K F r e e
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Ghostface Killah | Mount Kimbie |Melvins| Bibio
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Night + Day The xx and their favourite acts in some of the worlds most unique locations
The xx, Poliรงa K i n d n e s s Mount Kimbie Solange v e r y S p e c i a l G u e s t
Bandstand: Deviation & Young Turks present... Jamie xx, Benji B, Sampha and more DJs to be announced
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HEART, SOUL, ROCK & ROLL
October 12th. Bristol. 2pm - 6am
MODERAT Bristol's most exciting and diverse festival returns with 60 acts,10 stages and 16 hours of music in some of the city's most unique spaces.
Limited ÂŁ20 early bird tickets from crackmagazine.net/tickets M
We are proud to announce our first headliner
Craig Richards Move D Deetron
One Records The Martinez Brothers Subb-An & Adam Shelton B2B Samu.l
The Nothing Special Craig Richards Andrew Weatherall & Ivan Smagghe B2B Le Carousel (live)
Silver Network Terry Francis Silver Team (Jef K & Alex Murak)
Terry Francis AVN/OCS Showcase Sigha & Shifted B2B Silent Servant MPIA 3 ROOM 3
Huntleys & Palmers Auntie Flo Esa Sophie (live) rRoxymore (live) Andrew J. Thomson
25May ROOM 1
Marco Carola Marc Antona (live) Leon ROOM 2
Marcel Fengler Efdemin Untold ROOM 3
Jaunt Boo Williams Blackhall & Bookless Richard Rowell
Craig Richards Jamie Jones Robert James ROOM 2
Aus Music Will Saul Appleblim Gerry Read (live) Lone ROOM 3
5 Years Of Bigger Deer Records Terry Francis Lewis Ryder Jeroen Search (live)
fabric 69: Sandwell District – Out Now. fabric 70: Apollonia – 17th June. fabric 71: Cassy – 19th August.
Ben Klock Mike Huckaby Pangaea ROOM 2
The Nothing Special Craig Richards Morphosis (live) Mosca ROOM 3
N.o.N Music The Pushamann Beaner Owen Howells
Photographer | Fabian Frost fabianfrost.com Featuring | Modeselektor
For those who are cracked let the light in: Respect Alex Jukes Gilders Claire Urquhart Skye Corewijn Lowri Beth Davies Robin Van Persie Nick Frost Alan Sutton Charlee Brown Lu & Charlie Woody Sophie Howard Sam Applebee
Editor Geraint Davies email@example.com
After years of putting on shows and parties across Bristol, Cardiff, London and Manchester and attending festivals around the world having our say, this October 12th we’re putting our money where our collective mouths are. It’s massively nerve-wracking, and one of most exciting developments in Crack’s history.
26 29 43
Junior Editor David Reed firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing / Events Manager Luke Sutton email@example.com Art Direction & Design Jake Applebee Alfie Allen
Staff Writer Lucie Grace Film Editor Tim Oxley Smith Intern Kurren Tatla
Illustrations Lee Nutland Sam Moore
CRACK is published by Crack Industries Ltd Advertising To enquire about advertising and to request a media pack contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
The festival in question is Bristol’s Simple Things. Now in its third year, its short history has been one of countless highs. In 2011 they transformed The Old Fire Station into a seething mass of bodies with sets from Jamie xx, Gonjasufi and Floating Points. It was great. Last year took it up a good couple of notches, with a parameter-shifting A/V headline show from Squarepusher drawing innumerable plaudits, Grimes cramming the Academy to its rafters for her afternoon appearance, mayhem at The Fleece for Bo Ningen and Gross Magic, and late night sets from Hudson Mohawke and Factory Floor making it one of the most memorable inner-city festival experiences we’ve ever had. We want some of that, we said. And with Crack onboard, this year we can take it to another level again. It’s early days, we don’t want to reveal too much yet. But we can tell you our main venue will be the Colston Hall, a magnificent Grade II listed concert hall in the centre of town. The Beatles played there bruv. We can also guarantee a huge range of unorthodox, unused and innovative venues, which will be going full pelt until the small hours. And we can confirm that two-thirds of our first headline act are on the cover of this very mag. The seamless collaboration between Berlin icons Apparat and Modeselektor, Moderat released their stunning debut full-length back in 2009, one of our favourite records of recent years. With its follow-up scheduled for August, the massively revered trio are sitting proudly atop a bill we promise will encapsulate everything we love about music, from punk to techno and all the stuff between. Trust us. Simple Things. Save the date.
Fashion Charlotte James Elise Rose Tabby Casto Contributors Christopher Goodfellow James T. Balmont Josh Baines Tom Howells Adam Corner Duncan Harrison Billy Black Alex Hall Alex Gwillam Augustin Macellari Louis Labron-Johnson Anna Tehabsim Claude Barbé-Brown Oliver Pickup Nick Johnstone Benjamin Salt
is about to fulfil a lifelong ambition. We’re
going in hard with a festival. Seriously. This is big.
Executive Editors Thomas Frost email@example.com Jake Applebee firstname.lastname@example.org
Crack has been created using: Tyler, The Creator - Rusty Moderat - A New Error Kiki Gyan - Pretty Pretty Girls Flatbush Zombies - Real Late Hot 97 Freestyle Kowton Vs Julio Bashmore - Mirror Song Kurt Vile - Goldtone Space Dimension Controller - The Love Quadrant Barnt - Geffen Envoy - Seawall (Ricardo Villalobos Mix) Arp 101 - U Savages - Waiting For A Sign Empire Of The Sun - Walking On A Dream Fuck Buttons - Space Mountain Blondes - Wine (Invol3ver mix) Mathew Jonson - Sahara Sorcerer - Cobra Coven (Greeen Linez Remix) Henrik Schwarz - Unknown Touch DjRum - DAM TLC - Red Light Special Savages - Hit Me Earl Grey - Through The City (Instrumental)
Sebastien Tex - Static Face Kon - Love Youx Forever Rhye - The Fall (Maurice Fulton remix) Daft Punk - Get Lucky Deerhunter - Neon Junkyard Terrence Pearce - Halcyon Wavves - Afraid of Heights Leon Vynehall - Sister Parliament - Flashlight Jon Hopkins - Abandon Window Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Thirsty Dog Bikini Kill - Suck My Left One Elvis Costello - Little Triggers Wolf Eyes - Born Liar Clutch - Rock N Roll Outlaw The Brian Jonestown Massacre - Viholliseni Maalla Sunn O))) - Candlegoat Loop - From Centre To Wave AFI - Bleed Black Cave In - Youth Overrided St. Pierre Snake Invasion - Say No To Stop Motion
The National - Sea of Love Parquet Courts - Donuts Only Snoop Lion - Fruit Juice ft. Mr Vegas Young Fathers - Come To Me The Germs - Lexicon Devil Mount Kimbie - Sketch On Glass Cassie - I Love It ft. Fabolous Oliver Wilde - Perrett’s Brook Neutral Milk Hotel - Holland, 1945 Kevin Gates - Counting On Ya Selebrities - Temporary Touch Korn - Blind Sapphire Slows - When I See You Pavement - Grave Architecture Merchandise - Anxiety’s Door The Black Lips - Cruising Chance The Rapper - Chain Smoker Run The Jewels - Get It Ab Soul - The End Is Near No Joy - E Majical Cloudz - Bugs Don’t Buzz
Savages Silence Yourself
The Debut Album Featuring Husbands, Shut Up and She Will
THE WORLD USED TO BE SILENT NOW IT HAS TOO MANY VOICES AND THE NOISE IS A CONSTANT DISTRACTION THEY MULTIPLY, INTENSIFY THEY WILL DIVERT YOUR ATTENTION TO WHAT'S CONVENIENT AND FORGET TO TELL YOU ABOUT YOURSELF WE LIVE IN AN AGE OF MANY STIMULATIONS IF YOU ARE FOCUSED YOU ARE HARDER TO REACH IF YOU ARE DISTRACTED YOU ARE AVAILABLE YOU ARE DISTRACTED YOU ARE AVAILABLE YOU WANT FLATTERY ALWAYS LOOKING TO WHERE IT'S AT
YOU WANT TO TAKE PART IN EVERYTHIN AND EVERYTHING TO BE A PART OF YO YOUR HEAD IS SPINNING FAST AT THE END OF YOUR SPINE UNTIL YOU HAVE NO FACE AT ALL AND YET IF THE WORLD WOULD SHUT UP EVEN FOR A WHILE PERHAPS WE WOULD START HEARING THE DISTANT RHYTHM OF AN ANGRY YOUNG TUNE AND RECOMPOSE OURSELVES PERHAPS HAVING DECONSTRUCTED EVERYTHIN WE SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT PUTTING EVERYTHING BACK TOGETHE SILENCE YOURSELF
3 RECORDS // CONTENTS M OD ESELEKT OR - 1 6
CRACKMAGAZINE.NET THE BEST Of OUR WEBSITE THIS MONTH
Rhythm & Sound Ki ng i n my E m p ir e S u riu s m o Cong ratula t o r Ad dis on G r oove & Sa m B i ng a Razor M OUN T KIMBIE - 2 0 Lee Ga m bl e Tvash Kwa w a r Ether Is l a nd Se ason of R isk G rou p R h oda Vi rtual D a n c e r GHOSTFACE KILL AH - 22 T he Delph oni c s S top A nd Lo o k Cza r fa ce A i r ‘Em Ou t S yl John s on Com e On, So c k It To M e BIBIO - 2 6 in c. No Worl d Bea ch H ous e Te e n D re a m Le theret t e Lethere tte
M O V E D C R A C KC A S T //
C RAC K TI C KETS //
Head over to the site to get hold of an overwhelming three-and-a-half-hour mix from house pioneer Move D. The set, which was recorded at an incredible Crack-hosted night in Dalston’s The Nest back in February, is a superb document as to why Move D is such a respected figure in the game. The 42nd Crackcast sits comfortably among the best. Get it down you.
Depending on your life outlook, buying tickets can either feel like a massive treat or a pain in the groin. Whichever way you’re inclined, Crack Tickets is on hand to make it nice and easy. See, we only sell tickets for really good stuff, so you could log onto our ticket section, close your eyes and click and you’d be guaranteed to have a swell time (N.B. this statement is not legally binding). So right now we’ve got tickets on offer for our own, hotly-anticipated How To Dress Well show at Bristol’s Thekla, an array of the summer’s finest festival occasions including Farr, Farm and Stop Making Sense, and we’re hugely excited about Bristol’s finest new clubnight Lewd who are welcoming the audaciously classy Chicago producer/DJ Amir Alexander for their second ever bash. Have a look.
CARL CRAIG - 29 Ra d io Sl a ve Let It Rai n ( De e t r o n Ed it ) Pa percli p Peopl e Throw (S la m ’s R T M R e m ix) Kyle Hal l & K er o Zug Isl and
THE WILLIAMS S IS T ERS - 30 Ba ga rre Ci rcus Weird Wa r If You Can’t B e a t ‘Em , B it e ‘E m Ba d Gu y s Bad Guy s M ELVIN S - 40 Tom Wai t s Bad as Me Da vid B ow i e The Ne xt Da y Redd Kros s Re se archin g T h e B lu e s THE FAIR OHS - 43 Orn ette C ol m a n Free Jazz Bila l A Love Su r r e a l Fra n k Za ppa A p ostrop h e
Th e P l ay g ro u n d F esti v a l C ompetiti o n // Brixton’s O2 Academy will be hosting two remarkable days on June 7th–8th with a vast array of electronic heavyweights including Squarepusher, Digitalism, Gary Numan, Booka Shade and Pantha Du Prince. If that wasn’t enough, a host of techno powerhouses are also in the mix including Model 500, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May. We’ve got a pair of tickets for y’all, just answer this question. Which of these artists was born in Detroit? a) Derrick May b) Squarepusher c) Jamie Jones E-mail your answers to email@example.com
30:30 // We’ve hit our 30th issue, and to celebrate we’ve decided to bring you some of the greatest quotes to have graced our pages over the past three and a half years. 30 quotes to be exact, featuring the likes of James Murphy, Flying Lotus, SpaceGhostPurrp, Richard Hawley, Geoff Barrow, and plenty ... well, 25 more. If it’s funny shit, inspiration, or straight up real-talk you’re after, this is a must read, packed full of the most amazing anecdotes and abrasive opinions to have been sent our way by the stunning array of individuals we’ve been fortunate to go head-to-head with in the name of Crack.
No saj Thin g Plan B 9 th M a y
17.05.13 THE NEST
A NIGHT OF UK GARAGE BROUGHT TO YOU BY CRACK MAGAZINE FEATURING DJ EZ // ZED BIAS // SLIMZEE // AZ & TOR LIVE // SHANDY B2B TOM LEA
Still Co rn e rs XOYO 9 th M a y
Crack Gara g e DJ EZ, Slimzee, Zed Bias, Az & Tor, Tom Lea b2b Shandy The Nest, Dalston May 17th £7
We L o v e Spac e Openi ng Par t y Walls Sh a c klewel l A rm s 10th M a y
For what will be our last London party before taking a (well deserved, we think) summer break, we take great pleasure in filling this May evening with a stunning array of UK garage and grime. We’ll be pulling an iron across our Moschino shirts, dusting off our Reebok Classics and pouring out the Cava in preparation for this celebration of one the country’s most enduring and invigorating musical creations. Sitting atop a bill sporting the biggest range of ‘Zs’ we’ve ever assembled is the daddy, Kiss FM’s DJ EZ, while we’ve got Rinse FM grime don Slimzee, Zed Bias on the old skool flex, a live set from the much hyped MadTech signings Az&Tor, plus FACT’s Tom Lea and Shandy of Crazyegs going b2b.
Carl Craig, Ben UFO b2b Joy Orbison, Bicep Ibiza June 9th Croatia might be the hot young upstart, but there’s still only one big dog when it comes to summer excursions to see the world’s premier DJs, and that’s Ibiza. And if Ibiza’s the best place to go clubbing in the world, then Space is the best club in Ibiza. And if Space is the best club in the best place to go clubbing in the world, then the 2013 We Love Space Opening Party might be the best night to go to the best club in the best place to go clubbing in the world. The Terrace welcomes Carl Craig, Henrik Schwarz and Bicep, Discoteca boasts James Zabiela and Ben UFO b2b Joy Orbison, and there’s a lovely Garden Get Together. All in all, a stunning opening to this legendary Mediterranean party season.
D ense & P ika XOYO 11th M a y
Beach Fos s ils The Do me 14 th M a y
Pink unoizu Electro werkz 15th May
Bilb a o B B K L i ve / Super boc k Super Ro ck
Kobetamendi, Bilbao / Cabeco da Flauta, Portugal July 11th-13th / July 18th-20th £85 + £5 BF / 90 Euros
Kraftwerk 3D, Foals, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Grizzly Bear, Praxis Makes Perfect Henham Park, Suffolk July 18th - 21st £190.50
It’s easy to get so helplessly embroiled in the mire of European festivals that you just don’t know what you want any more. You know you want to go – you know you want the hot weather and the cold beer and the great music – but you don’t know where or when. So here are a couple we’ve picked out. At the glorious heart of the Basque Country, Bilbao BBK is headed up by the timeless Depeche Mode, with a supporting cast including Vampire Weekend, Fatboy Slim, Klaxons and the Mark Lanegan Band. A week later and a little further westwards, Super Bock Super Rock in Portugal have assembled a seriously heavyweight cast across the board, with Queens of the Stone Age, !!!, Tomahawk and Ricardo Villalobos among the personnel. You’re welcome.
There’s just something overwhelmingly lovely about Latitude. Surely the most-well rounded festival on the UK calendar, this is so much more than a four day spiral into blindness-inducing indulgence. In fact, rather than returning as a shadow of your former self, you might even come back a better person. Because away from the mouth-watering musical schedule – including sets from Hot Chip, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Grizzly Bear, Modest Mouse and Foals – you’ve got a superb comedy line-up headed by Dylan Moran, spoken word from Thurston Moore, Neon Neon’s immersive theatre/live music creation Praxis Makes Perfect and art from David Shrigley and Alan Moore. Oh, and the headliner is Kraftwerk 3D. Yep. It’s going to be one of those shows that really stands out.
B onobo R oundhouse 18t h May
T h e Kn if e
Ju n ip
Roundhouse 8th May
Village Underground 13th May
A l l ah -L as D i ng w al l s 2 0t h May
E m p re s s O f The x x Night & Day
Shacklewell Arms May 20th Free via online registration Lorely Rodriguez, the innovative mind behind Empress Of, has been making considerable headway in the world of electronic production. Straight out of Brooklyn, the 23-yearold proudly takes the path less trodden, having initially released her music via colour-coded soundbites. Now on the verge of releasing a four-track EP on Double Denim Records outside of her North American homeland, the record features two Spanish-language tracks accompanied by the English Hat Trick and No Means No, as a means of portraying her artistic and cultural diversity. This is a free show from a truly beguiling talent.
The xx, Mount Kimbie, Kindness, Poliça Osterley Park June 23rd £48.50 One of country’s most treasured bands have called upon a selection of kindred spirits, including the superb Mount Kimbie, to join them for the London leg of their Night and Day series in Osterley Park. Bringing together a range of artists who share an artistic common ground, the resurgent Kimbie, (interviewed on p 2021), are also joined by Adam Bainbridge’s diverse electronic pop project Kindness, auto-tune-happy Minneapolis duo Poliça, and a DJ programme including Benji B and Jamie xx himself. The band have put on a show for the masses at a range of unusual and unique venues across Europe throughout the Night and Day series, and now prepare to triumphantly display their wares to a hometown crowd in what will surely be one of the biggest draws of the summer.
Suuns XOYO 14th May
Eg g : 1 0 x 1 0 S e rie s 007: La u re n t G a rn ie r Egg London May 24th £13 Surviving 10 years at the top of a dance music game that can often be so fickle is no mean feat, and Egg London are throwing a monster series of events to celebrate a decade of decadence across May and early June. With the series covering the breadth of the musical policy which has defined one of the capital’s most distinctive venues – including sets from the likes of deep house figurehead Kerri Chandler, Crosstown Rebels’ treasured alumnus Art Department and Spanish techno royalty Paco Osuna – there’s a genuine temptation to ditch everything and head to all 10. But if we had to single one out, it has to be the seventh event featuring one of electronic music’s all-time greats, Laurent Garnier. A suitably grand booking for this unique occasion.
Su n c é Be a t
One of a number of festivals to grace the rolling hills, idyllic beaches and clear waters of Croatia’s The Garden Tisno, this fourth installment of SuncéBeat sets out its stall with a real connoisseur’s line-up focusing on the finest in deep and soulful house music. Detroit god and one of the most inimitable characters in the movement Moodymann is there, as are Derrick Carter, Kerri Chandler and Motor City Drum Ensemble. One for the heads, and the feet.
Roundhouse 17th May
K e t o l o c o : N ig h t sh if t Todd Terje, Audiojack, Droog, Pardon My French The Sidings Warehouse May 26th £12 Ketoloco is back with its meeting of nu disco and tech sounds featuring artists including long-time favourite Todd Terje, Droog, Pardon My French and more. Held at the Sidings Warehouse in London Bridge against a backdrop of majestic railway arches and a raw industrial setting, the Ketoloco crowd will have all three Sidings rooms at their disposal, as well as a Funktion One sound system to compliment the already infectious vibe and colour created by some of the best house DJs in the business. A night of uplifting, fist-pumping sounds at a sterling venue.
Gary Wilson S hack l ew el l Arms 2 1st May
V i l l age r s E l ect ri c Bri x t on 2 1st May
Moodymann, Gilles Peterson, Derrick Carter, Kerri Chandler The Garden Tisno, Croatia July 24th-30th £120
Modes el ek tor
M ac D e M ar co T he Garag e 2 1st May
B O W I E VI R U S ICA Theatre April 25th – May 12th Free Entry
Au ra S a t z: Impulsive S yn chro n isa tio n Southbank Centre March 22nd – May 26th Free Entry
Following on from an October 2012 issue of Arena Homme Plus, which featured BOWIEVIRUS accompanied by a series of images reconstructing Bowie’s persona for a new audience, photographer David Sims will further develop the ideas as part of his first solo project in the UK for 15 years. Having made a name for himself as a pioneering photographer in the early 90s, Sims’ work provides a unique and energetic approach to even the simplest of images. An artist whose work is becoming increasingly prominent even in the modern day, this exhibition is sure to inspire all those who lay eyes on it.
Immerse yourself in a new film and sound installation at the Southbank Centre which bases itself on the invention of ‘frequent hopping’, patented in 1941 by Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil. Initially used as a ‘Secret Communication Service’, it has since become the basis for today’s spread-spectrum technology, being used in wireless telephone and Wi-Fi. The project is part of The Rest Is Noise, which focuses on the collaboration of 20th century music and its relationship to technology and artistic democracy. A rare opportunity to explore how two seemingly disparate worlds collide.
M e tro A re a Oval Space 25th May
Ke r r i C h andl e r Egg 2 5 t h May
Jagwar M a XO Y O 2 8t h May
S pl as h h Carg o 4t h June
T h e S t . P ierre S n a ke I n v a sio n B re a t h e O u t “Wake up on a sofa somewhere, try and find a shower, then triple check we’ve got all our equipment, get in the van and then usually practice doing the accent of whatever place we’re going to. Arrive, load in, soundcheck, play the gig, then either celebrate if it was good or try to forget about it if it was bad.” So goes Breathe Out’s day-in-the-life portrayal of a touring British guitar band. We don’t know if it’s partly the fact the sun is beaming through our office window right now, but Breathe Out’s energetic, fuzzy and almost naïve sounding indie pop makes us long for carefree summer afternoons getting drunk in the park. Y’know, the shit you’ll poignantly reflect on during your mid-life crisis. On first listen, The Lemonheads and Pinkertonera Weezer spring to mind as comparisons. But when we ask the band about retro influences, they shut us down. “I think it’s important to listen to stuff that is made in the world you live in and not just rely on canonised music from the past. The song Just Like Old Times from our new EP is actually about nostalgia and how it can interfere with creating something new”. Oops. Ah well, regardless of whether they’re drawing from the past or the present, Breathe Out specialise in a a sweet but aggressively delivered form of indie pop we’ll never get sick of.
One of the fiercest prospects to slither out of Bristol’s live circuit in recent memory, The St. Pierre Snake Invasion’s fucked up boogies and incandescent vocal battery have long marked them out. On new five-track Everyone’s Entitled To My Opinion crisp production forms a platform for Damien Sayell’s eviscerating shrieks, wry sloganeering and his band’s series of spasmodic punk breaks and elephantine grooves. The bolshy title is best captured in the EP’s closing track, Say No To Stop Motion, where a roll-call of recommended listening builds to an intonation of “You should be listening to The Fall”, before a spectacular offbeat drop descends into joyous bedlam. Catch upcoming dates across the South West, including the Dot To Dot and ArcTangent festivals.
The words ‘bedroom project’ can often hint at a novice, sheepishly lo-fi approach. But as CLUB KURU, Londoner Laurie Erskine seems to be crafting gems which glimmer with perfection. With a luscious blend of digital and organic textures, Erkstine backs his tenderly delivered songs with electronic drum sequences, syrupy guitar bends, warm organ tones and retro-feeling neon synths. Right now, Googling Kuru is more likely lead you to pages about an incurable, cannibalism related neurological disease of the same name, but we’re hoping that’ll all change once Erskine fulfils his palpable sense of ambition.
Tune: Say No To Stop Motion
File Next To: Metronomy | Tom Vek
breathebreatheout.blogspot.co.uk Tune: Dead Friends File Next To: New Bomb Turks | The Plight File Next To: The Lemonheads | The History of Apple Pie
L o s Po rco s Due to the amnesia-esque side effects of modern listening habits, some of us have clicked ‘refresh’ enough to completely forget how WU LYF’s 2011 album sounded. But the elusive ‘heavy pop’ band made headlines recently when their frontman publicly pushed self-destruct on the project without warning the other guys. Fortunately, the band’s remaining members have unveiled their fun-embracing new project Los Porcos. Two tunes have been shared, retro floorfiller Do You Wanna Live? and the moonlit, silky ballad Jesus Luvs U Baby, neither of which would sound out of place at a 70s-themed roller disco.
S O HN
Chanc e T h e Ra p p e r
SOHN is the solo project of an individual who escaped the intensity and congestion of London by relocating to the mountainous landscapes of Austria. There he crafted a gorgeous, instantaneously attractive soundscape that’s earned him a record deal with 4AD. While many bedroom producers who spread R’n’B vocals over ambient electronics can end up creating a vibe that feels as warm as stepping in a puddle when there’s a hole in your trainer, SOHN’s productions are lusciously smooth, deep and support a voice that caught the attention of neo-R’n’B superstar Miguel, who accurately pointed out that SOHN’s music is about “longingness, loneliness and space”.
Tune: Good Ass Intro
File Next To: Kendrick Lamar | Tree
Say what you want about Chief Keef and the drill brigade, but their controversy-brewing movement is turning the spotlight on Chicago’s rap scene, often exposing talent that’s decidedly opposite in its sentiment. Like previously underrated ‘SoulTrap’ proponent Tree, fellow Chi-Town resident Chance The Rapper draws from hearty inspirations such as jazz, funk and soul for his beats. With his croaky, rapid delivery, Chance recently declared his adventurous outlook on Good Ass Intro, a hype track which – completely without warning – kicks into a footwork beat. Alluring stuff.
Ba rn y C a rte r This UK producer has been on the peripheries since 2009, but Carter’s played the long game. It’s a considered approach which paid dividends on last August’s debut Still Life EP and its uncharacteristically prompt follow up, Montpellier, released earlier this year. An atmospheric, involving listen, subtlety is the key. Swells of sound and vocal slivers float together on gorgeous opener Clamour, while Inside Out thrives on stuttering rhythms and piano trickles with a jazzindebted looseness. With debut live dates pencilled in for June and backing from some 6 Music big boys, Barny Carter is beginning to build momentum. soundcloud.com/barnycarter
Tune: Do You Wanna Live?
File Next To: Four Tet | Shlohmo
File Next To: Leo Sayer | Vampire Weekend File Next To: The Weeknd | Mount Kimbie
SI T E m o d e s e le kt o r. c o m
WO R D S A l e x G w i l l am
TUN E T he Bl ack Bl ock
M O D E S E L E K T O R B erlinâ€™ s foremost double - act have just condensed 10 years of their e x istence into an engrossing new film .
“There are some parts of the film that show us either backstage or about to come on just before a show, and yeah, it looks like being a rockstar,” smirks Szary. “But, to be honest, we’ve never felt like that. We’re just normal guys and we don’t like any of that ego. Sometimes, while you’re travelling, you’d wake up on the tour bus with Holger right there in your face, and be like, ‘No, please! Not the fucking camera again!’ But then you just get up and you get used to it, and all you see is your friend there, not the camera.”
If watching endless seasons of Blackadder instead of working has taught us anything, it’s that we should probably get a better hobby, that meggings looked shit even the first time round, and that sometimes it pays to have a cunning plan. History’s full of evidence to back that last point up. Just take a look at Steve McQueen. What if, instead of carefully orchestrating The Great Escape, he’d just run at the nearest fence the moment the guards had their backs turned? He probably would’ve ruined that nice leather jacket, and it would’ve made a rubbish film. But Gernot Bronsert & Sebastian Szary of Modeselektor think otherwise. Like eating a whole bowlful of your own hair just to prove it’s possible, for them having a plan is neither necessary nor particularly enjoyable. Over the course of a career that’s spawned three albums, another as two-thirds of Moderat, two labels, several world tours and the occasional dancing man in a monkey suit, the pair have always sought a more impulsive path. Rather than attempting to mastermind some elaborate route to musical superstardom, they’ve spent the past 15 years leaping over serious-faced scenesters on a motorcycle made of smiles and unsettling the ranks of the global A-list with a fun and unpretentious approach to rave. “ W e s ta And now they’ve had a film made about them, too. One that’s actually rather good.
While watching the DVD , it becomes apparent how important this honest and down-toearth attitude is to the pair’s dynamic. While distinctly different characters in their own right, Gernot and Szary have a comfort and ease around each other that feels like the two familiar faces of the same well-tossed coin. Playing live, this translates to all manner of performance showboating and improvised antics, but through all the stage invasions, champagne showers, and reckless bouts of crowdsurfing, nothing about them ever feels forced or phoney.
rted out making gold
Clearly, these are two guys who have shared a friendship long before they ever had to share a tour bus, and it’s that friendship that comes out every time they step in front of a crowd – no matter how big or small the gig.
f r o m s h i t, a n d t h i n g s h a v e
“Our number one rule is that we never plan anything in advance,” Gernot tells Crack over coffee at a café in the shadow of their central Berlin studio. “It’s served us pretty well. I would never have had the idea to make a documentary about us, and neither would Szary. That’s just not how we work.”
just progressed from
Titled simply We Are Modeselektor, the documentary charts the group’s complete journey through music thus far, covering each member’s individual history as well as the birth, growth, and continued success of the act today.
“Of course it helps a lot to know the other person so well, and to be so comfortable onstage,” explains Gernot, without there.” even needing to look at the chair beside him. “When we play, obviously the music is important, but it’s also important to have the right attitude. You shouldn’t create an attitude just because you feel like you have to. You can look at what is going on in the US right now and draw your own conclusions about that kind of thing – but we don’t like to talk about ‘EDM’. If we’re going to talk about EDM we might as well sit here and talk about Las Vegas or Disneyland!” “We were lucky that we’ve been doing performance ever since the start,” echoes Szary. “We’ve never had some big management company telling us we need to hire a massive LED wall or do a stadium tour in order to be famous. That all happened as a result of our own work. We started out making gold from shit, and things have just progressed from there.”
“The guy who came up with the idea is a good friend of ours,” Gernot continues. “He’s filmed us a lot over the years, so when he first mentioned the idea we thought ‘sure, as long as we don’t have to do anything and it’s not going to cost us any money!’ We certainly didn’t know what he was going to come up with.”
Gold from shit, that’s one way to look at it. The pair have certainly come a long way since their first record was commissioned by techno über-doyenne Ellen Allien for her fanatically regarded bPitch Control imprint back in 2002. It was a big break for an act like Modeselektor, who up until that point had been purely a live phenomenon, and it was the start of an important learning curve for each of them on the road to becoming the allsinging all-dancing men in charge they are today.
Whether they planned to make it or not, it’s clear the project has been a labour of love for filmmaker Holger Wick. Before the film had even been christened, he’d been shooting footage of Modeselektor on and off for over a decade, so we’re certainly not talking some flaccid ‘on-the-road’ tour documentary, thrashed out to sell more records or deepthroat artist egos.
“Our time at bPitch taught us a lot of things – both good and bad!” laughs Gernot, from behind his coffee. “We made a lot of experiences, and a lot of it was trial and error. We found it was very much like a family, which was great. The only trouble was we never really liked any of the music! Now we’ve tried to take that vibe and pass it on through our own labels – and this time we love everything that comes out of it.”
Covering everything from the first rudimentary warehouse raves Szary organised as a teenager, to the colourful period of life he and Gernot shared while living in adjacent apartments in Berlin, and finally onto their evolving existence as a bill-topping headline act today, the film leaves out little in its quest to show the audience the full picture. Sadly, none of it is delivered from a bubble bath.
If there’s been a success story in recent times comparable to that of Modeselektor, surely it has to be that of their twin labels, Monkeytown and 50 Weapons. The former was originally conceived purely as an outlet to release the music of the duo’s longtime friend, the notoriously mediashy producer Siriusmo, although the imprint was soon broadened into a wider home for other artists. The latter, meanwhile, has cemented itself as a dependable source of brick-heavy club bangers from the likes of Shed, Cosmin TRG, Benjamin Damage, Marcel Dettmann and Phon.O, and has become something of a staple in the record boxes of DJs who know their shit and aren’t afraid to hit you with it. Most notably, it’s served as a refuge for many international artists looking to experiment with a sound slightly different to the one they’ve become known for – like taking an indulgent trip into the deviant pastimes of a debauched weekend in Berlin.
“Holger has done a really great job; we’re very happy with it,” Szary beams. “The funny thing is, a lot of the tapes from those very early parties I threw were actually taken by the local dope dealer! He was the only one with enough money to afford a proper video camera, and he used to walk around the rave with this big light strapped to his head so he could see while he was filming everyone! Can you imagine a drug dealer strapping a light to their head these days? It was hilarious!” While any documentary of this kind is bound to mean whipping out a few old photos and bits of archive footage (like Michael Aspel brandishing his big red book of shame and dubious haircuts), this time we’re not just talking embarrassing baby snaps or a story about how one of them fed the neighbour’s dog a dishwasher tablet. The classic VHS recordings of those early bunker parties – complete with rare pre-Modeselektor live performances – show first hand just how long the pair have been involved with the underground rave scene. And it’s this energy that has helped shape the group they have become today.
“When people come to Berlin, they are allowed to let go in a way that they have not experienced elsewhere,” Szary asserts, matter-of-factly. “And this can often affect the music they make. But the important thing to know is that this is not a ‘Berlin sound’. There is no such thing as the ‘Berlin sound,’ there is only the ‘Berlin feeling’. The sound comes from all over the world, and it’s the people who bring it here to this city.”
And what kind of group is that? Well, if their international tour schedule is anything to go by, Gernot and Szary are fast becoming two of the biggest and most successful musical exports Berlin has produced in decades. Having smashed headline-grabbing crowds everywhere from Manchester to Guadalajara, gracing stages alongside some of electronic music’s most prominent names, they’ve certainly earned their place dining at the big boys’ table. However, they’re quick to disassociate themselves from the archetypical ‘Superstar DJ’ persona.
“The Berlin we know is like an old lady who smokes 50 cigarettes a day and drinks two bottles of schnapps, but for some reason is still alive and kicking!” laughs Gernot. “Everyone has one of those friends, who drinks too much and takes loads of drugs, but still gets up the next day and goes about their business like nothing ever happened. That’s Berlin, and that’s our city.”
PH O TO S F ab i an Fr os t
Someone else who calls it their city is a certain Mr Sascha Ring, better known to the world as Apparat, who joined forces with Modeselektor in 2009 to form Moderat. Following a critically-lauded collaborative album backed up by string of legendary live shows, the two forces parted ways in 2011, asserting that was the end of the project. Until now, that is. Gird your loins, Crack readers, for we’re sure many of you will moisten to learn that work has recently finished on a long-awaited second Moderat LP, due for release on August 2nd. So what was it that brought everyone back into the studio together? “I think Sascha just got fed up with playing guitar!” Gernot quips, with a smile. “Actually, I’m kidding. I think after you’ve played that many loud, sweaty, energetic Modeselektor shows, it’s nice to do something different. Modeselektor can be a lot of work, and Moderat is … well, it’s more hard work! But it’s a different kind. It’s hard work where we can wear a suit.”
you do manage to come out of the other side, you’re better for it. There are lots of artists who make great dance music, but who can’t do albums. We’ve never been that kind of artist.”
“It’s especially hard during production,” Szary confides. “Normally decisions are just made between me and him. ‘Bass drum louder? Yes? No? Ok. No problem.’ Now suddenly everything has to be a three-way decision, and it’s…”
So, once the new Moderat record is out, what then? Where do the pair envisage their musical journey will take them next? How can we even ask a question like that to two men who find the idea of future planning about as appealing as a night huffing paint and playing hide the weasel with Angela Merkel? Free of any concrete answer, it seems – like always – that Gernot & Szary are quite happy to simply let the techno do the talking. They’re just going along for the ride … “Techno is a very special thing. It’s like a plant – if you treat it right, it can have a very long life,” Gernot muses, with a philosophical air. “It doesn’t need too much water, it doesn’t need too much air, just the right kind of earth and the right kind of light! That’s what we’re trying to help produce, both by ourselves and with the labels.”
“Go on, say it. It’s a real pain in the ass!”
“Techno is more than just music; it’s a total sensory experience,” Szary weighs in, his face laden with the sincerity of a true connoisseur. “It’s made to be played in clubs, and you’re supposed to feel it and smell it just as much as hear it. Perhaps one day they will invent the technology to capture the smell of a real techno club to go along with a CD, and then Modeselektor will do the first ever scratch ‘n’ sniff album! But until then we’ll just go on creating the music.”
As difficult as it may have been to produce the record, there are few things so likely to cause a case of trouser turbulence than the prospect of fresh Moderat material. And not just some tantalising single or EP either. In true Modeselektor style, II (as the follow-up is called) will be a full-blown album, although exactly what it will sound like remains a mystery.
Given the aroma of the average nightclub we’re not entirely convinced that’ll catch on. Still, for these two freewheeling pioneers, we’ll try anything once. Plan or no plan, they might not know exactly where they’re going, but you can bet your last piece of bubble gum that it’ll be an interesting ride.
“At certain points when making the new record we found ourselves listening to the old one for a reminder of what inspired us,” reveals Szary. “But we stopped that pretty quickly. This new record is a fingerprint of who we are and where we are right now. We don’t want to be looking back.”
We Are Modeselektor is released on May 3rd via Monkeytown Records. Moderat play Simple Things Festival, Bristol, on October 12th.
“We’ve always been about albums, and it was important to us to do it this way”, Gernot expounds, leaning further over the table. “I think with an album you can tell more about an artist; you grow and develop in ways you never could just by producing 12” singles, and if
TUN E Made t o S t ray
WO R D S A d am C or n e r
SIT E m ountk i mb ie . c o m
T hree y ears on from the game - changing C rooks and Lovers, the London duo have refused to stand still
It’s easy to eulogise about supposedly important times in musical history with rose-tinted glasses. Usually, when you start feeling all gooey about moments from the musical past, it’s time to check your nostalgic enthusiasm: was it really as glorious a time for music as your flimsy, drunken, half-baked memories tell you it was? But even with a healthy dose of self-restraint and cool-headedness, its difficult to avoid the conclusion that somewhere around 2009, something pretty fucking exciting was happening to electronic music. Any serious analysis of forward-thinking club sounds at the end of the Noughties would focus on a handful of record labels – Hyperdub, Hot Flush, or R&S – and the goldmine of creative talent and artistic innovation that they incubated and developed. Acts like Zomby, Joy Orbison, Darkstar and James Blake. And in particular, Kai Campos and Dom Maker – otherwise known as Mount Kimbie. Something happened alright – UK dance music suddenly got a damn sight more interesting – and at the middle of that ‘something’ were this pair. Their debut LP Crooks & Lovers seemed to capture perfectly the spirit of invention and creativity that followed the first wave of dubstep producers earlier in the decade. And as Mount Kimbie’s star rapidly ascended, they embarked on what would turn into almost two years of constant touring. In the process, they evolved from an idiosyncratic duo operating at the amorphous heart of the post-dubstep scene into an idiosyncratic duo operating at the boundary between progressive guitar dynamics and ambient electronic beats (with some spoken word rapping thrown in for good measure).
Notably, there are two collaborations with King Krule, the youthful, Brit School alumnus vocalist/rapper whose rugged, slurry delivery evokes the smoky good old days of UK hip-hop. “We were very keen not to have a second album that was just us making electronic music as a platform for other people to sing over the top of ”, Kai says, wearily. “We wanted to keep developing ourselves as writers and artists, not to be pigeon-holed in a ‘producer’ role … you just see it happen, especially with second electronic albums, lots of people singing but no real identity to it. King Krule was the only person who we really considered working with on the new record. We e-mailed him, he was into it, he came down to the studio when all we had was a 30 second clip of a song or whatever, and so we were pretty much working together on finishing the tracks that he’s on. It’s funny, I always think of him as a singer, and it’s only since we started
there’s just as much nonsense that goes on there. We’re trying to create our own niche I guess.” And, like so many other acts that have sought their own niche, they’ve found a welcoming home in Warp Records, with whom the band signed – with little fanfare – in 2012. “We stopped touring last Christmas, and started thinking about making another record. We stopped the gigs, we stopped doing any press, and it kind of just happened” explains Kai. “When we signed to them we didn’t have a record at all. I think more so than when we spoke to other labels, we felt like they didn’t have any expectations about what the record was gonna be like, I mean there wasn’t even a conversation about that, which was encouraging. We knew we wanted to do something slightly different, and we wanted to look at things in a slightly longer-term, bigger picture kind of way. They put out a lot of different music, so I feel like they’ve probably seen it all before!”
When we call up one half of the band – Kai – at the emphatically unrock ‘n’ roll hour of 9.30am, we ask him how Mount Kimbie found the exhaustive time on the road which followed the success of their debut. “We did about two years of pretty full on touring”, confirmed Kai, “you plan the first six months after the record comes out and then just have to go with it. But we actually really enjoy touring. It’s very different to normal life, but we were learning and getting better the whole time, we weren’t just running out the same thing every night. It’s a full-time job, touring, and it took us a bit of time to figure out what we wanted to do with the new album, so we needed time and space to figure that out.” Inevitably, the extensive touring morphed and moulded the band’s sound. On Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, their forthcoming second album, the ghostly traces of garage beats are now all but banished, and there is a warmer (if still decidedly murky) feel. And while it’s easy to overplay how different the new record is to their previous output (the scattershot beats, warm keys and melancholy edge are all still present and correct), one of the most significant shifts from their debut is immediately established in the opening track Home Recording: the foregrounding of Dom and Kai’s vocals. Not sampled vocals, swathed in FX and looped to within an inch of their life – actual singing, like an actual band ‘n that. “I don’t think the new record is a complete overhaul of everything we’ve done. It sounds like us, but we haven’t just knocked out the same thing again, y’know?” counters Kai. “We took the sound we were making on our first album as far as we wanted to take it, we knew that much when we had finished it, and that was three years ago, so we weren’t going to be making the same album again after all that time.”
doing press I realised a lot of people hear it as rapping. He does make hip-hop as well, but I think the act King Krule is very much a guitar/ singer type band.” The question of whether King Krule is a singer or rapper, or whether Mount Kimbie should still be considered alongside the acts with whom their first album was initially associated, is really a question of context. Play the Mount Kimbie albums back to back, and there are plenty of continuities. Listen out for the echoes of the post-dubstep sound they were initially tagged with, and you can find them. But as Kai explains, increasingly, Mount Kimbie’s reference points are elsewhere. “We’re going on tour in the states in May with Holy Other and also a band called Vinyl Williams from L.A., who are a more psychedelic rock thing. We’re doing three weeks together, it should be fun”, he tells us. “More and more it becomes less viable to be playing in clubs, and certainly we made a conscious decision a long time ago that it wasn’t the right context to be seeing our music. I think it’s a very different job to be a DJ, and being sandwiched between two DJs doesn’t really work, you kind of completely reset the vibe of the night, at a club night it’s meant to be more of a continuous thing. “I guess by definition what we’re doing now is somehow a bit more of a self-indulgent egotistical trip”, he continues. “We need a fairly big stage, we need to soundcheck for at least an hour, there’s stuff we like to do with lighting, and just generally having as much control of the environment as possible really. There’s all kind of things like that which don’t really work for club nights. Those shows are fine when they work because the energy’s really good, but I guess we’re somewhere in between. There’s elements of the traditional rock and roll circuit that we don’t like too,
Cold Spring Fault Less Youth feels lean, like an album that’s been trimmed down to its essential components. But, as Kai explains, there weren’t too many components in the first place. “We find a lot of effort goes into a small number of songs, it wasn’t like we had to cut the new album down from 50 songs or anything. We had maybe 14, which we cut down to 11. There’s not much we finish that doesn’t get used, but it always takes quite a long time.”
One of the standout tracks on the album is the second King Krule collaboration, Meter Pale Tone. Over a softly tribal rhythm and winsome synths, Krule’s sombre, earthy delivery creates a beautiful synergy. But remembering the names of pieces of electronic music can be difficult enough without curveballs like Meter Pale Tone. Kai stressed that in fact the song’s title – and lots of other cryptic Mount Kimbie vocabulary – is rooted in reason. “The title of that song is actually more of a visual thing”, he explains. “I tend to keep notes throughout the year of phrases or words that come up when I’m listening to a podcast, or reading a book, and something strikes me as worth taking down. So I end up with all these sticky notes that are absolute nonsense. Sometimes they’re really outrageous things, sometimes they’re just words I like, but they often end up as song titles, although usually changed slightly to bear a bit of relevance to the song. In this case the three words were something to do with the three of us (Dom, Kai & King Krule) working together in the studio on that song”. It’s a thoughtful response – and one typical of the considered, almost methodical way that Mount Kimbie seem to go about the business of being a band. They possess the confidence to abandon the safety net of the scene that spawned them, and the maturity to not turn the chance of a change into an identity crisis. Mount Kimbie know themselves well enough to feel happy ditching the clubs for the gig circuit; to aim higher than being merely an electronic platform for other people’s sentiments; and most of all, to create their own niche and then be comfortable inhabiting it.
-------Cold Spring Fault Less Youth is released on May 27th via Warp Records.
WORDS David R eed
SITE twitter. co m/GhostfaceKi l l ah
TU NE B lac k Jesus
PHOTO L ia m Ricketts
Wu -Tang’s sharp tongued criminologist has always got a story to tell
“Ghostface, catch the blast of a hype verse/my glock bursts, leave in a hearse, I did worse/I come rough, tough like an elephant tusk/Ya head rush, fly like Egyptian musk”. That’s the first dart thrown on Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), the most hardcore hip-hop album ever made. 20 years later, it still glows. And amongst the nine rap superheroes in the dangerously wild, explosively charismatic Staten Island (a.k.a Shaolin) collective, Ghostface Killah has always pushed his way to the front with an unhinged flow and his razor sharp, cinematic wordplay. “When we did 36 Chambers, our energy was crazy man”, he reminisces. Crack is in conversation with Ghostface Killah in his London hotel room. He’s laid horizontal on the bed, grazing a family size bag of pretzels, seemingly unfazed by the mob of journalists, camera crew and PR crowded around him, eagerly hanging off his every word. “Once we had all the Clan in the studio like that, I looked around thinking ‘I know ya’ll going to be something one day’. I knew it already, before the music was even out, because I trusted in my brothers. And the way you heard Deck, Rae, Meth, GZA and them niggas spittin on shit … it was just like ‘Oh my god yo, this is it!’ And wasn’t just the rhymers we had there, we had our friends in there, and some of them ain’t even here with us today.” Ghostface Killah, real name Dennis Coles, was born in 1970. Under the guidance of a single mother, he grew up among a great number of
siblings, two of whom suffered from muscular dystrophy, in a crammed apartment in the Stapleton projects. He served his first prison sentence at the age of 15. At some point in the mid 80s, Ghostface became inseparable from Robert Diggs, aka RZA, then known among the local hip-hop scene as Rakeem. Along with RZA’s cousins GZA and Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Park Hill residents Method Man, U-God, Inspectah Deck and Raekwon The Chef (and, eventually, Brooklyn’s Masta Killa), Ghostface Killah was recruited to form Diggs’ insanely ambitious project: the WuTang Clan. Not only would they go on to cause a seismic shift within hip-hop, but their logo would permanently embed itself in the minds of an entire generation. The fact that RZA managed to pull together a crew of such intense personalities is incredible. Ghostface and Raekwon, who would later develop styles so compatible you’d swear they were bound together telepathically, initially ran with opposing street teams, and according to RZA, both attended their first meeting equipped with firearms. Accounts of the early days describe Ghostface as a permanently drunk, coke sniffing ‘dust head’ (his own term), a fearless brawler who was prone to feuds and especially unpopular with nightclub staff. But right from the start, the Wu were students of the Nation of Islam offshoot The Five Percent Nation, and Ghostface tells us how embracing God has positively influenced him in recent years.“It’s always been there, but I just got more deep in my spirituality as the years progressed. I started coming more
into myself, know what I’m saying? I’ve become wiser, more humble, that’s how it goes.” Tonight, Ghost is playing a show at London’s 100 Club, but he’s doing the press rounds to promote his new project Twelve Reasons To Die, a collaborative concept album with the LA producer and composer Adrian Younge. According to Ghost, Younge is quite the ventriloquist. “For this project right here, I followed his direction. So once you know the character, you put yourself in that mode, and then it’s like ‘boom!’, you gotta throw your elbows around now”, he says. On Twelve Reasons, Ghostface once again goes by the name Tony Starks, an alias borrowed from Marvel Comics’ Iron Man series. Twelve Reasons is set in Italy during the 60s. Starks is an employee of the DeLuca mafia organisation, but his unquenchable ambition and reckless vigilantism puts him on the family’s hit list. And as if it couldn’t get any worse, he falls hopelessly in love with the kingpin’s daughter. A loyal friend (played by part-time Clan member and former cab driver Cappadonna) tries to warn him that it’s a set up: “You think God sent her? Nah, it’s the devil instead, they got plans for you Tone, they want you dead, dead, dead!”, he cries. Starks gets wacked, his killers melt his remains and then press it into vinyl. When that record is played, Tony Starks returns to the world as a revenge hungry phantom – the Ghostface Killah – which turns out to be seriously bad fucking news for the DeLucas.
Younge’s analogue soundtrack blends influences from 70s soul, the Italian film composer Ennio Morricone and RZA, who’s credited as the executive producer. Running parallel to the release of Twelve Reasons is an album that Younge recorded with William Hart of The Delphonics, an old-school unit of soul singers. The Delphonics’ discography has always been a fountain of inspiration for sample hungry rap producers (Ghost himself rhymed over one of their tracks on Hush and the group sang backing vocals on his first album), and after hearing his mother play soul music at her parties through his bedroom wall, Ghost has been infatuated with the genre since childhood. So it’s no wonder that he speaks about Younge’s work with such admiration. “He’s like a scientist with what he does. Those tracks The Delphonics used to have? He makes ‘em just like that. He don’t record nothing digital, all reel-to-reel tape, like the old musicians used to do. I went to his house, he’s got all that old shit which makes it sound nice n’ raw like that, not too clean. To have all that onstage was something I’d always wanted, but it just so happened that this was the right project for it. And this shit is nice man, because you can sew shit together, you can fuck around with it, nah mean? You can be like ‘yo, mix this together’, ‘speed it up’, ‘make the strings go higher’, ‘make that shit sound theatrical’. It kills the DJ completely.” By this point in the interview, Ghost has sat up. He’s throwing his arms around like a composer, visibly excited by his own words. Mafia culture has always been a crucial ingredient in Wu-Tang Clan’s
lyricism and aesthetics. Along with the Kung-Fu flicks the group devoured in Staten Island’s seedy 24-hour cinemas, the Clan drew inspiration from crime movies, manipulating the mob’s strategies and codes of morality and applying them to their own manifesto. When Crack brings up this subject with Ghost, he warms to it immediately. “I respect the organised crime characters because they keep their shit together. With movies like The Godfather, there’s those with the loyalty to the family and there’s the killers, the hitmen. I like the hitmen, those who be coming to get the job done and shit, y’know what I mean? But they surrounded by people who want to take them down. They got the snitch, the motherfucker who talk too much. You got knuckleheads who wanna run around, doing wild shit and fuck your whole shit up, causing too much exposure and bringin’ it onto the motherfuckin’ family.” When the Wu-Tang Clan were growing up, their native Staten Island was ruled by the Gambino family, then the most powerful Mafia organisation in America. With their Wu-Gambino alter egos (Rae as Lou Diamonds, RZA as Bobby Steels, Masta Killa goes by Noodles etc), Ghostface and Raekwon – the group’s chief criminologists – spearheaded Mafioso rap, a mid-90s sensation that directly influenced Biggie, AZ, Nas and Jay-Z’s debut Reasonable Doubt. But although RZA claims to have personally exchanged gestures of respect with members of the Gambino organisation, Ghost is quick to draw the distinction between artistic fantasy and his reality. “I’ve never been part of no big Mafia organisation
who get their hands dirty like that. My life ain’t based round no mafia shit, my shit is based around that Ghostface shit – whatever I did in my past, and what I intend to do in my future. But for my lifestyle, you gotta watch who you be around, just like the Mafia. You can’t let everyone into your circle. You gotta look out for the snitches, the rats, in real life. And without loyalty between your brothers man, your whole empire crumbles.’ Wu-Tang manifested their Mafioso formula on Raekwon’s ’95 debut Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. The set-up consisted of RZA directing Rae as the lead role, and Ghostface (who features on 15 of the album’s 18 tracks on as well as the cover), confidently bagged the award for Best Supporting Actor. Loosely based on the storyline of John Woo’s crime flick The Killer, Rae and Ghost play ruthless but spiritually enlightened hustlers determined to acquire enough currency – just another quarter million – to elevate them from the streets. And as the duo scheme and rob their way through the record, they trade rhymes built of disjointed anecdotes and packed with local slang, delivered in the real time speed of an adrenaline-fuelled crack house stick-up. Their voices are set against RZA’s beats – crunchy, lo-fi drum sequences, rugged bass and dusty piano loops that you could imagine echoing down a projects hallway in the summer’s sweltering heat. It’s a masterpiece. “After the first Wu-Tang album, me and Rae got busy on Cuban Linx
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“ When we did 36 Chambers, our energy was crazy man. Once w e h a d a l l t h e C l a n i n t h e s t u d i o l i k e t h a t, I l o o k e d a r o u n d t h i n k i n g ‘ I k n o w y a’ l l g o i n g t o b e s o m e t h i n g o n e d ay ”
straight away. Cause we like the same thing – street shit. So we moved together. It might have been summer in ’94. It was hot”, Ghost recalls. ‘We went to Barbados first to work on it, but we got kicked out.” Hang on a second – Ghostface Killah and Raekwon got thrown out of Barbados? “Yeah man. I’d wanted to go there because I’d seen the brochure and I was like ‘Yo, this shit look nice!’ But it was just weird over there man. I think the British run that shit over there”, he says, in an unnervingly accusational tone. “The maids who worked in the hotel – I mean, they was black – but they was just rattin’ on us for no reason. They said we were making too much noise. And then we had our fatigues on, they said we couldn’t even wear fatigues! Like how come you can’t wear fatigues in Barbados?! They just kept fucking with us, they wanted us out of there … I remember now, it was the Royal Pavilion, those are the ones who kicked us out. But that was the best thing they could have done to us, because we went straight to Miami and that’s where we got it in, then RZA recorded us right after.” Of the whole Clan, Ghostface Killah has enjoyed one of the most fruitful solo careers. The Cuban Linx recipe was followed up in ‘96 with GFK’s classic debut Ironman, albeit with added emotional vulnerability, Five Percent Nation philosophy and blaxploitation samples. He broke a Wu-Tang curse by maintaining the quality of his debut album with his sophomore, 2000’s luxurious sounding Supreme Clientele, which remains one of the most significant Wu records outside of their ’93-’97 ‘Five Year Plan’ era, when RZA had full artistic control. As for his post-millennium output, Ghostface has had his peaks (2006’s solid Fishscale) and troughs
(the poorly-selling Bulletproof Wallets), but never sounded lethargic. Along with Twelve Reasons, he wants this to be the year that two of his long awaited projects see the light of day: Supreme Clientele’s sequel Blue and Cream and his collaborative full length with DOOM. Due to Ghost’s hectic, haphazard schedule, our interview gets cut short. But we’ve got just a few more burning questions for him, and fortunately, he agrees to follow up our conversation with a phone call the next day. There’s a forthcoming biopic of the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard in the works, in which Michael K. Williams (who you’ll know as Omar Little in The Wire) has been cast to portray him. Does it have his blessing? “I mean, personally, I’ve got nothing to do with it. That’s on his Moms. So I guess whatever she says is what she says. But I don’t know what’s going on with it, I can’t say if they’re doing it right”, comes his cautious response. And what about the next Wu-Tang Clan album? Last year, RZA unveiled a mission statement: to reunite the entire group in the studio for one last time, in celebration of their 20th anniversary. Since then, various members have waded in with conflicting accounts. So can RZA really orchestrate harmony within the Clan once again? The promotion of 8 Diagrams, the group’s last official album, was sabotaged by Ghost, Raekwon and Inspectah Deck, who took offence to RZA’s decision to experiment with mellower, leftfield sounds. Their triumphant Coachella performance suggests that the anniversary has strengthened their sense of brotherhood, but when we ask Ghostface about the project, it seems like tension is already boiling over the record’s working title, A Better
Tomorrow. “RZA put that out there without asking us. We had a talk about that a couple of days ago. Some of the brothers disagreed with it. We already got a song on Wu-Tang Forever called A Better Tomorrow, nah mean? So right now, it’s up in the air. I don’t really know what the name is going to be, but it’s got to be something like Illmatic, something real spicy sounding for the fans, so when they hear it they’re like ‘Oh shit!” And in terms of the record’s production, Ghostface seems – for now at least – ready to accept RZA’s insistence on creative dictatorship. “It’s in his head, see what he pulls up. I mean, I heard a couple of beats, and they was real nice. But right now, we gotta just let him see through his vision, then we make our opinions.” So whether or not RZA, GZA, Masta Killa, U-God, Meth, Ghostface and Raekwon The Chef can put aside their differences to band together and cook up another album remains to be seen. But over the course of the 20 years since 36 Chambers dropped, they’ve survived internal feuds, legal battles, imprisonments and the death of a founding member. Their solidarity seems indestructible, their connection is that deep. So bitter disses might get thrown around, the album plans could be scrapped or postponed, but the wounds will eventually heal. And you can rest assured that, at some point, the Wu-Tang Clan will gravitate back towards the same stage. --------Twelve Reasons To Die is available now via Soul Temple Records.
SIT E m rb i bi o.tu m b lr. c o m
WO R D S G e r ai n t D av i e s
TUN E D y e T he Wat er Green
W ith each successive album, B ibio ’ s inventive sound gains the unmistakable tex tures of personal growth.
If ever an individual has forged his own image in music, it’s Stephen Wilkinson. Every sinew of his body, every aspect of his identity, every thought and concept is writ large throughout the sonic and visual elements of his work as Bibio. With his seventh full-length, the sort-of-in-a-roundabout-way-almost-selftitled Silver Wilkinson, he introduces himself in his most vivid terms yet. Bibio’s productions have consistently melded an aptitude across a range of instruments with the ability to draw tones and percussive nuances from the world around him thanks to an uncanny knack for sampling field recordings. Releasing his first album fi in 2005, after three records of a technically dazzling meeting of folk and electronica – or, if you’re feeling particularly brash, folktronica (nope, us neither) – with the LA-based Mush Records (ending, funnily enough, with the English Country Garden dialogue of Vignetting the Compost), Bibio found his home at Warp. It was a dream artistic pairing for both parties, and immediately paid dividends with 2009’s superb Ambivalence Avenue. Now approaching his fourth release for the label, Wilkinson’s appreciation has not wavered. “Being on Warp and having expectations to deliver a certain quality is a pressure I like”, he beams. “Warp don’t expect me to polish my sound in a way that a major label might, but they encourage the more songwriting and developed side of what I do.” Their faith has paid off again, Silver Wilkinson is a gem. A free-flowing, organic and distinctly British creation, Wilkinson’s involving and emotive vocals seep through the record’s fabric, while familiar trickles of the everyday draw the listener in. From the sublime Dye The Water Green, to the uplifting, glittery pop of À tout à l’heure, the shuffling, glitchy samplemash of You and the stratospheric, searching expanses of Look at Orion!, this is the unmistakable feeling of one man laid bare through sound. While 2011’s Mind Bokeh saw a continued growth in popularity, it was also a more divisive record than previous efforts. But that is surely symptomatic of wearing your creative hyperactivity so boldly on your sleeve. If he feels compelled to release a strutty, mid-paced rock stomp like Take Off Your Shirt, or the jaunty pop-jangler K Is for Kelson, you can be certain he will. Bibio is essentially an ambitious everyman with a massively diverse range of tastes, making music he wants to hear. Every idiosyncratic aspect of his existence pours into his genuine, generous output and his distinctive visual identity. And that’s something to be truly admired, even revered.
There’s a palpable sense of anticipation around the release of Silver Wilkinson. Is this something you’re conscious of? I do feel like there’s been a warm response so far. I release music because I ultimately want people to hear it and I want people to be affected by it. Reading comments and hearing what people have to say about it is all part of it. I love it when people like it, of course, but I try not to let negative comments bother me. I think I’ve thickened my skin in that sense. Because my music has been so varied since signing to Warp I have an eclectic fan base, some people seem to like the variety I put out, other people seem to prefer certain aspects of what I do. I’m cool with that. You’ve established an extremely loyal fanbase, are you conscious of balancing between these devotees and attracting a new audience, or can thinking about the listener too much be counterproductive? Thinking about the listener works on different levels. If I didn’t think about the listener then I’d possibly put out more self-indulgent stuff as opposed to stuff that’s more worked on and structured. I feel like my albums say a lot about who I am: they have the more meticulous structured tracks and they have the short ambient vignettes, which a lot of people seem to like. I don’t feel like I cater to an audience because that would be impossible, especially when my fanbase seems to have such polarising opinions. This was particularly true with Take Off Your Shirt – some people absolutely hated that track, which I predicted before I released it, but fortunately most people liked it and it turned out to be
one of the most popular tracks on the album … but how could I possibly act upon that? It would be too confusing to try and make an album based on what I think the listener wants, but that confusion means I just get on with what I’m into. Do you feel you’ve ever sacrificed cohesiveness for variation? No. I think my albums are cohesive, but that’s really in the ear of the beholder. For some people, genres and contrasting styles are a big deal, some people even have serious hang ups about it. I’m very at ease with having a pretty acoustic guitar track followed by a slamming beat track – that’s how I enjoy music. My albums are kind of like films – they have different scenes, they take you on a journey, they meander and have abrupt changes. You’ve shown an appreciation for the maximal, synthetic sounds of the likes of Rustie and Hudson Mohawke, and it’s something you’ve embraced to an extent, but it’s always counterpointed by an organic, folk element. Is it a tension you enjoy feeding off? When I’m making music I don’t think of them as being opposites, I think of electronics, synths, drum machines and guitars, pianos, percussion as just different sounds and timbres, because that’s all they are. I think in the 21st century we should be getting over the apparent divide between electronic and organic. But contrary to that, I do sometimes feel that contrast is there, which is why this album is more organic sounding than Mind Bokeh. I like change, I like contrast, but it’s the sonic and mood contrast I’m interested in. After Mind Bokeh, which was at points almost a pop record, there seems to be a more sombre air around much of this album. Is that reflective of the period which led into it? To a degree. This last couple of years has been more slow and introverted, I took over a year off from gigs, I had some difficult times and health issues, but I’ve also had good times. I think this is a more emotional album than the previous one, it has a fair dose of melancholy. Your blog shows you to be very open, happy to share what some might consider quite personal thoughts about music, the world, and the universe in a wider context. Is it almost a compulsion, to get these things out? Some of the things I write about are not things I would talk to just anybody about, I have certain friends who like to indulge in far-out philosophical conversations and other friends who are more down to earth. Writing blogs and sharing them is really getting stuff off my chest and hoping they reach the right people. I have felt less inclined lately to do that though, so maybe the blogs I had shared over the last year or so reflected a particular phase I was going through. How much do your philosophical or metaphysical ideas feed into your lyrical and thematic output? Quite a bit, but I guess lyrics are closer to poetry than essays or blogs. With lyrics or poetry I feel free to be deliberately vague or ambiguous, to not make myself easily understood but hope that I’ve planted a seed in some listeners’ minds. Mirroring All is inspired by stuff I learned from Alan Watts (celebrated British philosopher) but also personal experiences and experiences told to me by friends. You’re known for your visual work, and things like the album sampler video clearly showcase the relationship between the visual and the aural which is intrinsic to your music. Presumably there’s an innate link between those things, you can ‘hear’ images or ‘see’ sounds? I definitely respond to music with imagery in my mind. The music which affects me the most is music that paints a scene in my head, then every time I hear it I revisit that place, and it’s pretty much always the same except it might get more detailed. I tend to choose tracks for my albums that have something picturesque about them and hope they will spark
people’s imaginations. This is why I like lyrics to be ambiguous, because you leave more room for the listener to picture their own things, rather than be too explicit. There’s a continuous thread between making videos and the sampling process, based around the idea of gathering from or capturing your environment. Do you think you interact with the world in a more ‘immediate’ way than most? I don’t know. I feel that music shouldn’t be too shaped by the industries of music technology and fashions, people should think outside of those boxes more, consider anything you can point a microphone at to be a valid sound source for music, rather than using the same old tried and tested instruments and sounds. On the other hand, I love musical instruments and familiar sounds, like guitars, famous drum machines, saxophones. I think blending them together will ultimately feel more personal than just loading up formulaic sounds and making music in a formulaic way. My tutor at art college in 1998 opened my mind up to looking at the world in a more stripped down, more mindful and abstract way. I feel like this has really affected the way I think about sounds and images. Can you ever turn your creative instincts off? I spend a lot of time being unproductive, but I never switch off. I’m always thinking about something, it’s what fuels me. I’ve learned that not only is it OK to lie in bed thinking for two hours, but it can also be vital for what I do. William Blake said “Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night”. That’s pretty much my dayto-day life. I don’t believe in forcing it, you can’t force creativity. I’m still trying to un-condition my mind from nine-to-five society, but it’s hard to do. I’ve been a full time artist for four years now and it’s been a learning experience – questioning my productivity, trying to get over feelings of guilt. It’s easy to not feel like you’ve been working hard when you enjoy what you do, but that’s a symptom of the twisted work ethics where people are made to feel like work is doing something you don’t want to do. I’ve been there and I’m grateful I’m not at the moment. We loved your mix of exclusively British artists, do you see geography, and by extension topography and the environment, to be important in music? Environments affect people and the things they do, but it’s not necessarily predictable. There has been this link made between urbanity and electronic music, but I think it would be naive to suggest people who live in the country make pastoral folk. When I listen to old Aphex tracks, I imagine myself on a bleak Cornish beach, whether that’s because I know he lived there or whether that is somehow distilled in the music is another thing. Britain is generally an overcast island with not so good weather, there are also a lot of grim places, boring places where nothing exciting happens. I think this can do wonders for the imagination and creativity. I’m not patriotic, but I do feel that this country has produced some very innovative music over the decades. You seem to have found an ideal home in Warp, do you think any other label would be able to give you the freedom of expression, whilst simultaneously holding all the advantages of a massive label, that you are given there? Warp is my dream label, has been for about 14 years, so although there are other great labels out there, none of them are Warp. Warp has something about it that I can’t put my finger on, it has changed a lot since I first became a follower but it has kept some kind of essence going all along too.
Silver Wilkinson is released on May 13th via Warp Records.
C A R L . C R A I G
SIT E carl crai g .ne t
When Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson – the Belleville Three, named after the Michigan town 30 miles from Detroit they hailed from – began combining the lugubrious elasticity of funk records with the stiff synthetic workouts of Kraftwerk and Yellow Magic Orchestra at parties, it’s unlikely they envisaged that what they were doing – which was, in effect, laying down the foundations for what was to become known as techno – would change the face of music forever. One of the early adopters of the sound, and part of the so called ‘second generation’ of Detroit techno producers, was Carl Craig. Craig would, in his own way, go on to redefine the genre, to imbue its machinistic futurelooking-ferocity with a sense of melodiousness, invention and innovation. This summer sees Craig playing Croatia’s mammoth Electric Elephant festival (alongside pretty much every top DJ in the world right now, including the likes of Michael Mayer, Prosumer, and Ivan Smagghe), as well as the release of his installment of the Ministry of Sound’s Masterpiece series of mix CDs. Ahead of this, Crack was lucky enough to have a catch-up with the Detroit native. If, reader, you’re ever unlucky enough to encounter one of those deluded souls who insists that techno is faceless, monotonous, tune-free robotic abstraction peddled by severe-looking bald Europeans clad in parkas, send them in the direction of Carl Craig. Explain to them how, over the course of his lengthy career, he’s been able to flit between the sweaty, basement-dwelling, filter-manipulating thump of his material as 69, the ghost-in-the-techno-machine dwellings of his More Songs About Food and Revolutionary Art LP and the percussive workouts of his 12”s as Tres Demented. Play them seminal records like Paperclip People’s ludicrously great Throw, the proto-D’n’B of Innerzone Orchestra’s Bug in the Bassbin, or the Motor-City motorik of the title track of his Landcruising album. Take them out for a spin with his DJ KiCKS and Fabric 26 mixes in the CD changer. In short, introduce them to an artist whose name is indelibly stamped on the face of electronic music history. The current project in Carl Craig’s world is something proposed by the
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unlikely source of Ministry Of Sound. The superclub/label’s Masterpiece series – having been previously manned by the likes of Andrew Weatherall, Fabio & Grooverider, Francois K, and Gilles Peterson – allows the chosen DJ to curate an extensive three CD mix. Craig has put together a disc of the stuff that’s inspired him over the years (though he admits that “the disc would be a lot different if I could have got half the tracks I wanted on there, but it’s the way labels go…” before correcting himself and reassuring us that, “the team managed to clear some great ones for your aural pleasure”), a more club-ready collection of current tracks he likes to play out, and, intriguingly, a third disc entirely comprised of specially composed-for-the-project modular synth jams. Despite their prestigious past, MoS isn’t a label, or indeed a club, you’d necessarily associate an artist like Carl Craig with in 2013. What was the genesis of the mix? “They approached me a few years back and we’ve been trying to figure out a good time, which is now”, he says. “As an artist, the concept really interests me. To have freedom over three discs to pretty much do what I want is a great creative exercise.” Craig also found it allowed him to go back over his own collection, to spend “whole time just listening to the tracks and seeing how they make me feel, where to put what, what goes better with what. Like a chef making a fine dinner.” There’s a pleasing secrecy about the mix thus far: no one – presumably outside Craig himself and the label representatives – has been made privy to the tracklist. No one’s heard the new tracks. There’s something refreshing about that. Something very not of its time. But that’s Carl Craig: techno’s temporal marauder. Let’s take a step back and reconvene with our unconverted friend from earlier: if that lot didn’t work, if he wasn’t swayed by then, treat him to a dusty slab of Carl Craig’s remixes – a body of work that spans 25 years and several hundred tracks. What is it that links the likes of the sub-aqueous thud of his 1991 rework of Ultramarine’s Hooter, the sensuous, sinuous crawl of his version of Last Call by Brazilian Girls, his Grammy-nominated clanking, crawling, juddering take on Junior Boys’ Like a Child, the huge-beyond-any-rational-sense-of-comprehension edit of Falling Up by Theo Parrish and the seminal remix of Inner City’s www.crackmagazine.net
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already-seminal Big Fun? For Craig, it’s as simple, and as complex, as the desire “to always look ahead – trying to find that new sound that no one has heard yet, a way to make you hear music that you haven’t done before and that will survive the test of time.” Having consumed all this lot – and that’s without mentioning his mesmerising versions of tracks by the likes of Rhythm & Sound, Delia & Gavin, Morgan Geist and Throbbing Gristle – your pal will hopefully have had his misconceptions irrevocably altered for the better. If not … just ditch him. It must be difficult, we wonder, to manage the juggling act between spending such a vast amount of time in studio spaces, or in clubs, and still keep abreast of goings on in the world in which you’re a pivotal part. What, for example, is his stance on the wobbling tidal wave of EDM that’s lurched and splattered its way across the States in recent years? The answer is quietly inconclusive, with the man himself commenting that, “it’s here! America has definitely put its body back into dance music.” Whether this is something he’s taken a vast amount of interest in – outside of meaning he’s working even harder (“I am playing a lot more in the US than I used to, and some are really great shows”) – is up for debate. Who knows, Flux Pavillion might turn up on the Masterpiece compilation. We ended by discussing the aforementioned summer date. “Festivals are great! Clubs are great too. In clubs you have a more intimate atmosphere and connection with everyone on the dancefloor, but festivals are huge and everyone is outside and going for it. I guess you do have to go big at festivals sometimes. But when you get the connection, it’s there.” We left him with one final question, hoping for a solid answer, ending up charmed by the sly refusal to play along. What, then, Carl Craig, are the records you never leave home without? “The good ones”, comes the reply. With that, he was gone. --------Carl Craig plays at Electric Elephant in Croatia (July 11th-15th). Masterpiece is released via Ministry of Sound on June 3rd.
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S I TE mi g ht y w ri g ht .co.uk ri chi emoment .com sport scheeses.t umbl r.com
WILLIAMS SISTERS combining dual passions for cheese and 9 0 s sportswear , these bristolbased artists have formed “an athletic homage to the fromage”
Cheese and Sportswear. Sportswear and Cheese. They don’t exactly go together like a horse and carriage. You might even call it a meeting of high and low culture. While a fine cheese may be most associated with a tweed jacket and a glass of port, a pair of Lonsdale joggers is more likely to be seen round the corner of the local Co-Op, with a hand proudly rummaging its way around the front. But recently, the mysterious Williams Sisters have made confident strides to put an end to this two-way snobbery. No longer should the 90s’ finest sports brands be associated with 10 packs of Lamberts and cans of questionable cider; no longer should the many-hued world of coagulated milk be the domain of the elite. No, they decreed. These two disparate worlds should collide in a spectacular, multigenred soup entitled, imaginatively, Sports Cheeses. And the medium? A range of vibrant illustrations, guided by puns profound enough to make you guffaw, wince, and feel peculiarly peckish. From the initial explosion of bRiebok, the original and for some the best, these ingenious mergings of sports brands and dairy products spread across social networks like a room temperature Laughing Cow. From Filadelphia, to Diadoralea to Gorgongola, they seem to pull a longer-than-you-ever-thought-possible list of cheese n’ trainerz crossovers out of their Donnay hat. As your eyes scroll across the expanding list, you’ll scratch your head mumbling “how did they think of that?”, then slap yourself shrieking “why didn’t I think of that?” And in fact, it turns out the elusive Sisters aren’t quite so elusive after all. For anyone with an interest in Bristol’s local art scene, the characters behind this construction will be extremely
familiar. Firstly, there’s Chris Wright, whose name has become synonymous with several Bristol venues including The Mothers Ruin, producing a range of striking posters inviting you into his crude, garish and beguiling world, unsurprisingly entwined with some excellent music gags (see his Known Pleasures T-shirt, where the iconic Joy Division album cover gets a joyously childish twist). We’re so fond of the guy we featured him in these very pages back in Issue 09. Wright found an ideal kindred spirit for this particularly project in Richie Moment, a conceptual artist who has exhibited overseas, as well as playing a key role at the city’s most adaptable art space, The Motorcycle Showroom, while also running his own idiosyncratic disco named Sweet Chilli Sauce. Chris has described him as having “the most unique outlook on life of anyone I’ve ever met.” Not only did the images immediately find favour online, but they were understandably well received at Pick Me Up, the revered Graphic Arts Festival held at London’s Somerset House. There a bRiebok tee somehow found its way into the hands of certified cheese enthusiast Jamie Oliver. With such esteemed culinary backing, Sports Cheeses are becoming an increasingly unstoppable force. A curiously schizophrenic process, our interview sees answers given in turn by Chris, Richie, and their collaborative identity as The Williams Sisters, who describe themselves as “ a doubles pair from Kent. We play the game of Art and we play it very hard in Bristol, in the dairy, in the studio and on the court.” The duo were even kind enough to provide us with a Crack exclusive Sports Cheese. “Hope you enjoy it”, says Richie. “The Indian cricket team eat it before every match, it’s a Slaaz Paneer.”
“Puns are back. There are over one m i l l i o n p u n s i n t h e UK a l o n e . ”
May Exhibitions Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years
Frank Benson: Rooftop Sculpture
27 March—9 June 2013
15 March—19 May 2013
The Independent Group: Parallel of Art & Life
BOWIEVIRUS: David Sims
27 March—9 June 2013
25 April – 12 May
Events On Collaborative Elaboration of Meaning: Photography & Film Tuesday 14 May, 6.30pm £5 / Free to ICA Members Panel discussion exploring the process of photographing artists’ actions and performances, followed by a series of films. Goldin+Senneby: Headless, presented by Angus Cameron Wednesday 15 May, 6.45pm £10 / £8 Concessions / £7 ICA Members A Weekend with BLITZ Magazine 18 – 19 May A series of special events celebrating the launch of As Seen in BLITZ: Fashioning ‘80s Style Academic Symposia: Public Engagement and Impact: Articulating Value in Art and Design Thursday 23 May £12 / £10 Concessions / £8 ICA Members / £5 ICA Student Members Symposium exploring the social, cultural and political challenges around measuring public engagement. Radical Thinkers Fortnightly talks introducing the latest set of Verso’s Radical Thinkers series. 21 May
Peter Hallward on Ethics by Alain Badiou
Film Culture Now Friday lunchtime talks. £5 / Free to ICA Members 10 May 17 May 24 May
Pil and Galia Kollectiv Jac Leirner The Lloyd Corporation
Friday Salon £5 / Free to ICA Members 10 May 24 May
Instant Publishing/ Automatic Writing On Digital Culture
Culture Shop: The Art of Branding Wednesday 29 May, 6.45pm £10 / £8 Concessions / £7 ICA Student Members Panel discussion about the burgeoning number of practices that encompass elements of architecture, design and branding. Artists’ Film Club New and rarely seen film and moving image by up-and-coming and more established artists. 8 May 18 May 22 May
Rosa Barba Olaf Breuning Dani Gal
It’s Such a Beautiful Day 3 – 9 May American animator Don Hertzfeldt’s debut feature. The Don Hertzfeldt Experience + It’s Such a Beautiful Day Saturday 3 May Opening screening of Don Hertzfeldt’s debut feature, introduced by Time Out’s Tom Huddleston and Little White Lies’ David Jenkins. Followed by a selection of Hertzfeldt’s shorts. Aho & Soldan 24 – 29 May Rare screenings of the unique films by pioneers of Finnish documentary Aho & Soldan.
Institute of Contemporary Arts The Mall London SW1Y 5AH 020 7930 3647 www.ica.org.uk
The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848 - - - - ->
So how do you go about collaborating, is one of you the master of wordplay and the other in charge of drawing? Chris: We came up with them together, Richie got the tennis ball rolling with Filadelphia via text, then we played text tennis and it wasn’t long before names like Tommy Hilfeta and Fondue Balance started to surface. I did the drawings because I want to be an illustrator when I grow up. A man in a pub came up with Nike Gruyère Max when I fed him the concept after I’d consumed several pints of Stella. Some are beyond being far fetched, we aren’t hiding from the fact that we’re clutching at straws for some of the designs. The terrible ones look the tastiest. What was the spark? Was it a matter of a game of badminton followed by a cheese board, or is it all a bit more profound than that? Williams Sisters: Well, we spent our teens gazing up at Ellesse and Kappa stuff that we could seldom afford, and have just spent our 20s gazing down at fancy cheeses we can seldom afford. It was time to create something unobtainable by ourselves, we thought, so we melded the two together. It felt like the right time in our lives to make these. An athletic homage to the fromage. If your pocket money didn’t stretch to the crème de la crème of sportswear as a youth, what lesser brands did you wear? Hi-Tec? Gola? And what cheese did you grow up devouring? Dairylea? Smart Price Cheddar?
WS: What we tended to do was buy plain black tracksuit bottoms from the bargain bin and paint three lines down the side with Tipp-ex so that they looked well Adidas. We’d buy the cheapest mild cheddar too, but paint blue bits on to make it look like a Gorgonzola. It was still edible. So you’ve always been cheese enthusiasts? There’s a rumour doing the rounds on Twitter that you’re lactose intolerant. Richie: Yeah, we’ve always been enthusiasts, but our obsession got us into lots of trouble while growing up. My mum mistook the fondue kit I kept under my bed for drug paraphernalia. C: That Twitter rumour, it’s true. Richie used to live with me, he can vouch for some harrowing phlegm noises of a morning. I now drink soya milk but haven’t sacrificed cheese, I just top up the phlegm in my pipes. Moooooo! There’s something deeply chic about the promotional image of a girl striking the Usain Bolt pose. Did you ever think cheese could be so cutting-edge and sexy? R: You’d have to be USAIN not to find cheese sexy. What do you think Babybel adverts are all about? They’re a metaphor for relationships – it’s all about the chase! C: Richie has actually seen someone chase a Babybel they’d dropped down the street before, just like in the advert. Honest.
Are there any other factors that bring the dual disciplines of dairy products and sport together, other than a remarkable number of puns? WS: Beyond the infamous Cheese Rolling competition that takes place in the Cotswolds every year, there is very little else. We hope to sponsor several competitors there this year. Oh, and it’s a well known fact that Steven Gerrard’s favourite cheese is grated cheese. Some people laughed when he gave that answer in an interview, but we think it’s a fine choice. A very delicious cheese indeed.
R: When I started big school my mum took me to the Sunday market on Folkestone seafront and said, “The other boys at school will like football, you need to have a team”. I picked a fake black Nottingham Forest sweatshirt. They where relegated from the Premier League in my second term, so I just kept on rocking. C: My first branded piece of sportswear was also a nice fake. A Reebok jumper from Herne Bay market. It had a Screen Stars label in the neck. Lasted about six washes before it became a plain jumper. Loved it. Funny how we both went to markets so much back then.
The pun is turning into a bit of a lost artform, do you think there’s still a place in the world for the good old-fashioned pun in 2013?
Any worries that a man in a suit from Reebok might come knocking on your door complaining about trademarks and copyright and all that?
WS: They’re back. There are over one million puns in the UK alone.
WS: We’re more concerned about representatives from Russell Athletic or Sergio Tacchini bowling up at our front door because they didn’t make it to the cheese board. They’re going to be gutted when they read this interview.
Some of the brands you’ve chosen – Lotto, Mizuno – aren’t really seen much these days, outside of TK Maxx. Do you think the 90s was a heyday for tacky sportswear? C: I think it was a heyday yes, football boots alone look pathetic nowadays. Probably the worst looking products available in shops. I loved every pair I owned in the 90s, and these are the brands I wore on my feet in chronological order: Dunlop, Puma, Quasar, Mizuno, Nike, Umbro, Nike, Nike, Diadora, Nike. I know this is the correct order because I wrote it down in my FunFax. R: Yeah totally, it was the first time sportswear didn’t mean you were fit, it meant you didn’t give a shit!
Do you see scope for any more similar projects? Meat and car companies, perhaps? Lamb-orghini, anyone? WS: Funny you ask. After showing our friends PJ & Sanna the Sports Cheeses, they set about combining cars with wines. A slightly less fruitful partnership, but they still came up with Peugeot Grigio and Cabriolet Saabignon in a matter of minutes.
Did you have any favourite items from that era? Could we have caught you rocking some Kappa popper bottoms?
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Frankie & The hearTsTrings The Days Run away 27.05.13
specTrals sob sToRy 03.06.13
Half of WHere You live is the title of the second album from Gold Panda. It will be released on vinyl, CD and download on the 10th of June.
analoG ist Besser is an eP by
WaXahaTchee CeRuLean saLT 01.07.13 Limited edition 2CD version includes their entire debut album, American Weekend.
All albums available on 180g vinyl, compact disc and digital download.
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“Payola” - 10 years of The Cribs, FIDLAR, Cheatahs “SANS” EP and so much more...
Hannes rasmus. It is in stores on 12" and download from the 6th May.
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T h e S ou t h b an k C e n t e r | 3 0 J an u ar y - 6 M ay
“… a lightbulb creates an environment by its mere presence.” Light Show at the Hayward Gallery shows us lights. Hardly taxing but thoughtfully assembled, it’s another blockbuster exhibition to take a date to. While entrance isn’t cheap, there’s enough here to keep you entertained for an hour or two. An exploration of a medium, rather than a concept, enjoyment comes down to how much time you have for light-art. Here we can see how artists since the 60s have created space and changed minds with nothing more than some halogen tubes. Perhaps surprisingly, there is little neon on display here. None of Emin or Nauman’s hard-hitting slogans (“Is Anal Sex Legal?” “Fuck and Live” etc.) are to be seen, but perhaps there’s no place for them. Neon provides the artist with a medium for a message; image sometimes, text often. The message is not the neon. At the Hayward, time has been given to light as a medium and message in itself; as has been noted in other reviews, the one piece with explicitly political overtones (Jenny Holzer’s MONUMENT) seems incongruous here. While we like it – the towering pillar of unfurling LED banners supplying censored testimony from the ‘war on terror’ packs a punch – perhaps its inclusion is a token gesture, the Hayward curators expressing their awareness of contemporary ‘issues’ to pre-empt criticism and make the exhibition more than just a visual spectacle. A visual spectacle is nothing to be ashamed of, though; like the Rain Room, Light Show works by exploring the ways in which art can defamiliarise sensory experience. While less extreme than the Rain Room, it is certainly the case here. Olafur Eliasson’s dazzling strobeilluminated fountains tell us that much. Interestingly, this and MONUMENT have been situated beside one another; the most ‘right on’ work and the biggest crowd pleaser are within easy reach of one another. Beside these two works, the show moves between hitting the heights and treading the pavement.
We have the reliably twee Katie Paterson presenting her Lightbulb to Simulate Moonlight project, a specially designed Halogen bulb that mimics the reflected light of the sun from the moon, and is displayed complete with a “lifetime’s supply” of replacement bulbs. Opposite, Conrad Shawcross’s kinetic sculpture casts a dizzying, almost nauseating array of light and shadow across the walls. Cerith Wyn Evans dodges the anodyne or narcotised, though, with S=U=P=E=R=S=T=R=U=C=T=U=R=E. Truly beautiful, columns comprised of gently (though intensely) pulsing filament-tubes express light and heat. Atmospheric disturbance seems surprisingly rare in art, and it’s a pleasure to walk around the work, feeling the heat in waves as the filaments illuminate steadily to a point that’s almost too bright to bear. When we visit there is a glut of people around this work (attracted like moths to a [-]). Standout pieces like this, or Anthony McCalls wonderful You and I, Horizontal, are fairly anomalous, though. Many of the bigger works end up reminding us how many ways light is used to make things look tacky, their hubris exploded in a puff of bathos. The real pleasure is to be found in the smaller, more self-deprecating treats scattered here and there. Ceal Floyer’s Throw and Fischli and Weiss’s Son et Lumière (Le rayon vert) offer a silly antidote to some of the more old-school serious-face swagger also present. The show is mixed. A closer look is often rewarded, but many of the more well-signposted pieces seem outdated. A lot of the finesse and pleasure can get lost in what is starting to feel like slightly hollow spectacle, but there’s enough on offer to hold it together. --------
Light Show runs at the Hayward Gallery until May 6th.
for one of the most influential acts in the history of american rock music, it â€™s all in a day â€™ s work ,
SITE melvin s. com
WO R D S G e r ai n t D av i e s
Approaching Melvins’ dressing room, there’s a sudden wash of anxiousness. We almost stumble up the stairs as the leadweight of 30 years, 20 albums, and one of the most influential careers in all of alternative rock music presses down on our shoulders. Settling in front of the group’s core members, drummer Dale Crover and guitarist/vocalist Buzz Osbourne – known on occasion as King Buzzo – doesn’t make things any easier; being able to literally hear it as Buzz draws his fingers through that iconically wiry, silver hair. The number of remarkable riffs and rhythms, like meathooks to the gut wrenching you into their midst, to have poured out of them. These individuals have indelibly marked the face of music, forever. As much as they trivialise their influence as just ‘a job’ – always with that sardonic sense of humour – it cannot be ignored. These are careerists, in the best possible sense. ‘Lifers’ would be a less becoming, but more appropriate tag. Being Melvins, consistently making music which is both euphoric and unapologetically grotesque – snarling hardcore, slugging sludge metal, floating fuzz majesty and disarming bursts of melody – is what they do. From their confrontational 1987 debut Gluey Porch Treatments, to their genre-forming deceleration circa ’91/’92’s Bullhead and Lysol, throughout the grunge boom-and-bust, their persistently challenging late 90s output, and the stunning trio of records which followed the employment of the massively-established-intheir-own-right Seattle sluggers Big Business as a source of rhythmic heft, being a Melvins fan is a lifetime commitment in itself.
TUN E Bori s
at least partly informed by the fervently independent mentality of 80s hardcore, the band make no apologies for signing for a major, and if it worked for them, would do so again. “I’m not sure what ethics you mean”, mutters Buzz. But we’re ardent such a mentality – rightly or wrongly – exists. We’re not alone. Michael Azerrad’s definitive Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991 is a case in point. The book places an innate value in the separation between independent and major labels, citing Greg Ginn of Black Flag’s SST imprint as the ultimate in an underground, subversive reaction to the grimly materialistic musical profiteering of Corporate America. His accounts of 13 bands focuses solely on their indie periods, stating firmly that, for the likes of major label defectors Sonic Youth, “once they went to a major label, an important connection to the underground was invariably lost”. It’s a sentiment echoed by Steve Albini, who stated of Sonic Youth in a 2010 GQ interview “they should be embarrassed about it”. But Buzz is immediate, emphatic in his rejection of such stigma. “That’s ridiculous”, spits Buzz. “Look, some of the best records of all time came out on majors, especially when you look at the 70s and early 80s. I mean, would I not listen to the Gang of Four Solid Gold record
DATE S May 19t h-2 0t h | E l ect ri c Bri x t on, L ondon May 2 1st -2 2 nd | T he E x chang e, Bri st ol
onstage. The left-handed Willis and the right-handed Crover formed a flawless mirror image of pure, clubbing impact behind their merging kits, while the two man-mountains at stage front swayed through the most intoxicating grooves we’d ever heard. In our mushroom-addled condition we were entranced, blown away. It was the most powerful thing we had ever witnessed, and we’ve never forgotten it. “After the last bass player Kevin (Rutmanis) left we were pretty bummed out”, confides Buzz. “We weren’t that excited about starting over. But it was great to have that energy. They were very excited and happy to be in the band, and we were too.” But despite reaching a position of such relatively established comfort – or perhaps because of it – Melvins refused to remain constant. On the evening we speak they are preparing for a first Bristol show under their new incarnation, Melvins Lite, a collaboration with upright bass player Trevor Dunn. The trio released Freak Puke last year. “I played with Trevor for a long time in Fantômas”, explains Buzz. “I saw him with Nels Cline where he played stand-up bass through an amp, and I thought ‘that’s something we should do.’” It’s an album which can be aurally challenging, particularly for those not accustomed to the at turns droning and jazz-inflected tones of an upright cutting through the guitar mulch. “We didn’t want to make a standard record”, insists Buzz, “when we had the stand-up bass, we wanted to make sure it was out there in full.”
For their latest recorded output, Melvins have also taken a suitably abstract deviation from the template with their first ever full covers This month the band embark on their Endless album. Entitled Everybody Loves Sausages, it “ I ’ v e o n ly h a d s h i t j o b s , t h at ’ s Residency tour of Europe, playing two dates features versions of songs by The Kinks, David at venues in Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Zurich, Bowie, Venom, The Jam and, believe it or not, i t. I ’ v e n e v e r h a d a g o o d j o b , n o t London and Bristol, performing seminal Queen’s You’re My Best Friend. Pressing play early/mid-90s albums Bullhead, Lysol, with a degree of reticence, their rendition is a once. In the 80s all I ever had Houdini, Stoner Witch, and the Eggnog EP in plinking 8-bit workout, with solo firmly intact. their entirety. As Dale explains, it was an idea “I know, wimpier than Queen!” exclaims w e r e s h i t, m i n i m u m w a g e j o b s w h e r e devised around their own touring preferences. Buzz. We can’t fail to notice a considerable “We did a residency in Los Angeles a couple amount of songs by British artists on the of years ago in the wintertime, because we record (“Complete coincidence”), and the y o u t o o k o r d e r s f r o m a h a l f wi t . don’t like touring in winter. We did one show band do seem to be spending a lot of time a weekend for a month, and we figured we in these parts of late. In fact, by the end of H o n e s t l y, t h i s i s n o t a b i g d e a l . ” could do another record each week. It was a the Endless Residency they will have played genius plan at work, because everyone came five shows in Bristol alone in around 18 back, every time.” It’s curious timing to revisit months. “Well, the thing is we store all of our such a fruitful period in the band’s existence, equipment in Bristol”, grins Buzz, his gold when it might be said they’re in the midst of tooth catching the light through the grimy a particularly hot streak right now. Since taking on Big Business, Melvins’ because it was on Warner Bros.? Would I deny myself the first two Elvis window. “It’s our favourite crappy town in the UK”, suggests Dale. output has been phenomenal, truly among their best. 2006’s (A) Senile Costello records? Would I? The Sex Pistols, The Ramones? Would I not Animal, 2008’s Nude WIth Boots, and The Bride Screamed Murder from listen to those? Talking Heads, The Dead Boys? I’ve never had a problem While it may sound brash, what they say is pure pragmatism. Melvins 2010 radiate the abandon and individualism on which the band have with that. There’s not enough good music to get picky about labels. To aren’t here to admire the scenery, they’re not here to succumb to the always thrived, with a newfound vigour and immediacy. “I like what me, there’s so few bands, I’ll take it where I can get it.” temptations of the road. They’re here to play incredible, sell-out shows. we’re doing now better, but if people don’t like this show, they can be Being Melvins is their job. This is a band who attempted to enter the reassured that we won’t do it again!” exclaims Buzz. “If you wanna see Suitably chastised, we move on to the current trend for high-profile band Guinness Book of Records last year for the fastest ever tour of the US, it, we’re not doing it again. Unless someone pays us a LOT of money.” reunions. From Soundgarden, to The Stooges, to Melvins’ label boss Mike playing all 50 states and Washington D.C in 51 days (whether or not Patton’s Faith No More, to most recently of all, two rival subdivisions of it’s a record is still under debate from blues cartoon George Thorogood, There’s something apparent in the records chosen for this retrospective ‘Black Flag’, a growing number of legendary bands seem to be finding a who claims to have accomplished it in a day less in the 80s). And after of a mythologised 90s heyday; that the period in question coincides miraculous second wind at the prospect of a festival headline slot. “There the Endless Residency, this summer they head off on a 30th Anniversary with Melvins’ time on a major label. Snapped up from Californian indie are millions of reasons those bands do that,” laughs Buzz. “Millions, tour across America. “It’s all I want to do”, says Buzz. “Playing live is imprint Boner Records in the post-Nirvana worldwide grunge free-forliterally! But it never bothers me. We’re just talking about music, we’re easier than any other job I ever had. I’ve only ever had shit jobs, that’s all, this seemingly mainstream-averse band found themselves located not talking about anything massively important. It’s art. Art is part of it. I’ve never had a good job, not once. In the 80s all I ever had were shit, at Atlantic, for whom they recorded their most commercially successful life, it’s not everything about it. And y’know, if you wanted to see The minimum wage jobs where you took orders from a halfwit. Honestly, album, Houdini, as well as Stoner Witch and the at points peculiarly Jesus Lizard and you were too young to go, then it’s nice that you can this is not a big deal. And you’ve got to remember, when you’re talking approachable Stag. But according to Buzz, that period was business see that, right? Why should you suffer? Cause somebody else thinks it’s about musicians, you’re talking about the laziest, stupidest people in as usual. “I would say it didn’t change anything”, he states. “We never stupid for them to reform?” the world!” thought the major label thing would work, we never expected to sell a lot of records, so what I wanted to do was continue making records Surely one disadvantage of Melvins’ stubborn refusal to divert from their After 30 years, being a Melvin is the best job King Buzzo and Dale Crover that I liked.” It’s clear that, even at the time, he accepted they’d been chosen path is the absence of that lucrative reformation tour. “Yeah, we have ever had. No bullshit, no empty platitudes here. They’re two guys signed in a cynical act of bandwagon-fucking. “I thought they’d dump missed out on that”, grins Dale. Through numerous line-up changes (the who are very good at a very good job. Melvins are still just takin’ care us after the first record, but we did three. I’d have stayed there the whole band are on their sixth bassist at the last count), since Dale replaced of business. time, it didn’t bother me.” Since 1999 the band have found an almost original drummer Mike Dillard a year after the band’s genesis, the core exclusive home at Mike Patton’s Ipecac Recordings, though this is very has remained as concrete and unyielding as one of Buzz’s colossal chugs. much a rolling agreement between friends, and occasional colleagues in Yet still, even in this seemingly immovable construct, the addition of Big ---------the freeform metal onslaught of Fantômas. “It’s not like we’re signed to Business in 2006 was of considerable significance. We can still vividly any kind of legally-binding contract”, stresses Buzz. “I wouldn’t sign a recall our first experience of the merging of forces at Roadburn festival in contract with anyone, unless it was for a shit-load of money.” As ever, Tillburg, Holland, way back in 2007. As the heroically engorged assault Everybody Loves Sausages is out now via Ipecac Recordings. Melvins’ ethical approach is far from black and white. While they’re of Jarred Warren and Coady Willis drew to a close, Buzz and Dale strode
Transmission 5 curated by
Sunday 7th July 2013
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TUN E Ya M ustafa
WO R D S L u c i e G r ac e
DATE S D e af I ns t i t ut e , M anch e s t e r | June 4 t h B l ade Fact or y, L i ve r pool | June 7 t h B ul l s H e ad, B i r m i ngh am | June 1 2t h S t ar t Th e B us , B r i s t ol | June 1 4 t h Th e M oon, C ar di ff | June 1 5 t h Th e L e xi ngt on, L ondon | June 1 8t h
FA I R O H S Friends Matt Flag, Eddy Frankel and Joe Ryan formed Fair Ohs four years ago. All had priors – the usual hardcore punk band history – but this would be different.
What’s your favourite song off the new album?
This time all three were set on one thing – spreading a guitar gospel of peace, love and harmony. This band would be good old fashioned fun. And as we find them building up to the release of album number two, the psych party, desert rocking Jungle Cats, it would be rude not to join in the drinking. We join the trio in Dalston for pizza, Prosecco, pandemonium and some new album chat.
Matt: They all had working titles.
Joe: ... what’s Womac called now?
Eddy: Silver Jade Mountain. Matt: Is that what Womac’s called? Eddy: (apologetically) Yeah ...
Your new album shouts out its many multi-cultural influences, as well as straight out punk ones, do you think London has made its stamp on you? Eddy: No. London has an impact because you are defined by where you live and the people you see. But the multi-cultural influences, for lack of a better term, aren’t from London. I think they’re just from desire. This album had a separate set of non-Western influences to the first album. I think I was getting more into West African guitar music, the whole Tuareg desert music. What’s that cool instrument being played in Salt Flats? Who got to play the cool instruments? Matt: Can I point out right now, I can only play bass [laughs]. If it’s weird string instruments look to the ginger one. If it’s cool percussive stuff look to Joe. Joe: Matt did have a cool kalimba, but the instruments you notice, it’s Eddy. Was this second album “difficult”? It doesn’t sound “difficult”? Matt: No, I just think with a second record you don’t want to do the same as the first one and some bands paint themselves in to a corner. I think we’re fortunate as we’ve done a lot of different things so we could write anything we wanted and people would understand. Eddy: Also we don’t have the fear of people not liking what we’re going to do. There are dirty words when you make music: funk, soul, reggae. These things are not OK. Funk is such a dirty word, but funk was one of the main things that influenced this record. Matt: It annoys me. The Minutemen are my favourite band of all time and they’re really funk influenced punk. Also a band like Big Boys, they are massively funk inspired. They did Kool and the Gang covers; so many bands had that going through them. Gang of Four, all the post-punk stuff we listen to is influenced by funk and reggae. I don’t know why that part of the history has been written out of it.
Matt: Errr, OK, Citric Placid. Because the end has a really ballsy pay off, it’s the best we’ve done in years. Eddy: I think mine is Green Apple Milk, lyrically and in terms of my two minute solo. If there was a Fair Ohs cocktail, what would be in it? Eddy: [adopts a silly voice] I tell you what, a little dash of world music, some haaaardcore, some garage rock, a little pinch of punk ... Joe: Here’s a fact for you – Matt only drinks cider. Matt: No, I drink spirits too. He’s saying this because I don’t drink beer. Go on then Joe, do the princess story ... Joe: So in Holland they don’t really drink cider and they always say “here – have a million bottles of beer”, so me and Eddy are wondering how life could get any better while Matt has nothing to drink. So I always try and help Matt out and tell them he doesn’t really drink beer, but pretty much every gig we do they don’t get the cider and Princess Matt ends up with a fucking bottle of champagne, a bottle of whiskey, all this extra shit cos he’s being picky. Is that what you do in life? You’re a bit picky and you get more than everyone else? Eddy: Another time you got a bottle of Blue Nun and drank the whole bottle. Matt: I was amazing that night. Eddy: I think actually I was amazing that night. I was the Lizard King. It all descends into blurriness here. Crack exits the bar, resolved to learn the kalimba, to listen to more Minutemen and never to touch Prosecco again. ---------Jungle Cats is released on May 28th via Dream Beach.
Top | ernest Shorts | ernest New York HaT | Atsuko Latex Lace up platforms | Vagabond
uni f o r m r e d CRACK FASHION:MAY 2013
Hat | Agnes b Dress | Stylist own Jacket | Edeline Lee Latex Ankle Socks | Atsuko Kudo Sandals | Vagabond
Shirt | Agnes b Skirt | Kirsty Ward Shoes | Kickers
CREDITS Photography | Elise Rose Styling | Charlotte James Make up/Hair/Nails | Tabby Casto Using Illamasqua & Mavala UK ~
Suede Dress | Zoe Jordan Bomber | ernest Shoes | Reebok ClassicS
Jacket | Zoe Jordan Wondercup Bra | Atsuko Kudo Trousers | Kirsty Ward Necklace | & other stories ~
Dress | Vintage Sandals | Vagabond Socks | Happy Socks ~
Vest | Dagmar Tee | YMC Skirt | Kirsty Ward
Soulland Babar Paris shirt
PAM Kamayura Leggings
Snoop X HUF 2013
Triggering a sense of nostalgia for all those familiar with Jean de Brunhoff ’s timeless classic children’s series Babar, this shirt from Soulland’s collaborative venture features illustrations of the loveable
Part of P.A.M’s excellent SS13 Women’s collection Black Gold. Featuring a Kamayura-inspired tribal design, these bold, monochrome stretch-fit
Following the hype about their upcoming Spring/Summer collaboration with Diamond Supply Co, Huf teased the world with a picture of the Doggfather rocking their gear while puffing a blunt. Now the “420” pack has finally dropped. The range includes a tee inspired by Doggystyle’s artwork, plus a 5 panel and a pair of socks which are decorated with ganja leafs in varying colours.
character strewn from top to bottom.
leggings are a perfect complement to the Good Hood attire
Norse Projects Wool Flat Cap
African Apparel BVRZVM T-Shirt
Fuudhoods Neon Print Zebra Jumper
A classic flat cap, sporting the Norse Projects logo in the form of a solitary ‘N’. With an adjustable leather strap at the back, this hat will appeal to all headwear fans, especially those with a soft spot for the old-school
Keeping in line with African Apparel’s genius and distorted aesthetic, cast your eyes on this limited edition bootlegged t-shirt, which juxtaposes the logo of the infamous Varg Vikernes’s black metal project Burzum
baseball flat cap, bringing a retro edge to any outfit.
with an inverted image of the adorable Bambi.
Fuudhoods bring this zebra print jumper to the table as part of their unique new arrivals. With a striking neon orange and turquoise touch on the sleeves, the jumper is soft but thick enough to see you through from day through evening. A striking statement piece.
Across 1. Quentin, Roald Dahl’s legendary illustrator (5) 4. Not deep (7) 6. The number of Chambers in the sub-title of Wu Tang’s legendary debut (6,3) 9. He was, like, the bad guy in Leon and some guy with Skrillex hair in The Fifth Element, and loads of other stuff. (4,6) 11. Popular cognac brand (11) 12. A lack of get-up-and-go (8) 14. Little bits of metal used to keep your shirt sleeves together if, for some untold reason, they don’t have buttons (10) 15. A desire to do something, often guilty (10) 19. Black Sabbath guitarist Tony (6) 20. Mexican treat (7) 22. An individual who dies for their cause (6) Down 2. Country located in the Horn of Africa, capital Addis Ababa (8) 3. Daniel Clowes’ amazing graphic novel turned amazing Birch/Johansson film. (5,5) 5. The Simpsons’ “Haw Haw”ing bully boy (6,5) 7. Short and thick, esp. referring to a Kit-Kat (6) 8. Roger, author of the Mr Men and Little Miss children’s books (10) 10. Gloves without individual fingers (7) 13. Type of humour based on general clumsiness (9) 16. Where a place is (7) 17. The predominant gas in the earth’s atmosphere (7) 18. Popular contraceptive method (6) 21. Type of lizard which looks kind of like a dragon without wings (6)
CROSSWORD Solutions to last issue’s crossword: ACROSS: 5. PINK LADY, 8. MULHOLLAND, 10. TAXMAN, 11. TRUMP, 12. UNKNOWN PLEASURES, 16. TRINIDAD, 17. DIVERSION 18. ALBATROSS, 20. CALYPSO, 21. JIMMY DOWN: 1. BUCKLEY, 2. HANNUKAH 3. LAGERFELD 4. MIGHTY DUCKS 6. MESCALINE, 7. ANTIPASTI, 9. TOT 13. LEATHERFACE 14. APERTURE 15. FOLLOWILL 19. MUESLI
WORDS A nna Tehab sim
P H OTO ‘ Art beat s
E as t v i l l e Par k , B r i s t ol | A p r i l 2 7t h
Decorating the city’s musical landscape with sounds of international scope against a backdrop of exclusive A/V shows and state-of-the-art visual mapping, Arc festival promised a great deal from its inaugural year. It was a surprise and a shame, then, that the event didn’t sell-out in advance, with disappointing ticket sales resulting in the organisers implementing a ‘plus one’ system and slashing ticket prices weeks before the event. A move with the best of intentions and an undeniable gain for Bristol party goers, Arc had the bigger picture in mind. On a surprisingly sunny Saturday afternoon, Crack made our way to Arc to experience their soaring aspiration come to fruition. In what may be the result of some well-informed considerations for the treacherous nature of the British springtime, the Eastville Park site consisted of five fully-covered dome stages. Luckily for the crowd this was not entirely necessary, as the sun propelled everyone into fullon hedonistic festival mode in the early stages of the day. Conserving the heat, the domes were the place to be whilst the sun was out, essentially hot boxing the crowd as the likes of Chris Farrell, Youandewan and Eliphino warmed up. The main Arc stage and the Praxis dome formed the two largest settings, essentially huge circus tents blocking out the light to make way for the hugely anticipated visuals. Inside, the visuals were as impressive as on paper, with a mammoth screen spread over half the length of the main stage and futuristic 3D visual mapping in the Praxis tent. Will Saul, performing as his Close moniker, presented one of the many exclusive A/V shows, with Al Tourettes on drums and Saul on numerous machines as projections on the screens went from ice cold landscapes to industrial and decaying infrastructure throughout. Building up to latest release Beam Me Up, Saul’s encapsulating set made full use of the immersive environment. Back in the domes, local hero Marco Bernardi was presenting a masterclass in analogue
techno with his dynamic live show. But Crack’s highlight of the day indisputably came from genre defying Dutchman Martyn. Moving between acid and deep 4x4 with flawless mixing, he played the line between old and new with unexpected treats from Parris Mitchell, Kevin Saunderson and new James Blake material. He simply blew us away. This pervasive rush was matched only by Roman Flügel, whose longstanding affiliation with underground music may have something to do with his relentless energy and contagious enthusiasm. There was a strong Bristol influence beating at the heart of the festival, with the city notably acclaimed for its inclusive and supportive music culture. In short, Bristol loves Bristol, and in keeping with this mantra, West Country mainstays such as Behling & Simpson, Christophe, October and Cedric Maison provided ample soundtracks across the course of the day. Another key driving force of the Bristol scene, the collaborative effort of local heroes Peverelist, Kowton and Asusu played out the festival for us with a rare and outstanding Livity Sound live performance. Whilst the average day festival finds its common pitfall in sacrificing sound quality for accessible city centre locations, this was certainly not the case here. The overall sound was utterly on point with L-ACOUSTICS quadrophonic sound for the main stage and Funktion One surround sound for Stage Two assuring that volume and quality were not compromised. Hosting a first class line-up in an innovative environment, Arc executed a stirringly ambitious initial year. Pulling out all the stops despite the initial lull in ticket sales is testament to their forward-thinking, quality before profit ethos. If Saturday was anything to go by, Arc could be a Bristol institution in the making.
The UK’s biggest outdoor celebration of underground house & techno just 20mins from London
Special guest: Richie Hawtin Friday 2pm-6am
Eastern Electrics Outdoor Transformer Stage
Eastern Electrics Outdoor Transformer Stage
Eastern Electrics Outdoor Transformer Stage
Bicep Deetron Huxley Maya Jane Coles Moderat (Live)
Dyed Soundorom Hot Natured (Live) Maceo Plex Miguel Campbell Nick Curly
Kerri Chandler Masters At Work MK Richy Ahmed
Eastern Electrics All-night Arena
Eastern Electrics All-night Arena
Dave Clarke Seth Troxler Shaun Reeves Soul Bros
Âme Matt Tolfrey Matthias Tanzmann Richie Hawtin Tale Of Us
Black Atlantic Ben UFO Blawan Dixon Jackmaster Joy Orbison Levon Vincent Spencer Theo Parrish Dir tybird: Outdoor Colloseum Stage Catz N Dogz Claude VonStroke Eats Ever y thing Justin Mar tin Shadowchild
Over 100 of the world’s finest electronic artists +Electric City, Star of Eastern Electrics pub, roller disco, street food stalls, film screenings, 24 hour city, amazing light & laser shows, Club quality sound systems in all arenas, cocktail bar, fairground rides...
Mulletover DJ Koze DJ Sneak Geddes Ryan Crosson Elrow: Outdoor Colloseum Stage Paco Osuna Ralph Lawson Futureboogie: Igloovision Tent Maurice Fulton PBR Streetgang Felix Dickinson Maxxi Soundsystem Christophe & Lukas futureboogie DJs Bedouin VIP Another Par ty & Special Guests Love Lounge & Special Guests
Tickets available at easternelectrics.com
Krankbrother: Outdoor Colosseum Stage Anja Schneider Ellen Allien Guy Gerber Heidi Josh Wink Krankbrothers Magda Pan-Pot Crosstown Rebels Damian Lazarus Francesca Lombardo Infinity Ink jozif Sasha Subb-an
secretsundaze: Open Air Colosseum Stage Chez Damier Giles Smith James Priestley Kyle Hall Michael Mayer Just Jack Laura Jones Raresh tINI Tom Tio & Dan Wild Louche Brinsley Gerd Josh T Prosumer Tama Sumo Boiler Room Secret Line up Bedouin VIP Tayo & Friends…
LWE vs CLR Brian Sanhaji (Live) Chris Liebing Planetar y Assault Systems (Live) Surgeon Tommy Four Seven Junk Depar tment pres. Culprit: Igloovision Tent Climbers Droog Gavin Herlihy Luca Pilato No Ar tificial Colours Krush pres. Life & Death vs. Live at Rober t Johnson: Igloovision tent Ata Clockwork DJ Tennis Nikos Krush Roman Flügel Bedouin VIP Kubicle & Special Guests
All night licence granted
4/30/13 1:34 PM
Friday 3 May PLEX BASEMENT SESSIONS
Saturday 18 May 10-4am | £10
SECRET LIVE & DJ GUESTS SKUNKROCK, LUKE HANDSFREE, JAMES TEC
Saturday 4 May THE BANG BANG : MENACE II SOCIETY
SNIPS (LIVIN’ PROOF) RUGRAT (BUMP) KARTEL BROWN (YR MUM’S HSE) JDEN & 7OEL (THE BANG BANG) Thursday 9 May ROUNDS
BANK HOLIDAY DISCO OPEN TILL 3AM! Friday 10th May BLEED PRESENTS… DIAGONAL
BLOOD MUSIC RUSSELL HASWELL + DJS RAIME & POWELL
DJ SOTOFETT (SEX TAGS MANIA) BRIAN NOT BRIAN (GOING GOOD) Tuesday 21 May BAD VIBRATIONS
THE DEER TRACKS + SUPPORT Wednesday 22 May ROCKFEEDBACK
ELEPHANT + SUPPORT Friday 31 May TEEN CREEPS PRESENT
XENO & OAKLANDER Thursday 13 June LIVENATION PRESENT
THE WAITING ROOM (underneath The Three Crowns) 175 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 0LH waitingroomn16.com facebook.com/waitingroomn16 • twitter.com/waitingroomn16
See website for more details Friday 10 May
WALLS ALBUM LAUNCH
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Thursday 16 May
DETHSCALATOR ALBUM LAUNCH
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Tuesday 21 May
GARY WILSON & THE BLIND
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Thursday 23 May
24 / 25 / 26 May
OFFICIAL FIELD DAY WEEKEND
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Saturday 1 June
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Thursday 6 June
CHARLIE BOYER & THE VOYUERS
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Friday 7 June
TIME & SPACE MACHINE
JONATHAN TOUBIN’S SOUL CLAP DANCE OFF
Tuesday 28 May
Wednesday 19 June
Thursday 13 June
Wednesday 29 May
Saturday 22 June
Problems? C p
Thinking outside the box with...
Denzil Schniffermann Dear Denz,
I’ve recently acquired an unfortunate nickname. My mates have decided to christen me ‘Matt the Flange’. When I’ve asked them for an explanation behind this crude alias, they just say things like “I don’t know man, there’s something a bit ‘flangey’ about you” and cite the fact I live with my mum as a justification. They’ve begun introducing me to women as ‘Matt The Flange’. It’s cramping my style, how can I shake it off?
I saw your mum coming out of Chicken Cottage. She was looking fresh, even though she had loads of grease round her mouth. Can I get with her?
most impressive e-mail footer you’ve ever
Dear Denzil I’ve got a flawless attendance record at work. My timesheets are the stuff of legend, but I’ve had a notable aberration. I recently ordered a limited edition of Lovesexy by Prince and I was so excited about its arrival that I couldn’t leave the house until the postman delivered it signed, sealed and safe into my arms. I was late. Very late. My reputation has been tarnished and I don’t think that promotion I’ve been chasing for the last seven years is going to happen. What do I do?
seen. Seriously, it was massive.
Matthew Flanagan, 33, Salford
Christopher Briggs, 30, Cotham
Denzil says: To an extent, I sympathise. I too own Lovesexy, and it’s possibly the finest piece of wax in my collection. In fact, I reckon my eldest son was probably conceived to it (well, either that or Terence Trent D’Arby). But as the head honcho of a roaringly successful business, anyone who’s late is a total biscuit snatcher in my eyes. These days I make my workforce come in an hour earlier than usual, and the mugs are still staying till 6 just out of habit.
Firstly, there’s nothing shameful about living with your old dear. In tough times, the real go-getters are penny splitters, and I’ve found that freeing yourself of financial restraints such as bills and rent can save you enough cash to invest in another innovative business venture. As a matter of fact, I’m crashing at my mum’s place now. It’s actually quite good. By the sounds of things you’re hanging around with a bunch of insecure, tribal tattooed Bantersaurus Rexes who’re holding you back. Your social circle is the issue here Matthew. It’s time for a major reshuffle.
No sooner had Crack advertised for a new agony person than we received a very significant e-mail. What we found within were a collection of words which were confrontational, straight-talking and downright inspiring, capped off with the
One phone call later, and Denzil had put our finances in order, had the workforce thought-showering like lunatics, and we were in possession of one motherfucker of a two-year development plan. We knew we’d found our man. Denzil Schniffermann: business
Dean, 18, Bedminster Denzil says: Oh, I see. I know your type. A wise guy. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re the little bastard who eggs my windows every Halloween. You’re not getting a rise out of me pal, luckily for you Schniffermann’s a man of dignity. And my mother’s a busy woman, so you’ve got no right to criticise her penchant for substantial and affordable poultry based meals. Get out of my sight.
guru, motivational speaker, life-coach, sexual athlete, and above all ... friend.
// any problems? Contact Denzil@ crackmagazine.net
FI LM WORDS: Tim Oxley S m i th
The Place Beyond The Pines
Dir. Derek Clanfrance
Dir. Fede Álvarez
Dir. Andrew Niccol
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes
Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Lou Taylor Pucci
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, Max Irons
The Place Beyond The Pines spans over 15 years with Scorsesean (which is definitely a word now) tones of memories and change, addressing crime in its various guises.
It was 32 years ago when Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell blew everyone’s tits off with the original The Evil Dead, a seminal horror movie that helped define what it meant to be a ‘cult’ film.
It compares the moral obligations of a down n’ outlaw with those of a supposedly squeaky clean police officer. Luke Glanton (Gosling) is a motorcycle stuntman-turned-bank robber who, when his carnival rolls back through town, discovers he has a son and tries desperately to insert himself into the role of father. Bradley Cooper plays a policeman, also father to a young son who he is unable to love.
Now, the shotgun and chainsaw have been handed to Fede Alvarez, a wildcard director with only the internet movie short Atáque de Panico! to his name. But when you think about it, while Raimi’s Evil Dead crept around cinemas building hype in the 80s, Álvarez’s success (albeit in its early days) has been founded through similar means, but swapping box office ratings for YouTube hits.
After Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part II became a staggering success, despite being one of the most obnoxious films of the last decade, we weren’t surprised to see Hollywood cashing in more of Stephenie Meyer’s moronic literature. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did.
As the helix of this delicately poised scenario unfolds exploring the American identity, honour and crime, it becomes apparent that all three themes are intrinsically linked. If you’re expecting Drive on two wheels, which frankly Crack was, you’d be wrong. Well, not that wrong. It’s got Gosling doing the puppy dog Brando thing – like Drive. It’s got Gosling at high speeds, like Drive, and it’s got Gosling being fucking gorgeous – funnily enough, just like Drive. Even though initially it’s hard to shake off the comparison, especially in the swashbuckling first act, The Place Beyond The Pines turns out to be a deep and compelling study of Nature vs. Nurture, Good vs. Bad.
It would seem Evil Dead’s effect on the horror genre has passed through pastiche and parody (explored by Raimi himself in Evil Dead II) into a neat loop. While the concept of The Cabin in the Woods was toyed with expertly last year by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, Alvarez brings the concept back in a fresh but still classical take on Evil Dead. We’re delighted to report it’s as joyously fucked up as ever. There are just as many bodily dysfunctions, brutal action sequences and enough ferocious intensity to leave you with back spasms. Despite the ending being nowhere near as crazy as the original, and perhaps slightly unfulfilling in a broader sense too, technology has been able to successfully accentuate the original’s ideas, making this unmissable in the cinema.
It’s not necessarily because the acting is poor (which it invariably is). Nor is it because the script is lacking in passion, wit or substance (which it also really, really is). It’s Crack’s pet hate – in-mind voice overs – all the way through the film. We weren’t expecting a masterpiece, just something we could poke a little fun at. But The Host is hardly worth the effort. This is a prime example of lazy film making for stupid people. It relies on contact lenses rather than actual acting performances to help us determine who are the bad guys. Not that we even care. The young ‘rebels’ resisting the invading alien insurgents all look like they work in Jack Wills. The main role is played by Saoirse Ronan, best known for child roles in Lovely Bones and Atonement which she played with freakish over-confidence. All grown up, she looks lost among the mire. Amazingly, even worse than Twilight, and definitely the least affecting dystopian future we’ve ever laid eyes on.
S wans O2 Academy, Bristol | April 6th Due to the swelling interest in Swans’ unequivocal 2012 masterpiece The Seer, this event was upscaled from the Arnolfini to Bristol’s O2 Academy. Tonight, the crowd is a meeting of age-old devotees and those intoxicated by that latest, sublime effort. Opening with the unreleased To Be Kind, clouds of murky, enveloping ambience, slide guitar murmurs and sheets of droning guitar come gushing over our collective, reverent heads. Immediately, Michael Gira takes the helm as a clear, messianic focal point. His silver hair is scraped down to his shoulders, he’s clad head-to-toe in black. The first crash of sheer volume is purging, epiphanic and grotesque. You learn to drink in the volume, to bask in it in an almost masochistic sense. All six members of Swans lurch as one into the fucked, gammylegged gallop of Mother of the World. The slanted riff is drilled into each individual for what seems like an age, with dual drummers Thor Harris and Phil Puleo’s percussive strikes finding their counterparts in Gira’s morose groans. There’s no denying the sound here is somewhat divisive. When Gira repeats his single jarring chord leaps into infinity, certain patches of the room visibly disperse. Perhaps the strongest reactions come for the more nightmarish, industrial moments. Coward, from 1986’s Holy Money, comes complete with a sickening crunch that some of the elders among the crowd greet with a roar.
© Martin Thompson
This is clarity through repetition. Pauses gape as those chords ring out, pauses so long that Gira can suck deep from a bottle of water before another deluge. The evening’s most monumental piece comes in the form of the title track of The Seer. As its warped shuffle uncoils, cyclical and unyielding, Gira staggers forwards. It becomes apparent that he hasn’t uttered a word in around half an hour. He howls in tongues, clawing at his torso, slashing his finger across his throat. Michael Gira is these songs, he exists through them. He summons noise and it follows, he gestures for silence and it descends. ---------Words: Geraint Davies
Po r t i c o Q u a r t e t
W hi te Hills
Blawan , DVS 1 a n d Be n Klo ck
... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
Koko, Camden | April 17th
Soup Kitchen, Manchester | April 12th
Cable, London | April 5th
O2 Academy, Bristol | April 23rd
Few know that the Mercury-nominated Portico Quartet chose their name after an inclement gig in Italy during which they improvised and played under a portico. But most realise that the key to their breakthrough was the distinctive sound of the rare percussion instrument, the hang.
On the opposite coast to the current crop of San Franciscan space cadets, New York’s White Hills have been flying the flag for the new wave of burnt-out space-rock with releases drenched in reverb and droning loops carefully balanced between moments of hypnotic beauty and escalating sonic brutality.
Crack emerged on Friday beneath London Bridge’s arches for a 12 hour workout at Cable.
It dominates their early melodic, acoustic LPs, but not wanting to rely too heavily on it, the band metamorphosed towards the more inviting ground of sampling loops and electronic pads associated with the likes of Mount Kimbie. Their eponymous third offering was, for many, one of the best albums of 2012, scoring impressive marks for reinvention. Working out where the East London-based group go from here is intriguing – they remain at a crossroads. Like other recent live showings, tonight they displayed a superb studio-esque clarity. No space here, though, for emotive former favourites Clipper or Dawn Patrol. Those days are gone, the songs seemingly expunged from their minds.
However, despite such clear success on record, tonight White Hills came across as one-dimensional, dull and excessive. As a live outfit, White Hills abandon the subtleties dotted around their records for a duplication of Hawkwind’s cosmic mantra of the ‘sonic attack’, a no-holds-barred clusterfuck of bleep and echo. That’s the idea anyway. The set became a trial, pulsing away in a metronomic manner for what felt like eternity. For the early stages White Hills were totally bland, losing their audience and making the Soup Kitchen become noticeably spacious. Then shit got really strange. Turning all Spinal Tap, the band launched into clichéd psychedelic hand gestures, complete with eyes drawn on palms, alongside cringey guitar wankery that looked more like your dad performing Voodoo Chile on Guitar Hero than beholding a cosmic prophet. Perhaps Crack witnessed an off day, but in this case this brand of psychedelia strictly belongs back in 1967. -----------
As youngsters we can remember feeling a hopeless magnetism towards And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead ... There seemed something deeply romantic and ambitious about the unruly Texans. In the 11 years since their superb Source Tags and Codes album, their recorded output has continued in a noteworthy vein, so there was a lot to look forward as we set foot into a disarmingly sparse Academy.
Their newer sound is more slow-building, deeper, layered and repetitive. But we’re also looking out for hints at their next move. No clues at Koko, alas. But we wait patiently, respectfully and intrigued by this foursome, as the hang sits lonely and largely unused on the stage. ----------
First up came Blawan, who arrived under a weight of expectation. A recent Surgeon tie-up has given him a seat at techno’s top table, but occasionally his set sounded like the worst aspects of his productions: gratuitously brutal. The impression left was that Blawan, once associated with ‘fun’ party tunes, was making a point of his latest hard techno persona. Then came the mighty DVS1. Gnarly synths kept unravelling new layers of percussion while complex arpeggios interlocked perfectly with snatches of acerbic clap or snare. Rolling rhythms would lose touch with each other then, just at the right moment, conform rigidly again, accompanied by the perfect bass drop. Ben Klock, who effectively ‘discovered’ DVS1 five years ago, was similarly at ease with his craft. His sound was Berlin-cold and constantly riveting. Even though the mixing was sloppy at times and unable to rival DVS1’s majesty, he justified his standing. Klock remains a true don of the stern, relentless techno he has helped to proliferate in Germany. For the techno heads, of which many turned out, this was well worth staying up for.
After a grandiose opening, It Was There That I Saw You dribbles into nothing. Conrad Keely seems tired, not quite present, and the instrumentation drags without any urgency whatsoever. The instrument-swapping for which the band are known was never the best idea, but at least felt compulsive, chaotic and fun. But tonight it simply serves to prolong the agony. The pay offs for the eventless sections don’t come in outbursts of aural trauma or sheets of noise, but in a clearly premeditated venture into the crowd, or a doublespeed break which cries out to be played in abrupt downstrokes, but instead is strummed carelessly, even lazily. Dispassionate and disconnected, we head home this evening with a feeling of emptiness. A naive, youthful expectation is left sadly unfulfilled.
------------------Words: Geraint Davies
Words: Alex Hall
Words: Nick Johnstone
Words: Oliver Pickup
/yo k o o n o’s m e lt d o w n /
A lva N o t o and Ryuichi Sakamoto Iggy & the Stooges + S ava g e s * SOLD OUT
14 – 23 JUNE
Photographer: Julian Broad © Yoko Ono
yoko ono Plastic Ono Band
D o u b l e Fa n ta s y Live with special guests
Siouxsie * SOLD OUT
B o d y/ H e a d f t. I k u e M o r i + Mystical Weapons
C i b o M at t o
An Evening Of Words And Music With P at t i S m i t h * SOLD OUT
Marianne Fa i t h f u l l and Bill Frisell * SOLD OUT
R e g g i e W at t s + mac LETHal
i m m o r ta l Technique
amadeus leopold boy george * SOLD OUT Deerhoof Thurston moore * SOLD OUT BFI film Programme Sky Piece to Jesus Christ Activism and the Future:
Tw o w e e ke n d s of debates, workshops, films and performances.
plus more to be announced
* Returns Only
Tickets On Sale Now
17.05.13 THE NEST
TH E SU M M ERnePA R TY 22nd Ju Village Underground Shoreditch, London
DJ EZ ZED BIAS SLIMZEE AZ & TOR LIVE SHANDY B2B TOM LEA
A NIGHT OF UK GARAGE BROUGHT TO YOU BY CRACK MAGAZINE TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM WWW.ILOVETHENEST.COM £7ADV
LINDSTRØM CLASSIXX GILDAS & JERRY BOUTHIER d! and more to be announce
54 Holywell Lane Shoreditch London EC2A 3PQ
From 9:30pm – 4:00am Tickets available at: residentadvisor.net ticketweb.co.uk
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Autre Ne Ve u t Birthdays, Dalston | April 16th In a recent interview with FACT, Arthur Ashin, i.e Autre Ne Veut, stated that his approach to music involved “working with and against pop forms in different ways as much as possible”. With his new full-length Anxiety, he succinctly proves his point; though often mentioned in the same breath as Tom Krell’s How To Dress Well and the tuneless chancers in Inc., Ashin’s work generally bypasses cracked and shimmering prettiness for full force emoting and histrionic production, owing, it seems, far more to 80s teen soundtracks, power balladry and the effortless songcraft of Scritti Politti than the bedroom melancholia of his peers. It’s astoundingly successful. Tonight’s sold out show at Birthdays perfectly displays Autre Ne Veut’s sonic strengths. Ashin is backed by a two piece band, leaving him unburdened to emote freely and enthusiastically for the duration. Its sonic trajectory is near-perfect, maximalist banks of synth and ludicrous harmonised guitar lines segue into quiet solo piano and enveloping noise. Onstage he is positively kinetic, unexpectedly so given the nature of the music (though the occasional po-faced staring comes across as a little affected, given the relative humour and intelligence of his interviews). The sound is so crystalline we’re led to wonder – despite the presence of a drummer and keyboardist/samplist – whether the entire backing is being played straight through the PA.
Therein lies the only criticism of the project’s live iteration, that it’s doubtful that any of the songs will have a chance to develop a degree of organic or spontaneous character in this arena. In addition, his vocals, obviously the forefront of every track, flit between belting volume and piercing falsetto with little between. This is minor criticism though; if the delivery comes across a little like non-ironic hipster karaoke, it’s the most enjoyable and affecting example of this possible, and it’s almost bizarre that something this shameless can feel so right. ---------Words: Tom Howells
B l o c Pre s e n t s: L . I . E . S
The St . P ierre S n a ke In va sio n
Matthew E . White
Dirt y Ta lk P re se n ts: H u n e e
Autumn Street Studios, London | March 31st
The Croft, Bristol | April 27th
Sound Control, Manchester | April 25th
The Motorcycle Showroom, Bristol | April 26th
Despite remaining a self-professed devotee to the underground, Ron Morelli’s L.I.E.S catalogue commands attention. Crack attended an East London warehouse where the phoenixlike Bloc London showcased some of the label’s most influential producers.
In the wake of the news that The Croft – one of Bristol’s best loved alternative music venues – is shutting down, we’ve learned to cherish nights like these, to savour its unique charm.
Those unfamiliar with Matthew E. White’s stunning new album Big Inner will no doubt recognise the component parts: a kaleidoscopic blend of nu-soul, country, Americana rock, psych, plus a dash of gospel. White opens with One of These Days, a strolling cosmic groover that excellently flaunts his band’s ability to pull off a harmony while remaining high and hairy. Morphing into Will You Love Me, the restrained psychedelics are allowed to run rampant around the canopy of Sound Control, with White and his long beard and hair conjuring the synths to greater sonic extremities like a possessed medieval wizard (coincidentally, White expresses his ambition to get an extras role in the new series of Game of Thrones, so if you’re connected, help a brother out). Big Love and Steady Pace – two of the finest tracks on White’s debut – follow in quick succession, and their extended middle sections groove each track to a rapturous climax. On paper, Matthew E. White is hardly anything new. The tracks sound like they were lifted from a 70s college radio station, but even after existing for merely four months, the songs on Big Inner are already beginning to feel like classics.
The beat-orientated Bristol promoters Dirty Talk have earned an incredible rep for harnessing names that roam the leftfield margins of disco, techno and house. Tonight the Berlin-based Korean crate digger Hunee is booked to play The Motorcycle Showroom, a DIY art spacecum-music venue which has been flamboyantly decked out on a tight budget, giving the place an air of 70s discotheque sleaze.
Words: Alex Hall
Words: David Reed
We arrived in time for Svengalisghost, an image of the label’s anarchic ethos, cutting a formidable silhouette through the billows of smoke with his face cloaked in a hood. With productions not for the faint of heart, he stormed through experimental techno cuts like High Heel Sleaze, before swerving head-on into acid – and this is all pre-1am. If Svengali-is-ghost, then Steve Summers is shapeshifter. Summers set off slow, building the vibes of the room once again in the insatiable afterburn of Svengalisghost’s set. Next up is Delroy Edwards who delivers a vinyl set both convention-defying and accessible, dropping vocals from MK’s Burning before building up to his signature ghetto funk style at an unrelenting BPM. Having had our vibe massaged to a fever pitch by the excellent three sets preceding it, all that was left to do was dance, hard, to Morelli’s set. Barely a single record was actually recognised, such is the reach of Morelli’s collection. Bloc have fully begun to redeem themselves, and on the basis of this party, they’re already a fair way along the road to recovery.
Billed as Special Guests, the perennially dapper Idles stride onstage to the sound of Two Tone, feeding off the energy of The Croft’s densely-populated main room, rigid rhythms finding their counterpoint in bursts of controlled noise and clenched vocals. Then it’s over to Room Two, where Yes Rebels’ stylish, classy soul ‘n’ roll indie offers a change of pace and a timeless, nourishing richness of tone. Now the main event. From the off, St. Pierre Snake Invasion vocalist Damien Sayell’s searing scream cuts effortlessly through the band’s mulchy, halftime grooves and erratic double-speed breaks. Having soared from the room’s highest speaker stack, Sayell takes his place in the front row. As he stands unyielding in the midst of the bedlam, microphone held tight to his torso and staring at an empty spot in the distance, it’s just fucking magic. Sayell proudly, genuinely declares this to be the best night of his life. We wouldn’t go quite that fair, but as DIY punk rock shows in wonderfully grubby venues go, it just doesn’t get much better than this. ----------
---------Words: Geraint Davies Words: Anna Tehabsim
Hunee arrives behind the decks with an already amped up crowd in front of him. Taking off from a launch pad of deep analogue disco grooves set up by the Dirty Talk DJs, the unmistakable sound of Rhodes piano stabs indicate a departure towards house territory, before Hunee digs into tougher, more unhinged territory complete with overhanging acid squelches. As a respected beat historian, his set fluctuates between epochs of time as well as genre, with rhythms driven by the sound of live drum kits, contemporary digital beats and 808s plucked from old school hip-hop. In times where so many 4/4 nights are jam-packed with rowdy, V neck wearing beefcakes, Dirty Talk’s adventurous music policy is more welcome than ever.
SATURDAY LOOKS GOOD TO ME ONE KISS ENDS IT ALL Polyvinyl
KODE9 RINSE: 22 Rinse
Indiepop maven Fred Thomas’s Saturday Looks Good To Me unofficially went on hiatus in 2008. After four years of releases by affiliated acts as well as Thomas’s solo work, the band regrouped (with new vocalist Carol Gray) and released the track Sunglasses in 2012. That was decent, but it’s a weak link in the gorgeous, summerappropriate gem One Kiss Ends It All. Lo-fi opener One Kiss is a watery, twilight shimmer replete with lilting piano and off-tone vocals. Invisible Friend, on the other hand, is hi-def, C86-indebted indie pop of the highest calibre. Terse, punchy and without an extraneous element, the song exemplifies SLGTM’s skills in classicist songcraft. It’s bordering on twee, but the track’s “I love you the best” refrain is both inane and achingly sweet, Gray’s vocals punchy enough to carry the sentiment without swerving into cloying territory. The band experiment with a variety of sonic tones, from Radio Department style Scando-Balaeriac groove to downbeat 50s doowop via gloaming synth haze and major-key power pop. The album peaks halfway through with the gorgeous The Everpresent New Times Condition. A melancholy loop of dual cello segues quickly into stripped down, sighing widescreen pop; warm keyboards quietly play off against cleanly picked guitar lines and Gray delivers the album’s most whistful vocal. Unrelentingly dreamy. TH
You can’t but admire Kode9. After starting his Hyperdub label in 2004, Steve Goodman surfed dubstep’s most exciting breakers without marooning himself with its cliches, keeping an eye consistently trained on the next wave, putting quality and originality at the forefront. Laudable, and this eclecticism has brought us releases from producers such as Burial, Laurel Halo and LV. But it doesn’t make for a great mixtape. Though there’s plenty to like about Kode9’s Rinse: 22, the mix lurches from one sub-genre to the next with schizophrenic intensity, offering little let up and scant narrative excitement. The way it builds to a footwork climax via two-steppy house and grime, doesn’t exactly come as much of a surprise, not a sin in itself, but after kicking off with the enjoyable submersion of Burial’s Truant, Goodman fails to throw a curveball for the remainder. The selections are admirably eclectic and packed with unreleased productions from Scratcha DVA, Kuedo, and DJ Rashad. One of Goodman’s own tracks, Xingfu Lu, is a highlight, bridging the gap between grime and juke tempos. In fact, the 160bpm conclusion, full of detuned loveliness, is the most pleasing stretch. Goodman also manages to find a grime angle in a pitched-up outing for Joy Orbison’s Big Room Tech House DJ Tool – a clever reimagining of a ubiquitous track. NJ
SPECTRALS SOB STORY Wichita
OUTBOXX OUTBOXX Idle Hands
The second album from Yorkshire’s Spectrals is a continuation of his debut, featuring a range of styles and vintage sounds. However this expansive range, covering everything from garage rock, alt-country and gospel, is ultimately his downfall. Without ever mastering a specific style, the record is guilty of plodding along, never feeling like an album in control of its own direction. Spectrals is at his best when adopting his downbeat country croon complete with reverb-ridden slide guitars and honky-tonk rhythms. Reminiscent of contemporary country aficionado Dylan LeBlanc, it’s hard to believe the singer-songwriter hails from the moors of Yorkshire and not the lonesome Louisiana swamps. The melancholy in his voice on Friend Zone and the title track is impossible to ignore. Other moments recall the sunny soundscapes of Real Estate and Local Natives without ever reaching their accomplished heights, while the experimental tones of album closer In A Bad Way hint at what could have been if Spectrals committed to this particular path. But this is where the plaudits end. It’s not that Sob Story is a poor album, just a deeply forgettable one. It plays through its 40-minute run time with little fanfare, no hooks or stand-out moments to elevate the record from mediocrity to must-listen status. BS
After infiltrating the scene with singles like Aporia and the Blueberry EP, the timing seems perfect for a full LP from Bristol’s Outboxx. Utilising a broad pallet of influences, Jacob Martin and Matt Lambert have created a distinctive angle which reflects a range of their hometown’s key sounds, where intoxicating house rhythms underpin jazz-inspired musicality and timeless disco leanings. As the album progresses, each tune becomes a chapter in an involving narrative. Tracks like Home are reminiscent of 4Hero, other tracks have elements of house and techno dons Bodycode, Isolée, and The Other People Place, a suitably diverse range of influences. Recognising these individual elements is an intriguing process, creating something fresh with a warmly familiar character. Lost Soul, featuring regular vocalist Naomi Jeremy, injects a garage vibe with soulful grace. The singer is a key ingredient in this album’s success, adding a pleasingly involving character to the Outboxx sound. As the second half of the album welcomes a seamless shift in attitude, the record sidles into darker, deeper territory, a well-judged transition which helps make the LP a deeply listenable experience. Released via Bristol’s Idle Hands imprint, this record captures much of why the city is an electronic hotbed of the moment. CBB
WOLF EYES NO ANSWER: LOWER FLOORS De Stijl
SAVAGES SILENCE YOURSELF Matador
Wolf Eyes return! Well, the seminal Midwest noise unit are so prolific it’s hard to stress that they’ve been away, but with No Answer: Lower Floors they lurch into view with a tweaked line-up and a further step away from their trademark battering cacophony. Now comprising the long-affiliated Crazy Jim Baljo alongside stalwarts John Olson and Nate Young (the record also including contributions from ex-members/scene perennials Aaron Dilloway and Mike Connelly), the band maintain an unexpected level of sonic clarity and minimalist technique. Young’s insistent kick drum forms the base of record opener Choking Files – a metered exercise in mid-range drone overlaid with Olson’s disorienting spoken word – and the chattering static and weirdo feedback of Born Liar. No Answer and Chattering Lead form melodic lulls around loops of pinprick whine and treated guitar. The slow burn of album centrepiece Confessions of the Informer is wildly effective, and if its smeared, clearcut construction is atypically meditative, the hypnotic grind of Warning Sign acts as an appropriately grating conclusion to the record, a minor hark back to the punishing distortion of Wolf Eyes’ past work. Classic stuff. TH
Is there anything more refreshing than Savages’ roving post-punk austerity in music right now? The long-running Joy Division comparisons begin and end with the bassline of opener Shut Up and the blackness of their get-up. Of all their attributes, it’s the addictive bleakness of the record which leaves you gasping, as does the vocal performance of Jehnny Beth, whose contribution to standout track Waiting For A Sign is eclipsed only by its closing guitar screech. She Will is the closest thing to a pop song on offer, before degenerating into a Siouxie Sioux-style wail that also conjures the angst of Rid Of Me-era PJ Harvey. Beth’s vocals take on a more punishing style on Hit Me and breakthrough track Husbands, both of which recall Karen O at her most fierce. If you were to amalgamate and condense these reference points you’d have an idea how vitally important it is to have Savages projecting this music in an era where females are sold down the industry river with unnerving regularity. Yes, the image is sheer, severe Bauhaus, and the echo-laden production carries the sparsity of something recorded in the bowels of a German power station, but has that not always been fucking cool? TF
JON HOPKINS IMMUNITY Domino 18/20 Anyone exposed to the wonderful fragility of Jon Hopkins and King Creosote’s glorious Diamond Mine will find instrumental solace on the second half of Hopkins’ latest effort, Immunity, in which he takes his seat at the piano once more. His all-encompassing musical compositions have come to define him, and if his position at electronica’s top table was justified by 2009’s Insides, it’s now surely set to be cemented. The album is roughly split down the middle, with the opening four tracks pushing his tougher side, before the engulfing ambience of Abandon Window settles you into the second half, sparse keys rub against a sonic scape that sucks you dry in the most engulfing void. The dynamic nature of the more technoinfluenced productions in the first half pulsate the senses with tremendous power. Opener We Disappear is a sluggish fusion of noise and detached electronic bleeps. Open Eye Signal, with its punishing, hypnotic, pitch-shifting modular synth line, warps and disseminates across a driving techno beat and Collider’s slow pulse morphs into a main room soarer. When the album departs from the more meaty material it’s almost as if he’s showing off. Sun Harmonics is driven but tethered by melancholic keys, and despite running for 11 minutes, it continues to caress you with its beauty without ever outstaying its welcome. Album closer Immunity is a return to the piano and sounds more human and fragile than ever, with comparisons to Sigur Ros an inevitability. In an age where electronic producers can command huge fees for releasing one ‘banger’, Jon Hopkins is a musician who specialises in composition above production. Immunity, so rich in emotion and craftsmanship, is an essential antidote to the quick fix. TF
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THEE OH SEES FLOATING COFFIN Castle Face Records
EGLO RECORDS VOL.1 VARIOUS ARTISTS Eglo
John Dwyer is one of garage rock, if not music in general’s, most enduringly fascinating figures. Since the late 90s he has been flooding the market with output from no less than 12 bands, and he’s released 13 albums under various incarnations of Thee Oh Sees alone. Floating Coffin, the band’s latest effort, is a joyful racket of guitar pounding rock ‘n’ roll. It’s full of the usual psychedelic energy and fuzz flirtation but, as is the norm with Dwyer, somehow comes across as something entirely different from all of his previous output. Early on we enjoy a bit of pop psych in the form of Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster, while minutes later Strawberries 1 + 2 takes us on a full-on drone trip through territory not dissimilar to the smokehazed sound of stoner metal. Floating Coffin is another departure for Thee Oh Sees, as well as a safe bet. With such a prolific rate of output it would be far too easy to proclaim new material as somewhat pointless, dismissed as just another record. Well Floating Coffin is just another record, but it’s a damn fine one. BB
Let’s face it, there’s a serious wealth of ten-a-penny labels in electronic music that don’t mean shit. Eglo Records isn’t one of them. Floating Points and Alex Nut’s imprint has come to represent a distinct style that is the full, rounded amalgamation of the ludicrous knowledge prevalent in both of their DJ sets. Floating Points particularly has come to represent a modern day selector with an eye on the more tactile end of the spectrum. Disco, house, funk, jazz, soul, vocals and rich variation permeate the label’s output, best represented by the Eglo band who present various productions from the roster in a full live setting. Major protagonists feature on this double disc. There are no less than eight productions from Floating Points, whose approach takes in jazz (Shark Chase), house groove (Vacuum Boogie), and indescribable hybrids such as the astounding Myrtle Avenue. There is no more innovative producer in the game. Soulful offerings from Fatima, Eglo’s queen bee, add a touch of class, especially on the yearning Visit You. Finally, FunkinEven provides a good turn in squelchy acid, complete with claps galore. If you like your electronic music with a bit more than a drop and a 4/4 kick, you could do much worse than starting right here. TF
TALIB KWELI PRISONER OF CONSCIOUS EMI
THE NATIONAL TROUBLE WILL FIND ME 4AD
There’s a sense of grandeur seeping through Talib Kweli’s sixth solo LP which doesn’t take long to make itself known. From the Intro track, pianos and cinematic string lines dominate before Kweli cascades onto a continuation of the beat on Human Mic. His flow is unmistakable: heartfelt and aggressive to almost sermonising effect. “I’m a legend like Tutankhamun” he spits, but his proclamations are underpinned by forgettable production. For an artist at the heart of one of the most exciting periods in the history of hip-hop, this LP seemingly relies on a legendary status assumed rather than proved. Come Here, featuring Miguel, boasts slick production values and a faultless hook showing a clear engagement with the modern game, while Kweli’s storytelling harks back to his Rawkus Records peak, full of dialogue and character. But it’s undermined by Push Thru, where Kendrick Lamar’s verse sounds as raw and potent as he did on Good Kid..., which can’t be said for the somewhat lacklustre flexing of Kweli. This LP could be a frustrating listen for fans, especially when cuts like Hamster Wheel are so smart and vivid in narrative. Talib Kweli is by no means a man void of ideas, but there are one too many moments on Prisoner Of Conscious where inspiration runs dry. DH
The arrangements replete on The National’s sixth album are masterfully accomplished and, in terms of pure composition, as good as anything they’ve ever produced; and by extension, as good as anything in modern popular music. Tonally this album has much in common with 2010’s High Violet. Their previous five fulllengths have been a constant progression, a patient pursuit of a fully-formed identity. It’s stirring to hear them arrive at a common destination and focus on fully honing it. Vocalist Matt Berninger puts on a remarkable showing throughout. He dominates these boundlessly expanding tracks, his thematic blurring of the personal and the metaphysical at its most engrossing, elevating curiously relatable facets of the human condition to unreachably grandiose heights. Murmurs such as “You should know me better than that” on opener I Should Live In Salt, or the heart-wrenching pathos of masculine fragility admission I Need My Girl become smothering, swollen with contexts yet inviting interpretation. Very little is left tacit or unsaid, Berninger narrates the listener through each propulsive rhythm and rich surge, the two sets of twins behind constantly serving him, and he them. Trouble Will Find Me is a nourishing, generous and nigh on flawless album. GHD
The UK’s Tea Party
Illustration: Lee Nutland www.leenutland.com
This month you can cast a ballot for the UK’s Tea Party. Troubled by immigrants? Think the government spends too much of our money? Worried that we’re becoming the United States of Europe? Fear not; Nigel Farage has a posse. His party, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), has been getting a lot of press lately. If we held a general election tomorrow and opinion poll results turned into seats, UKIP would have more MPs than the Lib Dems. Neither of those two things is going to happen, but UKIP does stand to be the biggest story of this month’s local elections. Comparisons between UKIP and the Tea Party, a constitution thumping anti-government faction of the US Republicans, were made as early as 2010. The two have a lot in common, not least because UKIP is attracting disenfranchised conservatives; both are anti-establishment, nationalistic, seek a small government, provide a protest vote and have a play at the national stage. Farage’s appearance on Fox News late last year provided an interesting juxtaposition. Fox mainstay Neil Cavuto was visibly titillated by Farage’s less
government mantra: “The great battle that’s going on right now, and it’s happening in America, it’s happening in Europe, is of bureaucracy vs. democracy.” Cavuto followed it by labelling Portugal’s ex-president José Manuel Barroso as French “because of his attitude” before Farage fingered him as a known Maoist and Cavuto went for the “I had my suspicions” reach around.
no-hope fringe party, but in truth they’re far closer to the nation’s political mood than the Tories, Lib Dems or Labour. Farage is doing a good job of being able to drink ale – British, you understand – discuss serious economic issues and engage with the electorate. He’s on a “Common Sense” tour engaging the common man, wearing a hat borrowed from a 50s dick and pouting like a startled frog.
It was a joy to watch, but the key difference between the two parties – and I know that Fox has gone quiet on the tea-hating savages – is that UKIP’s doing it with a bit of class. It’s hard to stomach, but it’s the British way. When the Tea Party was at its peak the candidates were more like caricatures than Spitting Image’s broad-shouldered Thatcher when she neighboured an insect-gassing OAP Hitler and talked of invading the unions.
And this is the key difference between the would-be right wing detractors in the US and what’s happening in the UK right now; the media and the electorate are taking UKIP relatively seriously. The Tea Party were never much more than the bile that collects on the edge of Fox News’s ever-snarling gnashers.
Christine O’Donnell, for one, put thousands of dollars into an advert telling voters she wasn’t a witch and, as the darling of a movement that advocates strict adherence to the US Constitution, couldn’t even get a grasp on the first amendment. UKIP has been construed as a bunch of loonies and a
The challenge for Farage is now three-fold: galvanising its support base to win seats in parliament, keeping it together during a general-election-scale media onslaught and creating an election platform that deals with more than Johnny Forensczca. The first past the post system means it’s unlikely UKIP will gain any seats in parliament, their support base is too stretched out and they don’t have the campaign machinery. Whatever you say about their manifesto,
their candidates and supporters don’t get much further than the EU. And the most important issue, outside of the endless glossy profiles that have been run over the last six months, is that we haven’t really turned the heat on yet. Everything considered, they might not turn out like the dud red, white and blue firework that was the Tea Party, but they won’t achieve that much more.
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