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Doom 3

+ Future Islands | Martin Creed | Mac DeMarco | Dance Mania | OFF! Martin Falck | Eagulls | Perfect Pussy | Helena Hauff

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A BUMPER WEEKEND OF LOVE A BUMPER WEEKEND OF LOVE

CASTLE PARK BRISTOL UK CASTLE PARK BRISTOL UK


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Slowdive | Highasakite | The Julie Ruin Darkside | Little Dragon | Angel Olsen

Jonathan Wilson | Thulsa Doom | Jungle | Johndoe | Bombino | John Wizards  | Nadine Shah Joey Bada$$ | Store P | Daniel Kvammen | Windhand | Spidergawd | Hanne Kolstø Omar Souleyman | Farao | Emilie Nicolas | Bloody Beach | Deafheaven |  Brody Dalle

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ICA ICA

March March Talks

Stephen Dwoskin Symposium Stephen Dwoskin Symposium Sat 8 Mar, 11.30am Sat 8 Mar, 11.30am Exploring Stephen Dwoskin’s historical Exploring Stephen Dwoskin’s historical importance as a key figure in independent importance as a key figure in independent film and his groundbreaking film work. film and his groundbreaking film work. Graham Harman: Objects and the Arts Graham Objects and the Arts Fri 14 Harman: Mar, 6.45pm Fri Contemporary 14 Mar, 6.45pm American philosopher Contemporary American philosopher Graham Harman, the leading figure Graham Harman, figuremovement associated withthe the leading metaphysical associated with the metaphysical object-oriented ontology, deliversmovement his object-oriented ontology, his lecture Objects and the delivers Arts. lecture Objects and the Arts. Lunch Bytes: Medium: Format Sat 22 Mar,Medium: 2pm Lunch Bytes: Format Series of talks examining the consequences Sat 22 Mar, 2pm of the ubiquity digital Series of increasing talks examining theofconsequences networked technologies in relation of the increasing ubiquity of digital to artistictechnologies practice, thisin talk asks: how networked relation has the notion of medium changed to artistic practice, this talk asks: how with the rise of digital technology? has the notion of medium changed with the rise of digital technology? Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Art Schools So Different, So Appealing? Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Art Sat 29 Mar, from 10am Schools So Different, This symposium aimsSo to Appealing? interrogate the Satcontent 29 Mar,offrom 10am art and design education. This symposium aims to interrogate the content of art and design education.

Institute of Contemporary Arts The Mall London SW1Y 5AH

Institute of Contemporary Arts The Mall London SW1Y 5AH

Culture Now Culture Now Lively lunchtime conversations for Lively lunchtime conversations for the culturally curious. the culturally curious. £5 / Free to ICA Members £5 / Free to ICA Members Thomas Bayrle Thomas Fri 7 Mar,Bayrle 1pm Fri 7 Mar, 1pm Recognised as a pioneer of European Recognised as a pioneer of European pop art and media art, German pop and media Germanhis artistart Thomas Bayrleart, discusses artist variedThomas practice.Bayrle discusses his

varied practice. Simon Denny & Aleksandra Domanović Fri 21 Mar, 1pm Simon Denny & Aleksandra Domanović Simon Denny and Aleksandra Domanović Fri 21 Mar, 1pm discussDenny their forthcoming exhibitions at Simon and Aleksandra Domanović firstsite, Colchester, with Senior Curator discuss their forthcoming exhibitions at Michelle Colchester, Cotton. firstsite, with Senior Curator Michelle Cotton. Abraham Cruzvillegas Fri 28 Mar,Cruzvillegas 1pm Abraham Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas Fri 28 Mar, 1pm talks about his sculptural propositions of Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas ‘autoconstrucción’ and ‘autodestrucción’. talks about his sculptural propositions of ‘autoconstrucción’ and ‘autodestrucción’. Khaled Hourani Fri 4 Apr, 1pm Khaled Houraniartist discusses his The Palestinian Fri 4 Apr, 1pmGlasgow on the occasion work at CCA, The Palestinian artist discusses his of his first retrospective. work at CCA, Glasgow on the occasion of his first retrospective.

Friday Salon Friday Salon Friday Salons provide first-hand Friday Salons provide first-hand accounts of current cultural phenomena accounts of current cultural phenomena and professional development. and professional development. £5 / Free to ICA Members

£5 / Free to ICA Members Curating the Archive the Archive FriCurating 7 Mar, 3pm

Fri 7 Mar, 3pm Colonial Modernity (and its Crises) Modernity (and its Crises) FriColonial 14 Mar, 3pm Fri 14 Mar, 3pm Artists’ Film Club: VALIE EXPORT Sat 15 MarFilm – Sun 16 Mar 2014 Artists’ Club: VALIE EXPORT A Sat weekend series of screenings surveying 15 Mar – Sun 16 Mar 2014 the of artist andof filmmaker VALIE A work weekend series screenings surveying EXPORT, including introductions and Q&As the work of artist and filmmaker VALIE byEXPORT, the artist.including introductions and Q&As by the artist. Gallery Tour: Join curators, artists and other cultural Gallery Tour: practitioners on Thursday tours. Join curators, artists and other cultural practitioners on Thursday tours. Lucy Rose Bayley Thu 13 Mar Lucy Rose Bayley Thu Kinros 13 Mar Robin Thu 20 Mar

Robin Kinros Thu 20 Mar

020 7930 3647 www.ica.org.uk

020 7930 3647 www.ica.org.uk

The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848

The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848


09

Contents

16

DOOM A rare interview with the enigmatic masked rapper as he cooks up beats with NY prodigy Bishop Nehru Doom shot exclusively for Crack Magazine by Elliot Kennedy

24

PERFECT PUSSY Meredith Graves talks edifying noise one song at a time with Thomas Howells

11

EDITORIAL Flipping the spotlight

12

Recommended A guide to what’s happening in your area

15

NEW MUSIC From the periphery

23

Turning Points: KEITH MORRIS Artists pinpoint five moments that shaped their career. This month Geraint Davies breaks down the insane life story of Black Flag founder and OFF! frontman Keith Morris

27

HELENA HAUFF The Hamburg-based beatsmith tells Anna Tehabsim why she’s maintaining freedom in the booth

40

Crack Fashion Yokubu

47

Eagulls Billy Black hangs out with England's most explosive punk band

51

Reviews Gig reports, product reviews and our verdict on the latest releases in film and music

66

Digressions DJ Nicknames, Ricky & Richie, the crossword and advice from Denzil Schnifferman

69

20 Questions: MAC DEMARCO The slacker-rock bro talks Rocko’s Modern Life, shitty hotels and threatens Danny Glover while in a state of arousal. Told to Davy Reed

70

MediaSpank Christopher Goodfellow wonders whether it’s time to give Gideon a break

28

FUTURE ISLANDS Baltimore’s art-pop underdogs tell Davy Reed why it’s time to reap their rewards

48

DANCE MANIA Anna Tehabsim celebrates the ghetto house institution’s return with the pioneers of the scene

30

MARTIN CREED Standing amidst his definitive retrospective, Augustin Macellari probes the Turner Prize-winning artist on how it feels to have your life’s work reassessed

38

MARTIN FALCK Steve Dores discusses design ethos with the Swedish artist summoned by some of this era’s most radical musicians


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fabric 77A Charterhouse Street, London EC1. Opening times: 11pm — 8am. Check www.fabriclondon.com for advance tickets, prices and further info. fabric operates a 24HR drinking license. A selection of recordings from these events will be available to hear again on www.fabriclondon.com/fabricfirst fabric 73: Ben Sims — Out Now. fabric 74: Move D — Out Now fabric 75: Maya Jane Coles — 21st April.

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Issue 38

Executive Editors Thomas Frost tom@crackmagazine.net Jake Applebee jake@crackmagazine.net Editor Geraint Davies geraint@crackmagazine.net Marketing / Events Manager Luke Sutton luke@crackmagazine.net Junior Editor Davy Reed Editorial Assistants Anna Tehabsim Billy Black Art Direction & Design Jake Applebee Alfie Allen Graeme Bateman Film Editor Tim Oxley Smith Fashion Cochi Esse Sarah Marie Collins Roger Cho Katrin Rees Contributors Christopher Goodfellow, Josh Baines, Duncan Harrison, Thomas Howells, Adam Corner, Augustin Macellari, Angus Harrison, Steve Dores, Leah Connolly, Andrew Broaks, Nathan Westley, Ayesha Linton-Whittle, Phillip James Allen, James Balmont, Jack Lucas Dolan, Benjamin Salt, Robert Bates, Andy S, Anneke Buckle, Thomas Painter Photography Elliot Kennedy, Roisin Murphy, Jennifer Lo, Graeme Bateman, Hannah Godley, Kay Cornwell, Martin @ All Your Prey, Martin Blower, Ciesay, Kane Rich Illustration Lee Nutland Christopher Wright Advertising To enquire about advertising and to request a media pack: advertising@crackmagazine.net 0117 2391219 CRACK is published by Crack Industries Ltd © All rights reserved. All material in Crack magazine may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of Crack Industries Ltd. Crack Magazine and its contributors cannot accept any liability for reader discontent arising from the editorial features. Crack Magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any article or material supplied for publication or to edit this material prior to publishing. Crack magazine cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to supplied materials. The opinions expressed or recommendations given in the magazine are the views of the individual author and do not necessarily represent the views of Crack Industries Ltd. We accept no liability for any misprints or mistakes and no responsibility can be taken for the contents of these pages.

CRACK WAS CREATED USING Tense Men Opiate Glow Jandek They Told Me I Was a Fool NO BRA Date With The Devil Pixies Velouria Magic Touch ft. Newbody and Octo Octa You Beesmunt Soundsystem Close To Me Liars Pro Anti Anti Josh Wink & Lil Louis How’s Your Evening So Far? Todd Terje Delorean Dynamite Gary Numan Music for Chameleons The Streets Turn The Page Koreless Sun Admin In The Blue The Cure All Cats Are Grey Max Graef Vino Rosetto Angel Olsen Windows Tensnake Coma Cat

Crack switched things up last issue. Judging from the absence of hate mail and lack of insults hurled at us in the street, it’s gone down alright. It seems you’ve been particularly enamoured with our new 20 Questions and Turning Points features; turns out that reading Evian Christ break down how he went from smalltown primary school teacher to supersized rap production titan, and Stuart from Mogwai being barraged with queries about Slipknot and personal fitness is what the people want. And we reckon it’s gone just as well this month: Keith Morris talking you through his 38- year career and Mac DeMarco sharing the contents of his underpants. This is fucking killer stuff. So in the interest of giving the people what they want, it’s probably fair to put our money where our collective mouths are. Let’s flip the spotlight, and put ourselves under the microscope. The microscope which apparently has a spotlight pointing at it. So, five turning points in the life of Crack. Let’s see. Deciding to do a magazine is a good one. That’s first. That was a big moment. Secondly, how about the demise of our beloved former agony aunt Mavis and the rise, and rise of her inimitable incumbent Denzil Schniffermann? Next up, probably the turbulent, unforgettable summer when we put a ping-pong table in the empty office downstairs. We learnt so much; the values of a competitive spirit and regular exercise, and that we had a better serve than Julio Bashmore. That was a confidence booster. Unfortunately some chumps claimed the office in the end and we had to get rid. Fuckin chumps. Oh yeah, it was us. Actually, that’s a better one. Getting a bigger office so we didn’t have to play rock-paper-scissors every morning to decide who had to work on the sofa, with their laptop perched on the top of their lap. Last, probably coming up with these new features. They’re rad. And 20 Questions? We’ll just do a couple. Joey was the best member of Slipknot and the fact they kicked him out is nothing short of a travesty. It’s now either the geezer who wanks his nose and plays a set of bins with a baseball bat, or the turntable guy with a gas mask. Did you know he’s made loads of jungle albums? Favourite cereal is Weetabix, when it comes to soundtracking romance it’s all about Kyuss, and the most famous person we’ve met? That’s fucking BILL CLINTON mate. It was in Tie Rack. That was fun. Christ, we feel purged.

Fear Of Men Waterfall Isaiah Rashad West Savannah ft. SZA Heterotic Rain ft. Vezelay Black Lips Funny YG My Nigga (remix) HTRK Blue Sunshine Rome Fortune I was on one, I can’t lie Vince Staples Nate Four Tet & Terror Danjah Killer Nasty Hi5 Ghost Kung Fu Kick C4 Off Track Art Crime Release together PANGEA Too Drunk To Cum Chase Smith It’s Grim in (Mala Jaska) Audacity Indian Chief Ekman Acid7 (Vereker Remix) DJ Rippa Unknown King Love & Pride K assem Mosse A3 DJ Rashad She A Go

Issue 39 | crackmagazine.net

Respect James Clewlow Helen Clewlow Lloyd Parker Ben Price Ollie Price Barney Hodgson John Rook Annette Lee Ben Harris Isis O'Regan Dominik Grzybowski Linda and Mike Davies Helena Hauff Matthew McConaughey Eleanor Cakes


12

Recommended

Our guide to what's going on in your city

EAGULLS Elektrowerks 5 March

MENACE BEACH Old Blue Last 12 March

RICARDO VILLALOBOS fabric 8 March £22 adv. SOMERLEY TEA PARTY Eats Everything, Bicep, Paul Woolford Old Somerley Estate, Hampshire 31 May £38

The sets that need no introduction, Chilean master Ricardo’s early morning fabric slots have become the stuff of legend. Stand your ground, push forth to the very end and you will be rewarded. EVIAN CHRIST EP LAUNCH Oval Space 21 March £15-17.50

REPEATER MINI FESTIVAL Gentle Friendly, White Fang Shacklewell Arms 14-16 March Prices vary The Shacklewell Arms is one of London’s finest purveyors of rad culture, they’ve put on pretty much every awesome band you’ve never heard of and are about to start showcasing more of their favourites every other month at their new series of mini festivals, Repeater. The first installment sees London noise merchants Gentle Friendly headlining the Friday, Portland garage rockers White Fang topping the bill on Saturday and drone-pop four piece Patterns closing the show on Sunday night. There’s also zines, posters, DJs and all the other things that make switched on folks really fucking happy.

The ascent of former traineeteacher Evian Christ has been remarkable. After casually uploading his first tracks to YouTube two years ago, he’s signed to era-defining imprint TriAngle, toured the US and was hand picked by Kanye West to join the supergroup of producers for Yeezus. And he’s still only 24, the jammy bastard. But it’s not all down to good luck, the Waterfall EP – his first solo release since 2012 – sees him blend ambience and high-octane trap to brilliant effect, and the mouthwatering line-up for its launch, featuring eccentric rapper Travi$ Scott, Numbers breakthrough act Sophie, Miles Whittaker and Andy Stott’s Millie & Andrea project plus Lil Silva and more, proves he’s a tastemaker with his mind focused on the here and now.

Everyone likes a massive country house. That is a scientific fact. If you are included in ‘everyone’ then you’ll be pleased to hear that Old Somerley will be opening its grounds to the public for a one day festival of cutting edge electronic music. Explore the enchanting woodlands and lush fields of the estate and enjoy three stages of music. Have a jam scone to the sound of Eats Everything or cop a mug of darjeeling while you get down to Simian Mobile Disco (pictured). Disclaimer: presence of jam scones remains unconfirmed at present.

THE MEN Village Underground 27 March £11 + BF

SURGEON fabric 15 March

CHEZ DAMIER Dance Tunnel 21 March

Hank Williams Jr famously sang “All my rowdy friends have settled down/They seem to be more into laid back songs.” The epithet rings true to Brooklyn’s The Men, a band who have completed their transition from garage punk ruffians to country-tinged rockers. Don’t let that put you off though, they might not tear your face off but they certainly won’t let you down, and their latest appropriation is certainly virile, it’s just running on a lot less whiskey and a little more reflection.

HORSE MEAT DISCO XOYO 14 March

DENOVALI SWINGFEST Porter Ricks, The Haxan Cloak, Thomas Köner Village Underground \ Cafe Oto 18-19 April Friday £28 \ Saturday £18 \ Weekend £46 THE BLACK MADONNA Dance Tunnel 28 March £5+

GARDENS AND VILLA Birthdays 25 March

TODD TERJE ALBUM LAUNCH Oval Space 8 March

Marea Vierge-Noire and her various monikers have long been a fixture of Chicago dance music; from pushing her tapes to the Midwestern rave scene since the early 90s to recently becoming resident at legendary Chicago institution Smart Bar. With her latest output as The Black Madonna, demand for ViergeNoire is growing exponentially, and she makes her UK debut at Dalston’s Dance Tunnel alongside their very own Nadia Ksaiba.

Since ’05, German independent label Denovali has been a beacon within experimental music, providing a fearless home for ambient, drone, electronic and jazz sounds. They’ve also honed a manifestation of their wider policy with the annual Swingfest event, which began life in Essen, West Germany, but since last year has spread its wings to legs in Berlin and London. Reflective of the label’s ethos, there are no limitations in sound or approach, consisting of a range of Denovali artists alongside non-label guests, actively subverting the festival ‘headliner’ tradition with each act given equal set time and attention. The festival line-up includes Thomas Köner appearing both as his solo sound design persona, and in a highly-anticipated performance as half of dub-techno pioneers Porter Ricks, as well as The Haxan Cloak, Piano Interrupted, Anna von Hausswolff and more.

TYCHO Oval Space 26 March


13

ANGEL OLSEN Dingwalls 25 March

FRÀNÇOIS AND THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS Hoxton Bar & Kitchen 26 March PETRE INSPIRESCU fabric 29 March

ANDREW WEATHERALL XOYO 28 March

INTERPOL Brixton Academy 27 March

MARIK A HACKMAN Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen 18 May £7.50 + BF Marika Hackman has got a knack for forging brooding, atmospheric songs that build from soft, flickering folk to full on, room filling balladry. Her live shows are frequently described as stirring and captivating, and the buzz is building for all the right reasons, so don’t miss out on a chance to glimpse Marika beguile a small venue before it’s too late.

DARKSIDE The Coronet 29 March

CAPRICES FESTIVAL George Clinton, Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills, Ricardo Villalobos Crans-Montana, South West Switzerland 11-19 April Prices vary Caprices Festival takes place in Crans-Montana, a ski resort in the heart of the Swiss Alps. We’ve never been, but a quick Google search will familiarise you with its glistening, sprawling plateau of icy blues and greens, and we can’t think of many better places to witness this line-up of absolute masters of their field. Founded in 2004 with a determination to connect the region to the international music scene, festival goers can ski by day and take their pick from the aforementioned musical pioneers – funk legend George Clinton (pictured), reggae legend Ziggy Marley, techno legends Richie Hawtin, Ricardo Villalobos, Jeff Mills and so on – by night.

WILD BEASTS Brixton Academy 1 April

LORELLE MEETS THE OBSOLETE The Victoria 10 April

RICHARD HAMILTON ICA Until 6 April Entry with £1 Day Membership In 2011, Britain lost a truly pioneering artistic figure of the 20th century. Richard Hamilton’s fearless approach to art and design saw him embrace ideas seldom before seen on these shores, and some of his foremost work came alongside the ICA. This exhibition sees two of his exhibitions, originally presented in the 50s at the ICA’s previous Dover Street home, being recreated – 1955’s seminal Man, Machine and Motion and 1957’s an Exhibit – as well as displaying a selection of archive materials. A perfect accompaniment to his definitive retrospective over at the Tate Modern, this is an opportunity to celebrate a pivotal artist and his vital relationship with this iconic institution.

PANTHA DU PRINCE [LIVE] Oval Space 29 March

ERLEND ØYE Islington Assembly Hall 3 April

JAZZANOVA Village Underground 4 April

BLACK STAR The Forum \ The Coronet 29 \ 31 March Sold Out \ £29.50 + BF As two lyrically gifted and politically enlightened MCs, it’s no wonder the fusion of Talib Kweli and Mos Def birthed an underground classic with their ’98 album as Black Star. And the announcement of a one-off London show (which turned to two after selling out crazy quick) helped to once again stir rumours that the duo are working on its long awaited sequel. Whether or not new collaborative material gets aired onstage remains to be seen, but these shows are guaranteed to provide sanctuary for trap-phobic, old school hip-hop heads who expect a little class in the act.

TEMPLES FESTIVAL Electric Wizard, Neurosis, Clutch Motion, Bristol 2-4 May Day Ticket £38.50 \ Weekend £92 While it seems like there's a new festival being announced every 23 seconds, this addition to the UK circuit cuts a refreshingly hulking shape, with a three-day line-up consisting of a range of international luminaries from the worlds of doom, stoner, sludge, metal ... you get the picture. They’ve secured a mouth-watering triumvirate of headliners: Friday welcomes Dorset doom figureheads Electric Wizard, Saturday is headed by the visual spectacle of vastly influential post-metal icons Neurosis, and the weekend is topped off with Maryland groove gods Clutch. It might take a while to adjust to Motion being full of jaws cascading rather than rotating, but that line-up will soon bring you around.

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New Music

GIGANTA

YOUNG & SICK

AURORA HALAL After releasing records as one half of Innergaze, Aurora Halal presents her debut solo EP this month to christen her brand new label Mutual Dreaming. A longstanding member of New York’s creative scene, this Brooklynite has been hosting parties of the same name since 2010, inviting figures such as Traxx, Andrés and Galcher Lustwerk, as well as enjoying stints in video production for artists such as Steve Summers and Beautiful Swimmers. Her debut EP Passageway features four of her own murky, aquatic techno jams alongside a remix from cult Detroit figure Terrence Dixon, out 5 March.

As a highly successful album artwork designer with links to the esteemed French fashion photographer JohnBaptiste Mindino, it’s no wonder that this artist’s music has sounded so confident from the start. Since releasing the deliciously smooth, downbeat pop track House On Spirits in 2012, the semi-anonymous Young & Sick (his name is Nick and he’s Holland-born, US-based – but he’s right, maybe we don’t really need to know that) has since collaborated with Irish production wonder MMOTHS, signed to Harvest Records and confirmed a Coachella set. He's just dropped a track from his forthcoming debut, which is distinctly more upbeat than previous material and driven by rubbery bleeps which, strangely, remind us of the Arp synths of Inspector Norse.

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How To Dress Well, Todd Terje facebook.com/youngandsick

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TV COLOURS Right now it seems the sound of faceplant-force garage rock has joined internet drinking games as the primary export of Australia. Along with a network of snarling, bone-smashing punk rockers, TV Colours have been destroying venues around their hometown of Canberra with their brand of groggy, synth-inflected punk. Taking queues from the likes of Fucked Up and Pissed Jeans via Martin Rev and David Lynch’s unsettling film scores, TV Colours come on like a 70s slasher flick and end up delivering a punch so strong it’d make Rocky Balbao look like a massive fassy.

AUTOBAHN

RAE SREMMURD When we’re scouring the rap blogosphere for artists to profile in this very New Music section, we sometimes struggle to come across someone worth shouting about who doesn’t already have an intimidatingly deep mixtape catalogue behind them. But at the climax of 2013, super-producer Mike WiLL Made It dropped his celebratory #MikeWillBeenTrill compilation, and amongst the likes of Gucci Mane, Future, Ciara, Migos, Juicy J and (of course) Miley Cyrus, there was a snippet of We – the debut banger from fresh-faced newcomers Rae Sremmurd. Now The Fader has got hold of the full version, and it’s fucking explosive. Over distorted 808 thuds, acidic squelches and razor sharp hi-hats, the Atlanta-based duo unleash their party-wrecking manifesto. Oh yeah, and their name is pronounced “Ray Shrimmer”, in case you were wondering.

They’re from Leeds, they’re really fucking good, and they peddle textured, plodding punk tunes, sloppy with reverb and overlaid by impassioned howls. No, they’re not Eagulls, but if you’re checking out that band’s current hype-fulled headline tour then you’ll catch these pissants opening up for them night after night, including what’s sure to be a seriously messy album launch at their hometown’s Brudenell Social Club on 6 March. As the name might suggest, there’s a touch of the driving 80s post-punk within their debut three-track EP that sets them apart, and they’re giving us the same kind of tingles as when we first set ears on their avuncular tourmates. They’re also playing The Great Escape in May, make a note in your phone or something.

O Seizure 1 Eagulls, Public Imagine Limited autobahnmusik.co.uk

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Now, we’re not afraid to admit that we’d back pretty much anything Actress has put his almighty stamp on. Yet the bubblegum-tinged electronics from latest Werkdiscs signing Giganta have caught us slightly off guard, sounding not a touch like the dust-grooved, scrapyard techno you may have heard on Ghettoville and much more like SOPHIE’s stirringly bright 2013 debut Bipp. “I’m always seeking for the light in things”, Athensbased producer Eleni Adamopoulou explains. The emerging artist attended the “inspiring” Red Bull Music Academy in Madrid in 2011, soaking up stimulus from various speakers and participants, but it’s the current state of economic turmoil and political unrest in her city that is of prior influence to her output. Although “there aren’t many places open to fresh sounds” in Athens’ somewhat sparse club scene, over the last seven years, she tells us “more and more people are DJing or making their own music, probably as a way to express themselves or because they have much more free time.” Also taking a hand in co-running Athens’ Rotation parties, it’s her resilience to this turbulence that forms the backbone to her production. “It has been hard for most people in Greece the last few years, as it has been for me” she says, “but this didn’t make me weak, it keeps me stronger. I try not to give space to the negative things that happen. Music is a power mechanism to spread some happiness in life.” Given the day-glo production and silver sheened synths on her debut EP Force, out 17 March via Werkdiscs, Giganta is certainly crafting light out of darkness.

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SHINY DARKLY This Danish trio had hinted at a kind of po-faced gothic glamour with cuts from their previous selftitled EP like the lost classic He’s Suicidal. But in no way had they prepared us for the extraordinary first glimpses of their debut album Little Earth, out in the UK this May via Copenhagen institution Crunchy Frog. Coming on the other side of a reputation-burgeoning stint at Iceland’s celebrated Airwaves festival (during which they played seven times), the album’s first single Dead Stars is a nine-and-a-half minute saga of distant, dead-eyed rock ‘n’ roll desperation, complete with brazen, strumless Colour Field guitar washes and Suicide’s clenched intensity. Perfect for anyone who thinks The Horrors' new stuff is a little heavy on the sheen.

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The Horrors, The Black Angels facebook.com/shinydarkly

Young Thug | HBK @RaeSremmurd

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Epsilons, together PANGEA tvcolours.bandcamp.com

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Issue 39 | crackmagazine.net


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Tracking down Daniel Dumil e, the master of disguise behind Metal Face Doom, as he bl ends into his British backdrop

Words: Davy Reed Photos: Elliot Kennedy

This definitely isn’t the first time Crack has tried to interview Doom. Past attempts at tracking down the notoriously elusive, unpredictable alt-rap icon have proved fruitless, numerous sketchy interview plans have been scrapped earlier this week, and even though we’re waiting in the lounge of a London studio where we’re told he’s recording, his patient PR warns us not to hold our breath. But he’s here, and we recognise him before we make eye contact. His speaking voice sounds identical to one we’ve heard deliver the countless multi-layered rhymes, double entendres, surreal references and witty wisecracks that have entered the rap canon. He’ll later tell me that his cover is occasionally blown when fans hear the voice while he’s unmasked. He’s on a buzz, bouncing in and out of the studio booth excitedly, showing off his own custommade Clarks Wallabees to his entourage, and firing ideas at the 17-year-old NY rapper Bishop Nehru, here to record their forthcoming collaborative album. Verifying rumours of eccentricity, his camouflage bucket hat appears to have artificial leaves attached to it. “‘Friends’ is a term some people use loosely/I’m real choosy on what I choose to let crews see” - Deep Fried Friendz

So, as an artist whose music has never looked backwards, and whose legendary status has surely acquired him a starstudded list of contacts, what’s inspired him to work so closely with Nehru, a relatively unknown 90s archeologist 26 years his junior?

Love X isn’t really the same person as Metal Face Doom, and Doom isn’t really the same person as Daniel Dumile.

“I don’t really base [collaborations] on whether the person is well known, or whether they have a lot of money. If the music don’t sound right, then it just don’t feel right. It’s about something else, there has to be chemistry there, it needs to be organic”, Doom insists, while Nehru nods along by his side. “I mean, with anything that’s going to be mainstream, it’s going to become the monster it becomes. But there’s always going to be the hardcore, the so-called underground. Which is really just another way of talking about the rawness and the original texture of how it started. I try to preserve that side of the music.”

Although he was born in London in 1971, Daniel Dumile was later raised in New York, where he and his brother Dingilizwe, aka DJ Subroc, formed Kausin Much Damage with MC Rodan, later replaced by Onyx the Birthstone Kid. As enlightened members of Nation of Islam offshoot the Five Percent Nation rapping just before gangsta rap secured its cultural stronghold, their ’91 debut Mr. Hood is a politically potent but playful document of golden age hip-hop, all crackly soul samples, goofy skits and adolescent energy.

He’s not wearing the mask. It feels strange, because although his beer gut has swollen over the years, his face barely looks different to how it did in the few bits of footage you can find of him unmasked – those videos from the early 90s when he was rapping as Zev Love X in the group KMD. Of course it doesn’t. This is, after all, the same individual we’re talking about. But then again, Zev

“The rest is empty with no brain, but the clever nerd/The best emcee with no chain ya ever heard” - Figaro

“It was just something that you was paying attention to, what’s going on in the world. So at the time, maybe we were like 18 or something, we were just aware of what was going on, and the people who were around were aware. It was normal”, Doom says, reminiscing on an era which also spawned the positive-minded Native Tongues collective, who counted De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest and Busta Rhymes’ group Leaders Of The New School as members.


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Live Photo: Kane Rich

But for KMD, darkness soon crept in. Subroc was killed in a freak car accident, leaving Dumile to finish their second album Black Bastards in his brother’s absence. More aggressive in tone, Dumile’s controversial artwork for the album featured the old fashioned, deeply racist Sambo character hanging from a noose. A journalist, who was unfamiliar with KMD’s music and had no knowledge of the context, deemed the image offensive, and used his influence to publicly kick up a stink. Submitting to the pressure, Elektra Records ditched the record one month before its scheduled release, and it wouldn’t see the light of day until an independent label put it out in 2001. This would be the end of Zev Lov X, and Daniel Dumile spent the next few years in exile, roaming the streets of New York and occasionally sleeping on park benches. But Dumile was determined, and he eventually re-emerged, rhyming with a coarser voice and his face obscured, at open mic nights in Manhattan’s Nuyorican Poets Cafe. The location played host to a scene that merged literature with street culture, the perfect launch pad for a rapper who approaches lyrics like a poet obsesses over verse: “I see them in the same vein”, he nods. “But the author doesn’t usually recite his work unless he’s asked to for a special

occasion. When we write what we write, it’s a standalone good piece, just if you was to read it. And with hip-hop there’s another dimension to it. We also orate.” “He wears a mask just to cover the raw flesh/A rather ugly brother with flows that’s gorgeous” - Beef Rap And it was Dumile’s new method of delivery – through the mask – that would go on to become alternative rap’s most distinctive style. Aware of hip-hop’s dependency on facades, Dumile realised that if he were to create a fictional alter-ego, his capacity for braggadocio and storytelling would be limitless. And so he created Metal Face, the darkly humorous, misunderstood super-villain partly inspired by the Fantastic Four’s arch-nemesis Dr. Doom. Once he'd sourced adventurous samples from his modest record collection, in 1999 he released the cult classic Operation: Doomsday. Dumile would go on to spawn more characters, all of whom he refers to in the third person, and who have occasionally been credited as appearing on each other’s tracks. When cooking up beats behind the desk he’d be Metal Fingers, and he went on to release albums as the dastardly Viktor Vaughn and King Geedorah, the

extraterrestrial three-headed monster with an alien’s perspective on the human race. And as an MC known to truly absorb a producer’s sound palette, his collaborative projects are given new names too: there was Dangerdoom, his sole flirtation with more commercial sounding rap; Madvillain, the taskforce behind the album widely considered to be his masterpiece; and JJ DOOM, created with Dangermouse, Madlib and Jneiro Jarel respectively. There’s also the perpetually postponed DoomStarks project with the Wu-Tang Clan’s sharptongued criminologist Ghostface Killah. While it’s possible that the record might never surface, Doom's voice glows with respect when he speaks of the Staten Island collective: “It’s that New York thing, storytelling is involved. We come from the same era. So we have similar stories, similar ideas. All of them my brothers, my peers, my colleagues, you know what I’m saying? Got a lot of respect for all of ‘em, they all good people.” “The supervillain get kicked out your country/And said the Pledge of Allegiance six times monthly” - Borin Convo But despite all the aliases and masquerading, once in a while the mask slips. Just as Operation: Doomsday allowed the occasional reference to Zev Lov X


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Introducing Bishop Nehru, the prodigy whose fl o w is catching the ears of hip-hop royalty

Bishop Nehru is sat, relaxed, on a leather couch next to one of the most iconic MCs in rap history. And due to the fact that Doom is producing the entirety of his forthcoming album, the fresh-faced 17-yearold New Yorker could be making trips to London more frequently. So how does he like it here? “It’s dope man” he shrugs. “It’s a nice place. The places to eat are cool, I like the french fries here ... But the weather, sometimes I don’t like it when it rains, I don’t like the coldness.” It’s not his first time on these shores. In 2012, Nehru impressed WorldStarHipHop (and subsequently, a number of influential rap radio stations) with an eight bar freestyle executed over DJ Premier’s beat for Mos Def’s Mathematics. Before he knew it, he was opening for Wu-Tang Clan at a London gig. “It was a great experience, and it was a dope show,” he says, “RZA was cool man, he asked how old I was, ‘cause obviously I look young. He was telling me that it’s great to be in the position I’m in for

the age that I am, and that I need to just keep doing ‘me’ and having fun.” He’s since also struck up a bond with Kendrick Lamar. It’s easy to see what’s got these highprofile rappers so excited – his insanely dexterous rhyming ability and dense lyrical content probably helps. ‘I’m like thee Spike Lee that’s under 19’, he rapped on Misruled Order, a lead track from his debut Nehruvia mixtape. It’s a grand comparison to make, sure, but the way he follows it by skilfully reeling off a few lines tackling racial prejudice, inequality and police harassment reassures you that this guy has studied his references. It’s safe to say that Bishop Nehru is thinking on a deeper level than the average teenager. His moniker blends the name of Tupac’s character in the classic hood movie Juice with that of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. “In Global History, like 9th or 10th grade, we were learning about India, Ghandi and the peace movement. So after that, when I said the name Nehru, it just hit me in a certain way”, he explains. Although Nehru wrote the Nehruvia tape when he was 15, he’d already put out material beforehand under another name. So when did he start making music? “Ah man, I don’t know, I was young though. I had my own rhyme books since like first or second grade. I was always into literature and poetry. Anything that had to do with writing, I was always into.”

and his brother’s death to slip through the cartoon menace, his most recent album, JJ DOOM’s Keys To The Kuffs, also documented a very real situation: the fact he’d been refused re-entry into the country he lived in for decades. Lyrically, the album directed rage towards US customs, tenderly expressed his cravings for physical union with his wife (who still lives in the States, as do his kids), played around with cockney slang and even referenced My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. “My last record was influenced by my experience of when I first got here,” he says. “It’s like I was a baby, was learning the culture and everything for the first time, taking notes of things that were interesting to me. I thought I’d make the best of this since I was here, and document this slice of time.” So is he still legally bound to the UK? “I mean I’m here, you know what I’m saying? And I’m here of my own free will, I could leave here and go anywhere, besides the United States,” he says in a slightly defensive tone. “I’m everywhere really, but yeah, right now I’m in London. Everything leads to something ... and for some reason I was born here.” It’s a sensitive subject.

Nehru’s passion for intricate lyricism perhaps explains why he’s so infatuated with 90s hip-hop. While the genre continues to evolve in weird and exciting ways, the auto-tuned garbles and nihilistic mono-flows coming out of Atlanta and Chicago don’t exactly prioritise thoughtprovoking wordplay. “My friends, yeah, they listened to the easy and simple stuff, the party music. But I wasn’t really into that because I’m not a party type of guy. I was always into lyrical music,” he confirms. It’s a mentality which bodes well for the album alongside his masked mentor. And it seems Nehru’s not going be distracted by his new famous friends. “It’s not really open to collaborations any more, it’s just us two,” he reveals. “Word?!”, Doom exclaims, “Ahhh shit!”. It’s the first time he’s heard the news. And will Doom be rhyming on it? “Yeah, yeah I gotta do my due diligence”, he says, still smiling. And since Doom has survived his fair share of battles with the music industry over the years, does he have any advice for his protégé? “I mean, he got a good team around him, he got a good head on his shoulders. He already got a lot of the pieces in place”, he says, turning to Nehru like a proud uncle. “Don’t let nothing stop you”.


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“With anything that’s going to be mainstream, it’s going to become the monster it becomes. But there’s always going to be the hardcore, the so-called underground”

“He plots shows like robberies/In and out, one, two, three, no bodies please/Run the cash and you won’t get a wet sweatshirt/ The mic is the shottie, nobody move, nobody get hurt!” - One Beer

“He’s the villain with the million dollar voice-throat trick/He’s like a ventriloquist, with his fist in the speaker’s back/Couldn’t think of no uniquer track, nope, sneak attack” - Red and Gold

While we’re sure many a hip-hop forum has entertained the conspiracies that Doom could be stuck here because of a criminal record, the truth seems more simple: he was born in London and never got around to legally establishing his US citizenship. I saw him during his first visit here as an artist, when he performed a show at Camden’s Roundhouse in 2010. Although various recordings had proved that Doom could be an energetic performer, his reputation as a showman was (and admittedly, still is) wobbly, following his controversial, much-publicised habit of occasionally sending impostors to the stage to lip-synch his lyrics behind the mask. After keeping a dubious and anxious crowd waiting for around 50 minutes, a conspicuously slim-figured impersonator arrived onstage to the Madvillain anthem Accordion. Once booed off, the real Doom appeared, triumphantly waving his British passport in the air, presumably unaware that this very passport would keep him marooned on this island right up to the present day.

20 minutes into our chat, we sense Doom’s attention is wavering, and it’s time to slip off the Dictaphone. He firmly shakes our hands, then turns to his manager and mutters “well, that was painless”. I guess that could be perceived as a compliment. He puts on a brown leather jacket with a sheepskin collar, and pulls a mask out from his rucksack. It’s golden, a new one. The photographer glances at the red back drop. Looks like we’ve got our cover feature. Once the shoot is done, Doom gets changed for the third time during our encounter. It’s a Friday night, and with his huge headphones and a flat peak cap pulled to the side, he looks totally unassuming. He leaves the studio, walking out onto London’s busy streets, smug in the knowledge that the unmasked Daniel Dumile is the best disguise he’s got.

Catch Doom at Motion, Bristol 22 March. His Clarks Wallabees drop 13 March as part of the Clarks Originals Pioneers project


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Turning Points: OFF!'s Keith Morris In his definitive indie anthology Our Band Could Be Your Life, author Michael Azerrad relays the moment in 1976 when Black Flag/SST Records overlord Greg Ginn first met a 21-year-old ‘hard-partying loud-mouth’ named Keith Morris. And while the partying has waned – he’s now 58 and straight – Morris’s hyperactive jaw continues to tell one of the most remarkable stories in the history of punk rock: from being the original mouthpiece of US hardcore’s foremost progenitors, to forming the trailblazing Circle Jerks; and, 38 years on from that initial leap of faith, to be releasing Wasted Years, his second album proper with punk A-team OFF!. Here he breaks down the five pivotal moments which have defined his turbulent career.

1976: Meeting Greg Ginn and the genesis of Black Flag We were young, we had a lot of energy, and the music scene in Los Angeles had been dead for a long time. If you went out on a Friday night you’d see a band playing Top 40, there was no creativity. We’d go up to Hollywood to see bands playing original songs and that was very inspiring. I went to a concert with Greg Ginn, to see Thin Lizzy open up for Journey at the Santa Monica Civic, and that’s when he turned to me and said ‘y’know, I’ve got a handful of songs, let’s get in a room and see what happens’. 1979: Quitting Black Flag and forming Circle Jerks a month later Well, I was gonna get kicked out of Black Flag anyways, Greg had grown tired of my antics. At Black Flag shows there would always be some kind of violence. When you’re from the beach, you’re surrounded by surfers, skaters, this gung-ho mentality, and the way people responded to our music was to jump up and down, or do some kind of fucked up dancing, and that used to bum out the art students and the literary types. The crowds became more macho and muscular. So when I formed Circle Jerks the vibe was festive, we just wanted to party: ‘where’s the keg, where’s the coke, who’s got the pills, where are the girls’. We were like a Saturday morning cartoon, Black Flag were the evil villains out of a Batman comic.

1989: Going sober I hit a bottom. Speed and drinking and partying had been such a big part of my life since I was a kid under the pier on Hermosa Beach, but it had run its course. Y’know, how drunk are you gonna get? Your hangover is lasting three to four days, not three to four hours, and your life schedule is based around what time the coke dealer wakes up. Bukowski, he glamourised skid row, he was just a run-ofthe-mill loser who was able to write about it in an amazing way. But for a lot of people that was the reality. 2009: Forming OFF! Circle Jerks went into the studio to record our first album in 14 years with Dimitri (Coats, now OFF! guitarist) on production. But there’s an egotistical mentality amongst that band, ‘we’ve been doing this for a long time, guys really like us, we can just write songs and people will rush out to buy them’. It was a terrible mentality, cause the music being brought forward was bogus, like, are you kidding? We’re gonna record that? Dimitri was the guy cracking the whip, doing the homework, telling us that we needed to be Circle Jerks and we weren’t coming close to that. So me and Dimitri started writing songs in my living room, and that became OFF! Present Day - Wasted Years We’re telling a story, a lot of that is about my past, bands I’ve been in, people I’ve known, wasted lives and wasted years. I find playing this music is very aggressive, very demanding physically, it’s a workout and it keeps me excited. Lyrically, I’m creating imagery that’s not something I would do. I’m not a gun owner, I’m not gonna blow up somebody’s warehouse, I’m not that guy. But you can think about that, you can write about it. Y’know, “I’m gonna kill that motherfucker! Man, if I could walk up to Dick Cheney I’d blow that fucker’s head off” – you’re not gonna do that! IT’S NOT HAPPENING! But it’s a lot of fun to think about.

Wasted Years is released on 7 April via Vice Records

"With Circle Jerks, we were like a Saturday morning cartoon. Black Flag were the evil villains out of a Batman comic"


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“With this band, I’m doing everything in real time” - Perfect Pussy’s Meredith Graves on ditching the scene and saying yes to love “I’ve been saving while you’ve been spending. I’m biding my time and you’re going to fall not even knowing who took you.” Speaking over Skype a couple of days after Perfect Pussy’s show at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, Meredith Graves – frontwoman of the Syracuse-based punk band, which also comprises Shaun Sutkus, Garrett Koloski, Ray McAndrew, and Greg Ambler on synth, drums, guitar and bass, respectively – is paraphrasing the conceptual artist Jenny Holzer’s “Feminist Artist Statement”. It’s an appropriate MO. In a couple of earlier interviews, Graves cited toxic relationships and psychological abuse as the reason for the implosion of her last band, the respected punk group Shoppers, something which – starkly evident in her caustic, aggro-poetic lyrics – had clearly carried some weight with the remit and inception of her current project. “I was in a relationship with a person that was also in the band and even before we started it was a very toxic relationship”, she explains. “When we broke up, of course that intersected directly with the breakup of the band. I was literally living in a state of constant fear and anxiety and I was so afraid that if I was brave enough to leave him it would end the band, and of course it did. It’s so difficult for people to come forward and talk about relationship violence and to talk about abuse because if you say the wrong thing then people will discredit you. It made me wanna quit hardcore and never play music again.” It took nearly two years for the now 26-yearold to rescind on this. Perfect Pussy’s first EP/demo, the self-released cassette somewhat despondently titled I have lost all desire for feeling, appeared last April; a startling, terse 12-minute blast of noise punk, it was both relentlessly searing and subtly melodic, Graves’ near indecipherable vocals buried under a distorted, wonderfully miasmic squall. It was, objectively, brilliant. Lyrically jumping between the transcendent and the cynical, via the punk poetry of I (“I

am full of light. I am filled with joy. I am full of peace. I had this dream that I forgave my enemies) and the sarcastically masochistic IV (“I’m a real piece of shit, I’m a real lost cause. Dare to act like you’re surviving and get thrown to the dogs”), the result was a powerful and deeply personal document. “After two years of ruminating on whether I could get everything out that I needed to get out about how I felt about what these people did to me – absolving myself of all these feelings — that’s exactly what ended up happening”, she says. “They’d basically been taunting me, waiting for me to poke my head out of this cave of anxiety. I saved while everyone else was spending. I had the biggest amount of anger and they gave me a microphone. And that song [IV] really is for those other people who’ve ever been in my position, up against the crowd.” March sees the release of Say Yes To Love, the band’s first just-about-full-length on the hugely prolific and tastemaking Captured Tracks (one limited edition, it might be added, pressed with a little of Graves’ menstrual blood). With the exception of the juddering static of VII, it picks up pretty directly where I have lost… left off; seven more tracks of emotive clatter and chiming sturm und drang, a consistent whine of feedback grounding the din whenever Graves pauses for breath. And again, it’s a fucking classic. The narrative focus seems to have shifted this time round though; it’s undercut with a more resolutely assured and positive stance – as exemplified in the brazen self-reflection of tracks such as Big Stars and Bells – but we posit there remains an underlying sense of expressive trepidation running through it as a whole. “Most definitely” agrees Graves. “Or maybe it’s more reflective? With this band, I’m doing everything in real time. We wrote and recorded the record in less than a week, so everything I was experiencing that week is what the record is about. Whatever my thoughts were about it at the time. Which hold.” She continues, “I’m always going to be really anxious and shy, always going to

feel weird about writing about my feelings in that blunt of a way. But at the same time I don’t want to speak to anyone else’s experiences. I’m stuck with myself.” Despite the cathartic nature of much of our conversation, Graves is more frequently enthused and quietly excitable than expectedly reticent. She uses the word “incredible” near constantly, expounding on bands and individuals as varied as Axxa/ Abraxas, London’s Good Throb and Lil B (“He is so absolutely, overwhelmingly positive!”), segueing through volatile starsign pairings and the cosmic tribulations of Mercury retrograde (“It’s a terrible time for anyone to do anything. I feel like most of the people in my life are mad at me right now and I’m really stressed out”) and the band’s collective excitement at being interviewed by Nardwuar (“He’s just like this person of pure light and good feelings and happiness!”). In fact, the actual day–to-day of playing in Perfect Pussy and the hype surrounding it as a functioning DIY entity seems to verge on being self-consciously transitory. Pressed about the band’s future plans, she admits “I’d be fine if we were done now”: not exactly what you’d expect for a band still to actually release its first record proper. “Honestly, this record is totally fine but I firmly believe in bands stopping before they start to suck, and we suck enough already! We were friends before this band and we’ll be friends after this band. I would be totally happy to put out one record, tour for a while and have this band be over. In my opinion that’s probably what’s going to happen.” Resolutely, she adds, “there’s a phrase I heard many years ago: ‘You can plan in one hand and shit in the other … and just see which one fills up first’.” Irrespective of when they do decide to throw in the towel, Perfect Pussy’s 35 minutes of music to date is about as righteously pellucid an expression of noise imaginable right now.

Say Yes To Love is released on 18 March via Captured Tracks

Words: Thomas Howells Photo: Roisin Murphy


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Issue 39 | crackmagazine.net


PR E S EN T S PR E S EN T S

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F EF EAT ATUURRI N I NGGBBOATOAT-, ,CCLU LUBB- - AANNDD AAFFTTEERRPA PART RTI IEESS (INALPHABETICAL ALPHABETICALORDER) ORDER) (IN

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/ S O N U S F E S T I VA L / S E SI VTAI VL A S O NO UN S -U F ES SF T . CLO M S O N U S - F E S T I VA L . C O M


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Fiery eclecticism opens doors for Hamburg's Helena Hauff

“Because it’s boring.” We asked Helena Hauff why people might eschew straight 4/4 house and techno in favour of the ‘anything goes’ approach heard in her own, fiercely eclectic style that takes in everything from Belgian New Beat to banging electro and steely EBM. To Hauff, the choice is straightforward. “It’s just boring. Plus people want to listen to a DJ set or a production where they think, ‘I couldn’t do that’. Or they don’t know the track, or they’ve never heard that before. So having someone up there is almost teaching something.” She backtracks. “Teaching is such a terrible word.” But teach, or at least champion unheralded oddities is what she does as a longtime associate of mad-hat Hamburg club the Golden Pudel, where she hosts her Birds And Other Instruments night. Notorious and righteously beloved for its dank surroundings and heady atmosphere as well as the radical/punk ethos of the club and those behind it, it’s an establishment Hauff looks upon fondly as she chain-smokes her way through our interview from her Hamburg home, describing it as “a grimy, dirty place, but a happy place as well”. It’s this raw, gritty foundation that has given Hauff the muscle to regularly satiate intimate crowds with various obscurities. “It definitely influences my sets because you have all the freedom in the world and no one gives a shit. You can try out different things and if the whole floor empties, no one really cares. You don’t feel any pressure DJing there and that’s very important.” Her obsession with all things dark and esoteric began early in life, after her mother deemed buying music a waste of money, leaving Hauff filtering through CDs at her local library to get her fix. A general distaste for the mainstream further spurred her outsider approach, stating “I was just disappointed by the stuff on the radio, which is why I started to dig deeper”. Taking her first steps into DJing after attending a warehouse party in Hamburg enamoured her with the profession, leading her to abandon her studies, and in no time she was pestering her soon-to-be Golden Pudel family. “I just went there a lot and said ‘I am a DJ as well! Let me DJ!’” The institution has touched every part of her musical persona, spurring her to dig deeper, secure in the familiarity of the club. “If I didn’t have all that freedom I might be a different DJ now.” Hauff made all the right moves last year, with releases on Werkdiscs, Blackest Ever Black and PAN cementing her style as a producer, as well as working as Black Sites with Golden Pudel associate f#x. The excellent Werkdiscs

release in question, Actio Reactio, is an 808-driven jam of clattering rhythms while B-side Break Force sounds like someone trying and failing to keep an acid bassline in a cage, and forthcoming six-track Return To Disorder via Panzerkreuz explores a murkier side to her output. Her 80s-led stylistic range is characterised by a protoHypnobeat sound, prompting James Dean Brown of the 80s ‘neo-tribal’ outfit to enlist her in his work. “After I released Actio Reactio, he e-mailed me and said ‘I really like your track, it reminds of a track I recorded 30 years ago.’” The track in question is Hypnobeat’s The Arumbaya Fetish, and they share a strikingly similar exoskeleton of fluttering claps and piercing synths. Performing their first “proper” show at Berghain, the pair ooze snakecharmingly hypnotic sounds on an 808 orchestra comprising ‘1x TR-707, 3x TR-808 and 2x TB303’. It’s an affinity to the machine that is centric to her recent endeavours in production. “I couldn’t live without it. You don’t necessarily have to have an 808 to make music, but for me it was the most important thing I ever bought. Before that I made music, but I didn’t really know how to.” In making the move from selector, she appreciates and also negates the necessity of production in establishing a career in dance music, as she’s been known to comment on how rarely DJs get the attention they deserve purely through DJing. “I think it’s a big problem that people invite producers instead of DJs. Not every DJ is a good producer, not every producer is a good DJ. If you’re a great producer and you get the offer to play a festival for a lot of money, you’re going to say yes and you’re going to play your files on Ableton or something without really being into the art of DJing.” Those who have seen Hauff assemble her behemoth of acid, EBM and electro will know this art is still alive and well within the blackened walls of the Golden Pudel.

The six-track EP Return To Disorder is forthcoming on Bunker Records sub-label Panzerkreuz

Words: Anna Tehabsim Photo: Graeme Bateman


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Back and re-energised with a bold new record, the curtains have been drawn once again for Baltimore’s theatrical romantics Future Islands

“You can wear your other clothes over and over again, but with underwear and socks, the idea is to plan ahead and pack as many as you can”, explains Gerrit Welmers, Future Islands’ stoic keyboardist and sound architect. We’re sat with the Baltimore based art-pop trio in a hotel bar, and we’re discussing survival tactics while sizing up the mammoth, international tour schedule ahead of them. But surely it’s just not feasible to wear a brand new, fresh-from-the-factory pair every day for months on end? “I mean, we do go to laundromats and stuff” bassist William clarifies. “Yeah, I can’t wear the same clothes for two or three nights like these guys”, frontman Sam Herring admits. “I sweat out so much on stage I ruin my clothes every night ... But I don’t wear underwear, so I don’t have to worry about that”. And it’s no wonder Sam perspires so much when he’s performing. Known to exude an intense charisma onstage, that night at the Hoxton Bar and Kitchen he frantically dances to every song as if he’s home in front of the mirror with the curtains closed and his bedroom door securely locked. He grimaces as he lyrically depicts intense, intimate tales of romantic tragedy, sexual jealousy and long distance-induced yearning, holding his fist in the air and squeezing it as he reaches the peak of a guttural grunt or camp, pantomime-style falsetto that never quite manages to drown out the approving cheers of the crowd despite its impressive volume. You can see why he’s been cast as a deranged preacher for an independent art-house horror movie. While Future Islands are endearingly modest in character, an air of lofty melodrama has always been apparent. This past Valentine’s Day marked the 11th anniversary since Sam, Gerrit and William –

then still living in their native North Carolina – first played a show together as Art Lord & The Self Portraits, a band for which Sam would adopt a German accent. “It was more Euro pop with Art Lord, we definitely wanted to be Kraftwerk”, he smiles. “Then when we started Future Islands we had this guy who’d never played drums behind the kit. But he was like an amazing, super technical metal bassist. And when he learnt to play he couldn’t really play slow, he could only keep a beat if he played like 180bpm. So when we went from Art Lord to Future Islands, we were kind of straight off the bat a synth punk band.” Powered by a berserk electronic kit, the overzealous sticksman certainly managed to leave his mark on Future Islands’ 2008 debut Wave Like Home, but they’ve since softened toward a bitter-sweet style of danceable synth-pop that still borrows Peter Hook’s trick of promoting a metallic, grumbling bass guitar to the role of a lead instrument. So what’s the fabric of the sound? “The Misfits was an early band we bonded over way back in high school. And Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark were a huge influence on our second record In Evening Air”, Sam reflects, “and Sparks are a big one. British stuff like The Cure and The Cocteau Twins too...” “And ABBA’s album The Visitors”, William blurts out. “Haha, umm, I don’t know if that’s a record we’ve really gotten to know,” Sam budges in, “but all the Eno ambient stuff is something we connect on...” “It’s ABBA's last record, like ’81, they get more synthy on that one”, Will continues, refusing to be silenced. So Future Islands’ sound is essentially a melting pot of gothic punk, novelty new wave, 80s indie and ... ABBA? “I don’t know about ABBA, I’ve never owned an ABBA record!”, Sam insists, laughing a little nervously.

Words: Davy Reed Photos: Jennifer Lo

The band release Singles, their first album in three years, on 24 March. While the new songs never quite reach the giddy heights of Dancing Queen, the record does sound bigger, bolder and more – whisper it – ‘mainstream’ than their previous stuff. They recently switched from the reputable Chicago indie label Thrill Jockey to 4AD, home to artists such as The National, Deerhunter and Grimes. And after years of hard graft, Sam admits that they’re enjoying the basic luxuries that the contract has provided. “We used to sleep on floors the whole time, but we can afford to stay in hotels now and get a good rest. Those were things we just weren’t able to do in the past. Because we’d just play for peanuts, you’d make like 70 or 80 dollars by selling merch and that’s how you’d pay for gas and food. “William booked our shows for seven and a half years. He’d do the van thing, do all the e-mails, he was basically managing us. That last tour he booked was amazing, but it was a lot on his head, he was pretty swamped.” The DIY slog has paid off. Over the course of the years, they’ve graduated from gigs in art galleries, to the toilet circuit, to bona fide club shows, and now their first ever Coachella appearance shines brightly on their forthcoming tour schedule.


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“We might have hit the wall financially at one point. But creatively, it was the most open we’ve ever been”

This time last year, however, things weren’t quite so secure. The band took a little time off the road to write and record Singles, and as a band dependent on touring for income, it wasn’t long before their finances dried up. Without a budget for the album, they found themselves having to call on close friends to chip in. So did it feel like there was a period of struggle? “We might have hit the wall financially a little bit at one point”, Sam shrugs “but creatively, it was the most open we’ve ever been.” And if Future Islands were nagged by any feelings of self-doubt, it doesn’t show on Singles. The record sounds polished, optimistic and, touchingly, there’s lyrics that suggest that Sam – who usually plays the downtrodden romantic – has reached some kind of emotional equilibrium. In fact, it’s undoubtedly the most confident record they’ve done, reflecting the band’s all-ornothing sense of determination.

“Once this album was done, I wasn’t worried”, he says with a sense of conviction. “Because I was like ‘we just made a great record, we just made our best record’, so we knew that some solid label would put it out. We’d done stuff with another great label, but we wanted to take it to another step, to kind of shoot for the stars if we could. We know we have the ability to write great songs, and for all the hard work we’ve put in, we felt that we deserve a shot.”

Singles is released 24 March via 4AD. Future Islands appear at The Great Escape, Brighton, 8-10 May. Photos taken at ACE Hotel, Shoreditch


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Issue 39 | crackmagazine.net

Work no. 1092, 2011


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Famous for his pared-down, minimalism-influenced work, Martin Creed has just opened his biggest exhibition to date, a definitive retrospective at the Hayward. Crack went to see how he filled the space


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“I already thought things change depending on where you exhibit them, but the extent to which that takes place is, to me, almost laughable. The extent to which it doesn’t feel like the same … it is physically the same object, but it feels like one little thing in this bigger work, which is the show.”

explicit works. “If there are rules in the work it’s only to help, it’s got a functional role, like to help the presentation of the work or something like that.” The audience, then, is kept in mind? “Aye, because the audience and me are like two sides of the same coin; it’s for everyone’s benefit.”

and it was the most important thing in the world, at that time. Now there’s this kind of alien copy of that thing in the show. It’s just one element, part of a bigger theatre show – it’s not the same as it was back then. The work is just not the same work, even though it is.

The show is big. A serious retrospective, it spans the quarter century of Martin Creed’s career. Hayward Gallery has a rep for staging immersive, blockbuster – some might say crowd-pleasing – shows.

This attitude reflects the generosity of Creed’s practice; though superficially minimal (the exhibition guide cites 60s minimalism as a key influence to the young artist), he rejects the term ‘conceptual art’. Certainly, the cold associations many have with the ‘conceptual’ are dissipated by the warmth of Creed’s works.

“It’s funny, because this is supposed to be quite a definitive exhibition. It’s got a little bit of everything that I’ve been trying to do, but it’s not definitive at all. All it does is open up more. By trying to pin something down, you just create more problems.”

On the face of it, Creed’s retrospective, What’s the point of it?, slots neatly into a programme of exhibitions that has seen an interactive recreation of an artist’s bedroom (in Jeremy Deller’s mid-career retrospective), hallucinatory and boundarypushing video art (in Pipilotti Rist’s 2011 exhibition Eyeball Massage) and last year’s wildly successful Light Show, the second most-visited in Hayward’s history. Some of Creed’s works do conform to the physicality – novelty, almost – that has come to signify a type of contemporary art exhibition; one is greeted, on entry, by the colossal and intimidating Work 1092: Mothers. Elsewhere, on one of the numerous sculpture terraces, a car spontaneously goes from a state of inertia to a blaring, honking machine, without a driver (Work No. 1686). The real ‘moneyshot’ (or maybe that’s ‘value-for-moneyshot’) is Work No. 200: Half the air in a given space, which sees half the air in a part of one of the upper galleries given physical volume in the form of many white balloons, through which visitors are invited to wade and stumble. These works are here, drawing crowds, but they do not constitute the entire breadth of the exhibition. It offers much more; it attempts a comprehensive look at the oeuvre of one of the most important artists working today. Creed’s concerns are reassuringly human. The art he makes is often ordered, or systematised. Indeed, all of his works are named numerically, in order of their creation (starting with number 3). The systems extend to self-imposed rules, consciously applied by the artist: “I think rules are more or less like a framework,” he tells us, on the top floor of the Royal Festival Hall, “like, the rules of football are a framework that enable the players to express themselves in a contained way. If the rules weren’t there, they’d just take the ball – I guess like football used to be – and bloody run home with it, or whatever.” Knowledge of these rules or frameworks also allows us, as the audience, a way in to some of Creed’s less

Throughout the Hayward show the audience is offered a kind of solace; comfort, almost. “Don’t Worry”, says one large neon light piece (Work 890: DON’T WORRY). Easier said, though, than done. Acid-yellow neon is not necessarily the most reassuring medium. But then ‘Don’t Worry’ is a platitude; to be told it is to be told nothing. Besides, Creed’s attitude to comfort is conflicted: “In my experience the realisation or experience of comfort is often accompanied by a kind of safety, which segues into boredom – things being the same, boring, dead. Watching TV with a cup of tea next to you, plate of biscuits, you know?” Creed contradicts himself with this – one of the first works in the exhibition is a sofa – but contradictions are rife in Creed’s practice. Besides, he acknowledges the appeal of tea-and-biscuit comfort: “Life is often a tussle between wanting comfort and feeling like that’s a sort of dead end.” Creed’s contradictions are symptomatic of a larger motif of dualities that flow throughout the retrospective. Really, contradiction seems like too negative a word to describe the push-pull, on-off forces alluded to or literally manifested. An inability, or unwillingness, to operate in any sort of binary way of either/or underpins Creed’s works. Mothers, for example, is at once intimidating and ridiculous, frightening and deeply humorous. It’s maybe this humour that makes his contradictions easy to swallow. He laughs often during our interview, but also spends a lot of time staring ponderously into space. During our talk it becomes clear that he’s not unconditionally pleased with the Hayward exhibition, or rather, that it has affected him and his works differently than how he perhaps expected. “It feels very weird to walk around here with all these things that I remember making; they’re like weird copies of the things I made. I made that thing, way back then,

It’s easy to see why he might feel this way. The volume of the exhibition necessarily recontextualises a lot of the works. The show has been well curated, but ambitions of inter-work democracy are a little optimistic. Pieces like Work No. 79: Some Blu-Tack kneaded, rolled into a ball, and depressed against a wall are easily missed, and Work No. 127: The lights going on and off, which won Creed the Turner Prize in 2001, is altered somehow. Indeed, this work might offer the clearest insight into specifically what Creed is trying to articulate, re: his feelings about the show. The light’s cycle is, in the Hayward, on a 30 second loop: 30 on, 30 off. The iteration of the work which, in part, won him the Turner prize, operated on a five second loop, enough time to cross the room it occupied and see it in both of its phases. Did he change it especially for the Hayward? “No, the original work was 30 seconds. There are different works, variations, but the 30-second work was the first one I made. It was in a group show, the lights went on and off, and I designed it to give a chance to see stuff during that 30 seconds of on.” Here, though, the 30 seconds of on give us the chance to look properly at some of Creed’s other works. A selection of different sports balls, 1000 prints of the cross-section of broccoli, a video featuring a chihuahua and an Irish wolfhound, tables piled one on top of the other, in order of size, from biggest to smallest. All, recognisably, works by Martin Creed. The point here being that The lights going on and off, a deeply simple idea, the physical manifestation of a contradiction (on or off? Both.) is irrevocably changed by what it is that it illuminates. It interfaces with its own cousins (or siblings, or whatever), not, as was intended initially, with strangers’ work. It’s interesting that Creed doesn’t seem entirely convinced by the new [proverbial] shadow it casts, “Seeing the works together does not look like what I thought it would look like; I don’t know what I thought it would look like, but it’s a different feeling.”

Words: Augustin Macellari Photos: Linda Nylind


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Work No. 1636, 2013

Work No. 916, 2008

"Life is often a tussle between wanting comfort and feeling like that’s a sort of dead end, you know?"

Work No. 1585, 2013


34 Perhaps, Crack wonders, this is related to feelings of, for want of a better word, loss. A loss of ownership of the artworks? “Yeah, they’ve been taken away from me a bit but I think that’s probably quite helpful, because there’s nothing worse than keeping things in your attic. Or worse than that, keeping your children in your cellar. That’s the worst scenario for a work, is that it’s the equivalent of a child that you’ve kept in the cellar that grew up really fucked up. Maybe that’s a helpful aspect of the exhibition; it gets stuff out of the house.” Fritzl references aside, Creed’s domestic allusions are interesting; a kind of domesticity abounds in this show. On the second floor a pyramid of loo rolls is next to a curtain that draws itself. Back downstairs, cardboard boxes are arranged neatly into piles, biggest on the bottom to smallest at the top; aesthetically they echo the ziggurat paintings scattered

Unwilling though he seems to be to admit it (or perhaps he just misunderstands our question – there is, after all, a difference between comfortable and comforting), Creed’s work offers, fundamentally, reassurance. Though it answers no questions, his kinship with the audience – his viewpoint from the other side of the coin – invests his works with an antidote to existential hopelessness. The final room of What’s the point of it? loops three films: two of puking, one of a woman shitting. It’s a weird way to end the exhibition, and we’re not convinced by Creed’s arguments about shit-as-sculpture and vomit as physical-metaphor-forcreative-compulsion (what’s in having to come out, etc.). The vomit films carry a latent violence, a sort of nastiness that’s not present elsewhere in the exhibition; the force with which the performers stuff fingers down their throats conjures

“It feels weird to walk around here with these things I remember making. When I made that thing it was the most important thing in the world. Now there’s this alien copy in the show."

Work no. 1000 ,2009-2010

around, but they read almost as shrines to middle-age, to a disposable income. One starts, at the bottom, with a box for a duvet from John Lewis, rising up through an Yves Saint Laurent shoebox and box for a guitar part to an empty carton of Ryman’s adhesive labels. While a far cry from Hirst’s megabucks “medium-is-money” diamond skull stupidities, these reflect a more modest – comfortable – shift into what could perhaps be described as a kind of financial maturity.

unpleasant bulimic associations. The shit film, though, is funny. It takes the poor lady so long to squeeze it out that by the time it comes it’s almost as much of a relief to the audience as it must be to her.

It is Creed himself who introduces the subject of money; “If you earn enough to be able to sit on the sofa for weeks without doing anything, that’s all very well”, he tells us. Certainly these cardboard sculptures seem like the kind of work that could be made from the comfort of the sofa. They are grownup, in a dad-in-shed way, and comfortable, though he rejects it in conversation. So does he find it easier to make work now that he’s financially secure? “I like not being on the breadline, which I kind of was a bit, but then I never wanted to get a proper job. Money can give you a certain amount of freedom, but probably just being real about things is the thing to do.”

This is the comfort, then, of Martin Creed. He doesn’t always offer reasons or answers, so much as a kind of solidarity. Though the show contains spectacle, the more interesting works address the everyday; here are his feelings, and they’re like ours.

Our final question to Creed is silly; would he eat a piece of toast, knowing it had started as slightly mouldy bread? Would he pick off the mould and eat it anyway? “Aye, I probably would,” he says. It’s fine, isn’t it? “It’s fine, I can assure you.”

Martin Creed’s retrospective What’s the point of it? runs at the Hayward Gallery until 27 April. His composition for the newly refurbished Royal Festival Hall Organ will have its world premiere on 30 March and his ballet, work no. 1020 will be staged at Queen Elizabeth Hall on 8 April


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'Larry David as a superhero' from Sarah. Created exclusively for CRACK by Jim'll'Paint It. jimllpaintit.tumblr.com.

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With an outsider ethos, Martin Falck visually portrays the radical ideology of his peers

Words: Steve Dores

Falck is surely most widely known for the playfully gauche artwork that graves The Knife's boundary-pushing 2013 album Shaking The Habitual. The Swedish designer has a bit of a penchant for the kind of confrontational work that challenges the archaeic, inflexible approach he was taught at the notoriously hardcore Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. Crack caught up with him over Skype to talk boring design, national stereotypes and the wisdom of Oprah Winfrey.

First up, The Knife. How did you come to work with them? I’m a huge fan of The Knife! I was working a lot with this idea of ‘Norm Critical Form’ and I’ve done a lot of collective projects that included feminist and queer ideas, so since this was what The Knife were addressing with their record, Olof and Karin asked me to do it. I had no idea they were going to ask me and I was super duper happy when they did. Can you elaborate on the term ‘Norm Critical Form’? In Swedish we call it “Norm-Kritisk”. It’s the idea that we try to find different ways of doing things in different constellations. Open processes, non-professionals working within a non-hierarchy etc. You

sort of include everyone in it; themes of intersectionality, feminism, the whole works! I think this is a big thing now in Sweden. There’s a preconception about Swedes being quite withdrawn as a nation. Do you think your work is a reaction against that stereotype? I think graphic designers are in general. It’s quite a non-social profession, but I feel like it’s changing a bit now, which makes me really excited. Graphic design has developed a lot and gets more and more attention which allows more space to work.


39 I really like the idea of sharing work with a lot of people, or making it loud and visible so people can really react to it.

direction, this font is dripping down into that corner. There’s a lot of energy in what you see.

How do you go about translating the ideas and themes of the music into something visual? I start by listening to the music a lot, and then I have this thing when I hear music. I see a lot of images, videoclips, colours, typefaces. I talk a lot to the artist and slowly build this reference library, a sort of ‘moodboard’ – but I really don’t like that word. Maybe building them their own world is better, like ‘here is your new world and this record will be your national anthem’.

Your work could be considered ‘anti’ or ‘against’ traditional notions of design. Why did you choose this as an approach? Is it because so much of that stuff is just pretty boring? When I was studying I was trying to find my own approach towards graphic design; to really learn, or feel, or understand what I could do with it. When I started to do this ‘anti’ design I was just breaking all the rules to learn why they are there. I felt like a lot of them were just Stone Age rules that didn’t apply to our reality anymore. Now I have a much more relaxed approach to them, and I even sometimes use those old rules that I was constantly breaking.

I really like spontaneous and honest ideas. When things get too thought-out and complicated they become less interesting. Have you seen the Oprah talk show? She talks a lot about lightbulb moments. This one moment of clarity, or this one thing you want to say. In my mind I always see images moving: this square is moving in this

But I really don’t like the idea that ‘we can only use this if it has a function’, because that means that visuals are secondary and the function is the norm. With music it’s just another language, one that’s much more based on colours and moods. I feel like music and graphic design have so much in common, music is more free though. It’s funny because everyone can make sounds and everyone could draw something, but it’s still the visual part that has all the elitism. It says a lot about how important aesthetics

and visual expressions are in our culture that having good taste is the ultimate symbol of status. Would you feel OK about being misunderstood in the present if it means that in the future people will say you were ahead of your time? Yes, but I think it’s nice to have a balance. One foot in the now and one in the future... I felt very misunderstood in the beginning, like people really didn’t get what I was doing. But I got a lot of energy from that. Then seeing things change and other people doing what I did; that was great. I love the idea of the internet in that sense. No copyright rules exist anymore. Graphic design is like fashion; trends change every week. It’s almost as if there is this one big brain doing graphic design and posting it all on Tumblr.


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Hanging from a skyscraper, skipping school to smoke weed and parring the cast of Emmerdale. All in a day’s work for Eagulls

Words: Billy Black Photos: Hannah Godley

We were in a vomit-coloured backstage room in Camden, waiting for Eagulls to arrive, when we started freaking out. Last year the Leeds-based fivesome – responsible for some of the most unyieldingly grotty punk music to emerge from the UK this decade – called out the entire country’s music scene in a scathing open letter. And when we eventually tracked them down they were outside having a fag while casually ribbing their manager Daniel, who’s evidently blessed with the patience of a fucking saint. We emigrate from the nauseating back room to a nearby boozer, and the first signs of the band’s mythologised cold front to the press are obvious. “Oh, it’s a dictaphone interview is it?” sneers Tom, the band’s bassist. “I’ll sit here,” says guitarist Mark sitting down right next to the obtuse symbol of journalistic formality we’d just placed on the table, “I’ve got a loud voice. I’ve got an ‘orrible voice.” The thick Northern accents are disparate. We thought they’d all grown up in Leeds, but we got that wrong. “Nah, none of us did” states drummer Henry, bluntly. When we ask how they ended up there, singer George – intimidating, tall, wearing sunglasses inside – is quick to crack a joke. “Train”, he mumbles sarcastically. Luckily we’re saved from the tension by Mark’s blunt backchat. “Didn’t your Dad drop you off?” He pauses. “... for uni?” – at which point the gang burst into contagious laughter. Their reputation as ice-cold snipers has quickly dissolved. We’re just down the pub with a group of mates who’ve known each other forever. The sense of unity in their youthful energy is instantly relatable, it’s a dynamic every nearly-grownup group of mates can understand. We all know invading that dynamic as an outsider isn’t easy, but there’s no point trying to run from a landslide. We figure it’s best to let it roll. From the top. “Me and [drummer] Henry grew up together in a town called Ripley in Derbyshire. It’s a shitty, dead end town. Right from little school, wan’ it? Then to big school” George explains. “I was right square, me” adds Henry. They share a cursory glance before George smiles for the first time and tells us “I skived off a lot. I’d try and get [Henry] to skive off with me, but he’d stay there. I’d go and sit in a park and smoke weed in a tree.”

Things have changed since then. See, the band recently played a track from their ferocious self-titled debut on Letterman. “He rang me and he was like “Do you wanna come on mate?” and I was like “Nah, not today” says George. “He’s from Derbyshire isn’t he?” jokes Tom. So was New York scary for a gang of smalltown lads from up North? “You feel like you’re on Grand Theft Auto or something,” guitarist Liam speculates. “That is actually the closest thing we’ve come to New York before, innit!” After the performance was broadcast the internet was ablaze with pictures of Tom hanging out with Bill Murray backstage. “Aww Bill man” he says, “yeah, he’s sound.” But he’s more keen to share another chance celebrity encounter he had back home in the UK. “I met that woman off Emmerdale once, she used to be on Byker Grove, and I was like ‘You were on Byker Grove, weren’t you?’ and she were like ‘Yeah, I’m on Emmerdale now though’ and I went ‘Oh right … so what’s Byker like?’” So what else happens when you let a bunch of rowdy youngsters loose in NYC? “Henry got on top of the penthouse in Manhattan and he was hanging right off the top of the building”, laughs Mark. “I wish he wouldn’t do things like that.” “Aww, come on, it’s just fun innit?” adds George, before Mark interjects. “He’ll die one day though.” “At least I’ll die having fun!” yelps the sticksman, only for Tom to pipe up. “What, and the rest of us have nightmares for the rest of our lives of him falling, like that bit off Die Hard?” Eagulls are a bunch of mates, they’re like any other bunch of mates, but somehow they’ve managed to make it out of their hometowns and landed up on prime time US television. Whatever it is that’s brought them there, they’re taking it in their stride. Nothing’s changed. Still the same lads. Still the same humour. Henry pauses a moment, considering himself plummeting to oblivion. “Get a drum machine?”

Eagulls is released on March 3 via Partisan Records. They play Latitude Festival on 19 July and Beacons Festival, Skipton on 10 August. Keep an eye out for our forthcoming live session with Eagulls on crackmagazine.net


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Veterans of notoriously raunchy ghetto house, Dance Mania are opening up shop once again Dance Mania is back. The Chicago label’s approach famously took the loved-up house template of the day and threw it to the gutter, stripping it back to heady dancefloor functionality. While pioneering 80s labels Trax and DJ International maintained a stronghold on the scene, Dance Mania was the deranged underdog of the three. Following its closure, the imprint reached cult status, with prices for remaining records skyrocketing and a new generation of outspoken DM-indebted artists dutifully paying homage. For owner Ray Barney, re-opening the label seemed like a practical business decision, he explains to us. “I grew up in the record business. It’s all I remember from birth.” Located in Chicago’s West Side, Ray’s father Willie Barney opened Barney’s Records in 1953, and it soon became the city’s premier outlet for RnB, soul and house. When Ray made it a hub of distribution after returning from college, it was soon to form the infrastructure of Dance Mania. After selling his contemporaries' records in large volume, Ray was eager to get into the business and took on the opportunity in ‘85 after close friend Duane Buford self-released Duane and Co.’s Hardcore Jazz EP on his own imprint, Dance Mania. The lead single from the release J.B. Traxx layered chopped-up James Brown grunts and squeals over a stripped back beat; it was raw, jocular, proto-ghetto house. Within his first year Ray had released house heavyweights Lil Louis, Marshall Jefferson and Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk. As DM was unable to breach the radiofriendly European anthems coming from their contemporaries, their firm rooting in the underground led to a freedom in

creativity. Ray admits there was something liberating about the fact that money wasn’t the main motivation. “The music was less commercial, let’s say. The music we were putting out wasn’t conducive for radio play, it worked for DJs and it worked for the club but it didn’t work for the radio. The artists were free to do whatever they wanted to do.” It’s this outlook that birthed the label’s calling card: ghetto house. Fuelled by dance groups like the House-o-Matics and Chicago footwork crews, ghetto house drove up the BPM to 140 and beyond, spewing out a raunchy, unapologetic take on house music. As early 90s European audiences turned their attention elsewhere, the localised scene was driven into an assshaking frenzy. Label mainstay Victor Paris Mitchell, who released on DM under aliases such as Parris Mitchell, Victor Romeo and Rhythm II Rhythm, looks back lovingly on one-take recording sessions and “mini-parties” in producing such ghetto house staples as his extensive Life In The Underground release. “Originally it was just a term used, because of the style it was done in and the way it was just raw and gritty,” says Mitchell, who is now heavily involved in the resurrection of the imprint. “DJ Funk had a record and he was the first one to use that term in correlation with the actual sound. It was kind of like putting a name to a face.” Cooked up “from the ghetto, for the ghetto” those initial, crude trax were hailed for reaching out to girls so that guys would follow suit. So what was it about ghetto house that got guys dancing again, and why might men in their community have had reservations about embracing house music? “It wasn’t so hardcore, as opposed to when the 90s rolled around and the

Words: Anna Tehabsim Photos: Courtesy of Dance Mania


49 whole hip-hop culture became a little bit more masculine, and guys just wanted to hear something a little more raw”, Mitchell relays. “Everybody wants to hear something dirty, when you’re in that environment and in that atmosphere you don’t want to sing about love.” Mitchell admits that the shock value of some of the more explicitly graphic lyrics (such as his own sleaze-house mantra All Night Long’s ‘Clap your hands if you wanna fuck/ Stomp your feet if you wanna suck’ refrain) was encouragement enough. “And it’s funny!” he laughs. “It’s shocking. The whole shock thing is amazing, it’s like ‘I can’t believe he said that!’” Mitchell explains that such outwardly explicit lyrics were also of political significance, directly correlating with a wider clampdown on artistic freedom. “That’s around the time where they were having this big debate about whether they should include these parental advisory stickers on records, so I think a lot of people felt like their freedom of speech was being violated.” As dance crews pushed the BPM to fevered heights, the routines got faster and a symbiosis began between crowds and DJs. “From my experience, if you see something in the club, you see that it worked and you see someone doing a dance to it, then you would go and make a record about it,” Mitchell explains. “So just by seeing what they were doing someone would come up with the title … footwork. So in other words, life didn’t imitate art, art was imitating life, which is the way it should be.” As with everything, the scene evolves. When Crack managed to track down the legendary DJ Funk for an interview back in 2012, in amongst all the dirty talk he offered an interesting perspective on musical developments. “These guys are making more of the newer jukey style, but obviously there’s been a major bounce off from ghetto house styles, and another bounce-off from the likes of Lil Louis, the Hot Mix 5, and the guys who made the Trax records. And it just got mixed up, it got faster, and that’s what those guys are feeling ... I feel kind of honoured that the shit I been doing has inspired some other shit.” The evolution goes something like this: Ghetto house sparked juke, and then, as DJ Clent and RP Boo commandeered the style, juke became footwork.

Issue 39 | crackmagazine.net

Among the artists to reference DM are Daft Punk directly aped Parris Mitchell – as well as DJ Funk, Wax Master and Jammin Gerald – on Teachers, their ode to Mitchell’s Ghetto Shout Out. He reflects on it with pride. “When I heard the interpellation they did, I thought it was great how they paid homage to everybody that they felt influenced them, it was definitely an honour and a privilege.” Since the label’s closure in 2000, a swathe of DM-influenced artists have helped keep the legacy alive. Ghetto house-indebted UK collective Night Slugs’ L-Vis 1990 has worked closely with the label since its return, and he speaks passionately of his respect for the label. “The first time I heard Dance Mania was in Daft Punk’s Essential Mix in ‘98. This was the mix that really made me want to start DJing,” he reveals. “DM records are made to move your feet and shake your ass on the dancefloor and nothing else, the music is not spiritual, it’s functional.” Selling to a rapidly dissolving market led to the label’s closure in 2000. Ray Barney announced the rebirth of the label in March 2013, after Mitchell called him almost every day to bug him with this exact mission statement. As demand for DM grew increasingly since its closure, releases became incredibly sought after and equally pricey, with the transition from the pre-digital age connecting Ray to fans he never knew he had. “With social media and the internet I was seeing the demand for the music. The price that some of the records were fetching on the internet...” He pauses. “It’s flattering to know that they’re in demand, but the artists aren’t seeing any of it. I wanted the artists to benefit from it.” Applying his business-mindedness to the goldmine of DM records collecting dust in his basement, Barney reformed the label and re-released essential issues from The Parris Mitchell Project, Steve Poindexter, DJ Deeon and Traxman before the year had ended. This year he released the glorious Hardcore Traxx retrospective to “help the artists and expose the music to a whole generation.” Finally, Ray reflects on the label to reinforce its untainted intentions. “I think there was something real special about the label, it wasn’t done as ‘this is going to make us a lot of money, let’s do this.’ It was like neighbourhood friends hanging out.” Hardcore Traxx: Dance Mania Records 1986-1997 is out now via Strut Records


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Albums

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WILD BEASTS Present Tense Domino

TYCHO Awake Ghostly International Releases on Matthew Dear’s Ghostly International usually prick up this office’s ears, with the likes of Gold Panda, School Of Seven Bells, Com Truise, Adult and Recondite all having made noteworthy appearances. So we anticipated above average things from this fourth record from Scott Hansen’s Tycho project, his second on Ghostly. Unfortunately what we’re presented with is the kind of clichéd ambient dross that feels like it’s been designed for those who feel beautiful sunsets need enhancing with middle-of-the-road mood music. Even the front cover of the record alludes to this colour palette. Or maybe that’s the sun coming up rather than down? Either way, the plinky-plonky beats, the bleepy echo effected keys or light guitar plucking contains such a chronic lack of depth it’s hard to know where one track ends and the other begins, and it’s culmulative value as a piece of ambient techno through a live prism is hopelessly lightweight. It’s the musical equivalent of having your hair lightly ruffled by a 5 out of 20 … while watching a sunset. !

Thomas Frost

LUKE VIBERT Ridmik Hypercolour It’s been five years since Luke Vibert released a record under his own name, and for a man who has been in the game since ‘93 with as many aliases as a Russian sleeper spy, his back catalogue is as diverse as it is exemplary. Latest album Ridmik, his first for the excellent Hypercolour imprint, finds him facing his greatest love front on: acid. Vibert, like his fellow gamechanging contemporaries Aphex Twin, μ-Ziq and Squarepusher, has carved a canyonesque niche over the last decade, churning out release after release of his specific brand of wobbly techno. But Ridmik is a back-to-basics affair, stripping away any extraneous additions to produce a pure landscape in which the 303 and the 808 are king and queen. The tingle of hi-hats and snapping snares of the opening title track display Vibert at the top of his production game. Melodies are kept simple and precise, a masterclass in subtlety and machine soul. Stabs Of Regret and Acage will fill the dancefloors with moments of pure acid euphoria, whilst Proper Gander is a bass heavy banger with endless flow and artificial hand claps to boot. This album is a techno treatise, studying the sacred nature of acid and what can be achieved by following a philosophy of classic simplicity. An authentic musical journey in the car that Roland built, driven by a master of his field. !

Phillip James Allen

The fourth record from Cumbria’s finest is their most palatable offering to date. Having recently told Crack they “don’t want just to be interpretable by musos”, the album title Present Tense points towards a return to the intuitive immediacy seen on 2008’s Limbo, Panto, but also makes it clear that Wild Beasts are by no means reverting. There’s a hugely broadened palette on show here, most noticeably in a pronounced movement toward synthesised sounds. And it feels justified, a necessary move to bring some of that intuition back. Eight years in and Wild Beasts are still feeling their way as they go, and that’s part of what makes Present Tense such a joy to listen to. As ever, this is a record that revels in a back and forth sway. Obviously there’s the tag teaming between lead vocalists Hayden Thorpe and Ben Little, or as Hayden has described it “the comedy high voice, comedy low voice double act”. But more than that, the album as a whole sways between joyously upbeat and epic melodrama. Perhaps the most upbeat of them all, A Simple Beautiful Truth lives up to its lofty title, while the following track A Dog’s Life switches back with a welcome dose of moody introspection. The continuous changing of mood and tempo breathes life into the album, indulging in an almost theatrical feel. It can be a touch crude, but we’ve come to expect that from Wild Beasts. It’s the instinctive simplicity of the band that ensures they remain treasured. The triumph of Present Tense is that they manage to keep hold of this whilst continuing to push their own sound. !

Jack Lucas Dolan

FRÀNÇOIS AND THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS Piano Ombre Domino

MAC DEMARCO Salad Days Captured Tracks With the arrival of Passing Out Pieces, the lead track from Mac’s second full-length album Salad Days, all signs pointed towards an expanded sound, with the Canadian’s slacker surf rock complimented by woozy synths that echo Tame Impala’s landmark 2012 effort Lonerism. While Chamber of Reflection follows suit, and the Earth/Alien instrumental Johnny’s Odyssey distinctly sounds like the plight of a being encountering a new world, the majority of Salad Days sounds much more like a direct sequel to his last record than a revamp of the formula. The somewhat gloomy lyrical refrain of the eponymous opener is at odds with the optimistic guitar jangles and sing-a-long la-la-las; “Oh mama, acting like my life’s already over”, he sings. This lyrical context of family relations is something Mac has visited before in songs such as previous album opener Cooking Up Something Good, which discussed the subject of his father’s tendency to cook up crystal meth in the basement – apparently a happy memory. “Pack it up and leave it all behind you/start up fresh in someone else’s town”, Mac sings later on Go Easy, perhaps from his mother’s perspective; “please go easy with my baby”. Variably melancholy lyrics continually juxtapose with the unflinchingly sweet melodies and humorous spoken word interludes (“SHIT!” whispers Mac at the beginning of Brother). Who are the “blue boy”, the “brother” who is “better off dead”, and the boy who should “treat her better”, for example? When pieced together, the record seems to be one about both the paradoxical nature of growing up and dividing from close relationships. “Please don’t take my love away”, he sings on Let My Baby Stay, “separated from my one and only – what’s there left to say?” With such a prankster personality as Mac’s, and such a hazily jolly mood underlying these tracks, you can imagine him winking through it all. More definitive answers will surely be revealed in nonchalant introductions at his next live shows, most likely through cracking jokes But the relationship between the music and the words are nonetheless a fascinating aspect of this record, which is – by the way – pretty much flawless. !

James Balmont

The ingredients that compile Frànçois and the Atlas Mountains are healthy and active elements for any band making alternative guitar music. There is the afro-pop informed guitar plucking, the swaying French chanson stylings and the grandiose, re-imagined folk music. It’s understandable, then, that on a first listen their album tastes overbearingly rich, leaning on so much variety and character it seems easy to be pushed away by the whimsical wonder of it all. It’s lucky Frànçois and the Atlas Mountains have melody on their side. In less capable hands the coquettish French lyricism and jovial production would lose any value beyond being marketably playful. However tracks like La Vérité and La Fille Aux Cheveux de Soie showcase a very genuine awareness of melodic sensibilities, backing up their fluffy intentions with stirring and affecting musicianship. As the album progresses and allows itself time to breathe, the band manage to shake off their peppiness altogether. Title track Piano Ombre and Fancy Foresight showcase downtime with sweet ballads and subtle production, suggesting that perhaps they would benefit from pursuing their darker inclinations. Resoundingly it is an album that does little to skew alt-pop traditions, yet through basic talent the band produce something enjoyable and lasting – just. !

Angus Harrison


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YOUNG FATHERS Dead Ninja Tune ST. VINCENT St. Vincent Loma Vista/Republic Persistently resisting convention and accomplishing a swell of capricious albums, St. Vincent is undoubtedly a musical daredevil. Often flirting with ambiguity, Annie Clark’s flighty approach to album procreation is like observing a tentative toddler choosing which toy to play with next, recklessly grasping and tasting every building block in sight. This self-titled fifth album is another escapade veering from tradition into whimsical disarray. Following her brasslavished collaborative album with David Byrne in 2012, St. Vincent diverges from the trumpetencrusted funk of Love This Giant into an impulsion of mechanical melodies. Digital Witness dominates the album, splurging a sauciness that erratically embraces Clark, lucidly flourishing what Byrne taught her of fearlessness. Brian Eno’s experimentation visibly seeps through decades, latching onto St. Vincent and reducing her attention span to the restlessness of a five-year-old. The album fluctuates between states of dense 80s pop and taut beats, seeing I Prefer Your Love execute a ghostly air of Madonna whilst Birth In Reverse seizes a climax of electronicainduced math-rock. St. Vincent ultimately immerses itself in early 2000s RnB, acquiring the volatility of Beyonce’s solo debut and the miscellany of Michael Jackson’s career finale. Aberrant comparisons aside, this album is above all a homage to David Byrne’s insightful tutoring, forcing a dauntless St. Vincent into grasping and tasting her greatest selection of building blocks yet. !

Ayesha Linton-Whittle

For the past few years, critics have been rejoicing in an alleged new golden age of hip-hop. Major releases from Kanye, A$AP Rocky and Drake have kept the mainstream moving, while more avant-garde acts like Danny Brown proved that making moves in the rap game doesn’t have to come at the expense of a good dose of creative weirdness. But there’s one strain of hip-hop that arguably never lost its potency, and the wonky, lo-fi rumblings of Young Fathers extend a lineage that takes in the acerbic wordplay and clapped-out beats of the Anticon stable, Doom’s cracked-earth electronic sermons and Frank Ocean’s frayed neo-soul. Add to the mix their own blend of Scottish Afro-futurism, and Young Fathers are an act to breathe in deeply before you exhale. Heartfelt lead single Low finds angle-voiced Alloysious Massaquoi crooning “I just want to make life easy on your eyes, you just want to ease me with your lies”: unlike much experimental hip-hop, Young Fathers don’t hide their sentiments behind smoky metaphors. The alternatingly menacing and empowering War allows all three vocalists to ride a rhythm of claps and soulful synth stabs, while the claustrophobic clattering of Mmmh Mmmh sounds intriguingly like Mezzanine era Massive Attack. The anti-anthemic Am I Not Your Boy, and the swaying, sombre lullaby I’ve Arrived provide a soul-searching climax to a perplexing, shape-shifting album. These are complex compositions that reward multiple listens. With depth, character, soul and finesse that few contemporary hip-hop acts can lay claim to, this is an album to take as a serious statement of intent. Weird, wild and wonderful stuff. !

Adam Corner

BLACK LIPS Underneath The Rainbow Vice

LIARS Mess Mute

06

PHARRELL WILLIAMS GIRL Columbia Wine bar shit. !

Billy Black

After 14 years and six albums we’re still never sure what to expect from New York’s noisiest threesome. One thing that’s always been a part of Liars is their propensity to write music that can shock and scintillate in equal measure. Despite not representing a huge departure from their last curveball WIXIW in terms of sound palette, Mess, delivers in that context for two reasons: first off it’s a pop record – albeit industrially tainted – and secondly, it sounds like it’s dropped seven years too late. All that aside, it’s probably the most accessible record they’ve released and is even more electronic than 2012’s very electronic offering. The haunting Can’t Hear Well is a stark, despondent piece of synth driven minimalism and serves as the album's strongest song, while the oddly titled Boyzone sees the band plumbing the depths of their experimentalism, riffing on a gothic, mechanised structure which stands up against the current crop of industrial upstarts but somehow manages to fall back on the slightly out of date sound of NYC circa 2005 at the same time. At other times, on I’m No Gold for example, the album ditches the bleak factory atmosphere and veers almost completely into MSTRKRFT territory. It sounds miserably stale. Mess is an achievement for Liars on some levels. The fact that some parts of the record sound like Rammstein collaborating with Justice is not something to be sniffed at and Pro Anti Anti is a certified monster in that particular, errm, genre. It's a good record, but if it’s not fearless and it’s not snarling, it’s not what we want from Liars. !

Billy Black

CLOUD NOTHINGS Here and Nowhere Else Wichita On Here and Nowhere Else Cloud Nothings manage to marry two often-contradictory worlds: adolescence and adulthood. Although musically rooted as ever in the overdriven guitar sounds of post-hardcore, grunge and the more extreme end of indie rock, there is a maturity in lyrical content that adds a further dimension to what would otherwise be a pretty straightforward guitar album. In fact, frontman Dylan Baldi captures the zeitgeist for many young people (more specifically, suffocating post-university claustrophobia) so effortlessly that it’s easy to adopt a close connection to the record in a relatively short space of time. In lead single I’m Not Part of Me for instance, Baldi spits the refrain “I’m not telling you all I’m going through/I feel fine”. Although simple in makeup, such reflections convey a wide spectrum of universal emotions that elevate Here and Nowhere Else from mediocrity to exactly what a good album should be: a mirror of the human condition. This is an album to be played at high volume with the monotony of life and its petty irritations left far behind. A gem of raucous lo-fi grunge pop that the no hopers of Generation Y should lap up with fervent wantonness. !

Benjamin Salt

Black Lips arrive at their seventh studio album with a run of consistently impressive records preceding it, and Underneath The Rainbow does not break the trend. At times the lo-fi production is unflinchingly filthy, and indeed the album was at one point going to be titled Labios Negros – the band’s Hispanicised title sounding suspiciously explicit and unattractively erotic. Unsurprisingly, the psychobilly-inspired Do The Vibrate strongly implies the use of a mobile phone for masturbation. The wild ‘80s synth of Funny, meanwhile, is an unexpected, but superb addition to the flower punk palette – popping up like an estranged friend who decided to burn his disco flares and get the word ‘SHIT’ tattooed on his forehead instead. Occasionally there are whiffs of the Brian Jonestown Massacre in bluesy riffs, tonic guitar wails or Wild West chord progressions. At other times curdling pop melodies, twinkling arpeggios, and genuinely warm backing vocals are glued together by that distinctively scrappy Black Lips yelp and fumbled instrumentation. The anthemic Boys In The Wood is a clear dynamic apex and fitting centre point to the album, and it’s thereafter that the record’s most polished tracks can be found. With 12 songs covering barely 30 minutes, though, it is the shortest Black Lips album in ten years by both runtime and tracklist, and the premature climax is somewhat apparent. The party was wild, why kick everyone out so soon? There is a saving grace, nonetheless, in the Rolling Stonestinged closing track Dog Years, an undoubted highlight of not just this record, but of the Black Lips’ entire career. ! James Balmont


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UNTOLD Black Light Spiral Hemlock

LORELLE MEETS THE OBSOLETE Chambers Sonic Cathedral The harsh sounding Mexican psych duo make quite a statement with their jarring third album. It takes the usually soporific combination of graveyard pace and wandering instruments and, instead of offering them up via intravenous injection, covers them all in poisonous barbs and scrapes them across the user’s bare skin. Tinny, unwashed sounds and cruel production offer a peculiar alternative to other lo-fi psych records. Rather than wrapping the listener in a soft, warm dream, Chambers situates them in a cold, metallic wilderness – it doesn’t always make for pretty listening. Even the most gentle caresses are of barely-blunted spikes protruding from tangy guitars. The mindless chords found on tracks like The Myth Of The Wise sound as panicked and disoriented as they did on Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrettafflicted debut. The relentless siren wails of Sealed Scene, then, would be right at home in a derelict nursery of a roaring Godzilla – the Japanese B-movie variety, mind you. There’s no Hollywood sheen here. Mastered by Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom, the influence of the drug-rock explorers is especially evident in the twisted croaks of psychoactive toads on Third Wave. The fluttering 13 Flowers that follows is another trip, leading to the grey desert finale Thoughts About High Noon, a track that confidently fulfils its Western connotations with melody and atmosphere. It’s a cold winter in Mexico with Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, but if you can adapt to the harsh conditions then you’ll find there’s plenty to keep you busy. !

James Balmont

Untold has always pushed things too far. When dubstep didn’t know what it wanted to be anymore, he rustled up Anaconda; a percolating headspin of tribal grime made out of everything. When techno was having its moment of rowdy sexlessness a couple of years ago, he produced a series of EPs so incredibly tense and drawn out that we still aren’t quite aware of how influential they’ve proved to be, simultaneously managing to pre-date both the current jungle and post-punk revivals. And now, while noise is becoming more and more of an excuse and 4x4 kicks are all anyone ever wants, he releases his debut album; a record of uncompromising body music designed to make people feel fully mental. Opening with waves of sirens tumbling over a primal thud that eventually descend into allencompassing bass, 5 Wheels manages to sum up Jack Dunning’s latest attempt to fuck the zeitgeist off completely in under five minutes. By the time you reach Ion, the final curve in the spiral, it’s hard to fully comprehend what’s just happened. The tracks become one amorphous blur of mescaline loops and decayed rhythms, held together by the restless ghost of the UK’s illustrious rave past. There are references to the Change In A Dynamic Environment period in the industrial lope of Strange Dreams, the way Drop It On The One builds from almost nothing to system-crushing waves of noise, and the relentless barrage of kicks that make up the majority of Doubles. But that takes nothing away from the fact that this is another incredibly idiosyncratic record from Untold, one that proves his alchemic ability to distill storied influences into something that sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard before is still unparalleled. !

Steve Dores

TOKYO POLICE CLUB Forcefield Memphis Industry

PATTEN ESTOILE NAIANT Warp Warp signings seem to be getting weirder by the minute, and this fulllength from their latest might be the most overwhelming yet. Following last year’s impressive EOLIAN INSTATE EP, from the album sleeve to the seizure-inducing videos (directed by long term collaborator Jane Eastlight) patten’s music is a barrage of maximalist hotchpotch. But while his first album for the label pushes even their most avant-garde sensibilities, it still feels fitting. Buried in ESTOILE NAIANT’s dense undergrowth are echoes of Oneohtrix Point Never (in the syncopated, raw sampling of Here Always), Boards of Canada (in the wailing synths of 23-45) and even FlyLo at his more introspective (Key Imbedded). There are more mainstream nods too – singles Agen and Drift hinge on deep subs and wild hi-hat rhythms nestled between layer upon layer of miscellaneous noise. The frenzied collating of references can at times feel a little disjointed, but that’s sort of the point. Everything is piled in, chaos ensues and only the subtlest efforts to elucidate are made. Whether patten’s approach will prove prophetic remains to be seen, but it’s certainly a statement of the moment. Ever a beguiling live performer with a pronounced visual element, he may even be an electronic artist who works best in a live setting. But complex, confusing and oddly beautiful, ESTOILE NAIANT can certainly be enjoyed, if not necessarily understood. !

Jack Lucas Dolan

TODD TERJE It’s Album Time! Smalltown Supersound And so, at last, it’s album time for Todd Terje. This is Terje Olsen’s first ‘proper’ full-length in a career that stretches back to 2005’s Eurodans. It follows the massive success – or grating ubiquity – of Ragysh/Snooze 4 Love and Inspector Norse. “Victim of his own success”; something someone with a silly beard has probably said about Terje. Inspector Norse, unfortunately for some, was everywhere. This meant the snarkier among us said it sounded like it was made by The Teletubbies, to cast, by contrast, our own musical preferences in a cooler, more esoteric light. But such was the quality of the song-writing, structure, and sheer sense of fun, however, that it’s equally easy to argue that Terje was single-handedly responsible for putting fun back on the dancefloor. But can he do it for the dance music album? And is Terje the instigator of ‘the joke’ here? Part of it? Or worse – the butt of it? The opener starts informatively and sweetly enough, with faded-in bleeps and vintage Linn sounds making way for a breathy refrain stating “it’s album time”. The melodies all ‘make sense’ here; nothing’s too discordant or out-ofplace; campery abounds. But then Leisure Suit Preben and Preben Goes to Acapulco arrive, a neat pair of fairly complex, samba-y mood lifters, the latter boasting an enormous Van Halen-esque keyboard solo midway. The tempo really picks up with Svensk Saas, a layered, progressive continuation of the samba theme replete with 808/909 clicks and pulses. Strandbar, Terje’s self-aware nod to his own growing popularity at festivals-cum-beach holidays, straddles the halfway point with Delorean Dynamite, a chugging, cosmic-italo thumper for graduates of the Justice school of ‘electro’. An 80s tom-tom roll rounds out the mid-peak, leaving Bryan Ferry’s vocals on Robert Palmer cover John and Mary to soothe. Ferry’s voice is fairly fragile now, adding a dignified melancholy to Terje’s (occasionally) subtle and superb 80s-sounding production. There’s not much time to recover, though – Alfonso Muskedunder reboots the tempo and we’re back with some urgency. This is the album’s weakest section. It’s some kind of knowing pastiche of a pastiche, much like Terje’s own pastiche of his own Eurodans under his own ‘New Mjøndalen Disco Swingers’ alias; this is the kind of cyclical irony that can frustrate at times. The two halves of Swing Star make for more contemplative synth work, the former part like something on Italians Do It Better without the mannered insouciance, the latter a bit funkier, like a less shouty, more Norwegian Devo. Then Oh Joy, another enormous buildand-release Terje special in the Inspector Norse mould – Mr Flaggio style bass, tense but ultimately satisfying cadences – before said Inspector lays down his familiar, but still formidable, track to close. This slab of witty, good-natured, disco-indebted fun will lift your mood, prep you for summer and restore your faith in declarative album titles. The Hives may have tricked you with 2004’s Your New Favourite Band, but don’t worry – like Flight of Conchords before him, Terje knows exactly what time it is, and unlike Chico, the time is his. !

Robert Bates

“Operator! Get me the President of the world. This is an emergency.” With that precocious and endearing line from their second single Cheer It On, Tokyo Police Club announced themselves to the world in 2006. From then on their well-meaning dose of scrappy pop won a heap of praise and got many an 18-year-old wiggling awkwardly at their nearest indie disco. Eight years later and sadly not even the President of the world, not even a be-caped Obama with mind-altering laser eyes, could save Tokyo Police Club from the dire peril of their own third album. Gone are singer Dave Monks’ youthful yelps and bonkers yet affecting lyrics. Gone is the messy sense of space in their recordings that gave those high-gain bass and tremolo guitar lines room to manoeuvre. Instead, we have a soulless slab of nonsense, typified by the leading track Argentina. Preposterously long at over eight minutes, it meanders from a banal pop-rock opening into a section which for all intents and purposes sounds like a completely different track, and probably should have been. The whole thing smacks of over-production from the get-go, with Monks’ vocal in the opening verses hideously effected with the ‘underwater robot’ treatment. Following on is the single Hot Tonight, which is catchy in that infuriating teenbait way. And so it continues in a downward spiral of production that smothers everything like an oil slick, and songwriting which is somewhere between dull and downright annoying. To dissect Forcefield any further would be to indulge in an act of schadenfreude, so our advice is to listen to Your English Is Good and Nature of the Experiment on repeat until TPC can sweep this under the carpet and put out something worthwhile. !

Andrew Broaks


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Live

PRINCE AND 3RDEYEGIRL Electric Ballroom, Camden \ 5 February

LIMP BIZKIT O2 Academy, Bristol \ 12 February

SPEEDY ORTIZ + JOANNA GRUESOME The Green Door, Brighton \ 20 February Tonight, in this tiny room beneath the city’s train station, a hundred or so young bodies are gathered. They represent the underbelly of the UK music industry, one in which bands operate largely away from the spotlight. Joanna Gruesome stand in ferocious opposition to the harp wielding twee folk soloist from whom they take their name. Songs like Sugarcrush and Candy arrive loaded with personality, taking influences from 90s Riot Grrl and melding them into three-minute-plus bursts of Bikini Kill and Huggy Bearsaturated teenage frustration. It’s a quality they undoubtedly share with Speedy Ortiz. Although Ortiz hail from the other side of the Atlantic – the birthplace of both these bands’ primary influences – there’s a mutual sense of referentiality that make these two seamlessly complimentary of one another. Whilst Speedy Ortiz don’t quite possess the natural primal aggression of their predecessors, pop their songs under a microscope and they’ll bare the influence of Nirvana, and, like tonight’s openers, they show an ability to mix unhealthy, punk-strewn angst with a healthy dose of pop sensibility. While the show is hampered by string breaks and moments where between-song banter dramatically falls short, there is something in Speedy Ortiz’s Best Coast meets Veruca Salt pop which leaves an impression lasting far beyond set closer Taylor Swift. !

Nathan Westley

What magazine sends its managing director to a Limp Bizkit gig in a dark nightclub in 2014? We do. So fuck you. Durst is in town and we’re fucking hyped. A self-confessed “redneck fucker from Jacksonville,” Fred Durst once wrote a song that contained the F-word 48 times, representing a particularly incendiary strand of mindless, self-glorifying rebellion. At 16 the word ‘fuck’ pretty much summed up the headspace of the time on two levels. To fuck was all you wanted to do, and at the same time it was the one thing you wanted to appear like you gave very little of. Durst was the boss of both. So 10 years on, has the fact Bizkit are playing Bristol’s O2 Academy, a venue that must seem minuscule in comparison to their arena-sized glory days, lessened their ability to tap into that most juvenile of psyches with their dated nu-metal brand? Well, that really depends if you’ve lost your grip on what constitutes fun. Durst is still wearing a red cap, and grabbing wildly at his crotch at any opportunity, Wes Borland is still dressed like a penis, and DJ Lethal has been replaced by some complete no-mark called DJ Skeletor. But tonight we get the full Bizkit experience encapsulated in 12 tracks of fuck-spitting stupidity. Rollin’ is rolled out early after an entirely unnecessary cover of Welcome To The Jungle, Nookie still invites the audience to “stick it up your motherfucking ass,” and the level of moshing reaches frantic proportions after the drop is faked twice on My Generation. We nipped off to the bar for a stiff one before Limp ploughed their way through their angstiest number Break Stuff and finally, Take A Look Around. It was a nu-metal smash-and-grab of the most entertaining order, the crowd comprising of the most cobbled-together we’d ever seen, split between topless metal fans, intrigued Limp Bizkit heads from yesteryear and a handful of the truly disaffected. Tonight Limp Bizkit fucked our shit up and it was a total pleasure. ! Thomas Frost N Kay Cornwell

SUSHITECH Berghain + Panorama Bar, Berlin \ 15 February In a perfect world, we could rave for all 30 hours and not miss a beat of the Sushitech Records goodness. But choosing carefully, we decided to go for a double header and hit the party twice. Stepping out into the early morning darkness, we were filled with excitement to catch Detroit house badman Delano Smith truly killing it. Climbing the metal staircase, in a dreamlike state – having just woken up – to Panorama Bar, Delano had the room in raptures. As hard as it was to leave the marvel and swell of the early morning session in full flow, we knew the afternoon into night promised amazing things and with that in mind we made our exit, more than ready to recapture the musical magic on our 4pm return. Witnessing a long-standing P-Bar veteran like Efdemin play a sophisticated late night set was a true highlight. Wondering just how many hours the Dial Records associate has whiled away in the place, he reigned us back into the moment with low-key house grooves like Blaze’s Lovelee Dae and Norm Talley’s Cosmic Waves. Stepping in for the closing set was none other than that radiating ball of energy, Ryan Elliot. Knocking us through the wall with his fast-paced washes of synths and drums in classic house tracks like Kerri Chandler’s Bar A Thym and perfectly infused garage from Zak Thom’s Bring Me Down, we were sent home fully satisfied. !

Anneka Buckle

Sitting uncomfortably in my tiny, damp-ridden room in Camden, my day was interrupted by the phone ringing. “Do you know where Electric Ballroom is?” It’s my girlfriend. It sounds important. “Prince is playing there tonight, get in the queue and I’ll meet you there.” And so began a surreal night, during which we stood outside, in the cold, for around five hours, drank eight cans of pre-mixed gin & tonic and chatted cordially with similarly baffled, half-believing strangers, waiting for a small man from Minneapolis called Prince. It was worth it. Prince has been playing a few guerilla-style ‘secret gigs’, presumably in preparation for a tour. Someone on social media got wind of them, bruited about them, and 2,000 people turned up a few doors down from my flat. That’s how these things happen when Prince is involved. The first four hours in the queue passed uneventfully. Occasionally, we moved forward and people snuck off for food or booze. But mainly we stood in stupefied silence, like the doe-eyed supplicants before an all-powerful, gatekeeping bouncer we were. Then, around 10, one came over. With consoling eyes, he told us the venue was full. We weren’t going to get in. Savage, savage disappointment. He paused, took in the crowd, and spoke again: “He’s gonna do another show at 11. Take a comp ticket and come back then”. Incredible. We were actually about to see Prince. We went to my flat to prepare physically and mentally – by which I mean we drank beer and watched the episode of New Girl with Prince in it. Thus readied, we went back to Electric Ballroom. We paid £10 each. I will be smug about this for the rest of my life. 3rdEyeGirl, Prince’s all-female (obviously) backing band, introduced themselves and took to their instruments. Dry ice filled the stage. Subsequently, some noodling from the band before Prince himself came out – diminutive, afro’d, silhouetted against purple lights – and then it began: just over two hours of the best live music I’ve ever seen. He stuck mainly to lesser-known or new material, like Something in the Water, but dutifully bestowed the comforting blanket of classics like Purple Rain, Let’s Go Crazy and several others in a series of encores, culminating in a blitzing cut ‘n’ chop 15 minute medley – “You know how many hits I got?” – yes, yes we do. His playing throughout was exceptional, those fretboard-finger-fuck solos of his mesmerising the crowd, even taking to slap bass to demolish any gimmicky preconceptions. It was a rockier set than I expected, but then, I didn’t really know what to expect, outside of being blown away by pop’s most talented musician. Yes, lots of people think he’s ‘eccentric’; yes, the symbol thing was alienating; and yes, he’s 53 now. None of these things matter. Prince has more charisma, talent, sex appeal and hits than any other artist performing today; Prince, All The Critics Love U In London. !

Robert Bates

WARPAINT O2 Academy, Bristol \ 21 February They’ve hinted at it for a while, but it’s now way, way beyond a doubt. Warpaint have become an incredible band. As with much of their self-titled second record, the Bristol leg of this victorious album tour smoulders with a deep-rooted sensuality. Theresa Wayman’s increased vocal responsibility and freedom from the shackles of her guitar strap have transformed her into a swaying, captivating focal point. The band are lined up as a quartet, Jenny Lee Lindberg sat centrally on a stool in front of her bass stack, deep swells undulating through her body to the sold out room; the permamotion Stella Mozgawa subtle and cyclical behind her kit; Emily Kokal a swooning presence at stage left. The atmosphere is charged, new album cut Hi resonating with the emotive, distant sexiness of the Cocteau Twins. Wayman and Kokal strike flawless harmonies, their almost identical tones sounding eerie in sync, then startling as they split, nestled amongst the swathes of moody fug seeping from the speakers. Biggy drags you through, before a stunning double-header of Undertow and Disco//Very hang heavy in the air as the band leave the stage. The encore sees Kokal alone, performing an achingly delicate rendition of Baby, soon joined by her cohorts for the groovetinged tribute Billie Holiday and then, finally, a majestic Elephant, descending into a vibrant jam. Their psych tendencies may be waning, sets built around more confident, potent song structures, yet their dreamy, more challenging wanderings still loom large. Warpaint have surpassed all of our expectations. They’ve fully cemented their reputation as one of the most essential live bands out there right now. ! Rich Bitt N Martin @ All Your Prey


MOVE D fabric 74

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J U N E L O N D O N


59

Live

FUTURE The Nest, Dalston \ 26 February

CTM Various Venues, Berlin \ 24 February - 2 February

BILL CALLAHAN St George’s Hall, Bristol \ 6 February Dwarfed by the mural depicting Jesus and his Disciples in the St George’s Hall, Bill Callahan walked onto the stage, bolo tie gleaming from the spotlights like a clerical collar, and delivered a two-hour, chocolate-toned sermon that left his devout followers open-mouthed and red-palmed. With memories of his stunning 2011 show at the Trinity Centre still fresh, the expectancy was rewarded the moment Callahan crooned the opening lines to set opener The Sing. Warm, delicate, smooth; his baritone voice universally made shoulders drop and edges of mouths rise. It was what we’d been waiting for. It should be noted that there were a few faux pas along the way. Bill Callahan and his band played for two hours. In said two hours, 14 songs were played. And yes, that means a few of those songs went on for ages. At points it was entirely welcome, in particular the psych rock-out featuring a droning harmonica during 2011 single America! but, in the most part, the meandering elongation fell on the side of self-indulgence. Thankfully, moments of pure magic resolutely overshadowed any other questionable ones. Every string or hand drum was replicated or perfectly substituted by Callahan’s incredible backing band, but it was the stripped down songs from Bill’s back catalogue that he really shone. One Fine Morning, Jim Cain, and Riding For The Feeling were staggering, and Dongs of Sevotion cut Dress Sexy at My Funeral earned whoops from a delighted audience.

Now in its 15th year, Berlin’s CTM festival is an expedition into a vast unknown world of noise and electroacoustic music via the more familiar territory of electronic legends and current artists. Figurehead of experimentalism in techno Rabih Beani, better known to many as Morphosis, shared a stage with Charles Cohen twice over the course of CTM. Beani’s solo performance revolved around the interplay between a wealth of weird, synthesised sounds, ranging from subdued loops to ferocious blasts, and a chiming dulcimer, looped and stretched to provide a unique textural underpinning. A focused, mature performance from Cohen followed. Working his way around his famous Buchla Music Easel, Cohen demonstrated beautiful virtuosity befitting an artist that has spent the last 30 years of their life dedicated almost entirely to one instrument. Owen Roberts opened the following night’s techno event with a composition commissioned specifically for this year’s CTM festival, delivering a nuanced and overwhelmingly physical interpretation of techno. As a counterpoint to the control of Roberts’ composition, controversial Swedish artist CM von Hausswolff and Sam Kerridge’s sets were both superbly unrestrained. CM von Hausswolff leant more towards a relatively straightforward mix of power electronics and drone, while Kerridge shouted unintelligibly into a microphone, somehow managing to squeeze an amazing amount of groove out of his unique brand of uncomplicated techno. Dub techno originators Porter Ricks followed, bringing their submerged aesthetic to Berghain’s monstrous soundsystem with a thump so deep and material that the slow overwhelming kicks became part of the body’s reaction to the music, easily confused with the listener’s own heartbeat. Dasha Rush’s rich techno combined the flexibility and power of a hardware-based set-up with a beautiful degree of control and a sound so polished it could have come straight from a studio, yet the contrast between Rush and Truss and Tessela, appearing together as TR\\ER, was extreme. Without any attempt at subtlety, TR\\ER’s raw Jeff Mills-esque 909 jams interspersed with punching breakbeats were well received by a crowd clearly yearning for something harder. Concrete Fence, or Regis and Russell Haswell, played an abrasive and schizophrenic DJ set entirely befitting two of noise and techno’s most arrogant practitioners. Moments such as a gabber track jump cutting midway though a bar to an accapella from New Order’s Confusion were fun and entertaining but ultimately extremely tiring. There are many artists that will go unmentioned in this review. Lasting over a week, CTM is not a festival for the faint hearted as it’s genuinely impossible to attend every event. But the broad and fascinating range of artists on the bill tell an incredible story, leaving you wishing you could be in two places at once. !

Thomas Painter N CTM

NENEH CHERRY The Love Inn, Bristol \ 24 February When Bristol promotion captains Team Love acquired a venue and promptly (and appropriately) renamed it The Love Inn, we were promised special guests playing intimate sets in their 200 capacity bar. We all like a secret gig. And we all get a bit disappointed when instead of The Libertines reuniting for sweaty carnage, we get a Carl Barat DJ set. So when it was announced that Neneh Cherry would be popping into the newly refurbished Cheltenham Rd haunt, that was all the incentive needed to travel the short distance and check out an artist who commands the utmost reverence. The younger heads familiar with 2012’s jazz collaboration The Cherry Thing are sharing space with the older generation hoping for some of the more hip-hop laced stylings of her ’89 debut Raw Like Sushi. What we get is material from her first solo record in 18 years, the Four Tet-assisted Blank Project, played in its entirety with collaborators RocketNumberNine. RocketNumberNine drummer Tom Page has long been someone Crack has admired, and tonight his performance tethers Neneh along tracks that feel completely at home in Bristol with their bassweight and inclination towards experimental beats. Confrontational lyrics are delivered with authenticity, but there’s a warmth to the performance reflecting the artist’s genuine excitement at being back onstage, and a rapturously received re-working of the colossal Buffalo Stance ends an exceptionally intimate performance. Witnessing this on larger stages this summer will be a highlight for music fans of more than just one generation. ! Thomas Frost N Martin Blower

FOALS Alexandra Palace \ 13 February Crack is late. Yes, Alexandra Palace is a wonderful venue, but when attempting a Friday night drive, the pitfalls of driving rain and a bang-up on the M4 made missing Foals’ crowning achievement of their career a distinct possibility. Thankfully we made it on time. The pomp of latest record Holy Fire has brought Foals into sharper focus, with a number of tracks during the set showcasing what a rich and varied release that was. The build and bombast of Providence’s crescendo, complete with full-blown multi-instrumental shred, hits home in stark contrast to Late Night’s beautifully understated guitar refrain, which is again in contrast to Inhaler’s Rage riff and My Number’s poptastic credentials. Greatest first album moments follow with The French Open, Olympic Airways, Red Socks Pugie and now fully established set closer Two Steps, Twice reminding the crowd that the latest record was by no means a fluke. The set feels like it had at least three or four more tracks in it for a gig of this size, but considering Disclosure are here in a few weeks, what was delivered was a full and rounded amalgamation of why this band are where they are. We wait eagerly to see where they can go from here. !

Thomas Frost

At around the two minute mark in the video for Crack's 50th best track of 2013, Atlanta rapper Future can be seen perched on the front of a Bugatti shaking his fists and wobbling his head as his tyrannosaurus hook crashes in. For many of these shots, he’s on his own. This moment of private ‘turning up’ without his safety blanket of associates (DJ Khaled, Ricky Rozay and Ace Hood) is perhaps a microcosm of Future’s neverending quest to get heads turnt. This voyage could be mistaken as a joint effort, shared amongst the hordes of over-confident whippersnappers that plague commercial hip-hop radio. However this hour-long show on a dark evening on Stoke Newington High Street showed an artist ever so slightly removed from the conventional sound palette of HOT 97. A man who was so integral in the machine being built, he now exists to the left of it. First of all, shouts out to Future for playing for an hour. Often these small-venue showcases for US rappers are little more than 25-minute clusterfucks with more people on stage than the Blazin’ Squad and DJs with an unfixable air horn addiction. For the 60 minutes Future was onstage, we were blessed with hearing his signature brand of extraterrestrial party-rap on tunes like Turn On The Lights, Same Damn Time and the bizarre auto-tuned whimper of Honest, during which Future’s voice could stain the wall. On Karate Chop, his liquor-fuelled bullets of computerised syllables are the sound of slanging narcotics, rolling in Ferraris (‘rraris) and having a fucking nice watch. A live-fast-dieyoung attitude brought to life in the form of a slippery onslaught of robotic mumblings. Future’s DJ cuts the backing track at one point to reiterate that most central of instructions, “Everyone! Turn up!” The weird thing about this command was it’s noticeable lack of playfulness. Maybe playtime is over. Maybe we’ve gone on too long putting Bugatti or Sh!t on at the start of a night for a laugh thinking Future #FreeBandz would never notice. Maybe 2014 is the year it gets real. Clad in a PYREX hoodie and a Boy London beanie covering his newly dip-dyed dreadlocks, Future left the stage and left 349 normal people and one Tim Westwood battered and bruised by an assault of hook-heavy radio-rap. !

!

Andy S

Duncan Harrison N Ciesay


oval space music

CHAPTER #2 MAY — JUNE 2014

TEN WALLS LIVE / AGORIA / KINK LIVE / JOZIF MATTHEW DEKAY / L-VIS 1990 / BOB MOSES LIVE FRITZ ZANDER / KINGDOM / GIRL UNIT / BOK BOK JOHANNES BRECHT LIVE / BRANDT BRAUER FRICK LIVE SASCHIENNE LIVE / HEAD HIGH AKA SHED

TICKETS photography // james robert brown

OVALSPACE.CO.UK


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Film After Oscar night the talk of competition subsides and the year's films are given a chance to settle into their own place in history. Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity and McQueen's 12 Years A Slave took home the most Art Deco statuettes, but no one film ran away with it – which reflects the past year's quality. This month we saw Dallas Buyers Club which, along with 12 Years..., addressed some of humanity's most delicate subjects with a remarkably adept hand. And while Hollywood has been repeatedly finding that less is more, the British film industry (after the government severing its funding to the point where ‘less’ sounds like a treat) continues to wander down dead ends and dark alleys only to stumble across Barbara Windsor, pouting. OK, so Cuban Fury wouldn't claim to span the full spectrum of current British cinema, but at the end of the day, at least it’s better than RoboCop.

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DALLAS BUYERS CLUB dir. Jean-Marc Vallée Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner Perhaps it’s because Dallas Buyers Club was shot over an extremely short period that Jean-Marc Vallée transfers such a potent sense of immediacy and urgency, the fragility of time; time which is ruthlessly running out for Matthew McConaughey’s character, Ron Woodroof. It’s this essence which captures Ron’s defiance in the face of the expectation that he submits to his fate, keels over and dies. As the film so wondrously explores, it seemed this is simply what was expected of someone who contracted AIDS in the 1980s. It goes almost unreported now, and what better way to cast light over this relevant but forgotten struggle and its sufferers than revisiting the age in which establishments, governments and the media of the world left AIDS patients for dead. Within the dogmatic conservatism of Texas, this real life story unfolds. The oft maligned McConaughey is incredible, as is Jared Leto. Jennifer Garner is wonderful too, while Crack readers might enjoy an appearance from Deerhunter's Bradford Cox; all actors revelling in honest, heartfelt filmmaking. Vallée has conjured a personal, irresistible period piece for the ages. ! Tim Oxley Smith

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ROBOCOP dir. José Padilha Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman

THE LEGO MOVIE dir. Phil Lord Starring: Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman Do you think Morgan Freeman is destined to play Godlike characters for the rest of his life? Even when made out of tiny bits of plastic he exudes such a comfortable air of warm, all-knowing existentialism that it’s hard to imagine what Hollywood will do when he eventually joins the guy he’s been doing impressions of the whole time. Anyway, The Lego Movie is a pretty good film, if you can get over a write-by-numbers storyline that clearly fell out of a vending machine at Warner Studios. It’s an incredible-looking thing, shot for the most part using stop-motion animation (thumbprints and everything) of IRL Lego pieces. The most interesting part is that where most films like this chuck in a few pop-culture-based jokes to keep the parents entertained, it truly felt like this film was aimed at the parents. There are the relatively up-to-date socio-political references (the baddie is called President Business for one), the nods to pioneering left-leaning films like 1984 and They Live! and the constant, brick-by-brick destruction of the Fourth Wall. It gets a bit heavy-handed towards the end, but the message being communicated, that parents should be wary of stifling their child’s creativity and imagination, is nevertheless an important one to remember. Essentially this is a film for adults pretending to be a film for kids that both parties are going to be pretty into. ! Steve Dores

When you can’t remember the name of the actor who plays the lead role in a remake of a hugely adored cult franchise, previously played by one of the most famous dudes that ever lived, there’s something up already. In fact, we couldn’t even bring ourselves to memorise the spelling of his name for this review so we just copy/ pasted it straight across from IMDB. Surely playing a cyborg whose humanity is in direct conflict with his robotism requires a semblance of fucking charisma in the first place? Jose Palhida’s remake is a botched job, fatally lost between an attempt at the self-aware humour of the original and a yearning to make a fourth Dark Knight film. The CGI is shite too, incredible considering an update of this aspect is surely the main catalyst for remaking a perfect 1980s blockbuster – expect the money, of course. Keaton is good, but there’s no place for this one in 2014. It’s headed straight for the bargain bin. ! Tim Oxley Smith

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CUBAN FURY dir. James Griffiths Starring: Nick Frost, Chris O’Dowd, Kayvan Novak Cuban Fury is a Britcom lingering in the dirty stockings of Carry On, in hushed awe of Richard Curtis’s body of work. As sickening as too much Mr Kipling, Nick Frost of Simon Pegg fame (harsh, but true) is a fat bloke who used to be able to salsa (harsh, but true). He has to overcome his demons, his workmate love rival, and an army of garishly dressed Salsa enthusiasts to win over a girl who he has a couple of things in common with. Admittedly the creators of Cuban Fury, who have set their sights appropriately low, achieve what they set out to. But this is fury like the fury one feels when Fat Face don’t have the gilet you want in your size – and it’s likely the target audience have felt a similar, if not the exact same, fury at some point in their lives. As lovers of Strictly Ballroom and susceptible to the ‘now or never’ dance film narrative, the conclusion did make us giggle. However, Frost and O’Dowd’s ‘salsa shoot-out’ in their office car park is one of the biggest piles of pap we’ve seen in ever, and should be a source of regret for all involved – which makes the fact Mr. Pegg agreed to cameo in that one scene all the more tragic. ! Tim Oxley Smith

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HER dir. Spike Jonze Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams It’s nice to walk into a cinema knowing that if you’re anywhere near as charmed on the way back out as you were at the prospect of what you’re going to see, you’ll be very, very happy. Spike Jonze handing Joaquin Phoenix the solo showmanship we’ve been relishing for some time was enough, a physical presence so different to his angular contortions as moonshine-swigging rogue Freddie Quell in The Master. Jonze applies the pastel, sun-bleached palette used in Where The Wild Things Are, saturating an unnervingly utopian near future that Phoenix, as Theodore, inhabits. We soon find he leads a secluded life, not only due to his recent break up, but also due to the ubiquity of technology in people’s emotional lives. He then discovers the OS1, a portable A.I companion (voiced by Johansson) who he’ll fall entirely in love with. Despite its immediate kitsch vibrations, Jonze manages to circumvent the incompetent ‘new indie’ clique, the interplay between Phoenix and Johansson crafted so well it brings a stomach wrenching reality to the fore. With a clever comment on the flippancy of materialistic values, Her is to be cherished, along with your Tamagotchi, SodaStream and MiniDisc player. ! Tim Oxley Smith


Upcoming London Shows www.rockfeedbackconcerts.com Friday 7 March

HOLY ESQUE

FAMY

Heaven Charing Cross 6th March

New Empowering Church Hackney 6th March

MARIKA HACKMAN

GARDENS & VILLA

Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen 18th March

Birthdays Dalston 25th March

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I AM IN LOVE

GAP DREAM BOOGARINS

Tuesday 11 March

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Friday 14 March

GENTLE FRIENDLY GAPS MOON GANGS

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Saturday 15 March

WHITE FANG THEO VERNEY AUTOBAHN Sunday 16 March

& THE SUSSEX WIT

PEGGY SUE

Koko Camden 9th April

OSLO Hackney 15th April

THE WAVE PICTURES

RUSSIAN RED

Islington Assembly Hall 18th April

The Lexington Islington 6th & 7th May

OWEN PALLETT

THUMPERS

Oval Space Hackney 21st May

Scala Kings Cross 22nd May

PATTERNS *SECRET GUESTS RELICS

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CLOUD NOTHINGS

Union Chapel Bethnal Green 23rd May

Scala Kings Cross 27th May

SWANS

POND

Electric Brixton 27th May

Koko Camden 10th June

Get tickets and full info at: www.rockfeedbackconcerts.com

Friday 11 April

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Saturday 12 April

LUMERIANS THE WANDS

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sunday 13 April

THE BLUE ANGEL LOUNGE

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Saturday 26 April

BE FOREST

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Tuesday 27 May

SOFT METALS

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The Waiting Room (Underneath The Three Crowns) 175 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 0LH waitingroomn16.com facebook.com/waitingroomn16 • twitter.com/waitingroomn16

Tuesday 6 March

Monday 31 March

HOCKEYSMITH

PLASTIC MERMAIDS

--------------------------Friday 7 March

GNORK --------------------------Monday 10 March

MUTUAL BENEFIT

REPTILE YOUTH

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JOHNNY FLYNN

Friday 4 April

BABE --------------------------Wednesday 19 March

FAMILIAR CREATURES

--------------------------Saturday 5 April

ICE COLD --------------------------Wednesday 9 April

DIOS MIO --------------------------Friday 11 April

KIRAN LEONARD

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Saturday 22 March

Saturday 12 April

MIDNIGHT A GO-GO

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PLAYHOUSE Thursday 19 April

TOM WILLIAMS AND THE BOAT

BEFORE MY EYES VII: DEMDIKE STARE

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Tuesday 25 March


KIT SU NÉ

Easter Special Saturday 19th April Village Underground, London

DIGITALISM BEATAUCUE

+ More to be announced Advance Tickets £12 Earlybird www.theransomenote.co.uk www.residentadvisor.net 9.30 pm – 4 am 54 Holywell Lane, EC2A 3PQ www.magicandmedicine.com http://villageunderground.co.uk

#kitsunebunny kitsune.fr facebook.com/maisonkitsune twitter.com/maison_kitsune

magic & medicine

NAKED (ON DRUGS) MON 3 MAR SEBRIGHT ARMS

MENACE BEACH WED 12 MAR OLD BLUE LAST

JUNGLE OUT TUESSO4LDMAR VILLAGE UNDERGROUND

THIS IS THE KIT FRI 21 MAR THE LEXINGTON

HOCKEYSMITH THURS 6 MAR THE WAITING ROOM

MOLLY BEANLAND MON 24 MAR SEBRIGHT ARMS

RAFFERTIE THURS 6 MAR SERVANT JAZZ QUARTERS

CLOUD BOAT TUES 25 MAR CHATS PALACE

COUSIN MARNIE MON 10 MAR SEBRIGHT ARMS

THE MEN THURS 27 MAR VILLAGE UNDERGROUND

NIMMO AND THE GAUNTLETTS THURS 27 MAR CONCRETE WILD BEASTS TUES 1 APR O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON HOWLER THURS 3 APR OSLO HACKNEY THE AMAZING SNAKEHEADS THURS 3 APR BETHNAL GREEN WORKING MENS CLUB

LEME 14 - POSTER AD - 123X165 - OUT.pdf

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OLIVER WILDE THURS 3 APR THE LEXINGTON JESCA HOOP MON 7 APR SEBRIGHT ARMS LA FEMME WED 21 MAY SCALA HOSPITALITY MON 26 MAY SEBRIGHT ARMS TWO WINGS SAT 31 MAY SEBRIGHT ARMS

24/02/2014 PARALLELLINESPROMOTIONS.COM 17:51

£60 LONDON ELECTRONIC MUSIC EVENT 2014 12–13 APRIL RICH MIX, SHOREDITCH

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Trimming the sails with...

Denzil Schniffermann

Ricky & Richie: A Romance in 12 Inches by Josh Baines

“Ricardo, no, not yet, not yet, Ricardo, no!” said Richie. Richie was hot and bothered, trying to concentrate on his mixing but Ricardo kept running a hand up his shirt. The shirt was clinging to Richie’s back, a back that was sopping with sweat – it can get pretty steamy in the main room at Amnesia on a Monday night in July – so Ricardo had to pull the shirt away with his left hand and place his right

Dear Denzil,

Hello Denzil,

Dear Denz,

We’ve got a deep division in the office. Someone stole my butter, so I couldn’t moisten my roll to go with my lunchtime soup. Dry as fuck it was. At the same time this Welshman got aggy with me that I was leaving rogue coffee granules about the place. Now there's a partition up and the butter heads refuse to drink coffee anymore and no one shares the Lurpak. They’ve formed rival gangs: the Coffee Crew and the Butter Boys. It’s affecting my finances. I don’t like beef.

I was in Finland last summer and ended up striking up a bit of conversation in a sauna with an affable native. Little did I know it was hotly tipped popster Jaakko Eino Kalevi. After seeing his face all over the new music press I realised who he was and now I can’t stop picturing him, and his rather impressive John Thomas, in the buff. With his musical credentials on the rise, I feel like images of Jaakko are set to come thick and fast in the coming months. Feelings might be getting complex.

You need to loosen up mate, come to my techno night, it’s called Elektronik/ concrétE. Once you’ve spent eight hours fistpumping you’ll feel like your heart’s been ripped out and replaced with a kick-drum. I’ve e-mailed Surgeon and he might be playing at the next one. What do you reckon, sound appealing?

Hulio, 28, Bristol

Johnny Pears, 29, Cornwall

Denzil says:

Denzil says:

There’s a saying my old man Wilbur Schniffermann used to have printed in bronze above his office desk: “Beef has no value other than when cooked medium-rare.” And that mantra has seen me settle many out-of-court disputes (for a small fee, naturally) amongst warring factions. To borrow a phrase from the baggy-trousered ne’er do wells so often promoted in this magazine, the beef must be squashed.

The magic of heat in a traditionally cold climate can herald awesome results. When I was trekking through the fjords of Norway, I once got locked in a sauna for five hours with this chap called Olaf, who had a Phd, but had never been to university, if you catch my drift. We nearly died. He’s now my accountant.

on Richie’s taut, toned back. Every touch was electric, every millimetre of exploration an entirely new sensation. Richie was saying no, saying no, wanting to say yes, wanting to feel his Chilean company running his hard hands over his whole body, wanting to succumb to him and his wicked ways on the balcony of the hotel room they’d been sharing that weekend. He wanted to close his laptop lid, shut

down Traktor, tell the crowd to listen to the music of their hearts, the sound of two bodies in unison. But he still had three hours left and ninety records to play. Ricardo would have to wait. He wasn’t good at waiting, never had been. “Richie, baby,” he’d whisper, “it’s the Latino in me, I can’t help myself.” Ricardo was a strong, powerful, considerate lover. He worked tirelessly to bring Richie to fruition. Whole

Harry, 25, Leeds Denzil says: Sounds like you’re gonna be caught short with your pants down if you keep baring your soul at the altar of the 909 squire. If you’re exposing your chest in the name of hard 4/4, you have to remember that the world of the beatsmith is a young man’s game. Techno is clinically proven to age all men. How about I lend you my Les Paul and you try and get your soul back instead? After all, you’d never catch Ry Cooder e-mailing some bloke called Surgeon.

nights were spent touching, caressing, attempting to be as one. They listened to old jazz records on nights like that. Hiss and crackle. Sax and sex. Ricky and Richie.


67

The Crack Magazine Crossword Across 02. Fraudulent conduct; Portico Run (anag.) (10) 05. Von Trier’s latest (12) 07. To repeat main points (5) 08. Cereal grass, often used for whiskey (3) 09. Melville’s whale (4,4) 10. Shy person, as flora (10) 14. Elizabeth Fraser fronted this seminal Scottish dream pop band (7,5) 18. Perfect, Riot, Galore – the word that links these three (5) 19. The definitive US Sitcom? (8) Down 01. Almond stuff off of cakes (8) 03. Kurt Cobain’s favoured hot drink (10,3) 04. Community within Brooklyn, home to hip-hop Zombies (8) 06. Practical joke (5) 11. Zany, bonkers, eccentric, often in reference to a tie (5) 12. Distractions (10) 13. Form of outdoor drainage; piece of really bad news (6) 15. Successful; Math Turnip (anag.) 16. Bodily feelings; excellent crisps (10) 17. Flair (7) Solutions to last issue’s crossword: ACROSS: 3. RAREBIT, 4. STIFLE, 6. RAISIN, 9. PROTAGONIST, 10. KEITH MOON, 12. BEATS, 13. TITILLATE 14. WEEZER, 16. STUMP, 18. TRIFLE DOWN: 1. PECULIAR, 2. BITCH, 5. FLYING LOTUS, 7. TRAMPOLINE, 8. MOCKASIN, 11. VENOM, 13. THE DUDE, 15. RIFLE, 17. POP

If you were to bump into Andrew Clarke in a civilised context he’d come across as a particularly amiable chap. But once the sun goes down he becomes a far more intimidating prospect; he becomes The Executioner. The drum and bass maestro was initially given that name by his acquaintance MC GQ due to his merciless method of murdering a dancefloor by hammering his six, seven or even eight hours sets with drop, after drop, after drop, after drop, after drop. Rumour has it that the security at fabric had to intervene during a recent marathon set when he just couldn’t pull himself away from the decks. And he hasn’t lost his touch either. We gave his recent 100 track Nightlife 6 mix a whirl in the office and we can confirm it’s absolutely boisterous. Say what you want about jump-up DnB, but we’d like to extend The Executioner a collective tip of the baseball cap.


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20 Questions: Mac DeMarco "I’m just lying under a big ass duvet in my tightywhiteys, and I’ve got a big fucking boner" Everybody loves Mac DeMarco. The Canadian goofball has garnered quite the fanbase with a style of softly romantic, horizontal slacker-rock that makes you want to call in sick, pull up a fishing chair in the backyard and slowly get drunk while watching discount meat burn on a disposable barbecue. With his new album Salad Days dropping on April Fool's Day, Mac’s been a busy dude. And while we think he appreciated us breaking the monotony of the press grind with these silly questions, he seemed a little miffed that we’d woken him up at 11am.

What was your favourite cartoon when you were a kid? Rocko’s Modern Life Who’s your favourite member of Slipknot? Oh fuck, I don’t think I know a single name. But I’ll go for Wes Borland as my favourite member of Limp Bizkit. Do you support a sports team? No. Well, I mean I guess The Oilers, I’m from Edmonton, so you’ve got to rep the local team. But they suck, and they’ve sucked for so long, so fuck ‘em. Favourite cereal? Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Favourite root vegetable? Radish. What’s the worst hotel you’ve ever slept in? We stayed in this place in Eureka, California. And there were like these muscle shirt-wearing sketchy bald dudes who were outside our room all night, and they were checking out our van. There were all these smashed windows and shit. Yeah, just a shitty hotel. And was the hygiene at a reasonable standard? Ah man, if you wanna talk hygiene, shit, when you’re staying in like 30 dollar hotels, there’s never hot water, there’s blood on the bed sheets, they never replace those little hotel treats that you’ve become so accustomed to. It’s real fucked ... but you’ve got to love it, you know? What’s your favourite sitcom? Frasier. Wayne’s World or Bill & Ted? Wayne’s World. What are you wearing? I’m just lying under a big ass duvet in my tighty-whiteys, and I’ve got a big fucking boner.

If you were trying to seduce a potential lover, what music would you play? Shit ... you mean to get someone to bone me? I had a song in high school that I used for that – Go All The Way by the Raspberries. That was my like ‘what’s up baby?’ song. It’s pretty sexy. Have you ever been arrested? Yes. What for? I can’t say, but it’s happened. Have you ever taken acid? Never have, actually. If you could pick a surrogate grandparent, who would it be? Michael Caine or Morgan Freeman. Or maybe both, that’d be the sweetest gay granddad couple. What’s the furthest you’ve run in one go? I used to do quite a bit of running when I was younger, I ran around a football field like four times. But, you know, then the smoking started. Who’s the most famous person you’ve met? I’m trying to think of anyone I’ve met who isn’t just bullshit indie famous. Umm ... Sofia Coppola, she’s pretty fucking famous right?

Who do you stalk most frequently on social media? Right now I’m stalking Angel Olsen. Would you go for a beer with Kanye West? Yeah definitely, that’d be sick. What would you want written on your tombstone? Maybe just a big ‘Peace Out’. Shit, I don’t fucking know! Describe yourself in three words. Big juicy daddy. I guess you could have that on your tombstone... That’d be a fucking sweet ass tombstone! Rate these actors in order of how much you like them: Danny Glover, Danny DeVito, Daniel-Day Lewis. Instead I’m going to do that ‘fuck, marry or kill’ thing. I’d fuck Day-Lewis, because he’s sexy, and I think he’d be crazy in the sack. And I’d marry DeVito, because he’s cute and he’s so tiny. And yeah Glover, I’d just chuck him to the curb and say ‘get the fuck outta here Glover, you pussy!’ Salad Days is released on 1 April via Captured Tracks


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MediaSpank

Sorry, Osborne?

During the recession Irish journalists beat the country’s political and banking classes like a hollow green, white and orange piñata. How did they miss the warnings that the economy was overheating, and why the near-pathological obsession with property? I was working in Dublin during the bailout talks and wrote a feature levelling the same accusations at the media. With a few exceptions they played a key role in developing the country’s property mania, in some cases losing their own shirts in the process, and had failed to notice the Celtic Tiger’s symptoms. Covering the UK’s recession led me to write a series of scathing editorials about George Osborne’s economic policies, from portraying him as a gambler screaming double down to writing under a caricature of a blinkered donkey chasing a “Plan A” carrot and, in one instance, suggesting he “winced at the prole-stench on the West Coast Main Line’s cattle cars”… Anyway, the strength of the UK’s economic recovery’s left me with a dilemma that the left-leaning press is failing to confront. Just like Ireland’s journalists all those years ago; was my coverage of Osborne-omics

misinformed? Was my assessment of the economy flawed? For the last few decades the government’s generally spent more than it earns, borrowing money to make ends meet. When the recession hit the Tories argued for aggressive cuts to eliminate the spending deficit and start paying back the debt. Roughly speaking, Labour would have cut slightly slower and put more focus on increasing taxes, rather than reducing spending. We have no idea what would have happened if Labour were in charge (who knows if I’d be languishing in Red Ed’s bread queue instead of toiling over this column?) and it’s impossible to definitively say what’s morally correct, so it’s probably best to judge Osborne by his own standards. It only took a few quarters of growth for the chancellor to claim the debate was over – you can track this back to my glibly-titled column ‘George Osborne seems pretty smug about ‘fixing’ the economy’ – but there are some major issues with his version of events.

The Chancellor’s self-imposed mandates were to reduce the deficit to zero and have government debt falling as a share of GDP by 2015-2016. He’s made a small amount of progress, but we’re going to borrow a staggering £96 billion in 2014-2015 – £96 billion more than he expected, more than the entire education budget – and he’s going to fail on the other count too. That said, the economy’s growing, unemployment’s falling and we’ve put in a lot of hard work in terms of cutting spending, so you could argue that will pay off in dividends as the economy improves … but I think that line of argument is relatively weak. Today’s economic growth is great news, but it’s not enough. The government should be judged on the rate of recovery, starting with their own standards. The problem is, it’s hard to point this out over the Tories’ shouts of ‘we’re cleaning up your mess’ and ‘we made the tough choices’, plus voters are generally short-sighted and will likely focus on whatever’s happened immediately before next year’s election. My mistake was implying austerity would wreck the economy even after we had

limped into a recovery and it was wrong to ever even meekly imply that there’d be no recovery under Plan A. The focus should have shifted to the type of recovery we were experiencing (more part-time, badly paid jobs, growing government debt etc.) at some point early last year and highlighting how this happened. After the election the coalition told us they weren’t acting out of “some ideological zeal”, they had no choice but to make the cuts. Cameron had already implied he wants to make austerity permanent and yesterday he said cutting benefits was a “moral mission”. It was a Tory policy bait and switch; they sold us on a 'there’s no alternative economic rescue' package and we ended up buying a Tory party policy wet dream, with little or no impact on improving our economy. Words: Christopher Goodfellow mediaspank.net @MediaSpank Illustration: Lee Nutland leenutland.com


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CRACK Issue 39  

Featuring DOOM, Future Islands, Martin Creed, Mac DeMarco, Dance Mania, OFF!, Martin Falck, Eagulls, Perfect Pussy and Helena Hauff

CRACK Issue 39  

Featuring DOOM, Future Islands, Martin Creed, Mac DeMarco, Dance Mania, OFF!, Martin Falck, Eagulls, Perfect Pussy and Helena Hauff