Page 1

Earl Sweatshirt


JULY

2015

FRIDAY 3RD

WAY BACK HERE HASHMAN DJ / BAKE / DJ GUY / WBH RESIDENTS

SATURDAY 4TH

OSTGUT TON NACHT KOBOSIL / VOLTE-FACE

FRIDAY 10TH

LONDON SOME’TING DJ RON / DJ RANDALL / JOSEY REBELLE / BENTON / MC MOOSE

SATURDAY 11TH

DANCE TUNNEL PRESENTS DEKMANTEL SOUNDSYSTEM – ALL NIGHT LONG

FRIDAY 17TH

ELECTRIC MINDS OSKAR OFFERMANN / SHENODA / DOLAN BERGIN

SATURDAY 18TH

MONO_CULT PENDER STREET STEPPERS / MATT LONG / BRAD MERCER

FRIDAY 24TH

BLACK BOOGIE BORROWED IDENTITY NICK GABRIEL

SATURDAY 25TH

/ ARIO /

DANCE TUNNEL X FIELD MANEUVERS CHRISTIAN S. / TOBY TOBIAS / ELENA COLOMBI

DANCE TUNNEL 95 KINGSLAND HIGH STREET, LONDON E8 2PB WWW.DANCETUNNEL.COM


Simple Things Festival 2015 First Acts Announced

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Opening Concert

Battles

Friday 23 October 8pm - 11pm Colston Hall, Bristol

Live Penguin Cafe Wire Factory Floor Dean Blunt Lone Danny L Harle DJ Funk Romare Speedy Ortiz Liturgy Lower Dens Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators Chastity Belt Long Arm Grumbling Fur Loyle Carner

Saturday 24 October 12pm - 6am Various Venues, Bristol

DJ Ron Trent Objekt Mike Skinner Hunee Barnt Helena Hauff nd_baumecker Avalon Emerson Discodromo

tickets.crackmagazine.net


SA T 2 6 T H S E P T H SE 8TR TE 2P6A A PR T IS L K, B S L I V T TOL S A E A R P K E B , L L I R I V S TOL EA S T WELCOME TO WELCOME TO

2015 20 15

ROOTS MANUVA LIVE ROOTS MANUVA LIVE MIKE SKINNER (DJ) KOSHEEN LIVE MJ COLE MIKE SKINNER (DJ) KOSHEEN LIVE MJ COLE STANTON WARRIORS JERU THE DAMAJA LIVE KOAN SOUND STANTON WARRIORS JERU THE DAMAJA LIVE KOAN SOUND SUBMOTION ORCHESTRA LIVE THE BEATNUTS LIVE SUBMOTION ORCHESTRA LIVE THE BEATNUTS LIVE JEFF MILLS DERRICK MAY MIDLAND PAUL WOOLFORD JEFF MILLS DERRICK MAY MIDLAND PAUL WOOLFORD LEON VYNEHALL FUNKINEVEN RYAN ELLIOTT LEON VYNEHALL FUNKINEVEN RYAN ELLIOTT SAN PROPER JEREMY UNDERGROUND MARQUIS HAWKES SAN PROPER JEREMY UNDERGROUND MARQUIS HAWKES BILL BREWSTER ALFRESCO DISCO DJS SHAPES DJS BILL BREWSTER ALFRESCO DISCO DJS SHAPES DJS DAVID RODIGAN FOREIGN BEGGARS LIVE DAVID RODIGAN FOREIGN BEGGARS LIVE DUB PHIZIX & STRATEGY BANDULU SHOWCASE KAHN & NEEK DUB PHIZIX & STRATEGY BANDULU SHOWCASE KAHN & NEEK HI5GHOST BOOFY FLOWDAN SAM BINGA FT. REDDERS HI5GHOST BOOFY FLOWDAN SAM BINGA FT. REDDERS DURKLE DISCO FT. LAMONT KOAST TS2W JAY DROP DURKLE DISCO FT. LAMONT KOAST TS2W JAY DROP FIREMAN SAM SPECIAL GUEST: KURUPT FM FIREMAN SAM SPECIAL GUEST: KURUPT FM CALYX & TEEBEE HAZARD ED RUSH CALYX & TEEBEE HAZARD ED RUSH BREAK SPECTRASOUL LENZMAN BENNY PAGE ED SOLO BREAK SPECTRASOUL LENZMAN BENNY PAGE ED SOLO RANDALL FRE4KNC DESPICABLE YOUTH SKIBADEE RANDALL FRE4KNC DESPICABLE YOUTH SKIBADEE SP:MC GQ LX ONE SHABBA D REMIDY SP:MC GQ LX ONE SHABBA D REMIDY DIGITAL MYSTIKZ FT. SGT POKES YOUNGSTA SUKH KNIGHT DIGITAL MYSTIKZ FT. SGT POKES YOUNGSTA SUKH KNIGHT COMMODO CHANNEL ONE ABA SHANTI-I O.B.F SOUND COMMODO CHANNEL ONE ABA SHANTI-I O.B.F SOUND TOKYO HIFI DUTTY GIRL REGGAE ROAST TOKYO HIFI DUTTY GIRL REGGAE ROAST

MUSIC FESTIVAL

A RT I STS B I L L ED BY STA G ES A RTI B I L L£E3D GE SK YOWORLD.ORG EAS E T ISTS GE NE R AL R E L EASE C K ETS 0 BY - WSTA W W.TO GE EN KETS N ERAL R ELE AS E TI CK ETS £30 - W W W.TO KYOWO RLD.O RG


9

MUSIC FESTIVAL

July 11 2015 th

Weston-super-mare crown stage

Griffin stage

Presented by Motion

Live :

clean bandit DJs (in a-z order):

Claptone eton messy groove armada rob da bank uppfade

featuring (in a-z order):

Crazy P Soundsystem Greg Wilson Jus Now - Live Toddla T feat. DRS Plus motion Residents

the blast

www.coronasunsets.com Š2015 AB InBev UK Limited, all rights reserved

18+ event

Please drink responsibly


10


Highlights Highlights Exhibitions Exhibitions

Eloise Lives on Wire Eloise Hawser: Hawser: Lives on Wire 1 Jul – 6 Sep 2015 1 Jul – 6 Sep 2015 Lower Gallery Lower Gallery

Isa Research Paintings IsaGenzken: Genzken: Basic Basic Research Paintings 1 Jul – 6 Sep 2015 1 Jul – 6 Sep 2015 Lower Gallery Lower Gallery

Shout 1980s ShoutOut! Out!UK UKPirate Pirate Radio Radio in in the the 1980s 26 26May May–– 19 19 Jul Jul 2015 2015 ICA Fox Reading Room ICA Fox Reading Room

Everything the 60s 60s and and 70s 70s EverythingisisArchitecture: Architecture: Bau Bau Magazine Magazine from from the

Events Events Culture Now: Gilles Peterson Culture Now: Gilles Petersonand andJez Jez Nelson Nelson FriFri 3 Jul, 1pm 3 Jul, 1pm and radio presenterGilles GillesPeterson Peterson DJDJ and radio presenter discusses pirateradio. radio. discusses UKUK pirate

29 29Jul Jul––19 19 Sep Sep 2015 2015 ICA ICAFox FoxReading Reading Room Room

Film

Artist’s Artist’sTalk: Talk:Eloise EloiseHawser Hawser Wed Wed15 15Jul, Jul,6.30pm 6.30pm

Amy Amy From 30 30 Jun Jun From

GalleryTour: Tour:Shout ShoutOut! Out! Gallery Thu16 16Jul, Jul,6.30pm 6.30pm Thu Ledby byartist artistPolly PollyBrannon Brannon Led

Blood Blood Cells Cells + +Q&A Q&Awith withfilm filmdirectors’s directors’s Joseph Joseph Bull Bull and andLuke LukeSeomore Seomore Sat 44 Jul, Jul, 4.15pm 4.15pm

Artists’ Film Club: Avant-Noir:Volume Volume22 Artists’ Film Club: Avant-Noir: MusICANow: Now:Exploring Exploring Sound Sound and curated Greg Cuir,JrJr curated byby Greg dedeCuir, MusICA Authorship Wed 8 Jul, 6.45pm Authorship Wed 8 Jul, 6.45pm Thu16 16Jul, Jul,5pm 5pm Thu Women working collectively,what whatisis Women working collectively, Paneldiscussion: discussion:Staging Staging Painting Painting your value? your value? Panel Tue21 21Jul, Jul,4pm 4pm Thu 9 Jul, 6.30pm Tue Thu 9 Jul, 6.30pm Artistsdiscuss discussnew new approaches approaches to to Artists makingpaintings paintingswithin within their their practice. practice. Culture Now: ChristineDelphy Delphy making Culture Now: Christine Jul, 1pm FriFri 1010 Jul, 1pm GalleryTour: Tour:Lives Liveson on Wire Wire Gallery Liquid Trust: video performance with Thu 23 Jul, 6.30pm Liquid Trust: video performance with Thu 23 Jul, 6.30pm Led by artist Yemi Awosile live sound Led by artist Yemi Awosile live sound Tue 14 Jul, 5pm Tue 14 Jul, 5pm Surreal cinematic images, a libretto ICA Associates: WARP, Evian Christ & ICA Associates: WARP, Evian Christ & Surreal cinematic images, a libretto David Rudnick present the Trance War comprised of singular and polyphonic comprised of singular and polyphonic David Rudnick present the Trance War layering performed by a choir are scored Memorial layering performed by a choir are scored Memorial 24 - 26 July by a musician and pre-recorded sound bythat a musician and pre-recorded sound 24 - 26 JulyChrist & David Rudnick for the Join Evian creates a visual and acoustic Join Evianon Christ & David that creates a visual and acoustic opening 23 July, 8pm Rudnick for the spectacle. spectacle. opening on 23 July, 8pm Institute of Contemporary Arts Institute Contemporary Arts The MallofLondon SW1Y 5AH The Mall London SW1Y 5AH 020 7930 3647, www.ica.org.uk 020 7930 3647, www.ica.org.uk

P’tit P’tit QuinQuin QuinQuin Sun Sun 12 12 Jul, Jul,12pm 12pm An An absurdist, absurdist,slapstick, slapstick,metaphysical metaphysical and and at at times times disturbing disturbingmurder murdermystery. mystery. Salt Salt of of the the Earth Earth From 17 Jul From 17 Jul A A powerful powerful homage homageto tothe theBrazilian Brazilian photographer Sebastiaõ Salgado. photographer Sebastiaõ Salgado. ICA Cinematheque: Offside ICA Cinematheque: Offside 4 Aug – 15 Sep 2015 4 Aug – 15 Sep 2015 Season of screenings in response to Season of screenings in response to films that employ football as a device films that employ football as a device through which to explore wider social through which to explore wider social and political questions. Kicks off with and political questions. Kicks off with Offside (4 Aug). then Zidane: A 21st CenOffside (4 Aug). then Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait (18 Aug). tury Portrait (18 Aug).

The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848 The ICA is a registered charity no. 236848


13

Contents Features 24

EARL SWEATSHIRT Having left the Odd Future circus, the prodigious LA rapper is striving to carve his own path. Davy Reed finds him to be in a drained but determined condition during his European tour

30

MAC DEMARCO Davy Reed grabbed a rare moment of downtime with Mac in between five-minute-long crowd surfs and staving off adoring fans

34

NILS FRAHM

38

Tom Watson speaks to the neoclassical/electronic cross-pollinator who, through an unfailing ethos of trust, collaboration and inspiration, is forging a new creative future

LEE BANNON The versatile Sacramento producer is closing a chapter of his career with a pool party. By Xavier Boucherat 41 34 42

TINK Full of fire: the rising Chicago singer/rapper packed no punches in her explosive conversation with Trina JohnCharles

GEORGIA Having spent years as a session musician bringing other artists’ visions to life, Duncan Harrison finds the blossoming London-based musician seizing her opportunity 45 56

Earl Sweatshirt shot exclusively for Crack by Tom Johnson. London: June 2015

CARSTON HÖLLER: DECISIONS As the Southbank prepares to shut its doors for two years, Augustin Macellari discusses the latest, and last, blockbuster exhibition of an era

Regulars 17

EDITORIAL Dinosaurs are class

18

RECOMMENDED Our guide to what’s coming up in your area

21

NEW MUSIC From the periphery

23

TURNING POINTS: DESTROYER Dan Bejar talks James F. Thompson through his 20-years as mainstay of Destroyer and The New Pornographers

58

AESTHETIC: JAAKKO EINO KALEVI We took the Finnish indie prince down to the woods for a pastoral instalment in our Aesthetic series

50 69

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

90

DIGRESSIONS Baines’ World, Sold Out! with Andrew W.K., the crossword and advice from Denzil Schnifferman

52

93

20 QUESTIONS: BIG NARSTIE Duncan Harrison pinned down the EBL badman-in-chief to talk about … well, EastEnders mainly

94

PERSPECTIVE ‘Accessing the benefits of musical euphoria’: cognitive scientist Dr. Tom Fritz outlines his research into harnessing the physical benefits of music


14


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04/07 Room One �

Craig Richards Jamie Jones The Revenge (live)

fabric July/Aug

Room Two �

25/07 Room One �

Craig Richards Zip Fumiya Tanaka Alex Celler Room Two �

Secretsundaze Giles Smith James Priestley Mike Huckaby Patrice Scott

Terry Francis Stacey Pullen Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts (live)

Room Three �

Room Three �

10 Years of Kubicle The Revenge (DJ Set) Death On The Balcony Toni D FB Julian

Damaged S.A.M. Bruno Schmidt Georgio Oniani Matteo Manzini

18/07 Room One �

Craig Richards Radio Slave Palms Trax (live) Room Two �

Terry Francis Skudge (live) Cari Lekebusch

11/07

Room One �

Visionquest Ryan Crosson Lee Curtis Shaun Reeves Ion Ludwig (live) Brett Johnson Room Two �

Room One �

Terry Francis Silent Servant Dave Clarke & Mr Jones B2B

Cobblestone Jazz (live) D’Julz The Mole Adam Shelton

Room Three �

Room Two �

Terry Francis Frank & Tony (Francis Harris & Anthony Collins) Bob Moses (live)

01/08

� www.fabriclondon.com

Hudd Trax 10th Anniversary Brett Johnson Iron Curtis (live) Eddie Leader Tomson


17

Issue 54

Executive Editors Thomas Frost tom@crackmagazine.net Jake Applebee jake@crackmagazine.net Editor Geraint Davies geraint@crackmagazine.net Marketing / Events Manager Luke Sutton luke@crackmagazine.net Deputy Editor Davy Reed Junior Editor Anna Tehabsim Online Editor Billy Black Junior Online Editor Sammy Jones Editorial Assistant Duncan Harrison Creative Director Jake Applebee Art Direction & Design Alfie Allen Graphic Design Yasseen Faik Marketing / Events Assistant Lucy Harding Staff Writer Tom Watson Film Editor Tim Oxley Smith Art Editor Augustin Macellari Fashion Charlotte James, Susan Daniel, Natasha Lawes, Bex Day, Juan Jose Ortiz Contributors Josh Baines, Denzil Schniffermann, Xavier Boucherat, Trina John-Charles, Angus Harrison, James F. Thompson, Isis O’Regan, Robert Bates, Francis Blagburn, Tamsyn Aurelia-Eros Black, Jill Blackmore Evans, Jon Clark, Ellie Harrison, Maria Mouk, Will Furtado, Caroline Whiteley, Jack Bolter, Thomas Painter, Jack Dolan, Henry Johns Photography Tom Johnson, Rian Davidson, Bex Day, Juan Jose Ortiz, Elise Rose, Federico Ferrari, Jacob Wayler, Aine Devaney, Carolina Faruolo, Roisin Murphy, Ross Silcocks, Luke Dyson, Brian Whar, Markus Werner, Ariel Martini, Tonje Thilesen, Rhys Buchanan, Brice Robert, Ulla C. Binder Illustrations James Wilson, James Burgess Advertising To enquire about advertising and to request a media pack: advertising@crackmagazine.net CRACK is published by Crack Industries Ltd © All rights reserved. All material in Crack magazine may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of Crack Industries Ltd. Crack Magazine and its contributors cannot accept any liability for reader discontent arising from the editorial features. Crack Magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any article or material supplied for publication or to edit this material prior to publishing. Crack magazine cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to supplied materials. The opinions expressed or recommendations given in the magazine are the views of the individual author and do not necessarily represent the views of Crack Industries Ltd. We accept no liability for any misprints or mistakes and no responsibility can be taken for the contents of these pages.

CRACK WAS CREATED USING: JULIA HOLTER Feel You SHOPPING You Say We Play GEORGIA Be Ache DEAN BLUNT GASS BABYMETAL Doki Doki * Morning SUNN O))) Cannon THE JULIE RUIN Run Fast BLACKLISTERS The Sadness Of Axl Rose MATIAS AGUAYO Trabzon SOLID GOLD DRAGONS Serious Lover

Crack fucking loves dinosaurs. How could you not? Dinosaurs are the business, everyone knows that. There’s big ones, little ones, big ones with little arms, little ones with big heads, ones that can fly, ones that can swim. There’s ones with horns and ones with frills and ones with feathers. Ones that look like the Loch Ness monster, and ones that look like ET. And now and then you have to check yourself and realise, hang on, they used to be here. Like, right here! This isn’t Lord of the Rings shit, this is real shit. So how is it that apart from the best two hours ever, 22 years ago that was Jurassic Park, films about these gnarly bastards have been so underwhelming? Now, we haven’t seen Jurassic World yet – well, one of our film writers has – but we’re inclined to go by JME’s review. Cause the grime kingpin and vegan enthusiast was not impressed. “Do not go and see Jurassic ting” he said via Twitter. “He jumps into a waterfall then lights a match from his pocket in the next scene. Man fuck this shit,” he said. “After the film ends all the pterodactyl are still running riot in the ends. They forgot to write them out of the script.” In the film’s defence, he’d thought things through by the following morning. “The only way I’ll rate this Jurassic ting is if I find out it was a project written by school students. If so, then well done & I apologise.” So yeah, we haven’t seen it, but we have heard that that guy from Parks and Recreation ends up becoming mates with the raptors and forming some sort of gang, which is utterly mental. At least they didn’t go ahead with that idea to have dinosaur/human hybrids with guns. Like, who’s in charge? They had one job – make the dinosaurs look cool and fuck shit up. Jesus. But still, with all that money, and all those dinosaurs; with all those composite parts, it ends up falling flat. How? That’s like, I dunno, having a magazine with Earl Sweatshirt, Tink, Mac DeMarco and Nils Frahm in it and opening it up with 400 words about dinosaurs. Or something.

Geraint Davies, Editor

DEGREES OF FREEDOM Children of the Sun MAXIMUM JOY Why Can’t We Live Together FORT ROMEAU Insides (Roman Flügel remix) PITTSBURGH TRACK AUTHORITY Your Situation M.I.A. Bad Girls AUTHOR + PUNISHER Shame BASILISK Assault of Vermin BLACK LIPS Funny JULIO BASHMORE Umuntu SARA GOES POP Sexy Terrorist MILKMAKERZ Feel The Fire HECKADECIMAL Bentings Bang ASUSU Hallucinator BATU Bleeper Feed PEACHES Light in Places POPCAAN Never Sober DAVIDO Fans Mi ft. Meek Mill SLY TENDENCIES Dat Ass

Issue 54 | crackmagazine.net

Respect Charles Kennedy Sofia Ilyas Tamsyn Black Merry Morgan Nicola Davies Jessica Pearce Aaron Joll


18

Recommended

O ur g uid e t o w ha t 's g o ing o n in y o ur cit y

GEORGIA Electrowerkz 9 July

BICEP XOYO 4 July

PISSED JE ANS 100 Club 18 - 19 August £14 Behold, the thunderous roar of Pissed Jeans. Pennsylvania’s shoutiest mob return to our shores for the first time in bloody ages for two (that’s right two) shows at 100 Club. Expect coughing, spluttering and cacophony on every level from the first and only purveyors of nu-pigfuck. This might be a good time to add that they’ve got a new album out soon too and if you want first dibs then we’d suggest you find your way to the very front of the pit and start thrashing your head wildly before the band have even taken to the stage. In our experience that is the only way to start a night out.

LE1F The Nest 8 July

LOVEBOX Snoop Dogg, Jessie Ware, Danny Brown Victoria Park, London 17 - 18 July £94.50 + BF That cheeky, laidback vibe that Lovebox captures so perfectly is out in full force this year. Snoop Dogg will be there goofing out in a cloud of blunt fumes, Hot Chip will turn up looking like futuristic beekeepers or avant-garde firefighters or something, and Despacio will be doling out deliciously off-kilter bangers all weekend long. At the end of all that, you can bag yourself a cheeky Nando’s and get yourself down to one of their After Dark events with guys like Preditah, Horse Meat Disco and XXXY at the helm.

COBBLESTONE JA ZZ fabric 11 July

REPE ATER FESTIVAL Shacklewell Arms 10-12 July

CR AIG DAVID Oslo 16 July £13 Things Craig David has posted on Instagram recently include a picture of himself photoshopped into digitally rendered waves, a picture of himself photoshopped into a digitally rendered valley, a picture of himself photoshopped on top of several other images of himself, and a picture of a sunrise photoshopped into himself. If you’re not following Craig David, follow him immediately. You should also follow him all the way down to Oslo and check out his DJ set. We can’t guarantee any digital rendering though. Sorry.

A XEL BOMAN Studio 338 15 August

L ARRY LEVAN BIRTHDAY BASH Francios K, David DePino, Joey Llanos, The 2 Bears Ministry of Sound 19 July £15 Last year hundreds gathered in New York’s Hudson Square – with thousands more watching online – to celebrate the life of Larry Levan. The event was part of a wider effort to have the street where the legendary Paradise Garage club once stood renamed ‘Larry Levan Way’. Throughout the 80s, it was here that Levan honed the ‘garage’ sound – a mix of disco, RnB, soul and funk – and paved the way for dance music as we know it. While various events have been held in his honour since, this month his official birthday tribute comes to London. A night of underground disco featuring his peers from both sides of the Atlantic, including Levan disciples Francois K, David DePino and Joey Llanos, the event is also in support of HIV/AIDS charity GMHC. This is your chance to celebrate Levan’s enduring influence.

MICHAEL MAYER Oval Space 11 July

FLOW FESTIVAL Flying Lotus, Skepta, Grouper Helsinki 14 - 16 August 169€ NICKI MINA J Finsbury Park 5 July

PENDER STREET STEPPERS Dance Tunnel 18 July

Oh boy – Flow is not only killing it on the line-up front this year, but it’s offering up some of the most enticing festival food you’re ever going to encounter. Forget bad dreams of soggy burgers and grimy hotdogs – you could be tasting Thai curry while watching Tiga, banging down gourmet burritos to Beck, or ravaging a rice wrap to Run the Jewels. Oh, and Major Lazer, Future Islands and Tyler, the Creator will be there too, probably helping you prop up the dedicated cocktail, beer and champagne bars. As if that wasn’t enough, the Helsinki setting has been described as ‘a work of art’ in itself, never mind all the art that’ll be hanging around courtesy of University of Arts Helsinki. All in all, it’s going to be utterly lush.


19 SHIT & SHINE Corsica Studios 30 July

L AKUTI Oval Space 26 July

ARTHUR RUSSELL'S INSTRUMENTALS Oval Space 10 August £23

DEMDIKE STARE Barbican 9 July

Peter Gordon - a famed New York film and theatre composer - was a close collaborator with Arthur Russell. The pair worked together on many projects including The Flying Hearts and Gordon’s Love of Life Orchestra. 20 years after the legendary cellist and composer’s untimely death, Gordon is coming to London’s Oval Space to direct a special recital of his instrumental works. This unique live iteration will feature members of Russell’s original ensemble as well as photographs from the original performances which took place in 1975 and 1978. A genuine oncein-a-lifetime opportunity.

CANNIBAL OX 15 July Scala £14.50 Cannibal Ox were never left to rest in peace. Following the release of their 2001 cult classic The Cold Vein – considered to be one of the finest records released on El-P’s Definitive Jux label – rumours of the Harlem duo’s return perturbed the alternative rap world for over a decade. And in 2015, Vast Aire and Vordul Megilah finally released the album’s follow-up, Blade of the Ronin. The album shares similar themes to The Cold Vein – New York’s grimy underbelly is examined with dignity and respect. And while the sequel is never as good as the first instalment, Cannibal Ox’s comeback is the reunion that everyone really did ask for.

SEVEN DAVIS JR Egg 25 July

COLLEEN GREEN Shacklewell Arms 1 August

GREEN MAN St Vincent, Super Furry Animals, Goat Brecon Beacons 20 -23 August Sold Out Green Man has a hugely exciting line-up this year, bringing acts as diverse as St Vincent, Super Furry Animals, Slowdive, Hot Chip, Jamie xx, Television and Courtney Barnett to the stunning setting of the Brecon Beacons. Green Man’s not just about hanging out amongst the beats and the sheep though – there’s loads of comedy, literature and film to get your brain ticking too. If you’ve not snagged a ticket yet, sorry, you’re out of luck: it’s sold out. To those who have: have a wonderful one, you lucky things.

BEST FRIENDS Sebright Arms 16 July

VISIONS Andy Stott, Gazelle Twin, Shamir Various Venues, Hackney 8 August £30

RODRIGO AMAR ANTE Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen 22 July

The mind boggles at all this goodness happening over one day and one night. Visions have knocked up enough musical fun for a whole weekend, here, including smashers like Holy Fuck, Fat White Family, Blanck Mass and The Big Moon, and they’ve got a street food festival on the go, and a market, and a screen printing class, and various AV installations. Worried about jamming it all in? We have a feeling that it’ll all be alright on the night. Onward, soldier – we’re all behind you.

REBOLLEDO Bloc 11 July

BUT TERZ fabric 24 July £24 Bass-weight mayhem at fabric this month as Butterz return for a room one takeover where Elijah & Skilliam head up the bill alongside Mumdance, Swindle and Flava D. Elijah & Skilliam’s recent jaunt round the UK with Kano looked colossal and Mumdance’s DJ sets – and his celebrated mix for fabric – prove that he is genuinely at the top of his game right now. The Blackout imprint are heading up room two with a showcase of their skewed, off-centre strand of drum’n’bass, as Black Sun Empire, State Of Mind and Phace lead the way with their singular take on the genre rooted in technical ability and boundary-pushing.

DJ TENNIS
 Oval Space 12 July

HESSLE AUDIO fabric 3 July

DIMENSIONS Moodymann, George Clinton, Objekt Pula, Croatia 20 - 23 August £140 Few people get a party started like Kenny Dixon Jr. Dimensions know this all too well, as they’ve invited him back four times now. The festival tends to peak in intensity during a set from the Detroit hero; as the sun goes down in a disused fort on the Croatian coast and Moodymann’s deeply funky, energy charged soul falls on a doting audience, it encapsulates the festival’s ethos – paying homage to the past while fuelling the very best of the present. This is true across the line-up, with Four Tet, Little Dragon and Floating Points opening up at the spectacular opening concert in a 4000-year-old amphitheatre, founding fathers Juan Atkins and Lil Louis playing alongside kingsize modern techno from Rødhåd and Blawan, and a crop of the finest living selectors like Motor City Drum Ensemble, Hunee and Sadar Bahar. Party proportions Kenny would approve of.


21

New Music

RODJI DIEGO Houston rapper Rodji Diego is a member of Moe Gang, who make up H-Town’s Sauce movement alongside The Sauce Factory and the Sauce Twinz (the latter have cautiously accepted one of Drake’s career boosting – but subtly condescending – co-signs). Diego recently dropped his Rodzilla mixtape via the blog, clubnight and dedicated Sauce platform Southern Hospitality, and it sees him land countless punchlines with his urgent, high-pitched delivery. While the Houston flow has inspired many out-of-town, radio-dominating rappers in recent years, Diego seems eager to keep the Sauce truly authentic: “I’m like a stripper to these labels, throwing dollars at me / see they’re coming for my style, I can’t let them have it / lying in, half-asleep but trynna copycat me.”

CR AVE Contrary to assumption, Jonny Teardrop does not take his name from one of the gangsters in The Simpsons. He is also not very good at supplying much information about himself, or his noise-pop project Crave, on the internet. What we can glean from an untidy mass of Soundcloud, Facebook and Youtube links, however, is that he’s a Berlinbased serial EP maker (he’s dropped two in the span of May to June alone) and he’s very good at making heaving, heavy electro that’s overlaid with satanic fuzz and underlaid with danceable beats. To be filed firmly next to the harsh pop we’ve been hearing from HEALTH so far this year, Crave’s output is a thick, seething electronic tar that puts its hands all over you. Turn it up: while you’re in the grip of Crave, no one can hear you scream.

:

O Signal 1 HEALTH / Salem soundcloud.com/c-r-a-v-e

O Who It Is ft. Chedda da Connect & Slim Thug 1 Pimp C / Shy Glizzy : youtube.com/ moegangornogang

R AINFORTH

FR AN LOGO Hailing from Edmonton in North East London, Fran Lobo’s sound is desperately seeking something real. Her organic, rich balladry manages to sound both skywardfacing and deeply personal. Her breakout track Is This Love does very little in the way of vocal trickery. Lobo’s voice is at the forefront of the mix, and the detailed production rattles around her anthemic chorus. She is still operating with a sound that is very much finding its feet. Both her aesthetic and her songwriting are showing a kind of overflow of ideas and influences, but that’s no bad thing. With a voice like Nina Simone on Plain Gold Ring and a theatrical ambition like Björk, the sky might be the best direction to face.

:

O Is This Love 1 Ibeyi / St. Vincent soundcloud.com/franlobo

Maximum Joy are the best post-punk band you’ve probably never heard of. Early-80s contemporaries of the ravenously-revived The Pop Group, the Bristol fivesome stood side-by-side with Gang Of Four and PiL, or US contemporaries like ESG and Liquid Liquid, in merging the defiant attitude of the by-then-bloated punk generation with worldly influences from jazz, hip-hop, funk, dub and disco. But, as prolific archivist Tom Hull recalled in his Recycled Goods column, “only Maximum Joy had Janine Rainforth.” Rainforth made her indelible mark on music over 30 years ago, so to hear her voice once again is haunting, not only because of the tone of her new material. It comprises rich, blurry lullabies which drip searching keys over shuffling rhythms and, of course, Rainforth’s piercing but pining vocal. It’s a sweeping, ambient sound which recalls other strands of 80s alternative like the otherworldly ethereal wave of Liz Fraser’s work with This Mortal Coil, or even the contemporary avant-pop of Zola Jesus or Glasser.         “I won't ever lose my original musical roots, so funk, punk, reggae, jazz and hip-hop still inform me,” Rainforth tells us, “I love large bass sounds and good rhythm, but those influences are perhaps more in the background now. In terms of musical influences I've changed camps a bit. It feels like I'm drawing from a broader spectrum, that's quite exciting for me.”     It’s also very brave. Releasing these long-gestated ideas into the public sphere, and especially returning to the stage after over two decades, took some guts. A recent gig saw her personally invited by that rampant shaman Mark Stewart to support old allies The Pop Group at Islington Assembly Rooms. “It was a great pleasure to be asked,” she says, “we all go way back, to when we all hung out in Bristol as teenagers trying to look –  and sound – cool.” And Stewart’s support for Rainforth’s work has been everpresent. “He's great at encouraging and fanning flames of tiny ideas into roaring fires!”       This set was a far cry from the gigs where Rainforth cut her teeth. “Early Maximum Joy gigs were a gas; punk had just blown things apart and we were hot on the tails of it, and maybe as a result it was easy to get gigs in incongruous places: small working men's clubs up North, Italian communist  – with a little ‘c’ – festivals, or remote German youth clubs in the Black Forest, with babies, dogs and hippies in the audience.” It’s difficult to overstate the impact of this post-punk first generation, with its lack of respect for boundaries across genre and culture, and Rainforth is modest about her own lasting influence. “Maybe in the experimental/noise/atmos end of things, and the rawer end of things too. There’s a whole plethora of post-punk type bands now, they've gone on to evolve their sounds from their own influences. Maybe Maximum Joy is one of those influences?” As Rainforth forges a new musical future, it’s important not to divorce it from her pioneering and catalytic past. 

O Have Brave Heart 1 Leila Arab / Glasser : trainforth.co

BLOOD KNIGHT New Zealand’s Blood Knight are tearing up the elements of lo-fi thrash and black metal like a lawnmower and spitting them back out in a barrage of relentless speed and misery. We’ve not heard anything this high-grade since the golden era of Bay Area powerviolence and 625 Records' punishing capital F Frash output. Blood Knight ain’t easy on the ears, but if you’ve got a taste for anything that sounds like it was recorded by deranged satanists down a phoneline, then this will probably hit the spot. Their first demo is out on the exponentially awesome Australian label Heavy Chains, and we can’t wait to hear what they drop next.

O Wasteland Wizard :

1 California Love / Nocturnal Witch bloodknight.bandcamp.com

SIMO CELL We ventured to Paris last month to find a city revitalised by its electronic music loving masses. Though it is yet to compete as a world-renowned clubbing destination, with its wealth of thriving promoters, labels and producers, it’s satisfying to see this bubbling energy begin to get real recognition on an international scale. Our case in point: the UK-centric Livity Sound’s newest offering, the Paris-based Simo Cell. While the Livity Sound label is dedicated to unfurling the sonic evolution of its staple – Peverelist, Kowton and Asusu – its offshoot Ytivil Dnuos remains committed to presenting emerging talent. After releasing the likes of West Country producers Bruce, Batu and Hodge, the collective are introducing Simo Cell via two off-kilter club bullets. While the style is undeniably Livity-esque, with a sinister rumbling lurking throughout, its percussive minimalism carries enough individual flare to hold your attention. Tres bon. O Piste Jaune 1 Tessela / Rhythmic Theory : @simocellmusic


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Turning Points: DESTROYER A one-man indie rock whirlwind, Dan Bejar has put out more records than many fans have spent years on this earth. Since releasing his first album back in 1996, the Vancouver-based singer-songwriter has had a hand in almost 30 albums and EPs, either operating under his Destroyer solo moniker, playing with The New Pornographers or indulging in any number of side projects. In 2011, Kaputt saw Destroyer deservedly achieve international success, while last year’s Brill Bruisers saw The New Pornographers break the top 20 in America for the second time in a row. This summer sees the release of Poison Season, the 10th Destroyer full-length and the ever-prolific Bejar’s second release of 2015.

“2001-2004 was my most fearless era. I was getting lumped in with a certain indie pop crowd which I had kind of lost interest in”

Words: James F. Thompson

1996: Creating Destroyer and releasing We’ll Build Them a Golden Bridge I just lived in a big house with a bunch of people, we all did music in some way, so it felt like the most normal thing in the world. I didn’t have much else going on. I’ve always been a massive music fan and I’ve always done a lot of writing. I guess at some point that writing just collided with a four-track and a guitar. It felt like a pretty natural way for me to work, holing up by myself with a four-track instead of trying to like, put a band together. I think that by the time the first record came out though, I was completely uninterested in what was on it. I was pretty much immersed at that point in what I guess you would call classic rock. 1999: Starting The New Pornographers and playing in an indie-rock supergroup At the time when we started the band it was pretty much just a conversation amongst friends in a bar. You know, Carl [Newman] was always the de facto leader – he’s a bit older than me, he’d played in a couple of different bands, he’d been doing it much longer – then John [Collins] recorded the early New Pornographers stuff and played a big part of it as well. I didn’t really know the language of the recording studio so I was definitely just along for the ride. I always knew it was going to be much more of a rigid thing, you know? Destroyer’s always been a bit looser as far as the playing goes and the songs themselves; the Pornographers have always been much faster and like, driving.

2002: Signing to Merge, releasing This Night and confounding the critics I think that was kind of my most fearless era; maybe 2001-2004. I was getting lumped in with a certain indie pop crowd which I had kind of lost interest in. The sound was very much in-your-face but at the same time kind of ghostly. Plus we all made a conscious decision not to practice too much before going into the studio, so it was pretty loose. I don’t know if it’s what [Merge] signed up for but that wasn’t my concern at the time - it was just stuff I wanted to do and I did it – I didn’t really think of Destroyer as a commercial entity at all. 2011: Releasing Kaputt and accidentally hitting the mainstream In North America it was a bit more gradual – I’d done this record called Destroyer’s Rubies [in 2006] and that was kind of a more relaxed, less self-conscious presentation of what Destroyer is all about and that did quite a bit better than all the records that had come before it. My life isn’t too drastically changed. The big difference was that we finally found a bit of an audience in Europe. It’s hard to be too transformed on record number nine when you’re 40 years old though. In a lot of ways you’re etched in stone at that point. If maybe it had come out 15 years earlier it might have changed the way I approach music but it’s too little, too late as far as I’m concerned. I feel like it’s a record that did well but it’s not really going to chart what I do from here on in – I have no qualms turning my back on it, 100%. 2015: Recording Poison Season, the 10th Destroyer record In 2012 I played a lot of shows and I played with this one line-up of the band that felt really good to me. I was singing really well on stage in a way that might have been a first; I got it into my head that it was something I really wanted to capture. So we went to a really fancy studio for the first time, all piled in, played the songs and walked out. Most of the record was done in that way. The other thing is, I’ve always thought about orchestral arrangements and string arrangements and the obvious thing Kaputt did was give me a budget to try and pull off this widescreen version of the songs. In a lot of ways it’s a much darker record than Kaputt song-wise, but sonically the spectrum is kind of way more blownout.


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Earl Sweatshirt: Taking Flight


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Words: Davy Reed Photography: Tom Johnson

Earl didn’t show up. And to be honest, we didn’t expect him to. A few months back he’d vented his fury towards Columbia Records after they’d unceremoniously rush-released his latest album without his blessing, and so it’s little surprise that the bullshit-averse, roadweary rapper was reluctant to meet us at lunchtime in the swanky West London offices of Sony Music – Columbia’s owners – for an intensive session of questions, photographs and slick handshakes. Later that day, the label give us an alternative address near Edgware Road. After pressing the buzzer, a teenager with a skateboard clutched by his side appears in the alleyway, unlocks the gate and leads me up to the cramped apartment where Earl is staying. Hunched over his stickerplastered MacBook, the 21-year-old rapper is shirtless and wearing grey jogging bottoms, with his white sports socks tucked into a pair of flip-flops. He offers his hand cautiously, before immediately focusing his attention back to his laptop screen.  Also in the room are Earl’s DJ Stoney Willis, Odd Future affiliate and pro skater Nakel Smith (who’s been performing hypeman duties on tour) and a middle-aged woman with a warm smile, who is cooking the boys an enormous feast of Caribbean food. It was her, I presume, who stocked up on the comprehensive supply of vitamins which sits on the kitchen table alongside a mess of cannabis paraphernalia. She apologises profusely for Earl missing the interview. Earl got sick last time, she tells me – referring

so I wait around for an hour or so while he “comes to earth” – a process which involves him occasionally prodding at his plateful of food, enthusing over the latest mixtape from Chicago rapper Lucki Eck$ and constantly re-lighting a thick, saggy joint. “I fucking smoke too much,” he sighs at one point. “I love weed though, shit sucks.” Eventually, Leila hands his friends some money and sends them off to entertain themselves before soundcheck, then Earl and I are left alone to talk.

For Earl, hip-hop with integrity is rooted in honesty, and his second retail album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside – which was released in March – is an unfiltered snapshot of his life during a difficult “Flow proper, the show-stopper be Bogarting it / Other niggas be going hard, transitional stage. Clocking in at a slender 30 minutes, the beats on the album – and Early be going artisan” - Between almost entirely produced by Earl under his Friends randomblackdude alias – are fuzzy, sepiaHis fatigued condition is a little discouraging toned soundscapes with lo-fi, sluggish drums. With an absence of obvious hooks at first, but it doesn’t take long for Earl or crowd-pleasing bangers, you’re left with to warm up. As a keen reader who often no choice but to listen closely to the words. laments the mind-numbing impact of “I prefer making music in situations where social media, it’s common knowledge I’ve got to keep it down,” he explains. “In that Earl’s level of intelligence betrays his the apartment I live in, the room that I do young age.“I’m still trying to go to school,” music in is right above where little girls he claims. “I want to do psychology, sleep, so I can’t be like, slamming that shit. neuroscience. Probably music or literature That’s the true test of something that’s – but as a second.” Over the years, he’s progressed from willful ignorance to a higher good to me. If you’re doing something that’s not very loud, but it’s fire as fuck.” level of consciousness, and his prodigious talent has always shone through his startling Earl has always let pain seep through his rhyming ability. Kendrick Lamar recently lyrics. Even when he was engaging in the declared Earl to be his favourite artist, and adolescent pursuit of offending for fun, the that’s by no means an unusual choice. anger directed towards his absent father (he once referred to himself and members But for all his dexterity, Earl does not – like most discerning rap fans – see less value in of OF as the “product of popped rubbers”) rawer forms of hip-hop, where energy, rhythm always exposed his vulnerability. But with prominent themes of addiction, anxiety, the and emotion takes priority over technicality. fake friends who circle around his fame and the loss of his grandma, I Don’t Like Shit... sees Earl treat the recording booth like a shrink’s couch more than ever. “If you spell out the root of the problem, you shed light onto anything that could be a mystery as to why you’re feeling the way you are,” he explains. “But if you shed light on it all and you still don’t do anything, that’s when weird shit starts happening to you, I swear.”

Issue 54 | crackmagazine.net

“"A lot of my album was written when I'd stayed up all night and it's eight in the morning. That's when you be having bars"”

to last year when he cancelled string of US and European festival dates, citing exhaustion. If Earl gets too sick again, then we won’t have a tour at all, she explains. I’ll later realise that she is Leila Steinberg, an influential youth worker who began helping Earl a few years back, and who famously managed and mentored Tupac Shakur during the formative years of his career. Earl has basically just climbed out of bed,

necessarily proudly or ashamedly – but just like it’s the truth. And that’s some deepseated shit, to come to the conclusion like ‘I’m a piece of shit, I’ll rob my best friend’. It’s sneaky, snakey stuff. Fear is the governing tone of a place like a crack house, and the whole energy of the music matches that shit.”

“I fuck with the turnt shit because it’s part of the balance, you know what I’m saying? Humans have all the energy that’s being put forward in music. “Niggas also got to understand where that music comes from,” he continues. “Like a lot of the shit that comes from Atlanta, it’s all paranoid because it comes from these super hostile environments. A lot of niggas are coming out saying they ain’t shit – not

. I Don’t Like Shit... was created during an intense month of debauchery while Earl had a break from touring in LA. Having recently broken up with his girlfriend, he spent his days having casual sex, drinking Hennessy and getting high with his friends. It was a process in which he learnt a lot about himself and found creative clarity after emerging from the darkest depths. “A lot of shit was written right in the moment, or if I’d just stayed up an entire night and it’s like, eight in the morning,” he recalls. “That’s when you just be having bars. Cause you’re tired, so you’re kind of discombobulated and you’re not as quick to throw up the defences that you subconsciously throw up during the day.”


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“That’s what my goal is now,” he declares, “just being able to fuckin’ remove those obstacles without being in a weird space, whether that’s staying up ‘til 12 the next day, or smoking until you’re not high. You know that? You ever smoked weed until you’re not high? That shit is crazy.” “Disappear again, reappear bearded / On top of a Lear, steering it into the kids’ ear again” - Hive It’s hard to think of any other career trajectory which resembles the story of Earl Sweatshirt. And in order to fully connect with his current lyrical content, it’s important to understand why he's carrying more emotional baggage than the average 21-year-old. The rapper was publicly inducted to Odd

"The Odd Future fanbase is what makes touring hard for me, straight up"

Future with the track Assmilk on Tyler, The Creator’s Bastard mixtape, which first appeared online in late 2009. On the track, Earl – then 15 years old – declared himself the “reincarnation of ’98 Eminem” and competed with Tyler to come up with the most absurd, gruesome and morally reprehensible imagery possible in a succession of back-and-forth verses that were interrupted by the sound of the duo play-fighting in the studio. The Earl mixtape came a few months later, and the articulate horror of the rapper’s bratty skate-rat manifesto was summed up on the tape’s lead track: “Go on, suck it up; but hurry, I got nuts to bust and butts to fuck and ups to shut and sluts to fucking uppercut / It’s OF buttercup, go ahead – fuck with us / Without a doubt, a surefire way to get your mother fucked”. The track’s now-legendary video went viral, galvanising the ascent of OF while stirring debates about the relationship between morality and art. But by this point, Earl was already gone. For over a year and a half, Odd Future fanned the flames of curiosity about Earl’s absence while remaining tight-lipped about his whereabouts. On the digital flyer they posted for an early gig at LA’s Key Club

in July 2010, Earl Sweatshirt’s name was crossed out with a note that read “will not be there due to mom”. The words “Free Earl” were included in lyrics, chanted by ever-expanding crowds and printed onto merchandise. The accepted narrative seemed to be that Earl’s mother had objected to his lyrical content and Odd Future’s corrupting influence, and had coercively deprived him of his chance at success. Complex magazine first blew Earl’s cover by leaping over the boundaries of ethics with an article entitled Complex Exclusive: We’ve Found Earl Sweatshirt, in which they posted photos they’d painstakingly searched for that proved Earl was at the Coral Reef Academy – a reform school for at-risk youths in the Pacific island nation of Samoa. Once the story was out, The New Yorker published an 8000 word article about Earl’s situation in which they relayed emails from him via his mother. “I’ve still got work to do,” Earl was quoted as saying. “And don’t need the additional stress of fearing for my family’s physical wellbeing. Space means no more ‘Free Earl.’” The New Yorker's piece also reached out to Earl’s father who, it transpired, is the famous South African poet and activist Keorapetse Kgositsile. “Now you surrounded with a gaggle of 100 fucking thousand kids / Who you can’t get mad at when they want a pound and pic / Cause they the reason that the traffic on the browser quick / And they the reason that the paper in your trouser's thick”Mantra Earl left LA as a barely distinguished bedroom rapper and returned as a worldfamous, mythologised icon. His lengthy verse on Odd Future’s victorious posse cut Oldie came as a thrilling surprise – it was widely believed that the group were legally restricted from using Earl’s voice on for-sale music until his 18th birthday in February 2012 – around a month before the group released The OF Tape Vol 2. During Odd Future’s sold out gig at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom a month later, Earl made history by joining his friends – who were now an experienced, globetrotting live unit – on stage. The crowd roared when they heard the distinctive piano loop of Orange Juice – an early OF track that captured Earl and Tyler’s fraternal chemistry. But Earl’s voice could barely be heard, and his big moment was muffled. Online footage showed that Earl was holding the microphone too far from his mouth. It was an awkward blunder, but who can blame him? After all, this was his first real show.

The reunion had plenty of glorious moments, and Earl seemed excited to be recording with the group’s members again, but things could never be the same as they were before he left. Friendship groups can grow in different directions during adolescence, and something inside of Earl Sweatshirt had fundamentally changed in Samoa. During his time at Coral Reef, he worked at a victim’s support centre which served young people who had been sexually assaulted, and since then he’s appeared embarrassed and remorseful about the shock-tactics of his old material. But Earl insists that the time spent in Samoa was a necessary sacrifice; a self-imposed exile to help prepare him for the pressures Odd Future might bring. “I could have been out of there,” he says, still playing with his now-cold plate of chicken with rice and peas. “But I spent a year there fighting. I spent a year not moving forward. And time is your most valuable asset. That’s a year that was gone, that’s a chapter out of my book. Bro, I noticed that my mind doesn’t even acknowledge 2011 as a year. I don’t know what happened in 2011. When I was fighting over some shit, that if I’d seen how over [Odd Future] I was just a couple of years later...” he shakes his head in disbelief. OF’s gradual dissolution has been no secret, but a couple of days before our interview, a cycle of online news articles had generated after Tyler had tweeted that Odd Future are “no more”. Earl was callous in his response: “no sympathy for male virgins who’re in their feelings about Tyler pointing out and solidifying the obvious,” he tweeted. Is he really trying to distance himself from the eternally immature demographic that worships him? “Oh so fucking badly bro,” he exclaims. “It’s what makes touring hard for me, straight up. Last night in Bristol, there’s two dudes in the front like “Fuck Odd Future! Earl, fuck Odd Future!” That’s the most Odd Future thing you do,” he says, cringing. “I started thinking the way I do now the last time I came to Europe,” he explains. “I was playing cutty ass places, like weird towns in Germany. And it was the worst that I’d seen it, the fanboy shit. Or just the head-to-toe [merchandise], like, you look like shit. But you can’t get on someone’s head because they’re trying to be like you. And when I told myself that, I was like ‘ohh fuck’ So you gotta repent, know what I’m saying?  “And I went back home with that, and I brought that to fools at OF. It’s a difficult position to be in, to sympathise from the management side of OF. It’s difficult to get seven or eight people together in a


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collective consciousness, but it was easy for me. I was just like ‘fuck that, I’m not going to drive myself crazy.’” “Searching for a way to state it right / Young, black and jaded, vision hazy strolling through the night” - Knight Earl Sweatshirt’s honesty may seem brutal, but there’s something to be respected in his determination to seize control over the false reputation that constantly threatens to define him, to shed a fanbase he’s outgrown despite the financial incentive to just grin and bear it all. He’s constantly steered his career off-road, and he’s shown no desire to fit the mould of restrictive hiphop stereotypes. Towards the end of our conversation, he expresses his disrespect for the wheezy middle-aged rappers who still cling on to the industry by regurgitating fantasies of a lifestyle they led decades ago. “But you know what would be some interesting music?” he ponders. “Fucking disgruntled 40-year-old man music, music that really captures the abyss that might be someone’s middle-age. There’s so much depth to all these characters, but for some reason, everyone’s playing the same character.” And then there’s the question of Earl’s longevity as a touring rap artist. It’s hard not to feel a little concerned about the extent of his physical and mental exhaustion. Does he ever worry about his own future? “Sometimes,” he admits. “But I just trust my gut feeling about shit, I know I’m going to be rapping for no super long-ass time. It’s not like I’m waiting for it anxiously, but there’s going to be a point where I have to depart from doing shit publicly – to succeed where the people who are older than me failed. There’s going to be a point where I disconnect from the generation that’s prevalent in music. Im’ma fucking sign off right there. You feel me?” I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside is out now via Tan Cressida / Columbia Records

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“I don’t buy new clothes, I don’t buy fancy food, I pay the cheapest rent I could get in New York. I’m not going to change just because I’ve got money in the bank”


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Everybody loves Mac DeMarco Words: Davy Reed Photography: Federico Ferrari

In a vast sea of limbs and smartphones, the red Vans on Mac DeMarco’s feet are pointing vertically towards the sky. He’s in the midst of one of his now-famous crowdsurfing marathons, and he’s been dropped on his head yet again. After an awkwardly long struggle, the crowd eventually lift him back up, and he re-emerges gloriously with his arms spread out, a fan’s blue trucker cap planted on his head and a cigarette miraculously still clenched between his teeth. He’s stranded out in the crowd for so long that Andrew Charles White – the band’s shirtless, surfer-blonde guitarist – has abandoned his sloppy soloing and spoof-rockstar poses, and is now tossing his instrument back-and-forth across the stage with the group’s bass player, Pierce McGarry. Eventually, their estranged frontman climbs back on the stage – which is littered with bras – and does a celebratory leap in the air while the audience roars with approval. This is Mac DeMarco, ladies and gentlemen. King of the dudes. Since releasing his breakthrough sophomore album 2 three years ago, the Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based artist has found himself on a constant upward trajectory almost by accident, and the bubble doesn’t look like it’s going to burst any time soon. Through his goofy stage antics, bizarre self-made online videos and crude toilet humour, Mac DeMarco has become a down-to-earth, self-deprecating icon in an era when the concept of a highlystrung rockstar feels tired and cheesy. With his carefree slacker persona, he’s become a hero to jaded 20-somethings who are decked out in faded American sportswear that will forever smell like the charity shop it was discovered in. Earlier that afternoon, I’d sat down with the 25-year-old in the backstage area of London’s Field Day. His hair – which has sprung into a sort of untamed afro – looks so dry it might flare up immediately if it

touched an exposed flame, and he has the complexion of a man who’s not consumed a green vegetable in weeks. But there’s a glint in his eye and an effortless charm to him. When I ask him what he makes of all the Beatlemania, his response is humble. “It’s really strange, because I’ve always been in music scenes in different cities where I’m trying to fit in with, like, the cooler older band, or like, trying to impress the guy at the record store,” he says. “But now there’s all these 16-year-olds like [screeches] ‘Maaaaaaac!’” While some of the songs from Mac’s most recent LP Salad Days have grown into lowkey festival anthems, it’s not like his breezy melodies demand critical acclaim, and it feels a little strange to see so much hype surround such an easy-going artist. “I think it’s kind of at the point where, because me and my bandmates have kinda weird, goofy personas and we make weird videos and shit, like a lot of kids get into that maybe even more than they get into the music,” he admits. “I’m sure there’s kids who say they’re fans of me who’ve probably never listened to one of my albums. But it’s cool,” he shrugs, “you can’t really complain about something like that.” And is Mac DeMarco a good role model for those kids, I ask half-jokingly? “I mean, I’m publicly drunk all the time and I chain smoke all the time, so between those two things, it’s probably a little bit sketchy,” he says. “But other than that, what I put out there is that you should do what you wanna do and that you should do what makes you happy. Hopefully it’s working.” Around a week later, I follow up our conversation on the phone, as our time at Field Day got curtailed due to his hectic schedule. “That day was kinda crazy,” he recalls. “I was trying to sort stuff out afterwards, but I ended up taking a buttload of pictures with people. I was trying to buy cigarettes from the normal area of the festival,” he says, chuckling. This time, we discuss Another One, the mini-album which

Mac will release in early August via his long-term label Captured Tracks. Musically, the record is pretty much business as usual, although that signature guitar sound is wobblier than ever, with Mac applying so much tremolo it’s as if his strings are melting in the heat. Ever the unlikely romantic, this time Mac is particularly lovestruck, with songs ranging from the forlorn No Other Heart to I’ve Been Waiting For Her – which glimmers with potential as a euphoric set-closer. “It’s a little bit of a concept in a way,” he tells me. “It’s all love songs and it’s kind of the whole spectrum of like: ‘I’m in love! I’m not in love! I wish I was in love ... Oh, if only I could love!’,” he says, switching his voice like an overzealous actor in a one-man play. “It’s kinda like the whole nine yards. It’s about my life, but I think people should reflect [the songs] on their life, and enjoy it that way.” Mac will tour extensively around the release of Another One. And due to overwhelming demand, it’s been announced that he’ll play a second date at London’s 3000-capacity Roundhouse venue. While few people are getting rich quick from the music business these days, this is a level of popularity which presumably generates a decent amount of cash. But according to Mac, he’s yet to acquire expensive taste. “I’m never going to tour in a tour bus, there’s no fucking way,” he insists. “I don’t buy new clothes, I don’t buy fancy food, I probably pay the cheapest rent I could get in New York. My mentality – and it’s not even a conscious effort, it’s just the way I am – is that I’m not going to change just because I’ve got money in the bank.” But the bigger budget has allowed Mac and his band to live a more sustainable lifestyle on the road. Although they often still stay with friends while touring the States, these days the band will book a hotel when they’re in less familiar territory. It’s a contrast to the early days, when


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“On tour I’ve stayed in gated communities with drug dealer kids who live with their moms, weird frat houses and disgusting fuckin’ dank-ass places”

Mac would sometimes resort to asking a crowd if someone could put them up from the stage. “We’ve had strange, strange experiences,” he recalls. “Like staying in gated communities with drug dealer kids who live with their moms and like weird frat houses and just disgusting fuckin’ dank-ass places. The worst is when you get to a place and my band all go and find the comfiest bed and pass out, and I’m obviously the one awake answering questions with these kids all night. But I dunno, I still enjoy it. That’s part of the reason why I tour so much, because I really like meeting people.” It’s around this point during the phone call, where our conversation takes a surreal turn before reaching an abrupt end. “Oh my god, a turtle is walking down my street!” he shouts. “It’s crazy ... What the fuck? I’m gonna go save it, it’s in the middle of the road. Gotta go, but uuuh, nice talking to ya.” He hangs up. A quick Google search informs me that at least five species of turtle are listed as ‘Endangered, Threatened and Special Concern’ under the New York State’s Native Reptile and Amphibian Laws, and so the effort to rescue his shelled friend is a noble one. But even if he is just fucking with me, he’s at least handed me the perfect ending to this article. As per usual, Mac DeMarco knows when it’s his time to deliver the goods. Another One is released 7 August via Captured Tracks. Mac DeMarco plays End of the Road festival, near Blandford, Dorset, 4-6 September


WAXAHATCHEE

TOTAL BABES

IVY TRIPP LP / CD

HEYDAYS LP / CD

girLpOOL

CHEATAHS

OSCAr

bEfoRE THE woRLD wAS bIg LP / CD

MuRASAkI EP 12"

bEAuTIfuL woRDS EP 12"

FrAnkiE & THE HEArTSTringS

MEg BAird

DECEnCY LP / CD

Don’T wEIgHT Down THE LIgHT LP / CD

A L L R E L E AS E S A L S o AVA I L A b L E D I g I TA L LY W W W.W i C H i TA- r E C O r d i n g S .C O M


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Nils Frahm:Â leader of a quiet revolution


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In the studio of a former GDR production facility, Nils Frahm assembled a projector in the centre of the floor. Reflected back from a screen, beamed Victoria, Sebastian Schipper’s one-take feature. Microphones and instruments were strewn in every alcove as the movie played out on an infinite loop. Images materialised and Frahm, accompanied by a small collective of friends, began to interact with the room. Here, the line separating the composer with the spectator dissolved. Across the chaos of Schipper’s guerilla film editing, Frahm improvised a score gushing with radical finesse. No prearrangements. No demoing. No preproduction. Totally accidental, yet totally conscious of itself. “The great thing is, all of the imperfections in live improvisation make compositions perfect,” Frahm enthuses. “That way the music takes on a translation of reality. The music takes the ‘God Position’, or the ‘Helicopter Position,’ flying above the action and even travelling in time, suggesting that anything could go wrong. But there remains this sense that it’s OK if it all goes wrong.” The Victoria score saw the Hamburgborn, now firmly Berlin-based Frahm recently win a Deutscher Filmpreis, or Lola award, the German equivalent of an Oscar. It’s the first physical accolade he has received in his 10-year career as contemporary classical’s hugely admired activist. He regards the award simply as a “lovely surprise,” before deflecting the conversation back to the process of creating. “For Victoria, I had to bring the picture and the music together; a whole new layer of association you have to deal with. I think we have nine to ten pieces for the soundtrack, but I think all of the cues we ended up recording were in the hundreds. It’s hit-and-miss like that. “But that’s my approach, and this is what I had to make clear,” he continues. “There is no such thing as preproduction for me. I would never record an album twice; once on the computer at home and then again in the studio to record the real thing. I hate MIDI arrangements and sitting in front of a computer for weeks only to have two days in the end to make real music.  “I will just record and hopefully something will emerge. I think we as musicians have

a duty to tell production companies and directors that we work in a specific way and don’t do anything for money. And this is basically what I did. I told them I didn’t want any money from this project. I just want to experience the creation of something.” Above all else, Frahm is a fan of process over final product. The 32-year-old’s work ethic is prodigiously constant, and it appears to be increasing in pace. Aside from scoring Victoria, this year he has released -solo- (his eighth solo release on the Erased Tapes label), a consoling collection of piano movements distributed for free online. He also became the founder of Piano Day, an annual celebration of newly completed compositions, which are readily available to download by the masses. He has performed a sell-out tour, called Nils Frahm Has Lost His Mind, in which he and a team of nine technicians transformed venue spaces into tombs of sound where silence became as integral as spectacle. And there are more, substantial but as-yet-unannounced, projects to come.  “I try doing things a little different to the zeitgeist. I’ve never toured a record for example. My records exist in their own sphere, so in my live shows they have their own kind of life. I think for my whole team, it’s important that everything we do has the potential of being different. We know that our time is limited.” He sighs, stressing that the genesis of his work is ingrained in personal progress over praise. “We would never make any decisions, or take on any project that is simply a good business opportunity or career step, unless it’s also artistically rewarding. By adhering to this dogma, we’ve made it quite far in a very short scale of time.” And there’s a further more profound, progressive force guiding Frahm’s wider decisions and direction. “What I really am trying to achieve is inspiring people to be more radical in their creative processes. It doesn’t need to be as dry as it seems to be nowadays. I talk to a lot of musicians who ask me, ‘what’s your secret?’ There is no secret. The key is trust in your art. It’s the same for an audience as it is for a production company of a film as it is for the promoter of a concert. My team trust me. They are very close to me. But it takes courage to be hard on people, to sustain their trust, only to make up

“I talk to a lot of musicians who ask me, ‘what’s your secret?’ There is no secret. The key is trust in your art”

for it because the result of what we build together always ends up being quite spectacular.” The detail, the fine-tuning and preparation for Frahm’s latest tour embodies his expanding organisation’s ethos and its relationship to labels like Erased Tapes. He talks like a CEO led by ideals, hellbent on innovation. “This was not a tour we made by hiring stagehands. A lot of bands or solo acts get big, get a big label and the big label gets a big management company and the management makes your tour production. Then you’re left with a line of people who you don’t know. “Instead, my team are about to become our own masterclass. We’ve trained ourselves. We want to build upon others. This is the same when it comes to management or to labels. So many are tempted to jump to big labels, like Universal. I get offers like ‘Come on Nils, let’s make this big now, what do you say?’ I say ‘Yeah, we’ll make it big. But in our own way.’ Think of a label like Warp. They signed Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Autechre. They made the label big. They didn’t leave to Universal. This is the exact spirit I have in my company.” There’s a recurring theme in Frahm’s remarks: a palpable apathy towards bureaucracy that’s one half anarchic, one half reassuring. He refutes the hegemony of big industry ownership over their artists while vilifying those allured to their orthodox business models. “You see at large scale festivals artists making lots of money equipped with a USB stick as their instrument,” he vents. “I could streamline my life like this. But I really have the feeling that it wouldn’t last. Maybe I would make a good living and have a good career in the moment, but I’m not sure if it would inspire the next generation so much. “When you jump from one stage of your career to the next stage and change your manager every two years, you lose...” Trust? “Yes. Trust again … because you meet new businessmen and can only hope they are as nice as they seem. I’ve heard horror stories about people getting fucked over by management and who

Words: Tom Watson Photography: Rian Davidson


choose to work alone, which is quite sad. I think working alone can get you quite far, but if you want to go a long way you need friends. It’s about growing with the right people and seeing what’s possible.” So, entrenched in Frahm’s work is an ideology of progress. An ideology that through his swarm of releases and projects intends to galvanise a next-gen of independent, democratic artists. One project in particular is his collaborative investment in the construction of a specially designed piano by David Klavins. The piano, which is to be funded through the -solo- release and Piano Day contributions, would be the world’s tallest. “It’s about inspiration,” Frahm explains. “My music is there to inspire. Not everything needs to be an app or programme. All the big ideas we see these days are computer-centric. I feel like we can do something enormous and thrilling in the real world. If we only focus on digital innovation then we miss out on building hardware like Klavins’ tallest piano. “I’m quite tired of hearing that the Steinway piano can’t get any better. ‘The Steinway’s perfect’. 120 years ago we apparently arrived at a point where it couldn’t improve. It’s a shame to say that, because technology progresses. We now have different materials and skills. We have all kinds of new ways to produce little parts with 3D printers. So I’m sure the piano can improve. David Klavins opened my eyes to this.” As stirringly reticent and soft-spoken as Nils Frahm’s music suggests, the man behind the keys is one of the modern age’s dominant voices for change and innovation in the music industry. He’s an architect of grace and good intention.

Classical’s nonconformist. “Piano Day is the prime example that we shouldn’t just think that everything is already there,” he argues. “Already created. Sometimes we give up before we even start. Maybe I’m crazy or arrogant enough to speak up and say there is still so much we need to change. I feel like we live off the wrong story. I’m in big doubts about the big ideas society lives by and that which fuels our imagination or our desires. We are killing ourselves in a way which art has the potential to stop.” Such rabble-rousing rhetoric marks Frahm as a musician, a creative figurehead, who is unfailingly ambitious; revolutionary, even. “I think what people remember most is not what you did but how you did it. So I feel there is still hope in making art, in talking to people about how you do something. We might fail, who knows. But that’s the beauty of it. The beauty that anything could be a total success or a total disaster. Let’s see.”

Nils Frahm appears at Lovebox, Victoria Park, London, 18 July. -solo- is out now via Erased Tapes


“What I really am trying to achieve is inspiring people to be more radical in their creative processes�

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41

As he closes the book on his output as Lee Bannon, the Sacramento-born producer’s in a reflective mood

“Hip-hop was training,” muses producer Lee Bannon. “There’s lots of electronic musicians out there, people who really push things forward, who started out making hiphop with their friends. Those productions never saw the light of day, but over time they nailed their own sound, a completely different sound. And I think the same thing’s happened to me. It’s just that because I met Joey, it happened in front of an audience.” Bannon is speaking on his evolution as an artist. Last year’s well-received Alternate / Endings saw him rupture with his beatmaking for the likes of Joey Bada$$ and other Pro Era members like Rokamouth. For him, the traditional relationship between rapper and producer has become problematic. “90% of the work goes into the beats,” he says, “all for a visiting rapper to write a few words and trample over the track. I just want to let my stuff shine for what it is. I’ve grown more conscious about giving away beats to people who are just gonna record some vocals on top and put it on the internet.” Instead, Alternate / Endings delivered 60 minutes of white-hot jungle, rich with field recordings and instrumentation. His latest full length for Ninja Tune, Pattern of Excel, strays even further off grid by delving into the primal matter of his production technique. Pattern is a collection of largely beatless sound collages and ambient – a compilation of unrealised tracks, of consecutive interludes, of abandoned plans. Each track has a particular message, he explains. Artificial Stasis, with its voice recording of an overbearing photographer, talks about the creative frustration Bannon was experiencing as a hip-hop producer. DAW in the Sky for Pigs reflects mournfully on the millions of greedy bedroom producers all in it for the wrong reasons. Opener Good / Swimmer starts with a recording of a splash, whilst the scorched, hollow drone of closing track Towels dries off the listener before they get on with their lives.

has already surfaced on his Bandcamp. Pattern is, in effect, an attempt to tie together a seemingly disparate body of work. “Pattern is clay before it’s morphed,” he says. “It’s the last breath of Lee Bannon morphing into ¬ B.” Bannon has frequently played down his diverse style, often citing his place of birth, Sacramento as a formative factor. The Californian capital is a place where, as Bannon puts it, nothing thrives in isolation. Maybe you wince when you hear the term mash-up, it being at the root of so many ill-conceived ideas, but Bannon has no problem using it. He, Death Grips and others have proven that done right, and with love, there’s little limit to what you can incorporate into your sound. What’s behind the decline of small, concentrated scenes in a major city like Sacramento? Bannon points to the internet, which has done a lot to level traditional ideas. “After 2006,” he says, “anybody could be from anywhere. I don’t know if it’s a good thing, but it’s definitely made people less fickle, and opened them up to different sounds.” It explains how fellow Sacramento natives Trash Talk can take Bannon and New York trio Ratking on tour, where the only obvious common link, as Bannon suggests, is that you can mosh through it all. “Nobody seemed too confused,” he says. “Everyone was just ready.” Looking forward, Bannon is taking on production roles for artists who, at this stage, he’s reluctant to name – they’re not hip-hop, is all he’ll say. What’s obvious is how excited he is. “I’m not even turning dials in the studio these days,” he says, “it’s all just communication. You know how Brian Eno was able to be weird for a while and then go and do David Bowie, and then be weird a while longer before doing Joshua Tree? That’s what I want. Whatever I return to, it just needs to mean something.” Pattern of Excel is out 10 July via Ninja Tune

The aquatic theme is present throughout, with words like ‘shallowness’ and ‘inflatables’ popping up in the track titles, and cover art that’s more than a little Nevermind. “It’s like a surf-IDM album!” laughs Bannon, “It’s meant to be played really low, in the background, at the pool.” At the end of May, Bannon announced that Pattern would be the last record to come out under his name, citing concerns that he had now diverged so far from his original sound that it made no sense to carry on working under a moniker still loaded with certain expectations. Material under the new name ¬ B (‘Not Bannon’, or Alt L B)

Words: Xavier Boucherat Photography: Jacob Wayler


42

Boss Up: Tink makes no apologies

Words: Trina John-Charles Photography: Elise Rose Stylist: Charlotte James Hair Stylist: Joel Benjamin Make-Up Artist: Sophie Cox using NARS Cosmetics


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Bitch, slut, nigga, nigger, light-skinned, dark-skinned and feminist: these are some of the labels discussed in my half hour conversation with Tink. And at the risk of sounding patronising, I find it hard to believe I covered so much ground in such a succinct but astute way with a 20-year-old. Tink is intelligent. She is an old soul, very thoughtful – and initially quite demure – in her presence. She has a tiny frame, with an air of delicate grace carried in her features, that contort slightly before she gives an answer. There’s something quite onomatopoeic in that moniker – Tink. As cool and collected as Timbaland’s latest protégé may appear, her music – which sees her flip between gorgeous RnB and ferocious rapping – betrays a multi-faceted individual. At such a tender age, the Chicago artist can sing, she can rap, she can dance, she can write – was she that annoying kid at school that could just do everything with ease and dexterity? “Yeah, it’s just so crazy,” Tink laughs between dainty bites of a Pret sandwich. “I had all As throughout my entire time at high school. I had all 4.0s. I was just really, really smart, but at the same time I was still cool. I had a really good balance, I won’t lie to you. It’s actually like an epiphany, just looking back. Everything I was doing then was setting me up for right now. Being in the talent shows, going to church every Sunday and everybody telling me to sing ... Everything along the way was like a set-up for now.” Tink, birth name Trinity Home, was born in Calumet City, Illinois in 1995. Her mother was a gospel singer and her father a record producer, and so it was somewhat inevitable she’d go on to embrace music. When she was just 16, her freestyle over the beat of Clipse’s Grindin’ was posted by her brother to Facebook, suddenly affirming her as a rapper and generating local hype. Within a couple of years, there were meetings with label execs in Los Angeles before eventually teaming up with Timbaland. Some of these negotiations took place while she was still in high school. With five mixtapes out before she’d graduated, the

music/school balance became increasingly intense, causing Tink to finish her high school diploma online. “When you have something going for yourself, especially when you’re young, you will have people that love you, but at the same time, there’s always that one group of girls – the mean girls – who just hate,” she says, recalling her breakthrough stages. “I also had a lot of people who wanted to hang around just because I was shooting a video and they wanted to be in it. So I kind of just stuck to my two friends who I had known before the little buzz I had. “You definitely have a lot more guys that crush on you too,” she continues. “It was really weird in high school. I think about missing prom from time to time, but then I feel like I’m at prom every photo shoot I do. It was a sacrifice, but at the same time, a lot of things that I’m doing now are like a chance of a lifetime.” She’s right. For an entry-level artist, Tink’s accolades are seriously impressive. She is often compared to Lauryn Hill, she’s been touted as the next Nicki Minaj and she has one of the most legendary producers in the business working on her music. How can there be no pressure? And how do you muster up the courage to tell Timbaland that one of his beats isn’t really to your taste? She laughs. “Me and Tim have a vibe. He’s open. He’s not the type of person that says, ‘do this beat’. He’s more like, ‘listen to this, listen to this and listen to this. Now, which one are you feeling?’ Tim always tells me we balance each other. He always says I refresh him as a producer. My opinion still matters. I don’t have to be scared to say, ‘Hey Tim, maybe that sound shouldn’t be there.’” Timbaland and Tink have been working on Think Tink, the debut album expected to be released this autumn, and there have even been rumours of a Missy Elliot collaboration. Going toe-to-toe with Missy Elliott on a track would scare the soul out of you ... surely? “We have a song that we are working to


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"I don’t have to wear heels and shit, my talent speaks for itself"

wards,” Tink confirms. “She called me and she told me that she would put the verse on it. So it’s in the works. Hell yeah I’m rapping! What I do is so totally left. I’m setting up my own lane for myself, so it’s never a competition to me. Even down to my presence, I don’t care to compete. I don’t have to have the highest heels or the most expensive shoes. It’s not really about that.” Speaking of her appearance, during my research I was shocked to discover so many negative comments online, attacking the 20-year-old for her deep complexion and features. While she’s clearly not the type to be shaken by internet comments, I’m curious to hear about her experiences with colourism. “Well, I’ll tell you this, I think I’d be at a different level in my career if I was lightskinned and I think that’s because of the fucking brainwashing in America. It’s so real. I hate to even contradict myself and I’m trying not to be too political and shit, but there is a lot of brainwashing. People don’t look at darker-skinned women the same. I don’t know if that’s because lighter-skinned people are closer to white, or if they think you’re prettier if you are light-skinned ... but for me, I do feel as though if I was a lightskinned girl, I would be in a different place.” Tink believes in the theory that fast success comes easier to lighter-skinned RnB artists in the music industry than women of a darker complexion. “I’m getting deep, but I feel like because I’m this way, because I’m brown-skinned, darker-skinned, I have to go harder,” she emphasises. “Maybe a lighter-skinned person doesn’t have to do as much? They can rely on just smiling, sitting there and waving. So their impact might not be as strong as someone who is really, really, going for it, someone who is really digging deep and really trying to connect. I rely on my talent. Like I said earlier, I don’t have to wear heels and shit – my talent speaks for itself.” As well as dealing with the cultural divides, Tink has separated herself from other RnB women in terms of her lyrical content. A lot of contemporary hip-hop and RnB artists tend to follow a similar pattern. Misogyny

is still rife, women are calling themselves bitches – something which Tink now refuses to do. But why refuse to call yourself a bitch, but refer to men as niggas; are both terms not derogatory? She pauses for thought. “If you use it in context, nigga is not an insult,” she argues. “It’s not derogatory. Bitch ... in my head, it is. It’s hard to explain, but I’m going to try and word it the right way. If your boyfriend was to call you a bitch, that’s not cute. It shouldn’t make you feel good. Nigga and bitch are just totally different, man!” She laughs. “I hate complicating shit sometimes. Nigga is like saying my homie, my brother, my family. Bitch is not the same.” To many, Tink’s single Ratchet Commandments was the breath of fresh air the hip-hop/RnB world needed. In the controversial track, Tink scolds the young women who seek status by trying to please men who have no respect for them, and some saw the overall message was empowering. “I told Tim like, I’m irritated, devastated / I thought, I thought we had some young queens, what you mean? / We act belligerent, generation of ignorance,” she spits. But not everybody appreciated the tone of the song. Some labelled it patronising, some called it ‘slut-shaming’ and others accused her of ‘male-bashing’. I put this critique to the singer/rapper and for the first time she becomes visibly riled; riled in a good way, riled in a Jesse Jackson way. “Slut-shaming? Should I be slut-praising? Would you like my music then? And if so, then the game needs fixing. Music has become so toxic. People think just because everyone is doing this, I have to do this too. Back in the day music had a real message. Aren’t there enough songs glorifying that shit? Is there not enough slut-praising? I’m a real person. Behind the music, it isn’t just music, I really am Tink. I think that’s the problem. We wonder why we have so many men making songs about hoes being loyal, because we’re not ever really trying to hear the truth. We’re upset about the truth, rather than just taking from it and growing. Why do people see it as ‘bashing’? Why not, ‘damn, she’s telling the truth’? The truth does hurt and I think that’s the reason some people feel some type of way, because Ratchet Commandments is so far left of what we hear every day.”


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"I’d be at a different level in my career if I was lightskinned, and I think that’s because of the fucking brainwashing in America” It’s another layer to the often conflicted world of the modern feminist. What is a girl to do these days? On the one hand we’re being told to respect our bodies, and on the other hand we are being told we should be able to do with our bodies what we like – after all, they’re ours. What does Tink think? “To me it’s not even that deep. I think people make things a lot more complicated than they actually are. From my end, as a 20-year-old in the rap game – in the music industry period – it’s like, view me as an equal artist. I say that because a lot of times as a female, you get overlooked. It’s harder to get that respect. Feminism to me is like ... I can run with the boys too. Guys will reach out to another male artist over a female any day. It’s more about equality and having the same respect. I hate to say it, but a lot of times, females do go harder than the guys, period and … and …” Tink slows down, laughing. “And I’d like to leave that right there.” Think Tink is due to be released later this year via Epic


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Georgia’s time is now

Words: Duncan Harrison Photography: Juan Jose Ortiz

Across Georgia Barnes’ life, London has acted as an incubator for her sound, a platform for her creativity and a playground for her hustle. But up until recently, she hasn’t been the focus of the operation. Having spent years as a session musician for other artists, 25-year-old Georgia is now on the promotional trail for her own eponymous debut album. Her lifetime spent collaborating and providing for the passion projects of others has built her a naturally collaborative spirit – hoarding sounds from all over the world in the hope that her own concoctions become a little more unique. After last summer’s Come In EP, Georgia Barnes’s cocktail of grime, electronica and pop received a flurry of attention from the right kind of music websites. Having studied ethnomusicology, her London is one defined by pluralism. While Georgia is a solo artist, her album is comprised of a thousand tiny collaborations with the world

of sound she’s experienced through both travel and study.

explains. “Being a bit naughty. Trying to move the system.”

record with little in the way of cohesion. But Barnes somehow pulls it off.

It’s an ethos which is impossible to miss on Move Systems, the lead single from her forthcoming album. “It was inspired by Brazilian hip-hop which happens in the favelas in Rio,” she explains, “Really raucous beats with often female MCs over the top, totally killing it. I remember watching this little clip of an artist and it was really distorted. The beats were loud and kind of like” – her excitement while emulating the sound is audible, infectious – “boom-ka-dap-budu, and she was dancing, and it just looked like such high-energy stuff.” Barnes’s take on the Brazilian heat is a force to be reckoned with. Chunky beats clattering off of a distinctively London flow (“I went to meet Sheila / She was a dealer”), then a chorus which catapults from the pavement into a dreamy, ethereal melody. “I was trying to relate it to what me and my girls would do on a night out,” she

For all Georgia’s unselfconscious charm, there’s an almost confrontational fearlessness on show, born out of the self-belief integral to any young creative trying to get by. “From quite an early age – 19, really – I’ve been playing for bands. Up until this point it hasn’t all been roads to success. Sometimes when I was in the studio those frustrations came out through the music. Perhaps that’s why there is this sense of … I wouldn’t say anger, but there’s a punchiness about it”.

With such a modern, magpie-like approach to building sounds, I tentatively ask if she’s ever written anything as traditional as a love song. She replies immediately. “The song Heart Wrecking Animals, that’s a love song really. As a songwriter, you can’t really avoid love as a subject”. The song she is referring to is a glassy, drumless ballad which sounds like Hudson Mohawke taking on desk duties for Kate Bush. It’s honest, a little schmaltzy and brilliantly performed. It’s a far stretch from the gloves-off sparring of Move Systems, or the album’s deviations into clanging London grime and warped post-punk, but it’s another necessary shade to the self-portrait. “It’s all a reflection on me really,” she says. “That’s why I called the album Georgia.”

Georgia speaks about music with an unfiltered, unrehearsed vigour. Names and references flow off her tongue – Missy Elliot, Fever Ray, Oneohtrix Point Never, Joni Mitchell. “I could do a whole interview on records,” she laughs. It’s a messy web of influences, and such a patchwork amalgamation could easily materialise in a

Georgia is released 7 August via Domino Records


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53

A long way down: Carsten HÜller’s latest blockbuster marks the end of an era


Issue 54 | crackmagazine.net

54

The Hayward is about to shut for two years. The brutalist icon, lurking on the Southbank, has, in the past decade, leapt into the public psyche off the back of a number of big-name, immersive, blockbuster shows.

Words: Augustin Macellari

Jeremy Deller, Martin Creed and Pipilotti Rist are all standouts, as well as a David Shrigley show that contributed to his Turner Prize nomination, and Light Show, a group exhibition that broke records with its turnout. Carsten Höller’s Decisions is the temporary conclusion to this series before the gallery’s refurbishment. Chances are you’ve already seen coverage of it somewhere. The Isomeric Slides – two 15 metre spiral slides descending from the gallery’s glass pyramid ceiling to its entrance level – have been stuck on the front of the gallery, ensure maximum exposure. Indeed, this was the busiest press viewing I’ve been to. Plus, the moderate drug references and another installation-cum-ride on one of the sculpture terraces are enough to bring this firmly into the crosshairs of the Time Out types: a good old day out, with enough going on to keep kids and adults entertained. A show of the type that Hayward has, over the last 10 years, pioneered.

The man responsible for the populist-tosome, inclusive-to-others programming is Ralph Rugoff. He’s been the director of the Hayward since 2006, and definitely has an agenda. “There’s a part of the art world,” he tells me, “that’s very nervous about distinguishing itself from popular culture, which it sees as compromise, without integrity. Unfortunately, that can result in a kind of inbred intellectualism, or almost a puritanical attitude about pleasure, where if art is pleasurable it’s too easy, that art has to be difficult, or challenging.” It’s certainly true that among certain circles, Höller’s type of show is discussed disparagingly. The idea that Art is a Serious Business, generally speaking, goes unchallenged. Artists who do offer dissenting voices are largely absorbed into the institution (which doesn’t love laughing at itself, but does love ‘transgression’, as long as it looks good), or shunned. This sort of investigation begins to raise big questions about the difference in interest between public and private institutions. Which are probably the subject of another bit of polemic to this one; suffice to say, the sneeriness that inevitably accompanies crowd-pleasing shows like this isn’t necessarily motivated exclusively by an

idealistic sense of intellectual integrity. What Rugoff has set out to explore, as a curator, is the idea that art is a necessarily cold and joyless enterprise; as he sees it, contemporary art can lapse into a kind of self-righteousness, one where the audience’s engagement is assumed, rather than earned. “If you don’t catch people’s attention, why should they then pay attention to your work? Why should they then try to get into the more nuanced levels and layers of the work? There’s a lot of art that leaves people cold. It just hangs on a wall, expecting you to admire it.” Decisions adds an emphatic full-stop to Rugoff’s rejection of this assertion, and to the corresponding narrative that has guided the Hayward’s programming up to this point. As a show, it’s nothing if not attentioncatching. Beyond the twin, double-helixlike slides that provide an exit, there’s the Two Flying Machines on the sculpture terrace, Decision Corridors on the way in, and Upside Down Goggles on the other terrace. Downstairs, Two Roaming Beds (Grey) engage in a slow, synchronised dance with each other around the lower galleries (for a cool £300 you can inhabit


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these overnight, exploring the exhibition in your sleep), and the Pill Clock drops a high-end gurner from the ceiling, every three seconds, for you to decide whether or not to take. Almost all the works on display require audience participation of one kind or another – the “decisions” of the title referring most specifically and obviously to the decision surrounding whether or not to physically engage. As Rugoff would have it, participation constitutes what could almost be seen as a type of collaboration with the artist; indeed, the plans for the gallery’s regeneration even take this into account. The roof of the upper gallery will be removed, bringing natural light directly in. The lower galleries, “this concrete bunker,” will not be changed. The resulting tension between the two environments, Rugoff hopes, will act as a “way to keep people engaged. You really want to get people to look actively, and it helps if you’re altering the context, and not just the content.” The idea of active looking, of facilitating an engagement that transcends the learned conventions of art appreciation, is key. “For some reason, a lot of us come to art shows as if we were going to an exam. You feel that there’s an answer, and you don’t understand it so you start to feel anxious. Then you read the wall label, and most wall labels are horrible; there’s no humour to them, no wit. They’re telling you what this is about, and it’s not really learning any more. It’s about absorbing information, which is not the same thing as learning. To learn, you have to ask questions.” Whether or not Höller is on quite the same tip in this show is up for debate. Rugoff’s ideas surrounding the audience and their

interaction with an exhibition are playful, he sees learning – getting something out of a show, essentially – as an almost creative act, where the artist and their works function as a catalyst for a new or expanded viewpoint. Höller’s motivations for, and thoughts behind, audience participation are more oblique. In the blurb he’s quoted, “It’s possible to experience the work through other people, to see it from the outside, or to just contemplate it.” People are required by the artist to activate the work, but it’s less clear whether their function extends in any way beyond that. It’s as if the decision at the heart of it rests on whether to be participant or audience. In this, though, lies a fairly amicable compromise: for the non-participating audience, this is an exhibition of contemporary art, and for the experience-chasing participant, this is an unusually cerebral assortment of rides and activities. That said, these are kind of extreme binaries; for most, this show will fall into a grey area somewhere in the middle. Decision Corridors, the intimidating and jarring tunnels one must choose between to enter the show, each labyrinthine, dark and shuddering, demand participation because there are only two of them and they are the way in. Similarly, it takes a real party-pooper, or moderate-to-considerable physical incapacitation, to decline leaving via the Isomeric Slides. The stuff in the middle – the pills, the mushrooms, the vibrators, the beds – is the stuff which will be observed or activated according to the


Issue 54 | crackmagazine.net inclinations of the individual visitor. This gels with Rugoff’s ambitions, and operates successfully within the parameters he has set over the years at the Hayward. “This idea of your involvement, it’s not always a physical environment. It’s really psychological, more than anything else.”

“Great art is difficult and challenging and entertaining, all at the same time”

This show maybe doesn’t comprehensively succeed in everything it sets out to do. Whether participant or not, there are elements to it that feel like novelty, while other parts (though outstanding, especially the film Fara Fara) feel a little at odds with the rest. Having said that, the exhibition appropriately signifies what it is Rugoff, and the Hayward, have been striving for, “I think what you want is really good quality spectacle, and really good quality thinking.” In this, I’m weirdly reminded of the band Mission of Burma. Whenever they had to choose between volume and sound clarity, they unhesitatingly opted for volume. With this exhibition, Rugoff has stuck to his guns. This show aims to titillate everything it can, from intellect through to adrenal gland, and in doing so earn the audience’s active look. It combats the idea that art should always and exclusively be difficult or challenging. As Rugoff says, “great art is difficult and challenging and entertaining, all at the same time,” and while this isn’t quite great, it certainly shows you what he means. Decision runs at the Southbank Centre until 6 September


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Photographer: Bex Day Photo Assistant: Juan Ortiz Stylist: Charlotte James Stylist Assistant: Susan Daniel Make-up & hair: Natasha Lawes using MAC Cosmetics & Redken hair products Words: Geraint Davies

Aesthetic: Jaako Eino Kalevi

58 Standing tall on a bed of crisp leaves, beneath a dense canopy of green, Jaakko Eino Kalevi composes himself amongst his serene surroundings. We’d transported the erstwhile Helsinki tram driver, now critically-lauded indie darling, to Wick Woodland in Hackney Wick, a disarmingly pastoral and picturesque location to find so close to the metropolis. More ethereal waif than exhibitionist, Kalevi’s shyness in front of the camera translated the airy fragility of his sound. “It was very relaxed and calming” he reflects a couple of days later. “The perfect thing on the day after a show.” Kalevi’s upbringing in rural Finland doubtless feeds into his creative practice: “I spent a lot of time outdoors” he tells us, “I still do. Nature helps you to live your life lightly. It is the inner voice that tells you what is best for the environment and yourself.” That connection to organic spaces informs his self-titled debut album, including tracks like the juiced-up twilight boogie of Night In The Field. It all feels so effortless. “I didn’t really aim to produce any specific feelings, but I’d guess there is some kind of tranquility,” he says of the album. “The ideal context to listen to this album would be a nightly hang out at some ancient temple.”

It’s a record which pitches him as a different prospect to any artists who could roughly be considered peers: his sensuous, baroque take on synthesised indiepop, his voice flitting from androgynous falsetto to rich, commanding baritone. There’s a conflict at play – of tradition and progression, of the reticent poet and the burgeoning superstar. It’s a quality reflected in his outward appearance: on one hand a man out of time, on the other a very contemporary, slickly puttogether package. Kalevi finds it impossible to draw a line between his visual identity with his musical output. “I don’t think you can really separate these two things” he insists. “I sometimes surprise myself with the impressions my music and the visual things create.”  Our shoot emphasises the artist’s personality as a figure at home in his environment, at one with nature, but ready to step onstage and perform at the drop of a hat. Wearing a range of clothing from white-hot upcoming designers (Alex Mullins, Liam Hodges, Matthew Miller) and established icons (Issey Miyake), Kalevi cut a striking figure, but still blended into his leafy backdrop. The unassuming young romantic wouldn’t have it any other way.

Issue 54 | crackmagazine.net

Jaakko Eino Kalevi is out now via Weird World


Coat - Issey Miyake Jeans - Alex Mulllins Boots - SWEAR


This Page Top - Matthew Miller Vest - Homme PlissĂŠ Issey Miyake Jeans - Alex Mullins Opposite Page Coat - Alex Mullins Top - Alex Mullins


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This Page Coat - Liam Hodges Shirt - Urban Outfitters Trousers - Casely Hayford Opposite Page Coat- Berthold


Words: Thomas Frost Photography: Chris Cooper + Ross Sillcocks (Entirety Labs - www.livephotography.co.uk)

64

Glastonbury


Issue 54 | crackmagazine.net

Worthy Farm, Pilton 24-28 June Ever had a seaweed bath in an Irish bar built into the hillside woods? A seaweed bath is meant to lower stress and beat skin conditions. It’s also a pretty fucking wonderful thing to do when you’ve been walking around off your face for the whole evening and you’re not exactly a picture of health. And having a seaweed bath at Glastonbury Festival of the Contemporary Performing Arts doesn’t feel strange, it feels apt. It feels right. There was a particular serenity at Glasto this year. The weather was favourable, there were engagements in Crack’s entourage and, for once, there was sleep. As this reviewer traipsed along the railway track among the trees on Saturday in a pair of rather revealing short shorts and a dodgy Hawaiian number, the realisation this is still the best festival experience in the world came rushing in. You can forget, you see. It’s easy to go to other festivals. It’s easy to go the McVities-sponsored Dance Village at some speed fest in fucking Maidstone and pretend you’re having a ball. You’re not. You’re kidding yourself. There were class performances this year. Humility – showing this means something to you – wins legions at Worthy (a prominent criticism levelled at Mr West’s extremely divisive headline show). No such concerns for Future Islands’ frontman Samuel Herring, who marauded the stage with an intensity that made you feel like he might never perform again. Super Furry Animals’ incredible light show and inclusion of the classic animal suits was the trip many wanted to take again, FKA twigs unleashed what was undoubtedly the greatest performance we’ve ever seen from her, Father John Misty’s guttural, mic-flinging, sweat-ridden closing number at The Park made many hairs stand up, and Mary J Blige’s tears were contagious. Then the acts you aren’t going to watch unless you’re at Glastonbury, the one-offs, the ones your mum would be super proud of you for checking out. Burt Bacharach and his backing vocalists delivered the kind of hit parade from yesteryear that fits so perfectly in the afternoon sunshine at the Pyramid Stage. Walk On By, What The World Needs Now, Say A Little Prayer and Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head were just a taster of the hits, and the stories and anecdotes were free flowing. Patti Smith united the crowd in a profound moment of warmth and positivity by getting them to sing happy birthday to the Dalai Lama, who looked absolutely delighted to join her onstage. Lionel Richie’s set was reportedly the most well-attended gig of the weekend, with plenty of Lionel masks and Lionel flags to be seen among the estimated 100,000 people who gathered to see him.

Musically, Block 9 was particularly strong this year, with sunrise sets on the Genosys from Erol Alkan and Felix Dickinson being particular standouts. Our annual trip to the NYC Downlow to see Tama Sumo and Lakuti was suitably sweaty and celebratory in the wake of gay marriage being legalised across the whole of the USA. Fat White Family provided even more incentive to head to Shrangri-la by tearing up the Hell Stage alongside all the serious bass weight. With all the intense political discourse in Shangri-la the inclusion of a bar called Shrinel Richie was a comic highlight, as was the return of the metal bar which saw proper mosh pits suck many people in. Late night here proved to be the winner again, with the opportunity to experience all the tiny club creations in their glory. The aroma of The Stone Circle has barely left our nostrils, as has the sound of the Liverpudlian accents delivered by the four chatty souls that took a shine to us, or the madcap visuals of the most sacred area of the site taken over by the particularly free-spirited, or the taste of homemade Elderflower champagne bought at 9am which, we dare say, was particularly refreshing. This spot still remains many people’s Glastonbury zenith. There were countless other quality live performances we could report, but the key element which the TV highlights is don’t quite capture is the organisers’ sense of passion over profit, an ethos which brings out the best of the crowd and galvanises the acts. And so despite writing this review in the gloomiest depths of post-festival blues, there’s not the slightest doubt in our minds that we’ll be ritually attending Glastonbury for years, and possibly even decades, to come.


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Sónar

Words: Duncan Harrison Photography: Ariel Martini + Fernando Schlaepfer

Barcelona 18 - 20 June Tucked away behind the business of Sónar’s daytime complex was RGB | CMY Kinetic, a collaboration between Berlin studio ART+COM and SónarPLANTA. With music from Ólafur Arnalds, the stunning installation is powered by industrial engines and controlled by advanced kinetic software to choreograph five floating discs trading colours and light. While the basic elements are raw, its precision and clarity is solely down to technology. A synergy between technological mastery and pure human creativity – an illuminated emblem for Sónar’s unflinching outlook. The centre-point for the Sónar experience was Sónar ByDay. Situated at Fira Montjuïc, a complex that has also been used for the Olympic Games and Barcelona’s Trade Fair, the various platforms and spaces were used to programme the performances creatively and effectively. As a kind of piazza to all the goings-on was SónarVillage. Complete with siesta-friendly canopies, this was the space where artists like Redinho and J.E.T.S. were perfectly suited to present their upbeat, electronic euphoria to the masses. Whether it was a feel-good masterclass from Felix Dickinson or a Colombian carnival-style takeover from Bomba Estéreo, the village would ease us out of our hangovers and back in to the brilliantly non-stop Sónar experience. One standout curatorial move was the placement of Holly Herndon in the SónarComplex, a seated indoor venue which allowed the high-concept post-internet sounds of Platform to be fully explored. When we entered the amphitheatre, a phone number was up on the screen for spectators to send in confessions or questions to Herndon and her ensemble as the show played out. When asked if she was scared of the internet, Holly assured us she was only scared of those trying to control it, tying flawlessly into the concepts embedded in her track Home. This monochrome back-and-forth taking place over TextEdit was intercut with wild visuals depicting 2D figures flailing around in a digitalised whirlpool. A stimulating and extraordinary performance that cements Platform’s status as an album-of-the-year frontrunner. The towering red drapes of SónarHall created the perfect backdrop for Arca and Jesse Kanda’s crossmedia performance. Xen is a challenging LP. The spasmodic synth stabs and abrasive storms of sound are all so conceptually wrapped up that it can be tough to unpack. Fortunately, the live show worked like a thematic microcosm. The visuals were based around the porcelain-coloured figures that Kanda creates – the character of Xen incarnate. The lifeforms would mutate and snap as Arca’s music spiked. This juxtaposition of synthetic disorder and human growth is at the core of Arca’s artistic outlook, and seeing it come to life was a weekend standout. Kiasmos also utilised the looming grandeur of the hall as their neoclassical minimalism shook the theatre with glassy intensity. It was this dimly lit theatre which also hosted the bass-weight intensity of The Bug and Flowdan where the scattergun bars of The One rung out like a warning call to mediocrity. While we couldn’t resist spending some time at the RBMA SónarDome to revel in the joy of hearing Skepta preach, “Mans never been in Barcelona when it’s shut down ay!”, a lot of our time was spent indoors rinsing the Sónar +D programme. Kerri Chandler managed to sum up the entire ethos of the festival during a

discussion on STEM files at a roundtable talk when he said, “The future is my favourite time”. Other panelists wholeheartedly backed this new frontier in production and DJing where files will arrive in four sections to allow sampling and intricate mixing. XL Recordings’ Richard Russell had an eye-opening conversation where he offered a refreshingly honest and hopeful take on the mass-consumption of music in the post-internet age: “People think they’ve heard everything. But they haven’t.” Just as day turns to night, our wide-eyed wonderment at the curiosities of ByDay turned into an awe-struck gawp at the scale of ByNight. Held in a colossal exhibition space built from airport hangars, songs like Hudson Mohawke’s Ryderz, A$AP Rocky’s M’$ and FKA twigs’ Glass & Patron could exist exactly how they were intended to exist. The dangerous fragility of twigs, the stirring euphoria of HudMo and the tripped-out warning shots of Rocky. Even established names like Flying Lotus and Special Request were able to present their music with idiosyncrasies at the forefront thanks to world-class sound systems and technical facilities. Flying Lotus rounding off his set with Rashad’s Pass That Shit and telling the crowd, “Rest in peace DJ Rashad. The first time I saw you was at Sónar” was a touching snapshot of the Sónar ecosystem – forward-facing artists learning from each other and growing together. For some artists, Sónar is an incubator for creativity; a chance to play to a crowd as excited by works-inprogress as they are seasoned professionals. For others, it is a chance for redefinition. A break from the habitual release-tour cycle and an opportunity to present some of the more nuanced facets of their sound. For spectators it is one of the most rewarding experiences imaginable. Complex acts like Holly Herndon and Arca presented with care, a plethora of non-music programming available to provide the widest picture possible and a handful of stages across day and night where the performers can give us exactly what we pine for. Expansion is in Sónar’s DNA. We shouldn’t worry when the brand widens to other key cities or changes venues or books ‘established’ acts. Sónar could only disappoint if it were to sit still and refuse to transform or grow. For as long as this principle of forward-thinking curation and cutting-edge presentation remains at the core of the event’s ethos, the future will be our favourite time too.


Issue 54 | crackmagazine.net


VICTORIA PARK, LONDON 17TH-18TH JULY

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FIELD DAY Victoria Park, London 6 - 7 June It always sucks when you miss out on a nearby festival that all your friends are going to, but our hearts really go out to those who skipped Field Day this year. The festival team’s ability to book nearly every hype act on the touring circuit is pretty much unrivalled at this stage, and that’s what makes it one of our favourite weekends on the calendar. Here’s a rundown of what we experienced.

Words: Davy Reed + Tom Watson Photography: Carolina Faruolo

Considering her 1pm time slot on Saturday, an impressively large crowd gathers for Tei Shi, who soars confidently over a modest setting of presets and drum pads. The people here range between the dumbfounded and the merely intrigued, and her set is scored with seductive aspiration. Elijah & Skilliam are grime’s crowning grafters. Their ability to read a crowd’s consciousness is absolute. As a duo, they know exactly what we want. We want JME, Meridian Dan, Skepta, Wiley. We want classic eski beats alongside today’s emerging talent. This is what Elijah & Skilliam do and no one does it better. Next up in the i-D tent is NYC rap group Ratking. While their

bratty flows and twisted beats don’t make for the most conventional sunny day soundtrack, there’s enough kinetic energy and bass thuds to satisfy this up-for-it crowd. During his obsessive, compulsive, disorderly set, A.G. Cook builds and builds upon candied hooks, stirring in even more chopped-up vocal sweeteners. Constantly gear shifting, constantly alternating, he’s like a spoiled child with too many toys and too little time. It’s addictive, yet somehow bitter to taste. While Cook’s shit-stirring PC Music collective often invite controversy and debate, the following act Future Brown were enraged when they became the subject of a thinkpieceinduced scandal about authenticity and appropriation a few months back. It’s hard to fault this exhilarating appearance however, as the group open their set up to a huge squadron of MCs that includes Roachee, Riko Dan, Prince Rapid, Dirty Danger, emerging talent such as Jammz and North London’s YGG and – to everyone’s surprise – former pop star and Ruff Sqwad alumni Tinchy Stryder. Later, it’s a much more sultry affair as we head to the Crack stage for FKA twigs’ headline show. As her low-key collaboration with Chicago rapper Lucki Eck$ drifts from the

speakers, twigs strolls onstage wearing an orange bomber jacket, loose-fitted printed trousers and black heels. Amidst all the enchanting majesty, the elusive chanteuse reminds us she’s human when she describes being chatted up by a man twice her age, purchasing a set of broken headphones and nearly being run over earlier in Bethnal Green that day. “It’s good to be home,” she says affectionately. Our team then splits up to check out the second half of more raucous sets from Caribou, Hudson Mohawke and Nina Kraviz – such is the range of choice that this event throws up. Like our experience on Field-Sunday last year, the festival’s second day is marked by a more relaxed atmosphere, more guitars and an adorable mix of trendy 20-somethings and grey-haired ticket holders. While the listenable but middle-of-the-road Brooklyn band DIIV fail to impress, Mac DeMarco effortlessly charms the crowd with sleazy soft rock licks, goofy stage banter and a crowdsurfing session that lasts for at least five minutes. Savages remind us of the ice-cold ferocity that fuels their hype, and reformed shoegazers Ride perform a highly-anticipated headline slot later that evening, but Sunday’s vibe reaches its peak during Patti

Smith’s beautifully euphoric set. Horses is now 40 years old, and although its rock instrumentation feels far from radical in 2015, Smith’s profound poetry can still rouse a crowd that ranges from 17 to 70. Once the album has been performed in full, Smith’s encore climaxes with a cover of My Generation, and her inspiring sloganeering (“be strong!” “be free!” “fear nothing!” “live your life!”) is delivered with fist-clenched glory. It seems like the true finale to the weekend and once again, Field Day have raised the bar of just how special an inner city festival can be. Do the right thing, get your tickets sorted early next year.


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Live HEALTH The Dome, London 9 June

DEVIATION: MOODYMANN XOYO 13 June Benji B’s Deviation residency at XOYO has already boasted an impressive roster of artists, from Four Tet and Floating Points to Kenny Dixon Jr. himself. Given the series’ success thus far, it was understandable that on this muggy day in June, Benji B looked on from the decks nodding with satisfaction. His warm welcome to Moodymann came against the backdrop of I Wanna Be Your Lover by Prince, and the crowd could hardly contain themselves. True to form and cryptic as ever, Moodymann appeared in a beanie hat, a ginormous hoodie and his signature face net on this most stifling of London days: it was 80% humidity on the street, let alone in the Shoreditch basement. After exchanging a boisterous hug with Benji, Moody took the reins. A set flavoured with funk, house, soulful vocals and the odd jazz inflection here and there, Dixon had us wrapped around his little finger. He began by cooling down the crowd with the Âme remix of Howling, a lullaby for the masses after Benji’s raucous set. His choices were rich and purposeful, from RnB with Common’s Testify, to big brassy numbers and soul-ridden disco. Moodymann’s range and depth as a selector served to enhance his mastery in sampling. He is an enigma, stealthy amid a Detroit haze, but is wholly unapologetic. Moodymann has referred to his old school ways and refusal to modernise as “ignorant.” Well if that’s the case, then ignorance is bliss.

! Ellie Harrison N Luke Dyson

HEALTH are the sort of band for whom musical adjectives like “visceral” and “muscular” were invented. Since the mid-late 00s, the LA noise-rock outfit have cultivated a reputation for two things: brooking no compromise, and putting on a ferocious live show. True to form, the black-clothed quartet stride onstage and immediately embark on an all-out aural assault. Guitarist and keyboardist Jupiter Keyes whacks out a tribal rhythm on an upturned bass drum (he and willowy-haired bassist John Famiglietti will swap the drum between them throughout), vocalist and guitarist Jake Duzsik thrashes his axe around with wilful abandon and drummer BJ Miller exacerbates the carnage. Heaven help the uninitiated, because this is brutal. Gradually though, something magical happens. Duzsik and his band begin sculpting melody from atonality. New singles like Stonefist and New Coke emerge from the wreckage, fully-formed and triangulated somewhere between Nine Inch Nails, Boredoms and Depeche Mode; new album Death Magic is coming, and the contrast between old and new couldn’t be more stark. Granted, odd tracks from earlier in the cannon, like the mutant electronica of Die Slow, sit quite comfortably with more recent entries. Duzsik’s voice has always been incongruously sweet, too, no matter how warped and transmogrified it’s invariably been. In the main though, tonight’s performance charts a radically different path ahead for HEALTH, one marked less by outright abrasion and more by concerted song craft. Even if they do play a 20-second screeching guitar encore – old habits and all that. ! James F. Thompson N Róisín Murphy

HOLLY HERNDON Berghain, Berlin 11 June

WAXAHATCHEE The Fleece, Bristol 11 June Listening to Katie Crutchfield’s lyrics can feel like flicking through a diary that’s been left out in the hope that someone might come across it. Her boldly personal first album as Waxahatchee – 2012’s American Weekend – was a lo-fi collection of acoustic songs recorded while she was snowed in for a week at her parents’ rural home in Alabama. For 2013’s Cerulean Salt and this year’s Ivy Tripp, her twin sister Allison lent members of her band Swearin’ to contribute to the recording, and Waxahatchee’s sound has become increasingly fleshed out. So tonight, Waxahatchee arrive onstage as a five piece band. They utilise their three guitars with the bitter-sweet summer anthem Under a Rock and the polyrhythmic latter half of Less Than is thrashed out. These are great songs, but with Katie Crutchfield’s material, there’s a case to be made that less is more. Cerulean Salt track Blue Pt. II is one of Waxahatchee’s most intimate songs, and on record you can hear Katie’s fingers swipe and and down her acoustic guitar strings. Live, the band takes a break while Katie and Allison perform their harmonised duet over nothing but muted chords. Once the song finishes, the crowd breaks into applause. When you’re watching songwriters with this level of talent perform, it’s often the quieter moments of the set which are met with the loudest response. ! Davy Reed

ARCA + JESSE KANDA St John at Hackney, London 12 June The inner sanctum of the church of St John’s presents a screen prepared to display the distorted beauty of Xen, Arca’s genderless alter ego. Before this figure takes centre stage, the collaborators, Arca and Jesse Kanda, are nowhere to be seen. The church violently vibrates. As images bubble, the artists drag you through a car wash with brushes and suds slapping and licking the viewer’s eyes. Arca and Kanda’s explosive introduction is completed as Arca sways and swoons to Sad Bitch, and Xen’s movements become perfectly synchronised with the hypnotic motions. Arca’s complex sound fills the church, and the resonation is trapped in the dome structure, suffocating his already densely processed vocals. The erratic intensity in this condition is borderline frustrating. It quickly becomes a show that is visual-centric, with Jesse’s elastic figures pinging between each other and Arca ostentatiously strutting through the crowd to Self Defense. The audience remains in awe. The attention shifts from Arca to Xen throughout the set, exhibiting their willingness to distort perceptions, to toy with this seductive duality. Kanda sculpts Xen’s carefree movements through Thievery and the pair intensify sound and movement towards a stirring, swirling climax. Arca and Kanda’s exquisite methods of marrying ‘ugly’ sounds and imagery is implicit. At once deeply sensual, anatomical yet fantastical, ugly yet exquisite, Arca and Kanda bombard the crowd in a cumulative barrage. Their grasp of this own distinct set of signifiers are what mark them out as truly important, truly contemporary artists. ! Isis O’Regan N Brian Whar

‘Love is a great thing. That’s why we need to find new ways to love.’ Such aphorisms are projected onto a large screen to open Holly Herndon’s show at Berghain. They make reference to the tracks from Platform, her newly-released album that explores themes of surveillance states and neo-feudalism. Herndon is almost entirely hidden behind the monitor but she cleverly connects with the audience through the acutely modern humour of the ongoing image projection. Akihiko Taniguchi’s 3D animations of whirling models carrying Lidl bags, onions and instant ramen, are juxtaposed with supposedly live feeds. These carry messages such as ‘the CIA may be trying to kill techno but they underestimate the underground resistance’ or flat-out random statements about Jurassic Park. Meanwhile, Herndon wrenches her body when programming sound on a touchpad as if playing a video game we’re part of. On stage alongside two technicians, Herndon gives the powerful techno treatment to songs that are otherwise heavily layered but melodic. Singles like Chorus and Interference are performed wrapped in glass-shattering sound effects that get the crowd swaying just like any other weekend at the club. Her own voice also breaks down the barrier between her avant laptop-pop and the audience. And despite the vocals being more ethereal than intelligible the messages on the board clear out for us what Herndon wants to express. What she can’t be accused of is having nothing to say; Herndon is openly pro-internet freedom and against systemic inequality, and her outspoken ideas take centre stage here in her live show. Midway through her set the sound suddenly stops banging and the lights turn bright to allow for a male voice to make a statement of freedom, culminating with the appeal: ‘Free all political prisoners, free Chelsea Manning!’ It’s clear Herndon thinks that experimental music hasn’t hit the clubs without entropy, so she strives to repeat the political messages loud and clear. And whether many other artists will follow her explicitness or not, she’s already proved she’s taking us one step further into a braver future. Or as text on the screen poetically puts it: ‘Devouring fear is the secret to happiness.’ ! Will Furtado


72

Live

WEATHER FESTIVAL Plaine de Jeux du Polygone, Paris 4-7 June

PRIMAVERA Parc Del Forum, Barcelona 28-30 May It’s 2am. A stage basks in a rampant undulation of billowing dry ice, hissing out constantly and flooding the eyeline. A single note, almost visible in its sheer volume and density, clangs out across the site for minutes, tens of minutes. Three men in monastic robes, and another covered in glistening metallic spikes, stand onstage. And thousands – thousands – stand watching in awe. Where else? The huge crowd gathered for Sunn O)))’s peak hour set on Thursday night at Primavera was a microcosm of the spirit that makes this, 15 years into its existence, remain the definitive festival for the alternative music head. Where else? Earlier on Thursday, Antony and the Johnsons had kept the vast expanses in front of the Heineken Stage rapt with the help of a 40-strong orchestra; there was magic in the air as Hegarty assured his position as an artist whose outsider qualities are matched by the wider appeal of his staggeringly accomplished compositions. The following evening that same stage welcomed Patti Smith and Horses, sounding as compelling, passionate and committed to her seminal creation as she could humanly be. The definitive album from one of the greatest recording artists of all time, as the sun set. It was even better than it sounds. On Friday, The Julie Ruin were a joy. With the spectre of her illness still looming, Kathleen Hanna grinned constantly between the band’s spiky synth-punk mini-sagas, delivering iconic one-liners (“Old people rule! 46, I’m still punk. You can’t stop this!”) and flawless vocals. She left the stage with a cartwheel, the splits and a wave. Inspiring. Across the weekend, the Bowers & Wilkins Sound System provided ample respite for the ardent beathead, sets from Objekt, Raime and John Talabot particularly impressing – though ample credit goes to the stunningly crisp bespoke soundsystem and 360° visuals, which kept us returning for more. There’s no more explosive act in music right now than Run The Jewels, and they were the name on everyone’s lips before, and most definitely after, their staggering Friday night showing. Heavy, funny, tough and honest, RTJ went very close to stealing the entire weekend… …until we were led into a snaking queue towards the matt-black Auditori Rockdelux early on Saturday, where Michael Gira and the band of seedy cohorts who make up Swans delivered two hours of some of the most staggering, grotesque, symphonic, brutalist noise we’ve ever experienced. Swans are an ancient, carnal, indescribably powerful force of nature. They’re a gift. Onto final night blues, where Thee Oh Sees’s trashy garage punk garnered the best crowd reaction of the weekend. And that is what marks Primavera out from any other festival we’ve ever attended. The 100,000 or so people who swept through were as open-minded, enthusiastic and passionate a bunch as you’ll ever come across. The thousands seeing out the entirety of Sunn O))) were the same punters found going heads down to Objekt as the sun came up, and god bless those magical kids who saved the best for Thee Oh Sees at 2am on the last night, the sea of Vans being flung through the cool night air. The line-ups, the weather, the city – all these things are pretty much perfect. But it’s the people who make Primavera what it is. It’s the people who made leaving the site for the last time such a sinking feeling. It’s the people who’ll bring us back next year, every year. !

Geraint Davies + Thomas Frost N Dani Canto

Thanks to a rush of tastemaking labels, producers and clubs, it’s no secret that Paris is in great shape. And ever since its emergence, Weather Festival, run by the team behind the beloved club Concrete, has felt like the visible embodiment of this resurgence. This year the movement seemed to be manifesting itself on an even larger scale. From the lush surroundings to its infectious, en masse energy, the weekend felt like a celebration of everything Paris has going for it right now. Symptomatic of the surge in the city’s nightlife, attendees were estimated to have turned out in numbers as high as 50,000 across ‘on’ and ‘off’ parties over two weeks. Straying considerably from the industrial setting of last year’s Le Bourget Airport space, the festival’s expanded third edition took place in the heart of the Bois de Vincennes park. A selection of live performances paved the way for Weather’s considered line-up. Omar Souleyman kicked things off, his whirlwind of disorienting synths underpinned by frenetic rhythms getting an appropriately physical reaction. The night’s centerpiece performance, however, was Derrick May alongside The Orchestre Lamoureux and its 60 classically trained musicians. With pianist Francesco Tristano and jazz keyboardist Dzijan Emin, they performed bright, classically-informed reinterpretations of tracks, including an ebulliently extended Strings of Life. Despite the scale, the festival never faltered in energy. Of all the seasonthemed stages, Friday night’s Summer stage was the most expertly executed, with Motor City Drum Ensemble brazenly dropping Inspector Norse midway through his simmering back-to-back with Marcellus Pittmann, and Four Tet and Floating Points satisfying a doting crowd with woozy offbeat disco. Things were certainly darker on the Winter and Autumn stages, but no less exhilarating, with a sea of French kids pumping their fists to kingsize techno and getting lost in brooding selections. Pummelling sounds prevailed, with the likes of Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, Len Faki and DVS1 soundtracking the hours after sunset with tough, hypnotising Berghain techno. One exception to this rule was Ricardo Villalobos’s set on Saturday – a deep selection of African-inspired rhythms and pining French vocals that ignited the festival’s carefree atmosphere. Nina Kraviz’s closing set saw her dancing wildly behind the decks as she smashed out jacking house, acid and smatterings of trance to an animated 8am crowd, illuminated by the sunrise reflecting off the sprawling greenery. It was a spectacle, and the scene almost felt tied to mythologised 90s rave heritage. When Weather organiser Brice Coudert told us that “Paris is really burning up right now,” he wasn’t wrong. And while the city may be continuing to carve out exactly what its place in worldwide clubbing culture means, Weather’s knowledgeable, friendly and fervently enthusiastic crowd seemed hell-bent on adding fuel to that fire. !

Anna Tehabsim N Brice Robert

TEMPLES Motion, Bristol 29-31 May Temples Festival returned for its second year, and judging by the range of international accents on show, word has spread far beyond its South West home. Expanding to a third stage, an even heftier range of heaviness was on offer at this year’s gathering. A suitably gloomy Bristol skyline set the scene for Friday, where Meth Drinker’s wall of downtempo sludge offered a solid start. Pig Destroyer had two sets over the weekend, including the live debut of half-hour doom track Natasha on Saturday. Weird drones and sampled loops opened their first showing, introducing a pummeling hour of grindcore. The room was filled to the brim, lending a smothering, claustrophobic intensity to this highly impressive show from the Virginians. Converge closed out the first day as deserving headliners. After a day full of such extreme music, it was quite an achievement to so resoundingly raise the ferocity levels to fever pitch, and the crowd lapped it up. After the abrasive intensity of Friday, it took an excellent performance from Torche to bring us back to life on day two. The main room crowd now warmed up, Goatsnake took the stage looking clearly up for the party. Pete Stahl’s classy vocal delivery, powered along by the huge riffs and backline of the band, stepped things up. An unexpected highlight came in the form of Triptykon, the brainchild of Tom Gabriel Fischer. As one-time frontman of Celtic Frost, he has influenced a considerable percentage of the bands appearing at this festival, and it showed in this expert performance. With the sense of anticipation as thick as the smoke being pumped through the room, Sunn O))) were the main event. What they deliver is more of a physical experience than a musical one; an incredible, consuming sensation like no other. Once the waves of bodily vibrations had subsided, the crowd were left both exhausted and exhilarated.  To Sunday, the holy day, where a good-sized crowd formed for a delayed Pallbearer, whose doom sound, inflected with just enough melody, was a main stage winner. Meanwhile, Voivod played a set of thrash and speed metal which offered an enjoyable palate cleanser against the darker and gloomier sounds on offer over the weekend. Temples 2015 was another huge success for a rapidly expanding behemoth of a festival. Well-organised, well-programmed, and with that line-up, the devoted hordes went home fully sated yet baying for more. !

Simon Twine and Julian Smith N Ross Silcocks


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75

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76

Albums

06

16 16 17 14

SLE AFORD MODS Key Markets Harbinger Sound

There’s been a rhizomatic spread of ‘retro-futuristic’ house and techno over the past few years. It’s seen producers like Legowelt, Xosar and Hunee uncoordinatedly coalesce around an ethereal, mystical, but above all melodic sound. This sound owes more to house’s earliest days than the mid-90s New Jersey aesthetic that’s been so popular of late; appealing to the language and texture of religiosity, rather than partying and sex. While there’s no marked schism between the two strands, and a lot of blurring between them, there’s an identifiable current of dance music that tends towards the spiritual. Hunee is one actor in this trend. As a DJ, Choi draws on a broad range of disco, soul, techno, house – even jazz. Amid the eclecticism, perhaps the one unifying theme is that all his records are important to him, and this is mirrored in his own productions. His debut album touches on a similarly expansive spectrum of music, but feels identifiably Hunee; coherent, and deeply personal, with track names like Amo (Admiration), Rare Happiness and Bruises suggesting deeper meanings we can only guess at. Opener Woods is an atmospheric conjuring of layered synths, bobbling, polyrhythmic vibraphones and tick-tock claps, woozy and invigorating at the same time. There’s then an expertly-paced build for eight tracks, of which Error of the Average and Hiding the Moon are obvious, club-friendly highlights. The former, especially, is endowed with the lush production of a Levon Vincent or Oni Ayhun record, which is about as high as praise gets. There are also times of simple beauty to match the ‘bigger’ tracks, as in Amo, where a Philip Glass-like phrase is repeated and looped with its accompaniment creating a suspense that’s never quite resolved, only faded out. The Sun Ra-sampling closer The World returns to the eerie soundscape of the intro, except this time, climaxing in joyous reverie. It’s a fitting end to an excellent album that avoids both overfamiliar dance music tropes, and the precociousness that some find stifling in more ‘avantgarde’ music. Even “the end of the world”, as the sample repeatedly says, can be spiritual and uplifting in Choi’s hands.

It can be difficult to draw clear distinctions between each release from Nottingham no-fi punk-rap duo Sleaford Mods. Their moreor-less annual albums over the past eight years (plus EPs and compilations) have charted a clear progression, but it’s merged into one gradual process. Key Markets feels different: a statement, a marker. That can be largely put down to Andrew Fearn’s ambitious and striking set of instrumentals. So often the supporting cast, the straight man, it’s worth bearing in mind that in the Mods’ burgeoning stronghold of Germany, where Jason Williamson’s vocals are often illegible or his references unrelatable, Fearn’s production is the band’s primary draw. Key Markets sees him delve into skipping rockabilly, the subtle soundscapes of Can, offbeat ID M, and even, in the almost omnipresent woody bass sound, the experimental hardcore of Minutemen. The production dictates the tone for much of this album: be that in the sinister surrealism of Tarantula Deadly Cargo – taking its name from an obscure 1970s TV horror film and pitching the band as some sort of toxic unit being transported from place to place – or the dire dirge of Rupert Trousers, where even some of the album’s best comic one-liners are downplayed by the monochrome hum of the track. There’s little light here; the fire is subsidised for listless distance, the bolshy gnarl for sombre melody. This is an album about desolation and small town dejection; the raging has quieted, the hopelessness is implicit. Scattergun ranting is reserved for occasional bursts, like the rampant, livid poison pen letter Bronx in a Six, or the roughshod, rapid judder of Giddy On The Ciggies. But more than ever, it feels like every single word has its place in a carefully-aligned landscape – even if that word is a mottled, splattered, spat ‘cunt’. Key Markets is a heavy and hard listen. It’s not Sleaford Mods’ most explosive or explicit document, but it might just be their most affecting.

! Robert Bates

! Geraint Davie

DRINKS Hermits On Holiday Heavenly Recordings

“When the whole landscape of music changes, it changes the way you think about music, even just subconsciously.” This is John Famiglietti. HEALTH's bassist. HEALTH's art director of their latest music video which sees a man vomit in slow-motion. HEALTH's lamentable mouthpiece for Death Magic, the band's first album in six years. He continues, “Music is different now, there's no denying it.” Yes, Michael Jackson died six years ago. Lamb of God's Wrath also debuted at number 2 on the Billboard 200, making it the highest charting extreme metal album of the past 15 years. A few other things happened in the interim. So, facetiousness aside, Famiglietti is correct. Yet it's a barefaced observation. A ventilation of prosaic truisms. It implies that the framework of your art is deeply shackled to the zeitgeist. Death Magic is an apathetic botch of wandering panflashes. It's instantly redundant: a rather unhealthy HEALTH. Intro, Victim, is like a Michael Bay trailer. Flesh World (UK) is techno's destructive little sister, plastered in a layer of wash-off Crayola. Jake Duzsik's vocals actually sound like U2 circa Achtung Baby. There is literally no real noise. It's all manipulated sound. Dark Enough isn't dark enough. New Coke has been bastardised by the music that sandwiches it. And it goes on just so. HEALTH's releases were always fraught with contention. But they were still attractive. They pertained a great aesthetic and were boisterous enough to fascinate. Death Magic isn't fascinating.

Cate Le Bon's collaboration with White Fence’s Tim Presley feels sickeningly effortless. In fact, it’s undeniable that some small part of the fun comes from imagining the day-to-day life of the LA-based pairing of nimblefingered Welsh goddess and psych rock master from San Francisco. Imagine them at an ultraplastic megastore, looking far too warm in their striped turtlenecks. Imagine them bobbing down the bleached white of the LA coast under the Hollywood sign. Imagine what they order at the bar. Anyway. When’s the last time you listened to psychedelic rock that was genuinely witty? All the perfect silences and crescendos we saw in Le Bon’s smartly sparse Mug Museum aren’t just borrowed by the messily polished nature of the music of Hermits On Holiday – her flawless internal metronome also gives it spot-on comedy timing. ‘Tim, do I like that dog?” Cate asks in her Welsh lilt on the gloriously weird pseudo-skit Tim, Do I Like That Dog? The riffs are complex but trip up and down the fingerboard with certainty, the drums are wild but purposeful. Everything is so sure in what it is and what it’s about that you can almost imagine the intercontinental pair accidentally meeting on a bench somewhere, a chemical reaction occurring and the two immediately sneezing the whole album out in one afternoon. There’s so much to love on this album: on the press release it’s pitched by Presley and Le Bon as “a solo project, not a collaboration… one mouth, one set of lungs, one mind and four legs”. Its meeting of minds makes so much sense that there should be a new load of rock stars on the next plane to LA hoping to bump into each other any second now, hoping to capture that same DRINKS magic.

“I'm your pimp, I'm your pope, I'm your poster baby / Confess your sins to me while you masturbate”. Like many of the all-time great RnB luminaries (D’Angelo, Prince, Marvin Gaye), Miguel Pimentel is joining the lineage of artists who are at their best when they straddle the line between the holy and the salaciously sinful. If 2012’s Kaleidoscope Dream was a cocktail and an invitation, Wildheart is a nightcap and no sleep. The X-rated jams like FLESH and Coffee find Miguel at his most comfortably conflicted. There is a godliness to the erotica, symbolised by the nude figures on the artwork which are built out of clouds. It all gets a bit clunky and clichéd when he starts to “beg for forgiveness” but this basic narrative thread of sex being his only vice and his only salvation is seriously amusing stuff. In this way, the Hollywood corniness of the record is both its greatest strength and its greatest downfall. At times Wildheart is bizarrely over-stylised with cringeinducing visions like “Drugs, sex, and polaroids” and a misplaced shred from Lenny Kravitz in the final quarter. Sometimes however, a naked RnB star surrounded by clouds just feels like good oldfashioned entertainment.

! Tom Watson

! Sammy Jones

! Duncan Harrison

HE ALTH Death Magic Loma Vista

MIGUEL Wildheart RCA Records

HUNEE Hunch Music Rush Hour


77

07

16

15

10

17 JULIO BASHMORE Knockin Boots Broadwalk

REFUSED Freedom Epitaph

SEVEN DAVIS JR Universes Ninja Tune There’s something extremely impulsive about Seven Davis Jr.’s debut album, as if it were thrown together overnight. Ever since his summer stretching 2013 hit One, something in his heavily grooving meld of funk, disco and house always held a spontaneity that was very appealing. Yet, from frantically fast opener Freedom onward, Universes' this immediacy more often than not feels chaotic, like you’ve accidentally stuck the record on at 45. Despite touching on some serious subject matter lyrically, the album still manages to feel lyrically playful and fun. As the album progresses, Davis’s idiosyncratic character does continue to shine, with songs that combine off-kilter disco with raw, rhythmic soul driven by his own vocals. Indeed, from the gloriously wonky cosmic soul of Kutmah collaboration Afterlife to the hi-octane house of Everybody Too Cool and the softer wiggle of No Worries, many tracks on Universes forge the undeniably unique sound that he made his name with. This does, however, mean that the collaborations stick out (as do the vocoder skits piecing the tracks together). The more polished production coming from Julio Bashmore on Good Vibes and the melodic breakdown on fLako collaboration Be A Man are slices of colourful house in their own right but fail to preserve the raw energy running throughout. Universes certainly carries some charm, and with more listens the satisfaction found in its chaotic meld of influences continues to grow. But we need a bit of a breather before returning. ! Jack Dolan

It’s difficult to overstate the impact of Refused’s 1998 album The Shape Of Punk To Come on hardcore/post-hardcore music. With its startling technical precision, wildly unpredictable jazz influences and self-serious anti-establishment thematics (“I’ve got a bone to pick with capitalism, and a few to break!”), it blew the game wide apart. And as the superb documentary Refused Are Fucking Dead depicts, Refused closed the book with deliciously frustrating aplomb, self-immolating in the midst of an under-appreciated American tour in late ‘98. Their final appearance was in Harrisonburg, Virginia, cops busting the show halfway through the band’s defiant anthem Rather Be Dead (“Rather be dead than alive by your oppression”). They never got to finish the song. As punk-rock folklore goes, that’s pretty fucking good. It’s also no sin to wish that the Refused, the one who split up in the middle of Rather Be Dead; that flawless, flawed version captured in formaldehyde, was left to be just that. But it hasn't been. 17 years on, and Freedom is a bit of a mess. The experiments in electronica and folk which enlivened the band’s masterpiece feel sloppy and dated. The stompy rawk of Old Friends/New War and Françafrique are the wrong fit, and rootin’-tootin’ party jams are fine for The (International) Noise Conspiracy, but have no place here. But saddest of all are the tracks which sound like Refused, like opening track Elektra, or Dawkins Christ. Those blistering hi-hat cuts, the inhumanly tight interplay between palm-muted guitar and rapid snare fills, the filtered top lines building to white-hot explosions – they’re there, in spectral forms, bereft of spontaneity, too long in the making; too crisp, too self-aware. There are sparks of obvious quality, even brilliance, but the disappointment is that these tracks melt into self-parody. “The time has come, there’s no escape…” declares Elektra. Where’s the wit? Where’s the rage? Where’s it gone? Faded away with time and disillusionment.

Kevin Parker could be forgiven for resting on his laurels. They’re good laurels. Both Innerspeaker and Lonerism introduced the world to a unique brand of neopsychedelia that deftly innovated within a patchwork of bygone genres to uproarious effect. In the process he earned the affection of tastemakers and critics as well as the comfortable acceptance of the “guitar music isn’t dead” crowd, establishing a core fan base that grew exponentially with each new tour date. But with pressure mounting, the question of just how to maintain the spell is one that must have wracked his brains during long, solipsistic stints in lonely studio spaces. Should he live up to the brand of Tame Impala as psychrock revivalists, or just go with what feels natural? On Currents, he’s opted for the latter. The shift in sonic palette – the displacement of sun-bleached, illusory fuzz for a cosmos of superclean synthetic strings – reflects the real life changes he documents with simple lyricism. The album acts as an immaculately crafted apology for this change. The lyrics are laced with an awareness of an ever-present fan-base who may feel left behind by a shift towards poppier, dancier territory. Most songs act as an attempt to justify himself; to this lover, to his fans; as if there exists an obligation for him to remain the same as he was in 2010, or 2012, and the resulting sound is often soft, guilty almost, with cuts like Yes I’m Changing floating along wistfully with all the dreamlike glaze of the Twin Peaks theme tune remixed by Purple Rain-era Prince. Granted, there are some off-piste moments. The spoken word narration on Past Life would trigger concerned looks across the room at any listening party. Yet the slow, low-rider rocking-motion of tracks like Same Person, Same Old Mistakes provide a brand new axis from which to view Parker’s songwriting prowess: a refreshing sense of liberation.

After M.E.S.H. demanded attention with last year’s obliterating Scythians EP, we have been anxious to hear more from the Berlin-based noisemaker and Janus associate. Listeners unfamiliar with M.E.S.H.'s style will recognise cherry picked elements from the disparate worlds of pop, techno, underground hip-hop and IDM, but will also be faced with something totally unfamiliar. Less dancefloorfocused than M.E.S.H.'s previous work, Piteous Gate slides between genre boundaries, moving from ambient to pop to dance and back again with a seductive ease. Whether it's disorientating push-pull rhythms, trancey synths or faux-medieval lutes, M.E.S.H. has an incredible knack for blending the artificial and the natural. At times the darker passages of the album evoke the more academic world of electro-acoustic music and music concrete, but to talk at length about Piteous Gate's dark, hyperreal aesthetic within an ‘art’ context would miss the point. Taking the sounds at face value, Piteous Gate is sonically brilliant and, while dark, is also playful. The blending of cheesy dance elements with ‘serious’ music comes off as both subversive and fun. Piteous Gate is not as readily accessible as his earlier work but, rather than shutting listeners out, it feels as though M.E.S.H. is drawing us further down the rabbit hole, expanding upon the vocabulary established through his work as part of the Berlin-based Janus crew and developing his own singular voice. M.E.S.H.'s virtuosity cements him as a great addition to PAN's esteemed roster.

Not many people get to be legends any more; the internet has made sure of that. When Matt Walker emerged in the UK house boom of 2009, he crept up on international radars for using the house template as a base to do something new. As his knack for producing anthems defined his career, with this came a sense of entitlement from an increasing number of onlookers. And while some OG fans found the inescapable Au Seve too much to bear, others assumed that every track he released was obliged to soundtrack their summer. On to the next. But Walker had always been in his own lane, melding house music with his influences in disco, funk and 80s pop. Speaking in an interview with FACT last year, he explained how all his favourite musicians, Michael Jackson et al, had made albums. With Knockin’ Boots’ selection of shimmering pop, Walker is clearly trying to break away from the hit machine and to forge something truly timeless. As a result there are relatively few true peak moments. Yet, Knockin' Boots is pure joy throughout, from the opening disco sample to the ascendant chorus of Holding On and the gloriously sassy She Ain't. Bark’s hands-in-the-air chords over ghetto house brashness lay bare the sense of humour in Bashmore’s earliest work, as does the feisty sample on What’s Mine Is Mine. In fact, you can imagine any number of these finding their way into every club and festival across the country, good and bad. It’s only on the balladlike experiments where things hit slightly off the mark, with Seven Davis Jr. turning the otherwise catchy For Your Love comical, while Let Me Be Your Weakness is left limp under the weight of the bangers preceding it. There have been plenty of copycat attempts over the years, but Knockin' Boots bears the indelible mark of Walker's innate gift for making tracks that make you all warm and fuzzy, on and off the dancefloor. The only question that’s left is whether this will get the crossover success it’s clearly capable of.

! Geraint Davies

! Francis Blagburn

! Thomas Painter

! Anna Tehabsim

TAME IMPAL A Currents Interscope

M.E . S.H. Piteous Gate PAN

14

L A PRIEST Inji Domino Since earning his stripes as a member of indie-dance manipulators Late of The Pier, Sam Dust had been occupying himself with scientific theory and crafting his own inventions. Alongside this, Dust tended to his musical work in secret, quietly reviving LA Priest, a solo project long forgotten since the release of one EP back in 2007. Eight years on, Inji retains the bouncy electronic pop of previous work, but the artist's increasingly analytical background shines through. LA Priest feels barely recognisable. Bright synth work twists and turns throughout while thudding bass leaps in and out, with Dust drawing on his experimental leanings to flit from genre to genre, instrument to instrument; from the jagged electro-grunge of Gene Washes With New Arm to the feel-good dancehall of Oino in the blink of an eye. This meticulous fine-tuning is what defines Inji. It’s clear that Dust allowed himself time and space to focus and perfect his ideas: tracks feel thoroughly thought out, tuned and honed. While this slow, deliberate approach to songwriting means Inji can at points feel a touch methodical – a little bit too perfect – it’s also the album’s greatest strength. From grooving eight-minute epic Party Zute / Learning To Love to the simple, instrumental bass licks of Fabby, this album feels pored-over and assured, ultimately forging something that is unusual, unpredictable and enjoyable. ! Henry Boon


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OMAR SOULEYMAN Bahdeni Nami Monkeytown

SUZ ANNE KR AFT Talk From Home Melody As Truth There are a couple of potential misconceptions to be cleared up here. First, for the uninitiated, Suzanne Kraft is actually Los Angeles DJ, producer and sometime radio show host Diego Herrera. Second, this sophomore full-length entirely eschews the chunky disco edits that made Herrera a name for himself on the Running Back label (and still favoured by erstwhile stablemates Tiger and Woods). Instead, Talk From Home cleaves closer to the downtempo kosmische and dream pop Herrera spent time exploring on extended EPs Missum and Horoscope. Whether this is welcome news or otherwise depends on your perspective: obvious standouts like Kraft classics Morning Come and Green Flash are in short supply here but on the other hand, in the process of moving away from bombastic dance music, Herrera has delivered an electronic album possessed of undeniable fragile beauty. Recorded throughout through the back-end of 2014, Talk From Home’s seven instrumentals move from Male Intuition, which gingerly steps through the sparse wintry landscape of the Durutti Column, through to what feels like a perfect paean to a downtown ‘80s nightscape in Renee Sleeps. Vintage synths and woozy melodies abound across an album that might not get the party started but will certainly bring it down gently. ! James F. Thompson

BOOGIE The Reach Self Released

YE ARS & YE ARS Communion Polydor

With a viral semi-hit in the form of Oh My and a distinctive flow, Compton rapper Boogie looked like a prime candidate to join the ranks of OT Genasis and Chedda Da Connect – mixtape artists scrabbling to build a bankable career out of seven-figure YouTube hits through a mixture of clunky cosigns and copious tweeting. It’s a hustle he explicitly rejects on Wit Me: “I'm like "Nigga you weak, you think you poppin' off that shit that you tweet? / You buying followers, you niggas is creeps”. On The Reach, Boogie seems less concerned with turning his sound into something profitable and more interested in honing in on it. His unusual, lisping intonation fits as perfectly in to the street-rap anthem blueprint of Oh My as it does the melodious unpremeditated delivery that plays out on cuts like God’s Work and Change. As a tape, Boogie’s style fluctuates too much for this to be a real game-changer but the standard is high enough to build Boogie a future past the clicks. He’s frequently been called one of the West Coast’s most slept-on rappers. There’s a feeling that existing in the periphery is the aim for the time being. Followers and favourites will come in time – for a rapper so versatile, nailing a sound of his own is the most exciting move Boogie could make.

Years & Years won the BBC Sound Of 2015 poll, they were nominated for the Critics Choice Award at the BRITS and Zane Lowe awarded their hit single King with his ‘Hottest Record’ tag. These are the kind of accolades which can bring you chart-topping success, earn you a prominent set at Ibiza Rocks and guarantee that every song played in Topman for next four years will either be you or sound exactly like you. They’re also solid indicators that your music fucking stinks. But a lot of kids love this band, and there’s nothing admirable about hating on an act just because they’re successful, so we thought we’d cheer up and give Communion a fair chance. Aside from a couple of schmaltzy ballads, the trio attempt to sustain a sense of hands-in-theair euphoria with a specific style of sterilised electro house that’s been unobtrusively drifting out of swanky hair salons and building site radios ever since Disclosure got massive. The band’s frontman Olly Alexander – who if you hadn’t told me he was in Skins, I would have presumed was anyway – claims to be inspired by 90s RnB, but in reality his cheesy croon is more reminiscent of the endless production line of tear-jerking talent show contestants destined to fade into obscurity. Expect an onslaught of shite remixes in the forthcoming months.

Eleven years on from their Calling out of Context compilation, Audika have emerged from the vaults with another nine cuts from disco’s weirdo-in-chief, Arthur Russell. Corn sees the label continue their work in championing the late virtuoso, with exclusive rights to the man’s archives and estate. The tracks come from recordings compiled by Russell across three test-pressings in 1985. Whereas Calling… brought the focus on the man’s forward-thinking pop sensibilities, Corn digs deeper, unearthing studio experiments and rhythmic-alternate versions of tracks from across his career, including This Is How We Walk On The Moon, Keeping up, and two from his World of Echo LP – Lucky Cloud, and Hiding Your Present From You. Corn is a rich body of work, with examples of all the different energies that Russell brought to the studio. Tracks like Keeping Up are held together by typically minimal arrangements, with only Russell’s effect-heavy cello accompanying the drums. This frees up the space needed to let a quieter voice like Russell’s soar, and lends the rhythm a gentle yet potent urgency. Meanwhile, Russell’s cello roars like a howling wind over tracks like Corn (Continued) and Hiding Your Present From You. The screeches and growls, brought to life through warm distortion, give the tracks a tortured, bodily voice that’s a thrill to listen to. Then there’s the curios. They And Their Friends takes us to a startling place, the low grind of the cello rumbling beneath Russell’s unearthly crooning. Most curious of all though is closing track Ocean Movie, a frothy mess of crushed-up percussion and dreamy synth-flutes washing up on the tide of a city in the clouds. On top of this, a guitar pre-dating all things hypnagogic gently drones in earnest. The sound collage serves as the perfect release for the positive tensions that bubble throughout the record. There are moments on Corn that might just reveal Russell at his most daring. Alive and well in a world beyond our own, his music lures us further into a future that resonates with subtle brilliance and limitless promise.

! Duncan Harrison

! Davy Reed

! Xavier Boucherat

ARTHUR RUSSELL Corn Audika

You should be able to get a PhD on what Omar Souleyman’s unprecedented success in the Western festival circuit implicates for Orientalism. Here he is, slipped comfortably into Modeselektor’s Monkeytown label with his second proper studio effort. And there he is too, pottering about amongst house DJs throughout Europe, raindrops slowly trickling over his dark sunglasses as he mulls over past years spent in the heat performing at weddings throughout the Middle East. The closer, a shuddering and squelchy techno remix of the title track by Legowelt really clears the fog as to how Souleyman has such a passionate following in European dance music. The same heavy 4/4 thud, the winding and evolving acid squelch matching the quickstep dance of flanged Syrian folk simulacra; Souleyman’s vocal lines are extended but their simple rhythms and movements are not so far from vocal samples in western techno-slanted repetitive music. The basic elements are common even if it does seem unfamiliar at first. There is a real yearning sorrow inspiring the husky vocals and this echoes over the landscape of the whole album. Throughout is a level of emotion that was impossible in the frenetic fantasy of Wenu Wenu. It’s a better album, but it still takes time and commitment to become intimate with. Can he maintain this niche? If you one day hear someone that sounds like Omar Souleyman in a UK dance tent and it turns out not to be Omar Souleyman, that’s when you’ll know his influence.

! Henry Johns


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Film Someone once pointed out that box office records are always going to be smashed because the world’s population is growing. This is technically true, and will remain true until something unthinkable happens, like a meteor or something. But that doesn’t make Jurassic World’s gargantuan global release any less astounding, even if the film’s maelstrom of brand, marketing and capitalism reveals more about humanity than the film itself. Black Coal, Thin Ice couldn’t have been more different – behind a subtly-stylised mask of genre, it speaks of the reality of life in modern China, while despite the trailer looking like an advert for a Michael Portillo railway journey, Mr Holmes turned out to be pretty top-notch Brit fare. Finally, a tale of two docs, with a goofy romp and the emergence of a new laureate of documentary filmmaking.

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ELECTRIC BOOGALOO: THE WILD, UNTOLD STORY OF CANNON FILMS dir: Mark Hartley Starring: Sam Firstenberg, David Paulsen, Luigi Cozzi No longer ‘untold’ and not that ‘wild’ either, Electric Boogaloo is a simple yet affectionate look back to Cannon Films and its reign over America’s B-movies of the 70s and 80s. Cannon’s story is bound to the company’s owners Menaham Golan and Yoram Globus, though Golan and Globus are frustratingly absent from the film. So, Boogaloo is left to rely upon testimonies from past actors, directors and other film industry associates to tell Cannon Films' tale. Director Hartley opts for a familiar and watchable doc format: a melange of talkingheads, rapidly cut with stock footage of the missing producers and clips of Cannon’s expansive film output. The all-too-accessible style and bombastic nature of the interview feeds a line on the Cannon story rather than offering an objective argument, constricting a fuller examination of the Hollywood dichotomy of ‘business vs creativity’ which was there for the taking. Instead we’re asked to focus on just how crazy these crazy cats were and just how loveably shit the films are. With a kooky tale too many exposing an almost two hour run time, we left the screening better informed but no more in love with the film’s subject matter.

17 BLACK COAL, THIN ICE dir: Yi’nan Diao Starring: Fan Lio, Lun Mei Gwei, Xuebing Wang

11

JURASSIC WORLD dir. Colin Trevorrow Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio Life will always find a way. Jeff Goldblum taught us that much first time around, and it is only too true of the Jurassic Park ‘franchise’ (more on those inverted commas later). Despite already having two badly-received sequels under its belt, Universal has found a way to resurrect Isla Nubar once again, for better or for worse. Jurassic World is basically like spending time with your drunk uncle; it plays out via a series of incrementally worsening disasters, it slightly spoils your childhood, the conversation is stilted and clunky, but in the heat of the moment – it’s a lot of fun. There’s no use pretending Jurassic World is an amazing movie, as some critics have tried to, yet there is absolutely no harm in succumbing to the giddy glow reserved exclusively for Velociraptors. Just don’t call it a return to form. For it is here that the real problem with Jurassic World lies; who ever said this was supposed to be a franchise? There is nothing in the plot of the original that lends itself to a continuing saga, which has only led to a string of sequels, each more convoluted than the last, the films clinging desperately to vague references to Michael Crichton’s two novels. Each film finds a more tenuous excuse to throw a panicked flock of humans onto the island. How the series will continue from this point will no doubt be a further extension of this limp extended universe, feeding ferociously off the cinematic perfection of the original. But you can be sure of one thing: they will find a way. !

Angus Harrison

Having been released in China in 2014 and picked up the Golden Bear Award at last year’s Berlinale film festival's Western indie-cinema release, Black Coal is being pitched as a Chinese noir. While we managed to tick the femme fatale and failed cop entangled in a grizzly murder case off our checklist of essential genre types, to draw a direct comparison of director Yi’nan Diao’s reconfiguration of a noir rhetoric to the modern Hollywood noir aesthetic would leave you dissatisfied. Ultimately, Black Coal utilises genre to subtly convey a message rather than offering a release; the term ‘smoke and mirrors’ applies more to Diao’s direction than any of the film’s characters. It’s a robust crime thriller, albeit slow, with the film’s sparsity employed to heighten urban isolation and the narrative dipping in and out of linearity, rendering it unbalanced and stifling narrative gratification. It’s only toward the end of the film, as the crime story fizzles out, that we realise Diao has been painting a picture of modern China, through a peripheral view. In the closing scenes, the film dithers in anonymous city spaces and our attention gets averted away from the story and to the canvas it’s being told upon. The poetry within Diao’s imagery works bubbles beneath the radar of China’s state censorship but profoundly resonates as art. This hidden, but in-depth examination of Communism, isolation and conformity make for brave and ingenious filmmaking. !

Tim Oxley Smith

THE LOOK OF SILENCE dir: Joshua Oppenheimer The most harrowing scene in The Look Of Silence contains no violence, no account of unthinkable brutality, no contempt for humanity. It (as we learn from Oppenheimer in the enlightening Q&A hosted by Louis Theroux that followed our screening), was the only piece of footage shot by Adi, the film’s main protagonist. It follows his father at an uncomfortably close distance as he drags himself, terrified, across the floor of the home he no longer recognises as his own, his dementia finally taking complete hold. This scene acts as a heartbreaking metaphor for the seemingly helpless oppression that Indonesia suffered in the mid-60s, and one which Oppenheimer stated he would only include if he felt the rest of his film succeeded in telling the story he needed to tell. The Look Of Silence is meant to be taken as a companion piece, a diptych, to 2012’s The Act Of Killing, using the massacre of 1965-66 to make aware the psychological price paid by those that survived, and of those that have lived in the darkness cast by its happening. As in The Act Of Killing, the perpetrator’s guilt is buried beneath gloating and laughter as they recount their horrific crimes, but here the pain is closer, as Adi confronts his brother’s killers and their families, eventually coaxing some remorse for their actions. While the film ends on a relatively hopeless note, the following Q&A revealed that it has affected real change in Indonesia, gaining support from government bodies, being screened at more than 3,500 locations throughout the country, and sparking real and timely discussion about the atrocities of 1965-66. !

Steven Dores

15

Tim Oxley Smith

MR HOLMES Director: Bill Condon Starring: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney, Milo Parker In Mr Holmes, based on Mitch Cullin’s 2005 novel A Slight Trick of the Mind, Ian McKellen confronts us with a very different Sherlock. Now 93 and long retired, he resides with his housekeeper (Linney) and her precocious son Roger (Parker) in a Sussex cottage, where his primary avocation is the tending of an apiary. Through multiple flashback sequences we become privy to his last, unsuccessful case; a defeat that haunts him. Holmes wants to rectify Watson’s erroneous account of the case, but his great mind has begun to unravel and we are drawn into a murkiness surrounding this unreliable protagonist; are his recollections fact, false memory or wishful thinking? The film unfurls slowly, and the ponderous pace certainly won’t appeal to everyone, but McKellen, Linney and Parker give staggering performances, and it’s no shame that an unusual amount of screen time is devoted to these three alone. It plays cleverly with the idea of Holmes’s identity, portraying him as a real person embroidered with Watson’s fabrications, in a wink to his extant fictional status. The sub-plots ultimately reach unsatisfactory conclusions, sparking speculation on alternate possibilities beyond those proffered by the film – after all, ‘there is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact’. !

Tamsyn Aurelia-Eros Black


82 Goldenvoice Presents

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PRESENTS

SATURDAY 8TH AUGUST CAMERA OBSCURA / HOLY FUCK / FAT WHITE FAMILY THE ANTLERS / TOY / JENS LEKMAN / ANDY STOTT / SON LUX HINDS / SHAMIR / CEREMONY / MERCHANDISE / HO99O9 BLANCK MASS / PEAKING LIGHTS / LUKE ABBOTT / JJ / GIRL BAND GAZELLE TWIN / TORN HAWK / OSCAR / JONES / LOYLE CARNER THEO VERNEY / PIX / THE BIG MOON / CLAW MARKS

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STREET FOOD FESTIVAL, MARKETS, SCREEN PRINT CLASS, AV INSTALLATIONS ACROSS SIX HACKNEY VENUES

www.visionsfestival.com

ARTHUR RUSSELL’S INSTRUMENTALS — DIRECTED BY PETER GORDON MONDAY 10TH AUGUST / OVAL SPACE MORE INFO AND TICKETS: www.visionsfestival.com


Upcoming London Shows www.rockfeedbackconcerts.com

COSMO SHELDRAKE

LE1F

XOYO Shoreditch Thursday 2nd July

The Nest Dalston Wednesday 8th July

RESTORATIONS

VISIONS FESTIVAL

Lexington Islington Thursday 18th July

Venues across London Fields Saturday 8th August

ARTHUR RUSSELL INSTRUMENTALS

PISSED JEANS

Oval Space Monday 10th August

1OO Club Soho Thu 18 & Fri 19 Aug

JACCO GARDNER

ALVVAYS

Dingwalls Camden Thursday 3rd September

O2 Shepherds Bush Empire Friday 11th September

CAYUCAS

GIRLPOOL

Sebright Arms Bethnal Green Monday 14th September

Scala Kings Cross Tuesday 15th September

UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA

CHASTITY BELT

O2 Shepherds Bush Empire Wednesday 23rd Sep

The Victoria Dalston Thursday 15th October

FATHER JOHN MISTY

SONGHOY BLUES

O2 Shepherds Bush Empire Wed 28th & Thur 29th Oct

Koko Camden Wednesday 4th November

TITUS ANDRONICUS

MARIKA HACKMAN

Village Underground Thursday 5th November

Union Chapel Islington Friday 6th November

THE ORB

NATALIE PRASS

Oval Space Hackney Friday 13th November

Koko Camden Monday 30th November

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


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The #clickbait music news rounded up by Josh Baines G.O.T. GETS CLUBLAND MIX I have never seen Game of Thrones because I am an adult man and I have better things to do with my time like painting fences, cooking meat at barbeques, rating craft beers on an app, playing football, watching football and talking about football, but apparently Armin van Buuren has remixed the theme tune, but I’ve never seen the programme so I’ve never heard the theme tune so the fact that a shit trance producer has remixed it means literally nothing to me, an adult man who has never seen Games of Thrones because he is an adult man. THE ASSBISHOP A few years ago now, back in what your columnist likes to think of as his glory days, every Friday me and my friends would sit around having five pints in a chain pub while Viva played muted music videos in the background. One time Superbass by Nicki Minaj beamed into view. My mate had somehow never seen Nicki Minaj before, and he refused to believe that Nicki Minaj was a real person. His disbelief won’t be helped by the sight of 1000 Nicki Minaj cut outs that were recently placed on the steps of Helsinki’s cathedral to celebrate her first Finnish gig. I can’t quite believe it, and I believe that Nicki Minaj is a real human being. 

Denzil Schniffermann

Denzil Says,

I’ve seen through the veil of societal consciousness and witnessed the horrors that lurk beneath. I know it all Denz! I know about the Illuminati, Roswell, chemtrails, I know about the New World Order, I know JFK was an inside job, 7/7 was an inside job, 9/11? – inside job (jet fuel doesn’t burn at a high enough temperature to melt steel Denz!), I know Paul McCartney is dead, Tupac isn’t dead (or the FBI killed him, haven’t decided) and I know man never landed on the moon. All this, I know! RELEASE THE FILES DENZ! I know it all!

Ahem, with all due respect, sounds like someone’s got a bit carried away with the wacky baccy. Crikey, filling your head with all this farflung jiggery pokery, how do you get anything done? All apart from that Paul McCartney thing, of course. I’m not sure if he died in 1973 or what, but bugger me did he start releasing some good stuff.

Nina, 30, Hertfordshire

Love, life and business advice from Crack’s esteemed agony uncle

I’LL DO ANYTHING Best known for being a member of Boyzone, Shane Lynch was born to housewife Noeleen and mechanic Brendan. He struggled with his education during his school years due to dyslexia, but excelled at sports and was a motor racing enthusiast, winning the Portuguese BMX Championship at 14. Following Boyzone’s split, he launched an acting career and released an autobiography, and in recent years he’s appeared as a judge on The All Ireland Talent Show and a contestant on Celebrity Masterchef. Now, he’ll Skype you for £50 because he needs funding for his new album. MODFATHERS In news that I still can’t get over — I’m sat here rocking back and forth, frothing at the mouth, nearly pissing my already pissed in pants with perpetual excitement just thinking about it — Rodger Daltrey and Liam Gallagher performed My Generation on TFI Friday and, oh boy, that’s a match up that I can’t get over. Bonehead was there and so was Ringo Starr’s son which means Oasis will probably reunite and fuck me, I cannot wait for it. I’ll be there on the opening night of their comeback tour, rocking back and forth, frothing at the mouth, nearly pissing my already pissed in pants with perpetual excitement.

Dear Denzil,

Denzil mate,

Denzil Says,

My girlfriend recently bought a kitten for our flat and – I can’t believe I’m typing this – I’m starting to feel really jealous of all the attention she gives it. She insists that it sleeps on the end of our bed, and she talks to it as if she actually believes it has the emotional capacity of a human being. I think I’m allergic, but I’m concerned that if I suggest getting rid of it, she might choose the cat over me. I must just be paranoid, right?

I’ve never understood the cat infatuation myself, they share too many characteristics with my former accountant: vanity, greed and slyness. But never underestimate the bond between human and creature. As a young man, my tortoise Nigel was my greatest companion – I even took him to university with me. I’d suggest stocking up on allergy tablets Richard, otherwise you’ll find yourself having a heated argument about who gets to keep the NutriBullet.

Richard, 32, Berlin

Dear Denz,

Denzil Says,

I got on an EasyJet flight the other day and they’d run out of their croquemonsieur sandwich. The guy in the front had got the last one and I salivated so much from the smell I nearly cried. Despite the hefty price tag it’s truly one of the deli greats of the modern age and it ruined my flight. Have you ever had a bad aviation experience Denz?

There was this one time in the 70s when all these fat cats were smoking on the flight. Have you ever tried eating a business class beef stroganoff with the taste of Senior Service tabs as an aftertaste? Rotten it was. It ruined my experience, and at that point I started lobbying parliament to stop smoking on flights and got my first MBE as a result. These days I just personally check all phones are on airplane mode so no one takes down a plane. You can’t be too careful at 38,000 feet.

Lilly, 22, Liverpool Problems? email denzil@crackmagazine.net


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The Crack Magazine Crossword Across 03. Beastie Boys like their sugar with coffee and Eric Clapton’s old band!! (5) 05. Season your supper with this all-female hip-hop trio! (4,1,4) 08. Don’t eat too many of these little red fruit, or you’ll turn into a Zombie! (11) 09. This ambient hip-hop producer’s gambling on shellfish! (5,6) 13. Shaun Ryder’s post-Mondays band like the darker fruit! (5-5) 15. You can rip it up and start again, but you’d better have something to wash it down with after! (6,5) 16. Marvin Gaye think the world is just a great big ... vegetable! (5) 17. Don McLean’s knows what American pastry dish he fancies! (3) Down 01. These British electro-indie mainstays won’t accept cold fries! (3-4) 02. Paul Weller don’t like marmalade, he don’t like preserve. What does he like?! (3) 04. US RnB/pop artist has an album named Food and a worldwide smash hit about a creamy beverage! (5) 06. Weezer have got a hankering for some Heinz gloop and some sausages – and not necessarily in that order! (4,3,5) 07. This Japanese noise-rock band have peeled their favourite fruit, but they’ve got it too hot and it’s turned to liquid! (4-6) 10. Tom Waits isn’t a fan of tuna, but he’ll certainly make a trombone out of another expensive meaty fish! (9) 11. The Smiths consider this type of food to be Murder (4) 12. Country rock progenitors The Flying _____ Brothers love Mexican food! (7) 14. System of a Down know what type of noodle dish they like, and they won’t accept any alternatives! (4,4) Solution to last month’s crossword: THEME: THE SIMPSONS. ACROSS: 03. BOUVIER, 05. LEFTORIUM, 07. SQUISHEE, 10. SMILINGPOLITELY, 12. GUNTER, 13. MACGYVER, 15. MAX-POWER, 16. SUSHI DOWN: 01. MONORAIL 02. SHELBYVILLE, 04. BLEEDING-GUMS, 06. MR.SPARKLE, 08. HARRYSHEARER, 09. SPIDER-PIG, 11. THE-BE-SHARPS, 14. TOWEL, 15. MOE

Oh my. Oh my oh my oh my. Everyone knows that Andrew WK is generally a good influence on the world: piano virtuoso, onetime UN culture ambassador to Bahrain, bloody nose enthusiast and probably the world’s foremost party authority. So this endorsement does make a kind of tenuous, perverted sense. Y’know: you’ve been partying all day, just played a round of party golf, spent an hour dicking around on a swing and made a whistlestop trip to Bahrain, then rocked out with the guys for a while – and then you wanna get down to some intimate one-on-one party action? Well AWK became the face of a groundbreaking range of hygiene wipes that within seconds transforms you from stinky sleaze to yes sir please. They’re for your undercarriage, y’get me? Yuck.


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20 Questions: Big Narstie

Unless you’re still on some kind of TalkTalk dial-up modem system or the Virgin Media man is reluctant to grant you fibre optic, you’ll know who Big Narstie is. He’s the grime MC, agony-uncle, and online personality that speaks for a generation. Whether he’s responding to dilemmas such as “My mum caught me wanking” and “My man is a wasteman” or spreading the positive vibes of BDL (Bass Defence League), he’s always surrounded by loyal fans, committed supporters and keen listeners. It’s been a long time coming, but we finally got Uncle Pain himself to answer Crack’s 20 Questions. Just don’t mention Bobby Beale.

What’s your worst habit? I used to watch porn on a separate TV in my house, but now I’m on a righteous path. Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met? I can’t really say Ed Sheeran cause that’s family. Walter White’s son from Breaking Bad cuz. He was at the BRITs. What is your favourite snack when you’re drunk? I’m more of a juice man. I like to have a frozen juice, slushing like that exotical juice. Anything exotic or Caribbean. What is your favourite TV game show? Catchphrase was a deeper game show.

What was your favourite cartoon when you were a kid? Dexter’s Lab. Dexter was on stuff. Do you have a number one fan?  My number one fan seems to be George Ezra. That’s love still.

What is your signature dish? What are you talking about bruv?

What did you think when you found out that it was the kid? When I found out it was Bobby I couldn’t even speak, do you know what I mean? They took man for a fucking idiot. I was like, rah, Bobby you know. It made sense though cause Bobby could’ve just been oppressing bare different rage inside. You know them ones there? Them kids like Bobby are the most dangerous ones who never get told off. They are living in a whole different world to real niggas. They never get in trouble. They never got a clip round the ear when they start fucking up.

What do you cook for people most often? I don’t cook for people most often. I’m not a fucking chef out here cuz.

Who is your favourite character from The Simpsons and why? Homer Simpson, real G. 

If you were trying to seduce a potential lover, what music would you play? Some Keith Sweat. Some R. Kelly, you know that shit like [sings] 'My mind’s telling me no! But my body...'

What are your feelings towards the concept of brunch? Brunch is a good meal still. You know when you put in that chicken kiev with chips in the oven? Have a Coke Zero on the side to keep you motivated.

Who is your favourite member of the Wu Tang Clan? I’d say Cappadonna. What is the worst hotel you’ve ever stayed in? It was a Travelodge I think. It was all types of wrong – the toilet seat wasn’t even on the toilet fam.

“When I found out it was Bobby who killed Lucy Beale, I couldn’t even speak”

Who do you think should’ve killed Lucy Beale on EastEnders? It should have been the shotter you know – it should have been the dealer.

Do you ever send post second class? I’m not really a postman guy still. What’s your favourite board game? Monopoly because it’s about making money. Is there a piece of advice you wish you’d given to yourself 10 years ago? Don’t fuck up in school bruv. Dick ’ed. Have you ever taken acid? Nah. See man like me yeah? I come from the city of Zion. I deal with ganja, heavy. I’ve never taken acid drugs cos I don’t feel that way cuz. That would be fucking scary for man like me cuz. Way too scary – my mind is fucked up as it is.

What would you want written on your tomb stone? Rest in peace. How else can I look at it?

Big Narstie appears at Outlook, Croatia, 2-6 September


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Perspective

Cognitive scientist Dr. Tom Fritz has developed a novel technique to examine music’s effect of euphoria on the brain, specifically how music reduces our perception of pain and effort – something he calls “musical ecstasy”. Ahead of his talk at Berghain this month, Fritz expands on his ‘Jymmin’ technique and its possible repercussions in therapy. Neuroscientifically informed music therapy is on the verge of a breakthrough. A key feature in how this can be achieved is by studying novel forms of music technology that allow for a newly acquired embodiment of musical actions during music making. We’re currently establishing a new technology that merges musically expressive performance with physical exercise. ‘Jymmin’ – a cross between ‘Jammin’ and ‘Gym’ – takes us back to our origins when music making and physical work were often intertwined. Note that music and exertion have been traditionally strongly linked, even in Western societies, in so-called ‘work songs’. We aim at rediscovering the socio-culturally forgotten effects of positive interaction between music and exertion to the benefit of modern society. We have recreated this experience in an exercise system which can be performed individually or in groups, where the sport-induced arousal becomes part of a euphoria experience, enhancing mood and reducing perceived exertion. Benefits of musical feedback training, in comparison to conventional motor learning, are likely to be a consequence of musical expression. This draws partly on motor processes that we also use for communication, which are not exclusively under deliberate control, but to substantial degree involve emotional motor control. The Jymmin approach has been the key to a quite novel field of research that has in previous times quite exclusively been ethnomusicological. We are now able to

evoke very intense experiences of musical euphoria or trance in a laboratory setting, by combining music making with exercise. In accordance to an often medical context where musically-evoked ecstasy is and was used in indigenous societies, the effects we have so far observed are astonishing. Results showed that musical agency significantly decreased perceived exertion during workout, indicating that musical agency may actually facilitate physically strenuous activities. This indicates that the positive effect of music on perceived exertion cannot always be explained by an effect of diversion from body experience (because performers concentrate on their body experience to create and control melodies and rhythms). Furthermore this finding suggests that the down-modulating effect of Jymmin on perceived exertion may be a previously unacknowledged driving force for the development of music in humans – making music makes strenuous physical activities less exhausting. We also found that the effects seem to release endorphins much more efficiently than previously observed in sports activities, for example when running a marathon. Within only 10 minutes, we observed a significant increase in mood during Jymmin in comparison to conventional machine exercise workout. This effect lasted for longer than half an hour, suggesting that it indeed was hormonally mediated. We also observed further evidence for increased endorphin release as the pain sensitivity during workout with Jymmin goes down, which is notably very substantial to all types of rehabilitation, where the patients would like to avoid pain during sports exercise. The strong psychological effects of Jymmin also extend to a down-regulation of anxiety in patients with high anxiety levels, giving rise to a range of possible recreational and clinical applications. We observed a number of other psychological effects. This modern musical

trance induction technique increases the participant’s perception of their internal locus of control, so that they feel that they have greater agency in their life. It has also been shown to have an intoxicating effect, without increasing a craving for substance use. In drug abuse patients with a criminal background, the induced musical euphoria was perceived as a possible alternative to intoxication, while their social parameters, for example how much they liked the other patients, were positively affected. Additionally we found further physiological effects, for example the muscles during workout being more effective. Recent findings also show that the musical euphoria stimulated the immune system within 10 minutes, with the white cell count increased in short-term, indicating a mobilisation of the immune system. The mood enhancing effects of Jymmin are planned to be applied in anti-depression therapies, and the effects, for example the anxiety reducing element, are highly relevant for both patients in various therapies, and also their partners and relatives. This also helps to strengthen the social bond with friends and family that is crucial to both patients and relatives, to all of us really. We also plan to provide a composing platform where people who love to make electronic music can participate as composers. In conclusion, we believe Jymmin will become a music culture of its own.

Dr. Tom Fritz is in conversation with painter Norbert Bisky at Pop-Kultur Festival, Berlin, 26 - 28 August

Illustration: James Burgess


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SUNDAY BEST PRESENTS

96

OVER 25 STAGES · REVOLUTIONARY SOUNDSYSTEMS PSYCHEDELIC WOODLAND ADVENTURES · THE COMMUNE MAGICAL ISLAND LOCATION · 24HR FREE HAIRCUTS MIND-EXPANDING MUSIC

MISSY ELLIOTT • DURAN DURAN THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS • UNDERWORLD

VERY SPECIAL GUESTS! • TAME IMPALA • THE JACKSONS RUDIMENTAL (DJ) • SKRILLEX • ANNIE MAC • MARK RONSON JUNGLE • JURASSIC 5 • FKA TWIGS • FLYING LOTUS RÓISÍN MURPHY • BOY BETTER KNOW • WILEY • SKEPTA GORGON CITY • DUKE DUMONT • HUDSON MOHAWKE (DJ)

FUTURE ISLANDS • LILY ALLEN PRESENTS FUNLORD • CHARLI XCX LITTLE DRAGON • LIANNE LA HAVAS • JAMIE XX • DRENGE RONI SIZE REPRAZENT (LIVE) • JAGUAR SKILLS • KATE TEMPEST NENEH CHERRY WITH ROCKETNUMBERNINE • SETH TROXLER TALE OF US • HANNAH WANTS • TODD TERJE (LIVE) • ELLA EYRE ACTION BRONSON • FOUR TET • KITTY, DAISY & LEWIS • MADLIB (DJ) GUY GERBER • DAVID RODIGAN MBE PRES. RAM JAM & MORE VENUES & SIDESHOWS

THE PORT • THE GRAND PALACE OF ENTERTAINMENT • FILMS IN THE FOREST CARNIVAL PARADE • THE FEAST COLLECTIVE • CARAVANSERAI • AMPHITHEATRE BOLLYWOOD COCKTAIL BAR • CLUB DADA • GRAND FINALE FIREWORKS & MORE SLOW MOTION

MEDITATION & MINDFULNESS • LLAMA KARMA • EUPHORIC YOGA • HOT TUBS SURF & KAYAKING ADVENTURES • PALM READERS & MYSTICS • NIGHT PARADE KALEIDOSCOPE STAGE AND A WONKY DISCO FINALE & SO MUCH MORE

TICKETS ON SALE NOW: BESTIVAL.NET #BESTIVAL15

• #SUMMEROFLOVE

CRACK Issue 54  

Featuring Earl sweatshirt, Mac Demarco, Nils Frahm, Lee Bannon, Tink, Georgia, Carston Holler, Jaakko Eino Kalevi and more

CRACK Issue 54  

Featuring Earl sweatshirt, Mac Demarco, Nils Frahm, Lee Bannon, Tink, Georgia, Carston Holler, Jaakko Eino Kalevi and more