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+ The Horrors Swans Andrew W.K. SOHN Sarah Records Kowton + Tessela Throwing Snow Gangsta Boo David Robilliard Turbo Island Fear of Men

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3-day tickets 159 € now on sale ticketmaster.co.uk

W W W

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TICKETS

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OutKast (US) The National (US) Janelle Monáe (US) Bonobo (UK) Die Antwoord (ZA) The Horrors (UK) Paul Kalkbrenner (DE) Slowdive (UK) Bill Callahan (US) Jon Hopkins (UK) Darkside (US) Jamie xx (UK) Pusha T (US) Real Estate (US) (FR) Kavinsky Direct flights from London starting Mac DeMarco (CA) at £100 For travel Little Dragon (SE) packages see flowfestival.com/travel Blood Orange (US) Jungle (UK) FKA Twigs (UK) flowfestival.com facebook.com/flowfestival twitter.com/flowfestival

OUTRUN LIvE


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Highlights Exhibitions Tauba Auerbach: The New Ambidextrous Universe 16 April - 15 June 2014 Lower Gallery

David Robilliard: The Yes No Quality of Dreams 16 April - 15 June 2014 Upper Gallery

Walerian Borowczyk: The Listening Eye 20 May - 6 July 2014 Fox Reading Room

Events Stanley Picker Lectures

Film Artists’ Film Club

Katrin Plavcak Fri 9 May, 6.30pm

Azin Feizabadi Sat 10 May, 5pm

Marvin Gaye Chetwynd Fri 16 May, 6.30pm

Matinee: Anja Kirschner & David Panos Wed 7 May, 2pm

Fiona Banner Fri 23 May, 6.30pm Byron Cook: Art and Scientific Process Tue 13 May, 6.45pm Friday Salon: Art as Spatial Practice Fri 16 May, 3pm

Anka and Wilhelm Sasnal’s Alexan der + Q&A Sat 17 May, 5pm Matinee: Aurélien Froment Wed 21 May, 2pm

DocHouse: The Great Flood + Q&A Thu 8 May, 6.30pm Frans Zwartjes: The Great Cinema Magician From 11 May The Punk Singer From 23 May Walerian Borowczyk Short Films 24 - 25 May Institute of Contemporary Arts The Mall London SW1Y 5AH 020 7930 3647, www.ica.org.uk

Culture Now: Joshua Decter Fri 23 May, 1pm The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848


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Contents

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THE HORRORS Straddling credibility and mainstream success, Thomas Frost finds The Horrors firmly in control of their mission

28

SWANS Summoning a sense of apocalyptic doom with Swans’ epic post-rock, it seems Michael Gira has a little God clasped in the palms of his well-worn hands. By Tom Watson

34

KOWTON + TESSELA The UK producers quiz each other on sleep depravation, rulebreaking live shows and inhaling glue, all under the watchful eye of Steven Dores 13

EDITORIAL A toast

14

Recommended A guide to what’s happening in your area

17

NEW MUSIC From the periphery

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TURNING POINTS: GANGSTA BOO The first lady of Three 6 Mafia reflects on the Memphis rap legends’ legacy with Davy Reed

33

SOHN The introverted singer tells Leah Connolly how inhaling the Viennese air inspired his debut LP

31

AESTHETIC Our new fashion feature kicks off with a lucid gaze on the idiosyncratic style of My Panda Shall Fly

14

TURBO ISLAND Bristol-based illustrator Christopher Wright shares the inventory of inspirations behind his brilliantly warped Turbo Island series

51

FEAR OF MEN Matt Ayres find the Brighton-based art-pop trio in ambitious mood

56

THROWING SNOW The electronic producer tells Adam Corner about pulling together the fragments to form his album Mosaic

59

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

74

DIGRESSIONS DJ Nicknames, the forbidden PR stunt, the crossword and advice from Denzil Schnifferman

77

20 QUESTIONS: ANDREW WK Geraint Davies speaks to the Ambassador of Party about partying, partying and partying

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MEDIASPANK A bigot’s ode to Nigel Farage

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TODD TERJE With a liberating lack of pretension and a serious approach to fun, Todd Terje has mastered the art of initiating emotional transcendence. By Josh Baines Todd Terje shot for Crack Magazine by Lasse Fløde

36

DAVID ROBILLIARD Augustin Macellari inspects the first exhibition of the late painter’s work in 20 years

52

SARAH RECORDS Billy Black speaks to the founders of the Bristol-based, DIY indie label


fabric

May

saturday

10 rOOM 01

Craig riChards riCardo Villalobos Paranoid london (liVe) Matthew styles

saturday

17 rOOM 01

Craig riChards seth troxler seVen daVis Jr (liVe)

saturday

24 rOOM 01

Craig riChards Praslesh (raresh & Praslea) VoigtMann

rOOM 02 rOOM 02

one reCords subb-an adaM shelton Matthew styles (liVe) 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 — Out Now

rOOM 03

deMo terry FranCis eddie riChards weiss

terry FranCis MarCel Fengler benJaMin daMage (liVe) rOOM 03

VitaliK agnes ethyl ryan o’gorMan

saturday

31 rOOM 01

ben KloCK trus’Me terry FranCis rOOM 02

rOOM 02

terry FranCis luKe slater (l.b. dub CorP. to P.a.s. set) rrose (liVe)

the nothing sPeCial Craig riChards treVino radioaCtiVe Man (liVe) saM russo rOOM 03

rOOM 03

wilde renate PeaK & swiFt sebastian Voigt

huntleys & PalMers auntie Flo esa druMtalK andrew


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Issue 41 Respect DJ Rashad Dave Smeaton Ruth Aislabie Eliot Sargeantson Antonio Curcetti Sarah Marie Jones Diego Simeone Bob Hoskins Josh Baines Charlotte Rutherford Suisse Tony Laura Martin Christophe Leah Connolly 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

CRACK WAS CREATED USING: CLARIAN Promethean Eyes (Loose Mix) BRODY DALLE Wolves and Lambs HUMAN HAIR Hungers RIGHT SAID FRED Deeply Dippy BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE Vad Hände Dem Man LOWER Lost Weight, Perfect Skin ACID BABY JESUS It’s On Me NEVILLE WATSON Red Light Fever GLOSTER WILLIAMS & MASTER CONTROL No Cross No Crown CLOUD NOTHINGS

Crack isn’t really in the habit of writing obituaries. It’s a sad fact that in the world of music, it’s easy to become numbed to the tumbling of relatively young, vital lives. But at the time of writing, it’s been a week since the news broke that DJ Rashad – an artist who was unequivocally loved by everyone at this magazine – had passed away at just 34. The story had began to circle in the early hours of Sunday morning. It was jarringly surreal, texts being exchanged around the whole team. Our respect for him was vast. He was one of very few artists to have featured in these pages on more than one occasion, and a matter of weeks ago he’d be laughing down the phone to us, saying he felt better than ever. We booked him whenever we got the chance, were saddened when a car crash forced him to pull out of last year’s Simple Things, but were hugely looking forward to hooking up with him once again this summer. We hung out with him in London and, like everyone else who crossed his path, found him funny, charming and generous. His musical progression has been incredible to behold, the kind of artist who can boldly claim to have forged his own path, to have never given a fuck, but to have disseminated his sound to an ever-expanding audience. Last year’s Hyperdub release Double Cup was a remarkable record, the 160bpm footwork sound he helped pioneer broadened with a warmth and soul which marked him out as an untouchable innovator. He was on a hot streak, and where he was headed next is anyone’s guess. The true impact of Rashad’s music, his wider influence on dance music culture, may not be fully felt for many years to come. He was like no other. He will be sorely missed. Geraint Davies

I’m Not Part Of Me HIGHASAKITE Since Last Wednesday GUNNAR HASLAM

Editorial Assistants Anna Tehabsim Billy Black

Optional BELLE & SEBASTIAN Fox In The Snow

Creative Director Jake Applebee Art Direction & Design Alfie Allen Design Graeme Bateman Film Editor Tim Oxley Smith

MARCHING CHURCH Living In Doubt CROATIAN AMOR The World SLINT Nosferatu Man GUCCI MANE & YOUNG THUG Bricks BLACK PORTLAND

Intern Matt Ayres

Signs YUNGKIDD

Fashion Charlotte Rutherford, Charlotte James, Valerie JohnLewis, Amy Exton, Jake Gallagher, John Maclean

IOS 7 Opening Ringtone (YungKiDD Club Remix)

Contributors Christopher Goodfellow, Josh Baines, Tom Watson, Steven Dores, Adam Corner, Leah Connolly, Augustin Macellari, Duncan Harrison, Suzie McCracken, Thomas Howells, James Balmont, Andy Toone, Jack Lucas Dolan, Charlie Wood, Angus Harrison, Jon Clark, Nathan Westley, Benjamin Salt, Gareth Thomas, Rich Bitt

KASSEM MOSSE

SAMRAI Problematic Riddim Untitled C1 FUTURE I Be U DAPHNI & OWEN PALLETT Julia FAT TREL

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.

How U Feel SLEAFORD MODS Tied up in Nottz BANKS Goddess SEKA PranceOn GUSGUS Crossfade (Michael Mayer remix) CLUB BIZARRE Bogota BRUCE The Voigt-Kampff Test ALKALINE TRIO Time To Waste HUDSON MOHAWKE Thunder Bay

Issue 41 | crackmagazine.net

Photography Lasse Fløde, Tom Weatherill, Benjamin Mallek, Antonio Curcetti, Charlotte Rutherford, Bethan Miller, Ben Price, Graeme Bateman, Maris Savik


14

Recommended

Our guide to what's going on in your city

TEEBS Birthdays 11 May

OWEN PALLET Oval Space 21 May

MARCEL FENGLER fabric 17 May

SECRET GARDEN PARTY Little Dragon, Public Enemy, Maya Jane Coles Abbots Ripton, Cambridgeshire 24-27 July Weekend ticket £180.50 inc. BF In terms of surreal, mind-bending festival experiences, the reputation of Secret Garden Party is pretty much unrivalled. Despite the outrageously high standard and flamboyance of the event’s production, however, it must be said that the music has never really been a main selling point. But with the likes of Little Dragon, Maya Jane Coles, Public Enemy, Fat White Family and rising blues-rock hard bastards The Amazing Snakeheads on this year’s bill, there’s even more than the envy-inducing anecdotes about burning man-made islands and pig racing to convince SGP virgins to take the plunge.

SEAN NICHOLAS SAVAGE Dalston Roof Park 20 May £5 DUNE RATS Shacklewell Arms 7 May

WHITE LUNG 100 Club 22 May

THE GARDEN FESTIVAL Session Victim, Ben UFO, Bicep, Eats Everything The Garden Tisno, Croatia 2-9 July From £120 While it’s no secret that Croatia has become the Ibiza destination for this generation’s clubbers, the Garden Festival was exporting Balearic beats to the country long before its picturesque beaches filled with cheap booze and Air Max. Brummie promoter Nick Colgan fell in love with the country’s forward-thinking mentality 11 years ago and played a part in transforming it into an idyllic party destination with Garden, growing from about 300 people in 2006 to 3000 just two years later. Now the numbers are capped at 2500 to preserve its intimacy, and 2014 hosts the likes of Prince-indebted-newcomer Seven Davis Jr, Swedish house maven Axel Boman, hotly-tipped Max Graef, William Burnett’s Willie Burns project and many, many more to keep the original spirit of Ibiza alive.

SWANS Electric Brixton 17 May £22.50 The triumphant Swans tour which pockmarked the world in 2013 was a vulgar display of power, a stunning jaunt to accompany one of the most unlikely musical resurgences of recent years, seeing gnarled, lifelong fans merging fluidly with discoverers of 2012’s breathtaking album The Seer. The momentum continues this year with the release of To Be Kind, and another run of shows where the band allow their grotesque glory to pour out night on night. You really, really don’t want to miss this show.

JAMES LAVELLE’S MELTDOWN UNKLE, Goldie, Mark Lanegan, DJ Harvey, Neneh Cherry Southbank Centre 13-22 June Prices vary Here’s a fun car journey game to play: name who you’d have on the line-up if you got to curate Meltdown. You can be as unrealistic as you like, because each year, it seems, the event’s curators get to fulfill their adolescent dreams. This year, it’s James Lavelle’s turn. And alongside a one-off performance from his group UNKLE, there’ll be appearances from Neneh Cherry, Mark Lanegan, DJ Harvey, Goldie (performing an orchestral rendition of his ’95 debut album Timeless), Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller’s famous Acid Brass project and more. We bet that no matter how hard he tries, every birthday he has after this is going to seem a bit shit in comparison.

TUNE-YARDS Village Underground 12 May

Canadian songwriter Sean Nicholas Savage claims to be a “ballad composer”, which is how you know he’s dead serious about creating poetic art in the form of whichever musical tradition he fancies. It actually works for him. As a prominent member of Montreal-based DIY collective Arbutus Records, you might have heard Savage’s name uttered in the same sentence as Grimes and Doldrums. This month he’ll be visiting the capital to make sure Londoners get their recommended dosage of Quebecian philosophy jams.

LA FEMME Scala 21 May

FACTORY FLOOR Oval Space 15 May


15 THE MOLE Dance Tunnel 17 May

JENNY HVAL Sebright Arms 3 June

FWD>> w/ MUMDANCE, DJRUM, MEDLAR Dance Tunnel 8 May £7

FRITS WENTICK Dance Tunnel 30 May

PHÈDRE The Waiting Room 3 June

WE LOVE GREEN Foals, Earl Sweatshirt, Joy Orbison b2b Boddika Parc De Bagatelle, Paris 31 May - 1 June Weekend Pass 66 Euros / Day 35 Euros

If you’ve not already heard Mumdance’s Mahraganat Mixtape for Dummy, well, you need to. The British grime producer recorded a selection of hard-hitting, brand new tracks during Rinse FM’s recent Cairo Calling project that paired Egyptian artists with UK based producers. Mahraganant, which translates as ‘festival’, is the sound of Egyptian youth culture that blends traditional Egyptian music and global strains of hiphop and dance music at breakneck speed. The mix is thrilling, and testament to Mumdance’s current career peak. Hosted by essential chest rattling night FWD>>, Mumdance is joined at Dance Tunnel by DjRUM and Medlar for a night of exhilarating sounds.

SON LUX KOYO 21 May

CLOUD NOTHINGS Scala 27 May

MAC DEMARCO Koko 22 May

PHARMAKON Shacklewell Arms 1 June

An event which prides itself on its sustainability, this Parisian affair offers a truly alternative approach to festival-going, plunging you into the heart of the city’s botanical gardens, complete with woodland area, to provide an overwhelmingly natural setting for We Love Green. And for Europe’s most sustainable festival, they certainly haven’t shirked on the weight of the line-up: big-hitting live sets from Foals to Cat Power to Little Dragon, and DJ sets from Joy Orbison b2b Boddika and Evian Christ. And you can bask in all this, surrounded by shrubbery and conscience-free, with just a jaunt across the Channel.

CHEATAHS 100 Club 21 May £8 HYPERDUB 10TH BIRTHDAY fabric 23 May £14-19 Since setting up the label in 2004, Kode9’s Hyperdub has been responsible for highlighting some of the most innovative developments of postmillennial electronic music, and the recent release of Fatima Al Qadiri’s excellent album Asiatisch is just one indicator of the imprint’s continued significance. As you’d imagine, their 10th birthday bash has a stellar line-up, with performances from Al Quadiri, Laurel Halo, Terror Danjah, Scratch DVA and Cooly G all confirmed to take place across two rooms in fabric. Here’s to the next 10 years of warped pop and stimulating machine music.

THE WAR ON DRUGS Koko 27 May

ALL DAY ALL NIGHT Agoria, Ten Walls, KiNK Oval Space 24 May £27.50 Food and booze on a sundrenched terrace by day, heady sets of house and electronica by night. May seems a bit early for such summertime decadence, but consider us well on board for this. Heading up the evening’s roster is French techno royalty Agoria, whose four albums, regular EPs and mixes over the past 15 years mark him out as a DJ worth losing your shit to. The London premiere of Ten Walls’ enigmatic live show is also deserving of your attendance, after experimental techno and broken beat from mercurial Bulgarian producer KiNK.

SECRETSUNDAZE MAY BANK HOLIDAY w/ STEFFI, MARTYN, JOEY ANDERSON Various Venues 25 May £14.50 + BF

Like their poorly-spelled animal brethren in Eagulls, London-based Cheatahs make affably fuzzy postpunk that’s destined for sweaty, loud club venues. What a stroke of luck that they’ll be paying an amped up visit to one of England’s most notoriously noisy musical landmarks, the 100 Club on Oxford Street. While the venue has its roots in British punk, the band playing it are more closely aligned with stateside pioneers like Dinosaur Jr and Hüsker Dü. Expect grungey, shoegazey goodness that refuses to sacrifice the power of a sharp pop hook.

Celebrated London promoters secretsundaze host their Sunday Mass this Bank Holiday with an all day, all night special. Things kick off at 2pm with Panorama Bar favourite Steffi and 3024 boss Martyn on Oval Space’s lofty terrace area. As darkness draws the promoters will delve into the tantalisingly-under-danced-in basement of The Laundry, with Ryan Elliott, Joey Anderson and A Sagittarian. Man of the moment Anderson will be performing in the wake of keenly anticipated release of his debut album, while shady character A Sagittariun will be playing live for his debut London show. Break free of the regimented weekend routine with this epic.

issue 41 | crackmagazine.net

CRACK STAGE AT CAMDEN CRAWL Tall Ships, Seams, Livity Sound Proud Camden 20 + 21 June


17

New Music

LORD TUSK

CUTS When we booked the latest signing to Geoff Barrow’s Invada Records for their second ever show to support Fuck Buttons at a recent Simple Things gigs, we did so largely on good word. So we were astounded to see an inchoate band display such unflinching vision and assurance. A mystery-shrouded A/V project, Cuts’ entire existence revolves around the relationship between sonic and aesthetic stimuli. Their disconcerting video works are soundtracked by jet black, gradually unfurling drone sagas, nestled somewhere between the glacial shifts of Emeralds and the tribal apocalypse of their stagemates on that aforementioned night. Segueing from diving-bell-deep growls to sky-scraping, synthetic peals, Cuts’ live and recorded output thus far promises equally astounding things to come.

O CUTS 03 Blanck Mass \ The Haxan Cloak : cutsmusic.co.uk

1

Listen, Apron Records can do no wrong. This year has already seen the imprint champion psychedelic newcomer Seven Davis Jr., release one massively soughtafter Funkineven-does-Hi-NRGdisco Record Store Day 12”, and welcome Apron’s own industrial prince St Julien, who recently took the reigns of a particularly eclectic Crackcast. Nestled within St Julien’s own steely EBM and some throwback mind-benders was a track from newcomer Lord Tusk. Tusk’s first release came out last year on Jon Rust’s Levels label, packing squealing, wheezing, chirping machine funk, punchy house textures and darker industrial touches. On Tusk’s latest he delves into ‘industrial rap’ for Apron as sparse, metallic beats carry his own deadpan vocal delivery, warning; “If your breath is ming / Or you’re on a long ting / Don’t enter my periphery”. Noted.

1

O Space Invaders St Julien \ Handsome Boy Modeling School : soundcloud.com/ user451387179

NOZINJA

MA

Having first witnessed the Shangaan Electro spectacle at Sonar a few years back, last October they came to visit our hometown. The entire Crack team huddled inside an overcrowded venue, awkwardly attempting to gyrate in time with the South African dance crew. The man widely credited as Shangaan’s creator, Nozinja, was leading the flurry on an otherwise dank Bristol evening and the unfailingly bonkers performance succeeded in capturing us with its outrageously flamboyant display. Although interest around the frenetic dance phenomena peaked around 2010 – some time around the first Shangaan-focused compilation – Nozinja has now signed to Warp under his solo alias, and new single Tsekeleke is a similarly bonkers affair. Expect more dizzying technicolour throw down from the messiah of ass-shaking.

Hailing from New Jersey but working in Brooklyn, Ma are three girls making rock ’n’ roll music for the 4G generation. “We record our practices on our iPhones. We honestly needed to post something, so we chose the best sounding three out of them all” says lead singer Angelica. “I’m a receptionist, Meg edits movies and Bettina is the right hand girl at a start up.” Their lo-fi three-track demo is the sound of songs written by “a true 21st century band”. Having met via a mixture of Craigslist and Tinder, they're keen to take their cosmopolitan noise pop to anyone that might have them. “I often have a very vivid daydream of playing a private Medieval themed birthday show in Livingston NJ for a 13-year-old. We want to play BBQs, birthday parties, empty swimming pools, civil union receptions, Bar-mitzvahs… everything”. With a carefree disposition and an unmistakable keenness to move forward, Ma come across as a tough outfit to dislike. We're even happy to sit and listen as they wax lyrical about their favourite NY street food joint. “Rafiqi’s is the best Halal street cart in the game. Many have tried to duplicate what’s going on there but the truth is that all the stars have aligned for Rafiqi’s.” We'll take their word for it.

O Tsekeleke Shangaan Electro \ Tshetsha Boys : @nozinjamusic

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WET The first thing (well, top five) to note about Brooklyn trio Wet is that they’ve killed three birds with one URL-shaped stone with their kanyewet.biz domain name. 1: It’s a saucy bit of wordplay, which everyone loves. 2: They’ve managed to swerve the eternal plight of the unGoogleable neo-RnB artist. And 3: It’s a wily attempt to exploit the highly lucrative typo market. And anyone who happens upon the band, deliberately or otherwise, will be very pleased they did. Their self-titled debut EP, which caused a quiet storm on its US release late last year, melds opulent, sundown electro-pop to stripped-back yet anthemic indie, pinned together by expert percussive trills and pining multi-tracked vocals. The EP drops in the UK via National Anthem, accompanied by a brief jaunt around the island, this month. There’s a fair chance people are gonna freak for it.

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O Party on the BLVD Vivian Girls \ Magik Markers : wassupma.bandcamp.com

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O No Lie The Purity Ring \ Solange : kanyewet.biz

IBN INGLOR

PRIMITIVE MAN

Chicago’s rise from underground staple to full blown home of modern rap has been swift and relentless. The drill scene has dominated the charts while a few acts like Vic Mensa and Chance The Rapper have managed to show Chi town’s propensity for rap isn’t limited to the hip-hop tropes of AKs, trapping and sports cars. Ibn Inglor is peddling something different from the city’s niche though; something that sits somewhere between Kanye’s more abrasive anarchic rants on Yeezus and Death Grips’ menacing electronic soundscapes. His sound is dark, caustic, inherently evil, weaving dark imagery with screams and yelps that conjures a Chicago that’s got more in common with The Craft than Clockers.

There is nothing that can prepare a man for crushing sonic annihilation. You just have to embrace it. Primitive Man deal in the kind of assault that could bring a grown man to his knees. In fact the moment we put the Denver three piece’s new track on in the office our assistant editor was on the floor weeping... he’d lost his keys, but still. Primitive Man’s pounding, shattering doom is backed by the kind of thunderous rumbling would make an avalanche sound like a 3310 on vibrate. They’ve just released a split 10” with Danish black metallers HEXIS and their contribution, an eight-minute bombardment, is as good a testament as any to the true power of doom.

O Belief 1

Death Grips \ Zebra Katz : ibninglor.com

issue 41 | crackmagazine.net

O When Getting High 1

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Is Not Enough Thou \ Saint Vitus primitivemandoom. bandcamp.com

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O Track File Next To : Online


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e c n a t r o : p t m s i e n e r h T ng ea i e b n o f o Terje e h t d g d n o i T t t e u h p t y n h o w ack o n b s n i u f r o o l r e f e t c t n da ng ma i h g u la

Issue 41 | crackmagazine.net


19 Words: Josh Baines Photography: Lasse Fløde

The habitual clubber and the dance dilettante seek the same thing: the obliteration of the working-week-self and the attendant search for a collective identity that exists in subterranean rooms; liminal spaces fuelled by the desire for temporary transcendence as much as they are by drugs or alcohol. But even in the moments when we fixate on the potentiality of becoming someone else, we desire the known, the familiar, the reassuring. Thus the DJ’s task is mediated by his audience; we expect certain things from certain DJs, and this sense of almost arbitrary expectation is tinged with guilt. It isn’t that we don’t want to hear the unexpected. It isn’t that we can’t accept change, or difference, or feeling challenged. It’s just that we’re philistines; we can engage in the endlessly ongoing discourse surrounding clubbing all we want, but when we’ve stepped away from the keyboard and checked our coat in, felt that first blast of bass-propelled-air and bought that first double and mixer, we want what we know and we want what we know we like. Occasionally a record comes along that seems to skip from set to set, club to club, a record that hotfoots away from the hegemony of genre and cements itself as a permanent resident of club culture history. If you’ve swayed down steps into any warehouse, loft space, car park, pub backroom or club in the last two years you’ll doubtless have an emotional investment in a side of vinyl that’s part of the collective consciousness. You could have been in Tokyo or Torino, fabric or Faces, at a mid-afternoon barbecue or in a basement at 5am. You remember friendship circles forming on dancefloors, you can see hands reaching towards the endless nothing, normally non-dancing companions cajoled into an approximation of bodily movement. You remember paradoxically taut yet whimsically elastic snaps and tweaks, you remember luminescent, bobbing, almost physical arpeggios bundling around the room. You remember joy, ecstasy and abandonment. You remember Inspector Norse by Todd Terje. Terje Olsen, the Norwegian producer, edit-maker and DJ (well, no longer a DJ, but we’ll get to that shortly) has a seemingly effortless ability to make people smile. When we caught up with him just before the release of his long-awaited debut LP It’s Album Time, Terje was as easy an interview subject as you could hope to meet; witty, open, unfailingly polite. Happily, he’s

successfully translated this easy-breeziness into a record that suffuses the spanglyScando-disco he’s primarily known for with snatches of library music, effectively chunky house piano and what appears to be the ghost of Bryan Ferry. As the notion of ‘fun’ becomes more and more marginalised in the world of dance music – potentially a byproduct of the fear that emerges when ‘normal people’ access sites that were previously thought of as subcultural zones of positive exclusion – Terje’s seriousness about fun, his refusal to step into the dreaded worlds of schlock and parody, along with his impeccable sense of melody, make It’s Album Time as refreshing as a gin and Fanta Limon on a Balearic rooftop in early August. Terje is just as happy that you listen to it, “in the car, in the park, with the newspaper and a coffee, or when you’re swimming. Maybe even in a lift – anywhere you go; it’s album time!” Let’s briefly take a seat on our sunlounger on that terrace in San Antonio and think about Balearic. The 00s saw the likes of Prins Thomas, Hans-Peter Lindstrøm, Rune Lin2dbaek, Studio and a host of other Scandinavians slip into the slowmoving seas off the coast of Spain and dive headfirst into the glimmer and shimmer of Balearic-infused cosmic disco. As the surge of space-surfing, percussive workouts produced by blokes in Bergen softens and the tide rolls out, what we’ve always known – that Todd Terje’s grasp of disco-dynamics is a thing of wonder– becomes even more apparent. You only have to listen to his still-stunning remixes of Balearic Incarnation by Dolle Jolle, or Lindstrøm’s Another Station, to note how far ahead of the competition he was and is. “I have to say, I’m pretty self-centred when it comes to doing remixes”, he claims. “Not that I’ve ever tried to rip anyone off, but if I like it, that’s good enough for me.” Statements of this kind (‘we made this record for ourselves, if anyone else likes it that’s a bonus!’) normally smack of preemptive defensiveness, but one suspects Terje truly is content with his own sense of self-satisfaction. That his productions simultaneously put food on his table, his beloved gear in his studio and turn droves of stomping clubbers into swathes of ecstatically swaying dancers is, for him, one of life’s happy coincidences. Our catch-up came a few days after Terje had played with Bicep and Maurice Fulton at the intimately-cavernous confines of

Bethnal Green’s Oval Space, the UK debut of a new guise which also heads to Victoria Park for Field Day this June. Rather than donning the Sennheisers and manning the Pioneers, Terje played a live set showcasing the new record. This, he tells us, “is what to expect in the future. DJing isn’t a priority at the moment. Men only do it to make women wet anyway...” As sad as that is for anyone who enjoys hearing him lay down primetime, peaktime, goodtime house, disco, boogie – and occasionally Close to You by The Carpenters – we, as an audience, play a passive role in some ways, and as such have to submit to his decision. Luckily, the majority of It’s Album Time, aside from the slow’n’sad Ferry-featuring cover of Robert Palmer’s Johnny and Mary, is joyfully danceable. If we’re delighted to let loose to an .mp3 of Inspector Norse for the hundredth time, why not enjoy the experience of watching its composer do it for you in the flesh? He’s happy to acknowledge the awkward fit of the full length dance record. Many artists have succumbed to a self-loathing incorporation of rockist values and end up making attempted totemic statements that purport to that dreaded value: seriousness. “There’s the temptation, for a lot of producers I think, to be seen as grown up, to be seen as serious in order to be taken seriously. They want to make their symphony. What they want to make is what we’ll call ‘good’ music.” Is that a subtle indication that he sees this record as ‘just’ a bit of fun? “No. I’m incredibly proud of it. I just didn’t feel the need for an orchestra. Or poetry. Or pretension.” Suffice to say, It’s Album Time doesn’t come embroiled in any overarching narrative; there’s no portentous voiceovers, no hastily contrived concept to cover the cracks of the deadweight. But neither does it contain 12 doof-doof-doof disco tracks thrown together for the purpose of filling an hour. A sense of slight perversion hangs over it. The Les-Baxter-does-MDMA-isms of Preben Goes to Acapulco and Leisure Suit Preben steer wonderfully close to the naffest of genres: easy listening. Worried we may have dropped the ball, fearful of inducing images of a cardiganed Val Doonican crooning on an eternal Sunday evening in the 70s, we ask how he feels about the connection. “It’s fine. I would, however, to defend it, make the point that easy listening doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘easy’ sounding. It suits a particular vibe, describes a nonmusical phenomena.” He warms to the idea, recommends


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that readers intrigued by his lugubrious, late-summer pastel pieces listen to 70s library musician Brian Bennett’s Voyage (A Journey into Discoid Funk) to get into his headspace. “It’s a big influence on me, this record with such a cinematic feel, as moody as it is funky.” We duly took him up on his recommendation. And it’s great. Resurrecting, reworking, and remodelling the past seems as pivotal in the Todd Terje narrative as contemplating the potentiality of the future. Under a number of names – Tangoterje, Chuck Norris, Wade Nichols – he spent much of the 00s cementing himself as heavyweight champion of the edit, a worthy successor to the likes of Tom Moulton and Black Cock. Terje himself refers to the editing process as “real left hand work”, noting that his edits “are usually done for fun and usually never intended for release.” The ones that we were lucky enough to consume – his rollocking rejig of Stevie Wonder’s superlative Superstition, his sangria-slowed take on On the Beach by Chris Rea, his sumptuous resurrection of America’s charmingly cheesy Horse with No Name – are prime slices of elongated pleasure, teasing tools of repetition and release. But Terje does have a warning: don’t trust every record that purports to include a Todd Terje edit tucked away on the B-side. “There’s, sadly, a lot of stuff out there with my name attached to it that I had nothing to do with, so be careful.” Ever optimistic, he’s sanguine about the whole affair, “Even if it’s not me, it’s still a way of keeping my name in stores.” So what do the strings of edits, the glorious parade of remixes, the scene-altering 12”s (Snooze 4 Love! Eurodans! Spiral!), the DJ sets and the debut album add up to? How do you sum up a man as likely to collaborate with Robbie Williams (“We didn’t get to hang out sadly, he just called me to ask if he could sample Eurodans”) as he is Prins Thomas? Where does an established artist – an artist that gets your mum tapping her toes in the Mondeo just as much as he gets you pumping fists in Dalston – like him go from here? Is It’s Album Time a culmination or a beginning? “I’d like to think about producing for other people in the future. I like challenge. Take Inspector Norse for example. I know how the record will work when I play it in a club, I’ve got a solid idea of the reaction it’ll get. But when I play it in my live sets now I’ve got a chance to make it new, to challenge myself and the audience. I like that.” We like it too.

It’s Album Time is out now via Olsen Records. Todd Terje appears at Field Day, London, 7 June

l l a s l n a e a v y e r r B e j r t e a n T h o i t t t a r u o o ab collab y r r Fe Who contacted who initially? Isaac, Bryan Ferry´s son, has been DJing for a while, and as he’s played a lot of those disco edits, it was natural to ask me to do a remix of Alphaville from his last solo album. Then came the Love Is The Drug remix, Don´t Stop The Dance remix and finally I was invited to their studio after a DJ gig in London.

Were you the Palmer fan or was it Bryan? I didn’t actually know that many Robert Palmer songs, I only knew some of the weirder ones that worked in a DJ setting, The Silver Gun, for example. I didn’t really know the hits, not even Addicted To Love. Bryan had already decided to cover both Johnny And Mary and Addicted To Love when I came to the studio. Sometimes it´s good to not have a background like that; if I knew the songs from MTV or something, I might have done them differently, but because it was pretty much the first time I heard the songs I got a fresh start.

Is there any chance of working together again in the future? We´re looking at covering Addicted To Love too now, as both of us have some time before the festival season kicks in. He´s a fun musician to work with, so I´d be happy to do some more work with him.


oval space music

CHAPTER #2 20/06/2014

22:00 −→ 06:00

NIGHT SLUGS 6TH BIRTHDAY

BOK BOK L-VIS 1990 KINGDOM GIRL UNIT MORE TBA SPECIAL GUEST:

O VA L S PA C E.C O.U K 29–32 THE OVAL E2 9DT 020 7183 4422

HEAD

HIGH

AKA

SHED


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Three years on and with a united front, The Horrors continue to widen their worldview

A sea of black flows into the Hackney Wick studio where Crack is setting up vintage polaroid equipment in order to go analogue with one of our favourite bands. How The Horrors have managed to bypass Crack’s pages over the last five years is an anomaly we sought to resolve as the first notes of their self-produced fourth album Luminous passed through our speakers. Time may have sharpened them, but this chiselled, matured band of well-dressed Dalstonists are still British indie rock’s brightest hope. To the style-obsessed music press, The Horrors’ transition from cartoon goths to arguably the most credible high-profile band in the country has defied all initial expectations. They’ve acquired a breadth, a sense of substance on all levels that will hopefully see them become British music heritage in a decade’s time. We’d never met Faris Badwan before today. Six feet, five inches, tired eyes and an onstage androgyny that sees him searching out his audience as much as they are digesting him; Badwan’s reputation as brooding frontman is cultivated each time his presence casts its considerable shadow across the live arena. If there is an arrogance to Badwan, it’s born from an attitude to music than matches natural intelligence to unswerving charisma. The image and haircut are still there, but the simplicity and clarity with which Badwan answers our questions feels totally authentic, free from the calculated posturing of yesteryear. The trump card in the Horrors pack remains a hunger for musical self-improvement at even the most fundamental levels. Guitarist Joshua Hayward’s preoccupation with rearranging and re-wiring pedals, amps and

equipment isn’t something you’d imagine Jake Bugg doing in his spare time. No fucking sir. The Horrors, aside from four albums of experience, have a swagger to match the fact they’ve got a studio rammed full of this shit, and enough unerring confidence to produce an entire record of material with no outside help. All of which, by definition, means they should be able to make an album on a different level to most of their contemporaries. And though it’s been a while in coming – expected release dates have come and gone – with Luminous, they just have. More psychedelic than previous effort Skying, yet retaining some of the euphoria that made that and its predecessor Primary Colours such engaging records, Luminous takes that soaring sonic blueprint and grounds it in the intimacy of its lyrical content. Opener Chasing Shadows has the same eye-widening impact as Changing The Rain did on the last record, one of many standouts. The trippy grind and zoned-out delivery of Jealous Sun, Falling Star’s colossal climax and the final drones of album closer Sleepwalk all contribute to the wider confirmation that this band have gone beyond their initial period of fruition and become the world-beaters they’d threatened to. So as the band made themselves at home in the studio, discussing horticultural tips with our photographer, speaking excitedly about supporting the Pixies at Field Day this summer, and generally exuding an unfakeable collective chemistry, we slipped off with Badwan to a nearby cafe to find out how things are looking from his perspective.

Words: Thomas Frost Photography: Antonio Curcetti


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Issue 41 | crackmagazine.net


24 Can you explain a little about the record being put back, and the general feeling that it took a lot of time for it to come to fruition? I guess we were on tour a lot and in total we spent around 15 months on it, which is probably about average for us. But we’re the kind of band that needs to be playing a lot of shows. Especially now. Unless you’re a pop act, playing live has always been essential to the band, because that’s how the songs are written anyway. So what about the recording process? You’ve always seemed like quite a private band in many ways, and this time around you didn’t even have a producer involved. I suppose so. It’s quite an immersive world. When you’re making a record in a studio with five people and no producer, it’s a world that has got very little else in it. People have asked me questions recently, like ‘what influence has Dalston had on your record?’. It’s pretty removed, and that’s important. If you take Can records, or Kraftwerk records, they are completely separate from the world. So as opposed to having your local environment or sense of place, or Dalston as an influence, you have The Horrors’ studio instead? The move to our own studio definitely changed the way we wrote, and not having

to clock off because the producer has kids or things like that has made it more exciting. Josh built all the pre-amps, desk, pedals, all sorts of things, and it all just starts getting a lot closer to what you have in your head. Does Josh’s skill in the hardware department give you an edge over other bands? I think it just allows more of our personality to come across. If you are tailoring your own instruments it makes things a lot more specific, and fun as well. It’s the whole other side of things you wouldn’t normally have to do when being in a band. Does this meddling make the process quite fraught or tense? I think tension can really make a take. Sometimes I wind [band members] up on purpose, I don’t think they’ve realised this yet, but I’m sure they wind me up too. Sometimes we would have never have got those takes without having a fucking huge argument beforehand. Anything you can do to bring out the strongest personality in the song is worthwhile. There’s a real swagger to the band these days, isn’t there? It’s a confidence in our taste. That’s what I think sets us apart from some bands. We don’t we really feel like we need other people to validate us.

So moving onto the new record, first observations were perhaps it had more of a psychedelic angle than your earlier material, and if the last record had a euphoric edge then this one felt more grounded? I definitely think the songwriting got better on this album and having had a whole period of time with the studio, we had a lot of ideas to get a hold of. But some of my favourite ever records are completely chaotic and unstructured and I’d be up for doing anything on a record in the future. Where does the power lie in The Horrors? As a frontman you are quite iconic. I think we swap, actually, depending on the song. I think it’s quite instinctive. Everyone has different strengths and that has become more apparent the more records we make. What is important is that everyone knows when to step back and step forward. You mentioned Can earlier, and you’ve spoken about bands like The Fall in previous interviews. In the future do you think The Horrors could be one of those bands that operate outside of standard musical parameters, or are you too big for that now? I think we are lucky in that we can exist in both those worlds. Even if we had no one coming to our gigs we’d still be making

whatever music we liked, though I’m sure a lot of bands say that. It really is all about our personal satisfaction. But within your success there must be more constraint now? I don’t even know what that statement really means. I always felt we could exist well with or without large success. It’s by-the-by. So success is a side-note? Of course we want it, and anyone who claims to utterly shy away from it would have to either be lacking ambition or lying. How would you assess your place in British music at the moment? If you’re really following your own path, the other stuff is not about better or worse, but kind of two steps behind. Earlier you mentioned psychedelia and I almost feel like psychedelia is about experimentation as much as it is rehashing some retro thing, and that’s always how we’ve seen it. But now you have a few bands calling themselves psychedelic... [pauses] I’m not really aware of what’s going on. There’s always good music to be found if you look for it, but you have to look quite a lot harder than you used to.


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“There’s a confidence in our taste, we don’t really feel like we need other people to validate us”

Do you still manage to set time aside to buy and collect records? The last record I really loved, that could be called psychedelic or whatever, was the Grouper album. She’s found her own way to record her music that works for her, completely her, in her own world, with no relation to anything else. It sounds amazing and completely immersive and that is the kind of record I really appreciate. We couldn’t talk to you without asking about the early days, the first NME cover and your image back then. Do you think you were manipulated during this time? I was 18 when we started and now I’m 27. The one thing about that period was that we were never told to alter our music, but in some of the photos we weren’t perhaps as aware as we could have been. The thing is, we played that first gig and then got booked for another one and by the third we were already starting to talk to labels, so it happened really fast. Faster than we could write songs and faster than we could play them. It was exciting, but that first record was made between touring in very fractured pieces. In some of those older photos we look a lot more styled than we actually were. If you put the New York Dolls in those kinds of photographs it wouldn’t look weird: that’s where it became distorted with us.

It’s hard to think of a band that have had the term ‘style over substance’ levelled at them so heavily, then go so far the other way. Take a band like The Music Machine, wearing one leather glove or whatever, it is kind of ridiculous, but it’s the gang thing. If you changed a few of the photographers some of those pictures would be more acceptable. If Antonio [Crack’s photographer] who we worked with this afternoon had shot it, it would have been really cool. Now, we’re definitely more aware of how we come across. Luminous is out now via XL Recordings. The Horrors appear at Field Day, London, 8 June.


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Turning Points: Three 6 Mafia's Gangsta Boo

During the 90s, Gangsta Boo made a deep imprint in hip-hop culture as the sole female rapper of Three 6 Mafia. The highly influential Memphis group’s early work explored a lo-fi, gothic style of rap often tagged with the much-debated term ‘horrorcore’, and they later achieved considerable commercial success with more club-focused crunk bangers. Before she left the group around the turn of the millennium to go solo (and embrace strict Christianity for a brief period), Boo would pierce through every testosterone-fuelled track she featured on with her fearlessly raunchy, aggro lyricism. In 2013, the group reformed as Da Mafia 6ix without founding member and current trap superstar Juicy J, and in the run up to her collaborative project with Three 6 affiliate La Chat, we called up Boo to talk about the pivotal moments in her career so far.

1994: Joining Three 6 Mafia at the age of 15 I was pretty much in the same neighbourhood with those guys and I went to school with [founding member] DJ Paul. Shit, it was cool. I was around Juicy J, Paul, Crunchy Black, Lord Infamous, Koopsta, so that definitely had an influence on my style. And just being from Memphis, I was a product of my environment. When you’re young it’s fun, you don’t take life too serious, you’re just goofing, writing in the studio. I guess it stopped being fun when a lot of business started coming into place, when a lot of money started being made and shit. 2011-13: Resurgence of the early Three 6 Mafia sound in contemporary hip-hop I hadn’t been in Three 6 Mafia for like 12 years and I’d been building my fanbase ever since then. Spaceghostpurrp is one of my friends, and him and Raider Klan inspired a mixtape I dropped in 2013 called It’s Game Involved. It had impact. I was down for it because it brought our sound back to the forefront and it was cool to watch the new generation pick up something we started 20 years ago. So I would be a fool to say that it didn’t have some inspiration behind Da Mafia 6ix.

2013: Forming Da Mafia 6ix It was Lord Infamous who brought the idea about, and it was DJ Paul’s decision to make it happen. They’re some strong guys, and I’m a strong female. Sometimes our personalities clash. I love working with them, but I also love being a solo artist. I have my own identity and thoughts as well as lyrics. Now they’re working on stuff, and I’ve got my own shit too. December 2013: The death of founding Three 6 Mafia member Lord Infamous I’m glad I got to work with him again and knew him as long as I knew him before he passed away, there’ll never be another Lord Infamous. He was one of my OGs, he inspired me a lot back in the day when I was a young teen and he continues to inspire me and other artists to this day. He was very different, very funny and he was very calm and collected, he wasn’t a shit starter in the streets. Yeah, he was cool as hell. Present Day: Collaborative album with La Chat La Chat is one of my homegirls from Memphis, who I guess would define her music as ratchet. [The album] is very dark, we named it Witches. That’s the thing, it’s really not easy being a female artist with a male fanbase, so that’s why we consider ourselves witches, we cast spells with our raps, it’s like we’re actresses in a scary movie. I feel like I have a lot of people against me, but for every 1000 people against me, I have a 100,000 people who are with me. I feed off both. I have a dark character – Gangsta Boo – but I feed off the positive energy because I consider myself in a positive space. I have bright future ahead of me. Witches drops 27 May. Boo is also currently working on a project entitled Hood Rave

"It was cool to watch the new generation pick up something we started 20 years ago"


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Issue 41 | crackmagazine.net Issue 40 | crackmagazine.net

Words: Tom Watson Photography: Benjamin Mallek


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"Intolerant, uncompromising and wearisome" – Swans' Michael Gira attempts to control the maelstrom “I’m on a cliff that is crumbling”, a dogged voice recounts from an earlier conversation. “You have to hang on as long as you can.” The doleful croak trails to crisp silence until a gentle resemblance to laughter recoils around the room. Michael Gira, world-weary impetus behind Swans, may not have the most sanguine of mindsets, but the gristly wit is instantly discernible. As adverse and cankerous as this multifaceted musician is penned to be, it’s within this momentary aside that Gira becomes the distant humorist. Physically wrecked from incalculable tour dates and the impending release of their 13th studio album, To Be Kind, he’s still laughing – despite how fearsome it sounds. Two years in the wake of The Seer, a monolithic sprawl of a record, Gira and his amassed gathering of instrumentalists are rehearsing set ideas for their upcoming tour. “I actually managed to listen through The Seer recently”, Gira gingerly reveals, “I was thinking about what to do on the next tour in terms of soundscapes. I like doing that, but I’m glad that we’re leaving that behind and moving more towards evidence of the band playing. This new record is more of an artifact of these gentlemen playing together.” The looming release of To Be Kind will see the gentlemen in Swans once again ragdolled from country to country shepherding rooms of adoring apostles through an eardefiling, quasi-religious bulwark of sound and strain. Gira frequently loses himself to the milieu of the performance; seemingly inoculated by ‘the moment’. “I am really an aficionado of the process. I guess I like the finished product, but it’s more important for me to be in the maelstrom of things. “Of course it can get wearisome”, Gira continues. “I think that felicitously, it’s always fraught with conflict and that benefits the music. But then again, you’re talking to someone that at 15 years old

was digging ditches in the desert, worked in plastics factories for 12 hours a day, or shovelled shit from underneath a house as a plumber’s assistant. “I’ve done all kinds of hard jobs and Swans doesn’t compare to that kind of shit.” His burnt-black jeering fails to affirm whether his current vocation is actually a blessing or a burden. “There’s a certain zen purity to those kind of jobs. But I think this is more along the lines of what I was put on Earth to do.” And over the past three decades Gira has, under various aliases, preached this purpose. He’s prolific and, as he implies, never satisfied with conformity. “I don’t really identify with pointless existential suffering. I think Swans is a never-ending process, but that’s the point of life. To be in the moment. To me, it’s just like this ball of energy that keeps morphing into different shapes.” On Swans’ state of eternal evolution, Gira details his complex with change. “I’ve drawn parallels to the way I work with (Greek-American actor and director) John Cassavetes. It’s improvisational, sort of a script that’s thought up in the air halfway. I saw (Lars von Trier’s) Melancholia recently, which actually resulted in the song Kirsten Supine. I’m always open to that kind of chaos, but then I also try to work closely with others. I want their input as much as possible. Of course, I have to remain in control, that’s just the kind of person I am.” Collaborations with the iron-handed idealist are commonplace. The Seer alone saw the likes of Karen O, Jarboe, Ben Frost and Grasshopper from Mercury Rev grace the album's extensive credit list. Yet Gira remains the constant overseer of everything going in and out of his handicraft. To Be Kind sees the ‘core’ Swans group return, including Christoph Hahn, Thor Harris, Phil Puleo and Norman Westberg. Beyond this foundation sees Gira partner up with gifted

oddities such as Little Annie, St Vincent and capable engineer John Congleton. Also to reappear is irregular ‘seventh Swan,’ Bill Reiflin. “The person that does that the most is Bill”, Gira radiates respect. “He is an absolutely tremendous musician. He plays everything. We’re really good friends so working together is really casual. We’ll sit down after the basics are recorded. We’ll then determine a part or sound to focus on. Then Bill has this personality to make something happen. Then that usually leads me to ideas for the arrangement. “I guess I gave him a more deserving shout out on this one. I’m very proud of my friend – he’s now playing with King Crimson. It’s like a kid’s dream come true.” So constructing Gira’s chaos is as much premeditated as it is turbulent. But what of the misrule that gets lost forever? Gira confesses much of Swans’ improvisation is totally irretrievable “That happens all the time. You might have the chord shapes right, but something about the timing or inflection, or the way it originally contacted with the other instruments is wrong. You try and get it back, but it’s just gone. “Sound is really strange that way. We improvise, but it’s not ‘wildly searching’ in some kind of Coltrane sense. It’s more finding ways of assembling this tunnel of sound. Sometimes you forget the nuances in the groove. Like, we had this great version of (To Be Kind’s opening track) Screen Shot and we just lost it completely. I don’t know what happened to it and we’ll never get it back.” Gira’s indifference to loss is almost reassuring. Swans are a band that always look beyond the past or present. Even To Be Kind will seem like a relic to Gira before they embark on tour. “I seem to have managed to splotch together three new songs in the last couple of weeks that we’ll start rehearsing today. So there’ll be new


30 material in the set certainly. “The main thing to me is that it has some sense of urgency. There were some really high points in the last set we did, but for that reason I think it would be a mistake to repeat them. They’re hard to let go. Like, there’s this one passage in the set that we did, pairing Bring The Sun and Toussaint L’Overture together, which was one of my favourite pieces to perform (they form a single, 34-minute track on To Be Kind). So it’s hard to give up, but it’s kind of like a money shot in a porn video. It comes and it goes.” It’s within this closing wisecrack that Gira’s temperament is wholly readable. Unlike the tyrannical bullhead he is perceived to be, what remains consistent is his affable bluntness. He’s a headstrong musician continually seeking his own rapturous relief from venue to venue, record after record. “I have been an incredible asshole most of my life,” he jokes, “and I’m by no means content. I realise the futility of being such a tempestuous bugger. And intolerant also. And maniacal and uncompromising to the point of stupidity. All of those things. Everything is kind of like a train that’s barrelling forward and slowing down… and now it’s melting.” To Be Kind is released 12 May on Young God / Mute. Catch Swans at Manchester Academy, 22 May; Brixton Electric, 27 May; Trinity, Bristol, 28 May and more dates around the UK

“I think Swans is a never-ending process, but that’s the point of life. To be in the moment. It’s this ball of energy that keeps morphing into different shapes”


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Where many artists utilise an alter-ego to entertain away from their original persona, Vienna-by-way-of-London’s SOHN breathes his identity with no conceptual distinctions “I liked the idea of being the son of all my past experiences” he muses, explaining the depths to his German-spoken mononym, a tone of both soft and strong proportions that sets the foundation for his doleful discourse. “It’s not only when I perform either”, he continues through the onyx-black hood that can often be seen cowling his figure. “These are the clothes I wear, fullstop... it’s less about omitting a presence, and more about feeling one.” We’re Skyping with SOHN, who is late to our morning interview, but after learning of the nocturnal studio schedule enlisted for the creation of his debut full-length, it’s not without good reason. Residing in London and producing “urgent, sinister” work, he moved to Austria out of a lack of connection to the city, integrating himself within the Viennese culture. “I’m more of a hermit than ever before, so moving to a country for community is kind of ironic” he admits. “I love the sense of calm here, it’s a quiet city when you want it to be.” SOHN's debut album Tremors sets him apart from the post-RnB segregation of male, angel-voiced solo artists such as How To Dress Well and James Blake. It’s a self-appreciating listen that draws you in and won’t let go until you’re entwined deep in its elaborately emotional web. Recording Tremors alone in the dead of night often resulted in not leaving his studio until sunrise. As pitch-black pressure points vividly burn throughout his elegant soundscape, the release undoubtedly belongs to the purity of dusk or dawn. Tremors is as much about the light as it is about the dark; just as much about the space and silence as it is abundant with multi-instrumentalism. “I died a week ago/ There’s nothing left” SOHN mourns on The Wheel, building a melody of humidified vocals. Tracks such as Tempest produce digitised pools of vocals, leading SOHN’s stunning falsetto on a journey that peaks with chopped, woody beats, before the

explicit imagery of Paralysed, a poignant, lump-in-the-throat listen, etching out a downturn of love and loss through locked arms and “twisted intestines”. Stepping away from his own gruelling after-dark agenda, SOHN is nothing short of a musical polymath, also applying his Midas touch to productions and remixes for the sultry sounds of Banks, over to the rich tones of Kwabs. “I loved them both immediately” he gushes. “It was just a very innocent, ‘let’s get in a room and see what happens’ scenario. I work the same way as when I’m writing for myself, the only difference is you have to carve out the right space for the other artist. That’s something all great producers are capable of doing, and something which I love.” Turning his ear to the attention-demanding bite of Angel Haze, along with skewing LA duo Rhye’s sensual hues into a haunting listen for his remix of Open, it’s not just a take on the new generation of US up-and-comers that is making SOHN’s European presence felt on the other side of the Atlantic. YouTube any of Tremors’ 11 striking tracks and you’ll soon be met with a “Miguel brought me here!” luminous green thumbs-up comment, ever since the superstar RnB smooth bot dropped “John but with an S” into a radio interview of British inspirations, citing a “super dope” five-song SoundCloud as his introduction. From a superstar fan to a European enigma, the bright lights constantly attracted to SOHN’s world don’t add distraction. “I forget even having a debut record out is a big thing” he admits softly. Yet releasing one of the most gut-wrenchingly passionate records to come out of 4AD this year warrants a springtime full of sadness on SOHN’s watch, something worth submersing yourself into and remembering on a wholly devoted level. Tremors is out now via 4AD. catch SOHN on the Crack Stage at Field Day, 7 June

Words: Leah Connolly Photography: Tom Weatherill


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Emerging from the post-dubstep fallout of the late 00s, Kowton + Tessela are two of the most exciting DJs and producers the UK has to offer

Words: Steven Dores Photography: Graeme Bateman, Kowton

They've since forged a shared but singular aesthetic, using techno as a base from which to push elements of grime, house and hardcore into fractured and pummelling new configurations. Pinning them down in the midst of their ever-hectic tour schedules, we got the pair to sit down over pints and bad sausage rolls in anticipation of their appearance on the Crack Stage at this year’s Love Saves The Day. And so they settled in to quiz each other about sleep deprivation, the art of collaboration and getting high on superglue. Kowton: Where’ve you come from mate? Tessela: From Belfast. I landed about an hour ago. K: How was the gig? T: It was good. The room was a bit big! Where’ve you come from? K: A swinger’s club in Fishponds. T: [laughs] That’s the start of the interview… K: Were you DJing or playing live? T: Both. K: Wow, that’s a lot of work. T: I kind of like it. We [the TR\\ER live show alongside his brother Truss/MPIA3] have been starting when the club opens and playing till the club closes. You can play some weirdy-beardy stuff at the beginning, and build it up from there. K: I think it depends where you’ve come from [the night before], how tired you are… T: Yeah, I did three in a row the weekend before last. I got two hours sleep the whole weekend, and I was a mess by the end of it. I thought I was going to collapse. K: Do you think those situations can compromise your performance? T: I think the performances change, I don’t

know if they’re compromised. With the live show you can go a bit weirder and a bit nuts, doing 10 minutes of fucking noise or something. K: It’s almost the psychedelia of sleep deprivation is quite exciting in itself. T: Exactly. I read somewhere – and this might be bollocks – but apparently Aphex Twin used to sleep deprive himself for three days until he entered a really weird state, and then make music. I’m not saying I’m doing that, but... K: You’re comparing yourself to Aphex Twin, basically. T: Five minutes in and I’m comparing myself to Aphex… T: I was chatting to Peverelist the other day about the Livity Sound show, and how it’s quite different to the one I do with my brother. K: Is yours more spontaneous? T: We know where we’re starting, and we know where we’re going to end, and then in-between it’s pretty much an acid jam. With the Livity stuff, you guys have a lot of material that’s been released that people are aware of. You kind of have your ‘hits’. We don’t have that. We just do acid noodles for an hour. K: I think there’s a joy to that though. When you see Kassem Mosse or someone, he’s not even playing tunes. It’s just a 16 bar


35 loop that’s he’s layered over another 16 bar loop over another, and it’s fucking great, I love it. It’s that experience of witnessing something wholly transitory. I think that’s what live shows give you the chance to do, in the same way as when you’re seeing Jeff Mills at his best. It’s not tunes, is it? It’s just rhythms interacting endlessly. T: Yeah, that’s definitely my most watched Boiler Room vid. K: You don’t want to be doing little details that no-one really notices, 'cause unless you’re on the perfect soundsystem they aren’t going to come through. Go for the jugular, because people are out there to enjoy themselves. They’re not there to be making notes about how nicely you tweaked the reverb on that fucking clap. T: Just bang it out. K: Absolutely. I played in Southampton with Bashmore recently, big fucking show, 1500 people, it was vibes. The promoter came up to me afterwards and was like “mate, the music was mindblowing, the tunes were fucking brilliant, but you’re no fucking Digweed though are ya?” I took that as a compliment, fuck being all seamless and that.

K: Let’s talk about flying. Are you scared of flying? T: No. Well, I went through a phase of being scared, but not anymore. When I started doing it more I got more scared, but then I read somewhere that said you could basically fly every single day for the rest of your life and there’s still a very good chance that you wouldn’t crash. K: There’s like a 1 in 7,000,000 chance that you’ll die, regardless of how many times you fly. In order to compare the number of road deaths to the number of flight deaths you would have to crash a jumbo jet every day of the week for a year, or something like that. T: It’s mental. K: I had to fly back into the UK when there was that big storm recently, and as ridiculously over-the-top as it sounds, everyone on the flight was really fucking edgy cos we’re going to land in a fucking hurricane, basically. Everyone actually listened to the safety announcement. T: Taking notes. K: In the end nothing happened, it was fine. But I think it puts you in touch with your own mortality, very, very briefly. T: Do you mind long journeys? Can you sleep? K: The only long journey I did was to New Zealand when I was 18, and it was fine. But I’d taken a CD wallet, and it was in the era of MiniDiscs, so I’d superglued loads of little MiniDisc cases onto the inside of my CD wallet. T: You can buy MiniDisc holders. K: Well I know that mate. I needed a lot of MiniDiscs basically, a lot of bad Deep Dish MiniDiscs. Anyway, I was sat with it on my knees the whole way to New Zealand, and when I got there the whole of my respiratory system was filled with fucking Airfix glue. I’ve been inhaling plastic glue for the past day and everything’s fucked. That’s my only experience of long-distance flying.

“Five minutes in and I’m comparing myself to Aphex Twin...” - Tessela

“You’re no fucking Digweed though are ya?" Kowton

T: Collaborative projects. Let’s talk about that. We worked in the studio together. I find, generally, working in the studio with people, I’m never very good at it. One of the first people I tried it with was Pev, before I knew him really. This was a few years ago and I couldn’t get passed the fact that Pev was in my “studio” so I just sort of sat there not being very helpful. I’ve also tried with Gramrcy and some others and often find it quite tough. But then me and you got in the studio the other day and that was fine. K: It was positive, wasn’t it. T: And with my brother it’s fine. And you work with Pev, you work with Bashmore, and that’s fine. Do you find working collaboratively with people easier in the studio? K: It’s just how your personalities interact when you’re sat in front of a computer. I’ve done enough things with people that didn’t really work, but that doesn’t make anyone a better or worse producer. I think really it’s about working methods, coming at things from the same perspective. T: Yeah. Having similiar production processes or ideas. K: I think that’s why I can work with Pev. We want the same thing from dance music; it’s supposed to be heavy, it’s supposed to make people jump around. It’s not meant to be boring or progressive

etc. I think when you’re working toward a common goal then immediately you’re on the right page. T: Yeah, that’s exactly it. K: One of my favorite people to work with is Bashmore, just cause he’s got so many musical ideas. He’ll jam on the keyboard or the drum machine and straight away it sounds good. It’s amazing to be in a position to almost executive produce someone that’s so full of ideas and so fluid. T: Like you were saying, he’ll do a really long noodle and you’ll be like “nah, just that bit”. K: “Those two bars.” T: “Just loop that.” K: And that’s the tune. The first things we did I didn’t feel like I was in a position to say ‘mate, that’s rubbish’ or whatever, and now it’s like “what’re you doing? That’s shit”.

Kowton (as part of Livity Sound) and Tessela play the Crack Magazine stage at Love Saves The Day on 25 May


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Over a quarter of a century since his death, the work of David Robilliard is now being reassessed in a powerful retrospective It’s a modest exhibition, this one. The ICA is challengingly laid out, with its two main gallery spaces interrupted by a café and a set of stairs. This can sometimes lead to a curatorial hiccup, as an exhibition is broken in half down the middle. Not so this month; rather than opt for a broken monster, the ICA have gone for two more humble (in size, if not scope) offerings. Downstairs is Tauba Auerbach’s first major solo show in the UK. It’s very interesting, but not our focus here. It’s the two rooms upstairs that we’re here for: the first major solo exhibition of the late artist and poet David Robilliard for over 20 years. His work seems straightforward. Large canvases with ever-so-simple line drawings of faces, naïve almost to the point of crudeness (or perhaps the other way around) featuring a slogan, a few little words. It’s from one of these that the exhibition takes its name: The Yes No Quality of Dreams. David Robilliard was, by the sound of things, quite a guy. An active member of the 80s London queer scene, close friend to legendary eccentrics (and artists) Gilbert & George (who called him “the new master of the modern person”) and a prolific poet, he moved to London from Guernsey in 1975. Wandering around, his paintings are likely to call to mind the work of Turner nominee David Shrigley. They operate with a similar format – the juxtaposition of clunky image with enigmatic, whimsical and sometimes unnerving text. At first glance they don’t, necessarily, seem that fresh. This image/text thing is a not-unfamiliar sight in galleries these days; there’s a kind of ubiquity to it, and sometimes it can be tricky to separate the works worth bothering with from those that by rights should never have made it off the wacky greetings card.

Installation shot, David Robilliard: The Yes No Quality of Dreams, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 2014.

Robilliard’s paintings, however, are certainly worth it. For two reasons. First: originality. The “he did it first” thing is a bit boring, but it’s helpful to bear in mind, here. It’s difficult, with works that mimic the format of a captioned cartoon, to come at them from anything other than the culturally entrenched rules of engagement; it makes sense that an image accompanied by words will relate, in some way, to these words. Often, the image illustrates the text, sometimes the text captions the image. Either way, the two rely on each other for the joke (or whatever) to work. Base contemporary examples extend from all sorts of editorial cartoons (although Robilliard’s are certainly more evocative of the deconstructive, almost aggressive

Words: Augustin Macellari Photography: Paul Knight


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Issue 41 | crackmagazine.net


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Don't Get Sand in Your Boiled Eggs, 1988, acrylic on canvas.

format of Modern Toss than The Far Side), to the aforementioned Shrigley. The point being that it’s seldom difficult to extract a sense of the text/image connection. The two rely on each other for a punch-line. Coming at Robilliard’s paintings looking for a punch-line is not going to help; the greetings card is not an influence. The second reason is that unlike many contemporary artists, whose work straddles disciplinary boundaries – poetry, music, theatre etc – with varying degrees of success, Robilliard was the real deal. His poetry exists in standalone anthologies, as a document of his life and of his interfaces with 80s society, cultures and subcultures. The lines in his paintings are taken from his poetry, reinvigorated, a new context supplied not by other words and phrases, but by pictures. The exhibition really takes off when you begin to investigate the relationship of text to image. As established, the two have no conventional correlation. Rather, the best of his paintings on show feature a kind of disconnect in image and text. This is not a hard-and-fast rule of his work; pieces like A Roomful of Hungry Looks (1987) offer clearly related text/image content – in this case the text (which always doubles as the title) is accompanied by a cluster of portraits, a roomful of people shooting

You Know How to Wind Me Up, 1988, acrylic on canvas.

hungry looks willy-nilly. This is kind of an exception though. The other works are not so obviously illustrated (or captioned). Robilliard’s lines, recycled from his poetry, are recontextualised by the accompanying imagery. As poems they exist elsewhere, within their own bubbles of meaning or observation. Painted, alongside a consistent vocabulary of imagery, they take on new meanings, offering new insights into different emotional landscapes. In his essay WE HAVE ONE CHANCE TO CELEBRATE LIFE, written for the catalogue of the show, Andrew Wilson describes how Robilliard’s images “exist in the same observational register as his poems”. Image and text complement one another without relying on each other as a mutual point of access to the same outcome. Too Many Cocks Spoil the Breath, for example, offers a crude statement, culled from his poem Thoughts For The Coming Week. Quoted in full in the same essay, the poem comprises of eight one-line vignettes, blue and disparate until the last couplet “Get off my back will you - / give someone else a chance.” The line, “Too many cocks…” goes a way to supporting the poem’s final statement, the impact of which comes, in part, from the fact that it’s the only part of the poem that isn’t a sexy pun or double entendre. The painting almost bypasses the need for

the poem’s other lines, whilst supporting a similar sentiment; two men exchange a direct look through the text. The look seems to contradict the statement: it is frank and serious - “Get off my back will you”. As Andrew Wilson says, neither text nor image “illustrate[s] the other, but together the forms [convey] a unity of language.” The ICA is hyping this exhibition up. It’s fair enough; Robilliard hasn’t been exhibited for over two decades, and it’s safe to say that in that time his contributions have been thoroughly marginalised, if not forgotten entirely. The question, then, is whether or not the ICA is right in its publicity: are these works significant, have they been sidelined for any other reason than the simple fact of their quality, or lack thereof? The answer is firmly positive. These paintings are interesting, compelling and at times challenging. The legitimate weirdness and counter-intuitive relationship between image and text that they manifest makes them more than just interesting social documents: this is an exhibition of paintings that deserves to be seen.

The Yes No Quality Of Dreams runs at the ICA until 15 June


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Created exclusively for CRACK by Eliot Wyatt | www.eliotwyatt.co.uk


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Christopher Wright got fed up of paying obscene prices for obscure t-shirts on eBay. His answer? Turbo Island: creating bespoke band tees for discerning heads since 2014

Christopher Wright is one of Crack’s favourite illustrators. We like him so much, in fact, that we feature one of his illustrations in our magazine every month. After the runaway success of his Sports Cheeses collaboration with Richie Moment under the Williams’ Sisters moniker, Chris is returning to the garment industry. Turbo Island will see Chris’s occasionally obscene and almost always surreal designs combine with his love for puns and his passion for music. We spoke briefly to Chris to see why he thought his illustrations needed to start gracing the chests of trendy young folks nationwide. What has influenced Turbo Island? Arthur Russell, Noise In My Head, Optimo, Krautrock, mixtapes, eBay, armpit stains, Ron Hardy, SoundCloud, Awesome Tapes From Africa, the summer, Test Pressing, E2-E4, never growing up, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Beats In Space, Gimme Indie Rock, California Raisins, Fine Young Cannibals, bowls of crisps, The B-52s, Robert Crumb, The Metronomes, Ariel Pink, sax solos, thin cotton, William Onyeabor, Flying Nun, post-punk, Aperol Spritz, cheeky postcards, Sunday drinking, Discogs, Factory Records, The Year Punk Broke, Psychic TV, Big Cartel, Happy Meals, Yello, stubby beers, MacBooks, Neil Young, Wear Your Old Band T-Shirt To Work Day, Cleaners From Venus, Orange Juice (the drink & the band), The Durutti Column, moth holes, Wally Badarou, Shimmy Disc, Juno, Spitting Image, the World Cup, Prefab Sprout, Etsy, homemade pizza, Ween, wry smiles and dancing.

So what made you want to start Turbo Island? Well I guess it stems from not being able to find cool enough t-shirts on eBay for bands/musicians that I like. There are a few cool ones from the early 90s but they go for £120. So we take it it’s influenced by Turbo Island, the notoriously dodgy central reservation in Bristol right? I’ve had a birds-eye view of Turbo Island for seven years from my studio, so I have some authority. I know what I’m dealing with. It sounds cool too; a bit like Stone Island and River Island. ‘Turbo Island Tees’ sounds like Desert Island Discs. I got a good response from a Turbo Island print I made a few years back. If you could go to any other island which one would you go to? The Isle Of Wright. Very good choice. No problem. Basically just tell the people I won’t be making Blondie t-shirts. I hope you noticed I said the Isle of Wright, not the Isle of Wight. I did. I think you should have laughed more.

For more information about Turbo Island Tees, why not visit turbo-island.co.uk?

Words: Billy Black


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44 Cloud Print Blazer | Moschino at NOTHING SPECIAL (nothingspecial.net) Cloud Print Shirt | Moschino at NOTHING SPECIAL (nothingspecial.net)

Aesthetic: My Panda Shall Fly While certain DJs have a tendency to veil themselves in attempted mystique – take the steely masks of Zomby et al, or the 00s approach of notoriously media shy ‘post-dubstep’ producers – Suren Seneviratne wears his persona on his sleeve by way of his wonderful, whimsical aesthetic. The striking Sri Lankanborn, South London-based DJ’s productions as My Panda Shall Fly have flourished from his garage and grime inflicted early work to the lo-fi leanings of Tape Tekkno, while his

recent EP Higher, released on pea green cassette, explored the phenomena of ‘sacred pain’. As parttime model and full-time wildly colourful beatsmith, Seneviratne is a totem for all things bright, bold and fiercely experimental. As a result we are delighted to profile My Panda Shall Fly in the first installment of Aesthetic, our new fashion feature which showcases artists who frame music with idiosyncratic style. This month Seneviratne's distinctive look is captured in Charlotte Rutherford’s lucid hyperreal gaze.

Photographer | Charlotte Rutherford Art Direction and Styling | Charlotte James Assistant Stylist | Valerie John-Lewis Set Design | Glitterguns by Amy Exton Hair | Jake Gallagher Make up | John Maclean


45 Describe you personal style. 1960s renegade activist meets born-again voodoo sheik – or so I’ve been told by some members of my family. How important is your Sri Lankan heritage when constructing your aesthetic? It’s not something that I’ve had to consider in the past… I suppose the fact that I spent my childhood growing up there means that there is still some aspect of my traditional upbringing that is inherent and remains with me to this day. I couldn’t admit to knowing what exactly my aesthetic may be, although I wonder if it may be something that others might be able to pick up on better than I could. As much as it has pained me to be away from my first true home for so many years, living and working in London has been has been the biggest impact upon my ‘style’. Your recent EP Higher is based around the idea of ‘sacred pain’ and discomfort as a result of diverse religious traditions. What was it about the phenomenon that inspired you? I remember being only aged eight or so when I witnessed an act of ‘sacred pain’ in my hometown in Sri Lanka. It was shocking to the say the least. There was a street procession charged with noise and colour. There were men on brightly-decorated floats dangling from hooks and other metallic apparatus, their faces frozen in ecstasy. They were impaled onto horrific contraptions yet there was no blood. I didn’t quite know what I was witnessing at the time but after watching a documentary about ‘sacred pain’ I recalled my personal experience as a child and became fascinated with learning about the different expressions across the world.

Green Chain Glasses Jumper | Sheriff | NA DI & Cherry Studio Shirt Trousers | Peter |Werth Vidur Belt | Alberto Guardiani Trousers | Nicole Fahri


46 The video accompaniments to your work often show you interacting with your environment; the videos for Opening Brace and Dark No contextualise those tracks within a young, urban setting. How do you think this affects the way people digest your music? I’ve never wanted to force any sort of bias towards my music. It’s interesting to ponder what sort of image one can draw from when engaging with my work – which for the most part has been pretty disparate in sound and video so far. There was no decision to set the videos in question within a ‘young, urban setting’ as such, as they were both separate projects with no connection to each other, but I’m pleased that a thread has been observed. Certainly, this theme is not one I wish to expand upon in particular. How much control do you have over the artwork for your records? My artwork is integral to the music and as such I’ve always been able to exercise a lot of control over it. If I’ve not designed the artwork myself, I’ve been fortunate enough to commission other fantastic artists that I’ve always been fond of. I’ve never been one to shy away from the spotlight, so I’ve made a conscious effort to appear in my artwork wherever possible. I’m curious to see how this form develops over time. Maybe my next EP cover could be a selfie?

Cloud Print Shirt | Moschino at NOTHING SPECIAL (nothingspecial.net) Cloud Print Jeans | Moschino at NOTHING SPECIAL (nothingspecial.net) Socks | Happy Socks Shoes | Sandro Paris


Denim Jacket | Charlie Horncastle Denim Jeans | Charlie Horncastle Jumper | Moschino at NOTHING SPECIAL (nothingspecial.net) Trainers | Adidas


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Butterfly Shirt | Moschino at NOTHING SPECIAL (nothingspecial.net)

Issue 39 | crackmagazine.net


49 Shirt | Beau Homme Trousers | Beau Homme Jewellery | Suren's Own Socks | Stylists Own Shoes | Grenson

“As much as it has pained me to be away from Sri Lanka, living and working in London has been has been the biggest impact upon my style”

What was the inspiration behind your t-shirt line? Some time ago I chanced upon a stall at a flea market run by a greying middleaged man who had been making and printing kids’ clothes for a long time. He also had a massive box full of about 100-yearold, unused heat-transfer graphics that instantly caught my eye. There were countless sheets of incredible (authentic) skate/surf graphics in eyepopping red, green & blue fluro colours. I was like a kid in a candy store. I came home with 30 or so sheets, learnt tie-dye and bleaching processes and used my friend’s heat-press machine to apply the graphics onto my t-shirts. That’s how they were born. In tragic news; I’ve lost contact with the man who sold me the original 1980s prints and

might not ever see him or his prints again. What is unique about London fashion? People do whatever the hell they want. Who are some of your favourite designers right now? MEAT, Subversive & Roberto Piqueras. Who is one up-and-coming British designer that we should look out for? Vidur. My Panda Shall Fly's No Secrets EP is out now via Creaked Records


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B E C O M E YO U R I N N E R C H A R AC T E R A N D COMPLETELY IMMERSE YOURSELF IN ONE OFT H E M O S T S P E C TAC U L A R S H OW S O N E A R T H !

THE CAT EMPIRE * NOFX * JIMMY CLIFF * THE WAILERS

THE SKATALITES * TINARIWEN * SHAGGY * BELLOWHEAD RAGGASONIC * LADY SAW * AFRO CELT SOUND SYSTEM

PLAYING FOR CHANGE * BABYLON CIRCUS * ALABAMA 3 UK ALLSTARS (WORLD DEBUT) FEAT. CONGO NATTY & FRIENDS

RUSSKAJA * TIPPER * EATS EVERYTHING * BODDIKA * SPECIAL REQUEST CHRONIXX & ZINC FENCE REDEMPTION * WARRIOR KING * DUB FX EASY STAR ALL STARS * HAYSEED DIXIE * CHAS N DAVE * HOT 8 BRASS BAND

THE TOASTERS * VOODOO GLOW SKULLS * DEMENTED ARE GO * MAD SIN TAPE FIVE * [DUNKLEBUNT] & THE SECRET SWING SOCIETY * THE SKINTS MUNGO’S HIFI * JOHNNY FLYNN & THE SUSSEX WIT * ELIZA CARTHY THE BAD SHEPHERDS * TREACHEROUS ORCHESTRA * SONIC BOOM SIX MOLOTOV JUKEBOX * FRIEND WITHIN * DUB PHIZIX & STRATEGY * MS DYNAMITE KRY WOLF * STANTON WARRIORS * BLACK SUN EMPIRE * DAWN PENN SAM LEE & FRIENDS * JOE DRISCOLL & SEKOU KOUYATE * DIZRAELI & THE SMALL GODS APHRODITE * ROCKWELL * PROXY * AUDIO * OPTIV & BTK * MELÉ & SLICK DON CLEAR SOUL FORCES * SON OF DAVE * THE DREADNOUGHTS * ALGORHYTHMIK * BABYHEAD HACKNEY COLLIERY BAND * MORNING GLORY * MACKA B & THE ROOTS RAGGA BAND ROBBO RANX W * STYLO G + SISTER NANCY * HOLLIE COOK * BRUSHY ONE STRING RUSSKAJA * WOOHOO REVUE * THE DESTROYERS * LA SELVA SUR * ALTERN8 * RAY KEITH SLIPMATT & BILLY BUNTER * 2 BAD MICE * SLAMBOREE SOUNDSYSTEM T H O U S A N D S O F P E R F O R M E R S , 8 I N T E R AC T I V E D I S T R I C T S , 4 0 S TAG E S A N D OV E R 2 K M O F W I N D I N G S T R E E T S E T C R E AT E T H E WO R L D ’ S BIGGEST POP-UP CITY


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Fear of Men on melding pop hooks to fine art

“Statues have a feeling of permanence. They’re a reminder of the anxiety of mortality that we have as humans.” Jessica Weiss, singer and guitarist from Brighton-based band Fear of Men, is speaking academic about her band’s cover art. The collection of singles and EPs the threepiece have released so far all feature stony figures, conserved in a permanent state of stillness. It’s quite a gallery: a tangled dog preserved in Pompeii ash writhes on the ironically titled Outrun Me, disjointed marble disciples feature on the Early Fragments EP and, covering their recently-released debut album Loom, a glass cabinet containing a plaster corpse is framed by ornate pillars against the backdrop of a museum. Perhaps it’s no surprise that both Jessica and co-founder Daniel Falvey (guitar) were art students before forming the band. The pair’s first encounter came about through an exhibition featuring Jessica’s short film soundtracks, and they began swapping mixtapes in the hope that some shared inspiration might culminate in a new creative project. “Combining ideas about pop music and fine art isn’t something I really think about, but it’s definitely how this band came about,” says Jessica. “I’m always researching and reading about things, and they seem to naturally filter through to what I’m working on at the time. “I really like pop music, so writing it was something that felt right for me. We wanted to take reference points from a fine art background and bring it into a pop context.” It didn’t take long for the pair to recruit drummer Michael Miles and bring those cerebral seeds to life. Demos released on cassettes and 7”s through DIY labels like Sex is Disgusting and Italian Beach Babes emerged, but things really picked up with the backing of Brooklyn based imprint Kanine Records, who snapped up the trio for their first full-length.

ing into the night and in that room kind of manifested itself in the album.” “I’m not sure if it was being underground or having a low ceiling, but it didn’t feel like there was a lot of space in there,” adds Daniel. “Because of that confined feeling, we found ourselves pursuing more built up textures and layers, trying to get that claustrophobia into the songs. The environment played into that a lot.” After so much time indoors, Fear of Men are understandably anxious to get back out on the open road. A full US tour will offer them plenty of that: as we speak, Jessica and Daniel are gearing up to play their last hometown show at the Brighton Dome before going stateside for a month. None of the flamboyant visuals found in album covers and music videos will be accompanying their live performances as they rough it around America – the band prefer a more stripped back approach to their gigs. “We like it to be down to earth,” says Jessica. “The other arty elements can work in a certain context, but we don’t want to come across as pretentious in person. I think it’s better to have a strong energy live rather than overcomplicating stuff.” Surprisingly for songwriters so concerned with the topics of anxiety and introversion, neither Jessica or Daniel seem at all worried about hitting it off with the audiences overseas. On the contrary, both are psyched to get gigging and connect with new people, regardless of their location. “We played in Mexico last summer,” Jessica recalls. “It was around 7 o’clock and everyone was having a good time, with the sun setting on the mountains in the background. “People knew the words. It felt incredible to be that far from home and still be so well received. Hopefully we’ll have more experiences like that.” Loom is out now via Kanine Records

In preparation for recording Loom, the band sought out a unique environment to capture their best material from. That turned out to be Church Road Studios, a small underground studio just down the road from Jessica’s home in Hove. The tight confines of this space, coupled with the inevitable financial pressure of trying to balance a promising music career with a day job, culminated in an album influenced by claustrophobia. “It was intense,” Jessica admits. “We’d be sleeping in shifts, or just having a couple of hours of sleep before going into work the next day. It was hard, but definitely important to the feel of the record. Record-

Words: Matt Ayres Photography: Eleanor Hardwick


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Before indie came in flatpack form, Sarah Records were busy writing the instruction manual

It’s Britain, 1987. Bruce Willis has a song in the charts, Thatcher’s pissing off students and miners up and down the country and record company executives are living off a diet of cocaine and Duran Duran. In a sleepy suburban corner of Bristol, Clare Wadd and Matt Haynes are dreaming of a different world. A secret world. The world of Sarah Records. Matt and Claire were hard at work on their fanzines Are You Scared To Get Happy and Kvatch respectively at the time, when they decided to start putting out records from their flat. Their creative buzz resulted in the formation of Sarah Records, and whether they intended to or not, their response to the stifling, corporate nature of the late 80s music industry helped shape the genre that would later be ubiquitously referred to as ‘indie’. Sarah was instrumental in providing a platform for young bands to release music. Innovative and sincere in their approach, the duo focused primarily on releasing singles and compilations from the bands they loved. Bands like Heavenly and The Field Mice; bands who would go on to influence a generation of young people to pick up guitars, go back to basics and start making their own music. While Sarah Records’ enduring influence has been far reaching, it was always a labour of love, “I’ve never thought there’s a link between how good a record is and commercial success – it’s all about money and marketing and looks and luck, and always has been”, Clare postulates. “We didn’t have the money, we never wanted to risk the whole label for one hit, and we didn’t want to do what it takes. “There’s a lot of compromise involved in getting successful", she continues, “a lot of doing what you have to do to sell, and it becomes less and less about the music.” Matt and Clare knew what they wanted from the start though. “Matt was part of Sha-la-la, which was a group of fanzine writers who got together to release flexidiscs and distribute them through their fanzines, and I had done a flexi with the Sea Urchins and The Groove Farm through my final Kvatch fanzine, so we had both already released music before we started Sarah. We had very clear ideas about what we wanted to do.”

The label grew out of a shared ethos to release the music they loved and the music they felt was authentic. “There’s a certain honesty and integrity about a lot of the music, and about Sarah itself; it’s all quite real and heartfelt and genuine,” she reflects, “that’s why it continues to resonate.” The resonance she speaks of can be heard in countless bands today: the off-kilter glockenspiels you hear in Los Campesinos, the jangly chords of Joanna Gruesome and the self-deprecating humour of The Cribs. Modern indie owes an outstanding debt to Sarah’s cast of misfit teenagers. The likes of The Sea Urchins and The Field Mice were rag tag pioneers, experimenting with what they were discovering and learning on the job. “I think it was really important for the bands to embrace new sounds and experiment, and it worked really really well. Some of the bands were pretty young and had only just learnt to play and record when their first records came out”, Claire told us. “There’s a charming naivety to, say, the first Field Mice and Orchids singles, and I still love those records.” The legacy of Sarah is now being documented by filmmaker Lucy Dawkins in the form of My Secret World: The Story of Sarah Records. “Of course, it was perfect that she had lived near Bristol and known the label at the time, and lives in Bristol now”, Clare says on being approached by Lucy. “After she’d completed her Masters she was well on the way to tracking a lot of the bands down and had started to gather a lot of footage. She wanted to make it into a full-length film, and we were happy to support that.” So with the renewed interest in Sarah, is there any chance of a revival? “We won’t decide to resurrect Sarah.” Clare tells it how it is. We kinda knew the answer before we asked. Sarah is a document, evocative of a vital turning point in indie rock: a resounding reminder that music doesn’t need to be about posturing, production or money to be an outright success. Find more information about My Secret World: The Story of Sarah Records at storyofsarahrecords.com


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Matt and Clare created Saraopoly in the early 90s to mark their 50th release. We asked filmmaker Lucy if she'd ever played; "It's incredibly complicated to play and requires a good knowledge of Bristol's public transport system circa 1990. It was Sarah's 50th release so they wanted to release something special, a kind of pop art statement. I think it sums up Sarah and Clare & Matt's sense of humour."

Words: Billy Black Photography: Sarah Records


A TWIN PEAKS PRODUCTION

KNEBWORTH PARK 4th - 6th JULY 2014 CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF FESTIVALS AT KNEBWORTH

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ANTHRAX GHOST

SUNDAY 6 JULY

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SATURN STAGE & D TS N E KE W K O E E TICE N DROPKICK MURPHYS WAY AL S DN CARCASS THE WINERY DOGS REEL BIG FISH O CHAS & DAVE ALESTORM KARNIVOOL PROTEST THE HERO A

E A LT ES G S S TA S H E RN CLA U AT D D S BAN AN NO LLO PO

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GIGANTIC.COM, THETICKETFACTORY.COM, TICKETWEB.CO.UK & TICKETLINE.CO.UK AND ALL USUAL OUTLETS SONISPHERE FESTIVAL WILL ALSO INCLUDE PARTIES, ASSORTED REVELRY, DEVIL HORNS, RANDOM SIGNS, GROUP CAMPS, FOOTBALL TOURNAMENTS, REPETITIVE WORD YELLING, MARRIAGE PROPOSALS, TOILET DEBATES, SHEDLOADS OF BLACK T-SHIRTS AND OWLS... YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT THOUGH!! ALL CAMPSITES OPEN THURSDAY


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Casting a glance across the best new music emerging from the ever-fruitful spawning ground of Norway If you’re reading these pages, there’s a good chance you’ve travelled abroad for a festival. But with it primarily being the internationally-known, big name acts that convince us to pack our bags and board a flight, it’s easy to overlook the names of the native artists who haven’t yet broken the UK. This August we’ll be heading to Norway’s Øya Festival in Olso again. While the bill includes the likes of our Norwegian cover star Todd Terje alongside Outkast, Bill Callahan, Neutral Milk Hotel and loads of other artists we know well and love, we’ve found a bunch of less familiar (to us, anyway) acts to help us try to shed that 'Brits abroad' vibe. Looking for the New Kids on the Fjords? Well here you go:

HIGHASAKITE If you’re on the look out for some beautiful music, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver’s praise is surely one of the most convincing recommendations you can get. And it’s easy to see why he was so enchanted by Highasakite. The songs on the Oslo quintet’s recent sophomore album Silent Treatment are simultaneously built with shimmering, delicate melodies and epic, soaring soundscapes, while frontwoman Ingrid Helene Håvik’s intense lyrical imagery provides an unexpectedly dark twist. Rightfully massive in their home country, Highasakite (yes, it’s pronounced ‘High as a kite’) are capable of catering to big crowds with their impeccable live show. Looking for a good place to start? Try their instantly-loveable hit Since Last Wednesday.

With just one official release to her name, it’s hard to figure out exactly what Vilde Tuv is all about at this stage, but we love what we’ve heard so far and we’re curious to know more. One bio claims Tuv is influenced by Swedish folk, traditional Chinese music and Eurotrance, and while that sounds near-impossible considering her lo-fi, one-woman band setup, tracks like Cellevevet see her achieve a mix of emotional clarity and pulsating euphoria with just a bass drum, an acoustic guitar and her voice. A recent collaboration with fellow Bergen-based musician Stockhaus produced a charming, retrofuristic electropop slow jam and we’ve heard that she does a killer cover of Hounds of Love (sung in Norwegian) too. Definitely one to watch. O Cellevevet Jenny Hval | Mica Levi soundcloud.com/vildetuv

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Øya Festival takes place 5-9 August at Tøyenparken, Oslo

VILDE TUV

Lykke Li | Sigur Rós : highasakite.no

EMILIE NICOLAS According to the blogs showering her with praise, Emilie Nicolas appeared from nowhere. After releasing a cover of Norwegian rockers DumDum Boys’ track Pstereo less than a year ago the 25-year old from Bærum scored a high-profile TV performance and inked a deal with Sony Music. New single Grown Up provides a good example for what everyone’s excited about: the way Nicolas confidently projects her powerful voice over warm, downbeat electronics not dissimilar to Mount Kimbie’s most tender moments, before launching into sturdier synth pop territory. Even if your taste in Norwegian music steers closer to the caustic black metal of Mayhem, it’s worth checking out Nicolas before she get absolutely huge. O The Wolf In Me :

1 Rhye | Banks soundcloud.com/emilienicolas

O Track File Next To : Online

I WAS A KING Based around core member Frode Strømstad, I Was A King have been through so many members that’d you’d think Strømstad had taken managerial inspiration from Mark E. Smith. But I Was A King’s music is very different from The Fall’s snarling post-punk – in fact, it might be the polar opposite – and judging by the beaming optimism of the band’s music, we’re sure Strømstad is a pleasure to work with. As if on a quest to create the most summery music of all time, I Was A King blend 60s West Coast rock and fuzzy 90s college radio indie. Think The Byrds meets Teenage Fanclub, the Mamas & Papas meets Yo La Tengo or for a more contemporary comparison, Woods meets The History of Apple Pie. O Frozen Disease

Big Star | Yuck facebook.com/iwasaking 1

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Restless producer Throwing Snow assembles the fragments to form the Mosaic Ross Tones has a work ethic that suggests he’s a secret test case for transhumanism. In addition to releasing dozens of polished, pensive and powerful electronic compositions as Throwing Snow in recent years, running multiple record labels (including the superlative Left_Blank and taste-making A Future Without), Tones has diversified into collaborations and sideprojects at every opportunity, leaving any budding completists wishing they’d chosen a less prolific artist to try and keep up with. Despite having published several albums’ worth of material already, this June sees the release of his debut full-length Mosaic via fabric’s imprint Houndstooth. It’s an absolute scorcher, ploughing the same epic, emotionally resonant, and potentially peak-time furrow as Jacques Greene or even SBTRKT before him (while sounding not particularly like either). From the eminently remixable vocal lines, to the juddering crescendos and rhythmic crunches, Mosaic has crossover hit written all over it. But the self-effacing and charmingly enthusiastic Tones seemed to be feeling jittery about its release when Crack caught up with him. “I view the album as a sacred format”, he explained. “Collecting enough songs for an album was never something I’d wanted to do until now. When I signed for Houndstooth, the whole deal was that I’d do an album, so everything’s been written from scratch. I’m incredibly nervous about it.”

He needn’t be. Shape-shifting lead single The Tempest is a pretty good aperitif for the Mosaic main course: unshackled by genre, unafraid to shift gear mid-song, and sprinkled liberally with soaring vocals. “Yeah, the album’s got loads of vocals on, which I never expected” says Tones. “But that’s what I mean about starting the project from scratch. It so happened that I worked with loads of really good vocalists, and I didn’t want to let the idea of there being ‘too many vocals’ get in the way of whether a track was good enough to be included on the album.” Once the album drops in June, the major Throwing Snow live date on the horizon is at the world-renowned Sonar Festival in Barcelona. But while the variety of vocalists on Mosaic add to the sense that it’s an album which has been crafted from the choicest possible components, translating this to a live context has proven tricky. “I’ve always approached playing live by saying I don’t want to have a set that’s static. There has to be an element of improvisation all the time, and working with vocalists has been a bit of a problem. For a vocalist, you often have to have a strict format, and I’m struggling with that a bit.” The vocal contributions have also raised interesting questions about when a guest becomes a collaborator, and whether exchanging track components over the internet is really collaborating at all. “With internet collaborations, you often only speak by e-mail”, Tones admits. “One tune was almost finished and then I decided I liked the vocal but not the song, so I wrote another song to go with the vocal. I don’t really agree with that way of working

Words: Adam Corner Photography: Maya Manwaring

because collaboration should be about working with somebody, if you send them the song back they should be able to critique you too because it’s their vocal, they’re not just a guest on your track. But this type of collaboration is a new thing… I guess maybe there were a few recordings where people sang down the phone in the 60s, if people were across the seas when they worked together.” Mosaic is not an album easily defined by genre – something fans of Throwing Snow will be accustomed to by now. It’s not that there aren’t melodic themes, familiar sonics, or coherent ideas, but as Tones explains, the thumbprint comes from him, not the genres he inhabits. “A good producer should be recognisable whatever genre they’re creating – the sound comes from them, not the style of music. And that’s something I’m passionate about: the sounds come from me, it’s personal. I concentrated on making every bar exactly how I wanted it. A lot of it builds to unexpected drops, so you get this epic feeling, but then something that you didn’t expect happens next, almost lulling people into a false sense of security. I guess that could alienate quite a lot of people! But the people I admire the most have really eclectic music tastes. Music is totally, 100% subjective – that’s something that’s almost forgotten.” Mosaic is released 2 June via Houndstooth. Catch Throwing Snow at Lovebox Festival, London, 18-19 July


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UWE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

IT'S GOnna BE

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Private View 6 June 2014 18.00 —21.00

General Opening 7—12 June 2014

Bower Ashton Campus & Spike Island

www.uwe.ac.uk/degreeshow

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Product ELEMENTAL TURNTABLE Pro-Ject £159 henleydesigns.co.uk

Don't be fooled by the fact the Elemental is the cheapest turntable in Pro-Ject Audio's extensive range (a range that tops out at a cool £7000). It's built in the same factory by the same people with the same care as all their other stuff. The difference here is that you only get what is absolutely essential to the playing of records – a circle that spins, a needle that sounds good, and some wood to hold it all together. That this lack of frills has resulted in one of the coolest looking turntables we've come across is a pretty good bonus too.

INFLATABLE TIGER JR Present London £25 present-london.com

Please send reasons why you wouldn’t want this to yeahright@crackmagazine.net

BILLY ONYEABOR Turbo Island £25 turbo-island.co.uk 4 Charlie Crowther-Smith £POA charliecrowther-smith.com DEFINITELY MAYBE Alex Niven £8.90 333sound.com In continuation of the excellent 33 1/3 series, Alex Niven’s Definitely Maybe offers a stimulating socio-political analysis of Oasis’s debut album as it reaches its 20th anniversary. While considering Britain’s post-Thatcher condition, Niven explores the powerful political sentiment embedded in Oasis’s music and the Gallaghers' often misunderstood lyricism. A sincere tribute to a seminal record, and a potent antidote to the sociallyblind celebrations of the ‘Cool Britannia’ fairytale which dominate the media. K6 SUNGLASSES Kuboraum £263 ln-cc.com

ABLETON PUSH Ableton From €499 ableton.com/en/push Push may look like an oversized calculator in a matte black leather jacket, however its sex appeal goes beyond being able to spell ‘boobies’ if you hold it upside down. If you require a hands on approach to song creation, effortless in-key playing, song arrangement, and live MIDI sequencing, you’ve found your partner. Push is capable of igniting a new love for production and presents a whole new dimension to the process due to the speed at which you can work, and the fun had whilst pressing buttons which aren’t a mouse cursor.

TRIANGLE PATTERN SWEATSHIRT The Pattern Guild £50 thepatternguild.co.uk The weather might be a fucking mess, but at least you can wear a nice clean jumper till it gets its shit together.


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PARQUET COURTS Sunbathing Animal What’s Your Rupture? BEN FROST Aurora Mute

Coming on like The Fall if Mark E Smith and his rotating band of eccentric scruffs had been soused in Pabst Blue Ribbon rather than Tenants Super and swapped the grim environs of outer Manchester for the parched-porches of Texas, Parquet Courts seem set to be one of those bands happy to release the same record over and over; a manifestation of the innate joys to be found in repetition. If you fell for the hyper-literate cow-punk of 2012’s Light Up Gold or last year’s scratchier, bolshier, slightly weirder Tally All The Things That You Broke EP, then you’re likely to find a huge amount to enjoy in Sunbathing Animal. As time marches ever onward and we run the risk of being sucked into the vortex mistakenly labelled progress, there’s something refreshing about a band happy to become masters of their craft – in this case marrying Modern Lovers style Velvet Underground chugging riffola with a dose of The Feelies' nervous energy and then stuffing that combo with a garbled lexicon of engaging non-sequitur and multisyllabic intonation – without a self-conscious desire to be seen reinventing the wheel through self-conscious genre-hopping. Sunbathing Animal tears along all spindly and sunburned, 46 minutes of leanly-ripped lead guitar lines splattering like Jackson Pollock with the shakes, a solid hit of wiry joy. That its only the slower outliers – Instant Disassembly, Up All Night – that linger in the memory is no bad thing; Sunbathing Animal works precisely because it’s a blur. Don’t change boys, don’t change.

By now we’ve come to expect a certain sound from releases on Berlin behemoth Ostgut Ton. The debut album by Patrick Gräser delivers this. But unlike previous albums from the label, Code is not simply a collection of dance tracks (although some straight up movers would have been appreciated here). What is this then? Well, aside from being an exercise in techno production (in which it scores well), unfortunately there is better break beat, steppy, and loopy material out there at the moment. The beat-less soundscape pieces are good (Odyssey Sequence and Spin Off really stand out), but again, others do this better. The album is held back by a sense that we’ve all been here before (Jeff Mills’ Something in the Sky anyone?). What’s more, the album doesn’t help itself with its token breaks on By the Bay and naff vocals on Axif. Still this assessment is harsh and the album is generally good. It’s a shame however that it doesn’t add anything new to the Ostgut catalogue apart from a few more references to the milestones of dance music. If you purchased previous Ostgut releases then, like we have, then you’ll get it and you'll probably even like it, but you almost certainly won’t love it.

! Josh Baines

! Gareth Thomas

When visiting my old school a couple of years after my GCSEs, a year ten I didn’t recognise spotted me, saying “I know that face!”. As a moment, it has always stuck with me. We didn’t know each other. Maybe he had seen me in an assembly or perhaps we’d passed each other in a corridor, but we had never spoken. His familiarity was redundant. “I know that face!”. Yes, that’s literally all you know. As I began listening to Sheezus this moment came rushing back to me in Proustian fashion. Lily announces “I’m going in”, but as she climbs through the ropes and enters the ring, it becomes apparent how boxing only works if both opponents know the date, time and venue of the fight. “Ri Ri isn’t scared of Katy Perry’s roaring, Queen B’s gone back to the drawing”. Did you hear that Katy Perry? Rihanna? Queen B? Guess who I’ve got on the phone – it’s only LILY BLOODY ALLEN. Hello? Oh, it’s gone to voicemail. It’s a shame, because Sheezus isn’t totally devoid of melodies, but as soon as anything borders on remotely enjoyable, the experience is suddenly and prematurely ruined by her terrible lyrics. It’s a feeling not unlike being caught masturbating. Just as things are looking up, Allen will drop some banal musing like “Did I ever tell you my uncle’s monkey ran away from the zoo?” No you didn’t tell us that. By the way, is the uncle in question Kevin Allen who directed Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London? The ninth track URL Badman probably serves best to sum up what has gone wrong here. With references to trolling and A$AP Rocky and Vice, this is another album in a string of recent efforts (see Childish Gambino and Jay Z) that have attempted to ‘engage’ with the millennial generation on such clumsy terms they sound like they’ve been written by Angela Rippen. It ends up sounding like a Whose Line is it Anyway? round called ‘songs based on hashtags’. Maybe naming the album Sheezus is the ultimate symbol of this misguided attempt at relevance. When Kanye released last year’s Yeezus it was brash, sure, but crucially it was also focused. In taking his name Lily Allen may have intended to turn Yeezy’s focus against him and his industry, to satirise him, or even to patronise him. But she didn’t, and more to the point, even if she had – he isn’t listening. There is no focus and there is no beef. It is all profoundly pointless.

It’s unlikely anyone has ever been puzzled by Little Dragon’s success. While the Gothenburg band’s 2007 debut album (essentially a collection of demos released by a label without their full consent) was something of a false start, for 2009‘s Machine Dreams Yukimi Nagano absorbed 90s RnB influences into her smoky, honey-coloured voice while the band channelled the spirit of Tom Tom Club’s Genius of Love with flashing-neon synth hooks. Seriously addictive stuff. Nabuma Rubberband follows 2011‘s Ritual Union – the breakthrough album packed with sultry, moonlit synth-pop anthems that we’ve all heard a thousand times – and on first listen, it’s incredibly pleasing on the ears. But Little Dragon seem to have decided it’s time for their ‘mature’ album, and while it’s a pleasure to hear Nagano ride the tranquil, phased-out synths of tracks like Cat Rider and Pink Cloud, you’re going to have to dig deeper this time around to uncover the melodic earworms. Overall, Nabuma Rubberband provides a gorgeous soundscape to bury your head in, but for a band who’ve reached such stellar heights by balancing innovative production and instant gratification, releasing an album full of slow-burners is a risky move.  

If you find the dark, swirling, tribal atmospherics of Fuck Buttons just that little bit too twee, then glug deeply from Ben Frost’s metallic goblet. This is not an album to make friends with; no surprise, given that previous releases have sounded like a slow-motion, dystopian, robotic mugging. This is a man, lest we forget, who last year composed an opera based on Iain Banks’ seminal celebration of darkness and debasement The Wasp Factory. But grit your teeth, because there’s a sinister darkness at play that can singlehandedly destroy your blissful end-of-party early morning glow if it accidentally arrives on your iPod shuffle at an inopportune moment. Snaking into life with a shuffle and an electronic wail, Aurora showcases a typically brutal aesthetic. But there’s actually a (relatively) melodic lilt to lolloping scorchers like Nolan. In fact, compared to 2009’s ghoulish By The Throat, which came layered in wolf howls and other assorted musique concrète, this is positively chirpy stuff. The abrasive but euphoric Secant, for example, suggests the star-gazing invoked by the album’s title, and even the more introverted moments are punctuated by synthetic bursts or electronic pulses. Ben Frost is respected by the best in the business: Brian Eno has anointed him, the Boomkat oddballs adore him. And if you’ve not yet let him into your life, you should – because this is rich and rewarding electronic shamanism.

! Angus Harrison

! Davy Reed

! Adam Corner

ANSWER CODE REQUEST Code Ostgut Ton

LITTLE DRAGON Nabuma Rubberband Because Music

LILY ALLEN Sheezus Parlophone


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KLAXONS Love Frequency Akashic Rekords

With its golden, leathery snakeskin album art and a seditious provocation in its title, The Amazing Snakeheads’ debut is one that’s striking for signifiers of both unnatural beauty and repulsion before the music is even addressed. A Glaswegian rock-and-roll Western of unsettling violence and brooding menace, it is a fascinating record that leaves Crack both disturbed and impressed. With a Jack The Ripper bass line and furious, snarling theatrics, I’m A Vampire opens this fearful collection; the scene is set for a grim journey as guided by The Amazing Snakeheads, a gritty account seemingly balancing fiction and autobiography. The more morbid constructs of Where Is My Knife? meanwhile, are twisted fairy tales of forceful conviction thanks to Barclay’s incensed delivery. If he isn’t the devil himself, then he’s a damn fine storyteller. A compelling record that’s as immersive as it is intimidating, The Amazing Snakeheads bring their dimly-lit thematic alive with enough precision to stir up a fright in any cold and lonely town. These are the bastard children of Tom Waits, hungry for blood and grits, and in these 10 invigorating tracks they’ll leave you shaken.

Many who witnessed heyday Klaxons, removed from the ludicrous bluster and overblown pill-chat, would report a talented, weird indie band. Yeah, there were glowsticks in the air or whatever, and the synth stabs were customdesigned to prick even the most passive of ears, but there was actually far more to them than the forced post-90s imagery which had droves of sub-16s wetting their business. But it’s now become overwhelmingly sad. The K-carved, indistinct white tablet and cornyas-fuck title which adorns Love Frequency’s exterior are a drab cry for attention, and the three once talented and weird young men who’ve carved its interior are now a weary, bloated and self-congratulatory chain of coming-down, came-down catamites, a human centipede of mutual affirmation which gushes into itself; an insular throb of blinkered mutual shuffling, assuring itself that someone with an opinion worth a shit might be saying aloud, ‘when’s the next Klaxons album out?’ So much is wrong with this record. Wrongest of all is that in an attempt to freshen up the Klaxons brand, Love Frequency ends up sounding more dated than a skiffle quartet, any husks of decent songs riddled with plasticky production proving even James Murphy isn’t infallible. The record’s particularly foul and flimsy second half is formed from lackadaisical electro-trance-EDM reference points that they keep stretching their long, spindly arms towards on their endless, cyclical trajectory, but just can’t grasp, ever held back by that triple headed monster of denial. It’s sad. It’s also boring. It’s rust-ridden right to its barely flickering, vaguely glowing, subtly undulating core.

! James Balmont

! Geraint Davies

THE AMAZING SNAKEHEADS Amphetamine Ballads Domino

THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE Revelation A Records The Brian Jonestown Massacre formed in San Francisco in 1988, but it was long before anyone gave a shit about them. It was their excellent trio of 1996 albums – Take it From The Man, Thank God For Mental Illness and Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request – that propelled them to reverence. Sure, Anton Newcombe’s famously explosive personality and the band’s often chaotic live sets have proved enough to gain them a reputation that, unfortunately, eclipses their actual talent. But BJM remain a serious fucking prospect, and Revelation is proof. Opener Vad Hände Med Dem is a startling reintroduction: casually melancholic, gleaming garage repetition with anthemic horns that drive the churning fuzz to a moody conclusion. Even Memorymix, an acid-house tangent, is touched by Newcombe’s brilliance. So often, these forays into alien genres can sound contrived and stale. Maybe it’s the frontman’s Berlin residency that’s earned him a first hand understanding of electronic music, but somehow Memorymix actually doesn’t stink, well not totally anyway. Overall though it’s the gleeful, lazy Sunday afternoon slump of tracks like Days, Weeks and Moths and not the psychedelic flute-based meanderings on tracks like Second Sighting that sustain Newcombe's status as a genial songwriter. Although Revelation is slighted by a few genre bending misnomers, it could just be the wake up call the world needs to separate the spectacle from the truth: BJM are a fucking great band.

! Billy Black

SD LAIKA That’s Harakiri TriAngle

OWEN PALLETT In Conflict Domino/Conflict

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Sd Laika is Wiley’s deranged brother who’s been kept in the attic; now unleashed, unhinged and dangerous. It’s a bleak image, we know, but the deformed alien grime from Milwaukee producer Peter Runge paints a lurid picture indeed. Runge burst on to the scene in 2012 with the abrasive Unknown Vectors EP for Visionist’s Lost Codes imprint, and has returned after two years of silence with his schizophrenic statement That’s Harakiri. Harakiri is the name for the ritual procedure of suicide by disembowelment reserved for Japanese samurai, also known as ‘Seppuku’ or ‘cutting the belly’. Sharp, mutating percussion barrels down the album’s whole, tearing it apart as it warps at will into chaotic chars of grime, UK funky and brasher noise experiments; taking pre-set formula and fully dismembering it. Sd Laika’s popularity comes at a time of increased interest in grime producers, while his own re-emergence in this period seems to embody a renewed standard for the darkest, most twisted dwellings of the genre. Don’t be put off with what might seem like a loaded enterprise. Among Harakiri’s rabid parts come heavily-grooved, twisted melodies that are at times arresting and at others wistful and longing. At just over 30 minutes in length, That’s Harakiri’s brash testimonial is, much like the snarling toddler on the cover, gripping, garish and gracious in one.

While the puritan in all of us would like to have the capacity to at least purport to a sense of objectivity about the merits of cultural artefacts, the actuality is thus: nothing exists in a vacuum, nothing is without predecessors, nothing is what it is without the complex mass of preconceptions and schematic ideals that inexorably alter our relationship to anything. So however nice it might be to be able to review a record without thinking of other records, it can’t be done. Owen Pallett’s 2010 masterpiece Heartland was so good that the listener succumbed to its concept – the trails and travails of a hyperviolent farmer named Lewis and the oppression he faced in the guise of the benevelonetly omniscient narrator Owen. We also fell in love with its immaculately arranged suite of orchestrally underpinned songs stuffed with meltingly gorgeous motifs and the kind of melodies most songwriters would kill for. In Conflict isn’t quite there: Pallett still sings like a choirboy, still crafts songs that nearly burst with swooping strings and balletic brass, still displays a penchant for lyrics that teeter on the edge of embrassing but remain firmly stuck in the memory banks. It’s an undeniably strong album. It just isn’t Heartland. If you’re a stronger listener than this reviewer then you’ll find a lot to love. For the weak willed of us, you’ll be left with the subtlest aftertaste of slight disappointment.

Hailed by critics and fans as a genius, Sharon Van Etten’s work exists, unfairly, below a surprising amount of people’s musical radars. Often angry, often sad and always deeply personal, her lyrics and musicianship (often with accompaniment and production from The National’s Bryce Dessner) display an artist old beyond her years, whose struggle to acclaim is testament to both her talent and resilience. Her latest LP Are We There is another exceptional gem to her catalogue and one that, while hardly uplifting, is almost worryingly affecting. Getting the ball rolling is the fantastic Afraid Of Nothing, a track in which instruments are layered masterfully, melding effortlessly with Van Etten’s mournful lyrics: ‘I need you to be afraid of nothing.’ The next offering takes a comparatively upbeat turn; a dreamy, bass-heavy number recalling latter-day Beach House, or a heavily sedated Radio Dept. Our Love is pure 80s romance, with slow, electronic drums and a guitar line which border on Prince-ballad levels of heartache and lament. There is, in fact, something in almost every track worth writing about; suffice to say that this is an excellent record and one that is further testament to Van Etten’s considerable talent.

! Anna Tehabsim

! Josh Baines

! Jon Clark

SHARON VAN ETTEN Are We There Jagjaguwar


NEW ALBUM 12th MAY ON TOUR MAY & JUNE 2014 www.mute.com

www.younggodrecords.com

fabric 75

“A lAbour of love – not only A sonic evolution, but Also A personAl one.” – the line of best fit

fabric 75 marks another new chapter in the remarkable career of the multi-award-winning 26-year-old British-Japanese producer/ DJ Maya Jane Coles. Her meditative, propulsive house and techno style - which spurred Rolling Stone to rank her amongst the planet’s most influential DJs, and secured her place in the Resident Advisor DJ poll’s upper echelons - comes to the fore, with both the melodic qualities and thunderous impact of Maya’s DJ performances encapsulated on the mix. Forthcoming in the series: Elijah & Skilliam, Deetron, Calyx & TeeBee www.fabriclondon.com


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FUTURE Honest Freebandz/Epic Since its inception in 1993, Atlanta’s Dungeon Family collective has been a nest for the offbeat strand of Southern rap. And 30 year old Nayvadius Cash, aka Future, is a very modern incarnation of the family’s dream: a man with a sound that is idiosyncratic, radio governing and constantly unswerving. Future’s highly-anticipated second album Honest flickers between sombre auto-tuned warbling and smash-mouth club bangers, but it never loses the feeling of intent. The epic balladry of Blood, Sweat, Tears, for example, doesn’t have the in-car speakers velocity of Sh!t or Move That Dope, but a method is consistent throughout: Future distorts and irons his oily, often auto-tuned voice until his words (be they sentimental or reckless) resemble near-incoherent squawks and croons that float atop premium production. The most impressive moments of Honest are on songs like I Be U and I Won, where the beats leave room for Future’s unmistakable robo-whimper to take centre stage. There’s an audible sense of sincerity in Future’s voice on these cuts. Beneath all the ad-libs, highprofile feature spots and frenzied beats – he really means it. After too many nights at the club with Uncle Juicy J, and too many bleary-eyed mornings in brand new Bugattis, Future seems to have staggered home to his wife-to-be Ciara and she’s advised him to have some ‘me time’. Don’t get us wrong, there’s no finer way to end an album than Karate Chop, but these aren’t the sounds that last on Honest, and the trap machismo is eclipsed by a soulful bionic-balladry that is built to last. The Dungeon has freed its most captivating inmate in years. ! Duncan Harrison

CHROMEO White Women Parlophone

THE EMPEROR MACHINE Like A Machine Southern Fried Records

Chromeo’s latest record is called White Women. We’re not quite sure why. Then again, why not? At least it’s not as questionable as the album’s opener Jealous (I Ain’t With It). Seriously, opening your record with the kind of pap that sounds like a Youtube ad you can’t wait to skip is a bold move. OK, we’re beating around the bush here. It’s background music of the worst kind; dreadfully turgid funk, sub Daft Punk modern disco that makes Pharrell’s latest album look like a positively way out journey into the avant garden. Even the album’s most credible collaboration, Come Alive, which features Toro Y Moi is painfully devoid of character. Chromeo peddle anaemic pop music; the kind of plodding, 130 bpm drivel that wouldn’t sound out of place in a catalogue of stock corporate hold music. They’re so out of touch that not even Solange’s – unsurprisingly adroit – vocal contribution on Lost On The Way Home can save them from sounding like a pair of confused uncles experiencing a serious midlife musical crisis. It’s so silly, in fact, that it makes their criminally overlooked performance of their educational hygiene anthem Nice N Clean on Yo Gabba Gabba feel like an evocative, timeless piece of art. Although, to be fair, that is easily the best song they’ve ever written.

Now that – belatedly – the Nordic disco wave seems to have finally broken (only about 10 years after it was supposed to be sweeping all before it), it’s the perfect time to absorb a new album from Andy Meecham’s alias The Emperor Machine. Not that Andy Meecham is Nordic. And not that The Emperor Machine sounds particularly cute or bouncy. But chuggy, psychedelic, mid-tempo workouts are a trademark of both Meecham’s and Todd Terje’s band of merry Scandinavians – and the allure of both owes a great deal to the cosmic disco stylings of the late 70s. Like A Machine is a classy album: RMI Is All I Want is a slack-jawed electro nugget that would fit perfectly in the staged ascent of a Daniel Avery set. The new wave kookiness and playful stomp of The Point is juxtaposed nicely with the vaguely menacing organ-based drama of La Llorona, and the squelchy, analogue disco of Hey is pure party. Occasionally, the album’s salacious strut stumbles into a laconic saunter. The disco wisdom of Meecham’s (apparently un-named) female vocalist veers at certain points into empty couplets. In essence though, this is an album unencumbered by contemporary trends that could easily have been released ten years ago but which still sounds fresh now. So, something else in common with that Nordic disco lark then…

A women’s magazine recently ran a cover-piece naming 50 tracks every self-respecting lay-dee should own and tUnE-yArDs’ new single Water Fountain was enthusiastically recommended along with a blurb describing Merrill Garbus as the ‘toast of the hipsterati’. Now whatever you think of that word, it’s hard to deny that it implies disingenuity. And after listening to tUnE-yArDs’ third record, you’ll realise that no implication could be further from the truth. Nikki Nack is an incredibly honest record, detailing Garbus’s own search for honesty – whether that’s through examining neurosis (“I’m no real thing, they say I’m the real thing”), or through her continued fascination with childhood (her innocent playground chants are back, but they are accompanied by an album interlude about humans eating their own kin). Sonically, Nikki Nack is more thrusting than previous albums BiRdBrAiNs or w h o k i l l, as Garbus places heavier emphasis on percussion and electronic elements. The result is an album that sounds even more tribal and instinctual than what came before, symptomatic of Garbus’s trip to Haiti where she studied drumming techniques, and any uncomfortable or colonial tickles are neutralised by lyrical self effacement as she satirises her own heritage, yelling “I come from the land of slaves. Let’s go Redskins! Let’s go Braves!”. Producers John Hill (Rihanna, Santigold) and Malay (Frank Ocean) have also left their mark. Album opener Find a New Way confronts Garbus’s struggle with never wanting to sing again, and the ‘new way’ that enabled her to return to making music was clearly to throw lashings of danceable pop and RnB sensibilities at her trademark discordancy. As with every tUnE-yArDs release, Nikki Nack feels like another new beginning. Experimental but not indulgent, unfathomable and yet sincere, Garbus is again proving herself to be a visionary (even though she’d probably not be too keen on such a compliment). Let’s hope she keeps making music for a very long time, because right now it feels like we’ll never grow weary of her incessant creativity.

Sacred Bones have released some of our favourite records over the last few years, and the third album from Amen Dunes – an industrially influenced, solo project of former Inouk member Damon McMahon – should be an exciting prospect. The album opens with the typically swirling White Child and while it teems and builds with anticipatory atmosphere, it fails to reach a climax, coming across more like an understandably forgotten Oasis B-side than an acoustic Throbbing Gristle. Many of the following tracks follow the same formula, churning two chord acoustic guitar patterns distract from McMahons potentially interesting glitch noises, loops and psych-influenced experimentation. Sixteen brings some well executed harmonies and a piano loop that provides a welcome break from the repetitive guitar based structure. At the tail end of the record, I Can Dig It recalls Strawberry Jamera Animal Collective and is almost worth getting excited about until it starts to feel just a little too messy to really dig. Love is an OK record, and there are a couple of moments that appeal to us, but it’s hard to really muster up a great deal of enthusiasm for a record that seems to lack enthusiasm for itself.

! Billy Black

! Adam Corner

! Suzie McCracken

! Billy Black

AMEN DUNES Love Sacred Bones

TUNE-YARDS Nikki Nack 4AD


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Live DAMO SUZUKI + ASTRAL PATTERNS The Macbeth, London 22 April

BLEEP10: FUCK BUTTONS + MOUNT KIMBIE Barbican, London 25 April As the torch wielding steward directs us towards our seats, Barbican Hall stirs with anticipation for celebrations marking 10 years of wheeling and dealing for the independent online music store Bleep. Mount Kimbie are two songs into an hour-long set, backed by a full live band and flanked either side by towering projections of rippling water. Smoke bellows to the tune of Before I Move Off and rolls over the audience giving the impression of a futuristic 4D cinema screening of Blade Runner. It’s a little strange hearing music associated with the shuffling of feet and spilt pints of Croatian lager from a seated position, but if anything it outlines the performance. No one’s worrying about how well they’re dancing. MK’s live recreations are captivating and laced with confidence, filling the cavernous space of the Barbican well, but the melodic weight of their studio material is at times lost in translation due to patchy mixing of the dozen or so instrumental components. When we reclaim our seats, one track into Fuck Buttons’ set, the atmosphere is altogether different. The pair stand opposite one another, a vast clump of analogue gear separating them with a giant screen alight with whirling landscapes and colour. The weighted screech of blurry synthesisers is cut apart by fuzzed out kick drums and nightmarish soundscapes. It’s a breakneck, breakbeat exploration of atmospheres and sounds. For the older generation in the audience it’s a straight nostalgia trip back to the dew soaked days of the 90s. Those who didn’t have their first beer till 2006 are lucky enough to have already experienced a Matrix-style, digital crash course in past musical boiling points thanks to the information superhighway at their fingertips. The result is a blanketed release of serotonin and butterflies in stomachs. Without saying a word Fuck Buttons have pulled the majority in attendance to their feet and even to the front of the stage. A standing ovation greats the lull in intensity and each of us look at each other with open-mouthed giddiness. !

Charlie Wood

We first encountered Astral Pattern at their very inception. They’d marked it by going on a collective pilgrimage to Kraftwerk’s hometown of Düsseldorf to see their krautrock forefathers perform live, and in a glitched evening of robots and computers, the three-piece was born. 14 months down the line, and following the release of their debut EP Light Poems, the former S.C.U.M members find themselves on more familiar soil with a visitor who has made the reverse journey. Tonight they perform as the backing band to Can’s legendary former frontman Damo Suzuki, in an enviable union of kraut messiahs both old and neu. An old drum machine and a selection of vintage synths lain across the stage, we’re treated to the first of two performances from Astral Pattern. Their new material is as vibrant and arpeggiated as you might find from revivalists of the warped electronic constructs of 60s and 70s Germany, with sequenced beats and a triumvirate of oscillating synthesisers beaming brightly, melodies always ascending, crossing over in folds of spiralling analogue. After 15 minutes of crowded anticipation, Astral Pattern return to the stage for the headline performance. Damo’s centre-stage death grip upon the microphone is supplemented with closed eyes as he bellows out his grizzled, selfcomposed “stone age” language, a kind of droning Japanglish. As beats fall into place and beeps jostle with slow, ethereal chords, Suzuki is composed; while his nonsensical utterings could be mistaken for madness, he is a relentless and compelling presence upon the stage. The drones float onwards through time and tempo, and the evening is ultimately one of intense experimentalism; a fascinating insight into the workings of a musical icon and his disciples. !

James Balmont

FOREST SWORDS Thekla, Bristol 10 April Bristol’s famous boozy boat – now amazingly 30 years young – lends itself to a remarkable range of styles. But Forest Swords’ disembodied, aqueous samples and face-fuzzing bass felt particularly suitable, as the unassuming, courteous producer from the Wirral rattled through material from his debut album Engravings. With such a rich palette exhibited on Engravings, it was mildly disappointing to find Matthew Barnes operating a midi controller and sampler rather than a zombie dub orchestra. Nonetheless, facing a bassist and switching between an electric guitar and his melody machinery (or occasionally operating both at the same time), Forest Swords’ sparse chamber-dub and otherworldly electronic melodies filled the Thekla’s every nook and cranny. Highlights included Anneka’s Battle – an otherworldly computer game score – and the hypnotic The Weight of Gold. The early curfew did take something away from the atmosphere: just as the night drew in and the heads started nodding more enthusiastically the show ended, and the captivated crowd were turfed out by 9.30pm. But this is a minor quibble: what Forest Swords offers is a timeless kind of electronic meditation, and any hour of the day is the right time for that. !

Adam Corner

HIT THE DECK Various Venues, Bristol 19 April

WHO IS WILLIAM ONYEABOR? Colston Hall, Bristol 2 April A fervid Wednesday night crowd in Bristol became the second ever group of people to witness William Onyeabor’s music live. It was a curious, wonderful tribute, with a watertight collective of musicians joined by a promenade of guest vocalists. The enigmatic Nigerian synth pioneer’s sound was recreated impeccably, but the occasion wasn’t so much a festival of musicianship as a celebration of a true visionary whose significance was barely acknowledged until recently, as well as a poignant reminder of his mythologised backstory. The band, christened Atomic Bomb, offered an unfaltering array of 10+ minute renditions of this unlikely hero’s catalogue, indulging freely in the love of repetition which made him such a visionary. Plaudits must go to Sinkane for maintaining superhuman energy levels throughout, while LCD Soundsystem drummer Pat Mahoney was on stunning form behind the kit, and Beastie Boys collaborator Money Mark leapt around the lip of the stage. Of the vocalists, Alexis Taylor offered his unmistakeable tones to bring a further dash of familiarity to the joyous Good Name, with Kele Okereke, Ghostpoet and Nigerian double-act The Lijadu Sisters were also in fine fettle. As a celebration it felt pure and uncynical, like a group of musicians here purely out of respectful admiration. We exited Colston’s Hall’s grand main auditorium grinning broadly, longing to witness the whole spectacle again; knowing we very probably wouldn’t. ! Rich Bitt N Ben Price

The burlier cousin of next month’s Dot To Dot weekender, the resolutely all-ages Hit The Deck brought an array of punk, indie, rock and metal to Bristol’s best-loved venues. No one could have predicted the crowd gathering upstairs at the Academy at the crack of 12:45 for local upstarts St. Pierre Snake Invasion. Arriving five minutes late means a struggle to sidle through the side door towards the area where frontman Damien Sayell is stalking the front rows, with the wide-eyed young crowd forming a semi-circle around his wingspan. They’re all soon beaming along to the band’s meeting of bratty sloganeering and searing social commentary, all set to smartly-delivered, off-beat riffs. A kick in the bollocks from behind to kick off the day, then. The afternoon is lit up by a delicious pairing at the Fleece, where Sheffield duo Nai Harvest’s glittering melodies are followed by Cali indie-rock types Seahaven. Both are impressive; the boys from the Steel City just about nick it though, with the likes of Hold Open My Head swimming around the mind long after its chords have rung out. Without sacrificing an ounce of their feral, hyperactive energy, Pulled Apart By Horses have matured from the youthful, spazzy sentiments which brought them to the attention of the UK underground into the rounded, almost-grown-up rock band behind 2012’s Tough Love. If today’s showing is anything to go by, they’re not about to stick; the new tracks which dot this vulgar display of power have an almost metallic feel, like four-minute-long Mastodon choruses . Let’s call it ‘indie-doom’ for now; a distinctly British distillation of sludgy riffage, riddled with ideas. New Jersey’s Saves The Day hold a real sway amongst some credible indie/emo circles, but it’s difficult to see why. They’re the polar opposite to the band who will follow them, having never escaped the shadow of the flimsy At Your Funeral which became an MTV2 staple in the early noughties. They seem like nice enough bros, and really happy to be here. But boy do they suck. Tonight’s headliners Brand New are the final bastion of a certain type of American catharsis, and they are on lifetime best form. Cuts from The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me (like a stunning Millstone) and Daisy (including a breathtaking early 1-2-3 of Vices, Gasoline and At The Bottom) stand up to be counted, and Sic Transit Gloria… unites the room in howling camaraderie as only an alternative classic could. In a cynical postmodern landscape where sincerity is seen as weakness, bands like Brand New and days like this remind you it ain’t so bad. We got to pretend were 16 again, too.

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! Rich Bitt Bethan Miller


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Live BLACK STAR The Coronet, London 31 March

AUGUSTINES Trinity Centre, Bristol 17 April Striding onstage to a rousing orchestral recording from their selftitled second album, Augustines stand before the masses assembled in the City’s church-cum-concert venue genuinely humbled to be where they are. Launching into a setlist made up of tracks from both their latest record and debut album Rise Ye Sunken Ships, Augustines are full of energy, barely pausing for breath as they bounce from one anthem to the next. The exhilarating Chapel Song is slipped in early, while Juarez and the Afrobeat/Graceland era Paul Simon-influenced Cruel City also prove early highlights. And, for the first hour, Augustines brand of early-U2, Springsteen-indebted, emotionally charged stadium Americana holds the gaze of everyone. But it soon goes sour. A full Augustines set betrays how similar many of their tracks are, to the point where they begin to blur into one; the ubiquitous ‘Oh oh oh’ chorus refrains and ambiguous lyrics point ultimately to a lack of depth. Augustines are excellent at what they do. The issue is they have a set formula for writing songs from which they rarely deviate. They are masters of the uplifting chorus and, although great in short bursts, it can all rather quickly become painfully dull. !

COMPETITION This July, The Garden Festival and Electric Elephant will be returning to their famously idyllic site in Tisno, Croatia. We’re giving away a massive prize pack which includes four festival tickets to either The Garden Festival or Electric Elephant, a Shikar tent and four tickets to Barbarella’s open air club club plus a goodie bag full of vinyl and clothing. For a chance of winning, all you have to do is answer the question below and sent your entry entitled ‘Garden/EE Comp’ to competitions@crackmagazine.net.  Which of the following acts in not playing this year’s The Garden Festival? a) Jaime Fiorito  b) Jimi Yolo c) Jamie Jones

Benjamin Salt

TALLINN MUSIC WEEK Tallinn, Estonia 27-29 March Most people’s knowledge of Estonian acts probably stretches to someone they once saw on Eurovision. But as the UK’s entries to that fabled pantomime will surely tell you, that’s got very little to do with the range of artists plugging away in the country’s many venues. Under Soviet rule until 1991, the majority of Western music was banned in Estonia up until the country achieved independence. A trip to the KGB museum during our time there informs us that the banned acts included Blondie, Talking Heads, Pink Floyd and a whole host of others you probably take for granted. The opening day in the Estonian capital saw President Toomas Hendrik Ilves deliver an inspiring speech about the importance of freedom, before Pussy Riot held an equally passionate conference that helped draw focused media glare towards the three-day event. It was in the evening that focus swung to the musical talent; in the ground floor room of an old town coffee house, one of the country’s brightest hopes Odd Hugo performed. It became clear within seconds why they have sent pulses racing. If The National serves as their backbone, then it comes flourished with extra dabs of brass and loose yet intricately played, jazz-inflected breakdowns and a bourbon splash of Tom Waits’ well worn spirit. But while that may be a sign of the safe and traditional, there was also room for the exponents of more experimental fodder. Tucked away inside a three-floored, dilapidated warehouse on the outskirts of the city was a venue that played host to experimental electronica: the type that had plunged its teeth into the veins of Burial and The Haxan Cloak. In a dark basement where projections lined the walls, Blood Pavilion stood out as a highlight, adding a heavy dose of DnB rhythms to ensure an extra hard-hitting kick. On the ground level, Faun Racket offered a blend of post-dubstep pop that had much in common with the onetime highly championed electroclash act Fischerspooner. The next day saw an equally varied and exciting blend of acts showcase their wares to a selection of locals and out of towners, and it was then that we stumbled upon our finest discovery of the festival: the bewitching sounds of Vul Vulpes delighting the style-conscious Von Krahl bar audience. Armed with a laptop and a microphone, she creates a sometimes downbeat, Grimes-lite appropriation of electronic pop, partial to the odd RnB-inspired bassline, and with the potential to cross over to a more widespread European audience. Not all of the acts on show in Tallinn are ready to make the leap outside of this small bubble quite yet, but there was ample evidence that Tallinn Music Week is playing a vital part in highlighting current Estonian talent, and is doubtless helping lay strong foundations for the country’s musical future. !

Nathan Westley N Maris Savik

It’s safe to say that as a duo, Black Star have their best work behind them. Although the two stellar MCs are habitual collaborators to this day, their only full length, Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star, is now a decade and a half old. But London still has a lot of love for the double act; this Monday show was added after the Saturday sold out, and the queue outside was bubbling with positive murmurings about that first appearance. Def (now going by his Yasiin Bey moniker) and Kweli wasted no time, leaping from group tracks to their own respective solo efforts. There was no space for filler, and by the third track they were onto their classic Definition, greeted with the obligatory hip-hop exclamations from all corners. The chemistry was effortless, each played hype-man for the other’s solo tracks with only the healthiest of one-upmanship. Still, we couldn’t help but compare the two. At first it seemed Yasiin had the wealth of material and presence, but later Kweli’s renditions of The Blast and Get By got huge receptions. His new single State of Grace suffered from a histrionic chorus but Kweli’s flows were some of his strongest of the night, perhaps a sign that he had the most to prove. As a double act the two compliment each other fantastically. Kweli is the hip-hopper’s choice bringing busy technical flows whilst Yasiin steps further outside the box with his indefinable vocal approach. Yasiin’s Quiet Dog saw him flowing with incredible adeptness and revelry whilst dancing on the spot and, of course, on Umi Says we all had a bit of a moment. By the end of the show it was clear this wasn’t just hip-hop heritage. The trips down memory lane were undoubtedly enjoyable, but this was far more than retreading old territory. This was living proof that these guys are still very much worth their salt. !

Jack Lucas Dolan

WANDA GROUP + THE SPACE LADY + DEAN BLUNT The Cube, Bristol 19 April Now that The Cube’s future is secure (following months of fundraising, charitable donations and the anonymous gifting of an original Banksy by someone – probably Banksy), it now feels like a genuine hub of avant-garde, experimental art, music and film. Tonight’s programme is a powerful example of how far things can be pushed when music that lives beyond the peripheries is invited to exist, for a moment, on the inside. WANDA GROUP is the first to stand up in front of the sold-out theatre and give everything away. His confounding, psychedelic collage of field recordings and indeterminable frequencies is initially overwhelming, but the longer you listen the more you hear. It’s refreshing to experience something with literally no rhythm at all, and to embrace the lack of understanding that comes with it. The Space Lady’s performance couldn’t have been more different in tone, but this was an evening which thrived on contrast. Exuding warmth and humility, she rattled through an otherworldly set of covers (Born To Be Wild a particular highlight) in her self-described ‘hi-tech on the street’ style, winning over an audience that didn’t need winning over in the first place. As her version of John Lennon’s Imagine faded away, everyone rose from their seats in applause, getting slightly closer to the Space Lady’s home at the same time. Having seen Dean Blunt play just a few months previously at the larger, sharper Arnolfini, we were curious to see how the Cube’s interior would reflect his performance. It proved darker, angrier and infinitely more claustrophobic. The Arnolfini show had seen Blunt introspective and contemplative; here he seemed pissed off, frustrated. Whether he was tired of playing this routine, or had something new on his mind since we last crossed paths it was hard to say. But it without a doubt manifested as a rawer and more self-destructive act.

N

! Steven Dores Graeme Bateman


MAY

68

2014

THURSDAY 8TH

FWD>> MUMDANCE / DJ RUM / DRUMTALK / MEDLAR

FRIDAY 9TH

WAX’D X DANCE TUNNEL EFDEMIN / JOHN ROBERTS / NICK P WARREN / GEORGE GREGORY

SATURDAY 10TH

JUNTOS ISHERWOOD / GUILLE BONESSO

THURSDAY 15TH

COMM•UNE 1ST BIRTHDAY

FRIDAY 16TH

THUNDER KEITH WORTHY / JOSEPH APTED / MILES SIMPSON / RICK HOPKINS

SATURDAY 17TH

ZLEEP THE MOLE / CHAMBOCHE / MICAWBER / NICK COBBY

THURSDAY 22ND

FWD>> FUNKINEVEN / WILL BANKHEAD

FRIDAY 23RD

ELECTRIC MINDS MIX MUP / DOLAN BERGIN

SATURDAY 24TH

DANCE TUNNEL X WORK THEM RECORDS SPENCER PARKER / YOUNG MALE / MAYASHIBA

SUNDAY 25TH

TIEF YOUNG MARCO / SISTERHOOD / HESSELTIME

THURSDAY 29TH

JOYRIDE MIKE ‘RUFF CUT’ LLOYD & MC CREED / LOSIAN / TOO HOT / MILES HARTLEY / REVIVIS

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SATURDAY 31ST

DREAM STATES OSKAR OFFERMANN / JASON SPINKS

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16

Film Ahhh, Crack is properly gutted we missed Christian saga God’s Not Dead this month; a film where a college kid proves the existence of God by, from what we can tell from the trailer, going to a big pop concert and asking wholesome American folks about their spirituality. We’d have given anything to have a go at it, but it vanished from our cinemas before you could say ‘1/20’. We did see Noah however, which was shit in all sorts of other ways – and not necessarily because of its theological pretensions. Tom Hardy stars in middle-class, middle-of-the-road (although probably verging over to the slow lane) drama Locke, while we also trotted along to the ICA to hear Lance Bangs talk us through his documentary about post-rock trailblazers Slint. We took a look at Richard Ayoade’s second directorial feature length The Double starring Jesse Eisenberg (not to be confused with Michael Cera) after 2010’s practically perfect-in-every-way Submarine, and not forgetting a hearty superhero romp for good measure.

08

16 THE DOUBLE dir. Richard Ayoade Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska To use a crap football reference, with his return to the director’s chair for the second time after 2010’s exceptional Submarine, Richard Ayoade has done the double. Appropriately (for the start of this review anyway) called The Double, it’s an unsettling visualisation of Dostoevsky’s classic, blackly-comic novella that combines a fast cut, high-contrast style of cinematography owing as much to Tim Burton as it does to David Lynch, with a mind-scrambling, all-pervading, what-is-real sense of paranoia. Eisenberg’s character is trapped in an uncontextualisable world of shite suits and Space-Race-era technology, possessing all the quarter-life insecurities of the Intern(et) generation and struggling to cope with the person he could’ve been. He soon descends into a black hole of schizophrenia and eternal worry. It’s a difficult watch purely because we can relate so intensely to this character’s situation; our worries and fears splashed across a screen in real life make them hard to ignore. The ending, ambiguous and unknowing, reflects our own inevitable passing. The confusion is real, but you can’t be sure if it is.

15

! Steven Dores

LOCKE dir. Steven Knight Starring: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson Ivan Locke steps into a BMW, embarking on a long journey to London to witness the birth of his child. But the mother of his child is not his wife. And during the course of this journey – using a very efficient hands-free system – he will break this news to his wife and manage a multimillion pound construction site concrete pour (out of hours, we might add), all whilst keeping within the speed limit. Yes, that may be one of the blandest synopses we’ve ever written. And seeing as the only actor the audience sees is Tom Hardy – all from the confines of his car, conversing only over the telephone – overcoming the obvious tedium set by writer/director Steven Knight’s chosen stage is the most immediate challenge. Yet Hardy, talented as he is, is actually able to inject his brand of intensity into a potentially stagnant format, despite setting himself another aural obstacle (see: Bane) with a slightly inconclusive Welsh accent. It’s worth noting Knight’s reputation, built by penning Cronenberg’s excellent Eastern Promises, Stephen Frears’ acclaimed Dirty Pretty Things, and being a co-founder of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. In Locke, Knight harnesses the bleak but unremarkable details which make the titular character’s plight all the more severe. Aesthetically, with eerie, ever-present street lights and fluctuating focus, the film manages to keep us engaged, almost to the point of successfully negotiating the film’s inbound storyline. However the melodrama that builds left us asking: are we there yet? Just think of Locke as a very British Falling Down, the difference being he bites his lip, gets on with it and, unfortunately, doesn’t get out of his car. ! Tim Oxley Smith

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 dir. Marc Webb Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx In the second installment to the rebooted franchise, it seems Spider-Man has finally found its most effective blend of comic book and Hollywood. It’s been 12 years since Sam Raimi scrambled through an ultimately forgettable trilogy which was roundly eclipsed by the seriously serious Batman Dark Knight – Tobey MacGuire’s emo sweep just couldn’t compete. But exec producers thought this particular spider had some more legs, and the Amazing Spider-Man series is proving that by knowing your limits, you can make a far better movie. It helps that Jamie Foxx delivers a brilliantly realised performance as Electro: his sociopathic nobody turned supervillain is one of the most enjoyable baddies of the past decade’s comic book characters. Dane DeHaan of Chronicle and A Place Beyond the Pines adds the extra layer of cool needed to carry off Spider-Man’s goofy tenor. And then there’s Garfield and Stone doing that ‘is it real or is it acting’ love thing, which we’re ashamed to say, we rather like. The film is well-paced, with director Webb appropriating the story to suit its comic book origins, balancing the right amount of Peter Parker’s teenage strife with Spider-Man’s spunky action sequences. All this results in a more-than-solid superhero effort which has done well to get its retaliation in first before the summer’s giddy blockbuster season gets underway. ! Tim Oxley Smith

04 BREADCRUMB TRAIL dir. Lance Bangs

NOAH dir. Darren Aronofsky Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connolly, Ray Winston Crack liked the idea of the tale of Noah being blockbusterised. Of course, Noah can’t be called a fantasy epic – according to many, this actually happened, making it a historical drama. So director Aronofsky’s project of applying movie magic to fill in the gaps of this biblical tale meant it was always likely to turn heads. Inevitably, that ticked off some religious groups, some of whom said it was unrealistic due to the fact that Noah was supposedly albino... OK then. Locating a ‘film’ within the tale of Noah was always likely to be challenging, and in Aronofsky’s case, by peeling away from what he does best (the paranoid, intrusive works of Pi, The Wrestler and Black Swan), his ambition sees him wade way out of his depth. Even if Noah wasn’t a tale from the Bible, if it was entirely original, we’d still deem this film not very good as well as being very, very silly. But there are even greater factors which contribute to Noah’s failings than attempting to find the subtle details needed to translate a vague Old Testament narrative to a modern audience: the film’s sloppy design for one, the generally underwhelming acting performances another. Jennifer Connolly is by far the most convincing, but Russell Crowe can only muster a journeyman’s performance, Ray Winston must pack a fuckin’ good audition as he’s landed yet another role he’s not up to, and Emma Watson is unbearable. With all this in mind, Aronofsky didn’t give himself the best of chances. It’s a rushed epic, and though ambitious, this ancient tale felt incompatible with cinema’s contemporary mode of storytelling. ! Tim Oxley Smith

Lance Bangs’ Breadcrumb Trail is a careful unravelling of one of the most elusive and influential bands of the 90s: Slint, a band whose work still sparks the same dreamlike speculation and emotional attachments to this generation as it did to oddballs and outsiders 20 years ago. In a Q&A after this screening at London’s ICA Theatre, director and producer Bangs revealed fears of demystifying the band, cutting the fuel supply to their cult status and leaving us all facing down a postorgasm realisation of disappointment. Don’t worry, if we’ve learned one thing from this documentary, it’s that they were and are operating within an entirely different dimension to the rest of us. The importance of the Louisville culture in which the band forged their “intense” and “insulated” friendships cannot be understated. There’s an unexpected sense of vulgar humour and outlandish pranks running through much of the history of Slint: shotguns were pointed at Steve Albini, cassettes labelled Anal Breathing played on packed buses and shits taken in Slurpee cups. In this, Breadcrumb Trail does a fine job of revealing the uncensored reality of an emotion-soaked and instrumentally complex band. As Slint’s debut Spiderland gathered speed over the years, making the decision to disband before its release would prove in itself a defining moment. Since the early 00s Slint have moved from an obscure urban legend to actual humans playing music, and it’s been possible to actually catch the band performing live thanks to the untouchable folks at ATP. Breadcrumb Trail unveils two decades’ worth of surprises and fascination in a singular blast of insight. Bands like Slint come along a few times in a lifetime, which means that few documentaries have such a unique story to tell. ! Charlie Wood


+ Philip Sheppard

Urban Archaeology: Urban Archaeology: 21 Years of Mo’Wax 21 Years of Mo’Wax Chrissie Hynde Chrissie Hynde Mark Lanegan Lanegan +Mark TOR MILLER + TOR MILLER Petite Noir Petite Noir + roman remains + roman remains Meltdown Sessions Meltdown Sessions Max Richter: Max Richter: Waltz with Bashir Waltz with Bashir with the Philharmonia

Glass Animals Glass Animals + ROSIE LOWE + ROSIE LOWE DJ Harvey DJ Harvey Goldie & Heritage Goldie & Heritage Orchestra: Orchestra: TIMELESS (Sine Tempore) TIMELESS (Sine Tempore) ESG + 23 Skidoo ESG + 23 Skidoo Acid Brass By Jeremy Acid Brass By Jeremy Deller performed Deller by the Fairey Band performed by the Fairey Band

John Coltrane’s John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme A Love Supreme Sunday Come Down Sunday Come Down DJ SHADOW + JAMES DJ SHADOW + JAMES LAVELLE LAVELLE (DJ (DJ SETS) SETS)

withOrchestra the Philharmonia Orchestra

Keaton KeatonHenson Henson Edwyn EdwynCollins Collins & &Guests Guests

GRANDMASTER FLASH GRANDMASTER FLASH + SCRATCH PERVERTS + SCRATCH PERVERTS MELANIE DE BIASIO MELANIE DE BIASIO TRENTEMØLLER TRENTEMØLLER JAMES HOLDEN JAMES HOLDEN BENJI B: DEVIATION BENJISTRINGS B: DEVIATION STRINGS JEFF MILLS – THE TRIP JEFF MILLS – THE TRIP + A GUY CALLED GERALD + A GUY CALLED GERALD

Plus Plus DJ workshops, opportunities

DJ toworkshops, get involvedopportunities and free gigs to get involved and free gigs More acts to be announced More acts to be announced

MELT

Radkey Radkey Under UnderThe TheSkin: Skin: Screening Screeningand andLive Live Soundtrackwith Soundtrackwith Mica MicaLevi Levi

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The Waiting Room Friday 9 May

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BUFFALO DAUGHTER

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PS I LOVE YOU

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HANNAH GEORGAS

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Wednesday 21 May

TROUMACA MY PANDA SHALL FLY

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

SOFT METALS

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THE TELESCOPES

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Saturday 31 May

NIGHT BEATS COSMONAUTS GOLDEN ANIMALS +MORE

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PHARMAKON FOLLAKZOID THE LUCID DREAM + MORE

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FIELD DAY PRE PARTY GLASSER

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CANDY SAYS

-------------------------Friday 9 May

ELEPHANT EDITION HYPNOTIC TANGO -------------------------OLA Thursday 15 May PADGETT SWAYZE FACE + HEEL -------------------------Tuesday 3 June WILLIAM ARCANE -------------------------PHÈDRE Friday 16 May

TIJUANA PANTHERS

LAST JAPAN

-------------------------Wednesday 4 June

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PAWS

Tuesday 10 June

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GIRL BAND

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COUSIN MARNIE

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BLUME

Thursday 12 June

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T HE L OCK TAV E R N Frid ay 9 t h May Hang Ups DJ:

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ANTO DUST RELICS DE SER T MOUNTA I N TRIBE Thursday 16th May Clockwork Live:

C O U R T LY L O V E O S CA R S UAV E PET PORTRAIT

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VONDELPARK

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Catz ‘N Dogz No Artificial Colours Pirupa Will Taylor

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Andre Crom Mark Radford Low Steppa Matt Fear

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17.05.14 DJ MAG SESSIONS

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Riva Starr Kevin Saunderson Leftwing & Kody Dale Howard

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COVES THURS 1 MAY THE LEXINGTON

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K IT S U N É

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Making it rain with...

Denzil Schniffermann

Dear Denzil,

Denz my old pal,

Denz,

After becoming obsessed with all these blog rap sensations, my boyfriend has bought a bucket hat for the summer. He thinks it makes him look like he’s in Schoolboy Q but actually it’s just a bit Kevin and Perry Go Large. How can I tell him without insulting his ‘swag’?

I’m on the edge of glory. I’m about to bust open the political divide and at the same time slam shut the borders. I’m going to take back the UK for the UKish peoples, all whilst not being in the slightest bit discriminatory, and I’m gonna celebrate with a pint of good British Ale, served by a British barman in a British pub. The problem is, these fuckwits I’m surrounded by keep making less than PC comments about people who aren’t white protestant and voters keep noticing. It’s getting tough getting halfway, nearly to the top.

I’m nearly 30 and I’m starting to worry. I used to have my finger on the new music pulse, using my taste to dictate the direction of a music magazine. But now I’m just signing invoices and everyone else is talking about autotuned rap that all sounds the same and this unlistenable screamy business that sounds like it’s been recorder in a dishwasher. I was enjoying the new Damon Albarn record the other day and people were giving me funny looks.

Susan, 26, London Denzil says: I respect the fact you’ve chosen to be considerate Susan. A man’s wardrobe is the foundation of his self-respect, I’ve seen the contents of mine thrown out onto the street and it breaks my heart every time. However, the only men I’ve seen wearing bucket hats are middle aged tourists who wear Factor 50 suncream and eat packed lunches every day despite the fact they’re supposed to be on holiday. Notice how they’re rarely in the company of women?

Hard Out Here

by Josh Baines

We were sat in a fifth floor central London office squinting at figures when we realised what we had to do, when it needed to be done, and how we were going to do it. That was the easy bit. The harder part was coercing our client. We’d been trying to push her forward as an edgy alternative to the standard off the peg female popstar. This worked initially, and our attempts to turn her into a sellable middle finger had

been successful. But things had changed since then, the kids had become more desensitised. We wanted big numbers for this new record. We wanted Buzzfeedbuzz and a whirling dervish of comment-clotted think pieces. So there we were again, in that office, with our client. We stressed that what we were about to suggest was the result of weeks of intensive discussion, a full stop to a PR problem that

Nige, 56, Bongo Bongo Land Denzil says: Whilst I’ve been known to be many a hard-nosed leader’s confidant (and we all know Denzil is the champion of the free-market structure with a libertarian underbelly that allows creatives to strive among capitalism’s inevitable march) you’re just full of shit son. If you surround yourself by racist dickheads, there’s a fair chance you are one.

needed solving with immediate effect. The controversial comeback video had backfired. The thinkpieces took issue with some ‘problematic’ racial undertones, they said it represented our client as a paragon of white privilege virtue, that it ridiculed women of colour, or something. So while the YouTube stats were encouraging, it had left a somewhat bitter taste. How would you feel, we said, leaning forward in our

Fisty, 29, Bristol Denzil says: If you want to stay ahead of the game you’ve got to be in the game. If you’re too busy being practical, making sure your Tool Station membership is up to date etc, then you’re going to get nowhere. If I didn’t have my ear to the ground I’d never have discovered a charismatic young chap going by the name of Paolo Nutini performing at my sister-inlaw’s second marriage. A&R never sleeps, neither do I.

seats, about publicly admitting that the new songs are shit? It’s never been done before. It’s punk, it’s reverse psychology, it’s pure, pearly Pitchfork news piece. We were sat in a fifth floor central London office squinting at our client when she said, Fuck it, fuck yes, let’s do this fucking thing. We are sitting in a fifth floor central London office squinting at severance papers, waiting for our client to knock.


75

The Crack Magazine Crossword Across 02. Style of Southern hip-hop (5) 04. Duck (7) 05. Word puzzle (9) 07. Bird in a clock (6) 08. Darwin’s islands (9) 11. Elaborate lighting construction (10) 13. Nas’s two decade-old hip-hop classic (8) 14. Inebriated (5) 15. Big cup; face; idiot (3) 16. The Steel City (9) 17. Kevin Shields is lacking affection (8) Down 01. Ciara’s bloke (6) 03. Reverie (8) 05. Emasculated man (7) 06. Wales’s greatest poet (5,6) 08. The kind of slope you really don’t want to find yourself on (8) 09. Mastication (7) 10. Elephant’s nose (5) 12. Type of cupcake (3-6) Solutions to last issue’s crossword: ACROSS: 02. BELITTLE, 04. CHECKERS, 06. PURPLE, 10. BUG, 11. TRY, 13. ROCKIES, 15. LIVERPUDLIAN 18. ROZAY, 19. LEISURE DOWN: 01. BALLOON, 03. TOCAS-MIRACLE, 05. CRUNCH, 07. G-FUNK, 08. SLIPPERY, 09. DORMITORY,12. PUP, 14. CELIBATE,16. DOWNLOAD, 17. VOWEL

Have you ever been caught by Marcel Dettmann’s piercing glare? There’s a moment of ecstasy, where you feel like everything is going to be OK, but you soon notice a cruel absence of emotion behind the Berlin hunk’s deep blue eyes. This is why we call him The Iceman. From Berghain to fabric, Trouw to DC-10, Dettmann’s pummelling, austere techno sets are executed with a cold sense of detachment, as he remains expressionless behind the decks. We’re just bullshitting you of course, we met him once and realised he’s a big pussycat. Beneath that icy exterior there’s actually a warm centre, kind of like a reverse Baked Alaska.


Upcoming London Shows

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ALVVAYS / CHEERLEADER

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CLOUD NOTHINGS

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HAPPYNESS

VISIONS FESTIVAL

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Multiple Venues London Fields 2nd August

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78

MediaSpank Why I fell for Farage My crush started when you dressed up in farmer’s attire And waded through the South’s flood-soaked shires Foreign directives hamstrung the Environment Agency The rivers were swollen with a rush of homosexuality You got to the heart of why middle England’s in strife The EU’s obsessed with beetles, voles and bird life You pummelled Nick Clegg in two televised contests Put’in his party’s love of foreign borders to the test ‘Billy no mates Britain’ says the leader of Liberal Democrats That’s rich coming from the country’s head technocrat He lied to us before, he’s part of the Westminster disease ‘Read the small print’, what about my tuition fees? UKIP’s party political broadcast made the nation swoon Showed us pensioners forced to eat in greasy spoons Talked about Johnny Forenszca the labouring sensation And the grief caused by Europe’s open door migration Got an Asian man in there to show the view can’t be racist The African candidate was, but his ideas aren’t baseless You made those billboards for me with Word clip art Giant pink finger pointing right at my heart Union Jack burnt by marionettes dancing for EU states Irish builder begging for change on a cigarette break Together we’ll trash those Eurocrats’ celebrity lifestyles March on Brussels like a Dad’s Army of anglophiles When you’ve left it smells of Benson & Hedges smoke Seeing your empty ale glass makes me choke Robinson’s right to ask why your spouse plays secretary Letting a German take a British job isn’t discretionary It should be us driving Benzes on the EU’s expenses Giving the UK grief until it finally comes to its senses?

Words: Christopher Goodfellow mediaspank.net @MediaSpank Illustration: Lee Nutland leenutland.com

TURNKEY TYRANNY


NF IR M

ED !

TH SUNDAY TH 2 0 7 1 JULY 2014 Y A D S R THU

HENHAM PARK

CO

SOUTHWOLD, SUFFOLK

SP EC I

AL G

UE ST

FESTIVAL

KELIS

BILLY BRAGG

JAMES

PHOSPHORESCENT

THE AFGHAN WHIGS

BOOKER T. JONES • TINARIWEN BBC RADIO 6 MUSIC STAGE

&

(DO IT AGAIN 2014)

SLOWDIVE • ANNA CALVI JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW GOAT • TEMPLES • SOHN DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES HOZIER • SAN FERMIN

JUNGLE • CONOR OBERST AGNES OBEL • DAMIEN JURADO

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ARENA

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CASS MCCOMBS • DAWES • EAGULLS • EAST INDIA YOUTH • HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER • JOHN WIZARDS • JOSEPHINE FOSTER KORELESS • KWABS • MARIKA HACKMAN • MIGHTY OAKS • RY X • SON LUX • TEEN • THE ACID • THE FAT WHITE FAMILY • TOM VEK COMEDY

DARA O BRIAIN MILTON JONES • AL MURRAY’S SALOON SHOW • JOSH WIDDICOMBE • TIM KEY MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE & ANDREW MAXWELL • JOSIE LONG • KATHERINE RYAN TREVOR NOAH • SEANN WALSH • TOMMY TIERNAN • HENNING WEHN • JEREMY HARDY

MILES JUPP • DOC BROWN • CARDINAL BURNS • THE PAJAMA MEN • SARA PASCOE • FELICITY WARD JAMES ACASTER • ARTHUR SMITH • ROB BECKETT • NICK HELM • KERRY GODLIMAN • GLENN WOOL HANNAH GADSBY • TIFFANY STEVENSON • JARRED CHRISTMAS • PAPPY’S • ROISIN CONATY • ROMESH RANGANATHAN

JOE LYCETT • MIKE WOZNIAK • MAX & IVAN • JOHN KEARNS • JOEL DOMMETT • LIAM WILLIAMS • TOM ROSENTHAL AISLING BEA • JOHN ROBINS • NISH KUMAR • ERIC LAMPAERT • CELIA PACQUOLA • SUZI RUFFELL • JAMIE DEMETRIOU

ALFIE BROWN • BOBBY MAIR • PAT CAHILL • ANGELA BARNES • PHIL WANG • IVO GRAHAM • TANIA EDWARDS • KWAME ASANTE JOSEPH MORPURGO • HARRIET KEMSLEY • DAVID MORGAN • JONNY PELHAM • DANE BAPTISTE • GABBY BEST • SARAH CALLAGHAN CHORTLE STUDENT COMEDY AWARDS • THE NOISE NEXT DOOR • THE ONLY WAY IS DOWNTON • THE SUNDAY ASSEMBLY CARIAD LLOYD, LOUISE FORD & HOLLY BURN CHARACTER COMEDY SHOW • MCNEIL & PAMPHILON • CLUB SOL • WITTANK MORE COMEDY HEADLINERS TO BE ANNOUNCED

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KATE TEMPEST • SHLOMO & FRIENDS • ESBEN & THE WITCH SCORE LA ANTENA (LIVE)

POETRY & LITERARY

ROGER MCGOUGH • BEN OKRI • GILLIAN CLARKE • MICHAEL ROSEN • HOLLIE MCNISH SCROOBIUS PIP • LEMN SISSAY • REEPS ONE • POLARBEAR • LUKE WRIGHT • DIZRAELI

TIM CLARE • SABRINA MAHFOUZ • LUKE KENNARD • MARK GRIST • GEORGE THE POET • ELVIS MCGONAGALL • PAGE MATCH

JON RONSON • JAMES BANNON • ROB EVANS • JOHN OSBORNE • FESTIVAL OF THE SPOKEN NERD

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CRACK Issue 41  

Featuring Todd Terje, The Horrors, Swans, Andrew W.K, SOHN, Sarah Records, Kowton, Tessela, Throwing Snow, Gangsta Boo, David Robilliard, My...

CRACK Issue 41  

Featuring Todd Terje, The Horrors, Swans, Andrew W.K, SOHN, Sarah Records, Kowton, Tessela, Throwing Snow, Gangsta Boo, David Robilliard, My...