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FUCKED UP TOM VEK JUNGLE UNITED VISUAL ARTISTS TINASHE ROBERT BEATTY TALA SHAGGY AMERICAN FOOTBALL KIM ANN FOXMAN
SUMMER L IS T INGS 2014
Pink Mountaintops Spoilers
Corsica Studios £9 Advance
June 20th The Enterprise £27.50
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The Oscillation Soccer 96 Henry Blacker Charles Howl
Chrome MXLX Cherrystones (DJ)
Early Mammal The Pigskin Godhead
Ace Hotel Free Entry
Cafe Oto £9 Advance
August 8th The Lexington £5 Advance
RAW POWER WEEKENDER The Dome The Boston Arms £50 weekend tickets + Day Tickets available
September 22nd Corsica Studios £11 Advance
Acid Mothers Temple Clinic Bo Ningen Teeth of the Sea Mainliner Richard Pinhas Terminal Cheesecake Young Husband Black Moth + More
Bardo Pond Black Bombain
White Hills One Unique Signal
Corsica Studios £10 Advance Teeth of the Sea The Cosmic Dead September 25th
Corsica Studios £8 Advance
August 29 - 31st
Makoto Kawabata J-Francois Pauvros Shabash
Flamingods AK/DK Don't Argue
Electrowerkz £10 Advance
Bohren & der Club of Gore & Stephen O'Malley
St Johns at Hackney Church £14.50 Advance
November 8th Electrowerkz £10
OVER 20 LIVE STAGES • MEGA SOUNDSYSTEMS • 24HR ESCAPISM • INSANE SIDESHOWS MIND BLOWING NON-STOP PARTIES • MAGICAL DESERT ISLAND LOCATION l i v e AC t s & C A s tAwA ys
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CARIBOU • SBTRKT • CHVRCHES • LAURA MVULA • DARKSIDE • TUNE-YARDS • TEMPLES DAN LE SAC VS SCROOBIUS PIP • THE 2 BEARS (LIVE) • PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT • GLASS ANIMALS MØ • FACTORY FLOOR • FAT WHITE FAMILY • JOHN WIZARDS • MNEK • NATTY & MORE discos, dAncehAlls & soundsystems THE PORT
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RAM RECORDS PRES. ANDY C, WILKINSON, LOADSTAR + MCS 2SHY, ADAPT, JAKES • MK DAMIAN LAZARUS • GREEN VELVET • EATS EVERYTHING • BOYS NOIZE • DJ YODA • JAGUAR SKILLS BLAKE, MR ASSISTER 1-800-DINOSAUR FT.DANJAMES • GORGON CITY • BICEP • DUSKY • ÂME • RICHY AHMED • KRYSTAL KLEAR FOAT, AIRHEAD, DENSE & PIKA • SOUTH LONDON ORDNANCE • MONKI • BELLA SARRIS & SO MUCH MORE ReggAe RootS
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PRESENT CAN U DANCE
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B O L LY WO O D TA K E OV E R S i n c .
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Opening Opening Party Party
Caribou Caribou (Live) Jessy Lanza Jessy more TBA ++ more Friday 24 October, 9pm - 4am, Motion, Bristol Friday 24 October, 9pm - 4am, Motion, Bristol Tickets: £15 / £18 / £20 Tickets: £15 / £18 / £20 from tickets.crackmagazine.net from tickets.crackmagazine.net
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T DEN TS U T S OUN E C S L DI ILAB A V A
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DAUGHTER / DARKSIDE / ACTION BRONSON THE FALL / DIXON / JON HOPKINS PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS BRITISH SEA POWER PERFORMING FROM THE SEA TO THE LAND BEYOND
65DAYSOFSTATIC / ANDREW WEATHERALL & SEAN JOHNSTON CATE LE BON / CHARLI XCX / DAM-FUNK / DANIEL AVERY DAPHNI / EAGULLS / EROL ALKAN / HOOKWORMS / INDIANA JACKMASTER / JOAN AS POLICEWOMAN / JOY ORBISON NIGHTMARES ON WAX / REJJIE SNOW / SUBMOTION ORCHESTRA THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART / TOY / XXYYXX AARTEKT / ADULT JAZZ / AUTOBAHN / BEATY HEART / BIGGER THAN BARRY / BODYTONIC BROTHERHOOD SOUND / BUGGED OUT / CAPUA COLLECTIVE / CHARLIE STRAW DZ DEATHRAYS / EAST INDIA YOUTH / EAVES / FAMY / FAT WHITE FAMILY / FICKLE FRIENDS FLUX / GALAXIANS / GIN N JUICE / GIRL BAND / GOLD TEETH / GOLDEN TEACHER GOODBYE CHANEL / GREG WILSON / JAMES BAY / JARBIRD / JAWS / JOANNA GRUESOME JOHN WIZARDS / KING CREOSOTE / KULT COUNTRY / MANO LE TOUGH / MAX GRAEF MELT YOURSELF DOWN / METZ / MENACE BEACH / MONEY / MOKO / MOSCHINO HOE NADINE CARINA / NAI HARVEST / NIGHT FANTASY / NAKED (ON DRUGS) / OSCILLATE WILDLY PARIS XY / PAUL THOMAS SAUNDERS / PAWWS / PLANK! / POST WAR GLAMOUR GIRLS SEPTEMBER GIRLS / SERIOUS SAM BARRETT / SET ONE TWENTY / SHAPES / SIVU / SLAVES SLEAFORD MODS / SPEEDY ORTIZ / SPECIAL REQUEST (PAUL WOOLFORD) / SWEET BABOO SWAYS RECORDS / TEMPLE + MUCH MORE ARTS & CULTURE / DIDDY RASCALS KIDS AREA / STREET FOOD & REAL ALE FESTIVAL NEW HUNTERS FIELD WITH OUTDOOR STAGE / INSTALLATION ART CURRENT TIER £99.50 / FINAL TIER £109.50 / £25 DEPOSIT TICKETS AVAILABLE: PAY REST IN JULY / £99.50 (+BF) EARLYBIRD TICKETS AVAILABLE: WWW.GREETINGSFROMBEACONS.COM
Room&Book: ICA Room&Book: ICA Art ArtBook BookFair Fair Fri Fri 66 –– Sun Sun88June June Nash & Brandon Nash & BrandonRooms Rooms
Journal Journal Wed 25 June – Sun 7 September Wed 25 June – Sun 7 September Upper & Lower Gallery Upper & Lower Gallery
Artists’ Film Artists’ Film Biennial Biennial2014 2014 Thu 3 – Sun 6 July Thu 3 – Sun 6 July
Events Events Room&Book
Room&Book – What Makes a Book Rare Today? Sat 7 June, 2pm – What Makes a Book Rare Today? Sat 7 June, 2pm – Artist Presentation: Tauba Auerbach Sat 7 June, 6pm – Artist Presentation: Tauba Auerbach SatAn 7 Intro June,to6pm – the Art of Bookbinding Sun 8 June, 2pm – An Intro to the Art of Bookbinding Sun 8 June, 2pm Heather Phillipson & Edwin Burdis Performance Thu 12Phillipson June Heather & Edwin Burdis Performance Kermode: Who Needs the ThuMark 12 June Professionals Now That Everyone’s a Critic? Fri Kermode: 13 June, 6.45pm & 8.55pm Mark Who Needs the Professionals Now That Everyone’s a Critic? Fri 13 June, 6.45pm & 8.55pm
Films Films Artists’ Film Biennial
Artists’ Film Biennial – Christian Jankowski Programme 1, 2 & 3 Fri 4 July, 8pm / Sat 5 July, 9pm / – Christian Jankowski Programme 1, 2 & 3 Sun 6 July, 9pm Fri 4 July, 8pm / Sat 5 July, 9pm / 6 July, 9pm – Sun Symposium Aesthetics of the Non-Visible – Symposium Aesthetics of the Sun 6 July, 11am Non-Visible Sun 6 July, 11am
Institute of Contemporary Arts The Mall London SW1Y 5AH 020 7930 www.ica.org.uk Institute of3647, Contemporary Arts
The Mall London SW1Y 5AH 020 7930 3647, www.ica.org.uk
Puto Fri 6 – Tue 17 June Puto Fri 6 – Tue 17 June Of Horses and Men Fri 13 – Sun 15 June Of Horses and Men Fri 13 –China Sun 15 June Ecopolis Tue 17 June, 8.45pm Ecopolis China Tue City 17 June, Open Docs8.45pm Fest Wed 18 – Sun 22 June Open City Docs Fest Wed 18 – Sun 22 June
The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848
The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848
FUCKED UP The frontman of the world’s most ambitious hardcore band talks to Tom Watson about defying punk’s expectations
TOM VEK Suzie McCracken speaks to the unpredictable indie experimentalist about ordering chaos
UNITED VISUAL ARTISTS Augustin Macellari unravels a decade of shifting preconceptions with UVA Creative Director Matthew Clark
EDITORIAL Back of the net
Recommended A guide to what’s happening in your area
NEW MUSIC From the periphery
TURNING POINTS: MIKE KINSELLA Having formed his first band at the age of 12, emo figurehead Mike Kinsella runs Billy Black through the moments which shaped his expansive musical life
¯ ¯ TALA Isis O’Regan nestles into the exotic, far-flung world of the rising South Londoner
TINASHE Anna Tehabsim speaks to the DIY artist with serious potential to reach RnB royalty
ROBERT BEATTY From blinding sonic trash through to painterly, airbrushed art, Geraint Davies and Thomas Howells get to grips with Beatty’s shifting practice
Reviews Gig reports, product reviews and our verdict on the latest releases in film and music
DIGRESSIONS DJ Nicknames, the Kodiak’s revenge, the crossword and advice from Denzil Schniffermann
20 QUESTIONS: SHAGGY Yes he’s Mr Lover Lover, yes he’s perfectly Boombastic, but what we really want to know is – what’s his favourite board game? Thomas Frost reports.
MEDIASPANK With a novelty bigot scooping up the public’s votes, Christopher Goodfellow laments the left’s inability to produce an inspiring figurehead
FATIMA AL QADIRI The New York-based-multidisciplinary artist deconstructs Western cultural simulations with Anna Tehabsim Fatima Al Qadiri shot exclusively for Crack Magazine by Leonn Ward, New York: May 2014
AESTHETIC Our new fashion series continues with the androgynous, NY-inspired style of Kim Ann Foxman
JUNGLE Duncan Harrison meets the minds behind the once-anonymous, hype-generating disco outfit
Issue 42 Respect Maya Angelou Will Dohrn Carina Low Keong Woo Julie Bland Chris Cuff Louise Nindi Chloe Munts Jamie Grimshaw Becci Abbott Lucy Dance-Matthews Emily Derrick Ed Russell Tom Russell Alice Russell Steve Richardson Executive Editors Thomas Frost firstname.lastname@example.org Jake Applebee email@example.com
CRACK WAS CREATED USING: PULP Mis-Shapes LOWER Soft Option HAIR POLICE The Crevice GESLOTEN CIRKEL Feat Liette FURTHER REDUCTIONS High End Basics FORZA ALBINO Pussyboy (Sweet Penetration) DJ RASHAD Feelin ft. Spinn & Taso HUMAN HAIR Hungers
Editor Geraint Davies firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing / Events Manager Luke Sutton email@example.com
Tune In (Turn On The Acid House)
Junior Editor Davy Reed Editorial Assistants Anna Tehabsim Billy Black Creative Director Jake Applebee Art Direction & Design Alfie Allen
Flip Yr Lid PSYCHIC TV BLOOD BROTHERS
Crack’s been feeling a bit under the weather. We keep getting hot flashes, our feet won’t stop itching, and there’s a distant throbbing in the centre of our skulls that sound a little bit like samba music. What’s the diagnosis? Well, sounds like a particularly severe case of WORLD CUP FEVER!!?! OK, not really. Well, sort of. Nothing divides the office quite like the subject of football – except Lil Wayne. Views vary from borderline sociopathic, Statto-esque obsession (guilty), all the way through sneering, superior ambivalence, ending up at passionate, irrational loathing for the word, the money, the concept of keepy-uppies, the phrase ‘a game of two halves’, the Match of the Day theme tune, the pointless semi-circle at the end of the penalty box and David Seaman’s now-defunct ponytail. But due to our superior lung capacity, infinitely louder voices and passion for gaudy nylon, the enthusiasts are guaranteed to come out on top this time. Come on, once every four years we get to talk freely about sweeperkeepers and false 9s in day-to-day life without fear of reproach. In fact, it’s pretty much mandatory. So scoot through to our middle pages for a yank-out-and-keep World Cup wall chart courtesy of our resident favourite person Christopher Wright, which you can either breathlessly fill with your predictions and decide that Brazil will beat Spain on pens in the final, or actually properly maintain like a proper person and frame for posterity. Probably best to pick up two, just in case. And that’s where you’ll find the lot of us come the big old kick-off: balanced precariously on a stool at our pub, The Christmas Steps in Bristol (we’ve got a pub now, we may have mentioned it), half of us maligning Glen Johnson’s constant meandering up the right flank and blurting incredulously about the omission of Michael Carrick; and half sat in the smoking area arguing about Lil Wayne. For a change. Geraint Davies
Wolf Party THE ANTLERS Hotel PHILIPP GORBACHEV Arrest Me POWELL So We Went Electric FREE WEED I Wanna Do Drugs (Again) MASTODON High Road
Design Graeme Bateman Film Editor Tim Oxley Smith Fashion Benjamin Mallek, Charlotte James, Maria Grozova, Luka Watabe
ACTION BRONSON Bird On A Wire feat. RiFF RaFF BRUCE Let’s Make The Most Of Our Time Here PETWO EVANS A Whisper NEW MUSIK
Contributors Christopher Goodfellow, Josh Baines, Tom Watson, Steven Dores, Adam Corner, Leah Connolly, Augustin Macellari, Duncan Harrison, Suzie McCracken, Thomas Howells, Isis O'Regan, James Balmont, Matt Ayres, Jon Clark, Ian Ochiltree, Nathan Westley, Alex Gwilliam, Thomas Painter, Lewis Watkins, Rich Bitt, Rachel Mann, James F. Thompson,
Warp (ILO Edit)
Photography Leonn Ward, Tom Weatherill, Danny Krug Teddy Fitzhugh, Harriet Turney, Hans Tobias Duvefjord Martin @ Allyourprey, Stuart Moulding
IN AETERNAM VALE
SUZANNE KRAFT 4:46 DURBAN Spirals DELROY EDWARDS What’s Yo Hood Like Dust Under Brightness PALMS TRAX Forever THRILOGY Arctic THE POLICE
Advertising To enquire about advertising and to request a media pack: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Walking On The Moon PETER SARSTEDT Where Do You Go To My Lovely WILDEST DREAMS Rollerskates JUNGLE Time BLANK BANSHEE Conflict Minerals LUST FOR YOUTH Illume
Issue 42 | crackmagazine.net
Illustration Lee Nutland Christopher Wright
Our guide to what's going on in your city
ÂME Oval Space 7 June
MERCHANDISE Islington Town Hall 9 June
BOOMTOWN FAIR NOFX, Jimmy Cliff, Shaggy Matterley Bowl Estate, Winchester 7 - 10 August £150
RE ADING FESTIVAL Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, Disclosure, Metronomy Richfield Park, Reading 22-24 August Weekend ticket £205 + BF \ Day Tickets £92.50 + BF
Imagine, if you will, a far off place where up is left and down is kangaroo. Where nothing can prepare you for the magical surprises waiting round the next corner. An enchanted city populated by a cast of characters so strange and perplexing, so cosmic and intriguing you can’t help but fall deep into the rabbit hole. Don’t fancy Basingstoke on a Wednesday? You could always try Boomtown Fair. Apparently it’s some kind of festival?
We’d be surprised if you didn’t know the score by now. Get down on the Thursday if you like your tent. Go and see Queens of the Stone Age over The Courteeners. Try and get someone to pick you up after Macklemore on the Sunday night because the Monday morning is always bedlam. Don’t worry about packing up your bag with tinnies, if worse comes to worst just pop out and get some more from the supermarket. If you really are unaccustomed to the proceedings at Reading Festival then this could be your induction. Its a rite of passage, this is your year.
L AUREL HALO St John at Hackney 19 J u n e
ARCADE FIRE Earls Court 6 + 7 June
PIXIES Victoria Park 8 June
SONISPHERE Metallica, Slayer, Mastodon Knebworth, Stevenage, Herefordshire 4 - 6 July £215 (weekend) \ £65 - £85 (day) A festival that has two of the best heritage metal acts ever playing (Maiden, Metallica), the best contemporary metal band playing (Mastodon) and the best metal band ever playing (Slayer) has definitely got this office packing more black T-shirts than normal. You should join us in this year's pilgrimage. You might bump into Fred Durst in the queue for the portaloos, or prevent a pissedup Lars Ulrich from getting that regrettable 'I Heart Download' forehead tattoo.
FUCKED UP Koko, Camden 18 June £17.50 + BF
CORONA SUNSETS Disclosure DJ, Eats Everything, MK Weston-Super-Mare 5 July 1st Release £20 + BF \ 2nd Release £24.50 + BF The first in Corona SunSets’ series of international beach parties descends on a setting more associated with donkey rides and 99s than world-renowned DJs: the sands of Weston-Super-Mare. The line-up for the main stage includes a DJ set from the ever ascending crossover duo Disclosure, Annie Mac, house legend MK and Bristol’s own Eats Everything. There will also be a stage curated by Bestival which plays host to festival boss Rob Da Bank, B.Traits, Kidnap Kid, TCTS and Luxury with more names still to be announced. After this West Country bash they’ll be heading off to Acapulco, the Toronto Islands and Ibiza. It’s alright for some.
DJ HARVEY Southbank Centre 19 June
Due to Damian Abraham’s unhinged but benevolent onstage antics, ferocious punk anthems that are packed with melody, and moshpits that encourage hugs more than body slamming, you’ve got to try pretty damn hard to not have a good time at a Fucked Up gig. This tour will see the Toronto sextet perform material from new album Glass Boys, which is said to explore themes of impending age and fading relevance. And if Abraham is set to shun maturity by remaining a shirtless, sweatsoaked maniac, then we’d like to salute him.
NIGHT SLUGS 6TH BIRTHDAY Oval Space 20 June £15
LEVON VINCENT Village Underground 7 June
FOUND FESTIVAL Haggerston Park 14 June
Over their six year history the Night Slugs crew have become an inexhaustible source for club cuts as well as a standard-setting brand, and the particularly prolific UK collective have been even more prolific of late. It seems you can’t move for Bok Bok et al talking about brutalist architecture, the philosophy of club construction, how their tracks live inside temples, and ... shrubbery. While early releases from L-Vis 1990 and Kingdom rearranged the precedent, Jam City’s Classical Curves LP was the boundary blasting blueprint, and increasing work with LA sister label Fade To Mind by way of Kelela has propelled their genre-eating, hyper plastic world to even wider audiences.
17 PETER MAT THEW BAUER The Lexington 28 June
K ANYE WEST Finsbury Park 4 July
JEREMY DELLER: ACID BR ASS Southbank Centre 22 June PARQUET COURTS ULU 25 June
LONE (LIVE) The Red Gallery 18 June
CAMDEN CR AWL Livity Sound, Laurel Halo, SOPHIE, Of Montreal Various Venues, Camden 20 - 21 June Weekend £54 \ Day £35 Over a decade ago the pubs of Camden opened their doors and started letting the shaggy haired youth roam freely betwixt bars seeking out fresh sounds. Camden Crawl has allowed inebriated indie kids to explore their inner lager lout safely surrounded by their own kind since its inception and it continues to keep them satisfied to this day. Nothing changes, except… we’re involved now. That’s right we’ve got a stage at Proud Gallery and we’re putting on shouty Leeds post punk outfit Autobahn on the Friday and murky Bristol collective Livity Sound on the Saturday. We’ll be there DJing too. Let’s go fucking mental. But not before we check our hairdos.
FARR Âme, Andrew Weatherall, Daniel Avery, Move D Bygrave Woods, Hertfordshire 18-20 July From £99
GREEN MAN Bill Callahan, Caribou, Real Estate, Angel Olsen Glanusk Park, Crickhowell 14-17 August Adult Ticket: £159 \ Student: £135
SLEIGH BELLS Village Underground 2 July
Crack’s heard nothing but hugely positive reports from Green Man for years now, and we reckon they’ve excelled themselves with this year’s line-up. On first glance, the bill reads a lot like our office’s hangover playlist: Kurt Vile & The Violators, Mac DeMarco, Angel Olsen, Real Estate and The War On Drugs; yet the likes of Caribou, The Field and Simian Mobile Disco guarantee to ease the vibe toward something a little rowdier once the sun goes down. You’ve got to go at least once, and once you go once you’ll want to go again.
MATADOR Egg London 28 June
Farr isn’t just another boutique dance festival, although it is a resoundingly intimate affair. Surrounded by cornfields, the festival takes place just far enough outside of London so that the sound can be given the freedom it deserves, while remaining close enough that you don’t have to brave a seven-hour mega bus or several ropey EasyJet flights to see the likes of Daniel Avery, Andrew Weatherall, Move D and Âme in lush surroundings this summer.
THE LIBERTINES Hyde Park 5 July
DOP EGG London 4 July £10 GL ASTONBURY FESTIVAL Pilton, Somerset 25-29 June
Due to their cinematic approach to composition and inherently musical take on dance music, dOP have earned a reputation as one of the most exciting live acts out there. The French trio – Clement Zemtsov on beats, Damien Van de Sande playing keyboards and horns and Jonathan ‘JoJo’ Illel on vocals – have released regularly on Life And Death and bring Hercules and Love Affair-style raw improvisation into their sets. Catch their incredibly in tune live show at EGG London.
DJ SPRINKLES Dance Tunnel 11 July £10 RED BULL MUSIC ACADEMY SOUND SYSTEM @ NOT TING HILL CARNIVAL Under the Westway, Corner of Portobello and Acklam Road, W10 25 August Red Bull Music Academy Sound System returns to Notting Hill to present their hit party for the seventh year running. Very few specifics have been announced yet, but if you want a taste of what to expect, it’s pretty well documented as one of the biggest and best parties the Carnival has to offer. Previous years have seen legends like David Rodigan and Damian Marley playing alongside monster acts like Disclosure and Major Lazer, as well as the now-legendary appearance from a certain young man called Skrillex. We’re sure this year will see no shortage of bangers seeping through their outrageously boisterous sound system, all to be enjoyed in the biggest party under a flyover you’re ever likely to attend.
ZOMBY The Nest 4 July
Issue 42 | crackmagazine.net
LUST FOR YOUTH The Shacklewell Arms 2 July
Terre Thaemlitz has long been a feature in the discourse of dance music culture, largely because of the extremely eloquent, pointed nature with which she dissects ideas of clubland ideology and queer identity. While the Tokyobased producer’s thoughts on dance music culture are readily available, a DJ Sprinkles set is something of a rarity. Just what makes a four-hour set from the deep house operator so exceptional is the guaranteed slew of ambient excursions and multifarious exclusives that you absolutely have to get off the sofa and into the club to hear. You might know two tracks, tops.
SHAMIR Depending how much time you spend on the internet, you’ve either never heard of Shamir, or you’ve seen so much online hype about him recently that you’re rolling your eyes as you read this. If your situation is the former, we strongly recommend you check this kid out straight away. After receiving the Las Vegas singer’s demo, the people at Godmode Records were so blown away the power of his piercing, androgynous voice he was immediately flown out to Brooklyn to record an EP. While Shamir’s musical history involves a punk band and lo-fi indie duo Anorexia (who released the excellent EP Bedroom Songs last year), he’s recently found his true calling by singing over excellently crafted, organic-feeling and emotionally uplifting house tracks. Talent like this only comes around once in a while, and we can’t wait to see how Shamir’s career unfolds.
O I Know It’s A Good Idea 1 Michael Jackson \ LCD Soundsystem : @ShamirBailey
How Opal Tapes keep digging up these producers no-one has ever heard of we’ll never know, but God bless them for doing so. The latest mystery is William Watts and his eight-track split cassette with fellow alliteration addict (DJ) Ford Foster. His contribution to the tape is four pieces of tracky, arpy stompers that join the dots between Foster’s scuzzy ghetto-tek and the more melodic strains of EBM & post-punk. A brief e-mail exchange with WW revealed he is a man of many genres and aliases: There’s Flores Del Vicio – a heaving industrial techno outfit manned by a rotating cast of equally mysterious contemporaries – an unfathomably noisy project that goes by the name of Oven, and a few other things that it’ll probably be more fun to keep secret for now.
A handful of guys raging out of the Toronto underground unleashing adrenalised noise-punk that’ll leave you in a quivering, frazzled heap. Sound familiar? When we spoke to Greys mainman Shehzaad Jiwani before the release of their debut full-length If Anything, he didn’t seem perturbed by comparisons to compatriots METZ. “They're really good friends of ours” he says. “[METZ bassist] Chris and I go on dates to Nando's fairly regularly. They've done a lot for the city and everyone continues to be fully stoked on everything they do.” It’s an incredibly vibrant spawning ground – from Fucked Up through to Drizzy Drake – and that’s a source of joy to Jiwani. “Toronto has the best music scene in the world and we're very proud to be part of such an amazingly creative and supportive community.” The album in question spans the atonal gnarl of The Jesus Lizard, through to the kind of mid-paced post-hardcore swagger that Froberg and Reis would sweat through with glee, replete with sloganeering choruses you’ll holler along to when they make it across the pond later this year. And Greys aren’t ashamed to wear their influences on their sleeves: the album’s first single is a paean to heroes past, titled Guy Picciotto in tribute to the former Rites of Spring/Fugazi godhead. “The song isn't literally about him” says Jiwani, “but he's definitely the person who comes to mind when I think of people I looked up to as a kid. I mean, the dude defies gravity.” Trust us, once you’ve heard If Anything you’ll have a new name to add to your ‘favourite dudes’ list too.
O Girl In Landscape 1
O Eye Mush :
1 Hard Corps \ Drexciya soundcloud.com/rottenalways
Hot Snakes \ METZ greys.bandcamp.com
ALLIE X An unapologetic love for a pop music sugar rush combined with a lack of concern for the industry’s guidelines can make for an intriguing artist. Allie X moved from Toronto to LA to work as a songwriter at a publishing house, which probably explains why she’s able to pen big, bright and catchy songs that – while featuring the kind of bittersweet neon synths reminiscent of the Italians Do It Better roster – wouldn’t sound too out of place on mainstream radio (Katy Perry is a fan). But closer listens reveal her eccentric, antagonistic side. Debut single Catch used medical metaphors to describe the pain caused by a cruel lover, and new song BITCH features a chorus which, while very catchy, is unlikely to be heard blaring out of a builder’s radio speakers any time soon.
O BITCH 1 Lana Del Ray \ Chvrches : soundcloud.com/alliexandra
RUSSO New York-based Ari Russo’s debut EP Wild Metals comes out this month on Valcrond Video, the label from Luke Wyatt – aka Crack favourite Torn Hawk. While this release signals a move away from Valcrond Video’s usual output, that has previously comprised only Wyatt’s own work, there’s certainly an affinity between Wyatt’s selfdescribed “video mulch” production and Russo’s fuzzy, web 1.0 video archeology. Lead track Purple Earth comes with its own early computer graphics and bizarre 80s corporate montages while the track itself embodies the gently cascading, not-quite-dance-music sound that encompasses the Torn Hawk formula.
O Purple Earth Legowelt \ Young Marco : @arijrusso
Well$ has an axe to grind. Born to illegal Congolese immigrant parents, the 19-year-old rapper has named his new mixtape MTSYD: The Revenge of the African Booty Scratcher in reference to the classroom taunt he was victim to when growing up. So maybe it’s a deeplyembedded sense of otherness that fuels his fire, because there’s not a track on the mixtape where he isn’t audibly desperate to get his words out in the booth, yet his ability to iron over syllables to smoothen out his flow is symptomatic of his love of French rap. We’re also awarding Well$ bonus points for showing love to his Grandma, who can be seen nodding along and rocking a pair of Nike Jordans in the video for Savoir-Faire.
THE VACANT LOTS One of the most curious things about garage punk is the make-up of the scene; gazillions of bands in a global network, some finding moderate success in their own corners of the world. It’s very rare, however, that a band will leave that corner, each microcosm fitting into a larger community through a shared love of raw, emotive passion. Vermont duo The Vacant Lots are different though. They peddle snarling garage fuzz, psychedelic shimmer and a punk sensibility that sets them apart from so many of their would-be peers. They’ve already got themselves a tour support slot on The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s muchvaunted upcoming UK tour, and with their mesmerising debut album Departure out at the end of this month on Sonic Cathedral, they might be about to scale the heady heights of garage royalty.
O Never Satisfied The 13th Floor Elevators \ Brian Jonestown Massacre : thevacantlots.com
O Savoir-Faire Haleek Maul \ Bishop Nehru : @Wells_Fargo32
O Track File Next To : Online
Documenting invisible rituals with wit and grace, Fatima Al Qadiri has become one of underground electronic music's most intriguing artists
Issue 42 | crackmagazine.net
Words: Anna Tehabsim Photography: Leonn Ward
Fatima Wears Jacket | Nhu Duong
Rarely do artists carry out their vision with such thought and precision as Fatima Al Qadiri. Through her work as a solo performer, a member of Future Brown and as conceptual artist and co-founder of art collective GCC, the New York-based Al Quadiri has established her unique, genre-eating, stereotype-baiting style across a multitude of platforms. Growing up in Kuwait, Al Qadiri faced the destructive effects of the Gulf War throughout her childhood. Raised by resistance fighters, her father was a temporary prisoner of war while her mother would distribute forbidden newsletters cloaked under an abaya. As she speaks to us from her apartment in Brooklyn, Al Qadiri recalls living the experience through a child’s eyes. “My father was a hunter and he had a lot of weapons in the house. Just old rifles, nothing that was very modern or interesting, but they had to conceal them all over the house. If they found a weapon on you, the punishment was execution.” During this turbulent time, young Al Qadiri developed a fixation with video games, becoming enamoured with their basic, repetitive soundtracks, “rudimentary, melodic loops.” This fixation fed into her 2012 Desert Strike EP for LA label Fade To Mind. A “memoir of the war”, Desert Strike toyed with the sonic relationship between video game soundtracks and dance music, with a coy wink to the Sega Mega Drive video
game released two years after the Gulf War, or Operation Desert Storm, had started. The release drew significant attention toward her ethereal yet dystopian style, Lit City Trax boss J Cush tells us that “her music was like the missing link I’d been looking for. I remember thinking how free and unique each track seemed. I could see she was a brave composer, always doing her utmost to push the limits with her music.” Desert Strike was followed by a project under her Ayshay moniker. Influenced by Islamic religious anthems, the Tri Angle released WARN-U twisted her own acapella representations, with a Muslim Trance mix motivated by her intrigue in putting music behind these anthems. Her Genre Specific Xperience EP tailed in similarly theoretic format, dissecting amalgams of dance sub-genres with titles like Hip Hop Spa and Vatican Vibes. Presenting a new refraction of musical lineage, Al Qadiri’s debut album Asiatisch was released on cult label Hyperdub as it turned 10 this year. With all eyes on the imprint’s every move, this was held up as a totem. Through warped orientalisms and distorted, faux-gerontogeous sounds, the album nestles into the clumsy reappropriation of Asian motifs pervading Western media, as well as paying homage to the sinister yet childlike, steely yet dreamy sound palate of grime. Weaving the fabric of these intricate
tapestries, Asiatisch exhibits a catalogue of othering of China, compiled by the West over centuries. Taking inspiration from the vilifying Western lens, the record explores Hollywood’s clumsy appropriation and ham-fisted representation, Wu Tang Clan's appropriated Kung Fu philosophy, and the icy oriental sounds of micro-genre sino grime – a strain of ‘Asian’ sounds in early grime identified post-production by Hyperdub boss Kode9. As she scrutinises the popularity of these motifs, Al Qadiri pointedly and precisely dissects the issue. “Asian motifs in music are so popular because they denote two things; one is kind of a villainous motif, and the other is the master, or wise man motif.” These threads become so popular in hip-hop and grime for their antagonising connotations, and wiserthan-thou temperament; “one-upmanship in musical form.” With this elegant aptitude, Asiatisch probes and pries open motifs that become untraceable, so ingrained in the fabric that they exist only for their own gross miscreation; “The idea of imagined China is something that’s been building for centuries, it’s been multiplying like a spore”. Fascinated by the ubiquity of this mutated collection of stereotypes, Al Qadiri explains “it’s like Chinese whispers, which is a very appropriate analogy to use. It’s something that’s been passed on and you can’t find where it came from. “I really wanted the record to be as 3D as possible.” As Asiatisch progresses like a
22 movie, each track builds its own architecture. Wudang, for instance, is titled after the region from which the Kung Fu-indebted Wu Tang Clan got their name, Szechuan is the album’s ‘Chinese restaurant’ track and the glistening Shanghai Freeway is a high speed drive through the city’s distant futurism – or a bus ride through China Town, whichever way you choose to look at it. Shanzhai – the album’s ‘opening credits’ – was the ‘eureka’ moment for the project, layering a nonsensical Mandarin cover of Nothing Compares 2 U over hyper digital, glossy choir chords. “The artist Shanzhai Biennial sent me an acapella of this nonsense Mandarin version of Nothing Compares…, and they sent it to me to try to do a ‘cheap Chinese instrumental’ – their instructions. I made the track and they didn’t use it. They said it was too sophisticated.” Throughout the course of our conversation it becomes clear that this is something that exasperates Al Qadiri – a Western culture that storms around with blinkers on, projecting its image onto the rest. “The Western people have very limited consumption of other cultures, they usually reference American music or British music, they don’t really know anything else. Very few people are really curious as a nation. One of the points I wanted to explore with this record is the word ‘Asian’. There is no such thing as ‘Asian’, why can’t people say Chinese, or Korean or Indian? Asia is a massive continent, its like you’re deleting so many people and languages and ethnicities, it’s the most unfortunate word.” As well as addressing the awkwardly smothering label, Asiatisch aims to alienate, offering something knowable but distorted, estranged. “It’s like a fake Louis Vuitton bag that you find in Chinatown. It has elements of reality in it, but it’s missing so many things. It’s missing the right craftsmanship, the right logo. It’s recognizable but it’s still alien.” This scholarly aptitude to music feeds in to her online column for DIS magazine, unearthing attention-worthy musical phenomena from around the world. Uncovering threads such as Post Arab Spring Dictatorial Techno and Kurdish Rural Rave, Al Qadiri puts her finds down to mere curiosity. “Everyone’s had an extended YouTube session, it’s a rite of passage for most teenagers”. As DIS editor Solomon Chase expanded via e-mail, “she has such a vast knowledge of music, on a global scale. It’s always been about her specific analysis, musically but also sociologically, breaking down the influences, and the codes of their music videos.” This conceptual focus drives her work within art collective GCC, an English abbreviation of the Gulf Cooperation Council, that explores corporate tradition and masked diplomacy native to the Gulf region.
Solomon Chase is credited as coining the term ‘future brown’, now the moniker for the production outfit of Al Qadiri, J Cush and Fade To mind duo Nguzunguzu. “Future Brown initially was the idea of a synthetic representation of nature, like this hyperreal, high gloss, ultra-saturated brown”, Chase explains. Together they make hyperreal, high gloss music, predominantly more club-focused than Al Qadiri’s own. With collaborations with rising female rapper Tink and Ruff Sqwad’s Prince Rapid already under their belt, the album is due out later in the year. “Every second is a vibe”, J Cush tells us, bounding with enthusiasm for their time in the studio together. “It’s like cooking with your favourite chefs – a lot of really great
“Grime has always been freedom from day one. It’s still mutating, developing” flavours coming together to make something totally unexpected.” Freed from her usual conceptual focus, Future Brown gives Al Qadiri the space to explore dancefloor focused hip-hop and RnB, as well as the shrewd sonics of grime that continually inspire her work. “I always come back to what Preditah said in an MTV interview, he said ‘grime is freedom’. It has always been freedom from day one, and that’s why it sounded so new and exciting. It’s just this kind of cold, icy sound that’s mutating, developing. It started a little over a decade ago, and it’s still got a way to go.” In the way grime is still evolving from its embryonic state, Al Qadiri is only beginning to dissect and destruct issues, dealing entirely in non-committal, open-ended statements. “Music has definitely been a means of escape”, she says. “It’s the ultimate means of escape.” Though it’s hard to imagine her music as loss or abandonment when she constructs her work around such political axes, Al Qadiri is committed to eluding contemporary music’s fixation with genre, categories and, in turn, stereotype. “I feel like that stuff kind of cockblocks your work. You get into terms of categorisation, which I feel like I’ve been good at dodging. I’m kind of playing dodgeball with categorisation, and I want to stay that way. I’m not going to let that box hit me in the face any time soon.” Asiatisch is out now via Hyperdub.
23 Hyperdub boss Kode9 recollects signing Asiatisch
London producer Visionist on Al Qadiri’s rousing conceptual focus
When I first heard Asiatisch I loved it immediately. It reminded me of my old sino-grime mix from 2005, and it also felt like the first record I'd ever heard that was a kind of preparation for a Chinese century. Her music suits Hyperdub perfectly because sonically it’s really precise and elegant, and at the same time there is a really powerful set of concepts embedded in the music.
With all her projects, it becomes a real art piece. She creates her albums or EPs like they’re works of art, treating music like each colour used to create a big painting. In comparison to artists who have picked up on Chinese sounds for the sake of it, her music has way more substance. And that’s why I think it’s threatened a few other producers!
Ruff Sqwad member Prince Rapid on working with Future Brown Future Brown impressed me because their music reminded me of grime back in 2000. Their night in London was a great vibe and was packed out! It was the first time I met all of the members and watched them DJ, which was a great experience. The Ruff Sqwad set was legendary! J Cush played the right tunes at the right times which allowed myself, Dirt Danger, Roach and Lee Brasco to kill it. If I connect with the beat I will jump all over it.
As mouthpiece of Fucked Up, Damian Abraham has spent 13 years pushing against hardcore punk's glass ceiling
There is no peace with Damian Abraham. Stop to breathe and he’ll stuff the silence with playful yarns. Every riposte sees the ageing hardcore man-child rehash semiirrelevant pan-flashes from the annals of punk past. But treasuring an anarchic adolescence over baring the burden of adulthood is what keeps Abraham sane. And quite rightly. Presently, the Fucked Up frontman is having to stabilise the stresses of parentage yoked with the toils of inner-anxiety disorder. All of this topped with the scheduled release of the Canadian sextet’s fourth studio LP, it only seems just for Abraham to vent his opinions on existing in a genre that typically swigs from the fountain of youth. “Everything just feels like it’s fleeting. Like it’s impossible to hold on to. Like it’s intangible,” he begins without prompt. “I think the weirdest thing is that it makes you realise there has been a passage of time,” Abraham laughs without pausing. He, alongside fellow punk moguls Mike Haliechuk, Josh Zucker, Jonah Falco, Sandy Miranda and Chris Colohan, will be marking their 13th year as a functioning group with the Matador approved album, Glass Boys. Yet almost everything feels deceptively new. “To me, it feels like it’s all happened in one fell swoop. It still seems it’s only been two years since we released No Pasaran, but then it’s like ‘Oh shit, that was 13 years ago.’ “Fucked Up really was a band that was supposed to last a couple of weeks once
Josh came back from train hopping in America. I remember when we formed, I went over to Mike’s apartment and he had a book on North Carolina’s Antiseen. At that point, they had been together for about 15 years. The idea of being in a band for that long was totally incomprehensible. You look at legendary figureheads like Antiseen or the Melvins, or Poison Idea and think ‘how did they survive that long?’ Now we’re closing in at 15 years as a band. It’s just humbling. How are we able to get the chance to keep playing this music?” Ironically, purely playing the ‘punk’ only gets you so far in the punk community. It’s Fucked Up’s rhapsodical commitment to sustaining the genre’s legacy that has prolonged their existence. “If you observe between ’77 to ’87 in punk and hardcore you went from The Dead Boys to Youth of Today,” Abraham cites in essayistic fashion. “The trip is staggering. But ever since the mid 90s, there have merely been fluctuations of the genre. “The speed of which things change has slowed down a lot. It doesn’t feel that long has passed. But then I’ll meet a band who have been around for a while who may admit to purchasing my records as a kid. That’s when I realise that I’m a 34-year-old and I’m really old. But I remember being a teen and having friends that were 40, which in punk and hardcore is just not that weird. It’s this communal stage where everyone’s an eternal hardcore kid. It’s a Peter Pan
perspective I guess, especially when you’re reminded that you’re not a hardcore ‘kid’ anymore.” Despite his premature death clock ticking, Abraham and his band of matured Lost Boys are forever scrutinising their ageing subculture. Unlike 2011’s flagrantly ceremonious rock-opera David Comes to Life, their newly released Glass Boys is a disciplined ten-track study of combating age and the music industry. It’s a record of genuine purity, stripped of its predecessor’s conceptual guises. “This record is like all of us giving the best version of what we’ve ever done,” Abraham raves doubtlessly. “That’s not to say, however, that it’s going to be the record that people like the most.” Dissimilar to David…’s anecdotal narrative, Abraham has no character to hide behind. Instead, Glass Boys embraces the band’s closet confrontations. “There’s just time and place and so many other mitigating factors to this record and I find that exciting but also terrifying. Lyrically, it’s like standing there with your wiener hanging out. I’ve done that, but I always tuck it. It’s what they call in the biz ‘a grower not a shower’… But I feel less exposed doing that than I do talking about crying on tour. That’s way more humiliating than doing the mangina. “This time, it’s like someone made it easier for me to write. It’s harder in the sense that I’m up for judgement in terms of lyrics, but comparatively I feel more passionate about
Words: Tom Watson Photography: Danny Krug
Issue 41 42 | crackmagazine.net
“In a sense this record is a celebration. Maybe we’re celebrating our demise”
it than I ever have. It was easier for me to find what I wanted to say on these songs. I wasn’t hiding behind a character or hiding behind the motivation of Veronica or David. Even Mike [Haliechuk]’s songs were easier to get. Sometimes, it can be hard to find someone’s passion when they’re writing a personal song. Especially a song, for example, where Mike’s writing about the process by which plants are made. I found it hard to get angry about plants. Whereas this time, Mike was singing about the sense of loss, the sense of excitement and anticipation.” Haliechuk and Abraham’s relationship has been markedly apathetic since Fucked Up’s inception. Two strong-willed delinquents with differing creative output makes for bombastic quarrels. Yet Abraham declares nothing but respect for his lifelong bandmate. “I don’t want to pretend that everything’s awesome within the band. But Mike and I haven’t gotten along this well since we were kids and living together. “When the band started, we grew apart. But I think in the last couple of years Mike and I realised that neither one of us
expected to be doing this. It was a dream. I feel like I learnt more from Mike on this record than I have talking to him in the past 13 years. What’s more, I felt like I knew exactly what he was saying on Glass Boys because I felt exactly the same way. In that sense Glass Boys is a celebration. Maybe we’re celebrating our demise… “Realistically,” Abraham backtracks, “I think it’s more of a celebration of how incredible it is to find music as a young person. Punk and hardcore enables you to have this intense awakening. With hardcore this awakening stems from people that don’t feel connected to the culture that’s being fed to them. I remember being a kid listening to Minor Threat and hearing it’s OK not to drink. That was the first time I heard a person just say ‘fuck you, I don’t drink’. I remember being so empowered by that. It’s all about discovery of another world. It’s about trying to hold onto that world … for us especially.” And Abraham continues to hold fast to this ideology. Amidst his unending candour is a bare-boned punk who loves nothing more than being a dad, talking about records and
being part of a community of music lovers. He is seemingly unafraid of the future and more troubled with the present. “I haven’t known what to do since our first demo tape. I do feel though that it’s not like the sky is limitless with this record. I feel we’re hitting the glass ceiling. We’re now defining the reaches of our career and it’s incredibly gratifying.” Glass Boys is released 2 June via Matador Records
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Turning Points: American Football's Mike Kinsella
Mike Kinsella is the most hardworking musician you’ve probably never heard of. At the age of 12 he formed Cap’n Jazz with his brother Tim and landed feet first at the forefront of a burgeoning underground punk scene in the American midwest. During the late 80s that scene would birth a variation of styles often gathered, often all too hastily, under the catchall genre ‘emo’. In time the term would become synonymous with a completely different style of radio friendly pop punk, but before it did Kinsella won legions of adoring fans with one of the genre’s most enduring and definitive albums: 1999’s eponymous American Football. He’s since played countless shows under his solo moniker Owen, released two albums 13 years apart with his post-American Football project Owls, and continued to drum occasionally for Joan of Arc and Their/They’re/There. Mike is now a full-time father and part-time musician, preparing to play his first shows with American Football in 15 years alongside the re-release of their seminal – and only – album. 1989: Forming Cap’n Jazz at the age of 12 I think Tim started a band called Toejam when he was 12 or 13. When I joined I was 12 and Tim was 14, then when I was 14 and Tim was 16 we switched the name to Cap’n Jazz, one guy quit, we switched instruments and like … called it something else. We had an old Fostex four-track that we used. Cap’n Jazz would be the first time we went to a studio and, like, paid a guy and thought we’d really ‘made it’. Looking back we coulda done just as good a job on the four-track but y’know, we were young and that’s how you learn. 1995: Going to college and playing drums in Joan of Arc Cap’n Jazz just broke up and I moved away to school, so Tim formed Joan of Arc. I was in the band but not for practices and it was kinda like ‘Oh, we have these songs we could record, we can do it over spring break or whatever.’ We were definitely, consciously trying to do something different to Cap’n Jazz. I’m not sure if that early stuff accomplished anything except being different to Cap’n Jazz though.
1997 – 2000 and Present: American Football American Football was with dudes I was down at school with so it was more routine practices, whereas Joan of Arc was more a revolving door of people. We broke up before the album was released and we never played any shows after it was released, so I think the label just wanted to sort of commemorate this album that was released 15 years ago and still keeps selling. But from a personal perspective, I just wanna cash in … nah, I’m just kidding. 2001 onwards: Going solo as Owen I’m OK at working with other people in bands like Owls and I enjoy it to a point, but to be honest when I’m doing bands I’m making compromises all the time. So I get excited to do my own thing, but then I also get in a rut doing Owen stuff and working by myself – there’s no push and pull, it’s just you. I think I’m in a good place doing different things with different people. If you asked my brother he’d probably say I’m hard to work with, but I think maybe I’m just blunt or something. Present: Full-time Dad, part-time musician My wife teaches high school so I’m like the primary care giver. At the end of each month I usually have a weekend of shows or something I can look forward to, I can get away for a little bit and then after a long weekend of drinking and talking to strangers I’m ready to come back home and be with the family. It works out really good. American Football (Deluxe Edition) is out now via Polyvinyl
“From a personal perspective, I just wanna cash in … nah, I’m just kidding”
Issue 42 | crackmagazine.net
Better luck this time: Tom Vek on chaos, order, and cautionary tales Words: Suzie McCracken Photos: Chloe Rosolek
Tom Vek is a musician with the mind of a designer. His sculpted hair and immaculate trenchcoat embody his nature: clean and efficient. “Chaos in art is great,” he says. “But the purpose of it is that it’s a controlled thing. You put it in a box, in a nice white gallery and you say ‘Oh wow, look at how out of control this is’. But nobody wants that in their real life.”
these profound snippets and it was almost like they were stolen from somewhere. I think I admired that. Years ago someone came up to me to talk about Nothing But Green Lights, saying ‘I wish I could write something like that line’. I was very humbled by that because I realised I’d done something that was as efficient as I’d like a lyric to be.”
It makes sense, of course, that a man with a degree in graphic design enjoys grid-like structure day-to-day. He’s highly creative, incredibly visual, and borderline compulsive. He arranges his guitar pedals by colour. Vek came to terms with his need for an organised existence during the recording of his 2011 comeback album Leisure Seizure, six years on from his debut We Have Sound. “I realised I needed to control where my anger comes from. You grow up a bit and you realise that you’ve got problems in your life that you just have to solve. You have to be pragmatic.”
And even though Vek insists that his songs are driven by noise not words, that doesn’t mean inspiration always arrives in sonic form. The first single from Luck, Sherman (Animals in the Jungle), was inspired by Tom Wolfe’s modern parable The Bonfire of the Vanities. “The general premise of the book is that there’s a wealthy bonds trader living on Park Avenue, and it’s his own fault that things get out of control. One thing happens that unpicks his whole life.”
This apparition was perhaps the source of another one of his obsessions – the cautionary tale. Vek’s new record Luck is filled with portentous warnings and damning judgements condensed into punchy lines played on repeat. He sings on Pushing Your Luck as though imparting a prophecy: “You’re not going to win, you’re not going to cut it.” Despite the fact lyrics come last in his songwriting process, the nature of Vek’s metronomic sound ensures they are imbued with the godliness of repetition. He describes his approach to words as “sloganeering”, informed by years of listening to bands unique in their language. “My favourite band of all time is a New York group called Soul Coughing,” he says. “The singer came from a 90s beat-poet kind of background. He came out with
That double-edged interest in disorder and efficiency is perhaps unsurprising. Luck continues Vek’s near decade-old exploration in streamlining sound, asking once again how few parts are really needed to make a danceable racket. The distinct live drums return, his drawl is still dry yet oddly shamanic, and the riffs hint at the teenager Vek once was (at one point he was “telling people it was a grunge album”).
had producer influence. This time I thought I could do it by myself.” His new label, Moshi Moshi, didn’t insist on the use of a guiding voice, and so Vek added to his already huge workload (he has a hand in everything from his cover art to Amazon banners) by recording Luck with minimal external influence. It was a world away from being signed to Island Records in the mid-noughties. “It was a dream come true then; the coolest thing that could possibly have happened to me. But the reality of being a headstrong, individual artist on the major structure was hard, particularly considering what happened in the following years ... it’s sad, really, that they can’t operate in the way they used to. I experienced the last year of them being like ‘We think of you as like a PJ Harvey character’. I was like ‘Oh my god!’. I cared about the brand. I’m proud that that record was made under that premise. And it made me realise the kind of control I want over my music, and that I still wanted to have that DIY, punk ethos to it.”
“I’ve been talking about ‘permission to rebel’ a lot recently, because I think that’s fascinating. Everybody wants to be told that they can do what they want. Everybody knows that if you actually do what you want and don’t give a fuck about anyone else then you’re an arsehole.”
Despite the musical continuity between this record and the last, a line between Island and Moshi Moshi has clearly been drawn in the sand from where Vek is standing. There was even, at the most base level, a change of studio after his former haunt in North East London was bulldozed to make way for flats. “It was like a hospital morgue – a stand alone building. I thought about trying to live in one of those flats so I could live on the burial ground of my previous album and spread rumours that it was haunted by a pop record.”
Vek says this pretty much out of the blue. Perhaps he’s mulling over the experience of creating this record entirely on his todd and without a major label. “I mean, this time I did it completely on my own. In the past I’ve
He is now based in Fortress Studios in London’s Old Street tech district. It’s an appropriate location for someone with an appreciation of even the most basic technology – he examines the dictaphone
used to record this interview with honest interest before talking about his love for St Vincent’s guitar sounds. “They’re these crazy riffs that are all coming from one thing. Her tech set-up must be pretty crazy. And a guitar pitch pedal just scratches the surface of what Tom Morello achieved with those Rage Against the Machine riffs, where you were like ‘How many guitars are in that band?’. And you’d read on the sleeve notes ‘All noises created by guitar, bass and drums’. You’d be like, ‘oh, wow’.” As much as Vek enjoys speaking about equipment, he doesn’t actually own that much. Again and again, it comes back to efficiency. He mainly varies the sounds of his toys by arranging them in convoluted ways. “I’d rather be on the keyboard that has five sounds. Then the sixth sound is through a guitar amp, making it a new thing. The main riff in Broke (one of Luck’s standout tracks, led by a propulsive clanging squelch) is a combination of a synth line getting chopped up by something
“You grow up a bit and you realise that you’ve got problems in your life that you just have to solve. You have to be pragmatic”
Issue 42 | crackmagazine.net
else going through a pickup going into a guitar amp that is being recorded at a distance. So all of a sudden you feel like you’re listening to some odd machine making a noise instead of some direct synthesis from a programme.” ‘Odd Machine’ seems like a perfect description for Vek’s one-man production line. Minimal yet immersive, Luck mirrors the process and the person. But in the end, it’s the little surprises in his ordered universe that provide the eureka moments. “There’s some pieces of music I’ve made where it starts on an up-beat so I’ll start nodding along and then the drums come in and I’ll realise I mis-stepped. I get fooled by that. And that’s fun.” Luck is released 9 June via Moshi Moshi
A glimpse into the distant world of TALA: the new Duchess of UK future-pop
Words: Isis O'Regan Photographer- Harriet Turney
There's a name which has seeped persistently through nearly every ‘Track of the Week’ or ‘Ones to Watch’ list over recent months. The name is unusual and mysterious: TALA. The first glimpse of TALA’s work, the title track from her upcoming The Duchess EP, invaded Soundcloud in April, swiftly totting up the play count. And rightfully so, its ethereal, reworked vocals and entrancing bass swells offering a thrilling, exotic alternative in a saturated post-RnB landscape. With the listener hooked, TALA then fearlessly reiterated her point with the follow-up: an unsettling, haunting percussive intro which tumbles into the stunning Serbia. This multifaceted nature, of sweet sighs married to a taste for the sinister, makes sense when we speak to the rapidlyascending South Londoner. She’s sweet and approachable, yet takes a kind of fascinated joy in the perverse, revealing that Srdjan Spasojevic’s harrowing and violent erotic thriller A Serbian Film inspired the brooding, dense intro. “I love it!”, she declares. “It’s fucked, but it’s a really well
made film. It properly tormented me.” Dragging you in to the depths of a murky nightmare, the twisted inspiration builds an offbeat momentum, before the rhythm quickly shifts into a whirl of heady, jagged beats and shimmering, choppy pop vocals. It’s these layers of inhuman voices, sodden with effects, which have already become the hallmark of TALA’s sound. Fitting snugly into the lineage of Grimes and Jai Paul, poring over these enticingly indefinable yet hook-laden lines is a passion. “I love doing loads of weird vocal stuff like chopping and pitching”, she says gleefully, “just fucking up the vocals.” TALA’s inspiration springs from a diverse raft of sources, but the 25-year-old stressed the significance of her cultural grounding in the irrepressible concoction she constructs today. The combination of her frustrated musician Iranian father, poploving English mother and Prince-addict brother undoubtedly attributed to her broad pallet of tastes. “It was always a bit mental in my house growing up, there were loads of cultural influences, it was a big mishmash of sounds.” Against this colourful backdrop
she was left to pluck influences at leisure, and learning the piano at the tender age of seven fuelled her ambition. The thematic realms TALA’s music inhabits are far from whimsical; she grasps at relevant contemporary issues through her own warped filter. The inspiration for The Duchess derives from a conversation with a close friend surrounding the façade of fame, and her approach to the industry comes from a place of self-awareness. This is made equally evident when discussing the nagging issue of gender. “There’s a lot of pressure on women in this industry, y’know? There’s always that imageconscious element.” She seems incredulous that the subject remains so prevalent. “There’s loads of sick girls producing out there, but it's still so male-dominated” she laments. “It would just be nice for it not to be a surprise that a girl did something technical! You wouldn’t think there would still be that perception, but there sadly is.” TALA cites her main goal as accomplishing the same escapism in her listeners as she experiences when producing her songs. “When I’m in the zone I get transported
to my own world and I can escape for a minute, and I want to take people somewhere else. I want to give them a piece of my world.” That ‘otherworldliness’ can equally be visual, as seen in the bleary, evocative video accompaniment for Serbia. Directed by Katia Ganfield, it was produced on a shoestring budget, which both parties agreed should be spent on an experience, an attempt to capture something truly magical. This resulted in a trip to Morocco. “It’s an interesting play in the visuals, because it’s not what you’d expect from the title. It added depth to the song – our experience was so profound. It’s something greater than a person.” Setting her sights beyond the release of her EP on Aesop this month, TALA envisions live shows, endless sonic experimention, and even teaming up with Katia again for further travels. “We’ll definitely be going on more adventures”, she smiles. With her intoxicating cross-cultural sound and addictive amorphous vocals, with TALA you know every track will be an adventure in itself. The Duchess is out now via Aesop
Pop’s fresh perspective: Tinashe, an RnB princess for the DIY generation Words: Anna Tehabsim Photography: Roisin Murphy
Comparisons between Tinashe Kachingwe and icons of the past have been rife throughout her recent ascent from fringe to mainstream. Perhaps they should be a given considering the way our obsessed, 90s archeologist culture covets and anoints cult female RnB figures. Associations with the original ‘princess of RnB’ Aaliyah, however, are quite potent here, if you can kindly overlook the one-female-singer-compared-to-anotherfemale-singer element. The Kentucky-born, LA-raised Tinashe has been widely hailed as ‘RnB’s new princess’, or ‘RnB’s underground princess’; Fader called her ‘Cali’s RnB princess’, and a widely circulated article from last year headlines ‘meet the new princess of RnB’. Aaliyah began performing at a young age, appearing on television show Star Search alongside Gladys Knight at the age of 10. She also enjoyed stints in acting, staring in Romeo Must Die and Queen Of The Damned, and dropped her first studio album at 14. Tinashe herself began modelling, dancing and acting at a very young age before joining bubblegum pop band The Stunners at 14, while her lucrative acting past includes voiceover work on The Polar Express and a recurring slot opposite Charlie Sheen in Two And A Half Men. Another evident likeness is that both their voices carry silky, sultry tones that glide effortlessly over RnB basslines, in turn making way for stronger, sass-driven hooks. Tinashe’s widely-acclaimed Black Water mixtape was brushed with pillow talk hues, while her hit DJ Mustard-produced single 2 On, which features a typically explicit ScHoolboy Q verse, fronts lines like “Live fast, die young that’s my choice / Get money, get money like the invoice”. Aaliyah
famously described her own vocals as “street but sweet”. The obvious difference here is that, tragically, Aaliyah did not live to navigate her voice through our new media saturated world. While Aaliyah dutifully earned her nickname by helping to redefine contemporary RnB and hip-hop, her first album was produced by R. Kelly, her second, Timbaland. And so rather than taking the throne, Tinashe sits upon a new one, establishing herself as an industry veteran at the age of 21 by producing, recording and self-releasing her own projects. In an updated version of the cult RnB formula, the underground star has blossomed into an RnB icon for the DIY generation. When we speak to her on the phone from her home in LA, she’s only recently discovered Drake and OVO crew member OB Obrien’s rip of 2 On. She gleefully recounts the find. “The day before they tweeted ‘in the studio with 2 On!’ but I thought that was it. Then the next day I wake up and everybody’s tweeting me like ‘look, Drake covered 2 On’ and I’m like, ‘woah, this is awesome!’” Punctuating her speech with warm laughter, she’s audibly elated, but this accelerating attention has become commonplace for the singer/producer, having three mixtapes and an ever-increasing list of high profile collaborations under her belt. After the release of Black Water in November last year, Tinashe reached varied audiences with her impressive stylistic breadth. The third of its kind, following In Case We Die and Reverie in 2012, the mixtapes were funded by the huge stadium tours Tinashe performed as part of The Stunners, in support of global douchebag
ambassador Justin Bieber. “The crowds were so crazy excited everywhere we went, like 20,000 screaming kids”, she recalls. While grateful to be able to pursue her passion for music, Tinashe felt her creativity would always be stifled as part of the group. “The group really didn’t fulfill me artistically. Now that I’m able to do things that I believe in I feel much more confident and just happier all round.” With an enterprising mind, Tinashe used the money from the tours to buy a home studio and taught herself production, taking autonomy over her career, and her voice. “I told my fans that the album was probably going to come out in 2013”, Tinashe recalls, “so around October when I realised the album wasn’t ready yet, I didn’t want to go back on my word.” So she locked herself in the studio for the next three weeks, and dropped the sultry, beat driven Black Water on Soundcloud a month later. “I think integrity is very important as an artist, and if you say that you’re going to release music this year, and you don’t release it for another year, that’s messed up. I just wanted to give my fans something to hold them over until I was ready for the album.” Her self-driven approach, alongside early collaborations with internet guys such as Ryan Hemsworth, Jacques Green and XXYYXX, led to associations with a string of increasingly hard-to-define subgenres, and the DIY mentality of the dance music underground. “Coming from that place I’ll always find love for the people who are just grinding it out and doing it independently. That community has always shown me a lot of love.” In the way that Aaliyah, Ashanti et al did before her, Tinashe toyed with elements of RnB at a time when the sound was overdue a reinterpretation. Sitting somewhere between foggy electronica,
abstract pop and raw RnB, she still relishes the unpredictability of her output. “RnB is becoming so hard to define. It’s definitely not what you would classically consider RnB, it’s evolving because genres are blending so much more. It’s fun to be part of something new and fresh.” Having experimented and established within this loose community, Tinashe's sights are now set on the big leagues. At this point in time, the liner notes for her forthcoming album Aquarius read something like; A$AP Rocky, Future, ScHoolboy Q with productions by the illustrious Mike Will Made It, Boi-1da, Dev Hynes and more. Secure in the knowledge of her own talents, Tinashe is now being backed by a dream team of collaborators for what will be her grandest statement yet. “It’s going to be a big debut.
It’s my first album, so people will take it very seriously and be very critical. But I think the album is amazing and I’m just excited to get it out, finally.” Assuring us that despite a more cluttered roll-call of contributors than previous releases, Aquarius stands for “the things that make me, me”, Tinashe sets herself apart by coming at the mainstream from an indie angle. “I think I have a fresh perspective, I really do try to be true to who I am and not box myself in to one particular style.” With unshakable ambition and an outsider’s approach, Tinashe seems sure to dust off the crown that’s been laid out for her.
Aquarius will be released later this year via RCA Records. 2 On is out now
“I’ll always find love for the people who are grinding it out and doing it independently”
As core member of Lexington, Kentucky noise icons Hair Police, Robert Beatty produces some of the most harrowing sonic filth ever committed to tape. After half an hour in the company of last year’s blissfully wretched comeback album Mercurial Rites, you might view the fluid, organic gush and clean, eerie lines of his artistic output as something of a respite. This disparity is a source of intrigue in itself. To think that the same hands which contributed to the stomachchurning, exploitative trash of HP created the airbrushed kosmiche detail of his countless posters and album covers, and the degraded synth trials of his solo project Three Legged Race is difficult to comprehend. There is little to hold these projects together, bar an indefinable, inherent unctuousness, and the vagaries of the oft-misused adjective ‘psychedelic’. In his musical output with Hair Police, Beatty fulfills the psychedelic template in its purest form; through achieving psychological transcendence via physical exploits. As an artist, Beatty addresses the aesthetic qualities more freely associated with the term, conjuring warped, flowing gasps of colour from all angles in fluid, retrofuturistic bursts. While Beatty’s varied output has been gradually gathering momentum for some years, a clutch of recent pieces have drawn more widespread attention. In 2012, his dalliance with typography in the form of Peaking Lights’ Lucifer cover became an iconic image of the year’s releases, while last year the disconcerting formal ambiguity of his artwork for Oneohtrix Point Never’s R
Plus Seven saw his reputation grow further. After a long collaborative process between Beatty and Daniel Lopatin, the R Plus Seven cover was eventually selected as a still from Georges Schwizgebel’s 1982 animation Rapture of Frankenstein. While Beatty was initially unsure, the duo later, by serendipity, turned the image upside down and noted the figures ‘R+7’ amorphously formed in the shadows. “Once we saw the album title in the artwork, we knew we’d made the right move”, he says. With his design for Glasgow collective The Phantom Band’s latest release Strange Friend currently receiving acclaim, Beatty’s album artwork remains in demand. Yet his artistic practice is constantly widening. In 2011 he embarked on his first solo exhibition, the multi-disciplinary Cream Grid Reruns, in his hometown’s 193 Gallery, while a collaborative sculptural installation with Eric Lanham entitled Intercepted Ruins comprising of holograms and video projections added further to his vast, fluid portfolio. As all aspects of Beatty’s practice continues to confound and expand, we spoke to him about shifting headspaces and locating pastiche then devouring it whole. Your practice is very wide ranging; you’re most recognised for your work with Hair Police, though Three Legged Race seems more in aesthetically in keeping with your art. Is there a particular project you consider your key expressive vehicle? Hair Police is very much a group effort and is a representation of three individuals coming together, but I think everything
Words: Geraint Davies and Thomas Howells
I do fits together as a whole and works together if you could see it all, but I don’t expect anyone to be able to keep up with everything I do. I definitely view Three Legged Race and my solo work along with my personal art that I’ve done for installations, videos et cetera, to be my main focus and the best representation of what I’m doing. I have a hard time saying the work I do for record covers and music videos is truly mine since it's commissioned for other people’s music and it’s often removed from what I would do on my own. But I think it fits into the larger picture. What are the different sources of motivation for each side of your sonic output? Compared to Three Legged Race, Hair Police feels almost exploitative in its schlocky grimness. Is this light/dark aspect something you’re conscious of? There is light and dark in all of it, be in it in the actual sounds or the intent behind it. Hair Police seems more grim on the surface, but there are elements of humor in there. The world is a fucked up place and if you can’t laugh you won’t last very long. How much has Krautrock influenced your work? There are clear visual nods to the covers of records released by the labels Brain, Philips and Bacillus, but there are also references to Conrad Schnitzler regarding Three Legged Race. I’m not necessarily influenced directly by Krautrock, but I’m sure it’s seeped in there as I’ve listened to quite a bit of that music over the years. Most of that stuff is other people seeing what they want in my work. The Peaking Lights Lucifer cover has been seen as a direct reference to covers of Neu
or Cluster records, which it most definitely was not. It works and is very possible, but that wasn’t the intent. Are there any overarching themes that connect your art and music? There is definitely a common thread that runs through it all, but I’d rather let other people see what they want to as it’s out of my control how people interpret my art. Much of my art has its roots in things that are viewed as trash or discarded, but I polish things a bit until they’re presentable. Not everyone wants their records decked out in absolute filth, so I’ve got to reign that in. Much of your work feels overwhelmingly analogue, from the painterly aesthetic of your art to the way the music feels very organic in quite a grimy, industrial way. How important are digital production techniques to your process? I am very much existing in the digital world and I’m surprised when people think I use an actual airbrush or record my records on tape. There is a good deal of blurring the lines and I use tons of analogue equipment, but everything ends up in the computer and is finalised there. There’s a prevalent movement in populist music right now of a ‘psych revival’, which is largely based on rehashing a phased-out guitar sound without any reference to the ideas of psychological transcendence of the wider psychedelic movement. Do you have any feelings about the co-opting of the term? I think anything can be good if done the right way, but much of the music that gets
called psychedelic these days doesn’t really do much for me. I think anything that doesn’t have the typical cliches of ‘psychedelic’ has the potential to be more so. Something that can take you out of the here and now is what I view as psychedelic. How collaborative was the process of producing Oneohtrix Point Never’s R Plus Seven artwork? Do you and Daniel Lopatin have a strong relationship? I’ve known and worked with Daniel for several years on various projects. We tossed ideas back and forth for months while working on the artwork for R Plus Seven, so if was definitely a heavily collaborative endeavor. Daniel is actually pretty open to lots of different ideas, but he has a good eye and when he sees something that works he knows it. That piece was a recreation of a still from Georges Schwizgebel’s animation Rapture of Frankenstein. What does that film, and that still in particular, mean to you? I hadn’t seen the film prior to Daniel finding the still from it and showing it to me, although I had seen some of Schwizgebel’s earlier animations. That film is almost an archetype of late 70s and early 80s experimental art. It’s dark and very intense but playful and has elements of humor at the same time – much like some of my favorite art. The airbrush technique is perhaps considered unfashionable, and in your Wire interview you spoke about a desire to avoid pastiche. Is this achieved by consciously avoiding taking in external influences, or by consciously observing other work and deviating from it?
I spend as much of my time researching and creating an archive of references to pull from as I do working. Whether that be watching a film, taking photographs, noticing the packaging on a bar of soap, or scouring the internet for images, it’s a big part of my process. I am always conscious of not making things a direct reference unless it’s explicitly stated or called for. It’s easy to find elements of both neofuturism and the “retrofitted-futurism” of say, Blade Runner, in your work. Are these relevant notions? I definitely like playing with those elements to create something that seems out of time or place. The present world we live in is futuristic enough, and more than anything I think I’m trying to emphasise that. Things are moving faster than you could ever fully take in and you can never keep up no matter how hard you try. I am huge fan of Phillip K. Dick’s books and he did an amazing job of making the futuristic seem mundane and vice versa. That said – I think Blade Runner is a pretty disappointing movie, it doesn’t really do much for me, so I’m definitely not referencing that. As far as Ridley Scott movies go, I’ll take Alien.
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Spatial awareness: Across a decade of practice, interdisciplinary collective United Visual Artists have made a habit of the extraordinary
Words: Augustin Macellari Photography: Tom Weatherill
46 In 2003, for their 100th Window tour, Massive Attack came up with a rather tricky brief. They wanted to put on a show with a heavy visual element, but no video. Matt Clark, Chris Bird and Ash Nehru were the three tasked with designing it. They came from disparate backgrounds; Fine Art, technical production and software design, respectively. “It was quite an unusual mix, at that time, to have coders and designers and artists working together to create something quite bespoke,” Matt Clark, the artist of the three, and Creative Director of UVA tells us. “We thrashed around some ideas, and we came up with the idea that all life could be represented through digital information. We could create this window to this world of information that would change on a daily basis. Sometimes it would be localised information, other times more abstracted interpretations of code. To deliver this show, we had to write a piece of software, and that’s where Ash came into the mix. Chris made the physicality of it happen.” Working together, the three founded and opened a studio, United Visual Artists, which has become known for the kind of high-concept, cerebral spectacle that 100th Window offered. On the occasion of their 10th anniversary, UVA's latest installation, Momentum, sees the Barbican Curve space filled with monumental pendulums. Their swing is counterintuitive; it covers two axis, not just left and right but also too and fro. The pendulums emit white, digital light. It switches, from spot- to under-lighting. The pendulums arrest themselves mid swing. The atmosphere is reverential, and alien. At times the pendulums seem like giant censers – the vessel that holds burning incense, swung during catholic mass – at others, they seem like drones, coldly appraising the audience. With Momentum drawing to a close, we met Clark to discuss Art, Technology, and the grey area between.
You, Chris and Ash all come from different disciplinary backgrounds, can you talk a bit about the early days of UVA, and how you came to coalesce as a studio? 100th Window was a really successful project for us, so we thought we’d start up our own studio/creative practice, and that was where UVA was born. The creative, artistic and technical collaboration at the beginning of the project was interesting, so we continued with that ethos. We have quite a diverse group; it’s not that big, but there’s an architect, there’s an interaction designer, there’s an electronics engineer … there’s no two people from the same background or discipline. It allows us to work at the intersection of traditional fields, of both art and design.
I think at the beginning of UVA it was very much about experimenting with technology. Now our practice is much more based on ideas, and the meaning of things; that comes first, and then we find the right ways of exploring those ideas. Do you think that this intersection of art and technology is a uniquely contemporary thing, or has art always been a testing ground for new technologies? I think that whatever we [UVA] gravitate towards, in terms of mediums, they’re just mediums – just tools to execute an idea. If Da Vinci was around today, I don’t think he would be necessarily creating oil paintings and pencil, he’d probably be at the cutting edge of using whatever tools he could to explore the idea he wanted to explore. As well, technology has always been there. Over a very large period of time, new pigments were introduced that really shifted the technical execution of paintings. In contemporary society, there are ideas we explore which are more to do with the relationship between humans and technology as a subject matter. We showed a piece called Origin, in New York, which is what you would call a technocratic lifeform: it’s like a living machine. It’s incredible how you can make people believe that something is conscious or has a personality with very rudimental elements. At the same time, I guess the one thing that frustrates us when you’re pigeonholed in a group of practices that work with technology is that you’re kind of branded ‘Digital Artists’. Momentum is driven by software, yes, to control the mechanics and electronics, but the digital aspect is a very small part of a highly complex physical system. We’re just using the tools around us to express the ideas that we’re interested in. The press for Momentum used the word ‘immersive’ quite a lot. As a studio, you’ve shifted from initially working with a show, with a stage and performers, presenting a spectacle, to immersing the audience within your work. Has that been a conscious movement? I’ve always been interested in the power of a social experience. Working in an environment where lots of people come together and watch this thing happen was incredibly exciting. Over time, we became more focused on the fine art and sculptural side of things, and we got opportunities to create large-scale public installations to be experienced by visitors, not to just be watched. What was interesting, with Momentum as well as some of our earlier work, was that you get this thing happening where it’s almost like the public can be a performer, and interact with the work, or be a spectator and watch other people. It was like we dissolved the line between the stage and the audience and allowed the audience to be the performer, in a way.
“I’ve always been interested in the power of a social experience”
47 Massive Attack 100th Window World Tours, 2003
Momentum Barbican Curve Gallery London, 2014
Volume London / Hong Kong / Taiwan Melbourne / St Petersburg, 2010
48 Momentum was interesting; [the Barbican Curve space] is such a unique space architecturally, you can really control the atmospherics in the room. We wanted people to enter, and be in it. It was about the relationship between the object, the invisible forces of sound and light rebounding off the architecture, and how that makes you feel about time. We were also following Rain Room, which was very immersive, very powerful. It was also explicitly interactive, which our work isn’t, in that sense. It’s more of a performative piece. Momentum goes in and out of what we call natural and synthesised states. It almost feels like a gravitational force being applied to the space, or time slowing down. It’s both threatening and meditative at the same time. Momentum is based on the idea of the Foucault pendulum; was this something you as a studio had an interest in exploring before you got the Curve commission, or did it arise directly from it? It’s a combination of the two. We’d worked with pendulums in the past – we created a piece four years ago called Chorus, which toured the UK. That was more inspired by
the metronome, or the relationship between musical score and time. Then, before the Curve commission came along, we were looking at the Foucault pendulum, which oscillates on two axes. It’s designed to demonstrate the earth’s rotation; the metronome just swings along one axis. We were experimenting making a single Foucault pendulum ourselves, but one we had absolute control over. We thought it would be interesting to have absolute control, and be able to stop this element in space. Then the Curve commission came along. Our first question was ‘how can we bend light, can we bend light along this curve?’ We came up with a few ideas, but then thought what if we had an array of these pendulums, that we had absolute control over, and what if we designed them in a way that would interact with the architecture, creating a plane of light, which might reveal the architecture itself. It was creating an object that would penetrate the space, invoke these feelings of time, make us question our perception of it. But, at the same time, have very little physical matter, even though it completely fills the space with sound and light.
In the past we would directly respond to a commission, now we have works we’ve developed in the studio. Over the last few years it’s become more of our process to develop ideas, then if an opportunity comes along we can apply those ideas. The reason for that is so we can create a body of work that explores ideas that relate to each other. The feeling of the pendulums swinging in the Curve is very alien. It also feels like only a tiny corner of a much bigger system, like there’s something huge happening and this is only one small part of it. That’s great; when we were first designing compositions for the space we actually drew a massive circle, which completed the curve. There are anomalies, we call them, that follow this huge circle. They come round and penetrate the installation. I’m not a big fan of the sci-fi connotations that it has, it wasn’t our intention, but it’s a dark, eerie space. The light is very digital, and it’s very controlled. So, I think the environment can change the context; we’re definitely going to show it again in different formations – it’ll be interesting to see what the next evolution of the work will make people think.
Issue 42 | crackmagazine.net
It would be fascinating to see it somewhere else. That space is so loaded, and weird! It’s actually an incredibly challenging space to make a work. As a group, do you want to keep working on a massive scale? The challenge for us is actually doing smaller works. It’s a very different discipline; when you design a large-scale installation you can’t afford a super-high level of detail. With smaller works it’s all about the detail, and the ideas need to be more concise because it’s not so experiential. To grow a body of work which operates on a smaller scale is, kind of, the next exploration for us. Some of our works are permanent, and more architectural in scale. It’s nice to design things that are immediate, and aren’t years in the making. I mean, generally, we’re very happy. It’s always a challenge to make ends meet when you’re doing new stuff all the time; if you’re doing the same thing over and over again it’s a much easier way to make a living, I would expect. For more information on United Visual Artists, visit uva.co.uk
49 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:
+ LONDON PREMIERE OF 'ICY LAKE' SHORT FILM DIRECTED BY WILLS GLASSPIEGAL AND L-VIS 1990 O VA L S PA C E.C O.U K 29–32 THE OVAL E2 9DT 020 7183 4422
Aesthetic: Kim Ann Foxman
Photographer | Benjamin Mallek Art Direction and Styling | Charlotte James Assistant Stylist | Maria Grozova Hair and Make Up | Luka Watabe using Bumble and bumble and MAC
Top | Anne Sofie Madsen Jumper | Katharina Perkhofer Trousers | Mehle Shoes | Dr Martens
Top | AVA Catherside
When cult disco outfit Hercules and Love Affair burst onto the scene in 2004, it stood out for its bold, vibrant personality. The brainchild of NYC disco powerhouse Andy Butler, the project has held a variety of line-ups over the course of four albums, yet one of its most distinctive members remains Kim Ann Foxman, who since providing vocals for the project has gone on to become a renowned DJ/ producer in her own right. Raised in Hawaii by hippy parents, Foxman grew up besotted with hip-hop and RnB, dreaming of being Pump Up The Jam singer Ya Kid K. Later finding herself entwined in the San Francisco rave scene at the age of 18, she went on to run notorious New York party The Hole, an event that was – as she confirmed during our interview – an extremely decadent affair. Since finetuning her skills on both sides of the recording booth, Foxman’s own productions such as Return It and Creature showcase her unique take on clubconstructed house, and her celebrated DJ sets make kids dance on dancefloors all over the world. Foxman’s style has attracted considerable attention over the years. Rebelling against an ill-fated childhood taste of beauty pageants, she went on to become a potent symbol for stark lines and effortless androgyny. Our shoot with Foxman, styled by Charlotte James and clinically captured by Benjamin Mallek, highlights her razor sharp look in back-to-basics black and white and, like much of her work, showcases the art of contrast.
Issue 42 | crackmagazine.net
Issue 42 | crackmagazine.net
53 53 How did your experience of beauty pageant culture affect you when you were young? Well it was only once, and it really traumatised me at the time, but now I can laugh about it. It was my mom’s doing. I didn’t want to be any part of it, and to my luck – I accidentally won. I was always a tomboy growing up, so being forced to wear make-up and a dress wasn’t easy for me. Who are some of your biggest fashion inspirations? Just my friends really, people around me like Shayne Oliver (creator of cult streetwear brand Hood By Air), Nasir Mazhar, people in New York, on the dancefloor, on the street. Do you relate to the larger-than-life Club Kid style of the 90s New York underground? I was definitely inspired by the creativity that people put into their outfits at that time. I love it. I think it was an iconic era for so many – including me.
Cap | Nasir Mazhar Shirt | SOPOPULAR T-shirt | Nasir Mazhar Trousers | Jayne Pierson Shoes | Dr Martens
Top | Nicomede Talavera
54 Cloud Print Blazer | Moschino at NOTHING SPECIAL (nothingspecial.net) Cloud Print Shirt | Moschino at NOTHING SPECIAL (nothingspecial.net)
Issue 42 | crackmagazine.net
Describe a typical night at your infamous NY party The Hole. It was pure debauchery, in a very filthy bar with good music and strange videos, playing like Latoya Jackson workout clips and pregnant mom aerobics with sunglasses. It was a place where no one took themselves seriously, it was silly and fun and out of control. It was one of the last places you could get away with smoking, amongst many other things. You could write on the walls, you could get naked on the bar, anything went. There were simply no rules. Do you find your style becomes influenced by the act of DJing, or vice-versa? I think fashion and music go together nicely, in general. They can both inspire each other. Where did your love for menswear begin, and how does adopting the style make you feel? Since I was a kid I always just felt more comfortable in boys clothes. For me it’s all about being comfortable.
Sweatshirt | New Love Club
What are designers like KTZ and Nasir Mazhar doing that’s exciting you at the minute? I really love brands that are not afraid to have a strong aesthetic of their own, and do it really well. It’s innovative and refreshing, you can see a Nasir Mazhar hat and pick it out of a zillion hats, because it’s special. I love that. Kim Ann Foxman appears at Farr Festival, Hertfordshire, 18-20 July
Vest | AVA Catherside
Armed with anthems from the off, Jungle have thrown away the cloak and set their foot on the accelerator Words: Duncan Harrison Photography: Teddy Fitzhugh
“It’s a bit like the car. 100 years ago everybody was going, ‘Oh my god! Look at this thing! We can get around’ then 100 years later we’re all going, ‘Oh my god. Shit. We’ve fucked the world up’. That kind of acceleration is terrifying.” This is Josh, one component of the many who make up Jungle. He and his childhood best friend ‘T’ are at the helm of one of the most talked about blog-babies of our time. Their first offering The Heat has been smouldering laptop speakers since 2012 and now the unquantifiable collective are about to release a full LP and play some of the biggest shows in the history of bands who have only released three singles. The only peep of the full-length thus far has been a 44-second trailer, where their gold
plated logo bookends slow-motion clips of their celebrated music videos against a dusty spaghetti western whistle. It’s a brief recap of a whirlwind two years, where Jungle’s honeyed string of ear worm tunes and accompanying videos caused them to become a bit of an unintentional enigma. Who were these incognito overlords of millennial disco fever? How many of them are there? Who are the shellsuit clad men in the press shots? It was these web-friendly micro-puzzles alongside a succession of irresistible singles like Platoon and The Heat that set the blogosphere ablaze, and that element of anonymity was petrol for the cyber-ascent. It’s an anonymity that, Josh says, happened almost totally by accident. “The press and the internet wrote that story. I quite like that. The audience and the creators make their own story, together. We can make the music, but I think there’s more important things to look at than just who we are and what our faces are. Also, we are just quite shy people.” This inhibited and faceless approach from Jungle’s founding fathers only enhances the sheen of the finished product: the songs, the seven-strong live shows which have finally seeped across the country and earned rapturous reviews and soon, the album. While dodging the limelight, they also try and isolate themselves from other music to create a sound that owes no debts. “When we record we tend to not listen to other people’s music because we’d end up copying or mimicking. When you’re growing up at school you’re always trying to be something that someone else already is.
59 Like ... like when Kings of Leon first came around. Trust me, when Kings of Leon first came around, they were fucking cool. We wanted to be in that band back in 2003, I’m not sure about now.” The cinematic visuals that have tantalised fans since day one are paramount to Jungle’s manifesto. Whether it’s the silky rollerblading of The Heat or the long-shot grandeur that brings Busy Earnin’ to life, these widescreen actualisations are the crux of the band’s multi-faceted masterplan. “We’re not the first people to put dancers in a music video, not by any stretch of the imagination, but what we did do was present them simply and honestly.” For an outfit lauded for hiding away, Josh is surprisingly impassioned about the power of human interdependence. “If it wasn’t going to be us at the front, we had to keep that human connection. Major labels are just absolutely terrified of losing an audience or losing a click or losing a view and everything has to be super saturated and super high speed. It doesn’t really mean anything.” Josh repeatedly reiterates the fact that Jungle is as much a visual project as it is musical. The process that built their upcoming eponymous debut LP was one of snapshots and freeze-frames. “We picture these places when we’re recording. Like with The Heat, that’s all about the beach, and we see that. Crazy scenes; loads of people on the beach as waves are rolling
in, there’s a band playing, there’s monkeys on motorcycles. For us, every track on the record is like a film. They’ve all got a visual landscape. It comes through every song, and the lyrics then form the script. They are the backbone of the whole thing.” What started out as the cross-media brainchild of two childhood best friends is now the centrepiece of XL Recordings’ heavyweight roster. Sharing shelf space with the likes of Adele, Vampire Weekend and The Horrors might appear to be a shortcut to credible broadsheet superstardom but for Josh, a brand of nameless merrymaking is still of the upmost importance. “Jungle is just a group of people, a group of friends, and we’ve all been friends from the start. Me and T are like brothers and everything is always funny. If it’s not funny, it’s not good. Everything about it has been carefree and you have to be like that or you’ll get precious about it.” It seems on the surface like an unworkable agenda; juggling a boyish desire to stay
happy and free under the watchful eyes of the country’s largest independent record label. “We just did a cover for Clash which, for us, was quite a weird thing because that’s almost playing the label game. You have to tend to the needs of that, people want to put us on the covers but we’re producers, and ultimately we’ve been dragged to the front of it. We are always going to be drifting around and it’s always going to evolve into new and special things, but we have to be ready for that and not try to preempt it. It’s Jungle. Jungle is bigger than me. The day I get all egotistical about it or T gets egotistical about it it’s like, what’s the point? That’s what we’ve left behind. Josh should be left at the door. He shouldn’t be allowed in to do his hair in the mirror.” As our conversation continues and Josh talks at length about the complications of life as a 21st century jive talker, his car analogy starts to make a bit more sense.
He constantly returns to this idea about an acceleration, an ecstasy, a “moment”. “That feeling … that euphoric rush, for us every track on the album has that. Whether it’s the guitars on Platoon… on Busy Earnin’ when the trumpets and the chords come in it’s like, ‘yeah, this is it. This feels good.’ You’ve got to trust that feeling, and I think every track in one way or another has that. There were tracks that didn’t have it and they’re not on the record. I don’t think we’d put something out that didn’t feel right.” At the very moment mentioned in the video for Busy Earnin’, all that can be seen moving is a ventilator whirring in the window of the cavernous gymnasium before the troupe of dancers erupt into the turbo-polished choreography of Kendra Horsburgh. The whole song is jampacked with re-ups. The engine stalls and the ignition is flicked again. It’s Jungle’s blueprint; double octave vocal mixing that sounds like Detroit Motown with a facelift; arpeggio-laden synth motifs that trickle across the painless melodies. Gears flick, and the Cortina parks as quickly as it bombed past the chequered flag. Jungle is released 14 July via XL Recordings. Catch Jungle at Unknown, Rovinj, Croatia, 8-12 September
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HAND PRINTED 4 COLOUR CMYK SCREEN PRINT Itokawa Film £500 theunconventional.co.uk OK, it’s £500, but just fucking look at it. Imagine it in your room. People would pay to see it. You’d make your money back in no time. Plus it’s framed and that’s always at least 60% of the original price, so it’s kind of a bargain when you think about it.
Listen to your mind.
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IN-THEORY PANT Kowtow £99 kowtowclothing.com FILM NOIR. 100 ALL-TIME FAVORITES Paul Duncan, Jürgen Müller £34.95 taschen.com As heavy as the guilt weighing down on the furrowed shoulders of a shady private dick who’s seen too much, there’s something deeply reassuring – and apt – about the density of this definitive Film Noir tome from Taschen. Spanning 100 examples and almost as many years of the loosely-defined-genre – from 1920s precursors of the highlystylised Noir approach, through the golden era, right up to modern examples like Black Swan and Drive – this is the perfect starting point to get to grips with one of the most evocative and powerful cinematic movements of ever.
MINIRIG COMPETITION In response to a flimsy, style-over-substance market, proudly Bristolian, proudly independent company PASCE has set a new standard for portable audio. Their trusty Minirig has redefined what we think is possible for affordable soundsystems with its solid build quality, attention to detail, impeccable sound and 60 hour battery life. What's more, they've made us a custom Crack version, proudly emblazoned with our logo, and we've got one to give away. Just send your answer to the following question to email@example.com Which of the following is not a pioneer of soundsystem culture? a) Jah Shaka b) Jah Observer c) Jamie Jones
Send your answers with the subject "Minirig" to firstname.lastname@example.org
MULTI CHECK SHORTS Neuba £155 present-london.com It might not be now (it might be by now), but it’s going to be hot at some point and your legs will really appreciate the fact you spunked some solid cash on half a pair of trousers.
APPLICATION System Fork Dust Science
The opulent crimson of the cover and the elaborate title hints at it, and within the opening two minutes of opener On This Morning it’s clear: barely 12 months after his rapturously-received debut A Brief Introduction to Unnatural Lightyears, Oliver Wilde has taken the kitchen sink approach to confronting second album expectation. For music which seems so subtle, there’s a huge amount going on here. Pining strings bleed into signature tin-pot percussion and forgotten guitars with a touch of subaqueous gargle, then Wilde’s compressed vocal hum, with even a suggestion of softly plucked banjo. There’s a definite full-band effect to the smothering riff at the song’s core, but still; it’s as if the entire effect is emanating from the man himself, as if he opens his mouth and this sound emerges, fully formed. The spectre of lo-fi lingers, but it’s in an approach to sound, rather than a sonic effect. And so it goes. There’s no doubt the process has opened up compared to Wilde’s previous release; that there is a sense of a group of musicians here. But there’s still an understated cult of personality at play. Oliver Wilde is the key, the music is him. From St Elmo’s Fire’s addictive, melting progression through the claustrophobic poetry of Plume; the skywardsclambering scuzz of Play & Be Saved, the oddball squelch of Night In Time Lapse and the absurdly gorgeous, crepuscular churn of closer Vessel, he remains the central pivot, the point of solidity, the creative zenith. While there may not be a standout, instant downer-classic here to place alongside miraculous debut album cut Perrett’s Brook (the closest is probably the gleefully crackling Stomach Full Of Cats), the glacial timbral shifts, prominent lust for experimentation, and paradoxically intimate/ultimate humanity of these songs mark it as a considerable step forward for the artist at its helm. If A Brief Introduction... unveiled it, then Red Tide Opal... serves to confirm it. Oliver Wilde is the kind of talent that comes along very rarely; the type which should be cherished and encouraged at every muffled step.
System Fork is the first album by Application. Application is Martin and Richard Dust, and they make up two thirds of Sheffield based electronic legends The Black Dog. System Fork is built from a palette of pure electronic tones and recorded with almost clinical precision, but despite this Application have managed to make an emotionally resonant and human album. The tracks are based on tight repetitive rhythmic patterns that feel close to breakbeats, with a wealth of hits, zaps and pads moving around that central core. While The Black Dog is a name that has thrived on the live elements of electronic music, forging a career as DJs, live performers and producers of dancefloor tool techno, Application’s work is anything but spontaneous. System Fork is the result of a manifesto, inspired by the Japanese principle of Itamae, that took two years to develop. Under these principles students are obliged to watch their masters at work for years before they are even allowed to pick up their tools. So it seems Application have been watching their masters carefully, and are now taking their turn to pay homage. The highly digital fusion of clicks, thumps and noise throughout System Fork would fit perfectly into the Raster-Noton catalogue and, at times, one is rather forcibly reminded of Autechre; even the sleeve gives a nod to the image of pure digital abstraction these artists have popularised. The digital scree across the black background of the sleeve fits the stark tone of the record perfectly. And although not groundbreaking, Application have delivered a carefully produced collection of tracks that are as danceable as they are listenable.
! Rich Bitt
! Thomas Painter
THE ANTLERS Familiars Anti -/Transgressive
ALEXIS TAYLOR Await Barbarians Domino Errm, right, OK. So Alexis Taylor’s had a bad dream and has made an album where he thinks he’s a Laurel Canyon confessional troubadour. On his second solo LP, he continues to move further away from the irresistible beat-driven pop of Hot Chip, instead trudging a deeply personal, slightly-but-not-really experimental road. A collection of piano-ballads with varying degrees of success, Await Barbarians is a bold move – sadly though, it’s one that hasn’t paid off. The majority of the tracks go round in circles, feeling like a verse repeated over and over and, although the production and arrangements are interesting, there is too much emphasis on fucking around with things for the sake of fucking around with them. On one track, New Hours, it sounds like he’s blowing a milk bottle or some shit. Badly. Saying that though, the duo of songs entitled Without A Crutch are beautiful, perfectly constructed ballads, the lyrics a dark lament on a relationship, bolstered by a fragile melody and vocal performance. However, the fact that Without A Crutch essentially appears twice speaks volumes; the vast majority of the tracks go nowhere, especially the lead single Elvis Has Left The Building, where the perfectly adequate lyrics are let down again by a fruitless and frustrating wait for a chorus. This is a long, long way from the After The Gold Rush it wants to be.
Tom Krell’s encyclopedic RnB and pop influence list had to be beckoned out on 2012’s Total Loss. Sometimes a Bobby Brown-style vocal lick or an Aaliyah-esque ad lib would only break through the noise if you really went looking out for it. But for much of What Is This Heart? that delicacy gets toppled by a far more unsheltered guide through Krell’s record collection. Be it the mid-song vocal breakdown on Words I Don’t Remember, or the hymnal opening to Pour Cyril which sounds like a less sleazy version of Like A Prayer, the linchpin of this record is melody and vocal trickery. While the album’s closer plays host to a paradisal beat, it is little more than a costume for Krell’s falsetto acrobatics, all of which makes for a stirring finale. Having thematically dissected the nature of loss two years ago, Krell continues his voyage into the intricacies of heartbreak and the puzzling details of despondency. What Is This Heart? may be glossier than its predecessor, but it’s no less human. And by channelling the sheen of The Supremes with the candidness of Kendrick Lamar or Sun Kil Moon, How To Dress Well continues to flourish by staying true to what he knows and even truer to how he feels.
It’s been a full three years since the last album proper from The Antlers, and 2011’s Burst Apart was something of a high watermark in a career that’s never dipped far below the pool’s edges, yet never quite flooded the stands either. Over five albums lead singer Peter Silberman has managed to subtly reinterpret the band’s sound, changing just enough with each new release to pique returning interest while pandering to a fanbase that wants nothing more than to wallow in a bath of its own tears. That methodology is clearly at play on this latest effort, although album opener Palace reaches a level of drippiness that would make even Snow Patrol’s taps blush. More so than ever before, Familiars employs a horn section to evoke a sense of rousing melancholy in its compositions, much in the same way artists like Beirut or Patrick Watson have done in the past. There’s an impressive depth to the instrumentation on offer, with flurries of piano, currents of sitar, and interjections of string on hand to remind you just how dense each recording really is. Familiars does a very good job of wrapping you in that same slightly self-indulgent comfort blanket worn so well by the band; a little like falling asleep on a bed of candy floss – sweet, but without real definition. Make no mistake, in the haunting coos of Doppelganger or Intruders there’s plenty to lose yourself in, just don’t expect to find yourself anywhere new on the other side.
! Jon Clark
! Duncan Harrison
! Alex Gwilliam
HOW TO DRESS WELL What Is This Heart? Weird World / Domino
OLIVER WILDE Red Tide Opal in The Loose End Womb Howling Owl
DOLMAN Dolman Inflexion Point An album of juxtapositions, this debut from Dolman is a curious beast. This is big music, widescreen in scope, extremely ambitious, and consciously ‘visual’ in its qualities; yet it also comes imbued with a very personal sense of place. Scott Hendy and Ben Salisbury are well-respected figureheads within a broad Bristol musical community; Hendy with the Domino Records-approved Malachai, and Salisbury alongside Geoff Barrow in DROKK, and for his esteemed soundtrack work. And while this album seeks to span ages and spaces, the duo’s hometown is the defining theme throughout. Salisbury’s stamp is felt hard from the opening bars of the their first collaborative record. Tales from the Gate is an immediate, imposing soundscape, recalling fellow Bristolian Hyetal’s most dystopian furrows. It’s hugely impressive, as is the track which follows; the heartbreaking The Rainbow, built around a sparse piano progression, eked-out ambience, and a sublime cameo from vocalist Adele Emmas. But these two tracks – their qualities, and their contrasts – act as a microcosm for the album. Hendy and Salisbury are prodigiously talented, and their exercises in sonic muscle-flexing are just as impressive as the tangible ‘songs’ on offer. The guest vocalists are impeccable too; Bristol perfect-pipes-for-hire Alison Garner of The Fauns swoons and sighs over Flight 22, while Crybaby’s contribution to the twopart On Stony Ground makes for an addictive exercise in trip-hop swing, with the kind of muted glamour of early Portishead. But while the 11 tracks on offer are connected by a rich, sonorous thread, it’s difficult to sink your teeth into as a coherent feature-length when the scene, and the lighting, and the actors keep changing with such regularity. Not so much a soundtrack to an invisible film then; more the sonic accompaniment to a collection of enthralling shorts.
Ah, the difficult second album. It was undoubtedly difficult to see where Cerebral Ballzy could go following their 2011 debut, on which they thrashed mindlessly through ditties about skating, pizza, girls and beer. As much fun and little fuck giving as there was, its lifespan was destined to be as fleeting as the $1 slices that powered it. Three years later, it’s easy to approach Jaded & Faded with a touch of apprehension; will it be more of the same, or a forced leap for maturity. Thankfully, it’s neither. Instead, the album opts to explore the corridors that lead to and from the ‘83 Bowery punk rock of their previous output. Backed by the support of Julian Casablancas and his Cult Records label, the leaner, road-tested quintet have digested slacker melodies and darkened alt-pop guitar into their sound. This is best exemplified on Fake I.D., Pretty In The City and the lead single and standout track, Better in Leather. Tinges of dreamy 80s British indie are evident on Be Your Toy and Off With Your Head, while the trusted Ballzy blueprint barges in on the smash n’ grab of Fast Food, Parade Of Idiots and Speed Wobbles. Occasionally the album wanders and topples as these avenues elbow for space, but swiftly rolls on before becoming too apparent. Broadly speaking, the band has steadied from a Bad Brains blast to a Ramones gallop, but the album still clocks in under 27 minutes with only one song breaking the three-minute mark. Most importantly though, they still sound like you’re listening to them on a battered tape stuffed into your parents’ shitty stereo.
! Rachel Mann
! Ian Ochiltree
LONE Reality Testing R&S
WHITE LUNG Deep Fantasy Domino
CEREBRAL BALLZY Jaded & Faded Cult Records
Taking its cues from a certain 2012 school of intellectual and wellmannered pop (think Everything Everything, Django Django et al), Teleman’s debut album is one that treads the line between uplifting motorik rhythms and ludicrous toddler-pop. Some of it is excellent and well thought out, other parts are far too ‘look-at-me-aren’tI-eccentric-British-and-quirky’; this latter aspect encapsulated with particularly grating effect by the knowlingly ‘RANDOM!!!’ title, Breakfast. Where tracks such as Catrina start the record off well, the rest of the LP is wrongfooted by the silliness of Skeleton Dance and Steam Train Girl, tracks which will do nothing but infuriate any of the over-fives who may have the displeasure of hearing them. “Skeleton Dance with me to the corner” ramble the lyrics, bolstered by light melodies and further oddball jauntiness, presenting no danger and even less intrigue. That’s unless you count something interesting if you find it to be bileinducing. That said, the majority of the tracks do stand up nicely: Lady Low for example, lilts along just fine; all dreamy synths and appropriately placed sax solos, whereas the aforementioned Catrina builds blissfully, an excellent track that shows the true potential of Teleman. As albums go, however ... nah, this is far from ideal.
It would be easy to start this review by stating how unfortunate White Lung are to be dropping this – their third full length and first for Domino – so soon after Perfect Pussy’s stone-cold classic Say Yes To Love. But such concerns were unfounded: Deep Fantasy is easily one of the most entertaining records of the year thus far. 2012’s Sorry was a thoroughly enjoyable record, and this is essentially more of the same. Currently reduced to a three-piece comprising vocalist Mish Way, drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou and Kenneth William, the latter’s guitar work is still the band’s main draw, melding thick low-end riffing and frenetic, mathy leads; the drumming is solid, but necessarily un-flashy given the relentless melodic blitzkrieg overhead. It’s laughably satisfying at times, and the unexpectedly frequent comparisons to classic-era AFI (that’s Black Sails in the Sunset, All Hallows and Art of Drowning to you) are actually pretty spot-on: Deep Fantasy occupies a sonic space far more indebted to late-90s Cali punk and crunchy hardcore than the post-Grrrl femme punk it’s being inevitably lumped in with. Gripes are few: Drown With The Monster is a weak opener, and though, musically, the strongest tracks – Down It Goes, Wrong Star and Sycophant specifically – sound increasingly faultless on every listen, Way’s vocals do tend to lack in range, following generally the same cadences on every track. In addition, it suffers from a production style that, although punchy and clattering, is also oddly shiny and emotion-sucking at times. But these are minor complaints. This is a great record.
After the surprise link with FlyLo’s Brainfeeder label brought about Martyn’s most rugged and direct work yet, 2011’s Ghost People, he makes a logical jump to Ninja Tune to present a more streamlined, organic, and generally twee-er third album. He hasn’t lost any of the signature tuff drum programming that is unmistakably Martyn, more that he has surrounded it with a more natural, twinkling set of sounds that owe far more to Four Tet or Caribou than Ghost People did to the Hardcore Continuum. As someone who’s visibly adjusted his vision and the musical circles he operates in over the course of his career, it’s disappointing to hear Martyn default to a relatively stock house template for much of the music here. All are completely serviceable, solid tracks, but beyond tumbling along with an admirable sense of pace and momentum, it’s hard to justify their inclusion as album material (an exception can be made for Empty Mind, which possesses a creepy, unsettling quality at odds with the relative euphoria of the material around it). Maybe it’s unfair to bag on someone mellowing out their sound. After all, unless you’re Aphex Twin or Nicky Blackmarket, that’s generally how it goes. It’s just a shame he’s mellowed out in the most predictable way possible.
Manchester-based electronic artist Matt Cutler, aka. Lone, follows up 2012's acclaimed Galaxy Garden with his second album on R&S and his sixth LP-full, Reality Testing. It’s another wander into the realms of experimental and synthesized sound structures, but with his unique mixture of colourful videogame melodies now taking more of a relaxed perspective of early 90s dance and hip-hop as opposed to his formerly untenable, free-roaming expressionism. If Galaxy Garden was a trip to the cosmos, then perhaps Reality Testing is the return journey. Cutler has claimed Detroit techno and Chicago house were amongst the key genre influences for his latest record, and tracks like album highlight Aurora Northern Quarter make this clear. A striking drive of skewed 90s house piano fuels this aptly named number, referencing the fashionable Manchester microcosm and the city’s most vibrant musical sector; Cutler’s spiritual home. The seamless meld of hip-hop and house in 2 is 8 is an innovative design, too, and one of the most progressive pieces on the album. Restless City is an invigorated chop betwixt the more subdued rhythms and synth glides of Meeker Warm Energy, and ambient opener First Born Seconds, and the previously released Airglow Fires is Cutler at his melodious best. In many places, though, Reality Testing slips by unnoticed. It’s peaceful and pleasant throughout, but on the back of such a far-out record as Galaxy Garden it feels drained. At times it sounds detached, even lonely. It is by no means a poor record, but we still think Lone is at his best when he’s locked out on Rainbow Road, speeding through the stars like a digital meteor.
! Jon Clark
! Thomas Howells
! Steven Dores
! James Balmont
TELEMAN Breakfast Moshi Moshi
MARTYN The Air Between Words Ninja Tune
13 PHILIPP GORBACHEV Silver Album Cómeme Marketed as the ‘first Russian dance album’ (a claim it’s pretty much impossible to verify or refute, so we’ll just go with it for now), Philipp Gorbachev’s debut LP is a cacophonous riot of stomping post-EBM rhythms slung under poetic but indecipherable Russian gibberish and whining, skyward synthesis. Featuring input from Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers, John Stanier of Helmet / Battles fame, and Ostgut Ton’s Tobias Freund, it’s a record that manages to successfully coalesce these disparate worlds into a concise musical (and subtly political) statement while still being explicitly fun in its execution. Opener Arrest Me – Песня Для Арестантов (that second bit translates to ‘Song For Prisoners’) is dedicated to the world’s incarcerated population, and it stomps around with a suitably defiant frustration that remains throughout the record. Stainer’s contribution on Europa, easily (and predictably) the most unhinged track here, sees his trademark barrelling, relentless drumming acting as grounding for Gorbachev’s childlike yelps and buried, prodding keys. Brief respite comes in the form of the beatless Silver Symphony - Серебряная Симфония, but it’s a far from relaxing listen. Dark and heavy strings sit ominously over a percolating bassline, veering into a short refrain that echoes the equally brief melody found in Arrest Me…, before converging back into a paranoid tension that hangs in the air until everything fades away. Finishing with the compressed worm-holing pump of What Do You Need - Что Тебе Надо (…What Do You Want), Silver Album is a record built from a concise palette that succeeds in its widescreen, punkish ambitions with a rare sincerity and humour. ! Steven Dores
ELIJAH AND SKILLIAM FABRICLIVE 75 fabric
Unashamed, cliché ridden rock’n’roll from Long Beach, California isn’t something we were particularly expecting to enjoy in this month of bountiful musical goodness, though there's something undeniable about the retro-rock the impeccablyattired Rival Sons put forward. The Led-Zeppelin squeals are so subtly veiled you wonder whether Spandex should really have been the get-up of choice as opposed to their actual chosen uniforms; debonair black suits, slick wayfarers and tilted trilby hats. Other influences are on display here too, with Good Things sharing The Black Keys' current penchant for song structure only with less riffs. The primary upshot of Great Western Valkyrie is an album full of raw guitar work, classic song structure and the odd monstrous riff that actively renounces any modern tampering in favour of rich homage to the past. It works best though, with the proviso that, to be honest, this is an enjoyable listening experience that owes a lot of its tricks to its main influence: the 70s.
2014 has seen a continuation in the resurgence of grime; from the Eastern-influenced new wave of sino-grime to the insane hype surrounding JME and Meridian Dan’s mainstream crossover German Whip. So it seems like this is the right moment for Butterz label bosses Elijah & Skilliam to take the helm for their FABRICLIVE mix. The pair have long reigned over the UK grime scene, holding down a Rinse show as well as being FWD>>> regulars, so it’s a wonder it took until FABRICLIVE's 75th outing to pin them down to take the reins. Mottled with infant cuts from both the Text and Hyperdub labels, grime veteran Terror Danjah’s stomping presence pummels out classically slurred and sub low beats while Butterz’ resident lady Flava D animates and cranks through the gears. Flirting with fresh talents both homegrown, and overseas thanks to flurries from Murlo and Kelela, despite the undeniable capabilities on both sides of the fence questions are certainly raised as to exactly how far Elijah & Skilliam have attempted to stretch the genre’s outlines. Yet as a snapshot of current offerings which embody the gritty, celebratory essence of the movement and what it always stood for in the club, this does the job. Grime never really did like to take a backseat, and we’re glad it’s heading back out front.
Since conquering hearts back in 2012 with his sensational slice of analogue techno Growing Seeds, we’ve had our ears firmly fixed on Hannes Norrvide. Since then the Swedish youngster has found himself gracing our top 100 albums of the year list with his second full-length Perfect View and has recruited a pair of strapping mates for a third effort, International. It’s safe to call this a departure; in fact, it’s an album that bears only a slight resemblance to the shambling, hollering chaos of its predecessors. At its heart though, it’s still a thing of throbbing, boyish tension that casts shadowy doubt on the gridlocked standard for industrially-influenced music. It’s Norrvide growing up and making music that retains menace and foreboding whilst infiltrating the realm of ‘pop’. Illume is a glowering, ice cold pop song that cuts basic, jarring synths into thumping 4/4, 909 kicks and fluttering claps. Norrvide’s strained vocals build on the sense of adolescent awkwardness that has run through his work while his bandmates’ gang shouts provide a basis for his newfound collaborative awakening. New Boys tempts interpretation, evoking the lads’ spiritual peers in Vår with not-so-cryptic titular and lyrical hints at homoerotic intrigue. Norrvide croons “are you in or... / let it burn to / cover up the truth.” Tracks like Armida and Running, meanwhile, tread musical ground with echoes of Abe Vigoda’s mechanical misery pop. The only let up from perfectly produced, symmetrical thuds comes in the form of a short but sweet ambient piece titled UItras – a beautiful, femaleled, Italian spoken word track – Lungomare and After Touch, a dissonant ballad that features reverb-laden guitar and pitch shifted analogue synth that lurches towards a romanticised 80s pop fetish. It doesn’t matter though, the all-too-unnerving effect of the urgent kicks and swirling, glassy synth lines is actually what keeps the album feeling vital until the closing notes of title track International. It may repeat, but it doesn’t get boring. International is the result of a young human constructing inner peace through creativity and producing art which is both broadly reassuring and startling in its personal reflection; an undiluted, heartfelt confrontation and deconstruction of commercially influenced structures. Truly postmodern pop music.
If a punk show that involves bloodspilling moshpits, a relentless stream of stage divers and an almost exclusively male audience wearing cannabis leaf-patterned socks isn’t your idea of a good time, then you’ll probably never like Trash Talk. That’s fair enough, but some of us need to satisfy our psyche’s more aggressive instincts once in a while, and No Peace proves that there’s still potency to the LAbased, battle-scarred four piece’s simple formula. Hardcore puritans hate these guys because of their wider appeal, punk archeologists hate them because they eschew lo-fidelity for expensive-sounding production, and anyone old enough to remember the rap/nu-metal fusion trend of the late 90s (i.e, the worst musical epoch in the history of popular culture) will be cautious of their occasional attempts to infuse distorted riffs with hip-hop. But when they’re on form, it’s hard to deny Trash Talk’s impact. Within 159 seconds of this album, the breakdown of second track Jigsaw drops, and if your stereo’s volume is at a sufficient level, you’ll feel an overwhelming urge to dive headfirst through the nearest closed window. Not bad.
! Hulio Bourgeois
! Leah Connolly
! Billy Black
! Davy Reed
RIVAL SONS Great Western Valkyrie Earache
LUST FOR YOUTH International Sacred Bones
TRASH TALK No Peace Odd Future Records
Owen Pallet ‘In Conflict’
Archie Bronson Outfit ‘Wild Crush’
Available now on Ltd 2xLP ◆ LP ◆ CD ◆ DL
Available now on LP ◆ CD ◆ DL
White Lung ‘Deep Fantasy’
Alexis Taylor ‘Await Barbarians’
Available 16.06.14 on LP ◆ CD ◆ DL
Available 09.06.14 on Ltd LP ◆ LP ◆ CD ◆ DL
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Live MAYFEST Various Venues, Bristol 15-25 May
TEMPLES Motion, Bristol 2-4 May
COURTNEY LOVE 02 Academy, Bristol 19 May Hollywood has a lot to answer for. They created a monster out of Courtney Love. But Love’s paradoxical battle with her representation is one she’s fought with self-deprecation, selfawareness and an inability to give a fuck what anyone else thinks about it. When she walks onstage wearing a £16 Topshop playsuit, she embodies the Courtney Love we all know and some of us adore. She smirks at the audience and growls the opening lines of Miss World, and we’re instantly relieved to hear we’ll be treated to at least a taste of everything we loved about Hole. The 49-year-old peroxide princess jumps atop the speakers while screeching full pelt into the mic, and then it happens; she starts playing those three chords that make Malibu one of the most timeless and defining songs of the 90s. After blasting her way through a perfectly structured set – Reasons To Be Beautiful and Jennifer’s Body teeming with unhinged energy, a stunningly emotional rendition of Violet – she reaches her conclusion with a note-perfect reconstruction of Celebrity Skin. When she returns for the encore she’s covered in a red carpet-worthy dress, bright lipstick, clutching roses for the crowd. She sits on the middle monitor and serenades us with an acoustic Softer, Softest before being joined by her band for a full on Doll Parts. And that’s that. Courtney Love has still got it.
! Billy Black Martin @ Allyourprey
While the UK festival market is increasingly overladen with the same-old line-ups nestled under a different corporate sponsor, there’s very little to cater for those thirsty for something with a little heft; a hulking figure behind a fug of bong smoke. Well, that chasm has just been filled with a boneshattering thud. Working our way through a Motion court yard heaving – surreally – with denim battle jackets, the first band of the weekend to catch our eye were Athens, Georgia husband and wife duo Jucifer, whose menacing sludge cacophony ran Canadian doomsters Blood Ceremony very close for the 'set of the day' award. The latter’s witchy Jethro Tull-meets-Sabbath sound outprogged everyone else on the bill, and singer, keyboardist and flautist Alia O’Brien’s sheer exuberance kept all eyes fixed in her direction. Next we were thrown into the thick of Brutal Truth’s final UK show. Their unapologetic hour of grindcore was tinged with a poignancy that such a force are going out at the top of their game. To cap it off, Electric Wizard, despite a few sound issues, flung their brand of psychedelic heaviness out in spades. The main complaint from day one was a vegetarian catering issue, and to the credit of the organisers, this was addressed by Saturday, with punters allowed to bring their own packed lunch. It’s lucky too, as attempting to digest the dynamic doom of Amenra or an in-your-fucking-face showing from crust punk titans Doom on an empty stomach is a big ask. Probably the most anticipated set of the weekend, post-metal godheads Neurosis topped Saturday stripped of their signature visual onslaught. Their set began with the sprawling A Sun That Never Sets, followed by a mindblowing version of Locust Star. The consuming scope of their live sound is wholly transcendental, and the crowd were transfixed by the vibration. Onto Sunday, where we were quickly indoctrinated back into the swing of things by Beastmilk’s deathly new wave punk, equal parts Gary Numan, Turbonegro and AFI, fronted by a gothic Jello Biafra. We then witnessed another of the weekend’s many untouchable moments. Led by Jimbob Isaac, veteran leader of Swansea legends Taint, HARK confirmed themselves as one of the most thrilling bands of their ilk – that ilk being groove-laden stoner metal; dynamic, depthy, memorable, remarkable. They dominated the main stage, swooping through progressive-without-being-prog, technicallyflawless-without-being-technical anthems with effortless intensity. When they were joined by Neil Fallon, vocalist with headliners Clutch, for Clear Light Of ..., it was almost unbearably triumphant. They left the stage at 6pm, and we were left knowing the day couldn’t get any better. That’s not to say it got any worse. Shrouded in smoke, Dragged In Sunlight were devastating, while death ‘n’ rollers Doomriders took us through a fast-paced set that combined detuned riffs with classic rock strut. Then came the climactic showing from the aforementioned Earth Rockin’, Elephant Ridin’, Beard Burnin’ boys from Maryland: Clutch. And from the opening whoomp of The Mob Goes Wild through to the closing clenched fist of Electric Worry/One Eyed Dollar, they didn’t miss a mark. The crowd were left a beer-and-sweat-sodden vision of elation. An hour later, with the masses dispersed, Bristol shaman of all things heavy and the man responsible for Temples, Francis Mace, will have surveyed the wasteland with the intense satisfaction of a job incredibly well done. This one’s in it for the long haul. !
Phillip James Allen, Jack Bolter, Rich Bitt N Ross Silcocks
BLACK LIPS Privatclub, Berlin 24 May Any feelings of apprehension which marked the Black Lips’ entry into Berlin’s cosy Privatclub vanished the second the boys from Atlanta kicked into the raucous blast of Family Tree, guitarist Cole Alexander leaning back and launching his signature dollop of spit into the air. The crowd-surfing began as they blasted through Good Bad Not Evil cuts Bad Kids and O, Katrina!, Not a Problem and Dirty Hands from their 2005 album Let It Bloom, and even the creepy horror-blues track Stone Cold from their 2003 self-titled debut LP, a stone-cold classic. Though they may not have delivered any of the antics fans have come to demand (it never got much further than King Khan chucking a bunch of toilet paper), the Black Lips made up for it in boundless charisma, sweating out their array of raw and catchy tunes with such confidence you just couldn’t help but lose your shit. In some ways this offers affirmation of the accusations of ‘maturity’ levelled at them of late, as if that’s some sort of negative trait. But rather than concentrating on wild antics and grabbing schlocky alt-music-press headlines, this is a band more focused than ever on rock and roll. Whatever this newfound maturity means for the future of the band, they still deliver a killer live show, and they’re still loving it. You should too.
! Lewis Lloyd Hans Tobias Duvefjord
Bristol’s Mayfest is a masterfully curated celebration of contemporary theatre. Taking place over two and a half weeks and spanning almost the entire length and breadth of the city, it brings together a huge range of performance arts, from black metal interpretations of the budget speech to parkour based outdoor theatre productions. If Destroyed Still True at the Old Vic was a sophisticated story within a story: part autobiography on the part of the narrators (Molly Naylor and Iain Ross, playing themselves), and part fictional nostalgia for a time of life that encapsulates the best and the worst of adulthood. Ambitiously staged using only a change in the lighting to signal switches between storylines, both actors play guitars and drums as they ‘rehearse’ in front of the audience, tiny interludes of frayed garage-band songs and surf-rock harmonies providing a kind of internal soundtrack. We also caught Bella Fortune’s one woman show What Elsie Knows at the tiny Wardrobe Theatre. Fortune’s talent as a director and actress is astounding, but it’s her written dialogue that really stands out. What Elsie Knows is a monologue in conversation; an exploration of the self that serves as a window into the introspective quirks and eccentricities that make us human. At half an hour we found ourselves enraptured beginning to end with her witty, observational – borderline schizophrenic – monologue. It would take an army to cover everything on offer, while our attempts to catch energetic outdoor production The Roof were scuppered by rain, but the micro section we did take in affirmed what we already knew; Mayfest is a brilliant idea and a great platform for performance arts in all its guises. !
Adam Corner + Billy Black
NOZINJA The Bermuda Triangle, Brighton 30 April The founder of Shangaan Electro and the man responsible for some of South Africa’s brightest talent, Richard ‘Nozinja’ Mthetwa may have built a reputation as a hard task master that prompted The Guardian to call him the ‘mobile phone shop repair magnate turned township Simon Cowell’ in an article last year. But tonight his set suggested passion and pride rather than racking up another zero on the end of a bank statement. Like Omar Souleyman, Nozinja is an ambassador for a genre; an educator that takes a traditional form of music out of Soweto, giving it a 21st century makeover and taking it to new audiences. While tempting to focus on the music, the two dancers that accompany him tonight play a key role, sometimes lending their voices to the rapid rhythms being pumped out of the soundsystem. The two brightly-dressed dancers are the visual aid, embarking on extended hip-thrusting sessions and occasionally encouraging people onstage to join them. Set closer and recent single Tsekeleke may have been the one familiar track known to everyone present, but tonight an equal number were assured that Nozinja has the capacity to awaken people to Shangaan’s long-lasting potency. !
Throwing Snow Mosaic
CD / 2xLP / Digital — 2nd June “Beautifully fragmentary” Clash “Deserves to be played in a room the size of an aircraft hangar” Dazed & Confused Scan this page with the
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Live SLOWDIVE Village Underground, London 19 May
THE WAR ON DRUGS Koko, Camden 27 May The War On Drugs waste no time getting their set underway, weaving into the opening bars of An Ocean Between The Waves before the venue’s DJ has even had a chance to fade out the house music. It’s the musical equivalent to starting a piece of writing without any semblance of an introduction. The Pennsylvania outfit have undoubtedly made their longawaited breakthrough this year, with recent album Lost In The Dream garnering rave reviews across the board. It’s 2014’s answer to Kurt Vile’s much-celebrated Wakin On A Pretty Daze the year prior, and that’s no surprise – Vile was previously a member of tonight’s headline performers before departing in order to concentrate on his solo career. It seems he’s now paved the way for their likeminded emergence. Adam Granduciel stands atop Koko’s stage like a carbon copy of his former co-study: long, straggly hair, plaid shirt and denim jacket. He's the focus tonight as he jams his way through an endless ensemble of voracious, bluesy solos and entrancing chords. With Red Eyes, the audience is set alight, and it’s these most melodic cuts from Lost In The Dream that shine in a set largely built around slow-burning, psychedelic folk and Springsteenesque Americana. Two hours and 27 guitar solos down the line, a handful of people start to leave before the band’s three-track encore. But while it’s true that this set may have lost some steam along the way, for a while tonight, at least, we were all lost in the dream. !
For all the bluster and fanfare, it transpired that this wasn’t quite the first Slowdive show in 20 years. The legendary quintet had actually played the Sonic Cathedral 10th birthday bash the previous night. In many respects, though, this was only fair. Nathaniel Cramp’s shoegaze label doubtless played no small part in rekindling interest in the so-called ‘scene that celebrates itself’. Interest so intense, in fact, that tickets to see Slowdive at tonight’s proper curtain-raiser sold out in literally two minutes. All of which would have been laughably improbable around the time of the band’s initial split in 1995. Back then, Slowdive’s final LP Pygmalion had sunk without trace under the tidal wave of Oasis and Britpop and the British music press had savaged their previous release, Souvlaki. Fast-forward to tonight and amidst the elated crowd, faces over 30 are scarce. It reinforces the idea that Slowdive were lost in time, as though hermetically sealed till theirs had arrived. Judging by the hero’s welcome roared above Brian Eno’s Deep Blue Day as Slowdive take the stage, it irrefutably has. The night kicks off with material from their eponymous debut EP before heading through the albums. It’s no surprise that the Souvlaki material works well. Beneath the nuanced fuzz, these are beautiful songs and tonight they sound precisely how you would hope, if not expect. By the time Alison emerges at the end of the encore, two reverential young fans are worshipping the stage between high-fives. Slowdive have emphatically proven they can deliver again. !
James F. Thompson
DOT TO DOT Various Venues, Bristol 24 May
ACTION BRONSON O2 Academy, Bristol 14 May “Cut that shit out”, Action Bronson orders his DJ following a unexpected moment of self-awareness, “What the fuck was I thinking?”. The aborted track in question is It’s Me, undoubtedly the goofiest moment from his Blue Chips 2 mixtape. “Actually... fuck it, put it back on”, the 320 pound Queens rapper commands. Steel drums clink, outrageously corny brass sounds blare from the speakers and he resumes rapping about having cocaine stashed inside his arse. Welcome to the surreal, perversely entertaining world of Action Bronson. Contemporary Man sees him rhyme his way through a music obstacle course set up with segments of hits from Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel and Huey Lewis & The News, while an acappella rap includes a boast about grilling an octopus he caught with his bare hands. And then it’s time for that notorious party trick. He climbs the barriers mid-song, marches through the crowd and to the venue’s bar. The DJ drops Pantera’s Walk and Bronson climbs a staircase, throwing his sweat soaked XXXL t-shirt into the crowd before leading fans into the men’s toilets. “Yo, I can’t piss with too many people around me man”, he complains from the cubicle. And considering that he’s just proved his immunity to stage fright, it’s arguably Action Bronson’s most ironic statement of the night.
! Davy Reed Martin @ Allyourprey
Wet weather can make or break an outdoor festival, but you’d think the indoor ones would be alright. As we squelch our waterlogged shoes through the wristband exchange for Dot to Dot, though, it’s apparent that the downpour will play a decisive factor in what bands we see today. Being pissed on by the heavens sucks as a punter, but it sucks harder when you’re one of the opening bands who has to cancel their set due to being stuck on the motorway somewhere. Neither Gallery Circus nor Mt Royal arrive at Thekla in time for their scheduled appearances, so it’s down to Amber Run to get the party started. Admittedly, they barely made it either, which means the sizeable crowd on the lower deck is treated to an embarrassing soundcheck led by a non-member who might be the keyboard player’s dad. The commute across Queen’s Square to Start The Bus reveals something better: New York’s Drowners have arrived, and the back half of the venue is so rammed we can’t actually see them. Still, their bolshy, bassheavy post-punk is potent enough to fill the whole room, and the day ahead seems a lot brighter as their short but sweet set draws to a close. Wonder Villains are next, a tooth decay inducing synth pop four-piece whose CBBC presenter smiles more or less sum up what they’re about. Their kitsch 90s sound is led by an overdriven keytar, and we can just about make out shouty lyrics about regrettable haircuts and Pokémon cards. A packed-out Thekla means we can’t comment on the set from Macaulay Culkin’s Pizza Underground, though reports of the shambolic, heckleinducing, stage-fleeing goings-on which marked their other D2D sets aren’t hard to find. Making a beeline for Roll for the Soul doesn’t prove quite as fruitful either, as we catch a trio of lost looking hobos playing beginner’s drum beats and lazily fondling pawn shop guitars. They’re called Dirty, which describes their wannabe lo-fi surf bum sound perfectly. It reeks of pretension and pseudo lo-fi beach scum. Northern duo Drenge, on the other hand, demonstrate what amp fuzz and cymbal smashing can achieve when done right. Their grungey set at the O2 Academy is graciously received, with tracks like Bloodsports and Backwaters proving that a raucous noise can still be made with the bare minimum of instruments. Headliners Peace are also capable of big sounds, playing more solidly than any of the bands we’ve seen so far. While chorus-soaked, Robert Smith-ish guitars grow weary towards the end of their set, this is still an accomplished headline performance that serves as an appetiser for more sunshiney festival appearances this summer.
! Matt Ayres Stuart Moulding
BEN FROST Berghain, Berlin 22 May The last year must have been busy for Ben Frost. Somehow finding the time to compose and tour an ambitious opera based on Iain Banks’ gothic horror The Wasp Factory and record a new LP for Mute Records,this show saw him play Berghain as part of his ongoing tour to promote the excellent A U R O R A. In this sacred setting, Ben Frost’s already powerful sound finds additional physicality with the support of two drummers, playing with intense focus and precision. The asymmetric rhythms of Frost’s music becomes the beating heart of the performance, marking a shift in his output, from what might be described as ambient, to something much more focused and explicitly structured. The heavy drum patterns play against the thick emotional melodies fuelling an intensely dramatic ambience. Many of the melodic aspects of the performance could once have belonged in dance tracks, overwrought trance leads becoming epic shoegaze walls of sound, almost lost in frenzied blastbeasts. As the performance develops, it feels as though the sound itself is pressing on our chests, the sheer volume and heart-rending melodrama become physical presences. At 50 minutes, the performance ends perhaps a little too soon, leaving the audience dazed and exhausted, but wanting more. Oddly, Ben Frost performed barefoot, perhaps signifying a comfort in his eccentricities and embracing his role as an “Artist”. As a presence onstage, he radiates a quiet intensity that fits his music. !
Words: Steven Dores and Thomas Frost Photography: Khris Cowley, Here & Now
LOVE SAVES THE DAY Castle Park, Bristol \ 24 + 25 May
Saturday After a few hours hovering near the door like a restless dog (albeit a dog railing tinnies and bacon sandwiches in earnest), we eventually manned up around 4pm and got involved in the moist hedonism that was Love Saves The Day 2014. Spending the first few hours cruising around the heavily made-up Castle Park, it became apparent very early on that no amount of relentlessly intermittent rainfall was going to prevent the colour-clashing, glitter-wearing, umbrella-twirling masses from having the most fun it's possible to have in a city-centre park. A little while spent cruising around the compact, undulating festival site revealed something for everyone. Over at the Just Jack stage Fabric's main man Craig Richards effortlessly weaved through techy, waveriding rhythms that blended perfectly with the loose early evening vibe. A swift, pointlessly necessary trip backstage (how else do we justify our existence?) followed, and then it was over to the Futureboogie stage to catch Motor City Drum Ensemble rip through a joyous selection of disco slammers. Since that wonderful RA documentary revealed him to be a sensitive, emotional soul, his signature good-time sound seems
to take on even more resonance. His sunset set-time made complete sense to the packed-out eastern extremities of the park. Bolting back from whence we came to see Nina Kraviz do her thing IRL, she thoroughly impressed with a tough set of solid, tracky house and techno. It was a pleasure to see her patented mime-trapped-in-a-glassbox dance moves and, far from appearing contrived as many seem to have decided, her performance came across as genuine, enthusiastic, and technically superb. Off to the Futureboogie stage to catch recent Crack cover star, Todd Terje, bring the day to a close in enigmatic style. While a last-minute switch from a live performance to a DJ set disappointed some, he bounced from borderline cheesy house to over-the-border-international cheesy disco in a way that made complete sense given the weather. Playing hands-in-the-air music not only warms the heart, but provides a simple but effective pair of tiny umbrellas for each individual. Finishing up with an achingly-extended VIP of Inspector Norse, swiftly followed by the pure-80sbelter that is Whitney's Love Will Save The Day; what better way to end around one?
Sunday Love Saves Sunday was once again charged with the task of providing the continued revelry to compliment the more upfront Saturday. An appearance from the sun was a bloody good start. With the ground still swollen and brown from the previous day but with arguably a stronger line-up on the Sunday we decided to get stuck in. Navigating your way around Castle Park is an easy exercise at LSTD making the stresses of missing acts almost non-existent. If you ran you could get from one side to the other in five minutes, passing six stages on your way, and that is one of the grand things about the festival; the convenience. The line-up on the Crack Stage was, frankly, very strong; if we’re being really honest, we stayed put for the majority of the day, working our way through early doors house from Fantastic Man and Francis Inferno Orchestra. Things got a bit techno orientated with A Sagittarian and the Livity Sound boys who particularly impressed despite the early set time perhaps not being most apt for live analogue techno. After nipping off to see Neneh Cherry play the entirety of Blank Project alongside RocketNumber-
Nine before closing with a special version of Buffalo Stance, we ducked back to the Crack stage to watch DJ Spinn who, after recent tragic events was going back to back with Teklife homeboy Taso. The result was an hour of blistering footwork that involved shared mic duty, and some hotfooting it about the stage. We were even lucky enough to have the boys come and play The Christmas Steps for Crack after the gig. Set of the weekend, for us. John Talabot’s slot didn’t quite hit the heights of our previous exposures to his depthy house, mainly because he was sandwiched in the middle of Spinn’s footwork and Special Request’s booming jungle workout. After a brief mainstage dalliance with SBTRKT, it was back to our spiritual home, where Sherwood & Pinch delivered on their vast reputations, and brought the sun down on the official beginning of Bristol's summer.
Film Comic book films are the new Westerns – the supposed fail-safe for Hollywood. Comic book heroes are deeply ingrained within popular culture, but over years of disappointment we’ve grown to blindly accept misjudged, big-budget arse flops. But now the comic book movie is starting to develop into the fabric of film itself, and it’s done that by breaking the shackles of the genre. Marvel has finally developed the knack to enthral, entertain and discuss what society wants to discuss as the books themselves have done since day dot. It’s been a long, soul-sapping journey, but with Days of Future Past they may have cracked it. Underwhelming blockbuster season is now well underway thanks to Godzilla; we also checked out indie oddity Frank, the life-affirming send off for Studio Ghibli master Hayao Miyazak, and strolled down to Bristol’s Arnolfini to learn more about the vastly influential DIY indie label Sarah Records.
08 MY SECRET WORLD: THE STORY OF SARAH RECORDS dir. Lucy Dawkins Starring: Clare Wadd, Matt Haynes, Alexis Petridis
16 THE WIND RISES dir. Hayao Miyazaki Starring: Hideaki Anno, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima
FRANK dir. Lenny Abrahamson Starring: Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal Frank starts with its feet on the ground, exploring middle class mediocrity and a search for musical innovation, but before you know it you've spiralled off into whimsical indie fiction. Domhnall Gleeson is Jon Ronson, our vessel into this world, whose real-life experience of Frank Sidebottom and his band The Freshies inspired the screenplay for this widescreen realisation of a life lived through various shades of fictionality. Most of all, this is a film about creativity. Fassbender plays the artist, performer and songwriter that everyone aspires to be, the man whose every breath seems to be a ‘eureka!’ moment. The film’s soundtrack isn’t cut from the real life Frank’s brand of hyper pop and tacky keyboard samba presets to attuned but surreal commentary on British everyday life. Rather, the actors create their own music (with Maggie Gyllenhaal in particular proving quite the Theremin player), which ends up being an impossibly cool, genreevading emanation. As a film, Frank asks of us ‘what is art?’. Jon Ronson asks ‘who is Frank?’, and more simply ‘why the mask?’ And as spectators, we’re constantly being thrown off the scent of the answers, a liminality which embodies the real Frank’s existence. The narrative’s heels begin to drag when the band arrive at SXSW festival, replete with comments on social media and the music industry which tend towards the obtuse and obvious. But thanks to economical, palatable cinematography and a blend of black and slapstick comedy, all driven by this abstract notion of creativity, Frank makes for a hugely enjoyable film for the MTV2 generation. !
Tim Oxley Smith
The Wind Rises marks the end of an era at Studio Ghibli as the company’s co-founder Hayao Miyazaki steps down from the directorial role. Although his associate Isao Takahata who took up the director’s chair for Grave of the Fire Flies and Pom Poko will remain, Miyazaki is responsible for the majority of the studio’s most successful creations. Crack saw The Wind Rises in the subtitled format, but it’s worth noting the English translation features Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt and Werner Herzog on voiceover duties. The Wind Rises is set in early-to-mid 20th century Japan. A young boy, Jiro, dreams of becoming an aeronautical engineer, and we follow him as he grows up, falls in love with Noako and attains his dream at the time Japan were allies with Nazi Germany. Along with the wonderfully classical feeling, the story is undoubtedly one of (if not the) finest and most complete to come from Ghibli. On top of this sublimely-woven story, The Wind Rises surpasses Ghibli’s stratospheric standards of technical mastery. Without having to negotiate the boundaries of the typical fantastical diegetic world, Miyazaki and his animators face the challenge of bringing to vivid life a more realist universe. And in doing so, the simple movement of water, the exhilarating plane flights and, of course, the wind are rendered all the more sensuous. The capturing of the real and the tangible through thousands of little artistic triumphs seems effortless, supported by a story based on a period of Japanese history explored through notions of morality and love, and all harnessed by the care and attention of a master’s final offering to the world. An instant, definitive genre classic. !
Tim Oxley Smith
A poster appears on screen with the words ‘Because when you were 19 didn’t you ever want to create something beautiful and pure just so one day you could set it on fire then watch the city light up as it burned?’. It’s strewn across an image of Clifton Suspension Bridge. Those words accompanied Sarah Records' final release, and it’s since become one of the most romanticised stories of DIY success in the history of ever. The label’s temporal glimmer has been outlasted by its longstanding influence, and filmmaker Lucy Dawkins set out to find out exactly why through her debut feature length documentary My Secret World. The film lovingly explores the history of the label through interviews with founders Clare Wadd and Matt Haynes, the bands they put out and journalists like Everett True and Alexis Petridis as they attempt to unravel the mysterious, enduring draw of Sarah. Although Dawkins’s debut suffers slightly from technical difficulties (all of which could easily be sorted out in post production) and is perhaps 20 minutes longer than our attention spans – and bums – would’ve preferred in the Arnolfini’s practical seating, this is at its heart a fascinating and passionate portrait of a mythologised scene. !
GODZILLA dir. Gareth Edwards Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston Everyone’s stoked to see this movie. Unfortunately, unless you’re into unimpressive monsters walking about while unimpressive actors look on helplessly, there’s not a huge amount to get excited about (besides Godzilla puking blue fire down a monster’s throat, which was almost worth the price of admission alone). There’s a bewildering desire in the movie industry to shoehord in a boatload of emotional depth as some sort of high(er) brow justification for spending all that bloody money on giant imaginary creatures punching the shit out of each other. The reason we liked the first Transformers movie was for exactly that reason; the action took precedence over all, and sometimes that’s exactly how these things should be. Godzilla wasn’t like that. The monsters spent most of the film walking around while the human cast got worried and didn’t really do anything. The final third contained almost all the real action, but even that came across as underwhelming when it finally got going. It’s hard to admit that seeing skyscrapers get smashed to bits seems a bit old-hat, but that’s how it felt. Gareth Edwards clearly holds the original 1954 version in high regard, and shows an awareness of the Godzilla lineage by never making it clear whose side he’s on (Godzilla has fought both against and alongside humans over the course of his cinematic career). He also succeeds in building some genuine empathy for Big G, something which has also fluctated from film to film. His endearingly dog-like features strongly echo those early stop-motion Japanese versions, and he shows a palpable moment of regret and despair upon dispatching one of the baddies. There were some moments of beautiful cinematography which can’t be ignored, but overall this latest attempt at a Godzilla epic fell short. It should have been amazing. It should have been gnarly as fuck. It wasn’t. !
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST dir. Bryan Singer Starring: Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy There isn’t a lot more you can ask for when a film is littered with the world’s favourite actors, the story is crisp and precise, and it’s bursting at the seams with action. We didn’t only immensely enjoy Days of Future Past, we also breathed a sigh of relief. This is the script where Marvel can finally lay claim to having made a ‘classic’ film. Days of Future Past has dropped the novelty of being taken from a comic book and discarded the irritating intertextuality which existed in the majority of previous Marvel offerings. With four previous X-Men efforts to dip into, the time-travelling story is consummated and carried off by the huge array of stars, none more so than Fassbender, whose natural menace conflicted against underlying humanity is irresistible, as are McAvoy and Lawrence. It looks brilliant too, and thought effects-laden, the audience aren’t left to rely upon relentless green screened spectacles. It also helps that the things that the mutants do are actually cool and, even more importantly, seem believable in the world that’s been offered up to us by the director. Nailed it. !
Tim Oxley Smith
Upcoming London Shows www.rockfeedbackconcerts.com
The Garage Islington Tue 3rd June
Dingwalls Camden Thurs 5th June
Waiting Room Stoke Newington Tue 1Oth June
Koko Camden Tue 1Oth June
HOW TO DRESS WELL
ICA The Mall Fri 13th June
Servant Jazz Quarters Dalston Tue 17th June
PETER MATTHEW BAUER
The Lexington Islington Wed 18th June
Courtyard Theatre Hoxton Wed 2nd July
The Lexington Islington Wed 9th July
Servant Jazz Quarters Dalston Thurs 10th July
PYE CORNER AUDIO / NOT WAVING
Birthdays Dalston Thur 17th July
Lexington Islington Wed 30th July
Multiple Venues London Fields Sat 2nd August
The Dome Tufnell Park Fri 19th September
FRIZZI 2 FULCI
The Barbican (Illuminations) Fri 31st October
O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire Sat 1st November
Bodyjack Bontan Carnao Beats Copy Paste Soul Copyright Cristoph Drums of Death Franck Roger Grum Hervé James Welsh James Zabiela Kerri Chandler Krafty Kuts Low Steppa
SUMMER PROGRAMME 2014
Mark Radford Masters At Work Nic Fanciulli Ninetoes Noir Oliver $ Secondcity Sonny Fodera Stacey Pullen Uner Voyeur XY Constant Zed Bias Vs Maddslinky Zombie Disco Squad
ministryofsound.com/club The Box, exclusively at Ministry of Sound
Get tickets and full info at: www.rockfeedbackconcerts.com
Saturday 7th June
FAT WHITE FAMILY
Friday 18th July
Monday 9th June
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Thursday 24th July
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Thursday 12th June
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LUST FOR YOUTH
Saturday 2nd August
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Re Est. 2014 adamandevepub.com • @adamandevee9
The Waiting Room
Sunday 8th June +jogs DJ:
(Underneath The Three Crowns) 175 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 0LH waitingroomn16.com facebook.com/waitingroomn16 • twitter.com/waitingroomn16
L I XO (GET ME) KIT GRILL VONDELPARK D JS
Thursday 5 June
Monday 23 June
A DEAD FOREST INDEX
JENNY BETH (SAVAGES)
-------------------------Tuesday 24 June
Tuesday 10 June
Monday 30 June
-------------------------Thursday 12 June
FIS DEBONAIR -------------------------Wednesday 18 June
MOLLY BEANLAND -------------------------Wednesday 2 July
BLESSA -------------------------Friday 4 July
FUTURE HISTORY RORY PHILLIPS
Wednesday 9 July
THE WILD THINGS
-------------------------Saturday 21 June
-------------------------Wednesday 16 July
COMMUNION JACK GARRETT
Thursday 12th June RIP Records presents Live:
PASTEL COLOURS MI S TOA POL S TA Saturday 14th June ASBO DJ:
DARK CIRCLES Sunday 15th June Hang Ups All Dayer DJ:
JAMES RAND TOM GORTON JACOB CHABEAUX Frid ay 2 0 t h Jun e Camden Crawl presented by The 405 Live:
GRUMBLING FUR BROLIN ANNEKA VIOLET SKIES
Saturday 21st June Camden Crawl presented by Sexbeat & Dummy Live:
PAWS GAPS MOON GANGS Sunday 22nd June Cool For Cat s Live:
HABI TAT S PALM HONEY Saturday 28th June Push Presents DJ:
ANDY BELL (OA S I S / R I DE) ARVEENE Sunday 29th June Bad Vibrations All Dayer Live:
H. GRIMACE PRIMETIME Sunday 13th July Munki Presents... Live:
TA I L FE ATHER BLONDE BUNNY S AUL FAT W H I T E D J
T HE L OCK TAV E R N 35 Ch alk Fa rm Ro a d L o n d o n NW 1 8 A J lock-tavern.com • fb: thelocktavern
A LWAY S F R E E E N T RY
BIRD ON THE WIRE PRESENTS
MORE INFO AND ADVANCE TICKETS WWW.BIRDONTHEWIRE.NET
TOM HICKOX MON 2 JUNE ROUNDHOUSE STUDIO
DEERS MON 9 JUNE SEBRIGHT ARMS
THE HICS TUES 24 JUNE XOYO
THE FAT WHITE FAMILY THURS 18 SEPT ELECTRIC BALLROOM
WILD SMILES MON 2 JUNE SEBRIGHT ARMS
LAW MON 9 JUNE SERVANT JAZZ QUARTERS
PARQUET COURTS WED 25 JUNE ULU
THE ANTLERS FRI 24 OCT HACKNEY EMPIRE
SIVU WED 4 JUNE ROUNDHOUSE STUDIO
GIRL BAND WED 11 JUNE SHACKLEWELL ARMS
LAURA GROVES WED 30 JULY ST PANCRAS OLD CHURCH
ST VINCENT SAT 25 OCT ROUNDHOUSE
JUANA MOLINA THURS 5 JUNE ROUNDHOUSE STUDIO
HOCKEYSMITH TUES 17 JUNE CORSICA STUDIOS
ARCADE FIRE UT FRI 6 & SATOL7D OJUNE S EARLS COURT
CLOUD BOAT MON 23 JUNE ST PANCRAS OLD CHURCH
DANIEL ROSSEN (GRIZZLY BEAR) TUES 26 AUG UNION CHAPEL
JUNGLE THURS 30 OCT O2 SHEPHERDâ€™S BUSH EMPIRE
CATE LE BON THURS 11 SEPT KOKO
Making it rain with...
Seek and Destroy
by Josh Baines
Buffalo wings. A beer. More buffalo wings. Another beer. A further beer. The band sit away from him. Lars is eating a waldorf salad, Kirk some falafel, Robert a platter of meat-free mezze. James is used to this. He doesn’t like it, doesn’t enjoy it, but he is used to it. Nearly at peace with it. He steps out of the backstage trailer for a piss. A piss away from the guys. Maybe a piss in a bush. A piss in the wild. The hunt for
Hello there Denzil,
Who you backing for the World Cup mate? I’ve got 20 quid burning a hole in my pocket and I hear you’re a bit of a tipster.
Have you ever been to the Pumpfen-Haus? It’s like the ball-pond dream that only all the men go to. They play rumpy-pumpy-techno that only the men like. It’s in a big warehouse that’s mostly full of men. I’ve got a wife and children. They don’t know anything about my wanderings.
It’s really sunny today. Would I be more likely to catch you tucking into a Magnum or a Solero?
Neil, Shrewsbury Denzil says: I’ll be honest, I’m not a football man – give me the earthy clunk of leather on willow any day. But I will have my eyes set on Brazil with some interest this summer, largely due to an investment I made in a vuvuzela company three and a half years ago that has yet to come to fruition. In the absence of my Austrian forefathers, my allegiance will be to the Three Lions; myself and Roy Hodgson once went on a clay pigeon shooting weekend together and I can confirm he’s a bloody good egg.
a piss-place leads him past a congregation of the wrong kind of long-hairs. He cocks a snoot. Unbuckles his NRA belt buckle. Unleashes the beast. Piss on leaves. Piss on nettles. Piss on earth. The guys are stood in a huddle. James slaps their backs. Works them up. Sparks a Marlboro. Looks in the mirror. Ready. Fireworks flash. Fireworks bang. Fireworks crackle. Fireworks fizzle. Heads down. Strapped up.
Wilf, 42, Hannover Denzil says: Look Wilf, if you’ve got an obsession with warehouses and the products they store you should have said sooner. I used to give guided tours around the Amazon Warehouse in Swansea to all the boys, Heart FM drifting through the air and a big ‘ol spring in my step. I’m not sure what your wife and kids have to do with this though. My old dear never minded all the boys hanging out together.
Plugged in. Ready. “Glastonbury. Are. You. Mother. Fuckers. Ready?” Eyes shut. Ready. Nothing. There’s nothing. The loudness of nothing. The deafening effect of nothing. “I said. Are you. Motherfuckers. Fucking. Ready. Are. You. Ready. Glastonbury?” James looks round. Kirk seems so far away. Robert so distant. Lars doesn’t exist. He’s alone. He looks up. Looks out. No movement.
Love, Petra Denzil says: Listen, I admire the luxuriousness of Magna (plural), and the carefree, playful nature of a Solero as much as the next man, but if I’m looking for a snack down the seaside I’m far more partial to a nice jacket potato washed down with a Fentiman's Dandelion and Burdock.
Something changes. A chord. A kick. A bear. A fucking bear. Undoubtedly. A fucking bear. There. In the field. A fucking 10ft tall bear. A fucking bear that weights fifteen hundred fucking pounds. James cannot move. He feels something tense up in his stomach. It slides up. His throat tightens. He feels his eyes tightening too. His head is throbbing. That fucking bear. Moving closer. Ready.
The Crack Magazine Crossword Across 03. A carpet with a loose pile; intercourse (4) 04. Oliver Hardy’s pal (4,6) 05. East African country, capital Mogadishu (7) 09. Alaskan politician who terrifyingly ran for the presidency in 2008 (5,5) 10. Begin to give way under weight (3) 12. School dinner pudding (8) 13. To do with tayloring (9) 14. Ahhh ... push it (4,1,4) 15. Posthumous Tolkien collection (3,12) Down 01. Steve Albini’s noise rock anti-heroes (7) 02. Courage; reproductive fluid, yuck (5) 04. Psychological phenomenon where hostages fall for their captors (9,8) 06. Sharp shard (8) 07. Dickhead; bad stuff in a sack (7) 08. Indian curry with spinach (4) 10. American competition for how to assemble words rite (8,3) 11. Coarse material for eroding surfaces (9) 16. City in Staffordshire (5) Solutions to last issue’s crossword: ACROSS: 02. CRUNK, 04. MALLARD, 05. CROSSWORD, 07. CUCKOO, 08. GALAPAGOS, 11. CHANDELIER, 14. DRUNK, 15. MUG, 16. SHEFFIELD, 17. LOVELESS DOWN: 01. FUTURE, 03. DAYDREAM, 05. CUCKOLD, 06. DYLAN-THOMAS 08. SLIPPERY, 09. CHEWING, 10. TRUNK, 12. PUP, 12. RED-VELVET
Surely the best-known DJ nickname, everyone knows Dave Clarke is The Baron of Techno. The reason it’s so iconic is probably because it was bestowed upon him, like a knighthood, by the greatest radio DJ of them all: John Peel. Following the Red EPs Clarke released in the 90s, legend has it that Peel equated his uncompromising take on electro and techno to German fighter pilot Manfred von Richthofen, credited with 80 combat victories, who went by the nickname The Red Baron. But we prefer to picture him as an all-powerful overlord clad in wraparound shades, his booming voice imploring all lesser DJs to get their shit together. As is only correct when address a member of the nobility; Lord Clarke, we salute you.
2 DAYS OF ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ON A FARM NEAR BRUTON, SOMERSET
ART MACABRE DRAWING SALON
ALPINES JUS NOW CHANNEL ONE POP-UP CINEMA
THE HOT 8 BRASS BAND DJ FOOD
PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING YOGA RALPH LAWSON MELT YOURSELF DOWN COVES LAID BLAK
CIDER & ALE LEO ZERO ROMARE
FARMFESTIVAL STARTED AS A PARTY FOR FRIENDS AND HAS STAYED THAT WAY 9 YEARS ON. WE’RE A FESTIVAL THAT DOESN’T BELIEVE IN HYPE OR INFLATED PRICES. WHAT WE DO BELIEVE IN IS A GENRE-DEFYING SELECTION OF MUSIC FROM EMERGING TALENTS, CULT HEROES & LOCAL GEMS, INSPIRING ARTS ACTIVITIES, AMAZING CHARITIES AND GREAT LOCAL PRODUCE, SET TO A BEAUTIFUL SOMERSET VISTA. OR TO PUT IT SIMPLY: GOOD MUSIC, GOOD CAUSES, GOOD TIMES.
MORE LIVE ACTS WE THE WILD EMILY AND THE WOODS BEATY HEART FACE+HEEL LAURA GROVES GOAN DOGS TOWNS BEANS ON TOAST ONLYJOE SKINNY LISTER GORGEOUS GEORGE THE FIRE BENEATH THE SEA LONELY TOURIST POLAROID 85 SAM GREEN & THE MIDNIGHT HEIST MEADOWLARK SOUNDS OF HARLOWE KAIRO GEMINI (KELLE & BOREI) UKES OF HAZARD FIREWOOD ISLAND WE USED TO MAKE THINGS DAN LENO GEORGIE VALE EMA SIERRA RHYS COLEMAN I.THIS.YES & MORE TBC
MORE DJS RICHY PITCH (BBE RECS) THE KELLY TWINS SHAPES BRISTOL + GUESTS CIVILISATION OF THE ROUGH KYSHIDO SLIM GOODGROOVE WHOLEMEAL DJS DJ LOUIE LOUIE FRANKLIN (FREERANGE RECS) WAYS AND MEANS THE QUINTESSENTIAL SOUNDSYSTEM JAMES ‘JAMES BELL’ BELL KAT RICHMOND PAULO FERNANDEZ H.U.G.S THE HIGHGRADE ROCKERS DUB SOUNDSYSTEM FARMFEST DJS CLOSING PART Y & MORE TBC
EXPLORE THE MILKYWAY THE 9TH ANNUAL HAT COMPETITION POP-UP CINEMA ART MACABRE DRAWING SALON INTERACTIVE THEATRE SLACKLINING SON CAMÉLÉON CARNIVAL RACE TO SPACE HAPPY INKERS SCREEN PRINTING BODY ART WORKSHOPS STORY TELLING YOGA WORKSHOPS HEALING ZONE THE COW JUMPED OVER THE MOON - KIDS ART & CRAFTS CHILLOUT PLANET & MORE TBC
20 Questions: Shaggy
There are two things which we know about Shaggy with complete and utter certainty. One: he is a boombastic, fantastic, romantic lover. Two: it wasn’t him, so stop fucking asking. Real talk. But did you know what his favourite vegetable is? Or – no less important – did you know what track he uses to seduce any of the vast numbers of ladies he coaxes back to his luxurious abode? Ahead of his Main Stage appearance at this year’s Boomtown Fair, we worked to the bottom of the things that matter with a musical figure known by everyone, young and old. And we laughed, a lot. Who’s your favourite Wu Tang Clan member? Probably Ol’ Dirty Bastard, mainly because of that time he walked up on stage and interrupted the Grammys. That’s my favourite. That was classic ODB. What’s the most overrated album of all time? Well, there are certain albums that aren’t to my taste but other people like so it’s hard for me to say. I’m not trying to be PC, but if something sucks I’d say it fucking sucks. I’m just not calling out. What’s the worst hotel you’ve ever stayed in? Jesus, I’ve been to some really bad ones. I think in 1993 when I was touring Oh Carolina, Austria was one the places on the tour. They had this policy that after midnight they wouldn’t let you in, you had to call security. I was stuck outside in the cold for ages, and that coupled with the fact it was so small my feet were falling off the bed. I get nicer hotels these days. Favourite vegetable? Asparagus. Just because of the fact that when you piss it makes everywhere stink! [laughs]
“It wasn’t me. That’s all you need to know. You figure the rest out”
Have you ever taken acid? No. I’m more of a marijuana guy. If you could pick a surrogate grandparent, who would it be? Hugh Hefner. Have you ever been arrested? Yes, I have. What for? I knew that was coming! [laughs] I’ve been arrested for ... assault, and .... OK, you only asked for one, that’s all you’re getting! When is the last time you sprinted as fast as you can? This morning in the gym. I did a big sprint.
Wayne’s World or Bill & Ted? Wayne’s World. What is Bill and Ted? I’m Jamaican, dude. Come on. If it wasn’t you, then who was it? Well it’s my story and I’m sticking to it. It still wasn’t me. That’s all you need to know. You figure the rest out. Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met? I think that would have to be Michael Jackson. He invited me to play for his 30th Anniversary Show at Madison Square Garden. He was a big Shaggy fan. Favourite board game? Ludi. It’s a Jamaican game. Do you support a sports team? I’m a basketball guy so it’s the Brooklyn Nets. They’re pretty good now, y’know. They are a work in progress. [Head coach] Jason Kidd is doing his thing! If you were trying to seduce a potential lover, what music would you play? It would probably be any [Vybz] Cartel record. Any Cartel joint would probably work. Women just go nuts any time they hear a Cartel record. Is there a piece of advice you wish you’d give to yourself ten years ago? Just don’t trust as much. I’m a little bit too trusting. Who is your favourite ever wrestler and why? It would definitely be Andre The Giant. He never used to wrestle, he’d just throw his weight around. People tried to body slam him for years and they just couldn’t. What’s your worst habit? Music is my best and worst habit. Are you a good dancer? I’m a good ‘winer’. It’s very different. I’m very good at moving my pelvis. If the spine don’t jerk nothing else works. Describe yourself in three words. Funny, driven and emotional. Shaggy appears at Boomtown Fair, Matterley Estate, Hampshire, 7-10 August
WORKING CLASS HERO
We need a working class hero. A politician who can drink a pint, wax lyrical about society and galvanise a movement that has a sense of righteous injustice. Maybe even smoke a fag, while looking comfortable around regular folk. When I say ‘we’, I mean the political left, which hopefully includes you, Dear Reader. This side of the political spectrum is languishing on the edge of irrelevance and there’s no one to pull us away from the yawning abyss. If the Tories win next year, following UKIP’s European success, it’ll sum up everything that’s wrong with leftleaning politics’ inability to capture the public imagination. The country’s spent four years staggering through the worst economic catastrophe of our lifetime. Dole queues spiralled, food banks ran low. For a few weeks in the summer of 2011 people openly looted and set fires to our cities. Why was the argument for state support and limiting inequality ignored? Why didn’t the workers’ champion rise up on a tidal wave of public support? Labour should be trouncing the Tories, not waning under the challenge of a marginal anti-EU party.
Economic strife tends to push voters to the extremes. Whatever you say about Nigel The Curious Frog and his purple-furred fox party’s raid on Westminster’s hen house last month, it pales in comparison to far-right parties on the rise elsewhere in Europe. That said, protest movements have shown you can capitalise with left-leaning policies too, whether it’s Beppe Grillo in Italy or Syriza in Greece. The first problem is Ed Miliband. The Times recently published a “knives out” article about the Labour leader in which a top party figure says: “The narrative around Ed Miliband, because it’s the truth, is that he looks weird, sounds weird, is weird.” That’s fundamentally unfair (sure we all take the piss out of politicians, but I’m not quoting unnamed sources on the front page of a national newspaper). That said, there’s something wrong with the low expectations we have of a leader who’s become the Ben Affleck of the New Labour Trilogy. Compare this to the confounding success of UKIP. Farage laments non-English speaking pupils by misusing statistics about
second languages which include his own children. He’s not racist, but … shares a bed with a German and is uncomfortable living next to Romanians – and he expects you to understand the innate differences between the two. And so on and so on. There’s no need to detail the rank hypocrisy endemic in his politics – the point is, it stinks. The interesting question is; if the platform is weak, his arguments full of holes and he’s been running this shtick for a decade, why is it the party’s started to get serious traction now? And why is he leading the political upheaval? Part of the reason is he’s done an amazing job of sounding like normal person. Or at least he sounds very different from what the main parties have to offer (even though he has a very similar background). The nice Lib Dem lady at the start of the BBC’s local election night coverage admitted it almost immediately; the main parties have been sanitised by the time they spend in Westminster, people don’t like them. UKIP’s success is in part a reaction to Eng-
land’s changing demographic. It’s about fear of different cultures, fear of job losses and an untrusted political elite. This is a powerful and simple message to rally around. The left needs to do something similar, except we can highlight genuine issues of inequality and low wages, instead of creating a political scapegoat out of foreigners and fostering intolerance. We need to have a leader that sounds different too, that sounds angry and righteous. Russell Brand gave us a glimmer of this with his hairspray politics, but we need more than that. We need a working class hero in the sense that John Lennon eulogised; one that hasn’t been processed into the political class. It’s too late for Miliband to achieve everything that’s possible for the left right now. Words: Christopher Goodfellow mediaspank.net @MediaSpank Illustration: Lee Nutland leenutland.com
JULY / AUG FEATURING... BUKEM IN SESSION / BUTTERZ W. WILEY CALIBRE / CALYX & TEEBEE (2 HR SET) CRITICAL SOUND / DANIEL AVERY DBRIDGE / DILLINJA / DJ CRAZE DJ DIE / DJ EZ / DOPPLEREFFEKT (LIVE) DJ HYPE (2 HR SET) / DUBPHIZIX & STRATEGY ED RUSH & OPTICAL / EXIT RECORDS FABIO & GROOVERIDER / FRIEND WITHIN FACTORY FLOOR (LIVE) / GOLDIE HATCHA / HAZARD / HELENA HAUFF IVY LAB / JACK BEATS / JME / JOKER KID DRAMA / KIDNAP KID / KODE9 LOGAN SAMA B2B SPYRO LONDON ELEKTRICITY / MAMPI SWIFT MACHINEDRUM (DJ SET) / MARKY & FRIENDS MEFJUS B2B ICICLE / PREDITAH NIGHTMARES ON WAX (DJ SET) PLAYAZ / ROCKWELL / S.P.Y SCRATCH PERVERTS / SIGMA SIN CITY / SKEPTICAL THE UPBEATS / TOM SHORTERZ PLUS MANY MORE... Early bird tickEts on salE noW FroM WWW.Fabriclondon.coM
THURSDAY 17TH SUNDAY 20TH JULY 2014
EXPLORE WOODLAND PARTIES ASTRONOMY SHORT FILMS BOOK READINGS YOGA, Q&A’S
(DO IT AGAIN 2014)
CRYSTAL FIGHTERS • FIRST AID KIT • HAIM • KELIS • JAMES • BILLY BRAGG ANNA CALVI • ÁSGEIR • AUGUSTINES • BADBADNOTGOOD • BOOKER T. JONES • CONOR OBERST • CASS MCCOMBS CHRISSIE HYNDE • CLEAN BANDIT • DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES • FUTURE ISLANDS • GEORGE EZRA • GLASS ANIMALS GOAT • HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER • GENGAHR • JAMES HOLDEN (LIVE) • JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW • JUNGLE • KORELESS LONE • MJ COLE • NILS FRAHM • PARQUET COURTS • PAUL HEATON & JACQUI ABBOTT • RY X • SLOWDIVE SAN FERMIN • SOHN • SON LUX • TEMPLES • THE ACID • THE AFGHAN WHIGS • THE WAR ON DRUGS • TINARIWEN TOM VEK • TYCHO • VAULTS • YOUNG FATHERS COMEDY
DARA Ó BRIAIN • SIMON AMSTELL • KEVIN BRIDGES MILTON JONES • AL MURRAY’S SALOON SHOW • MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE & ANDREW MAXWELL • JOSIE LONG SEANN WALSH • KATHERINE RYAN • TREVOR NOAH • JOSH WIDDICOMBE • TIM KEY • MILES JUPP TOMMY TIERNAN • HENNING WEHN • JEREMY HARDY • NICK HELM • CARDINAL BURNS • DOC BROWN
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Featuring Fatima Al Qadiri, Fucked Up, Tom Vek, Jungle, United Visual Artists, Tinashe, Robert Beatty, TALA, Shaggy, American Football and K...