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Jon Hopkins | !!! |Hooded Fang

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Our 10 th Birthday spectacular

10 Fields oF Wonderment • over 20 stages, mega soundsystems & mind bloWing non-stop parties • 24hr escapism • insane sideshoWs • magical happenings & more LIVE MUSIC

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Elton John & hIS BAnD • Snoop Dogg FAtBoY SlIM’S BEStIVAl BIRthDAY BASh

M.I.A • FRAnz FERDInAnD • FlAMIng lIpS • thE KnIFE Wu-tAng ClAn • BoMBAY BICYClE CluB • thE RootS

BEllE & SEBAStIAn • JESSIE WARE • DISCloSuRE • DJ FRESh/lIVE • toM oDEll hot nAtuRED • RuDIMEntAl • SInEAD o’ConnoR • SquAREpuShER BAStIllE • ChIC Ft nIlE RoDgERS • thE WAlKMEn • thE polYphonIC SpREE

AngEl hAzE • JAMES BlAKE • JohnnY MARR • CRYStAl FIghtERS • SAVAgES • CouRtnEY pInE • ghoStpoEt pEACE • thE StRYpES • DExYS • MAx RoMEo • lISSIE • thE CuBAn BRothERS • thE WonDER StuFF John CoopER ClARKE • CARAVAn pAlACE • thE 1975 • ClEAn BAnDIt • lonDon gRAMMAR & many more DJ S E t S

from R o b D a b a n k & f R I E n D S

RIChIE hAWtIn • CARl Cox • AnnIE MAC

SEth tRoxlER • A-Yo! (MARK RonSon VS zAnE loWE) KnIFE pARtY • JulIo BAShMoRE • MAYA JAnE ColES

ERol AlKAn • DuKE DuMont • DIxon • KERRI ChAnDlER DAVID RoDIgAn MBE pRESEntS RAM JAM • EAtS EVERYthIng • DJ YoDA

nuMBERS – JACKMAStER, SpEnCER, REDInho, SophIE & SpECIAl guESt RuStIE

FAKE BlooD • JoY oRBISon • DJ Ez • CYRIl hAhn • hoSpItAlItY tAKEoVER FEAt. hIgh ContRASt, DAnnY BYRD, nu:logIC, FRED V & gRAFIx - hoStED BY WREC & DYnAMItE • toDDlA t SounD & many more b e st i va l . n e t •

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The naTionaL

Tue 28 May birthdAyS

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houndMouTh Mon 3 June 100 clUb

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Tue 4 June the WAiting room Tue 4 June cArgo

The graphiTe SeT eMperor yeS

Tue 18 June ShAcKleWell ArmS Wed 19 June electroWerKz

Thu 26 SepT Sebright ArmS Mon 28 oCT VillAge UndergroUnd

Tue 25 June Sebright ArmS

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FreSh and onLyS

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Mon 10 June cArgo

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ChiLdhood

CruShed BeaKS

Wed 5 June Sebright ArmS

Mon 10 June corSicA StUdioS

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nighT BedS Tue 3 deC ScAlA


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Photographer | Filippos Hatzis filipposhatzis.com Featuring | Nina Kraviz

For those who are cracked let the light in: Respect Tom Paine Rag Zeina Raad Dave Harvey Nile Rodgers Leah Ellis Roya Farrokhian Emily Hadwen Naomi Crowther Rich Walker Executive Editors Thomas Frost tom@crackmagazine.net

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’s got a list of things which infuriate and beguile us on a daily basis, but today we want to talk about one in particular: that is, 2013, the year of the elaborately conceived music marketing campaign. M

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Jake Applebee jake@crackmagazine.net Editor Geraint Davies geraint@crackmagazine.net

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Marketing / Events Manager Luke Sutton luke@crackmagazine.net

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Art Direction & Design Jake Applebee Alfie Allen Staff Writer Lucie Grace Film Editor Tim Oxley Smith

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Editorial Assistant Anna Tehabsim

Illustrations Lee Nutland CRACK is published by Crack Industries Ltd Advertising To enquire about advertising and to request a media pack contact: advertising@crackmagazine.net

0117 2391219 © All rights reserved. All material in Crack magazine may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of Crack Industries Ltd. Crack Magazine and its contributors cannot accept any liability for reader discontent arising from the editorial features. Crack Magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any article or material supplied for publication or to edit this material prior to publishing. Crack magazine cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to supplied materials. The opinions expressed or recommendations given in the magazine are the views of the individual author and do not necessarily represent the views of Crack Industries Ltd. We accept no liability for any misprints or mistakes and no responsibility can be taken for the contents of these pages.

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The most profound culprits have been artists we hold dearly. Oh, Daft Punk. Arguably the most important dance act of all time, their promotional campaign became a laughable feedback loop of non-information, where a tracklist, or a vague report of possible collaborators, a brief video clip, or even the menial details of fucking song lengths, was justification for countless garbled reports of hifalutin, hyperbolic bullshit. It was just so overwhelming tacky that it irrevocably cheapened whatever emerged from the other end. It takes advantage of our desire to hear a new record, putting us through the ringer and using suspense and enigma, which are nigh on extinct in their non-manufactured states, as commodities to be manipulated. And these things grow exponentially. We’ve had the Jai Paul palaver, the Boards of Canada rabbit-hole ... soon it’ll be impossible to put out an album without the accompanying circus. How’s that fair on the little guy? The DIY punk label with a £15 promotional budget, left desperately attempting to manufacture a little viral hype by tying copies of their latest 7” to stray dogs and releasing them into Rough Trade East. We all want people to start buying music again. But how many records do they have to sell to justify all the worldwide video screenings and the endless teasers and the internet pop-up assaults? Well, a lot, obviously. Yeah. Daft Punk sold a LOT. So that’s us told. #upallnight

Fashion Paul Whitfield Marina German Valerie Benavides Mai Kodama Contributors Christopher Goodfellow Josh Baines Tom Howells Adam Corner Helia Phoenix Duncan Harrison Billy Black Celia Archer Alex Hall Claude Barbé-Brown Oliver Pickup Nick Johnstone Aaron Z Willson Joshua Nevett Rich Bitt T.C. Flanagan Jack Bolter Ayesha Linton-Whittle Isis O’Regan Trevor Cavell Phillip James Allen Hulio Bourgeois

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At the end of the day, we’re just music fans, but more and more our favourite thing is being hidden behind an opaque fug of spiel. We find ourselves in a world which prides itself on constant exposure, on technicolour inundations of words and images. But amidst the mire, how the fuck are we supposed to separate the promotional stunts from the actual record and decide, ourselves, whether or not we like it?

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Junior Editor David Reed davy@crackmagazine.net

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Geraint Davies

Crack has been created using: Thundercat - Oh Sheit It’s X Dirty Beaches - I Dream In Neon Lauryn Hill - Ex-Factor Zomby - Get Sorted JBM - Forests Bass Drum Of Death - I Wanna Be Forgotten Funkineven - The Joker Slayer - Raining Blood Bishop Nehru - Nehruvia Chance The Rapper - Acid Rain Julio Bashmore - Duccy David Bowie - Golden Years Fucked Up - Days of Last Young Thug - Nigeria ft Gucci Mane Lightening Dust - Diamond Ludacris - What’s Your Fantasy? Vincent Gallo - My Beautiful White Dog The Doors - The Crystal Ship Kiwi - Bengal Josh T & Arkist - Fleabag Myron - On Broadway

Alcatrax - Giv Me Luv Arctic Monkeys - From The Ritz to the Rubble The History of Apple Pie - See You Summits - Tape & Records Daft Punk - Burnin’ The Smiths - Reel Around The Fountain SMD & Bicep - Sacrifice Christophe feat Danielle Moore - Comeback Sisterhood - Call Me Ishmael Diana Ross - I’m Coming Out Kurt Vile - Too Hard Kyle Hall - Measure2Measure Cosmic TRG- New Structures for Loving Roman Fluegel- Even More Delroy Edwards- Maxwell Dolo Percussion- Dolo 4 Matmos - Very Large Green Triangles The Cramps - Garbage Man Creedence Clearwater Revival - Porterville Thee Milkshakes - Out Of Control Prefab Sprout - The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll

The Midnights - Annie Pulled A Humbug Lonely Tourist - The Ballad of Paul Tierney The Sugarcubes - Walkabout Phedre - Aphrodite Liars - I Saw You From The Lifeboat Glenn & Chris - Diamond Lights Simon & Garfunkel - April Come She Will Kano - Ps and Qs Roll Deep - When Im Ere Rmx (Skepta, Tinchy, Wiley) Butch - No Worries Girl Band - Why Do They Hide The Bodies Under My Garge Deacon Blue - Real Gone Kid Wampire - Snacks Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Om Nashi Me Tricky - Somebody’s Sins DjRUM - Obsession Cirez D - On Off The Shadows - Apache Still Corners - The Trip Soul Capsule - Lady Science John Francis - Dream On


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3 RECORDS // CONTENTS

CRACKMAGAZINE.NET THE BEST Of OUR WEBSITE THIS MONTH

N IN A KRAVIZ - 1 6 Vera Tak e Me (O r igin a l M ix) XDB Frocks Oma r S It’s Mone y in t h e D !!! - 20 Re.You Juncti on ( O rigin a l M ix) Keche Sok ode Micke y Moonl i g h t Cl ose To Ev e r yt h in g J ON HOP KINS - 22 Neu tra l Mi l k H ot el In the A er o p la n e O v e r T h e Se a Bria n Eno Thursday a f t e r n o o n S ig u r Ros () YOUN G FAT HERS - 25

H O W TO D R E S S W E L L: I N P H OT O S // Last month we presented a line-up of How To Dress Well, Typesun and Face + Heel at Bristol’s Thekla. Crack favourite Tom Krell exceeded expectations with his distinguishing strains of intimate falsetto and raw emotional energy. It was a stunning evening of music, and our man ‘Artbeats was on hand to document the event in photographic form. See what went on over at the website.

La w H ustl e Na n cy & L ee S om e Ve l v e t M o rn in g Chu ck B er r y Thi rty Days

P L A N E T M U + D R O O G C R A C KC A S T S / / Head over to the site for the latest pair of Crackcasts. Our 43rd instalment comes from a label which has positioned itself firmly at the forefront of challenging UK electronic music, Planet Mu, presenting a collection which builds from confrontational jungle and drum ‘n’ bass, moving seamlessly through classic house stabs, roving atmospherics, face-melting IDM/breaks and jittering footwork. Next up come North American party cohorts Droog, three house aficionados, producers, promoters and label-heads who you can find nestled within the stunning line-up for Eastern Electrics Festival this August. They light up the Crackcast series with a blend of typically catchy vocals and on trend 4x4 house.

HOODED FANG - 26 Od on is O doni s Bette r T he S qui ds Too Young Ma n Made H i l l Inte rcourse s STUART PAT IENCE - 28 P u rity Ri ng Lofti cri es G rimes Be A Bod y John Maus H ey Moon HELEN MART EN - 3 2 H el en de clin e d to offe r 3 R e c o rd s

W I N A PA I R O F L AT IT U D E T I C K E T S // Surely the most-well rounded festival on the UK calendar, between July 18th and 21st Suffolk’s Henham Park will greet a musical schedule which includes sets from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Yo La Tengo, Cat Power, Foals and Kraftwerk 3D. Away from that sonic selection is a comedy line-up headed by Dylan Moran, spoken word from Carol Ann Duffy and Thurston Moore, literary offerings from Robin Ince, Neon Neon’s immersive theatre/live music creation Praxis Makes Perfect and art from David Shrigley and Alan Moore. Perfect. We’ve got a pair of tickets to give away to whoever can answer this terribly simple question: Latitude specifies the North-South position of a point on the Earth’s surface. Which of the following specifies the East-West position? a) A compass b) Longitude

M OV E D - 3 8 Chica go Da m n Be Your Ma n Roberto R odr i g uez I Ke e p Thi n kin g O f Yo u Move D Got 2 B (Ja y Sh e p h e a rd R e m ix)

c) Jamie Jones

L U K E S ITA L- S I N G + M M O T H S I N T E R V I E WS / / Crack spoke to folk-fired Londoner Luke Sital-Sing following the release of his second EP, Old Flint, which presents an intricately honed mix of ardour and aesthetics. With critics likening the rousing songsmith to a British Bon Iver – although he regards himself as “more of a straight-forward pop songwriter” – he talked creative vision, arts and crafts, and the conflicting influences of Damien Rice, Deftones and Slipknot. Also catch up on MMOTHS’ speedy elevation to critical attention with our feature on the Irish producer. It offers a reflective glance at the progression and palpable maturity of Jack Colleran’s latest output, as he confessed to his unorthodox methods of constructing sounds as well as his chance path towards music.

E-mail your answers to competitions@crackmagazine.net marked with the subject LATITUDE.

www.crackmagazine.net


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Th eo Parris h XOYO 7 th Jun e

M udh o n e y The F o rum 8th Jun e

Re a d ing Fe stiv a l Eminem, Nine Inch Nails, A$AP Rocky, Deftones, The Bronx Richfield Avenue, Reading August 23rd-25th £210.50

Da n n y B rown Scala June 11th £15

M yk k i Bla n co Village Un dergro und 10th Ju ne

After years of being stuck in underground hip-hop purgatory and then flunking a deal with G Unit because of his weirdo looks, Detroit MC Danny Brown re-emerged in 2011 as his real self: the proudly toothless, skinny jeans-wearing, ‘molly’ chomping rebel with a disregard for rap conservatives and lyrics so crude they’d make 2 Live Crew blush. But despite his clown prince persona, Brown is smarter than people give him credit for. He’s rapped over everything from grime, trap, backpacker beats, to a song by Purity Ring, and his new tracks produced by Glaswegian aqua crunk don Rustie sound totally insane. Unmissable.

The countdown is officially underway for Reading’s annual celebration of bedlam. And like every year they’ve presented a line-up riddled with more than enough noisy treats to keep you occupied for its three-day duration. From a typically heavyweight assemblage of main stage big hitters (Eminem, Nine Inch Nails, Deftones) to an impressive gathering of first-rate hip-hop (Action Bronson, Angel Haze, A$AP Rocky, who we can only hope will be joining Skrillex onstage for their delightfully garish Wild For The Night collab) and plenty on offer to keep them punx happy (The Bronx, Sick Of It All, Parquet Courts), you’d have to be a real miserable bugger not to lose your shit at this year’s bash.

Em ik a B irth days 11th Ju ne

Ch r o m atics KOKO 12th Ju ne

Sur f er B lood Electro werkz 17 th Ju ne

Circo Lo co

Wa m p ire Shacklewell Arms June 18th £6 adv.

Seth Troxler, Kerri Chandler, Joy Orbison Rainbow Warehouse, Birmingham August 10th + 11th Tickets start from £25

Portland oddballs Rocky Tinder and Eric Phipps are difficult to ignore. From their striking press shots, all lank, greasy hair, deadpan expressions and cheesy ‘family portrait’ style studio, to a name which just screams out to be followed by ‘Veekend’, to their weirdly creepy aesthetic, like if Munsters formed an indie band. Dig beneath and you’ll find debut album Curiosity to be well worth a listen. Those spooky atmospherics are accompanied by some superb, tight little pop nuggets, which will doubtless translate nicely in this first ever UK live show

World renowned club brand Circo Loco hits Birmingham in conjunction with TYPE festival, hosting two full days of revelry with mammoth line-ups to match. Their Circo Loco in the Arena party on the Saturday hosts Seth Troxler, Maceo Plex, Kerri Chandler, Levon Vincent and many more of the biggest names in house and techno. The outdoor and indoor, all day event is followed by the Rainbow Warehouse afterparty where you can expect more of Loco’s habitual music and mischief. If this isn’t enough, you can dust yourself off and head back to the warehouse for Sunday’s TYPE festival, spanning 2pm until midnight and playing host to Jamie Jones, Carl Craig and Joy Orbison among others..

www.crackmagazine.net


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Fai r Oh s L ex i ng t on 18t h June

Be n Kloc k

C h e lse a Lig h t M o v in g

fabric 8th June

The Forum 19th June

Gl as s A ni m al s E l ect row erk z 19t h June

J a g wa r M a B l ondi efest: One Way Or A n o ther

XOYO June 19th £9 adv.

ICA July 5th-7th

Jagwar Ma, the Sydney-based duo of Jono Ma and vocalist Gabriel Winterfield, became an online sensation with their Come Save Me single in 2012, their polished and loveable percussive sunshine pop winning them legions of converts. With debut album Howlin’ dropping this month via independent label Marathon, and having supported Foals across Europe (in our cover feauture, Yannis singled them out as one of the only bands truly exciting him right now), this rescheduled date is a chance to see this shit-hot property before they explode.

Nine studio albums, over 40 million records sold worldwide and a sound that’s become synonymous with the 70s: Blondie have well and truly secured their place in music’s hall of fame. Blondiefest: One Way Or Another celebrates the cultural legacy and iconic imagery that propelled the band and frontwoman Debbie Harry to such heights. Programme highlights include conversations with Blondie drummer Clem Burke, music, stories and discussions on the 70s New York music scene with Tony Fletcher, David Quantick and Philip Rambow as well as ‘Blondieoke’ at the ICA bar. Following on from the success of similar events Bowiefest, Princefest and Smithsfest, the ICA offers another opportunity to wallow one of popular music’s greatest legacies.

Wa xa h a tch e e

Tal e O f Us f abri c 2 2 nd June

Dalston Roof Park June 14th £8 With the sublime lonely-girl indie of sophomore full-length Cerulean Salt, a more rounded full-band sounding record than last year’s more folk-oriented American Weekend, Katie Crutchfield’s Waxahatchee has become the jewel in revered NJ punk label Don Giovanni Records’ crown. Not a million miles from the likes of Lemuria in tone, she’s already sold out the Shacklewell the night before this, and if the sun comes out this could be the best thing since, like, ever. The event also features a showing of Terence Malick’s seminal 1973 crime flick Badlands because why not, that’s why.

Jackmaster

Tame Impala H ammersmi t h Apol l o 2 5 t h June

Bussey Building 22nd June

Th e Al t e rn a t iv e Gu id e to the Uni vers e

M i dni gh t M agi c XO Y O 2 8t h June

Southbank Centre June 11th - August 26th £11 + BF This exhibition at the Hayward Gallery focuses on truly original work from individuals who think, and practice, outside the established parameters of art, science and architecture, conjuring an alternate reality where imagination is king. The show will include a contribution from the grandly-titled Museum of Everything, the unique travelling museum active since 2009, which offers a platform for “the undiscovered, unintentional, untrained and unclassifiable artists of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries”.

T e cto n ic Pinch, Shackleton, Peverelist, Goldie Fabric June 21st £17 adv.

G oat FOUND

Electric Ballroom 27th June

Maya Jane Coles, Henrik Schwarz (live) Wolf + Lamb, Floating Points Haggerston Park, Shoreditch June 15th Only £50 tickets / £75 VIP Tickets remaining Christening a summer littered with electronic music festivals, FOUND conjures a melting pot of musical culture with five of London’s most discerning club brands joining forces to form an eclectic line-up of house and techno luminaries, with Maya Jane Coles, Henrik Schwarz, Lee Foss b2b MK and a host of others across four areas. Brought to you by FOUND, Tief, Trouble Vision, Magna Carta and Trix, this agglomeration of 4x4 rhythms will take over Shoreditch’s Haggerston Park all day long before shifting to the Suffolk Street Warehouse for an afterparty running until 6 and overseen by MJC herself.

A p p a rat p e rforms Krieg und Frieden Apparat performs Krieg und Frieden Islington Assembly Hall July 5th £17.50 + BF Berlin’s Sascha Ring has been a busy boy. He’s just put the finishing touches to a second Moderat album alongside techno stalwarts Modeselektor which is due out in August. But never one to sit still, he’s heading to London at promoters Black Atlantic’s behest for something very different. Situated in the luxurious Islington Assembly Hall, he will perform his Krieg und Frieden score to Tolstoy’s political, philosophical, historical, romantic saga War & Peace – a piece originally commissions by theatre director Sebastian Hartmann for a 2012 stage appropriation. This immaculately designed electronic narrative was later released on Mute Records, and a chance to witness it live ain’t to be turned down.

Dubstep spearhead Pinch’s Tectonic has stood strong as one of the most reliable and unwavering labels of recent years. Earning a rightful spot in the Friday night/Saturday morning FabricLive calender, Pinch brings cohorts Peverelist, Addison Groove and Shackleton to Fabric Room 1, as well as presenting the Metalheadz legacy with Goldie in Room 2, and Pinch and Peverelist playing a b2b jungle set in Room 3 - that’s right. Expect a night of unforgiving bass in a heritage site of English clubbing. D ani e l Joh ns t on

Barbi can 2 nd Jul y

T h e Bre e d e rs The Forum 19th June

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Th e P h ar cy de T he Garag e 2 8t h June

P i s s e d Je ans D i ng w al l s 5 t h Jul y


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pluS MANy MorE ACroSS 4 lIVE STAGES & 3 ThEMED Dj TENTS Dj Louie Louie | SLatternLy | MiShiMa | Dr FiSh | FarMFeStivaL DjS | PauLo FernanDeZ the QuinteSSentiaL SounDSySteM | one Shot | oh! GunQuit | the StanDarDS | hartinG three KinGS hiGh | the FLaMenco thieF | FranciS & BoyD | aFrica entSha | i.thiS.yeS tuLa & the BLacKGanG | Moriarty | MoScow youth cuLt | ich Bin Finn | DroPBear | thyLa the uKeS oF haZarD | the iDoL rich | SKiMMity hitcherS | the Go Go cuLt | ay Ducane civiLiSation oF the rouGh unDerGrounD DiSco | hiGhGraDe rocKerS DuB SounDSySteM thiS iS SoMerSet tent | FarMFeStivaL PreSentS: the Den acouStic ShacK

FARMFESTIVAL SOMERSET 26-27 JULY 2013


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15

NEW MUSIC

F.U .R.S B ro l i n Last September, a masked musician going by the name of Brolin surfaced online with a beautiful song called NYC – a composition of warm organ tones, tender vocals, synthesised strings, a sparse drum machine sequence and a twinkling glockenspiel. Almost immediately, the track generated hype organically, leading to airplay on BBC Radio 6, and then eventually Radio 1. His recent Cundo EP, led by the single Reykjavik (all Brolin’s songs are named after cities) was producer by the highly praised, Border Community-affiliated producer Luke Abbott. “His modular soaked production on Reykjavik added analogue warmth to the composition which took the track to a different level entirely”, Brolin tells us via e-mail. “I found it interesting to watch Luke compose, and at times, wrestle with his wall of wires”. Although Brolin remains anonymous (he’s a Yorkshireman, not too many other details are known about his personal life), he’s been performing live with other musicians, and the Cundo EP feels like it could be the precursor to something much bigger. So how far would he like to push the project in 2013? “It’s not really about pushing it” is his response. “It’s more like, seeing where it can take me. I’ve worked on a couple of remixes and collaborations, the fruits of which you’ll hear more about in the coming months… But I guess I just want to maintain creative control, and keep the focus on the music.” iambrolin.com

Some bands have all the luck. For many, the reality of trying to get a break takes years of endlessly touring the UK’s toilet circuits before an A&R even sneezes in your general direction. London based trio F.U.R.S, on the other hand, bagged a tour schedule supporting Johnny Marr on the back of their debut single Striptease. As if that wasn’t enough of a confidence boost, the track was picked up for an ad campaign featuring Kate Moss rocking high-end fashion gear designed by Stuart Weitzman. So what’s all the fuss about? Well, Striptease is an irresistible gem characterised by a mid 60s Hammond organ melody, crispy garage rock guitar riffs and frontwoman Elle Wade’s nonchalantly cool vocals. They’re currently recording their debut album, and if they can spread the magic of their golden vintage sound across 11 or so tracks, they’re fucking sorted.

Jo se p h M a rin e tti After making beats under monikers like gRADient Overlay and Respite, Joseph made the wise decision to run with (what we assume) is his birth name. Earlier this year, Marinetti’s ultra silky yet heavily percussive house track Dive somehow caught the ears of Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich, who subsequently handed him a support slot at the Atoms for Peace album launch show. As you’d imagine, the incident provided quite the launch pad for Marinetti. He’s since inked a deal with high-profile Glasgow imprint LuckyMe, who’ve released SWM, a polyrhythmic and bass-filled beat loaded with complex ideas yet still retaining dancefloor functionality. Expect big things. twitter.com/JMarinetti Tune: SWM

fursband.com File Next To: Jacques Greene | Daphni

Tune: Lisboa

Tune: Striptease

File Next To: Rhye | Massive Attack

File Next To: The Castaways | Thee Oh Sees

STO R i

S isterhood

J ay Ar n e r

Not much is currently known about this New Jersey-based female MC. STORi seemingly appeared out of thin air this year armed with a Queen Latifah remix, a Trinidad Jamesfeaturing banger called Pocketbook and a record deal with monolith label Motown records. Pocketbook proved that STORi is talented as both a rapper and a singer, and early signs of diversity have been proved with her heavy 90s NYinfluenced track Bloodclot. Wu heads won’t miss the Method Man reference in the title, and bizarrely, the track itself is a full on homage where STORi mimics Meth’s flow with remarkable precision (you really need to hear it to believe it). Look out for her debut mixtape, which drops at some point this month.

Endearingly, Vancouver-based bedroom popper Jay Arner has admitted to suffering from a disarming level of shyness. To overcome this he’s slammed a close-up photo of his face on the cover of his forthcoming debut album. Good for him. “To me my music sounds like the inside of my head. Claustrophobic but cavernous, no easy resolutions, confabulated music history”, he said in a recent artist statement. To us, his music sounds like early 80s indie blended with the faded-pink tones of soft rock from the same period, and on album tracks like Midnight On South Graville and Don’t Remind Me Arner’s timid voice floats on airy synths and upbeat pop rhythms. The record drops via Mint at the end of June, and we should give him all the encouragement we can.

iamstori.com

mintrecs.com/artist/jay-arner

Tune: Bloodclot

Tune: Don’t Remind Me

File Next To: Amber London | Iggy Azalea

File Next To: Howard Jones | Echo & The Bunnymen

Le e Ba n n o n

Tune: Call Me Ishmael

Despite having plenty of high-profile hook ups on his CV, you could make the case that the California-born, Brooklynbased experimental hip-hop producer Lee Bannon is still underrated. He’s had Talib Kweli, Ab-Soul, Curren$y and Joey Bada$$ (the latter who he joined as tour DJ) rap over his beats, yet his name has never quite flared up among the blogosphere in the same way as contemporaries such as Keyboard Kid 206 or Clams Casino. And just like Mr. Casino, Bannon’s beats work nicely in instrumental form. Rummaging around his catalogue you’ll find some lo-fi boom bap (see Chuuwee’s Hot N’ Ready tape), but we’d like to draw your attention to his new Never/mind/the/darkness/of/ it EP, where tripped-out, smudgy synth ambience juxtaposes with hyperactive trap hi-hat rhythms to brilliant effect.

File Next To: Legowelt | Levon Vincent

leebannon.bandcamp.com

Spawning from the well known house and techno clubnight of the same name, the Tief record label aims to capture the essence of their Corsica Studios parties with their roster, and their most recent offering comes courtesy of Sisterhood. The duo’s first release on the imprint sees two tracks, the prettybut-pumping Call Me Ishmael and the lusciously warmtoned Tannhauser, which have had makeovers from Berlin’s Arrtu and the imaginative ‘masters of analogue’ Juju & Jordash respectively. A stunning entrance from a brand new pair of producers who shouldn’t be slept on. facebook.com/sisterhoodmusic

Tune: Rellahmatic File Next To: Supreme Cuts | Clams Casino

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© Filippos Hatzis


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17

WO R D S T h om as Fr os t + A n n a Te h ab s i m

SITE residen ta d vi sor.net/dj/ni nak rav iz

TUN E Ghet t o Krav i z

NINA K R AV I Z the siberian dj/ producer has inadvertently become the most fiercelydebated figure in underground dance music

PH O TO F i l i p p os H at z i s

Figures of controversy make the most interesting interview subjects. Figures of controversy with an outspoken nature and humanistic approach to everything within their creative sphere are like gold dust. With Nina Kraviz’s no holds barred policy, you get the sense of an artist truly being herself, even if it gets her into a little trouble sometimes. An unfortunate subject of the ‘Female DJ’ debate, Kraviz is an interesting character in relation to feminism. Known to address the issue herself, she constantly underlines the unprocessed nature of her expressions of femininity and simultaneous reluctance to ‘butch up’ in a continually male-driven profession – ideas synonymous with third-wave feminist arguments endorsing choice and highlighting, amongst other things, that you don’t have to be ‘unfeminine’ to rely on principle notions of gender equality. These same ideas come into contention with issues such as cosmetic surgery, promiscuity and, say, doing interviews in bathtubs. A couple of months ago, Resident Advisor released the first of their Between The Beats series. Intended to document the events in between the world’s most celebrated DJs’ moments in the spotlight, the subject of their first piece was Kraviz. From being a relatively unanticipated addition to RA’s extensive catalogue of media, it became the biggest talking-point in world dance music. The video offers an intriguing insight into a profession that is as increasingly sensationalised as it is desired. There’s no denying the role of international DJ, as sought-after and financially prolific as it can be, is a lonely and rootless pursuit of success and gratification. Kraviz seems at pain, throughout, to stress how fortunate she feels to be in her position. She speaks endlessly about the joys of DJing, of how she feels she fulfills

her role. But one scene stole the comments inches. The bath scene in question rapidly caused internet furore, as numerous DJs dipped their toe in. Greg Wilson penned an extensive, and eloquent, piece on the intricacies of Kraviz’s feminine ‘curse’, whilst TEED shared a video of an equally glorious frolic in the tub. Maceo Plex unfavourably accused her of ‘blatant uses of sexuality and superficiality’. The issue fanned the perishing flames of an outdated dichotomy that increasingly sells women short, with those involved commonly disregarding autonomy, instead focusing on misused attention on either side of the debate between vulnerability and venality. Kraviz’s anger at being elevated to a sexual symbol then instantaneously demonised for expressing her coveted femininity is understandable. In her personal defence, she stressed the raw nature of a creative persona which remains embroiled with her personality and appearance, whilst she revels in the tactile nature of vinyl and her own sensual nature; in the DJ set as an interactive, communal experience between room and selector. But as the water slid down the plughole it reformed as the most fervent debate in the rapidly popularising world of ‘underground’ dance music. From humble beginnings to the top of the DJ game, it’s been a lengthy and intriguing path. Kraviz grew up near Irkutsk, a Siberian city with an unforgiving climate, in a home where jazz, blues and pop music constantly filled the air, before moving to Moscow in the late 90s to pursue her training as a dentist while juggling frontwoman duties with electronic band MySpaceRocket as well as performing under her own name. An RBMA success story, she was picked up for the Melbourne instalment in 2006, and subsequently met individuals who changed the www.crackmagazine.net

course of her career: Greg Wilson, a constant mentor, and Matt Edwards (Radio Slave), a career-long associate. Edwards’s Rekids label became her home, and in 2012 she released her self-titled artist album through the imprint. The album in question showcases a producer/songwriter wholly at ease with the requisite nuances and sympathetic balance of an effective fulllength. Warm deep house tracks mingle with atmospheric, ambient pop songs, frequently defined by distinctive, seductive vocals which are at points robotic, as on single Ghetto Kraviz, or on gorgeous closer Fire, multi-tracked and riddled with humanity. Beats are often emaciated and minimal, memories of rhythms which flicker and bubble through smoky atmospherics. Meanwhile, Kraviz’s increasingly techno-oriented DJ sets have become hugely revered, exploring a compulsive adoration of mystic acid house, mesmerising crowds as she labours to carve a niche in that ever-saturated market. While the bathtub affair continues to naggingly follow the Kraviz name – and doubtless add a zero onto her DJ fee in the process – we meet her in a London hotel to find an utterly affable and charming individual, as passionate about her music as she’s ever been. As she joins us she’s slightly bleary and an hour late having played a secretsundaze party the previous night. She speaks as she performs, frank and unrestrained. We share a cab to the photography studio, where she shows herself to be a total natural in front of the camera, free from inhibition, pulling faces and seemingly unhindered by any contexts. It was a pleasure to get to know Nina Kraviz the individual, beyond the fabrications, the mist and the myth.


So how did that infamous RA video come about? What was your motivation for such a personal expose? From the outside perspective it looks very different from what it is. I was travelling so hard and was doing the promotion for the album and I had so many shows. While I was in the process of this it was explained to me that RA wanted to do an interview and that the guys would be following me for a few days, which was really cool to spend some time with them. I don’t even know why I said yes, it was just an interesting experience and we spent three days together and four months later they presented their version of the video.

You are a very sensory person, aren’t you? I am very sensory and very passionate and for me this is the most important thing in music, this realness and the point where you can capture the moment – boom! There are vocals on the album where it’s just me capturing the moment, pressing record and talking or singing for minutes. It’s a similarity to when I DJ. I want to put people in a different state of mind. The best thing is when people close their eyes and it’s cool and comfortable. Have you improved at achieving this result over your time as a DJ?

It’s very personal, isn’t it. It’s all concentrated on some very female aspects of my character. I am a very open person and sometimes that makes me very vulnerable. You can always have a better chance to hurt someone when they are open. When it was finished we did some edits, but the video still isn’t the way I wanted it.

You tend to play very credible nights, such as secretsundaze last night. You must be doing a lot of homework. To be honest there aren’t a lot of good nights that you really need to know. I am open to looking around. Sometimes you would rather be in the studio than thinking about all of these things, this is why you need a manager. How has the reaction been back in Russia to your success?

Yes, I think I’m getting better. The trick with a DJ is you have to always be focused. If you relax and don’t care about mixes, this will exactly be the

Ho ho! That’s an interesting topic. I’ve never been more nervous or stressed to play in my home country. There is always these expectations and jealousy. You have no idea! They say, ‘why her? What is so special about this Kraviz?’ There are always haters though. When a DJ gets big, even in the UK, there are always people looking to criticise.

Do you feel you’ve been misrepresented? Yes, to be honest. I just wish we were all talking about more interesting topics. It represented me like I was a DJ whose craft isn’t really music related.

That’s funny. I’ve normally found UK guys are supportive of UK guys. There is this big thing around the UK scene. And in Italy, you are no one until you break through, then you are the big man. In Russia it is different. Most of the time they think to be successful you have to make connections. There is a really cool little following of people that follow me and support me. Others always have to find ‘another’ reason for your success.

It was very focused on you as a female subject. The thing is, I’m so into the music and that’s what comes first. I’ve been there for a long time and it was a struggle for me to be able to go out and play really underground music. This is a cool thing, so what is the difference because I’m a girl? Nobody captured this. And of course when they published the video I got all these haters. Of course I did. They were super pissed off because I was on a beach in a bikini. Do people wear fur on a beach or what?

What does Nina Kraviz do to relax when she isn’t on a plane? Nina Kraviz likes reading. Nina Kraviz likes to make no plans. That is the best relaxation, and not to feel sorry about wasted time. To have a walk or a run. I love the world. It is amazing and so mesmerising. I’m enjoying the intense pace of my life now, I’m really used to it. Sometimes my friends don’t understand how I can be like this. I love sleeping, doing massage to make me feel human again. I like swimming.

Obviously you knew they were filming you there. What’s the problem with it? What is the problem if I wear high-heels, for example. What’s the fucking problem with it? These people always find it strange that things like this happen. It means I’m not being me any more, I’m being this object.

Do you like to party still? I am very picky. If there is an experience for me that is interesting or I can see the value in, then I’ll go. But sometimes you don’t need a reason to go anywhere. When you realise you don’t need a reason to have a reason, that is a special thing. It’s an attractive sense of freedom. I am a unique case because I don’t take drugs at all and I need to get my energy from everything else. Sometimes I wake up and I’m like, ‘where am I? It’s dark.’ It’s an interesting experience to be tired. It’s a different, edgy, dangerous state of mind.

Do you think you can successfully be both? I’m just being myself. I’m playing extremely underground music. I’m just looking good. What’s the problem with that? I don’t give a shit any more though. Those who are nice and friendly and use their brain to work out what is real and what isn’t will be fine. Those who don’t can continue to say all this bullshit about how I can’t be in a bikini on the beach or in a bathtub. It’s a feature about a touring DJ! Fuck off, go home. I used to like RA, I really used to like this website. There are so many strange people there, what is the logic there, how does their brain work?

Do you go on auto-pilot? It’s like Joy Division, She Lost Control. I was DJing in San Francisco in this state and dancing away and someone filmed it. Then there were all these comments that I was high on drugs, but I was just so tired. When I watched it, it looked like I was in a strange state of mind. It felt like I was almost enlightened from being in this strange state.

Your sets can be really full-on, yet your album has a real sense of ambience and space. Is there a big contrast between Nina Kraviz the producer and Nina Kraviz the DJ? The DJ is mostly about techno and house music. I always liked Laurent Garnier because he combined what he wanted in his sets. He combined his tastes so well. That’s what makes his sets so special to me, they’re just such a long and beautiful story. If you talk about the spirit of my music on the dancefloor, it’s techno. It’s trippy, loopy and something that helps you to have a voodoo connection with the crowd. If the crowd is hypnotised, I’ve done my job. If there is still some kind of tension and the crowd is not completely there, it’s not quite right.

time when you fuck up. I’m becoming better, but there is still much more to experience. People think it’s easy to put two tracks together, but for me it’s a shamanic, hypnotic thing. Putting two tracks together doesn’t make you a DJ. Having a personality and being a creator behind the decks is part of it too. Sometimes people can have great taste, but they aren’t DJs.

There is a real emotion to your productions, they’re very sensory. It’s mind music instead of being banger after banger.

To be honest I haven’t produced anything new for four or five months. I’m coming back to it now, but it’s scary. I’m working on a remix for Parris Mitchell who is this legendary producer from Dance Mania records. I’m re-interpreting one of his jams.

I don’t care how many BPM is in the music. It just needs to make me feel real. The whole idea about my music is that if I feel it, it is real. I must really feel it full on.

this’. I am a self-control freak. I was thinking about trying a manager but I haven’t found anyone yet. When someone is going to make decisions on my behalf it’s important they are done correctly.

A question for all DJs, when you are on tour so much, how do you find time to listen to new music or even produce?

Can we expect another full-length soon? I don’t know. I don’t have a manager and I manage the whole operation myself. I don’t have anyone telling me ‘you have to do this, or not to do www.crackmagazine.net

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Nina Kraviz plays Unknown Festival, Rovinj, North Croatia, September 10th-14th.


20

Š !!!

! ! !

www.crackmagazine.net

! ! !

Sacramento’ s multi- pronounceable pioneers have spent over 15 years making you dance by any means necessary

www.crackmagazine.net

! ! !


SITE c h kc h kc h k.net

! ! !

There are very few bands who throw a party like !!!. A six-piece constructed of skilled players of funk, disco, house and punk, this band will show you a good time whenever, wherever you catch them. As well as being excellent on the ear, their phenomenal live reputation is thanks in no small part to the infectious enthusiasm of frontman Nic Offer. We were astounded to see what light work he made of bringing a weekend-weary Tuesday night crowd back to life at Shoreditch’s Village Underground on the evening preceding our interview. As well as it being swelteringly hot, it was the day following the early May bank holiday and lethargy was rife. Nic got everyone dancing though. At one point it required him to enter the crowd and dance with the few remaining static pockets, but he got everyone dancing – no problem. The truth is, Nic Offer is a great dancer. One of the best. His flamboyant gyrations, shimmies, shakes, pirouettes and speaker climbs implore you to grin and join in. There are only a handful of frontmen in the world capable of cancelling out audience inhibition like he can. Yet when we compliment him on his dancing ability over a drink the following day, he modestly suggests he can do better. “I actually feel like I’m a much better dancer when I’m just out dancing”, he says. “Onstage I have to remember to breathe so I can sing. And onstage I’m dancing to the same music every night, whereas in a club I might hear a rhythm I don’t normally dance to. There’s so much of what I do up there that’s pure deer-in-the-headlights, fight-or-flight instinct, just going with it.” By the same token, Nic tells us there’s no great level of thought or analysis that goes into delivering one of the band’s unique live performances. Rather, they are born from a shared refusal to be boring. “It’s something that’s always just been there” he insists. “It hasn’t really been that difficult, y’know? I think it’s because we have the attitude you’re supposed to have when you play live, which is doing it for the fun of it and going for it 100%. If anything, the reason it’s stayed good is probably due to my frustration with other bands live, because I don’t enjoy that many bands and I’m absolutely obsessed with not letting the audience get bored with me, mainly because I know when I watch a band I’m bored after four songs. With us, if there’s any point where you get bored in the set, then you’re going to get hit the next song.” It’s hard to imagine now, but up until 1996, the members of the band had been scattered amongst Sacramento punk bands The Yah Mos, Pope Smashers and Black Licorice. That year they came together after feeling the collective calling to make dance music, or more accurately, party music. “Something definitely clicked, specifically when I played in The Yah Mos” explains Nic. “The Yah Mos were always very influenced by soul and funk. I remember once we played this three-day punk festival and we were the last band on the whole thing. And we thought, ‘after three days of punk, does anyone really want to hear us get up there and go “argh, argh, argh”’, y’know? It just didn’t seem that exciting. So we said, ‘well, let’s just open with Sex Machine by James Brown’. We did, and the place just erupted! It was absolutely the right route.” Since choosing that route, becoming synonymous with the earlynoughties establishment of the dance-punk sound defined by DFA Records along the way, Nic has rarely glanced back in punk rock’s

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! ! ! WO R D S J ac k B ol t e r

direction. “Dance music is definitely what intrigues me and where I’m at” he states. “It’s always the thing that hits me the most immediately and also seems the most boundless. I always feel like I have more to discover and learn from it. Whereas rock I’m not always so intrigued. There are very few rock bands that surprise me, y’know? It’s like, you can either write a catchy song or you can’t. And if you can’t, then I don’t have much interest in you.” Having just released the band’s fifth LP THR!!!ER at the end of April, !!! have cause for celebration. The album has been well-received and already delivered two deeply contrasting but equally striking singles; house experiment Slyd followed by feel-good summer disco gem, One Girl / One Boy. Song to song, pace and genre vary more substantially on THR!!!ER than on any previous !!! LP. “It was everything” says Nic, attempting to explain the diversity of THR!!!ER. “Honestly, every record we did we tried to make different. And then at the end of it, people would say ‘it all kind of sounds the same’, and we’d be like, ‘shit, it does?’” He laughs. “But with this record we’ve just got better at getting further away. It was one of those records where I really attribute it to everything: the band was all pushing, Jim (Eno, producer of THR!!!ER and drummer of Austin fourpiece Spoon) was pushing back, and everything was focused. I think one of the best things Jim brought to the record was that he was capable. I think before, when we would attempt things our ideas were bigger than our ability to land them. Jim was great at helping us achieve our dreams. He’s just a really good producer.” The first single from THR!!!ER, early house-influenced collage Slyd, deserves particular attention. Given that !!!’s previous LP, 2010’s Strange Weather, Isn’t It?, had probably been their most accessible to date, such an experimental piece without a chorus might have seemed a surprising choice for a first single. It was certainly the right decision. “Well, that one was particularly special” Nic agrees. “It started with the most common way for us to start making one of our songs, which is just a jam loop. We had a bass loop that Mario (Andreoni, guitar), Paul (Quattrone, drums) and I had jammed on and I just got the idea that I wanted to do something like (1987 hit for British act MARRS) Pump up the Volume. It seemed like quite a fun challenge to use the basic groove and then throw in different parts that sounded like they were sampled from completely different songs – that was the initial idea. Then I sent it to a girl we were trying out and asked if she had any parts for it and she came back with the ‘slide’ part. She came over and recorded and I also recorded her chatting and giggling, and I threw all that through the delay pedal and pieced it together from that.” Slyd absolutely slams live. While their Village Underground set featured a considerable number of !!! classics, it was Slyd that earned the most intense reaction of the evening. “Yeah, that one’s really been getting people, and it’s funny since it’s such a studio creation – we’d kinda never played it, so when the record was done it was like, ‘OK, should we learn this?’ And it’s been one of the most fun ones to play and definitely one of the ones that gets the crowd going.” Whilst Slyd represents one of !!!’s biggest experiments to date, you can also hear a greater level of planning on THR!!!ER. Epic, freeform, elongated endings have long been an enjoyable hallmark of !!! songs – see the likes of Me and Giuliani Down By The Schoolyard or Pardon My Freedom – but www.crackmagazine.net

! ! !

21

TUN E Slyd

the tunes on THR!!!ER are somewhat tighter, every move imbued with a real purpose, a sense of pure, simple melody at each track’s core. “This was the most prepared we’ve ever gone into the studio”, Nic confirms. “For example, take a song like Fine Fine Fine. The demo was a blueprint, then we just sat in the studio filling it out. It was a great way to work, just really fun. There was still a bit of jamming, but less on this record for sure. I think the idea was always to make something surprising and challenging. The first time we ever wrote a really short song was the first song on Myth Takes – the title track. It was really exciting when we wrote it because we realised, ‘wow, we can just do this, this is a song!’ So it was kind of intriguing to us to work with that: instead of writing these big, involved things where maybe all the parts don’t work, just focusing upon what really works. That was really exciting for us. Jim had a hand in that, specifically on One Girl / One Boy. There was definitely this long part in the middle and he said “what’s this part doing?” and we’re like”, Nic laughs, “... ‘I dunno?!’” Finally, to the endless quandary of how to say ‘!!!’, that multipronounceable monicker. Google and Spotify searches of ‘!!!’ will get you nowhere, and so ‘chk chk chk’ has emerged as the popular spelling (and pronunciation). Nic tells us that ‘pow pow pow’, ‘bang bang bang’ and three clicks of the tongue have become favourite alternatives. He also recounts how the name worked against them in the early days. “I think it was probably like, our fifth show ever – it was in Arizona with this straight-edge band, and I think it was probably in front of about 10 people. No one was there to see them and no one was there to see us. And, of course, the other band thought we were fucking shit. And when they talked about us onstage they said something about playing with [makes wanking motion three times] “pwt pwt pwt”! Nic laughs, “fair enough I suppose!” This approach to their band name kind of sums up what !!! are about. Provided you’re having a great time with the music, you can say !!! however you like, just like you can dance to !!! however you like. The live show has never wavered from the incredibly high standard they’ve set since the first time you saw them. And in THR!!!ER they now have an album that demonstrates the full breadth and diversity of their irresistible sound.

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THR!!!ER is available now via Warp Records. !!! play Visions Festival, London, on August 10th.


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22

© Jon Hopkins

JON HOPKINS born from the depths of his subconcious , immunity is the finest work of jon hopkins ’ s astonishing career

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TUN E Open Eye Si g nal

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23

WO R D S A d am C or n e r & H e l i a P h oe n i x

S I TE jonhopk i ns.co.uk

DATES Ni g h t + D ay, H at f i e l d H ou s e , L on d on | J u n e 2 2 n d G r e e n M an F e s t i v al , G l an u s k , Wal e s | A u g u s t 1 7t h B e s t i v al , I s l e of W i g h t | S e p t e m b e r 6 t h S i m p l e T h i n g s F e s t i v al , B r i s t ol | O c t ob e r 1 2 t h

Nothing good ever came out of endlessly ploughing the same furrow, as Jon Hopkins can tell you. He’s a man who understands contrasts. He revels in them. If your first encounter with his music happened to be searing new single Open Eye Signal, you might describe him as an electronic artist in the vein of Apparat, but then you’d have to explain his Mercury Prize nominated album of acoustic balladry with King Creosote. With Coldplay production credits under his belt, you could peg him simply as unassuming soundscaper to the stars, but that doesn’t really capture his film scores and soundtrack work. In fact, the guy rarely gets through an album without changing direction half a dozen times: mournful piano riffs, twinkling electronica and the unsettling pulse of metallic techno are all likely to make an appearance. And so, when Crack spoke to him in advance of latest solo album Immunity, we were only too happy to be schooled in the art of doing a thousand things at once; aka, being Jon Hopkins. “This record definitely feels like a change of pace for me” begins Hopkins. “I spent a few months doing all these incredibly chilled out shows with Kenny (Anderson, King Creosote) where everyone was sitting down, I was playing piano and harmonium. I started feeling this energy inside me that needed an outlet. I thought it was probably time to get back into some beats and rhythms and focus on that more.” From the opening track of Immunity – the crisp, clipping rhythms and pulsating bass that form We Disappear – it’s pretty obvious the beats are back. Immunity is essentially a techno album, albeit one punctuated with moments of quiet fragility. The same bass heavy, distorted rhythmical style that he perfected in parts of his previous solo album, 2009’s Insides, are still present, but have been augmented with a blissful and hypnotic groove that swirls through this new record.

satisfying experience I’ve had musically so far.” If Hopkins is increasingly happy with his own output, the musical landscape around him leaves something to be desired. As he explains, it’s not so much that standards have got lower, but that it’s hard to sort the wheat from the chaff. “There seems to be an exponential increase in the amount of stuff that gets released, with crazy amounts of hype for a lot of things and unjust ignorance towards others. I find when writing music the best approach is not to think about that, just to pretend that there’s no other music at all and then just to release into that vacuum, and hope that people are into

“ Y o u c a n l i s t e n t o m u s ic

the end of the music you could be asleep! You can listen to music when you’re asleep and it can infiltrate your dreams and it has these amazing powers at levels underneath the straightforward consciousness. I’ve been going for that on this record.” Jon Hopkins isn’t – in case you haven’t noticed – your average studio geek. Too often when an artist (or, more likely, their record company) bangs on about going on a ‘journey’, it’s no more than a metaphorical flight of fancy. But Jon Hopkins walks the walk, taking the relationship between the inside of his head and the world around him seriously. “One of the reasons I include so many sounds from the real world in my recordings is because it’s an actual journey into the mind of the artist” he says. “I’ll be outside the studio door with a recorder picking up exactly what I’m hearing while I’m writing it, so the listener is where I was, in a way. It’s an attempt to move it away from one dimensional computer sounds into something you can feel is alive, or built out of some sort of physical structure.

when you’re asleep and it c a n i n f i lt r at e y o u r d r e a m s , and it has these amazing p o w e r s at l e v e l s u n d e r n e at h the straightforward c o n s ci o u s n e s s . I ’ v e b e e n g o i n g

“It’s important for me to keep the contrast in everything, and jump between activities as much as possible,” he says. “Even within a record I’ll have very heavy bits followed by very quiet bits. That’s something I’ve always loved in life – not all of the same. Lots of changes.” And when it comes to his solo material, Hopkins’ writing process is expectedly erratic. Insides, for example, was written over the course of four years, fitting around the rest of Hopkins’ varied projects as a producer a film scorer. “With Insides there was a lack of flow between the tracks” he states, “because tracks like Wire were written in 2005, while Insides itself was written at the beginning of 2009. There was a huge amount of time between them so they sound different.” And despite enjoying the juxtaposition of such varied work, Hopkins admits that it’s not easy to jump between one thing and another. “There’s no switch in your brain” he says. “There’s always a week of me fucking about, sitting in the studio, unable to start again and despairing, and then one day it clicks. The amount of time it’s possible to waste like that! Film work is particularly hard because there’s a big time pressure on it. I’ve really struggled when shifting between that and other things, but with Immunity I really feel like I gave it the time it needed and allowed myself to say no to everything else to get on with it. It was the most

f o r t h at o n t h i s r e c o r d . ”

it. The internet’s changed everything, in the way that the reactions are so instant. Everything’s so easily accessible, you don’t have to work for anything, you can just have everything. You can have all knowledge, you can have all films, you can have all music, and that takes a little bit of the magic out of it for the listener. But it is the world we live in, and y’know, people still fall in love with music.” Hopkins also has a unique personal antidote to the hyperspeed of the digital age: self-hypnosis. “I started doing it about 12 years ago”, he explains. “I was struggling, pretty broke, it was a very stressful time and I was trying to look at techniques for bringing my tension levels down. I started learning what they call ‘autogenic training’, which is a self-hypnosis using visualisations to guide yourself into a different mind space and to relax the body. I started thinking about how that could be applied to music. It’s an amazing feeling, the sort of feeling where you don’t have any thoughts, where the voice of the practitioner will be echoing around from left to right, sometimes repeating, getting quieter and quieter. If you focus on that you get completely hypnotised. I was actively putting sounds like that into my songs to see if they would have that effect, hopefully without people noticing. I almost want it so that by

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“I try to be open for everything I see in the world to find its way into the music. I was on a journey back to London, in a car with a friend who was driving me back from a studio out in the countryside, and it was pissing down with rain. I started to doze off, the windscreen wipers were going once every five seconds and this track was playing – a track that didn’t make it to the record. Somehow the music I’d recorded synced up with the windscreen wiper. It became this incredible accidental rhythm that I got swept along by. I’ve tried to recreate that in so many different tracks in different ways – things like that – certain states that my mind slips into.”

Looking to the future, Hopkins doesn’t have much time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labours. As well as shows booked to promote Immunity throughout the rest of the year, he has two film scores that need “tidying up” (the first one being a Kevin Macdonald film called How I Live Now, due out in September). He’s also worked on a cover version of Goodbye Horses by Q Lazzarus (as per Silence of the Lambs fame) with Hayden Thorpe from Wild Beasts, due out in July. That’ll be a pretty eclectic bunch of achievements wrapped up in just one year. And strangely, Hopkins argues that it was the slow start to his solo career which motivated him to embrace other projects. “Had it gone well with my first two records, I would have just carried on with that and made a lot more solo records” he muses, “I think it’s been for the best that it’s been such a slow burning thing”. If the response to lead single Open Eye Signal is anything to go by, though, Hopkins’ slow rise might just be about to accelerate. But that’d just be another contrast in the career of an artist defined by them.

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Immunity is out on June 3rd via Domino. Jon Hopkins plays Simple Things Festival, Bristol, on October 12th.


Lock Summer Party. Pt 3 Deadboy • Numbers DJs

Get Low Cartel • GNG BNG DJs Old Boy • Larry Sun + special guests Sunday 29th June 3pm - 3am Free Entry The Lock Tavern Chalk Farm Rd NW1

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CHARLIE BOYER AND THE VOYERS

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T UNE Com e To Lif e

WO R D S D av i d Re e d

S I TE y oung -f at hers.com

YO U N G F AT H E R S the scottish rap trio break out of their shackles with an explosive new sound

Who’s your favourite Scottish hip-hop act of all time? Can’t think of any? Neither could we, to be honest. OK, so we’re sure Edinburgh’s had just as much of a thriving underground hip-hop scene as any city in the UK, but the unique sounding Young Fathers might just be the first rhyming Scots to find themselves being showered with praise by the international music press. But to describe Young Fathers’ music simply as ‘rap’ would admittedly be misleading. The group – consisting of Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and ‘G’ Hastings – have crafted themselves an inimitable style by melting together a contrasting bunch of sounds. Through blasts of crunchy bass, tribal percussion, ambient synths and warm, crackling reggae tones, they weave their instinctive flows, abstract lyrics and heart-aching melodies. This month they drop TAPE TWO, an ambitious collection of tunes which stands as their finest work to date. With their 2011 EP TAPE ONE being re-released early this year via Anticon, the underground LA label which originally specialised in alt rap but has since branched out, it seems like Young Fathers are enjoying a second wind. Prior to TAPE ONE, the trio seemed like an entirely different act, a semi-ironically touted ‘hip-hop boy band’ with tongue-in-cheek lyrics and synchronised dance routines. Their 2009 single Straight Back On It drew comparisons to US ‘party rapper’ Spank Rock, and there was even an appearance on Big Brother’s Big Mouth which we suspect they’d rather forget about (fittingly, Crack unearthed the footage from Bebo, the social networking closet which might contain a few digital skeletons from our own early teens).

inspiring to hear them unleash their raw, galvanised sound with the euphoric rally cry of TAPE ONE’s opener Deadline, and G’s flattered when we explain just how tricky it is to describe the group’s style when recommending them to a friend. “We’ve always sounded like nothing else, it’s just laughable when people try to fit us into these categories. They need to grasp that we’re on our own with what we do”, he says. It’s a statement which declares Young Fathers’ fierce stylistic independence, and possibly refers to the cultural isolation of their hometown. While Glasgow’s musical output has been rich for decades, there’s a perception that Edinburgh’s alternative scene is comparatively undernourished despite the large population of art students. “Yeah, we’re aware of that. It’s home and we love it, but Edinburgh’s music scene has always been a struggle. We’ve always been up against it. There’s people doing interesting stuff, it’s just not together, there’s no hub. And the council just shuts down anything that makes noise.” Ally, Kayus and G met each other at an under 18s hip-hop night at the old Bongo club in Edinburgh, a place they gravitated towards after failing to connect with the Bonkers happy hardcore beats hissing out of the tinny speakers of their peers, and at the collective age of 14, they formed their first project. “The funny thing is, we used to really piss all the other kids off ”, G laughs. “We’d go to open mic nights where they’d run battles, people would get up and do like 64 bars of constant rap. But we’d always have our beats on a minidisc, plug it in and do whole arranged songs, with choruses and bridges. People were like ‘what the fuck are yee doing?!’ We loved it. It was like this ‘fuck you’ to that mentality of battle rap. We bonded over hooks, and sweet things against hard backgrounds. We’ve always had that pop head, and we still do.”

So, at some point, did Young Fathers group together to revise their game plan? “Not really. We always had albums with as much depth as TAPE ONE and TAPE TWO, it’s just that they never saw the light of day”, claims G, the group’s chief beatmaker. “We were young and were dealing with the wrong people who just sold us fucking lies. With TAPE ONE, we went into the studio for a week after deciding that whatever comes out of it is definitely going out, because we were tired of having stuff suppressed. With TAPE TWO, that was us enjoying this freedom of being able to do what we want, being instinctual and letting go of anyone who was influencing us before.”

So the predilection for mischief has been there since they were kids. Young Fathers wouldn’t claim to be shit-stirring agitators, but the buzz they get from ignoring musical limitations is audible on their new material, and it’s no surprise they’re thrilled to liberate people from their preconceptions. “We get people come up to us and be like ‘I don’t even like hip-hop but I loved that’”, G says with pride. “That happens at nearly every gig, and it’s fucking great to hear.”

It’s not as if Young Fathers’ talent didn’t shine on those earlier recordings, but it was

Tape Two is released on June 10th via Anticon.

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H ooded F ang DATES S e p t e m b e r 2 0 t h | T h e Road h ou s e , M an c h e s t e r S e p t e m b e r 2 3 r d | H ar e & H ou n d s , B i r m i n g h am S e p t e m b e r 2 4 t h | H ox t on S q u ar e B ar an d K i t c h e n , L on d on

© Hooded Fang

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T UNE Trasher

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WO R D S G e r ai n t D av i e s

S I TE f acebook .com/hoodedf ang musi c

This M ontreal four- piece ain ’t nothing but a pop band

We can distinctly remember the first time we heard Hooded Fang. It hit just right. Second record Tosta Mista spoke instinctively to the pop sentiment bubbling within us. The Montreal-based band, led by twin lyricists, bassist/vocalist April Aliermo and guitarist/vocalist Daniel Lee, alongside drummer D. Alex Meeks and guitarist Lane Halley, had forged a pitch-perfect indie pop distillation of jangly 60s garage-surf, and we wanted in. Having fallen hard for Tosta Mista, we delved further into the band’s past, discovering that they’d released a debut record called Album back in 2010, though only in Canada on their own Daps Records. The record, which found itself on the longlist for the esteemed 2011 Polaris Prize, wasn’t what we were expecting. Built around classicist indie pop tendencies, the then seven-strong band utilised ascending horns to offer a sense of the grandiose, alongside songcraft akin to Belle and Sebastian and female/male vocal interplay reminiscent of The Moldy Peaches. It was great – but it wasn’t the Hooded Fang we’d just discovered. “We were a totally different band back then, we had a different focus” says Dan. “That first record was just supposed to be a pop record, which it turned out to be, but we don’t really associate with it anymore. We don’t play any of it, it’s just so old, we like to do new stuff. It was the first record we ever made, we’d just started playing music then. Our tastes just changed.” Eschewing that sound, Hooded Fang moved forwards by looking backwards. Shedding three members and becoming a tighter, more dynamic group, their new approach was less about care and arrangement, more about the raw energy of 60s garage. ‘Garage’, however, isn’t a tag Dan feels particularly comfortable with. “I don’t mind it” he says, “I love garage music, don’t get me wrong, but I definitely wouldn’t call us a garage band, not by any means. We’re just a pop band.” A frequent feature of the conversation is a clash between our clunky, tuneless British ‘garridge’ pronunciation against his effortlessly smooth North American ‘gararge’. “I would feel stupid calling us a garage band because there are a lot of people who are way more true to that than we are. We just play rock and roll and pop music, we’re not purists or anything.” Garage or not, there’s an undeniably surfy swing, an uplifting 60s sparkle and a lightness of touch spread across Tosta Mista. Yet much of the press surrounding its release focused on two factors: firstly that, despite its surface gleam, the album was thematically built around an inter-band break up between Dan and April, and secondly, its diminutive length. Dan is reluctant to discuss the former, seemingly keen to dismiss it as an unimportant detail that journalists chose to focus on as a point of difference. For someone who just wants to make pop music, it was a strange and uncomfortable process to see him and his bandmate’s personal lives discussed so openly, the lyrics (such as opening track Clap’s “I see you up on the stage but I still know that you’re deranged, when you take off your clothes you still act like an icy hoe” refrain) pored over. “Truthfully, I’m not very comfortable with it” he sighs. “I wish it’d never gotten out there, it’s not something I wanted to become public. We’ve written tons of songs over the years in various projects, we write a lot of songs together or even about each other, we’re really close friends.” The second factor is perhaps more perverse still. Clocking in at just under 23 minutes, seven proper tracks with three interludes, it’s an enjoyably breezy and self-contained listen. “I’m not against short records” states Dan, “I don’t see why that would be a big deal to anyone. I remember one of the first reviews of that record, some guy was really trashing it.” He laughs. “It was really hilarious, he was like ‘this record sucks, blah blah ... and, it’s under half an hour’. I was like, if you hate it so much, why do you care if it’s short?! If I go and see a band, unless they’re an amazing band, I wouldn’t want them

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to play for more than 20 or 30 minutes ... if they’re really, really good, maybe 45 minutes!” While some criticised Tosta Mista for its brevity, third record Gravez adds another eight or so minutes onto the running length, tipping it nine seconds over the 30 minute mark. But anyone who focuses on this album’s length, rather than its quality, is getting their priorities in a twist. There’s a swampier, more haunting quality to Gravez, though it’s still riddled with hooks solid enough to hang a rain-drenched coat on. Though Dan resists the tag, this collection of live takes and tweaked demos has a roughness that innately relates it to a crackly garage 7”. From lead single Graves’ ever-so-slightly lagging bass rattle (‘that’s a take!’), to Wasteland, where the occasional dead note in the exposed guitar topline is left for posterity (‘that’s a take!’), there’s no studio polish or artifice here, and the entire record feels alive, honest and vital. This is endearing because of the quality of the songs, their sense of distant, clean and immaculate melody. Perhaps the best of the lot, Trasher unfurls with guitar, bass, guitar, drums, vocals very palpably mingling one at a time in your ears; it’s perhaps the simplest possible way to write a song, yet the bareness of each instrument’s choice of four notes becomes something timelessly brilliant. Between the making of these two Hooded Fang records, Dan and April were busy crafting another album under a different moniker – Phèdre. Collaborating in part with fellow Montrealean Airick Woodhead, known to most as Doldrums, the only ground it shares with Hooded Fang is that you’ll find yourself humming its melodies in the shower, along with a lo-fi aesthetic. Led by warped electronic beats, slippery synth chops and quirky bleeps, it’s a compelling and slab of dreamy hip-pop, not so dissimilar to the sounds crafted by London deconstructionist duo Hype Williams, albeit if they made insanely catchy, light-hearted pop songs. “It was really fun to make” says Dan. “April and I were living in an attic, it was summer, we drank a lot of wine and made a record in, like, a week. Airick came in towards the end of the process. After our last tour April and I escaped to Berlin for a month and made another Phèdre record, which will be coming out this year.” A little digging into Dan’s background reveals this wasn’t quite such an unlikely turn. “Before I started playing music I was a hip-hop producer, so making beats was kind of my thing” he states, much to our surprise. “Hip-hop, jungle, all that kind of stuff.” He even speaks fondly of the vibrant 90s Toronto electronic scene. “We used to have a big drum and bass and jungle scene, the big DJs from the UK would be out here every weekend, it was pretty nuts. We had some great parties.” It’s now consigned to the past though. “I haven’t really kept up on drum n bass, it all started to sound the same to me, when it got to the point of (does a generic Andy C style D’n’B beat and bassline), I guess around ‘99, it all just got boring, everyone seemed to be making the same song.” As Dan and April have proved, with Hooded Fang and their other creative ventures, making the same song is never something they’re likely to resort to. Whatever the project, their very simple ethos is to keep things interesting under the broad umbrella of pop. “I like pop music” Dan states. “Listening to it or making it, I use pop music to escape a lot of stupid shit in life. Who knows why we’re here on Earth? The goal is just to try to make life a little bit better, either for yourself or for the people around you, or the next generations or whatever. So basically pop music is how I deal with ...” he stalls, unsure where he’s going with this. “... that kind of shit. That’s it.” ---------Gravez is out now via Full Time Hobby.


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St u ar t PATI E N CE WO R D S G e r ai n t D av i e s

The profound power of pure black ink

Crack first fell for Stuart Patience’s work after singling him out at this year’s Pick Me Up, the annual festival held at Somerset House covering contemporary graphic art, design and illustration – it’s basically a discerning and comprehensive exhibition of things we really like. We’ve got a long-running love affair with the fair which dates back to its 2010 inauguration. It has hosted and been affiliated with a list of Crack-featured artists, from Hattie Stewart, to Mr Bingo, to Anthony Burrill, to our last issue’s fantastic Williams Sisters. With his incredibly evocative, detailed and distinctive illustrative style, Patience becomes the latest Pick Me Up alumnus to find his way onto our pages, his exercises in painstakingly applied black ink drawing the viewer helplessly in for a closer look. What makes Patience’s work so consistently engaging is the meeting of two qualities which sound elemental, but are rare to see applied in such unison: a vivid and expansive pool of imagination, and a finely-honed grasp of the technical essentials. Be it drawing and filtering inspiration from a range of texts – see his Ragnarok series, based on Norse Mythology – or from his own invention; be it creating immersive, fantastic visions such as Rapture, where an elephant is suspended, puppet-like, by a flock of birds gripping strings in their beaks, or recreating the everyday in abstract forms, like the engrossing Cityscapes, Patience has done things the right way: by establishing himself in the basics and beyond, affording him a platform to express himself truly and freely. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of his approach is in the meeting of the organic and the technical; twin fascinations with the natural, animal shapes which occur in the world alongside the clinical, mathematical nature of technical drawing make for an idiosyncratic approach to illustration. With a wide and enviable range of commissioners clearly agreeing with us, we eagerly questioned this impressive talent.

It was a privilege to have my work displayed at Somerset House. Some of my favourite illustrators have previously exhibited at Pick Me Up; to have the chance to meet the artists behind work I admire and see it in the flesh was a rare treat. Despite our increasing dependency on the Internet as an outlet for promotion, nothing can match seeing the work close up in the flesh. We noticed Rapture (featured on p.30) sold out entirely, it must give you a great sense of pride and satisfaction to imagine work you’ve produced taking its place in people’s homes? Elephants are obviously the way forward. It’s interesting to see which prints were most successful; all of my animal themed prints sold really well, while some of my personal favorites weren’t so popular. It’s understandable that people would rather have a flying elephant instead of a pig’s stomach being ripped open by a tiger above their living room mantelpiece though. You’re obviously technically accomplished and have trained for years to reach that level. How important is it to have a strong grounding in the technical elements before attempting to branch out? Do you feel that your time studying in Kingston has served you well? There is strong emphasis of teaching and technique at Kingston. I think it’s really important to start from scratch before you develop on your style. Our first year was full of intense life drawing classes with some ruthlessly strict, but also lovelym teachers – they banned us from using rubbers so we became less dependent on them. My style has changed a lot since, but the sophistication behind these techniques is still there. Having that technical backing presumably allows you freedom to expand into more abstract work, such as your Cityscapes.

You exhibited your work at Pick Me Up festival at Somerset House last month, where it received some great reactions. Was that a rewarding experience for you?

The Cityscapes illustration is originally based of a series of quick sketches I drew in Hong Kong which I then translated into blocks of colour. It was actually more of a problem solving

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exercise; I find it difficult to combine line drawing with colour so decided to strip it down to its most basic elements – I was very much inspired by Van Doesburg and the De Stijl artists.

You also studied animation, is that a string to your bow that you get the opportunity to exercise very often?

Presumably your process can be quite painstaking, is creating a piece a drawn-out affair?

I have collaborated with some animation studios in the past, but I rarely make my own animations now. My illustrations definitely have a sense that they could be animated – they often depict static movement, but the amount of detail in my work would be a headache to translate into moving image. I’m inspired by the more surreal, early animations, such as Fantasia and Fantastic Planet by Rene Laloux.

My working process can be very time consuming. I draw with a Rotring (a German technical instrument company based in Hamburg) pen that has a nib the width of a fine needle, which I think is what makes my work stand apart. My attention to detail, the obsessiveness, the hand attempting to produce something technically perfect has become my signature. I don’t like to cut corners and everything is hand drawn, trying to avoid the computer as much as possible. I think all the manual labour that goes into it adds to the value and demonstrates a real dedication that couldn’t be replicated using a computer. Are there any drawers/illustrators who have proved particularly inspiring to you throughout your career, or any individuals currently working whose work you admire? My inspirations are so broad it’s impossible to pinpoint anyone in particular. I try to avoid looking at any obvious sources and instead try to find the bizarre in the banal of my everyday surroundings – natural forms, YouTube, unimportant newspaper stories. My parents have prints by Aubrey Beardsley in the downstairs loo which they proudly believe is the impetus behind me wanting to be an illustrator. I personally prefer Harry Clarke though. Their interplay between line, block colour and negative space is magnificent. This sophisticated style works perfectly with absurd and macabre themes. One of my favourite illustrated books is Codex Seraphinianus by Luigi Serafini. It’s an encyclopedia full of surreal imagery that parodies our own world. He creates all kinds of bizarre and impossible inventions based on science and nature. I’ve never seen anything like it. Grayson Perry is another artist I really admire. His recent tapestries depicting Britain’s social classes are masterful. He has this unique ability to turn ordinary, everyday life into these great mythical scenes, he’s the William Hogarth of our time.

You’ve designed for clothes and accessories in the past, from T-shirts for Super Superfical and Efimero to a briefcase in collaboration with Oliver Ruuger. How do you have to adapt your style of work to take into account these forms of presentation? For commercial projects you really have to take into account the market you’re aiming for. A lot of my work has been labelled ‘macabre’, which can be misread and people are easily offended, so I always make sure to tone it down. My collaboration with Oliver Ruuger was the most creatively liberating project I had worked on to date. The drawings were loosely based on a surreal, short story called Night At The House of Epicurus by Mihkel Kaevats and then engraved onto Oliver’s leather briefcases. We worked very closely together feeding off one another’s ideas with the narrative evolving as the drawings came along. With the higher end of fashion you have so much more freedom since nothing is dictated by trends. Can we assume you have some interest in fashion? I do have an interest in fashion, but my drawings are never produced with fashion in mind. It’s an area that my work gravitated naturally towards. All the clothes I wear are very basic and minimal, pretty much the opposite of my illustrations. I’m surrounded by images all day, the last thing I want is to be covered in them too! You often work with either a narrative structure, such as the House of Epicurus or Ragnarok series, or an editorial brief; do you enjoy having set themes or ideas

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to interpret/represent as a useful guide, as opposed to working wholly from your own imagination?

You often embrace the juxtaposition of natural/organic forms with the rigidity of technical or architectural drawings, is this an effect you enjoy employing?

They provide me with a direction and without them it would be so easy to go off on neverending tangents. I like restrictions since they force me to be more inventive. However, too many restrictions and the work no longer feels like your own – there needs to be a balance between the two. When basing my illustration on a narrative, I prefer only vague descriptions so that I can fill in the blurs with my own imagination. The images in Ragnarok were simply based on a couple of passages, while the narrative structure of House of Epicurus was written as if one was in a dream state, drifting in and out of consciousness – I like the freedom ambiguity gives you.

Yes – I like the harmonious balance between the organic and artificial. It might have something to do with my mother being a botanical artist and my brother an architect, I fit somewhere nicely in between the two.

Do you often refer to literature or other research sources for your work – films, music, other art? Films and literature are some of my strongest influences. I really like the way David Lynch combines the absurdly comic with the unsettling. I particularly loved his more ambiguous films like Mulholland Drive, where he doesn’t reveal too much, simply providing clues to fill in the rest of the puzzle. It’s something I like to employ in my own work; hiding things within the chaos and detailing of my scenes, which are initially overlooked on first viewing. I think the whole German Expressionist film movement has had a big influence of my visual style, with its stark black and white style and slightly ominous characters – Night Of The Hunter by Charles Laughton particularly stands out.

Do you think it’s important to maintain a broad and varied range of styles within your work? I think it’s important to have a distinguished style that somebody can identify you with. I love working in other mediums, but more recently I’ve predominantly worked with black ink, I find that it’s more versatile for different subject matters and suits my detailed approach to drawing. I’ve managed to keep my work fresh by working within so many different fields of design from fashion to editorial work. I would eventually love to evolve my ink-based style into more exciting forms such as three dimensional, or bringing it to life through animation. Maybe I’ll go under a pseudonym for another style one day ... or maybe I already have.

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See more of Stuart Patience’s work at stuartpatience.co.uk

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A s she prepares for the honour of showing her work at the V enice B iennale, we speak to one of W ORD S C elia Archer

Helen Marten is one of the UK’s most hotly-tipped up and coming artists. She has had solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle in Zurich, Palais de Tokyo in Paris and The Chisenhale Gallery in London. This year she has been selected to show at the central exhibition, The Encyclopeadic Palace, at the 55th International Venice Biennale, the world’s largest contemporary art show, alongside works from Bruce Nauman, Sarah Lucas and Steve McQueen. Crack caught up with her during her final weeks of preparation. Her exciting work explores our relationship and interaction with everyday materials and, through her installations, the way in which those materials interact with each other. She is concerned with edges and surfaces and what they have to say about substance. Marten’s shows are an onslaught of ‘stuff ’, which the viewer is asked to respond to and unpack – to think about what Mozart has to do with an empty bottle of Pernod, for example – but there is a lightness and humour to her treatment of objects, and an appreciation of their potential sensuality. The way Marten talks about her work is often similarly tricky to take on, and is indeed reminiscent of what Marten herself describes as her, ‘meandering, chaotic’ approach to her recent work for the Biennale. Nevertheless, by entering Marten’s world, Crack decided to learn more about what could be meant by the ‘speed of metals’ and the ‘possibilities of starch’.

S I TE hel enmart en.com

the most admired and daring young artists in the country

– and deliberately so – encompass all the many working habits of the artists involved. It explicitly invites a kind of meandering, chaotic, multi-trajectory type of activity. Really just another opportunity for devising hieroglyphs.

something that can catalyse, but ultimately be totally disruptive if we’re irresponsible with the use of the outlines!

Will you be taking a holiday after Venice?

I think it’s difficult, and almost moves into comedy. It’s hard to tell where an agenda begins or when an objective and seemingly simplified (or pictographic) image begins to acquire more layers – more language. So it’s very emotional. I think the whole hilarity of it, really something quite slapstick in the way we as humans respond to objects, everyday products, circumstance, is very knotty. Everything has a subtext, but we are often illogical in the way we build hierarchies. It’s probably something along the lines of accelerating information to infinite regress.

No, I’m going directly to New York to work on a show at CCS Bard, which opens in late June. You talk a lot about the temperature of materials, what do you mean by this? The things we experience every day are all built from substances possessed with social temperatures. Touch, temperature and speed are parts of the same type of visual equation, so to manipulate one or the other more heavy-handedly pulls any resultant image into confusion. We are generally obsessed with the ‘skins’ of objects, without having any idea of what it might mean to fuck with the edges of touch, with what kind of frictions, amplifiers or conversational circuitry make them what they are. Something obsessively handled can be hot, but also dead. Cold materials can be callous, but economical too. I’m bored of seeing surface coveted, and then abandoned as a full stop punch line, because of course that doesn’t communicate content. All these things – surface, product, package, image and text – are continually skirting in circles around one another

HELEN M ART E N

It must be an honour to be selected for the Pavilion, how did that come about? I’m showing work in the Arsenale [an urban estate central to Biennale exhibitions]. It’s very exciting because a number of my friends are also involved, so not only is there the energy of the whole event unfolding, but I have the privilege of being part of it with people I have close personal relationships with. Will you be showing new work at Venice? Yes. I was recently told about this great Mexican word – “maquiladora” – given to manufacturing operations in trade free zones, to the people who finish industrial products like tidy steel edges, chrome polish or vacuum pack parts ready for transport. But the actual translation of the word means something like “make-uppers”. It’s a perfect combination. To think about treating surface as applying make-up is a surprisingly academic way to think about being “formal”. Hiding or embellishing substance is to think about weaving tension into physicality. The ideas of tartiness, of the trashy, the gaudy, the kitsch, or the absurd are also bound up with this. Sexiness is a way of forcing attention onto something. There are things in the world everyday that we want to touch – objects and their inherent sexiness. The new work is hinged on this idea. It’s called Orchids, or a hemispherical bottom and is an installation involving several new sculptures and a new video. There are orchids, cats, rolling pins, blueberries and butt cheeks involved and it’s totally seething with erotic metaphor. How has the experience of producing work for Venice been? It’s pretty much been like making work for anything that has a public audience. Of course there are all the usual shipping deadlines, logistics etc involved, and alongside that the entailed neuroses of making new work whose first outing will be on a very visible scale. I am showing work within a designated room, so I always knew exactly what I was getting. It’s been a very cryptic process discovering who my neighbours are, but it transpires they are mostly friends anyway. How did you approach the title Encyclopaedic Palace, or was that not a part of your process? It’s such a gloriously open-ended concept that I almost feel like it could

Your work invites the viewer to make connections between the different objects they are presented with; how do you keep this conversation open? I’m toying with reference systems of very physical stuff, and a coding of the visual that establishes our most elemental relationships to the material world. Language and image are addressed as partnerships, and then rearranged into stylised outings of error, misalignment or perversion. So using the outlines of recognizable things as shorthand emblems for social activity or exchange, I suppose I’m trying to upset the expected rhythms of daily circumstance, exploring what it means to be a tribal human preoccupied with the status of toothpaste, the floppiness of pasta, eroticism of rubbish or tedium of hair. Talk to us about carbohydrates. I think carbohydrate accidentally became a very broad metaphor for a lot of the work I was making last year. All these very physical ideas of substance, density and necessity versus more tangential ways of thinking about how motifs of things we know inevitably carry social content. But also how you can play delay tactics with this type of content – starch is flabby, it has possibility to be totally useless and if we eat too much we get fat. So I’m interested in how recognisable things can be a usefully disruptive buffer to legibility. Carbohydrate has the ability to catalyse but also to totally stagnate, in the same way that the alcohol behaves – these things are alchemistic forces, social lubricants but also delay tactics because we can get lost in the saturation. I mean, bread is money, bread is politics, bread is consumption. It is a universal thing – everybody, everywhere has starch, whether it’s bread, pasta, rice, doughnuts, cereal, even flour. So these things that have a ridiculous potential for reach in all corners of expectation or recognisability. I guess this motif of carbohydrate is www.crackmagazine.net

How do you feel about the way we consume images?

You showed a short film, Dust and Piranhas, at the Serpentine, what do you think about the translation of the 3D into 2D or the physical into the digital? I’m interested in thinness, and what happens when you show the bones of something; of course you can descend levels and get behind the skin, but you also become witness to the incredible poverty of props. CGI reeks of dishonesty. There is nothing to touch, no smell, just this weird rubbery shell that at the same time is both materially dead and data-osmotic. In some ways, it is more code than text – the gender has been stripped out, and with that, a sense of the weight. Is there a difference between the way you introduce the viewer to materials in a film as opposed to in a gallery space? I am interested in how our relationship to gravity works ... what it means to pick something off the street and by calling it something else, redefine its weight, image or materiality. Of course everything has a form, a shell or some kind of external packaging, and I like finding the little erotic moments where you can exploit the seams. Being formal can be a wonderfully violent process. And I would do this with both video and something more physical. I hate the idea of technological apparatus, so wherever it’s possible I would want to attempt to negate any sense of interface dependency. What are you working on at the moment? I’m writing a long-winded text about “collage and inlay”. The ideas of collage and inlay are things I’ve been thinking about a lot. In collage there’s this wonderful idea that images are more bruised. They’re asked to be more vocal about the verbs of squashing and sitting, so the fundamental action of placing one thing atop another is a problem of weight. So I’m thinking about thick makeup, ceramic glaze and stickers on fruit. I’m planning a show involving pyjamas and I want to curate a painting show that takes sex and graphic knottiness as a starting point. ---------Helen Marten will be showing at The 55th International Venice Biennale from June 1st – November 24th.


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“ W e a r e g e n e r a l ly o b s e s s e d w i t h t h e

‘skins’ of objects, without having a n y i d e a o f w h at i t m i g h t m e a n t o fuck with the edges of touch.”

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ICA

June

Exhibitions Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper) 19 June - 18 September 2013

Points of Departure 26 June - 21 July 2013

The Grantchester Pottery: Artist Decorators 19 June - 14 August 2013

Events Radical [vs?] Institution: Revisiting Archives to Form the Future Wednesday 5 June, 6.30pm Independents Day Thursday 6 June Judith Bernstein in conversation with Sarah McCrory Thursday 13 June, 6.45pm London Festival of Architecture Architecture and the Independent Group Saturday 8 June, 4pm The Rendered World Saturday 15 June, 4pm The Architecture of Play Saturday 22 June, 4pm

Film Culture Now Friday lunchtime talks, free to ICA Members

Man to Man From 31 May

Elizabeth Magill with Godfrey Worsdale 14 June

Rudolph Herzog presents Dr. Strangelove Saturday 8 June, 6pm

Antti Laitinen with Harri Laakso and Lizzie Neilson 21 June

Independent Group Film Screenings: Fathers of Pop Saturday 8 June, 7pm

Ali Abukhattab and Samak al Sheikh 28 June

Terracotta Film Festival From Tuesday 11 June

Friday Salon Machine Project Presents! 21 June

Open City Doc Festival From Friday 21 June

Residencies as Liminal Space 28 June

Subverting Domesticity Saturday 29 June, 4pm

Touring Talks Mirna Bamieh (in Arabic) Thursday 27 June

Institute of Contemporary Arts The Mall London SW1Y 5AH

020 7930 3647 www.ica.org.uk

The Act of Killing (Director’s Cut) From Friday 28 June

The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848


WORDS A dam Corn e r A l fi e A l l en

MAYFEST

P H OTO Paul Bl ak emore

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A c r os s B r i s t ol | M ay 1 6 t h - 2 6 t h

2013 heralded 10 years of Mayfest. That’s a decade of shifting Bristol’s perceptions of theatre as an archaic artform. And judging by the gathering of audiences at the majority of this year’s events, it’s a true success story; one of reengaging a new generation with theatre’s potential as a form of performance which transcends restraints of space, form and definition like no other. It was an 11-day programme littered with highlights. Brooklyn-based company Banana Bag and Bodice staged a remarkable adaptation of the 9th century Old English epic poem Beowulf in A Thousand Years of Baggage at the grand old Trinity (17th-19th), re-imagining the monstrous tale in an expressive flurry of jazz, punk and cabaret. Kieran Hurley’s performance in Beats (Bristol Old Vic Studio, 17th-19th) was a startling, multi-character display harking upon the 90s heydey of rave, with no small part played by evocative lighting and musical offerings. The oh fuck moment (Arnolfini, 21st-23rd) meanwhile saw Hannah Jane Walker and Chris Thorpe’s celebrated show offer a hugely inventive and intimate poetic exploration of the innate messiness of life which charges each day with the potential for hilarity. On the 23rd, Neon Neon took over the Motion warehouse club for their highly-anticipated Praxis Makes Perfect live show/promenade theatre performance. Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys is a man who has never shied away from the bizarre, the surreal or the unexpected. But his ongoing collaboration with electronic artist Boom Bip has now yielded a project as weirdly wonderful as anything from the Super Furry days of tanks on stage and Mexican wrestler techno workouts. Neon Neon’s second album is essentially a rock-opera based on the life of Italian publisher and leftwing activist Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, and his adventures in the service of Communism. Although on record some of the strange references and characterisation don’t quite work, in the context of the full live performance (which includes paint-splattered nudity, showering the audience with fake money, and facial hair only a dictator could love) the music comes to life. Gruff ’s whimsical delivery pokes its nose in and out of a stylised soundtrack that ploughs a similar furrow to their debut album – that is, for the most part, camp electro pop. But the real strength is the genuine coordination between the performance and the music – the dialogue-less acting from the National Theatre Wales team adds a layer of depth and daftness that the audio version alone just can’t capture. A quick run through of some Neon Neon favourites at the end of the performance (Raquel, I Lust You) seals the deal.

On to the 25th, when we were privy to one of 12 showings/happenings of Rik Lander’s The Memory Dealer. We met at Bristol’s Watershed at noon sharp for what had been billed as a truly pervasive theatre experience. We’d been asked to arrive with headphones and a smartphone with at least 50% battery life, but having failed to do so were able to loan one from the friendly staff, who gave us a brief rundown of what we should expect and how to interact with the production through an easily-installed app. There was an enjoyable sense of bewilderment among our intimate seven person posse as we embarked on our journey around a range of locations, audience mingling with actors and encouraged to inquisitively explore narrative elements whilst being expertly led by the smart improvisational cast. These individuals populated a dark, not-so-distant-future world in which people can buy, sell, steal and even license memories, doing an astounding job in guiding us through the plot without breaking character or being reduced to cringey, tongue-in-cheek winks to the audience. In fact, their performances were convincing enough to imbue our 90 minute walk around Bristol’s handsome docklands with a slightly alarming quality. The Memory Dealer utilised clever devices in its creation of an alternative world, including mock publications and websites to be visited before the show in order to build the plot without having to rely on rigid monologues or the use of overly pricey tech. Far from being new to experimentation, Rik Lander was practicing interactive drama – including one of the UK’s first web dramas, magic-tree – as early as 2001. The implications of this latest genre of entertainment are potentially limitless once audiences, technologies and investors begin to recognize what a flexible and powerful format it is. Mayfest once again showed itself not just a truly impressive labour of love, curated with care, uncanny imagination and a bold and admirable freeness of spirit, but also a true Bristol institution that we hope will continue to inform and entertain this city for many years to come.

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MOVE D

Š Move D

after decades in the business , the ingenious beat selector still graves a hidden gem

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SITE residen ta d vi sor.net/dj/m oved

Listening to a Move D mix – be it his recent Crackcast, the Boiler Room set with Optimo, or nearly any of his flawless blends of lush deep house and streamlined techno that populate Soundcloud et al – can feel like listening in on the kind of conversation between friends that wants to be made public. It’s not that David Moufang is a show off, or that he goes down the octopoid four-mixers-and-a-drum-machine route. Instead, there’s an inclusiveness, a sense of crafting a communique between himself and the records, between the records and the audience. Growing up in the southwest German city of Heidelberg, it was a love of funk, soul and hip-hop – with the occasional drop of acid house – which kickstarted a career that spans the celestial strangeness of his Deep Space Network project in the 90s to last year’s chunky analogue workouts as Magic Mountain High alongside Juju & Jordash. From speaking to Moufang, however briefly, one manages to grasp the man’s sheer adoration for music – and his interest in the way it shapes our relationships to one another.

How easy was it to access early house records in a small German city? All this digging was a lot harder in the 80s and 90s. It was much more likely back then that you’d get something, maybe something which was really big, like Larry Heard, that had enough copies produced to satisfy the market, but a lot of stuff was built on the idea of being really limited. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Sähkö Recordings? It’s a Finnish label who were really big in the early 90s; they put out experimental techno, super cool stuff, released in batches of 250 copies, hand-stamped, so pretty much only the record shop owner and his best mate would have a chance to get hold of their stuff. On the other hand, the fact that it was so much harder in those days meant you were a lot more proud of your record collection. You really treated your records like your babies. You’d walk miles for them. I’m nostalgic about it too, but ultimately I think it’s fairer that people actually have a chance to find the stuff they’re looking for. Do you envy 18-year-olds who can listen to a mix online and then have the entire discography of every artist on it within minutes?

WO R D S J os h B ai n e s

it, but it’s hard to disappoint people. They come because they expect you to play that record that nobody else plays, and I feel like, well, I might as well just do it. Be their servant. They are paying to have a good time, so I want to deliver. Sometimes I’ll buy a record not knowing it’s huge and that’s kind of a problem. Even if I love the record – it could be Julio Bashmore or something – when it becomes overground and everyone else plays it, there’s no point in me playing it anymore. There’s records I feel like I have to play, because not everybody plays them. Then there’s the stuff that I think is really amazing and is the kind of stuff I’d want to dance to and hear if I was out. Going back, again, why do you think it was that Germany fell so hard for techno? You could go back and look at how much someone like Juan Atkins relates to people like Kraftwerk. Kraftwerk was a phenomenon that was maybe better received internationally, because inside Germany people were still looking towards London or New York and the international scene. I was always into all kinds of music, but German music was nothing to be too fond of, in a way. It was always like, if you went into music, what are you going to do? Are you going to fake something that’s been done better by people in Chicago or London? You’d always be a lame Euro version of that. Techno gave people a lot of confidence. Maybe techno is a thing that matches the German mind – if you’re into generalising people or nations or people. Maybe we are a nation of engineers who know how to build certain things. Does techno still hold a predominant sway over German clubs? It certainly did, and in some respect it still does. Which is why I think Germany is hopelessly backdated. I don’t think it’s a dominant sound elsewhere. Techno was there for a long time, and that brings stagnation. I’m not saying there’s no good techno being made, I know there is, and I love techno. I prefer the UK or US version of it. I think there’s a lot of good German house music which goes underrepresented in Germany, sadly. Stuff which gets bigger press in the UK. It’s names you’re probably familiar with, but Germans aren’t necessarily, like Christopher Rau, Smallpeople, Benjamin Brunn. The whole Workshop thing. I think they have stuff that can compete internationally, but in Germany it’s just not happening. What is it about collaborative work that you enjoy so much?

I kind of do, but not in a bad way. If the right people are interested in your setlist, and they go and look up the records – that’s all I can hope for. I think I play stuff that no one else really does – these are my records. Sometimes it’s hard to put them down and take them out of the case because I know people are asking for them, and I’m kind of fed-up with

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I think music always has been and always will be a form of communication – it’s there to communicate between the player and the audience, and if there’s more than one player then they communicate. If you make music solitarily you can still make great music, but you’re

DATES J u n e 2 0 t h | G ot t w ood F e s t i v al , A n g l e s e y, Wal e s J u l y 3 r d | H i d e ou t , Z r c e B e ac h , C r oat i a A u g u s t 1 1 t h | T Y P E F e s t i v al , B i r m i n g h am A u g u s t 1 6 t h | B e ac on s F e s t i v al , F i n k i r k E s t at e S e p t e m b e r 5 t h | D i m e n s i on s , F or t Pu n t a C h r i s t o, C r oat i a

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TUN E Got t o Be

missing one essential element of it: the joy of interaction. Creating noise with a group of people is really inspiring. I think it’s the same even if you make electronic music in a studio, if you use instruments, different drum machines or synthesisers, and people are doing stuff to those machines simultaneously you get that same vibe. It’s easier to come to a result if you work collaboratively, because you usually work on a limited timeframe and you put stuff down, and whatever you’re left with after those few days – that’s the basic material that you use. If you work on that big, big concept of your own, you can work on it for years, just thinking about it, and then materialising it, refining it, taking-it-up from years ago. It’s a curse: you never find the moment where it’s done. I think it’s a lot easier and more natural to work collaboratively with all that feedback you get from different personalities. You can learn from everyone. It’s just great! One of your most important collaborative relationships was with Pete Namlook, could you tell our readers a little about him and the work you produced together? He passed away last November. He was only 51. I always took it for granted that he’d be there when we got old, and that he and I would do stuff when we were in our 70s. I always had him in mind for certain ideas. It was so cruel when I found out that he was dead; he won’t be that guy for me. We met in the early 90s through mutual friends and in the early years he was putting out albums in weeks, he was hyperproductive. With the stuff we did together he had this approach of ‘don’t mess with it, just work’ so that’s the way we did it, and that’s the way it is. He’s gone and I miss him so much, and I respected him so much and his different approach; he was a very different character from anyone I knew, especially very different from my own character. He was one of my best friends. You’re set to play the Gottwood Festival in Anglesey very soon, how do you approach festival performance in comparison to a club set? I spend all year thinking about the few records I can play in an hour that’ll make it special, or tell people about the music that really matters to me, because I know people there and they know me, so there’s not so much pressure. It might be a daytime, outdoor … I don’t expect that Gottwood would be the same, it’s more of a dance tent situation, where dancing does matter. Still I’d say a festival always gives you the freedom to do things you might not be able to in a club. I’d bring records that I might not bring to a club. I’m expecting Gottwood to personal and smaller, and thus I’ll be given a lot of freedom.

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W ORD S To m Ho we l l s + Jack Bol te r

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F i e ld D AY

P H OTOS Carol i ne Faruol o

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V i c t or i a Par k | M ay 2 5 t h

Field Day feels like it’s come of age. 2013 heralds much-relaxed vibes, a more generously spaced out site and more capacious tents, as well as the expectedly stunning line-up; so much so that it was genuinely impossible to see the majority of the stand-out listings, resulting in a predictable case of timetabling chaos. A disappointment shrouded in praise. Toronto power-trio METZ blast our day into life in the Shacklewell Arms tent. Conscious of the fact they’ve just over half an hour to make an impact, they tear through their set, leaving seconds between songs. “This is one to shake your ass to for real” barks frontman Alex Edkins before surging into an aggressive rendition of Get Off. Damn right. It’s then straight over to the Bleed and Lanzarote stage for How to Dress Well. However, when the delicate tones of Tom Krell begin to leak from the speakers, you sense our proximity to Seth Troxler pummelling out the remainder of his set may prove a problem. It takes a few tunes, but thankfully Krell’s vocal gets a volume boost in time for a stirring cover of Janet Jackson’s Again that pretty much has us crying into our lager. Having narrowly missed PAN’s jungle-haze/buried techno maven Lee Gamble, Chvrches deliver a solid set of ebbing synth pop. The trio, despite their clear Silent Shout-era Knife, arpeggiated tropicalia and industro-lite derivations, deliver a fairly strong take on an oftenexhausted style, a notion fully emphasised by the closing rendition of the lovely Recover. Savages are playing with typical urgency as we arrive – quite literally, as they’ve already started and we should be five minutes early – but their waves of clanging post-punk are enough to back up the hype surrounding their recent Silence Yourself full-length. A quick tester of Mother Clucker’s fried chicken sandwich par excellence and we’re quick to the Eat Your Own Ears stage for Solange’s midafternoon turn. Last year’s True EP is less a game changer than a very, very good example of emotive modern pop music, sitting somewhere closer to an updated hybrid of classic Whitney and Tears For Fears than the histrionic emoting of other, not too far removed scene leaders like Autre

Ne Veut. While many of the sonic nuances of that record are lost in the breeze, and despite an unnecessary cover and a swift foray in and out of jaunty mediocrity, it’s an excellent set. Knowles is a sweetly commanding and effortlessly charismatic presence. Dev Hynes’ production as Blood Orange is really the main draw here, though, with Solange’s strong vocals basically playing equal fiddle to his sighing, affecting compositions. Clearly the best example of this, Losing You is perhaps the finest pop song of the last 12 months, a punch-in-the-gut heartbreaker that fully deserves the batshit enthusiastic reception it receives here. Meanwhile, over in the Laneway are Kurt Vile and The Violators. With the sun glimmering through the gaps in the tent, it feels perfect as they break in their latest album’s dreamy, not-quite-title-track Wakin On A Pretty Day, which seems to meander along endlessly. Wild Nothing are a little lost in the Shacklewell Arms tent, the subtle intricacies of their shimmering keys and trebly guitar lines forlornly disappearing into its cavernous peaks. Gemini and Nocturne, wonderful albums both, work best as woozy headphone music, ripe for faux-nostalgic introspection. Still, Jack Tatum’s laconic enthusiasm is sweet and the man’s strength in dreamy, melancholy-swelled songwriting is clear even with such testing sonics. No such problems for Fucked Up, who expectedly RIP. You’d be forgiven for worrying the band would ostensibly be playing for the front row only – especially given frontman Pink Eyes’ immediate departure from the stage into it – but even in a tent this size they’re a thrilling proposition. Lofty ambitions that seemed ostentatious and a little optimistic in their early straight hardcore days now solidly realised, the band are as close to a genuinely effective ‘progressive’ punk band the world’s got and the relentless brilliance of their set is testament to this; kinetic runs through David Comes To Life and Queen of Hearts are faultless, but it’s a breathless rendition of Turn The Season which acts as the affirming highlight of the entire day. We enjoy a little downtime in the company of Bat For Lashes on the

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EYOE stage, Natasha Khan exuding loveliness in a multi-hued, glittery creation. But our attention soon turns back to the Bugged Out! Tent for a tasty hour or so with one Julio Bashmore. We’re reminded of how far the young man from Bristol has come as we arrive to find a tent rammed with thousands and a huge backdrop banner displaying his name that towers over the audience. He delivers his signature blend of funk-fuelled house and, of course, Au Seve, which has the most sizeable audience of the event pumping fists in unison. After all this, Animal Collective are something of a lost proposition, despite the inclusion of relative ‘hits’ My Girls, What Would I Want? Sky and the vintage Feels cut The Purple Bottle. Though they do have TNGHT to compete against, admittedly a more alluring prospect at this time in the evening (and after this many beers). Determined to give the festival the send off it deserves, we head back to Bugged Out! to watch the last 15 of HudMo and Lunice’s hypercolour trap assault. Immediately rewarded, we get to go in one more time to a slamming rendition of Acrylics. As we file towards the exits, it’s reassuring to know the various illustrious promoters and venues involved in Field Day have hit on a fully-realised vision of their shared ideals; an impressive balance of populist heft and thoughtful semi-esoteric inclusion, and something to be genuinely looked forward to next year.

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JUMPSUIT | CC KUO ~

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CREDITS Photography | PAUL WHITFIELD Styling | MARINA GERMAN Hair| VALERIE BENAVIDES Make up | MAI KODAMA MODEL | KITTY (SELECT) ~

BY ANY MEANS CRACK FASHION: JUNE 2013

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Hat | Agnes b Dress | Stylist own Jacket | Edeline Lee Latex Ankle Socks | Atsuko Kudo Sandals | Vagabond

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Dress | zddz shoes | topshop


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PULLOVER | GUDRUN + GUDRUN SKIRT | ZDDZ


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Jacket | SHAO YEN Wondercup Bra | BERNSTOCK SPEIRS ~


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JUMPSUIT | STINE GOYA ~

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Dress | Vintage Sandals | Vagabond Socks | Happy Socks ~

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JACKET | ZDDZ CAPE | shao yen


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Bristol streetwear brand Parlez clothing fuse a penchant for vintage sportswear with a reputation for premium quality. As part of their S/S 13 collection, this statement T-shirt combines 80s colour palettes with their distinctive logo on super soft cotton.

These reworked 1920s pleat front chinos offer a feminine twist on the classic look. Keeping original construction and detailing intact, the tapered leg offers androgynous style with a flattering silhouette. Plus, get two looks for your purchase with the reconstructed cinch back that allows them to be worn high at the waist or low on the hips.

These tie dye Baby Gee sport socks from Perks and Mini provide a burst of colour for an effortless wardrobe update. One size fits all and also available in blue, they can ease the transition from spring to summer.

streetcasuals.com

donutsthestore.co.uk

goodhoodstore.com

Carhartt Aldux Duck Print Shirt

Colourway Study #1 T-Shirt

Antipodium Template Blouse Compact Print

£65

£35

£187

This navy Aldux shirt from Carhartt presents an amalgamation of style and heritage. The all-over duck print gives an air of British antiquity while their signature crisp tailoring keeps it contemporary. 100% cotton, it’s machine washable and right on trend.

Emerging brand Colourway debut their aptly titled S/S 13 collection First Light, a selection of clean prints and essential pieces paying reference to artists and jazz musicians along the way. Our pick of the collection comes from their artist series, with Chicago based illustrator Clay Hickson providing the minimal colours and geometric pattern that give an instant retro edge to this classic white tee.

London brand Antipodium offer a re-imagination of power wardrobe classics, transforming statement pieces with their constructive eye for futuristic and innovative design. Comprised of delicate pastel pink sheer chiffon material, the striking accordion style pleats and detachable patent leather collar on this geometric compact print shirt make it our firm favourite from their summer collection.

colourway.co

goodhoodstore.com

streetcasuals.com


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BRISTOL: TROPHY WIFE START THE BUS | SUNDAY 19TH MAY TROPHY WIFE, MOTHERHOOD, NEW CARNIVAL

LONDON: CRACK STAGE AT LOVEBOX VICTORIA PARK | SUNDAY 21ST JULY JON HOPKINS, CHARLI XCX, FEAR OF MEN

~ IBIZA: CRACK HOSTS EL SALON WE LOVE SPACE | SUNDAY 28TH JULY PARDON MY FRENCH, WLT

CRACK SUMMER 2013

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/CRACKMAGAZINE/EVENTS

~

~ CROATIA: CRACK BOAT PARTY STOP MAKING SENSE FESTIVAL | SUNDAY 4TH AUGUST RADIO SLAVE, PARDON MY FRENCH

~ IBIZA PT. 2: CRACK HOSTS EL SALON WE LOVE SPACE | SUNDAY 25TH AUGUST PARDON MY FRENCH, LUKAS

~ BRISTOL: SIMPLE THINGS VARIOUS VENUES | SATURDAY 12TH OCTOBER MODERAT, JON HOPKINS, NO AGE, JAZZY JEFF

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PHOTO T. C . F lan a g an + H ul i o Bourg e o is

P H O TOS Ben Pri ce

LOV E S AV E S THE D AY C as t l e Par k , B r i s t ol | M ay 2 5 t h - 2 6 t h

If last year’s inaugural Love Saves The Day was a success against the odds, where an array of fantastic music overwrote memories of dismal conditions and logistical teething problems, this year’s double-header simply couldn’t miss. Weather was nothing short of glorious for two entire days and nights, drinks were flowing freely, and there was a grin on every face.

tougher, so set our eyes towards Eats Everything. The city’s revelation of the past 12 months, his reception on the Just Jack stage was nothing short of rapturous. Typically bottom-end heavy material roared through the adoring hometown crowd, with an edit of Josh Wink’s Higher State of Consciousness prompting surely the most straight-out insane reactions of the day.

Saturday

Back to Futureboogie to round things off, first with some more Bristol action via the irresistible Waifs and Strays, followed by a frankly astounding showing from Innervisions co-founders Âme. Some say only labelmate Dixon goes deeper than Dixon, but Kristian Beyer challenged that preconception with a juddering, weighty and pulsating take on everything in and around the deep house bracket. It was fitting to end this triumphant and inclusive celebration of Bristol’s electronic music culture being in the company such a definitive figure, and guess what – we were barely halfway.

Arriving around 2pm, Crack made a direct right-hand turn from the turnstiles and hit up one of the Futureboogie stage headliners Deetron. Swiss-born Sam Geiser turned up as a former Lottery-winner Michael Carroll lookalike, sporting hefty neck jewellery and a goatee. His style was irrelevant though, as he defied the relatively early hours by crashing seamlessly through underground techno and house tracks at a rate of knots for over an hour, with a particular highlight coming in the form of Breach’s crossover Dirtybird hit Jack, earning a rousing reception from the dedicated crowd. Next up, to the Just Jack stage with Futureboogie mainstays Christophe and Lukas teaming up for a controlled warm-up set on the stage which would later host Seth Troxler, Jackmaster, Joy Orbison and a range of dance music heavyweights. We then made the necessary cross-site trek to catch the main stage Crazy P live show, but were happily met by the culmination of an animated appearance from Bondax. As we arrived the sound guys were seemingly signalling them to finish up, which they responded to by dropping Luther Vandross’s Never Too Much, prompting a mass singalong amongst the thousands gathered at the main stage. Crazy P took up that mantle, cutting expertly through their loveable live disco classics, but by this point we’d developed a taste for something a bit

Sunday If Love Saved The Day on Saturday, the weather alone was enough to push Crack’s spirits onto a level approaching bedlam on Sunday, opening the curtains to find sunlight rolling into our slightly festival-strained eyes. Love is just a bonus when the weather’s this good. Crack got some Bloody Marys down and mooched back up to Castle Park for Round Two. Straight to the Crack stage then, where we were delighted to present a taste of what makes us tick. Early in the day we were treated to the sounds of Alfresco Disco Records’ first signing Forget Me Not, before a very special early debut performance of an (understandably shaky) Eats Everything and Lukas’ collaboration as The EEL. Forged from friendship

www.crackmagazine.net

but built on boogie, theirs was a perfect sunshine-filled set that had all early punters revelling in their enthusiasm and musical reverence for a bygone era. After rushing over to the the Main Stage to bathe in the sounds of Soul II Soul, who presented a mixture of classics (Keep On Movin’ and Back To Life) and newer, more hypey material, we switched our time between the Main Stage and Crack’s very busy spot at the bottom of the hill. There we witnessed standouts from Artifact, who experted handled the transition from the house staple into his icy techno and back again, ending on a rousing Gangster’s Paradise, and man of the moment Ben Pearce, before a main stage glimpse of Ghostpoet’s dark eclectism and brooding vocal delivery as well as EZ doing the damage on the Trap stage. The highlight of the day came with the transition of Julio Bashmore’s incredibly memorable homecoming set and illustrious headliner, Chic. As Mr Bashmore was gravitating towards the end of his performance, Nile Rodgers appeared on the side of the stage and engaged in a bit of conversation with his onlooking family and took a few photos for good measure. Love Saves The Day feels like a family affair, and its spirit was flawlessly exemplified by this moment. You can’t be in two places at once, but Crack had a go, missing a bit of the headliners in order to see Pearson Sound and Ben UFO play their increasingly tough Hessle Audio showcase. But in the end it was all about the euphoria of watching Chic roll out the classics such as Le Freak and Everybody Dance before an en masse stage invasion capped a monumental day. This weekend Bristol stepped up, and we were very proud to play our part in it. ----------


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Thought-showering with...

Denzil Schniffermann No sooner had Crack advertised for a

Dear Denz

Dear Denz,

Dear Denzil

new agony person than we received a very

I’m bored with my life. My job doesn’t satisfy me, and my leisure time is spent gazing at the neon lights of the fruity in the same pub I’ve been going to since I was 18. As for my mates, their hair is thinning, their necks are getting thicker and we’re running out of things to talk about. No matter how many tropical Reefs we strawpedo, we just can’t relieve ourselves from this sense of existential ennui. Denz, I need a one way ticket to Bant-anamo Bay, how do I purchase one?

What exactly do you do mate? I mean you spout off all this bloody advice ’n’ that, but what’s your game bruv? I reckon you’re a chimney sweep.

downright inspiring, capped off with the

My whole life was leading up to the release of the new Daft Punk album. I mean everything. After seeing their pretty little helmeted faces online every day for six months I sold my house and pre-ordered 15,000 vinyls thinking they’d become collectors’ items. Now I’ve heard it and, well, as you can imagine I’m feeling a bit stupid. Still, my gran likes the track that sounds like it was lifted from Les Miserables.

most impressive e-mail footer you’ve ever

Sally, 32, Newport

seen. Seriously, it was massive.

Denz says:

significant e-mail. What we found within were a collection of words which were confrontational, straight-talking and

Ian, 27, Epping

Charlie, 26, Leicester Denz says: All you need to know is that I’ve never lost a game of Monopoly. Have you seen the price of properties these days? Rolling in it.

Denz says: 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 guru, motivational speaker, life-coach,

Life is all about gambles Sally and you’ve backed the wrong horse here. I know how you feel. I laid down all my wedge on a wild night in the Skegness Grosvenor once. I woke up with a sore head and a lesson learnt: never twist on 18. And I empathise with the disappointment, I can remember the second record from Ned’s Atomic Dustbin. It was awful. How ripe fruit can rot under the pressure of the struggle. Who are Daft Punk anyway? They sound like a touring circus act.

Firstly Ian, you need to drop the ‘I’ve been to university’ vocabulary. No one likes a smartarse, and I can just imagine the windows in your local boozer gradually frosting up when you’re in the middle of a winge. It could be a major part of the problem. But luckily for you, you’re basically talking to The Archbishop of Banterbury here. You and your mates need to be more imaginative. My stag do in ’98 was such a stonker that every year me and the lads get together for a commemorative knees up, it’s called the ‘Stag-iversary’. As for the actual wedding anniversary… well I’ve just had to spend two weeks sleeping in a second-hand Ford Mondeo, so I don’t exactly feel like the marriage is worth celebrating if you catch my drift.

sexual athlete, and above all ... friend.

// any problems? Contact Denzil@ crackmagazine.net

//


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FI LM WORDS: Tim Oxley S m i th

The Great Gatsby Dir. Baz Luhrmann   Starring. Leonardo Di Caprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire

A Hijacking / Kapringen Dir. Tobias Lindholm   Starring. Pilou Asbæk, Søren Malling, Abdihakin Asgar

3/20 When looking back over the directorial career of Baz Luhrmann, you can’t deny his eye for a hit. Aside from his humble, brilliant debut Strictly Ballroom, you’d innately expect a Lurhmann to be a heavily stylised, brash, grandiose affair, tapping in on everyone’s secret love for camp cabaret and exuberant high drama. Right?   F. Scott Fitzgerald’s eternal novel forms the base of Luhrmann’s latest. But set against cheap Art Deco backdrops, endless magnums of champagne and thumping hip-hop, it feels like being stuck in a room at Oceana rather than an adaptation of a literary classic. And when the dimlyrealised storyline surfaces somewhat, the heart-wrenching, classic love triangle of Fitzgerald’s narrative feels more like overhearing a squabble at the bus stop on the way home.   The poor application of CGI to explore the scale of ...Gatsby’s world also massively hinders the wow factor so frequently a feature of Luhrmann’s movies: take his pulsating use of Venice Beach in Romeo + Juliet or the sumptuous design of Moulin Rouge. But in ...Gatsby the setting and style lack direction and affection. The translation of stage to film via the green screen simply doesn’t work here. Even basics such as dubbing and editing are below par, with filmmaking verging on incompetent preventing any escapism or true immersion.   Baz Luhrmann never claims to be classy, and that’s OK. In fact, it’s part of his charm. But with only faint glimmers of delirious Broadway joy, The Great Gatsby goes down like one of Bruce Forsyth’s gags on an episode of Strictly Come Dancing, and is about as enjoyable as Robbie Savage’s waltz.

15/20   The combination of realism and drama has always done it for us. So when we came across this story of a Danish cargo ship being held at ransom by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, we looked forward to some subtle Scandinavian artistry combined with unfussy acting. Detailing an extraordinary set of events blended with social familiarities and minimal facade can be an effective and compelling modus operandi, but with Tobias Lindholm’s Kapringen, just a little bit of movie magic might not have gone amiss.   The film follows two characters, Mikkel, the ship’s cook and Peter, the CEO of the company which the hijacked ship is owned by. The film cuts between the ordeal of the chef and crew members, and the CEO’s negotiations with Omar, played with a brilliantly professional brutality by Abdihakin Asgar. Disappointedly, we see more of the red tape of negotiations than we do of the physical human struggle of the crew. However, the moralist tension between the CEO pleasing shareholders by trying to bring the ransom down as low a possible against the cost of human life is expertly explored. Lindholm has a knack for capturing a natural poetry, projected through the characters’ mannerisms and personal endeavours. The razor-sharp intensity of the imprisoned crew and the escapades of a businessman whose toughest turmoil was to sleep in his office for a month makes for an intriguingly ironic contrast, though it can at times border on tedious. That said, the performances and subject matter make for a more than respectable grown-up thriller.

www.crackmagazine.net

Star Trek Into Darkness Dir. J.J. Abrams   Starring. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch   11/20   Adding to this year’s wave of sci-fi blockbusters and lycra space suits, J.J. Abrams returns to the Enterprise. After successfully rebooting the franchise in 2009, with more geeky references than you could shake a Shatner at but still achieving cinemagoing accessibility, Crack looked on to this follow-up with high expectations.   And just when we think the franchise has been perfectly poised for a rip-roaring set of sexy sci-fi movies, Into Darkness fails to take off, quite literally. The main part of the story revolves around a threat upon Earth, again. Despite a visit to Chronos, the action pretty much focuses around a pragmatic American terrorism analogy which, when faced with the endless possibilities of the exploration of deep fucking space, seems an extremely dull alternative. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Kahn, the villain with a British accent, and aside from a five minute blast of theatric baddie monologue brilliance, is underutilised. The performances from the returning cast members grow slightly irritating from the previous film, shifting from charming salutes to characters from the original TV series and films to a never ending bad Dad joke.   Abrams and his popcorn sensibility continue to deliver Star Trek to a broader audience, as the original TV series once did. On this occasion though, it seems like he’s out of ideas already, a repeat rather than an homage. And amongst Hollywood’s current fetish for futurism, it’s unlikely Into Darkness will shine out.


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CRACK

THE

Solutions to last issue’s crossword:

Across 4. Southeastern European country, capital Sofia (8) 5. Nirvana’s first album (6) 7. Chemical element with the symbol Ca (7) 9. A type of Pacific cyclone (7) 10. Director of Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, Steven (10) 11. Someone who’s tight with money (5) 13. Bjork’s pre-solo career band (3, 10) 16. Impenetrable by light (6) 17. Food which complies with Jewish law (6) 18. Get on something; put something on something; something you climb (5) 19. The UK’s premier ramen-style snack (3, 6) 20. Bigoted hate rag (5,4) 21. Playground game (9) 22. Racquet sport that should be in the Olympics (6) Down 1. Talk rubbish, like a brook (6) 2. Legendary Motown singer with hits including Baby Love (5,4) 3. The seminal Monty Python TV series (6,6) 6. Techno overlord Richie (6) 8. The hairy pouch on the front of a kilt (7) 12. Feel sorrow or regret (6) 14. Ancient Egyptian form of writing utilising symbols (13) 15. Inuit (6)

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CRACK MAGAZINE PRESENT

PARDON MY FRENCH

SUNDAY 4TH AUG

A STOP MAKING SENSE FESTIVAL BOAT PARTY

RADIO SLAVE

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WWW.CRACKMAGAZINE.NET/TICKETS WWW.STOPMAKINGSENSE.EU

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ACROSS: 1. BLAKE, 4. SHALLOW, 6. THIRTY SIX, 9. GARY OLDMAN, 11. COURVOISIER, 12. LETHARGY, 14. CUFFLINKS 15. TEMPTATION, 19. IOMMI, 20. BURRITO, 22. MARTYR DOWN: 2. ETHIOPIA, 3. GHOST WORLD 5. NELSON MUNTZ 7. CHUNKY 8. HARGREAVES, 10. MITTENS, 13. SLAPSTICK 16. ADDRESS 17. NITROGEN 18. CONDOM 21. IGUANA


Live Music

Mo d e sele k to r Roundhouse, London | May 17th Modeselektor rolled into London for their only UK live gig this year on the back of documentary We Are Modselektor, which provides a huge insight into the inner workings of their act, personality and rise to prominence. It’s in the grand setting of The Roundhouse where Crack sets its stall to watch the UK premiere of this film. The biopic sees the genesis of Modeselektor laid bare with Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary’s childhoods presented through old film footage and Polaroid photographs. And after an hour of getting to know the more intimate facets of tonight’s headline act, Crack is in an anticipatory frame of mind. The bowl of The Roundhouse affords everyone a superb vantage point. Support comes from German electronic stalwarts Mouse On Mars, whose abstract techno is a perfect mood channeller for the consistently immersive sounds of Apparat, drawing on solo material, tracks from his DJ-Kicks compilation, and anything that takes you deeper within yourself. After blowing our collective craniums at Sonar last year, we were hoping for a similar fare from this capital showcase. Modeselektor rattle through more or less everything that has made them one of the most entertaining acts in the world. From the utter abrasiveness of Evil Twin and German Clap, to the guaranteed crowd pleaser of Kill Bill Vol.4, there isn’t an act in techno who yield this level of unadulterated fun.

© Sophia Whitfield

The distorted dialogues between tracks are delivered with Gernot sounding like Pinky and Perky as opposed to Lord Sauron as at previous shows. The Pfadfinderei visuals work especially well on Pretentious Friends and the awesome Shipwreck, complete with Thom Yorke vocals. Crack takes its place in the Gods for the second half, and we’re completely blown away. Techno doesn’t always work outside the club, but tonight it hits every spot.

---------Words: Hulio Bourgeois

L a u r yn Hill

J us t F or You

R. S tevie Moore

Be a ch Fo ssils

Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn | May 14th

Oval Space | May 4th

Cargo | May 2nd

The Roadhouse, Manchester | May 15th

An imminent prison sentence isn’t usually considered cause for celebration. Lauryn Hill is 30 minutes late and there’s an unmistakable sense of apprehension in the Williamsburg air.

It’s a good thing the second instalment of the Just For You event series, curated by Joy Orbison, fell on a Bank Holiday. This was no mere club night, it was a proper rave, a night in Hackney to remember.

Entering Cargo’s imposing arches we’re greeted by R. Stevie Moore warming up, bells chiming, light flickering off his blue hair and beard. Stood resplendent in floral leggings, he repeats “I am Robert Steven Moore, born 18th January 1952, Nashville, Tennessee”.

Jumping into the crowd after barely uttering a word, Beach Fossils’ frontman Dustin Payseur is obviously dissatisfied with the reserved behaviour of tonight’s audience. He attempts to share his energy by bobbing amongst embarrassed, toe-tapping youths. ‘Move around more!’, he demands as he clambers back onto the stage.

This was a show which took place on account of Hill being charged for tax evasion, owing somewhere in the region of $1 million to the state of New Jersey. But it seems the circus was closed down for the night, and Hill was given a platform to do what drew people to her in the first place. Tracks like the colossal Lost One displayed the urgency captured on record, while Forgive Them Father showcased what is still one of the most stunning signing voices of recent decades. The only acknowledgment for her upcoming time inside came in an ad-lib on new track Black Rage where Hill referenced being “put in chains”. When she paid homage to her breakout outfit The Fugees with Fu-Gee-La, Ready Or Not and How Many Mics the energy was almost indescribable, taking on verses originally spat by Wyclef or Pras and owning them with her signature velocity and I-Won’t-Tell-YouAgain delivery. The victory on the night was for Lauryn’s music. If that was a miseducation, this show was a quickfire revision session before your teacher goes away for a while. Hopefully she’ll come back with even more to say.

Workshop Records boss Even Tuell presented a commanding set grounded in connoisseurs cuts of house and techno. The theme of the night was not familiarity and fondness, but brave obscurity and a cohesive, immersive continuity. P-Bar queen Cassy continued in this vein with a masterful display. Drawing on her extensive experience and expertise, she maintained much of the character that you find in her own productions such as Alexandra but with a heavier sentiment and amped up attitude. Cassy was billed as headliner, but there was always likely to be an elevated degree of anticipation as her set bled into Joy Orbison. His progressive and thoughtful display summed up the ideology behind his curation; a sense that young Peter O’Grady is not only constantly pushing himself to higher levels, but is taking the UK electronic scene with him. The whole billing produced one of the most complete events we have experienced at Oval Space, which can only further demonstrate its standing as a top venue.

Moore is a cult hero when it comes to home recording, with over sixty albums cut in his own makeshift studio. Even if you’d listened to the entirety of his vast back catalogue, ranging from blues to soul to indie punk pop, you wouldn’t be prepared for the flair of his live show. “Play myself some music” he sings, and amongst the seemingly insurmountable context of this artist, things becomes clearer; you understand that, as glad as he is to share his music, this music is his, for his sincere pleasure. That’s not to say he isn’t crowd-conscious. A wildly entertaining performer throughout, Moore’s dry humour is totally endearing. And after his band leave the stage, Moore re-enters solo, takes a turn through the crowd, then climbs onstage to tinker with each instrument. He then launches into his own rendition of Kriss Kross’s Jump Jump, presumably as an obituary of sorts, name checking The Flaming Lips, Daniel Johnson, Ariel Pink and Mozart between each triumphant “jump jump”.

-–-–-–-–-----------

----------

Words: Claude Barbé-Brown Words: Lucie Grace

Beach Fossils’ Clash The Truth is the fearless, extroverted second album that many indie-surf bands attempt to master. They’ve summoned new band members, abandoned bedroom recorded fuzz, and victoriously abolished their song-writing adolescence in the process. Their outrageous, unexpected drum fills fabricate a polished performance, moulding the melodies into an amassed resonance. ‘Here’s a brand new song!’, Dustin announces to a sighing crowd, only to follow up with Vacation, forcing the crowd into a delirious, hyperactive bevy. Unafraid to disguise his self-admiration, Dustin guarantees an encore in which, ignoring the lack of enthusiasm, he throws himself onto the raised hands of the audience, proposing an afterparty for everyone despite his supposed jet-lag. Nevertheless, having presented such an accomplished performance, Payseur’s ego is inevitable. Besides, his self-dignity undeniably manifests the band’s success – boosting them above the sea of modest, Pitchforkbumming, guitar-harmony-addicts we all know too well.

Words: Duncan Harrison ----------Words: Ayesha Linton-Whittle www.crackmagazine.net


Transmission 5 curated by

Sunday 7th July 2013

Jodrell Bank with special guests

Johnny Marr

Tickets

Public Service Broadcasting

www.live from jodrell bank.com/tickets

The Whip / Jake Evans / Hot Vestry

0844 888 9991 live from jodrell bank / www.new order now.net


16TH - 18TH AUGUST 2013. FUNKIRK ESTATE, SKIPTON WWW.GREETINGSFROMBEACONS.COM

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CLOUD BOAT BOOK OF HOURS Rough Trade

VARIOUS ARTISTS AFTER DARK 2 Italians Do It Better

14/20

13/20

Straight out, Book of Hours is a little bit of a downer and s little bit sexy. These emotions are blended seamlessly, coiling breathy vocals and pinning melodies in harmony. Sam Ricketts and Tom Clarke, an ex folk-singer/songwriter and a previous pirate radio DJ respectively, are the duo behind this record, and their disparate magic has spawned a distinctive sound. This minimalistic effort strips away the heftier approach heard in their more intense Boiler Room days, and now they embrace poignant guitar riffs dripped in haunting lyrics to work their way into your soul, with the track Wanderlust being a prime example. The album and style skips from sparse acoustics to an ominous interlude, affording Clarke and Ricketts a moment to indulge in some experimental, eerie post rock. It’s a theme that continues as the album progresses, allowing Book of Hours to envelop you deeper into beautiful gloom. A disappointing lull comes in You Find Me, which could be a discarded James Blake circulating the depths of Youtube. But forgiveness is granted, as this is the only track guilty of doing so. IO

On the first After Dark compilation, Johnny Jewel and Mike Simonetti introduced us to a batch of artists - Chromatics, Farrah, Glass Candy, Mirage, Professor Genius - who took the Italo template and swapped the cosmic hedonism of the club for the mini-melodramas of rain sodden nightdrives through the city. Coming at a time (between electroclash and the Drive soundtrack) that was bereft of synth tinkling with bored, detached female vocalists intoning over the top, it was cooly refreshing. Now the rearranged IDIB crew - which includes Appaloosa, Desire, and Twisted Wires - are back together for 15 tracks of gorgeously melancholy dance-not-dance. Chromatics do their vocodered piano-pop, uptown-sophisticate-sadsack-disco and reverb-soaked atmopsheric dreampop things, Glass Candy stick to their weirdly sour, slightly-off sounding guns on their elegant quartet of contributions . However, there are misfires. Newcomer Appaloosa’s Fill the Blanks sounds like an IDIB parody, the Twisted Wires track like a baggy track remixed by Studio, and Desire’s contribution comes in the form of the cheap, lazy sadness-signifiers of Tears from Heaven. Overall the IDIB roster remains as intriguing as ever, but After Dark 2 is just nowhere near as essential as its predecessor. JB

DJ SPRINKLES QUEERIFICATIONS & RUINS: COLLECTED REMIXES Mule Musiq

LEMURIA THE DISTANCE IS SO BIG Bridge Nine Records

17/20

16/20

Hot on the heels of the masterfully melancholy, tactile and sensually deep house exploration that was the Where Dancefloors Stand Still mix, Terre Thaemlitz turns in Queerifications, a collection of fourteen remixes spread over two discs which counts as his second release of the year for Tokyo’s ever dependable Mule Musiq. Here, under the DJ Sprinkles guise, Thaemlitz blesses us with the kind of emotive, sincere house that shuns contemporary stylings without ever sounding dated or parodic. The palate that Sprinkles paints with - the billowy, fat, elastic, churning basslines, the staccato synth-stabs, the jackin’ hi-hats and handclaps, the jazzy ornamental flourishes, the occasional sampled voice chattering and polemicising is applied wonderfully to a set of artists that range from Ducktails to Adultnapper. Special mention goes to the World is Ova mix of Jorge C’s A Little Beat - 15 minutes of hypnotic, shuffling, low-slung house, one of those records you wish’d come to life so you could explore it in three dimensions. It’s dance music for body and mind. It’s fantastic. As is the whole of this collection. JB

Produced by J. Robbins (Jawbox, Government Issue), Buffalo indie rock trio Lemuria’s third album, the follow-up to 2011’s Bridge Nine release Pebble, represents a continuation of the band’s developing style over the past decade. Where The First Collection compilation and their debut full-length Get Better enraptured punk rock couples and lonely indie record nerds alike, the last record seemed to divide fans desperate for that singalong moment, confused over Lemuria’s switch to what was traditionally seen as a hardcore label. Last year’s Record Store Day release hinted at what might be expected from future releases, with enough time changes to trip up even the most experienced indie rock foot tapper. But with surefire live hits Public Opinion Bath, Brilliant Dancer and Paint the Youth, the new album represents a perfect combination of great production and maturity, mixed with the upbeat drive of earlier recordings. If Pebble was the difficult second record, this is the sound of a band comfortable in the direction they’re heading, somehow harnessing the most loved aspects of the band and placing them firmly in one incredibly assured 39-minute record. TC

GOLD PANDA HALF OF WHERE YOU LIVE Ghostly International

VÅR NO ONE DANCES QUITE LIKE MY BROTHERS Sacred Bones

12/20

18/20

When Gold Panda dropped his first full-length Lucky Shiner in 2010, he really did seem to have the midas touch. Having previously remixed for Bloc Party and Simian Mobile Disco (and Little Boots, but shhhh!), SMD’s James Shaw produced his acclaimed debut, and it catapulted Gold Panda’s name around the electronic world, with his unique glitchy sound, stuttering loops, cybernetic drum patterns, all tinged with Asian magic. His fans have been patiently awaiting this second longplay offering for almost three years, and while there is certainly a progression in the now-Berlin-based producer’s style, it fails to reach his first serving’s height. Lead single Brazil has a ghostly chant which fluctuates in clarity every couple of seconds. It’s pretty mind numbing, and according to Powers “reflects the sensation of travelling from the airport in Sao Paulo and hitting this sprawling metropolis, and the disparity between old Brazil and the new economically prosperous country”. Yeah right. There is variety, and his well-trodden Asian influences are prominent, but as a whole it feels rather confused, kaleidoscopic and much like trying to take a subway from one side of Tokyo to the other without assistance. OP

Vår is a drone duo consisting of two deadly serious Danish teenagers, Elias Ronnenfelt, the frontman of antagonistic punk band Iceage and Loke Rahbek, who heads up the equally bothersome avant garde project Sexdrome. Both these lads have been stirring up serious amount of hype the last couple of years, and with eyes turning to Denmark, it’s only natural that they combine forces to create some super intense, industrial noise music. Taking their cues from the stark soundscapes of bands like Current 93, the pair have created a record of brooding melancholy which teeters on amateur bedroom recording. But, y’know, the kind of ‘amateur’ that will see your average muso tugging at their beard in deep appreciation. The album opens with the tender, yet eerie Begin To Remember, while later on in the record on tracks like Boy and Hair Like Feathers, the sound is corrupted towards pure, sadistic drone. No One Dances… is a provocative and atmospheric record with a crude, almost naïve approach to experimentalism. Vår have taken the youthful intensity of their respective bands and mangled it into a kind of mature cacophony which will surely propel them into the realms of actual, grown up credibility. BB

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63

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE ...LIKE CLOCKWORK Matador 14/20 The subject of QOTSA’s first album in six years has been dominating water cooler conversations for quite some time, although admittedly that’s due to the constant announcements of high profile, controversial and downright bizarre collaborators rather than, y’know, the actual songs. Now it’s arrived, the listener is left to leaf through liner notes as star-studded as a really good episode of Jonathan Ross and uncover the qualities beneath. And in fact, hardly any of the guests make themselves prominent. Grohl doesn’t truly assert himself on his five tracks, while Jon Theodore’s technically astounding drumming will be more wholly felt when he tours with the band rather than in a muted cameo on the titular closer. As for Alex Turner, Trent Reznor and Jake Shears, they remain very much at the back of the shot, although Elton John’s contribution is a tad more obvious. Opener Keep Your Eyes Peeled is a masterful patchwork, with rolling bass, distinctive Homme vibrato and searing guitars. I Sat By The Ocean boasts a memorable guitar lead you could sing along to, while the return of the Songs for the Deaf dream team on If I Had A Tail is a real highlight, a mucky boogie with ‘jobs for the boys’ gang chorus and a deliciously dark riff towards the end. And when Elton pops round for tea on the memorable Fairweather Friends, he proves that his and Homme’s vocals are strangely well matched. If there’s a dud, Smooth Sailing is it. Its faux-sexy, hip-shaking funk is all a bit silly, highlighted by lyrics such as “I blow my load over the status quo” – look lively Rossi and Parfitt. This album’s name is presumably a wry reference to its prolonged gestation, but in fact the record itself feels curiously reliable and effective; like very good songs knocked out by an astounding talent, just like clockwork. GHD

DAFT PUNK RANDOM ACCESS MEMORIES Columbia

THE MEMORY BAND ON THE CHALK (OF OUR NAVIGATION OF THE LINE OF THE DOWNS) Static Caravan

14/20 17/20 This isn’t the necessarily the album we were expecting. After the ebullient, emphatic tease of Get Lucky, it felt like we were being primed for a contemporary take on Discovery. What we get, over the course of 74 minutes, is...not quite that. What we get is, in fact, a hugely ambitious trawl through the softer side of some seriously uncool sounds. After the machinistic misfire of Human After All, it’s a pleasure to be relocated somewhere in the world of very real, very human emotion. There’s a sense of paradoxically intimate distance running through RAM: from the innate sadness of The Game of Love and Fragments of Time’s Todd Edwards assisted, breezily yearning yacht rock through to Panda Bear’s starstruck naive vocal schtick on Doin’ It Right, RAM works best when its ambitions are shot through with a charmingly poppy, personal sensibility. Not everything works though; Touch is overbearing end-of-the-night-on-a-cruise-ship cabaret fare, Giorgio by Moroder decides to stop being an Italo stormer and becomes a horribly overdone bit of dance-rock, and Contact is a cantankerous, clanking finisher that isn’t as epic as it sets out to be. Despite its stylistic switches, you put it on and it sounds like Daft Punk. Sometimes there’s nothing more you could ask for. JB

The Memory Band – Stephen Cracknall plus assorted contributors – is now on its fourth long player, but you could be forgiven for asking ‘who dat?’. Despite consistently putting out beautiful, creaking folk music sprinkled with occasional electronic fairy dust, The Memory Band remain resolutely under the radar. This is a minor travesty, given how eloquently and effortlessly Cracknall and his band manage to translate the starry-eyed wonder of the English countryside into musical magic. Comparisons to Tunng are not entirely misguided, but there’s something else about The Memory Band: something rooted in solemn, earthy melody, rather than laptop-honed precision. In the same way that PJ Harvey so cleverly invoked a mangled and compromised England of yore, so On The Chalk… somehow opens a door straight into the strange rural heart of the country. Coming over like a rustic Fleetwood Mac in On Dancing Hill, and sounding like Lali Puna at their innocent and beguiling best on the kinetic Along The Sunken Lanes, every note on this curious little album simply slots into place. Heartbreaking album closer Where The River Meets The Sea completes a meandering masterpiece. AC

KOLSCH 1977 Kompakt

BIG DEAL JUNE GLOOM Mute

16/20

15/70

It’s been a strange few years for one of Germany’s best loved labels. While, rightly, celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, it’s some time since they released an album as inherently satisfying as Gui Boratto’s Chromophobia, or as life changing as Michael Mayer’s Immer, and there’s been no single as era-defining as Closer Musik’s One Two Three (No Gravity) or Justus Kohncke’s Advance. So when Rune Riley, as Kolsch, put out a series of incredible 12”s for the label’s semi-regular Speicher series things looked exciting again. With 1977, Riley’s crafted an album that’s confidently, completely Kompakt. Der Alte is still destined to be a last-song-of-the-night classic with its soaring strings and early 90s piano stabs, All That Matters is still the best bit of emo-house since Superpitcher remixed Dntel way back when, and Opa is still a grinding electrohouse beast in the vein of Alter Ego’s Rocker. The new material – from Oma’s thick, lubricious chord workout, to the delicate, spectral microhouse of Felix and the maddeningly simple, maddeningly obvious, maddeningly great bassline on Zig – is nearly as good. 1977 is an album free of pretense, a refreshing, quietly great, fun record. Komapkt are back. JB

Teradactol is an adept introductory single from June Gloom, brandishing Big Deal’s colossal expansion of sound. An increase in band members and Rory Attwell’s savvy producing achieves a dismissal of their woeful manner despite Kacey Underwood and Alice Costelloe’s unavoidably morose vocals. Dream Machines inherits sanguine riffs that are sporadically positioned throughout the album catering for dancing as opposed to the debut’s inescapable musing. However with Swapping Spit’s lyrics ‘Give up giving in/ I will I will’, you’ll be dancing with your eyes closed, tears streaming down your face whilst questioning what the hell you’re doing with your life. Possessing such potpourri of emotion, ranging from stadium-filling anthems to isolated, bedroom-based sorrow, June Gloom would undeniably be captivating live. The climactic closing track Close Your Eyes induces an exclusive antagonism to the album, opening with languid vocals from Underwood corresponding with the barely-existent, feeble guitar melody. Due to its incongruity of emotion and the inarguable portrayal of Big Deal’s ripeness, June Gloom could be the most endearing second album of this year. So endearing in fact, we fear for their third. ALW

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65

JAMES HOLDEN THE INTERIORS Border Community 17/20 Seven long years stretch between James Holden’s debut album, The Idiots Are Winning, and its follow-up, The Inheritors, which is due for release on his Border Community imprint later this month. Thankfully, he has successfully averted tumbleweeds, but he’s also taught us in the process that it helps to veer wildly off course. This isn’t really dance music. Across 80-odd minutes, there is barely a kick drum sampler in sight, let alone a four-to-the-floor beat. Instead, the album drifts meditatively between folk, post-rock, ambient electronica, and kraut rock influences. Caterpillar’s Intervention is a primeval dance that owes its saxophone cacophony to Acoustic Ladyland or Radiohead’s The National Anthem. The following track Sky Burial sounds menacingly musty, like a horrible moth hatching from a giant cocoon. The Illuminations then softens the mood with a heavily compressed synth blur that drips tears of low-fi melancholy. Admittedly, some of the album lacks punch. His habit of constant synth repetition, with endless scribbles of distortion and other FX becomes wearing after a time. Nowadays, it’s all about house and techno, and globetrotting DJ Holden isn’t exactly oblivious to this, it’s just that he’s followed his convictions, however they manifest themselves. Many contemporaries could do worse than to inherit this wisdom. NJ

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THUNDERCAT APOCALYPSE Brainfeeder

30 SECONDS TO MARS LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS Polydor

16/20

2/20

Let’s be honest, there’s something intimidating about the signifier ‘jazz bass virtuoso’. While some are blessed with an ear patient enough to delve into epic space-funk odysseys, most of our scatty, digitally fried brains reject improvs and weird time signatures as ‘overindulgent’. But fear not, because although Flying Lotus’ insanely talented confidant Thundercat noodles the frets as if each hand possesses twelve digits, his second full-length Apocalypse is actually an irresistible summer record. The formula is epitomised on the anthemic disco banger Oh Sheit It’s X, where near-fluid bass notes wiggle underneath a synth lead so catchy it’d eclipse Get Lucky from the radio if Brainfeeder had a multi-million promotional budget. FlyLo’s name is listed as the album’s co-producer, and he makes his presence clear with the astral synths on the lovesick lead single Heartbreaks + Setbacks as well as Tron Song, where a broken hip-hop beat classifies a style of neo-soul that’s far too unpredictable and synesthesia-inducing to find itself gently piping through the soundsystem at the Chichester branch of The Slug and Lettuce. Apocalypse might be an exercise in musical proficiency, but in this instance, the audience are having as much fun as the guy who’s making it. DR

Jared Leto has a handsome face that you either want to fuck or drub with your hands. When he acts, you normally want to fuck him, especially when he does one of his good films, which he used to do quite regularly. But when he sings you always want to drub him. He doesn’t do any good songs. Of all the actors-turnedwannabe-rockstars, he’s the worst. We’d rather watch Keanu Reeves’ Dogstar play a three hour warm-up set for Russell Crowe’s 30 Odd Foot of Grunts, because those at least had the decency to be lazy side-projects from hopeless, disconnected chancers who didn’t really give a shit cause they were rich as fuck anyway. But there’s something truly loathsome about Leto as he stares down the camera and casts himself as rockstar. He is actor as liar, frontman as fraud, and the fact people buy into it should win him an Oscar for Best Singer in a Leading Role and all the glitzy jizzy fucking nonsense that goes along with that, but please don’t let your kids listen to 30STM’s music cause it’s totally and utterly disgusting. RB

HYETAL MODERN WORSHIP True Panther Sounds

TRICKY FALSE IDOLS False Idols

16/20

16/20

Bristol boy David Corney blew the competition away with Broadcast, his 2011 debut album as Hyetal. The record’s ascending synths and roving, John Carpenterindebted atmospherics marked out a more probing vision than the house/bassinclined producers he often shares bill with. Still, his signing to True Panther Sounds came as a surprise. The NY-based, Matador-owned label has an undeniably broad vision, but it’s more likely to be associated with the romantic indie-pop of San Fransico’s Girls than a UK electronic producer. Fortunately, Hyetal falls into that category in only the most fundamental terms. He uncannily imbues even the most stoic, machinistic rhythms with something very human, warm and unctuous, often through expertly layered vocal lines from Gwilym Gold and Alison Garner. There’s a narrative, cinematic quality which sews each thread together, making tracks innately indebted to their predecessors, and each structural element reflective of a staunch overarching ideology. Luminous streetlight flickers and sighing synths are glossy and maximal but never garishs. It’s a hugely involving and intelligent listen, confirming Corney’s position among this country’s most talented producers. GHD

His 10th studio album, False Idols heralds Tricky’s return to form after a decade of making largely mediocre albums. Somebody’s Sins begins proceedings with the ubiquitous refrain lifted from Van Morrison via Patty Smith that “Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine.” A throbbing bass pulse instantly transports you to Tricky’s universe; religious iconography sits alongside existential dread, painting a vision riddled with shadows and doubt. Francesca Belmonte’s honeyed vocals understate, recalling Martina Topley-Bird’s work on his debut, Maxinquaye, while the soaring chorus of Nothing Matters lifts us from the funk, giving hope. Tricky’s magpie tendencies for sampling have always been impressive, and Valentine is a soothing track set to an ultra-smooth Chet Baker loop. The temperate percussion and orchestral palate of Nothing’s Changed underpins a tail-chasing philosophical story of cyclical behavior and fatalistic conclusions. There aren’t any new concepts within False Idols, and thematically it’s a continuation of Tricky’s life’s work. But on the other hand, it’s satisfying to see an iconic artist offer something which sits comfortably in the upper echelons of his extensive catalogue. PJA

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66

Politics?

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Obixon ‘12

Illustration: Lee Nutland www.leenutland.com

Remember high-fiving Americans on the tube in ’08 when Obama was elected? There’s nothing about the demeanour of today’s President that reminds me of that hope-change candidate. We haven’t seen that guy since early 2010, when Obamacare passed into law. In the last four weeks it’s felt more like the administration is operating in the 70s, with the White House Plumbers harassing the media and the tax office going to work on political opponents. The Obama administration is reeling from what Donald Trump (fresh from modelling for Lego’s Filthy Capitalised range) described as a “trifecta” [sic] of scandals: the Department of Justice led a twomonth phone tapping exercise on Associated Press (AP) journalists so ill thought out it could have been run by McNulty and Freamon, circa season five of The Wire; we found out the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeted right-wing campaign groups; and then there’s the Benghazi talking points, which we’ll get back to in a moment. Are these scandals symptomatic of Obama’s leadership? We still believed in him when he failed to close

Guantanamo and got caught up in years of cross-isle bickering. We still believed in him when we found out he’d embarked on a campaign of non-judicial killings using an army of flying robots with laser-guided bombs. But it’s getting more and more difficult. Politicising the IRS and intimidating the media look like moves straight from President Richard Nixon’s pig-filthy playbook. In the 70s, Tricky Dicky’s political tax group targeted over 1,000 groups and 4,000 individuals that appeared on his “enemies list”, managing the operation from a soundproof cell in the basement. It looks like around 300 right-wing groups were targeted in 2010 based on the criteria of what would become the “Be On the Look Out” list. This included the terms “Tea Party”, “Patriots” and “9/12 Project” and the ominous criteria; “Statement in the case file criticize how the country is being run [sic].” The AP case involved 20 phone lines, including mobiles, and general inbound and home numbers, in what was described by the wire service’s president, Gary Pruitt, as a “massive and unprecedented intrusion”. I tend to agree.

The scale of the current scandals is very different to Nixon’s reign, but the methods are comparable. We need to be clear that Obama claims to have learnt about the IRS scandal from the news and the IRS chief says he stepped aside on the AP subpoena. But I’m not trying to make a point about the probability of culpability here, what I want to talk about is the style of leadership.

Jr. His election was a piece of history in our lifetimes and I’ll never forget that. Do I still like the guy? Not really; it’s a shame that a luminary of black history and hero of left-wing thinking might get caught wearing cheap cologne, heels and lipstick in the pig sty up on Capitol Hill.

---------The argument sounds like the Fox News narrative that’s been running ad nauseum for weeks and there’s no denying I could have been pulled over to the dark side. I just spent a week working from hotel rooms in Florida – it’s a tough life, etc – with Fox America Live host Megyn Kelly whispering in my ear. (Not on Benghazi, though. That’s a Trump-ed up side show.) But, jokes aside, writing this column feels like bad mouthing a good friend from an old journalism clique at a ten-year reunion. You’re pissed because he’s pedalling marketing copy and excuses. It’s not that he’s a bad guy; it’s just that he used to believe in things and now he’s sold out. It turns out Obama might just be another political hack. And it stings. Obama was one of the last few pieces in the puzzle that started with Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King,

Christopher Goodfellow

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CRACK Issue 31  

Featuring Nina Kraviz, Jon Hopkins, !!!, Hooded Fang, Move D, Young Fathers, Helen Marten and Stuart Patience.

CRACK Issue 31  

Featuring Nina Kraviz, Jon Hopkins, !!!, Hooded Fang, Move D, Young Fathers, Helen Marten and Stuart Patience.