Ben UFO + Dinos CHAPMAN HOOKWORMS GROUPER WIRE PEAKING LIGHTS PREDITAH FATIMA SHANTI CELESTE OUGHT DJ EZ
TIEF NEW YEARS EVE 3 1 S T D E C E M B E R — 2 0 1 4/ 1 5 TIEF NEW YEARS EVE 3 1 S T D E C E M B E R — 2 0 1 4/ 1 5
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£ 1 0 — £ 2 5 T I C K E T S AVA I L A B L E O N : W W W. R E S I D E N TA D V I S O R . N E T A D D R E S S : C O R S I C A S T U D I O S , 4 / 5 E L E P H A N T R D, S E 1 7 1 L B £ 1 0 — £ 2 5 T I C K E T S AVA I L A B L E O N : W W W. R E S I D E N TA D V I S O R . N E T A D D R E S S : C O R S I C A S T U D I O S , 4 / 5 E L E P H A N T R D, S E 1 7 1 L B
SAT U R DAY
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U T R EC H T, N E T H E R L A N D S
ARTIST IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
ADRIATIQUE ·· AQUARIUS HEAVEN LIVE ·· CHRIS LIEBING DE SLUWE VOS ·· DETROIT SWINDLE LIVE ·· DJ TENNIS EGBERT LIVE ·· FLORINSZ JANVIER ·· FRITZ KALKBRENNER HENRIK SCHWARZ LIVE ·· JOB JOBSE JOEY DANIEL & ICI SANS MERCI B2B ·· JOOP JUNIOR LIVE JORAN VAN POL ·· JOSEPH CAPRIATI JUAN SANCHEZ ·· KARENN LIVE MACEO PLEX ·· MAN WITH NO SHADOW MARCEL FENGLER & FUNCTION B2B ·· MATADOR LIVE MAYA JANE COLES ·· MONIKA KRUSE & KAROTTE B2B NUNO DOS SANTOS ·· PAN-POT ·· PFIRTER ·· PRUNK RICARDO VILLALOBOS ·· ROBERT HOOD LIVE ·· ROD STERAC AKA STEVE RACHMAD ·· SVEN VÄTH ·· tINI
25 Jun – 7 Sep Upper & Lower Galleries
Tove Jansson: Tales from the Nordic Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014 Archipelago
Cybernetic Serendipity: A Documentation 14 Oct 2014 – 30 Nov 2014 Lower Gallery
26 Nov 2014 – 25 Jan 2015 Lower and Upper Galleries 15 Jul – 24 Aug Fox Reading Room
Julie Verhoeven: Whiskers Between My Legs 9 Dec 2014 – 18 Jan 2015 Fox Reading Room
Artists’ Film Club Culture Now: Laura Bates Fri 15 Aug, 1pm Ahmet Öğüt The writer and activist discusses her new book The Everyday Wed 6 Aug, 6.45pm Sexism Project. a live performance a filmic 25th Krzysztof Kieślowski:event: The Decalogue � Quickfire: Tristan Garcia The artist presents Restaging Exhibitions: Reconsidering Art intervention in collaboration with London-based musicians, ArtistHistory Talk: Marlie Mul and Exhibition Making Thu 4 Dec, 6.30pm Anniversary Retrospective as part of Journal.27 Nov - 9 Dec Wed 20 15 Aug, Nov, 7pm 2pm Marlie Mul presents an overview of her multidisciplinary artistic Culture Now: Joshua Simon Bouchra Khalili Leviathan practice asKulik part of Journal. Oleg Fri 5 Dec, 1pm Sat 16 Aug, 6.45pm From 14 Nov Thu 21 Nov, 7:30 pm The Artist, the Artwork, the Guardian and The French-Moroccan artist’s moving image work looks at Gallery Talk: Susanna Pettersson the Legacy Lunch 4: Life: Language diaspora and the Winter modernSleep migrant. Part of Journal. Thu 21 Aug, Bytes 6.30pm Sat 6 Tales Dec, 2pm From 21 Nov Satof22the Nov, 2pmInstitute in London on Tove Jansson: Director Finnish ICA Cinematheque from the Nordic Archipelago. The Creeping Garden + Q&A Foreignness of Sound: Lund Humphries 75th Anniversary Talk: Is Slavs and Tatars: The Tranny Tease there such a thing as British art? Terra em Transe 19 Nov Art Party Thu 11 Dec, 7pm Wed 26 Nov, 6.30pm Tue 19 Aug, 6.30pm Thu 21 Aug, 9.30pm & After: Women Science [Fiction] Considered to be Ada Glauber Rocha’s mostDo controversial film, To celebrate the release of Bob and Roberta Smith & Tim NTS Presents Arca + Jesse Kanda Artists’ Film Club 20 Nov 23 Nov and his most powerful contribution to political cinema. Newton’s new film Art Party, the ICA hosts an Art Party of its own. Bloomberg New Contemporaries: Thu 27 Nov, 8pm Unorthodox hosts selected bySoy Shen Xin Institute of Contemporary Arts Cuba Culture Now: Gosha Rubchinskiy Sat 13 Dec, 2pm The Mall London SW1Y 5AH Tue 2 Sep, 6.20pm Fri 29BNC Aug,Performances 1pm 020 7930 3647, www.ica.org.uk Fri 29 Nov, 5pm Mikhail Kalatozov’s 1964 film was originally a propaganda Russian menswear designer Gosha Rubchinskiy in conversation
with Editor-in-Chief of Marfa Journal Alexandra Gordienko. Symposium: What Work Does the Artwork Do? Criticality in Context Thu 4 Dec, 2pm
piece glorifying the achievements of the Cuban revolution.
The is a registered charity no. 236848
Institute of Contemporary Arts The Mall London SW1Y 5AH 020 7930 3647, www.ica.org.uk
The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848
DINOS CHAPMAN On a stormy day in Hastings, Augustin Macellari engaged the more affable half of British art’s perennial enfants terribles
HOOKWORMS As their sophomore album ripples across the UK, Davy Reed joins the psych-punk collective in their Leeds practice space and meets a group of individuals utterly in their element
OUGHT Montreal art punks Ought tell Billy Black about the personal politics behind their stunning album Today More Than Any Other Day
EDITORIAL What do people like?
RECOMMENDED Our guide to what’s coming up in your city
NEW MUSIC From The Periphery
TURNING POINTS: WIRE Colin Newman guides James F. Thompson through 40 years of simply being Wire
GROUPER “A present and literal world”: Thomas Howells finds Liz Harris stepping out of the darkness and into the light
CASSANDRA VERITY GREEN A vibrant, luminous assault on the senses, Cassandra Kirk investigates CVG’s truly idiosyncratic realm
PEAKING LIGHTS Balancing family life and extraterrestrial life, Angus Harrison finds a certain logic in the LA neo-dub duo’s intoxicating sound
SHANTI CELESTE The rising DJ/producer dead set on pushing house music for the ages
REVIEWS Gig reports, product reviews and our verdict on the latest releases in film and music
DIGRESSIONS Don’t Give Up The Day Job, Down In Chapel Hill, the crossword and advice from Denzil Schnifferman
20 QUESTIONS: DJ EZ Ever wondered what the ultimate garage don’s favourite root vegetable is? Wonder no more
MEDIASPANK The discourse of military intervention needs to improve
BEN UFO Negotiating the line between the esoteric and the populist, Ben Thomson’s exacting curatorial ear makes him a singular figure in UK dance music culture. Anna Tehabsim meets a man motivated by stretching the potential of the club and the airwaves. Ben UFO shot exclusively for Crack by Tom Weatherill London: October 2014
AESTHETIC: FATIMA From Stockholm to New York via London, the Eglo Records queen talks us through her eclectic, street-smart style
PREDITAH Preditah opens up to Tom Watson about shunning grime’s shackles for a broader future
fabric nov â€” dec 2014
Desolat Loco Dice Guti (Live) Hector
move D Baby Ford magic mountain High (Live) The mole (Live)
RPR Soundsystem Raresh Petre Inspirescu Rhadoo
Terry Francis marcel Fengler Kink (Live) Room 03
Kaluki Richy Ahmed Nathan Barato Pirate Copy Pete Zorba
Room 02 Room 02
Hospital Productions Vatican Shadow (Live) Ron morelli Function Room 03
move D DJ Qu
29 Room 01
Craig Richards Joy orbison Tama Sumo Simon Baker Room 02
Terry Francis Slam (Live) Sterac (Steve Rachmad) Room 03
Nofitstate Geddes Simon Baker mr. Tophat & Art Alfie
Will Saul Craig Richards
13 Room 01
Apollonia Dan Ghenacia Dyed Soundorom Shonky Jovonn Room 02
Craig Richards Skudge (Live) Schatrax
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
MEAT WAVE Brother SPECTRES This Purgatory GHOST CULTURE The Fog PHILIPP GORBACHEV Silver Symphony (Barnt's Addit) BABA STILTZ Reality Sparks KEMBACK Abjection YOUNG MARCO Biology Theme SKULL DEFEKT Mission MURLO Dripstone (The Chase Scene) U The Kids Will Take Care Of Themselves ZENNOR Never In Doubt
Head Of Digital Content Billy Black Creative Director Jake Applebee Art Direction & Design Alfie Allen
BOOKWORMS African Rhythms LIGHTER Skanker GUM TAKES TOOTH Buried Fires
So we went home and wrote this.
Design Graeme Bateman
COMMUNIONS Love Stands Still
Film Editor Tim Oxley Smith
OUGHT New Calm Part 2
Art Editor Augustin Macellari Fashion Federico Ferrari, Filippo Marra, Charlotte James, Rebecca Maskell Contributors Christopher Goodfellow, Josh Baines, Denzil Schnifferman, Tom Watson, Angus Harrison, Thomas Howells, Cassandra Kirk, Steven Dores, James F. Thompson, Andy Wood, Alex Reed, Aaron Z Wilson, Alex Gwillam, Isis O' Regan, Alex Briand, Helen Fellowes, Duncan Harrison, Ellie Harrison, Melanie Battolla, Claude Barbe Brown, Nathan Westley, Henry Johns, Adam Corner, Calah Singleton, Tamsyn Aurelia-Eros Black Photography Tom Weatherill, Tom Johnson, Bex Day, Orlando Morris, Jason Bokros, Elinor Jones, Abi Green, Ross Trevail, Kuba Ryniewicz, Sophie Hall, Nick Ensing, Sebastian Matthes, Graeme Bateman 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.
Crack sat opposite a loved one, absent-mindedly gnawing on a ragged, rouged crust, at a newly-refurbished branch of a medium-range pizza chain. We chewed on the crust, bathing in the faint restaurant hum and the stark, senseless lighting, and thought about Issue 47. Or, more specifically, we thought about the editorial note for Issue 47. Because Issue 47 exists in a strange, liminal space. Behind us, our festival, Simple Things, which has dominated minds and days for as far back as we can remember. On the horizon, the dreaded/eagerlyanticipated, end-of-year-list fuelled Christmas double bumper issue extravaganza affair. So with our editorial themes tied up until well into 2015, maybe it’s time to try something a little bit different, a little bit irreverent, a little bit fucking random, if you know what we mean, which of course you do, cause we know what you’re like. So, what do people like? Let’s knock em dead. Well, people like cats, obviously. What the people actually want is cats. And there just so happen to be a couple of charming young cat additions among the Crack staff (big up Tofu, big up Pickle). But writing several hundred words about cats is pretty self-involved, as well as being a bit 2010. What else do people like? Ah yeah, people like those wooden signs mums put up in their kitchens, those profound little everyman/woman proclamations that are a direct descendent of the things you used to hang up in the window of your car, before the bloody highway code came along and probably made them illegal. Bloody highway code. You know the signs; bought from beige shops, dangled from hooks by strands of frayed raffia. ‘I’m on the vodka diet – so far I’ve lost 3 days!’ ‘I cook with wine – sometimes I even put it in the food!’ ‘Keep calm and drink more wine!’ People like those signs. But those signs also habitually make light of the horrors of alcoholism. So we probably shouldn’t write about those. Ah, that’s right – that’s what people like. Purple Ronnie. People love Purple Ronnie. Don’t they? Or do people think he’s a wiry-haired, passive-aggressive, sexually-inappropriate fictional fuckwit? Can never remember which one it is. And then we remembered what people actually like. An universal, irreverent, heart-warming approach to welcome you into the throes of Issue 47. What people really like are completely directionless, self-aware monologues about nothing, conceived in a mid-range pizza restaurant, then written later that evening, lying in bed, eyes gradually sliding shut, bathing in the faint hum of a laptop and the stark light of its screen.
Geraint Davies, Editor
MELVINS Nightgoat DEAN BLUNT Grade UNTOLD Anaconda NICKI MINAJ Only VINCE STAPLES Screen Door RUN THE JEWELS Angel Duster THE CARETAKER Mental caverns without Sunshine ZOMBY Pray For Me THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES I Can't Hide HUMANBEAST In Heels LAS KELLIES Hit It Off SPECTRES This Purgatory WIRE Strange THE SIDEKICKS Deer
Issue 47 | crackmagazine.net
Respect Terre Thaemlitz Rory Garraway Kate Marshall Katie Louden Will Lawrence Lauren Hamilton Natasha Parker Angus Harrison The Round Ball Hodge + Gizmo Nathan Taylor
O ur g uid e t o w ha t 's g o ing o n in y o ur cit y
E AST INDIA YOUTH Heaven 13 November
DE AN BLUNT Electrowerkz 13 November
BUGGED OUT WEEKENDER Daniel Avery, Roman Flügel, Todd Terje (live) Butlins, Bognor Regis 16-18 January 2015 £169-209 MARIK A HACKMAN XOYO 18 November £10 + BF Remember when that bloke stole Marika Hackman’s really nice guitar after a gig last year and got caught on CCTV, and everyone rounded on the sorry fucker and probably lynched him? It wasn’t just cause it was such a nice guitar, or because stealing someone’s guitar is pretty much the scummiest thing a person can do; it was also because you’d have to be as heartless as the bloke in question not to fall in love with Hackman’s sombre, murmuring, bittersweet narratives and sweeping arrangements. This XOYO headline slot shows she’s come a long way, and presumably she’ll be guarding her possessions with grim severity this time around.
There’s no way that the novelty of partying in a holiday resort will ever wear off. Whether it be the luxury of being able to drink a refrigerated tinny from your chalet in your dressing gown, or the experience of queuing up for water slides with groups of bleary-eyed 20 somethings, the concept will always have immense charm. As expected, Bugged Out have pulled out the stops for next year’s weekender. But with the likes of Ben UFO, Erol Alkan, Jackmaster, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Four Tet, Crack favourite Roman Flügel and Todd Terje on the bill, there might not be much time to practice your aim on House of the Dead.
BORIS Dance Tunnel 15 November
Anyone who was lucky enough to witness one of the Atomic Bomb! tributes to the work of Nigerian synth pioneer William Onyeabor will report that, as well as being smitten by the great man’s astoundingly aheadof-their-time sounds and songs, the project’s musical director Ahmed Gallab truly shone through, as did his Sinkane pals who made up band’s core. It appears Sinkane themselves are pretty creatively juiced up from the whole affair, and less than a year after the release of their impressive debut Mars, they’ve dropped a hype-worthy follow-up in Mean Love, also receiving the City Slang/DFA seal of approval. Shows this small are soon to be a thing of the past, so look lively.
This bunch of blown-out Melbourne freaks have caught the discerning ear of Thee Oh Sees man John Dwyer, who has pinky promised to release their upcoming 4th album I’m In Your Mind Fuzz via the snug fit of his Castle Face Records, later this month. And know what – it’s a hell of a record, smeared with propulsive acid psych jams complete with all the surfy, garagey, motorikey, Eastern-y trimmings you could reasonably ask for. Such is the intangible, uneven, gargling mass of their sound it’s more-or-less impossible to pick out who exactly is King Gizzard and how he obtained the nobility; or indeed which of the swirling numbers of musicians may be wizards, or lizards; or, in fact, what the word ‘blizzard’ did wrong to deserve its mindless omission from the band’s name. All we know is, they’re gonna melt your tiny mind, dude.
BLOOMBERG NEW CONTEMPOR ARIES 2014 ICA 26 November - 25 January Entry with Day Membership FABRICLIVE: BL ACK COFFEE , ELIJAH AND SKILLIAM, BIG NARSTIE , LOGOS fabric 21 November From £10
SINK ANE Oslo 1 December £8 + BF
BASS DRUM OF DE ATH Shacklewell Arms 13 November
KING GIZZ ARD AND THE WIZ ARD LIZ ARD Hoxton Bar & Kitchen 24 November £9.50 + BF
Black Coffee’s contribution to South Africa’s music scene cannot be understated. Coming to popular attention shortly after attending RBMA in 2006, the permanently on-demand DJ makes music that transcends the dancefloor, playing enormous festival stages to worshipping crowds across his home country. Widely considered a legend, role model and national icon, Nathi Maphumulo is the country’s most recognised star, and with South Africans being the world’s largest consumers of house music, his status as national treasure is not to be taken likely. Maphumulo plays fabric Room 1 this month while Butterz in Room 2 hosts a selection of grime royalty, with Elijah and Skilliam, Logos and Flava D alongside MCs Big Narstie and rising talent Novelist. Go soak up some heritage.
The annual poll of the UK’s best art students and graduates returns to the ICA for the fourth year running. Active, on and off, since 1949, New Contemporaries has acted as a consistent font for the UK’s most promising up-and-coming artists, with alumni including the likes of Jake and Dinos Chapman, Tacita Dean and David Hockney. Each year it attracts a huge deluge of entries and whittles it down to an outstanding few – this year 1400 to just 55 – and each year, it uncovers a handful of talent which invariably goes on to mark the art world for years to come.
VIET CONG Total Refreshment Centre 18 November
DANIEL AVERY fabric 14 November
YONATAN GAT Shacklewell Arms 19 November
RICK ROSS Indigo at The 02 14 November
SASHA SIEM St. Pancras Old Church 27 November
VATICAN SHADOW fabric 22 November
MAT THEW HERBERT Dance Tunnel 22 November
THE COATHANGERS Shacklewell Arms 15 November
DANCE TUNNEL TURNS 2 W/ ITALOJOHNSON Dance Tunnel 29 November from £5
ARCA ICA 27 November
FAMILIA B2B SERIES PT.3: TECHNASIA B2B UNER Egg London 6 December £13 No one can deny the importance of the back-to-back format. Sasha and Digweed are a prime example of two notoriously great DJs who somehow came to life when they worked together, and the chemistry between Jackmaster and Oneman has seen them become a staple of clubland, leading them to spawn their own goodtime incarnation Can U Dance. Spontaneity is the key to the tag team efforts of Craig Richards and Ricardo Villalobos, who bounce off each other’s bizarre selections as they plunder further on into a Sunday afternoon in fabric, while the Jekyll and Hyde-esque schizophrenic excursions of Green Velvet vs. Cajmere or Paul Woolford vs. Special Request can leave some punters bewildered. Familia understand the importance of back-to-back sets, and this is the third and final installment of their series of b2b nights, with Technasia vibing off Uner for six whole hours.
SAVAGES + BO NINGEN Oval Space 19 November
Faceless trio ItaloJohnson have been making a name for themselves since 2010 with a series of hand-stamped 12” releases showcasing their timeless house sound. Despite their lowkey approach, their straightforward methodology has earned them legions of fans. Dance Tunnel must be pretty fond of the anonymous outfit too, and after having them christen their first year in operation 12 months ago, they’ve invited them back to headline their second birthday bash alongside another man with a desire to do the talking, Marquis Hawkes, and Dance Tunnel’s own Dan Beaumont.
Although Wire’s 1977 debut Pink Flag is a canonical manifesto of fourchord punk, the story of their career has really been about progression and experimentation. So, as a way of celebrating their transient nature, the DRILL series involves Wire collaborating onstage with younger musicians from the line-up, and they’ve promised a one-off rendition of their ever-evolving song Drill with post-rock titans Swans to the Brighton crowd. Spread across the festival’s four-day duration you’ll find sets from Savages, These New Puritans, Courtney Barnett, krautrock pioneer Damo Suzuki, Grumbling Fur, Ulrich Schnauss, The Wytches, East India Youth, Bristol noise-rock outfit Spectres and more. Not a bad way to celebrate a legacy, is it?
JULIA HOLTER Barbican 29 November
DANNY BROWN The Coronet 29 November
GERD JANSON, ROMAN FLÜGEL + K ASSEM MOSSE Oval Space 29 November £15 ICE AGE 100 Club 2 December £12 + BF
CLOUD NOTHINGS Electric Ballroom 1 December
DRILL : BRIGHTON Wire, Swans, Savages, These New Puritans Various Venues, Brighton 4-7 December Early Bird tickets: £60
Flick knives, shady tattoos, dodgy zones: Iceage have courted controversy like no other band in recent years. Everyone got well upset but, like, remember The Sex Pistols? Course you do. Remember Whitehouse? Well ... OK, maybe you don't remember Whitehouse but they were even more shifty and people still really liked them. Well, maybe not really liked them, but people like, knew who they were and stuff. Anyway, the point is, Iceage are great, even if they are little shits sometimes. They get better with every album and if that gradient is anything to go by we're pretty sure they're gonna be churning out masterpieces by 2016.
JULIO BASHMORE + FRIENDS Airspace 21 November
HOLLY GOLIGHTLY Lexington 10 December
Issue 47 | crackmagazine.net
Things West Germany specialises in: Beer. Sausages. Unhinged dancefloor constructions that straddle the line between streamlined crystalline clarity and troubled abstraction in seconds. Three of Germany’s finest exports – hailing from Frankfurt via Leipzig – Gerd Janson, Roman Flügel and Kassem Mosse all deal in the far-off corners of club music. Their multifarious approach couples solid grooves with various diversions into oddball territory, from slow-burning, bleary-eyed house to wiry, frenetic techno workouts and back again, zigzagging across the electronic landscape with supple dexterity. These swerving grooves punctuate a style that is endlessly danceable, which makes a line-up hosting all three a solid treat.
GODFLESH Garage 10 December
SWING HERO Denver-born singer-songwriter Marshall Gallagher is treading a dangerous path as Swing Hero. His particular brand of alt rock isn’t all that fashionable right now – in fact, these days it’s spectacularly uncool to sing the praises of big production and sweeping choruses. Fortunately we’re above all that posturing and we’ll just come out and say it: we love a good tune. And good tunes is exactly what Swing Hero provides. His latest track Interest evokes Smashing Pumpkins in its enormity and, dare we say it, early Foo Fighters in its buoyant, catchy construction. Finally, an ode to the 90s that’s not drenched in Seattle-lite fuzz and soulless teenage angst. STALLEY
M-BAND Oh Iceland, you rarely let us down. Though this current export is an ex-pat – Hörður Már Bjarnason currently lives in Berlin – he’s the latest artist to earn hushed tones among the talent spotters from his home country’s revered Airwaves festival. He drops his debut fulllength Haust this month, and it’s a striking piece of work. The opening 1-2 of Launch and Never Ending Never sets out its stall as a contrary, lovable collection, the former a sonorous piano pattern, the latter a Jon Hopkins-esque emotional techno workout which blossoms via Bjarnason’s unmistakeable falsetto. At points coming off like Wild Beasts’ Hayden Thorpe swooning over a Planet Mu skitter, the record darts between stout kick drums, glitchy shuffles, murky trip-hop and widescreen ambience, at once balmy and chilling, generous and vulnerable. He launches the album with a first UK show at the Old Blue Last on 27 November, so you don’t have to take our feeble word for it.
O All Is Love 1
Jon Hopkins \ Manitoba : m-bandmusic.com
For an aspiring rapper today, there are fewer blessings as potentially lucrative as an invite to Maybach Music Group’s roster. Over the years, Rick Ross has assembled an empire that oozes prosperity and churns out highprofile, high-octane rap at a relentless pace. But there’s something different about Stalley, the bearded rapper who inked a deal with the imprint two years ago and has now been given time to shine with his first retail album OHIO. As well as name-checking his home state, the album’s name is an acronym for ‘Over Here I’m Original’. So, we put it to Stalley – what is it that makes him different to your average rapper? “My sound, my voice and my story that I tell – everything,” he argues, “down to the way I dress. Everything is original and unique.” OHIO has its bangers of course, and a headphones listen suggests that the album’s sessions probably took place in the kind of studio that only a juggernaut label like Maybach can afford to book. But while luxurious tracks like Free delve into the kind of blockbuster gangster flick imagery alpha male fantasies usually associated with the MMG brand, Stalley’s ethos is ‘Intelligent Trunk Music’ – deep, socially-aware but big-sounding rap songs that make you bounce but leave you with something to think about. “My influences are artists like Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye; Nas, Bruce Springsteen,” he tells us. “Listening to how they told their story and how they painted pictures of the neighbourhoods and communities they grew up in, I just wanted to do the same thing, I’ve seen how positive this kind of thing is to their communities, but also to the world.” So, as a man who's boosted the careers of artists such as Meek Mill, French Montana, Wale, Gunplay and Fat Trel, what kind of advice has Rozay been giving Stalley so far? “Just do me. Just to be myself. To stand for what I believe in and stay consistent. He always said, nobody is like you so continue to do you and be yourself”. And while thought-provoking, morally complex lyrics aren’t always commercially viable demands, Stalley assures us that he’s not had to compromise one bit. “This is what I like to do because I feel like hip-hop all sounds the same these days, but with my album, I give you something that hip-hop hasn’t heard for ever. It’s good to have someone like Ross help me get that out to the world.”
O Boomin' 1
Nipsey Hussle \ Wara The Kid From The NBHD : @Stalley
O Interest Smashing Pumpkins \ Better Than Ezra : swinghero.bandcamp.com
HOODY Here at Crack we make no secret of our love for LA vocalist/former cover star Kelela. We respect her considered navigation of Fade To Mind/ Night Slugs beats so much that any recommendation of hers wins our attention. Korean RnB singer Hoody supported her show with Total Freedom in Seoul recently, prompting Kelela to say, “We understood like five words the whole performance, but were so feeling it. I haven’t stopped talking about her since.” After earning Kelela’s blessing, Brooklyn duo Teengirl Fantasy reached out and enlisted Hoody alongside Lafawndah to sing on the emotionally evocative electronic music of their latest EP Thermal. Upheld as the ‘new queen of underground Korean RnB’, hopefully we’ll be hearing more of her beguilingly indiscernible vocals soon.
FELICITA Although Felicita sits neatly under the umbrella of PC Music – all prepubescent posturing and Fisher Price production – it’s clear the South London producer is coming at pop from a different place. The way the rubbery beats stretch out, summersault and collapse in on themselves in his Frenemies EP (which samples make-up tutorials and comes as a free download if you buy a limited edition canary yellow drawstring bag, obviously), shares more likeness with Arca, while Bring It mirrors the viscerally pummeling sheen of Vessel’s Punish, Honey. Combine that with the usual glitter bombs of squiggly noises and a conceptually-minded process – Felicita wanted to create sounds that were “as intensely noxious” as the smell of acrylic nail shops – its attitude-soaked elasticity and nausea-inducing extremity is, as usual, as intensely addictive as the culture of excess it seeks to invert.
O Bring It SOPHIE \ Arca @FELICITA_SE5
THE DRINK Christ, harmonies are good. Singing the same sort of thing but a tiny bit different but so it’s kind of the same. Who’d have thought it’d work so well? The Drink’s approach to the formula involves mathy structures underscored by solid rhythms and some of the most gobsmacking vocal parts we’ve heard since the chuffing Beach Boys. Their tunes chug along with the mechanical intensity of Stereolab and the graceful eeriness of Warpaint and they peddle a post-folk, post-rock breadth that’s hard to shake off and even harder to ignore. If that’s not recommendation enough they’re the first unsigned to be stocked in Rough Trade shops in a lifetime. This is one bandwagon you’re not gonna want to miss.
O Microsleep 1 Warpaint \ Minus The Bear : facebook.com/thedrinkthedrink
O U Touch Me Kelela \ Lafawndah : @HoodyJJUNG O Listen To 1 File Next To : Online
Contextualising the thrill of the underground for the global dance diaspora, Ben UFO's curatorial vision makes the experimental accessible Words: Anna Tehabsim Photography: Tom Weatherill
Issue 47 | crackmagazine.net
Ben UFO on back-toback DJing as a formative learning experience A lot of people talk about back-to-back as though it’s a dilution of what two or more people do; I don’t think that’s true if you do it well. If you’ve got two people working together and communicating, then it can produce something completely new that wouldn’t have otherwise come about. It forces you to be active and to improvise, it helps keep things from becoming stagnant.
“Hessle Audio have found records that manage to touch on something quite strange but still function in a dancefloor space. That’s universally appealing”
Morphosis on their recent eight-hour back-to-back session at Corsica Studios It was very intense, challenging, and creative to share the booth with Ben, I have a huge respect for him as a DJ and since we have a quite diverse way of playing it was interesting to see how the whole blend worked. It almost became a whole unorthodox mode of playing, I remember many of those ‘not really dance records’ in the classical definition, some more afro-jazz and free-jazz, world music and noise, all this stuff was mashed pretty well into solidly mixed techno and house.
Jackmaster on Ben’s technical prowess It’s an inspiration and that’s putting it lightly. For me, Ben Ooufo (as they call him in Italy) is just one of these guys who is born to DJ. He lives and breathes music and it’s an absolute delight to play with him. Playing all night for eight hours at a warehouse in London last year sticks out as a particularly special moment we shared. Every single set with Ben is a learning experience, both musically and just watching his technique as for me, at the moment, he’s technically the best DJ in the world.
Light floods the café at the back of Peckham’s South London Gallery, where Ben Thomson is sitting on an oddly pleasant autumnal afternoon. Thomson is 40 minutes late, and having lost his phone after a gig at Hamburg’s Golden Pudel, he’s visibly flustered and profusely apologetic. Once settled, we’re quickly reminded that the man sitting opposite us is one of dance music’s most astute, insightful and likeable characters. Slight framed and boy faced, he takes time to choose his words carefully, and approaches his subject with razor point precision. "I read something recently that I identified with quite strongly," he says. "That the most interesting music manages to collapse the distinctions between the accessible and the sophisticated, the populist and the experimental, music that manages to make those kinds of hierarchies irrelevant.” This contradiction powers Thomson’s activities as DJ, radio host and as cofounder of Hessle Audio. Expertly navigating the lineage of UK underground culture and the influx of the worldwide house and techno diaspora, as Ben UFO, Thomson’s exceptional curatorial vision is expansive yet determinedly focused – a skill that has won over crowds to artists to critics alike. His technical prowess and exhaustive approach to selection has seen him steadily become one of the most persistently sought after and universally respected DJs. Why? Thomson is drawn to the thrill of exposing collective transcendence in indefinable sounds. With little to no regard for geographical or chronological borders, eschewing genre boundaries and biases, any given set is a simultaneously considered yet crowdpleasing mixture of 4/4 grooves, forgotten classics and irresistible oddities. This devotion to dance music began around a decade ago, with the thrill of hearing alien sounds in transmission across London radio dials. An education steeped in UK pirate radio heritage, having fallen in love with drum’n’bass as a teenager it was the “transformative experiences” of early dubstep nights that offered his jumping-off point. Meeting David Kennedy, later Pearson Sound, around 2005 at Plastic People’s seminal, mythologised club night FWD>>, the pair became perfectly positioned to witness its notable transformation from a serious, eyes-down showcase; what had started off as a gathering of producers listening to each other’s music, smoking weed, with scant interaction, became the focal point of an accelerating scene. As FWD>>’s incubation of ideas hatched, propelling producers like Mala, Coki and
Kode9 into the spotlight, it became the focus of a movement with increasing momentum. “That was the first time I’d really seen that happen. When I started going to drum’n’bass nights, despite my enthusiasm for the music the vibe I picked up from people was that things had been better – that the music had had its time. Dubstep felt very open by comparison, it seemed as though anything was achievable.” Hearing these mutating styles on ribshaking sound systems, Thomson began to understand music as something functional, music as a response to its immediate environment. “Producers would build tunes for the system, and I think that’s what FWD>> in particular, but also dubstep in general, illustrated to me; that music built for a very specific function could be extremely powerful. I had heard the music at home and hadn’t fully understood it, but as soon as I got to the club it made perfect sense.” The Hessle Audio triumvirate soon became a source of solidarity in a rapidly unfurling dubstep scene. Via Leeds’s Sub FM, Thomson, Kennedy and Kevin ‘Pangaea’ McAuley set the groundwork for their sound palette of percussive, 140bpm sub-bass heavy music. A regular, and extremely passionate, community of listeners developed. Championing these artists’ idiosyncratic sense of rhythm since 2007, Hessle Audio debuted some of the most accomplished producers of recent times, including Untold, Joe and Blawan, their series of unplaceable anthems providing a coherent focal point in an increasingly separating UK dance community. Preserving the essence of pirate radio-borne genres and slowly, subtly weaving between the spheres of house and techno, they had forged an unmistakably UK hybrid. “I’ve always found it really satisfying that we’ve found records that simultaneously manage to touch on something quite strange, which still function really well on dancefloors,” he explains. “That’s universally appealing. You hear something that works brilliantly on the dancefloor which doesn’t sound familiar, and it’s exciting.” Back to the present day, and years after Hessle Audio began their upward trajectory, the inundation of electronic music into an increasingly saturated landscape becomes less and less classifiable. In this era, the role of the DJ as the filter, the selector, is more valuable than ever. And bearing in mind that he still doesn’t have a single production credit to his name – something which can affect a DJ’s career
prospects considerably – it’s Thomson’s DJ skills alone which have made him one of the most prominent names among the UK dance community. The pressure he feels to justify this position is what drives his painstaking precision, plotting harmony where tribal differences used to exist. Definitive examples of Thomson’s mixing include the rapid-fire transition from European house, OG dubstep and grime on 2011’s epoch-defining Rinse:16, the decidedly darker but perhaps more succinct FabricLive67, and more recently his Essential Mix, a buoyant dart across the spectrum of classic techno, electro and unreleased material that adapted the shift in momentum to accommodate for non-club listening. For Thomson, this seamless outlook comes naturally. “I think a lot of the time when people try to pin down what it is that they’re looking for musically, the easiest thing to do is to define their position in terms of what they dislike – house music purists writing off techno as soulless, and techno people writing off house music as naff, whereas the reality of those two positions is much more murky and confused; the distinctions between the two aren’t black and white enough to justify those kinds of generalisations. That’s why I approach DJing in the way that I do. I don’t see those distinctions as being absolute or necessary, I see things as being a bit more fluid.” Earlier in our conversation, we’d discussed the idea of tribalism; the singular spirit of his education in jungle and the early years of FWD>>. In this era of unlimited information, the subsequent lack of clear boundaries is something he’s embraced. “At the moment, when everyone online has such easy access to anything they choose to investigate, it’s much harder to justify that kind of tribalism. It’s much easier to see the flaws in your own position now that you can go and explore everything all at once.” Following our first meeting in Peckham, later that evening I meet Ben at a Chinese restaurant just off Brick Lane and then head to the Rinse FM studios, where the dark and thrilling sounds of the Swamp 81 show are drawing to a close. A flurry of Teklife t-shirts and Mancunian accents, a few of their crew eagerly hand over some 12”s to Thomson. At one point, a young guy from Shanghai points Ben out to me and does the sign of the cross from his forehead to his chest, to his shoulders. It’s a tonguein-cheek gesture, of course, but there’s a
palpable sense of admiration in the room. Thomson is in his element here, and as tonight’s guest DJ October takes over the decks, he casually props himself in front of the mic to shout out the incoming stream of tweets informing us they’re locked. “In the last seven years or so there were maybe one or two months when we didn’t have a regular show, between leaving Sub FM and joining Rinse,” he mentions. Thomson’s appearances on Rinse FM are among the most celebrated of the former London pirate. “It’s almost like having a residency, it means I can really focus in on the constituent parts of what I do, and explore things in detail which I might not have the chance to in a club setting. If I feel like doing an entire two hour show at 108bpm, then I can because I still have the show next week to do something else, and the same audience to play to.” An hour in and we’re joined by Four Tet, keen to show off the Hindu devotional records bought especially for this evening. Ben himself has been playing a characteristically diverse selection, uniting Swamp 81’s singular aesthetic and an altogether more universal approach, where 1988 field recordings from the Mountain Province of the Northern Philippines sit alongside reggae from The Wailers’ Aston Barrett and anonymous white labels from Hamburg’s Giegling imprint. “I think a lot of music that’s around at the minute knows what its place is in the world,” he had told us earlier in the café. “Music that’s targeted very well at big spaces; music that’s attempting to cross over into the mainstream. And on the other hand there’s a huge amount of amazing, extremely specialist music around which targets a very particular niche. One of the ways in which I’m trying to keep things interesting for myself is to perhaps try and use the position that I’ve found myself in to try and take some of that music outside of its comfort zone a little bit.” Fast-forward two and a half days and we’re in the subterranean depths of Manchester’s Store Street, the home to this year’s Warehouse Project. It’s only 8:30pm, the cavernous brickwork tunnel that forms the main room shimmers with sweat, and below a sizeable crowd have gathered for three hours of back-to-back from the Hessle Audio triumvirate. Thomson had admitted to initially having reservations about these larger gigs, revealing that performing in front of big crowds had been something
he’s only recently taken in his stride. “The spaces I went out to when I was younger will always be more comfortable to me small clubs, dark spaces that you can lose yourself in. But I’ll always want to play on those bigger stages as well, because when you get away with playing interesting music to a lot of people, it feels like nothing else.” Although it is certainly large, plenty are losing themselves in the trio’s effortless selection of locked, throbbing grooves that habitually veer off into unexpected directions. The trio finish at midnight, leaving around 1000 giddy students, veteran ravers and hardened sound system nerds bounding with enthusiasm. It’s a point we find ourselves coming back to, this straddling of the populist and the experimental, the tribal and the fluid, navigating these spheres in an unsteady electronic music landscape. Back at the café, when we’d touched on his careerism, or lack of, I’d asked him if he’s ever had any specific ambitions. He took the time to answer thoughtfully. “Underground dance music has become an industry in a way that it perhaps wasn’t always. It’s interesting that even for very niche performers, there are going to be people that surround them who are focused on how those performers can scale what they’re doing up, to appeal to more people and to bigger crowds.” he said. “If I were to continue trying to respond to those kinds of pressures, I would just have to stop playing the smaller gigs, but I don’t feel willing to do that. I guess at this point I’m trying to think of ways to just maintain a level of consistency and stability, because it’s not really what this industry is geared towards." He racks his brain for a few who have managed to navigate this successfully, his peers in Andrew Weatherall and Craig Richards; “people who seem to exist outside of that music industry bubble.” He pauses. “So I guess that’s my aspiration – not to aspire towards too much.” Ben UFO plays back-to-back with Joy Orbison on 6 December at Warehouse Project
Joy Orbison on Ben’s adaptability I think playing with a DJ of Ben’s calibre could be daunting, but he often has the opposite effect as you’re definitely in very good company. In my eyes a good DJ should be able to take interesting records and play them in a way that can make them accessible to any type of crowd. This can make the process of DJing as integral as the music being played and Ben is one of the few who I’ve witnessed doing this. I’m a massive fan, obviously.
“I’m trying to think of ways to maintain a level of consistency, because the industry is not really geared towards stability and the long term”
Gerd Janson on Ben’s inspirational approach Ben UFO is one of the genuine DJs. He puts the work, the time and the effort into finding new and old music which corresponds with his view of a dance floor or a radio show audience. What makes Ben probably the most interesting is his technical and his intellectual abilities to pour genres, tempos, eras and even antagonistic styles into one absorbing and fascinating maelstrom. I will always remember the first time that we played together at London’s Plastic People: I pitched his records down, he pitched my records up and I was so enamored with his manners, risk-taking and posture as a DJ that I told him afterwards that I’m ready to resign. Ben UFO, I salute you!
Turning Points: Wire's Colin Newman
As founder and frontman of legendary postpunk iconoclasts Wire, Colin Newman has been at the forefront of experimental rock music for almost 40 years. Having started the band with friends from Watford Art College at the height of punk’s influence in 1976, Newman and Wire went on to release a trio of pivotal albums in quick succession that would alter the genre’s boundaries forever. The quartet went on hiatus in the 1980s as Newman launched a solo career but enjoyed a renaissance towards the end of the decade and again in the 2000s. Nowadays, besides still playing with Wire, Newman produces records, has an upcoming album from his Githead project, runs the group’s record label pinkflag, as well as overseeing the DRILL music festival, which has progressed from London and Seattle legs to an upcoming debut in Brighton.
1976: Forming Wire Wire emerged out of an art school endof-term party performance in 1976 but we count the “real” start of Wire as 1st April 1977, the date of the first performance of the classic four-piece at [famed former London nightclub] the Roxy as part of its ‘Punk Festival’. The performance was recorded and two songs were later released as part of EMI’s Live at the Roxy compilation. By September of that year we were already recording our first album, Pink Flag. Although our live debut was in a punk club, from the outset we were neither loved by punks nor aligned with their ethos. Our songs were either too slow or too short and we were way too pretentious and proud of it! The term ‘post-punk’ wasn’t really coined until recently but I guess that’s what we were.
“We were neither loved by punks nor aligned with their ethos. Our songs were either too slow or too short and we were way too pretentious and proud of it!”
1980: Putting Wire on hiatus, going solo Reviews for our third record 154 hailed us as one of the most important bands of our generation, yet within months of its release Wire had ceased operation. We were highly disillusioned with a tour supporting Roxy Music in stadiums around Europe and had looked for new ways to stage our performances. Several nights of performance art and music at [former Camden venue] the Cochrane Theatre in November 1979 were well received by audiences but critically panned. Then things reached a nadir with a low-budget attempt to mix a dadaist event with a performance of almost entirely new (and largely under-rehearsed) music at the Electric Ballroom in February 1980. What had worked in a theatre floundered in a rock venue and the band subsequently fell apart after disagreeing on how to move forward. 1985: Watching Wire’s influence grow, reforming the band It’s hard for current generations to look back and see things through the lens of the 1970s but during that era Wire weren’t really known outside of the music press. We got little radio exposure, almost no TV and when Wire went on hiatus in 1980 we
could have easily never returned. Fortunately amongst our original fan base were some of the shapers and movers of the next generation; indie label bosses, musical and visual artists as well as writers. By the mid-1980s, a large number of quite diverse artists started to claim Wire as an influence and in 1985 we re-emerged with a leaner, more electronically-based sound. 2000: Launching the pinkflag label In the 70s Wire were on EMI, a major label, then during the 80s we were on a major indie label, Mute. By the new millennium it was time to fly our own – pink – flag. Since Wire had been largely non-operational throughout the 90s we had no idea if we still had an audience, so our label’s initial releases were short mail order runs for fans. Fortunately the first proper CD release, Read & Burn 01 sold very well with virtually no press or radio exposure and the following album (2003’s Send) did even better. By the mid-2000s, pinkflag was the US licensee for Wire’s first three albums and now everything about our label is selffinanced and there because it serves the artistic needs of the band. Present day: Putting on the DRILL music festival We felt that the mainstream festival scene had become too much of a rite of passage for young audience members and a meat market for bands. So the idea came to us to try and put together our own festival, DRILL. This year’s line-up encompasses everything from Italian prog, hip-hop and sensitive singer-songwriters to full-on noise rock, krautrock, experimental electronica an orchestral brass section. With our actions, music, performances, label and now our festival, we’re trying to prove that artists don’t need to be passive within the major label industry.
DRILL: Brighton runs from 4-7 December, featuring Wire, Swans, Savages and many more
Words: James F. Thompson
With Ruins, Grouper’s Liz Harris closes doors and expands horizons with her most beguiling document, and perhaps her last Words: Thomas Howells Photography: Jason Bokros
“Clarity” has never been a term one would immediately associate with Liz Harris. Over nearly a decade, the Oregon-based musician and artist has built a magisterial and enigmatic body of work under her Grouper alias, revelling in obfuscation, both sonic and temporal. She has consistently occupied a liminal space between distant celestial planes and an ageless natural world, creating pieces dense in layers of drone, vocal wisp and heavily sustained guitar and keyboard that are quiet, unnerving and crushingly beautiful. Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill, the 2008 full-length released on John Twell’s Type Records, is still arguably her finest moment: a breathtakingly realised collection of suffocated dream pop, it was the closest Harris had drifted to accessible songwriting, but still wholly ethereal and smothered in the gloaming woodsiness it was fundamentally embedded in. The double set of AIA: Alien Observer and AIA: Dream Loss, both released in 2011, streamlined this aesthetic further, cementing Harris as an inimitably singular artist and dispelling any notions that her particular vein of expression was close to being comprehensively mined. Listen to the utterly heartbreaking centrepiece Vapour Trails and try to disagree. All of which makes Ruins such an unexpected entry into Harris’s catalogue. Her music has always been sparse underneath the ecstatic wash, but here, for the most part, she strips back her tools to an analogue piano, near-whispered vocals and field recordings of animal life and ambient weather. Clearing – the record’s opener proper given first track Made of Metal’s barelyaudible smattering of frog song and minimalistic percussion – is a quietly devastating induction to the approach, oddly sing-song and laconically propulsive in its own way, the wonderful half-hook factoring oriental inflections reminiscent of the prettiest guzheng compositions. Call Across Rooms further displays an overt soulfulness, showing us that Harris isn’t simply rehashing the traditional Grouper
aesthetic in a different guise, while Lighthouse recalls both the impressionistic lilt of Debussy (honestly) and Joe Hisaishi’s score for Spirited Away, albeit overlaid with more evocative croaking. What hits hardest is how transparently clear it all is, a veil giddily lifted. The exception is found in the closing Made of Air. One of her first experiments with recording, it reverts focus to the woozy haze of early collections Way Their Crept and Cover The Windows And The Walls, and, because Harris has inferred that this could be her last record as Grouper, acts as a particularly melancholy and poignant bookend, if a jarring change in tone within the immediate curated context. “Ruins wasn’t preconceived, just the time and space,” Harris tells us over e-mail. “I had gone to Portugal a ways back and made friends in Lisbon with Sergio Hydalgo, where I was hosted by the collective he works with, ZDB. He and I talked for years about a special project, and ended up planning together that I would come present an excerpt of SLEEP [one of the recordings that comprised 2012’s long-form Violet Replacement] at Teatro Maria Matos. Following that, I would spend some time at his Aunt’s cabin near the beach, where there was a piano I could play or record with if it felt right. There was no pressure to make anything.” Despite this, she states, “[the record] was born from a limited environment with limitations that I chose. I missed piano; I wanted to record without effects, leave things plain.” With Ruins, we observe Harris shifting to a world that’s warmer and more recognisably human than the brooding, cascadian unknown of her previous work. Snippets of press and interview material preceding the record made note of the artist using the recording process to vent personal and political feelings; such stark catharsis is an especially beguiling prospect given just how often she has tended to err away from conventional emoting. “It was the first time I’d sat still in a clear quiet space since the end of a relationship a couple years prior, [the first time I’d] immersed myself in work, music and art and travel, ignored what felt hard – dating,
world news, social contact,” she explains. “I was just starting to return to the present, to my body, feeling calm enough to look at myself honestly, where I’d ended up after those few years. Just beginning to consider dating again, pay attention to the world again. A lot of frustration and sadness had built up. I felt some parts of me were lost. So, it’s a kind of break-up album, I guess. That relationship; also breaking up with a version of myself, or trying to anyway.” Given her previous work’s compulsive obsession with the elements and halfconscious states, we ask whether this realignment has altered the importance of capturing specific physical or spiritual space as part of her creative process. “Ruins is very much about the literal human in a present and literal world; real relationships with real people, the sound of the frogs outside, the sound of a storm that woke me up. A more impressionistic landscape is definitely still present, and has much to do with water [a common theme throughout her albums] and other more abstract sounds. I can’t escape those two.” Ruins is a concise work, verging on abrupt, for the most part conveying a series of sketches or vignettes. If it is to be her last release under the Grouper name, it’s a peculiar way to bow out; the form and tone feels experimental, rather than a logical conclusion to her previous output. It’s to Harris’s credit – and in no small part her unwavering ability to create such haunting soundscapes from self-imposed and limited means – that the collection avoids becoming bathetic. In any case, it’s still wholly idiosyncratic, a wonderful and beguiling work in its own right, and one which hints at further forays into previously untapped resources of modern-classical and minimalist influence. “In my interactions with almost everything, I have two separate speeds that overlap – very fast and very slow,” Harris concludes. “I’m sure that if I’d gone to public school I’d have been thrown into a separate classroom or given Ritalin. Instead I was given a lot of space and time alone to come up with my own methods. Mine allow me to be myself; to be precise, and to relax/ remove at the same time ... Obsessing on the details, with a zen-like approach.” Ruins is out now via Kranky
Regardless of how many people are tuning in, Leeds-based psych practitioners Hookworms are still conjuring up mind-imploding intensity purely for the love
After a five minute taxi ride from Leeds train station, we pull up at the desolate-looking industrial estate where Hookworms’ studio is tucked away. The band’s towering, soft spoken guitarist SS opens the creaky metal mesh doors and lets us in. Inside, the lights are dim. Speaker stacks and halfassembled drum kits fill the corridor, guitars lie across sofas, piles of tangled cables litter the floor and styrofoam coffee cups spill from overfilled waste paper bins. It’s a kind of paradise. As an increasingly in-demand producer, Hookworms’ vocalist and organ player MJ probably spends the majority of his waking life in this space. It was here that he adopted an insomniac’s schedule to meticulously craft the band’s excellent 2013 debut album Pearl Mystic – a record of emotionally uplifting and krautrockdriven psychedelic punk which cathartically alleviated him from a depression caused by the disintegration of his relationship, the loss of his job and the flooding of his previous studio. Once a week, the rest of the band meet him here after work to master the art of being one of the most visceral live guitar bands in the UK. Pizzas are ordered and the band are happy to sit around chatting for 45 minutes, even as our interview begins to overlap into their precious rehearsal time. Due to the band’s adversity to music industry bullshit (amid the hype of Pearl Mystic last year, Hookworms were – and still are – hesitant to do photo shoots), you could have wrongly presumed that this interview would be in someway hard work. MJ, in particular, defies preconceptions. Onstage, he’s an intense presence, breaking out into a frenzy when the music reaches its peaks, scowling as if in pain as he screeches in an aggressive style he learnt from his previous role in a Rites Of Spring-influenced posthardcore band.
Words: Davy Reed Photography: Elinor Jones
But, of course, performance is a transformative process, and MJ’s polite, self-deprecating manner is at odds with his ferocity on record and onstage. He dismisses his production work on Pearl Mystic as “shit” and claims he distorts his voice with so much echo due to his lack of confidence. He’s also (perhaps unintentionally) become something of a spokesperson among the UK’s indie community due to his socially-aware Twitter
activity – namely confronting the bizarre prevalence of misogyny in music journalism and at indie gigs. But when pushed on the subject, his response is in line with Hookworms' rejection of rock music’s traditionally egotistical nature. “I just care about certain things. I’m definitely aware of the pedestal ... But I don’t really care about being known, I’m not really interested in it. I don’t like the idea of being a frontman, I’m not particularly interested in being famous or anything like that, I just want to play music with my friends”. Our interview takes place as Hookworms are gearing up for the release of their sophomore album The Hum, which sees them make the transition from Nottinghambased independent Gringo Records to Domino offshoot Weird World. The anticipation is considerable – Pearl Mystic was a prominent record in 2013’s end-ofyear-lists, reaching the #1 spot in Loud and Quiet, Drowned in Sound and Brooklyn Vegan. The band’s debut self-titled EP was
initially released on a limited cassette run via Sun Ark, the imprint run by Cameron Stallones, aka Sun Araw. If Stallones hadn’t suggested it, they claim, they wouldn’t have thought of putting it out on a label at all. “I mean, we’ve been a band for five years now, and it’s only the last year anyone’s paid attention,” MJ says of the organic hype that surrounds the band. “But the whole thing’s been amazing. And to get to release music through someone like Domino is beyond anything I expected to do, because it’s like a dream label. But I’d still be doing it if we weren’t.” “I don’t think it’s ever been a conscious effort to do anything for the purpose of people buying it or writing about it,” adds guitarist JW. “In a weird way, it’s just happened. We just started doing it as a hobby, in my cellar ... and it has become a more time-consuming hobby than it was four years ago.” While it might seem overly modest for a band with such a high profile to describe the project as a ‘hobby’,
the band are simply acknowledging the realities of being in a band during a postrecession, digital era. “I’m not sure what people's concepts are of how many records we’ve sold, but in my head we’ve sold an astronomical amount for who we are,” says MB, the band’s bassist. “But yeah, if you take all the stuff we pay for out of it, like rent and all that kind of shit, then you’re still in the minus once you’ve split it five ways. There’s no way on earth we could live off this band.” While MJ’s achieved a steady enough income as a producer, the band also still hold down full-time jobs. So are they content with their circumstances? “Still good,” drummer JN nods. “Pretty solid for me,” shrugs SS, “it’s a nice balance”. And with some band members working in schools, Hookworms can only feasibly tour during term breaks, a limitation which MB claims maintains their passion for playing live. “I quite like that it’s restricting. Because there’s bands who tour for six months of the
year, and I wouldn’t be able to do it. We still play a fair few shows, but I think it makes them more special when it’s not day in, day out, same set over and over.” There’s a liberating honesty to Hookworms' approach, and wisdom in shunning a careerist mindset altogether during a time when record sales are excruciatingly low and the profit generated via streaming sites is practically nonexistent. But a lot of the time, there needs to be some finances for bands to exist at all. So, as musicians who were spawned by Leeds’ strongly-principled DIY scene, how do they feel about the awkward, increasingly common subject of corporate sponsorship? “When you’re deep in the DIY thing and you’re like 18, and someone you knew did a sponsored show you’d think ‘fucking sell-outs’ or whatever,” says MB, “but I’ve stopped thinking like that, I do understand it when you see how little money people make off bands,” he admits. MJ looks as if he’s thinking carefully about his answer.
“I’ve done records that have been paid for by people doing sponsored shows and things like that. Like, I did a record that was paid for by a band that were doing, like, a Made In Chelsea show, and they could never have afforded to record with me if not. So I can’t really say anything about that, because I paid my rent off it as well. It’s hard, isn’t it? Because that’s pretty much the only place where the money is. I mean, look at what happened to ATP, who were strongly anti-sponsorship, I mean regardless of anything else with them...” “They still owe us a grand,” MB interjects, “and I bet we’re at the bottom of their fucking list!”. The room erupts with laughter. During our conversation, the band are eager to shout out the underground bands among the UK’s indie community who’ve inspired them along the way. They speak passionately of the bands on Dan Reeves of Cold Pumas’ Brighton-based Faux Disc label, the work that Richard Phoenix (who plays in Tense Men and Sauna Youth) does with musicians with learning disabilities with his Constant Flux organisation, they cite Nottingham drone metal trio Kogumaza as a major influence and their deep knowledge of the North East’s scene ranges from now-defunct bands like Red Monkey and This Aint Vegas to newer projects such as School of Language, Field Music and The Week That Was. And, of course, they’re deeply affectionate about the heritage of Leeds’s music scene, name-checking acts such as Bilge Pump, That Fucking Tank, and the musicians in and affiliated with the Vibracathedral Orchestra ensemble, whose founding member Michael Flower, coincidentally, was the IT technician at the college JW attended. Hookworms are both proud and fully content with being based around the city. But a mentality exists, particularly within London, that to achieve a certain concept of ‘success’, bands should flock to the capital, where the vast majority of the England’s music press, promoters, labels and A&Rs congregate. But Hookworms don’t feel like being based in the North has hindered the project at all. “Some people, they get into their late 20s or early 30s and they’re still wanting to move to London to ‘make it’, that’s still a thing and it seems like such an outdated point of view. Especially with the internet,” MB argues. And then there’s the bleak socio-cultural consequences of London’s excruciatingly high rent and living expenses, which mean that young people without considerable financial backing from their parents are pretty much excluded from less profitable creative pursuits and careers in the industry. It’s a predicament which resonates with the band. “I have massive issues with both the London-centricity of
the creative industries and the culture of internships,” MJ declares, “there’s a huge barrier which means that they’re only open to privileged people.” We leave the band to get started with their rehearsal, and a few weeks later, we attend a sold out gig on The Hum’s promotional tour. The volume is earpunishingly loud, reverb-drenched guitars swim between MJ’s organ and JN and MB’s rhythmic pulse, which ensures that the sweat-soaked crowd keep dancing during the aural assault. Sadly MJ overstrains himself, and Hookworms’ following gigs in Newcastle and Glasgow are cancelled as he’s completely lost his voice. The band’s statement seems regretful, but we expect more due to the disappointment of their fans rather than the fact they’ve got a new album to push. Because regardless of whether or not they’re selling any records, or if people are showing up to their gigs, or if any magazines such as the one you’re holding are giving a shit, this is the kind of band who’ll always be making noise, whether it be in a garage, a basement, or the relative luxury of a dark, soundproofed unit in an industrial estate.
The Hum is released 10 November via Weird World
“Some people get into their late 20s or early 30s and they’re still wanting to move to London to ‘make it’, that seems like such an outdated point of view”
Winter Warmers 2014
WaRning Sign (CD/2xLP)
Unreleased Vinyl Session 09-013
Original Soundtrack by Cho Young-Wuk
Original Soundtrack by Craig Safan
Limited edition (of 750) orange/white swirl vinyl and (750) black/white splatter variant / DL card
Limited edition orange vinyl (of 500) / DL card Artwork by Laurent Durieux
Limited edition (of 750) red/white splatter vinyl includes Download Card
Limited edition (of 1250) orange vinyl / DL card Limited edition (of 1250) yellow vinyl / DL card
Original TV Soundtrack by Brian Reitzell
Original TV Soundtrack by Brian Reitzell
Original TV Soundtrack by Brian Reitzell
Original TV Soundtrack by Brian Reitzell
Season 1 Volume 1 (2xLP) Black Vinyl and ‘Tannum Brown’ variant includes DL Card (1000 of each pressed)
Season 1 Volume 2 (2xLP) Black Vinyl and ‘Amarone Grape’ variant includes DL Card (1000 of each pressed)
Season 2 Volume 1 (2xLP) Black Vinyl and ‘Travertine Grey’ variant includes DL Card (1000 of each pressed)
Season 2 Volume 2 (2xLP) Black Vinyl and ‘Hemochrome Red’ variant includes DL Card (1000 of each pressed)
Releasing Vinyl LPs, Collectable Editions, CD & Digital since 2003 www.invada.co.uk faR CRy: 4 (2xCD/3xLP) Original Game Soundtrack by Cliff Martinez Double CD out December, Triple LP available February 2015
The name of the song is Today More Than Any Other Day. The name of the band is Ought
Words: Billy Black Photography: Tom Johnson + Bex Day
The name of the city is Montreal. It’s been described as some kind of Mecca, a holy grail for artistic activity, for creativity, for – if you want to put it crudely – hipsters. Its fervent past has paved the way for a million bands to bubble and burst into life across every genre imaginable, cementing itself as a hotbed for all things alt. But the legendary loft spaces that birthed so many mythologised DIY scenes have since been cleared to make way for trendy coffee shops and eateries. It’s dive bars like Brasserie Beaubien in the city’s slowlyimproving Rosemont arrondissement that now provide a platform for young bands to kick off, make a racket and tear into the fabric of the musical landscape. And tear they will. With a force that only serves to solidify the city’s reputation, Ought have broken out of their own noise and dissonance and infected virtually everyone who’s been lucky enough to fall within earshot of the charmingly melodramatic, chaotic art-punk of their debut album Today More Than Any Other Day and the postalbum creative burst of its follow-up EP Once More With Feeling. It’s a frostbitten afternoon in Montreal when we catch up with Ought via Skype. They’ve retreated to their Rosemont apartment for respite from their US tour. “It’s getting really cold here. We’re only home for a week so we’re trying not to turn our heating on. It sucks, but we’re fine,” says drummer and violinist Tim Keen with his expatriated Australian twang. “When we get back proper at the end of November we’ll hopefully go back into the mode that we were in. We all play in other bands as well. So that will involve playing at some local, small venues.” Keen lives with the band’s guitarist and vocalist Tim Beeler and keyboardist Matt May. In the background Beeler makes eggs as Matt shares his concerns about the fate of Montreal’s venues. “We’ve played loft spaces and it’s definitely been a big of the part of the Montreal music scenes that have existed over the last 10 or more years. A lot of them got shut down though. They’re often shortlived,” he tells us. The house they share is right in the heart of the district they have grown up in as a band. “Brasserie Beaubien is a really good bar that’s a block from our house,” says Tim, “You feel like you can get away with anything there, that people will be excited by the weird stuff you do.” Of course, the aforementioned closure of less profitable venues is a cultural as well as physical shift, and the larger sociopolitical issue at hand is gentrification and its creeping, overbearing thrust. “There’s an area, St Henry, which is like an old working class area that’s just getting
torn up.” Keen tells us, “It depends on the area I guess and how gentrified it is already or how working class it was to start with.” So what about Rosemont then? “It’s not happening as egregiously where we live, but that may be because it’s already a little bit gentrified here,” he ponders. To unravel a myth, we begin to probe the band on their oft-discussed political leanings, a reputation stemming in part from the four friends’ involvement in the Quebec student riots of 2012. But when picking apart Beeler’s hyperreal, David Byrne-esque rants (“And today more than any other day / I am prepared to make the decision between two percent and whole milk / And today more than any other day / look into the eyes of the old man on the
surreal.” But is that the point of Ought? We ask whether they feel a responsibility to reflect on the human condition through their art. “I think in terms of what we present, it’s definitely based on conversations we have, communities we’re interacting with. There’s an attempt to be conscientious or thoughtful to the extent we can be or try to be,” Matt responds, with Keen adding “Given that all art is gonna influence someone to behave a certain way, do we feel responsible to be mindful of that?” He sighs, before answering his own question. “Look, part of not being a shit is not telling other people how to behave, and we fulfill our responsibility by trying to be as mindful as we can in the art that we make. I think that’s true of music and of literature. I don’t
“Part of not being a shit is not telling other people how to behave, and we fulfill our responsibility by trying to be as mindful as we can in the art that we make” – Tim Keen
train and say ‘Well everything is going to be OK’”) and attempting to link them to the issues facing Montreal, we fumble around trying to make a link between the band’s sonic dissonance and their deconstructive worldview. At this point Keen begins to tire of the line of questioning, quickly rebuffing our rambling, fantastical theories. “I know the argument, I think it’s valuable. It’s true for a lot of people, it allows them to break out of hegemonic conventions. I don’t know how relevant that is to us as much as it might be more relevant that atonality just sounds good or feels appropriate for what we’re trying to convey.” We refer back to an article in which the band discussed postmodern author Don Delillo and his book White Noise, and they burst into embarrassed laughter. “We’ve all read that book,” Keen laughs. “We all read it in one week and I guess in that week we were talking about it as if it’s like our manifesto or something. It’s a good book. White Noise does something cool in terms of reflecting modernity and making it seem strange or
think I see that great a separation between the responsibility of the two things.” We’re tweaking a nerve, Keen’s drifting away. And so we quickly shift the subject back towards the band’s home city and home lives, the domestic realities of Ought. “I have other bands, I work on a label and I’ll be recording friends’ bands” Keen reflects on his bulging schedule of musical endeavours. “God, I think I need a hobby” he jokes wearily. “Maybe we’ll get a cat. That would be good.” With little left to say, our conversation draws to a close. A cruel winter waits, the band hole up in their adopted city. It’s impossible to imagine Ought anywhere else. They are home. The name of the city is Montreal.
Once More With Feeling is out now via Constellation Records
In cahoots with his brother Jake, Dinos Chapman has been â€œtickling the bourgeoisieâ€? for 20 years. On a grim day in Hastings, we meet the friendly face of the void Words: Augustin Macellari Portrait: Tom Johnson Installation Photography: Mike Fear
36 Dinos Chapman is normally the quieter half of the Chapman Brothers. Naughty Boys of the 90s Brit Art scene, they’ve been denounced for years in the press as polluters of minds and merchants of perversity. Conventional wisdom has it that their challenging work manifests in themselves as arrogance and a predilection for confrontation. They’ve famously thrown journalists out of their studio for asking the wrong questions, and made all sorts of inflammatory statements about who should and shouldn’t be allowed to look at art (it was most recently children who were unceremoniously declared not welcome). Aside from a shared art practice, each brother also has an extracurricular activity. Jake is, apparently, an enthusiastic writer of philosophical and critical texts; Dinos, meanwhile, is an unexpectedly accomplished recording artist. Last year saw his debut, Luftbobler, released on the Vinyl Factory label. A kind of techno album, Throbbing Gristle, Autechre and Aphex were all audible, luftbobbling around. It’s disarmingly good. It is in appropriately apocalyptic weather that I sit down to interview Dinos. Not normally excessively prone to pre-match nerves, butterflies are making themselves known in anticipation of what I fear will be The Interview From Hell. However, these butterflies are quickly dispelled (along with any hopes of clever-clever pathetic fallacy allusions and intrusions in the text) as the artist reveals himself to be actually quite a charming interviewee. He’s spent the morning doing press for the show, and drawing tattoos on Guardian journalists (to be gone over by a pro with a gun). Later, he draws us one: a skull and crossbones. “Get that,” he says. “No, wait, get that, with a swastika on its head.” I don’t. The occasion of our interview is the press viewing of In the Realm of the Unmentionable, the brothers’ latest (crowd funded) exhibition at the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings. It marks a homecoming for the brothers, who have made no bones about the grimness of the place in the second half of the last century. Elsewhere, Jake has described the “odd characters” that lurked about, and a place on the railway where decapitated bodies would turn up. I ask Dinos about it, during our photoshoot. Squinting into drizzle, surrounded by rusty machinery, he describes its violence; subcultural groups battling out of boredom. One of his mates, he says, was stabbed in both thighs whilst sitting in the pub. And knocked off his scooter. “He was only little; the world’s smallest mod.” Back inside, the exhibition is spread across the ground floor of the Jerwood Gallery. Outside there’s a bronze, Sturm und Drang, a sculptural reworking of a Goya etching, one of those from the series collectively
entitled The Disasters of War. A recurring source of inspiration for the Chapman brothers, they engaged directly with the material in 2003, drawing perverse clownand puppy-heads over an historically significant 1937 edition of the prints. The original Goya on which this sculpture is based depicts three mutilated men strung up on a gallows-shaped tree. One, partially obscured, is hung by his legs, one by his arms and the third, victim of the most extreme mutilation, is himself divided in thirds; inverted body, decapitated head and severed arms. All have been castrated. A previous sculpture by the Chapmans depicts the scene fairly literally. Time has clearly passed since then, and the decay is evident; this tree is writhing with maggots, the human forms reduced to bone. The severed head, in the original mustachioed and oddly serene, is a fiendish skull, with bat ears and a clown’s nose. Whilst initially repulsive, Sturm und Drang in fact manifests a kind of bathos the Chapmans have been riffing on throughout their career. Its grotesquery is reminiscent of 80s splatter films, campy and melodramatic. The pop-cultural cliché of the scary clown further serves to distance the sculpture from true horror; it is outdated and loud. “When people talk about our work,” Dinos says, “the thing they sometimes forget is that it’s 99% funny and 1% whatever else. The most obvious thing about it is that it’s funny, and what’s funny about it is that people want to take it seriously.” This sculpture comes from the same place as some of the most notorious works they’ve made. Dinos brings up Fuck Face (1994) unprompted. “A child mannequin with a cock on its nose. To take that seriously, you’ve got to seriously limit your mental faculties. Essentially, the thing that binds everything together is humour – the darkest kind of humour possible. Because that’s the way that you defend yourself from the horror.” This is pure Freud; in a 1927 essay, Humour, he asserted that, “Humour has something liberating about it, but it also has something of grandeur and elevation … the ego refuses to be distressed by the provocations of reality, to let itself be compelled to suffer. It insists that it cannot be affected by the traumas of the external world; it shows, in fact, that such traumas are no more than occasions for it to gain pleasure.” As Dinos puts it, “If you can laugh at someone while they’re beating your head in, they’re not beating your head in.” Any research into the Chapman brothers will highlight their familiarity with ‘controversy’. The charge most frequently levelled is that they’re out to shock. Their response ranges from evasion, to pedantry, to emphatic denial. During our interview,
“When people talk about our work, the thing they sometimes forget is that it’s 99% funny and 1% whatever else”
Dinos errs on the side of the latter two; “We’ve always been accused of being scare mongers, and out to shock people [but] I don’t think art has ever had the ability to shock people. Shock is something that is applied to real things, like seeing a photograph of a child starving to death whilst a vulture waits to eat the corpse. That’s fucking shocking, but it’s not the photograph that’s shocking, it’s the fact that it’s a real thing that’s happening in the world and nothing is being done about it.” If art fundamentally consists of Form and Content, Dinos suggests that only the Content should provide the shocks. The issue is that this is a semantic point too nuanced for most to bother engaging deeply with; it’s clearly frustrating that people keep coming back to it. “You realise that it’s not the answers that are wrong, it’s that the questions are coming from a point of view that’s resentful and reactionary.” Asking instead about provocation elicits what is probably a more honest, certainly a
more straightforward, answer: “Provocation is different. I think knowing that someone is liable to be shocked by something doesn’t mean that you are trying to shock someone. It means that you are appropriating an effect, or a perceived effect that might be misinformed. If you know that the middle classes, or middle England, are going to crap themselves because they’ve just seen a mannequin with a cock on its face, doesn’t mean it’s shocking. It means that those people have a very poor set of responses, which you can use.” The Content of much of their work is, as Dinos would have it, playful. It is the vulgarity, gore, aggression or outright nastiness of their Form, which – mistakenly, though understandably – causes shock and outrage. Their riffing (and ripping) on the conservative social mores of middle England (both the indignant, harrumphing UKIP Home Counties kind and the chin stroking, Guardian-reading bourgeoisie) is as defensible as prodding a sore tooth.
39 Their goading is encouraged by the national attitude towards contemporary art, for which the artists have to shoulder some, if not most, of the blame. As part of the YBA crowd, they’re responsible for its popularisation in this country and the elevation of its appreciation (and criticism) to a national pastime. It’s their own fault if “what’s happened recently is that everyone has become interested in art, but generally at an unqualified level.” The relentless questioning around ‘shock’ has, of course, led to introspective discussion on the part of the brothers. “Jake and I have talked about it a lot, and have thought about it a lot, why it can’t shock, or why its prime objection is not shock. You end up having to go around the back of the question: is it more that the question is misinformed? Is expecting art to be shocking misinformed?” This redirecting, or inversion, of the question also offers an insight into the other major original sculptural work in the exhibition. The Sum of all Evil is located in the same room as its cousin in resurrection. In 2004 a fire destroyed the Momart (an art storage, shipping and handling company) warehouse in east London. Among the works lost were Jake and Dinos Chapman’s Fucking Hell and Tracy Emin’s Everyone I have Ever Slept With 1963-1995. Fucking Hell was a sprawling, nightmare world. A diorama that mixed Bosch with Warhammer, it depicted thousands of tiny Nazis doing diabolical things to each other. Rather than remake it in its entirety, the Chapmans instead opted to make a few, smaller and different. The Sum of all Evil is one of these. In a moment of unusual malice, they also remade Emin’s Everyone… and are exhibiting it here, with the title, The Same only Better. The Sum of all Evil demands the attention in this room, though. Fronting as the opposite to Sturm und Drang, far from repulsive it looks funny; obsessive and nerdy. Vitrines filled with models in a tabletop game landscape. Close up, details emerge and funny they indeed are; a field of Ronald McDonalds being subjected to crucifixion by zombie skeletons with Swastika arm-bands; God’s severed feet standing proud on a hill, clad in socks and sandals (the ineffectual beard-stroker). In one corner, the B-Movie visual tropes that inspired them in their youth are again checked, though here they’re more like an Ed Wood film than a Video Nasty, as dinosaurs crowd in beside spaceships. Here, though, we begin to experience a shift in perception. Where Sturm und Drang unfolded bathetically, this, like the Chapmans approaching the question of shock from the other side, flips. Humour starts to give way to something really quite nasty. The relentlessness and detail of
the carnage depicted is tiring to look at. No single flicker of hope is offered for any figure in the diorama; it is nihilistic. Dinos explains: “Post Vietnam there’s an incredible increase in Zombie films. Zombie films as a social comment; normal horror films have a kind of morality that zombie films don’t have, because zombies aren’t personified – they’re oceanic. There’s no vampire that you can kill, everything is fucked.” The scale of the zombie apocalypse film diffuses any sort of ‘badness’ to such a point that it re-jigs morality; zombies are neither bad nor good, they’re amoral. That said, one of the most harrowing aspects of the The Sum of all Evil vitrines is the industrious glee with which the Chapman’s swastikatoting skeletons go about their malevolent, gruesome business. Dinos’s allusions to the amorality of the 20th century – Holocaust, Vietnam, Cold War, Nuclear Threat – are something of a red herring. While the Chapmans present evil and wickedness, they do so not to defend it but to mock; social mores, preconceptions, humanity. Whilst aspects of their practice, and of the work in the Jerwood show, are playful, it is the ostensibly benign that packs a real punch. The resonance comes from their genuinely bleak outlook, startling in its disguise as verbosity and humour. Dinos is unapologetic, and therein lies the power both of the artists, and the work. “The idea of making hopeful, friendly art is a total nonsense to me, because generally the world is a horrible place.”
In The Realm Of The Unmentionable runs at the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, until 7 January 2015
Created exclusively for CRACK by Dominic Owen \ dominic-owen.co.uk
“Perfecting that energy”: already a grime stalwart at 25, Preditah is hunting down the next hype Words: Tom Watson Photography: Orlando Morris
In late October, Red Bull corralled together four separate crews on four separate stages in London’s Earls Court. Custom dubplates burst system stacks as volcanic MCs spat scorn towards opposing teams. This year’s Culture Clash seemed different to those previous. The format hadn’t changed, but the climate was furious. Faux-vogue blowhards A$AP Mob floundered in the early rounds, their acclaim instantly pillaged by a crowd hungry for something homegrown. The night belonged to Rebel Sound and Boy Better Know. Tongue rolls, fingers pistolling the air, bars deading bars. Rebel Sound may have taken the trophy but BBK took the glory. It was a poignant moment for 25-year-old producer, Preditah. “That was the best night I’ve ever been to, period. The energy there was unreal. People came out to see a show, and they got a show.” Birmingham-based Preditah has every right to eulogise the event. Within a concentrated timescale he has forged an idiosyncratic production standard indebted to early grime, vocal-led garage and sugary pop music. He speaks with earnest veracity on the genres he takes heed from. “Whether we won or not, we just loved the fact that we gave them grime at its purest and everyone received it well,” Preditah
speaks with a supine delivery, “But 20,000 people? That’s just crazy. It was scary. “Big up to Rebel Sound though. They came for war. They were well prepared. Their dubplates were very direct. Then they brought out Tempa T. I’m not going to lie, that broke my heart a bit. I realised they were there to get real.” Despite crew controversies, Preditah holds fast to his allegiances. Having flourished during grime’s inception, he’s seen the genre through its testy highs and lows. Most recently, the genre has seen what could be lazily labelled as a ‘resurgence’. “I think German Whip got everyone excited again. It found its way everywhere. Before that there weren’t any grime tunes that had that scope, especially in terms of vocals. The last track to achieve that kind of notoriety was (Tempa T’s) Next Hype. Obviously Skepta and Stormzy are still being well received. There’s just loads of small projects that are finding their public grounding. It’s so open right now. But really, it doesn’t matter what it is, grime or not. If it’s exciting people will take to it.” Preditah’s vested heritage within grime is duly noted. Yet his motley sonic pallet shows greater breadth than your archetypal selectors. “I used to care about genre. Now, I just care about if it’s quality or not.
It’s all about energy. I care more about the energy of the tune regardless of genre. As a producer, I’m more critically concerned about what I play out. That’s what I’m attempting to do with my future releases. I don’t want to bring out anything that isn’t exciting. It’s about perfecting that energy.” As Preditah drafts out his future ventures, club-centric intentions become evident. “I’ve grown bored of MCs. I grew up on MCs. Currently, I’m just focussed on working with singers. I still want to make tracks that stimulate but I’m more interested in appealing to the general public rather than purely for a small group of amateur MCs that want to spit a few bars. There’s already too much of that. I just want to experiment. “I tweeted that I’m not bringing out anymore grime instrumental EPs in particular. For example, that tune I wrote with Solo 45, Feed Them To The Lions. That’s got a lot of hype at the minute. But people keep asking for the instrumental. Why would I do that? The vocal and the beat go hand in hand to make the hype. A lot of MCs and producers are ignoring that there’s a bigger road out there. When you’ve got a singer’s voice you can really relate to the tune. For me, my heart’s not in just dropping grime beats anymore. No specific genre, just genuine songs.”
Preditah’s true to his words. As we speak, his latest remix collaboration with pop belle, Jessie Ware is prepping to manifest online. “That was the first time I constructed a remix in front of someone’s face. I’ve done remixes for years but that was the first to be called in for someone who is already established. You can always make a sick tune in your bedroom, but when you’re in front of someone and you’re using their vocals, the pressure is very real.” This visionary burden inflicted upon the young producer seemingly explains why he has paused his music degree in Birmingham. His spearheading objective to revive club music is most likely taking up the majority of his time. “I’ll be everywhere next year. I’m still doing beats for Skepta, JME, C4 and those guys. And despite my opinions, I’m never not going to do grime. I just want everything to mature rather than do the same thing over and over again.” Preditah appears at The Warehouse Project as part of Annie Mac Presents, Store Street, Manchester, 28 November
Aesthetic: Fatima Since moving to London from her native Stockholm eight years ago, singersongwriter Fatima has become synonymous with Eglo Records, the label run by Alex Nutt and Sam ‘Floating Points’ Shepherd. Her formidable talents have been established via a steady stream of solo material and contributing vocals to the cutting-edge productions of Funkineven and Scratcha DVA. Her debut LP Yellow Memories, released earlier this year, was a triumphant realisation of her potential, with her honeyed voice traversing Floating Pointspenned RnB and soul. More recently Fatima has split her life between London and New York, and has been performing with the Eglo Live Band providing the perfect platform for her unique raw expression.
A true character, Fatima eschews the typically understated look of many of her peers in dance music for a style that is as bright, warm and inviting as the delicate sincerity of her sound. Nurturing a timeless look, Fatima’s style draws from the elegance of 60s soul and the freedom of the 70s as much as it does the bossy conviction of 90s RnB. Our shoot with Fatima paid homage to these influences, and we were thrilled when her boyfriend and photographer Sebastian Hallqvist agreed to step in for some shots. Taking place in London on a day off from her Yellow Memories Tour and styled in Meadham Kirchhoff and Maxine Beiny, this month’s Aesthetic indulges in Fatima’s refreshingly sunny demeanor.
Photographer: Dean Davies Stylist: Charlotte James Prop Stylist: Sarah Gobourne Make Up: John Maclean Photographers assistant: Hannah Coorg Stylist Assistant: Abigail Hazard
Opposite Page Jacket by James Long Skirt by ZDDZ Boots and tights Fatima's own This Page Raincoat by D'amigo Rainwear Shirt by Meadham Kirchhoff for Topshop
45 Can you describe your personal style? Whatever I’m feeling in the moment. I like changes. I get inspired by the 60s, 70s, 90s ... I’ve always loved dressing up, ever since I was a kid. Although it’s fun to be pretty, sometimes what’s on the edge of ugly can be more interesting than the predictably beautiful. Were there any musicians whose style you admired when you were growing up? I watched a lot of MTV plus other Swedish music shows and through the videos you always clocked mad styles. I remember Missy Elliott’s videos having the coolest inspirational clothes and Hype Williams videos with popping colours and crazy costumes. But I always loved second hand shopping and used to do my own thing so it didn’t matter what the source was; sometimes I looked like a child from the flowery 60s and sometimes I had baggy camo trousers and tees or long dresses and turbans. Do you have a favourite record sleeve? One of my favorites is Ohio Players – Honey. Some recent press has described the end of ‘peacocking’ in fashion. Do you still feel drawn to bright colours? I don’t really care about fashion. Although you can get inspiration from it I’m more into style and whatever feels good to me. I think I’ll always love playing with different colours; it helps brighten up my life. At times I might feel like wearing something that really stands out but sometimes I might be feeling all black everything. It doesn’t matter if you’re Yayoi Kusama or Wednesday from The Addams Family, as long as you’re doing you. There are plenty of collaborations on Yellow Memories, were there any experiences that stick out
to you for being particularly inspiring? One moment I loved was when I was in LA recording with ScoopDeVille. We took a break from the studio and went out in the sun and I saw hummingbirds flying really close to us. I’d never seen hummingbirds before so that was pretty magical. Can you tell us about the inspiration for the song Ridin Round (Sky High)? I think I was on a cloud while writing that one. The song is about loneliness; being stuck in a daze. Riding down the freeway dreaming of a future moment accompanied by something higher and larger than yourself, being showered by psychedelic coloured sunrays and getting saved from the mundane. You touched on the rise of narcissism on social media in your track Technology – how do you feel about using social media as a medium to express yourself? I think it’s all well as long as you’re not getting too deep into it without being able to view yourself objectively within it. It’s not a crime to document your life and take pictures of yourself and it’s amazing how you can get updates from all around the world within a second. But I think it becomes problematic when you’ve become addicted to certain aspects of it and you’re getting more and more narcissistic. You got to find some type of balance out there.
This Page Jacket by Maxine Beiny Earring's by Gogo Phillip Opposite Page Sebastian wears Jumper by Christopher Shannon Jewellery by Mawi Sunglasses by Heidi London
Brought up in Sweden and living between London and New York, is there a city which you identify more with style-wise? Since growing up in Stockholm, Swedish design has always had a big influence on me and been a natural part of my life, the clean shapes and the simplicity. My mum loved taking me to antique stores to observe different styles; she used to have a shop called Boutique Afrique where she imported textiles from West Africa (mainly Gambia and Senegal), jewellery and drums. I grew up sitting on piles of textiles while my mum was haggling in the markets of Serrekunda and Banjul. All those prints and colours snuck their way into my brain.
London has got a lot of dope styles too; I like the slicked hairstyles, golden jewellery and the simple looks. New York’s got hiphop breathing through the city, sneakers on point, fresh combinations of colours and laid-back characters being stylish without trying too hard. I feel like a lot of people are real free there and aren’t afraid to be themselves. A lot are stuck in time machines too, which is pretty amazing. If you’ve got some time off from touring, what would your ideal day in London/ New York be like? In London, maybe going to the Tate, I’m not there very often but I really do enjoy it. I might get some good Vietnamese food and maybe see some live shows and chill. In New York I’d probably be walking around town just looking around and taking it easy, and definitely eating some fantastic food, either Mexican at LA Burrito or Ethiopian at Bunna Cafe or Arepas at Caracas. There’s way too much delicious food in that city that’s not to be missed out on!
Yellow Memories is out now via Eglo Records. Catch Fatima at Horizon Festival, Bankso Ski Resort, Bulgaria, 7-13 March 2015
Madame T worn as dress by Pleats Please Issey Miyake Necklace by Urban Outfitters Earrings by Mawi
the lost brothers
l yk ke l i
november 2014 10 O2 academy, bristol 12 O2 shepherdâ€™s bush empire 14 uea, norwich 15 O2 academy, oxford
st pan cras o l d ch u rch , l o n do n wed 1 2 n ov
eve n t i m a p o l l o, hammersmith t h u 13 n ov
b ro n c h o / purple
d ingwalls, london f ri 14 nov
november 2014 17 the institute, birmingham 19 O2 abc, glasgow 21 eventim apollo, hammersmith 23 O2 academy brixton 25 the ritz, manchester
november 2014 17 the castle hotel, manchester 18 sebright arms, london 19 the prince albert, brighton 20 exchange, bristol 21 the shacklewell arms, london
j o ey bada$$
ra g n b o n e m a n
t he lexington, lo ndon wed 19 nov
november 2014 19 riverside, newcastle 20 the institute, birmingham 21 academy 2, manchester 22 concorde 2, brighton 24 marble factory, bristol 25 O2 shepherdâ€™s bush empire
st a r t t h e b u s , b r i sto l s at 2 2 n ov
t h e n at i o n al
walking on cars
heaven, london t ue 02 dec
t h e O 2 , l o n do n wed 2 6 n ov
dingwalls, london thu 27 nov
s ay l o u l o u
november 29 brudenell social club, leeds 30 the castle hotel, manchester december 02 the prince albert, brighton 03 hare & hounds, birmingham 08 the louisiana, bristol 09 bodega, nottingham
eventim apollo, hammersmith sat 29 nov O2 academy, bournemouth sun 30 nov
h e ave n , l o n d o n thu 04 dec
ivy & gold
bo rderline, london sun 07 dec
h oxto n squ a re ba r & k i tch e n , l o n do n mo n 08 de c
ro u n d h o u s e st u d i o, l o n d o n tue 09 dec
first aid kit
o slo, london mon 15 dec
january 2015 16 symphony hall, birmingham 20 city hall, newcastle 21 royal concert hall, nottingham 25 uea, norwich 27 eventim apollo, hammersmith
january 2015 18 the green door store, brighton 20 O2 academy, birmingham 22 the garage, london
Andrew Jumper by James Long buy t ic ke t s at live nat io n.co. uk Trousers by Issey Miyake Boots and accessories Andrews own
Lycra, googly eyes and goldfish: kitsch retrofuturism, the Cassandra Verity Green way
On the wall are three neon bright rubber gloves, covered in googly eyes and pom-poms. There are swatches of devoré-printed lycra and slithers of turquoise blue plastic. Hanging from a rail are several massive, irresistibly tactile – like psychedelic seaweed or balls of yarn tangled by giant kittens – in lime green, white and bubblegum pink. Here, in a multicoloured corner of a studio in Bow, is the doorway to the world of Cassandra Verity Green. “Just, brightness! I can’t help it. I’m just drawn to everything bright and fun and colourful. I love having fun with fashion and not taking it too seriously.” A boundless enthusiasm for craft is evident when talking to Cassandra Verity Green about her work, which centres on colour, texture and most importantly, knitwear. Her 2013 graduate collection, inspired by Esther Williams – swimmer and star of Hollywood’s halcyon years – and taking its name from her 1949 film Neptune’s Daughter, gathered beaded crop tops, the aforementioned voluminous knits and some contentious fish bowl backpacks (the RSPCA were were less than amused, yet far from being “replaceable ornaments”, the fish in question were Green’s own pets). On their heads models wore white retro bathing caps, streaks of tangerine hair peaking out from beneath. The lycra-based collection was heavily embellished and labour-intensive. One dress, so laden with clear, icicle-shaped beads that we can’t lift it off the rail with one hand, took six people two weeks to finish. “For my graduate collection I was looking at 50s inspirations, and then giving it a futuristic twist. It wasn’t something that could be reproduced, it was more of a creative exploration,” Green explains. In the year that ensued, Green set up her own label. Her AW14 collection, a mix of beaded white fishnet and pastel camouflage bodycon looks followed on where Neptune’s Daughter left off, distilled into more wearable pieces with the same brand of kitsch-retro-futurism that the designer looks set to make her own. Swirling beaded lines snaked down the body which, along with the fishnet revealed skin for a look that harked back to the 80s, clumpy marshmallow yarn sections on the hips and at the cuffs betraying Green’s love of texture. Basically, the collection would be just too straight without them. “I like fun, silly elements. I just think that the format in which quite a lot of things are done are, I find, a bit boring. I feel like back in the day, people were having more fun on the runways. I want to play around with it and have a bit of fun.” The bodycon elements of Green’s work are at the core of her aesthetic. Even those big tangled showpieces from her graduate
collection had sheer stretch lycra as its bedrock and in her ensuing collections it’s a mainstay, either as Esther Williams-style bathing suits or a clinging dress decorated with lines of plastic tubes. Her fascination with lycra has been quickened since joining forces with her sponsor Santoni – an Italian knitting machine manufacturer with whom she forged a professional relationship in the months between graduating and launching her label. Earlier this year, Green travelled to the company’s Shanghai base to work with a team of technicians to develop techniques and acquaint herself with knitting on an industrial scale. “I did a four year degree and their machines are like nothing I’d ever seen before, so I was learning from scratch again. [Santoni] produce more for underwear and sportswear so I’ve been learning a lot about the technical aspects of certain knit structures on a really intricate level.” Green’s enthusiasm for technology is infectious and she’s already working with Santoni to establish a programme which will offer students the chance to work with the company’s team and machinery in Shanghai to explore the possibilities of knitwear and fabric construction. It’s generous, we suggest, to share this diamond of a manufacturer with other knitwear designers. Green laughs at the notion of keeping it to herself. Clearly she’s got confidence in her own work, admitting that for every collection she has to narrow down thousands of ideas to create a cohesive body that best expresses what she wants to say. Autumn/Winter 2015 is looming, details of which are difficult to squeeze out of her – it’s meant to be a surprise. What she will say though, is “I’ve been working into things with embellishments and beading, which I think will always be there with my work. I still want to have the handcrafted element and incorporating embellishment is so important to me.” Enamoured as she is with craft, with knitwear, and with the technology that pushes it forward, Cassandra Verity Green’s future is undoubtedly bright, skin tight and probably fluffy.
Find out more about Cassandra Verity Green at cassandraveritygreen.com
51 51 Words: Cassandra Kirk Photography: Abi Green
“I don’t like wearing sunglasses – you can’t see the real colours”
52 A little way into our conversation, Aaron Coyes of LA-based neo-dub duo Peaking Lights stops me. “Before we go on to the next thing, can you hold on a sec? I’m actually dropping off the dog with my parents.” There’s some clattering on the other end, a distant ‘OK’, and then we carry on just where we left off: discussing the divine mysticism of numerology. There’s an illustrative quality to this moment: just as they must function as a band, Peaking Lights are also a family. Aaron formed the duo with his wife Indra Dunis in 2008, and in the same year they began selfreleasing music. Six years later they’re about to release their newest record, Cosmic Logic, on Domino offshoot Weird World. More pop-centric and punchier than its comparatively zoned-out predecessor Lucifer, Cosmic Logic incorporates piano house and neon-lit, vintage electro to their psychedelic dub formula, continuing their mission to construct newer visions from fragments of the past. “It’s from collecting, having a bunch of different influences,” Aaron explains. “There is a power in that history. You have to look in the rear view
Through the marriage of the cosmic and the domestic, Peaking Lights have fostered a recording process as homely as it is bewildering
53 mirror even if you are driving forward.” Yet in terms of the aesthetic and thematic qualities of the record, the veins of influence and intention become a little harder to trace. My interest in the significance of Cosmic Logic as a title leads Aaron onto a potted history of the duo’s album names. “All the titles for our records are really random. With Imaginary Falcons, we were out living in the woods and one day I thought I heard a falcon but hadn’t, then the phrase ‘imaginary falcon’ stuck in my head. Then with 936, we had to commute to work every morning from the woods, and I was driving in thinking ‘you start at 9, then by 9:36 you're already thinking about lunch time!” While these stories may suggest an arbitrary approach to album naming, divine coincidence began to reveal itself. “We also looked at the numerology of 936, which gave that title some personal resonance. Then with Cosmic Logic, I had it in my head with a ‘ck’ at the end of each word. When we looked up the numerology of it spelt correctly it came out at 936! We were like ‘shit, we have to use it’.” It isn’t entirely clear how seriously
Aaron and Indra take these cosmic interventions. One track on their latest offering, Telephone Call, is framed from an extraterrestrial perspective with the refrain “Telephone call, telephone call from space / Calling all, calling all the human race.” Yet far from seeing this imagery as obscure, Aaron defends its accessible capacity. “Lyrically, with the whole record, we wanted to push ourselves to write lyrics that were more narrative based, with universal ideas. Telephone Call was one we wrote together. We were inspired by that Carpenters cover of the Klaatu song, Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft. We thought that was a really cool concept, but we also loved how Karen Carpenter just owns it. We were just inspired by the lyrics but also the confidence of it.” It’s clear that Peaking Lights’ engagement with galactic thematics is rooted in pop philosophy; the idea that something as outlandish as alien contact has the power to relate to any listener, a relationship built on popular-absurdism. But the same cannot be said for all of their new material. Breakdown, at the tail-end of the album, carries a far more personal focus. “That
song was really reflective. It was part of our frustrations with our own working process. I would play, and Indra would watch the kids, then I would go in the house and watch the kids and she would play her parts, which ended up feeling like we were recording the record separately. So the frustration of trying to write these songs ended up in Breakdown. Breakdown, it was personal, much more than Telephone Call, where we were having fun.” While these frustrations aren’t immediately readable through the album’s palpable optimism, Aaron certainly reinforced that putting family first, and a band second, does provide complications of a particular sort. “We’ve been playing in bands since we were teenagers and toured extensively for years, but doing it with kids is a whole different game. Now our kids are getting older, we can’t just play every city and go on eight-hour drives. In fact we can’t do more than six hour drives because the kids will just lose it.” As their reputation as purveyors of psych-pop continues to grow, so does their family. “With one kid you can get away with partying and being fairly normal, but with two kids I’m basically
fully sober now. I wake up, play a show, get back late and then we have to be up at six in the morning. Even if we are on the road we have to be fully present. They don’t have the understanding of ‘a tour,’ it’s their world which you have to participate in and give them your full attention.” That being said, it couldn’t be suggested that Aaron resents this situation, in fact he is positively revelling in the future this current period is cultivating. “It is rewarding, the way they are growing up. Our oldest son Mikko can already hold a drumbeat, which might seem small but is so exciting. I feel that being around music, and being able to travel is having a real impact. Plus it means we can be there to raise our kids, which is a privilege. We can be there for them and lead a creative lifestyle.” Ultimately Peaking Lights are fostering environments; allowing the functional working environment of recording and touring to compliment the nurturing environment of parenthood. Thrillingly, amongst all of this, they have also found the creative space on Cosmic Logic to foster completely new, and bewildering, environments in the cosmos of their creativity.
Cosmic Logic is out now via Weird World
Words: Angus Harrison Photography: Ross Trevail
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A spotlight flickers on Shanti Celeste’s devotion to timeless dancefloor cuts Words: Steven Dores Photography: Graeme Bateman
“If I was an animal, what animal would I be?” Shanti Celeste is sitting cross-legged on her bedroom floor, thinking hard. “A flamingo crossed with a panther”. So you’d be the Pink Panther, we suggest. “Oh my god! No way! I would as well. That’s crazy. Do you reckon that’s what they were thinking?”
solid 12”s, she’s now focused on making a steady impact further afield. Her breezy, emotive productions had largely flown under the radar until now, but with a release on Julio Bashmore’s Broadwalk imprint attracting wider attention to her dusty, vocal-tinged style of house and classic electro sounds, that’s set to change.
When we meet Celeste at her Bristol home she’s in good sprits, if a little wary about how her career has gathered momentum over the past few months. Yet even her insecurities are relayed with the same warm, down-to-earth appeal that shines through each of her productions to date. “I’m not that confident as a DJ,” she tells us with remarkable sincerity. “If the gig starts well then I’m really confident. If it starts out a bit rocky and there’s not that many people there… I find it really hard playing to an empty room. The whole time I’m thinking it’s empty because of me, and I can’t get the vibe.”
More recently, a well-received Resident Advisor mix and a spot on FACT’s list of underrated DJs is drumming up a considerable online profile. It quickly becomes evident, however, that swelling acclaim doesn’t necessarily translate into swelling confidence, and Shanti is yet to fully find her place. “I’ve had a lot of bookings where I don’t know if this is the kind of night I should be playing” she sighs. “It’s frustrating during your set when you can see that people aren’t quite feeling it, it just makes you think ‘eugh, is it me? Do they not like any of the tunes that I’m playing?’ But then I get booked for places in Gothenburg, or Dance Tunnel, and it’s like ‘yeah, these people are here to see me, they think I’m good and they love what I’m doing.’ Then you can relax into it and play the best set ever, because you can just do what you do.”
Disregarding this display of shakiness, Shanti Celeste is on an upward trajectory. The Chilean-born producer cut her teeth working at her adopted hometown’s muchloved Idle Hands record store, and after embedding herself in the city’s scene she’s become one of Bristol’s most celebrated selectors. With the help of a series of
Co-running the BRSTL imprint alongside Idle Hands boss Chris Farrell and
producer/DJ Rhythmic Theory, her approach to the label – BRSTL has been releasing 12”s from a tight-knit community of producers since 2011, such as the soulful house constructions of Outboxx and Jay L – exposes a quality observable in her own work: a commitment to considered, ageless sound. “We want to release house music that won’t be flash-in-the-pan,” she explains. “There are some house tunes I’ve liked for years, and I know that I’ll like forever. I’m hoping that we have a good ear for tracks like that; timeless house tunes that won’t just be trendy now. When we have this house era again in 10 years time, just like we have now and we did in the 90s, people will be like ‘Ah! These tunes are really great.’ We don’t put out anything that we feel sounds like pastiche; it’s just solid, honest house, unique to whoever made it.” But it’s her own solid, honest house which is currently under the spotlight. “Every record I’ve done has explored a different avenue, you might say,” she tells us. And it’s true – the shuffling house of her debut release on BRSTL certainly marked her out as one to watch while her second release, Days Like This, on Idle Hands switched up swirling, scuffed-up 4x4 into a somewhat more sombre mood, humanised by her own distant vocals. After sending tunes to
Matt Walker aka Julio Bashmore, he soon snapped up the dancefloor-focused house and electro of the Universal Glow EP for his Broadwalk Records imprint. The EP, she says, presents the natural evolution of her sound. “I think [Universal Glow] is the same – it’s another step from where I was before in the direction I’m going naturally. I didn’t just go ‘right! I’m going to write this!’ I can’t work like that really, I just do it and see what happens. Otherwise I put too much pressure on myself and end up having a little cry in the studio!” With gig offers building up, as well as a monthly NTS residency and a forthcoming 12” on BRSTL incoming, Celeste’s just grateful for the initial encouragement which has brought her to the cusp of something big. It’s a factor that will hopefully help her overcome those early show nerves because, frankly, at this rate she’ll need to. “I know it sounds cliché, but I feel like I’m getting a lot of support from everywhere. I haven’t actually had any negative feedback at all yet, which is really nice. I’m surprised I haven’t, and I’m really glad that I haven’t.” She smiles. “It just makes me feel like I’m doing something right, you know?”
Catch Shanti Celeste at Bloc Weekender, Butlins, Minehead 13-15 March 2015
Last month, Simple Things finally happened. After a seemingly infinite period of planning, it was all over far too fast. It gives us an enormous amount of pride to have played a part in one of the most important days in Bristol's musical history. Here are a few images to jog your memories of an unforgettable day. Thanks to everyone who played a part, thanks to everyone who came. Here's to 2015.
Thanks to all the photographers: Jack Hardwicke Harry Leath Kane Aaron Jordan Barclay Joe Coulson Ro Murphy Joseph Hayes Jen Lo Kate Bones Andrzej Zaj Chris Cooper Cam Sweeny Khris Cowley Will Spooner Tommy Sussex
12 HOUR NEW YEARS DAY SPECIAL
EFDEMIN - 3 HOUR SET PATRICE SCOTT - 3 HOUR SET ZENKER BROTHERS - 3 HOUR SET JAMES PRIESTLEY GILES SMITH 6PM - 6AM THE LAUNDRY BASEMENT 2-18 WARBURTON ROAD, LONDON FIELDS, E8 3FN secretsundaze.net · residentadvisor.net · thelaundrye8.com
3 Nights / 4 dance floors / Pool Parties / DJ competition / Pub Quiz / Rave Karaoke / Secret Parties (and you’re only ever metres away from your bed)
Tickets priced from £169pp Book in groups of 2/3/4/5/6/7/8 Buggedoutweekender.net
ÂME / ARTWORK / AXEL BOMAN / BEN UFO B. TRAITS / THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS DJ SET Book with £50 DANIEL AVERY / DENSE & PIKA / DUSKY / DUKE DUMONT deposit EROL ALKAN / FOUR TET / GHOST CULTURE / HEIDI / KIWI JACKMASTER / JONAS RATHSMAN / LEMMY ASHTON LEON VYNEHALL / MATT WALSH / MAYA JANE COLES / MIKE SKINNER MJ COLE / MOXIE/ OPTIMO / ROMAN FLÜGEL SHADOW CHILD / SKREAM / SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO TEN WALLS LIVE / TIGA / TODD TERJE LIVE TOTALLY ENORMOUS EXTINCT DINOSAURS DJ SET
16/17/18 January 2015 – Butlins – Bognor Regis
Live WHP: A$AP MOB Store Street, Manchester 28 October
TUSK Star and Shadow, Newcastle 10-12 October For those driven to explore the further shores of contemporary music, Newcastle’s TUSK festival is something of a sanctuary. The festival, now in its fourth year, is based at the Star and Shadow, a leading edge, volunteer-run film and music venue in the Ouseburn area of the city. The weekend’s highlights included Wisconsin duo Spires that in the Sunset Rise, who turned in a mesmerising psych-folk set. Veteran turntable experimentalist Philip Jeck premiered a piece specially commissioned for the festival, using Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk as source material, played on vintage dansettes and hypnotically looped to the point of disintegration into ambient fog. Bliss. A particular standout was Cairo’s E.E.K featuring Islam Chipsy who were in the UK for the first time. When this trio started up, the usually sedate TUSK crowd became infected by the beats and immediately started grinning and dancing like possessed souls. Legendary New York noise outfit Borbetomagus closed the final night with their ferocious squall of double saxophone and guitar. These guys might look like late career university lecturers, but back in the 80s they were playing at levels of aggression and volume so intense that even the CBGBs crowd complained. Here at TUSK, the trio set about destroying minds and eardrums with a soundscape of strange, still, purity. The band were joined for their second set by Hijokaidan to send the remaining diehard noiseniks home with blood on their lobes. TUSK is everything that an alternative music festival should be: friendly, diverse, and featuring artists who are willing to take risks and who value innovation over profit. Respect is due to the organisers for pulling together such a diverse and adventurous annual programme in a climate of ‘austerity’ and arts funding cuts. ! Andy Wood + Alex Reed N Kuba Ryniewicz
The Warehouse Project’s classic Store Street venue played host as Harlem’s A$AP Mob had the club, to borrow a phrase, going up on a Tuesday. And while the hyperactive mini-mobs of A$APmerch wearing dudes hardly needed Hella Hoes to drop in order to lose their shit, the Mob’s entrance was all the more rowdy for it. Huge smoke cannons burst to life on every drop, and set-piece mosh pits broke out sporadically. They did the job; it was raucous. But on reflection, the group’s joint album L.O.R.D. – which got pushed back and back until it was eventually shelved – was probably the missing ingredient. The biggest moments came when a member of the Mob took the limelight for themselves. A$AP Ferg made everyone bounce and holler for Shabba, and Rocky’s Goldie got each person between the bricks singing along. Nast and Twelvy – the lesser known of the four members on stage – did well to hold their own and keep the crowd moving. But whether A$AP should continue in this incarnation depends on if they can underwrite it with a solid slew of group hits that’ll have the fans shouting for the Mob, not just Rocky or Ferg.
! Aaron Z Willson Sebastian Matthes
R AURY Red Gallery, London 7 October
CARIBOU Berghain, Berlin 14 October Only fools try to fix the unbroken; everyone knows that. Dan Snaith is certainly no fool, which might be why his latest live show has an altogether familiar feel about it. Kicking straight off with the bassline jack of Our Love, the quartet waste little time stirring the crowd into action. The track’s ‘start slow, end in chaos’ approach is one that’s wheeled out a number of times, most notably on Mars, Bowls and Julia Brightly, all with predictably riotous results. In fact, so effective are Snaith & Co at ramping up the hysteria in their nebulous protracted jam sessions that when they do drop the tempo for tracks like Back Home and Second Chance (with live vocals from Jessy Lanza), you can almost feel the impatience on the part of the crowd. Granted, it would be tough to maintain that kind of blistering pace for the full 65+ minute set, but this was Berghain, and the crowd probably would’ve given it their best shot. Still, despite all this, with the 10-minute encore of Sun to close the show, few left disappointed. If you’ve enjoyed seeing Caribou previously and are eager to re-run that fun, we can reliably inform you that it’s every bit as good a second time around. ! Alex Gwillam
Fresh out of high school, 18-yearold Raury from Atlanta, Georgia, has been doing pretty damn well so far. Already featuring on SBTRKT’s Wonder Where We Land, opening for Outkast at their homecoming show and rumours of working with Kanye in the near future, this teen is in high demand. With a curious crowd assembled, Raury bounced on stage like an electric charged ping pong ball, spinning, twirling and booming ecstatically into the mic. An instant reaction of uneasiness then quickly manifested itself into a concoction of queasy embarrassment as the band fleshed out a set of tracks from his genre-blending debut mixtape Indigo Child with cheesy, ill-informed covers, the breaking point being a rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Awaiting a moment for him to truly demonstrate his talent, Raury struggled to keep up with his own voice on the backing track of SBTRKT collaboration Higher. In another dodgy turn, he then launched into a cringe-inducing monologue to the crowd, stating that he is here for the “dreamers” and “the underdogs”. And as the oration ensued, so did the haphazard throwing of signed copies of Indigo Child, while other copies of the LP were handed to “cute” girls in the front rows. ! Isis O'Regan
TOBIAS JESSO JR . Secret Location, London Fields 27 October Among the guests milling around the living room of this airy Hackney apartment, you’d be forgiven for not instantly noticing which among them is the much-hyped Vancouverite Tobias Jesso Jr. who, on the strength of two wavering home recordings on YouTube, was booked to play his first full show at the closing night of the Pitchfork Paris Music Festival. Tonight, Jesso has welcomed all of his new guests into the apartment with a handshake and will see them each out with a hug. His heartfelt songs deserve to be kept close, and even when he’s in the room, his voice wavers and cracks like an old and well-loved record. His closest stylistic comparisons recall a wave of 70s balladeers (Lennon, Harry Nilsson, even a younger Elton John), and his lyrics are heart-achingly honest. Looking forward, it’s not certain what’ll become of Tobias Jesso Jr. It’s hard to imagine what his future looks like under True Panther and Matador, and at the moment it doesn’t feel right to guess. Right now, he’s a new discovery, and one that deserves to be heard. ! Alex Briand N Sophie Hall
Issue 47 | crackmagazine.net
got techno? call 07448323104
FABRIC 15TH BIRTHDAY fabric, London 18-20 October Doff of the cap, fabric. 15 years in the business and still the one. Clubs have closed, clubs have opened, clubs have morphed and clubs have been overtaken by the festival market. However, come Friday or Saturday night for 52 weeks of the year, those that really want the underground do what comes naturally and scurry beneath the surface. The 30-hour musical marathon is 13 hours old when Crack arrives at 1pm on Sunday after a good night's sleep. As we enter, that wonderful crossover period between fresh faces and night creatures is hugely evident. Seth Troxler’s spacey atmospheric techno is the perfect aperitif for those still reeling and those entering; weird enough to get lost and tough enough to feel purposeful. Next up the Innervisions boys play for six hours and those die hard Dixon and Âme fans show up as the main room floor gets very, very full, therefore the opening of Room Three at 5pm for a series of special B2B sets and guest appearances is perfectly timed, with characters passing through including two of Crack’s A-List favourites Levon Vincent and Gerd Janson, neither of whom were billed to perform. Well, when you’re in town… As afternoon winds into evening the fancy dress comes out, Craig Richards dons a sombrero, and was that Jamie Jones in a Mr Blobby outfit? By the time Ben UFO produces unequivocally the set of the day we’re in an exceptionally good place. UFO’s position as a masterful selector was never in doubt but he slots in supremely on this line-up with his rough-edged techno commanding respect. Mathew Jonson’s wild improvisational techno jams are the perfect follow up before we have to make a quick exit before one Ricardo Villalobos steps up. The brick of the old abattoir and its keepers’ commitment to solid, compromise-free bookings has left fabric as one of a kind in London and beyond. Tonight the club is saluted in the best way possible: by being absolutely rammed on a Sunday and playing host to favourites old and new. To all the people that continue to propel it forward, Crack raises a glass. ! Thomas Frost N Nick Ensing
RED BULL CULTURE CL ASH Earls Court, London 30 October Earlier this year, Red Bull teased this monumental 4-sided battle by sending Boy Better Know to Jamaica to discover some of the roots of clashing culture. The film proved that BBK – just like the other sides in this war – really do mean business. Each corner of the room had its own victorious chapters throughout. BBK looked set to reclaim their crown from last year’s clash until Rebel Sound (Chase, Status, Shy FX and David Rodigan) opened their round with a faux “breaking news” segment hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald. This is what made the whole clash so special, an exhaustion of options that forced these artists to get creative, shameless and in turn, even more entertaining. There was BBK launching shots at Tempa T for appearing with Chase and Status and “snaking the mandem for a pay cheque”. There was Danny Brown bundling on stage for a liquor-slinging rendition of Blueberry with the A$AP Mob. Maybe our highlight was the Kurupt FM collective providing Rebel Sound with a custom dub plate of Get Out The Way with attacks on all rival squads. Oh shit wait, there was the bit where Rihanna re-recorded We Found Love just for this and threw shade at Boy Better Know. Rebel Sound eventually took the crown because they had the arsenal to fire the hardest shots. By the end of it though, the winner was the last of Crack’s worries. Battered and bruised, we left the battlefield after a no-expense-spared showcase of internecine warfare. ! Helen Fellowes
SBTRKT is standing in front of his elaborate stage show at Manchester’s inimitable Albert Hall. All airtight beats and winning melodies, this one-off WHP export was proof that his seemingly indomitable rise is beginning to manifest in a live setting. Joined by a live drummer, the rumbling subtleties of new cuts like NEW DORP. NEW YORK and Higher occasionally ran the risk of being swallowed up, but the hooks managed to battle through the clamour and keep his adoring fan base onside. These are strong, syrupy singles that reverberated around the space and gave his sophomore album Wonder Where We Land a tangible sense of boundless ambition and intrigue. A standout moment came in the form of a post-encore recital of his Lotus Flower remix, where Yorke’s vocals rumbled against SBTRKT’s elasticated rework. SBTRKT still doesn’t seem sure of (ironically) quite where he’s landing, but when the response is this unanimous, the sceptics might as well hand in their pre-calculated takedowns at the door. He was able to stand tall as a victor of the ongoing widening of dance music culture, and it’s worth being thankful that a genuine bedroom producer is flirting with the echelons of superstardom.
! Duncan Harrison Sebastian Matthes
LIVERPOOL MUSIC WEEK: CLOSING PART Y 24 Kitchen Street, Liverpool 1 November Visualise this: psychedelic illustrations crawling across brick walls, lanterns swaying over the bar, a scatter of antique armchairs and the smell of beer and sawdust. You’re in 24 Kitchen Street, one of the many venues hosting the closing party of Liverpool Music Week tonight. And where better to celebrate the end of a festival that has welcomed the likes of Caribou, Mogwai and Låpsley to the streets of the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool? London-based producer Mssingno teases the room with layers of slow bass laced with RnB come-to-bed vocals, before dropping heavier grime-orientated beats. Evian Christ, known to the locals in his nearby hometown of Ellesmere Port as Josh Leary, loves what he does. You can just tell. And so do the crowd. The Waterfall EP tracks punctuate the comparatively mellow Kings & Them material, and the former’s visceral sound travels through the veins of its receivers. Bringing the night to a spine-tingling end are LA duo Nguzunguzu, who go straight in with bass-thick tracks tickled by giggling synths, and the crowd is practically bestial when they bring in the mix of Paleface and Kyla’s funky classic Do You Mind. One of the beards at the closing night told us that “the past and the future are not real concepts, we should live only in existence...” But we’re looking at a future where artists like Evian Christ are breaking the mould, and venues like 24 Kitchen Street are injecting life back into forgotten areas of Liverpool. ! Ellie Harrison
Issue 47 | crackmagazine.net
WHP: SBTRK T Albert Hall, Manchester 30 September
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Issue 47 | crackmagazine.net
16 TINASHE Aquarius RCA Records
Adam Bainbridge isn’t a subtle kind of guy. Two years after his none-more-confident debut World, You Need a Change of Mind, he returns with Otherness, a self-conscious departure from the florid soundscapes and crisp production of his first. The album actually starts off with a track titled Restart, a conspicuous proclamation of the artist’s new direction. It feels less refined and more ethnological – With You’s Art of Noise samples and the coyly romantic Latin guitars in For The Young are perfect examples of such cross-contamination. Distancing himself from the tags of heartless revivalism previously affixed doesn’t mean he has discarded the omnipresent, neo-nostalgic tropes of sax solos and angelic harmonies, but they certainly have taken a back seat. And so, in fact, has Bainbridge himself. Gone is the bravado exposed in disco instrumentals and crooning utterances; Kindness has invited his friends along – Robyn, Kelela (twice), Devonté Hynes and more – and they’re welcome to take the front seat. But aside from the decadent, pored-over sound palette, the album fails to propel itself anywhere. The long, extensive tracks have no development, while the feature spots add little to the depth of the body of work, and like an oasis in the desert, are but bursts of life within an arid landscape. Even when others take over the role of main vocalist there is little space for empathy within their grand generic statements. Geneva, with its exotic vocalisations and Arthur Russell-isms, falls into a vacuum when it tries to evoke any sort of autobiographical and sentimental attachment. Otherness falls flat by lacking any sort of lasting memorable or evocative landmarks, preferring instead to place multiple aural beacons of allurement along the way.
Daniel Ansorge is an odd one. His material as Barnt is undeniably built for dancefloors but resists passive consumption. These are bangers worthy of analysis and contemplation, club bombs that work on the mind and for the body. Magazine 13. is no different. This is defiantly Teutonic techno that cribs from the kosmiche wanderings of the 70s as much as it does the Kompakt klassic songbook. Magazine 13. wanders, wavers, meandering queasily from the club to the bedroom, tethering quivering, quavering synth leads – brittle things, icy, pale skinned, weak boned melodies – to big room tech thuds. This is techno as an apparition, techno as a tool of transcending into the liminal. As a consumptive entire experience its charms fade ever so slightly on repeated listens; there are, sadly, only so many ghostly murmurs that one can take in a sitting. The palette-cleansing mini-fillers – the slight, Farfisa parping of Blame a Hill, the faux-Caretaker drift of 1/1 – get in the way of the harder stuff. All the alts I’m holding are hurting tip-toes into a melting spool of off-kilter leads, Cherry Red is a lengthy, exhilarating ride through Detroits and Berlins, present and past, real and imagined. Sometimes the heart needs to overtake the head.
Tinashe’s debut album proper has arrived with impeccable timing. By now everyone's seen RnB's parameters rapidly expand courtesy of peers such as FKA twigs, Kelela, BANKS and Jhene Aiko, who excel in their individuality and thrive through experimentation. Echoing the greats like Janet Jackson and Aaliyah, Aquarius throws the listener back to late 90s coming-of-age RnB, yet it's an approach Tinashe has always succeeded in making her own. Despite the potential for crossover success, Aquarius does not immediately demand attention, instead seducing with sultry hooks and whispering licks. With a little help from A$AP Rocky, Tinashe quickly discards the DIY mentality that propelled her previous work into the spotlight, and becomes a pop chameleon on Pretend. But even with Rocky's feature the track becomes almost instantly forgettable. Another collaboration, the red hot How Many Times, conjures a steamy bedroom scene, but unfortunately Future’s presence tends to distract rather than enhance. There's hope yet, though, as Tinashe shimmies away from radio-ready, cloyingly sweet sounds by revving up both the beat and the attitude on All Hands on Deck, where she demands; “kiss the old me goodbye, she is dead and gone.” And let's not forget the sex, money and weed-fuelled club anthem that is 2 On with its irresistible DJ Mustard hook and Black Hippy hedonist Schoolboy Q’s guest verse, refreshing the memory of one of the finest tracks of the summer. The foggy electronica, abstract pop and raw RnB of Tinashe's bedroom production days have certainly been shaken loose, yet throughout Aquarius the emerging star does well to remind us of her fresh perspective on pop. The album could have become clouded by collaborations, and while big names like Mike WiLL Made-It, Clams Casino and the aforementioned features may attract attention, but Tinashe resists allowing their individual styles to overshadow this new chapter. Aquarius takes its name from her star sign, and on her debut album, as always, Tinashe calls the shots.
! Melanie Battolla
! Josh Baines
! Isis O'Regan
KINDNESS Otherness Female Energy Records
BARNT Magazine 13 Magazine
CL ARK Clark Warp SCOT T WALKER + SUNN O))) Soused 4AD Fair to say that expectation weighs heavy with this one. Sunn O)))’s Greg Anderson and Stephen O’Malley first approached Scott Walker with a single-track collaboration in mind for 2009’s Monoliths + Dimensions, but nothing materialised. We should be thankful, then, that what came of that rebuttal was this more extensive work: Soused is an enthralling, perplexing record, as resolutely original as it is emotionally engaging. Walker’s inimitable vocals may be the draw for many, but its core remains the primordial low end one would expect from O’Malley and Anderson. It’s hard to understate this; the pure – and it is pure – weight of sound is crushing in its totality, bordering on tactile even via shitty headphones, an infinitesimal pinpoint of light-sucking intensity. Brando kicks things off in expectedly idiosyncratic fashion: drifting, sunset-haze guitar licks and iridescent strings quickly give way to percussive whip snaps, Walker’s unnervingly vaudeville vocal line and that subterranean low end, an analogue cyberpunk pulse reminiscent of Dilloway and Lascaleet’s collaborative oscillatory workouts beating underneath (a reference that feels oddly appropriate given the aesthetic similarities to noise – in a cumulatively physical, rather than overtly stylistic fashion – that Walker has displayed in tracks such as Bish Bosch’s See You Don’t Bump His Head). It’s an astounding start. Nothing that follows misses its mark. Herod 2014 is perhaps destined to be Soused’s de facto centre piece, as much for the exhaustingly dour biblically-derived narrative and grimy figurative lyrical passages – “Bubonic blue blankets run ragged with church mice”, anyone? – as the Butcher-esque saxophone squeals and bottomless pit atmosphere. Certain passages within sound uncannily like David Bowie’s Labyrinth cut Within You, chopped up and reduced a few hundred percent in timestretch; a reverent and beguiling prospect. Bull – the track featured on the brief promo video preceding the album’s release – and Fetish veer, at times, as near to conventional ‘rock’ orchestration as Sunn O))) and Walker get, the former featuring something close to a bona fide riff and trad heavy metal vocal before staggering back into the weird, the latter mixing it up with passages of acousmatic noiseconcrète, down-tuned cello and a little Badalamentiesque lilt. Soused peaks, though, with Lullaby; nine-or-so minutes of creeping dread and gaudily operatic half-hooks, factoring Walker’s most giddily unnerving vocal and lyrics (“Hey non-e non-e / Why don’t minstrels go from house to house howling songs the way they used to?”). The “chorus” passage, Walker shrieking slightly off key above tightening strings and a portentous riff, is genuinely, creakingly pathotic, the malign atmosphere only topped by the lo-fi digital bleeping running throughout the rest of the track, a solemn wake-up call for a trip to the tomb. Wonderful, headrazing stuff. ! Thomas Howells
Two years on from 2012’s bold but eventually solid experiment with acoustic instrumentation Iradelphic, Warp Records royalty Chris Clark is back with a statement so concrete he’s happy to put his name on it, twice. Clark immediately smacks of earlier efforts; the maximal tropes pioneered by Clark and which have gone on to be so influential are present and correct, though with less emphasis on industrial basslines and time signatures in flux. Having dipped and dabbled over recent years, it feels like a reconnection with the essence of Clark; a reacquaintance with what makes him such a cherished figure in the history of UK electronic music, filtered through the experience of experimentation. Notes of familiarity ring around the record’s considerable expanse, flooding each corner; early-to-mid 00s offerings like Empty The Bones Of You and Body Riddle exist as spectres through the seething mass of sound, with the ever-looming, ever-snarling electronics leaving Iradelphic a distant memory. Clark has always excelled at bringing disparate strands together in the album format, and here the dreamy day listening of Strength Through Fragility’s ghostly piano progression makes way for Banjo, a heavily visual, quivering electro banger, without ever feeling stilted. It sets a pattern for the album as a whole, and that’s why he continues to thrive like few others. Clark is a Swiss Army Knife of a record, and the Warp veteran has succeeded in keeping his nimble fingers intact.
! Claude Barbé-Brown
15 YOUNG THUG , RICH HOMIE QUAN + BIRDMAN Tha Tour Part 1 Self-released There’s no denying that Young Thug – possibly Atlanta’s most original rapper – has had a benchmark year, but you could equally argue that he’s failed to quench the post-Danny Glover fanbase’s thirst for a solid full length of new material. With his incarcerated former mentor Gucci Mane having access to a seemingly bottomless vault of old Thug verses, we’ve been relentlessly bombarded with content that probably wasn’t meant to see the light of day. Take the recently-released 1017 Thug 2, for example. Dubiously billed as the sequel to Thug’s thrillingly bizarre breakthrough mixtape, it dropped with no public acknowledgement from the rapper, could only owned if purchased via Australian iTunes and was accompanied by artwork featuring Young Thug’s head poorly photoshopped onto Wiz Khalifa’s body. A bit of quality control was in order. Enter YMCMB mogul Birdman, who’s blessed Young Thug with his Midas touch for this seminal mixtape with regular collaborator Rich Homie Quan. A smoother counterpart to Thug’s infantile, slippery yelps, Quan’s slightly-mumbled croon evokes an affecting blend of pride and sadness, and together the Atlanta duo perform in a rhythmic, adventurously melodic style that renders distinctions between ‘rapping’ and ‘singing’ useless. Thematically, there’s plenty of trap house bravado here, but it’s lines about subjects relating to the heart – tender sadness, lip-biting lust and the euphoria of rags-to-riches glory – that really leave a lasting impression. When Thug plays the lovestruck kid (“I put my heart in your pocket, you can break it’) on opening track Givenchy, and Quan details a child custody battle on Freestyle, these emotions are delivered with an appropriate rawness. Tha Tour Part 1 is a 20-track, 84 minute-long tape, so like the majority of the stuff you can download from Datpiff or Live Mixtapes, there’s a couple of filler tracks that could have been trimmed, and the omission of Thug and Quan’s instant-classic Lifestyle doesn’t go unnoticed. But overall, Tha Tour Part 1 is as great as any of us could have hoped, and it’s hard to think of another 2014 rap-orientated release that sounds as fresh as this. ! Davy Reed
14 PARK AY QUARTS Content Nausea Rough Trade
Nearly a dozen stylistically capricious albums have taken San Franciscan foursome Deerhoof from the fringes of the Bay Area punk scene back in 1994 to the vanguard of art rock today. Arriving as it does on the 20th anniversary of the group’s formation, it’s tempting to frame this 12th full-length effort as some kind of portentous, milestone-burdened statement. In fact, La Isla Bonita – named after Madonna’s 1986 kitsch classic – is just another decent album from a noise pop group who’ve recorded more than their fair share. Deerhoof have never been paragons of lyrical profundity and there’s not exactly a Proustian about-turn here (“Too many choices to order breakfast” is the gravest predicament facing vocalist Satomi Matsuzaki on Ramones-aping lead single Exit Only). Nor is any kind of epochal musical transformation at hand, with whimsical skittishness still characterising everything from the fractured palm-muted riffs of opener Paradise Girls to the pop sensibility of Black Pitch and the outright rhythmic schizophrenia of Doom. Of course, consistent inconsistency is both Deerhoof’s biggest asset and greatest weakness and La Isla Bonita doesn’t buck the trend. For every eminently listenable song, like the gorgeously languid Mirror Monster, there’s another like Last Fad with one too many ideas, or Big House Waltz and its grating vocal tics. The result is another genre-bending outing that’s always interesting, if perhaps not always enjoyable.
This third entry in a series of selftitled albums sees LA punk rock outfit The Bronx and additional cast team up for a collection of songs that will instantly conjure up images of rolling, parched Mexican countryside. Mariachi El Bronx is an alter-ego that allows them to show another side of their character and cultural identity, one in which pent up aggression is stripped away and replaced by a symphony of brass-peppered songs rich in the Mariachi tradition. By lassoing in a range of nontypical instrumentation Mariachi El Bronx ensure that there is space for the sound to grow within, and beyond, the traditional blueprint. With dashings of flavour generated by dusted off old sequencers and synths added to the sonic melee, they haven’t trapped themselves in stasis, but grabbed hold of the opportunity to push forward. And as their third record under the name, putting them one behind The Bronx-proper, it’s important that MEB have continued to forge a strong identity beyond initial novelty. Right Between The Eyes sees them take a firm jab at melding lyrics that balance social commentary with internal reflection, while the quick-footed Raise The Dead speedballs through a cascade of intricate and nimble riffs. As winter sets in, III will add some heat to the cold evenings ahead. Mariachi El Bronx are here to stay.
Barely a month seems to go by without someone from Parquet Courts putting out new music under yet another peculiar bastardisation of the group’s moniker. Earlier this year the prolific Brooklyn pseudo-punks released their third full-length Sunbathing Animal but last month a tour was announced as PCPC – a supergroup with PC Worship – and here we are today with this record from Parkay Quarts, which follows last year’s Tally All the Things You Broke EP under the same name. Still following? Good. Recorded on a four-track tape machine over two weeks by Andrew Savage, Austin Brown, Jackie-O Motherfucker’s Jef Brown and Eaters’ Bob Jones, Content Nausea is intended as a kind of quick-and-dirty stopgap release for the winter, clocking in at 35 minutes and falling somewhere in between an EP and a bona fide album. Taken on those terms there’s plenty to get excited about here, not least the title track, which bounds into view like a race horse without a jockey and sees Savage dispense a breathless, stream-of-consciousness diatribe against the fostered homogeneity of contemporary capitalism. If that sounds heavy, a screeching, careening cover of Nancy Sinatra classic These Boots are Made for Walking certainly lifts the spirits and benefits from some exuberant sax work to boot. The really pleasing thing about Content Nausea though is how well it bodes for the band’s future. From fidgety art punk opener Everyday it Starts through to the Berlin-era Bowie motorik of Pretty Machines, it’s clear Savage and Brown are making a concerted effort to expand their palette. By the time languid organ-drenched closer Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth abruptly explodes into life, the two have neatly teed up the group's next proper LP, whatever the hell they’re called by then.
! James F. Thompson
! Nathan Westley
! James F. Thompson
DEERHOOF La Isla Bonita Polyvinyl
FOXYGEN ...And Star Power Jagjaguwar Some people might say that releasing a 24 track studio album called …And Star Power is pretentious. Those people might be right. They might also, however, have failed to grasp one important matter: this is not 1974 and no one cares about Genesis or ELO anymore. Pretentious? Not necessarily. Outmoded? Certainly. 24 tracks and pompous titles aside though, there has always been something inherently shite about Foxygen. Their trite image, the way they unashamedly plead at the altar of Anton Newcombe. They’d wish for nothing more than to be seen as such rambunctious outlaws as the BJM. But when something's not there, it's just not there. We've seen hula hoops with more edge than Foxygen. The tunes on …And Star Power are painfully soulless, inept homages to weepy 60s psychedelia and, depressingly, early 00s indie rock. Across 24 tracks you'd think we'd find some glimmer of hope. But no. This is actually 24 tracks of hopeless, abysmal toss that fails to speak to us on any level apart from a level that makes us wonder if the kind of men that tell long haired lads to get a haircut might not be so bad after all. It's desperate, dull drudgery of the most hackneyed, unworthy kind.
! Billy Black
MARIACHI EL BRONX III ATO Records
MALCOLM MIDDLETON & DAVID SHRIGLEY Music and Words Melodic David Shrigley has put his name to some pretty cool shit over the years. From the relentlessly everyman absurdism of his art to 2007’s Worried Noodles (a 39-track compilation featuring musicians like Hot Chip, Deerhoof, Grizzly Bear and Liars, which at times was startlingly good), he is an artist worth revering but also one you can guffaw along with. So when Music and Words – a collaboration with Arab Strap’s Malcolm Middleton, with Shrigley’s oddball stories read over music – was mooted, we were immediately smitten by the concept. There are fleeting moments that justify such a pre-emptive response. The violent decadence of a monkey’s romantic reminiscing (on Monkeys, voiced by the Californian Scott Vermeire), is pretty funny (“Remember when I ate that baby? Remember the way I used to look in your eyes?”). Key track Storytime, featuring pottymouthed and nihilistic woodland creatures, can bear multiple listens, and Sunday Morning is pure daftness (“bong your dong upon the gong, bong your dong and make it long”, err, etc). But although clearly this is satire, written by a sharp and intelligent satirist, to satirise-the-fuck out of everything, too much of it is either unnervingly aggressive, or just not that funny. The trouble is, once you’ve heard a continuity announcer hurl profanities in a tribute to an imaginary family (A Toast), the gag’s kinda done and dusted. Plus, the track Caveman, while clearly skewering the character of a Neanderthal rather than endorsing it, is still mainly comprised of a man joking about women he has beaten up and killed, to music. So depending on your fondness for gonzo misogynistic violence, you might want to skip that one. A disappointment. ! Adam Corner
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RÖYKSOPP The Inevitable End Dog Triumph
“And to those who smoke, please smoke only in the smoking section of the plane. In about two hours we’ll be passing over the great coliseum – and until then, please enjoy the music of Stelvio Cipriani and his on-board band, thank you for flying Concorde” – “Surely it can’t be the Cipriani?!” “I believe it is, son, and don’t call me Shirley.” One of over 200 scores and counting composed by the go-to composer for 70s Italian popular cinema, to absorb the concourse of this album as a shadow of some distant narrative is surely the most romantic way to appreciate the music of Cipriani. This is a truly fantastic piece of music which keeps you at arm’s length from overwhelming emotion – as the modest soundtrack always will – but bobs along with sublime leisure. Vombis have overworked it as a release though. Many of the 15 bonus tracks on the second LP are superfluous and detract from the idea of the record being released as an album in its own right, rather than something attached to images nobody has seen. Forget that though, because the re-mastering is a dream and breathes in a completely new depth and life; the strings of Concorde Theme sing like they were recorded yesterday. around five individual themes emerge which together curdle into an amalgamation of traditional orchestral strings and glittery funk synths, italo-disco beats, bossa nova – all sorts. It’s a strange ride, gleaming and marbled from start to finish.
From the beginning of The Inevitable End, two things are clear: Röyksopp are back, and they’ve taken things up a level. Skulls, the first track on the band’s fifth (and last) full length release begins with a sinister synth line that simultaneously chills and summons a smile; these guys are good for one last go. It’s been a busy year for the Norwegians, who also recently released and toured an enjoyable bitesized collaboration with fellow Scandinavian savant Robyn, Do It Again. Here they draw from that record in the form of the brilliant Monument, but that’s where the similarities end. As they bid goodbye to the album format, the result is notably darker in tone. Some tracks, such as Sordid Affair, fall a little flat in the context of the rest of the album, accomplishing nothing that quality electronic pop songs haven’t done before. But the album as a whole is incredibly solid, occasionally dipping into excellence. The result is a deeply touching, sonically diverse farewell that features collaborations from a number of gifted artists, from Robyn to Ryan James to Susanne Sundfør, with the real treat coming in the form of Jamie McDermott of The Irrepressibles. The tracks on which he features are silky and painfully poignant, seamlessly arranged with atmospheric synth and driving beats. Again and again McDermott’s melancholic, impeccably smooth voice perfectly embodies Röyksopp’s lyrical focus: loneliness, small downfalls, and the end of things. As you might expect for a closing chapter, The Inevitable End is marked by a sense of mourning. It culminates with the symphonic Coup de Grace and then, finally, the bittersweet Thank You. The last track is unassuming, with simple vocals and a playful synth line that gently fades out. You’re left humbled and, inevitably, grateful.
! Henry Johns
! Calah Singleton
STELVIO CIPRIANI Concorde Affaire ’79: OST Vombis
DELS Petals Have Fallen Ninja Tune
In September, TV On The Radio lead singer Tunde Adebimpe told Rolling Stone that the past few years could have “stopped the band cold”, most likely referencing the untimely death of bassist Gerard Smith in 2011. In some measure then, it is testament to the quality of the band as an artistic unit that they have resolved to continue in the face of such disturbing adversity. Perhaps even more striking though is the optimistic tone with which they have re-emerged. For a band almost shocked out of existence by loss, Seeds begins on hopeful footing. Initially this strikes an engaging note. Album opener Quartz rings and clatters into being with enough frequencies and concurrent harmonics to support Adebimpe’s uncomplicated vocals with a luminous wealth. This refreshing strength and focus is relatively present in the next couple of tracks, only as the record rolls on beyond this point, very little else happens. What could have become one of TV On The Radio’s most viable and unanimously received records to date essentially refuses to deliver. This is not to say it dissolves into something unworthy – even dissolution could be considered a trajectory. Rather, the record arrives and asserts a singular mood throughout, a mood that is quickly exposed as flawed and forgettable. It would be churlish to call this a shitty album, particularly considering the monumental strength of character TVOTR have displayed in producing something album-shaped at all. Yet it would be even more patronising not to acknowledge that a band of their standing should produce something with more character and more intent than Seeds. Cuts like Right Now and the album’s title track, have all the lasting impact of Hard-Fi B-Sides. The album ultimately becomes an exercise in faceless melodies; a series of songs that can only exist during playtime before, on reflection, they become an anonymous, amorphous blob.
DSU is a record that's so full of pure, raw greatness that it's hard to pin down the exact element that makes it so great. One track, Promise, boasts one of the most OTT slap bass lines we've ever heard and yet, if we were feeling particularly fragile, could probably bring us to our knees. Like his contemporary on this side of the pond, Oliver Wilde, Pennsylvania native Alex G has eschewed promotion and careerism in favour of a bedroom-crafted, tinkered aesthetic that relies on songwriting and innovation rather than production budgets and studio magic. The only magic present on DSU is ecstatic passion and confidence. Songs like Harvey and Black Hair are would-be hits, tracks that are rife with the sort of imperfections and glitches that can only add to the gorgeously constructed melodies that flat out refuse to leave your head. DSU is a vital indie record that's indebted as much to Alex G's own inventiveness as it is to the 90s slacker aesthetic it feeds off. Alex G's music glows, it extends a hand, lends capacity to being in 'the moment'. It's uplifting and relatable. If you're not feeling life today, maybe you could use DSU.
This year the Ninja Tune stable had two horses in the Mercury Music Prize race: eventual winners Young Fathers and the Guardian-reader catnip of the poet/performer Kate Tempest. DELS’ debut album, Gob, should’ve been a contender for a nomination itself in 2011. A muscular, articulate and hitherto relatively playful lyricist, DELS’ debut was predicated on stretching his energetic flow across a bouncing chassis of electronic beats. His second album is darker, more cinematic and more reflective than his first, his vocals more plaintive and – at times – less compelling. It’s not that there aren’t flashes of brilliance on Petals Have Fallen. His collaboration with vocalist Kerry Leatham and beatsmith Bonobo on Pulls results in a delicate and dreamy dalliance, while partnering with the excellent Rosie Lowe on Burning Beaches is a good move: her chorus hook lifts the tune and adds gravitas to DELS’ dreamsequence verses. In hindsight, though, the joy of his debut was in the restless, synthetic, rhythms that underpinned his lyrical speculations. The digitised shuffle of Pack of Wolves, and the anarchic swagger of RGB and Bird Milk are probably the closest to the spirit of his debut: full of energy, and unexpected turns. But too much of Petals Have Fallen has been daubed in a thick coat of Seriousness, and a moody, vaguely menacing air pervades much of the album. The problem is, it doesn’t suit him – when he raps “I should’ve been a blizzard man I’m that cold / Dusting off my mind these rhymes will put you in a choke hold”, it just sounds a bit half-arsed: what happened to the daft (and more to the point, deft) DELS we used to know?
! Angus Harrison
! Billy Black
! Adam Corner
ALEX G DSU Lucky Number
T V ON THE R ADIO Seeds Harvest Records / Virgin EMI
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Film They may not be quite so handy with a cricket bat as they once were, but Australia is quietly becoming established as a powerhouse of independent filmmaking. There’s a growing confidence that the whole country, with the help of Screen Australia, is nurturing, and this unfolding Australian new wave has us captivated, epitomised by the awesome The Babadook. Also this month, Dracula Untold sees the Gothic staple expressed through a very big, dumb and sexy modern narrative, Fury is like dropping in on a single episode of Band of Brothers without the time to learn to love the characters (not that we could ever love Shia LaBeouf), and Northern Soul is another rose-tinted look back on the UK’s social heritage, celebrating the power of music in bringing people together. Then, as a final treat, we ducked into the Illuminations series for a special showing of Fugazi’s seminal documentary Instrument, where, aptly, the relationship between people and music is a far more oblique entity.
FURY dir. David Ayer Starring: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman For a glimpse inside the psyche of The American Man, you could do far worse than turn to the work of David Ayer. As the writer of Training Day, The Fast and Furious, S.W.A.T. and now Fury, it’s very much a case of the bigger the cojones, the better. And the same logic applies to the size of your tank too, unless you encounter a bigger German panzer tank, that is. Then big cojones is all you’ve got. Fury at its best offers loud, limb-flailing battle sequences which unsurprisingly blend American patriotism with historical authenticity. Brad Pitt (playing a less flamboyant version of Lt. Aldo Raine from Inglorious Basterds) leads a team of soldiers within the confines of a tank towards the closing stages of WWII. LaBeouf overcompensates with a limelight-thirsty support performance, while only John Bernthal’s character spits and cusses with any real conviction. Ayer’s script and direction fails to balance his own attempts to comment on camaraderie amidst the horrors of war, and the misplaced sentimentality softens the blow of the good-verging-on-great bludgeoned action. Add this to everything else being oh-so-bloody-obvious, and Fury hath no more fury than feeling a little bit peeved. ! Tim Oxley Smith
THE BABADOOK dir. Jennifer Kent Starring: Essie Davis, Daniel Henshall, Tim Purcell Taking a striking swerve away from post-Blair Witch home video mode, distancing itself from the 90s cornball approach commonplace in the endless churn of new releases within the genre, The Babadook immediately becomes 2014’s outstanding horror film. Director Jennifer Kent has adopted and adapted two of horror’s most accomplished eras – the socially-aware 70s and the dark recesses of German expressionism of the early part of the 20th century – then woven together these styles with the growing confidence innate to Australia’s current brilliant international film output. It results in something that’s clever but still as freaky as hell. Kent toys with the audience’s suspension of disbelief without ever pushing it so far as to breach the poignancy of reality. It works on the same level as The Shining, whereby the audience’s fear is shaped by the director’s storytelling ingenuity and not by jumps and squeals. And like The Shining, it’s got a kid who really brings it in Daniel Henshall. Essie Davis is phenomenal as the mother whose physicality is never exploited by her director and the sound design can be summed up as a wretched synthesis of crying children, police sirens and the scraping of blackboards. Here’s a film that’ll make you want to keep the insides of your wardrobes fully illuminated for a good couple of days, and willl make you think twice about running to mother. ! Tim Oxley Smith
FUGAZI: ‘INSTRUMENT’ dir. Jem Cohen Illuminations at Hackney Picturehouse | 28 October As director Jem Cohen underscores in a pre-show Q&A, Instrument was manifested through natural impulse. Both Cohen and his intensely wayward subjects, Fugazi, were void of ulterior cultural motives. Instead, over the course of ten years, he haphazardly collated Super 8 footage of the band’s performances. He did this for no other reason than his sheer reverence for Fugazi’s sound. Part-live show, part documentary, Cohen lacerates the music-docu formula making an altogether undefinable experience. Much like the group, Instrument’s conception stems from the importance of organic musicianship prevailing in an apathetic corporate quagmire of a music industry. Blown up to theatre screen size, Instrument’s visual whimsy is almost hallucinatory. Fountains of sweat flicker in fiercely lit venue spaces as Cohen slows the image down to the pace of a dying heartbeat. McKaye projects political pragmatisms onstage with a typically punk stance. The music is constant and sounds strangely immortal. Scenes of laudably PC benefit shows mixed with bizarre (and semi-pointless) interviews make up the bulk of Cohen’s two-hour diagnosis. For the uninitiated, Instrument can be almost too cryptic. But it’s the enigma of it all that remains awe-inspiring. There is nothing like Instrument and there was no one like Fugazi. That is what makes this collaborative project so essential. ! Tom Watson
DRACULA UNTOLD dir. Gary Shore Starring: Luke Evans, Antonia Thomas, Elliot James Much in keeping with the last decade’s trend of pumping new life into old stories by exploring their origins, Dracula Untold is the unfolding of a creation myth. We follow the journey of Vlad the Impaler (Luke Evans) through the eyes of his son Ingeras (Art Parkinson), starting with his tragic backstory before exploring the love he carries for his people, and his determination to protect them from the threat of advancing Turkish forces. Director Gary Shore raises this above classic fantasy blockbuster fare with dramatic visual stylisation lending an air of melancholy sophistication, an effort somewhat countered by the appearance of Dominic Cooper as Mehmet coated in TOWIE-level fake tan. If further enticement is needed, Charles Dance features as Master Vampire, a cave dwelling immortal with a freaky tongue. It can't be avoided as an absolute fact that Dracula Untold is non-stop ridiculous from beginning to end, a whirl of boobs and pecs and gory stabbings just about hanging together on the strings of a tenuous storyline. If you’re looking for historical accuracy or a structurally sound, thought-provoking plot, leave now. If you’re looking for 92 minutes of pure nonsensical entertainment, you’d be well advised to stay. ! Tamsyn Aurelia-Eros Black
NORTHERN SOUL dir. Elaine Constantine Starring: Steve Coogan, Antonia Thomas, Elliot James Northern Soul is a joyful and fierce adventure through the streets of adolescence in 70s Lancashire. We follow John (Elliot Langridge Brown) as he struggles against the conventions of a place he feels trapped by and a future he feels forced towards. As is often the case in teenage yarns, a begrudging trip to a rather dodgylooking Youth Club changes everything. John discovers the world of Northern Soul, Northern Soul discovers John, Steve Coogan cameos as a rogue teacher with questionable hair and some rose bushes get a pretty good whacking. Unlike so many ‘coming-of-age’ films, Northern Soul is refreshing in its lack of willingness to follow a traditional story arc, and does a wonderful job of presenting the realities of life in 1970s working class Northern Britain without veering into sensationalism or monotony. There are aspects of the story that feel underdeveloped – during the course of John’s burgeoning romance with Angela (Antonia Thomas), her status as one of the only non-white individuals in their community is mentioned only once, very briefly – but these feel like deliberate choices aimed at giving the characters depth without deviating from the central plot progression. As well as being a charming meander through drugs, dancing and endless profanities, Northern Soul is a tender and rich homage to a genre-defining movement. ! Tamsyn Aurelia-Eros Black
Ministry of Sound Winter Programme 2014 15.11.14 Saturday Sessions
22.11.14 Audio Rehab
29.11.14 High Contrast
13.12.14 Circus Records
The Box S-Man Shiba San Vanilla Ace
The Box German Brigante Mark Radford Martin Ikin
The Box High Contrast Calyx & TeeBee Rockwell
The Box Amine Edge & DANCE STUFF Chicks Luv Us
The Box Flux Pavilion Doctor P Cookie Monsta
103: Electronic Sessions Grant Nelson Jase Jay K&K
103 Burnski Him_Self_Her Hugo Massien
103 Riton Copy Paste Soul SYV
103 Clyde P Tainted Souls K-LAGANE
103 Lokate Joziff Jordan Dom Townsend
The Box, exclusively at Ministry of Sound ministryofsound.com/club
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(Image left) Emma Smith, 5Hz, Arnolfini, 2014. Photo Justin Yockney (Image right) Josephine Pryde, Knickers VII, 2014. Courtesy of the artist, Simon Lee Gallery, and Temnikova
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Flying it up the flagpole with...
Dear Mr. Schniffermann,
I’ve started a new company but I can’t decide what to call it. I’ve asked around, and I’m assured you’re the man to talk to. Right, so I’ve narrowed it down to three: Carter and Johns Next Generation Propulsion Logistics Solutions Ltd; Carter and Johns Comprehensive Integrated Logistics Solutions; or finally, nice and simple: Logistics Solutions. Oh, by the way, the company delivers takeaway menus door-to-door.
I’ve messed up. I run a dogs home and I was on the edge of glory, but I got too excited when I sold this beautiful Uruguayan nibbler for an obscene amount of money. I’ve never had that much money before and blew the rest on this useless English bulldog and this Italian mutt that won’t obey anything I say. Add to that the fact all my other dogs are ill and/or lame. I speculated to accumulate Denz, I don’t know whether I’m cut out to manage dogs.
Me and my mate are proper visionaries. No one gets us and we don’t want to be got. We want to not be got by doing our own thing because the man needs sticking it to and the man has never known better. Rules? What rules! I don’t see no rules, I only see possibilities. Change that font? Ummm … no. Change that music? Umm … who are you, my Mum? Do you know better? If you’re the man, I’m the manager, skiing off-piste with my middle finger up your backside.
Lauren Carter, 22, Bucks Brendan, 41, Liverpool Denzil says: Wow. Well, they’re all good. How about Carter, Johns and Schniffermann Lateral Next Generation Logistics Solutions Supply? I’ll give you the full amount for 15%.
Down In Chapel Hill
by Josh Baines
Mark Kozelek never finishes the last sip of his beer because he never wants a beer to end. He’s surrounded by a pile of nearly-empties and ashed out Lucky Strikes in a bar that looks like it closed a decade ago, all fading neon and choked-back memory. He’s all scowls and rolled up shirtsleeves. He’s scribbling with determination and an unexpected amount of vigour for a man who’s been drinking since noon. Suddenly Kozelek crumples a wad of A4 manilla into a
dense clump, throws it on the floor, springs onto his heels and exits. The bar’s owner picks up the sheets, unfurls them, lays them out on the table. He sits down to examine what this silently working worker has worked silently on during the course of his beers and his cigarettes. There is a likeness of a man with long hair. The pen has traced his features so many times that the smallest prod pushes the outlined face out of the paper. The bar owner doesn’t know the man, or
Billy Graham Denzil says: You’ve got take risks Brendan. I was astute enough to capitalise on the great thong explosion of 1999 in the wake of that Thong Song and created some wonderfully tasteful underwear and a made pretty penny in the process, but that wouldn’t never been a possibility if I hadn’t purchased a job lot of lacey fabric anticipating such a raunchy hit. Don’t kick yourself too hard, but also be realistic. Dogs probably aren’t your game and there’s a decent chance you’re going to lose your job.
why he’s been drawn out of existence. He picks up the second sheet. “THE WAR ON DRUGS SUCK MY COCK” is written in an unimaginably small font an unimaginably large amount of times. Both sides are covered in this phrase. The third sheet is the same. As is the fourth. And the fifth. The barman stares at the livid lines, the face teetering between. The cock sucking request that goes on into
Denzil says: Well that’s nice chaps, but as far as I’m concerned punk died as soon as that Rotten bloke started selling butter, and anyone else's original thoughts are usually my own thoughts recycled – poorly. Welcome to a life of no money and continual frustration. You’ll be sending me CVs and voting Tory by the time you’re 30.
the infinite. He states at the curiosity, and decides to hang these tight scrawls on an empty wall. The odd customer asks about them. The owner just smiles and gives a quiet shake of the head. Months pass and the paper begins to yellow. A longhaired man and his girlfriend enter the bar. They order a drink, eat a few desultory buffalo wings, talk quietly, smoke quietly. She walks to the bathroom. She sees the faces and the phrases. She screams.
The Crack Magazine Crossword
Across 02. Sticky fruity spread (3) 04. Smoked fish that you get done up like (6) 06. Austin Powers keeps trying to kill Jamie Lee Curtis (7,5) 07. There’s a large North African deer loose about this Scottish pronunciation of a synonym for ‘home’ (5) 08. Africa’s tallest peak (11) 13. Sweater; leaper (6) 14. Away from the ordinary, often in reference to the arts; not the right meadow (9) 15. Stop inviting me to your fucking weird work network man, no one cares (6,2) Down 01. A mass of substance, sometimes sugar (4) 02. Hip-hop quintet who ain’t Cretaceous (8-1) 03. The sauce you have with lamb; Northern slag for ‘good’ (4) 05. OTT (12) 08. Wacky (5) 09. Late Show host David sounds like a postman (9) 10. Outsider musician Daniel who sung that “True love will find you in the end” (8) 11. Electric book; set ablaze (6) 12. The Mr who provides the Bakewells (7) 13. Silly dance; something to hold yer wood (3) Solution to last month’s crossword: ACROSS: 03. HOUSE, 04. HALLELUJAH, 06. HESSIAN, 08. IDIOSYNCRATIC, 10. IRON-MAN, 11. IMMATURE, 12. GLAD-RAGS, 14. GIMME DOWN: 01. GUEST 02. GAYNOR, 03. HYPERACTIVE, 04. HELIGOLAND, 05. ISOSCELES, 09. INCESSANT, 10. IMP, 12. GHETTO, 13. GORY
Thumbing through Will Hermes’s tome on the 70s New York underground Love Goes To Buildings on Fire, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore was struck by a particular anecdote. Minimal originators Steve Reich and Philip Glass, then flat broke, needed to find a means of income. Based in Chelsea, Manhattan, they opted to start a removals company, though as delicate, creative souls, didn’t want to lift anything too heavy. And so: Chelsea Light Moving. Thurston was smitten. “I thought it was a really great name” he said in a 2013 Rolling Stone interview. So when he formed his first postSY band, he had a ready-made moniker. As Reich and Glass grew apart the legend got blurrier. Glass downplayed Reich’s role, stating “Steve didn’t like that kind of work”, though Reich himself relays memories of shifting “smelly overstuffed sofas” around the Lower East Side. And Thurston doesn’t seem overly concerned about the composers returning to the removals game. “If I’m going to get sued” he says, “I might as well get sued by Philip Glass and Steve Reich.”
20 Questions: DJ EZ DJ…EZ, EZ. Number one garage DJ – fact. If you were in any way embroiled in the late 90s/early 00s garage music chart and underground takeover you’ll no doubt be familiar with the Pure Garage compilations helmed by the diminutive, lightning quick mixing badman with the four initials for a name. With the sounds of two-step enjoying something of a renaissance of late, EZ has never been in more demand, even hanging up the headphones on his famous Kiss FM show in order to focus on production, as well as taking the garage sound across the globe, with international tour dates adding to an already hectic schedule that regularly sees him smash up the dance all over the UK – including an already-legendary appearance at Warehouse Project last month – and some mammoth sets back in the capital. What you call it garage? Yes we do. What was your favourite cartoon when you were a kid? Ah, I’ll have to go for Inspector Gadget and Roadrunner. Who’s your favourite Wu Tang Clan member? I don’t really know who’s who in the Clan, sorry. Do you support a football team? Spurs for life! What’s the worst hotel you’ve ever stayed in? There have been a few, but I’m not the kind of person to name and shame. Favourite board game? That has to be Monopoly. I love this game but you have to be prepared to burn a few hours. Happy hardcore or jump-up drum ‘n’ bass? As I used to play hardcore in the early days of my DJ career I choose Happy Hardcore. I still listen to it now and then, actually. What’s your favourite sitcom? I don’t have one... Describe yourself in 3 words. Loyal, Focused, Dedicated. What’s your signature recipe? Anything with chicken. I’m not the best in the kitchen though – I’m a regular at Nandos.
Favourite root vegetable? Sweet Potato. Where do you do your big shop? I never have time to do a big shop. What are you wearing? I’m a loyal Nike wearer and rarely do a set without my Nike cap. Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met? I can’t say I have met anyone super famous but I’m playing some LA dates on my US tour so that could all change. Ever taken acid? Definitely not. I’ve never done drugs, drink or cigarettes. Mind you, I used to play Acid House back in the early days. Have you ever worn a fancy dress outfit then regretted it? Never done fancy dress, not my style. Is there a piece of advice you wish you’d give to yourself ten years ago? That would have been to continue making music no matter what. I got so busy with DJ bookings that my time in the studio was affected. When is the last time you sprinted as fast as you can? The only time I sprint is from the car to a venue entrance when I’m running late. I hate being late. Have you ever been arrested? No. Would you go for a pint with Kanye West? Yeah, why not. But I’d have to swap the pint for a soft drink – like I said, I don’t drink alcohol. I could school him about garage music and convince him to work on a garage track. What would you want written on your tombstone? Oi, what you looking at!
DJ EZ is among the first wave of acts announced for Hideout Festival, Zrce Beach, Croatia 28 June - 2 July 2015
“Spurs for life!”
Let's Talk About The Bombs
When the government’s preparing to bomb a foreign land it always feels like we’re sat cross-legged on the carpet waiting eagerly for them to read another story from the Very Serious Book of Military Intervention.
then went back there a decade later with an alarming amount of altruistic spunk. Now we’re running soirees with laser guided bombs in an attempt to halt the cancer-like spread of the latest jihadist group.
It’s a series of watercolours with less than a catchphrase per page. “Look at these persecuted Muslims,” they say, pointing at a picture of appropriately dressed peoples cowering in fear, the furrowed brow lines of a statesman crossing their forehead in metered concern.
If ISIL consolidate their grip on the land they occupy, says the home secretary, “we will see the world’s first truly terrorist state established within a few hours flying time of our country.” We must not flinch! Attack! Attack!
The next drawing shows the enemy just metres from the edge of a town; the Wolf at the Door. They’re the ones driving stolen US-bought tanks, waving black flags and beheading people, or clutching AK-47s, banning democracy and harvesting opium on an industrial scale. “He hates our way of life, our freedom, our democracy,” says Tony, gesticulating wildly at the serious man with a bushy moustache surrounded by rows and rows of parading soldiers, with a palpable certainty he could strike at the heart of England at any moment. And so it continues. We went into Iraq during the Gulf War in the early 90s and
Every time the justification is about what’s happening there and how it’s going to affect us here. This establishment of a caliphate is a “clear and present danger” to our way of life, says Cameron. That’s not to belittle just how serious the situation is on the ground, where people are dealing with unimaginable terror, or to make light of our international responsibilities. The question of whether we should try to help people in these countries is easy to answer and, therefore, largely irrelevant. The more important thing to ask is whether we can help, and the government never gives the UK public the
respect of having an open debate about that. The arguments about how the threat there causes attacks here ring hollow. Perhaps we can bomb an ideology out of existence, but attacks on the UK have largely been plotted and carried out by UK nationals – the threat originated in our country – and stopping them has been almost entirely down to the amazing work of our security services, not these wars. And there needs to be a public forum to discuss every intervention, not a short debate in the Commons made in front of nodding-dog MPs. We need to make sure the public knows basic facts, like how many people support the regime we’re about to dismantle and what happens after our intervention ends. And these facts, observations and uncertainties, need to be couched in appropriate rhetoric not amped up for the sake of cheap headlines. It shouldn’t sound like a leader’s personal mission either. Any time the
debate turns into a soap box speech in front of an audience of yes men, rather than a conversation about the perils of intervention, we’re in trouble. We’ve just finished pulling our troops out of Afghanistan 13 years after we invaded the country. There’s no doubt we’ve done some good there, but our involvement looks nothing like what we were promised all those years ago. Maybe if we learnt to talk about military intervention honestly and openly we could improve the impact and avoid repeating the same mistakes again and again over the next decade. Words: Christopher Goodfellow mediaspank.net Illustration: Lee Nutland leenutland.com
Featuring Ben UFO, Dinos Chapman, Hookworms, Grouper, Wire, Peaking Lights, Preditah, Fatima, Shanti Celeste, Ought and DJ EZ.