn Rees

DANEE You think of electronic music, you think of Berlin. Ok, maybe you think of Detroit as well. Maybe if you’re feeling particularly patriotic you think of London, but everyone else is thinking of Berlin, alright? What no one is thinking of is Swansea. Yet for a little while there Mial Watkins, as Doc Daneeka, made Swansea a place of real significance in the UK electronic scene. In a young career indicative of what can be accomplished in the modern age, Watkins became respected producer, promoter, DJ and in-demand remixer, as well as boss of the Ten Thousand Yen label, all from the confines of a bedroom in that scruffy seaside town. It’s a trail of success that now finds him accompanied by another Swansea boy, previously London-based Benjamin Damage, set up in Berlin at the behest of the overlords that are Modeselektor, producing a full-length record to be released on their 50 Weapons print. What’s more, he is currently preparing himself for an impending adventure with the Red Bull Music Academy in Madrid, an experience which includes taking over a pod of the London Eye in December alongside Ten Thousand Yen alumnus xxxy. It’s safe to say the boy’s come a long way. He’s been making waves for some time. From the tropical drum patterns and punctuating bottom end of Drums In The Deep, initially surfacing on Fabric’s Elevator Music: Vol 1 compilation, to the curiously sombre strings and soulful vocals of Hold On, and to his most assured work to date, the impressive collection Television. This output has seen him heaped with critical approval from important people. Like, properly important people. Like, Gilles Peterson and stuff. Yet from a man developing a reputation for heavily rhythmic, ass-shaking tunes, dotted with the odd subtle melodic hook, the arrival of Creeper, his collaboration with Benjamin Damage, was a curveball. Brooding and malevolent in tone, a pitchbent and warped synth dominates until the arrival of techy, clipped percussion and atmospherics which thrusts the listener into a pitch black warehouse. There’s a bleak and oppressive streak lingering beneath the surface, even when a more typically UK break takes hold toward the track’s close. In short, it sounds very Berlin. We catch up with Mial in the early hours, fresh from a session at the studio. Yes, that’s Modeselektor’s studio, located somewhere in the city. We’re not allowed to know where. Around a month into his time there, he appears to retain a real sense of excitement at being in one of the world’s great epicentres of electronic music. “It’s an amazing city. I’ve been here quite a few times in the last year and I’ve always felt really comfortable. I’ve come over here to write before and it went well, so it just felt like a perfect place to be based for a while.” It seems an incredibly timely change of scene for him, considering the affiliation he already felt with the city. But as Mial explains, it was his collaborator who initially caught the ears of Modeselektor. “They got in touch with Ben first – they picked up on his tune Deeper which came out on Ten Thousand Yen, and did their own edit of it and played it out live for a whole world tour as a huge part of their set, it was pretty crazy.” A collaboration between the two had been a long time in the pipeline. They’ve been friends since youth, and, Mial tells us, “Ben taught me how to sequence tunes, actually,” adding “he’s wicked at it, I’m a bit of a spaz to be honest.” It was not, however, preplanned. “Ben had a really good riff that I liked but it wasn’t really working for him so I said, “look, let me try some drums on this.’’ And when the track – which ended up becoming Creeper – was completed, there was only one place it was going. “We sent the tune to Gernot from Modeselektor the day before New Year’s Eve I think, and within an hour or something they called back and said they wanted to put it out, and they’d be playing it that night to however many people in San Francisco!” This direct, no-nonsense style provides an ideal balance for unavoidable Welsh procrastination: “They just said “get on with a B-side and get it to us by this date.” They’re really good with that, they have that German way about them which is great: ‘do this and do it by a deadline.’” He laughs when comparing it to previous experiences: “Some labels just say ‘when it’s done, it’s done.’ And you send it to them and it’s ... like ... four years later.” That B-side became Infamous, an equally intoxicating, vaguely intimidating, minimal yet undeniably hefty slab. Any suggestion that the album might stick to the formula which brought them this far, however, is quickly rejected. “It has a mood similar to Creeper, quite heavy on the atmospherics, but so far it’s a lot more melodic. That tune is going to be on the album so of course it will be part of the framework, but it’s not going to be 10 Creepers.”


The collaboration is an increasingly prevalent trend among UK producers. It can often accomplish more than a simple merging of ability and sound, but a collective effort where each pushes the other to produce something new and entirely separate from their individual parts. It’s not the first time Doc Daneeka has collaborated, having worked with C.R.S.T’s Rodski on the track Copz, as well as numerous vocalists, which suggests it’s something which he enjoys. “I did a lot of stuff like that when I was a bit younger, playing in bands, and I really enjoyed it. I think getting into production was a backlash against playing with other people, in a way. To start with it was great being able to do everything myself and have complete control, for better and for worse. Mind you, the music for several years was probably not too good [laughs]. But I think now it’s got to the point where it was maybe getting a bit stale, and it’s nice to have a change and bounce off other people. You manage so much more, and find things that you’d never find by yourself.” With UK electronic music at a level of strength and variety not seen in many years, pushing oneself to remain at a consistently high level is a must, and collaborations are a way to keep one’s output in constant motion. Mial has plenty of words of praise for his UK contemporaries: “There are obviously big ones who have made their mark and they’re proving points that I don’t need to make, people like Bashmore and Mosca. But for me, some of the people we’ve got coming up on the label I’m really excited about. Mickey Pearce, which is Shortstuff ’s new alias, we’re releasing a 12” from him. He’s got two EPs on Swamp81 and they’ve got a rawness, no reserve... I don’t know how to describe it really. It just feels really unafraid, really fresh.” But perhaps the most zealous praise of all is saved for latest Ten Thousand Yen recruit, Presk, whose Love Again EP recently hit decks across the country. “I was playing a gig in Holland and he was supporting, and he asked me to come and check his set. He basically played an hour of incredible music. I said to him, “Where the fuck ... where the fuck ... what the fuck is this music?!” and he just said “it’s all me. Live”. So I said, “eerr, can I sign you please?” [laughs] And I hassled him for three weeks until he signed his life away.” The calm nature with which Watkins speaks about running one of the UK’s outstanding young labels makes you wonder why everyone doesn’t do it. While many producers start up their own imprint as a way of releasing their own material without constraint, no Doc Daneeka output has been released on TTY of yet. So what was the mentality behind it? “It was a really simple and logical step between me and one of my best friends, Yeti. There just weren’t that many outlets for the music that was coming out at that time. There was a handful of us who were lumped together producing and pushing tunes, and it was that simple. We had access to great music that wasn’t going to get released and people wanted it to come out. We just thought ‘we could do that.’’’ Surely the whole process can’t have been that straightforward? “Well, the actual physical process of putting them out was really hard, and massive shouts to Aled Simons who did a lot of that punishing work.” Ten Thousand Yen has been a massive success and garnered significant support from figures of influence such as Mary-Anne Hobbs. At the heart of what makes it such an admirable venture are a set of simple values. “We had big crews of friends who were very active in terms of DIY punk shows, and that attitude and ethos had a big effect on the label.” That means super-limited editions of vinyl, hand-made, hand-posted, working alongside friends and promoting exciting acts that you truly believe in. “Myself, Aled and Yeti had worked together as a three-piece before, putting on and promoting nights in Swansea. We’re not trying to lock down people on massive exclusive deals and rip people off and make a living out of it. It’s as simple as having all this great music and wanting to do something with it.” It’s safe to say that Ten Thousand Yen has already made a significant contribution to a thriving UK scene, yet the signing of Presk gives the label an international flavour. So does Mial see the movement as still primarily UK-centric? “I think it’s definitely spreading, and the cool thing is that nobody still really knows what it is. It’s just a bunch of guys and gals making good and interesting music. You hear so much about how names can possibly be mentioned in the same breath as one another – how Jamie xx can be in the same scene as Loefah or whatever – but somehow it just works. It’s incredibly healthy.” His part in this movement has seen him travel the world, throughout Europe, to the US, and even a mini-tour of New Zealand and Australia, which makes him as informed an individual as any to comment on the state of the scene overseas. “The [Australasian dates] were smaller shows,





but people were really up for it. It was just amazing to be so far away and people be into it, requesting your tunes and stuff like that. It really was insane.” And all the way back from the planet’s furthest reaches to his humble hometown. It’s perhaps when on this topic that Mial is at his most vocal and free-speaking, particularly when reminiscing about his formative years as a DJ. “I honestly believe that, at times, it had a really great scene. It’s got that small but vibrant punk scene, and it was very open; there was a big crowd of us who would be as likely to be found at a punk show as at a dance night. When we put on our nights we tried to be broad at a time when it wasn’t the done thing. The vast majority of nights would be, for example, hip-hop to a certain time and then the drum and bass would start, but that wasn’t us.” When discussing these nights, his enthusiasm peaks further. “The way we did things was just a reflection of the city at the time. It wasn’t full of heads, really not a pretentious place – anti-pretension, in fact. In a lot of medium-to-big cities you’ll see a hardcore crew always at the front going ‘Why the fuck’s he playing this tune?’ But that attitude was never the way at our nights. We had a really good club where you could literally smoke draw in the window, everyone was taking pills all the time, it was just an amazing atmosphere. I was around 19 at the time, playing fucking crazy Soundmurderer jungle records to people and they were losing their shit, y’know! But we would mix that with old broken beat and Bugz in the Attic and ... it was just sick. And that was before the licensing changed, so everyone would clear out of the club at two and go to house parties, so the house party scene was really vibrant. It was a properly great time to be there.” As far as his music has taken him, from the bedroom to the very inner circle of European dance music, his affection for Swansea is nigh on impossible to shake. So only one question remains to ask the Doc, an avid Arsenal fan. Have you been keeping an eye on the football while you’re out in Germany? “Fuck off.”


Tune: Creeper Words: Geraint Davies Photo: Emyr Glyn Rees

// Download doc daneeka’s exclusive crack mix @


Poster designed by Pat Bradbury

To have your design featured for our poster send entries to













Gary Numan is a unique breed of electronic animal. Relentless in output and evolution of sound in a career now going into its 33rd year, to describe Numan as a tour de force of electronic music is not hyperbole. One of the most reassuring things about Crack’s conversation with Numan is that despite his position as an elder statesman of the electronic music community, he maintains a humble and honest approach to crafting music. With the ticking clock of age against him and his time as a musician, he has adopted an attitude which is stripped-down and unmuddied. Previous variables such as fashion, attitude and the self-consciousness of youth which can clutter the creative process inevitably wither with age, leaving Numan a carefree open book, able to express himself with a degree of nonchalance. The style and image conjured by Numan throughout his rise to prominence influenced countless 80s fashionistas, emanating a coldness and detachment that perfectly complimented the methodical nature of the synth arrangements employed on first two solo records, The Pleasure Principle (1979) and Telekon (1980). Numan became a pin-up for the era. However, it’s the man’s ability to remain varied and contemporary that has seen him leave many of his 80s electronic peers in the shade with a career that has maneuvered with the decades. Dalliances in straight-up pop music, experimental electronica and hard rock spread across 18 albums have made Numan more than qualified to contextualise music in its broadest sense, but it’s the vigour and enthusiasm with which he does this that makes him such an endearing character. You get the impression that if Numan is ever to extinguish his creative fire, he will do so kicking and screaming, and based on latest offering, Dead Son Rising, it will be a significant loss.

So have the songs morphed and changed significantly from what you intended? Well, this was meant to be a bit of filler between my last album, Jagged, and the new album I was due to release next year, Splinter. There is a big gap, so the idea was to pop something out that wouldn’t take up too much of my time or interfere too much with what I was doing with Splinter. It’s strange, because when I came back to this music a year and a half later, it was exactly the same, Ade had done nothing to it. So I think it was a confidence thing. You get a bit down on something and your confidence plummets and everything you listen to sounds like shit. Then you hear it again a year and a half later in a different frame of mind and suddenly it sounds alright. Is that to do with your personal situation at that particular time distorting the quality of music that had been produced? I don’t know really, because for quite a while now career-wise, things have been great. I have a much better relationship with the media than I had before. I have lots of people doing cover versions and sampling my stuff and talking about me. From a confidence point of view I should’ve been riding high. I can’t imagine what else it was though. It just doesn’t make any sense for me at all.

So are those old album gigs made up of older people then? Not at all, the demographic is really split. One thing I didn’t realise is that a lot of the younger audience haven’t heard of this material before. It was 60-70% kids under 25 who know the album because it’s a big part of my history, but they haven’t ever heard any of the songs live. It’s also because people like Trent Reznor talk about it being a particularly large influence on them. So you’ve got people coming along who weren’t even born when the record was released. I thought it would be all about 55-year-old people reminiscing about their youth but it wasn’t like that at all, so I had to stand corrected there. As you’ve got older do you still find yourself drawn to keeping abreast of modern music and modern fashions, or has this got less important to you as you’ve got older? It’s easier than it’s ever been, especially with the internet. If you follow fashion then it’s easy enough. You can just pick up a magazine and find out what the latest trends are. But to be honest, I actually don’t give a shit about fashion. Although I did fashion shoot for All Saints yesterday! [laughs] But in all seriousness, I really don’t care that I look how I look. Keeping up with it all isn’t difficult, finding something you like really is. It’s always been like that. Take 1979 when I first started having success: look at the Top 40 then, and I only liked about two of the records in there. It’s exactly the same today. The chart in 1979 was full of utter shite. Very few things in the chart last for a long time and that’s what makes it such a scary business.

“I don’t get some people who have long careers that

mellow and start doing ballads and it gets bland and middle-of-the-road. You end up saying ‘what on earth

On this new album, smouldering industrial rock suggests a pairing off of influences with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, who open cites Numan as a significant influence on his work. Dark machinery clatters and is married with brooding undertones that sees Numan return to his austere best. As opposed to his aloof creative persona, Numan in person is warm, welcoming and congenial, a fact kept under wraps by the degree of mysticism that has always run alongside his music.

So how did the new record come about? It actually started out as a load of out-takes that I’d put to bed for a while. I listened back to them and thought ‘blimey, these are quite good.’ So what started out as a load of filler material ended up being a brand new album. Because of that it’s much more varied. I’m actually writing a book, a science-fiction book which I’ve been working on for the last 10 years. Every day I write out little notes for it and try to develop the story. It’s become a never ending thing. I hope it’ll finally see the light of day at some point. But some of the ideas from that have bled into this record. There are also more conventional themes that have gone into it, such as the fact I had a massive falling out with a close friend of mine a while back, which unfortunately has got worse as time has gone on. Normally when I do an album I have a pretty clear idea where I want it to go, and all the songs musically and lyrically fit in that direction. But I think because of the way it came about and ambled along, being fitted together from these bit parts, it’s a little more varied than my normal record. So has anyone else been involved? While I would say this record is still very much Gary Numan, it’s much more of collaboration. It’s the first properly collaborative album I’ve ever done. In my opinion, it should have gone out as a Gary Numan and Ade Fenton album, but he didn’t think that was a good idea, so it’s gone out as a Gary Numan album.

happened to you?’ ”

Over the years the regularity of your releases has remained ever consistent. You seem to be a workhorse. What keeps you going at such a pace? For me it was always a hobby that became something else. I was chatting to someone else the other day and they were saying that if they didn’t think they had an audience to play to they wouldn’t do it. I just couldn’t understand that. Surely you loving doing it, and having an audience should be the icing on the cake. From my point of view if I didn’t have an audience to play this stuff to, I’d still do it, because first and foremost I like it. The fact that I’m able to take the music out on tour and play it in front of people is the most amazing piece of luck. From an incentive point of view, or a desire point of view, getting motivated doesn’t seem to be a problem at all. I’ve really, really wanted to make records and record songs since I was 18 or 19. Your goals and ambitions just change. You just finished a tour where you were performing your debut album The Pleasure Principle in its entirety, so are you looking forward to be touring the new album? I got into touring the retro album very begrudgingly. It wasn’t really top of my list of things I wanted to do. When I tour normally, I do very little older stuff, which causes a bit of friction between myself and the older fans who want to hear as much of the older stuff as possible. I don’t want to be tied down to doing a Greatest Hits set. It became a real issue for some fans, so I said how about if I do all the songs from one album so I can avoid diluting my conventional tour. It seemed that if I did that then some of the fans would get off my back. So I did one for my 50th birthday and my 30th anniversary of being in the music business. Then the 30th anniversary of The Pleasure Principle came along so I did that one. So I just try to pop these things in once in a while.

What is it about you that has meant you’ve been able to have such a good run, and sustained such success over an extended period of time? You’re quite a rare breed. How have you survived in such a credible way?

I’ve always believed you’re only as good as your next album, and you can never have a career based on past glories. It’s obvious, but you always have to continue doing something new and something interesting. I’m not saying I’ve always done that, cause I’ve put out some pretty dodgy albums in my time. It is always my intention, however, to go into the studio and do something I’ve never done before, and come up with some sounds that no one has ever heard before. The reason I got into electronic music in the first place was because it seemed to have an unlimited potential for creating new sounds. I love guitar-based things, but they are inherently limiting to some degree. In electronic music we are lucky as there is always new technology so the potential is neverending. The thought of going in and repeating the same sounds used before seems pointless to me. I juts don’t get it. It’s like entering a Formula 1 race on your bicycle, it’s fucking pointless. I also just don’t get some people who have long careers that mellow and start doing ballads, and it gets bland and middle-of-the-road. You end up saying ‘what on earth happened to you?’ My music for the last 10 years has got heavier and heavier each album that I’ve made. I’m quite proud of that, and I think I still do enough interesting things to keep them coming back. There are probably people who sell more than I do, but that’s probably because they’ve done more ballads. So who in the main is Gary Numan enjoying at the moment and musically, who has had the biggest influence on you over the years? I love Battles, with whom I recently did a single. I love them because I can’t place them. I love everything about what they do and it was great to work with them. Nine Inch Nails will always be a massive influence for me, as will Ultravox when I first started. Depeche Mode too are a huge part of my world and changed my way of looking at music. We interviewed Battles in our last issue and they said how chuffed they were to be working with you. Ha! Brilliant.

Do these tours afford you a bit of breathing space then? It’s a great compromise to keep the older fans happy. The Pleasure Principle thing got a bit out of hand and ended up going all round the world when it was only meant to be a handful of shows in the UK. I won’t be doing any of that for quite some time. It is very nice to be coming back and have something new out. We’re doing the September and December mini-tours to promote this and then in the new year Splinter is coming out which I’m really excited about. Then for the bulk of next year we are going to be primarily touring the world doing Splinter and Dead Son Rising. We’ll be doing that for the next couple of years I reckon.


Tune: Dead Son Rising











Š Crazy P

Five-piece live disco specialists Crazy P’s new album showcases a maturity that is still keeping them streaks ahead of the game.

// Download a lukas remix of crazy p @



Crazy P have grown up a bit. To be fair, coming from an act that used to call itself Crazy Penis, the first step was probably staring them right in the face. But this only tells half the story. Having always been purveyors of fine party-starting vocal disco and house crossover, Crazy P’s five-piece sound has, especially in the live arena, seen them one-step ahead in terms of performance and credibility within dance music circles. When We On is their fifth album and is wholly reflective of a longevity characterised by a high level of quality, the ilk of which is not always prevelent within live dance music acts. 2011 sees Crazy P more relevant than ever. The popularity of all things groove, house and disco-orientated has skyrocketed in the last two years with Crazy P’s infectious sound becoming that little bit more sharpened on the ears of music aficionados everywhere. Their prolific remix output for the likes of Empire Of The Sun, Hot Creations and Greg Paulus on Wolf + Lamb has reinforced their position at the front line of anything with a groove, and as the latest record’s infectious opening gambit, We’re Open For Service, rang out in Crack Towers for the first time we needed no more convincing. A mature change in direction sees multi-instrumental space-disco numbers such as the mouth-watering Heartbreaker run alongside the aforementioned vocally dominated Open For Service and the superb Eruption. In an age where disco edits are ten-a-penny, Heartbreaker especially is a discerning groove that really makes you sit up and pay attention.

Tracks start with a fixed idea of what I want to do. I might have a backing track lying around that we could use, or it might just be a sit down and jam situation. Dan is great at working really quickly and writing really fast. She gets melodies very quickly and the words just seem to follow. She’s great and we’re very lucky as the ideas get together very quickly.

you go back in there the next day, so I suppose so. That works in respect of other production jobs as well, so you take a bit from everything you learn.

She’s also a big personality and adds a huge amount to your live performance, maybe more so than other bands of a similar ilk.

We’ve done some soundsystem shows in order to keep the full live experience unique when the new record comes out. We’ve done Glastonbury, Secret Garden and Bestival and a few European ones. We are keeping quite a low profile so in a couple of weeks we can jump out and say ‘boo!’

Basically, we just wind her up and let her go. She is the obvious focal point and aside from being a brilliant singer and dancer, she thinks about her stage craft very carefully. She thinks about what she wears very carefully and she thinks about her performance very carefully. As well as all that she’s really warm-hearted and down to earth and I think that shines through.

What have you been up to this summer as a band?

In terms of house and disco at the moment, do you think there has been a significant increase in interest in both genres that makes what you guys are doing of greater interest in terms of popular taste?

“I don’t think we’ve ever changed our sound to fit

With a brand spanking new live show set to descend on, among other places, the In:Motion Futureboogie and RBMA party in Bristol, the Crazy P live experience allows the band’s female focal force, Danielle Moore, to take centre stage. Moore’s exuberance provides the kind of glitz and dramatics any discerning disco act working their camp/homoerotic magic should have at their disposal. Crack spoke to founding member, multi-instrumentalist and production engine behind Crazy P, Jim Baron, about their forthcoming live shows and the new record.

Having listened to When We On, we thought you’d gone for a darker more seductive sound in contrast to a previously upbeat style? I’m guessing it’s not quite as straightforwardly funky as previous records. There isn’t much of that in it at all. It’s definitely a product of getting a bit older and your pace changing a little bit. As a band, if you’re working with people all the time you want to change it a bit instead of resting on your laurels. So there are a number of reasons why the record turned out like that, but it’s definitely a bit more evocative and thoughtful than previous Crazy P records.

into anything.”

We certainly remember seeing you at Bestival a couple of years ago and being really blown away by the whole energy of your performance. How has the live show developed over time and do you think that now you’ve got five albums of material at your disposal your live act has become quite pliable, with a certain amount of rotation between vocal numbers and big instrumental numbers? Yeah, definitely. You’ve got to go with the record you’ve made and we’ll obviously be showcasing that a lot live. For that reason we are restructuring a few things. Having said that, the set-up remains kind of the same and first and foremost we’ll be looking at what works for the crowd. There are tunes on the album, such as Heartbreaker, that are effectively instrumentals and we try and work them into the set because it allows Danielle a costume change. We don’t tend to take textures and arrangements off the album verbatim. We try to mix them up and make them more edgy. In terms of the production side of things you’ve been very prolific with remixes over the years. Is that all your work?

Is that just a straight reflection of the band’s age?

There is some brilliant variation on When We On, ranging from some great vocal moments to some spacey disco numbers. I think that’s us really. We listen to lots of different stuff. I think when we kicked off years ago we used to keep albums quite straight, but as time has gone on we’ve felt more confident to show off other sides to our character. In terms of the vocals on the record, does Danielle write her own vocals after the melody or is it more of a collective effort?

I would say that’s true. I don’t think we’ve ever changed our sound to fit into anything though. Popular tastes come and go, but disco has definitely become very popular. I do worry there might be a bit of a glut of it and people are doing re-edits without paying attention to the source material. They basically just stick in a fourbar loop with a filter. There are a lot of people making music now, so you hope people don’t start getting bored of it. Do worry there could be a backlash?

That’s me and Chris, yeah.

It’s numerous factors. A few things happened last year that gave us a bit of a shock. There were some health issues that bring you back down to earth and that probably shaped the record too.


And is it nice for you to duck into that purely dancefloor-orientated world and create music that’s a little bit more tailored to the nightclub? We love doing remixes as they are great fun, especially if you have great source material to work with. We’ve been doing them since we started and it’s a completely different way of working. We tried to count up how many we’d done the other day and we couldn’t do it. It’s a frightening amount. You attack each remix differently and I like to think we give a different angle to each one we do. It also gives you a whole load of ammo when you DJ. Do you find remixing records also hones or fine-tunes your production skills when it comes to making original Crazy P material? Each experience you have in the studio adds to what you know when

It happens all the time, but I think because we’ve always stuck to our guns we’ll be alright. I think because of the fact we are a live band we are viewed slightly differently. The fact we have that live arm means we aren’t in that boat and we’ll probably have more longevity. What’s it like working with Futureboogie as management? You’re playing live at their Futureboogie and RBMA night at Motion on November 26th. Are you excited about that show? The Futureboogie boys are brilliant and we were saying the other day finding good people to work with is like finding a partner in life. Steve and Dave are great to work with and so enthusiastic. They are coming from exactly the same place as us. They’re really on it and have their finger on the pulse of everything going on musically and in terms of the correct way to promote us. That Motion show should be great. I’ve DJed in The Tunnel room a couple of times and I’ve loved it. It’s a quality line-up and I’m really looking forward to it.

Download the Lukas remix of Changes by Crazy P from the Crack Downloads page Crazy P play live at the the RBMA & Futureboogie In:Motion party with Henrik Schwarz, Maya Jane Coles, Bonobo and Julio Bashmore on November 26th.


Tune: Heartbreaker



Aled Simons has produced a captivating range of images which draw on multiple histories and past lives. the ever-growing collection is getting all the plaudits it deserves.

a s

l i




d n


// “It’s taking a mass of difference sources and essentially different people or memories, and bringing them together to be viewed as a whole.” ~Angela Lizon at her studio in Spike Island

A recurring feature throughout Aled Simons’s creative output is the idea of the cyclical. His work seems to endlessly turn back on itself, forming a web in which everything feeds into one another, each project somehow flowing into the next. These form what is, in essence, a creative existence. As artist, he operates from two directions which, on the surface, could scarcely be more different: from light-hearted screen-printing and producing artwork for record label Ten Thousand Yen under the working name Bingo Boutique, to the current project for which he was recently awarded Welsh Mixed Media Artist of the Year.

The Arrangement is a series of collages which combine two distinct images, often drawn from second-hand books, to form a transfixing array of landscapes. Many exude an apocalyptic, portentous quality which belies the material itself, formed as they are from urban or relatable landscapes with skies washed with the vivid colours of close-up flowers and plants. It’s a remarkably powerful image, and one which lends itself to concepts of environmentalism and a clash between the urban and the rural. Simons, however, is quick to dismiss such resonances, insisting “I’ve tried to steer away from direct relevances to things such as environmental issues and all that malarkey, that’s not really what it’s about.”

The entire collection glows with the warmth and familiarity of the old book. You cannot help but create assumptions about individual images, as well as meditating on the composition as a whole. What’s more, associations between eras are unavoidable, different images rich with the hallmarks of their respective times, so as well as admiring railway line meandering into beach scene, one sees the industrial revolution coming face to face with the garish 80s.

Yet these opposites are intrinsically linked as, it appears, is everything Simons creates. Hailing from the village of Nelson near Caerphilly, Aled arrived in Swansea in order to study Art Foundation, and has remained faithful to that uniquely ugly, lovely, up and down town since. And indeed, it has begun to pay him back for his patience, affording him and his art collective, Supersaurus, a studio space at its creative heart. And from the freedom allowed him by this space came The Arrangement.

Focus is, rather, on a meeting of histories, and the idea that each image brings with it a series of memories through its ownership. So as well as creating intriguing and beautiful landscapes – placing natural rock formations at the heart of an industrial dockyard, thrusting angular high rise buildings into the midst of the countryside, having a hill littered with the corpses of battered cars merging with an idyllic rustic scene, or a village placed beneath the ornate roof of a cave – one is reminded of the context of these images, of those who once read and touched those pages, and of what they may have meant to them.

So what is the concept behind your series of collages, The Arrangement?

So Crack and Aled had a chat, Welshman to Welshman. The best kind.

It’s a multi-layered idea. An important part is collecting and surrounding myself with all these old books and various other sources of that kind of material – the aspect of having all those sources around me and having to physically search through them. I’ve always had this mentality of gathering and collecting things, from collecting vinyl, to picking up all sorts of pieces from charity shops, to this. - - - - ->



What’s the physical process of putting them together? I’m always rooting through charity shops or getting given stuff, so that part takes care of itself. It’s not just a matter of tearing out a page from one of those books and things working; I’ll find images which I find interesting and cut them out and sit with it for a few weeks until something comes along, and I’ll try to always have two or three of those images on the go. So what kind of books have you taken images from? Any memorable ones? I’ve got a brilliant, massive German book that’s just called Deutschland, and a lot of the architectural images from this series came from that. And background-wise I had a load of ornamental gardening books. I think adding the flower images are where it all really started to work; it began to develop an almost apocalyptic quality. I think one of the most resonant aspects from using these books is the idea that they’ve all been touched and have lived with people in the past; they have a history already attributed to them. So when you then combine them with another history it creates a kind of universal history, or memory, or memory of a dream ... it’s taking

a mass of difference sources and essentially different people or memories and bringing them together to be viewed as a whole. As well as the clash between timeframes and history, there’s also a tension between the industrial and the pastoral evident in a lot of the pieces. Is that something you were conscious of? I wouldn’t necessarily say so, although I’d say that an attempt at contrast is a definite. I wouldn’t put man-made images together, and similarly with combining black and white with colour. There’s no real conceptual reason behind that, just trying to create that contrast. It just gives each one that bit more impact, and allows it to sit within its own compositional choice. I’d say that was more aesthetic than theoretical. And how have you been showing the pieces for exhibition? I’ve occasionally shown them as projections, which puts them on a far larger scale and the effect is totally different, because in fact each one is only around four or five inches high. It’s mounted on a thick card, so it’s almost got a quality of a postcard, which I think has a resonance in

itself – one of connections between people and maybe travel, but within time; pasts, presents and futures. The first one was put together of 30odd pieces in a frame, closely spaced but floating off the board in a box frame, sort of semi-preserved, not so much framed as boxed-up. That’s not necessarily standard, but that’s how the first one was presented for the Welsh Artist of the Year. Yes, you were awarded Welsh Mixed Media Artist of the Year – that must have been an honour? Yeah, I wasn’t expecting it all, because the ‘Mixed Media’ category didn’t exist at the time, so I figured there wasn’t much chance – the only thing I would have been up for was the main one! What I really love about the Welsh Artist of the Year awards is that there’s always a big Swansea representation there. This year, the student award went to a girl who’s studying in Swansea, the photography award went to a friend of ours who’s German but is based in Swansea, and this year’s overall winner was from the Swansea Valley. Also, going back Owen Griffiths, Fern Thomas and Adele Vye, who I work alongside as part of a collective, Supersaurus, all won in various categories in 2009, so it provides a good notch up for our combined CV.


That suggests that Swansea is quite a creative place to be at the moment? Definitely. As a group we get asked this a lot; about Swansea and how it compares to places like Cardiff and Bristol. I think Swansea just feels quite grass rootsy, in a sense. There’s the main gallery, the Glyn Vivian, which is essentially an international arts space, but there are lots of other little offshoots going on and everyone is very supportive of each other. There’s no, sort of, posturing. It feels very truthful. And as you mentioned you’re involved with the collective, Supersaurus. What’s the history of that? That’s a group of us who met on our Foundation year in Swansea. We all did our various degrees, the others went to Oxford Brookes and I stayed in Swansea. And then almost 10 years later we found ourselves back together. There are a lot of empty shops and buildings in the city, and through a local contractor working on developing the area in an artistic sense we were lucky enough to get offered a building to take on as a studio at an amazingly low rate. That gave us a chance to reconvene in a new space,

10 years after we were in a studio together as students. Since then we’ve done artist in residence schemes and opened the space out to people; one of the first people we had in to do a project was our art tutor from the Foundation course, which was a nice sense of full circle. But it’s been an incredible resource. I don’t think I would have been able to focus so well without that kind of studio environment, surrounded by the right people.

That’s work I do to kind of inform those ideas. They’re more prevalent on the blog, which I am very much treating as an outlet for the project.

There’s a pretty remarkable project that you’re involved in called Vetch Veg, where the site of the old Swansea City stadium is being turned into an allotment area. Is that being treated as an art project?

I don’t think of it as essential, and it sits comfortably without it. I think it focuses my mind as much as anything, clarifies where the meanings are sitting for me. A haiku is a form where it’s all about what the reader takes from it, and I treat them in the same way as the collages, this idea of grasping images and placing them together to create a whole. To a point a haiku by its nature has be semi-unreadable. so I think it frames the other work in a sense. Whereas the Bingo Boutique stuff – well, that’s just arsing about really.

That’s totally an art project, but I can’t claim much credit for it, it’s Owen Griffiths’s practice. I’m essentially his right-hand man on that, adding a bit of muscle as much as anything. It’s an insanely exciting project and I’m spending a lot of time on it at the moment. It’s an amazing thing for Swansea and it’s something Owen’s spoken about doing for quite a while, so it’s great that it’s kicking off and that the community are so behind it. Back to The Arrangement. The images are accompanied by a series of haikus. What was the idea there?

The written word is something that you’ve employed in the past with your Bingo Boutique stuff – do you see it as something that sits well alongside your art?

Do you see any common strains throughout the two types of work, or are they two very separate facets of your personality? That’s interesting ... in a visual sense, it’s very difficult to link the two. - - - - ->


“I think Swansea just feels quite grass rootsy, in a sense. There’s no posturing. It’s very truthful.”

But obviously you can’t say there’s no relationship there, cause it’s me creating them. A lot of people will recognise the distinctive artwork you did for the Ten Thousand Yen label’s initial run of screen-printed records. Is it something you’ll be continuing to work on for future releases? The screen-printing’s finished now. That was just for the first series of records. That was the most screen-printing I’ve ever done: each release was 700 hand screens with front and back, and that’s a series of five. So yeah, I did 3,500 prints! So the boys have kindly turned to commercial printing for the upcoming releases! There might be some more further down the line, but hopefully not any time soon cause my wrists are still hurting. It was really great to work on them, those first five really were a labour of love from everyone involved with the label. And you have a solo exhibition at the Mission Gallery in Swansea coming up, right?

That opens on Friday, January 13th and it’s called Shipwreck. There will be some of the pieces from The Arrangement on a slide show, but for the main gallery space in a similar collected vein, it’s going to be found and assembled sculptural objects, so the whole space will be filled with old doors and things creating a corridor and multiple spaces within the gallery. I’m essentially trying to create the feeling of the landscapes from the collages, but you can walk through it and physically experience it.

and it’s a joke and I know that. But I always like this idea that if all trace of the 80s had been dismantled by some freak tsunami or something, then me and Tim would be standing on the shore after the catastrophe, collecting any instruments that we could find and approximating to the best of our ability what the 80s sounded like to the next generation. We aired Pump Up the Jam the other night for the first time, actually. It was shocking.

You seem to be juggling so many different projects artistically; what do you get up to away from your art work?


Well, in a way it relates to the collecting aspect of the current project, but like I said, I’ve been collecting vinyl for years. I put on a night in Swansea called the Gas Station Bop where I play a lot of 50s and 60s good old rock ‘n’ roll and scuzzy garage which gets churned out on a monthly basis. I’ve even started keeping a comb in my back pocket. Plus I play in a band, I suppose you’d call it, called Barrie Hole’s Hitlist Presents ..., and we play 80s covers on a load of old keyboards. But again, I see that as conceptually linked to the art work, although I don’t know if anyone else does, and I very much doubt Tim (John, bandmate) does. I mean, obviously it’s funny Words: Geraint Davies




sc_ad_v04.indd 1

19/09/2011 17:22


CRACK FASHION: october 2011

credits // photography - Paul Whitfield Fashion - NADINE AHMAD Make Up - NADINE ELIAS HAIR - DANI METCALFE Model - lERA @ FM models london






credits // photography - Paul Whitfield Fashion - NADINE AHMAD Make Up - NADINE ELIAS HAIR - DANI METCALFE Model - lERA @ FM models london

Live Music

Green man // bestival //


© Clark Merkin

© Robert Darch

Green Man Brecon Beacons 19/20/21st August 2011 ………………………….

Bestival Isle Of Wight 8/9/10/11th September 2011 ………………………….

Whatever the weather forecast says beforehand, you can be sure that the mid-Wales microclimate at the foot of the Brecon Beacons where the Green Man Festival is held will do whatever the fuck it likes. Astonishingly – and for the first time in a long while – the sun shone on Green Man 2011.

The spectacular headline coups of The Cure and Bjork had Crack sailing the seas to a windy Isle of Wight in giddy anticipation of some iconic moments and aural delights. Yet it seemed that Bestival curator Rob da Bank might have expended too much energy securing an unusual and varied line-up in other areas of the festival when giving the Friday headline slot to easy-option, lowest-common-denominator, Pendulum. Nevertheless, the ‘Rock Stars, Pop Stars and Divas’ theme seemed destined for some memorable frolics and spirits were high.

As ever, the juicy acts were not the main stage headliners. On Friday, Explosions In The Sky were patently the wrong band for the midnight slot – too esoteric for the picnic basket massive, too quiet for the boozers, too unpredictable for the wreck-heads – and while Fleet Foxes and Iron & Wine both drew huge, adoring audiences on the following two nights, neither are really a band you’d elbow your way to the front of a crowd for. Like almost every other festival on the calendar, the fun was to be found further down the listings, and out at the fringes. And what fun it was. Friday’s first glorious moment came in the form of a majestic performance by Other Lives, whose sweeping strings, restless rhythms and baroque melodies poured out from the main stage and over a crowd basking in the late summer sun. Other Lives look destined for bigger things. Later on the same stage, Villagers showed why so many people hold them in high regard: their songs contain dark twists and turns that elevate them out of the ‘pleasant-strumming’ trap that so many bands of their ilk fall into. The order-from-chaos, DIY electronic-rock of Holy Fuck rounded off the Far Out stage, leaving the twilight hours to the ever-impressive Horse Meat Disco and the Joe Goddard side-project 2 Bears. Saturday couldn’t quite match Friday’s musical heights, although a rousing romp through Donna Summer’s I Feel Love by James Yorkston closing out the Green Man Pub stage was pure gold. Squarepusher did his infectious jerk-tronica thing (but disappointingly descended into jazz-funk territory towards the end), while Darkstar continued on their quest to win the ‘fewest concessions made to their adoring public’ gong of 2011. Having already wrong-footed everyone with their transition from off-kilter electronic dubstep to smoke ‘n’ downers synth-pop, they proceeded to play pretty much their entire debut album except their most recognised song (Aidy’s Girl’s a Computer), while shrouded in darkness with their hoods up. Less said about that the better. Despite this reviewer nursing an increasingly delirious hangover by day three, Sunday threw up some scorchers. Suuns sounded something like Primal Scream in their more strung-out moments, or a more tightly focused Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and fuzzed their way to a crescendo worthy of ultra-epic acts like Fuck Buttons. Tweak Bird gnashed their teeth like Queens of the Stone Age fronted by duelling psyched-out vocalists, and James Blake managed to keep the attention of a late afternoon main-stage crowd – no mean feat given the amount of silence that Blake uses to structure his songs. Green Man is way more than a folk festival these days – and it’s testament to the consistency of the organisers’ increasingly eclectic bookings that they can sell-out weeks before the event, when everyone else is struggling to get punters through the gate. Yes, it’s full of people who take their music seriously and their muesli even more seriously, but you can ignore/taunt/baffle them and have a wondrous time anyway.

Thursday and Friday went by in a blur of ambient forests, helter skelters and inflatable churches punctuated by gems such as Santigold easing the Big Top crowd into the Bestival spirit on Thursday evening and Public Enemy’s main stage performance the next day. Best of all, an astounding evening set from Mogwai in the Big Top was a truly epic spectacle for all to enjoy and was without doubt Friday’s highlight. The Mercury Music Awards played no small part in hyping several Bestival acts, with almost half (the good half) of this year’s nominees playing across the weekend. The Saturday lineup was brimming full of talent with nominees King Creosote and Jon Hopkins playing a hauntingly beautiful set in the Psychedelic Worm, slightly tainted by the constant throb of bass coming from neighboring stages which meant some of the intricacies were lost without the peaceful setting the music demanded. The award for most reliable gig of the weekend went to Mercury winner PJ Harvey, who produced a powerful and captivating set on the Main Stage. The Cure’s marathon two and a half hour headline set twisted and turned through their pre-goth back catalog and was littered classics along the way. Exhibiting their flair for a dramatic and emotive show, Robert Smith’s eerie and climbing vocals burst through the swirling stage smoke and lights. His stage presence was effortless and commanding despite his trademark scruffy jet-black hair showing signs of age with tinges of grey. The always fantastic Metronomy, another Mercury nominee, had a heaving audience at 2am when they played the closing set in the Psychedelic Worm. It was great to see a band on so late and on top of their game, with front man Joseph Mount’s natural wit and interaction with the audience making the feel-good vibes fizz through the crowd. Sailor Jerrys’ stage hosted more than its fair share of bands on the rise, with pick of the bunch being Yuck followed by Tall Ships . Adorned in glitz dresses, Tall Ships’ eye-catching performance was their last playing old material before they finish off their debut album. Like a haze, the last night arrived, and if there were ever a set of fans that could handle Bjork’s outlandish yet endearing quirks on the last day of a heavy weekend, surely Bestival goers are as likely as any. So taking to the stage alongside a dancing choir, crowned by an illuminated headdress, with fireworks shooting from her hands, Bjork set about closing Bestival with a magnificent performance to a receptive crowd. Focusing heavily on new album Biophilia, it was magical from start to finish. Monday arrived just in time for many a disheveled yet satisfied punter, but the increasingly forceful on-shore gusts and news that the tail end of Hurricane Katia was crossing the Atlantic had Crack heading for the mainland pretty sharpish.

------------------Words: Adam Corner Words: Aaron Willson



Cotham Hill


38 Cotham Hill Bristol BS6 6LA

Are you a vinyl obsessive crate digger? We need your specialist knowledge to support our new musical charity shop.

Donations Please donate any unwanted vinyl, instruments, sheet music and anything music related!

07887 687493 Registered charity number 1107328 and registered in Scotland (SCO39857)


Cotham Flyer.indd 1

13/09/2011 15:28:37

Louise Bourgeois Tracey Emin: Do Not Abandon Me

Royal West of England Academy 0117 973 5129 Queen’s Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1PX


Bridget Riley Michael Kidner Luke Jerram Naturescape UNTIL 11 OCTOBER 2011 Damien Hirst: Charity Until May 2012

Reaching for You, 2009–2010, Archival dyes printed on cloth © Tracey Emin and the Louise Bourgeois Trust Courtesy Hauser & Wirth and Carolina Nitsch

Coming up: 159th Open Exhibition 30 October – 31 December 2011


Live Music


factory floor // turbowolf //

© Lionel Taplin

© Factory Floor

Factory Floor, Anika, Hype Williams The Arnolfini, Bristol September 24th 2011 ………………………….

Turbowolf The Croft, Bristol 16th July 2011 ………………………….

Crack arrives at the Arnolfini with the slight concern that the usual standards for going out on Saturday might not be met by hanging around in an art gallery. But once the music starts we quickly realise we’re at the most enthralling event in town.

It’s September 3rd and The Croft is hosting a Wolfparty. Five bands, two rooms, ten cigarettes and eight ciders. Let’s get it on. This is Turbowolf ’s first headlining show of the year, the first in Bristol in recent months, and they’ve made it personal; they’ve picked the support acts, chosen the venue, promised an after-party. The Croft is packed with friends, family and fans.

Due to the distant and muffled sound of Hype Williams’s music, there’s a risk it might not translate in a live setting. In such a huge space, the delicacy of their sound might seem limp, and if the sound levels aren’t carefully mixed, the subversive elements of their music could be buried. The whole thing might easily lose its charm. Thankfully, both the lighting and the sound quality at the Arnolfini are excellent, and Hype Williams deliver a full frontal assault on the senses. Strobe lights flash continuously throughout the set and there’s also the unsettling presence of a chunky, oiled-up body builder on stage. The band progressively boost the volume to ear-punishing levels, and the music sounds all the more euphoric when it’s reverberating through the crowd. Next up is Anika, an artist who intrigued Portishead’s Geoff Barrow so much that he ended up producing her selftitled debut, as well as lending her musicians from his side-project Beak> for recording duties. On stage, she’s sulky eyed under the spotlight, gazing at nothing in particular and singing in a low, half-bored yet strenuous voice reminiscent of both Nico and Ari Up of The Slits. Some of the songs, like single Yang Yang, have a bouncy pace and catchy, almost infantile melodies. But key to Anika’s sound is the contrast achieved by playing in an icy style with a post-punk sensibility, each song centred around the heavy wobble of a dub bassline, her band energetically shredding guitars and hammering keys. For whatever reason, some members the crowd are inattentive. The noise of their conversations is disproportionally loud compared to the applause between songs. This obviously frustrates the band, and at one point a band member flips out: “If you want to have a fucking chat, there’s a fucking bar next door!”, he yells. Maybe it’s an admirable confrontation with a static audience or maybe it’s just a failure to accept the music doesn’t quite resonate with some individuals. Either way, you can’t accuse Anika and her band of being languid. Factory Floor’s live show isn’t hard work. To enjoy it you don’t have to be politely attentive, it does not test the endurance of your patience. Yes, it’s experimental, boundary-pushing and even slightly indulgent, but it’s so exhilaratingly thunderous and insistently rhythmic that it’s impossible to not be completely transfixed. Under the glow of patterned, minimalistic visuals, Factory Floor build up a relentless industrial techno pulse which is morphed and tweaked progressively. The band chant repetitive mantras into the mics, Nik’s guitar is channelled through such a toxic set up that each time she whips the strings with a drumstick, a metallic burst of distortion hisses from the speakers. The engine of the music is Gabriel’s drumming. At points the percussion grinds to a halt, allowing Nik and Dominic to twist the pulse to a new tempo, then it’s up to Gabriel to find the beat. Sometimes it takes a while, there’s the feeling that this could all fall apart, a total meltdown could occur. But he finds his way in, slapping the odd snare, stamping on the bass drum, finding the rhythm then - bang - he’s locked in. It’s a carefully considered racket, tailored specifically to make individuals lose their shit.

Things have changed for Turbowolf in 2011. They have recorded their album, toured Europe with Korn and Dimmu Borgir (quite a feat for the label-less quartet), signed with Hassle Records (Trash Talk, Alkaline Trio, Cancer Bats), recorded a couple of videos, and got themselves a new drummer and a newish bassist. Exciting times, but tonight they have a triumphant homecoming to see to. They open up with the blistering Ancient Snake and commence with an onslaught of flailing hair, limbs, sweat and noise. The audience join in dutifully, ploughing into one another and singing every word. The Big Cut and Things Could Be Good Again (also from their recent foreplay-before-the-album EP) demonstrate a punkier sounding Turbowolf than we had heard previously. Like true pioneers of audio/visual overload, Turbowolf ensure that you have something to watch while you soak in their sounds. Vocalist Chris only stops to tamper with his keyboard from time to time and spends the rest of his time on, or under the audience. At one point he manages to surf to the rear of the room, belt out a song, dive and surf back to the stage. Another crowd surfing session takes place on a skateboard that somebody had left lying enticingly on the stage. Andy (guitar), Joe (bass) and Blake (drums) play with finesse and power in equal parts and demonstrate a band that has further evolved from an energetically scruffy ball of noise into something far more accomplished. Recent single, A Rose For The Crows, is the heaviest of their set and a psychadelic swirl of stoner metal that slowly concludes with an elegantly simple down-tempo outro, built from pure doom. Forthcoming single Read And Write is an already-established fan favourite and is making waves with various DJs across the country thanks to its energy and infectious hook. The band close with Let’s Die and say goodnight, ensuring that the gig remains encore and cliché-free, and a battered audience get the chance to head outside and dry out. A very busy 2011/12 now awaits as the band embark on a UK tour with Hawk Eyes and The James Cleaver Quintet (including another show at the Croft), followed by a couple of dates with the mighty Monster Magnet. This will coincide with the release of their eponymously titled debut album on the seemingly prophetical date of 11-11-11. Voodoo. A true contender for Bristol’s best and most entertaining band.


Words: Ian Ochilltree Photo: Lionel Taplin


Words: David Reed

A few of the prevous guests to have played












CD1: 19/20 CD2: 13/20

As leader of The Magnetic Fields, Stephin Merritt became a figurehead in American music, utilizing synth, folk, indie and more, yet always with a melodic sensibility attached. 1999’s staggering 69 Love Songs (which is as good as its word) saw him lauded as one of the great American songwriters, celebrated for its ever witty and poetic lyricism and Merritt’s deep, rich baritone. Obscurities is a retrospective of odds and sods from Merritt projects Buffalo Rose, The 6th and The Gothic Archives, as well as the Fields and solo work. As is often the case with such collections, it’s something of stop-start listen, veering drastically in sound and tone. Within two songs we’re taken from gorgeously strummed opener Forever and a Day to the hooky yet curiously bleak synth noodlings of Rats in the Garbage of the Western World. Later, Scream (Till You Make The Scene) is pure Numan, strutty electropop and When You’re Young and in Love is a typically skewed love song. Excellent songwriting is rife, as is Merritt’s incredibly distinctive vocal style, and the quality of nigh on every track is undeniable. Obscurities, therefore, transcends being one for the completists and stands up as a worthy introduction to Merritt’s substantial charms for any newcomer.


CD1: Wonderful androgynous, gutter-glam glitz, politically-motivated, tragedytinged, nihilistic dream-band showcasing their desperate indie-punk to a Thatcherite generation desperate to cling onto their dreams in the midst of a Conservative nightmare. Meaningful, beautiful and real. CD2: See the above: but with less punk, less Richie Edwards and a Labour Government.






In this, their second record, Other Lives have created a soundscape that draws you in from start to finish with an effortless tug of their musical ingenuity, blending folk and classical elements brilliantly to form a layered listen. The art of album-craft is certainly not dead in Stillwater, Oklahoma, from which the multi-instrumentalist quintet hail and where they spent over a year shaping the sounds that eventually comprise the 40 minutes on offer. The soothing vocals of Jesse Tabish, while acting as a focal point, manage to dissipate into the background when necessary to allow for greater exploration of the lattice of music created. While highlights such as For 12 and Landforms stand out, every other track has its context in the record as a whole. Set aside some time to allow this into your headspace.

There’s something to be admired in admitting and resigning to the fact that you’re a pop group. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it doesn’t make you innately bad people. Yes, the album’s awful, but someone’s got to make music for 13-year-old girls, and if they didn’t do it, then someone else would, and that person could be a paedophile. Ignore that fact that for some reason he tells all the young girls to “fuck what (they) believe in” on Little Death, which seems a bit harsh considering what their fan base believe in are hair straighteners and The Hills. It’s interesting that when they decide to up the ante and be a heavy band, they choose to invite people from heavy bands to come and sing the heavy bits. So Oli Sykes from Bring Me The Horizon pops in to grunt “Fuck You” at his Mum and Dad on Bite My Tongue, and Winston McCall of Parkway Drive comes all the way from AMERICA to roar like a dragon. But surely they realise how out of place this is when actual vocalist Joshua Franceschi makes Dido sound like a world-weary sailor. And why do the guys they invite in keep saying ‘fuck’? It’s bad manners for a guest to say fuck.







Progression is a trait admired in Crack Towers. Remember that band Oasis? The one with the brothers. They had a couple of good albums and then tried to create those same albums over and over again and failed miserably. As a rule, if you try repeating the same album twice, let alone three times, it’s not going to work and your fan base becomes full of people who all look the same. This makes Looping State Of Mind, the third album by The Field, otherwise known as Axel Willner, something of an anomaly. Despite not straying far from the loop-ridden, techno template laid down in previous records, there is a still such a subtle fragility and wonderful depth of resonance in Willner’s synth-loops and drum-patterns that you find yourself sucked in. Soundscape is an overused word, but there is such richness of The Field’s amalgamations it’s the most apt description. The sound is taken eons beyond traditional techno and into deep-house and shoegaze territory. Which by all accounts is a pretty aurally wonderful place to inhabit. On Looping..., he proves beyond doubt a series of subtle twists on a used format can herald immense results.

Based on the name of his band, you would expect Patrick Kelleher to be the bastard offshoot of Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Heathcliff. And to a certain extent he’s as unnerving as the aformentioned characters in his role as the rather good-looking leader of spooky, italo-synth, Dublin based five-piece, Cold Dead Hands. Sounding like a creepier, less dancefloor-orientated Black Devil Disco Club, Kelleher brings together acoustic guitars, warped synths and close knit melodies on second album Golden Syrup. There is very little sonic movement in Kelleher’s tracks, and this claustrophobia makes the album simultaneously imposing yet engaging. There are woefully shaky moments, such as the Ode To Joy-based intro to Strawberry Dog, played on what sounds like a re-wired Fisher Price toy. However, it’s these idosyncrasies intermingled with the general eerieness of the record that makes Golden Syrup such an involving listen. For every one of those there is a Seen Me Blue, a true highlight that sees the frontman step confidently into Ian Curtis territory. If Kelleher can harness the best bits of Golden Syrup and become more cohesive in his arrangement, he could be


haunting many more minds soon.



JAY-Z & KANYE WEST WATCH THE THRONE Roc-A-Fella/Roc Nation/Def Jam 5/20 A garbled exploration into the limitless depths of egotism possessed by these two individuals, so devoid of lyrical relevance to the average listener, so schizophrenic in its composition, so deluded in its grandeur, Watch The Throne is a must-listen for everyone who loves music and needs to be reminded of everything which is an affront to that passion. Perched atop their high throne as if presiding over an evil monarchy, Jay Z and Kanye West have lost touch with any soul and aptitude they once possessed. Numerous times along Crack’s beleaguered journey through this misguided milestone record, a sustained moment of enjoyment and brilliance was bitterly crushed by the sudden imposition of the kind of bizarre gibberish that only a criminally wealthy lunatic could produce. Like Stalin in the days of his Soviet personality cult, the pair seem so insulated from anyone important with a contrary opinion that they can exercise whatever peculiar musical whims they wish and have it hailed as cutting-edge genius. Jay Z and Kanye have lost all ability to see the world outside the prism of their crushing bank balance. Jay now has “so many watches” he needs “eight arms”, whereas Kanye complains that he needs a “bullet proof condom when I’m in these hoes” because bitches be after his riches. However, the most distasteful aspect of this albums release has been the two-week exclusivity deal with iTunes and Best Buy that seems to be an entirely unnecessary attack on independent record stores. With an estimated 75% of demand for the album likely to be satisfied in this period, the potential loss of income for smaller retailers, should this become a precedent for other major releases, is enormous. Like meagre peasants at the bottom of their tyrannical feudal system, the track Who Gon Stop Me is a taunting reminder of all of our powerlessness. Mark Breakdown: Featuring artists & producers: +10 Fleeting moments of outstanding talent: +2 Comedy Value: +2 Lyrical dexterity & meaning: -6 Exclusivity deal: -3

// new free weekly Downloads @





3/20 Oh my God? Are you serious? The new Clash? Turn it up man! I’d love to hear the new Clash. God, I’ve been waiting for this day since ... just turn it up! Big fucking whoop. There’s really no reason to still be bitter about that. OK, so they were erroneously referred to as the ‘New Clash’ for a while. So what? There have probably been countless ‘New Clashes’ over the years, and they’re all lying in a pile along with all the new Roses and Nirvanas, all alcoholic call centre workers with their reviews torn out and kept in their wallets until the sides tear and the ink fades and the memories fade and all that’s left is a resentful old bastard with nothing to offer. Not that anyone’s hoping that’s what’s going to happen to the chaps from Hard-Fi. No sir. Not at all. So this record was turned on with at least a semblance of an open mind. What greets us is an overwhelming wave of nauseating lad rock, so inoffensive it’s remarkably offensive, with a customary smattering of slightly rootsy swagger and wooden blocks and the like. It’s been done before, and better, and by Hard-Fi themselves, actually. Look, we’re trying to be nice, but would you kindly vacate the premises and fuck off back to your Carling ads please. Many thanks. Yours sincerely, Crack.

Aaron Cupples and Ben Green are two Australians that make music in their respective London and Barcelona bedrooms and send each other the MP3 results to build tracks. Is this how music is made these days? It should be if the results are as good as this. The formula is brilliant. In most of the 10 tracks on debut album Rules, fast-paced guitars smash out carefree rhythms while an addictive bass-hook and wild synth pattern flop around over the top. Give it a minute and there might be a dramatic guitar riff. A minute later there’s some shoegaze-esque synths, oh, and then the big rhythm guitars are back. It’s a wild ride into how to vary your sound in a short space of time, and credit to the duo’s ability to arrange their tracks that it doesn’t come off like a cluttered attempt a coherrent complexity. Can’t wait for the live show.






You got the feeling this one was going to be a lemon, but we were a little surprised at the level of citrus on display in the return of Ed Banger’s sacred sons, Justice. It’s no exaggeration to say during the 2006-2008 period, they reinvented the dance music wheel. Their at times abrasive, at times poptastic, broken electro-distortion was fresh, varied and won them a legion of fans from many musical walks. On debut album Cross, single material was juxtaposed with the real sound of Justice. Phantom Part II, Waters of Nazareth and the truly awesome Stress, were fist-clenching, gritty slices of distorted dance-floor destruction. The arena-sized shows and adulation followed, as did the problem facing all acts that go supernova quickly: Where the fuck do you go next? In this case Justice they’ve taken the wrong road. On new record, Audio Video Disco, they’ve minimised the dancefloor potential with a series of drab, half-catchy and unmemorable pop tracks. The instrumentals carry no punch and could be soundtrack films at best. It’s like someone cut their balls off, and from an act that looked so hot when upping the ante, this is a colossal disappointment.

The 2010 reunion of indie icons Pavement saw the band’s erstwhile frontman Stephen Malkmus thrust back into the spotlight. This record from his current outfit, therefore, has garnered significantly more attention than the four which preceded it. Mirror Traffic finds the band joined by Beck on production duties and returning to far more Pavement-esque territory, that irresistible slacker sound melding with the Jicks’ more pensive leanings. This is perfectly exemplified in the squiffy verse structure and memorable harmonies of opener and lead-off single Tigers. The snotty Senator, meanwhile, sees Malkmus exhibiting some political polemic, spitting “I know what the senator wants, what the senator wants is a blow-job”. Unlike some of the Jicks’ previous material, indulgent instrumentation is kept to a minimum. At 15 songs though, the set is slightly overlong, and the brilliantly triumphant twelfth track Forever 28 would make an ideal closer. But there’s no doubt this is the Jicks’ best album to date, and while revisiting the band in which he made his name has reinvigorated Malkmus’s creative juices, this is a band with an identity of their own who’ve produced an album which can proudly go toe to toe with anyone.









0844 477 2000 | 0844 811 0051| GIGSANDTOURS.COM | TICKETLINE.CO.UK MASSIVE NEW SINGLE ‘DON’T GO’ FEAT. JOSH KUMRA By arrangement with AND NEW ALBUM ‘BLACK AND WHITE’, OUT NOW Primary Talent International


By arrangement with WME



SWINDON OASIS LEISURE CENTRE 01793 01793 445 445 401 401

Tuesday 15 November th

New album ‘The Harrow & The Harvest’ out now








Roddy Frame


Fred Kinbom


Monday 17 October

Bristol Fleece



0117 929 9008 | 0844 811 0051

0117 929 9008 | 0844 811 0051 | MYSPACE.COM/KINGCHARLESUK

By arrangement with WME


eNew exclusive crack mixes coming soon


doc daneeka 01/10/11

waifs & strays 01/11/11

crazy p 01/12/11

w w w . y o u l o v e c r a c k . c o m









For exclusive live announcements and priority booking go to:


0844 811 0051



with special guest



0844 871 3012 / 0844 811 0051 /


08 4 4 811 0051 / 0117 929 9008 /


Bristol Hippodrome


Sunday 9 October

UK TOUR 2011

0117 929 9008 / 0844 811 0051 / Debut single 'Heaven' out now. BY ARRANGEMENT WITH CODA


BRISTOL FLEECE 0117 929 9008 | 0844 811 0051 |

Mean Fiddler presents

Tuesday 18 October

London Jazz Café





SHLOMO Jazz Cafe and Mean Fiddler in association with the French Music Bureau by arrangement with The Neon Noise Project present

YUKSEK ‘Pop-dance at its most enjoyably ’

THE GUARDIAN 4/5 plus support by AGE OF CONSENT & Tronik Youth DJs


LONDON HMV HAMMERSMITH APOLLO Mean Fiddler in association with CAA proudly present









17 NOV LONDON JAZZ CAFE 0843 221 0100

18 NOV • •

1 0 T H

A N N I V E R S A R Y I I I Presented by Mean Fiddler and Jazz Cafe by arrangement with Primary

Jazz Cafe and Mean Fiddler in association with the French Music Bureau present



+ very special guests

J U I C Y D J s I J O N N Y D U B ( H O YA : H O YA )



plus Laura J Martin


0844 477 2000


B / O : 0 8 4 3 2 2 1 0 9 7 6 I W H I T W O RT H S T W E S T. M 1 5 N Q




0843 221 0100







Jazz Cafe and Mean Fiddler in association with the French Music bureau present


plus special guests





NOV DOORS 7M. 5 PARKWAY. CAMDEN. LONDON. NW1 • • • • • 24 hr CC Hotline 0844 477 1000



c m

. e

r d

. i

a a


. s

c p

. a


k n


Red Top Rhetoric Rules.

Illustration: Lee Nutland ////


avid Cameron’s “tough love” has been doled out in courts across the country and he’s on a two-point bounce in the polls.

Dish Face was right; an immediate message needed to be sent to the hordes of scum that swept through our cities’ streets last month. The problem is he’s been spewing this “broken society” rhetoric for over six years now – he was telling us things were bad when crime had been falling for more than a decade. In 2010 he said gun and violent crime went through the roof under Labour. It dropped 41%. The Statistics Watchdog complained, chastising him the same way it did Grayling when he did the same thing months earlier. He also made that poorly thought out and downright fucking idiotic call to curtail social media in the wake of the disturbances, before performing another outcry-led policy U-turn. In short, he’s a PR man. A sounding cannon for the fears of his latest focus group; he’s a red-top Prime Minister. The riots can’t be put down to “pure and simple” criminality. We know that there are thousands of people that, given the opportunity, didn’t think twice about donning masks, smashing windows and looting shops. There’s

something very wrong there and we need to understand what led to this level of disenfranchisement, not try to tie it down with three-word catchphrases. Our friends at the red top The Guardian’s front page just landed, the headline reads: “Dowlers offered £3m settlement.” In July Rupert Murdoch interrupted his son to tell everyone that it was the most humble day of his life. Indeed, a few days later he was to meet Millie Dowler’s parents to offer an apology. It rang out sincere. And the phrase fit well in a headline. I’m sure he meant what he said, but it would be easier to trust him if he didn’t look like Thelma pulled off his mask minutes before he walked into the committee room. The crux for me – and probably the lawyers – is Clive Goodman’s letter, sent back in 2007: “This practice [phone hacking] was widely discussed in the daily editorial conference.” Goodman then explains a deal was brokered with Coulson (Cameron’s exCommunications Director), that if he didn’t implicate the paper he could come back to a job (post prison sentence). The News of the World’s managing editor and News International’s executive chairman are copied into the correspondence.

And the settlement offer comes after years of re-writes and hush money. The ‘one rotten apple’ argument in just one example, every time those meddling kids at the Guardian revealed a new twist on the story the bare minimum was confessed. Leaders of the free world The GOP candidates, the winner of which will face Obama next year, make up a veritable Raggy Doll bin of right wing politics. Michele Bachmann told a crowd in Sarasota that Obama wasn’t listening: “God had already sent them an earthquake and a hurricane.” She doesn’t just interpret God’s messages either; she’s actually featured in the Bible’s prophecy. Revelations 2:7-9 reads: “And then they shall see her face, the woman with five children of blood and 23 of following. Thy brethren the prophets will march forth cutting tax for the rich and uninsuring [sic] the poor.” But then maybe she’s just preaching to the choir. The biggest cheer in the first GOP debate was awarded to Governor Rick Perry (Texas) for his 234-execution record. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked a candidate whether an un-insured man should be left to die, a number of people in the crowd heckled; “yes”.

If it isn’t the politicians, it’s the bankers. In July, after the Smurfs rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, traders gathered around looking at each others’ mood rings and unleashed a Lehmansized stock market crash from which they’re only just beginning to recover. Moody’s downgrade of America sent out the first shockwave, and as stocks fell investors put more money into US government debt. In Britain, the red-top rhetoric runs through our politicians and newspaper men who run things with acumen and headline-friendly sound bites. In America fear runs the market and the political debate becomes whimsical. I don’t know who’s more fucked, the US, us or Gordon Ramsey’s sex dwarf double (God rest his soul).


Christopher Goodfellow Send rants to


C h

. o

r r


. o

a r

. s



. p

k e




Mystic Greg...

here to help and put your mind at ease.








You’ve had a tough year, and it’s about to get tougher. Your partner is having an affair with an animal. I predict this animal will be cute, really fucking cute, perhaps a Jack Russell, or a Meerkat. It’s a hard life I know, but my advice would be to start seeing other animals. Yeah it’s weird, but anything goes in this day and age. Start staking out a zoo or try your local PDSA kennel.

At Christmas no one will love you. You can’t buy love, but you can however buy prostitutes. Imagine Christmas dinner. All the money you save from buying presents can go on prostitutes, lots of prostitutes of varying quality. You could get them to reenact the nativity, or you could dress up as Santa, fashion a sleigh and get them to be your reindeers and pull you around the living room.

Bob Dylan is a Gemini. Did you know that? Maybe you should put down that acoustic, pick up a synth and start an electro-folk outfit? You could make lamentful songs about the recent recession, but with a new edgy electronic sound. You could, except you have no musical talent. Stick to what you’re good at: watching reruns of Scrubs, and trying to break your wanking record.

Crab, crab, crab, crab. Much like your star sign you need to start walking sideways, pinching people, and hiding under things. It could be ridiculously fun until that person with the smoking booty reports that sly pinch to the police and you have to deal with an impending restraining order. Fuck it though, you’ve got a tough exterior, and you don’t give a damn, just like a crab.

You will find yourself immersed in arguments with anyone who fancies it in the next few months. These will escalate into fights, really vicious, crazy fights. So get to the boxing gym, get running, or invest in a tazer. Just make sure you win, because in the game of life it’s all about winning.

You are going to win the lottery and lose the winning ticket, tough shit.







You’ve just started university and you’re having loads of fun. Unfortunately everyone thinks you are a twat. How can you get over this? I suggest taking more drugs, sleeping with more people, and partying more.

You are going to fall in love with a total babe and live happily ever after until next year, when the apocalypse happens. Time to start digging a bunker now. Okay, it could be really dull, but at least you’ll still have your love after doomsday, right? Wrong. Your partner will get bored of living underground and get tempted to check out the apocalyptic carnage, because it’s more interesting than you are.

One day this month you will find yourself eating a crumpet with marmite. The weird thing is you don’t even like marmite. Then you will go to work. Nothing strange about this day until you unzip your trousers to find that your sex thing has turned into a crumpet with marmite on it. As the saying goes, ‘you are what you eat.’ Maybe you should reconsider your diet.

You’ll surround yourself by relentlessly positive people for the whole of October until you realise that relentlessly positive people have no soul and could well seal your fate in the after-life. Get the fuck out of there.

During October, beware all mates you have that do drugs but then spend the next three hours talking about drugs and how fucked they are and how fucked they are gonna get and how they’re more fucked than they were last week but how next week is gonna be messy and how they’re all gonna get fucked up. Fucking twats all of them, you’d get better company from a threeyear-old.

Great things will happen this month. A true first.

CRACK Issue 14