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Animal Collective Nathan Fake Tame Impala Tall Ships Hattie Stewart Idles

Ar t, M u si c , S an d b o x

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DJ HARVEY


Shortlist Concert | Cyngerdd Rhestr Fer Wednesday 17 October 2012 | Mercher Hydref 17 2012 The Coal Exchange

featuring Welsh Music Prize nominated acts | Gyda’r artistaid canlynol yn chwarae

Bright Light Bright Light | Cate Le Bon Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog | Exit_International | Huw M Jodie Marie | Kutosis | Truckers of Husk Doors 7.00pm | 14+ show Tickets £10adv from swnpresents.com — Nominated Albums | Albyms Enwebedig —

Bright Light Bright Light

Cate Le Bon

Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog

Exit_International

Future of the Left

Huw M

Make Me Believe in Hope

CYRK

Draw Dros y Mynydd

Black Junk

Gathering Dusk

THE BLUE TEAM

OVNI/TURNSTILE

SBRIGYN YMBORTH

UNDERGROOVE

The Plot Against Common Sense

GWYMON

XTRA MILE

Islet

Jodie Marie

Kids in Glass Houses

Kutosis

Los Campesinos!

Truckers of Husk

Illuminated People

Mountain Echo

In Gold Blood

Fanatical Love

Hello Sadness

Accelerated Learning

SHAPE

VERVE

ROADRUNNER

BARELY REGAL

WICHITA/TURNSTILE

SHAPE

Concert 17 October, Prizegiving 18 October – See welshmusicprize.com for more information. Cyngerdd Hydref 17, Seremoni Hydref 18 – Mwy o wybodaeth welshmusicprize.com. www.welshmusicprize.com | www.swnfest.com | www.swnpresents.com


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Photographer: Nate Bressler Featuring: DJ Harvey

For those who are cracked let the light in: Respect Thomas Hawkins Sam Smith Mavis Botswinga Jon Snow Zeina Raad Harriet Chavasse Josh Baines Alex ‘Animal’ Hall James Murphy The Matador Fiasco Design Nick Griffiths Angie Maouris Paul Scholes Executive Editors Thomas Frost tom@crackmagazine.net Jake Applebee jake@crackmagazine.net

14 18

has been lost in the sandbox. An endless, A G A Z I N E arid, Dune-likeM wilderness, where alien terms and web code swirl around your head until you become disorientated and return to the same, mirage-induced oasis time and time again, drythroated and gripping onto life with twig-like fingers.

20 22

30

Editor Geraint Davies geraint@crackmagazine.net Marketing / Events Manager Luke Sutton luke@crackmagazine.net

32 34

Art Direction & Design Jake Applebee Staff Writer David Reed

You see, we’ve been working on a new website. It started in such glamorous, hopeful fashion. We had a vision. A vision of a new, sparkling vessel for our online selves. People would visit and be drawn in for hours on end, and we’d sit back, proud and bloated with self-satisfaction. Little did we realise the terror that lurked beneath. That in order to produce this marvel, days would have to be spent populating the website, filling it with the content you people would one day feast your eyes on. This was to be inputed via something called the sandbox, a parallel website where our fodder could be laid out and tested. It swallowed up our lives. We’ve been listening to songs about the sandbox: Enter Sandman, Living in a Box, Sandi Thom. We can’t stop talking about it, picturing it. Our long-suffering intern even lost his wallet in the sandbox and has been attempting to survive on crisps and budget energy drink ever since. But now, we (though sadly, not he) have emerged from the other side. So there we go. Sandbox, you did your worst. The newly face-lifted, next level crackmagazine. net is the immaculate child of our sordid, traumatic tryst. While you, the reader, is wiling away the hours browsing its extremities, remember that deep down, we will never, ever truly leave the sandbox.

Interns James Midwinter Linda Evans Fashion Paul Whitfield Marina German Joanna Banach Valerie Benavides

Geraint Davies

Contributors Christopher Goodfellow Mystic Greg Hulio Bourgeois David Reed Tim Oxley Smith Lucie Grace Billy Black Josh Baines Tom Howells Philip James Allen Claude Barbé-Brown Celia Archer Jack Bolter Adam Corner T. C. Flanagan Illustrations Lee Nutland Adrian Dutt Crack Magazine Office 1 Studio 31 Berkeley Square Clifton Bristol BS8 1HP 0117 2391219 CRACK is published by Crack Industries Ltd Advertising To enquire about advertising and to request a media pack contact: advertising@crackmagazine.net

0117 2391219 © 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.

Crack has been created using: Citi - Power Play Coki & Underground Ice - Gangster For Life Robert Palmer - Johnny & Mary Ricardo Villalobos - Grumax Orange Juice - Rip It Up The Asphodells - A Love From Outer Space Jesse Boykins III - The Perfect Blues The KLF - What Time Is Love Typesun - Heart Maths Grizzly Bear - A Simple Answer Nathan Fake - Outhouse Laurent Garnier - It’s Just Musik Andy Williams - Can’t Take My Eyes Off You Sure Thing - Holding You Tight Sylvis Striplin - You Can’t Turn Me Away Melody’s Echo Chamber - Crystallized Squadda B - Never Understand Tevo Howard - Spend Some Time Wire - Like a Hearbeat Kendrick Lamar - The Art of Peer Pressure Minor Threat - Little Friend Teen - Electric

Freddie Gibbs - Kush Cloud The Ex - Theme From Konono Gravediggaz - Unexplained Efdemin - Acid Bells (Martyn’s Bittersweet mix) Palma Violets - Best Of Friends Gino Soccio - Dancer The Von Bondies - C’mon C’mon Radiodread - Paranoid Android LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge Montell Jordan - Let’s Get It On Tonight Sandbox mod - The Sandbox Song Aaliyah - Try Again Jeff Mills - Keeping Of The Kept The Kinks - Picture Book The Jones Girls - Nights Over Egypt Witch - Tooth Factory Strawbs - Part of the Union Cursive - A Red So Deep Rufus Wainwright - The One You Love Russ Abbott - Atmosphere INXS - Never Tear Us Apart Whitesnake - Love Hunter

Benjamin Damage - Swarm The Locust - Moth Eaten Deerhead The Strokes - You Only Live Once Goat - Disco Fever Prins Thomas - Slangemusikk Cody ChestnuTT - That’s Still Mama Buddy Holly - That’ll Be The Day The Field - Arpeggiated Love Skip&Die - Jungle Riot John Francis - She’s A Mess Egyptian Hip Hop - The White Falls Tamaryn - Violet’s in a Pool Behling & Simpson - Left Behind METZ - Wasted Lee Foss - U Got Me Wide Boy Awake - Slang Teacher Falomir! - Just The Feeling Lenny Kravitz - Are You Gonna Go My Way Lil Louis - French Kiss Yo La Tengo - Today Is The Day Mo Kolours - Biddies Torche - Speed of the Nail


www.crackmagazine.net

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CRACKMAGAZINE.NET THE

BEST

Of

OUR

WEBSITE

THIS

MONTH

3 TU N E S // C O NTE NTS D J H A RV E Y - 14 D oc S e ve r i ns e n Be W i t h You (D J H ar v ey edi t ) P l e as ur e Joy ous (D J H ar v ey re-edi t ) Th e Aval anch e s E l ect ri ci t y (D J H ar v ey re-edi t ) N ATH A N FA KE - 18 A ut e ch r e Mov e of Ten A ut e ch r e D raf t 7.3 0 A ut e ch r e L P5 TA L L S H I P S - 2 0 Pos t War Ye ar s Gl ass H ouse Ki ns T i l l H e S t i rs C l oud N ot h i ngs Wast ed D ay s H ATTI E S TE WA RT - 2 2 M ar vi n Gay e Got To Gi v e I t U p B e n E Ki ng S pani sh H arl em M e r r y C l ay t on Gi mme S hel t er A N I M A L C OL L E C TI V E - 3 0

N E W W E B S IT E //

5 0 Foot H os e Caul dron 1 3t h Fl oor E ast er E v er y w here Ray m ond S cot t S oot i ng S ounds For Baby

Fanfares, firewalls and fireworks, Crack’s only bloody gone and got itself a new website! Beautifully crafted by our manz at Fiasco Design, we’re now in a position to bring you all the things that make us fucking great in a more attractive and dynamic way. Think mixes, think bonus online only content, think downloads, think more news articles than Peter Sissons on uppers, think playlists, think more variation than a Chinese takeaway menu. Trust us, you’ll be surfing till six in the morning, and if that wasn’t enough check out our new YouTube video channel. Danny Dyer says: “you’d be a mug to miss this.” Probably.

C R A C K T V 001 - T I M W E ST W O O D I NTE R V I E W //

TA M E I M PA L A - 3 2 Th e Fi e l d I s T hi s Pow er Th e B angl e s E t ernal Fl ame S e r ge Gai ns bour g L’ hôt el Part i cul i er

C O M P E T IT I O N S //

Crack mooched its way down to Red Bull Studios to go one-on-one with the big dawg

Our friends at Cable have dipped their feet into the compilation market and are set to present their debut

Tim Westwood. He gave us a thoroughly insightful interview and even granted us one of

efforts We Fear Silence and Cable Presents mix CDs to the world. We’ve got two copies of We Fear Silence,

his world famous i-dents. The first video on Crack’s new YouTube channel, this one’s hot!

which features productions from Maya Jane Coles, Simian and Ikonika, for you to win, simply by answering a question that looks like this. Who of these hosts their Blueprint night at Cable? a) James Holden b) James Ruskin c) Jamie Jones Send all entries to competitions@crackmagazine.net

IDLES - 34 S ch ool boy Q H ands O n T he W heel Q L az ar us Goodby e H orses St. Pierre Snake Invasion E ncore E ncore


10

L

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UPCOMING

EVENTS

O IN

YOUR

N

CITY

Car ibo u (DJ set) B ussey B u ildi ng 5 t h Octo ber

Radio h ead T he O2 8th Octo ber

Fabric 1 3th Birth d a y Craig Richards, Visionquest, Levon Vincent, Omar-S (live), Tale Of Us, Sandwell District + many more October 20th/21st/22nd

C R A C K I S B A C K at The Nes t

£15/£20/£25

Deadboy, Behling and Simpson, Baltic Fleet, WLT

S av ages Electro werkz 10th Oc to be r

The Nest, Dalston

In what is fast becoming a yearly pilgrimage for team Crack,

October 19th

London’s best club opens its doors once more for a night,

£4 before 11.30 / £7

then a day, then a night again of non-stop house and techno wonderment. One of the most anticipated dates in the

C h ristia n M a rcla y

After taking a brief summer hiatus, Crack is delighted to be returning to our monthly residence at Dalston’s

clubbing calendar, DJs play numerous sets over the weekend

Southbank Centre

finest late night haunt, The Nest. We’ll now be taking over the third Friday of every month, aiming to

across Fabric’s three rooms in what constitutes a real all-

October 13th

bring in an extra roster of our favourite live acts and DJs. Coming straight back in with a big ‘un, we’ve got

encompassing experience for party goers. The line-up is as

Numbers’ finest Deadboy as well as Bristol slo-mo garage poster boys Behling and Simpson. On the live flex,

varied as it is hand-picked, and an endurance test for those

we’re delighted to bring you the expansive krautrock stylings of Baltic Fleet, fresh from a 6 Music session.

that fancy it. Monday is an absolute write-off. Just spare a

Big sounds all night long, we can’t wait.

thought for the bar staff!

I dj ut Bo y s T he Wa itin g Room 11th Oc to ber

T yondai Braxton Southbank Centre October 9th

Hier o gly phic Being S h a c klewell A rm s 12th Oc to be r

Appo lo o sa S h a c klewell A rm s 15th Octo ber

Eg y p t ia n H i p H op

^ S wn Fes tiv a l

Corsica Studios

The Cribs, Liars, Django Django, Errors

October 11th

Various Venues, Cardiff

£7.50 adv.

Prices Vary

They sprung out of Manchester a couple of years ago, crazy young and overflowing with spunk (yuck),

We love Swn. We just do. Properly love it. To see Cardiff buzzing and bustling with genuine music fans

armed with a HudMo-produced EP and a huge blaze of hype. Yet just when they seemed set to be huge,

clambering to cram as much great music into their time as possible, and the multitude of venues transformed

Egyptian Hip Hop slipped inexplicably off the radar. Well it turns out mainman Alexander Hewett

and embracing the collective spirit, it all makes the trip westward thoroughly worthwhile. What’s more,

buggered off to develop an insanely enviable CV as a touring musician for Connan Mockasin and Charlotte

Swn’s unrelenting ability to expand and improve year-on-year is astonishing. We’re proud to be hosting our

Gainsbourgh, and this month the band finally drop their debut album, Good Don’t Sleep, on R&S. It’s a

own stage at Clwb Ifor Bach for the second year running, and this time our line-up includes none other than

stunning treat, generously rounded out by an almost psychedelic depth of sound and songwriting maturity

the creators of one of this year’s finest albums, Liars, the Mercury-nominated The Invisible, local heroes

which suggests a coming of age. It’s got us proper juiced up for their forthcoming live dates.

Kutosis and breakthrough Liverpool boy Jethro Fox. Essential.

www.crackmagazine.net


11

Fe ar Of M e n O l d Bl ue L ast 16t h O ct ober

S e b a stiA n Koko November 10th

Ko p p a r b e rg ü n - e s t a b lishm ent

P itchfo rk Paris

Manchester (12th-18th) | London (20th-25th)

Factory Floor, Japandroids, Animal Collective, The Walkmen, Grizzly Bear, Purity Ring,

Th e I nvi s i bl e Corsi ca S t udi os 17t h O ct ober

Julio Bashmore This series of free events presents a unique opportunity to give some love to your

November 1st-3rd

creative side. Taking place in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and London’s

Grand halle de la Villette, Paris

Shoreditch over a two week period, it’s a series of workshops, exhibitions, talks and

€129.90 Weekend

parties with a firm focus on being inclusive and celebrating DIY culture. Participants include our lovely current featured artist Hattie Stewart and street art phenomenon

It’s not the coolest game in the world, but on a quiet afternoon we have been known to sit down and

Pure Evil. For our part, we’re delighted to be hosting a discussion on The Future of

scribble down who might feature on our dream festival line-up. Some smart-arse always picks Jeff Buckley

Publishing in Shoreditch on the 25th alongside some of the UK’s bona fide authorities

or The Smiths and has to be put in their place and ends up with tears in their tea. Well the endlessly admired

on the subject. Keep an eye on unestablishment.tumblr.com for unfolding

folk at Pitchfork played that game the other day, and everyone behaved themselves. So they went and

developments.

booked them all. Then some joker suggested doing it in one of the greatest cities in the world. I dunno, Paris maybe? So they did. And we’re going. You should too. If they’ve made a genuinely important album over the

Efte rkla n g

last year or two, you’ll find them on this bill. It’s that simple. If it’s not amazing, we’ll pay for your lift up

Barbican

the Eiffel Tour, how’s that?

October 30th

DJ Pierre XO Y O 19t h O ct ober

Teengirl Fantasy Bi rt hday s 2 0t h O ct ober

N a i l Th e C ro s s V Preditah, Slime, Buffalo Tide, oOOooO, Deptford Goth

DJ Ha r ve y Oval Space October 19th

Shacklewell Arms October 19th + 20th £8 Day / £12.50 Weekend

Illumin a tio n s Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, How To Dress Well, Cloud Nothings, Ital

This two day cultural showcase at the Shacklewell Arms is an opportunity for No Pain In Pop to really flex

November 5th-10th

their next-level curation muscles. With a reputation for putting music in front of you before you’ve got any

Various venues

idea you actually love it (previous guests include The xx and Hudson Mohawke), this year is no different.

Prices vary

C h i l y Gonz al e s Barbi can 2 0t h O ct ober

Headline sets come from Preditah’s fresh take on chunky but intelligent grime, San Francisco witch house pioneer oOoOO, Peckham boy Deptford Goth’s expansive synth visions and Slime, whose use of organic

One of the finest and most ambitious gig promoters in the capital, Rockfeedback, have taken it upon

instrumental sounds set his beats far apart from the pack. But it’s further down the bill you’ll be getting

themselves to light up our rapidly-shortening early November evenings with a series of specially planned

your head opened up real nice.

shows around London’s best haunts. With ever an eye for presenting the most vital figures in contemporary music, this week-long event does just that. The voices behind two of this year’s most intriguing records, How to Dress Well (XOYO, 5th) and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti (York Hall, 9th) are on show, as well as a UK first for Planet Mu/100% Silk artist Ital (Corsica, 7th), who accompanies his idiosyncratic techno creations with an A/V show for its debut outing on these shores.

R e d B u l l C u lt u re C la sh

Lo n d o n Inte rn a tio n a l An ima tio n Fe stiv a l

Major Lazer, Boy Better Know, Magnetic Man, Channel One, Tim Westwood

Barbican

November 7th

October 25th - November 4th

Wembley Arena

Prices vary

Tal l S h i ps XO Y O 2 2 nd O ct ober

A ct r e s s Vi l l ag e U nderg round 2 4t h O ct ober

£15 Founded in 2003, LIAF is the largest festival of its kind in the UK and a worthy celebration of intelligent An absolute doozy for all fans of bass music, Red Bull is doing it again. This time the stage is Wembley

and provocative animation from around the world. From the Gala Opening (25th), highlighting a selection

Arena, and it’s getting competitive. Taking inspiration from Jamaican sound clash culture, in which

of stand-out features including For No Good Reason, a stunning glimpse into the world of the inimitable

different sound systems used to battle for supremacy, the Culture Clash will see these heavyweights fight it

Ralph Steadman and a screening of Czech director Tomáš Lunák’s noir creation Alois Nebel alongside a

out to see who is king. Expect reggae, grime, garage, UK bass, UK house, UK funky and loads of homegrown

Q&A with the man himself, this is sure to be a forward-thinking and preconception-shifting spotlight on

UKness. Promising more special guests than a Dr Dre record and hosted by the peerless Tim Westwood, no

an art form at the very height of its relevance.

event will contain more hype per square metre this year.

www.crackmagazine.net

S par ks Barbi can 2 6t h O ct ober


No Pain In Pop & Lanzarote present

EFTERKLANG piramida

A 2-Day Celebration Of New Music And The Arts Friday 19th & Saturday 20th October 2012

the new a lb um out now

o O o oO • Slime • Deptford Goth • Preditah

Panoram • Buffalo Tide • Eaux • Yola Fatoush Lanzarote DJs • no Pain In Pop DJs + many more The Shacklewell Arms Dalston Day Tickets : £8 • Weekend Ticket : £12.50 available from shacklewellarms.com nopaininpop • lnzrt.com

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T H E P I R A M I DA C O N C E RT S - fe a t u r i n g t h e N o r t h e r n S i n fo n i a 23rd O c t G ATES H E A D - T h e S a ge

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Tuesday 2 October 8-11pm | Free Entry (Early Attendance Essential) EAT YOUR OWN EARS Live :

Friday 12 October 10-4am | £5 from RA £7 on the door JUNO PLUS 3RD BIRTHDAY DJs :

ONE LITTLE PLANE

RON MORELLI (L.I.E.S) BANKHEAD (TRILOGY TAPES)

Thursday 4 October 8-11pm | Free Entry THE WAITING ROOM PRESENT Live :

LCMDF Friday 5 October 9-4am | £3 before 12, £5 WALLS PRESENT : ECSTATIC DJs :

JUNIOR BOYS WALLS

Friday 19 October 10-4am | Free Before 12, £5 after PRANG

DJS PLAYING TRAP, TRILL & GRIME Thursday 25 October 8-11:30pm | Free Entry EAT YOUR OWN EARS Live :

SEAMS

Saturday 6 October 10pm-Late | £8 on the door DISCO BLOODBATH DJs :

Saturday 27 October 10-4am | Invitation Only COSEY HALLOWEEN

SIMONCINO + DISCO BLOODBATH

RICHARD D. CLOUSTON + GUESTS

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www.crackmagazine.net

13

NEW MUSIC

M E TZ Su re Thin g We love a supergroup in Crack Towers, and Sure Thing is a veritable amalgamation of quality Bristolian electronic music talent, bonded together in the name of funk and disco and perfectly deployed on debut single Holding You Tight. Featuring Bristol drum and bass hero DJ Die, Futureboogie’s Christophe, Joker on keys and famed drummer Desi Rogers, it’s a weighty selection. Christophe explains: “We’ve all been friends for a quite a while now and through many a drunken chat, record swapping session or night out (DJing or dancing), we’ve chatted about doing something together. We see Sure Thing as more of a collective and an excuse to work with the wealth of talented people we have here in Bristol.” The distinctive video for Holding You Tight is a wonderfully retro slice of funk celluloid that gives the whole project real authenticity, and its success means Christophe is adamant Sure Thing isn’t set to become a one hit wonder. “The core members are Die, Christophe & Desi, but I think you’ll see lots of people popping up and lending their particular funk to the music in the future.”

We’ve been so busy getting worked up by Sub Pop’s sudden, brilliant divergence into hip hop, it’s refreshing to be given a smack around the face by a dose of their signature, spectacular ferocity. Canadian three-piece METZ hark back to a golden era of North American noise, their distant clang and thrash giving the kind of racket-goosebumps normally reserved for The Jesus Lizard. Having supported The Men and Archers of Loaf this summer across the US, they hit the UK for five dates in October in support of their self-titled debut LP, and highlights like Wet Blanket and Wasted suggest we might well be hearing the next great punk rock band. Lovely, brutal, brilliant.

Da rk Be lls Teneil Throssell and Ash Moss were two Sydney residents well versed in the music game when they chose to relocate to London and do the thing properly. There they met drummer Luke Richard, and Dark Bells truly came to life. Debut release Want sees powerful bass and resolutely solid drums plug away beneath sheets of guitar reverb and female vocals which alternate between insistent declarations that and dreamy, wistful sighs. The track suddenly plunges into a hugely evocative, dusty and atmospheric scape, lulling gently before the structure rushes back from the haze. This, alongside deeply promising live footage, suggests a trio happy to experiment with hypnotic psych traits, content in the knowledge of their songwriting chops.

facebook.com/metz Tune: Holding You Tight

darkbells.co.uk Tune: Wet Blanket

File Next To: Crazy P | Chic

Tune: Golden Days File Next To: The Jesus Lizard | Hot Snakes File Next To: Warpaint | The Hundred in the Hands

Eaux Sian Alice Group were the kind of band that attracted a seriously passionate fanbase, so their decision to call it a day at the end of 2010 caused considerable heartache. But this year, three of the group’s members reprised as Eaux (pronounced ‘Oh’, we think), swapping their organic instruments for synths, drum pads and samplers while maintaining the spaciousness and unreserved emotion of Sian Alice Group’s sublime postrock. Their debut EP i will be released this November via Morning Ritual, and the title track is driven by digital drones and a metronomic beat, yet still bears a vulnerability that is unmistakably human.

K wi k F i ks

T ypesu n

Amongst our cluttered pile of promo CDs, we stumbled across Montreal Bass Culture Vol 1, a collection of tracks from obscure producers complied by Canadian label Pointé. Admittedly it’s a pretty mixed bag, but some of these anglophiles have drawn inspiration from the UK scene and cooked up beats with a fresh sense of vigour. Among the gems is 20-year-old producer Kwikfiks’s My Heart, a tune with tension building crescendos and ice cold synth chords that encourage repeated plays. Other highlights in Kwikfiks’ catalogue include the euphoric I Love You which might not make it to overseas club soundsystems, but we sincerely hope it’s soundtracking latenight inner city drives for Montreal’s bass-hungry insomniacs.

Anyone bored with the consistency and quality in the swathe of interesting producers, voices and labels that keep coming out of Bristol? No? Fair enough, we aren’t either. Step up Typesun, Futureboogie Recordings’ newest release star, who’s got an ear for a soulful R’n’B refrain and a background in live drumming. His Guido aided Heart Maths is anchored in razor sharp, contemporary production and his upcoming album Work Is Love Made Visible is an album we’re eagerly anticipating. Typesun is a yet another exciting new artist from the city with a massive future.

soundcloud.com/kwikfiks

Tune: Heart Maths

Tune: I Love You

File Next To: Peverelist | Nicolas Jarr

Re g a l S a fa ri Tripped-out beats from a Brighton two-piece that carry the kind of raw emotion that immediately makes your ears prick up. Blurry layers of synth and dreamy reverb swathe the whole sound with ambience, yet there is always a beat to tether the whole thing down and stop it from becoming airy-fairy. Latest track Veil is genuinely one of the most heart-grabbing pieces of instrumentation we’ve heard this year. Catch them play a special live show when Crack takes over The Nest in Dalston on November 16th. soundcloud.com/regalsafari

soundcloud.com/type Tune: Veil

soundcloud.com/eauxeaux

File Next To: Teengirl Fantasy | Small Black

Tune: i File Next To: Sian Alice Group | Throbbing Gristle File Next To: Deadboy|Scuba

www.crackmagazine.net


www.crackmagazine.net

14

WORDS J o sh B a ines

T U NE B la c k C o c k - Sh in e O n

S I TE h ar v e y s ar c as t i c d i s c o.c om

DJ HARVEY

© DJ Harvey


www.crackmagazine.net

and the food was bad and the people just moaned all the time, but in general, since I’ve spent all this time in America, I’ve realised how fantastic English food is, and how fantastic English weather is. And in America they don’t have much of a sense of sarcasm or irony or stuff like that, and that sense of English eccentricity, which I missed. That sense of humour. When I speak to my buddies back in England that’s what I miss the most: the eccentricity and sense of humour.

Some guys have all the luck: Harvey Bassett’s one of them. Born in Cambridge, Harvey’s first introduction to the music business came through his time spent as a teenager in the punk band Ersatz. This was followed by a spell in New York where he hung out with the Rocksteady Crew, started graffiti bombing, and came back with a passion for hip hop and the realisation that records could be used as rhythmic replacements for the drums. Soon after, he found himself throwing parties in Cambridge and later Brighton, where he was adept at combining a burgeoning passion for house and garage with his already-instilled love of rare groove and hip hop as part of the TONKA Hi-Fi collective. With Harvey being Harvey, things didn’t stop there. He soon found himself with a residency at the Ministry of Sound alongside long-running nights at other clubs. During this period he also found the time to release the now seminal Black Cock disco edit 12”s with Gerry Rooney, remixed countless tracks, built a reputation as a master of his art, and a few years after that, moved to America.

I do a little bit, when I’m misunderstood. As I mentioned before, there’s no irony or no sarcasm out here. People take stuff at face value. And a lot of people are quite paranoid, so I might just come out with some little quip and the next thing the guy wants to shoot me. ‘I didn’t mean it like that mate, I was just taking the piss!’ They don’t have that. Taking the piss doesn’t exist here: it’s all or nothing really. [Adopts New Jersey accent] ‘Hey, you bustin’ my balls?’

How did you go from being Harvey Bassett, drummer in the Cambridge punk band Erstatz, to becoming DJ Harvey, everyone’s favourite cosmic DJ?

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Ahead of two of the most anticipated nights in British clubbing for years, Crack was gifted the privilege of talking to a man who’s not only one of the most sought-after DJs in the world, but an unfailingly polite, charming, erudite and funny bloke. When Crack put the call through to California, it was staring out of the window at a rain-sodden carpark on a cold Monday night. Harvey, on the other hand, was up in the hills of Hollywood, soaking up the sun, giving us live handclap-reverb tests, musing on the best place for fish and chips on the Pacific coast, relaying his thoughts on the legions of arms-folded-down-at-the-front dudes at his sets, and much, much more.

Where in the world are you right now, Harvey? Right now I’m in Los Angeles, Burbank, the other side of the mountain from the Hollywood sign, and I’m busy scoping out a venue for the next Sarcastic Disco. The weather’s absolutely gorgeous out here and I’m really excited because the venue is un-fucking-believable. It’s massive, amazing. We’re going to have a serious party in here. Excellent. So, why the UK and why now? All the ingredients have finally come together. I was unable to leave the States for almost ten years because I overstayed my visa, but I’ve actually had a green card now for a couple of years and I’ve been touring the world. I’ve done tours of Japan and Europe and all the rest of it and I really wanted to do the right thing in England and that make it super-nice. You only come back from ten years away in your career once, and I wanted to make it special. I was looking for the right sponsorship and the right venue and the right dates, the right soundsystem and logistics. The stars have aligned and it’s finally all come together for these upcoming dates. Red Bull Music Academy are helping with financing and such for the venue and the soundsystem and the promotion, and that’s allowed me to put on such a high-end production, basically. In your time away from England, was there anything you missed about the culture, anything you wished you’d had with you? First off, I would say no. I used to think in England the weather was bad

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Sarcastic CD was the sound of then, and that’s twelve years old now. I think the shows in London will have a little bit of everything: there’ll be some stuff people can remember from their early days of clubbing, maybe in the late 80s, through to some very modern, progressive, technological based music from today that could be played at any nightclub frequented by young people in their late-teens to early-20s. With Sarcastic – the mix and the parties – is there an overarching ethos?

Do you ever feel like an Englishman abroad?

Having been approached by the titular Japanese clothing company, his Sarcasticdisco mix changed everything; despite the original pressing stretching to a mere 1000 copies, the mix’s abstract, wonked-out, unrepentantly trippy combination of obscure disco cuts, out-there Balearic, slow-mo electro and ethereal ambient, ushered in a new era of cosmic disco exploration that gave birth to the likes of Lindstrøm, Prins Thomas and Todd Terje. The highly exclusive, invite-only Sarcastic Disco parties followed, and stage two of Harvey’s career went into overdrive. “You Now he divides his time between living in year Los Angeles and playing marathon sets – sets encompassing the outer reaches of a devout and record-freak’s extensive, seemingly flawless collection – all over the world. After an initially self-imposed, and then government-enforced, stay in America, DJ Harvey is finally set to step up to the decks on these shores for the first time in over a decade when he plays all nighters at the Bethnal Green Oval Space in London, and as part of the Warehouse Project series of parties in Manchester.

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It’s all about a serious good time really. Sarcastic is a very traditional warehouse party. It’s clandestine, we party all night long, the venues change every time, we have a good soundsystem, a great set-up. It’s an opportunity to celebrate life through dance. There’s no sort of real cult doctrine. It is very special; I’ve DJed all over the clubbing globe, and the Sarcastic Disco parties are the best underground dance party in the world bar none – and I’ve done most of them. Everywhere from Berghain to parties in Ibiza, from festivals to warehouse parties in Detroit to Reykjavik. I’ve been from Perth to Kyoto, so I do have a pretty good view of what’s going on, and Sarcastic ranks pretty much number one. We do it on our own terms, and that’s really it. We’re not really adhering to any sort of rules or regulations other than our own, and we have a really wonderful mixed crowd of old school and new school, black and white and green and yellow, gay and straight and everything in-between, with me trying my best to play a great selection of all the great dance music that’s available to me, which is an awful lot. It’s very simple in many respects. ten

once,

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In a nutshell: I played drums in bands in the mid-to-late 70s as a youngster, and then started to get a little disillusioned with that, because being in a band is like having four girlfriends. And then your girlfriends get girlfriends and it’s a disaster. Then in the early 80s, hip-hop started coming back from New York. I got interested in that, in realising that I could be a kind of one man band, and that beat-juggling and breakbeats were an extension of drumming, just playing with rhythms. I got a bit of an understanding about DJing through hip-hop and rare groove and reggae. But then in the mid-to-late 80s, there was a shift and hip-hop was becoming rap and it wasn’t really touching me as much as a party music – it got too serious. There was this new electronic music coming though Chicago and Detroit, and the Balearic stuff coming back from Spain and Ibiza after the holiday seasons, and that really appealed to me. The music was heavy but the attitude was good and I started to focus on dance music. I think I was in the right place at the right time in the late 80s and early 90s, with what became known as the TONKA Soundsystem. I got noticed and taken onboard to residencies at Ministry of Sound and the Moist parties and the Zap club, and that really ran through the ten years of disco that was the 90s. That started to fade a little towards the turn of the century, and shortly after 9/11 I moved to America – I got the cheap seats. That was the start of a kind of new life. I had this opportunity to DJ all over the world, to live wherever I wanted to, so I moved to the States and built my reputation in New York and Los Angeles, started the Sarcastic Disco parties, and the parties at the Passerby Bar with Eric Duncan and Thomas Bullock of Rub’n’Tug. The rest is history really. The whole cosmic/Balearic thing kinda kicked off with the release of the Sarcastic Disco CD, which changed the face of modern dance music in many respects by putting the focus back on the European, old school sound. Right now, with my visa and everything all in order, everything’s in great shape. I’m taking it back to the world again with tours of Japan, Europe and East Asia – the more the merrier. I’m coming back to England for some glorious parties. Going back a few years, your Late Night Sessions mix (part of the Ministry Of Sound’s after-hours CD series) and other Harvey-artefacts from that era feature jazzier, deep-housier stuff than we’ve come to expect now. Do you pride yourself on confounding expectations? I like to think I move with the times, being a man of the moment, and I feel that I’ve always played classic and modern dance music; if you take the Late Night Sessions, that was the sound of then, the cosmic-revival

Do you allow yourself to be placed in the lineage of the great DJs like David Mancuso, Larry Levan etc?

I’d like to think that maybe I’m holding the torch for the disco Olympics. I’ve put in my time in the trenches, as it were, and I totally show respect and honour to the people who’ve come before me and my peers as well. There’s a select group of people like Levan and Mancuso and Nicky Siano – those DJs that have made a contribution to the scene. I’d be honoured to be a legend, and if people are telling stories about you, then you are legendary. I’d like to think that one day people’ll say, ‘Oh yeah, when Harvey was alive man, back in whatever-it-was, those were the days, we had some fantastic parties.’ People usually look back fondly and think of the good times. It would be nice to be in the disco DJ hall of fame in years to come. You’ve been on the scene for decades, does partying still have the same appeal as it did? Do you go out and see DJs? Not by design. I rarely ‘go out’, as such, because it’s my work. But from time to time I’ll find myself almost accidentally in a situation where I’m listening to a DJ, and I love to dance; I do a lot of bedroom dancing, which I find the most satisfying actually because you can do embarrassing things without being embarrassed. Got any tips for a non-dancing dance music lover? Drink half a bottle of Jack Daniels and find yourself a dark corner. You’ll soon get the courage up. I’m sure drugs help – I wouldn’t want to promote drugs but I think they’re part and parcel of many forms of social interaction, or at least a catalyst of some sort. Related to that, what are your current vices, if any? I used to do absolutely everything, from intravenous heroin, to smoking crack cocaine, I was an alcoholic for a good 20 years. But as we speak, I’m completely fucking sober, and have been for six months. It’s been pretty odd really. It’s like an alternative reality which is actually reality. It’s not all bad, it’s not all good, but neither is taking drugs. Over the years I’ve indulged in pretty much everything and there’s been ups and downs and sideways. As we speak, I don’t smoke cigarettes, I don’t drink alcohol, or eat pills, or sniff powders or anything like that. All I’ve got left is steak, cake, and violence. Violence? I think things that are life threatening are quite stimulating. Whether it’s driving my motorcycle at 150mph, surfing good-sized waves, skateboarding, making sort of bigoted comments to minority groups –


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there’s a certain form of adrenaline rush to these and it’s a buzz. Do you have a stance on the rise of laptop DJing and the move away from physical formats? It doesn’t really bother me at all. I still play records as much as I can and I’ll play CDs of things that don’t exist on vinyl, whether it’s edits, or mixes, or new material that hasn’t managed to reach vinyl yet, but if I can possibly find a vinyl copy I still will. I think that it still sounds better, given a soundsystem that will reproduce it well. Vinyl still sounds pretty damn good compared other formats. I think ultimately a good party or a good DJ will transcend all formats. But personally, I don’t think that staring at a computer is very glamorous. To have those discs in hand still holds a certain magic. Club crowds seem to be dominated by dudes staring intently at the DJ; do you want eyes focused on you, or do you want the dancefloor to concentrate on itself? Firstly, the rows of trainspotters staring at Jeff Mills or me, or whoever, are having a really good time. It’s just that that’s how they do it. I think they may be a little bit frightened to express themselves physically, especially in front of a group of their peers. To show some form of physical abandon is quite a daunting task for a young man of the straight persuasion. Dancing is such a wonderful release, it’s one of the best feelings you can get and

you can get into an amazing sort of trance and you naturally … listen, you don’t need drugs, you might need a couple of whiskeys to get you on the dancefloor, but once you’re up and running the endorphins start flowing and you get very high from just dancing. I would say that the trainspotters, they’re studying and they’re there. They don’t have to be standing there; they could very easily be at home masturbating or whatever else they do. I would generally prefer a crowd of people who aren’t really staring me but at each other and getting off on staring at girls wiggling and dancing. In general, DJs are actually very boring to watch, especially DJs that DJ via a computer – there’s not very much to see at all. What’s the status with Locussolus? Can we expect an album-length follow-up to the Berghain/Telephone 12”? There’ll definitely be another album. I’m working on the follow-up to the single, and I’ll probably do three single releases, so six tracks, then a few others, a couple of remixes, and then a CD release. I really enjoy it. It’s exciting to get in the studio and get some grooves going and work on them and think about how other people might enjoy them. Do you still have the same passion and drive you did when you first began playing out? Is it still a pleasure for you? Or has it become ‘just’ a job? It’s more than just a job: it’s a fantastic job, my rent gets paid for doing www.crackmagazine.net

what I love doing, which is living in the realm of art, making music, or playing records or whatever. Sometimes it can get a little tough on the road, it’s not all glamour, but in general, it is all glamour. Few people get to get up and go surfing and DJ their nights away, so I consider myself lucky and I try to do it justice. I try to put on a good show and entertain people so they get their money’s worth. Final thing: what’s coming up for DJ Harvey after the homecoming? I’m really busy in the run up to the end of the year, though as we speak I don’t yet have a New Year’s Eve gig lined up. I’m pretty much everywhere: a gig in Amsterdam, playing in Mexico City, another Sarcastic Disco, I’m doing a regular gig at Santos in New York, stuff in San Francisco – just keeping on keeping on basically.

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DATE S O v al S pace, L ondon | O ct ober 19t h Warehouse Project , Manchest er | O ct ober 2 5 t h


PAUL BANKS OF INTERPOL

BANKS THE NEW ALBUM OUT 22ND OCTOBER MOJO a a a a

Grande halle de la Villette 2 scènes plus de 40 artistes * Pitchfork Halloween Party 31 Octobre—Trabendo R&S Afterparty 2 Novembre—Trabendo

WWW.MATADORRECORDS.COM WWW.BANKSPAULBANKS.COM

Italians Do It Better Afterparty 3 Novembre—Trabendo


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DATE S Manchest er | Warehouse Project | D ecember 1st Bri st ol | O 2 Academy | D ecember 3 rd Bri x t on, L ondon | O 2 Academy | D ecember 14t h & 15 t h

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When placing electronic music in a notional environment your mind might wander between the concrete-constructed dilapidation of Detroit, the imposing brutalism of Berlin, or London’s networks of highrises and landings. Rarely will the landscape that shaped Nathan Fake’s upbringing – the sun-dappled shores and fields of Norfolk, with its attendant expansive skies and blissful air of pastoral nostalgia, spring immediately to mind. There is however a lineage of electronic music inspired by and imbued with a sense of the countryside, spanning from Tangerine Dream’s bucolic synthetic fantasias, to the deep-forest-dwelling of Wolfgang Voigt’s GAS project taking in the Cornish air that altered and warped Aphex Twin’s acid experiments. Fake’s music, with its streamlined gurgles, misty-eyed sheen and Boards of Canada-esque feeling of memorial melodies conjured with one foot in the real and the other in the imagined, fits neatly into this country-continuum. Having been writing music since he was a teenager, Fake has found himself a near-permanent home on James Holden’s Border Community label, which has also released material by the likes of Fairmont, Kate Wax, and fellow-Norfolkian Luke Abbott. He has dabbled in memory-drenched hypnogogic electronica on his debut full-length Drowning in a Sea of Love, ventured into more club-friendly territory on 2009’s Hard Islands, dropped a handful of excellent singles and produced some sterling remix work for Radiohead and Perc amongst others.

Does writing/recording music hamper your enjoyment of it on a personal level? Are you still able to geek out over new 12”s sitting in the racks? Who excites you currently? I’m still totally able to separate it, only when I’m working on a record I tend to make a point of not listening to any music so as not to get swayed by current sounds. I want everything to sound timeless and visceral. Now I’ve finished the record though, I’ve been listening to a few new things. I’m really into Lukid, I’ve got him supporting at the Steam Days launch party too which I’m dead happy about. Half the time I tend to end up listening to old stuff I grew up with though, Warp stuff and that, Orbital etc. Can’t beat it really, total 90s-head. Drowning in a Sea of Love now seems to be an almost proto-chillwave record, whereas Hard Islands was, well, harder, and Steam Days has this really propulsive motorik vibe about it; can you describe the how and why your sound has changed over the years? That’s nice of you to say, some people think all my stuff sounds the same! Drowning sounds so old when I hear it now; I was such a different person back then. I was really young too, and you can hear that in the music. I guess Drowning and Hard Islands were both quite considered records, I had a pretty fixed idea about how I wanted them to sound. Steam Days is way more instinctive, I didn’t really think about how I wanted it to sound as such, it just sort of fell out of me and so I think it’s my most genuine-sounding record to date. Like I said earlier, I didn’t listen to any other music at the time, so my own ideas and my equipment were just inspiring me. But I think you can kind of hear me growing up if you listen to my records in chronological order.

On Steam Days, his third full album, Fake pushes his sound into darker, more fractured territory, largely eschewing the hazy wistfulness that characterised his earlier output. Instead, he concentrates on crafting a series of tracks that creak with a palpable sense of tension that emerges from competing binary oppositions: interiors versus exteriors, night versus day, the build-up versus the delayedrelease, melody versus rhythm, a tension that Fake, with his melodic “ S t e a m Day s i s way m o r e i n s t i n c t i v e , I weaving and timbral shifts, never seeks to resolve. As a result, the album d i d n ’ t r e a l ly t h i n k a b o u t h o w I wa n t e d i t is full of twists, rarely allowing itself to settle into a content groove, with to sound as such, it just sort of fell out Fake changing the rhythmic rules with regularity. It’s a mature sounding record, the kind of album that occurs of me and so I think it’s my most genuinewhen the artist has had time to reflect on past releases, reconciling pleasures s o u n d i n g r e c o r d t o d at e . ” and interests both old and new. Just before Steam Days made its way onto the shelves of record shops, Crack was lucky enough to catch up with Nathan Fake and discuss the excitement of releasing records, the pleasure of buying records, the freedom he enjoys as a remixer, and his ongoing love affair with the Norfolk coast.

Does the feeling of releasing a record change over time, or are you as excited about the release of Steam Days as you were when the Outhouse EP came out in 2003? It’s a different kind of excitement, but yes I’m definitely really excited about this one. When Outhouse came out I didn’t know what the hell was going on really, it was all a little bewildering. Now I’m pretty seasoned so it’s a familiar excitement. But yeah, still totally butterflies-in-the-stomach inducing.

From one Norfolk boy to another, does the landscape that shaped your upbringing shape your music in anyway? And is there a particular Norfolk spot you’d recommend above all others to Crack readers who might be unfamiliar with the delights of the region? I’m always thinking about Norfolk when I’m writing music to be honest, so many of my tunes have Norfolk references in the titles and stuff. Favourite Norfolk spots ... probably the conservation area just outside Necton, the village where I grew up or somewhere on the coast, Blakeney or Brancaster. Anywhere really.

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Steam Days is out now on Border Community Apart from the odd dalliance with Traum (the Cologne based label run by Triple R’s Riley Reinhold), you’ve stayed true to Border Community. Is there any particular reason for this, some kind of label ideology/ethos that interests you? I just get on really well with James and Gemma (Holden and Sheppard, owners of the label). I think they’re some of the people that know me the best. As such, they pretty much let me do what I want with albums etc. and they know they can let me get on with it without having to interfere too much. Going back a few years, Dinamo appeared on Superpitcher’s Today mix for Kompakt, a record now associated with the idea of ‘microgoth’ – where do you stand on the continual process of genre appellations being adopted and dismissed? Do you go into the studio thinking about genre as something rigid and to be stuck to, or are you freer in your approach? Microgoth! That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that! I never think about genres when making music, I think very few musicians do really… I mean, Dinamo and my BC releases were all pretty big in that German techno scene at the time, but I totally wasn’t thinking about that when making the tunes. If I’m being honest I didn’t really know much about it.

Is remixing something that interests you as much as working on your own material, or are you in the DJ Harvey school of thinking where you should be paid equivalent to the work you put in on re-hashing the tune and the label shouldn’t expect a new track every time you do a remix?

Remixing is definitely an interesting thing to do and it can be loads of fun ... it’s such a different working process to writing your own music though. It’s much more like working to a brief, like there’s someone waiting for you to finish it with a certain amount of expectation. It’s just a totally different mindset, I think. I like to make my remixes pretty different to the originals now; I mean these days it’s totally subjective as to what a remix is. If you get asked to remix a pop song and you submit ten minutes of synth drones, you can get away with it cause you’re an artist weirdo.

What does one feel on the completion of a record? It can be a bit vague as to when the record is actually finished. Obviously the first moment of “Yes, I’ve finished all the tracks!” is a moment of total euphoria, but for me it soon gives way to a feeling of “oh, I’d better sort that bit out there” or “maybe I should take this track out” etc. With this record, it took a while to get it right.

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TALL SHIPS

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WORD S G eraint Da vi es

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DATE S Bri g ht on | T he H aunt | O ct ober 12 t h Cardi f f | S w n Fest i v al | O ct ober 2 0t h L ondon | XO Y O | O ct ober 2 2 nd Bri st ol | T he Crof t | O ct ober 2 4t h

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This time we worked in the studio and then had to translate the songs live. For example, on the last song Murmerations there are

Was it was a case of taking these songs out on the road and gauging reactions, or experimenting with sounds in the studio in order to get them to where you wanted?

It’s been very slow and steady. We’ve been a band for nearly four years, and every year we find ourselves doing a little bit better and a little higher up. I think the reason it’s taken so long is because we haven’t really been ready to write a body of songs, it’s taken a long time to figure out what sort of band we were and what kind of music we want to make. If we had written and released an album a year ago we wouldn’t have been ready. We’ve got a body of songs we think are strong and represent our sound, but it’s taken four years to get us here.

It must give you a great sense of satisfaction to finally see Everything Touching being released. How long a process has it been for you?

With the album hitting the shelves in the coming weeks, Crack spoke to Ric about the long road which has led Tall Ships to this point. We touched on spades, raves and Bruce Willis along the way.

Over ten tracks and three quarters of an hour, Tall Ships present a wildly varied and deeply sensory experience. Opening with the sonorous roar of T=0, the listener is immediately gripped by unrelenting layers of atmosphere. As the record progresses, you’re dealt the confident, melodic strut of Phosphoresence and the luxurious key-led Ode to Ancestors, before being moved towards a powerful closing suite. Ambient interlude Send News bleeds into the poignant crash of Books, which in turn makes way for a triumphant and euphoric finale, all nine minutes of the intensifying, overflowing Murmerations. This is how albums are meant to end.

With a back catalogue including two EPs – peaking with last year’s exceptional Hit the Floor single – the levels of ambition shown since day one meant Tall Ships were always likely to thrive within the long-play format. To anyone who has witnessed them live, Ric Phethean (vocals, guitar, synths), Matt Parker (bass, samples) and Jamie Bush (percussion) immediately show themselves to be versatile musicians with a broad and experimental approach to arrangement and instrumentation, encased within a gossamer-thin guise of the traditional threepiece set-up. But even with these factors taken into account, Everything Touching displays a sonic breadth and collective sense of the grandiose it’s difficult to account to the band’s requisite parts.

They’ve become a staple on the UK live circuit, bringing their combination of lofty ambition alongside an uncanny knack for making the complex somehow welcoming, to an array of venues which have gradually, promisingly, been expanding in capacity and attendance. It’s been a seemingly endless four year tour, crafting a band who understand their audiences, themselves and precisely what they want to achieve.

Tall Ships are an increasingly rare entity. A band who’ve been prepared to pay their dues, to learn their craft; who accept that technical ability and a knack for the song are not in themselves enough. That in order to achieve genuine, prolonged success on your own terms, you have to work for it.

When we were starting to write the record, I became really obsessed with the Big Bang, and the idea of the Singularity; of one infinitely small point where everything that exists and will ever exist was contained. The title, Everything

So you saw the way crowds reacted to that and it appealed to you? It wasn’t so much the crowd reaction, more the reaction in us. Dance music is a lot more inclusive. There’s something about going to see an amazing DJ; you’re not watching anything really, you’re feeding off the music and people around you. You bring a lot more to it and

Yeah, well the whole song is built around a four note riff. But it’s more about the dynamic of it. Live it’s all looped up, the same riff played on four octaves and trying to achieve as big a sound as possible.

You must have had a lot of confidence in that riff to dedicate the first two minutes of your album to it.

Well the main riff had been kicking around for a long, long time. We really liked it and were excited by it, but had no idea how people might respond, because it’s quite an unusual song.

You chose to open with T=0, which is a song you’re quickly becoming synonymous with. When you wrote that, did you immediately feel like you were onto something special?

The record is being jointly released by Blood and Biscuits and Big Scary Monsters, what was the reasoning behind that?

Exactly. Every song has a little subtext, I mean they’re all about girls deep down! I just like to hide that behind big concepts [laughs]. I mean it’s taken us such a long time to get to this point, and we’ve got here out of sheer hard work and amazing support from so many people. We’ve worked fucking hard to get here, and this album could be our only opportunity to do this. When we started we never dreamed we’d get to the point where we got a chance to make an album, never mind tour and have people come and see us and sing our lyrics back at us. We just wanted to create something that felt special.

You don’t know how many chances you’re going to get to release a record, so you don’t want to look back at it and think you wasted the opportunity singing about girls.

I feel like a lot of current bands can be quite empty lyrically, singing about going to the beach and hanging out with friends, which is important, but if you’re not going to articulate anything fresh or interesting about it then it’s a bit vacuous. For me, lyrically I like to try and actually address what it is that makes life so absolutely incredible, but also makes it so difficult and awkward at times.

It’s so refreshing to see young bands having the confidence and ambition to express such high ideas within a record.

How much experimentation with sounds and instruments went into creating the album? For Murmerations we went to Matt and Jamie’s old school hall and recorded a 35 piece choir of our friends and family, and put a message out on the internet asking if people wanted to be on the album. On the second song Best Ever, which is an instrumental track, we’ve got Jamie playing a spade. We tried out loads of percussion but couldn’t find anything quite right and ended up with this spade, which was perfect as you’ve got the wooden handle down to the metal head, you could roll up and down and get this huge variation of sound. It’s got everything you want!

Touching, which is the last line that I sing in T=0, was born out of that.

respond to it in a more personal way, while with rock music you’re much more of a spectator.

be so intense and life-affirming. ”

m u s ic e x p e r i e n c e i s d o n e w e l l i t c a n

of the time, because when the live

“ I w r i t e m u s ic t o p e r f o r m i t l i v e m o s t

You’ve mentioned this thematic strain that runs through the record, could you explain that a bit more?

We toured a lot with 65daysofstatic and the way they use electronics is so amazing. That probably had an influence when we were writing, having seen them live playing these songs which were eight minutes long, a solid kick all the way through, and the way people would just lose themselves in it.

With such variation in style, sound and tempo within the record, was there any concern as to them all forming one cohesive piece? We’ve had issues with that before. We’ve always felt that our first two EPs didn’t hang together well because of that huge array of styles. We actually feel that even though there is a variation of sounds and instruments on the album, it does hang together nicely and there is a certain cohesion. Because lyrically and conceptually all the songs are so linked and self-referential. We’ve definitely got a sound, but it’s difficult to pin it down to a certain genre and arrangement of instruments. But we’re so lucky as a band that we’ve been able to do what we want.

That song really stands out as an ambitious, almost dancefloor-aimed track. How interested are you in that kind of music and scene, were you listening to different kinds of music as inspiration?

about 40 players, so trying to figure out a way to do that live as a three piece is quite a challenge.

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We love it over there. We went out with 65daysofstatic and found the audiences to be really open and really hungry. We’d be playing first on at ten past seven in an eight hundred-capacity venue, and everyone would be there to watch the support band. That just doesn’t happen in the UK. We’ve had some really good experiences. We played a festival called Immergut about an hour north of Berlin. I’d say it’s the biggest crowd we’d ever played to, about 1000 people in a packed-out tent, and no one had heard of us before. But it was the best response we’ve ever had, the loudest crowd. They were applauding us as we were packing down our gear, they just wouldn’t stop clapping.

You’re setting out on a European tour with the legendary Nada Surf soon, how have you found Europe in the past?

Wasn’t Bruce Willis suing them over that? That’s fucking amazing. What a guy

There was that story recently about the fact that music downloaded from iTunes ceases to be your property after you die.

[laughs] The reason we are where we are is because of relentless touring. We’ve never been able to promote ourselves in other ways, it’s been pure touring. But for me, I write music to perform it live most of the time, because when the live music experience is done well it can be so intense and life-affirming, it’s a really important part of music and life. And strangely, people are happy to pay a load of money to see live music, even though they expect their recorded music to be free. They are such separate entities now. There’s no feeling of ownership with music these days, whereas before you’d buy a record and feel like it was yours. Now things just feel borrowed, through streaming or whatever, you can stake no claim to it really being yours.

As a band who have toured fairly relentlessly, you’re in a strong position to comment on the live circuit within the UK at the moment. Are you still finding a great deal of appetite for live music? Do you play many gigs to two pissed blokes and the barman?

No, they don’t, and that’s been their offer right from the start. It’s a great compliment.

And do those labels work together for anyone else?

It wasn’t for any reason as such, our first EPs were also jointly released by them. Kevin (Douch) who runs BSM is a really good friend of ours, as is Simon (Morley) who runs Blood and Biscuits, and they can pool their resources for us; it’s very practical for them and for us, we have the benefits of being on two great labels.

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H A T T I E //

S T E W A R T

SITE h a ttiestewa rt.com

W ORD S C elia Arch er

Crack got chatting to the queen of the Doodle B omb

There is an energy and excitement in Hattie Stewart’s work which is infectious, palpable in any of the mediums she uses. Even her responses to our questions burst out eager, honest and unchecked. Her cheeky, fun illustrations make her a perfect match for the designers she has worked with, from Luella and Marc Jacobs – on his younger line Marc by Marc Jacobs – to Henry Holland, with whom she has collaborated on various collections. As well as her work within the fashion industry, Stewart has joined forces with musicians, animators, has decorated a line of crockery and this October gets involved with Koppaberg’s ünestablishment campaign, a series of events across Manchester and London which focuses on nurturing creativity. Growing up, Stewart began honing her craft by copying images from The Dandy and The Beano comics before setting her heart on fashion illustration at the tender age of 13. Her relationship with her family is something that has been integral to her artistic development, both creatively and professionally. Watching the people around her carve out careers in creative industries inspired her enterprising and go-getting attitude, and has led to her admiration of, and collaboration with, other similarly-minded young artists.

Rather than being mere absent-minded scribbles, Stewart’s drawings are deliberate and self-conscious, meaning the work always stops short of becoming something cutesy or kitsch. Her Doodle Bombed covers of some of the world’s most important fashion magazines inject a dark humour into an industry that can sometimes suffer from taking itself too seriously. Her images can both alleviate tension or add intensity. They scrawl over the perfect bodies and faces on these covers and transform them into a different kind of absurd.

You were very young when you started working with Luella, how did that opportunity come about? My sister was working with them at the time and they needed monsterstyle illustrations for some of their t-shirts. They asked if I’d be up for it, which of course I was! I must have done something right because they kept me on for a year after my sister left. It’s such a shame Luella is no longer around, but I’m forever thankful for the platform it gave me for other ventures.

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Having studied Illustration at Kingston, what made you decide that you wanted to use that background to collaborate with fashion houses and magazines? It’s really difficult to explain a gut instinct, but I just knew I wanted my work to be the editorial, not accompany it. That’s just me though, there are so many amazing artists and illustrators out there so I guess I am always looking into different ways to set myself apart from everyone else. Also, I get distracted easily so I like to make sure there is always something to keep my attention. Sometimes people don’t know what they want so you have to show it to them, that’s why the magazine Doodle Bombs have been absolutely amazing for me. Instead of complaining or moaning about someone not appreciating you, get out there and show them why they should. Who is your favourite fashion designer? Henry Holland of course! Working with him for House of Holland is always a pleasure as he knows what he wants and knows I can do it. I feel my style of work fits in happily with the style and direction of House of Holland and - - - - ->


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I enjoy every brief he gives me. As a designer he’s extremely ambitious and is always looking to take the brand in different directions, giving it as many platforms as possible, which I admire and am always looking to do with my own work. His fresh, fun, cheeky and sexy designs are always winners and I always want to own every single piece in every collection! I’ve also started noticing the designer Claire Barrow, who recently had her debut collection with Fashion East. I love her designs, as she is an artist but a designer also. I believe “ she refers to herself as a ‘Fashion Artist’, which I like. She’s a double-barrelled shotgun in my eyes!

that blew my mind. It was one of those small moments that stuck with me and definitely informed how I draw today. For example, I hated life drawing throughout my education because of it; why bother spending time drawing things I can already see? I’ve got my own world to create! Thanks Uncle Terry. My Uncle Paul has amazing skill and can draw anything on demand.

Instead

moaning

How did you develop your style?

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It’s truly awesome isn’t it? I can spend hours reading the articles. I only wish it was around when I was a teenager, even though I am at heart! I remember contacting them and asking to send Tavi some zines, after a while Anaheed (Editorial Director) asked me if I’d like to illustrate for them and of course, I said yes. The magazine gets some flack sometimes by people saying it’s exclusive of older generations and guys, but I don’t understand any of that nonsense as it says in the tagline ‘a magazine for teenage girls’. If you of complaining or want something that includes you, make it yourself, there is nothing stopping you. That’s exactly what Tavi did with bout someone not Rookie. What she and the other supremely talented young women are doing is amazing, as it’s all so brutal, funny and honest: be nothing but yourself. I truly cannot wait to g you, get out there see how it grows.

It wasn’t a conscious development, I just knew what I liked to draw. I started using one sketchbook a year and I and show them why they should have five now. Looking through them I can easily see how my work has adapted, changed and been influenced by what’s around me. My uncles on either side of my family also drew cartoons, so I would always draw with them when I was younger. I remember once when I was in Year Five we had a project where When I was younger he used to go to Primary Schools around Sheffield we had to draw an alien and I was staying at my Uncle Terry’s in Sheffield. and paint murals of famous cartoon characters and I used to help. Paul taught me skill, Terry taught me how to think. I was desperately trying to draw your stereotypical alien and he said to me “Have you ever seen an alien? Well then, you have absolutely no idea what an We’ve seen a lot of your work on the Rookie website, how did you alien looks like. You can bloody draw anything you want!” As a ten year-old, get involved with that? It’s probably the greatest magazine ever.

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Are there any musicians who you’d like to work with?

I would love to something for Rihanna or Katy Perry, that would be fun. I love that these artist are really going for it when it comes to their looks. They are turning into characters themselves, which I think is great. I feel my style could fit nicely with Perry, we’d have a lot of fun. Who is your favourite out of all the characters you’ve created?


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I don’t have favourites as they are one big happy family. Some grow and some get forgotten. I guess the ones that always pop-up throughout my work are my favourites. I’ll have to create more permanent ones and name them.

want to see the world and I’m fortunate enough that my work enables me to do just that. Could you give us a few details about your involvement with the Kopparberg ün-establishment campaign?

Absolutely. I’ll leave political statements and the like to others and I’ll add in the humour and fun: a fair trade, and it maintains a healthy balance I think. Which is the best face that you’ve doodle bombed?

Which is your preferred medium to work in and why? I love to paint as it’s definitely the most satisfying. I don’t really get to sit down and do it as much at the moment but I am planning on working on some more large scale paintings. Your work has taken you to places as far as Miami, New York and Bangkok – what has the reception been like for your work abroad? Could you ever see yourself living and working away from East London? The reception has been great! I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have the support from so many amazing people and there is nothing that makes me happier than making people smile with my work. I would definitely love to work and live abroad, my sister moved to Madrid almost five years ago to work at Loewe (she’s my idol) and my parents are moving Gozo (Maltese Island) soon, so I am going to go one better and move to America. I definitely

I was super happy to be asked to get involved! I worked on the campaign animation with the animator Tom Bunker, which has had a great response and showcases the event and its participants, and there are so many awesome people involved. I’ll be live drawing on the windows at the London event and be having a fun ‘Doodle Bomb’ workshop where people get to create their own. Hopefully I’ll see you there!

Kreayshawn for i:D was probably my favourite one and it’s probably my most referenced image. I’m about to doodle bomb my best friend’s face for real as part of a new project, and she definitely has the best face. Who would win in a fight, Minnie the Minx or Toots?

You’ve said that if you didn’t draw you would probably go crazy, but what else do you do for fun? What do you enjoy and what inspires you?

Beryl the Peril would jump in and body slam them both. She was my favourite growing up.

My friends and my family. I enjoy them and they inspire me! I don’t mind if it’s lame, but for fun I draw.

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What we love about your work is it doesn’t take itself too seriously, is this something that’s important to you?

Hattie Stewart participates in Kopparberg ün-establishment in Shoreditch between October 20th-25th


This piece was designed exclusively for Crack by Adrian Dutt www.adriandutt.co.uk

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To have your design featured for our poster send entries to crack@crackmagazine.net www.crackmagazine.net


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ANIMAL COLLECTIVE //

© Atiba

www.crackmagazine.net


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All four members of the collective now live in far reaching corners of the northern hemisphere: Portner himself is based in LA; Weitz in Washington, DC; Dibb back in Baltimore and Lennox is as far flung as Lisbon) But all four members traveled back home to Baltimore to pen the new record, deciding to spend time writing together in the same room rather than continue with the online file sharing and digital idea transferring that had come to be their way of composition.

Animal Collective were wise to this early on, launching their label Paw Tracks officially in 2003. Initially releasing their own collective and solo projects, the label later springboarded other artists such as Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti (who later signed to 4AD) and supporting old favourites of the band, like Black Dice – an act who Animal Collective cite as a huge influence on their ethos and sound. since their early days in New York. This autumn Paw Tracks will put out a new Prince Rama record which Portner is “really psyched about”, and in time more solo projects from the collective will follow. Both Avey Tare and Panda Bear have solid and fruitful solo projects, so what keeps bringing the collective back together? “In a way it’s harder to record solo because you have to make so many decisions by yourself.”, Portner deliberates. “And without other ears around that can be hard. I think there’s a time and place for both solo projects and the collective. After a while I just get sick of only having my own ideas to play around with. It starts to feel too self-involved to work solo for very long, and so it’s nice to work with the other guys; to get a different perspective.”

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Baltimore’s original electric warriors Animal Collective are back; full throttle, full house and full of those mind altering jams that Crack adores. We had a chat with Avey Tare, the closest thing this collective has to a frontman, to talk new album and having the pack back. It hardly seems possible that this is album nine, but Animal Collective are one of those bands; the ones that sneak up on the world and turn it upside down. Their synth fuelled 21st century psychedelia was first unleashed over ten years ago, and they have legions of diehard fans who do go that far back. But it was their last studio album, 2007’s Merriweather Post Pavillion that brought them to a wider public consciousness. This gradual growth and perpetual experimentation has only gone to serve Animal Collective well, as we are now confronted with a band at their peak. Centipede Hz is their densest, most chaotic and ultimately finest album yet.

“We wanted this album to feel a bit looser and more indicative of our live performances. I think a lot of this record’s studio process was about figuring out what not to add.” With Lennox playing a sit-down drum kit for the first time since Here Comes The Indian (2003) and Weitz playing live keyboards again, you can certainly hear that live energy transmitting from their studio through your speakers. But was their recording of the album really the homecoming we imagine? “Well we wrote the record in Baltimore for the most part, but we recorded in El Paso, Texas.”, states

To begin at the beginning. Two school friends, Dave Portner (aka Avey Tare – Avey was easier to say It might be album nine but Centipede Hz has an than Davey as a child and the nickname stuck) and Animal Collective first, with Wide Eyed featuring Brian Weitz (known as Geologist due to the mining Deakin’s debut swing at singing lead vocal. After a “ We didn’t want to sound retro, lights he’d have strapped to his head throughout four year hiatus, Dibb rejoined the collective late last live performances) had been playing music together year. Portner explains: “In a way he never left. I mean, through their teens. One of their early incarnations, if he’s been working on projects like the Guggenheim b u t w e w a n t e d t h a t w i l d p s yc h you’d believe it, was a Pavement covers band. The pair thing we did and Oddsac (the band’s visual album) found two other high school friends, lifelong pals and since taking a break from touring. I think we just sound, sort of off the rails. ” musical collaborators Noah Lennox (known as Panda had to wait for the Merriweather Post Pavilion cycle Bear after some years of adopting the panda as his logo to be done with to get him back into the touring fold. in self-drawn album artwork) and Joshua Dibb (aka He needed a break, but we were all ready for him to Deakin – originally spelt Deacon to jokingly reference a get back into it.” religious figure within the band. The spelling was changed so as not to step Portner. “But it was very haunting in the sense of the past suddenly on musician Dan Deacon’s toes). The two forces collaborated, jamming flooding back into your life. It was perfect in that our playing and working Missing the Merriweather Post Pavilion years could well have been together as early as 20 years ago. situation there is pretty idyllic. The Maryland countryside has always been a blessing for Dibb. The album, their last as a collective, saw a rather a big influence. On the other hand some things were too similar to the past meteoric rise to pop stardom that the band weren’t entirely comfortable By nature a collective is not a fixed entity, members come and go – but for comfort, if you know what I mean?” with and have refused to adhere to. Never drawn in to the fame and members they shall always be. True to the way of the collective, the four money game, Animal Collective have always maintained an artistic parted ways to attend different colleges. It was dropping out, getting Written in Dibb’s family home, or more specifically his mother’s barn, it’s integrity (much to the horror of some attendees of their experimental high and moving to New York that brought them back together. The first small wonder that Centipede Hz is inspired by childhood memories. The performance at NYC’s Guggenheim Museum, who, hoping for the hits, Animal Collective release is widely considered to be 2001’s Spirit They’re band cite adolescent sessions of listening to the radio being key, so we were met with drones) and an absolute zero adverts policy. Was there Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished, an album composed by Avey Tare and Panda asked Portner to share one. He kindly obliged, expounding a wonderfully much pressure when writing the new album? Portner says not. “We always Bear, although some would argue that Deakin assisting on Panda Bear’s detailed recollection. “I had these tapes that my brother would make want to make a different record. We would never have wanted to make 1998 release is where the games truly began. Either way, 11 years later all me when I was really young. They were taped from 80s radio because Merriweather Part 2. On the other hand, I’m not even sure what that four were reunited, after something of a recording studio sabbatical from he worked for local Baltimore radio stations at that time. So that’s really means,” he laughs. “You can’t really predict how people will react a lot Deakin, gathering in their hometown to write Centipede Hz. Dave Portner how I got into music. I had this one tape that had The Beatles’ Get Back of the time. You do something that sounds the same and they say, ‘Oh will be the first to admit that this is not the most digestible of releases on it, and I can remember listening to it while driving on vacation with my that’s just more of the same’ and you do something different and they “When all four of us get together to make music there can be a lot going family. The batteries on my walkman were dying and so the song is stuck say ‘these guys should just stick to doing what they did best’. So it’s better on at the same time. I think you should expect a record that takes a few in my mind slowing down. When Paul says “go home” it’s always pitched to just do what you think you do best and focus on making something listens to really sink in.” Once it does take hold however, Centipede Hz has way down in my head. There were all these station IDs and crazy radio you feel really strongly about. I think we are all really excited and proud us hooked and reeled in like a prize-winning carp. Never once allowing voices in between the songs. I always thought that stuff was so cool.” about this record.” you to settle into a comfortable rhythm, the twists and turns make each individual track unpredictable but joyously rewarding. Portner would Leaving Baltimore behind and moving to their respective colleges, it was And proud they should be. It’s a mighty fine album, clearly influenced agree. “Every song stands on its own on this one. They kind of all have some time before the band regrouped in New York around the turn of the by 60s psych, creating the same sonic chaos only using very different their own special galaxy.” millennium. Originally performing and releasing under their individual instrumentation. He elaborates that “it’s all really wild sounding. We stage names, depending on who was taking part in the recording, it was didn’t want to sound retro, but we wanted that wild psych sound, sort of Animal Collective grew up in Baltimore, Maryland – a city that has become Here Comes the Indian that first featured all four members. With them off the rails. I think that a lot of early electronic music influenced us too. synonymous with the electronic renaissance in today’s independent music. finally deciding the moniker Avey Tare, Deacon, Geologist and Panda Bear Like Raymond Scott and a lot of the other early pioneers in that field.” A petri dish overflowing with artists such as Future Islands, Dan Deacon, was far too much of a mouthful, Animal Collective it was then. “I think Does he have any favourite tracks on Centipede Hz? “I’m psyched on how the Wham City collective and, of course, Animal Collective themselves, we were all just trying to find our way and get into a groove ten years ago” Father Time turned out, and New Town Burnout. It’s always sweet to hear who consistently produce an output of disconnected beats and challenging says Portner of his band’s formative years. “I don’t know if we ever really the songs recorded for the first time after playing them live. I’m really harmonies, pushing sound to its limits before pulling it back again. So had this planned trajectory. We just wanted to keep making music and glad we were able to capture the live energy of the songs.” And how does when you learn that composer Philip Glass also originates from Baltimore, making cool records. I think very fondly of those early New York days. the band plan to perform the new record live? “Very carefully,” comes you can’t help but wonder whether there’s something in the water. We There definitely was a special vibe going on.” But they surely must find the light-hearted reply. asked Portner if we’re on the money with our romantic idea of Baltimore audiences and journalists more accepting and understanding of their being like a playground of analogue sounds. Just how instrumental was electronic soundsphere these days?. “Now I think we’ve won certain fans Baltimore to the Animal Collective releases? “Growing up in Maryland was and journalists over with certain records we’ve made. But it can still be ---------very exploratory in more ways than you can imagine. I’m very thankful difficult to have other ideas and things we do as equally accepted.” for that time. When it came to playing music, it really was like going to the playground. But the landscape, the friends, the malls were all just as If you don’t want to play by the mainstream rules, it’s universally accepted Centipede Hz is out now on Domino Records instrumental in influencing our sound.” that the best plan is to start your own label. Release your music yourself.

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TAME IMPALA //

© Maciek Pozoga

www.crackmagazine.net


www.crackmagazine.net

DATES O c to ber 30t h | O2 A cad e m y, Bri xt o n No vember 1st | H MV Ri tz, Manche s t e r

TUN E A p oc al y p s e D r e am s

SI T E t a m e im p a la . c om

Tame Impala is the neo-psych rock project of Kevin Parker, who has followed up 2010’s mesmerising Innerspeaker with Lonerism, a nostalgic but pertinent prog-pop masterpiece which is anticipated to scale the upper heights of most credible publications’ ‘best of ’ lists as the year draws to a close. Lonerism is a record which channels the essence of mid-to-late 60s psychedelia at its most euphoric, perceptionaltering peak. Drum rolls light the fuse for technicolour eruptions, the guitars deliver warm bluesy riffs and scuzzy garage freakouts, while watery, horizon gazing synthesisers and paranoia inducing voice samples decorate Parker’s surreal, lusciously textured wall of sound. Melodically, Parker’s voice distinctly resembles a spaced out, Revolver-era John Lennon and despite Lonerism’s unpredictable structure, Parker’s vocal hooks embed themselves deep within your consciousness instantaneously. Kevin Parker’s homage to this era feels so much more enchanting than most of his retrogressive peers. Perhaps it’s due to his production techniques; Tame Impala’s sound possesses both a roughness and sparkle which feels as if it’s genuinely from the past rather than a decaffeinated simulation of it. Or maybe it’s because Parker is truly committed to the experimental manifesto of psychedelia. Certain experiments were carried out a long time ago, and according to Parker, some experiments are yet to be completed.

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He argues that Lonerism is a more expanded record than Innerspeaker, and that this is due to an internal liberation from any self-imposed boundaries that may have held him back. “When I was writing this record I felt much more open to taking things to where they naturally wanted to go, because I wanted to find new possibilities”, he tells Crack. “I guess there had to be rules to an extent because I wanted it to have certain characteristics. I didn’t want it to sound like a dog’s breakfast. But this time I just allowed the songs to dictate where they went and how they unfolded.” Although Tame Impala are touring as a fleshed-out five piece, Parker is quick to reaffirm that it is, in its essence, his solo project. As a studio obsessive with a penchant for unconventional recording techniques and a specific vision, he’s relatively cautious about inviting others to be involved in the process. However, Parker did enlist the esteemed producer Dave Fridmann to reprise the mixing role he provided for Innerspeaker. From working with the likes of The Flaming Lips and MGMT, Fridmann is a producer known to have faith in his clients’ most far-out ideas, and Parker tells us about testing his tolerance with a sense of satisfaction. “I think the greatest achievement on this record is the second last song Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything That We Could Control. I put the whole song through a flanger. It took so long to mix because Dave had to work out how the fuck we were gonna pull it off. He was like “shit, you can’t put everything through the flanger!” So it made him think for a second, which is good for someone like Dave Fridmann, because he’s that kind of guy who knows everything already. I remember feeling deviously chuffed because it actually ended up sounding really cool.”

W ORD S D av i d R eed

Tame Impala’s previous album was created in a creaky beach house situated on the idyllic Injidup beach in south west Australia. The ideas for Lonerism, on the other hand, were conceived while Parker was travelling, and recorded between Perth and Paris, the latter being the place which Parker had been calling home since late last year. Part of the incentive for Parker’s prolonged exile was to work with French singer-songwriter Melody Prochet on her album Melody’s Echo Chamber. “She came over to Perth for a while and most of the recording was done there. But she wrote a lot of stuff in Paris and in the south of France at her grandparents’ house. Melody had such a strong idea of what she wanted, so I was just the guy making the crazy sounds and it was fun to serve someone else’s vision”. Parker’s signature sound is all over the record, and by filtering Prochet’s enchanting Gallic dream-pop through his kaleidoscopic soundscape, the album becomes an accomplished fusion of sounds. So how does Parker feel about leaving Paris? “It’s bittersweet”, he tells us after a pause. “I only came to Paris in the first place to spend time with Melody. That was the reason why I was here before anything else. But it was good to get out of Perth for a while because there’s such an involved music scene which is totally inspiring and amazing, but at the same time it can be a bit too much. So it was good to get a breather, and now I’ve realised everything that I love about Perth.” The scene which Parker speaks of is a tight knit community of musicians who are kindred in their love of raw sounds and psychedelic aesthetics. Parker’s been earning his stripes amongst the local live scene since he was a teenager, and the other musicians who tour with Tame Impala are prominent musicians within this laid-back network, all with their numerous side projects and spinoff bands. As well as playing with Perth bands such as Mink Mussel Creek and Space Lime Peacock, Parker drums on a part-time basis for the ramshackle riff heavy collective Pond. The band had the privilege of performing a completely improvised live set this year with Damo Suzuki, former singer of the immensely influential Krautrock band Can. “That was awesome. I’m a massive fan. We all are,” Parker exclaims. “Can have definitely influenced us, y’know, the way that it’s so hypnotic and repetitive. I love the way they’ve got this weird cross between being totally disciplined and machine-like, and being totally loopy at the same time. Suzuki has been on this never ending tour for years now where he plays with a different band in every city, and he chose Pond when he came to Perth. We all do a lot of improvised stuff together as friends and musicians. So we were just doing what we love, but there was Damo Suzuki on stage there with us! It was awesome, I got to pretend that I was the drummer from Can.” So has Tame Impala’s international success had implications on the laid back buoyancy of his local scene? “ I don’t think so, because I think that the general ethos of the Perth scene is that we’re not really concerned about what’s going on with the rest of the world. It’s pretty closed off. The scene is so communal and everyone’s just making music for each other. So no one cares too much about Tame Impala getting big and travelling all over. Being important outside of Perth isn’t really important inside of Perth, know what I mean? And that’s totally a good thing, it keeps us grounded.” So when Parker gets back home, hopefully he’ll be able to join his old friends for a few improv jam sessions before embarking on Tame Impala’s world tour. There’s a wisdom to his modesty, suggesting he’s unlikely to allow the pressure to distract him from making the music he wants to make. And that in itself is impressive, considering all around the world there are fans eager to soak in every note he plays.

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Lonerism is released on October 8th via Modular Recordings

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© Theo Cottle

WORD S G eraint Da vi es

T U NE 26/27

PH O TO T h e o C ot t l e

S I TE i d l e s b an d .c o.u k

Creeping into life somewhere around three years ago, from their first live performance Idles possessed more than that vaguest of attributes: potential.

A lot of my fears come out in anger, I feel that the writing process should be cathartic in some way, and attacking my fears helps.”

At no point have the band seemed like kids finding their feet. Idles appeared as a fully formed group of men, a little rough around the edges perhaps, but entirely accomplished, and with the music to back up the self-belief. Kindly donating a drummer to the illustrious CSS – gaining the vital and exact power of Jon Beavis in return – they arrived at their current line-up; guitarists Mark Bowen and Andy S, bassist Dev, fronted by Joe Talbot. Having released a series of tunes (done a disservice in being referred to as ‘demos’) they recently released their debut EP, Welcome. Joe tells us it’s been a long wait.

This heartfelt intensity spews forth as a key component of the band’s live existence. An unpredictable, thrilling and almost intimidating maelstrom of beards and spit and glazed, livid eyes, there’s no doubt that Idles mean it. Joe is quick to point out that in live and recorded personas, Idles operate on almost entirely separate planes. “Fuck no, do we function the same in the studio as we do live”, he exclaims. “We go bat-shit mental live. Less so these days, as I think we were masking our inadequacies before, but now we’re tight and confident enough in our musicianship to be slightly more refined in our bat-shitness. In the studio we want to be able to offer a depth in sound our piss poor equipment can’t offer live. We want our live shows to be shows. Idles are in effect two bands, the ethic is the same but the experiences are different, but hopefully both exciting.”

“We recorded a demo just over a year ago but we could only afford 100 copies so they went out pretty quickly,” he says. “Considering that’s the only thing we’ve released in the three years we’ve been together, I think I speak for everyone when I say – shit yes, the EP’s been a long time coming. But we wouldn’t have done it any sooner, even if we could, as we wanted to feel 100 percent confident in our sound and also our live show. It’s no good having a great recording if you can’t back it up with a mad wicked live show.” It’s an admirable trait, the awareness and confidence to wait until the time is right, to resist forcing the issue. Even for a four track EP, Idles insisted on formulating a certain sonic diversity whilst maintaining the balanced sense of a single piece. “We had two songs we were proud of and we’d saved up enough money to record a four-track EP, so we decided to make it a concise exercise in conveying our sound and who we are. Two Tone was a song we’d been playing live for a short while and loved. We thought it was a perfect contrast to the other songs, giving the audience our spectrum. The EP is an entity that works as a billboard for our sound and introduces us; hence the title, Welcome.” And it certainly appears to have worked. Opener 26/27 is a brooding, atmospheric builder, where glittery guitars hark at Les Savy Fav’s more measured moments, while the grandiose gloom and dark energy of Interpol permeates its entire body. Germany is a sparser affair, a distant hum of interweaving lines and desperate cries. The likes of Meydei and Two Tone, meanwhile, feature a jagged, terse urgency, undertones of repressed violence darting through in downstroked guitars and snarling, clenched delivery. On the former, a release of sorts bubbles through a swinging drum break at the song’s heart; yet all the while that tautness of rhythm remains, gripping and dynamic. It makes for captivating listening. Talbot’s vocal delivery and thematic focus is symptomatic of a band who know and have proved they can smash people to pieces, yet are seeking to permeate the listener through more substantial means. On Meydei, as he seethes “bleeding on the bathroom floor/laying on the bathroom”, the tightly-wound, inward-facing frustration is genuinely potent. “The lyrical focus of Welcome is self-doubt and fear”, Joe reveals. “I want to be as honest a writer as possible. I don’t want to be indulgent, but I feel that everyone can relate to those themes.

There’s a tightness about Idles on and off stage that comes unmistakably from being genuinely close friends. While it gives them that vital collective energy which is impossible to fake, it also poses a potential duality in their relationship as bandmates and friends. “They are my best mates, and were so before the band,” Joe considers. “But we have to put our friendship on hold, in a way, because whenever we’re together it’s for the band. This isn’t a problem because we all love music, and at the moment we need to put other things behind us to try and turn this into a career. Not hanging out together and getting pissed is no sacrifice for writing and performing together, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done and what better than to do it with your best mates? I love them all like brothers and that won’t change.” Such legitimate desire can so often be the difference between a great band and a world of what ifs. But now, with a swelling national reputation and support growing ever more voluminous and vocal, this appears to be a group of gentlemen with a strong sense of momentum. As Talbot puts it, “we’re humbled at where we are now, but we’re ready for so much more.” Welcome to Idles.

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Welcome is available now on Fear of Fiction

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37

W ORD S Da vid R eed

V isionary

S I TE arnol f i ni .org .uk

K ingdom

presents:

The Visionary Kingdom season at Bristol’s Arnolfini hosts the UK premier of Her Ghost, a live audio/ visual performance based on the story of French filmmaker Chris Marker’s culturally significant 1962 sci-fi film-photo-essay La Jetée. It’s an audio-visual collaboration between Hyperdub label boss Kode9 and Berlin based visual artist collective MFO, who’ve also provided visuals for the likes for Bristol leftfield dub producer Roly Porter. An academic performer going by the name of Mrs Haptic has recorded a voiceover that retells the film’s narrative from the female perspective, a twist likely to stimulate debate about gender constructs and power structures in cinema. Set in a post-apocalyptic society, La Jetée tells the story of a prisoner of war haunted by a childhood memory of witnessing a death at an airport platform and an obsession with a woman he recalls being present at the scene. His jailers nominate him for a time travel experiment in which he is sent back and forth between the past and future like a time-refugee in an attempt to save the present. It’s 50 years since the initial release of La Jetée, and with our vision of the future becoming increasingly dystopian alongside the modern cultural obsession with revising the past, La Jetée feels as conceptually relevant as ever.

“ I have a pa

scene,

and

together, f

H er

G host

Her Ghost isn’t just a re-make of Marker, but a completely new work that exists in parallel to the original. The performance sees a key figure from the world of club music doing something conceptual with a visual artist collective who are behind so many of the best visual/musical collaborations I’ve seen recently.”

So visually, how does MFO’s photomontage for Her Ghost differ from Marker’s original? “Each shot in Her Ghost is based on one image from La Jetée but these images are extended; the focus goes into details, images are fragmented, some even destroyed”, MFO’s Lucy Benson told us. “All the pictures are transformed, estranged and mutated. There are visual impressions that are triggered in an aggressively high speed. In conjunction with similar moments in the sound, l at e o f s o u n d s f o r e a c h this creates a tension, sometimes unpleasant, sometimes absorbing. The intense moments oscillate r e a l ly I j u s t m i x t h e m between the calm moments, so I’d say the result is that Her Ghost has a higher dynamic range than La Jetée. Her Ghost has a similar rhythm, but l i n g t h e m at t h e s c r e e n with a higher amplitude.”

a n d watc h t h e m d r i p a c r o s s i t s s u r fa c e d i f f e r e n t ly

every

When Crack spoke to Steve Goodman (Kode9), he explained how Marker’s work has been a major influence, “There’s a book by Catherine Lupton about Chris Marker’s work called Memories of the Future, and that’s where I got the title for myself and Spaceape’s first album. Conceptually, La Jetée has certainly been an influence, so anyone who’s been interested by the concepts behind our two albums will be able to engage with the film.” Although Her Ghost is rooted around the narrative, the tones of Kode9’s soundtrack interact with MFO’s visuals so that it fluctuates in tone and rhythm. “We rewrote the script so it functions as a spine around which the visuals and soundtrack hang”, Goodman explains. “So within this framework there is quite a lot of scope for improvisation. I have a palate of sounds for each scene, and really I just mix them together, fling them at the screen and watch them drip across its surface differently every time.” Alastair Cameron, Visionary Kingdom’s curator, admits feeling a sense of apprehension about this collective’s deconstruction of such a seminal work, but tells us that experiencing the performance at Montreal’s forward-thinking Mutek festival left him stunned. “When I heard about the project, I thought it was pretty ambitious to do anything new with La Jetée, since it’s pretty much a set text for anyone interested in ideas around experimental cinema. So I found myself getting quite nervous before I first saw the performance. But

Kode9’s involvement with Her Ghost could generate curiosity amongst Hyperdub’s audience, the listeners t i m e . ” - KODE 9 of underground dance culture who are excited by genre fragmentation and the disintegration of boundaries between club based music and electronic ambience. The Visionary Kingdom season will also bring A/V sets to the Arnolfini from the likes of Raine and Emptyset, dauntlessly experimental producers who explore sounds that are distantly evocative of techno. We ask Alastair Cameron if he’s inviting club goers to engage with the essence of rave culture in an unconventional setting. “I really value the collective euphoria that comes from late night experiences of dance music played through big sound systems. But equally, I think that there’s another current in sound system music that’s to do with the idea of dread and dominance, a different kind of ecstasy that results from the sound system physically taking over the space and the listener, demanding submission. It’s something that Steve Goodman/Kode9 discusses in his book Sonic Warfare.” “With artists like Raime and Emptyset, I think they’re working in this mode. I don’t think that dancing is necessarily the only response to this music, even if its continuing threads are present in club scenarios. Even though ‘noise’ music comes from a different tradition, the two kind of meet in the idea of paying to be willingly battered into submission. This is physicality, but just of a different kind.” ---------The UK premiere of Her Ghost is at Bristol’s Arnolfini on November 1st


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C RA C K FASH I ON : O C TOBER 2 0 1 2

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s us human beings continue to smoke fags and drive limos until the polar ice caps inevitably melt and the sea level rises some 200 metres, it turns out we won’t be as fucked as you might think! Yes, during the hours spent gazing into my mystic ball, I have witnessed a glorious underwater world where we adapt to the watery wetness. We have created an underwater bus system, the Porpoiseline (RIP Badgerline), all girls will be beautiful mermaids (like Ariel) and they won’t have periods any more, hooray! Instead, we’ll develop webbed hands and feet, and gills behind our ears so we can breathe underwater. God won’t exist anymore, instead all the mental religious people will worship Kevin Costner. Mystic has spoken.

Untitled C R A C K C ro ssw o rd Across 3. All marsupials are cute but this is the winner (5) 4. Shut Up and Play The ___, LCD Soundsystem movie (4) 7. 60s mood lighting (4-4) 9. _________ Hz, Animal Collective’s latest offering (9) 10. Where P’s a 3 and U are 1 (8) 11. The Danes hate to see it leave, we hate drinking it (9) 14. The Road you’d be mental to send your fictional kids to (8) 16. Kindness invites you over (5) 19. Jessica, all-action goddess from Yorkshire (5) 20. Why bright Americans go to Boston (7) Down 1. Eli Roth’s gory brainchild (6) 2. Columbia’s capital (6) 5. Why there’s no aspirin in the jungle (11) 6. Seriously, what sort of a name is Mitt anyway? (6) 8. Gary is a crisp enthusiast (7) 10. Like SXSW - in Cardiff (3) 12. Barca’s beat bash (5) 13. The study of rocks and that (7) 15. I’m being followed, and I like it (7) 17. Talking Heads seminal live movie asked you to Stop Making _____ (5) 18. Stratocaster masters (6)

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London International Animation Festival

Featuring British premieres, new Japanese animations and a special screening of the new documentary on Ralph Steadman, the festival will take place in the new Barbican Cinemas for the first time. Plus special guests, Q&As, industry events and workshops.

The City of London Corporation is the founder and principal funder of the Barbican Centre

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25 Oct – 4 Nov 2012


FILM

49

WORD S: T im Oxley Sm i th

Dredd 3D

Shut Up And Play The Hits

Lawless

Dir. Pete Travis Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey

Dir. Will Lovelace & Dylan Sutton

Dir. John Hillcoat Starring: Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce

11/20

20/20

13/20

Judge Dredd, the legendary comic book character of the 2000 AD series, was first played by Sylvester Stallone in 1995. Despite Stallone sporting one of the most impressive chins ever to grace Hollywood, it failed to resonate as a sci-fi classic. Fun to watch on ITV3 late on a week night perhaps, but the creators of the comic book John Wagner & Carlos Ezquerra were well within their rights to give the franchise a reboot.

After a whirlwind of a decade, James Murphy and his disco collaborators LCD Soundsystem’s decision to liquidise the band was a bitter pill for fans to swallow. It was even less tangible this side of the Atlantic, that after 10 years of perfect moments, live and recorded, Murphy would switch off the LCD Soundsystem machine for the very last time.

Penned by the brutal and majestic hand of Nick Cave, who has previously collaborated with director Hillcoat on the somewhat overlooked Aussie western The Proposition, Lawless is set in the time of America’s prohibition in deepest Virginia. Once again Cave has been attracted by the arena of crime to explore notions of manhood, or a lack thereof, and an array of Hollywood’s finest actors have come hither to get gritty over some moonshine.

Now Karl Urban, who you may, but hopefully won’t, know from Xena: Warrior Princess, has taken up the role of ‘judge, jury and executioner’. He plays a lead who famously has no personality, making us realise why Stallone might have over egged it in the previous version. Despite doing cool things with his cool gun (which is really cool), we never really warm to him. It’s like trying to love a pet goldfish at times. However, Dredd’s rookie sidekick, played by Olivia Thrilby, delivers despite her highly unoriginal ‘first day on the job’ role. And this unoriginality is where Dredd sits on its own grenade. The severe lack of exploration of the dystopian setting Mega City 1 also left Crack feeling slightly cheated, with the vast majority of the action confined to a single tower block. And while there’s no lack of flesh tearing, bullet toting or skull splitting, main villain Ma-Ma (Headey), despite her claims, is unsuccessful in her attempts to appear sinister. Better than its predecessor in some respects, Dredd 3D falls short due to a lack in charm. There’s no pleasing some, and Crack is some.

Thankfully, Shut Up And Play The Hits gives us an inside look into the last moments of a band Crack has adored boundlessly. In this music documentary, we peer over the shoulder of frontman James Murphy for the lead up, the duration and the aftermath of the band’s final farewell in a massive blow out party at New York’s Madison Square Gardens. Unlike recent indie/dance docs (Justice’s Across The Universe and Soulwax’s Part of the Weekend Never Dies) ...Play the Hits strives to be more wholesome, more grown up and a fitting end to an iconic musical saga. It aims to put a line under the end, an end that the majority of LCD Soundsystem fans didn’t get to witness. It is is brilliantly captured, crisp live recordings making it heart wrenchingly real. The performance is interspersed with scenes of Murphy being ravaged by New York Times journalist Chuck Klosterman’s questions, asking Murphy things Murphy thought he could answer, but no matter how much charm and wit he tries to uphold, agonisingly, we’re still not provided with a definitive answer to the question ‘why?’ Like the casual sex after a long-term relationship, Shut Up And Play The Hits provides the best type of closure with an inkling of regret.

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Lawless possesses all the ingredients for a macho crime thriller. Based on true events, it’s got the guns, the vice and the cars. Hardy, for the second time this year, eludes his physical prowess as the alpha male of the three Bondurant brothers, who rule the roost in Virginia’s illegal alcohol export industry. They have the local law enforcement in their baggy bottomed pockets, and business is coming along nicely. That is, until prohibition enforcer Charlie Rakes (played by an eyebrow-less Guy Pearce) comes along to put an end to the illegal shenanigans. As promising as all this sounds, as good as it looks, and despite the excellent use of knuckle dusters, we never really get caught up in the macho to and fro. Shia LaBeouf ’s courtship montage, found in the depths of the second act, is as tedious as his name. The whole ‘I’m a lover, not a hater’ thing drags its heels in the dirt so much that it almost grinds the film to a halt. This said, Lawless is an impressive period piece. But the great sets, props and flashes of great character acting (not including LaBeouf) aren’t enough to overcome a predictable storyline and unsatisfactory ending.


Live Music

Factory Floor ICA | London September 15th ………………………….

In the belly of the ICA’s clinical white walls, art appreciators and music lovers have gathered to experience one of the UK’s most important live acts. Factory Floor move their audience by actually moving them. Repetitive, expanding and hypnotic electronic loops are constantly pursued by drummer Gabriel Gurnsey’s robotic drumming ability. Their sound, as meticulous as it is, comes naturally. This is the first of four nights to be curated by Factory Floor at the ICA. The fact that this is a ‘residency’ at an art gallery gives you an idea about the way in which the band wish to be perceived and of course, heard. Tonight we experience them like never before, collaborating with Peter Gordon, a legendary New York composer and futuristic glasses wearer who brings a touch of brass to Factory Floor’s Village Of The Damned aura. © Factory Floor

We’re greeted by a pitter-patter of modulation as the projector begins to spurt out colours and textures against a screen that separates Butler’s head from his body. As he manipulates the imminent set of bars, Gordon begins to play discordant notes from his saxophone. It takes around 10 minutes before Gurnsey’s drums begin, leeching off rhythms formed in the audience’s mind. This is laced with the haunting moans of Nik Void, offering a humanistic deflection to the industrial dissonance being generated. This continuous crescendo not only satisfies a primal urge to dance, but also feeds a level of intellectual appreciation. These two components are beautifully explored by Factory Floor and Peter Gordon, making for a spellbinding meeting of artists. ---------Words: Tim Oxley Smith

Cult of Youth The Croft | Bristol September 26th ………………………….

Patti Smith The Troxy | London September 13th ………………………….

Richard Hawley Bath Pavilion | Bath September 21st ………………………….

Encounters Film Festival The Watershed, Arnolfini and Big Top | Bristol September 18th-23rd ………………………….

Brooklyn’s Cult of Youth are quite an enigma. Described as ‘industrial acoustic punk folk’, like Death in June before them, they’re militant in their intentions of melding together elements that wouldn’t normally bond.

Maybe we chuck the word ‘legend’ around a bit too freely here at Crack HQ. We’re nice like that. But believe us when we say, hand on heart, that Patti Smith is on another level entirely. She takes rock’n’roll cool to a different plain.

Sean Ragon’s command of proceedings tonight display an intense, boundless, alchemic quality. His frenetic acoustic strumming forms the backbone of much of the songs, causing his eyes to roll back into his head as if in a Peyote trance, while his Strummer-esque howl leads us through a short set largely drawing from this year’s Love Will Prevail.

Opening with Dancing Barefoot, her voice is flawless and fierce yet saddened and wise, as she sings for her now deceased husband, who she oft’ talks about through the show. It’s very much a family affair, with her son Jackson on rhythm guitar and long-time best mate Lenny Kaye on lead. Because the Night nearly reduces us to tears, Money has the place raving, Redondo Beach is dedicated to Morrissey and Rock n Roll Nigger feels as confrontational as the day she wrote it.

Was this the most middle class gig of all time? Richard Hawley, darling of Guardian readers and Radio 2 listeners, on the banks of the River Avon. The average age is around 40 and the crowd is so quiet, at one point we’re told to “shut the fuck up” by a middle-aged woman quaffing Pinot. We literally said a couple of sentences midgig. Welcome to Bath.

Spread across the creative outposts of Bristol, Encounters Film Festival exhibits and celebrates short films, animation and alternative cinema. With a multitude of screenings and the additional lure of talks from industry insiders and creators, Crack immersed itself in a varied programme spread across five days.

Tonight they’re missing violinist Christiana Key, but keyboards and industrial flourishes in the care of Jarboe (ex-Swans) lift the neo-folk above and beyond, adding qualities that spark the listener past preformed expectations. The songs here take fresh angles and tangents from recorded output, particularly as the set descends in to a more experimental force, building delays and harshness to a crescendo. Unfortunately, when the crowd numbers in the tens it can be hard to infect them to the same degree as you would a full house. Nonetheless, Cult of Youth perform as if to thousands, giving it their all. --------Words: Philip Allen

Her anecdotes are brilliant, humour magnetic, but she also has a message to deliver: “Rise up. Don’t let the powers that be push you down. Unite. Youth is the truth. You will decide. Our earth. Our world. You are the future. And the future is now.” Performing People Have The Power, there is no doubt she believes it. And as for Patti Smith, well, she’s a legend isn’t she?

After Margery had been put in her place, and long before, Crack had been enjoying a gig that drew heavily on the Mercury nominated Standing At The Sky’s Edge. Opening with the title-track, the gig evolves into a celebration of a lost art-form: retro rock. Nineties guitars rub against Hawley’s cigarettedeepened voice, and his northern charm rubs off on everyone. An admirer shouts “Richard, I’m from the North”, to which he replies “Most people put a plant in the audience, I got a bloody vegetable!”

The opening night saw a reel of short films of both animated and live action categories from filmmakers based in the South West, showcasing unexpected talent to an audience of highly respected and not easily impressed individuals. The coming days would be sprinkled with films from around the globe as well as homegrown talent. Some of the most insightful events included a Q&A with co-director of ParaNorman Sam Fell and a talk from the team behind Bristol’s own Aardman studios. The festival endeavored to show films like they’d never been seen before, with a popup sauna cinema on Park Street, and Finnish neo punk band Cleaning Women providing a score to the silent Russian sci-fi movie Aelita: Queen of Mars, played with self-made instruments.

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Older numbers like Open Up Your Door glow with the reverence of a bygone era. Mid-set tracks Remorse Code and Soldier On sound like Morrissey at his most pensive, woven in with more guitar focused pieces. Closer The Ocean is surely his best work, climaxing with its sullen notions of loss and love.

Words: Lucie Grace

We really should’ve shutted the fuck up.

Encounters left Crack enriched and inspired, opening up new avenues of cinema that we’d never really thought about before. Next year’s proceedings come highly recommended.

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Words: Thomas Frost

Words: Tim Oxley Smith


Live Music

The xx Coal Exchange | Cardiff September 11th ………………………….

With the long-awaited Coexist receiving distinctly mixed reactions, the high ceilings and expansive surroundings of Cardiff Coal Exchange provide an apt setting to let The xx live show 2.0 project its significant weight. Opening with Angels, the first single, the first track and the first point of reference from the new record sets the tone for an event which becomes elevated with the passing of each track. Jamie xx takes control of drum-pads, drum machines, big drums, computerised drum sequencers, steel drums as the entire back line of the stage is given up to Mr xx’s percussive concoctions. From the steel sounds of Reunion to the largest nods to the clubs he’s been frequenting on the UK bass and house-influenced Swept Away (which blends into a ramped-up version of Shelter), his efforts to diversify allow the live show to flourish on a level far removed from mere replication. A spacey, washed-out version of Crystalised further exemplifies his desire to re-evaluate old material, this track in particular carrying a wonderful drifting ambience when laden with new effects.

© Timmy Fist

It’s impossible not to mention the beautiful and poignant lighting that adds so much more to these songs. Syncopated lights engulf the band while beams search and spin. It’s another example of the effort that’s gone into making this show’s dynamism so much more multi-faceted than previous incarnations. The xx are presented tonight exactly as you’d wish: outsiders with warm hearts. The dialogue is friendly and they look genuinely happy to be baring their souls again. On this evidence they remain the most important band in the country right now. --------Words: Thomas Frost

Africa Express Creative Common | Bristol September 7th ………………………….

Clark Koko, Camden | London September 15th ………………………….

Venetian Snares The Fleece | Bristol September 25th ………………………….

El-P The Fleece | Bristol September 16 ………………………….

The penultimate leg of the Africa Express jaunt around the UK stopped by Bristol’s Creative Common, having pulled into the nearby Temple Meads station on a specially-chartered train earlier that day.

With Warp Records stalwart Clark’s latest EP Fantasm Planes recently released, droves of electronic and IDM fans made their way to the official release party at Koko.

Over the last 15 years Venetian Snares has been one of the standout producers under the broad definition of breakcore, twisting melons and confounding expectations of what music can be. To some it’s just too much; an aural assault that rapes the brain. To others, he is the master of the brain-raping aural assault.

The news of El-P playing beneath the rafters of the Fleece & Firkin sent ripples through Bristol’s hip-hop contingent. The venue is packed and the backs of snapbacks obscure the best views. You know shit’s about to get real, son.

The collective of nearly a hundred musicians had been scaling the country, rehearsing en route to that evening’s performance and launching spontaneous collaborations along the way. While Damon Albarn is undoubtedly head of proceedings, he keeps himself at a healthy distance for much of the show while a host of Western guests including Gruff Rhys, Lucy Rose, Kano and Nick Zinner provide the focal points to a background of organic African creations. Amadou, flying solo from his singing partner Miriam, also shows serious axe skills throughout extended jams. Albarn comes to the fore occasionally, performing vocals on a handful of tracks including recent Gorillaz hit Melancholy Hill. Topping off the show comes an extended version of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir, for which none other than John Paul Jones swaps his bass for a mandolin. It proved an appropriately iconic end to this unique performance, an opportunity to witness an array of remarkable musicianship you would simply never expect to roll into your hometown. --------Words: T. C. Flanagan

We entered to Illum Sphere, making for a smooth introduction to the night’s programme. It proved a promise of things to come, providing the best visuals of the night. Shigeto, armed with a laptop and a drum kit, delivered with heart and conviction, and Raffertie sounded fresh with the support of a live three piece. In stepped Clark. The man has revamped his sound while retaining his blend of diced-up bass, bleep, glitches and haunting melodies. The new material follows on strongly from his Iradelphic LP, with a more dancefloor targeted vibe ideal for the live arena. For the hardcore IDM buff, lethal epileptic shapes go without saying, yet his set had the whole crowd infectiously fidgeting about as if praying for rain after a yearlong drought. The icing was provided by electronic heavyweights Plaid. They dropped high calibre beats, exploring a sound much heavier than that featured on the Scintilli LP. The whole night had been a narrative of epic proportion, and a technical showcase of pinpoint perfection.

It feels a little strange to be here on a Tuesday evening, as this music normally finds its home at freaky warehouse parties and late night cellar clubs. As Aaron Funk’s set progresses, he strangles and stabs melodies, wringing the sonic onslaught dry of extraneous parts. His unique deftness at production and arrangements embraces the venue in a whirlwind of broken beats and acid bass.

Wilder Zoby and Little Shalier appear first, manning synths, keys, turntables, samplers, a ‘cocktail’ style mini drum kit and an electric guitar. They open with the breakneck breaks of Request Denied from the recent Cancer 4 Cure. Offstage, El-P awaits his first verse and when it comes, the crowd goes nuts.

As vintage as a lot of the sounds are, they’re dealt with a precision and focus that crosses into sheer madness. Jungle vibes infuse the rhythms, taking the crowd deeper and lower than we thought possible. Tracks off last album My So Called Life are present, as well as other massive tunes from the back catalogue, but it all melds into one beautiful cacophony. The pure indulgence and filth drenches the crowd until we are left weak-kneed and bloodied. To see Venetian Snares in full flight it to see a master at work.

The new material sounds weightier live and many of the typical hip-hop trappings are sidelined, turntables used sparingly rather than granted automatic prominence. Support act Despot is re-welcomed to add vocals to Oh Hail No and Tougher Cold Killer, before we move onto the LP’s side B, culminating in a rare flash of flamboyance as Zoby and Shalier take center stage wielding a guitar and a keytar. El-P then bounces back with EMG and a medley featuring samples of Tribe’s Can I Kick It, some Company Flow joints and Slick Rick’s Children’s Story, climaxing with the rapturously received Deep Space 9mm from 2002 magnum opus, Fantastic Damage. As far as gingerfronted rap shows go, it doesn’t get better than this.

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Words: Philip Allen

Words: Ian Ochiltree

--------Words: Claude Barbé-Brown


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DANIEL AVERY FABRICLIVE 66 Fabric

BO NINGEN LINE THE WALL Stolen Recordings

15/20

17/20

The Fabriclive CD series steps away from the more urban, bass-heavy sounds that have characterised the series’ last three instalments and steers back towards the full-fat techno and warped house sounds that have seen Daniel Avery hold down a residency in the club and become something of an underrated character on the London scene. This mix is an exploration of all that exists at the darker end of the spectrum where house meets techno in an acidic swamp of wide note bass sounds and gargling synths. Avery’s own productions engulf this mix and despite some soaring moments, most notably Simian Mobile Disco’s wonderful Supermoon, it’s the sense of menace that runs through the mix that endows it with a firm sense of identity. Whilst peak time maximal techno may have fallen from favour in some parts in preference of groove and low cut Vs, the variation and pulse that runs right through the heart of this mix is a superb reminder of the positives that occur when you take the time to fully flesh out such a collection.

Bo Ningen make music that sees psychedelic freak-outs meet spiky, Krautrock inspired repetition. It’s a well-blended combination, but the addition of far-out, wailing vocals from bass virtuoso Taigen makes theirs a truly unique sound. 2010’s eponymously titled debut brought together a blend of sleazy garage punk and big psychedelic fuzz, juxtaposing those sounds with a post-punk edge reminiscent of Gang of Four. Two years down the line, and it seems Bo Ningen have located more power still. Line The Wall hits you hard from the outset, opener Soko driven by sharp, machine-gun bass. The dreaminess survives in parts, but this time the temptation to let guitar solos roll into a seemingly endless swell of improvisation is resisted. On the downright nuts Henkan, the psychedelic noodling is replaced by a more incisive, jagged math-rock guitar duel. Ten to Sen and album closer Natsu No Nioi, meanwhile, work a similar vein to the prog-rock ballads of The Mars Volta. On the occasions where the songs begin with the familiar big riffs and fuzz of their debut, Bo Ningen suddenly take us in a different direction; the drop into the pounding verse of Shin Ichi is superb, and Daikasei Part 2 almost becomes speed metal at three minutes, before ultimately dropping into one of the best half-times of 2012. Radical.

TF

JB

EFTERKLANG PIRAMIDA 4AD

VARIOUS ARTISTS I LOVE GRIME Rinse

17/20

17/20

Release after release, Efterklang maintain their position as critics’ darlings. Their brand of haunting folktronic indie evolves and progresses in the exemplary textbook fashion you’d expect of a truly great band. Fourth album Piramida may well solidify their status as one of the best musical talents of the era. The main drive of the band, comprising of Danish trio Mads Brauer, Casper Clausen and Rasmus Stolberg, have reached a level of maturity which is rich, deep, suave, and oozing class, with standout track Apples being the prime example. The band’s ever-present conversational elements are no longer dealt with by the vast choir of layered vocals present on albums such as Parades. This has been stripped back, with instrumentation pushed to the foreground in its place, making for more dynamic interactions in a way that feels more coherent and maintains a smooth flowing narrative as the album progresses. They may have downsized their palette, but in doing so the sound becomes more classic without a loss of identity, much dreamier, but without resorting to a shoegaze version of themselves. What they have done is created a sound that has even more depth, atmosphere, and potency.

A 10-year, two disc retrospective of some of the most influential grime tracks ever! Fuck it, go on then. You can always rely on our friends over at Rinse to smash out the classics, especially when there’s a warbling bass line involved and some seriously aggressive mic action a’gwan, and this is a veritable party pack. Step up Wiley, Dizzie, Bizzle, JME, D Double E, Roll Deep, Boy Better Know, Tinchy (before he got big), Jammer and a host of supporting acts across 52 tracks of old (Lethal Bizzle - Pow), new (Faze Miyake’s remix of Magnetic Man’s Anthemic) and classic (So Solid Crew – Oh No!). Even Crack’s first dalliance with grime in the form of More Fire Crew’s Oi gets an outing on two CDs that pack as many smiles as they do ludicrous delivery styles. While the grime purist might wince hard at the inclusion of some of the ‘same olds’ that rear their heads every time the genre is mentioned, it’s undeniable the impact grime and these tunes has had on the urban music landscape. The fact it’s still in business after 10 years and the fact flat cap sales continue to soar is testament to its endurance. One of the most entertaining listens we’ve had this year.

TF

CBB

JESSE BOYKINS III & MELO–X ZULU GURU Ninja Tune

MAIN ATTRAKIONZ BOSSALINIS & FOOLIYONES Young One Records

12/20

14/20

The cover of Jesse Boykins and Melo-X’s debut collaborative LP Zulu Guru gives a lot away. Astral themes, yin and yang and cosmic maps adorn a sleeve that hints at topics far beyond our understanding. In reality, the album is a lot more grounded than the artists would have you believe. And herein lies the problem. On a couple of self-righteous tracks of nonsensical proclamation, Jesse Boykins III undoes the simple fact he showcases himself to possess a truly wonderful voice. Opening track I’m New Here is a prime example, with slick production that hints at the cosmic themes he’s so keen to project, but boiled down is a wonderfully contemporary slice of soulful R’n’B. The Perfect Blues is a gorgeous soaring refrain that remains the album’s poignant highlight. However, far too often the tracks wash over the listener without creating anything like an indelible imprint, such as the sluggish Primal Chance. Similarly, others are let down by a weak and self-righteous vocal delivery by album collaborator Melo-X. If Boykins III is to soar to the D’Angelo tipped heights he’s been richly predicted to reach, this is a good albeit overly complicated step.

Oakland cloud rap duo Main Attrakionz rose to prominence last year due to associations with key players amongst hip-hop’s new brigade such as Danny Brown, ASAP Rocky, Das Racist and Lil B. But the buzz about Main Attrakionz isn’t to do with oddball personas or masculinity-challenging outfits, instead it’s due to their on-trend formula of laying down hedonistic but introspective raps over hazily atmospheric, spaced-out beats anchored by 808 drum sequences. Bossalinis & Fooliyones isn’t a dramatic departure from 808s and Dark Grapes II, the definitive mixtape among their generous output, but the production credits show a new roster of producers recharging their aesthetic. Breakthrough beatmaker Harry Fraud can do no wrong right now, and his contributions are an expected highlight, while Chicago-based producers Supreme Cuts are behind some of the album’s most sensual moments. MondreM.A.N and Squadda B’s style can be so laid back their verses melt into tipsy half-sung hooks and listeners with a preference for quotables might be at loss here. But Main Attrakionz’ trick is to ride along beats in a reclined state without drifting into a stoned stupor. So despite Bossalinis’s dazed feel, Main Attrakionz work hard to keep the listener’s attention, and that’s probably key to their charm.

TF www.crackmagazine.net

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TAME IMPALA LONERISM Modular Recordings 18/20 There’s a reason why Tame Impala’s 2010 debut album InnerSpeaker got such thorough recognition among a glut of unimaginatively retro Aussie upstarts; it’s because it really was that much better than what all those other wallies had to say for themselves. This follow-up is that much better again. Almost two minutes into opener Be Above It, it happens. The first vast swathe of billowing sound engulfs your head, and you’re in. From that minute forth it’s deluge after deluge of heady, undulating melody and rolling, hypnotic grooves. There’s no reinvention present, nor is it needed. If anything, Lonerism feels like a precious collection of uncovered relics. The project’s leader Kevin Parker has created an approach so entirely, almost overtly embracing of psychedelic traits that you can even listen to it alongside the trippy visuals function on your iTunes without feeling guilty. But still, thanks to an uncanny ear for a hook, it feels satisfyingly contemporary. In amongst a collection that works best in its entirety, there are undeniable highlights. Mind Mischief’s guitar hook is literally impossible to forget, it roots itself in your consciousness before mesmeric waves of sonorous melody block the exits. Elephants’ fantastic stomp is the most immediate moment on offer, and an instant classic. And the six minutes of divine, cyclical reverie Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control could go on ten times as long and we still wouldn’t want it to end. If only Tame Impala had been kind enough to release this album two months ago, this summer could have been a far sweeter place.

GHD

// new free weekly Downloads @ crackmagazine.net

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MUSE THE 2ND LAW Warner Brothers

RICARDO VILLALOBOS DEPENDENT AND HAPPY Perlon

3/20

15/20

Muse’s continuous descent from one of the country’s most revered live acts to pseudo-futuristic clowns continues apace. The wobbly swells of Madness reveal that they’ve contaminated themselves with the wrong kind of bass music. News of a collaboration with Nero confirmed the fact, and the track in question, Follow Me, is suitably horrendous. The apocalyptic rock-opera Survival is salvaged momentarily by an elephantine slide-and-drop riff only to be subsequently overwritten by the sound of Matt Bellamy warbling like Sarah Brightman, donning a rocket pack and soaring upwards directly into his own backside. The 2nd Law: Unsustainable is the worst kind of daytime Radio One ‘dubstep’ fare which caters to the absolute lowest common denominator and displays a band jumping on a dirty, dirty bandwagon without truly understanding who they’re going to be sitting next to and that there’s an idiot behind the wheel. They presumably think they’re embracing the future. They’re not. They’re embracing a momentary blot on the copy book of music, a sonic Fifty Shades of Grey that can not be forgotten soon enough. The band’s growth from big, to huge, to fucking massive was inevitable, but they’re leaving pretty much all

A new release from Ricardo Villalobos is usually sprung upon you with little or no PR weight thrown behind it. So our eyes lit up when an hour and 41 minutes of fresh experimental electronica from one of music’s most singularly uncompromising characters suddenly appeared before us. The other thing to note here is there was no way of knowing that Dependent And Happy was, in fact, experimental electronica prior to listening to it. Villalobos’ last effort was a beat-less double disc of reinterpreted classical music, so it felt as if anywhere he went from there would have seemed totally logical. As it stands, the polarising and revered techno figurehead has set down his stall smack bang in the middle of his two guises – the oddball innovator and one of the genre’s most interesting DJs. Grumax could easily be a start of set dance floor menacer, as could following track I’m Counting, all windy percussion and odd vocal samples. Yet just when you think the Chilean has made his most linear effort to date, he throws in Zuipox, an indescribable 14-minute exploration. It’s this contrast that sums up a varied, long and above all highly intriguing effort. We wouldn’t have him any other way.

TF

their previous fans behind in the process.

GHD SWANS THE SEER Young God

TAMARYN TENDER NEW SIGNS Mexican Summer

17/20

18/20

Swans’ second album since reforming after a 13-year hiatus sees the band on blistering, career-best form, a sprawling monolith of a record which lurches between bludgeoning noise, woozily lilting Gothic Americana, drone and bastardised Eastern motif-appropriation. Michael Gira’s skill here is in simultaneously unsettling the listener and generating auras of the divine through multi-textured aural landscapes. This is done largely through propulsive rhythmic repetition and an approach to dynamics involving a consistent build-and-release. Apocalyptic Westernism might be an appropriate term for the sound Swans generate, constructions often complemented by Gira’s weary baritone and spiritual-hinting lyrics. But The Seer maintains a wealth of expansion around the clattering walls of noise. The Daughter Brings the Water and Song For A Warrior are alt-country-inflected calms in the storm, while 93 Ave. B Blues commences with something of a free-jazz freakout before shifting to a more conventional drone onslaught. Still, it’s more textbook tracks such as Avatar and A Piece of Sky – replete with Skelton-esque strings and unexpected flutters of chimes – which best convey Swans’ inimitable brute power.

The second album by San Fran shoegaze duo Tamaryn is a scorcher. Gliding gracefully into view on a slow-breaking wave of fuzzy, washed-out soul, Tender New Signs gets better the further it progresses and the louder you listen to it. Everything is meticulously executed, layers of guitars, breathy vocals and swaying cymbal rides perfectly re-capturing the feel of the early 90s swamp where shoegaze and grunge melted into the floor. There’s a pervading air of bliss – like Spiritualized in their less bombastic moments – but it’s the tracks with a more adventurous melodic structure (well, adventurous for shoegaze) that really elevate Tamaryn above the fray. Standout track Transcendent Blue is an understated masterpiece – what New Order would sound like if they swapped Bernard Sumner for Stevie Nicks and a big bag of valium. But it’s the lolloping, menacing final track Violet’s In A Pool that steals the show: a genuinely spooky piece of music that feels like it’s about to fall to pieces right in front of you. Crafting original and rewarding music from the much-plundered toolbox of shoegaze is a big ask, but Tamaryn deliver in spades.

TH www.crackmagazine.net

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Politics?

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Loose lips,nip slips and religious trolls

Illustration: Lee Nutland //// www.leenutland.com

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n the space of ten days, three memes pointed to the future of mankind’s ability to cope with what flushes down the pipes of the internet, whether it’s religious hatred, PG-13 pornography or The Great American Douchebag. The second two images caught their subjects offguard. A French glossy title published photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, nipples bared. Photos which are of no interest to anyone but the salivating masses who want to stare down the photographic lens of a paparazzo stationed on a lay-by, a clear mile from the balcony of Lord Linley’s château where Kate was sunbathing.

later, Obama had stretched a four-point lead out of nothing: it should be the final nail in the 1% narrative. The film showed Romney describing the 47% as scroungers who would vote for President Obama no matter what. The right cross of the one-two punch: “I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” It’s the worldview of American industrialists fat on foie gras. The Big Reveal of a pantomime villain that’s been trying to hide the Hyde for six months while he runs for the biggest seat in world politics.

in its production are internet trolls of the most offensive kind, baiting Muslims by calling the Prophet Muhammad a variety of heinous insults that, frankly, I’m too shit scared to repeat here. And, it’s a real struggle to sit through. Not just because it’s insulting to Muslims, but because it’s terrible. On mute it’s hard to know whether you’re watching a dramatisation directed by unsupervised 16-year-olds with a penchant for blue screen, or an educational film by Z-list actors from 80s soaps like Remington Steele and Knots Landing.

just over a month before the election, on the day the Republican campaign was planning a relaunch. The full-length version was held back for a week, leaving media outlets to pore over a short piece of film containing the headline-stealing quote.

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Christopher Goodfellow twitter.com/MediaSpank

And it was a very intimate moment for presidential candidate Mitt Romney too, when he was in front of a nest of $50,000-a-plate donors waxing lyrical about making it big without daddy and casting aside 47% of non-income-tax-paying Americans. Look at him now, furiously backpedalling on his fixie.

He’s way off the mark too. First off, the 47% includes war veterans, students in college and retired people on Social Security or Medicare. Second, many of those working are still liable for state and payroll taxes. Third, the states with highest percentages of nonpayers are largely red states. And fourth, Romney doesn’t pay income tax. In fact, he pays a lower overall tax rate than some of the people too poor to qualify for income tax.

On seeing the clip Bloomberg’s Josh Barrow sat down in front of his Smith-Corona and penned the headline: “Today, Mitt Romney Lost the Election.” Four days

The first of three memes dominating the news agenda, a “trailer” called The Innocence of Muslims, is an altogether more serious matter. Those involved

Nipples aside, what we have here are actors with vested interests gaming the propagation process. The Innocence of Muslims film had existed in obscurity for months before it was repeatedly reposted to YouTube in the run up to the 9/11 anniversary and eventually picked up by conservative Egyptian TV network AL-NAS, which misrepresented its popularity and legitimacy in the US. In the tinder-dry world of the internet it quickly amassed millions of viewers and led to violent protest across the world. The video of Romney is four months old, but was released by left-leaning publication Mother Jones

mediaspank.net Send rants to media@crackmagazine.net


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CRACK Issue 24  

Featuring DJ Harvey, Animal Collective, Nathan Fake, Tame Impala, Tall Ships, Idles and Hattie Stewart.

CRACK Issue 24  

Featuring DJ Harvey, Animal Collective, Nathan Fake, Tame Impala, Tall Ships, Idles and Hattie Stewart.