F r e e
Gnod | Jackson & His Computerband | These New Puritans
Richie Hawtin | Alex Trochut |King Khan & The Shrines | Banks
DANNY BROWN 34
Ar t . M u si c . An n a ' s A c i d H o u r.
William Tyler MON 2 SEP St. PaNcraS Old church HoundmouTH WEd 4 SEP hOxtON Bar aNd KitchEN STrand of oakS thu 5 SEP SEBright arMS daugHn gibSon thu 5 SEP ElEctrOWErKz THe amazing SnakeHeadS tuE 10 SEP Old BluE laSt
Sky larkin tuE 17 SEP lExiNgtON la femme WEd 18 SEP SEBright arMS CruSHed beakS thu 19 SEP lExiNgtON young HuSband tuE 24 SEP lExiNgtON fTSe WEd 25 SEP cOrSica StudiOS VlkS thu 26 SEP SEBright arMS
TraViS breTzer thu 26 SEP BaSEMENt 55 lady lamb THe beekeeper MON 14 Oct hOxtON Bar aNd KitchEN fun adulTS thu 17 Oct hOxtON cOurtyard JapanTHer thu 17 Oct BirthdayS oliVer Wilde SuN 27 Oct St. PaNcraS Old church
parqueT CourTS MON 28 Oct VillagE uNdErgrOuNd aSaf aVidan tuE 12 NOV O2 ShEPhErdâ€™S BuSh EMPirE THe naTional WEd 13 NOV alExaNdra PalacE THe naTional thu 14 NOV alExaNdra PalacE auSTra MON 25 NOV KOKO
CaTe le bon WEd 27 NOV BuSh hall CrySTal STilTS thu 28 NOV cargO nigHT bedS tuE 3 dEc Scala la femme thu 5 dEc BirthdayS WHiTe lieS tuE 10 dEc rOuNdhOuSE
DEERHUNTER EVERYTHING EVERYTHING MR SCRUFF GHOSTPOET GERAINT JARMAN CLIPPING TEMPLES MARK EITZEL LANTERNS ON THE LAKE WOLF ALICE WAXAHATCHEE MONEY BO NINGEN DRENGE PINKUNOIZU MARIKA HACKMAN FIMBER BRAVO YR ODS JOHN SMITH SIVU NICK MULVEY ANNIE EVE SWEET BABOO NADINE SHAH AMATEUR BEST SPECTRALS SOAK STORY BOOKS GULP KEYS GOLDEN FABLE CUT RIBBONS MASTERS IN FRANCE OLYMPIANS AMONG BROTHERS TRWBADOR THEO METABEATS
100+ more over at swnfest.com www.swnfest.com | @swnfestival facebook.com/swnfestival
fabric sePteMber —
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Craig riChards riCardo Villalobos raresh sYlPhe —
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Craig riChards seth troxler edUardo de la Calle —
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terrY FranCis blawan MarCel Fengler — ∑ ROOM 3
YoU are we blond:ish wildkats ashleY wild toM roberts
M-nUs ∑ ROOM 1
riChie hawtin gaiser (liVe) bareM — ∑ ROOM 2
PaCo osUna Matador (liVe) hobo — ∑ ROOM 3
heartthrob terrY FranCis
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Craig riChards biCeP daniel bell pres. dbx (liVe) Citizen — ∑ ROOM 2
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Photographer | Paul Whitfield Featuring | Danny Brown www.paulwhitfieldphotography.com
For those who are cracked let the light in: Respect Elle Sheriff Ella McWilliam Pamela Anderson Helen Harrison Bon Scott The Caldwells John Projekta Ellie Read Luke Pakes Haydn Juliff Sluttyboyz Stuart Broad Executive Editors Thomas Frost email@example.com
has been looking at things through wild, vaguely confused eyes. Some people are saying we’ve lost it, but we’ve just had a lot on. M
Marketing / Events Manager Luke Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org Junior Editor David Reed email@example.com
Art Direction & Design Jake Applebee Alfie Allen Design Assistant Graeme Bateman Film Editor Tim Oxley Smith
It’s probably the former. We’ll be honest, this whole business hit a zenith on the plane home from our second trip to Ibiza. A matter of hours after a fevered debate with a rather irked chap about the relative merits of our flip-flops (Reef, top of the range, only 18 months on the clock) against his Gola daps, we were sat in row H babbling all kinds of nonsense. At that point we’d have happily hopped onto a neighbouring plane to the Azores to start a new life, at one with the flora and the fauna. Or maybe we’d just pretend we had and set up camp on a murky street corner, intoning to passers by that the end is surely nigh.
Maybe it’s late summer syndrome, where the trappings of a longer-than-ever festival season are starting to take their toll; maybe we’ve been hanging out with Danny Brown too much (well, once is enough); maybe it’s even something to do with the stark strip lighting in our new, extended office. But there’s no doubt about it, shit’s getting weird.
Jake Applebee firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Geraint Davies email@example.com
But we’d like to think this new and disorientating view of the world hasn’t propelled us to previously unimagined heights of twattery. Au contraire – we’d like to think it’s given us a fresh perspective. A realisation that yeah, we should go ahead with that idea of putting Bristol’s most notorious and celebrated late-night chicken outlet on our middle page. Pushed to such limits, perhaps we’ve thrived creatively. Twattery or flattery? That’s probably up to you.
Editorial Assistants Anna Tehabsim Duncan Harrison Fashion Charlotte James Charlotte Rutherford Contributors Christopher Goodfellow Adam Corner Billy Black Lucie Grace Isis O'Regan Jack Lucas Dolan Tom Howells Joshua Nevett Rich Bitt Robert Bates Leah Connolly Phillip James Allen James Balmont Jon Clark Rob Chadwick Charlie Wood Gabriel Szatan Xander Lloyd Dan FowlerC Clark Merkin Rich Bitt Trevor Cavell= Illustrations Lee Nutland CRACK is published by Crack Industries Ltd Advertising To enquire about advertising and to request a media pack contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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CRACK HAS BEEN CREATED USING: The Rolling Stones - Parachute Woman Victor Shan - How You Want It Gambles - So I Cry Out Suuns - Arena Juicy J - Wax Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Song of Joy Janelle Monae ft. Erykah Badu - Q.U.E.E.N Julia Holter - Horns Surrounding Me Green Day - Longview DJ Rashad – I Don’t Give A Fuck Parquet Courts - Yonder Is Closer To The Heart Danny Brown ft Purity Ring – 25 Bucks Vybz Kartel - Clarks JME. Skepta - Spaceship Lauryn Hill - Every Ghetto Every City Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop SZA - Julia Tink ft. How To Dress Well – Can I ItsNate - WSLTA Blondes – Elise Useless Eaters - Malfunction Factory Floor – Fall Back Saigon! - Kids Crystal Silts – Nature Noir Steve Miller Band - Abracadabra Hunx & His Punx – Egg Raid on Mojo Beautiful Swimmers - Joyride Witch - Seer DARKSIDE - Golden Arrow Neurosis - A Season in the Sky The Knife - Raging Lung Stellar OM Source - Polarity James Booth - Seeing Voices Robbie Williams - Lovelight (Soulwax Remix) Steve Summers & Bookworms - Halfzware Steve Moore - Ancient Shorelines Jessy Lanza - Keep Moving Placebo - Too Many Friends DJ Sprinkles - Ball’r (Madonna-free zone) Borderline - Never Know The Field - Black Sea Eagulls - Nerve Endings www.crackmagazine.net
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CRACKMAGAZINE.NET THE BEST OF OUR WEBSITE THIS MONTH
Kevin G a t es Ne on Li g h t s Shig eto Detroi t Pa r t 1 G u cci Ma ne f t R i c k R os s Trap house 3 RICHIE HAWT IN - 1 8 Nicki M i na j Be e z In T h e Tr a p Stefa n o K os a Start Ta le Of U s A nothe r E a rt h THESE NEW P URITANS - 22 T im Bu ck l ey Song To T h e Sir e n Hea twa v e Boog i e Nigh t s Ne il Young Li k e A H u r r ic a n e ALEX TR OCHUT - 2 4 Min d A g ai nst A t la n t a Ba ton go A g ui rre Ma n o Le Toug h Chang i ng Da ys
K E YB OA R D K I D A N D M A G D A J O I N T H E C R A C KC A S T //
E A S T E R N E L E C T R I C S , E V E RY W H E R E / /
We have a couple of new mixes for you to enjoy this month, each a very special addition to our series for very different reasons. The first comes from the eclectic excellence of Magda, the vastly established Detroit-raised selector whose multi-layered sounds show a refusal to sit still musically. We also have a mix from Keyboard Kid, the Seattle producer who has made plenty of noise with his ambient trap beats, producing for the BasedGod himself, Lil B. His mix showcases an encyclopedic knowledge of Chicago’s rap scene, tighter than Clams Casino but just as in tune with exciting contemporary production.
We had a field day at Eastern Electrics last month. As well as our full review, Crack chatted to a range of the performers. Check out interviews with such massively respected acts as tINI, Âme, DJ Koze and Masters At Work. The interviews are all part of our continued coverage of the vast event, which balanced the most cutting-edge acts in house and techno with genuine legends the their respective fields.
KIN G KH AN & T HE S HRIN E S - 34 Va riou s A r t i s t s H ang It O u t To Dr y! T he Migh t y H a nni ba l Truth Sa ba Lo u Unti l the E n d J ACKSON AND HIS COMP UT E R B A ND - 36 Pa u l McC a r t ney Com i ng Up Da vid B ow i e & P h i l i p G l a s s H eroes (Ap h e x Tw in re m ix) Myle n e F a r m er Mam an a t o rt
C H A N C E T H E R A P P E R: L I V E //
GNOD - 38 Ha ppa Two and Tw o M a ke F iv e EP Lig htn in g G l ove H TRV (Cal l It A St a r t ) Mike O’ Nei l Chee tham Hill Sp e e d Sc e n e
Whilst team Crack have been covering festivals from all over the continent in the past few weeks, we’ve also made it to a couple of gigs, the best of which was witnessing Chance The Rapper’s debut London show at XOYO. People have been calling the Chicago rapper the future of hip-hop since the release of his phenomenal mixtape Acid Rap. Yet Crack’s writer felt this might be doing the 20 year old a disservice, as his impact has the scope to far outstretch the realm of just rap. Go check out our reviewer getting all emotional about Chance’s real potential.
BANKS - 3 9 Kwa bs S p i ri t Fad e MØ Waste of T im e Lil Silva No Doubt
M A A E L ST R O M B R U N C H F E AT. L I N D S T RØ M / / Ever wondered what an album tastes like? Well we’ll level with you: Crack has rarely eaten in Michelin star rated establishments, so our knowledge of the finest gastronomical delicacies may be a little limited. But when attending Norway’s incredible Øya festival, we were offered a six-course meal based on the tracks of Lindstrøm’s Smalhans put together by the culinary geniuses at Oslo’s Maaemo restaurant, we couldn’t say no. You can find out all about the concept behind the experience, as well as how they pulled it off, over on the site.
D augh n G ibs on Electro werkz 5 th Septemb e r
Ph o enix Ro un dh o use 7 th Septembe r
Co coRos ie Oval Space September 30th £20
T im He c k er, Pete Swans on , Ves s el St. John at Hackney Church September 19th £14 + BF
A Guy Ca lled Ger ald Egg L o ndon 10th Septem b e r
The latest St. John Session draws Canadian ambient pioneer Tim Hecker to these inimitable surroundings to revisit the sounds of 2011’s much-vaunted church exploration Ravedeath 1972. Playing in pitch black, he will be joined onstage by Pete Swanson, constructor of the finest record titles in abrasive avant-noise-techno (see Punk Authority, I Don’t Rock At All, Gnarly Shocks and more) as well as prodigious Bristolian Vessel. With former Yellow Swans man Swanson pitting his reputation for ferocious live propulsion alongside Hecker’s more meditative take on noise, this is a sterling addition to a compelling series of events.
Having released their fifth studio LP Tales of a Grass Window this year through Berlin’s City Slang Records, these American sisters added a further chapter to their incredible catalogue of experimental freak-folk. Having started making music in 2003, they’ve utilised children’s toys and all manner of exotic instruments to summon their uniquely nuanced din, and there’s even been whispers they’ll be bringing a beatboxer on tour with them. We’re in no position to confirm or deny these claims, but the rumour alone makes it well worth checking out this set at Oval Space.
Bar bar os s a Sebrigh t Arm s 13th Septem b e r
D J EZ F abric 13th Septem b e r
J unip Sh epherd's Bush Empire 18th Septem b e r
C o n n a n Moc k as i n
TR A A M S
Village Underground September 18th £11
Shacklewell Arms September 20th £5
Connan Mockasin’s 10-minute masterpiece Forever Dolphin Love negotiates a delicate balance between dreamy psychedelia and eerie pop. It’s just one of the many highlights among the galactic jazz jams, trippy odysseys and muted warblings on the New Zealand artist’s 2011 album of the same name. Sound strange? It is. But strange has never been so beguiling. He’s earned his stripes on tour with the likes of Radiohead and Charlotte Gainsbourg, and this London date will further prove the wonder of the world of Connan Mockasin.
September sees this trio release their debut LP Grin on Brighton’s FatCat Records, a label who boast a pretty impressive roster as it is. Theirs is a sound which aims to create a fun atmosphere while maintain an underlying aggressive energy. Y’know, imagine punching the air in glee, then punching the bloke next to you. They’ve been streaming album cut Flowers online for some time, an irresistible beast of formidable angst and dancefloor melodies. This launch at the Shacklewell Arms will celebrate what has the potential to be one of 2013’s most exciting debuts.
C r us h e d B e aks T he L ex i ng t on 19t h S ept ember
De a n Blu n t
O liv e r Wild e
DJ Pierre E g g L ondon 2 0t h S ept ember
Sh o n k y F TS E
Warehouse LDN September 7th £8 DJ, heartthrob, erstwhile mathematician; Shonky, or Shonks as he’s affectionately known, makes his debut at Warehouse LDN. One third of coveted imprint and DJ outfit Apollonia, an introduction to dance music through friend Dan Ghenacia sparked a lifelong affinity with house, shirking that aforementioned maths degree for an enduring affair with the decks. Shonky plays alongside Dennis Christopher and Ketoloco DJs within the industrial, atmospheric surroundings of the Warehouse LDN venue.
Corsica Studios September 25th £5 One major publication described FTSE as “the Midlands’ answer to Drake”. We think that’s a bit mental, because if there’s one thing the Midlands definitely doesn’t need it’s a Drake. Next you’ll have a Midlands answer to Birdman, some chancer from Mansfield will be claiming to be the next Weezy and before you know it a knock-off YMCMB will be taking over Leamington Spa like there’s no tomorrow. We do however think FTSE could be one of the forefront producers in hip-hop orientated dance music in the year ahead, so you should check him out.
Fu ck Bu tto n s
Lo cke d Gro o v e + S a n S o d a Egg London September 13th £15 As one half of FCL with label mate Red D (who initiated the We Play House label solely as an outlet for Soda productions) and a desirable selector in his own right, San Soda’s delightfully stripped back acapella remix of FCL’s It’s You was the unlikely anthem of last year. Playing alongside Hotflush’s Locked Groove, whose remix of Duke Dumont’s The Giver is equally anthemic, expect sing-along moments and sounds doing damage at the moment from these two house and techno aficionados.
Ri ch i e H awt i n Fabri c 2 1st S ept ember
Moko Corsi ca S t udi os 2 3 rd S ept ember
Electric Ballroom 17th September
Ma rg i n a l C o n so rt Ps y ch i c I l l s Corsi ca S t udi os 2 6t h S ept ember
South London Gallery September 8th £10/12 This is a three-hour concert from Japanese freeform improv group Marginal Consort. Existing since 1997, through various personnel, the collective perform one annual concert, which this year will be presented at the South London Gallery in association with experimental music institutions PAN and Cafe OTO. Their practice involves an exploration of played sound as a separate entity to music, devoid of functionality but as a sonic, performative experience. Booking for this rarest of happenings is essential.
Lo re lle M e e ts T h e O b so le te Shacklewell Arms / Corsica Studios September 25th/26th £7 adv. / £7 + BF
Lu t z Ba cher: Black Beaut y F our Tet (8 hrs ) Fabric 4th October
Co l l e g e Cargo September 24th £11 David Grellier is a French composer who purchased his first computer system at the end of the 1990s. His sounds are inspired by the likes of Aphex Twin and Jeff Mills, and more broadly by the output of imprints including Peacefrog and Warp. His track A Real Hero became the seminal theme track for 2011‘s Drive, and while Ryan Gosling’s latest film might’ve been a shambles, that ultra-stylish offering was something special, and the soundtrack played no small part in its cult status. Seeing a musician like this do their thing live is even more fun than hearing it beneath a slow-mo Gosling, we can assure you of that.
ICA September 25th - November 17th Free
Here’s two opportunities to catch a Mexican duo who’ve effortlessly wooed us with their layered and claustrophobic yet somehow approachable take on the classic psych template. Stunning upcoming Sonic Cathedral single What’s Holding You? comes imbued with a sandswept scope and a wild-eyed, peyote-fuelled murmur which has got us scrabbling to catch one of these dates, the first of which sees them joined by Yeti Lane at the Shack, and the latter supporting Psychic Ills at Corsica.
B i ce p Fabri c 2 8t h S ept ember
Working out of Berkeley, California since the 1970s, the elusive Lutz Bacher will be presenting her first major solo UK exhibition this month. Sandwiched between high-profile shows in Frankfurt and Zurich, she will display an array of recent work alongside bespoke pieces produced specifically for the ICA. Interrogating ideas of identity, sexuality and gender, the exhibition will include the powerful titular piece, consisting of several tons of coal slag flooding the lower gallery, as well as the site-specific Black Magic.
No Age Koko 2nd October
A r t ful D odge r Warehouse L D N 2 7t h S ept ember
W i l l i s E ar l B e al S t Gi l es I n T he Fi el d 3 rd O ct ober
WORDS Thom as Fr o st
S I TE si mpl et hi ng sf est i v al .co.uk
12 O C TO B E R 20 1 3 | TH E CO L S TO N H A L L & TH E IS L A N D , B R I S TO L
Crack has always held a deep desire to get our teeth into a festival, so this year we were delighted to have the opportunity to get fully involved with Bristol’s Simple Things. We joined forces with the team behind the previous two years to help curate and organise the city’s most musically innovative event. It’s with this in mind the festival returns with a fresh outlook, a reimagining of its values, and at a new time of year. In order to showcase a fresh approach, we’ve decided to source what we considered to be Bristol’s two most dynamic and most invigorating spaces in the form of The Colston Hall and The Island complex. With its rich gig history and the grand gold structure that encases its foyer, Colston Hall truly is one of Bristol’s most striking buildings. With four rooms at our disposal, the venue will be utilised in a way that it hasn’t been for a number of years. The flawless acoustics and luxurious setting will bring the rich sounds on display to life in the grandiose surroundings of the main hall. The acts to appear have been selected with consideration for the venue, as well as their total relevance within the modern musical sphere.
TH E M A I N R O O M Moderat’s emotive live techno dramatics, and Nicolas Jaar’s organic, experimental slow house are arguably the two most sought after acts in electronic music right now, each with a new live experience and a rich visual element that runs alongside each performance. Portico Quartet’s tech-jazz direction has seen them become one of the UK’s most innovative acts, while These New Puritans’ neo-classical brilliance has seen them receive critical adulation from all angles. Conan Mockasin’s intoxicating psych-pop means his forthcoming follow-up to the muchlauded Forever Dolphin Love is one of the most eagerly anticipated records of the year, and Pantha Du Prince’s bell-drenched ethereality will no doubt be as enchanting as on record.
TH E TA K E O V E R The unique setting of the Colston Hall foyer will play host to a huge cross-section of acts and genres, with the additional spectacle of being able to watch the music from above with people lining the staircase, as well as in front of the stage itself. The huge, high-ceilinged foyer with its natural light and huge presence will be a richly rewarding area to witness special sets from acts such as The Field, The Invisible and Darkstar unfold. Finally, the other two stages will see a good-time, outdoor terrace party hosted by Crack’s very own residents Pardon My French and the Colston Hall Two taken over by Howling Owl Records to showcase some tough-edged guitar music in the form of No Age, Hookworms, Wet Nuns and Eagulls. This stage will be a raucous ride through the gears, as well as a platform for some of the best local bands around.
TH E H I D D E N E XTRAS Finally, Bristol’s bespoke party legends Alfresco Disco will be staying true to form by hosting an asyet-unannounced space that will no doubt feature their wonderful brand of party starting magic, décor and decadence. Keep a keen eye out for where they’ll be doing their thing on the day. With Simple Things’ two major hubs of operation only a 10 minute walk away from each other, music fans will be able to enjoy the incredibly diverse selection on display in the full knowledge that getting back to either location is an easy and manageable distance. We’ve made every effort with the line-up and programming to ensure a festival experience unlike any other. Simple Things 2013 presents a lovinglycurated, cutting-edge and massively varied selection of acts in a way you won’t see anywhere else.
TH E I S L A N D Running concurrently with the events at the Colston Hall, The Island complex will see a rich and varied programme with seven stages only a tiny distance between each other. The Island gets going with the Shapes day party in the central courtyard, with none other than Fabric resident Craig Richards headlining a bill including residents as well as Bristol hero Appleblim. The Red Bull Music Academy Firestation main room will bring a musically diverse selection featuring a mixture of live acts such as Dopplereffekt, Ital and Jon Hopkins as well as top end DJs from across the spectrum in the form of Jazzy Jeff and Marcel Dettmann. With RBMA’s unique brand of multi-genre party magic being utilised to its fullest, the second band room in The Firestation will offer people the unique opportunity to watch live music right through to the wee small hours.
T H E C R O W N C O U RT S A N D P O L I C E C E L L S Bristol’s Crazylegs will be celebrating their fifth birthday in the unique Crown Court space with Motor City Drum Ensemble, and next door the second courtroom space will feature the Bristol debut of the sexy, slo-house and disco night Studio 89 with disco legend Maurice Fulton headlining. These deserted courtrooms have become the most soughtafter party spaces in Bristol; there’s nothing quite like dancing the night away in a witness box. No less unique are the police cells that will be taken over by experimental electronic pioneers Planet Mu, providing a real dose of underground brain rearrangement in a truly special setting. The Island will also be catering for all needs with food, cocktails and bars aplenty making sure you’ve got the fuel to party right through till the 6am closing time.
V E N UE P H OTOS Ben Pri ce
Thursday 31 October
SHANNON & THE CLAMS
SLAGBOX HALLOWEEN PARTY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Tuesday 24 September
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Wednesday 25 September
LORELLE MEETS THE OBSOLETE YETI LANE
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Thursday 3 October
NATURAL CHILD (BURGER REC.S)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Friday 4-6 October
DAMO SUZUKI THE COSMIC DEAD
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sunday 20 October
THE ASTEROID #4
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Friday 1 November
NIGHT BEACH HALLOWEEN PARTY
HALLOWEEN SPECIAL SATURDAY 26-10-13
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Saturday 2 November
HIPSTER’S DON’T DANCE HALLOWEEN PARTY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Saturday 9 November
A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Wednesday 20 November
FIRE & LIGHT BOX, SOUTH LAMBETH ROAD, LONDON SW8 1RT. LIMITED EARLY BIRD & ADVANCE TICKETS NOW ON SALE FROM RSN-TICKETS.COM RESIDENTADVISOR.NET FIRELONDON.NET facebook.com/randommagicevents randommagic.co.uk
Friday 13 September
Wednesday 25 September
TOTAL FREEDOM ARCA
PURE BATHING CULT + SUPPORT
------------------------------------------------------Sunday 15 September
------------------------------------------------------Thursday 26 September
LOGOS LHF DUSK & BLACKDOWN FACTA HOSTED BY KATJA
THE BISHOPS THE CAVEMEN + DJS
------------------------------------------------------Wednesday 18 September
------------------------------------------------------Friday 27 September
Klub Kosmische Live :
DEAF CLUB + SUPPORT
SINGAPORE SLING THEE PIATCIONS THE ALTERED HOURS + DJS
AEG Presents Live :
Photography from the series WILDER MANN, Charles Fréger. charlesfreger.com
Thursday 12 September
(Underneath The Three Crowns) 175 Stoke Newington High St London N16 0LH waitingroomn16.com fb: waitingroomn16 • tw: waitingroomn16
SPECIAL GUEST - OMAR S (FXHE) FUTUREBOOGIE
MAXXI SOUNDSYSTEM, HACKMAN, LUKAS CHRISTOPHE & FUTUREBOOGIE DJS CLASSIC MUSIC COMPANY X HORSE MEAT DISCO
HORSE MEAT DISCO, LUKE SOLOMON, HONEY DIJON & DAN BEAUMONT OPTIMO (ESPACIO)
JD TWITCH & JG WILKES (ALL NIGHT LONG)
Fat T rel Pa l e A n g e ls What is it with goddamn punks and their constant need to be in as many bands as possible? A case in point: transatlantic trio Pale Angels. They consist of long-time friends Mike Santostefano (vocalist/guitarist in New Jersey’s Crimes), bassist Jamie Morrison (of Swansea punks The Arteries) and Mikey Erg of The Ergs!, The Dopamines and Star Fucking Hipsters on drums. It began with Jamie and Mike throwing together a set of Nirvana covers at Florida’s notorious punk-con Fest. “Mike and I wanted to be a three-piece and to sound like a three-piece and we wanted to sound different to our other bands", Jamie explains. "We knew having an ocean separating us would be a pretty huge limitation, but we were serious enough to figure out a way.” And so Jamie made the journey to New York to record with the two Mikes and Ben Greenberg – guitarist, bassist and producer of The Men – behind the desk. “We were totally on a roll with luck” he recalls, “Ben really got it.” Nine-track album Primal Play is a raw as fuck garage/grunge blast, where guitars peak and blur into a fuzzy miasma, punctated by the snap of a snare and Santostefano's soaring vocal grind. Unfortunately, their luck ran out just as a US tour got booked. “I’m an idiot” Jamie sighs. “I was on tour with The Arteries, we were in Geneva and after our set a few of us went to check out this huge concrete skatepark. I fell, broke a bunch of bones and smashed my face and teeth on the floor. I also messed up my hand, and needed surgery. At that point, the tour was off.” But with Jamie’s hand on the mend, and both US and UK dates back in the calendar, it’ll take more than that to stop Pale Angels being far more than another side project. Not even an ocean could put them off.
Ge n t M a so n
The hype about this Washington D.C. rapper has been brewing for some time, but it feels right now is detonation point for Fat Trel. After teaming up with Alley Boy and veteran rapper Master P as the Louie V Mob earlier this year, the strong rumour has circulated that fellow D.C. artist Wale inked him a deal with Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group. His new mixtape SDMG is said to be his strongest work to date. Trel’s charismatic, uncluttered flow is set to a solid a range of beats from Young Chop, DJ Mustard, 19-year-old newcomer JGramm Beats and Harry Fraud. Oh yeah, and the Lee Bannon-produced Make It Clap is a contender for best strip club-themed rap song of the year.
Coming from the much-lauded and carefully looked after Aesop stable (home of SOHN), Gent Mason is a Londonbased electronic producer who has, thus far, released one song and brought the blogosphere down to its increasingly tender knees. The song in question, Eden, is a delicate and hypnotic offering that features Mason’s production as well as a mesmerising vocal effort from one his female friends. A lot of information about Gent Mason is being kept seriously under wraps. Actually, it all is. All we can tell you is that this track is getting an awful lot of people talking, and when you hear the slick production, perfectly silky vocal and irresistibly catchy hook, you’ll understand why.
Tune: Make It Clap
File Next To: Gunplay | Kevin Gates
File Next To: SOHN | Clams Casino
paleangelsband.bandcamp.com Tune: Wasted On You File Next To: The Men | Hüsker Dü
Po l i c y Although Manhattan based filmmaker-turned-producer Policy has been releasing for the past few years on labels such as Rush Hour and Argot, it’s his latest release for charmingly esoteric label 100% Silk that caught Crack’s attention earlier this month. Standout track Postscript 187 is gritty chaos, expertly layering choppy analogue house with warm textures and skewed, off-kilter percussion. It just about works, and that’s why we like it. With the SILK065 release Postscript due on October 1st, check out one of New York City’s foremost rising talents presented by a label with a preternatural reputation for discovering extraordinary music.
Al oa I n p u t
Mom T udie
A n ta
This Bavarian trio harbour a sound which melds flawlessly precise three-part harmonies to understated electro experimentation, classicist pop structure and intoxicating freak-folk with an Animal Collective-esque freedom. A recent signing to the iconic Berlin label Morr Music, they release their debut full-length Anysome this October. Theirs is also an admirably worldly approach, where a distinctive Scandinavian purity meets Afro percussion and subtle Krauty propulsion – occasionally in the same song: see the immediately loveable Rubbish. The tracks on their debut unveil an attitude to making music which is vibrant, celebratory and never, ever boring.
Mom Tudie is the moniker of this South East London-born teenager whose blend of uneasy production and R’n’B vocals creates a sound that could work for both high-art short films or M&S adverts. That’s no mean feat. With a wealth of influences that range from Thom Yorke to cutting-edge rap production, the Mom Tudie sound is a busy one, but one that is decidedly laid back. Human Heart is driven by an offkilter glitchy beat that rumbles underneath smart sampling and a carefully placed brass section (not joking). The Yorke influence is hard to ignore, but his remix work and young age are all good reasons to stick with this artist and see what he’ll bring next.
This Bristolian unit are often described as a “monster prog quartet”, but don’t worry, they adamantly distance themselves from the goofy connotations of the P word, and they’re definitely not a bunch self-important blokes with perms singing about unicorns and playing 12 minute flute solos. Quite the contrary. ANTA’s instrumental jams explore the depths of gnarlyness with crunchy basslines, metal riffage, psychedelic organs and a drummer who’s so tight that he probably embarrasses every other sticksman who plays the same bill as him. They’ve received high praise so far (synth player Alex also performs with Geoff Barrow’s Drokk project), and having been going since 2010, if you’ve been sleeping on ANTA until now, their stonker of a new album Centurionaught is a good place to start.
Tune: Human Heart (ft. Bridget Spencer)
File Next To: Kotki Dwa | Electric President
File Next To: Happa | Donky Pitch Records
policy-tracks.com Tune: Postscript 187 File Next To: ITAL | Parris Mitchell
File Next To: The Mars Volta | Three Trapped Tigers
TU NE ODB
WO R D S D av i d Re e d
P H OTOS Paul W hi t f i el d
Danny Brown HIP- HOP 'S CLOWN P RINC E H A S T H E L A ST L AU G H
As an outspoken enthusiast of cocaine, ecstasy, weed, adderall, codeine and promethazine (the latter two of which he prefers to mix with cream soda rather than Sprite) and the proud author of the most sexually explicit lyrics ever committed to record, Danny Brown’s name evokes shock and hilarity. But his style reflects the colourful and lawless condition of contemporary hip-hop, and there’s more to this dentally impaired rapper than meets the eye. Ahead of his long awaited new album, Crack caught up with Brown during his ‘Old and Reckless’ tour, named as a tongue-in-cheek nod to the fact that, at the age of 32, he’s enjoying something of a belated career peak. We enter the venue’s back stage area. There’s a disappointing absence of powder-fuelled debauchery, instead just three guys shrouded in a thick cloud of pungent blunt smoke. Danny’s tour DJ, frequent producer and close friend Skylar ‘Skywlkr’ Tait flicks through tracks from Gucci Mane’s Trap House 3 album on his MacBook, while a hefty older dude sits in total silence. He seems to have some kind of managerial role, but when he later sends a stage invader flying with a forceful shoulder barge, it transpires that he’s a pretty handy bodyguard too. Brown is slumped on the sofa, wearing a red Adidas hoodie which, once peeled off onstage later, will unleash that notorious hair do – a ruffled afro that looks like it was cut by a drunk, blindfolded barber with a lawn strimmer – and his androgynous, dresslength T-shirt. It’s this weirdo look, along with his skinny leather jeans, that allegedly made 50 Cent – the epitome of yesteryear’s narrow-minded rap hegemony – tear-up Brown's potential record deal with G-Unit in 2010. But during the seismic shift in mainstream hip-hop culture that occurred soon after, this flamboyance catapulted Danny Brown into relevance after years of struggling in underground purgatory. “Rest in peace wack niggas / with oversized clothes / who complain about my jeans ‘cause I’m taking all they hoes!” he gleefully howled on his triumphant comeback anthem Blunt After Blunt. Despite going through a troubled youth spent flogging weed and crack rocks on the decaying street corners of Detroit’s East Side, Brown claims he’s always had a defiantly provocative outsider image. “I was always that guy into fashion in my hood. When people saw me in the street and looked at the way I dressed, they’d be like ‘Danny, what is that, you crazy!’” he
says, bursting into his manic, contagious laugh. “And you look around a few years later and they’re wearing that shit. I was wearing True Religion jeans in like 2007, the whole of Detroit wears ‘em now!” And while we’re on the subject of his home city, he’s keen to acknowledge the link between Detroit’s legacy and his love of dancefloor-tailored beats. “My dad was a house DJ, and I just think being from Detroit in general, it (dance music) wasn’t really something you could escape, it was part of our culture. We’d be in the car listening to DJs like The Electrifying Mojo. And even just on 5 o’clock mix shows, the majority of it would be like ghetto tech and shit like that. I wasn’t dancing to top 40 radio when I was a kid, know what I mean?” It’s an influence that’s always been rooted in his sound, from the Model 500 and Disco D samples buried in his early tracks to the industrial, jerky beats of XXX, and the rap-rave crossover potential is more prominent than ever with his upcoming album Old. Brown’s enthusiasm for ‘molly’ consumption – a habit not exactly encouraged by the elder generation of rappers – is starkly realised in the record’s second half, with a hyperactive, day-glo soundscape cooked up with help from Rustie, A-Track and Darq E Freaker. After threatening to leak the album himself due to frustration with numerous delays, Brown’s label Fool’s Gold eventually settled on the September 30th release date. In the two year gap since XXX, Danny Brown has appeared on a relentless string of one-off collaborations, ensuring that the words ‘featuring Danny Brown’ keep afloat on the turbulent tides of the rap blogosphere. Recently he’s hopped on a track by UK dub mutation project The Bug, a menacing street banger by Chief Keef affiliate SD and – most bizarrely – a yet-to-be heard song by Antipodean sample group The Avalanches, who are about to return with their first album in 12 years. Of all his appearances leading up to Old, maybe the most high profile was 1 Train, the star studded track on ASAP Rocky’s chart climbing debut, where Brown sounded like he’d stumbled into the recording booth after being up partying for three days straight. Yet somehow he wiped the floor with everyone else on the track, including lyrically astute rappers like Action Bronson and Kendrick Lamar. That wild spontaneity is key to the appeal of Brown’s style, so is it true that he nails most of his verses in one take? “Yeah, cause I say shit wrong a lot, I might fuck up, some of it doesn’t really make sense – but I’m tryn’na capture an emotion, not get every word on point. With me, it’s like I’m trying to take a picture,
trying to get that moment, know what I’m saying?”, he explains, clicking his fingers for emphasis. “So I can be hearing this beat for months and months and months, and then one day the line just pop into my head. If I’m working on an album, I’ll just sit at a desk and listen to beats at 10 o’clock every night”, he says, nodding his head rhythmically to an imaginary track, “If something happens, it happens, if it don’t, it don’t. But one night I might get an idea, pop some adderall (prescription drug used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy) and knock out like three or four songs.” But while it’s the high pitched, saliva spraying screech that Danny Brown’s casual listeners know him for, fans more closely familiar with his full length releases will appreciate the diversity of his style and the depth of his persona. XXX was soaked in Brown’s ultra sleazy brand of hedonism, and established his sense of humour with goofy wisecracks (“You softer than
Flanders’ son”, he taunted on Adderall Admiral), but in the second half he detailed brutal poverty in a deep, husky tone. Old has a similar duality; turntable scratches in the opener squash any misconceptions of him being adverse to underground or – whisper it – backpacker rap, as do numerous contributions from Stones Throw producer Oh No and experimental hiphop beatmaker Paul White, while tracks like Lonely and Clean Up might be some of the most sober he’s ever recorded. Right now, it feels like Danny Brown is still more famous in the UK for those absurdly funny viral video interviews rather than his actual music. But whether or not the songs on Old can establish Brown as a heavyweight rapper rather than a clown-like character is kind of irrelevant. He doesn’t demand to be taken too seriously, and that notoriety is fundamental to his appeal. The new album also
T R A S H TA L K’ S L E E S P I E LM A N O N H IT T I N G T H E R O A D W IT H D A N N Y B R O W N Danny’s always been cool to us. We’ve hung out all over the world getting into a bunch of trouble. I think both of us go out and give it our all regardless of the circumstances. It doesn’t matter if you came to see punk or rap, our shows together are gonna get crazy. I don’t expect this run to be any different from the usual mischief. Hopefully I make it out alive.
G R I M E P R O D U C E R A N D C O L L A B O R ATO R D A RQ E F R E A K E R O N B R O W N ’S C H A R I S M A He’s got an addictive personality, whether it be music, becky or narcotics. But it’s his addiction to music which is clearly at the forefront of his existence. Danny Brown is a very wise yet eccentric dude, and he’s brave enough to venture into valleys of creativity other rappers won’t. I mean, he’s brought the ideologies of being a rock star to hip-hop. This is what makes him unique.
1 00% S I L K / N O T N O T F U N A RT I S T M A R I A M I N E R V A O N T H E G E N D E R P O L IT I CS O F B R O W N ’ S LY R I C S The women in Danny’s lyrics are either hoodrats or “bad bitches”. I honestly don’t want to think that he lives what he raps. It’s more like his Freudian superego saying these things, or saying what he thinks his audiences want to hear. Tracks like Express Yourself are in theory meant to be empowering but end up misogynistic. I Will stands out - an anthem for pleasing a woman orally, going against conventional sexual cliches of black masculinity, but also destroying any doubts about him being gay.
proves he’s in no hurry to suppress his reputation as a womaniser. Anyone who follows Brown on Twitter will have seen their feed get totally clogged up with his retweets of female fans who're publicly fantastising about him, and he's been known to lap up these propositions on tour – though he does refrain from calling his admirers ‘groupies’. “A groupie would suck a hype man dick, a groupie suck a driver’s dick just to meet you, know what I’m saying? I don’t feel I have that. I get nice girls, who just want to have fun”. So why do these girls find him so irresistible? Maybe it has something to do with his sheer confidence, the unapologetic way he brags about his lust on record and in person. “Yeah, sometimes, a girl wanna hear you say ‘I just wanna fuck’, because maybe that’s all she wanted too. But then you run around being sneaky and beat around the bush and she can sense this is fake, to the point that she feels she’s being
conned into doing something. We’re all human beings. Sometimes you just gotta be upfront, sometimes you just gotta be honest about what you want.” “And girls trust me for some reason, maybe because I listen”, he ponders, clearly warming to the subject. “I’m older now too, some girls like a man with age but I look young ... well, I guess I still do!”, he says, cracking out that toothless grin and bursting into another fit of hysterical laughter.
---------Old is released on September 30th via Fool’s Gold. S I TE t w i t t er.com/XD anny XBrow nX www.crackmagazine.net
WO R D S T h om as Fr os t
U NMI STA K A B LY PIO N EE R I N G TO A N YO N E WI TH A PA S S IN G IN TE R E S T I N TE C H N O, RI C H I E H AW TI N ’ S SITE m-nu s. co m
Reasons abound for Richie Hawtin’s continued prominence. But like any credible artist with a substantial following, a quick sift through the history books finds controversy, periods of change, and risks. For those with a love of techno, Hawtin means something to everyone. Wind the clock back to last summer and Crack is in the middle of a major party at Sonar. Hawtin’s hour and a half on the main stage has drawn a vast audience to the never ending aircraft hanger space. Sonar royalty, Hawtin’s stark, minimal stage set-up features his current aesthetic of choice – his giant black ENTER dot – and very little else. On a stage that over the weekend featured little in the way of credible techno and far too much in the way of forced personality, Hawtin’s performance encapsulated the pulse of the festival as a whole. The driving minimalism was brought to a roaring crescendo with the superb M-Nus release Kingswing by Matador, one of Hawtin’s protégés. Look carefully at a video recording of the set and you’ll see Hawtin nod to his left before the second drop in the track and two huge glitter cannons explode across the whole of Sonar’s main cavern. If you’re buying into this cult of personality and uncompromising minimalistic approach, you’re also accepting that despite the clear consciousness of his image, the many transitions during his career and the obvious cynicisms this has brought, herein lies a DJ with an incredible ability to serve a huge crowd. At this point there is no bigger DJ in the world that doesn’t work with commercial R’n’B artists, play Euro-trance or wear a fucking mouse head. Richie Hawtin is a man continually immersing himself in methods of realigning the existing facets of the techno world he helped create in order to cope with the sheer size of his operation. Yet before suspended cubes that interact with your phone, stadium-sized shows and live track IDs pushed directly to Twitter feeds, there was Hawtin the tech-obsessed kid, the Detroit pilgrim and Plastikman. You can probably trace the single strongest influence on Hawtin’s continued commitment to progressive technology back to his hardware obsessive, robotics technician father. A typical white, suburban teenager, Hawtin’s close proximity to Detroit while he was living in Windsor, Ontario allowed him to experience first-hand the growth of techno in the city and form relationships with a number of the movement’s main protagonists. Having hosted his own night with guests including Jeff Mills, Hawtin’s relationship with Detroit’s experimental music – and experimental drugs – pushed him deeper into the consciousness of the city and the tastemakers fiercely protective of their scene. Shamelessly geeky and wide-eyed, Hawtin’s candid enthusiasm and raw talent saw him continually re-invest in records and hardware and eventually form his own Plus 8 imprint with friend and musical cohort John Acquiviva. The success of the label ran concurrently with Hawtin’s success with John as Cybersonik, on his own as F.U.S.E (Further Underground Sound Experiments) and later on as his now world-renowned Plastikman moniker. In the process the white geeks from Canada had managed to not only break into Detroit’s techno hierarchy, but in many respects climb to the top of it, much to the dislike of some of the scene’s foremost protagonists. Jealousy? Perhaps. Quality? Undoubtedly. Plus 8’s continual groundbreaking output provided a platform for initial forays to Europe and huge success in opening up techno to a greater cultural dynamic. The cult of Plastikman’s intensely avant-garde techno, along with its iconic wonky symbol, struck a chord with fans of the music’s dark edge. The Plastikman live show contributed to forging one of the most powerful identities in techno, both in the physicality of the music but also in its starkness and dark acid-tinged symbolism. As Hawtin’s love of minimalism grew, inspired in part by the abstract paintings of Mark Rothko, he founded M-Nus records, a label that has established a techno community in its own right. Driving, slower (well slower than Plus 8’s output), minimal techno with Hawtin at the centre
TUN E Pl ast i k man - Cor Ten
PL AC E A S TH E GEN R E ’ S FI GUR EH EA D IS S EC UR E
(now going by his given name), M-Nus launched the careers of the likes of Magda, Marc Houle, Ambivalent, Heartthrob, Gaiser and Matador. It also coincided with Hawtin’s move to Berlin, where he has found huge acclaim and wider acceptance from a continental audience. It was around this time Hawtin made a firm commitment to using digital technology in his DJing and recording, both in terms of equipment and format. In positioning himself at the forefront of technology Hawtin yet again alienated purists, but equally won himself legions of fans. Crack found time to interview Richie Hawtin at the juncture of two events; before he presented an incarnation of his ENTER night at Brixton Academy in the evening, and – fresh from a first full year residency at Space in Ibiza – Hawtin had performed for two hours at a secret party for Red Bull in a Dalston car park. Typical of the man, Hawtin’s congenial outlook and character is rooted foremost in his love of people and personality. His inclusive nature sees him hand-pick guests for his ENTER shows and build a community around his larger shows, something he also achieved with a number of artists on M-Nus. Considering he’d just played for two hours, Crack’s time with Richie Hawtin was considered, thoughtful and insightful. For anyone witnessing him at one of his forthcoming UK dates, it’s certain his performances will be of an equally enlightening standard.
How important is it for you to keep doing smaller shows? You play big venues a hell of a lot. It’s so easy as a successful artist to get pushed onto bigger and bigger stages. When I see a good band play, they play their songs and it’s great when they vary from night to night, but a great DJ has even more of an interaction than a great band: a real DJ has a feedback and a communication and you are never sure where things are going to go. A DJ gets to explore that unique situation with people. For me, I need this. To play my best on a bigger stage, I need to play my best on a smaller stage. With your set today compared to something like ENTER at Space, how does the show change from venue to venue? In Space it’s a bit different as you’ve got three rooms. ENTER International is about the main room. The main core idea of ENTER is bringing great artists together and trying to give people a new experience, perhaps with people they haven’t heard before. Like tonight, if you think about the line-up, it’s Magda, Maya Jane Coles, Matador and Heidi, so in a way it’s kind of all over the place. I hope Heidi’s fans listen to me, and eventually go ‘woah! Hawtin’s cool!’ At the very core of ENTER and Ibiza, the reason I did it, is to invite artists I love, hang out with them, have a nice dinner and play some cool music. You’ve always had a core group of people on your label like Mark Houle, Magda and Matador, the way you promote ENTER and yourself always seems to be in tandem.
play because I want everyone to know the tracks, as I feel the way I put them together is unlike anybody. That’s a strong confidence in your ability. Do you ever worry that sometimes you may have become too big? I think even since very early on, since Plastikman was born, I’ve always treaded a very fine line between underground and commercial. The hardcore underground people think I’m too commercial, and the commercial people think I’m too minimal. I want to play for as many people as possible. We saw you headline Sonar, that was pretty big? I will play for as many people who want to stand in front of me and are ready to allow me to play without me compromising. At the end of the day, people are there to dance and if there is an underlying energy and you put the groove and structure there in the right way, you can take people much further than they ever thought they could go. And presumably that sometimes requires huge production values? Well, sometimes. Sometimes you want to give people different stimuli in order to take them further again. Plastikman was a good example. The music was quite stripped down at points, and not that accessible, but with the visuals it made it a very accessible package. We wanted to ask you about the continued commitment to pushing the technological boundaries. Is this something you’ll ever stop doing? Will we wake up one day and find you spinning vinyl? I committed myself in 2000 when they released Final Scratch that I believed in the future of DJing and performance with digital technology. There are hundreds and thousands of kids coming up and playing their hearts out on vinyl. They can do that and all power to them, but don’t expect me to do it anymore. With so much constantly going on in your world, do you ever find it hard to keep your ear to the ground? I’m always talking to my friends and listening. When it comes to the label, I’m the only one who listens to the demos. The last two or three years have been hard. After our 10 year anniversary, I shifted into Plastikman and other projects that took me away from the label, so the number of releases went down, as did the amount of momentum. But now I feel we’ve found a better balance. This year we already have 10 releases in the pipeline so you’ll see a further momentum again. But it is very hard to keep all these things going at sustained momentum all the time. Has that always been a struggle? It’s always been a struggle, but these are all businesses.
For sure. We’re all in this together, and if you can’t bring like minded people together then all this is a bit of a waste of time. It’s also why I do something like today’s Red Bull party where I can get closer to the dance floor and get closer to my fans. In electronic music you never know when the fan in front of you is going to become your next artist, or next best friend, or end up working for you. It’s very incestuous. Where does your music comes from? You obviously pick up tracks that appear on the label, but others aren’t so obvious. Do you ever produce for live to keep an underground quality to your sets? No, no, I don’t. Sometimes I do some special edits, but normally I have a lot of things going on at once. I like people to walk away from my sets having heard references to tracks they like, but not being able to really understand what they’ve heard. This is why I also tweet the tracks that I
But surely you don’t want to look at it like that? I try to have an organic approach to the things I find enjoyment in. Sometimes I find more enjoyment in the label, sometimes I find more enjoyment in Plastikman, right now I’m enjoying DJing more than I have in the past 10 years, so you just follow it. If someone complains there aren’t enough releases on the label, I don’t care. If someone complains I don’t do enough gigs, I don’t care. If I’m happy, it’s good. Why have we not seen any original material for so long? Will we ever see any new Plastikman material or new Richie Hawtin productions at any point? Try touring non-stop around the globe, producing events like Contakt,
Plastikman Live and now ENTER, growing up with increased responsibilities, families, kids, and all other sorts of things come your way and become part of your daily routine. Life. Which is a long way away from being a teenager with too much time on their hands and only one conduit to put it through – making music. Having met a number of your idols when you were younger on excursions to Detroit, and involving yourself in Detroit’s music scene, people like Derrick May have mentioned your raw enthusiasm for techno. How often do you meet people that turn your head in this way? Derrick is a great example, he’s a ball of energy, like a mad scientist who lives and breathes his own continuum. Do people like this still exist in our scene? Of course, the scene couldn’t survive without them: inspired, dedicated individuals who put as much energy and time as they have into the art of electronic music! Right now we’re seeing an explosion of new talent, kids who are just going to their first party, producers releasing their first EP, DJs performing for the first time at an open air event, all of whom are wide eyed, optimistic and are ready to take on the world. I see them all the time on my travels, in the crowd, next to the DJ booth. They’re all the next generation. At what point did you feel you’d found a following? Was it when Plus 8 started receiving international recognition? Of course we knew early on that Plus 8 had a following by the attention we were getting through reviews, and the faxes we were receiving for larger and larger orders of our records, but even as we were touring in those early days it was still a bit intangible. I think when I really started to feel it was in late 1993 and 1994 with the Plastikman project, as we could all feel the impact of this more locally in the Detroit and Midwest area as we started to put together more and more of our own events. Seeing kids driving from hours away to come to one of those early parties was really the start of something special. We soon started a membership type club to communicate with everyone (Plastikprodukts) and that small following has continued to grow ever “ I W I L L P L AY since. Do you ever look back at your career with a sense of nostalgia? The weight of history is sometimes overbearing so I try not to think about it. People often say I should do FUSE again, and ask what happened to Plus 8. But I’ve had so many great experiences, successes and mistakes that it’s cool.
S TA N D
M E A N D A R E R E A DY TO A L LO W M E TO P L AY
C O M P R O M I S I N G .”
It sounds like you’re in a real period of clear thought. I try not to think too much, but go with the feeling. My friends, my girlfriend and people who I work with are always trying to pull a decision out of me. There are so many things to think about it becomes impossible sometimes. Who are you enjoying right now and for what reason? One of my favourite artists right now is a guy from Berlin called Recondite. He was doing work with Scuba. They are making acid records that I would make if I were still making records. The popularity of electronic music has never been greater. Do you feel that the music you represent is ever in danger of crossing over the popularity divide? Does the ‘underground’ tag remain as important as ever? Electronic music has ebbed and flowed between being more obscure and being more popular for the past 25 years. Remember Adamski, remember Inner City’s Big Fun, or Good Life? Great music resonates to a larger and larger crowd and electronic music has continued to create incredible songs, amazing DJs, and wonderful producers time and time again. The scene continues at a breakneck speed, changing, developing and innovating, which is probably what keeps it one step ahead of becoming ‘too popular’. The general public wants and needs to be able to grab onto something, to examine it, and understand it, but electronic music moves too fast for that ... thankfully! Underground? I think we moved beyond that tag a long time ago as our music resides on both sides of popular and obscure, with thousands of artists all experimenting in their own areas between those two poles.
--------Catch Richie Hawtin at fabric, London on September 21st, and Warehouse Project, Manchester on October 19th
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DATE S i mpl e T hi ng s, Bri st ol | O ct ober 12 t h
After recruiting a huge number of singers and musicians, the bold ambition of These New Puritans has culminated with the neo-classical masterpiece Field Of Reeds. It’s arguably one of the finest albums released this year. But it’s not like we’d have guessed These New Puritans would become one of England’s most innovative bands when they released their debut album Beat Pyramid in 2008. The record – characterised by angular, razor sharp guitar riffage and sneered, art-school brat sloganeering – established the band as a more antagonistic, radical prospect than most of the straight up post-punk revivalists they often found themselves sharing a stage with. Nevertheless, the record drew comparisons to the previously explored, antiquated sounds of Gang of Four and The Fall. The album’s follow-up, 2010’s Hidden, was a thrilling curveball. With a drum sound inspired by club tailored hip-hop and the self-taught ability to compose classical instrumentation, These New Puritans unleashed an exhilaratingly original batch of ideas on a record that included contributions from a children’s choir, the stomp of Japanese taiko percussion and the satisfyingly aggressive sound of a sword being drawn. And now Field of Reeds has been met with passionately favourable reviews. The album took a year to record across three different studios (the most intriguing being the Funkhaus Nalepastraße building in Germany) and the editing process was reportedly a gruelling experience shared by the band’s leader Jack Barnett and producer Graham Sutton, a former
Do you subscribe to the argument that contemporary guitar-based, song-orientated music is too retrogressive? Personally I have nothing against guitars, I just don’t have anything to say with a guitar. Maybe I will one day. Also, there’s the financial side. Bands are expensive to record. Record labels are skint and see that you can make music on a laptop in your bedroom so why take the risk on the band? It kind of makes sense. So the supply and the demand are both being squeezed. How did recording in the Funkhaus Nalepastraße affect the process and sound of Field Of Reeds? It’s an incredible place, an old post-war west German radio complex, all these huge buildings where they used to produce radio plays, so you’ve got all these different spaces: wooden rooms and stone rooms and rooms with staircases that lead to nowhere, which they used for the sound of people going up and down stairs. We recorded there because André de Ridder, the conductor who we’ve worked with before on Hidden live, knows a lot of great musicians there. André understands the music. A lot of the time in ‘pop’ sessions, the conductor will be some anonymous person you’ve never met and couldn’t care less about the music. But obviously André knows the music, and he brought in musicians who he knows and trusts. We started off at the very beginning with the ensemble recording of brass and strings. Usually it’s the other way round, it’s something bands sprinkle on at the end, but we built the album around it.
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Was there any struggle involved when instructing heavyweight classical musicians and composers such as André de Ridder who’re much more experienced in this area?
There can be. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes you get classical musicians who roll up and think it’s going to be a stroll PA R K B E C A U S E I T ’ S A ‘ P O P ’ S E S S I O N . I T ’ S F U N N Y in the park because it’s a ‘pop’ session. And they’d be right 99 times out of a 100. But it’s funny watching the looks on their faces when they realise this is really difficult stuff, and we’re W AT C H I N G T H E L O O K S O N T H E I R F A C E S W H E N going to make them play it 100 times to get it just right if we have to. Having said that, it didn’t happen very often, but it’s just that T H E Y R E A L I S E T H I S I S R E A L LY D I F F I C U LT S T U F F ” this music demands that. Everything has to be just right or it all falls apart, because there are so many little things colliding and moving around each other. It has to be perfect. As well as getting really virtuosic classical people to play the music there’s also the member of pioneering post-rock band Bark Psychosis. The credit list of musicians and energy of George (Barnett, Jack’s twin) and Tom (Hein) playing percussion and everything singers involved with Field of Reeds contains over 40 names, including conductors Hans Ek they bring to it. And some old British jazz guys … they’re this amazing resource in this and André de Ridder from Sweden and Germany respectively, bass singer Adrian Peacock, country that people just don’t realise exists. Some of the best, most expressive musicians, just jazz trumpeter Henry Lowth, Portuguese singer Elisa Rodrigues – who is currently a member incredible, humbling to be around and a real pleasure to work with. of These New Puritans’ live incarnation – and Shiloh, the hawk which was recorded for the album’s title track. The drums and percussion parts are notably refined on the record. How did this new necessity for restraint affect George’s role? In a time when most popular music often feels more lazily referential and disposable than ever, and when our digitally dissipated brains suffer unquenchable cravings for instant Obviously it’s very different, but he played it as you hear it on the album, there isn’t much gratification, there’s something therapeutic and deeply satisfying about burying your head editing. It’s become more about performances, just because the nature of the music inside Field Of Reeds' tender instrumentation, layered melodies and exercises in restraint. We demands it. There are changes in sound over time and a good way of doing that is getting caught up with Jack to talk about surpassing the expectations of classical composers, the someone to play an instrument, rather than programming it or copy and pasting it, which is risk-adverse tendencies of the music industry and why it’s sometimes necessary to record a endemic. People playing musical instruments together, not ironing out all the irregularities drum track 76 times. with editing, but honing a performance through playing. For the song Fragment 2, George’s drum take is number 76. Also, because there’s less drumming, when it does happen it has more impact so it’s more powerful for that. The ferocity and antagonistic feel to certain songs on Beat Pyramid and Hidden has been made absent in favour of tenderness and tranquility on the new record. Do you feel confident about performing the new material live? Have there been changes of circumstance which have influenced this transition? Yes, we have a seven piece band; trumpet, French horn, piano, Elisa, Tom on electronics and Yes, with this album the biggest change has been that I’ve tried to move away from George on drums and vibraphone. Oh, and me. It’s good – not too big, not too small; agile abstraction or obscurity. At a certain point you can’t avoid writing about certain stuff, or but we can still make a big sound. It’s perfect. Some top musicians. Elisa is singing with us you get feelings that just override any other consideration. In a way it’s almost like when I’d which is a pleasure because this album is a lot more melodic and harmonic. It’s quite easy come home from school and write a song about how I felt on my guitar when I was eight. to play live – you could play all these songs from start to finish on piano if you wanted. So it quite suits a honed version, it definitely brings something to the music. I really love this band On Hidden it sounded like you’d absorbed very contemporary influences. Were you at the moment; it would be good to record something with them. still listening to new electronic/pop music during the recording process of Field Of Reeds? Since Hidden, it’s been near impossible for us to predict TNP’s next step, and that feeling is even stronger now. Do you find it thrilling to totally abandon any No. I sort of got sick of that whole thing, bands going round saying ‘we’re a pop band really’. concerns about the logistics of your future career? Well, we’re not a pop band. This music can sometimes be difficult. In fact we’re probably one of the most ‘difficult’ bands around, but that doesn’t mean it’s not sincere. I suppose [laughs] There is a part of me that’s quite contrary. But really I’m just putting one note in I’m sick of the irony and retro that seems to be everywhere at the moment, I just want to do front of another, and seeing where it leads me. stuff that I mean 100% even if it’s not always the wisest career move. But also, pop music has become very conservative; it’s all become David Guetta-ised. The post-Timbaland stuff has - - - - - - - - died away now, that stuff had interesting rhythms and production and textures, but now the labels are even more skint so they can’t take risks. Field of Reeds is out now via Infectious Music. Catch These New Puritans at Colston Hall for Simple Things Festival, Bristol on October 12th.
BINARY PRINTS www.crackmagazine.net
A F T E R Y E A R S O F W O R K I N G A S AN ACC L AI M E D ‘E X PR E S S I V E TYPO GR APH E R ’ , TH I S B A R C E LO NA -B A S E D A RTI S T H A S I N D UL GE D H I S WORDS Geraint Davi e s
PA S S IO N FO R DAN C E M US IC IN A S E R I ES O F S TR IK IN G AN D H UGE LY IN N OVATI V E P RI N TS
LCD Soundsystem and DFA Records’ James Murphy’s face is gruff, unshaven and coarse, the kind of bleary-eyed, fluffy-haired grump seen in the opening scenes of Shut Up and Play The Hits. His eyes are pursed, his mouth rounded in a yawn, drenched in misty, pallid shades of green. In the flick of a light switch, the face is transformed into of one of the most influential, significant, effortlessly awesome sights in the history of electronic music. He wears a suit, his hair is calmer, his mirrored glasses reflect a blissful scene, all in vibrant, stylish neon. Alex Trochut has captured the key to so many of dance music’s greatest personalities; the duality between the man and the icon, the day and the night, the perceived ideal and the everyday reality. What’s more, he’s captured it on a single piece of paper. It’s an intriguing project for the Barcelona/Brooklyn-based Trochut, who established his name in a separate field completely; that of vector-based
typography. The grandson of one of Spain’s most pioneering typographers, Joan Trochut, Alex’s medium of choice was simply a joyous coincidence. In fact, the younger Trochut learned of his impressive lineage through his studies. Becoming a student of graphic design at Barcelona’s esteemed Elisava Design School, he found himself intrinsically drawn toward typographic work. Starting out as a freelance designer in 2007, his idiosyncratic style soon made him a figure in demand. Constantly pushing against overwhelming trends towards minimalism, Trochut established a philosophy of ‘More is More’, a phrase which lent itself to the title to his 2011 monograph. Proudly maximal and speaking of a tendency towards ‘horror vacui’ – filling every inch of a space with detail – his vector-based typographic style earned him high-profile commissions from the likes of Coca-Cola, Nike, Channel 4, and his first ventures into the realm of music, via The Rolling Stones, Vampire Weekend and, more recently, Katy Perry. In fact, he became one of the foremost practitioners of his ilk. It was through his desire to further explore the realm of music that
S I TE bi nar y -pri nt s.com al ex t rochut .com
he found his methods shifting so sharply. Sidling away from the work for which he was known, Trochut became fascinated with the idea of presenting two separate images on a single surface – of a ‘binary’ mode of printing. And so he invented it. Binary Prints have given Trochut the opportunity to indulge in one of his greatest passions: electronic music. The medium he has invented is a perfect mode of representing these figures in a potent and thoughtful way. In the light they present a sober, human front, eyes closed. Yet in darkness an entirely separate image appears; eyes open, background vivid, their faces daubed in all manner of decorative flourishes. Crosstown Rebels chief Damian Lazarus is at his flamboyant finest; at first identified by his signature hat, the light switches and he becomes every inch the dazzling creature of the night. Trochut’s fellow Catalonian John Talabot maintains his enigmatic front, peeking through his fingers to reveal a galaxy of stars. Each figure is given an evocative transformation: Kieran Hebden becomes Four Tet, Dan Snaith becomes Caribou. These pieces
are performances in their own right. They are inert objects which have a life, a vitality, a sense of movement and development. And as performances, they demand to be seen in person. Hence Trochut has decided to present Binary Prints as a touring exhibition, debuting at the world’s premier electronic music festival, Sonar, in his hometown earlier this year. In the fluctuating light, viewers are invited to observe the pieces transform before their eyes. And now Binary Prints will be transported to Bristol’s Simple Things festival, where an exclusive piece based on headliners Moderat will be displayed for the first time.
As the grandson of the acclaimed Spanish typographer Joan Trochut, do you feel you were born to work in that medium? Does it give you great pride to have continued his legacy in the way you have? There’s definitely a sweet mystery about the fate coincidence of me working on letters as my grandfather did. I never met him, he died before I was born, and letters or graphic design were never in my parents’ subjects at any dinner table talk. I knew my grandfather was a printer, and a painter, but I never joined the dots until a teacher spotted my name, and said “you’re the grandson of one the best typographers in the country!” I started studying graphic design thinking of it as a career where I could work with computers and express my creativity, but I never thought it
had anything to do with what my grandfather did; in my head that was old and nothing to do with the new digital world. This gives you an idea of how clueless I was about graphic design when I started studying it! I think of it as something I’ll never have a clear explanation of, but it will always be a beautiful feeling. As an ‘expressive typographer’, how important is establishing a relationship between content and appearance? Is readability/ functionality equally as important as aesthetic value? Yes, both things can never be separated, our brain reads and looks at the same time. The content we receive from a text comes from the meaning of the words and the way they are designed, making a round trip in our head – ‘I understand it and I see it’. The expressivity of a text has to be balanced by its context, functionally is always the main rule, although functionally can sometimes be pure aesthetics. Typography is like choosing the right outfit for every occasion; don’t go to a wedding in a bathing suit, and don’t go to the beach in a smoking jacket. You’re proudly maximal in your approach, seen in your mission statement that ‘more is more’. Is it important to you, to stick to this approach despite it at certain points being considered somewhat unfashionable? Not really. ‘More is more’ is a statement I use to say I don’t want to stick to one way of doing things, I don’t want to limit possibilities by committing to a style, either simple or intricate. I always want to leave the door open to new options. Style also needs to be chosen by the context
and technique you’re using, and I like to work in as many different media as I can. You’ve obviously worked with a huge number of high profile commissioners, how do you ordinarily respond to a brief? Do you tend to work from fairly loose outlines? Every brief is different, some are very straightforward if the client knows exactly what they need, whereas others demand you do a lot of research, test and experimentation till you get to the result you and the client want. Normally this second example is the one that pushes you to leave the comfort zone of what you know and lead you a to crisis state. But it’s always very rewarding – as you earn new experiences you become more prepared to face other projects. You moved from working for agencies for years to working alone, what are the relative benefits of those two ways of working? Working for others has a certain level of comfort, knowing you’re getting paid at the end of the month. But at some point you just want to make your own decisions, even if that means risking your income and security. You worked on the artwork for Katy Perry’s recent single Roar, how did that come about? Capitol Records contacted me to design the single and the process was very straightforward. Katy Perry was looking for a new approach for her new album prism, stepping away from curvy shapes, and doing
something more sophisticated and hard-edged. Having worked on many musical projects – from Perry, to The Rolling Stones, to Vampire Weekend and now your work with Binary Prints – how important is it that you have a relationship with the music you’re designing for? Music and work have always been completely connected in my process. It’s in the abstraction and moving feeling towards a less obvious result where I find music to be a true vehicle for lateral thinking. These escapes from reality through music have always been there for me, and I wanted to focus on describing them through the people that inspired me the most. So what inspired such a dramatic departure from your work in custom typography to the Binary Prints? Is this a more personal project, based on your own motivations rather than those of clients? Yes, this project is completely personal and motivated only by a desire to express myself. After finding out a way to print two images on a single surface, using the binary prints technique, I wanted to apply my work on a personal project that challenged me artistically. So I thought portraits would be a good match, as there is light and darkness on every person. Is there a certain organic, tactile appeal to printmaking that was absent from more vector-based work? Almost like stepping back into the realm of your grandfather?
I wanted to work on a series that explored the imagination of music, putting meaning to what I enjoyed listening to. The product had to be something not so digital, and screenprinting was the best way to proceed.
There’s a certain performative element to these pieces, in the way they change before your eyes. Do you feel they have to be witnessed in person to fully appreciate them?
So why did you choose electronic music personalities as the subject of these images? Do you feel that there’s a more pronounced duality within these particular figures?
Yes, seeing these prints on a screen is not the best, I highly recommend seeing them in person.
Night versus day is an idea that is so naturally present in DJs and electronic music producers, it just fitted very well with the binary print concept itself – from an anonymous face to a night icon. I basically made a wishlist of my favourite electronic music producers and DJs, and depending on where I was I tried to reach them – in a club, passing by and asking them to write their e-mail so I could explain the concept better. In most of the cases, this worked. In some other cases I had to go through other ways, like contacting their agents, and I also was very lucky to have permission from the organisers of Creamfields in Andalusia to shoot a few artists backstage. Have you found the DJs/producers so far easy to work with? There must be a huge amount of people you’d love to capture in the future? Overall the process has been amazing and a great chance to get close to the people I admire, and get deep into defining them visually, a selfimposed exercise I enjoyed hugely. I was not asking myself anymore if the result was good or bad for a client, just if it felt ‘right’ for me and the artist. It was definitely a very emotional process which I truly enjoyed.
Is that why you’ve chosen to present it as a touring exhibition, so that it can appear at fairs or festivals as a kind of attraction? Exactly, a festival like Simple Things is the perfect context for a young and artistically curious crowd. How was the reaction at Sonar? Are you excited to be showing your work in Bristol as part of Simple Things? Sonar was a perfect launch for the project, it was so great to present this project in my own city and in the festival that defined electronic music for me. I’m definitely thrilled about bringing the exhibition to the Simple Things festival in Bristol, and particularly about presenting the new Moderat portrait.
See Alex Trochut’s Binary Prints on show at Colston Hall for Bristol’s Simple Things Festival, October 12th.
Exhibitions Lutz Bacher: Black Beauty 25 September – 17 November 2013
ICA Off-Site A Journey Through London Subculture: 1980s to Now Old Selfridges Hotel 13 September - 20 October 2013
FOX READING ROOM
Gerald Cinamon: Collected Work Since 1958 4 September – 6 October 2013
ICA Off-Site events programme From 14 Sep Join us at the Old Selfridges Hotel for an exciting series of free weekly talks and events including award winning SHOWstudio, renowned designer Tom Dixon and the Warhol Museum.
Vociferous: Keren Cytter with David Aird, Keira Fox and Charlie Feinstein Thu 5 Sep
Film The Stuart Hall Project Q&A with John Akomfrah From 6 Sep Parker Posey Film Festival From 14 Sep PoetryFilm Equinox: Circles, Cycles, Sequences, Planets, Patterns Sun 22 Sep A Nos Amours: Chantal Ackerman 1 Thu 26 Sep
Friday Salon: Judith Bernstein and Beyond Feminism, War and the Body Fri 6 Sep From Style to Substance: Tom of Finland and Antonio Lopez Sat 7 Sep Culture Now: Lively Friday lunchtime conversations for the culturally curious. Amy Sillman in Conversation with Mark Godfrey 6 Sep Gerald Cinamon 13 Sep Alice Rawsthorn in Conversation with Gregor Muir 20 Sep www.crackmagazine.net
Artists’ Film Club New and rarely seen film and moving image by up-and-coming and more established artists. Ken Okiishi + Q&A Sat 14 Sep Jonathas de Andrade Sat 28 Sep Canary Wharf Screen (Offsite at Canary Wharf Underground Station) 18 Sep–22 Dec
Institute of Contemporary Arts The Mall London SW1Y 5AH 020 7930 3647, www.ica.org.uk
The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848
S IT E ji ye o.com
W ORD S I si s O 'R eg an
DO C U ME NT I NG T H E B R UTA L R E A L ITY O F KO R E N WO M E N ’ S O B S ES S I O N WI TH PE R FE C TI ON , B E AUTY RO O M RE C OV E RY S E E S J I Y E O C A P T U R E TH E R ES ULTS O F B EAUTY B R AI N WA S H IN G BY TH E CO UN TRY ’S PATR IA RC H A L LY D OM I N ATE D M E D I A
Ji Yeo is an artist currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Photography at Rhode Island School of Design, as a President’s Scholarship and Henry Wolf Scholarship awardee. She hails originally from Seoul, South Korea, and is all too accustomed with the country’s addiction to cosmetic surgery.
and became something she was compelled to capture. Finding women willing to be photographed became the hardest aspect of this particular project. Eventually she began trading services, acting as a maid, driver and ultimately a carer to these women, in exchange for documenting the painful post-surgery days.
South Korea currently has the highest per capita rate of cosmetic surgery in the world, with around one in five women in the capital having had some form of procedure. During Ji Yeo’s high school years the industry boomed, and it consumed all those around her, herself included. Becoming a regular topic that would dominate her and her friends’ conversations, everyone meticulously planned on how they would ‘improve’ themselves. “I was going to totally transform my looks, become someone else” Yeo tells us of how this alarming cultural trend gripped her existence. “I truly believed that if I transformed my appearance, my life would transform along with it and I would finally be able to earn people’s respect and admiration.”
Her images reveal the sacrifices these women make in their pursuit for what they believe to be beautiful. These brutally explicit scenes haunt you, the pain of the subjects’ heavy bruising, puffed faces, bandaged bodies and blood stained pyjamas is palpable. The images also reveal the loneliness of the aftermath. The women hide away in isolation at nearby hotel rooms as their new identity sets in. Within these images there is no hint of happiness, only a deep sense of longing for that sought after ‘beauty’. Although the recovering patients at times appear like victims, Yeo insists that “during the photo shoots, even though they were in extreme pain, I could feel their excitement; the excitement of hopes realised.”
This high school dream became a full-time obsession. She admits to seeing 12 different surgeons for consultancies for her radical transformation. Her research continued for years, until it finally dawned on her that “if I really wanted plastic surgery, I would have already done it”. Yeo felt there was something permanently holding her back, and as she gradually came to the realisation she did not have to change herself, she stepped away from the pursuit of ultimate physical perfection. Yet the years spent in reception areas and waiting rooms exposed her to those who had gone through the procedures. These images stayed with her,
Yeo explains that her images are also a stark reminder of extreme patriarchal power and how so many have succumbed to it. “In many ways, I believe sincerely that what I am photographing shouldn’t exist at all, it is the result of a patriarchal construction and it should disappear, but it won’t disappear.” Her project has helped her to overcome her own obsessions, step away from the stigma within the society in which she was raised, and present this seldom-seen insight into South Korean culture. “My images are simply a societal and sociological record of a widespread transformation in the lengths we are prepared to go in order to attain
an ideal; they are an affirmation, a question, an argument, and a challenge.” Ji Yeo has a very firm view as to her target with this work. “Very bottom line, the audience is me.” And reflective of this overwhelmingly personal approach – one where Yeo remains wholly true to herself, believing that by extension her work will resonate with others – her upcoming project comes from another deeply intimate topic: her mother and grandmother. Her grandmother has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and the last time she visited with her mother, her grandmother couldn’t recognise her own daughter. The project will be a combination of her mother’s journal, photographs, and a video. It seems Yeo will continue to capture moments of poignance, presenting the realities of her own life to a wide and captivated audience.
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KING KHAN & THE SHRINES WO R D S L u c i e G r ac e
TH E ULTI M ATE GAR A GE R O C K S H A M AN IS B AC K S I TE k i ng k hanmusi c.com
TU NE Tho rn I n H e r Pri d e
Our head-dressed hero has returned after something of a hiatus, and this time he’s got a cause to fight for and a whole lot of love to spread. Crack welcomes King Khan to the fold with wide eyes, open arms and eager ears.
I think that’s one of the reasons I don’t mind talking about it. I’ve lost a few friends that I wish had sought help because it’s just a question of going out and getting help to fix that sort of thing rather than plummeting into this hole.
record over and over again and we had to listen to Buddy Holly 30 times a day, but it pays off. Now they write songs and it’s really fun making music with them. Hunx from Hunx and his Punx just put out a single with my daughter actually.
King Khan (or King Rama Lama Khan, which ever you prefer) is one of the music world’s great eccentrics. He was born and raised in Montreal, on what was presumably a diet of soul, funk, psych and punk. Having previously made music as part of The Spaceshits, he then formed The King Khan & BBQ Show as well as The Shrines around the turn of the decade. The latter outfit - a nine-strong garage rock ensemble – is arguably his definitive project. Initially the band received little more than a cult following, but as years rolled by, as albums were released, little Khans were born, and wildly joyous live shows were toured relentlessly, they have amassed an international army of loyal fans. But little has been heard since 2008’s modestly-titled The Supreme Genius of King Khan and the Shrines.
Does being open about those things make you feel vulnerable or just stronger?
Does your commitment to civil rights and raising awareness for the mistreatment of indigenous cultures play a big part in your stage costumes?
I guess I’ve dealt with these kinds of issues with friends when growing up y’know, so for me it’s just better to be open about it. I mean in the past two years I lost a lot of friends to various different things and a lot of that is in the record, requiems for people. I guess in a way it’s better to address those things.
I’ve never really thought of it in that way. My wife makes all the costumes. It’s a family thing. She loves reading about native cultures and stuff, so I guess that influence is there but it’s more in the spirit of the show than a direct link.
Sure. So Wild is about Jay Reatard, who passed away, right?
What’s your favourite stage wear?
It is about Jay Reatard but also Jay ‘Berserker’ Montour, there’s two Jays I lost like a year apart. One of them was actually Mohawk Indian too. It’s basically about both of them being wild, amazing people.
I guess I have no real favourite, there’s been so many. It’s always fun to get progressively more naked during a show. That’s a good trick. People appreciate that.
And now he’s back with an infectious eighth album Idle No More, a record which takes its title from an ongoing protest to protect the rights of the indigenous people of Canada. It’s a move which emphasises Khan’s long-running ability to engage his triumphant party tones with a wider political consciousness; of enlightening through the collective celebration of music. We were thrilled to IT’S A LW AY S give the man himself a bell at his Berlin home, to chat about his new release and to find out just what kept P R O G R E S S I V E LY him away for so long.
Your album considers war, death, civil rights and other problems in the world right now. Do you think garage rock is often misconstrued as all fun and fine and dandy when there’s actually a lot of serious messages going on?
D U R I N G A S H O W. T H AT ’ S A G O O D So where did you record Idle No More? We recorded the album here in Berlin. Half of it was done in an art studio, the basement bit of my friend’s art gallery. We bought a tape machine and did it ourselves, pretty much. Can you tell us how you first came across the Idle No More campaign and why you named the album after it? It’s not widely known in the UK. I grew up in Montreal and when I was a teenager two of my best friends were Mohawk Indians, so I spent a lot of time with them on the reserve during my youth. When I heard about the Idle No More movement I was really excited to see that there’s a new hope rising from pretty terrible conditions. I mean, if you go into Indian reservations some of them are worse of than some third world countries. Sadly enough everyone I asked didn’t really know about this movement, so I figured this would be a good way to promote it. I actually got in touch with them and asked permission and they were really happy for me to do that. What have you been up to since your last album? Well a lot of crazy stuff happened in the past couple of years, I mean part of it was I had a nervous breakdown a few years ago, after we were invited to play Sydney Opera House for Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson. I had to take two years off to get my head together. I think the album has that feeling towards it too, kind of like a rebirth. You speak really openly about previous mental health issues, when sadly so many find that difficult due to the prevailing societal stigma around them.
P E O P L E A P P R E C I AT E T H AT ”
Does music help you deal with that loss? I guess writing songs feels like a healing thing, but it is for the people who receive it too. In a way I never thought of what we do as being pop music because it’s not a contrived thing. I’d say it’s closer to what I love about gospel music, where people get together every Sunday and sing their hearts out. Making light out of something that’s very heavy, in that tradition. I think that’s one of the reasons that people keep coming to our shows, different people, they come to rejoice and feel that joy, know what I mean? Like a shared experience? Yeah, but it’s not a business plan. In a way I find pop music now sad. It’s making children mediocre and uninspired and completely destroying creativity, when back in the day this kind of music made people want to revolt and jump up and go crazy.
Yeah, I definitely think so. Under the whole thing there is this kind of hope, and I think that is the important message to bring to the world: to keep hope alive and realise what’s happening around the world. Do you have any garage rock desert island discs?
There’s actually one compilation that I’ve had since I was seventeen and to this day I always listen to it, it’s called Hang It Out to Dry, I think it was released on Satan Records and it’s one of the best compilations of great 60s rock’n’roll – it’s definitely one of those records that I would strongly recommend. Are there any artists who are particularly dear to your heart? One artist I’m very close to is The Mighty Hannibal. He’s kind of like my godfather in many ways. We’re in touch constantly. He has the most amazing stories from back in the day, of all sorts of people he was involved with, tales from when he was also rolling with Stokely Carmichael and a lot of other Black Power people. I met him nine or ten years ago and he’d just gone blind as he had glaucoma. The doctors had told him “if you don’t take your medication you’ll go blind” and his reaction was “ah man, I’ve seen enough.” He would write gospel songs about how being blind was the best because you don’t judge anyone for what they look like. He’s an amazing person.
----------How do you balance fatherhood and rock and roll? It goes pretty well hand-in-hand. The kids have been around a lot of great people coming in and out. I’ve been recording stuff in my house for the past ten years so they’re very musical and have lots of great uncles and aunts. I’ve been showing them music since they were tiny. My oldest daughter, before she was talking she’d put on the same Buddy Holly
Idle No More is out now via Merge Records.
JACKSON AND HIS COMPUTERBAND WO R D S J ac k L u c as D ol an
SITE jac kso n a n dhi scom puterb and .tv
O N A SW E LT E R I N G A FTE R N O O N IN DA L S TO N , CR ACK FI N D S A S H ADY S PO T O UTS I D E A C O FFE E S H O P A N D AWA I TS T H E R EA PPE A R A N C E O F O N E O F EL EC TR O N IC A’ S M O S T C O N FO UN D I N G VA N I S H I N G AC TS .
It’s been almost eight years since we saw or heard from Jackson and his Computerband, but we never forgot about him. His wild and wonderful debut album on Warp propelled him into the spotlight more or less out of nowhere. Although Jackson had been releasing music for nearly a decade by that point, it was Smash, the aptly named full-length, which first caught wider attention.
TUN E More
an almost cliquey nature to it. It’s a very contained scene with a lot of cross pollination.
Yeah, they’ve been supportive, just keeping an eye on what’s going on, being helpful when I need them to.
Yeah, you think so? Like a lobby! The techno lobby. It’s absolutely horrific, isn’t it?
You were always in touch with them letting them know what you were up to? It’s not like you just picked up the phone one day and went ‘Hey, I’ve got a new album, fancy it?’
Are you keen to set yourself apart from that? Shirking the limitations of the French house scene at the time, Jackson headed to one of the world’s most iconic electronica labels, proving himself to be a distinctive and fascinating presence in a complex, shifting landscape. It felt as though he was at the beginning of something great. Then, just as quickly as he had materialised, he evaporated. Barely a mention of this vivid, striking, prodigious talent followed. It seemed bizarre. But just recently, when hope of a return had almost dissipated, we began to hear small murmurings about Jackson and his fictional band filtering from Warp. And suddenly, in dropped the new album: Glow, due for release this month. It was poles apart from the one eight years previous, a far more rounded, live-sounding experience – but still smacked of Jackson. We were glad to have him back, but where had he been? He had mentioned in an interview once that if he wasn’t making music he’d be doing “sports therapy and maybe something sexual combined together”. Could this be his doctor’s note? All of which brings us back to our little table and chairs spot, sweating outside a coffee shop, partly from the heat but also a little bit from excitement. When Jackson arrives, we nearly don’t recognise the guy. The long-haired indie kid look from ’05 replaced by a short, ruffled peroxide cut, like an extra from Blade Runner – a look befitting his expansive new sound and a further reminder that a lot has changed. Jackson sits down and orders some herbal tea while we test our dictaphone against the London street noise. We engage in some brief small talk about it being unusually hot for this part of the world but there is one, rather obvious question we’re bursting to ask …
I can’t say this because it is cool to hang out, it’s not like I’m apart from it. I would say I enjoy playing and touring with my comrades, but for me it’s as cool to be with Clark as it is to be with Brodinsky, or to hang out with Mara Carlyle and shake hands with Boys Noize. There’s always something to learn, but at the same time I want keep my music free. I don’t think my music should rely on the sound of any one moment. The new album has a lot more of an actual ‘band’ feel to it than Smash, of songs as opposed to instrumental beats. Was that a big part of becoming more of a live artist? I just found it funny to emulate the presence of fake invisible musicians in a totally artificial way. Faking rock ‘n’ roll felt like a funny process, rather than being like ‘Hey! I’m in control of my synthesiser!’ in an electronic producer position. Which is great, but it’s more like a man dressing as a woman. I wanted to get a bit nearer to some kind of 70s psychedelic, punk rock influence. Back when you were touring with Smash it was just you onstage, the Computerband was very much hypothetical. Will it become a real entity now in the live show? Now I have this big machine that’s made of four modules, two at the front and two at the side, and a mechanical mirror. One of the front ones behaves more like a jukebox, the other one is like a sampler and triggering area. You were quoted in several interviews back in 2005 saying your music is all about collage. It must be a completely different discipline to be creating the arrangements from scratch.
So what on earth have you been doing? Nothing special. Exploring different directions and music techniques, lots of research on the live show, and taking the time to find the right people to work with. The new album goes through a range of different styles and moods – there are almost psych-rock sounding tracks, there’s definitely a certain punk aesthetic, and one track that’s almost gabber. Are these random moments from the past eight years, or were you always approaching it as an album? Personally, I pick stuff from what comes out, so at some point I’ll say ‘OK, these are my favourite bits, how am I going to make them grow? How am I going to assemble them?’ It’s about finding some sort of balance and connection between them, whether it’s a signature sound, a theme, an atmosphere, anything. So you must be sitting on a lot of off-cuts and old tracks? I think so. I would have to dig around in the dirt to know, I’d have to be like an archaeologist. I’d really have to get some shit in my nails and search through sub-sub-sub-folders of hard drives and stuff like that. It seems like the obvious thing, coming off the back of the success of Smash, would be to keep churning out records and build on the hype. It seems you don’t really give a shit about that? It’s not like I don’t give a shit, but when I finished Smash I was absolutely knackered. So it wasn’t like; ‘So, now my career is starting out what next?’ it was more like, ‘Fuck! Now I’ve managed to do this record, I don’t know where it’s going to take me, and now I just need to think of a place to live.’ I just wanted to concentrate on reorganising everything in my life, basically.
It’s a different process, you have to be a bit more methodical, which I’m not naturally but I’m learning to be. There were a lot of collages in Smash, of piano recordings, or two seconds of T-Rex guitar. But on this record I spent more time writing keyboard lines and stuff. I was also thinking that if I want to do some cut-up, I want to be able to do it in real time, on stage. Do you have any musical training behind you or did you just have to forge your own way? Um, training? I did take some piano lessons at some point. I even got fired from the ... in France it’s called ‘conservatoire’, like, where you learn the grades. Why? Because I wasn’t passing them. If you do three years and you stay in the same class you get fired. And I had a piano teacher but I very quickly forgot it all because for me it made no sense to learn something without having the immediate application for it.
No, in fact I would tell them ‘I’m nearly finished’ every year, usually twice a year. Once before the summer and once before Christmas – those are the two periods of the year where I would be like ‘Yeah, I think I’ve got something now’. Would you say you’re a perfectionist? Is that why the process been delayed every time? I don’t say I’m a perfectionist because I think my music is actually full of imperfections, detailed imperfections. I like to leave a lot of imprecise stuff. I’m not looking for perfection at all in my music, I just like exploration, and also the way I make things is all about creating a set up that avoids any conscious decisions. It’s like a game, a game that involves everything: the label, your friends, money, your health, everything. When you sit down to start a tune, as it were, do you have a method you follow or is it different each time? I always find one track leads to another, so I just save a copy, save a copy, save a copy and archive tons of little ideas. Then again, sometimes I’m just like ‘OK, let’s try and do a proper techno groove track’ or whatever. Of course I never do a techno groove track, but I end up doing something You’ve had some very diverse and obscure collaborators across Glow and Smash. Who’s next? The thing is, all the people on the record are either close friends or people I met a certain way. I met one of the guys who helped because he was renting a studio space where I was making the record. I knocked on the door and said “Hey, do you want to try something?’ and he said “Yeah!” So I was like “it’s actually for tomorrow morning!” Because, at that time, Warp was kind of freaking out. For me it’s more about the human factor rather than ‘I really want work with Missy Elliot, it’s my dream!’ Of course it would be cool, but maybe not – I don’t know, maybe I just can’t stand her perfume, know what I mean? Maybe her speaking voice is going to annoy me, or maybe she’s way too religious. Or maybe it’s the one person I’m going to make music with for the next 10 years. I have no idea, but I like to meet people and let it grow. You’ve said before that you didn’t like the idea of people remixing your stuff because it would either be disappointingly bad or disappointingly better than the original. Do you still feel like that? No, I don’t really care now. That was when Smash just came out, I guess at that time, with what was going on in the club scene – this was pre2manydjs. 2manydjs just exploded all the standards. At that time I was with Warp, but I was also signed to Universal in France. I didn’t want them to turn some of my tracks into some sort of boring deep house dilution. With French house at that point, everything was a bit boring. Now I don’t care so much, I feel like it could be approached in a very different way. But there’s nothing lined up?
Both your albums have been released on Warp. Before that you had a relatively small back catalogue and reputation internationally. Was it a shock when Warp got in touch?
Hudson Mohawke just did an amazing remix, right now that’s it. Would you say you have any modern contemporaries?
Yeah, totally. I received an e-mail from Piers Martin, who Warp had asked at that time to suggest people to sign. It was completely unreal. Especially because 2005 was the whole Windowlicker revolution with Autechre, Squarepusher, Plaid – all the old Warp heroes were still huge at that time. So it was a big, big thing to all of a sudden get imported in with all those guys, they were a big influence. And have Warp been OK about you disappearing for the last eight years?
Being a French musician making French electronic music, there’s
I don’t really know because I don’t even really understand my record. Even in terms of generations of producers or pop acts, it’s just too messy, I wouldn’t be able to position myself. I’m eclectic, and that suits me because I want to be always curious, and I’m happy to exchange with anyone who’s in love with what he or she does. ----------Glow is out now via Warp Records.
WORDS Leah Conn o lly
S ITE i n g n od w e t r u s t .t u m b l r.c om
P H O TO Jack i e Mason and John Gal l ardo
P OK I NG F U N AT R E L I G I O N, P R A I SI NG J UN GL E AN D R E-WO R K IN G TH E R UL E S O F TH E DA N C E FLO O R IN O N E O F TH E N ORTH ’ S M O S T E XH I L A RATI N G V E N UE S ; J US T A N AV ER A GE DAY I N TH E L I FE O F GN O D
Praise the Lord for the boundary-pushing, cosmic endeavour of Gnod, the unit unleashing their limitless sonic jams from Salford’s Islington Mill. Actually, maybe don’t praise. They’ve been mistaken for some kind of quasi-religious assemblage before, and following a cluster of track titles such as Tony’s First Communion and Vatican, along with the resonance of their cult-like performances, it’s easy to see why those who are naïve to the Gnod concept would jump to such conclusions. As we’re led up to the Mill’s fourth floor, the faint smell of incense and an echo of world music drifts towards us, before we’re welcomed into the heart of Gnod’s central nervous system; a setting where record covers don walls while various analogue synths and speakers lie across the floor. The space serves not only to house band members, but it’s also their creative workplace. “We’re anti-religion as far as that goes, but do people think we’re some ‘God squad’ or something? It’s more about the fact most religions are pretty oppressive and set in stone, which is completely the opposite of what we engage in”. We’re in discussion with Paddy Shine and Chris Haslam, Gnod’s vocalists and electronic moguls, who’re rolling cigarettes and handing over various record sleeves for us to paw over. “The photo element of this hasn’t been doctored ...” Shire points out on the reverse artwork of 2011’s InGnodWeTrust EP, which features a humorous image of Pope John Paul II pulling a goofy pose, with the addition of scorching red triangular logos replacing his eyes. Sensitive viewers could be offended by it, but it’s really just Gnod sticking their tongues firmly in their cheeks – and why not? But judging by the aura of passion lingering throughout their work, Gnod are deadly serious about their craft. “We’re freeform, genreless and incapable of being pinned-down. It’s not exactly like we could be, we’re constantly evolving. No one should say ‘You can’t make electronica or rock like this’, let’s keep the lines blurred”. Yet it isn’t just their sound that’s pushing boundaries. Having curated their own residency recently over at The Mill – the venue’s first of its kind – they grasped an opportunity to get destructive on the dancefloor too. Sound artist Callum Higgins’ instillation TANGENT was a light-led piece including ear-splitting reverb that
brought a whole other dimension to the building. An ethos as basic as it is bold, Gnod also cross over into a shared club night called Gesamtkunstwerk (German for ‘whole arts work’) which allows them to fill a space for movers and shakers with the dark and the dirty. “You know how you hear crazy music at home, but you’d never get the chance to hear it out in a club environment through a massive rig, where it takes on a whole other life form? We wanted to bring that. Club music doesn’t always have to be fucking expected techno, it can be loud, noisy, abrasive and distorted to the point where all you want to do is lie on the floor and embrace it all, it’s like sticking your head in the bass bin”. The collective are also putting out music on the same oddball scale with their Tesla Tapes label, a brainchild that seemed to fall out of a happy accident and a love for raw, obscure talent. “All of us in the van were making music that was collecting dust on hard-drives out on the road and thought ‘fuck it, let’s just put it all out on tapes’, because I had this duplicator that had been on the backburner for years. Then we started putting out material from other bands that were bringing the goods – bands like Lightning Glove from the Czech Republic and The Dwelling, which is one that Chris was a part of and is getting a re-press on vinyl after going down better than we ever expected. Soon enough, we had loads of others getting in touch. That was the great thing about setting up a tape label, we’re not trying to push it as a business – it’s a love rather than money project.” Looking at the expanding catalogue of Gnod, we see their music taking on undercurrents of jungle (“There isn’t enough jungle in the world!”, Paddy chips in to tell us no less than four times during our chat), over to lightning-speed glitches and whirrs that you can feel vibrating to your very bones, weaving through otherworldly, ghostly vocal samples that trip you over, to layers of grinding psychedelia. Staying close to those who have helped them along the way – no matter how big or small – it’s clear Gnod are on a mission to make some of the most rousing, experimental music the UK underground has heard in a long time.
TUN E F a ll Over
WO R D S I s i s O ' Re g an
S I TE hernamei sbank s.com
B A N K S Mysteriously surfacing on Soundcloud earlier this year, Banks lured bloggers and music obsessives forth with her slippery tones and intoxicating downer electro/R’n’B. Drenching listeners in buttery lust, as her voice verges on the cusp of a quiver in Warm Water, it seems Banks too has lost herself in the moment she has created. Her enigmatic nature instills the irresistible curiosity of the unknown; one which could drive any fan to stalk her Facebook or Twitter account. Alas, the LA-based singer-songwriter plays no part in the social media merry-go-round, openly stating that such matters are dealt with by her management. There is though, as possible compensation, her phone number. It’s easy to dismiss this as a mere stunt, yet experiencing Banks’ attempts to meet us on Skype, it becomes obvious that isn’t the case. One failed call after another sees Banks’ internet connection finally give up, and so ringing the phone number she leaves so willingly on social media was the only option. “As you can see I’m completely inept!” she cheerfully proclaims as we connect. Responding to her decision to remain off the social media grid and ignore the online world which brought her to the attention of so many, Banks pleads digital illiteracy. “I want to be able to reach people directly, so I give out my number,” she explains. “I just wasn’t into Facebook and I didn’t have a Twitter, so I was like, ‘well if you wanna reach me, call me!’” Rather than being bombarded with unwanted attention, Banks insists that the texts she receives are largely from fans exclaiming their affection for her music or just kindly asking how her day is going. Her favorite messages are the ones which tell of how much her music has relieved people from their loneliness.
Banks first stepped into the music realm after being given a toy keyboard at the age of 15. The ability to convey how she felt, regardless of whether anyone heard or not, was a salvation. The lifting of a weight from her young shoulders felt liberating, and an addiction to writing music was born. “It’s a form of therapy, it’s a way for me to keep straight.” That she graduated in 2011 with a degree in psychology comes as no surprise. Though her music stemmed from a place of gloomy self-reflection, it’s far from her only inspiration “I don’t only write when I’m feeling dark” she insists. “I write when I feel inspired – sometimes I feel so light, like I’m floating. It’s about raw vulnerability, it’s about real emotion.” But for Banks, such vulnerability comes coated in a sensual allure, an ownership of her femininity. How does she feel about being christened in parallel with an underlying sexuality? “Those words are all positive in my eyes; womanly and sensual are all good things in my opinion,” she quietly muses. “It’s just me. I don’t know, that’s just what comes out when I’m writing something.” She seems sure these factors will only become further emphasised on her forthcoming EP. In terms of subject matter, beats and atmosphere, the new material sounds heavy. Excitement surrounding the release gushes from Banks, to the extent that during our conversation she settles on the EP’s name: London. Guaranteeing that she hasn’t told anyone else why she has made this decision – it’s announced publicly a matters of days later – she unfolds the decision making. “I had all the songs mixed and mastered and ready before I first went to London,” she begins. “In the time that I was there I grew so much and so quickly, and I was writing things that meant so much to me that I was like ‘I don’t care, we’re switching everything up!’ and I replaced every song but one.”
The new E.P also has the influence of DJ and producer Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, or Orlando Higginbottom, who co-wrote and produced a track. Their managers played musical cupid and the blind date writing session evidently went smoothly, as he has now produced a handful of her songs. Banks has become accustomed to outsiders remixing her work, and as the videos pile up on YouTube she’s content with hearing her work reinterpreted. “I’ve been lucky, I haven’t heard any that make me cringe.” Her next move is an auspicious support slot with The Weeknd across North America, and having performed live for the first time in Notting Hill Arts Club (another reason for her strong connection with the capital) only two months ago, it represents a considerable leap of faith for such an inexperienced performer. Banks is all too aware of the quick transition. “I’m nervous, but I think that’s natural, I’m trying to embrace the whole process. I know that where I’ll be in a year will be totally different to now, and I’m just trying to enjoy every step.” Though her love affair with psychology may be over, her use of music as therapy never will be. Our conversation continuously weaves in and out of insightful advice accumulated through personal experiences, and though she’s emerged from the trials of her youth, this guidance is unlikely to be discarded. “Sometimes people feel really shameful of any dark feelings they have, they think it’s not OK to feel like that,” she muses. “Have a creative outlet to let everything out and don’t judge yourself for it. Nobody has to hear the thoughts you have or see the paintings you paint or the letters you write, nobody has to see it but you. They’re all your darkest emotions, and they can’t be anything but good.” ---------London is released on September 10th via Good Years.
JAZZ WEARS SUIT JACKET | THE HOUSE OF NINES TROUSERS | EMPIRE'S UNION LEATHER GILLET | BREAKS LONDON SHOES | OFFICE CHARLIE WEARS SHIRT | ROKIT SUIT JACKET | NA DI TROUSERS | BEYOND RETRO SHOES | MODEL'S OWN BABY REILLY WEARS TOP | AMERICAN APPAREL PULL OVER | BEYOND RETRO SHORTS | AMERICAN APPAREL SHOES | ADIDAS
CRACK FASHION: SEPTEMBER 2013
CREDITS PHOTOGRAPHY | CHARLOTTE RUTHERFORDWW STYLING | CHARLOTTE JAMES HAIR | JAKE GALLAGER MAKE-UP | SUZIE LOVE USING BOBBI BROWN STYLING | CHARLOTTE JAMES MODELS | JAZZ JAMIESON @ AMCK, CHARLIE DENIS & BABY REILLY ~
CHARLIE WEARS TOP | BEYOND RETRO JACKET | YMC TROUSERS | NA DI
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CHARLIE WEARS RIB KNIT JOGGER | DOMINGO RODRIGUEZ CABLED KNIT JUMPER | DOMINGO RODRIGUEZ SHIRT | SWEET SORROW VINTAGE SHOES | ADIDAS
BABY REILLY WEARS TOP | AMERICAN APPAREL TROUSERS | ROKIT
CHARLIE WEARS TOP | AMERICAN APPAREL JACKET | ROKIT TROUSERS | NA DI SHOES | MODEL'S OWN SOCKS | HAPPY SOCKS SUNGLASSES | STYLISTS OWN JAZZ WEARS SHIRT | BEYOND RETRO JACKET | DOMINGO RODRIGUEZ TROUSERS | NA DI SHOES | MODEL'S OWN
Rockwell Drinking Bowl T
YMC Buttondown Shirt – Navy Ikat
Gola ‘Made In England - 1905’ Collection
We love Rockwell, and we love this collection. The brainchild of Amsterdam-based illustrator Parra, Rockwell carries his distinct graphic style throughout its eclectic product range. This Drinking Bowl tee is another tongue-in-cheek illustration as part of the brand’s A/W ’13 collection.
New to the Goodhood roster, YMC – You Must Create – provide quality durable investment pieces that will stand the test of time. This button down navy shirt with stand-out red ikat print makes for a wearable and distinctive look.
Gola has been inextricably linked with British sportswear and merchandise since 1905. The brand’s premium UK footwear collection Made in England – 1905’ returns for A/W ’13 and includes the limited edition Pacer shoe. Inspired by their original 1970s jogger, the red ones are our pick of the lot.
Gourmet 35 Lite Cork
Silence + Noise Long Tartan Duster Coat
Capital Eyewear – Morgan, Walnut Hardwood
Italian sneaker brand Gourmet has recently been producing some of the most unique footwear in the market. Our pick from the Gourmet 35 x Black Scale collaboration is the ‘Lite Cork’ shoe, which uses revolutionary materials in the form of lightweight but durable cork upper with suede overlay on the ‘ultra legero lightweight sole unit’. Yeah, we don’t know what that means either, but we like it.
Whether you like it or not, winter’s a-comin’, and what better way to welcome it than with this fall’s trend of oversized coats and tartan. This long duster coat from Silence + Noise is a firm favourite of ours, mixing a deep and subtle check print with the coat style of the season.
Capital caught our eye with their classic-feeling frames handmade out of durable hardwood from their San Francisco studio. According to Capital, these timeless frames take aesthetic reference from Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird, and we think they’re a worthwhile investment piece.
WORDS: Tim Oxley S m i th
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Dir. Declan Lowney
Dir. Shane Carruth
Dir. Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney, Sean Pertwee
Starring: Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Frank Mosley
Starring: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley
Despite the knowing deprecation of Coogan’s self-parodying exchange with Alfred Molina in Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee & Cigarettes, toying with the idea that he had Hollywood eating out the palm of his hand, the truth remains: Coogan really never made it there.
It’s not often enough a film comes along and completely cleanses the soul, refreshes the mind and makes you feel like you haven’t just wasted eight quid.
More recently, Coogan traded smart one liners with Rob Brydon and deeply examined the depths of the soul of his fictionalised self in The Trip. Both these are interesting character studies of his own perceived and self-proclaimed persona, but does this latest move count as Coogan returning to Partridge with his tail (or this instance, his cock and balls) between his legs? Or did we all genuinely want Alan back on the screen, no matter what size that screen was? Despite being able to make a lot more money than a TV comeback, a film release wasn’t really necessary. And indeed, the storyline ends up as more of an excuse than a narrative. It just barely provides the support needed for Coogan to be Partridge – which he still does very, very well. The blend of subtle social commentary mixed with schoolboy silliness hits right at the heart of any British cinema goer, and potentially further afield too. It’s difficult to be hyper critical of such a much-loved character, but as a film, Alpha Papa doesn’t really work. You can’t help but feel that a translation to the big screen might have warranted a big name or two. Colm Meaney as the jilted psychotic radio presenter is far too average. And yet, as a cinema adaptation, Partridge loses its tacky but loveable low budget TV feel. But hey, it’s Partridge after all, and it was still bloody nice to see him.
Crack squirmed with excitement when watching the trailer for Upstream Colour, Shane Carruth’s second following his brilliantly baffling but equally frustrating 2004 ‘time travel’ thriller Primer. Directing, producing, writing, sound designing and starring, Carruth now returns with more of an emotional puzzle than an intellectual one. The shift in focus, away from scientific fact and towards human feelings and emotion, means that by its very definition this film is more open to interpretation. Placing the film within a genre presents the first question; it could be a sci-fi, but then that comes entwined in too many connotations. Calling it bio-fi, i.e. biological fiction, would be closer to the truth, even if it does sound a bit stupid. Regardless, this is a beautifully told tale of love, identity and placement in the world as a whole. Carruth examines the dissonance of modern life, placing our inability to connect with one another under the microscope. The film explores the notion of humanity being displaced, then rediscovered through earthly urges, vibrations and instincts that have become essentially lost. Carruth also asks us to tear ourselves away from the inundations of Facebook timelines, as that’s potentially all we’ll have to rely on for our individual and collective memories. Amy Seimetz and Carruth’s delivery of these original but strange ideas is cool as fuck, but still relentlessly compelling. Carruth’s general auteurism renders this film stylistically and emotionally unique, putting Upstream Colour firmly in the category of ‘unmissable’; and if that wasn’t enough, there are loads of cute piglets in the film too.
District 9 was an unbridled box office and cult success. Now Neill Blomkamp’s allegory of apartheid made to a modest budget is followed by Elysium – his second feature length, made to a big one. Where District 9 was subtle but resolute in its message, Elysium is blatant and ineffective. There’s also the added irony of Elysium being based around contrasts between the rich and the poor; if the respective quality of Blomkamp’s two films go to show anything, it’s that money really isn’t everything. Elysium is a space station and haven for the rich who leave Earth and everyone on it behind to be policed by robots. On Elysium there’s no disease (because of healing pods capable of curing anything), no poverty, and no acting ability – or at least as far as Jodie Foster goes in the role of Delacourt, responsible for keeping the non-privileged out by any means necessary. Matt Damon appears as Max, an ex-car thief forced back into the world of crime when he is subject to a lethal dose of toxic radiation and given five days to live. And so Max needs to somehow get to Elysium for one of these stupid healing pods. Some other things happen too, but essentially Elysium is about our hero trying to get somewhere. It has all the narrative craft of a 1st year university film when the mafia boss has to break out the halls of residence before their Super Noodles are done. The idea is simple, and whatever concept there is, it’s poorly executed. Along with a series of shockingly bad performances, even from Sharlto Copley (who play Vickers ‘fuckin’ Prawns!’ in D9), the unrewarding keyhole peek into this particular dystopia is a hugely disappointing follow up to Blomkamp’s brilliant debut. But if all you want to see is Jodie Foster’s acting career implode on screen, this might just be for you.
WORDS Ti m Oxl ey Sm it h
S I TE encount ers-f est i v al .org .uk
WH O FR A M ED R O GE R R AB B I T? TH IS GUY D ID , FR AM E B Y FR A M E .
Crack spoke to Richard Williams – the multiple Oscar-winning Canadian-British master animator who has worked on icons such as Roger Rabbit and the Pink Panther and produced the seminal Animator’s Survival Kit resource – ahead of this September’s Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival. This celebration of animation and animators, grassroots film making and the sharing of ideas is an internationally renowned event set in the heart of Bristol. With screenings, workshops and showcases spread across the Watershed and Arnolfini, the world comes to Bristol to learn, explore and celebrate the moving image in its purest forms. Williams shared with us how important festivals such as Encounters are, even after 60 years in the business, and how he is still learning his craft to this day. He also relays why without the speed bikes in Return of the Jedi, there would have been no Roger Rabbit.
What key elements to an animated short would you recommend we look out for at the viewings over the week at Encounters? And what makes something truly exceptional to you?
It took me 57 years to make this short called Circus Drawings. I started it when I was 20 and finished it two years ago. That work is so personal, and I think it shows you what I’m like as a person. I was a figure artist, a painter, and I could live on doing one painting a year, but I got so entranced by the fascination of animation that I could never give it up. ‘You can’t reinvent the wheel’ is a phrase used in The Animators Survival Kit. Animation being as much a reflection of the artist’s mind and soul as it is a mechanical process, how important are festivals like Encounters as showcases for the technical aspects of animation? Since animation has blown into such a big thing, there are terrific technologies available. At a festival like Encounters, you see everything. When I see some of the young guys' stuff, I get a lot of ideas. I’m doing what a student would do, just with 60 years experience! We’d like to ask you about Roger Rabbit. How was it, in a technical sense, making the transition to a big Hollywood production?
I look for everything. People are doing very funny things with very crude skills and you see other people who are very skilled who may be less funny. So you get this range of stuff – it’s terrific to be shown this range and all the material and techniques needed to do it. What are you doing at Encounters? On Tuesday (17th) they’re running ... Roger Rabbit, Wednesday I’m doing Desert Island Flicks – Phill Jupitus is interviewing me. I get 10 choices of all the things that impressed the hell out me. And on Thursday, there’s a two hour retrospective of all my stuff from my very first film all the way up to now. That will be indispensable, as it’s hard to quantify your career considering the many different forms it’s taken. So with all that variation – your advertisements, feature and short length works – what would you regard as definitively Richard Williams?
Very scary, but very exciting. Everybody was very smart. The main thing was to figure out how to get cartoons to look like they were a part of reality. In the beginning I said to Robert Zemeckis (director) that I didn’t want to do it. I had the thought that you don’t have to have a locked off camera, then I could start to shoot and move and start snorkelling around everything. Zemeckis said “Yes, this could work”, but the other animation directors said “Oh, you can’t do that, it sounds like a lot of hard work”. I thought “you lazy bastards! We’re supposed to be able to make everything work, that’s our job!” So I said to Robert, you film a little film and I’ll pop a rabbit in there. Zemeckis had just seen the third Star Wars film (The Return of Jedi), and they were shooting around the forest on those motorbikes. Industrial Light and Magic who worked on it had figured out how to print drawn elements onto film with correct depth. We did a screen test with that method with all the actors, and it worked first time.
----------A chameleon. Funny, I had an exhibition of my art work a couple of years back, and I thought it would look like several different people’s work, so I kind of dreaded it. Funnily enough, it did look like the work of one person – just one person putting on different clothes. An animator is an actor with a pencil. Or an actor with a mouse. We’re slow motion actors.
See Richard Williams discuss his Desert Island Flicks with Phill Jupitus on September 18th at Arnolfini, Bristol as part of Encounters.
CROSSWORD Solutions to last issue’s crossword:
Across 2. Japanese monster (8) 5. Fourth letter of the Greek alphabet (5) 8. Dirty, grimy, sleazy, rank (6) 9. Magical word (11) 10. Spit n’ shine; hailing from Krakow, perhaps (6) 11. e.g. Cinzano (8) 13. French for shower; American for idiot (6) 14. Rogue (9) 15. South American mountain range (5) 17. Bureaucracy (3,4) 18. Seminal 1971 album from The Doors (1,1,5) 20. Currency of Norway (5)
ACROSS: 2. EROTIC, 5. MAID MARIAN, 8. EXTRACTOR FAN, 9. FRAGMENT, 11. CROP TOP, 12.PANCAKE, 14. COPPOLA, 17. ANNIE LENNOX 19. PLINTH, 21. FORAGE, 22. SHUDDER DOWN: 1. TZATZIKI, 3.PROCLAIM, 4. LAURENT GARNIER, 6. STIRRUPS 7. BOAT RACE, 10. UNCLE PHIL, 13. KREMLIN 15. PANTHER, 16. ROALD DAHL, 18. JUNGLE 20. ERODE
Down 1. Type of little beard (6) 3. Instant (9) 4. Expressionist who painted The Scream (6,5) 6. Hometown of Drake, Fucked Up and The Weeknd (7) 7. Swimming stroke (5,5) 9. Species of large seabird (9) 10.Trailblazer (7) 12. Head protection; ghetto (4) 16. LA basketball team (6) 19. Drum; Trap (5)
Join us us Join and celebrate celebrate and great filmmaking filmmaking great from around around from the world. world. the From 13 to 16 November 2013 From 13 to 16 November 2013 Aubin Cinema Aubin Cinema Redchurch Street Redchurch Street London E2 London E2 www.ukfilmfestival.com www.ukfilmfestival.com
F E S T I V A L CRACK
S E A S O N A
I B IZA Crack’s adventures on The White Isle were defined by two trips to Ibizan clubbing institution Space, for which we were invited to host the El Salon room as part of We Love…’s ongoing summer of house and techno spectaculars. Here’s how we got on.
PART ONE | JULY 28TH Crack had the pleasure of being shown round Space – the club where clubbing as we know it on the White Isle began – and aside from our wonderment at the grandeur of the venue, the other observation is more straightforward – it’s absolutely fucking massive. It was with the greatest of pleasure that Crack accepted the first of two invites to host a room for Sunday night Ibiza institution We Love… in the beautiful El Salon – perhaps the best looking room in the venue, and certainly the most debonair. Bringing our favourite cohorts in the form of Pardon My French and WLT, we buckled in for a night that could amply satisfy the longings of any electronic music fan. After tending to our own space, Crack’s dalliance with super-clubbing was made all the more pleasurable by the wealth of super-friendly people and the obvious fact that the carefully chosen acts on the line-up had scared off the Essex brigade – they were all getting down to a bit of Avicii over the road at Ushuaia. It’s a solid fact that Ibiza polarises musical groups and it’s with a confident smile that we look at tonight’s line-up and recline into our night knowing Space’s booking means we aren’t going to be left in a musical hinterland. Firstly in the Discoteca, Swedish live act Skudge pushed the button marked ‘techno’ with more ferocity than any of their previously listened-
to productions suggested they might. Their bruising offering acts as a ‘thrown in the deep end’/’welcome to the jungle’ introduction to our night, and it also showcases the incredulous level of lighting and sound production in the venue, with every last neon being deployed to confound and push the senses. We move on to witness Ivan Smagghe’s electrolaced house groovers, totally engaging in the Terrace, and his set makes way for Miss Kittin who continues the French theme.
But let’s rewind. Following the incredible night we had last month, Crack is back in Ibiza to host Space’s El Salon room once again. We’re sat at an open beach side bar, idly sipping wine while Pardon My French and our Futureboogie-affiliated, Bristol-based friend Lukas is spinning a set of Balearic and down tempo grooves, with the tender Frank Wiedemann edit of Howling’s Shortline feeling like a highlight as the air cools and sky darkens.
Back in El Salon, Crack couldn’t be prouder of our boys, who are building up quite the loyal crowd – Pardon My French with their disco-infused house bubblers and WLT with a techier exploration of the genre. After remaining here until the 5am closing time with a B2B back session that looked and sounded like three kids let loose in a sweet shop, the result was some serious dancing and one of the most joyous takeovers we’ve had the pleasure of partaking in.
Then it’s time for Space. With Lukas and the PMF boys seizing control over the El Salon’s DJ booth, we faction off to check out Jimmy Edgar and Machinedrum fully utilise the power of the Discoteca’s world famous, 360 degree Funktion One soundsystem with their collaborative live project JETS.
After polishing things off with Derrick May’s techno education from yesteryear and subsequent 7am scramble into the DJ booth to talk him post-set, there was a palpable sense of achievement at the end of the night. We retired to Playa d’en Bossa beach with beer crate in hand and Space conquered.
After meandering between El Salon, the Caja Roja room, the Discoteca and the partially open air Premier Etage, the terrace becomes our next fixed destination, partly due to the fact that Robert Hood is positioned behind decks. Tonight, the Underground Resistance legend is playing as Floorplan, the alias he released the excellent full-length Paradise this year under, and he delivers just what we were hoping for – a relentless and hyperactive set of pumping house – before our whole crew is reunited for Sneak’s finale.
PART TWO | AUGUST 25TH “I’m A House Gangster” reads a sticker plastered on a wall near Playa d’en Bossa. It’s a statement made famous by the legendary DJ Sneak. As it happens, we’ll be greeting the man in person at sunrise as he leaves Space following a triumphant set on the club’s terrace.
And once Monday morning’s sun is risen, it’s time to peel ourselves away. As we stumble towards the cab station, we’re satisfied in the knowledge that we’ve just completed another stint at one of Ibiza's most renowned clubs, at a series so successful it still appears to be going from strength to strength after 15 years in the game. ---------Words: Thomas Frost + David Reed
Beacons Funkirk Estate, Yorkshire | August 16th-18th Many feared Beacons purged from the earth after the cancellation of its inaugural outing just two years ago, but Crack knows better – as do the 7,000 attendees at this year’s third term of tenure. The perpetually awesome 4/4 bastion Move D is first up, amorously toying with his minions. Bonobo has less luck, struggling to calibrate his instrumentally transcendental oeuvre. Friday climaxes with John Talabot, who transfigures the hipsterific midnight mass into an morphous unit of fist pumping adulation. On Saturday night, Bondax drop Lil Kim classics and Navy Shade’s Oh My Love among their own infectiously catchy tunes. Bicep bring the vitality-levels to boiling temperatures as a vintage blast of Inner City gets bodies intertwining. Heck, even Hessle Audio honcho Ben UFO opts for hands-in-the-air euphoria with diva-tinged vocal and piano keys thanks to Robert Hood’s Floorplan track Never Grow Old. Machinedrum’s set includes plenty of post-jungle workouts, inspiring a ridiculous amount of people to clamber on shoulders. Theo Parrish is given Sunday night’s closing slot, and the infamously ornery veteran actually looks overjoyed. Rampantly soulful classic house and funk excursions from a deeply respected selector turns out, as if we doubted it, to be a perfect finale to the weekend. ----------Words: Joshua Nevett, Leah Connolly + Tom Howells Photo: Nicola Radford
Green Ma n Glanusk, Wales | August 15th-18th After 11 years, Green Man has perfected a trick which was impressive back when it was a tiny, low key affair, and is nothing short of astounding now that 17,000 people roll in for four days: it’s a festival that feels like it really means it. Partly it’s because the grinding corporate sponsorship of other festivals this size is completely absent – replaced by pagan statues and symbols. Plus, despite having acres of spare space, punters aren’t crammed in like sardines, so the messy can get messier and the mellow can stay mellow. But most of all, it’s the line-up: a fiercely independent and authentic list of artists. Friday started with a bang, with newcomers Fist of the First Man crafting a jagged, angular, rhythmic riot, sounding something like At The Drive-In strapped to a breakbeat backbone. A sun-soaked crowd on the main stage absorbed the ethereal, subtle orchestration of Julia Holter, sounding supernaturally beautiful in the weird, wild Welsh hills. And when headliners Fuck Buttons took to the Far Out tent, their searing, industrial, tribal rhythms put any lingering doubts that Green Man is a ‘folk’ festival firmly to bed. Strangely, and frustratingly, sound levels were
drastically cut for Ewan Pearson and Andrew Weatherall’s late night soiree, leaving their sets sounding pedestrian and workaday. Saturday’s line-up would have put a festival twice its size to shame. The Horrors, although hardly pushing boundaries, showed why they are held in such high regard with the synth-led 80s stylings of stone-cold anthem Still Life. Villagers put on perhaps the performance of the weekend, Connor O’Brien’s dark, wistful storytelling stretching a narrative web across thorny branches of rhythm and guitar. Jon Hopkins eschewed his twinkly, piano-led material for a set of fizzing, spluttering, stomping electronic raucousness. And as late night turned to early morning, Nathan Fake launched an armada of gleaming, strobing, techno fireflies to keep the dawn chorus at bay. Sunday brought the soft, soothing pleasures of Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit, the gentle, swooping but angular alt-pop of Local Natives, the curtainclosing high-jinx of the burning of the giant wooden Green Man and the superstyled sounds of Daniel Avery. All hail, then, Green Man: a genuinely independent, diverse and eclectic weekend of noise and people in a field, and still, after all these years, the circuit’s best kept secret. ----------Words: Adam Corner Photo: Daniel Mackie
L a R o u te Du Ro c k St. Malo, France | August 15th-17th Set in the 18th century Fort de Saint-Père in St. Malo, Brittany, La Route Du Rock has become one of the most cherished landmarks on the European Festival calendar since its inception in 1991. The first act to draw us into Thursday’s festivities are Iceage, whose live sets seem to take a constant pummeling. But today, they channel their obnoxious energy into an exhilarating urgency. It’s then time for the most anticipated set of the weekend and one of the most important acts in modern music: the irrepressible Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Following a vaguely harrowing photo pit experience, what transpires is an utterly transfixing, utterly flawless performance, peaking early with a perfect Jubilee Street and giving barely an inch from that point on. The act that follows are masters of their own, very different realm. Drawing heavily from latest album THR!!!ER, !!!’s sound leans more towards the housier, beat-inflected element than ever, yet still filtered through that acid haze. Fuck Buttons are the perfect closing act. The fingers-in-the-ears quota soars, yet a core of masochists proudly drink in the devastating extremity. The hip-hop based beat of Red Wing is soon cut through by its stunning ascending bassline, before segueing into 15 minutes
of pure, brutish techno, thrilling and deafening. Friday begins with dude of the moment Jackson Scott. He and his band of bros are pretty rad, but probably not quite rad enough to justify the sudden elevation to the upper echelons of radness and arch-dudeness. On the main stage, what Bass Drum Of Death lack in bottom end, they make up for in sleazy nonsense and post-Nirvana pissriffs. In the closing slot, TNGHT drop 2 Chainz and Waka Flocka Flame bangers and – with a sense of pride – Kanye’s Blood on the Leaves. Yet it’s their own material that garners the best results, with finisher Acrylics leaving St. Malo clamouring for more. Parquet Courts’ set on the third day is nothing short of phenomenal. They also summon the best crowd reaction of the entire weekend, with endless waves of awesome French 16-year-olds crowd-surfing and doing metal horns while security guards look on admiringly. While on record, Hot Chip’s output may seem increasingly tired, tonight they come to life, and their set feels like a fully appropriate, hands in the air closer to a gleeful four-day celebration of music in a truly incredible setting.
Mo n e g ros Monegros Desert, Spain | July 20-21st With a sublime setting and gritty cutting edge music to boot, Monegros has developed a serious impact and name for itself within its 19 year career. As we arrived around 9pm, we narrowly avoided the gruelling heat as the sun was just dropping down over the horizon of the desert. Moving swiftly over to El Row arena, we absorbed a deep blend of techno from German hitter Marcel Dettmann, whose slower bpm set included some nice drops and naughty basslines, allowing Joris Voorn to up the ante with a more driving set to follow. Shortly after, we checked out Public Enemy, who sent their audience into a frenzy with their arsenal of classic rap bangers.The following night, we embraced a triple headed tech-house attack. First Loco Dice chugged out some stomping basslines with serious use of the effects unit, Carola followed him with some energetic and deeper cuts and by 4am Luciano brought the early rising sun up with Cadenza-style loops and drops of his own. Monegros is not for the faint hearted and if you want an early finish, then you’re pretty much stuck. But as the festival’s regulars know well, the madness is all part of the appeal.
--------------------Words + Photo: Geraint Davies Words: Rob Chadwick
V isions Various Venues, London | 10th August
Øya Oslo, Norway | August 6th - 10th “They’ve got under 12s collecting the empties. It’s like little rugrats underneath your feet”, was the exclamation from one of Crack’s journalistic cohorts as we sauntered from one side of Øya’s central Oslo site location to the other in no more than 10 minutes. Øya’s eco-friendly experience was symptomatic of the Norwegian way of life. The whole ‘get ‘em in, pack it out, get ‘em pissed’ strategy is refreshingly absent. Which has, however, resulted in £10-a-pint prices that would keep your standard punter in a state of complete sobriety. It was in an unlikely spot much closer to Crack’s home that we started Wednesday with the doom metal of Dorset’s Electric Wizard. Later we made our way to the Wu-Tang Clan spectacle on the Sjøsiden second stage. The group's veritable pantomime involves only four members initially appearing onstage, until the other four join in one track at a time culminating in Method Man’s appearance who, along with Ghostface Killah, remains the core engine of the Wu lyrical smashes.
music presented in a live setting, Claire Boucher forgets the words and drops beats out of place. A man with no such issues is Kendrick Lamar, who takes to his headline slot like he owns the festival with the backing of a full live band. Friday’s fun featured a solid performance from Parquet Courts followed by Goat, who cemented themselves as gig of the weekend with their psychedelic, rock, disco, world fusion fostering a wig-out in the Klubben tent. Kraftwerk’s 3D experience couldn’t be passed over as Friday’s headliner. It’s masterful stuff and even though the 3D is admittedly a little naff in places, the world wouldn’t be the same without the robots and their propulsive, otherworldly projection onto the electronic canvas. Saturday night’s headliners came in the form of two vastly contrasting heavyweights. Having fulfilled a lifetime ambition by having Slayer thrash the fuck out of our collective skulls, the plan was to generate an opinion on The Knife’s muchdiscussed dance troupe. They remain arguably the most divisive act in music, and rightly so. We remain firmly on the fence. What we’re left in no doubt of, though, is that Øya’s attention to detail and community feel give it a refined majesty that will doubtless appeal to any honest music fan. --------Words: Thomas Frost Photos: Timmy Fist
Hyped, we moved along to Grimes. Oh Grimes. After a much-publicised inner battle around the confidence of her
Despite the rapid resurgence of big electronic events all over London, it’s been a trying couple of years for credible, guitar-based city festivals. So props to the Visions organisers for bucking the trend and taking the plunge, and double props for making this multi-venue all dayer really fucking great. Luring in a big crowd to the stripped back warehouse style space of Netil House, The Wytches signal the first dose of sweat-soaked rock. The Brighton-based three-piece ooze youthful confidence, tearing through Crying Clown and Beehive Queen as if they’re stood nose to brick in their bedroom screaming at the wall after a particularly bitter break up. The contrast between the day’s blazing sun and The Soft Moon couldn’t have been more marked considering the Oakland group’s gratuitous use of strobe, dry ice and moody lighting, but they more than justified the decision to venture inside a packed Oval Space with a sensual blend of screeching feedback, chugging Kraut rhythms, and militant snare rattles. Sadly, the same can’t be said of Iceage, who are by all metrics a letdown. A flat start draws zero audience response, and while the crowd begin directing more energy towards the stage, the Danish quartet never truly get out of second gear. Bar perhaps lead singer Elias Rønnenfelt, the band look absolutely exhausted, pushing out rickety, flailing reproductions of the usually excellent raw punk nuggets on You’re Nothing, and badly smudging their sound into mush. As the sun slowly swings beneath the horizon, it’s hard to think of a better act than The Haxan Cloak to play parallel to the impending darkness. The Oval Space seems to creak and stand completely still as hollow distress and alien whirls transform this tiny section of East London into a graveyard. The whole affair feels like a prolonged intro to a Burial opera, although reducing The Haxan Cloak’s sound with such a lazy comparison overlooks how much of an original, cinematic nail he’s smashed down into the coffin lid. Ohio scuzz poppers Cloud Nothings, we’ve found, can be guilty of lacklustre and sullen performances if they’re playing in an inappropriate context. But tonight, they’re absolutely incendiary.Proving the perfect fit for Netil House’s barrier-less basement vibe, they cause total pandemonium, with topless crowdsurfers high-fiving while cruising over heads and bouncers acting less as a buffer and more a springboard. Although split between two venues, Visions feels more like an extended gig line-up than a festival. And in all honesty, it feels like the event could be stretched out across an entire weekend in the future. Let’s hope the organisers have the vision to build upon a near-flawless start for 2014. ----------Words: Charlie Wood + Gabriel Szatan Photo: Xander Lloyd
F a r m F e st iv a l Gilcombe Farm, Somerset | July 26th-27th Eight years back, a few mates wanted to put on a party for friends. A party that their friends, and their friends’ friends, could play at. They wanted to make a bit of money for charity, too. And now, Farm Fest welcomes 4,000 or so folk over two days and nights. The music is massively varied. By day, a consistently high quality blend of folk, electronica, post-rock, indie, hip-hop, jazz, funk, soul, you name it, and by night, when the main stage (a lorry, basically) is hiding quietly in the corner, people lose their shit and party to house, electronica and disco in the marquees. Over the course of the weekend, we see West Country guitarist The Flamenco Thief paint visions of old Westerns and tumbleweed-filled deserts, I. This. Yes. channel the more refined side of Mogwai while adding a sprinkling of Tortoise, and satirical art-punks Art Brut introduce themselves with a cover of Guns N’ Roses’ Paradise City.
Readin g Richfield Avenue, Reading | August 23rd-25th Reading Festival doesn’t come without connotations. Nightmarish visions of lukewarm Carling at the tail-end of a Gogol Bordello set, or seeing two guys play-fighting while Jen Long DJs at the Silent Disco. But Reading 2013 didn’t disappoint.
quickly going back to the songs nobody cares about. Keen for some really unpalatable rap, Sunday could only start with Waka Flocka Flame: cue airhorn on airhorn, manic DJing and rampant head-banging. Reading isn’t a weekend for arms-crossed modish musos. It’s a time to admit you once thought Billie Joe Armstrong was cool, that AlunaGeorge in the charts isn’t the end of the world, and that, at the end of the day, the kids are alright.
Friday’s highlight was undeniably Green Day, who delighted everyone’s inner preteen by playing Dookie in full. Action Bronson brought out Chance The Rapper for what was Saturday’s most euphoric moment, before we checked out Eminem’s headline slot. If we learnt one thing from the set, it’s that opening with a track which was tailor-made for Call of Duty and using gameplay footage as a backdrop isn’t that entertaining.
Words: Dan Fowler
Marshall later hurriedly mish-mashed My Name Is and The Real Slim Shady, before
Words: Duncan Harrison
It would be trite to say things could be done to sharpen Farm Festival, and the fact that it’s slightly unrefined is understandable for an event of this ilk. Most importantly, there’s definitely a little bit of magic to this place.
S to p M a kin g S e n se
E a s t e r n E le c t rics Knebworth Park | August 2nd-4th
The Garden, Tisno, Croatia | August 1st-4th
F l ow
Taking the step from sporadic club nights and sunsoaked one dayers to a full three days of festival endeavours, this resounding success from customary chameleons Eastern Electrics proved they were fully justified in their refusal to sit still. After exploring the pleasingly accessible festival site, we checked out Theo Parrish warming up with full on Detroit house and disco flavours. Then came Moderat. A soaring, melodic start signalled their main intent – to tear through material from their new album – but as they went on, they made excursions to older tracks, satisfying a fan-filled crowd. We caught Dixon midway through his set, and the Innervisions boss was his usual, sensei-like self, blending a few peak-time rattlers with ‘more challenging’ material with precision and grace. Our favourite stage quickly became Igloovision. A round tent with 360 visuals, it came kitted-out with four Funktion
Helsinki, Finland | August 7th-11th With two million saunas and a population of five million people, the Finnish are a nation who’re comfortable in their own skin. This has been reflected in the bold ambition of Flow. Attention to detail is notable from the bold graphics and art direction, to the options of soaking up talks with labels and producers. On day one, Kendrick Lamar commanded thousands to his main stage set, before Moderat provided an engrossing and euphoric climax for the evening. My Bloody Valentine took centre stage on Saturday and delivered the loudest gig we’ve ever witnessed. We caught Factory Floor’s live industrial slant on techno, intense and thoroughly gripping throughout, before Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds took to the remarkably intimate main stage. Getting close to Cave was a privilege; all wild prowling, explosive groin thrusting and passionate lyrical delivery. Sunday saw Public Enemy bringing the hype with Chuck D and Flavor Flav’s chemistry energising the crowd, before Kraftwerk’s 3D show then transported us to outer space for Spacelab, the autobahn for Autobahn, and the Tour de France for ... well, Tour De France. This festival was all about the music, a wholesome experience rather than gruelling hedonism and multiple memory blanks. We’ve never felt so refreshed on a post-festival Monday. ---------
After dancing round the beach stage to a set of progressive, emotive electronica from John Talabot, we meandered our way to the out-of-town club Barbarellas, where San Soda proved once again he’s a name on the rise. The following evening, the Beach Bar saw Appleblim funnelling his encyclopaedic knowledge of leftfield beats into a groove-focused set and Midland flaunt his trademark bass-driven house sound as the dancefloor filled up and the technicolour prisms of the stage’s lighting reflected off the surface of the ocean. Saturday morning arrived and some of our crew were decidedly ropey. But while at many festivals you’d spend your morning trying to re-hammer your loose tent pegs with an unopened tin of beans, here we got to recover on the beach. A few Malibu and pineapples later, we’d have been content with forming a conga line to Mambo No.5, however we returned to the festival site to catch Prins Thomas’s alluring astro-disco. We boarded the Argonaut on the final day for our very own Crack boat party. Our residents Pardon My French warmed up with some down-tempo Balearic grooves as the boat’s engine got going. In anticipation of Radio Slave’s arrival, the duo delved into some techier material, with the crowd pleasing Carl Craig remix of LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver thrown out mid set. Not one to cause a scene, Radio Slave began following us on a speedboat, and climbed onboard just in time for a hard hitting set epitomised by Matthew Dear’s hyperactive Audion cut Mouth To Mouth.
Ones, ensuring enveloping sound. The man of the day was DJ Koze, who after a two-hour education, ended with Jon
Whoever had the bright idea of constructing The Garden has not only succeeded in creating a man-made bay feel as idyllic and natural as one could possibly hope; they’ve also crafted a perfect balance between partying and holidaying in veritable bliss.
Words: Clark Merkin
Hopkins’ magnum opus Open Eye Signal, transforming it with all kinds of fades and switches acting as a conduit to the song’s inherent beautiful chaos. Back at the Igloo on Saturday, an undoubted weekend highlight was Roman Flügel: from futuristic Italo disco he
Our weekend climaxed at Barbarellas, where Âme and Dixon’s set proved to be the festival’s most euphoric experience. The Innervisions pair roamed deep territory with a set which juggled obscurities with era defining anthems such as Ten Walls’ Gotham.
delved into the type of kaleidoscopic acid odyssey that has come to characterise his sound. After a chance meeting with him at The Switchyard, we headed to the Just Jack stage for a set from Detroit nu-breed Kyle Hall. Unapologetically
With the sun fully risen, it was time to head for the airport. Exhausted, of course, but the aftermath wasn’t as brutal as we’d have expected. Because with an uncrowded line-up and an unspoilt location, the vibe of Stop Making Sense is refreshingly serene. And if the organisers can preserve this unique charm, then there’s no doubt we’ll be back at The Garden next summer.
storming through penetrating acid and lo-fi bangers, Hall’s nonchalant immediacy brought a refreshing rawness to the palette of the weekend. Such was the rich choice of closing sets on Sunday we opted to boozily run between them all. We caught about 15 minutes of Gerd – 90s house, some disco edits, consummately-mixed – before we headed to the Star of EE, where Skream pulled
Tauron No wa Muzyka
-------Words: David Reed + Thomas Frost Photo: Anomalous Visuals
Katowice, Poland | August 22nd-25th
off an impressively accomplished disco set, and undoubtedly won over a raucous crowd by finishing on the full 20+ minute version of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. Then, finally, bed. Curiously orange, muscle-bound men; preening Dalstonites with mud-covered Nike Airs; fabulous lycra-clad queens; nervous-looking
grizzled music hacks. All these different groups, and more, decided to go to a large country estate north of London to listen to dance music. Events like Eastern Electrics show the love remains strong, and long may it continue. ----------Words: Anna Tehabsim + Rob Bates Photo: Mark Sethi
Tauron Nowa Muzyka Festival attracts a modest, mostly domestic, crowd of around 8,000 people. Its former industrial setting provides the backdrop to a line-up of international artists at the forefront of today’s massively expanding, increasingly intelligent, electronic music scene. Our first night’s highlight comes from Zebra Katz, who channels the spirit of Grace Jones with his towering figure and camp demeanour. When Ima Read drops you can barely see the action for all the hands reaching towards the larger than life art-rap fashionista. We end our night stomping wildly to breakcore genius Venetian Snares. With the festival opening its gates at 7pm, sunset on day two sees us enraptured by Gregor Schwellenbach playing 20 years worth of Kompakt Records with a string quartet and his piano. Syria’s sweetheart Omar Souleyman experiences some tech issues, but nevertheless gets everyone shuffling to his Eastern interpretation of a very Western genre. Moderat seem to be experiencing no difficulty whatsoever, elaborate visuals and compelling stage presence contributing to an inevitably thrilling set. The final day saw us in a vast, beautiful Polish orthodox church in the city centre, being soothed by the sounds of Darkstar. The wind down vibe was exultant, the young crowd clearly dazzled by the weekend they’d just experienced.
// MORE LIVE GIG AND FESTIVAL REVIEWS AT CRACKMAGAZINE.NET
--------Words: Billy Black
B Y ADAM C O RNE R , J O S H U A NE V E T T, J O N C L A RK , D U NC A N H A RRI S O N, J A M E S B A L M O NT, A NNA T E H ABS I M, PH I L I P JAME S AL L E N, D AVI D R E E D , RI C H B I T T, T RE V O R C AV E L L
BABYSHAMBLES SEQUEL TO THE PREQUEL EMI CRASH OF RHINOS KNOTS Big Scary Monsters/Top Shelf/To Lose La Track
8/20 Ok, so once we’ve all recovered from the collective embarrassment of the noughties winklepicker-indie hangover, Up The Bracket might well be acknowledged as one of best British albums of that decade. But due to Doherty’s painful and very public descent, his style of doe-eyed romanticism and faux-Dickensian posturing has become a cringe-inducing prospect. We’ve ended up with a generation of twentysomethings haunted by memories of e-mail addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org and constantly refreshing the libertines.org homepage in the hope that our Pete might invite everyone to an impromptu gig in a squat littered with taxidermy, dogeared Graham Greene novels and hypodermic needles. So who in their right mind listens to a new Babyshambles album in 2013? The record’s title is a stinker, and Damien Hirst’s woeful cover art suggests there’s more than one expired UK icon involved. But for ex-fanboys/girls, it’s worth a blast just for old time’s sake. There’s a naïve charm to Doherty’s enthusiasm on Maybelline, and the band do a cute job of playing around with The Velvet Underground’s Sweet Jane riff on Farmer’s Daughter. But once you’ve hit the unlistenable title track, followed by the cod-ska misfire Dr No, it’s hard not to be plagued by this record’s innate daftness. DR
16/20 Texas is the Reason have sold out venues in Scotland and Manchester, Braid have toured the UK and five dishevelled-looking chaps from Derby might just have made one of the best albums of its ilk to be released in 2013. It’s been a funny sort of year for 90s emo. Similar to the hugely underrated Wooderson (Bombed Out Records), Crash of Rhinos owe a large amount of their sound to their US counterparts (Dischord, mid-90s Revelation and Jade Tree Records to name a few), but there is something whole heartedly ‘UK’ about the sound they conjure; see the harmonies of Pylon, the riffs of Dugong and the intricacy of countless Boss Tuneage Records releases which all punctuate the record at various points. For those expecting Knots to reach a similarly level to their debut album, 2011’s Distal, there’s a surprise in store; the breadth of ideas that record showed has been bravely and powerfully realised, pushing them up to another level entirely. Whether you see them at a sweaty Derby pub, a festival, or a sold out London venue, Crash of Rhinos are pretty much the greatest thing to come out of Derby since Mart Poom. TC
JUICY J STAY TRIPPY Taylor Gang / Kemosabe / Columbia
FOREST SWORDS ENGRAVINGS Tri Angle
Stay Trippy is a one-hour expedition into the Juicy J of 2013; a character whose excessive lifestyle is the framework for his entire creative output. The former Three 6 Mafia man makes no apologies and shows no signs of stopping. Bandz a Make Her Dance is Juicy letting listeners know that women will dance at the strip club if they get money, which is something he has done loads of times. The Woods is a song about having sex in ‘the woods’. Scholarship is Juicy J offering cash for college fees, but you have to do the splits on a boat or something before he gives you any. But beneath the bravado there is the shadow of a man who was once part of a menacing Memphis hip-hop outfit and is now so devastatingly committed to trippiness that his credibility is waning. There are many spritely young things capable of making stripper-friendly bangers which would allow Juicy J to take some time off. He could see Asia, learn to cook or get a pet or something. Devastating as it is compelling, Stay Trippy is far from a triumph. It is a shallow exposé of a man who is victim to his own recklessness in the least rock ‘n’ roll way possible. DH
Engravings is beset with a chasmic atmosphere reminiscent of one of the opening passages of Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. Lost of her parents, the terrified Chihiro finds herself stranded on the dark island bath house, awestruck and rendered woozy with fear by the blinding light of the approaching paddle steamer and the grotesquely elegant spirits disembarking from it. Matthew Barnes’ music places the listener in the same druggedly blurry headspace. Descriptions of his work have been consistently affixed with lists of genre signifiers, from stripped techno through drone, krautrock and dub, though it’s his woodsy appropriation of the very latter which feels like an anchor to this record. Rhythmically, tracks stumble rather than lurch, occasionally locking into moments of propulsion but more often than not providing a skittering base for eerie instrumentation. Though the record is aesthetically consistent, each track’s idiosyncratically treated parts mean endless sonic highlights, be they the simple analogue loops of Anneka’s Battle, or Thor’s Stone’s blistered pipe sample, laid over a ghostly vocal and minimal kick drum. The record’s strongest track is The Weight of Gold; its gorgeous main riff cutting sharp trebles through insistent clatter, buried dub and something of an actual vocal line. Engravings is a hugely haunting and genuinely idiosyncratic piece of work. TH
JESSY LANZA PULL MY HAIR BACK Hyperdub
SUMMER CAMP SUMMER CAMP Moshi Moshi
Demanding some serious attention prior to its release, the glory of this LP sits gently between clean production and intimate hues. Produced jointly with Jeremy Greenspan of Junior Boys, Lanza’s training in jazz performance and classical piano lends to the accomplished melodies and crisp precision that become embroiled in, and wholly carried by, her distinct coos. Her vocals are warm and understated, as on title track Pull My Hair Back, where breathy whispers interplay flatly suggestive lyricism through delicately demure tones. Intro track Giddy disorientates with acidic textures, whilst upbeat album midpoint Keep Moving is a more danceable affair, where vocal influences Melba Moore and Evelyn Champagne King shine through, ultimately offset by the haunting flutters of synths and arpeggiated bass that form the basis of the album’s tangible richness. Intended as an R&B full length, Pull My Hair Back’s transcendental nature allows it to be interpreted in many ways. Jessy Lanza’s debut album for Hyperdub is a glistening exemplar of what electronic pop can, and should, be. Inheriting subtle but discernible hip-hop and 80s influences, Pull My Hair Back is fundamentally driven by impeccable simplicity; haunting R&B from the gloomy bedroom, for the gloomy bedroom. AT
Many descriptions are banded around about Jeremy Warmsey and Elizabeth Sankey’s Summer Camp, but what their new self-titled LP shows is that they are un-prefix-able. The most effective way to categorise them is as pop. By no means the negative epithet it once was, the pop on display here is buoyant and infectious. It celebrates positive and negative emotion in equal measure, ladling on melodrama to create idealised notions of life – no real departure, then, from 2011’s Welcome To Condale in terms of subject matter. Sankey’s lyrics compliment Warmsey’s musicianship excellently. Tracks like Two Chords, The End and Fresh show a new beat-heavy side of the band; where their earlier records were led by guitar and synth, this one is merely bolstered by them, they are better placed and far more subtly used. The only real issue is Crazy, where the hesitant beat and melody of the verse fails to live up to the excitement of the introduction. All told, an excellent pop record from a band who seem to have nailed everything about pop music apart from the popular bit. It’s rooted firmly in nostalgia and is frankly all the better for it; we won’t see them twerking any time soon. JC
EARL SWEATHSHIRT DORIS Tan Cressida 17/20 The real story behind this album enhanced the mythology more than any fictious rumours or the ‘Free Earl’ campaign ever could. At the age of 16 Earl dropped his first mixtape, which proved him not only to be Odd Future’s most lyrically noxious rapper, but also flaunted a level of skill unrivalled in the wider context of contemporary hip-hop. But just as OF’s hype began to rapidly circulate, Earl suddenly vanished in June 2010. Then came the revelations that he’d been sent to a Samoan boarding school for at-risk youths, and that the absent father he’d vehemently lambasted in his raps was, in fact, the South African poet and political activist Keorapetse Kgositsile. So after arriving back on US soil last year, Earl’s comeback album is finally here. “I’m afraid I’m going to blow it, and all them expectations raising for me because daddy was a poet”, he confesses on Burgundy. So how does he meet the expectations? Following a moral turn in Samoa, he’s ruled out the grim violent fantasies of his old material, and here he tries to preserves the notoriety of his lyricism with figurative rather than literal extreme imagery and sustains our intrigue by reflecting on his surreal life story as if he’s lying on the shrink’s couch. Tyler, The Creator is wisely kept at arm’s length, although he shows up to lower the tone on Sasquatch and he’s largely responsible for album highlight Woah. Over the track’s queasy, lo-fi beat, the pair resume unfinished business from 2010, with Earl at his most playful: “the misadventures of a shit-talker/ pissed as Rick Ross’s fifth sip of his sixth lager” while Tyler budges in to spit gritty hooks packed with obnoxious skate rat menace. There’s not a badly written verse on the album, though Earl’s newly sedated style which worked when he played the Xanax-popping Beverly Hills brat on Frank Ocean’s Super Rich Kids and mirrors his emotional shell-shock on Chum – often feels too lacklustre. It’s a flaw that disqualifies Doris from perfection, but here the thrill of Earl’s talent eclipses the sensationalism which surrounds his name, an outcome that like the tale which preludes the album, is almost stranger than fiction. DR
THE FIELD CUPID’S HEAD Kompakt
HIS ELECTRO BLUE VOICE RUTHLESS SPERM Sub Pop
The Kompakt stable has many shining stars, but the pulsating, shape-shifting deep electronic shamanism of The Field has got to be one of the brightest. If you wanted to be critical, you could argue that on this fourth album, Alex Wilner is operating a strict ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ policy. And occasionally – as on Black Sea – it sounds like The Field-by-numbers. But this is the exception to the rule: the title track is a chiming, shimmering piece of looping, technicolor techno; the hypnotic A Guided Tour is a masterclass in melodic restraint; and yet album closer 20 Seconds of Affection is claustrophobic/euphoric enough to be a Fuck Buttons secret weapon. It’s the penultimate track No No which steals the show. An unsettling ambient web unfurls, before Wilner drops a spine-tingling pitter-patter of a beat halfway through, and a trap door into a hidden world is opened. As a cohesive whole, the album doesn’t necessarily surpass his previous effort Looping State of Mind. But moments like No No suggest that Wilner is still pretty much at the top of his game. Powerful, unnerving and sublime in the way that only some artists are, this is music to wrap yourself up in and drift away. AC
Here’s an album made up entirely of songs with unattractive and duo-syllabic titles, collected under the promisingly freakish header of Ruthless Sperm. And with the opening bars of the menacing thwock and painful bounce of Death Climb, it’s instantly clear this is a Sub Pop record. Album highlight Spit Dirt grows from a throttling, Moon Duo-esque drone into a curiously spacey glide, before guitars melodically mould themselves around the silver arrow at the peak of this eight minute phenomenon. It’s tracks like these that made Sub Pop, and it's tracks like these that continue to maintain the label’s outstanding and welldeserved reputation. Sea Bug picks up the pace with fuzzed out riffs and yelps before the plodding bass line of Tumor infests your brain, and then The Path opens like a classic grunge anthem until it twists around itself into another space jam, eventually closing with a terrifying coda of rasping chants. Born Tired opens the door for the album’s closer Red Earth, and it’s at this point where the record loses its momentum. But that’s okay, because despite the limp finale, by this point this Italian three-piece have flaunted some of the most engaging, addictive and galvanised material Sub Pop have released in years. JB
ASAP FERG TRAP LORD ASAP Worldwide/Polo Grounds Music/RCA
PINS GIRLS LIKE US Bella Union 15/20
15/20 This ASAP Mobster's debut record showcases a formidable beast that’s been hidden in the underbelly of major label hip-hop for too long. The LP’s production captures the haziness of the Clams/Rocky sound, but given a new lease of terror. Even the largely upbeat tones of Hood Pope are underpinned by an unmissable sense of menace and gothic severity. The misogynistic, unpalatable lyricism is taken to new levels of irreverence, so frank it’s almost backwardly invigorating. But it’s the generic Lex Luger-esque moments of Trap Lord that hold the record back. Work features spots from Trinidad James, French Montana, Schoolboy Q and ASAP Rocky; a who’s-who of molly-infused twerk-rap. Make A Scene is a guest-free effort which has the most absorbing production of the album, a perfect demonstration of Ferg’s shadowy interpretation of dancehall melodies. If you can forgive the cliched feature spots and occasionally predictable lyrics, Trap Lord seems like a record from a man with some seriously unhinged prospects lurking in his subconscious. You’ll probably finish the album with more questions than answers, but keeping Ferg at arm’s length might be wise. Rap’s underworld may have found a budding Hades. DH
We’re coming up to half a century since the Velvets’ first album laid down the aesthetic and sonic groundwork for punk and goth: there seems to be no sign in the trend subsiding. Savages and Pins have both taken this idealised New York – both combining aspects of Warhol’s factory and the slightly later CBGB’s scene – and made it their own. But where Savages seem content to thrash around and shout a phrase over and over again in practically every bloody chorus they’ve ever written, the debut by Pins is a much more varied, nuanced affair. It is a less taut, menacing record than Savages’ debut, recalling somewhat looser bands such as The Duke Spirit, key to which is Pins’ use of the organ. Similarly, lyrics are distinctly human, with lines such as “Is it cause you want to get with me / I can be anything you want me to be” bringing proceedings refreshingly down to earth. Pins’ debut is certainly a strong one. They burst the bubble of pretension which lurks within post-punk; even the goth-obligatory spoken word track Velvet Morning is reasonably tasteful. But when will this post-punk fad end? Where Will It End? (Joy Division reference alert). JC
ARCTIC MONKEYS AM Domino 16/20 It’s 2013 and Arctic Monkeys are careering through the High Desert of Southern California in a beat up Mustang, blazing a trail with their flaming Stratocasters in tow. AM, their fifth record, is an album of polar opposites, a dichotomy of thematic and geographical elements distilled and refined by Alex Turner’s punk spirited roots and oft-visited avenues of debauched romanticism. It wasn’t until the penning of barnstorming 2012 single R U Mine that this band fully straddled the musical chasm across the transatlantic frontier. The slow burning blues jam of Do I Wanna Know is the first track to cross reference its genealogy, a sexually fuelled opener complete with Alex enquiring “I’m wondering if your heart’s still open / and if so I wanna know what time it shuts?”. The recording of their third album Humbug in Joshua Tree is by no means inconsequential either. Josh Homme’s footprints still make a significant indent, albeit in less visible measures. Fans of Turner’s more melancholic tendencies should look no further than Mad Sounds – a homage to a song of the same name written by early Monkeys producer, Alan Smyth – No.1 Party Anthem, and I Wanna Be Yours – a plaintive and melodious rehash of John Cooper Clarke’s poem but with the surprise addition of a drum machine. It’s Arabella where AM really comes full circle – a track that touts Arctic Monkeys as industrial riff merchants by way of a lolloping Dr Dre-esque intro for a freakish wig-out of a chorus/outro. Mostly gone is the listlessness of youth, the tongue-in-cheek nihilisms and the warts ‘n all lyricism that has come to define the body of their early work, diluted and contorted by West Coast Americanisms and slick haircuts. Which, if attempted by a group of lesser stature, would be denounced as sacrilegious codswallop quicker than Snoop Dogg’s affiliation with the Rastafarian movement. See the correlation? You’ll probably struggle to phantom why, but AM prevails as an unlikely forerunner to the American dream only a fistful of bands have succeeded in making a reality. U.S.A? A-OK. JN
VARIOUS ARTISTS CROATIA SESSIONS Ministry of Sound
ISLET RELEASED BY THE MOVEMENT Shape Records
Stop Making Sense. Garden. Hideout. Dimensions. Unknown. There’s no denying that in recent years, Croatia has increasingly become the destination of choice for the European dance music community throughout the summer months, where house, techno, bass and electro devotees flock from the UK in their tens of thousands to expose their pasty torsos to the roaring Adriatic sun and get boisterous on boats to the world’s foremost DJs. Clubbing institution Ministry of Sound have produced this pitch-perfect snapshot of the Croatian zeitgeist, presenting two discs reflecting the duality which makes these festivals so appealing; a Day mix, to summarise the blissfully placid sunlit hours, and Night, to reflect the tougher-edged sounds and shenanigans which spread as evening sets in. So from the first – seamlessly mixed – CD’s offerings from Letherette, Bonobo, and a gorgeous John Talabot remix of Peaking Lights’ Beautiful Son, we are dexterously segued into material from Nina Kraviz, a Daphni remix of Hot Chip, and proudly up-front cuts from Radio Slave and Eats Everything/Justin Martin as the mix picks up pace, straddling on-trend house and techno sounds. All in all, this is a slick and enjoyable retrospective of this summer’s definitive party scene. RB
In the tradition of non-tradition, Welsh quartet Islet’s second album is a free and wild ride through their psychedelic minds. The album begins with the whimsical atmosphere of Triangulation Station, all spooky vocals and shuffling percussion. Carlos is the best track on the album, with choppy guitar work and a Foals-esque chorus proving truly euphoric. Interspersed throughout are short musical interludes which allow each track to break free of conventional structure and bathe in loving atmospherics. Tripping Through The Blue Room Part One is one such interlude, leading into ...Part Two, where the melancholic guitar melody rubs up against a chorus of indistinguishable moans making for a luscious sonic landscape. Citrus Peel manages to be simultaneously off key and melodic, whilst album closer Rip Bark, with its crunchy beats, languid vocals and swaying melody, leaves the listener pining for more. There’s plenty to like about this sophomore album, though it’s not necessarily a step up from the band’s debut, rather a side step. Production is lo-fi, and the band’s evident musical aptitude can sometimes become indistinguishable. But nonetheless, Islet’s single-minded inventiveness continues to make this band an essential live act, where their passion and playfulness can really come to the fore. PJA
MARK LANEGAN IMITATIONS Vagrant
FACTORY FLOOR FACTORY FLOOR DFA
From the very opening bars of Chelsea Wolfe’s spine-tingling Flatlands, Mark Lanegan casts a spell that is all but sustained for a truly enchanting episode. With this collection of covers, built up of 50s and 60s songs taken from his parents’ record collection, as well as a handful of contemporary artists, Lanegan sounds more soulful and melancholy than we’ve ever heard him before. The gruff vibrato of Nancy Sinatra’s You Only Live Twice cuts through like a tearful lullaby, before a rendition of her dad’s Pretty Colours demonstrates Lanegan’s enthralling capabilities as a soaring crooner. Nick Cave’s Brompton Oratory then floats in as the epitome of the album’s stunning instrumentation: twinkling acoustic arpeggios, softly swept bass lines and heavenly winds of brass and strings. Tracks like Hall & Oates’ She’s Gone, Bobby Darin’s Mack the Knife and Gérard Manset’s Gallic tongued Elégie Funèbre stir up the sombre mood, and though this does unsettle the otherwise uncanny transcendence of the album, they are still to be admired in their own rights. There’s a weathered romance to this album unlike anything we’ve heard for some time, and for that reason Imitations is a record we’ll be spinning for a while yet. JB
The eponymous full-length debut comes heavy with expectation, and for good reason. Their material to date has espoused a unique form of throbbing, headsdown post-punk influenced techno that sounds incredible in a dark sweaty club. Previous single Two Different Ways – characterised by a sultry, snaking synth line which welds itself to your brainstem – makes a welcome appearance here, and the strobing, industrial pulsation of Fall Back is the band at their best. In fact, taken individually, each and every track is a scything, scathing slab of electromiserablism, and pretty much every single one hits the mark. But, when placed one after another, the formula feels exhausting. The hands in the air Here Again takes a noticeably more accessible approach, in the sense that it’s both the most characteristically DFA track on the album and a chink of light in the otherwise stiflingly insular aesthetics. It might seem odd to complain of too much of a good thing, and we know we’d be eating our words (and the insides of our cheeks) if the very same set came screaming out of a warehouse sound system. But as a body of work to take home, sit down, and lose yourself in, the stylistic variation simply isn’t there. This isn’t the definitive statement it could have been. AC
Problems? C P
Splitting the arrow with ...
Denzil Schniffermann NO SOONER HAD CRACK ADVERTISED FOR A
NEW AGONY PERSON THAN WE RECEIVED A VERY
I’m an aspiring house producer and I’ve got all the ingredients for a great tune. Bubbly head-nodding bassline, killer synth hook, melodic keys and a great breakdown. But I’m missing the vital ingredient: that hot, hot female vocal. I mean, I’ve lost count of how many house tracks haven’t been ruined by a real sassy singer adding a bit of spice to the whole operation.
It seems like every time I turn my laptop on these days, I’m relentlessly bombarded by the word ‘Twerking’. Is this honestly what blokes are into these days?
DOWNRIGHT INSPIRING, CAPPED OFF WITH THE
Have you heard Kendrick Lamar’s verse on Control? Oh man, he killed it bro, the rap game’s never gonna be the same again. It’s like he’s coming at all the hottest MCs so hard. He said he's the King of New York, even though he's from LA! I’m worried that there’s gonna be beef with ASAP, but I guess if that happened then Drizzy would squash it. If I wrote about it on my blog would you fuck with it?
Ryan, 24, Northampton MOST IMPRESSIVE E-MAIL FOOTER YOU’VE EVER
Tommy, 21, Guildford
SEEN. SERIOUSLY, IT WAS MASSIVE.
Dancing, as they say, is the expression of one’s horizontal desires. So I can’t say I’m averse to this particular sensation. However, if you’ve no desire to shake your behind at such a speed, then why not try your hand at some more sophisticated styles? As you may have presumed, I’m quite the mover. In fact, I met my second wife at a Salsa class. She was the teacher. Unfortunately that flame burned brightly, but for a very short time indeed.
SIGNIFICANT E-MAIL. WHAT WE FOUND WITHIN WERE A COLLECTION OF WORDS WHICH WERE CONFRONTATIONAL, STRAIGHT-TALKING AND
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
Now I’m not claiming to be an expert in this field, the closest Schniffermann’s record collection gets to hip-hop is probably Michael Franti’s Spearhead or the second Fun Lovin’ Criminals album. Nevertheless, it’s clear to me that you’re talking absolute nonsense. The thing is Josh, you can keep the sticker on your overpriced baseball cap, you can make your moderate cannabis smoking habit known to anyone who’ll listen, and you can speak about American rap music as if your opinion on the matter carries some sort of authority, but this behaviour won’t mask the fact that you’re as middle class as a platter of meringues on a conservatory table.
You’ve come to the right place Ryan. I’ve been hanging out with these young upstarts of the house music scene and we’ve got a nice little contra-deal going on. They can’t churn out their beats quick enough and I’ve started my own agency where you can hire a generic house vocal from one of my lovely soulful ladies. I’ve called it Denzil’s Divas. They ring up and play me the beat and I get one of the ladies to lay down an ultra smooth hook. It usually goes something like: “Oooooh baby I want your loving, all night and every day. Ooooooooh.” Guetta and Avicii have got me on speed dial. There’s money in EDM son.
Louise, 33, Sheffield Denzil says:
GURU, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER, LIFE-COACH, SEXUAL ATHLETE, AND ABOVE ALL ... FRIEND.
// ANY PROBLEMS? CONTACT DENZIL@ CRACKMAGAZINE.NET
Politics? C M
Illustration: Lee Nutland www.leenutland.com
You need to stop stealing music. It’s just not on. It’s time to uninstall BitTorrent and establish a new-found respect for intellectual property. You wouldn’t steal a television or a handbag, would you? And what’s the difference between petty larceny and piracy?
It turns out there’s a big difference, and the situation was going to get a lot worse. Comparing swapping cassette tapes to using BitTorrent on a 20Mb/s-plus connection is like comparing Momma Jane’s fiveplant grow-op to the Gulf cartel’s cocaine operation. And maybe, just maybe, Metallica had a point.
Somehow my attitude didn’t change when my collection grew to tens of thousands of MP3s and my downloads folder contained dozens of untouched albums. I never stopped to think about whether I had the right to treat artists’ work this way or the level of impact it had.
When people started downloading, music modems made a series of beeps, clicks and high-pitched digital screams during dial-up, you had to disconnect when your mum needed the landline and it took 25 minutes to steal a single song. The problem is fans’ ambivalence towards piracy has barely changed since.
The court case happened at the start of the 00s, when UK album sales were three or four years away from reaching a peak of 163 million units per year in 2004 (after eight years of decline they hit a historic low of 101 million in 2012). Music sales have been utterly decimated over the last decade, and where artists do make sales they earn considerably less per purchase.
It’s been argued that music piracy is positive because it permits users to filter purchases and provides a promotional channel for artists. That used to be true. Now the wealth of streaming services means it’s easy to try before you buy and social media-led promotion has created the most meritocratic talent discover system ever.
Napster was launched at the end of the 90s, opening piracy up to the masses and servicing billions of downloads a month. Metallica took Napster to court a few years later to protect the artistic integrity of a song they wanted to launch on the Mission: Impossible II soundtrack (as the backing for a slo-mo shot of Tom Cruise pestering a flock of white doves, presumably). The band made its name from tapeswapping; what’s the difference between a tape and a folder of music, and when did this group of infamous metalheads become the man?
Changing buying patterns, such as the increase in single sales, did a lot of damage, but I’d argue piracy played a key role. At the beginning, file sharing services evolved faster than industry offerings and eroded the value of music in much the same way free online news devalued words.
We have to accept that in this digital age the leeway we have in the way we treat others’ intellectual property has to be significantly tightened if talent is going to flourish. And we need to do everything we can to promote respect for music as the ability to fund artists’ work slowly collapses.
My first albums were on a cassette tape; Skunk Anansie’s Stoosh was on one side and Music for the Jilted Generation the other. Later a friend recorded her dad’s Jimi Hendrix records song by song, sitting there for the entire 90 minutes to get the cuts right.
Obviously there’s no comparison between stealing a handbag and downloading the latest Taylor Swift album, although both constitute a crime in their own way, but we do need to change the way we think about intellectual property. It’s not fair to plagiarise
news copy, to stream movies or to download albums. It’s time to end music piracy, even if it’s a big record label or we think we’ve spent enough money on merchandise. And it’s time to move away from the way we used to view the issue. ----------
Send rants to email@example.com
WINTER SEASON 2013 fEATuRINg: ANTHONY ‘SHAKE’ SHAKIR / ANTHONY NAPLES BASEMENT JAXX (DJ SET) / BEN ufO / BLACK BuTTER / BLAWAN / BOYS NOIZE BuTTERZ / CLEKCLEKBOOM / CRITICAL SOuND / DANIEL AVERY / DISTANCE / DJ MARKY DJ SPINNA / DuBPHIZIX & STRATEgY / ELIJAH & SKILLIAM / DJ EZ / fIEDEL fOuR TET (8 HOuR SET) / fRENCH fRIES / gOLD PANDA / gORgON CITY HuXLEY / I-f / JESSE ROSE / JIMMY EDgAR / JME (LIVE) / KASRA / KOWTON KRYPTIC MINDS / LENZMAN / LTJ BuKEM / MARTYN / METALHEADZ / OBJEKT PANgAEA / PAuL WOOLfORD / PEARSON SOuND / PLAYAZ / RAM RECORDS RINSE / ROSKA / TERROR DANJAH / THE 2 BEARS / TOM SHORTERZ TOTALLY ENORMOuS EXTINCT DINOSAuRS (DJ SET) / AND MANY MORE…