Action Bronson Death From Above 1979
Seven Davis JR
4 STAGES — 4 SoUNdS — 1 wiNNER
CHASE & STATUS + RAGE dAvid RodiGAN SHY FX
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wATCH LivE AT REdbULLCULTURECLASH.Com THURSdAY 30TH oCTobER #CULTURECLASH — SUppoRT YoUR CREw
Crack Magazine Colston Hall 1
Invada Records The Lantern
The Line Of Best Fit The Foyer
Mogwai Liars Nightmares On Wax How To Dress Well Hidden Orchestra The Fauns
The Haxan Cloak Cuts Thought Forms Eagulls God Damn Esben & The Witch Scarlet Rascal
Amazing Snakeheads Onra All We Are Menace Beach Eaux Oliver Wilde Jaakko Eino Kalevi Peluche The Slow Revolt
Clash Magazine Academy 1
Stereodactyl Presents Academy 2
Pardon My French Colston Hall Terrace
Death From Above 1979 Black Lips Turbowolf Greys Idles
Bad Breeding Spectres Kagoule Yak
Very Special Guest Christophe Dickon Seka Twin Picks Pardon My French
Saturday 25 October / Various Venues, Bristol / Last
3 Hyperdub 10 w/ Trap Magazine Lakota 1
LIES Records Lakota 2
Stamp The Wax Lakota 3
Ron Morelli Svengalisghost Terekke Gramrcy
Damiano von Erckert Admin Seka T.Wiltshire Harri Pepper Robin Sure
Red Bull Music Academy Firestation
NNTS The Cabin
DJ Harvey DJ Nature SOPHIE Rejjie Snow Dark Sky Seven Davis Jr. Redinho Futureboogie The Kelly Twins
DVS1 DJ October Shapes DJs
Telegram Mirel Wagner Eugene Quell Hockeysmith Elder Island Looks Something Anorak Grubs
FACT Magazine Coroners Court 1
Studio 89 Coroners Court 2
Zomby Actress Happa Impey
DJ Sprinkles Max Graef Owain K Studio 89 DJs
Kode9 Laurel Halo Cooly G Scratcha DVA Volte-Face
t Remaining Tickets Â£40 / tickets.crackmagazine.net
Neïl Beloufa: Counting on People 25 Jun – 7 Sep Upper & Lower Galleries
Tove Jansson: Tales from the Nordic Beware Wet Paint Archipelago 24 Sep – 16 Nov | Lower Gallery and Theatre
24 Sep – 16 Nov | Upper Gallery
15 Jul – 24 Aug Fox Reading Room
Cybernetic Serendipity Films 14 Oct – 30 Nov
Culture Now: Laura Bates Fri 15 Aug, 1pm The writer and activist discusses her new book The Everyday Sexism Project.
| Fox Reading Room
Artists’ Film Club
Ahmet Öğüt Wed 6 Aug, 6.45pm The artist presents a live performance event: a filmic intervention in collaboration with London-based musicians, Artist Talk: Marlie Mul as part of Journal. 58th BFI London Film Festival Wed The 20 Aug, 7pm Old Selfridges Hotel Korakrit Arunanondchai featuring Marlie14Mul presents an overview of her multidisciplinary artistic – 18 Oct Wed 8 – Sun 19 Oct boychild & AJGvojic: Bouchra Khalili practice as part of Journal. The Last 3 Years and the Future Sat 16 Aug, 6.45pm ICA Off-Site returns to the Old Selfridges Also playing in October Thu 16 Oct, 9pm The French-Moroccan artist’s moving image work looks at Gallery Talk: Susanna Pettersson Hotel for a week of free live events to coincide Korakrit Arunanondchai presents four diaspora and the modernYou migrant. Part of Journal. Thu 21 Aug, 6.30pm And the Night with Frieze London. videos accompanied by a live performance Director of the Finnish Institute in London on Tove Jansson: Tales From 3 Oct in collaboration with performance artist hosted by Isabel Lewis boychild. Lighting and environmental design ICA Cinematheque from An theoccasion Nordic Archipelago.
Co-commission with Frieze Projects and Liverpool Biennial. Art Party TueAug, 14 &9.30pm Wed 15 Oct Thu 21
Terra em Transe
Violette From 10 Oct
NTS Present Tue 19 Aug, 6.30pm Palo Alto most controversial film, Parallel Visions #4 Considered to be Glauber Rocha’s To celebrate the release of Bob and Roberta Smith & Tim From 17 Octto political cinema. Do You Follow? ArtParty, in Circulation and his most powerful contribution Newton’s new film Art the ICA hosts an Art PartyFriof17itsOct own. Wed 15 – Fri 17 Oct ICA Associate Artists NTS Radio present A Nos Amours: A series of talks in collaboration with Rhizome. a night of live music and DJ sets. Soy Cuba Culture Now: Gosha Rubchinskiy Chantal Akerman Retrospective Tue 2 Sep, 6.20pm Fri 29 Aug, 1pm Histoires d’Amérique Mikhail Kalatozov’s 1964 film was originally a propaganda Russian menswear designer Gosha Rubchinskiy in conversation Thu 23 Oct
with Editor-in-Chief of Marfa Journal Alexandra Gordienko. With thanks to all ICA exhibition sponsors and supporters
Institute of Contemporary Arts The Mall London SW1Y 5AH 020 7930 3647, www.ica.org.uk
piece glorifying the achievements of the Cuban revolution.
Institute of Contemporary Arts The Mall London SW1Y 5AH 020 7930 3647, www.ica.org.uk
The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848
The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848
DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979 The Toronto punk rock heavyweights open up on sex, masculinity and political disaffection with Geraint Davies
LAURENT GARNIER The veteran French DJ/producer reveals his concerns about the future of dance music to Henry Johns
ICEAGE Billy Black reaches out to the media-averse Danish punk band to discuss their exhilarating new album
EDITORIAL Proud as punch
RECOMMENDED Our guide to what’s coming up in your city
NEW MUSIC From The Periphery
TURNING POINTS: TIM BURGESS Vodka breakfasts, No.1 albums and the digital revolution punctuate the longstanding Charlatan’s remarkable career
COOLY G The Hyperdub artist talks to Anna Tehabsim about her sensual new album Wait ‘Til Night
SEVEN DAVIS JR From gospel choir to interstellar funk maestro, Anna Tehabsim traces the steps of SDJR’s staggered rise to the stratosphere
GEO Duncan Harrison meets the design prodigy aligning himself with hip-hop heavy-hitters
REVIEWS Gig reports, product reviews and our verdict on the latest releases in film and music
DIGRESSIONS Don’t Give Up The Day Job, Decent Work For Decent Pay, the crossword and advice from Denzil Schnifferman
20 QUESTIONS: NICK OLIVERI We called up the notoriously unhinged rocker to ask him pertinent questions about cartoons, root vegetables and hotel hygene
MEDIASPANK The vote may have been a No, but Scotland’s politically-stimulated youth is still an exhilarating prospect, argues Christopher Goodfellow
ACTION BRONSON With charm and a heavily lyrical style, the absurdly entertaining Queens rapper has won over a legion of loyal fans. Davy Reed spends an evening with him during his globe-trotting tour Action Bronson shot exclusively for Crack by Paul Whitfield Bristol: May 2014
AESTHETIC The LA-based brother duo inc. experiment with their image for this month’s instalment of Crack’s in-depth fashion feature
ALEX MULLINS Rebecca Maskell visits the NEWGEN menswear designer’s studio, and finds herself nestled in his immersive world
11 ROOM 01
Social Experiment Art Department Craig Richards Eric Volta Nitin Brohn ROOM 02
Edible Eats Everything Derrick Carter Marquis Hawkes
18 — 19
fabric 15th Birthday Weekend Craig Richards Terry Francis Ricardo Villalobos Âme Arnaud Le Texier Ben Klock Ben UFO Dixon Doc Martin Marcel Dettmann Mathew Jonson (Live) Matt Tolfrey Seth Troxler Three 30 hours of non-stop music from Saturday 11pm to Monday 5am
Crew Love Soul Clap Wolf + Lamb PillowTalk (Live) Nick Monaco (Live)
Laurent Garnier Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts (Live) Alex Jones & Cedric Maison
Terry Francis DVS1 Rødhåd
Steffi ‘Power Of Annonymity’ Album Launch Steffi Martyn Dexter (Live) Virginia
You Are We Anek Wildkats Ashley Wild
N.o.N Music Justin Harris The Pushamann Owen Howells
fabric oct — nov 2014
Executive Editors Thomas Frost firstname.lastname@example.org Jake Applebee email@example.com Editor Geraint Davies firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing / Events Manager Luke Sutton email@example.com Deputy Editor Davy Reed Junior Editor Anna Tehabsim Editorial Assistants Billy Black Duncan Harrison Creative Director Jake Applebee Art Direction & Design Alfie Allen Design Graeme Bateman Design Intern Emily Dann Film Editor Tim Oxley Smith Art Editor Augustin Macellari Fashion Federico Ferrari, Filippo Marra, Charlotte James, Rebecca Maskell Contributors Christopher Goodfellow, Josh Baines, Denzil Schniffermann, Adam Corner, Tom Watson, Rebecca Maskell, Henry Johns, Tamsyn Aurelia-Eros Black, Angus Harrison, Steven Dores, Leah Connolly, Thomas Painer, Jack Bolter, Jon Clark, Alex Gwillam, Jack Dolan, Jack Brookeman, Joe Goggins Photography Paul Whitfield, JR Jansen, Theo Cottle, Richard Bellia, Lewis Lloyd, Benjamin Mallek, James Burgess, Cameron Sweeny, Sebasian Matthes, Andrew Novell, Sam King, Camille Blake, Louise Brady, Philippe Bosher Illustration Lee Nutland, Louis Labron-Johnson 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.
ARCA Slit Through GROUPER Clearing DEAN BLUNT 50 Cent Hannah Lou Clark Silent Type Vermont Dynamik (Prins Thomas Version 2) Gino Soccio Rhythm Of The World Eno & Hyde Lilac
Crack can be found squirming apprehensively in front of a mirror, doing and redoing its tie and adjusting its cumberbund, making sure every strand of hair is in its place. We’ve had a glass of bubbly to settle the nerves, but it hasn’t kicked in yet. Mum and Dad have taken expectant photos, beaming proudly from behind the sofa. The limo screeches to a halt outside. It’s time. We shall go to the ball. It’s here, the day we wait all year for, our homecoming and graduation and all those other sort of things rolled into one. We might have mentioned it before – we’ve got a festival. It’s called Simple Things, and it’s on the 25th of this very month. There isn’t a great deal to say about it that we haven’t drilled into your heads ad nauseam – sorry about that. But here we go again, stop us if you’ve heard it all before: it’s the best line-up we’ve ever had, and we think the best line-up our home city of Bristol has ever seen. It spans every single corner of the music policy we’ve strived to establish over the past half-a-decade (oh yeah, we’re 5 this month too, thanks for remembering). It’s set in all the best venues in town, it lasts like, a whole day and a whole night, and we’ve worked really fucking hard to make it really fucking special. See you in the pit, we mean on the floor, we mean...
Dreems Mirages (Michael Mayer remix)
Ah, just see you at Simple Things.
Roxy Music Angel Eyes
Geraint Davies, Editor
Barnt How do I know what solutions x form? Session Victim Never Forget Alphaville Big In Japan Arthur Russell Close My Eyes LIL HERB On My Soul ft. Lil Reese RICH GANG Riding TINASHE How Many Times ft. Future ALTERN-8 Infiltrate 202 HANNAH LOU CLARK Silent Type DANIEL JOHNSTON Some Things Last A Long Time OBJEKT Dogma JOEY ANDERSON Head Down Arms Buddha Position OCTOBER Jaffa TINA TURNER What’s Love Got To Do With It OUGHT New Calm Pt 2 HODGE You Better Lie Down ZSA ZSA LA BOUM Something Scary BLACK DEER Will The Cat Cross Our Path Tonight DRAX Phosphene (AnD Remix) GIRL UNIT Ensemble (Club Mix) HERVA Slam The Laptop
Issue 46 | crackmagazine.net
Respect Simon Day Anna Johnson Penny Warner Imran Malik Michael Aleksander Siân Samuel Matt Walker Theo Cottle Anna Walker Neil Lachlan Ramsay
O ur g uid e t o w ha t 's g o ing o n in y o ur cit y
SLE AFORD MODS 100 Club 23 + 24 October
SONIC CATHEDR AL: 10 YE ARS OF CELEBR ATING OURSELVES The Early Years, Younghusband, Spectres 100 Club 15 October £8
AMSTERDAM DANCE EVENT Ben Klock, DJ Harvey, Julio Bashmore, FKA twigs 15-19 October Various Venues Prices vary ADE is the annual gathering of industry heads for a five-day run of meetings, panel discussions and endless partying. The world’s leading electronic music conference, it celebrates some of Amsterdam’s finest musical exports alongside over 2000 artists from across the globe including Ben Klock, Surgeon, Joy Orbison and many more. While it’s also the perfect time to check out Amsterdam’s legendary club Trouw before it closes at the end of the year, we’d like to recommend the DGTL parties at ship factory-turned-arts complex Scheepsbouwloods, presenting Tale of Us, DJ Harvey and DJ Tennis on Friday; Magda and Deetron on Friday; and, on Saturday, a Kompakt showcase with Gui Boratto, fresh from the success of his latest album, bossman Michael Mayer, Kolsch featuring Troels Abrahamsen, Blond:ish, and master of all things woozy Dauwd.
Sonic Cathedral is exactly twice as old as us. That is, frankly, pretty bloody old. But, much like a fine wine or an average Pierce Brosnan, age has been wildly forgiving on a label whose passion and care endlessly ploughed into gigs and releases has played a key role in shaping London's experimental music scene for a decade. Starting life as a clubnight way back in ’04, the label continues to promote the spirit of the legendary Scene That Celebrates Itself – down to releasing Slowdive hero Neil Halstead’s solo material – and this line-up of new generation bands The Early Years, Younghusband and latest signing Spectres shows an enduring dedication to progressing ear smashing, pedal stomping, brain squeezing noise.
FABRIC 15TH BIRTHDAY WEEKEND fabric 17-19 October From £15 There are plenty of reasons why fabric has remained both popular and relevant for 15 years: their inimitable mix series, the sharp focus of both their booking and their team, and offering the most considered and consistently confounding club posters out there are just a few. Their marathon birthday parties are another, and they have become the stuff of legend. With the club open for 30 hours, residents Craig Richards and Terry Francis head up big, big names such as Âme, Mathew Jonson live, Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, Seth Troxler, Four Tet and Pinch, plus a rare chance to see Chilean master Ricardo Villalobos in his favourite place to play in the UK.
DAMO SUZUKI Shacklewell Arms 24 October HOW TO DRESS WELL Heaven 28 October
K ATSURE YAMAUCHI Cafe OTO 12 October
MODESELEK TION Troxy 18 October
RHODES Oslo 20 October £9 + BF He ain’t no Greek island, he ain’t no electric piano – Rhodes is a young man called David whose surge towards prominence is progressing at a giddying rate. Recalling Daughter’s swooping folk balladry, leaping in an instant from downbeat murmurs to arms aloft affirmation, his loving songcraft and post-Jeff Buckley trills amount to the kind of music you want to watch sitting down with a loved one, gradually realising that, actually, everything’s probably gonna be OK.
ILLUMINATIONS Various Venues 27 October - 7 November Prices vary
MADTEO Dance Tunnel 17 October OUR MOTHER 14 October Olso
DJ HARVEY fabric 23 October
A music, art and film series lovingly curated by those fine folks at Rockfeedback, Illuminations seeks to stretch possibilities in the presentation of music in its multifarious forms. An enticing film schedule at Hackney Picturehouse includes the Arthur Russell portrait Wild Combination (27 October) and Fugazi’s Instrument (28 October), while also incorporating a spectacular Halloween affair at the Barbican which celebrates the work of Italian ‘Godfather of Gore’ Lucio Fulci alongside live music. Dub-pop experimentalists Peaking Lights will be in town to present tracks from their stellar new record Cosmic Logic (Plan B, October 28), the peerless Liars will headline their own Village Underground club takeover (1 November), and the same venue will later welcome our favourite Parisian lothario Sébastien Tellier (4 November). How could you say no?
RED BULL CULTURE CL ASH A$AP Mob vs Stone Love vs Boy Better Know vs Rebel Sound Earls Court 30 October Sold Out / Streaming at redbull.com People like to see a good honest fight. It’s no coincidence that during D-Generation X’s dominance of the World Wrestling Federation in the 90s they were booed all the time – it’s because they were dirty. But we digress. Red Bull Music Academy’s Culture Clash is fast becoming a yearly institution of musical battle and this year is no different. Four crews – A$AP Mob vs Stone Love vs Boy Better Know vs Rebel Sound – will battle it out armed with fresh dubplates, special guests and mad attitude at the chasm of a venue that is Earls Court. After winning last year's event, BBK will return, hungry to reclaim their title. Tickets are like golddust, but you can watch the action unfold from the comfort of your sofa thanks to a live stream over at redbull.com. It starts at 9pm sharp. Bars will be spat, bass will rumble, there can only be one winner.
GREYS 100 Club 29 October
OCTAVE ONE (live) Oval Space 31 October
KELEL A Corsica Studios 4 + 5 November
TIEF 3RD ANNIVERSARY Corsica Studios 24 October £12 Corsica Studios has lined up another reason to celebrate their refreshingly focused club with the third anniversary of their excellent in-house party series and label Tief. Among the first announcements are Tin Man, who will appear around the release of his upcoming album Ode, alongside Melbourne’s Francis Inferno Orchestra and Tief residents. The rest of the line-up is a secret as of yet, but expect discerning names and an unparalleled atmosphere.
BL ACK LIPS Scala 4 November
SIMPLE THINGS Death From Above 1979, Mogwai, DJ Harvey, Liars, Actress, Laurel Halo Various Venues, Bristol 25 October £40 + BF
WHITE LUNG Shacklewell Arms 3 November
L AURENT GARNIER fabric 1 November
It’s finally here: the annual multivenue, 17-hour, 60+ act festival that we’re proud to call our own. It’s been a year in the making, but we truly believe that this will be the most spectacular Simple Things yet. Following the sold-out opening party at Motion featuring Caribou and Jessy Lanza, 25 October will see Simple Things take over the centre of Bristol, with a huge and diverse array of international music spread across an easily walkable selection of venues throughout the city. Bristol’s grandest live music space Colston Hall will be filled to its rafters by Mogwai’s titanic dynamics, Liars’ throbbing industrial post-punk and How To Dress Well’s emotionally raw RnB, while the O2 Academy will be at the mercy of Death From Above 1979’s unforgiving garage-rock grooves. Red Bull Music Academy’s takeover of The Old Firestation will include a monumental four-hour set from one of the greatest of them all, DJ Harvey, and Lakota will host a showcase of arguably the most important and adventurous British electronic label in recent memory Hyperdub. And that’s before mentioning sets from Actress, Zomby, Nightmares On Wax, SOPHIE, The Haxan Cloak, DJ Sprinkles, Eagulls and more incredible acts than we can possibly mention in this pathetically restrictive space. We’re beyond thrilled to be presenting this kind of line-up in our hometown. We just can’t wait for you to join us.
SHABA ZZ PAL ACES The Laundry 4 November
PERFECT PUSSY The Dome, Tufnell Park 6 November When Perfect Pussy first emerged with a self-released cassette EP last year, it was clear that their visceral, distortion-leaking noise punk would make them a force to be reckoned with – no matter how many times lazily-written shtick about their ‘un-googleable’ name and thoughtless riot grrrl comparisons were tossed at them. Their album Say Yes To Love ruled, their live shows have been fucking nuts and, at the time of writing, the internet is still buzzing about frontwoman Meredith Graves’ essay on the patronising attitudes towards women. Hype justified.
BEWARE WET PAINT ICA Until 16 November Entry with Day Membership
THE WAR ON DRUGS Roundhouse 5 November
SEBADOH Dingwalls 4 November
A collaboration between the ICA and Turin’s contemporary art foundation Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Beware Wet Paint is a group show which interrogates why celebrated contemporary artists – such as Colombian rising star Oscar Murillo, who spoke at the exhibition’s opening event, and the esteemed Korakrit Arunanonchai and Jeff Elrod, both of whom show here – are increasingly negotiating they way back towards that most seemingly traditional medium: painting. A fascinating re-examination
ALFA MITO CLUB TO CLUB Caribou, Marcel Dettmann, Apparat Turin, Italy 5-9 November Prices Vary
NILS FR AHM Barbican Hall 29 October
With three former Crack cover stars – that’s Caribou, Kelela and Fatima Al Qadiri – playing the 14th edition of Alfa Mito Club To Club, there should be little need for us to explain how hyped we are for this one. But let’s quickly elaborate on how awesome this is going to be. Coinciding with Turin’s Contemporary Art Week, CTC14 will see Al Qadiri perform with her supergroup Future Brown, John Talabot and Axel Boman team up for Talaboman and Ben UFO is going back-to-back with L.I.E.S. boss Ron Morelli, while the likes of Marcel Dettmann, Rustie, How To Dress Well, Jessy Lanza and Pantha Du Prince stand out as just a handful of highlights. Well worth the cost of the flights, give this some serio us consideration.
FLYING LOTUS Roundhouse 7 November
JOHN TAL ABOT Oval Space 8 November
BRUCE The most common narrative surrounding an artist is one of a continual rise, but for newcomer Bruce, it seems all his luck has come at once. Since surfacing on Midland’s RA mix late last year with the stripped back Eyes Saying Save Me, he’s become the latest artist to be championed by the Livity Sound / Hessle Audio camps, dropping two consecutive 12”s on the distinguished labels in two months. Bruce’s music, much like its cartoonish macho namesake, is all muscular percussion and sonic uppercuts. The rattling dark atmospherics of Just Getting Started on Livity Sound sister label Dnuos Ytivil – percussion-centric techno reminiscent of label cohort Hodge – was followed by the truly sweltering Not Stochastic, the first release from Hessle Audio in almost a year. “I was mildly obsessed with them and have been sending them stuff since day one" he said. "When Ben UFO asked if I wanted to do a release, it completely blew my mind.” So far information on Bruce has been scarce, so for those curious to know more about the newcomer, real name Larry McCarthy, he comes from “an insignificant town in Buckinghamshire” and has been making music as Bruce for about four years. And, while he’s got a chance to speak for himself, he’s also keen to pour water on a popular myth: “despite the rumours, I'm not Kowton's cousin and I don't bleach my ginger-ish beard.”
O Not Stochastic 1
Hodge \ Kowton
: @words0fbruce N
J FERNANDEZ Like the musical equivalent of an enormous Sunday roast, J Fernandez will put you in a trance so deep you won't be able to move for about four hours. Seedy brass, cosmic riffs and stifled beats rush through warbling, muted filters as the young Californian's fatally subdued vocals simmer somewhere on a dusty horizon. Calling it lo-fi doesn't do it justice, this is the kind of quote unquote rock music that could soundtrack a 90s VHS documentary about rainbow chasing as well as it could fill any hip venue in Brooklyn or Berlin. J Fernandez has mastered easy listening anthems for the ears of the complicated loner.
O Cosmic Was 1 Jaakko Eino Kalevi \ Stereolab : soundcloud.com/ justinfernandez
L ADY SKINS
THURMON GREEN Thurmon Green has an effortless swagger which we love. Smooth and sultry, the LA-born, NY-based singer can grab your attention without breaking his cool, and the video for The Grind – an addictive tale of unrequited lust – proved that he’s got some moves too. When asked about his musical inspirations, Green has cited the likes of Ariel Pink and Arthur Russell alongside RnB heavyweights such as D’Angelo and Miguel, and his beats are feature the kind of phasedout synth textures used by LA collective Fade To Mind. A highly intelligent and eloquent dude, Green has also expressed a desire to subvert stereotypes via the unifying medium that is pop music. Sold?
O The Grind 1 Kindness \ ILoveMakonnen : @thurmongreen
Audibly bristling with dissent, this three-piece’s noise-flecked-posthardcore-meets-stoner-punk is an exercise in stockpiling frustration and releasing it in jagged bursts. Metallic spasms, bottom-end gunk, unyielding drum battery and meaty hollers are all realised in the kind succinct, simple structures that countless bands of a similar ilk lose sight of in favour of monthlong breakdowns. Each offering on their latest EP feels like a race to the three-minute mark, most of the tracks in question falling short and collapsing in a heaving heap. But through the dense claustrophobia glimmers an unshakeable knack for a swinging groove that’ll drag your head down to your knees and back again, meaning they’ll have you ricochetting off the walls if you slip into a dank, low-ceilinged club to experience them live. Chest-caving stuff.
O Trapped Nervous 1 Torche \ Hot Snakes : ladyskins.bandcamp.com
It would be great if we all dropped the ‘conscious rap’ tag, because as soon as a new act with an empowering message gets tagged with it, they’re (wrongly) associated with the kind of grumps who still actually buy tickets to go and see Dead Prez play on a rainy Tuesday night. Make no mistake, stylistically-diverse Chicago duo The Guys are political: the interludes alone on recent mixtape Free The Guys address institutional racism, AIDS and the disproportionate number of African Americans in US prisons. But their beats feel new not nostalgic, their message is potent not preachy and if you can’t have fun to their hyperactive bop hit Flee, then you’re starting to get old mate.
O Chainz 1 Lil Durk \ Save Money : @WeTheGuys
HANNAH LOU CL ARK It might seem mad to judge an artist on the strength of one track, but when we heard Hannah Lou Clark’s Silent Type it was obvious we were on to something, well, incredible. The beguiling, left of centre track marries two minutes of bending, freakishly de-tuned bass, a strict, unwavering beat and stabs of distorted guitar with a final minute of pure pop explosion. Clark’s unconventional voice is buried, nervously beneath the noise and joined briefly for a cameo from none other than Crack new music alumni Eugene Quell. Haunted, atmospheric pop for the disaffected; we’re hooked and we can’t wait to hear more.
SEK A With a connoisseur’s collection of good-time tracks, Seka has been steadily building a reputation in Bristol as a solid, loveable party DJ. If you've got a soft spot for the kind of house and disco that makes people throw away their inhibitions and head to the dancefloor, then chances are you’re going to have a good time when this guy’s behind the decks. As a producer, he's already got the backing of 4/4 institution Just Jack, and now he's getting a new release through Alfresco Disco, another respected Bristol label and party collective, for their Maximum Joy compilation. His contribution, Dance On, is warm, infectious and smothered with a sheen of vintage glamour that’s hard to resist.
O Dance On 1 Medlar \ Damiano Von Erckert : soundcloud.com/seka
O Silent Type Angel Olsen \ Alex G : soundcloud.com/ hannahlouclark
O Listen To 1 File Next To : Online
Mr Wonderful: the 300 foul-mouthed former ch Action Bronson always the onlookers are ente
0 pound, hef ensures ertained
19 “It’s pure, it’s the extract, it’s all the goodness, it’s everything you want without the garbage,” Action Bronson enthuses with his rich New York accent. His sentences are filled with pauses for emphasis, making him sound kind of like a Mafioso describing a fine wine or reminiscing about the prowess of a forgotten sports hero. The delicacy in question is wax – solidified THC oil which he scrapes into a bong gauze with a metal pin, before lighting it with a miniature blow torch. “It doesn’t have the carcinogens and the burning, and shit like that,” he continues, his voice husky as he holds in a lungful of smoke, “You’re only getting that pure ... psychedelic drug.” He exhales. We’re sat in the rapper’s suite on the 17th floor of a medium budget hotel. Waiters, slightly alarmed by the pungent smell in the room, bring a feast that’s served on silver platters. “Actually looks pretty good,” Bronson remarks, inspecting a slice of pizza before tossing the metal lid on the floor. Our interview and shoot was initially supposed to take place elsewhere, but Action Bronson has a reputation for putting on one hell of a show, and with an intense international tour schedule like this, he needs all the downtime he can get. Still, it’s not like he’s complaining. “I mean, you get to see the world. It’s an experience. You wouldn’t get to do this unless you’re a fuckin’ rich kid or something like that. And even rich kids aren’t going to the sort of places I’m going.” There’s truth behind the boast. His dates with Eminem and Kendrick Lamar in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa were documented online earlier this year in the Adventure Time With Action Bronson video series, and his exotic culinary experiences form the themes of his popular food show Fuck, That’s Delicious. “And there’s definitely a big appreciation for me in [the UK]. I’m very appreciative too, believe me,” he insists, “I love coming out here.” This wasn’t always the plan. Born Arian Asllani, Bronson was raised in Flushing, Queens by his Albanian Muslim father and his American Jewish mother. Growing up in a food-loving household, it was only natural that he’d go on to be a passionate and professional chef. This career would see him cook in his dad’s Mediterranean restaurant and for the New York Mets at the Citi Field baseball stadium, and while he started rapping around 2008/9, the music thing was purely recreational at this point. “There was never dreams of being a touring rapper, nothing like that,” he explains. “I was really just focused on taking care of my children. There was no aspirations of anything ... except maybe being the best chef in the world.” So what motivated him to go full time with it? “I was working in the kitchen and I slipped, fell and broke my leg. Freak accident. And from there, from the
broken leg onward, I was a professional rapper”. Action Bronson really began to make a name for himself around 2011, drumming up underground hype with a string of releases for which he rapped skillfully over throwback, soul-sampling beats in a highpitched and strained vocal style that bears an uncanny resemblance to Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah. But while there have been many to accuse him of borrowing too heavily from Ghost, Bronson seems to have eclipsed the comparisons – maybe due to the uniqueness of his lyricism and persona. And in 2012, his eccentricities began to flourish; he achieved perfection on the track Bird On A Wire by rapping about sponge baths and leather suits alongside Atlanta weirdo Riff Raff over Harry Fraud’s blissfully zoned-out beat, and later that year he broke through with his revered Blue Chips mixtape. Teaming up with producer and now regular collaborator Party Supplies, the recording of Blue Chips was relaxed, with the duo smoking copious amounts of wax, devouring munchie-appeasing snacks, watching trashy TV shows and digging for obscure samples during bleary-eyed YouTube binges. The tape also introduced a wider audience to Bronson’s recurring lyrical motifs, including the surreal comic imagery that jokes on his large stature (“Been on the honour roll / sculptures of my body out in Nagano”), the mouthwatering descriptions of gourmet recipes (“Got the lamb rack, pan-roasted, laced it with fennel / Little yogurt that been drizzled over, might be a winner”) and his perverted preoccupation with seedy narratives (“She started hanging with strippers and dropping the zippers and selling the pussy for paper to play”). Now a fully-fledged internet sensation, Bronson is gearing up for the release of his major label debut, Mr Wonderful. The video for the album’s first single Easy Rider portrays a bandana-wearing Bronson dropping acid, riding a Harley Davidson through the desert and miming a guitar solo as the sun sets in the background. It’s highly entertaining stuff, marrying a solid rap track with the kind of loveably goofy humour that’s made the Bronson tag a viral guarantee. But during our conversation, Bronson expresses no desire to even attempt a bigger break, arguing that it’s the very qualities which his fans respect him for that have restricted him to the alternative rap market. “I get played on the radio, but not a lot,” he claims. “It’s all about money, it’s all about ads and shit like that. So they pretty much play that shit with all the melodies and hooks, they’re not going for that raw hip-hop that everybody grew up on, that’s the dominant music in my life. “I love lyrics, I love that ‘Oh shit, what did
20 he just say?!’ feeling,” he continues. “And you don’t even have to be able to write a rap any more. You don’t have to be able to fucking spit anything that’s ill and you can be a fucking superstar.” With new strains of Atlanta, Chicago and Bay Area-influenced sounds securing a stronghold on the rap mainstream in recent years, the traditional definition of being ‘lyrical‘ has taken a backseat to make way for the dominance of less complex (although, many would insist, no less effective) rhyming methods in the genre. With ASAP Rocky using a ‘Houston flow’ and 2014’s breakout star Bobby Shmurda appropriating Chicago drill, some of New York’s most-hyped rappers in recent years have gained international attention by adopting post-regional styles. So, I ask Bronson, how does he feel about the theory that it’s hard times for traditional East Coast hip-hop? “I mean New York is just rolling with the times like everybody else, whatever makes money. New York is a hustle and bustle town, if it ain’t cuttin’ it no more it’s done, you’ve gotta fuckin’ move on,” he says in defence. “But ... it pains me to even talk about it in this manner ... because, I just love the fuckin’ beats that I hear, that I like, that I feel everybody else should like. I don’t wanna hear rap over crazy weird shit, I’d rather hear rap over The Little Mermaid. Just do something different, do some next shit, don’t just keep on going with what everyone else is doing.” Bronson’s straight-talking manner, along with his down-to-earth attitude and the warm gratitude he shows his fans is what has secured his man-of-the-people reputation. But while Bronson’s lyrics have always described sex in a gross, remarkably explicit manner that could make even the most desensitised rap fan shudder, some critics pointed out a subtle but – they argued – significant slip to meanspiritedness on 2013’s Rare Chandeliers and Saaab Stories which threatened to undermine his charming persona. Saaab Stories’ grim cover art, in particular, seemed to inspire a fair few moralising think pieces. What does Bronson have to say to the people who’ve taken offence to his music? “They can go fuck themselves,” he says, becoming a little agitated. “Honestly, how can you take offence to like ... they’re just shallow-minded people, you know what I mean? Like what are you taking offence to exactly? I’m not really saying anything that outlandish ... I mean maybe. But what’s outlandish, what’s outrageous at this point?” So he never feels insulted by words? “I’m never offended really. I mean certain things offend me, but with jokes and shit like that? No.” It’s often said that chefs have the dirtiest sense of humour, and I suggest that when you’re working in
a kitchen in Queens, you might get pretty good at flipping an insult into a joke. “I mean in a kitchen, or anywhere, because ... people are mean. I’m a fat fuck. I have not been skinny in my entire life, I was always ‘fat boy‘ and this and that when I was growing up. It’s like you have thick skin, who cares? “And plus, everyone jokes. That’s what it is, you hang out, and you joke, everyone jokes on each other, and that’s how you become a cool fuckin’ dude. Like this guy’s pants [points to his manager’s flamboyant, patterned trousers], I’ve been going in on them. The kid’s a good kid but the pants are shitty, he looks like a fuckin’ shmuck.” After a brief moment of tension, Bronson has us laughing again. Later that night, Bronson delivers a show which truly justifies the fact that everyone’s talking about him. During a set based heavily on the wacky Blue Chips 2 material, he climbs over the crowd barrier and heads to the bar. His DJ drops Pantera’s Walk, and Bronson finds his way to the balcony, tosses his t-shirt into the crowd and headbangs on the staircase. With the mic still in his hand, he then leads the crowd into the men’s toilets, but struggles to take a piss with so many audience members waiting outside the cubicle. After the show you can feel a buzz in the air outside the venue. Earlier in the day, Bronson had rejected an invite to a post-gig meal at Crack’s pub The Christmas Steps. But after being told that the staff were willing to keep the kitchen open just for him, he can’t bring himself to say no. On arrival, he orders pretty much everything on the menu, before heading to the kitchen to greet the chefs and supervise the cooking process. Once the food is served, he’s relentlessly interrupted by wide-eyed fans while he’s eating. He might be a little irritated on the inside, but he courteously obliges to pose for photos. With such a striking but approachable image, this must be pretty much standard procedure for Action Bronson whenever he’s out in public. Back at the hotel, I’d asked him if this ever gets exhausting, and in his response, he revealed an the attitude that’s probably played a key part in his success. “Nah, it’s great because that just means that you’re doing the right thing, and the fact that people take the time out to recognise what I do, you gotta be thankful,” he said. “I don’t know what people expect, honestly. But you know, they see me out, they feel they already know me, like I’m the man, I’m cool. And I like to keep it that way.” “Everyone take a picture, we have a good time, boom, we go about our business.”
Mr Wonderful is expected to be released later this year via Vice / Atlantic
Words: Davy Reed Photography: Paul Whitfield
â€œThere was never dreams of being a touring rapper. I had no aspirations other than being the best chef in the worldâ€?
...working with Riff Raff He’s a fucking asshole, I love him. People don’t take him serious, but he can rap his ass off, and he definitely wants to be respected for that. And he’s very intelligent, he knows exactly what’s going on. He’s not stupid in any sense of the word – he’s smarter than me, that’s for sure. But I’m not doing any albums with anybody. I’m a solo artist. ...not compromising his sound The thing is that I have intelligent fans, the people who like me are not stupid. They have a sense of humour, a sense of culture, you know what I mean? And I would feel that 100% I’d be called out, and I’d call myself out, like “yo listen, I did some bullshit, I needed some money, you’re either fucking with me or you’re not fucking with me, I’ll make it up next time.” That’s just the kind of guy I am, I’m very honest, I’m very straightforward, there’s no bullshit. ...stage invaders Well ... you know, in the past there’s been issues. I shouldn’t be the one who has to take care of that, there should be security on stage and at venues and shit that worries about that. But, at the end of the day, if someone gets up there and I feel a little something ... maybe I’ll do something crazy, who knows? I’m into slamming people, but I don’t do it to hurt no one, it’s more theatrics. ...his multicultural neighborhood I learnt to speak Spanish by learning all the fuckin’ bad words and crazy shit first, and then you gradually learn to say nice things. But you learn the bullshit first. I know curse words in many languages, just from growing up in Queens. Russian shit, Korean shit, all kinds of bullshit.
Inga Copeland Vessel Gramrcy
The Bug Saturday 13 December 10pm - 4am Secret Location
MCs Manga Flowdan
Going Steady: a decade after Toronto garage-punk duo Death From Above 1979 decimated a sexless alternative rock landscape, the rumbling is louder than ever Cardiff Barfly was an ugly, lovely place. You descended the stairwell from a bustling road into an oppressively boxy room. The sound was decent, the drinks were cheap. There was a flimsy lighting rig dangling from the ceiling at the lip of the tiny stage, seemingly custom designed for punters to hang from, inches from performers’ faces. It invited, insisted upon, chaos. In February 2005 it hosted perhaps its finest hour. Two Canadians, visibly roadweathered, with cartoon stink-lines rising from their tight black jeans and greying tees, tore the place to shreds. Consisting of nothing but bass and drums, the most primal elements in the rock ‘n’ roll set up, they contorted and surged into slippery, monolithic grooves. “Push in, push in...” Sebastien Granger sneered from behind his drum kit. “Push in, push iiiin” he pleaded. “One, two, three – pull out!” Disorientating bass frequencies played havoc with the senses, the sheer physicality of the sentiments were borderline pornographic, and its carnal intensity tore a hole in a complacent, pallid alternative rock terrain. “Shit, I remember that show!” announces Jesse F. Keeler, moustachioed hero and one of the most influential bassists in modern music, from his Toronto home. “There’d been a rugby match or something, and I remember standing at the top of the stairs and watching the biggest crowd of
drunk people I’ve ever seen just spreading across the streets. Inspirational.” There hadn’t been a rugby match. It was a Tuesday. That’s Cardiff for you. Death From Above 1979 were a live band, a live band like you’d never seen before. Back in the heady days of the mid-00s, that’s what had people feverishly talking. While You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine was an untouchable debut, the road was the making of them, and it became the death of them. “We’d come out of a punk/ hardcore scene and we slept in the van, we never had hotel rooms, hardly ever eating, taking pills to stay awake,” remembers Keeler wearily, not a trace of affection in his voice. “I remember driving from Phoenix, Arizona straight through to St. Louis, Missouri, which is a 26 hour drive, and as soon as we pulled in, we set up and played right then. That was probably for about 50 bucks.” The band split 18 months after that Cardiff gig. The pressure of being a hype band from a hardcore background, of not being able to say no to a show, was what saw them off. It was generally accepted that they’d come to despise one another and the lifestyle they associated with the band. But while Grainger and Keeler became almost resentful of the name, Death From Above 1979 took on a life of its own. Millions came to know their recorded selves, they gained mythologised status. Then, having not spoken in five years, the
band unexpectedly reformed for Coachella 2011. And finally, last month, almost exactly 10 years to the day You’re A Woman... was released, they unleashed their second album, the masterful this-is-how-it’s-done re-entry The Physical World. While it was the road that killed them it was what brought them back to life, and vulgar displays of power are still the order of the day. “It’s still too loud, it’s still stupid,” insists Sebastien Grainger when we speak to him a couple of hours later from LA. “The only reason we had this reputation was cause we were too loud, and we’re still too loud. It was always broke, and we haven’t fixed it.” Keeler will never lose that enduring lust for noise. “I was driving around yesterday listening to Cannibal Corpse and thinking, why is it that I love this music? I’ve been listening to Cannibal Corpse for 20 years, and I think, what the fuck is it that’s stuck with me for all this time?” He’s audibly energised. “And that’s what I’m able to relate to, emotionally. That intensity. I want to feel like I’m being beaten up.” But away from the skull-crushing intensity, the most vital thing about Death From Above 1979 was the way they put sex back on the table. At a point when rock and indie music glorified po-faced sexlessness and fey romanticism, You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine was a revelation. These guys sounding like they were having a fucking good time, and they were singing songs about fucking.
We put it to Jesse. “Err ... I don’t know,” he laughs. “I think ... gee, it’s funny you say that after the point I just made about making music that you emotionally relate to. And then you tell me that we made music about fucking, and I think ... well, yeah ... why wouldn’t you!” He pauses as if considering the alternatives. “There are people that don’t do that?” We refer to Pull Out. We mention the cowbell-heavy come-to-bed eyes of Sexy Results. “And now you’re giving me examples and I’m like, oh god, that’s all we did!”. And of course, thanks to Brazilian indie-electro flash-in-the-pans CSS and their track Let’s Make Love and Listen To Death From Above, they ended up being babymaking music for a generation. “Yeah, that was pretty funny. I guess they felt the same way you do.” “I think it’s the natural inclination for the band,” Grainger – the lyricist – summarises. “I think the music is so visceral and kinetic and there are only a few things in life that are as intense as it is to play live in this band, and fighting and fucking are the two things closest to that.” Combine their horndog lyricism with the meaty, rumbling tirades of the band’s sound and there was something undeniably masculine about DFA1979. It was a postmodern form of masculinity – no macho posturing or puffed-chest bullshit, but an ownership of male identity. DFA’s world was one where men sport bulbous elephant trunks against
26 now I think it would be insincere to not at least allude to things being fucked up.”
“The only reason we had this reputation was cause we were too loud, and we’re still too loud. It was always broke, and we haven’t fixed it” - Sebastien Grainger
a pink background and know what’s what.
“I think we live in a weird time of bizarre primal identity taken to the point of being surreal” says Keeler. “You get these steroid muscle dudes with this cartoonish athleticism. It becomes a surreal, blownout caricature of sexuality. And it can be a weird thing to be a man in that environment.
This political awareness spans further than the social sphere, clearly evident on The Physical World. While the rock ‘n’ roll sloganeering remains in full effect, releasing a high-profile record into a time of such startling political unrest preyed on their minds. “I think there’s a very real sense now that we’re going about things the wrong way” says Keeler, the most politically inclined of the two. “We’re not fully sure what we should be doing differently, but we know what we’re doing right now isn’t right. It’s like the movie Network. Step one is opening the window and yelling. And once enough people do that, that’ll be a starting point, because there’s a will to do it.”
“But I think it’s also cause we’re Canadian. We do have a bit of that lumberjack stereotype DNA. I mean, I do...” he continues warily, self-aware – “...I do have a farm. And I ... I guess I spend a lot of time in the woods.” He laughs heartily, realising what he’s saying. “But I do think that idea of the lumberjack is interesting, cause it’s not some mean, objectifying, macho person. It’s this physical being, know what I’m saying? It’s not a superhero, it’s just a guy doing his job.”
Words: Geraint Davies Photography: JR Jansen
While accepting the premise, Grainger is eager to emphasise a counterpoint. “When I look at our audience, I don’t see an overtly masculine image. It’s a good spread of gender and race, and I’ve always been kind of proud of that.” And 10 years is a long time in anyone’s book. “On this record I was far more aware of gender politics than before” he continues. “I think on the older stuff I challenged those politics in kind of a juvenile way, whereas now I’d like to think I approach it from a more informed angle.” “I think on the older stuff I challenged those politics in kind of a juvenile way, whereas now I’d like to think I approach it from a more informed angle. Before I was writing from the perspective of a heterosexual guy in a bar. Whereas now I’m more aware of those gender ethics and gender politics, so I think I now write from a position that’s bit
Death From Above 1979, through chronological serendipity, were hopelessly inclined towards some form of political narrative. “This band was basically created on 9/11” reveals Grainger. “That’s the first day that Jesse started writing songs for us. The band was literally created on that day.” It’s now almost impossible to imagine a pre-9/11 world, and it’s an intriguing facet of the band. “Before that, I’d started playing in Jesse’s band Femme Fatale, and I’d never been in a hardcore band before. There was a lot of stuff boiling in culture and society at that point. You could see it, and you could sense it. I remember a picture of Saddam Hussein shooting a rifle into the air on the cover of a newspaper, it felt like a kind of declaration. I remember thinking ‘this is terrifying – but fuck, this is the best time to be in a hardcore band. If there was a lack of openly political content on the first few releases it’s because we were, in a sense, subverting certain things that were happening in the world, whereas
And the political parallels reared their head again as The Physical World began to form. Keeler recalls, “When I was tracking the bass for this record, the Boston Bombing happened. That was on CNN while I was working on my overdubs, and we’re watching this military force lock people in their houses and going door-to-door and pulling people out onto the street looking for these kids – locking down an entire city. And you’re like ... what the fuck? How is this happening?” Like clockwork, the parallels continued. The release of Government Trash, the second single from The Physical World and the band’s most explicitly political song to date, came in the immediate aftermath of the Ferguson unrest, and the frequently recurring dialogue around police brutality in North America is something Keeler speaks about with passion. “We’re having the discussion a lot over here about the police, and how they’ve become a militarised force in some places” he says, stepping outside to smoke a cigarette, wind whipping around the telephone mouthpiece. “The police are supposed to be ‘of the people.’ When Robert Peel established the idea of the police force in England, he made sure that the bobbies would have sticks and not guns, because he wanted to make it very clear that it wasn’t military. Now, everyone knows we’ve drifted away from that big time. But what to do about it? In a sense, anything other than total nihilism or apathy becomes political.” What’s clear about these two individuals, three hours and the width of North America apart, is that they’re that rarest of things: a band whose hiatus has actually done them good. The Physical World shows all the hallmarks of having considered their flaws and crafting a pure distillation of DFA1979. Gemini, the album’s penultimate track, is the best thing they’ve ever done. Pounding, unyielding, with a hook sturdy enough to hang a dozen rain-drenched coats on and a street-smart narrative about bittersweet romance, it’s an instant classic. “I appreciate that there’s been a time between” declares a rejuvenated Sebastien Grainger. “We’ve always been observant of culture, but at the same time, we’ll always be contrarian.”
The Physical World is out now via Last Gang Records / Fiction. Death From Above 1979 headline Simple Things, Bristol, 25 October
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Turning Points: Tim Burgess
“Regrets can be dangerous. You can end up blaming your past for having too much of an effect on your future”
He’s had what you could call a ‘turbulent’ career, but Tim Burgess has well and truly weathered the storm. Following the huge commercial success of The Charlatans in the 90s, the frontman indulged in a notoriously hedonistic lifestyle that would see him consume cocaine on a daily basis for almost 10 years. Sober since 2006, Burgess has remained prolific and productive, adapting to the digital revolution’s seismic shift in the music industry while keeping his finger firmly on the pulse. The Charlatans recently released their new single Talking In Tones via The Quietus’ Phonographic Corporation label, and their 12th studio album is expected in the coming months.
1989: Joining The Charlatans They were awesome, and pretty serious about wanting to be in a group that meant something. I looked up to Martin [Blunt, bassist], who was previously in a band called Makin’ Time that I’d been to see a few times. Rob [Collins, keyboard player] was pretty scary at first, he was tough but once he warmed to you he softened up a bit. Jon [Brookes, drummer] was really friendly and took me round to his Mum’s for tea. At my very first rehearsal with them, they had three instrumentals and they kinda blew me away. I sang on two of them. One became Flower, which made it onto our debut album. Another became Always In Mind, which we played on our first John Peel Session on Radio 1.
1990: Debut album Some Friendly reaching No.1 in UK album chart [Having a No.1 album] happened three times. The first time was with our debut album so that was huge. It was our moment as a band. It’s something nobody can take away from you – our Mums and Dads were maybe not that impressed with the fact we could sell out The Duchess of York in Leeds, but everyone knows that a number one album really is something. Maybe even those careers advisors who’d thought there wasn’t really anything I could do. Mid 90s: Declaring himself the ‘New Keith Richards’ in an Evening Standard interview There’s a temptation to go looking for that archetypal rock star lifestyle. Vodka for breakfast, that kind of thing. You take the crazy fork in the crossroads and it’s fun for a while but it turns into a dusty road inhabited by the same kind of loons who’ve made the same choices. Eventually enough is enough. It felt OK at the time, but I think it was a lifestyle that couldn’t go on forever. It’s great for meeting like-minded freaky friends when you’re living like that and most of them are still my friends now – although they are like a calmer, quieter remix of themselves. Regrets can be dangerous and you can end up blaming your past for having too much of an effect on your future. 2008: Releasing The Charlatans’ album You Cross My Path for free Record labels were closing down. New ways of working were needed. Heads of
the music industry were scared. It seemed like a great way to slap people round the face. We did it just before Radiohead released In Rainbows, so we like to think of ourselves as pathfinders. Ours was entirely free, which was maybe a bit foolhardy, but we felt we wanted to put down a marker that the old way of doing things was over. As far as getting to lots of people, it worked really well. We got lots of thank you messages anyway. Present Day: New Charlatans single and album The vibe is good, I think we’re all very happy with the record. We’ve played it to some close friends and associates of the band, and everyone loves it. They’re telling me they love it anyway! We spent the first few months of the year at the studio, and it was a difficult time after losing Jon [Brookes passed away in 2013]. But we all brought lots of ideas with us and we were enjoying spending time together. I think they’re the best songs we’ve written in years.
The Charlatans’ new single Talking In Tones is out now via Quietus Phonographic Corporation
“Being myself again, finding myself ”: Cooly G finds therapy in lustful confessions With pillowtalk vocals and titles like Your Sex, I Like, Want and So Deep, a carnal intensity pulses through Wait Til Night, the latest album from UK dance veteran Cooly G.
guitars to produce silky, sticky alt-pop. “The track Your Sex, when I was playing around with the guitar, my mate started doing another line on the synth, and it just felt sexy,” she tells us.
“My mind was in a fantasy land,” she tells us on the phone from her home in South West London. “I had two weeks to myself for the first time, the kids were at my mum’s so I was able to have a different way of thinking, instead of changing nappies and doing all that mum stuff.”
With stark delivery, intimate fantasies lie alongside delicate insights. “It’s just shit that goes on in my mind at night, that’s why I called the album Wait Til Night,” she says. “I can’t really be horny in the day.” The title track is based on a true story of her first date – “just being in a whole different world, like of someone making you feel nice” – and the album’s tone remains deeply personal throughout. “The last track, Three Of Us, is about my daughter. Well it’s based on her dad … being a wanker,” she snipes. “He just basically chatted shit and said he would be there or whatever, and now I’m looking after my baby, and my son, on my own.”
It’s been a long journey for Merissa Campbell, and growing up with dub, soul, hip-hop and acid-house blaring from her family’s soundsystem has had a lasting impression on the Hyperdub producer; “listening to reggae and remembering how beautiful it sounded to me, listening to it now it still feels the same, I still feel young”. After heading straight to the studio on her last day of school at 16, she cut her teeth across South London by DJing deep house at clubs in Brixton. “The crowd were Brixton people, like girls and boys you’ve grown up with,” she remembers. “And they’re just looking at you on the decks like ‘rah, is that her?’” Cooly G’s diverse sound attracted wider attention back in 2009 with the Narst / Love Dub EP on Hyperdub, the label she’s now closely associated with. Going on to release her intimate debut album Playin Me on the label in 2012 and now the yearning, RnB-flavoured Wait Til Night, Cooly G’s increasingly unpredictable nature as a producer has won her fans across the board. Wait Til Night sees Campbell fully finding her voice, drawing from traditional song structure more than ever before. “I’ve always asked people to come and sing on my beat. And they’re not hungry enough, that’s what made me record my own.” A subtle blend of house, RnB and reggae soundsystem culture mingles with punchy
Fiery as ever, it’s this introspective ache that melds the album into the singular project it is. “When I finished I thought about all the people that listen to my broken beat sound or whatever you want to call it, and it’s not got anything like that on there. But I don’t care. I’m totally 100% happy with it, because I got to express myself.” It’s difficult not to draw on Campbell’s domestic life in interviews, as being a mother is obviously a huge part of who she is as an individual, and as becomes evident throughout our conversation, it’s also integral to who she is as an artist. But how does she actually feel about being asked about her work/life balance all the time? “It gets a bit dramatic sometimes for me – ‘how do you make beats and have kids and go on tour and whatever?’ I don’t know. I just do it. I don’t have an answer for that kind of stuff.” When asked what her kids think of the album, she’s much more forthcoming. “They love it!” she chuckles. “It’s funny because, say, that tune Freak You, I play the instrumental all the time and the baby’s actually humming the melody
and she’s singing, and we’re just laughing at her.” In between domestic life, producing and writing a book about her experiences in music (“all sorts of shit; good shit, bad shit, crazy shit, just everything”), Campbell can be found DJing regularly alongside the likes of Kode9, Laurel Halo and Scratcha DVA for the run of Hyperdub showcases, which have been touring the globe this year to mark the label’s 10th birthday. “It seems like a real celebration when we do these shows,” she explains. “For me I’m humble and I’m oblivious to things, so something like this makes me see that they’ve achieved so much.” Over the years Cooly G has expressed her truly personable character, and this album gives us a glimpse of another side to her bright personality. Though on first listen her motivation may seem strictly below the waist, there’s another impassioned force behind Wait Til Night’s lusty swagger. “It’s given me hope, and it’s made me feel nice again. I had a stage where I thought I was ugly – fat and ugly – for a long time and it wasn’t good. “I was listening the other day to I Like and as soon as the bassline dropped, it just hit my heart and I was just crying, because I was so happy that I managed to do this album and this sound. About 15 years ago I was into that sound, I used to do RnB and hip-hop tracks back in the days. So it was more like me finding myself again, doing it with better knowledge, better skills … I’m hoping people make some babies to it!”
Wait Til Night is released on 20 October via Hyperdub. Catch Cooly G as part of the Hyperdub showcase at Simple Things, Bristol, 25 October
“The album is about the shit that goes on in my mind at night, I can’t really be horny in the day”
Words: Anna Tehabsim Photography: Theo Cottle
After maintaining prestige for a quarter of a century, Laurent Garnier is craving innovation
Laurent Garnier: beginnings in the legendary Haçienda club in Manchester, scribe of the history of dance music, techno monolith – it’s at this point that one might reach for the phrase ‘needs no introduction’, but maybe it’s a bit late for that. With five EPs out this year on five labels (Hypercolour, MCDE, Musique Large, Still Music, 50 Weapons) and a sixth release coming (as well as a hefty slab of book, too, hopefully), Garnier has made diversity the key focus for his output. It’s an approach reflected upon in both in his mixes and throughout our in-depth interview with
Words: Henry Johns Photography: Richard Bellia
him, during which the veteran French DJ/ producer let off steam about the current musical climate, the contemporary auteurs of electronic music and the recycling of audio culture over the last 25 years. He also talked a bit about his new records too. The two things that drove our lengthy conversation were the stagnation of club culture – the sticking of the needle – and the tightrope of the modern DJ; on one side the devotion to honesty and on the other the necessity of exploration. It's Garnier’s navigation of this conflict which is perhaps one of the primary reasons why he has enjoyed such a mammoth career.
“Before, there was a new machine every one or two years. Now there is a new plugin every week, every day. It’s a complete fucking revolution”
You’ve had a big year, and your recent release on Hypercolour ties up a series of EPs that span the best part of the globe in their influences and labels. Am I right in saying the EPs coded names are all flight names? Yes, the flight is from Marseille to London for the release on Hypercolour. Did you record each EP in the country that housed its label then? No, the music was all recorded in my studio here in the south of France. Would you say that, in its diversity, the batch of five Garnier EPs would be a good introduction to the music of Laurent Garnier? Yes, very much so. Because there’s so much music that is exciting me nowadays, I wanted to carry on making lots of different stuff. That’s why the release on 50 Weapons was very underground techno, and why the release in France with Musique Large was more like beats, downtempo, a nasty kind of EP, and the first one was released in Chicago because it has this very Chicago flavour. And that’s why the fourth EP was with MCDE because I wanted to do some very deep house as well. Because, as a DJ, this is all the music I play. I need to have this journey to keep me excited about what I’m doing. So if I feel that I’m repeating myself, I hate it and then I don’t release it. Your book Electrochoc, which follows the vast journey of repetitive and electronic
music, is testament to the sheer quantity of music that is filtered into your work and especially into this collection of EPs. There is a new chapter for the book, adding some of the newer advances. How will it ever end? The book was released 10 years ago, and we re-released it in November 2013 with a new chapter of 100 pages, so now it can incorporate the last 30 years of techno music. It can tell the whole story. From the raves in England to the birth of house music in Chicago to what happened in the gay clubs of Paris all the way to the brand new producers of today, the new scenes, and what’s happening in Berlin and places like that. The book has been translated into English and we’re looking for a good publisher at the moment so hopefully – and I’m touching wood now – hopefully the book might be released in England sometime. If it doesn’t – if in a year or two we can find no one who will have the guts to do it – then I think I’m going to release it for free on the internet. Because I’m sick of it. It exists, it’s there and I’m not going to hold it all my life. It’s hard to imagine that anyone who wants to know about electronic music would not want to read it as an overview of what they should know about electronic music, and even music generally, up to this point. I think so, but if you’re trying to compare Electrochoc with the Garnier EPs, I think they’re kind of two different things. A year and a half ago I was questioning myself because my manager was saying, ‘You
know Laurent, you need to do a new album, you haven’t done one for a long time and, as always for promoters, it’s easier to ask for an artist that has a new album out.’ And I was telling him that I don’t believe in the format of the album as we’ve known it for the last 50, 60, 70 years. Not anymore. I don’t think a lot of people are concentrating on 12 tracks, put carefully one after the other to listen to a proper story. And I thought, how can I do some kind of an album, but do it in a different way? One thing you might not know is that we released five EPs, but then something is going to come out at the end of the year that will put everything together as a whole. Laurent, you’ve been around for more than two decades now without your popularity diminishing. Is there anything you’d put that down to? What’s your secret? Honestly? Maybe honesty. I mean everybody knows by now I’ve never done it for the money or the business. Because I think after 25 years of DJing I would have proved at some point if I was doing it for the money. I would have released some cheesy thing or made some compromise somewhere. I still haven’t – well I don’t think I have at least. And, I don’t know, maybe the fact that sometimes when the trend was going other way I didn’t change. I stayed myself. There’s some proof out there that diversity helps to keep the career of a DJ alive, with people like Andrew Weatherall achieving a similarly steady line of popularity. Your
radio shows and the whole of your back catalogue show a great diversity of inspiration in your music. This doesn’t neatly coincide with the label or title of ‘techno DJ’. Do you have anything to say about the label of ‘techno’ or the labelling of genres and sub-genres generally? No, the biggest problem I have now is the music that we’re listening to today. If you take any of the releases from any of the different styles – it can be the super underground stuff that has kind of a big Chicago, Detroit revival at the moment. In house music there’s a big revival of New York, kind of Kerri Chandler music. The deep house. If you’re taking anything, even dubstep or drum’n’bass because drum’n’bass is still another repeat. Nothing is new. There is nothing new. I’m not saying it’s bad because there are so many records I’m excited about. But sometimes I feel like, as a DJ, we are playing music to people who are 20 years old who are listening to exactly the same stuff as when I was 20 years old, and that is something that bothers me. Because if you look at the history of music for the last 100 years, every 10 years something big arrived and shaped what was big and who you could be. Look at punk, look at disco, look at psychedelic, look at rock and roll, look at new wave in the 80s and acid house in
the 90s. At the end of the day, we are still listening to acid house. I’m not saying it’s bad, all I’m saying is that it’s very strange that this music has stayed so big, playing in clubs for so long. This is strange. This is what kind of bothers me because there is no alternative. In the world of music we are getting to a point where … where the hell are we gonna go? It doesn’t seem to move forward. Have we said everything? I don’t know. Everybody using the same framework of music programs and drum machines – the same ‘set up’ – has exacerbated that too. It’s very hard to break through that framework. And before, I think, there were musicians who invented new music and today the sounds that we listen to are dictated by young guys developing software and programmes. The kids are more into the machines and how the machine works rather the simple thing of just making music. Before we had people who were developing keyboards but they were working for a company or Roland and there was a new machine every one or two years. Now there is a new plug-in every week, every day. It’s a complete fucking revolution. And I don’t think it is bad. For me as a musician it’s great because I have new machines all the time.
Is it more daunting to sit down with the intention of writing a new track now or was it more daunting 20 years ago? How does it compare? For me, I think now I’m putting together puzzles rather than before when I was writing more. 10 or 15 years ago I was writing every single drum pattern and interfering within the accents, within a lot of things when I was writing. Spending a lot of time on my hats and snares and writing everything. It was like you were really writing and playing everything and changing every bit note by note. I still do some of that, but now it’s like going to Ikea. You know, you go and buy something in a kit and you use different parts with different sounds. And then you’re starting very quickly to build something. It took longer before. I was working very differently. I think everybody was. Maybe we’re waiting for one software developer or one new music program that might change the whole way we approach the making of music. Of course, of course, of course. And finally, what have you got planned for the rest of today? Anything to put in your online journal? I’m going to have some friends round and we’re going to rent a boat. This is the last weekend before the kids are back to school. This is the day off.
The BA371 EP is out now via Hypercolour. Laurent Garnier appears at the Edible Warehouse Project event, Store Street, Manchester, 18 October. Stream or download his Crack Mix at crackmagazine.net
WITH THE PATRONAGE OF:
Tracing Seven Davis Jr.’s route from gospel sweetheart to cosmic house alchemist With warm vocals that contort over raw, rhythmic soul, Seven Davis Jr.’s disfigured funk and heat-warped disco has been igniting dancefloors since the release of last year’s summer-stretching hit One. It’s a career that’s been 15 years in the making. Born into the gospel world, a young Samuel Davis’s scuffed vocals were originally polished in church choirs. “I was very religious,” he tells us down the phone from his LA home, “so I was very involved in the church. It was just natural.” Born in Houston into a musical family, he describes being groomed for mainstream success from a young age. “Even since I was a kid I’ve had people teaching me the business.” Discovering hip-hop, house and drum ‘n’ bass as a teenager living in Los Angeles changed everything, and his passion for house dancing sparked an interest in music of a more soulful slant. “I was invited to a party by some hip-hop dancers who were also house dancers,” he recalls. “I went to raves before that, but when I finally went to a house night – something that had a lot more soul – it really clicked.” With his productions beginning to gather momentum, Davis found himself uncomfortable with the more corporate framings that come with being a working musician. “I found a lot of the things annoying, like promotional videos, photoshoots, interviews, I thought that stuff was dumb,” he remembers. Soon, honing his style for the mainstream became a necessity. “When I was younger I was, I guess, in the machine. But there really wasn’t an independent scene at the time so I didn’t really have any choice but to go to mainstream rap.” Filling a variety of roles for majors, including interning, promotional work and ghostwriting for various acts, when the time came to sign, Davis decided against it. “I was very happy to be offered; it just didn’t feel like the right direction.” With his cosmic-futurism deemed too leftfield by record executives, Davis stepped away from the limelight and continued to work on his own sleazy, Prince-indebted funk in his spare time. “At the time, coming up and paying my dues, I found out early that the ideas I had were considered weird, or not the industry norm,” he explains. “So I made the decision to chill out.” Years later these “weird”, playful productions would find their path, as Davis
got his break in 2012 courtesy of DJ's DJ Kutmah. After featuring one of his tracks on a compilation for Brownswood Recordings, Kutmah released The Lost Tapes Vol. 1 on his own IZWID Records. The Lost Tapes…, a collection of demos recorded in the late 90s, dug up Davis’s signature raw soul and packed it with a gritty snarl. The release reopened the doors for Davis. “It kind of reactivated me. Since then I’ve been really happy about the love I’ve been receiving, and for me it’s like progression and consistency: to just keep doing good things, to keep making honest music.” The Lost Tapes... were quickly followed by the One EP: a collection of shimmering sun-flecked jams. Prior to its release the title track had already become a late summer anthem, not long before his P.A.R.T.Y EP melded scratchy funk and slamming kicks into joyful club tracks for Funkineven’s Apron Records, where Davis seems to have found his spiritual home. “We’re kind of the same creature, in many ways,” he relays. “I’m not going to say darkness, but there’s a similarity in vibes.” Now working through a heavy touring schedule with his mutating live set, Davis seems to have hit a steady run, with ample time to focus on his interplanetary productions. After spending the majority of the past 15 years in the shadows, he’s been given his own voice. So is he more mindful of what he’s doing with it? “The lyrics come from an honest place. I’m very conscious of what I’m saying so everything has a meaning, maybe more than one.” As well as a forthcoming collaboration with Doc Daneeka on the producer's Ten Thousand Yen label – the image on this page is taken from the video for What's It Gonna Be? – Davis is currently working on an album. Set for release in 2015, he describes it as “an evolution of different things: a bit theatrical, kind of like a story”. A culmination of over a decade’s work, his beguilingly off-kilter productions look set to entice attention long after the whirlwind has settled. Davis, as ever, remains humble. “I know I’m doing good, that’s how I look at it: it’s a good time.”
Catch Seven Davis Jr at Simple Things, Bristol and Warehouse Project, Manchester, both 25 October
Words: Anna Tehabsim Photography: Lewis Lloyd
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16/17/18 January 2015 Butlins Bognor Regis ÂME / ARTWORK / AXEL BOMAN / BEN UFO B TRAITS / THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS (DJ SET) DANIEL AVERY / DENSE & PIKA / DUSKY EROL ALKAN / FOUR TET / GHOST CULTURE HEIDI / KIWI / JACKMASTER / JONAS RATHSMAN LEMMY ASHTON / LEON VYNEHALL MAYA JANE COLES / MIKE SKINNER / MJ COLE ROMAN FLÜGEL / SHADOW CHILD SKREAM / TEN WALLS (LIVE) / TIGA TODD TERJE (LIVE) / TOTALLY ENORMOUS EXTINCT DINOSAURS (DJ SET) Plus many more to be announced...
n g i s e d n o d n o t L r t a s p a E a : e d r e o y a m l s p t i s s s o s a e m h L s ’ O e E d G a c y e g i d d s i h pro t f y o h p e a r m g o o s n o in c i p a r g n i k i r t s Kanye West officially raised the curtains on his multidisciplinary design and content company DONDA in 2011 with the unveiling of the groundbreaking packaging and tour design for Watch The Throne. The creative mission statement was one of straightforward ambition and pared-down decadence.
Geo - Three
GEO is a 22-year-old designer from East London who has aligned himself with the DONDA framework and helped create album packaging for Pusha T, 2 Chainz and Travis Scott as well as developing ideas for the promotional materials and merchandise for West’s Yeezus world tour. Aside from his work with DONDA, the GEO brand has been attached to work for The Kooples, Been Trill and the punk-inspired AW14 collection of street-couture vanguard Katie Eary. His clientele list reads like a map of pioneering forces in style-centric modern culture. It was GEO’s contributions to Kanye’s feather-ruffling tour merch that turned heads in his direction for a comment, but GEO has remained – for the most part – entirely backstage. It’s all part of his meticulous work ethic and focus on “the finished product”. We reached out to him and organised to meet at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch. In typical Kanye fashion, we’re told that there are areas of their professional relationship and the DONDA collective that we can’t explore, but these are things we can’t know because we don’t need to, and to know them would cloud our ultimate engagement with that final perfect product. In between discussing the joys of Meridian Dan’s German Whip and reminiscing over Yeezus tour afterparties, GEO spoke to Crack about his background, his future and why there’ll never be any real pressure.
39 What does it mean to be a part of the DONDA collective? Freedom. Creative freedom is the best form of creativity. You can do what you want and push ideas further than you could in an agency. Would there be a way of summing up the creative mission statement of DONDA in terms of design? Not necessarily, no. It’s open to interpretation. If you see a lot of what Kanye is doing at the moment, that sums up a kind of minimalism that speaks volumes. Growing up as a hip-hop fan, did you hold on to any specific pointers or images that influence your work now? I wouldn’t say I hold on to anything. Everything is so watered down now, everyone can be a celebrity overnight so everyone is making stuff with no longevity. It’s cool, but some people need to take the time out to make something that will stand the test of time. Attention to detail is everything. The work you’ve done for Kanye, Pusha T and 2 Chainz has been extremely minimal. Do you think this represents a shift from the decadent rap aesthetic of the 1990s? I think it’s something that’s being shown across the board on all different levels. From album packaging, to the websites to the merchandise. Not just the people on G.O.O.D Music or DONDA, it’s across the whole music industry. Are the simpler designs an antidote to the information overload of the internet generation? If you know how to get a lot of information and minimise it and bring it down to bites that people can understand then you’ve got something. Communication is design, but some people are just on design, they forget that there is a meaning behind it.
When you’re working with clients that have such a strong creative vision already, how do you align with that? We just float the ideas and I’ll interpret it my way. I’m in a place now where I can say what I want and do what I want. If it works it works and if it doesn’t it doesn’t. We bounce back and forward and find a good space.
Kanye West - Yeezus Tour Poster
Did the Yeezus merchandise controversy bother you? (Upon release the tour merchandise drew comment for referencing the Confederate Flag) That was just how it is. It was put out there as a tester. Anything we’re doing people will always have something to say, regardless of any connotations. Do you enjoy that? Of course. That’s something I do throughout my work in general. If I feel like just saying “fuck it” and making something that I feel might kick up something then I’ll just do it. Do you approach the work for fashion houses in a different way to music-based design? It’s more of a one-track process. I try to approach everything in a similar fashion. I’ll list out everything we have to do and then I’ll not do it. It’s almost like working backwards. I have a final image in my mind and I try and create it by going through all different mediums. How did the work with Katie Eary come about? I gave her a shout on Twitter a couple of years ago then I helped her with some advertising campaigns. She liked what I did so I helped her with her Autumn/Winter collection. I was with her at Wireless a couple of weeks ago, actually. We’re hopefully going to do some more stuff. I’m trying to move more into the fashion lane – I’ve done the albums now. I want to move in a more creative direction in everything from high street stores to high fashion. What’s appealing about the fashion world to you? Fashion is the ultimate everyday thing. Everyone buys it so you can make a lot of money off product rather than me having to grind in front of a screen everyday. You get to travel more and meet new people. Do you make a distinction between high street and high fashion? Are there brands you wouldn’t touch? I try to touch on anything. Who defines luxury? I wouldn’t mind going into either, I’m going to go in next year and contact all these places like Zara and Topshop and see what I can do. Nobody cares about the work process behind it. I make a final product and the consumer decides if it’s good. It’s a good and a bad thing – you could put months of work into one product and they won’t like it and there could be
Geo - East
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41 2 Chainz - B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time
always wanted to work with Mark Ecko – I think he’s a really intriguing person with a wealth of knowledge. Ecko was something I used to wear a lot when I was younger, I used to go to JD and try and get that £100 tracksuit. I think his brand went down, it got degraded. I’d love to try and figure something out with that.
“The consumer decides if [a product] is good. Nobody cares about the work process behind it. I could put months of work into one product and they won’t like it, and there could be something I could do in five minutes that they’ll love”
something I could do in five minutes that they’ll love. Do you think that ethos is shared across the design world? It’s still about. There are still dated ways of doing things – some brands are good at what they do but they just sit around and copy the higher fashion houses like Celine. Have you ever seen your own work imitated? I just create and if people like it and copy it, that’s OK. At least I know I’m doing something correct. Looking forward, is there anyone else you’d like to create for? I’d like to work on the N*E*R*D album, that would be dope. I’d love to work with Beyoncé and Jay Z, but there’s not too many people about. It’s more the people that are already defined. Is there anyone you’d like to help redefine? I would’ve said 50 Cent but he’s back with G-Unit now. Get Rich or Die Tryin' was the first album I ever bought. I had the video game too. Aside from music I’ve
You’ve largely remained in the background and maintained a level of anonymity. Was that intentional from day one? Yes. Everyone is so caught up with taking photos and becoming some kind of icon and all this other shit. Let me just chill and let the work do the talking. I don’t really look back, I just try and get on. It’s funny, someone from East London doing stuff with household names. It’s cool but I can’t ever get caught up in looking back too much. If you look back you either start thinking you’re done or you get a really big ego. Have you never felt daunted by it all? I’m totally relaxed, I’m so laid back. I’ve sat and chilled with Kendrick and it’s been chill. When Kanye came to Wireless we just had a few laughs and a couple of drinks. It is what it is. There’s no need to be all hyperactive or feel a certain way because they are of a certain calibre. Everyone is on the same level, we just have to get on with it. Kanye’s output is intensely scrutinised though, did you not feel any pressure? Nah! No pressure from my side. Never any pressure. So you don’t have an end goal? Never, just got to keep getting on with it and carry on going. Whatever comes your way just go with it. That’s all you can do.
Find out more about GEO’s work at geodesignsone.co.uk
Created exclusively for CRACK by Danielle Doobay \ cargocollective.com/ddoobay
Aesthetic: inc. For many, Andrew and Daniel Aged will have snuck into their conscious while smoking joints and gazing contemplatively across the desert with FKA twigs. The stark black and white video for their moody collaboration, simply titled FKA x inc., saw the duo lurk pensively across a bleak landscape while the British chanteuse flexed her limbs around them. With their stripped back, encapsulating production and whispery anonymity, inc. and FKA twigs were made for each other. But for others, this wonâ€™t have been their first encounter with the inc. brothers. Their debut album no world, released on cult UK label 4AD in 2013, slipped under the radar somewhat, but still sounds impressively fresh. The duo stretched out foggy guitars, sultry RnB and slow-jam soul into a decidedly singular and disarmingly gorgeous sound. Former session musicians for the likes of Prince and Raphael Saadiq, while their captivating distillation of styles didnâ€™t bring them out of the shadows, it certainly aroused a curiosity to know more about the slight-framed, softly-spoken brothers.
Andrew wears Jacket by Cottweiler Daniel wears Hat Daniel's own Jacket by Liam Hodges Bottoms by Adidas Trainers by Vans
Photography by Federico Ferrari assisted by Filippo Marra Styled by Charlotte James & Rebecca Maskell
Daniel Hat by Cottweiler Shirt by Berthold Trousers by James Long Trainers by Swear Rings Daniel's own Andrew Jumper by James Long Trousers by Issey Miyake Boots and accessories Andrew's own
Andrew Jacket by Berthold
46 Currently based in Los Angeles, our shoot with inc. took place during a visit to London and is styled in British menswear brands such as RCA graduate and Fashion East designer Liam Hodges and the conceptled luxe sportswear of Cottweiler. Aiming to depict the duo’s innate connection, it expands on their influences from grunge to create an oversized aesthetic, with clean lines and strong silhouettes. We caught up with Daniel when they were over in London recently to talk style icons, ‘alternative’ categorisation, and using fashion as a medium of expression. You both played as session musicians in the past, what are the disparities between that world and what you’re doing now? Being a session musician feels much less free in some ways. There is very little creativity involved, you are hired to do a job and you simply have to do it, if you step in any direction too far, you might not get called back. It feels to me like a more fearful lifestyle and job. But the grass is always greener … it’s a challenge finding a balance between being creative and making money.
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Our stylist mentioned you weren’t too into designer labels. But do you feel drawn to fashion as a medium to express yourself? I think everyone expresses something in how they dress or look, I think that’s inevitable. Like language, conversation, music, everything that puts your insides on the outside has a way of revealing or expressing things. I have a lot of respect for people who are able to do that in a powerful or graceful way. I’m not naturally as gifted in expressing myself through fashion as much as music, so I don’t try too hard.
Were there any musicians whose style you admired when you were growing up? Yes, so many. Different eras, when I was young it was like Elton John, Perry Farrell, Red Hot Chili Peppers – more wild types of style. I liked the way they looked and the way the music sounded, although I don’t think I fully understood it because I was in fifth grade. Then later on in high school it was more like gospel, soul/RnB and ‘neo soul’ music, I was just really drawn to those feelings. Looking back, did you use style to voice your identity when you were teenagers? Yes, I think so, but for me, I’m always understating. I think I am interested in people who can really use style and commit really hard to a look or sound, but for me it’s never just one thing. I also really appreciate understatement, or like silent communication that is felt but not over the top. I think few people understood what I was into because of my style as a teenager. I would wear, like, sweat pants or jeans and Timberlands and a t-shirt I got for free pretty much everyday. I think it was confusing, but also really comfortable. How has grunge informed you both musically and visually? I think it was the feeling at that time, just not being lame and conforming.
Andrew Hat by Cottweiler T-shirt by Adidas T-shirt by Issey Miyake Trousers by Liam Hodges Boots Daniel's own Daniel Jacket by Liam Hodges Turtleneck by ADYN Trousers by Cottweiler Shoes Andrew's own
Andrew Jumper by James Long Daniel Jacket by Berthold
Could you tell us about your collaboration with FKA twigs? What was the creative process and what was the concept behind the video? It was good. Tense at moments, but overall I think it was good for all of us. The concept of the video was mostly twigs’ idea, but to me it was just about capturing the feeling in real life and putting it on the camera. There seems to be a growing resentment toward the term ‘alternative RnB’. How do you feel about the label? It seems like that’s just how trends go. First everyone wants to be ‘alt RnB’ and then as soon as people start calling them that, they resent it. It doesn’t really matter what people call it as long as people aren’t being drawn to or pushed away from the music for the wrong reasons. If you’ve got some time off, what would your ideal day in LA be like? Probably just being at home, working in my garden, going for a walk, playing some music, getting a little stony, going to the Korean spa at night, just living life. Thank you.
no world is available now via 4AD
Andrew Jumper by James Long Trousers by Issey Miyake Boots and accessories Andrews own
“I don’t like wearing sunglasses – you can’t see the real colours”
NEWGEN menswear designer Alex Mullins evokes imagined worlds and characters through his SS15 collection
Sitting in Alex Mullins’s East London studio in the heart of Shoreditch, it’s clear we’re in the presence of a great admirer of the past; from the old piano that sits in the entrance, to the collection of vintage clothes on the rails that he can’t bear to throw away. “I want people to wear my clothes until they’re told they have too many holes in them,” he says. Mullins has treated the past as a constant well of inspiration in previous collections, creating imagined worlds in which Londondwelling cowboys roam apocalyptic landscapes. “I would have been in a 70s rock ’n’ roll gang,” he muses, and you can certainly imagine David Bowie being at ease in one of Mullins’s signature heavily appliquéd and embroidered cowboy shirts and distressed denim pieces – a theme expanded on in each of his collections. His SS15 static presentation built a fantasy world around an imagined Native American motorcycle gang living in a Malibu trailer park. But there were no black leather jackets here; instead, a wash of sun-kissed pinks, yellows and chambray. “I don’t like wearing sunglasses as you can’t see the real colours,” Mullins states, and it’s a preference which is certainly evident in his recent collection. After studying BA Fashion with Print at Central Saint Martins, Mullins went on to complete an MA in menswear at the Royal Collage of Art. He graduated in 2012 alongside fellow London designers Craig Green and Clare Barrow, and soon after was snapped up by the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN sponsorship scheme, winning the title for their ‘Ones To Watch’ initiative.
As a distinctly modern voice in the industry, we probe Mullins on the rise of social media in fashion houses. “At first I thought it had to be taken very seriously in a business sense,” he muses. But he soon came to the realisation that these increasingly prevalent avenues of communication could be used to express the real him – that what makes him laugh and fills his days are “part of my work too.” His Instagram and Twitter accounts regale us with tales of animals and everyday observations, while his Tumblr page is a montage of old photos shot on his Nikon from a 2008 road trip across America with friend and fellow designer Faustine Steinmetz, punctuated among images of his collections. In these ways, Mullins’s personality manages to seamlessly merge with his practice, his life and work forming a cohesive whole, one speaking to and through the other. Though his fascination with imagined characters is enduring, what type of person would he like to imagine wearing his collections? “A creative thinker who wants to find something special,” come the reply. The relationships people develop with his clothes remains core to his process, from conception, to design, to physical reality. “People who are looking for loud but not arrogant, like in old cowboy movies when no one questions it,” he continues to think aloud, “it just is how it is.”
For more information on Alex Mullins’s SS15 collection, visit alexmullins.co.uk
Post-degree and pre-‘Alex Mullins’ label, he gained experience with a number of designers. From working for highend fashion houses such as Diane Von Furstenberg to sportswear catwalk icon Jeremy Scott and esteemed couture brands like McQueen, lending his talents to and learning from such a diverse range of designers set him on the path to where he wants to be today. “They all add to the story,” he says, “my story.” Alex’s CSM MA graduate collection employed subtle florals, nudes and noted fringe jackets. Its subtlety contrasts starkly with a MA AW13 collection that looked to heavy embroidered jumpers and fur detailing on jackets, or his Wild West Rodeo-themed AW14 which ran with heavy emphasis on denim appliqué jackets and graffiti faces.
Words: Rebecca Maskell Photography: Benjamin Mallek
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Iceage: The Plight Of The Dispossessed “And I never liked to ask for a helping hand/ But I do now.” Elias Ronnenfelt’s heart breaking, poetic lyrics on recent single The Lord’s Favourite echo a sentiment that rings true to his band. Iceage have always been out there on their own. Even when surrounded by a stirring music scene in their home city, they’ve made no compromises. They’re doing things on their own terms and they don’t trust the press. As press we can confirm that this glimmer, this carrot is greater than any number of hit singles. We love a challenge, we love to be confronted with our own bullshit. In truth, when we finally got hold of the Danish band we found ourselves questioning it ourselves. Treading it back down the hallway and hanging our tail between our legs as we went.
et, Yukio Mishima e Bataille sparked t in writing. They way of elevating oul, depraved nces and thinking, s beautiful and atic glory”
Words: Billy Black Photography: James Burgess
Maybe a band who were sensationalised, called “teenage bullies full of anger and anxiety” by a Danish tabloid and accused of sympathising with fascism in the early stages of their career have a right to feel antipathy towards the mainstream media, “They [journalists] have a tendency to alter and rearrange my answers,” Elias tells us in a post-interview e-mail. “Never trust a journalist.” His feelings on the subject echo guitarist Johann’s comments from a conversation we’d had earlier in the day. “It’s journalists who put us in the role of ‘rebels’, we just do what we do and some would say we are rebels, but I don’t consider myself that way.” It’s clear that they’re done talking about it. Rightly so. Browsing the liner notes of Iceage’s latest record Plowing Into The Field of Love, you’ll find some of Elias’s most insightful, hopeless and gut-wrenching lyrics to date, as emotional imagery weaves through carefully constructed, pertinent stanzas. “I wrote most of the lyrics over a period of two weeks in a friend’s apartment in Berlin last January, so a lot of it is a portrait of my conditions and my head space at that time,” he tells us. During Elias’s formative stages as a songwriter, there was a time when poetry and literature made a huge impact on his lyrics, and he’s happy to discuss his influences: “At first writers like Jean Genet, Yukio Mishima and George Bataille sparked my interest in writing. They all share a way of elevating very foul, depraved circumstances and thinking, into this
beautiful and ecstatic glory,” he extolls with great enthusiasm. Beauty from depravity is something Elias harnesses to great effect. Often intensely personal and increasingly anthemic, the songs he creates alongside his band are raw, deconstructed works of punk idolatry. Against The Moon – the closest thing the album gets to a bona fide ballad – is a rousing eulogy to self-confidence, and Elias explains that the song is about “carelessly pursuing something that you know could never succeed. Wasting time on futile endeavours.” As well as being one of the most introspective songs the band have recorded, it’s also one of the most spontaneous. “Elias just sat down at the organ,” Johann says, “he just started playing a few chords and we added a bassline and it was just like ‘yeah, this is something that works.’” The most important thing for Iceage is to live outside of a vacuum, in order to push their music forwards. Across their three albums, you’ll hear the sound of a band developing, turning into more than just a great punk band. Elias lets nothing get in the way, drawing his vision from his own qualms (“Panic. Bad decisions. All kinds of procrastination. I haven’t really lacked inspiration for years”), and when he’s not working he’s at a loss, turning his harsh critique against himself. “Since we finished Plowing…, I’ve been a mess. I find that once you don’t have a song or a project of some sort to turn your criticism against, then you turn it towards yourself. It’s beginning to get better though.” And with the expectations for Iceage to play the agitators fading away, Johann’s final comments during our conversation confirm what’s been the band’s true intention from the start. “The only pressure we feel is the pressure we put on ourselves to live up to our own expectations. I am the only person I wouldn’t want to disappoint.”
Plowing Into The Field Of Love is out now via Matador
Cosey Fanni Tutti in conversation with Nik Void
Billed as ‘15 conversations with people who have shaped the way we listen to music’, Red Bull Music Academy’s new book For The Record, published by Gestalten, curates features with the likes of Erykah Badu, DJ Harvey and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry in conversation with their peers. What follows is an extract where two confrontational musicians, industrial pioneer Cosey Fanni Tutti and Factory Floor's Nik Void talk performance, subversion and gendered spaces with RBMA Online Editor Todd Burns:
Sleazy – a quiet gay guy – would always come thundering in during a quiet bit. And then he’d go, “oops.”
Expectation is a powerful thing, when you see a guitar get strummed, you anticipate a certain sound to emerge from the speaker. The music of Cosey Fanni Tutti and Nik Void consistently tried to upend these expectations. Both come from an English art school background, an education that was decidedly non-musical in nature. As a result, their work is often as conceptual as it is visceral. What makes them so special, though, is that it never sacrifices one for the other. Cosey in Throbbing Gristle and Chris & Cosey, Void in Factory Floor – they always leave a mark.
NV: When I joined it kind of changed that dynamic. We started to understand that you can make your own rules and you can play together nicely.
Cosey and partner Chris Carter have lived in Norfolk for many years in a converted schoolhouse. It was there that they practiced for their 2012 live show with Void. On a sweltering summer day in July, Void returned for a conversation with Cosey. It was held in the garden, with Cosey’s cat Dexter often joining the two at the table.
RBMA: You mentioned that boys tend to try and fill the spaces of music more than girls. What are the other differences that you’ve noticed? Cosey Fanni Tutti: Just on that ‘fill the spaces thing’ thing … If you’re ever on the Tube, a guy will sit like you’re sitting there, Todd. Not only displaying everything, but also a posture of like ‘this is mine.’ That space-filling is what they do when you play with them as well. I find that anyway. Even
Nik Void: I think that’s what was happening with Factory Floor before I joined. All of them wanting to fill the space. CFT: All posturing and… NV: A “this is my territory” type of thing. CFT: It’s an innate thing, they can’t help it.
CFT: And you have techniques to counter what’s building up. You know it’s inevitable, so you just blast the idea of that out the window, which I’ve had to do in TG loads of times. How have you done it? CFT: I always keep my guitar low at sound check, because I know that the others are going to come in loud. So when I do the gig I’ve got some headspace, you know? Someone often finds a really good place and a really good sound and everyone works off it. It’s fantastic and you have to allow that, but you also have to recognise the point at which that becomes selfindulgent and it doesn’t do anything for the overall piece that you’re all supposed to be working together on. NV: Yeah, Dom is terrible for that. He’ll go on and on and with his head down. CFT: They get locked in. NV: Yeah, you’re totally unaware that there are other people playing. That’s the great thing about having a drumstick on a guitar. It’s just like … “Wake up!” CFT: I always said, way back in the 70s,
that I should get a little metal wristband so that I could deliver shocks now and again. So has Chris learned to play … I hate to put it in binary terms, but does he play in a less masculine style than most people, would you say? CFT: His focus has always been the complete sound. His role was actually to give us something to play along with. He always created the rhythms for TG, and still does that with Carter Tutti and Chris & Cosey stuff. He’s got no ego. That has a lot do with it. It’s human nature to have people that want to lead and people that want to follow. NV: Gabe and Dom definitely want to lead. I just secretly lead. CFT: That’s the trait of women, isn’t it? I think it’s very rare – whether you’re a man or a woman – to be able to conceptualise the whole when you’re in a band. To do your own thing, but also think about everything else. CFT: Chris has a very good ear for tuning and timing. It’s almost robotic, really. I leave a lot of that in his hands. But, having said that, he will then get locked into a thing, and it’s hard to pull him out. I don’t like everything that quantised. Every now and again, I like things to flow out. A bit of fluidity, if you’d like. So I guess that’s my role. I say, “I think that rhythm has gone on long enough. We need to change it. We need to counter it.” When I listen to our music I think of dancing because I used to be a dancer. When you dance to music you’re almost hunting for counter-rhythms. Not like the rave culture, which is based on drug-induced bang, bang, bang. When you dance naturally you get all kinds of weird things going on with your body, which really manifest from the sound as counterrhythms. Or the melody creates another kind of dance movement. I’m always wanting to shift our music along. I can’t
“You either punish them because you’re pissed off with them or you have a really good time because you know they’re with you” – Cosey Fanni Tutti
dance or even listen to music that’s just the same all the way through. It drives me nuts. I just think, “I’m not braindead” you know? Give me something to work with here. I’m a human being. That’s strange coming from a founder of industrial music, isn’t it? But there you go. NV: Did you ever dance to your own music? CFT: I did once. I danced to United, but that was just to please Gen (Throbbing Gristle member Genesis Breyer P-Orridge) because he came to the pub and he was just miserable. The nearest I got to dancing to any music I liked listening to was Pere Ubu and Captain Beefheart’s Hard Working Man. Alternative TV’s Love Lies Limp too. That one seemed quite appropriate to stripping. There was a Sylvester tune that was on a playlist I once saw as well. You were also in the video for You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real), right? CFT: I’ve still got those white satin shorts upstairs. What was interesting about that video shoot - speaking about keeping things fluid - they’d gone to Pineapple Dance Studios and got some dancers in. And then they’d come to my agency, which is a stripping agency, and got girls from there. They ended up using the girls from the stripping agency, because they danced instinctively to the music. We were looking at the girls from Pineapple, and they were going, “Two, three, four and turn”. And I’m thinking, “This is disco music!” It’s not Riverdance. It was interesting. And, of course, you had all the boys as well. We corrupted all the young boy waiters. In fact, those shorts were the boy waiter shorts. Yeah, it was good fun. NV: I think that’s the key though. Isn’t it? Instinct. Factory Floor is sort of driven by instinct a lot more than anything else, really. That’s why some of our tracks go on for a long time. I can totally get what you’re saying about, “Can you dance to it?”. CFT: You don’t even have to call it dance, because you move internally to it as well. It can become a cerebral thing, which it often is when we do music that takes you to a different plane completely. You wonder where the hell you’ve been. It’s that almost trance-inducing thing. Quite often when you’re playing that kind of music and you repeat things, you find new levels quite naturally. They move along with, for want of a better word, the vibe of the audience when you’re playing it. That has a huge
amount to do with what you do live. You either punish them because you’re pissed off with them or you have a really good time because you know they’re with you. It’s sometimes almost like they’re up there with you. It’s fantastic. NV: You know when it’s locking into place on stage, especially when it is driven by instinct and you’re kind of semi-improvising. You also know when it sort of falls apart. When that happens we almost feel a little bit embarrassed to be up there. We feel like we’ve lost all of our clothes or something. I think the best show that we played was this blackout show where we were behind a curtain and the audience were brought into a dark room, no lights at all. They didn’t even know who was playing behind the curtain. We couldn’t see them, and so we just started playing. Eventually, we could feel people moving around from the air that was made from the curtains just moving slowly. You completely lost all the selfconsciousness of being on stage. And also you just thought, “What the hell is going on out there?” CFT: It gets a strange effect from the audience. I remember we once played a gig with mirrors so that all the audience could see was themselves. They didn’t like that. I think they take offense at the fact that you’re manipulating them. But we’d go on with the opinion that, right, we’re here to deliver something and share something with you tonight. Come along with us for the ride.
Extract taken from For The Record: Conversations with People Who Have Shaped the Way We Listen to Music Purchase the book at shop.gestalten.com/ rbma and for more information head to rbma15.com
SAT 08/11/2014 OCTOBER / NOVEMBER
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DIMENSIONS Fort Punta Christo, Croatia 27-31 August A labour of love based in the same medieval fort as its elder brother Outlook, Dimensions’ third outing was its most thrilling yet. For two main reasons; firstly, its growing reputation for extremely high musical standards saw performers bring only A-game material; and secondly, well you’ve probably already heard, it ended with a spectacular bang. But we’ll get to that later. The 2000-year-old amphitheatre in nearby Pula’s city centre provided the jaw-dropping backdrop for the opening concert, a separately ticketed, highly-anticipated taster. Intrigue gave way to a sense of the sublime when the host reiterated how the gladiatorial arena was “purpose built for entertainment”. The acoustics certainly worked, with the distinctive arpeggio melodies of Nils Frahm paving the way for Caribou to steal the show with wonderfully expansive interpretations of Sun and Can’t Do Without You.
The eclectic nature of the bill was reflected in the harmonious and affable crowd as French, German, and Italian parties mixed with the British contingent. Soulful hip-hop and dub rhythms were the lifeblood eminating from the beach stage in the following days, with Flako’s bubbling harmonics and skittering beats proving to be a particular highlight, while Mo Kolours’ ambling rhythms certainly felt at home in the sunshine. As for boat parties, there would be no forgetting Dublin’s Bodytonic crew, who threw one with every Irishman this side of Rome on it, with headliner Space Dimension Controller smashing out a whole load of electro as the sun went down over the Adriatic, drawing for the hardcore as darkness fell. London’s Eglo crew held a formidable presence, as their boat party saw Daphni and Floating Points go back to back on a roasting Saturday afternoon. Looking like a couple of off-duty superheroes, the duo delighted in bettering each other’s disco and boogie selections.
Fellow Eglo cohort Funkineven’s set at the Fort was a clear standout, touching on rare groove, Detroit techno and most other things along the way. Adorned with abstract projections and backlit by technicolour trees, the near-fabled Fort stage was a full paradigm shift when coming in from the beach. At The Clearing we were treated to a smattering of musical legends including Roy Ayres taking to the stage with the vigor of a man half his age and a similarly enlightening set from Ebo Taylor, with each artist’s attention to sonic detail mirrored through one of many the bespoke systems. Moodymann’s set last year was the talking point of the festival. This year he returned and went one better, with a momentous two-hour voyage at The Clearing culminating with a lot of dry ice and Moodymann getting into the swarm to hand out vodka shots. With one day left, general consensus was that we’d reached the pinnacle. Sunday began with a series of ominous warnings from the locals of a storm on the horizon. Everything
was calm until huge lightning clouds crept up behind the dancefloor, flickering in the distance. The majority looked nonplussed. Some were too spaced even to notice. It wasn’t until half way through Kaytranada’s already energetic set that the skies opened. In the dry of the stage, the Canadian producer looked a little confused at first, but as soon as he twigged he reached for Denzel Curry’s Threatz, a boisterous trap record which sparked mayhem in a defiant and soaked crowd. This must have been too much for the gods, as when he went in for his next mix, a huge bang echoed across the site at the end of the bar. And then silence. After a split second of confusion, everyone scrambled for cover. Although it was a shame to have this set cut short, for those who had witnessed that moment it seemed a serendipitous climax and certainly a drop unlike any we’d ever heard or seen. The festival then fell hushed for a good hour until the systems got back on. Admist the chaos, Floating Points went back to back with Motor City Drum Ensemble
in the Void, yet the Moat seemed the appropriate place for one last chaotic stomp in the rain. Nina Kraviz moved over from the Clearing, which had been flooded, reportedly along with all of Underground Resistance’s priceless analogue kit. This might have been the only bad to come of the storm, although those camping might have disagreed. We certainly hope that Dimensions returns next year, but if not, what a conclusion to a festival that is truly one of a kind.
Words: Jack Dolan and Jack Brookeman Photography: Cameron Sweeny
Live L .I.E . S. Berghain/Panorama Bar, Berlin 19 September
END OF THE ROAD Larmer Tree Garden, Wiltshire 29-31 August In 1895, with the Larmer Gardens of Dorset lit up in Vauxhall lights while dancing took place in the open air, Thomas Hardy described the scene as “quite the prettiest sight I have ever seen”. It feels a bit unnatural to say the same about an Eagulls set in a blue big top, but in many ways, Hardy’s words resonate with what End of the Road festival does with the same site today. John Grant’s songs of candid heartbreak managed to create a surprisingly buoyant mood, most likely due to the palette of his music – which can switch from the electronic pulses of Black Belt to the National-esque crooning of It Doesn’t Matter To Him. Less fortunate with his afternoon Garden Stage slot, was Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen, who after a tortuous set up process under the sweltering sun, was barely able to get through a song without a technical difficulty of some sort. Undoubtedly, the success of End of the Road was best manifested in Friday night’s Garden Stage headliner: the Gene Clark No Other Band, a collective containing members of Beach House, Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear, assembled to celebrate Gene Clark’s overlooked 1974 album. And celebration truly was the tone as these musicians came together, possibly for the last time, and played the record in full. Designed to cope with families and older audience members, End of The Road is not only manageable but an absolute pleasure to be a part of. Perhaps not an exhaustive mind warping weekend, but enough to leave, like Hardy, peaceably overwhelmed. ! Angus Harrison N Andrew Novell
WHP: WELCOME TO THE WAREHOUSE Store Street, Manchester 27 September
FIELD MANUEVERS Oxfordshire 29-31 August When speaking to Crack earlier this year, Night Moves organiser and Freerotation regular Jane Fitz expressed a desire to apply the essence of rave to an underground 4/4 culture that can be so po-faced. “A night of music can be solid, and serious, but I don’t think it has to stay on the straight and narrow, or lose its sense of humour”, she argued, “That didn’t happen at raves – DJs went for it and people went nuts and had the time of their lives! And that’s what they remembered after, not which record was on which label or what track came after what”. Field Maneuvers – a new, 500-capacity festival that takes place in an intimate Oxfordshire location and has had Fitz’s blessing – gets just the right balance between educated bookings and pure, unadulterated fun. On Friday evening we’re hooked up with a group of ticket holders who’ve booked a minibus travelling from Bristol, and true to the spirit of a proper rave, it takes us fucking ages to find the place. UK techno veteran and third deck user Ben Sims dominates the night, and rave legend Mark Archer is met with the respect he deserves. Bristol collective Housework blow the dust off their recent hiatus on Saturday with a spontaneous back-to-back-to-back set and good vibes peak that night when a noholds-barred set from garage legend Wookie is followed by “sexed out thug houz jams” and bassline-orientated tracks unleashed by DJ Haus and DJ Q under their Trumpet & Badman moniker. If you’re craving an intimate and non-corporate sanctuary to enjoy the best currents among electronic dance music, then Field Maneuvers comes with our sincere recommendation. ! Davy Reed N Sam King
“Welcome home” was the phrase flickering across the brickwork as we headed into The Warehouse Project’s old new place of residence for this season. Returning to Store Street for one year only, there was a holy kind of atmosphere in the air as party pilgrimages materialised. Crack headed straight to the second room, where Berlin’s Mr. Ties and his total dedication to crate-digging and tiered mixing was infectious on a crowd finding their feet. Then came Carl Craig, who floated between the melodious and the unrelenting. Always assertive and still – at some level – enigmatic, Craig fortified his historical gravitas and brought a two-hour masterclass to Manchester’s biggest congregation of club-goers. The main room was later soundtracked by multi-genre expedition courtesy of Tale of Us, which closed with Caribou’s Can’t Do Without You, acting as an unofficial curtain-drop on the summer that it has come to define. A highlight of a sporadically discrobed headline set from Seth Troxler came in the form of a mid-set drop of Aphex Twin’s 180db_, where the dystopian synths flew above the murky partystarting hook. It appeared the best of the visuals were saved for Seth, and the night became the morning in an extravagant display of house and techno. If this really is the end of The Warehouse Project operating at this scale, then this party was as good as any “beginning of the end” can get. The future of the series is still unknown, but for 12 weeks, Manchester can throw extravagance at nostalgia and celebrate its legacy of major success.
! Duncan Harrison Sebastian Matthes
Tonight, cerulean blue LEDs drip and discolour above a room of endless moving. Faces fix on spots of darkness; the ceiling, the floor, glimpses of the night outside, and the scuzzy, almost slo-mo industrial cranks of Vereker alongside Low Key establish the night as being ineffably combative. The noise succeeding the duo is severe. Beau Wanzer’s set is fire and brimstone, climaxing with klaxons that seemingly confirm this will not be the last time we will hear his glitchy face-melters overseas. At first, Traxx’s change of pace seems to soften Beau Wanzer’s blows. Refined jackbeat sweeping into lucid Depeche Mode cuts sees everyone jerking and wrenching at those in front of them. Tempos change constantly. In an age so dependent on technology, Traxx is the analogue purist that highlights the inertia of today’s digital spinners and clickers. Label boss Ron Morelli plays as the sun begins to rise and filter through Panorama Bar’s windows. He is the reason everyone is together tonight. Playing everything and anything that he knows and loves – techno, house, ambient, acid, sub-genres of sub-genres of sub-genres – nothing else really complies, and as Marcos Cabral sees us into midday, we walk away bruised. Tonight reinforced L.I.E.S. as the modern day interpreters of borderless music, moving our perennial senses straight into an inferno. Europe’s most notorious club was left scarred while L.I.E.S. Records’ burning urge seemed bottomless. ! Tom Watson
HONEYBLOOD The Louisiana, Bristol 22 September Glasgow duo Honeyblood are a like-able concept. Their debut album is full of ear-worms worthy of Best Coast and melodies that Teenage Fanclub would probably envy. They’re energetic on record and lead singer Stina Tweedale’s often caustic lyrics play off against a mostly upbeat tone to charmingly bittersweet, melodramatic effect. Lead single Super Rat, for example, is an ex-bashing anthem that is totally singable and totally full of tough emotional momentum. It’s something we can all relate to. A savage break up. That uncontrollable urge to send a thousand angry texts. Tonight, however, as Tweedale squints under the red lights of Bristol’s Louisiana and unenthusiastically crawls through a dull set, Fall Forever is fraught with technical issues and we can’t help but wonder whether (I’d Rather Be) Anywhere But Here isn’t the most poignant track they’ll play all night. With such a visible lack of passion, it’s hard to imagine her as the voice behind the vitriolic lyrics “I will hate you forever/ Scumbag sleaze/Slimeball grease/ You really do disgust me”. Our only consolation? Walking home safe in the knowledge that the record would still sound just as tempered, and just as moody on our stereo as soon as we got there. ! Billy Black
Live WARP25 Krakow, Poland 19-20 September
BERLIN ATONAL Kraftwerk, Berlin 20-24 August Now two years into its second incarnation, the Berlin Atonal festival does an incredible job of gathering musicians at the vanguard of modern noise, industrial and techno. Originally started in 1982, the event has also become a reference point in both the history of industrial music and the story of Berlin techno. Dalhous made excellent and considered use of the industrial space’s cathedral like reverb on the opening night, supplementing their bleak, hauntological sound with a hazy video collage of found footage. Tim Hecker was a subdued figure at the centre of a pitch-black stage, spending his set hunched over a mixing desk and flanked by guitar amps blasting out his distinctive droning shoegaze. Abdulla Rashim and Dasha Rush both explored the boundary between techno and noise, reflecting the more ambient sides of their respective outputs and capitalising on the opportunity to experiment offered by Atonal. But not all of the performances at Atonal were so calm and geared towards chin-stroking. Making a live debut, anonymous techno producer Headless Horseman‘s performance was unapologetically brash, roughly mixing live versions of his/her tracks and SØS Gunver Ryberg bounced around the stage to the tune of decimated kick drums and bludgeoning percussion with a truly manic energy. Alongside the main performances in Kraftwerk Berlin were a series of night-time events held in Tresor itself. Whereas many of the shows in the Kraftwerk were about serious listening, those in Tresor were about serious dancing. One potential issue with the day-night balance of Berlin Atonal is the requirement to stay up until five or six in the morning in order to see acts after a full day at the festival. In the case of Millie & Andrea, our endurance was rewarded with a consummate performance that further explored the territory covered on Drop the Vowels, though we were sorely disappointed by Killing Sound, as their 5am live sound simply didn’t match up to the beautiful soundscaping work on their recent EPs for Blackest Ever Black. Cabaret Voltaire’s founding member Richard H.Kirk gave a particularly impressive performance. The influence that Kirk has had on the sound of leftfield British dance music is difficult to overstate. And despite the fact that he was playing exclusively new material, he drew on a lifetime of experience in electronic music to put together a truly timeless set. Quite fitting then, as a finale to Crack’s Berlin Atonal experience. ! Thomas Painter N Camille Blake
L AURYN HILL Manchester Apollo 25 September People really cling on to The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill. Even when Crack caught her live last May in Brooklyn before her prison sentence, we hoped the sentence would be a precursor to a new and exciting chapter in her troubled career. Then came the Brixton backlash earlier in the week, and as the 10 minute wait becomes a 60 minute wait tonight, our dreams of Ms. Hill proving London wrong are looking more and more unrealistic. She eventually takes to the stage for a cover of Soul Rebel (one of five Bob Marley covers in the setlist) and soon after jumps headfirst into an unidentifiable rendition of Everything is Everything, the lyrics lifted and spread out across a brand new double-time melody. The boos came, the crowds thinned and the peculiar remixes continued. Things picked up a little later, and before hypnotising the naysayers with Mr. Intentional, Lauryn called out a heckler in the front section and asked what the issue was. The fan spoke for the whole Apollo when they told her plainly, “I’m just so confused.” It’s confusing that she’d choose to play almost as many Bob Marley covers as she would Miseducation cuts. It’s confusing that her voice sounds unbelievable but she makes it work at a pace that leaves her flustered and breathless. It’s confusing that the person behind one of the greatest solo records of the last 50 years is making her fans work so hard to stay on her side. It’s all confusing. And it when it hurts so bad, it really doesn’t feel so good.
! Duncan Harrison Manchester Apollo
As serious fans of Warp’s discography, Crack headed to the label’s 25th birthday event for the final two nights. The first of these evenings, held at the voluminous Laznia Nowa Theater, included a performance by the esteemed London Sinfonietta ensemble, who played orchestral arrangements of classic Warp tracks – a suitably high-brow entrée before the main dish of club music the following evening. The Saturday night was held at the now-abandoned Forum Hotel – a monument to the very best of 70s optimistic communist excess. Given that Battles played a set of entirely new material, the New York three-piece did a particularly good job of whipping the crowd into shape with their typically idiosyncratic mix of electro and experimental noisepop. Over in Room 2, meanwhile, what we can only assume was a cancellation by Darkstar meant it was up to Patten to fill the gap with his own woozy live show. While shimmering in its own right, it was a little somnambulic for the peaktime slot, meaning the arrival of Bibio at the decks shortly afterwards was particularly wellreceived. Back in the main room, and a comparatively rare set from LFO was undoubtedly one of the evening’s highlights. Over a sternum-pummelling 60 minutes, Mark Bell unleashed hit after hit from the group’s era-defining arsenal of 90s techno megaanthems, all while flanked by that infamous, seizure-inducing LED wall. No sooner had this ended than legacy bookings Autechre responded in kind with their own unique sensory onslaught. With that spell of surrealism over, all that was left was for Hudson Mohawke to mop up the pieces, which he did with an hour of gun-finger-toting ‘ave-some-of-that’ club bangers every bit as unsubtle as you could ask for at the end of a long and sweaty night. True, there were frustrated mutterings at Aphex Twin’s absence from the bill, but all things considered, Warp 25 was a perfect mix of reverence and rejoicing from a label that’s never been comfortable with protracted bouts of navel-gazing or self-congratulation. We just hope they’re around to do it all over again in another 25 years... !
MAGIK MARKERS The Cavern Club, Bristol 22 September The non-stop onslaught that is Cacophonous Sarcophagus continues its relentless surge through Bristol. Dredging the obscurest depths from the murky channel of underground noisemakers, this time they pull up a stoner’s odyssey and chuck it in one of the last legitimately weird venues in the city. We’re first hit by a wall of noise conjured up by Speed The Plough. The latest in a long line of projects from Beak> drummer Matt Loveridge, they trade on that tried-and-true loud-quiet-loud formula, mix it with some weighty Kyussian sludge-riffidge and throw in a little post-emo angst. Older but none-the-nicer, Henry Blacker provide the meat in tonight’s sandwich. Walls of dense, full-spectrum guitar noise are lashed to drunken-pirate-oncider vocals, middle-class anger and the frustrations of modern living. Magik Markers’ Elisa Ambrogio alternates between playing her electric guitar upright like a double-bass and sitting with it on her lap like a zither, providing a running spoken-word commentary while the rest of the band reel out motorik rhythms and free-associated melodies that whirl in and out of the loose but song-based structures. It’s a pleasure to see such a confident band in their element, and all credit to Cacophonus Sarcophagus for once again providing the time and space for it to happen. ! Steven Dores N Louise Brady
Products BOLSA BASS Critter & Guitari £199 elevatorsound.co.uk A friend of ours makes high-quality club trax and loves pink, so when we showed her this she pretty much imploded. Besides the thick, weighty sound that comes out of the thing, it also has possibly the best promo video of any piece of musical equipment ever (Google it, serious).
DONALD VARSITY JACKET Colourway £275 colourway.co Reversing the trend to cover every square inch of a varsity jacket with a ton of ripped-off ironic patches, Colourway take it back to basics with their first foray into outerwear proper. The fact that it’s made in the USA adds another layer of legit to this already fully-legit item.
UO X DANSETTE STERLING STANDING RECORD PLAYER Urban Outfitters £250 urbanoutfitters.com Now that vinyl is officially back, not having a record player in your home is quite a big social faux-pas. And you could do a lot worse than this little number. Built in collaboration with classic British manufacturer Dansette, it’ll last forever while looking like you’ve owned it forever, hurling you up the social ladder in the process.
DIFFERENT EVERY TIME: THE AUTHORISED BIOGRAPHY OF ROBERT WYATT Marcus O’Dair £15 serpentstail.com To some people, Robert Wyatt is a God. These people will travel across Europe to hear him speak. They will ask if they can stroke his beard. They will offer to let him sleep in their bed. If you read this book while listening to Rock Bottom, you too could be one of these people.
HUNG LIKE A PRO DECK Mike O’ Shea £60 mikeoshea.org
RAINBOW DRESS Jams World £29 strong-look.co.uk
Chuck this on your wall and put ideas in everyone’s heads.
A rad online shop filled with 2ndhand bargains and exclusive Larry Heard T-shirts? SOLD!
T-SHIRT Studio Barnhus £22 studiobarnhus.se Axel Boman’s too sexy for his shirt, but you’re probably not.
FLAG (UNION JACK) PRINT Frank Benson £120 ica.org.uk Bearing in mind everything that just happened, they should probably update the Union Jack to this guy.
PHARMAKON Bestial Burden Sacred Bones
Fabric loves Romania and they aren’t afraid to show it. This is their third mix outing in a matter of months courtesy of the Bucharestbased ar:pi:ar collective, with the other composite parts Petre Inspirescu and Rhadoo having contributed to the fabric metal case canon earlier this year. In Raresh, arguably their sturdiest member, they may have saved their best until last. With Raresh plying his trade in and around the more linear line of house, or essentially the sound Ricardo Villalobos is playing when not trying to weird you out at 9am, this mix is loosely an adventure into gorgeous minimal house textures and subtle undulations. It’s woven together pristinely and like any music of this ilk, when driven through headphones or sizeable speaker weight, it comes to life. Current on-trend luminaries such as Cristi Cons, Sonja Moonear and Vlad Caia appear, but it’s the succinct way the mix melds together that allows many of the sonics to take focus, with their dreamlike proportions in the main tethered by a deep four-four pulse and rumbling bass. It’s a gorgeous delve into that middle ground between house and techno, a moody space but one custom designed to thrive on the dancefloor.
APHEX T WIN Syro Warp Basking in the wake of a distraction-free listen through Syro, what’s evident is that not only is this Aphex Twin’s most tangible album; it’s also his least challenging. Arriving fully 13 years on from his last, what is its function? Its end goal? Is it to nuzzle into the UK’s top 10 albums? To be played by Seth Troxler at the Warehouse Project? To reactive a never-dormant, adoring cult? Because Syro’s impact feels anything but subversive. That’s not just because by now Richard D. James’s approach to sound has been consumed and regurgitated beyond recognition like London water, but it’s because this album is inherently approachable. It’s the album you point someone towards if they want to know where to start with Aphex Twin without being scared off. But also, as that statement implies, Syro is an extremely good record. Lead single and opening track, the now ubiquitous minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix], skitters along at an agreeable pace, any unsettling elements in the spazzy breaks, or discomfort caused by the cast of distant voices alternating from the ancient to the foetal, comes tethered by a comforting, heavenly stepladder of bass notes. Even if the sound palette does sound familiar, it is uniformly, masterfully deployed. Syro’s vocabulary of language and sound is distinctively Aphex Twin, eased through a filter of mellowness. 180db_ and PAPAT4 [pineal mix], with their bleary synths and dizzying post-amen breaks feel, in their rave fetishism, simultaneously the most openly backwards-glancing yet contemporary of anything on offer. Unlike current acts like Zomby, whose distillations of rave euphoria are openly reverent of an era captured in formaldehyde, James’s insular world presents a temporal scenario where the rave never began and so never ended. But while the overarching impression of Syro is one of balmy, beatific beauty, tracks are never quite as blissful as peerless Selected Ambient Works 85-92 cuts like Heliosphan or Xtal, or the heavenly hum and subtle clips of Flim. Not only does Syro not sound as eye-gogglingly disarming as the divisive analogue playground of drukqs, or ...I Care Because You Do’s meeting of scraping noise shimmer and impossibly confrontational rhythms did when initially released; it doesn’t sound as revelatory as they do now. These 12 beautiful Aphex Twin tracks sit together like a dream, but what are they for? Syro ends on aisatsana , a gorgeous, generous piece of solo piano pathos, and a worthy, broader sister-piece to drukqs’ Avril 14th. But where on the 2001 album the track descends into the alarming hyperspeed glitch of Mt Saint Michel + Saint Michaels Mount, here it fades to close. What will the next track be?
Bestial Burden opens on a rhythmic asthma attack. Margaret Chardiet's increasingly clipped, increasingly short breaths transform into a loop that lays a foundation for the record's main windfall; humanity. What's more human than breathing? What's more disconcerting than not being able to? To understand that is to understand Bestial Burden. It's a record that strives to underpin, through noise, the inscrutable intensity of simply being. The sounds Chardiet deploys, mainly through percussive, filtered, analogue instrumentation, see Pharmakon lumped as a 'noise' project. But this album is far too accessible for that tag. It's loud and punishing, but it's also very approachable – partly down to that writhing emotion; the visceral screams that permeate most tracks and the interludes of wheezing, coughing body sounds. Mostly though, it's Chardiet's considered approach to rhythm and structure that make this record relatable. She eschews atypical time signatures in favour of distorted homemade snares and crashes that rest comfortably in 4/4 whilst her scenery bulges, implodes. These found percussive plates pulsate and grind through pedals and modulators at frequencies that sound alien but actually remain within normal human range. Pharmakon's second album is a huge step towards congeniality for the listener. The intricately constructed sensibility and depth of form, timing and texture compliment the guttural sounds of hyperventilation and coughs that slot between the songs. This duality of benevolence drives home the human element in the record's industrial roots. Bestial Burden ends as personally as it begins; maniacal laughter bleeds into screaming over trembling bass and descends into murky, treble strewn chaos. We're thrown into the depths of psychosis. A gut-trusting, visceral diary entry for an artist obsessed with the unfathomable nature of existence.
! Thomas Frost
! Geraint Davies
! Billy Black
DE AN BLUNT Black Metal Rough Trade
2:54 are named after “the exact moment in the Melvins song A History of Bad Men when it gets good”, but it’d be difficult to really pin down a similar point on the clock on this staunchly-consistent sophomore LP. The London duo’s first, self-titled album seemed absolutely ripe for some kind of mainstream crossover, especially in a climate where their friends in The xx were courting huge success, but instead, its blend of shoegaze, grunge and the occasional hint of psychedelia seemed to fly under the radar. On The Other I, the pair have largely stuck to their guns; if anything, they’ve only sought to make their different stylistic touchpoints more obvious and diffuse, with mixed results. The likes of South and Sleepwalker bristle with a brooding energy not a million miles from, say, Stories from the City-era PJ Harvey, but while In the Mirror and Glory Days are plenty atmospheric, Tender Shoots meanders. There’s no question that The Other I could have benefited from a little more of the tautness and tightness of its predecessor, but it’s undoubtedly a step forward, too; 2:54 are doing a decent job of taking well-worn influences and making themselves sound pretty unique in the process.
To use a crude analogy, if Blunt’s output as Hype Williams was an attempt at sonically replicating the crushingly claustrophobic sensation of serial skunk abuse, the material he’s released under his own name is, largely, akin to the crystalline high of MDMA. Black Metal, like its predecessor The Redeemer, teems with creepily unaffected longing, resulting in a genuinely gorgeous, beguiling and bewitching album. Black Metal’s first half is British pastoralism at its finest, melancholic Sunday evening music of contemplation, regret and anxiety, songs of devotion delivered in a smokedout, cracked baritone – paeans to comedowns. This opening sextet – Lush, 50 Cent, Blow, 100, Heavy, Molly & Aquafina – released alone would be the greatest British EP since Belle & Sebastian's 3…6…9 Seconds of Light. But Blunt being Blunt – one of our most ambitious practioners, a man who seems to want to disorientate and bemuse his audience, a post-postmodern producer – the early warmth and seeming-sincerity is replaced by the now-familiar dischord and disquiet: the Bill Callahan-esque twanging of guitars is ousted by nosediving banks of detuned synth wash and echoplexing drum machine skronk. This is definitve Blunt territory, reworkings of the Hype Williams aesthetic. At the album’s core is the 13-minute Forever: a demanding, lengthy, stuttering jazz workout that plumbs depths of wordless despair. We emerge on the other side into a scorched inner-city, a zone of subliminal dread. Blunt leaves the listener perplexed: how did we get here, why are we being left here, can we escape, do we want to escape? A stunning record.
! Joe Goggins
! Josh Baines
2:54 The Other I Bella Union
R ARESH fabric 78 fabric
ARIEL PINK Pom Pom 4AD
One of the inherent risks of being in a band like Radiohead is that any further work bearing your name will be judged in its overbearing critical light. Oftentimes this weight of expectation is enough to deter artists from going it alone, yet Philip Selway is the third member of the superband to take that plunge – not a bad ratio in a group with only five members. This commitment to pursuing extra-curricular musical projects is certainly worthy of praise. However, while Thom Yorke’s commensurable musicianship and experience as a lead vocalist can (usually) be relied upon to produce material not far from Radiohead’s own standard, a couple of listens to Phil Selway’s debut effort Weatherhouse leaves one lasting impression – there’s a reason he’s not ordinarily a singer. And Selway isn’t so much a bad singer, just a rather bland one. The instrumentation across the 10 tracks is, for the most part, pretty robust. Opener Coming Up For Air is compelling in its ponderous broodiness; It Will End In Tears has a genuinely rousing, string-backed finale; while the drumming on Around Again is – as you might expect – both dense and skilful. However, for the most part the songwriting feels shallow and undeveloped, with Selway’s naive lyrics and predisposition towards twee melodies resulting in something that is, ultimately, a little lacking in impact. From a new artist on the scene, Weatherhouse might seem like a competent debut with room for real promise; from an artist as well travelled as Selway, it’s a little too predictable in its choices to be really memorable.
For a group of psych-theatricals who’ve managed to cultivate such mystery, Goat O'Carroll's statements about the making of Commune in last month's Crack were confrontationally facetious. To say that the band "just did some music … some drumbeats, some riffs" consciously underplays the tremendous clamour that the masked band from the semi-fictional Swedish town of Korpilombolo muster. And yet, as we become engulfed in album opener Talk to God, it’s hard to deny that the initial joy of Commune is sparked by the fact that it picks up just where 2012's World Music left off. The wailed vocals over harmonised thousand-mile riffs summon a similarly physical reaction to the band's debut single Goatman two years ago. And the characters in the Goat mythology rear their horned heads again – where World Music had Goatman, Goathead and Goatlord, here we are introduced to the latest members of the commune: Goatchild and the Goatslaves, all layered voices in a continuing, farflung narrative. But Goat are a progressive band, and certainly there is a progression to be found. On single Words the band employ an elephantine, robotic stomp that's more tangibly danceable than the freakouts that Goat inspire more generally, though the everpresent wah pedal still shreds addictively overhead. That Goat have sought to build upon the groundwork of their debut rather than rip up their timeless template shows a confidence and an apparent nonchalance born from the riotous success of those first steps. The resolutely unknowable individuals at Goat’s core have created a sequel to World Music that packs an even harder, weirder punch.
Following the delightfully profane LP Eat My Fuck under his I.B.M alias and the irreverent mixtape The Worst DJ Ever, both released earlier this year, Hieroglyphic Being's latest full length finds him on predictably noisy and eccentric form. Released via Planet Mu, The Seer of Cosmic Visions is a compilation of unreleased Hieroglyphic Being tracks rather then an album proper, presenting Jamal Moss's work in a more edited and curated context than we’re used to seeing. Yet in the most part tracks feel cohesive, leaning towards the more ambient, or at least, less abrasive, side of Moss's output. By now we all know what to expect from Hieroglyphic Being, and there is plenty on The Seer Of Cosmic Visions for fans of mutated jacking techno – but there is also something fresh to be found. There is a feeling of stasis – tracks start, are held in place, and then are over. But once you submit to the rather skewed notion of structure at play, it’s possible to appreciate a tangible sense of a journey guided by the Being’s whims. The title track and Letters From The Edge are built on melodic foundations, Space Is The Place emerges as a take on new age, and Letters From The Edge is constructed around a heavy jacking beat and a slowly building piano figure. But even in these forays into genre, Hieroglyphic Being remains entirely unpredictable, wouldbe pounding kicks have no low end, distortion snaps from every corner and rhythmic elements fall completely out of sync. The music of Hieroglyphic Being is love-hate. Moss himself thrives on both the positive and negative reactions to his music with the borderline arrogance of what you might call a ‘true artist.’
It’s not easy to think up a band name that doesn’t make you come across as a pretentious little shit. By itself, and with no accompanying musical reputation, they almost uniformly sound ridiculous; the juvenile, pseudointellectualism that you aspire to amounts to nothing. Bass Drum Of Death, before they’d accrued three albums beneath their belts, probably received a great deal of this snobbishness and scoffing: it’s only with increased listens that you realise what an apt choice in moniker John Barrett has made Their third record, as ever, goes as hard as their name befits, but the lo-fi scuzziness of the band’s previous two albums now receded as Bass Drum Of Death’s garage rock reaches new, anthemic heights. In fact, this is no longer garage rock, not for shit. Cuts like Electric have the sort of denimclad chug usually the sole reserve of Thin Lizzy or Steppenwolf. They are good at it, but things do get pretty road-movie-ish at times, exemplified again with bizarre accuracy by album closer Route 69. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and there is a trend for this sort of retromania across the board, but those expecting the riotous punk of Bass Drum Of Death’s albums of yesteryear are in for a leathery slap.
Concerted oddball to the last, Ariel Pink’s first solo-titled venture, the double-stacked Pom Pom, sees his well-worn formula finally run out of steam. 17 tracks, 69 minutes, but scant substance it feels like the work of a man out of time. Multiple voices emanate from Pink’s role as the album’s central protagonist, slipping between characters, actively seeking to retain his creative enigma. Kim Fowley is invited along to add a playful touch on Plastic Raincoats In The Pig Parade, its zany ‘oh yeah’s’ painting a Moldy Peaches shade to their storytelling, rather than the psychprankster reference points they musically reach to. Jell-o jingles as if an advertorial for the sugary US staple: “Everyone eats white bread/ That’s why they’re all dead” Ariel regurgitates, uber-speed babbles jumping in between verses. White Freckles fires out with riffs so fast and shrewd they sound straight off the credit sequence of Miami Vice. “She got them at the tanning salon” he spectates into a slow-tuned, strut-worthy groove, while on Lipstick he flatly breathes out to ask “Where are the girls?”. Not Enough Violence also trickles into the outlandish and squirmingly uncomfortable, his vocal almost inaudible, apart from the avowal of “Penetration time tonight.” You hope it’s all in jest, but then you awkwardly realise it’s not. The unbearably wacky Dinosaur Carebear revels in its dippy carnivalesque skittery, while lead track Put Your Number In My Phone opts for the flipside, soft-rock division of Pom Pom, standing out as a minor joy amongst the befuddled, juvenile, borderlinepatronising rest. Flashback-worthy One Summer Night and Exile On Frog Street musically resound as if worthy of cult indie-pop classics, but come bathed amongst the creepy – allthemore pointed in the context of Mr. Pink’s own creep-like tendencies – and lukewarm. But Pom Pom’s fun and romance is drained by a conceited stretch of triviality and a growing realisation that, even if you are in on the joke, it’s just not that funny anymore.
! Alex Gwillam
! Jack Bolter
! Thomas Painter
! Jon Clark
! Leah Jade Connolly
GOAT Commune Rocket Recordings
PHILIP SELWAY Weatherhouse Bella Union
HIEROGLYPHIC BEING The Seer Of Cosmic Visions Planet Mu
BASS DRUM OF DE ATH Rip This Innovative Leisure
JESSIE WARE Tough Love PMR/Island Whenever an artist is celebrated for their humility and simplicity they can be cursed with a fanbase who might lose interest the second the sound ventures into more ambitious territoty. On Tough Love Jessie Ware masterfully escapes this trap by widening the lens on her panoramic songwriting without losing a touch of focus. Her vocal on the title track ricochets off a fluttering beat as she discusses the weariness of unrequited affection, while Say You Love Me grapples with similar themes of lovesickness and even employs the crescendo-enhancing abilities of a gospel choir. Moments like this can either be seen as schmaltzy gimmicks from a major label popstar or careful – even bold – juxtapositions from a songwriter who soaks up as much TLC as she does Clams Casino. Ware is self-effacing enough to allow her voice to be diluted against the whistling synth of Desire and bold enough to fully embrace the over-sentimentality of Champagne Kisses. This LP won’t remap pop’s outlook in the way Devotion did, but it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to. It’s a record that looks to the skies with its feet on the ground. Not necessarily revolutionary, then, but blissfully carefree. ! Duncan Harrison
CARIBOU OUR LOVE OUT OCT 6
LIVE AT O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON MARCH 14TH 2015
08 15 14
NEHRUVIANDOOM NehruvianDOOM Lex Records
THE FL AMING LIPS With A Little Help From My Fwends Warner Bros Records
Up until now, DOOM has never really sounded dated. While his last full length effort – 2012’s Keys To The Kuffs – wasn’t exactly bursting with vitality, his weathered, gravel-textured voice and often furious raps grated against a palette of harsh and jagged beats to create a sombre mood. Even if the Villain’s mask was beginning to rust, he’d still managed to deliver an album that sounded like nothing else out there. NehruvianDOOM is the fruits of an laid-back collaboration with the 90s-obsessed teenage rapper Bishop Nehru. Alongside contributing a few verses and hooks, DOOM is credited as the record’s sole producer, and if you get the feeling that you’ve heard this stuff all before, that’s not so surprising – a lot of instrumental material here is recycled from his series of Special Herbs compilations, which were released during the early to mid 00s. Still, it’s fun to hear Nehru play around with internal rhymes over DOOM’s mutated jazz samples, and his adolescent perspective on bold ambition, skirt-chasing and wider social issues makes him a likeable MC. But – possibly due to a fault of the mastering rather than Nehru’s performance – the emotion in his voice actually sounds slightly muted in comparison to the debut mixtape which put him on DOOM’s radar in the first place. So while NehruvianDOOM ticks a lot of the right boxes for the nostalgic rap fan, it would be foolish to approach this as a significant chapter in DOOM’s career, and it would also be a little unfair to not expect greater things in the future from his young protégé.
Remember ‘hipster house’? Remember being young and carefree, those endless numbered days spent banging out Octa Octa mixes, daydreaming about walks round LA with Amanda Brown and the whole 100% Silk crew? Best days of our lives. We thought granular, intentionally degraded, intentionally lumpen throwback acid house was the future. We all wanted to jack. We all wanted to work. We’ll never know why, but that sense of hope in a revamped retro-futurism fizzled out, leaving a litter of high-cheekboned corpses in its wake. Ital’s still plugging away though. Daniel Martin McCormick always seemed a little distanced from his thrown together peers, always seemed that bit more genuine, that bit more focused, that bit more talented. Endgame is the sound of an artist settling into a niche; in this case it’s an amalgamation of Basic Channel’s unrepentant dubbiness, Voices from the Lake’s dark, dense pine forest techno and Omar S’s gritty swing. It’s functional electronic body music that churns and crashes away, desperate to be pieced together at the tail end of a long night in a dank warehouse. It’s not doing anything particularly new or daring but as a set of interlinked DJ tools it works wonders. Ital was always above the hipster tag – this is the real deal, sandpaper house at its finest.
! Davy Reed
! Josh Baines
ITAL Endgame Planet Mu
By now the ruminations of the middle-man removal exhorted by messieurs Yorke and Godrich are likely to have been pored over to distraction. Yet in a month where anyone in breathing distance of a product prefixed with an i has had U2’s ghastly new album force fed to them, the method employed in getting Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes onto Crack’s product prefixed with i felt like light relief. Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes is essentially Yorke’s most difficult work to date. The sparsity across all its facets, from the artwork, to the short running time, to the oft limpness of the music places it in a category of experimentalism that can only be embraced in a frame of mind that requires real focus. First track Brain In A Bottle is a lightweight track that separates the sound out wonderfully in its minimalism, with the fragility of the production the main feature on display in an otherwise nondescript opener. Yorke’s vocals have never sounded so soft, and while it’s perfectly palatable on the ear, it doesn’t have you reaching for the phone to start barking to your mate at what you’ve just heard at the start of the new Thom Yorke record. Guess Again! invokes Pyramid Song with a scuzzy, clappy beat but none of the dramatics, and again does absolutely nothing to offend, but then nothing to evoke either. Interference genuinely acts as ambient filler before The Mother Lode, the album’s undoubted high-point, with a skippy two-step beat and the layered ethereal vocal sitting underneath alongside a hypnotic bassline. But just when you think we’re getting somewhere, we’re brought straight back to earth with Truth Ray, a truly dreary piece of work by anyone’s standards with the plodding beat, soft vocals and synth pulses that attempts naked expression, but just leaves a real vacuum. The final three tracks come as a full composition and feel inventive. There Is No Ice (For My Drink) starts with a techno beat and a warped vocal that sounds like it’s being played backwards and features a touch of the signal pulses so familiar from Kraftwerk’s Radioactivity. The track’s movement is superb and detuned and melds into following track Pink Section’s dystopian warbling, and then the album’s finale, Nose Grows Some, a poignant tear-inducer of a track lingering around the outer reaches of Kid A’s less immediate moments. To call Yorke’s foray into outsider electronica understated is an understatement. Luckily for him, he fosters the kind of devotion that will see this record pored over through high-end speaker equipment, where its nuances might make more of an impression. In this case a sedate Thom Yorke rather than a Thom Yorke with the fire that characterises much of his rhetoric isn’t what anyone needed – we all knew he did a good turn in morose anyway.
The mirror only served to confirm Wayne's fears. His t-shirt bulged around the waist. Middle age had not been kind. Slept through the morning, again. He tugged at the soft cotton and remembered that thing his mother had told him about eyes. About how they never aged. Lies, he thought, as he analysed the silk-thread-thin, red lines that mapped a path across their whites. “What the fuck” – he was talking to himself – "is that?" He wiped the crust from his lids, vaguely remembered the dingy tattoo parlour. He remembered a promise. Something about a dead dog. Something about The Beatles. He remembered Miley talking about some cool band she'd heard. The drummer from The Thunderbolts or something. He thumbed through the text messages he'd missed. Slept through the morning, again. ‘Studio booked ;) M xo’. He recoiled, eyes watering from the harsh glow of the screen. “What have we done?” Michelle appeared from the bedroom, clutching the tattoo, ruffling her hair. "Have you seen Pitchfork?" She writhed as she sank back into bed. Downstairs Wayne looked deep into his coffee as he googled 'Black Pus'. He shook his head. Kids these days. Michelle, calmed joined him. "You're smiling?" She said. "Yeah, I guess I am." Wayne's black hair was still curly, still thick. "That girl needs help," he said, “and I'll do whatever it takes." Michelle turned. That wry smile he'd always loved. "You're still the man I married Wayne." He laughed. "Hey, at least Pitchfork are still writing about me."
A new Aphex Twin album is always a reason to celebrate, but while his gloopy, restless IDM will always be worthy of our attention, it is striking how dated some of his new material now sounds, especially placed next to current innovators such as Objekt. Alongside other cauldrons of creativity like Livity Sound and the Hessle Audio crew, Objekt makes withering, pounding but eerily synthetic techno, and is at his best when grabbing the bull firmly by both horns. Ratchet and Strays – two of the album’s highlights – are stone-cold Molotov cocktails, and no-one is making more visceral club music than this right now. Dogma is a dubbed-out, subterranean saunter, and Second Witness stumbles along like a tipsy android uncle, never quite losing its balance. Elsewhere, Objekt offers the kind of dystopian, panoramic perspectives that his label-mate Lee Gamble has made his own. But while the breadth of material is welcome, and the uneasy audio atmosphere is cleverly cultivated, the album as a whole doesn’t quite scale the heights his best singles have reached. We’re left wishing, petulantly, for more bangers. Is that so wrong?
! Thomas Frost
! Billy Black
! Adam Corner
THOM YORKE Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes Self-released via BitTorrent
OBJEK T Flatland PAN
Film Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final lead role may be harrowingly subdued and collected, but A Most Wanted Man feels like a worthy exit for the immensely talented late actor. This month we also checked out Nick Cave on Nick Cave, which begged the profound question ‘how do we stand any chance of being that cool when we’re middle aged?’, and inspected Cronenberg’s all-kicking, all-screaming Maps to the Stars. Finally, we took in two takes on how the Tories have got their boot on our necks with Pride, which takes a cursory glance back to the miner’s strikes of the 80s and The Riot Club – a bleak and uninspiring look at how the rich kids are still on top.
PRIDE dir: Mathew Warchus Starring: Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Paddy Consodine There’s a lot of poor filmmaking associated with the ‘British feel-good’ movie tag – the types of films that are marketed to people who frequent matinée screenings and really enjoyed Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady. We use this particular sweeping generalisation for a reason. Because Pride is one those ‘feel-good’ films, but also happens to centre on a ferocious attack on Thatcherism. Set in the 80s, Pride is based on the true story of an unlikely alliance between members of London’s lesbian and gay community, and the miners of Wales. Director Warchus bypasses the grey Ken Loach aesthetic while still contributing to the ‘this is what happened then, and look how fucking evil Thatcher was’ conversation. This application of genre allows the film’s sensitive historical placement to be approached in a refreshing way. The hammy nostalgia it employs combined with the cast’s performances – delivered with a sense of duty that serves to highlight the grimness of the times – makes something both entirely enjoyable and highly thoughtprovoking. Pride looks back to one of our country’s darkest hours and with welfare state gusto, aims to shed a glimmer of hope on Britain today. ! Tim Oxley Smith
THE RIOT CLUB dir: Lone Scherfig Starring: Max Irons, Douglas Booth, Sam Claflin The Riot Club was adapted for the screen from Laura Wade’s 2010 offering for the stage, Posh, and follows two aristocratic students, Miles (Max Irons) and Alistair (Sam Claflin) as they navigate their first year at Oxford University. The film could have been a voyeuristic romp or it could have been a dark and gritty exposé, but in trying to do both it achieves neither – a disappointing compromise by director Lone Scherfig (One Day, An Education). Elements which formed the core of Posh the play translate clumsily, leaving the characters appearing skeletal, obvious and two-dimensional. All sense of nuance is lost. Opportunities to examine the pressures placed on the aristocracy by their position of advantage and the expectations of their peers – something the film is beautifully set up to do – are touched upon and quickly forgotten. Any social commentary that could be aimed at the place of the class system in modern Britain is largely ignored, aside from being used as a plot device to rouse the main characters into losing their shit in an unwieldy climax. The film very nearly becomes interesting as the fallout of the protagonists’ transgressions is explored in a scene reminiscent of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, but loses momentum almost instantaneously as we are finally let in on the worst kept secret of all: rich people can do whatever the fuck they like. ! Tamsyn Aureila-Eros Black
MAPS TO THE STARS dir: David Cronenberg Starring: Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack Cronenberg’s brand of multi-layered B-movies which appeared in the late 70s, as well as an 80s output which sat comfortably amongst the video nasties of the era, aligned the director with an insightful approach to mayhem. His latest, Maps To The Stars, demonstrates Cronenberg’s continuing allegiance to this warped brand of film making. A black comedy about the pillpopping and incestuous rich and famous of Hollywood, Maps To The Stars is presented with a Lynchian discomfort that’s maintained throughout. There are moments of brevity, however, in the form of a few (often awkward) laughs in the hands of John Cusack and the brilliant Julianne Moore. In fact, laughter becomes the only respite as the story progresses and absurdity turns to insanity, while a combination of Cronenberg’s loathing and sick sense of humour unbalances and contorts the film's message. It’s like a blend of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Requiem for a Dream – but instead of Larry buying too much sponge cake, Julianne Moore’s character is dancing on the graves of toddlers. There’s just about enough wit to be salvaged from Cronenberg’s melee of ridicule. We’re left repulsed – which may well have been Cronenberg’s intention – but he’s been weirder than this before and still managed to be more entertaining. ! Tim Oxley Smith
A MOST WANTED MAN dir: Anton Corbijn Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe Philip Seymour Hoffman, in his final lead role, plays Günther – a German spy working in Hamburg, who’s been detailed to ensnare terrorists amidst a wave of post-9/11 paranoia. Adapted from John le Carré’s novel of the same name, the story sees the morality of a spy tested as he’s caught somewhere between the ruthlessness of terrorism and the blind fury of George W. Bush’s counter-terrorist practices. This is the interesting, albeit bleak, premise that Hoffman effortlessly steps into. The marriage of espionage and bureaucracy is a recipe for a slow burner, and it’s Hoffman’s realisation of Günther which invigorates the film’s occasionally sluggish pace. The subtlety and composure of Hoffman’s performance is in stark contrast to the unremarkable support of Rachel McAdams and the blatancy of le Carré and, ultimately, Corbijn’s critique of the American intelligence agencies. A Most Wanted Man might lack the class needed to keep up with its lead, but it succeeds as a cold, bitter spy movie and, thankfully, provides Hoffman a platform that’s sufficient for a final, modest bow. ! Tim Oxley Smith
20,000 DAYS ON EARTH dir: Ian Forsyth & Jane Pollard Starring: Nick Cave, Ray Winstone, Kylie Minogue Through his books, songs and films, Nick Cave explores imagined worlds through heightened distortions of our own. Any prior attempts to find traces of the man himself within his works have ended without conclusion. With 20,000 Days on Earth, Nick Cave invites us to a blunt cross examination of the person staring back at him in the mirror. Directors Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard avoid any rationalisation of his art as they peel back the layers of the aforementioned mediums through a genreless mutation of documentary and fiction. Tainted with elements of drama carried by Cave’s pithy prose, 20,000 Days insists that to understand Nick Cave, you have to embrace the fantasies of his devising. Encounters with Ray Winstone, ex-Bad Seeds member Blixa Baargeld and Kylie are exemplary. Characters appear like ghosts in the passenger seat of his Jaguar as he explores the recesses of his memory where each one resides. The film’s inventions are sewn together with moments of raw magic, captured in live performances and footage from the recording of the latest Bad Seeds album Push The Sky Away. 20,000 Days presents itself as an inspiring examination of creativity, memory and its star’s personal philosophies but in reality, the privilege of understanding a great man’s universe is the real payout. ! Tim Oxley Smith
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Getting your bearings with...
None of my friends have been able to shut up about PC Music for weeks. It feels like every time I go to a house party, I get dragged into a debate that involves people saying ‘meta’ loads. I liked that SOPHIE tune from last year but I can’t really be bothered to form an opinion. What do you think about the divisive label Denz, is it postmodern genius or hipster nonsense?
I’m studying Travel and Tourism at Wolverhampton and I need to get my buzz back. Gone are the days of strawpedos, en masse puking and causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to university property. I’m in a shared house with three people I don’t know, the banter level has reached a chronic low, and I really need to knuckle down with retaking my second year but I can’t remember where the lecture theatre is.
I’ve always stayed in touch with my business on a grass roots level, but I’m starting to doubt my own philosophy. Although I’m the Managing Director of a company that puts on events, I still find myself fearing the student warden while I’m flyering halls of residence without permission and getting involved in bitter feuds with drum ‘n’ bass promoters who keep ripping down our posters on the street. Should I just delegate these jobs to my staff?
Kathryn, 24, Peckham
Decent Work for Decent Pay
by Josh Baines
It starts with a round of snorts. Hands rubbing on noses. Gulps. Exhalations and celebrations. High fives handshakes and hugs. The chirruping intro of a Macbook opening. Then a gurgle of bravado and yes-ing, an aural tango of affirmation. Diplo rises from a leather sofa. He's not slept since Wednesday. It's Saturday evening. He's sallow and worn, his face held together with a creased and croaking grin. He found out on Thursday that the parent record
Denzil says: Not a fan. After being initially impressed with the label’s brand consistency and commercially-viable pop hooks, I saw an opportunity to invest shares in their QT Energy Elixir product. But after getting in touch with this A.G. Cook chap, it soon transpired that the whole project was some sort of art school prank. Fortunately, the bloke hasn’t got his copyright together, so I’m going to put the product on the market anyway. You make a fool out of me Cook, and I’ll make a fool out of you.
Peter, 20, Wolverhampton Denzil says: There was an urban artist a few years ago, Dusty Rascal I think was the name, who stressed that the best modus operandi was to ‘Fix Up And Look Sharp’ – a mantra you could take heed of, son. Don’t get me wrong, in my university heyday the lads loved a prank (ever switched a man’s tinned food labels and watched him drop peaches in a con carne? Classic). But straight up vandalism is the bozo’s bread and butter, and I’d clip you round the earhole if it didn’t risk a police caution.
Tim Snow, 29, Bristol
label he's affiliated with have decided to retrospectively plunge product placement into existing videos. He's calculated – without a calculator or a business partner or a finance manager – the he stands to earn millions in days. So he went to a bank. Withdrew everything apart from his final three thousand dollars. He rang Usher. He rang Skrillex. And now it's Saturday evening. A phone call.
A pause. Diplo asks Usher to turn the music off. Usher mishears him and turns it up. A speaker blows. Diplo throws a a football at Usher which bounces of his bucket hat and rebounds into Skrillex's glasses. They break.
the label have cooled on him entirely. He's to meet the bosses on Monday. Prepare for the worst was their polite advice.
"What? What the fuck? Fuck. Bro. Fuck. No." Usher and Skrilex look at Diplo. He's shaking. The deal's off. His star has waned. Colgate don't want him. Betty Crocker aren't touching Major Lazer. In fact,
Denzil says: A solid brand needs a pretty face associated with it, hence why you’ll see my image emblazoned on the packaging of many of my products (breath mints, matchboxes, washing detergent – you name it) and I respect your handson marketing campaign. Having said that, there’s no way you’ll catch Denzil Schnifferman pasting a luminous pink gig poster on a phonebox at one in the morning.
He sits. Usher on his right. Skrillex on his left. A wad of dollars extruding from every available outlet on their bodies. Tears absorb into notes.
The Crack Magazine Crossword Across 03. Unrealistically intuitive doctor; dwelling (5) 04. Cohen wrote it, Buckley bettered it, Cowell ruined it forever (10) 06. Rough material for sacks etc (6) 07. A doctor’s oath (11) 08. Showing characteristics unlike anything else (13) 10. Dah-nuh / nuh-nuh-nuh / DANANANANANAH DUH- NUH-NUH!; Robert Downey Jr superhero (4-3) 11. Childish, like unacceptable cheese (8) 12. Smartest garms; happy pieces of material (4,4) 14. ABBA, Black Flag and Kathy Burke have all made this demand in one way or another (5) Down 01. Someone;s come to visit Liza Minelli's 4th husband (5) 02. Gaynor or Hunniford, you choose (6) 03. Full of beans (11) 04. Underrated Massive Attack album from 2010; Small group of German island in the North Sea (10) 05. A triangle with two sides the same length (9) 09. Unyielding, relentless; like a termite that loves its sister (9) 10. Fairy (3) 12. Rundown end of town: Elvis was in it, Tupac sung its Gospel (6) 13. The details which involve blood, brains, guts etc (4)
Solution to last month’s crossword: ACROSS: 01. FAD, 03. EXODUS, 05. ECHO, 07. FANCY, 08. ELOQUENT, 09. FRANKIE-VALLI, 10. EMPIRE, 12. EPITOME, 14. DELIRIOUS, 16. DANGLE DOWN: 01. FISHERMANS-FRIEND 02. DIP, 04.DANDY, 06. FINLEY 07. FUNNEL, 11. DOGSBODY, 13. DIMPLE, 15. EGO
You wriggle stiffly in your polyester suit as another frowning body shuffles towards the sliding doors. Getting from A to B on a brisk and bustling Helsinki morning can be a drag. As the boxy tram grinds towards your stop, a disarmingly dreamy vision peeks from the driver’s booth, declaring in singsong Finnish, ‘All change please’. You sidle towards the exits and see hair cascading towards shoulders like auburn fluid from an ornate porcelain faucet. Beneath his uniform he sports a velveteen turtleneck, and in the footwell you’re sure you spy the glint of a golden saxophone. Your life is marked indelibly. That’s right, while attempting to establish a reputation for blissfully textured, sax-flecked psych-pop, Domino Records’ Finnish prince Jaakko Eino Kalevi paid the bills as a part-time tram driver in his native capital. We presume he sent profits through the roof, countless fan-boys and -girls riding the line from end-to-end, parking themselves at the front of the carriage and gazing longingly at his delectable reflection in the rearview mirror.
A Decade Decade O Off T he R ainbow V enues The Rainbow Venues Birmingham B irmingham
Autumn A utumn / W Winter inter Programme P ro g r a m m e 2014 2014
SEPTEMBER. S EPTEMBER. Frii 19 F Fr 19/0 19/09 /09 /0 9 Sp S Spotlight pot otli ligh ligh ghtt & Ne N Nextdoor xttdoor do oorr Blac Bl a kd ac kdott Blackdot G Gu uti tii / A ugus ug gus ustu tus G tus tu Gl loo oop p + Re R esi side si dent de ntts n Guti Augustus Gloop Residents S Sa att 20/0 2 20 0/0 /09 9 All A l Ra Al Rain inbo in nbo bow Ve enu uess Sat 20/09 Rainbow Venues 2 Hour 24 Ho ou ur Ra R ve E ve x errim xp men entt Rave Experiment Frii 26 Fr 26/0 / 9 Wa /0 W are re eh ho ous use & Ga ard den en 26/09 Warehouse Garden Huxl Hu x ey A xl lb bum u T o r ou Huxley Album Tour Satt 27 Sa 2 / 9 Textile /0 Text Te x ile xt ille Fa Fact cttor o y 27/09 Factory Godskitchen TXXENTY Gods Go dski ds k tc ki tche hen he n TX XXE ENT NTY Y P Pa ull V an nD yk k/P ure ur e NR RG Paul Van Dyk Pure NRG J Jo hn n 00 00 Flem F Fl lem emin in ng [Liv [[Live] [L Live] ive] iv e] John Fleming
OCTOBER. O CTOBER. Fri F Fr ri 03/1 03 03/10 3/1 10 Wa Warehouse are reho h us ho use & Ga use Gard Garden rrd den en Seedy Sonics 4th Birthday Se eed edyy So Soni n css 4 ni tth hB irrth t da ay Me M ele e/M ak k&P a tte as ema man Mele Mak Pasteman Artful Dodger A Ar rtf tful ull D odge od ge g er 10 0 Years Ye ea ars of of Sh S hog gun un A u io ud o Shogun Audio S Sa att 04 0 / 0 Warehouse /1 Wa are eho h us use e Sat 04/10 H HY PE HYPE Em mal alk ka ay / Cook C Co ook kie eM onst on sstta / Ep E pti tc ti Emalkay Cookie Monsta Eptic M Me galo ga lo od do on Megalodon
Fri Fri 10/10 10/1 10 / 0 Spotlight /1 Spot Sp otli ot ligh li gh ght ht & Nextdoor Ne ext xtdo door do o or Portal Presents Roush Records Po ort rtal al P rese re sent n s Ro nt R ush us h Re R cord co rdss rd Hector Hect He c or ct o Couto Couto ou uto / Cuartero Cua uart rter rt terro Sat Sat 11/10 1 /10 11 /1 10 Warehouse W re Wa eho h usse & Garden Gard Ga r en rd n 10:31 10:3 10 :31 :3 1 3rd 3rd Birthday Birt Bi Birt rthd h ayy hd Mike Skinner Mss Dy Dynamite M ke S Mi kiinn nner e /M er Dyna nami na m te mi te Shy Sh hy FX X + Residents Ressid i en ntss Fri Fri 18/10 Fr 18 8/1 /10 0 Nextdoor Next Ne Next xtdo doo do door orr Shadow City Shad Sh ad dow C itty Detroit Detr De troi oit Swindle Swin Swin Sw ndl dle e Sat Sat 19/10 19/1 19 /10 Warehouse /1 Ware Wa reho re ho ous use e FACE FAC FA ACE CE 5th 5th Birthday Bir irth rth hda dayy Jamie D’Julz Jef Jami Ja mie mi e Jones Jone Jone Jo es / D’ D Julz Ju l /J lz ef K + Residents Resi Re Resi side dentts de Sat Sat 20/10 20 0/1 / 0 The The Th e Rainbow Rain Ra in nb bo ow FACE 5th Birthday FACE FA CE 5 tth hB irrth ir thda tth hda dayy d Part Part Pa rt 2 Davide D viide Da de Squillace Squ uil illa lla ace Fri Frri 24/10 F 24 4/1 /10 Spotlight S otli Sp ottli ligh igh ghtt & Nextdoor Nex Ne xtdo xt door orr Resonate R so Re s nate nate na Boddika Mali Bodd Bo dd dik ka / LF LFM M & Ma M lii Sat Venues Sa at 25/10 2 //1 25 10 All A l Rainbow Al Rain Ra in nbo b w Ve V nues nu ess The The Haunting Haun Ha unti un t ng Part ti Par artt Three Th hre ee Seedy Face 02:31 Se eed e y Sonics S ni So nics cs / F ace ac e / 02 2:3 31 Fidget more Fiidget F dg gett Friday Fri rida dayy + mo da ore Fri Venues Fri 31/10 31 1/1 10 Trinity Trin Tr init in itty Street Stre St reet re et V et enue en u s ue Nightmare Trinity Street Nigh Ni ghtm gh tmar tm arre on T a riini nity tyy S trree eett Nick Route 94 Samu.l N ck Ni c Curly Currlyy / R o te ou e9 4 / Sa S amu mu.ll
ttherainbowvenues.co.uk/tickets h e r a i n b o w v e n u e s . c o . u k / t i c ke t s
NOVEMBER. N OVEMBER.
DECEMBER. D ECEMBER.
Satt 01/11 Sa 0 /1 01 11 Wa W Warehouse are re reho eho ousse Hosp Ho spit sp ital it alit al itty ity Hospitality Camo Ca mo m o & Krooked Kro rook ok oked ked d / Metrik Met etri rk ri Lond Lo nd n don E le lect eccttri riici c ty ci ty + m o e or London Electricity more
Frii 05 F Fr 05/12 5/1 /12 2 Wa Warehouse are reho housse & Ga ho Gard Garden rden rd e en Se eed edyy So S oni nics ni cs Seedy Sonics S Sh had adow ow wC h ld / K hi r W ry of ol Shadow Child Kry Wolf K Ka srra / Em E Empe mpe pero ror / Hyro ror ro Hy yrro oglif gllif ific ficcs Kasra Emperor Hyroglifics
Frri 07 Fri 7/1 /11 1 Sp pottli ligh ghtt & Ne gh N xtdo xt d or do 07/11 Spotlight Nextdoor Reso Re sona so nate na te Resonate Ge G eo orrge ge F itzg it zger zg erral ald ld / Le Levo vo on Ma M ala la abata bata ba t George Fitzgerald Levon Malabata
Sa at 06/12 0 /1 06 /12 2 Wa Ware reho re hous use us e & Ga Gard r en rd n Sat Warehouse Garden Crea Cr eam ea m B’ B B’ha ’ha am 8t 8th h Bi B rthd rt hd h dayy Cream B’ham Birthday Da D avi v d Morales M ra Mo ale es / Da D ann nny Ra Ramp mpli mp mpli ling ng g David Danny Rampling
S Sa 0 /1 08 /11 1 Wa Ware reho re hous ho use us e & Ga Gard rden rd en n Satt 08/11 Warehouse Garden 1 10 :3 :31 31 10:31 Redlight DJ Zinc Tom Shorterz R Re edl d ig ight ht / D J Zi Z iinc n /T nc o S om h rt ho rter erz er
Fr ri 12 12/1 / 2 Sp /1 Spot otli ot tli ligh gh ht & Ne ext xtdo d o do orr Fri 12/12 Spotlight Nextdoor Port Po r all / S rt peci pe ciial ci all G uest ue sstttss TB TBC C Portal Special Guests
F Fr 14/1 / 1 Sp /1 S pot o li l gh ght ht & Ne ext x do door or Frii 14 14/11 Spotlight Nextdoor A At omic om mic J am Atomic Jam Dave Da ave e Clarke Clla ark rke / Ø [P rke [PHA PHA ASE SE] / He SE] e/a /aT T [PHASE] He/aT S Sa 15 1 5/1 / 1 Th he Ra ain inbo nbo bow Ve Venu n es nu es Satt 15/11 The Rainbow Venues Anni An nie Mac nie Ma ac Pr ressen e tss Annie Presents An nn niie Ma Macc / Ha H ann nnah nn nah ah W ants an ts Annie Hannah Wants Tour To u isst [L ur Livve] e /L xu uryy Tourist [Live] Lxury F Fr 21/1 /1 /11 11 Sp S pot otli liigh ht & Ne N xtdo xt do door oorr Frii 21 21/11 Spotlight Nextdoor G Go rgon rg on n City Cit ityy Al lbu b m To Tourr Tour Gorgon Album G Gorg Go org gon o City Citty + Sp S Spec peccia al Gu G ues ests tss Gorgon Special Guests
S Sa at 13/12 13/1 13 3/1 12 Th The e Ra Rain in nbo bow Sat Rainbow FA ACE / Joris Jor oris riss Voorn Voo oorn r + Guests Gue u st sts FACE F Fr 1 /12 /1 2 Spot S Sp pot otli ligh li ligh ghtt & Ne Next xttdo door or or Frii 19 19/12 Spotlight Nextdoor R Re eso sona nate na te Resonate Pa ale lem ma an / LF L F FM M & Ma ali l +g uest ue stss Paleman LFM Mali guests Sat S Sa at 20/12 20 0/1 / 2 Sp S pot otli ot ligh li ght & N Ne extdo xtdo xt d or Spotlight Nextdoor U Ub er 1 0th 0t h Bi Birt r hd rt day Uber 10th Birthday So S ouldy ulldy dyna nami na m c / An A dyy W ard ar d + mo m re e Souldynamic Andy Ward more Fr 2 /12 /1 2 Sp pec e ia iall Gu ues ests ts T ts BC C Frii 26 26/12 Special Guests TBC
S Sa att 22/11 22/1 22 /1 11 W Wa arre eho h us use Sat Warehouse Port Po r al rt a / Da D riius ri u Syrossian us Syyrros ossi ssi sian an / w an AF FF Portal Darius wAFF
Sat 27/12 Sat Sa 27 7/12 /1 12 Wa W reh re housse & Ga ho G ard r en rd n Warehouse Garden P Po orttal al presents pre rese sent se nts Viva nt nts Viva Vi va Warriors Warrri rior o s or Portal St tev eve La eve Lawl wller / A w nek + mo ne more re e Steve Lawler Anek
Fr ri 28 2 /1 11 Sp pot o li l gh ghtt & Ne N xtdo xt door do or or Fri 28/11 Spotlight Nextdoor Jack Ja ckat ck atho at hon / He hon ho Heid idii + Gu id G essts ests t Jackathon Heidi Guests
NYE NY E 31/1 31 1/1 12 Al A ll Ra ain nbo bow w Ve enu nues uess 31/12 All Rainbow Venues S Show Sh how wca ase s / Special Spec Sp eccia al Guests G esstss TBC Gu TBC C Showcase
Satt 29/11 Sa 29/1 29 /11 /1 1W Wa arre ehous hous ho use e & Ga ard rden en Warehouse Garden B Bl Blac lac ackd k ot kd ot & Secretsundaze Sec ecre rets tsun ts unda un daze da zze e Blackdot Elle El len le n Al Alie ien ie en / Ja J ack ck kma mastter er Ellen Alien Jackmaster Le evo von n Vincent Viinc n e en nt / Vi irg gin inia ia + m ore ore or Levon Virginia more
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20 Questions: Nick Oliveri
In Kyuss Nick Oliveri found acclaim as the man behind some of the chuggiest bass lines ever chugged. Later, with Queens of The Stone Age, he became known as the man who got his genitals out on stage a lot. Between stints in BL*AST, Mondo Generator and Dwarves, he’s somehow managed to make a whole new solo record, as well as hook up with his old QOTSA buddies again for a one-off show this Halloween. We caught up with the man himself to talk cereal, virginity and tombstones, and despite the fact he told us he’s wanted to punch every potato he’s ever met, he actually came across as a pretty nice guy.
Wayne’s World or Bill & Ted? Wayne’s World I think. Bill & Ted are still cool with me though.
Who’s your favourite member of Slipknot? Clown!
Is there a piece of advice you wish you’d given to yourself ten years ago? A band mate's father advised me to invest in Starbucks 20 years ago. Now there’s a Starbucks on every corner. I regret not taking that advice.
Do you support a sports team? I like some football teams over here. I don’t know any of their names yet … but I will! What’s the most overrated album of all time? Any Bush record. Favourite board game? Monopoly. What’s your signature dish? A good American breakfast with French toast. You know, in France they just call it toast. What’s the worst hotel you’ve ever stayed in? There was stains on the sheets, I don’t know if it was blood… What’s your favourite sitcom? I haven’t watched TV for so long. The last time I watched it, I watched Seinfeld. Favourite cereal? Lucky Charms. But if they make your teeth fall out, I’m into it. Favourite root vegetable? I’ve never met a vegetable I didn’t wanna punch out.
If you were trying to seduce a potential lover, what music would you play? Rolling Stones, side two of the Tattoo You record. That is a love making record. Ever taken acid? It was mind-clearing, eye-opening. Not for everyone, but a great experience for me. If you could adopt a grandparent, who would you choose? Lemmy!
When is the last time you sprinted as fast as you can? Last time I made my wife mad! I was being a smart ass. Have you ever been arrested? I got arrested in Milton Keynes in the UK for fighting once but they let me go. At what age did you lose your virginity? I was like 12 years old. I mean it happened but, you know, it didn’t really happen... Would you go for a pint with Kanye West? I don’t know who that is. Is that a girl or a guy? I’ll Google it. He’s a rapper? I like rap sure I’ll go for a pint with him. Describe yourself in 3 words. Really Fucking Cool. What would you want written on your tombstone? “Here lies Nick, he wishes he’d been cremated. Not lying here.”
Leave Me Alone is released 28 October via Schnitzel Records
“A bandmate's father advised me to invest in Starbucks 20 years ago. I regret not taking that advice”
THE POWER OF DISCONTENT
Yes votes lay like tattered betting slips on a bookies’ floor. The Scottish separatists’ gamble was always a long shot, but they dared to dream. And even if they didn’t get exactly what they wanted, they did win something. The Scots gave the establishment the kind of kick it takes to upset the status quo and demand respect. One that made a prime minister fear for his political future – one that hit David Cameron squarely in the balls. It’s not just that 45% –1.6 million UK citizens – voted to leave the union. The Yes campaign won in Glasgow and Dundee, and it was more popular among young people. The government panicked two weeks ahead of the vote. Cameron held an emergency briefing, jumping on the bandwagon to Edinburgh to basically say: “It’s not like a General Election where if you’re fed up with the Tories, give them a kick.”
It’s an appealing prospect isn’t it – giving the Tories a kick. For the last four years, we’ve been pissed off about the politicisation of austerity, about the lack of women and ethnic minorities in the government, about politics that favours big business. The strength of the Yes campaign reflects that wider sense of political malaise. The Scots feel the same resentment against Westminster as the thousands marching about climate change and austerity. As the students who saw Nick Clegg switch sides. As the little-England Ukippers fighting Brussels’ tyrannical hoover laws. These groups campaign on different issues, they always have. The difference now is the strength of these movements, and what that says about the cancer of disenfranchisement that’s taken root in British political discourse. It’s only recently that the Scottish Independence movement gained this
level of traction, and Ukip's victory in the European elections marked the first national vote in modern history won by someone other than Labour or the Conservatives. The idealist in me felt a pang of jealousy when Tommy Sheridan and sixth form debate team captain (and award-winning columnist) Owen Jones were arguing over which result would be better for socialism. The vote was about nationalism, but it’s also about political ideology. Scotland’s a left-leaning country whose ideals are continually let down by Westminster, and they had the opportunity to challenge that. In the June issue of Crack, we called for a leader on that side of the political spectrum that could ape the success of Nigel Farage. The Yes campaign showed us how these issues can take centre stage, and the sheer level of political engagement that’s possible. Without pausing for breath, the three main
parties clubbed together to promise a string of new powers to quell the rebellion in the north. It was another last-minute ivory tower debate on how to placate the proles, and that sums up a lot about Westminster inability to understand public sentiment and their role as leaders. Ed Miliband used his Labour conference speech to talk about how the attitude in Scotland reflected the wider problems with politics. But the Scots and, strangely, in some ways Ukip have given me more hope, because they’ve shown how you can re-write the agenda. More than that though, Miliband was there when the rot started settling in. A vote for him in May next year will still likely feel like the best of a bad bunch of options.
Words: Christopher Goodfellow mediaspank.net \ @MediaSpank Illustration: Lee Nutland leenutland.com
Featuring Action Bronson, Death From Above 1979, Iceage, Cooly G, Alex Mullins, GEO, Laurent Garnier, Nick Oliveri, Inc., Tim Burgess and Se...