Discwoman Issue 81
Simple Things Festival 20 - 21 October, Across Bristol
Metronomy (Opening - Fiday night)
Wild Beasts Clark Omar Souleyman Shackleton Nadine Shah Jlin Jane Weaver Shanti Celeste Binh Sassy J Patten HMLTD Warmduscher The Early Years Strange Frequency
(Sandy) Alex G Dekmantel Soundsystem Carla dal Forno Klein
TRAAMS Inga Mauer Insecure Men Scalping Coco & The Nutmilk Heavy Lungs
Priests Oliver Wilde Gramrcy Dave Harvey & Christophe Pink Kink
Mixpak Showcase ft. Dre Skull Jubilee . Florentino . Serocee Hipsters Don't Dance www.simplethingsfestival.co.uk
A city-wide, two day programme of musical diversity and innovation
Leftfield performing Leftism live
Daphni (4hrs) Juan Atkins John Maus GAIKA IDLES The Bug ft Miss Red Marie Davidson Cakes Da Killa Diet Cig Intergalactic Gary Spectres Roi Perez Marco Bernardi Studio 89 DJs The Howl and the Hum
Kahn & Neek Lorenzo Senni Childhood Ă“ Richard Russell presents: Everything is Recorded
Willow Downtown Boys Children of Leir Shapes DJs Don Loudo Youth
Japanese Breakfast Spinning Coin Musu DJs Boy Azooga + Many More
London Astrobeat Orchestra performing Talking Heads
P L AY B A C K TOURING EXHIBITION IN ASSOCIATION WITH RANDOM ACTS
KINGSTON SCHOOL OF ART KNIGHT’S PARK CAMPUS 17 OCTOBER – 4 NOVEMBER
Playback is an interactive exhibition of over 200 short films made by young artist filmmakers. These award-winning shorts made by emerging talent capture today’s world: from underground zine cultures and unconventional desires to digital identities. Playback opens at Kingston University this autumn, where a selection of the films were originally made in collaboration with the ICA. Alongside the exhibition, get involved with screening events and collaborative workshops geared towards new and aspiring filmmakers.
To find out more information on Playback at Kingston University and to book events, head to kingston.ac.uk/playback
#Playback @ICALondon @KingstonUni
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Upcoming London Shows 25 OCT.
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Miranda at Ace Hotel
The Waiting Room
Happyness The Garage
O 2 Brixton Academy
30 & 31 OCT.
Malahini EMA Mauno Ben Frost
The Dream Syndicate
Kevin Morby Electric Ballroom
St. John at Hackney
Yumi Zouma Foxygen Shigeto Omeara 12 OCT.
Yassassin The Waiting Room
tickets and more info at rockfeedback.com
Johnny Flynn Roundhouse
18 OCT. & 19 OCT *DATE ADDED*
Crooked Colours The Pickle Factory 18 OCT.
Frankie Rose Moth Club 19 OCT.
Elder Island The Lexington 24 OCT.
Hundred Waters Village Underground
Drahla Shacklwell Arms 10 NOV.
Julien Baker Union Chapel 11 NOV.
Pissed Jeans Electric Ballroom 16 NOV.
Bing & Ruth St. Pancras Old Church 17 NOV.
Cristobal and the Sea Moth Club 19 NOV.
Lost Horizons 100 Club 23 NOV.
Alice Phoebe Lou Oslo
O 2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Lido Pimienta Sebright Arms 02 NOV.
Electric Ballroom 02 NOV.
Starcrawler Sebright Arms 03 NOV.
Francobollo Moth Club 06 NOV.
Shabazz Palaces Oval Space
07 & 08 NOV.
Father John Misty Hammersmith Eventim Apollo 08 NOV.
Visible Cloaks Pickle Factory
Marika Hackman 23 NOV.
Mammút Sebright Arms 24 NOV.
O 2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire 30 NOV.
Puma Blue Corsica Studios 07 DEC.
Briana Marela Paper Dress Vintage 25 JAN.
Songhoy Blues O 2 Forum Kentish Town 15 FEB.
Anna of the North XOYO
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015 Crack Magazine is a free and independent platform for contemporary culture Published and distributed monthly by Crack Industries Ltd. For any distribution enquiries please contact email@example.com
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07 ROOM ONE
Joseph Capriati (6 Hour Set) Flavio Folco ROOM TWO
Derrick Carter Terry Francis Stephane Ghenacia
21-23 fabric 18th Birthday Craig Richards Terry Francis Ricardo Villalobos Abdulla Rashim ROOM ONE Ben UFO Craig Richards Blawan Seth Troxler fabric Halloween Donato Dozzy B2B Tristan Da Cunha Peter Van Hoesen ROOM ONE ROOM TWO (DJ / Live Hybrid Set) fabric 95: Marcel Fengler Curates Hammer Roman Flügel Launch Marcel Fengler Jay Clarke Roman Flügel Matrixxman Margaret Dygas ToFu Productions: Sandrien Nicolas Lutz Thomas Melchior & Raresh Fumiya Tanaka Voigtmann Ghost Culture + Surprise Guests
fabric October 2017
Ellen Allien Terry Francis
John Maus 46
Pan Daijing 52
Jean-Michel Basquiat 60
Editor's Letter – p.19
Recommened – p.20
The Update: Craig Richards – p.27
Ty Dolla $ign: Back to the Beach – p.38
Retrospective: Radiohead, In Rainbows – p.73 My Life as a Mixtape: Wiki – p.81
Rising – p.23
Discover – p.25 Reviews – p.67
20 Questions: Bootsy Collins – p.79
The Complex Cases of Macho Music and its Female Fans – p.82
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith:
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DVS1 INVITES: DANNY TENAGLIA
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DAPHNI & FLOATING POINTS
MINISTRY OF SOUND WWW.THE-HYDRA.NET
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Crack Magazine Was Made Using
Right from the beginning, rave and club culture has been a source of fascination to academics and the media.
Björk The Gate Nirvana School Ploy Unruly Conway Dead Bodies Left Lady Gaga Million Reasons John Maus Edge of Forever Tinashe Touch Pass (Leonce bounce remix) Carla dal Forno The Garden Lil Uzi Vert The Way Life Goes The 4th Wave Electroluv Michael Chapman Lecudjack (Lexx edit) Steffi All Living Things Cooly G Grimm Berner and Young Dolph Knuckles ft Gucci Mane DJ Tre It’s House Hybrid
But it’s not the regular nights on the town that people celebrate. The parties which are eulogised tend to be the ones that provide something more significant than the illicit thrill of hedonism. Historically, the celebrated clubs and raves have provided an escape from discrimination, punitive laws and patriarchy; they’ve been safe spaces for queer people and minorities to achieve emotional transcendence. But what happens when the ideologies of the world outside seep onto the dancefloor? When the space stops being safe and inclusive to those from the communities who created the culture in the first place? This month’s cover stars are Discwoman – a booking agency and collective of DJs, producers and event promoters which supports cis women, trans women and genderqueer artists. Since forming three years ago in New York, they’ve helped build the careers of a diverse range of artists, they’ve been part of a wider conversation about challenging patriarchy in club culture, and they’ve made decisive actions to create the spaces they need. In our cover story, New York writer Nina Posner meets with the three founding Discwoman members to discuss their ideology, their fight against NY’s Cabaret Laws and how they’ve created a successful business model which prioritises their principles. It’s far from easy, but Discwoman are proving that club culture can be so much better, and that utopian dancefloors are still within reach.
Discwoman shot exclusively for Crack Magazine by Cait Oppermann NYC – September 2017
Davy Reed, Editor
Beatrice Dillon & Call Super Fluo
Kamasi Washington Truth
Mount Kimbie Roundhouse 3 November
O ur g ui d e to wh at's goi n g on i n y ou r c i ty
BADBADNOTGOOD Roundhouse 14 November Is it jazz? Is it hip-hop? Electronica? Who knows but it sounds good, right? The YouTube sensation that is Badbadnotgood don’t seem to be too fussed about labels either. While studying a jazz programme at college, the Canadian band embraced their love of hip-hop – a genre their teachers dismissed for having “no musical value” – and they’d later go viral when Tyler, the Creator cosigned them after discovering clips of them covering Odd Future beats. Since then, Badbadnotgood have backed Frank Ocean at Coachella, worked with Kaytranada, Snoop, Danny Brown and made an entire album with Ghostface Killah. Here’s your chance to catch their “improvised and crazy” live show.
Avalon Emerson Patterns, Brighton 7 October
The Hydra present Ninja Tune Printworks 21 October From £22 The announcement of the Printworks venue in 2016 was a slice of promise within a turbulent year for London nightlife. Luckily for those downtrodden by the endless bad news surrounding the city's clubs, the venue delivered the experience that so many were craving. The colossal old printing press-turned-super club kicked off with a slew of joyous day parties in spring. Now their second edition takes a somewhat darker turn with this Ninja Tune-curated night featuring post-punk inspired, former Crack cover star Helena Hauff and Machine Woman, as well as DJ sets from colossal names like Modeselektor, Special Request and Bicep. London clubbers rejoice.
Mirrors Festival Ultimate Painting, Pinegrove, Axel Flóvent Various venues, London Price: TBA Taking place across several Hackney venues – St John, Oslo, Moth Club and the Paper Dress Vintage shop – Mirrors festival showcases leftfield guitar music with an all-dayer for London’s curiously-minded indie kids. The festival’s third edition includes Pinegrove, Ultimate Painting, Swedish shoegaze project Josefin Öhrn & The Liberation, DIY stalwarts Los Campesinos! and Icelandic songwriter Axel Flóvent. Tote bags at the ready.
Lobster Theremin The Pickle Factory 6 October
Fabric Birthday fabric 21-23 October fabric's birthday blowouts are always hotly anticipated, but the club sadly didn't get to celebrate last year. Its three rooms were eerily empty after the club was shut down by the authorities. Following its triumphant re-opening in January, fabric has made up for lost time, and its 18th birthday will be the crystallisation of the support network rallied around the club over this past year. Once again, the marathon bash will run across 30 hours. Ricardo Villalobos, Margaret Dygas, Blawan, Raresh, Nicolas Lutz and Voigtmann join residents Craig Richards and Terry Francis. Sure to be one for the books.
Priests The Dome, London 18 October
D Double E Scala 16 October
Herra Hnetusmjor Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen 12 October
Ulricka Spacek Oslo 12 October
Every year at Crack Magazine, there are a handful of bands who unite the office and really capture our collective attention. This year, Washington DC punk outfit Priests have most definitely been one of those bands. Their debut album, Nothing Feels Natural, dropped in January but it’s still getting regular airtime on the office stereo. Katie Alice Greer’s urgent vocal performances – paired with the nostalgic punk rock stylings of the band – form the sound of modern protest. It’s a sound we’ve needed over the last 12 months.
No Bounds Festival Various venues, Sheffield Jeff Mills, Terre Thaemlitz, Laurel Halo 13-15 October £40 + BF
Umfang Corsica Studios 13 October
Sheffield gets its own pan-disciplinary, multi venue festival in the form of No Bounds. Pulling together music, art, tech and – in their words – dancing, the main line-up alone will excite those who delight in tracking developments at the very vanguard of future sounds (while also making good on the dancing part with the likes of Debonair, Nan Kole and Eclair Fifi). Workshops, exhibitions and, interestingly, a woman-only coding workshop round out what promises to be an essential event. Also, gender-balanced line-up – we see you.
Steevio + Suzybee Rye Wax 6 October
Moses Sumney Islington Assembly 31 October
Carla Dal Forno Shacklewell Arms 24 October
Dizzee Rascal Brixton Academy 12 October
Kelly Lee Owens Oslo 19 October Epizode Festival Mathew Jonson, Dixon, Marcel Dettman Phú Quốc, Vietnam 31 December-10 January Advance Ticket: £112 + BF
ICA Playback Kingston University 17 October - 4 November
Liars Heaven 27 October
Set on Phú Quốc, an hour’s flight from Ho Chi Minh, EPIZODE certainly has those island paradise looks down. And after the success of the inaugural festival last year – which presented 14 days of music non-stop, no biggie – the buzz for this year is even bigger. Early signs are looking good – the bill is skewed toward blockbuster house and techno but, with the likes of Dixon and Marcel Dettmann, the quality control is high. Cocktails, sunsets and banging techno. Who’s in?
Yellow Days Oslo 11 October
Roman Flügel Fabric 28 October
San Soda Shoreditch Platform 13 October
Simple Things Wild Beasts, Daphni, The Bug ft. Miss Red Various venues, Bristol 21 October 3rd Release: £40 + BF Lena Willikens Oval Space 13 October
Future The O2 23 October
Since 2013, members of the Crack Magazine team have been in charge of much of the booking and branding of Simple Things – the multi-venue event in Bristol which spans as many genres as possible. This year the festival will run from Saturday afternoon until the not-so-early hours of Sunday morning on 10 stages spread across the Colston Hall, The Island complex, the O2 Academy, The Sportsman and the Lakota and Coroner’s Court club venues. We’re proud to represent our taste in indie music with Wild Beasts – who will be playing one of their final gigs – notorious cult musician John Maus and Frank Ocean collaborator (Sandy) Alex G, while the diverse list of dance music offerings includes Detroit originator Juan Atkins, roving Syrian wedding performer Omar Souleyman, footwork experimentalist Jlin, Canadian live techno artist Marie Davidson and a showcase from Brooklyn-based dancehall label Mixpak. While the line-up aims to cast the net as wide as possible, local talent will be represented via sets from the fast-rising five piece Idles, Oliver Wilde and instrumental grime taskforce Kahn and Neek. At the time of writing, a sell-out is looking likely – so move fast.
Semibreve Festival Karen Gwyer, GAS, Laurie Spiegel Braga, Portugal 27 – 29 October Day Tickets: €15
YG KOKO 15 October
Mira Festival James Holden, Visionist, Kelly Lee Owens Fabra i Coats, Barcelona 9-11 November €65 Time for something completely different? Held annually in Barcelona since 2011, MIRA Festival looks ideal for the seasoned festival-goer searching for something totally new. It’s a celebration of digital art and experimentation which welcomes world-class musicians, artists and thinkers to a stark, warehouse-style facility in the old town Sant Andreu neighbourhood of Barcelona. This year, James Holden is bringing his live band and AV project, William Basinski will play his captivating ambient eulogy for David Bowie, Kelly Lee Owens is there, Juliana Barwick is there, The Bug and Dylan Carson are there. There’s also an art installation called Quantum Chromodynamics. Broaden those horizons.
Set in the gorgeous town of Braga in Portugal, Semibreve offers an eclectic line-up from the frontiers of electronic music’s avant-garde. Tickets prices are more than reasonable, as is food and drink in the town in which it’s set, and in the Theatro Circo, the festival has a claim to one of the classiest festival venues anywhere. A tempered, relaxing celebration of vibrant and challenging music.
ICA's Playback project paints a vision of Britain's youth. A celebration of young artists and filmmakers from across the country, Playback launched at the ICA back in March. The 145 films featured as part of the project have since toured the UK and the interactive exhibition makes its return to London at Kingston University this month. Let them provoke, puzzle and entertain you.
MICAH P. HINSON MON 2 OCTP. HINSON MICAH MON 2 OCT SCALA SCALA TONY NJOKU TONY NJOKU TUES 3 OCT 3 OCTROOM THETUES WAITING THE WAITING ROOM LITTLE CUB LITTLE CUB WED 4 OCT WED 4 OCT OSLO HACKNEY OSLO HACKNEY GENTS GENTS WED 4 OCT 4 OCT THEWED VICTORIA THE VICTORIA AIR TRAFFIC AIR4 TRAFFIC WED OCT OUT 4 OCT WED SOLD LD OUT SCALA SO SCALA MON 9 OCT MON 9 OCT ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY HALL HALL
RALEGH LONG THURS 12 OCT RALEGH LONG THURS 12 OCT THE LEXINGTON THE LEXINGTON SIVU, FENNE LILY, SIVU, FENNE LILY, PAUL THOMAS PAUL THOMAS SAUNDERS & SAUNDERS SIV JAKOBSEN & SIV12 JAKOBSEN THURS OCT THURS 12 OCT CECIL SHARP HOUSE CECIL SHARP HOUSE MELANIE DE BIASIO MELANIE MON 16 OCTDE BIASIO MON 16 OCT SCALA SCALA EASTERN BARBERS EASTERN TUES 17 OCTBARBERS TUES 17 OCT THE LEXINGTON THE LEXINGTON STST VINCENT VINCENT TUES TUES1717OCT OCT O2O2 ACADEMY ACADEMYBRIXTON BRIXTON
MADONNATRON MADONNATRON FRIFRI 6 OCT 6 OCT THETHE MONTAGUE ARMS MONTAGUE ARMS
YOWL YOWL& &LICE LICE TUES TUES1717OCT OCT SEBRIGHT SEBRIGHTARMS ARMS
KELLY LEE OWENS THURS KELLY 19 LEEOCT OWENS THURS 19 OCT OSLO HACKNEY OSLO HACKNEY THE BIG MOON THE20BIG FRI OCTMOON FRI 20 OCT KOKO KOKO (SANDY) ALEX G (SANDY) ALEX G TUES 24 OCT TUES 24 OCT SCALA SCALA DIET CIG T DIET24 CIG& WEDSOL25 D OU OCT TUES T D OU OCT TUES 24 & WED SOL25 MOTH CLUB MOTH CLUB IDER OUT IDER T SOLD25 OU& WED SOLD25 O& T WED D UOCT T THURS SOL26 D OUOCT THURSSOL26 ARCHSPACE ARCHSPACE
BEDOUINE MARY BEDOUINE MARYEPWORTH EPWORTH UT OUT LD O MON 1010 OCT SOMON 9 TUES & TUES OCT WED WED1818OCT OCT OLD& S9 THETHE ISLINGTON OSLO ISLINGTON OSLOHACKNEY HACKNEY JERKCURB JERKCURB WED 1111 OCTOCT WED THETHE LEXINGTON LEXINGTON
FRAN FRANLOBO LOBO WED WED11NOV NOV CORSICA CORSICASTUDIOS STUDIOS
DEAD PRETTIES DEAD PRETTIES THURS THURS 1212 OCTOCT BOSTON MUSIC ROOM BOSTON MUSIC ROOM
PERFUME PERFUME GENIUS GENIUS WITHSPECIAL SPECIALGUESTS: GUESTS: WITH
AUSTRA AUSTRA BATHS BATHS
YANN YANNTIERSEN TIERSEN T MON 30 T D OUOCT MON UOCT SOLO30 LD O S ALBERT ROYAL ROYAL ALBERTHALL HALL CHRISTIAN CHRISTIANLOFFLER LOFFLER &&MOHNA MOHNA TUES TUES31 31OCT OCT VILLAGE VILLAGE UNDERGROUND UNDERGROUND
MILES MILESFROM FROM KINSHASA KINSHASA WED WED1818OCT OCT BERMONDSEYSOCIAL SOCIAL BERMONDSEY CLUB CLUB
A PERFUME GENIUS A PERFUME GENIUS PRESENTATION PRESENTATION
JULIANNA BARWICK BARWICK JULIANNA MIDNIGHT SISTER SISTER MIDNIGHT
5.11.2017 5.11.2017 ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDHOUSE
RINASAWAYAMA SAWAYAMA RINA THURS22NOV NOV THURS THEPICKLE PICKLEFACTORY FACTORY THE
DOORS DOORS4PM 4PM
PPA AR RA AL LL E E SE PS RP O O TOITOINOSN. SC.OCMO M L EL LL ILNI N RM OM
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PELUCHE PELUCHE THURS 22 NOV THURS NOV CORSICA STUDIOS CORSICA STUDIOS ANDY SHAUF ANDY SHAUF THURS 22 NOV THURS NOV ISLINGTON ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY HALL ASSEMBLY HALL PERFUME GENIUS, PERFUME GENIUS, AUSTRA, BATHS, AUSTRA, JULIANNABATHS, BARWICK, JULIANNA MIDNIGHT BARWICK, SISTER MIDNIGHT SUN 5 NOV SISTER SUN 5 NOV ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDHOUSE SIMON JOYNER + SIMON JOYNER + DAVID NANCE DAVID SUN 5 NANCE NOV SUN 5 NOV THE ISLINGTON THE ISLINGTON MIDNIGHT SISTER MIDNIGHT MON 6 NOVSISTER MON NOV VINTAGE PAPER6DRESS PAPER DRESS VINTAGE WOVOKA GENTLE TUES 7 NOV WOVOKA GENTLE RICH MIX TUES 7 NOV RICH MIX INSECURE MEN WED 8 NOVMEN INSECURE SCALA8 NOV WED SCALA LOW ISLAND WED ISLAND 8 & THURS 9 NOV LOW CORSICA WED 8 & STUDIOS THURS 9 NOV CORSICA STUDIOS
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ANGELO ANGELODE DE AUGUSTINE AUGUSTINE WED 15 NOV WED 15 NOV ST PANCRAS ST PANCRAS OLD CHURCH OLD CHURCH ANNA MEREDITH ANNA MEREDITH THURS 16 NOV THURS 16 NOV OVAL SPACE OVAL SPACE KÁRYYN K Á R Y16 YN THURS NOV THURS 16 NOV BRUNEL MUSEUM BRUNEL MUSEUM LUKE HOWARD LUKE FRI 17 HOWARD NOV FRIPANCRAS 17 NOV ST ST PANCRAS OLD CHURCH OLD CHURCH FUTURE ISLANDS OUT OUT MON FUTURE ISLANDS SOLD20, TUES SOLD 21 UT O22 OUT D D &MON WED NOV L L 20, TUES 21 O O S S O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON & WED 22 NOV O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON DINNER MON 20 NOV DINNER MOTH MON CLUB 20 NOV MOTH CLUB KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH KAITLYN AURELIA TUES 21 NOV SMITH SCALA TUES 21 NOV SCALA
WOLF WOLFPARADE PARADE WED WED2222NOV NOV O2 FORUM O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN KENTISH TOWN THE ZEPHYR BONES THE FRI 24ZEPHYR NOV BONES FRISHACKLEWELL 24 NOV THE THE SHACKLEWELL ARMS ARMS CURTIS HARDING CURTIS HARDING WED 29 NOV WED 29 NOV SCALA SCALA LORD HURON LORD TUES 23HURON JAN 23 JAN O2TUES SHEPHERD’S O2 SHEPHERD’S BUSH EMPIRE BUSH EMPIRE THIS IS THE KIT THURS 25THE JAN KIT THIS IS O2THURS SHEPHERD’S 25 JAN BUSH EMPIRE O2 SHEPHERD’S BUSH EMPIRE ARCADE FIRE WED 11, THURS ARCADE FIRE 12 &WED FRI 13 11,APR THURS 12 THE SSE13 ARENA, & FRI APR WEMBLEY THE SSE ARENA, WEMBLEY JOSE GONZALEZ WED 20GONZALEZ SEPT JOSE ROYAL ALBERT WED 20 SEPTHALL ROYAL ALBERT HALL
Quay Dash Words: Chanté Joseph
“Me and my sister were always smoking, like, you know, smoke weed all the time, drink all the time,” Quay Dash laughs as we discuss her upbringing. “Have parties, you know, the whole nine yards.”
Since breaking through last year, Dash’s steady rise has been paved with a slew of boisterous, braggadocious, shoulder-brushing anthems. It's the culmination of a life-long relationship with rap. “Hearing it in my area and my home seeing it on TV, rap has definitely shaped my music in a big way,” Dash explains, citing Bronx mainstays like Terror Squad and Remy Ma. Dash grew up in the Bronx herself, spending most of her childhood between the New York foster care system and a residential treatment centre. It wasn’t until she settled with her sister that she began writing and developed the Quay Dash persona. “My sister was a part of a rap group and she was like the only girl amongst a big bunch of guys, it was very impressive.” While she pools inspiration from homegrown rappers, Dash’s sound is not confined to classic New York hiphop. She is also a devout hard techno and house fan, and splices elements from club culture into her sound.
Having turned heads in 2016, this summer her Transphobic EP was rereleased with the hard-hitting, SOPHIEproduced single Bossed Up. The title of the Transphobic EP is self-explanatory. The project reacted creatively to the abuse and hatred lobbed at Dash for confidently owning her identity. The very nature of Quay Dash is defiant, existing at the intersection of being a black, trans woman in a male-dominated and often transphobic rap industry. “I feel like what I do is pretty powerful,” she says. Dash is hypervisible at a devastating time when trans people are 4.3 times more likely to be murdered compared to cis women and the statistics are overwhelmingly worse if you’re a person of colour. Dash is aware of the dangers but uses her music to present her identity with bravado and fiery confidence, though she doesn’t care much for labels. “I am more than just some tranny or whatever the fuck you wanna call me... I’m sick of people just asking me about being trans, I am just a regular person,” she says. “I wanna be known for my music and talent. I’m not an activist.”
Sounds like: Hardcore hip-hop that’ll make you pull the attitude-gyal stinkface Soundtrack for: Hot and sweaty house parties after 4am File Next To: DonMonique / Remy Ma Our favourite tune: Decline Him Fun fact: Alongside Cakes Da Killa, Quay is alumni of the NYC collective Cunt Mafia Where to find her: @QuayDash
Well, what’s next for the dynamic rapper? Dash is very open and honest about her future. “I’m signed to a record label, and some things just don't go right. I’m just going to move further and drop an EP and keep going with my independence and make my fans more intrigued”. Transphobic has been snatching edges and defying the rigid norms through witty lyricism and distinct beats. No longer shackled with the bureaucracies of stifling management, Dash has free reign to create an unfiltered sound. Watch out for her next move.
The emcee – who came for the NYC rap throne in 2016 with her track Queen of NY – personifies a New Yorker, her thick accent replacing ‘or’ for ‘aw’ and adding 'you know's and 'like's as fillers. In conversation, Quay is warm and polite. Her music, on the other hand, makes you feel like dressing up in leather and slow-motion walking down a steamy, damp alleyway while swinging weapons with your girls.
Textasy This Berlin-via-Dallas producer splices old school breaks and dusty jungle with screw-style rap samples, squelchy 303 basslines and pulverising Drexcyian electro; haphazardly packaging all it with wild track titles and ridiculous imagery that’s been scraped from the gutters of the internet. It’s weird, rough and kind of exhilarating. If you’re intrigued, check out this year’s Off The Leash EP, released via Manchester imprint Natural Sciences, or Textasy’s Houston hurricane relief compilation, which offers up 30 slamming tracks to raise cash for an important cause. File Next To: DMX Krew / Shit and Shine
On his debut, and at time of writing only track, Berlin-based singer-songwriter Beau Pearl sings about fire and heaven. For a DIY artist that roughly fits into the category of “bedroom pop”, it’s pretty histrionic stuff. But he manages to pull it off – his art-pop moon-howling comes packed with sufficient sincerity to stop it tipping over into melodrama. In the model of Majical Cloudz or How To Dress Well – the melodies are strong enough to justify the theatrics. This is what it would sound like if The Weeknd maxed out on Depeche Mode. File Next To: Majical Cloudz / Wild Beasts Our Favourite Tune: There Is A Fire In Heaven
Nothing triggers the rush, sweat and slime of a sleazy party quite like muscular EBM, new wave and post punk. Berlin-based Luca Venezia understands the fluid exchange between these dark sounds and the raunchier side of clubbing's underbelly. As Curses, Venezia is turning heads through his residency at renowned Berlin party Pornceptual – something of an uninhibited nocturnal utopia in the city – and his playful, punishing releases. Describing himself as a 'late night romantic', Venezia has released rock-tinged club cuts across labels like Throne of Blood, Rotten City and his own imprint Safer At Night. His latest release – with track titles like Together In The Dark – is a brooding and pulsating slice of Curses' vision, like techno strapped into a leather harness, evoking the lustful spaces his music inhabits.
File Next To: Silent Servant / Marie Davidson Our favourite tune: Together in the Dark Where to find him: @cursesforever
Sandunes While Indian crowds have been going wild for EDM over the past few years, India's vibrant underground electronic music scene is about to emerge from the shadows. Amongst the artists breaking through onto the international stage is Sandunes, whose bright productions recall the likes of Floating Points and Four Tet. Real name Sanaya Ardeshir, her soaring sound soaks up influences that stretch from homegrown producers to the LA beat scene and UK raves. The results, as displayed on her album DOWNSTREAM and sculpted through her renowned live performances, reach celestial heights. We're sure her trajectory will be equally as dazzling.
Xenoula With Björk back in the public eye again with a new album, we're reminded just how strikingly her influence has snaked through the years. Xenoula's scuttling, alien rhythms and lullaby-like vocals certainly fall neatly into the school of Björk – but they're packed full of original extraterrestrial flair, too. Xenoula, real name Romy Xeno, is the latest signing to Weird World. Her self titled debut album, with production credits from LA Priest, is comprised of shape shifting sonic textures that shoot for the stars as much as they capture a mystical vision of earth - much like the Icelandic innovator herself. File next to: Fever Ray / Grimes Our favourite tune: Chief of Tin Where to find her: xenou.la
File Next To: Boards of Canada / Dauwd Our favourite tune: Ever Bridge Where to find her: @sandunesmusic
Where to find: beaupearlbandcamp.com
Our Favourite Tune: Acid Bleach (i live with my mom edit) ft. Sylvester
Where to find him: soundcloud.com/aciddallas
10—17 MOTH Club Valette St London E8
Thursday 2 November
Thursday 12 October
mothclub.co.uk Friday 3 November Tuesday 10 October
THE PREATURES Wednesday 18 October
The Waiting Room 175 Stoke Newington High St N16
Friday 13 October
WEIRD SEX Saturday 14 October
waitingroomn16.com Sunday 15 October
Friday 20 October
TRAAMS Saturday 21 October
Friday 6 October
KID MACHINE Saturday 7 October
Monday 23 October
Friday 13 October
Monday 30 October
Saturday 14 October
NATHAN GREGORY WILKINS Friday 3 November
+ JOE SPURGEON
Wednesday 18 October
71 Shacklewell Lane London E8 shacklewellarms.com Wednesday 11 October GHOST KINGS OF THE FIVE REGIONS Thursday 12 October
NOVA MATERIA Friday 13 October
FLAT WORMS Thursday 19 October
SPINDRIFT Tuesday 24 October
CARLA DAL FORNO
Friday 20 October
RESOM Saturday 21 October
IGUANA DEATH CULT Tuesday 17 October
DORIAN ELECTRA Friday 27 October
SAVAGES DJS Saturday 28 October
THE WYTCHES DJS
The Montague Arms 289 Queen’s Rd London SE14 montaguearms.co.uk Thursday 7 September
BARBUDO Saturday 9 September
COURTS Thursday 14 September
GREAT CYNICS Friday 27 October
The Lock Tavern 35 Chalk Farm Rd London NW1 lock-tavern.com Saturday 7 October
Monday 18 September
AND YET IT MOVES Tuesday 19 September
PALM Friday 22 September
THE MANTIS OPERA
The Update: Craig Richards
Following the success of his inaugural Houghton festival, the London DJ talks future plans and stepping away from his fabric residency
Have you got any specific plans for your artwork? Well, I made a book with paintings and drawings of every artist that played at Houghton. Some caricatures, some more realistic, and some more abstract. I'll have a show when I'm ready, maybe late this year or early next year. I’ve always painted since I went to art school in the late 80s.
Hi Craig. How are you? I gather you’ve been on the road. I have. It was a really inspiring trip but it was a tall order to be honest. After Houghton I went straight to Suma Beach in Istanbul, and then on to LA and Burning Man, and then on to DC10 in Ibiza. I don't normally travel as much as that. I've never wanted to do too much touring in case DJing starts to feel like a job. I like to have time off to just listen to records. Rumour has it you’re putting more time into your creative side. I've been doing more painting in the last couple of years. Painting’s a bit like making music in the studio – it doesn't work if you're tired. You have to put at least two or three days down before the vibe starts to happen. The fact that I’ve
Why was this year the right time to do Houghton? Last year when fabric closed, it became a calling for me to do the festival. It certainly wasn't something I'd been thinking about before. The club closure must have been quite a shock given your status as resident since 1999. It made me go out and play at different venues in London and around the country. I’ve learned my craft by a very lengthy apprenticeship at fabric, but the closure made me realise it's important to be able to transpose that to other venues big or small. I'm enjoying playing there more by playing there less, and next year I'm going to start a specific night, but I won’t have a weekly residency any more.
Does it feel a little strange or uncertain to be changing up your relationship with the place after so long? No, it feels really natural. It's a bit like a relationship where you're more in love when you see each other every so often. Perhaps. Are you also making more time for music production now? Definitely. I have a nice studio and some equipment but I'm not completely selfsufficient, so it's nice to collaborate with friends. I've been making some faster 140 bpm kind of electro at the moment. That seems to be a bit outside the style most people would know you for. I've always played electro records, just slowed down, but making it at 140 in the studio is exciting because you're working at a much faster tempo. As to what speed I end up playing it at when I’m out, who knows? I always need a bit of time to let tracks kick around before I know I’m happy to put them out though. Nobody should hold their breath, but when it's ready it'll come out!
Words: Oli Warwick Photography: Tom Weatherill
been painting has taught me that I need to be careful with my diary.
From top left, anti-clockwise: Tyykai, stud1nt, Christine McCharen-Tran, Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson, J Baragon, Volvox, Umfang
Words: Nina Posner Photography: Cait Oppermann Photographer's Assistant: Athena Torri
On a night in December last year, Discwoman – the New York collective founded by Frankie Decaiza Hutchinson, Christine McCharen-Tran and Emma Burgess-Olson, who DJs and produces as Umfang – hosted a screaming workshop at Knockdown. In collaboration with separate events in London and Warsaw, led by progressively-minded techno crews SIREN and Brutaż respectively, the event was intended to be a therapeutic group exercise, allowing people to release whatever emotions they were feeling in the midst of distressing political events. 'It struck us that we can’t scream together', the event description read. Come and build a wall of noise with us. 'Together, let’s take up space, express our rage, feel powerful and be LOUD'.
The event didn’t go exactly as planned. Richard Kennedy, the NYC artist and singer who led the workshop, suggested that those in attendance sit down and have a conversation instead. “It was something that started out as people screaming, to sitting next to each other and listening to each other,” Christine tells me. “It was really nice. It's such a beautiful metaphor.” “There was so much space!” Frankie exclaims. “It was like, wow, this is a moment when we can actually sit and unwind for a second, because there isn't any fucking space in NYC. But there's tons of it here.” Creating necessary space for one another – across local, global, physical and digital arenas – is a theme that comes up several times throughout my conversation with Discwoman. I’ve met with the collective’s three founders in a Bushwick bar on a cool summer evening, and they’re cheerfully recounting the genesis of their organisation. As they laugh together and finish each other’s sentences, Frankie, Emma, and Christine’s interactions are a joy to watch.
From the outside, New York’s Knockdown Centre doesn’t look like much. But when you get inside the sprawling arts and performance space, with its vaulted ceilings and windowed walls, you can understand what a feat it would be to try and make yourself heard there.
Through infiltrating the industry and lifting up those around them, the Brooklynbased collective are helping shift the scales for women in nightlife
“We wanted to find a way that we could get women paid effectively, and it's worked”
All the music you hear in the club today has foundations in queer black and brown communities, yet straight white men are making the most money, getting the most press, and being offered the biggest bookings. This trickles down to the audiences, too – hostility seeps into even the most selfrespecting dancefloors. Discwoman’s message was, and remains, clear: to advocate for those marginalised by the white supremacist patriarchal structures of contemporary dance music and its culture, and to offer producers, DJs, and club-goers the opportunity to reclaim their space. “I think we even underestimated how much people needed that,” Frankie reflects. “It came out of an urgency.” This September marked the third anniversary of the party that started it all – a two-day showcase of twelve women-identified DJs including Volvox, Shannon Funchess and Lauren Flax, at cosy techno spot Bossa Nova Civic Club, with the proceeds going to a local non-profit. The festival was intended to be a one-off, but the press quickly picked up on it, and soon they were collaborating with local organisers to throw Discwoman parties in Boston, Philadelphia, and Puerto Rico. Discwoman was off to a whirlwind start, and nightlife institutions immediately began to take notice. “And now we're all jaded,” Emma adds, half-kidding. “Sometimes in New York, you're in a bubble where things feel progressive and open; you think that the culture has started to move on. But once that reaches more people, you hear more stories and understand that this is actually something that everyone needs to talk about and was afraid to talk about, and now we realise that we can be a voice for spreading that message.”
About six months after the initial party, the trio founded a booking agency, DW Artists. Emma jokingly suggested
that Frankie become her agent. She did, and now the DW Artists roster (which reps exclusively women and genderqueer talent) boasts nine artists – Bearcat, DJ Haram, Juana, Mobilegirl, SHYBOI, stud1nt, Umfang, Volvox, and Ziúr. Based in New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and Berlin, each DJ and producer puts their own experimental spin on house, techno and various other genres of club music. Unlike larger, more corporate booking agencies, DW Artists is based around the principles of personal connection and community. “Rather than being like ‘I like this because it's techno,’ [it’s more like] I like this person, I love what they're making, I love where it's from, I love their context,” Frankie explains. “That connection between who they are and what they make is so amazing. Like Emma's record [Symbolic Use Of Light], for instance. That record is her personality, and it's really cool to see that.” In an industry that tends to screw over artists financially and creatively – through exploitative contracts, sensationalist media coverage, and wholly profit-driven partnerships – Discwoman's relationship-based business model is particularly refreshing. In the beginning, Discwoman didn’t pay artists. Instead, they donated money made from events to local charities that provide resources to women, like the Sadie Nash Leadership Project in New York, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Centre, and Puerto Rico’s Proyecto Maria. But ultimately, people needed to pay rent and eat, so the crew adjusted their practices and created a more sustainable model. “We wanted to find a way that we could get women paid effectively, and it's worked,” notes Christine, who handles event production and business logistics. “[DW Artists] has probably been one of our most successful ventures.”
“The point isn't ‘oh, these people are bad, they've never booked a woman.’ Everyone makes mistakes, it's about how you deal with it and how you're willing to change”
AOne of the newest additions N A
to the Discwoman roster, this Washington DC techno artist joined the collective after performing with members on the inauguration weekend
How have Discwoman changed the game? The diversity within the collective, musically and in terms of member backgrounds and defining experiences, is a powerful and beautiful thing. It's its own form of activism that is truly disruptive, and I think/hope it can be an inspiration to other crews.
Best Discwoman-related memory? Meeting Frankie, Umfang and Volvox for the first time after the Women's March in DC. There was so much love and respect and excitement in that room. I felt very amplified ;) Anyone in electronic music you would like to shout out? Ne/re/a and Katie Rex in Brooklyn, Jett Chandon and Lisa Frank here in DC, Bastet in Baltimore, and Shiva aka Noncompliant in Indiana. I really dig what they do and how they do it, and they're quality people.
As well as running the NYC label and clubnight Jack Dept., the fast-rising DJ is becoming a prominent fixture on the European club circuit How have Discwoman changed the game? By positioning female-identified artists as leading the charge for a new generation of electronic music fans. By embracing the divine feminine they feel within them and channeling those energies through music, these artists transform dance floors into a space for self-discovery and healing.
sense of being part of something that would be really powerful, whose intention would reach every part of the globe.
X O V L
Best Discwoman-related memory? My best Discwoman memory was the first trip to Puerto Rico. Everyone that came on that trip had this exciting
Anyone in electronic music you would like to shout out? I'd like to send shoutouts to the Interdimensional Transmissions and Sustain Release crews for putting together the most beautiful and spiritual events I've ever experienced. America understands the essential shamanic nature of electronic music and these events really take it there.
UD The experimental 1N musician is a core member T of the queer art collective KUNQ What does "amplify each other" mean to you? Resist the fear of scarcity so you can believe in yourself enough to believe in others. How has Discwoman changed the game? Discwoman recognised a representative void in music and decided to address it directly – no excuses. I think our roster of talent speaks for itself. It’s easy to critique but difficult to create meaningful change in systems that are not designed for you, if not against you.
What does the future of Discwoman look like to you? Plural and ambivalent. Anyone in electronic music you would like to shout out? 700 Bliss, YATTA and Arca keep me guessing.
What does "amplify each other" mean to you? I visualise a literal amp when I hear or read that phrase. When you amplify others in music, you share your talents and platform to empower, support, and energise each other where you can. The Technofeminism events embody this perfectly I think.
“Berghain is such an institution for techno, so the fact that we got in there felt huge. They took a chance on us before anybody else in Europe was really going for it” Earlier this year, Discwoman was featured on Forbes’ prestigious “30 Under 30” list, much to their surprise. “It was really cool, because people don't normally talk about [the business aspect],” Christine continues, “and how that's important to the whole operation and infrastructure at large.” Emma goes on to discuss a follow-up video profile Discwoman shot with Forbes in August. “We collectively decided that this reaches an audience that we don't know how to reach. But in that sense, why not share our message with people that really need to change their minds?” Capitalistic business practices and media portrayal won’t suddenly change overnight, but gradual steps like this one offer, at the very least, a hopeful vision of the future. Though there are many ways to go about dismantling oppressive structures, Discwoman have successfully managed to work both within and against the system, to the benefit of their platform and their community.
In that same vein, Frankie is also a cofounder of Dance Liberation Network, a small organisation dedicated solely to the repeal of New York’s Cabaret Law, which was originally enacted in 1926 with the purpose of breaking up black jazz clubs. The law continues to be selectively enforced against marginalised groups, whose events seldom receive institutional support, thus forcing parties and gatherings into unregulated, potentially dangerous spaces. Further, the law prohibits dancing in all establishments without a cabaret license, which is nearly impossible to acquire, and there are fewer than 100 licensed spaces within the city’s five boroughs.
“It would be so great to overturn policy under such a highly conservative government,” Frankie says. “[It’s] something that directly affects all of
us – the right to dance. I can't even put into words how it would feel to overturn a law that's been around for 96 years, oppressing black people for ages.” The past several months have seen many town hall meetings, hearings, panels, and talks with city council members, and at this juncture, the repeal of the law seems just within the realm of possibility. Under Trump and the carceral state, the necessity of tangible political change is felt more than ever, so witnessing community-based initiatives like Dance Liberation Network and Discwoman survive and thrive feels like a victory. As the profiles of their artists rise, Discwoman’s assertive presence has furthered and publicised dialogues about inequality in club culture. They’ve been met with cynicism and misogyny – “Who knew that trying to stick up for women would be equated with ruining people's lives or careers?” jokes Frankie – but for the most part, the response to the crew have received support across the world. Last September, Umfang and Volvox played their first sets at Berghain and Panorama Bar, respectively. “It's such an institution for techno, so the fact that we got in there felt huge,” Emma recounts. “It was a really early on stamp of approval. Not only did they book us, they took a chance on us, before anybody else in Europe was really going for it.” Back in August, Frankie, Emma, and Christine all travelled to Amsterdam for Dekmantel, where Volvox and Umfang brought the house down with a 90 minute back-to-back set of highoctane electro mixed on three CDJs and two turntables. With Frankie dancing alongside the duo behind the decks, Discwoman’s positive energy proved to be contagious among the crowd.
Since Discwoman have been operating, in New York the local scene has shifted a lot. More conversations are being had about wage gaps and uncomfortable situations in club culture, and Discwoman has been forward in calling out promoters whose bookings are mostly comprised of white men. A lot of people in the scene are recognising what they’ve done wrong in the past, and now they’re actively trying to find ways to improve their parties and spaces. “Promoters [are] coming out and saying, ‘I've never booked a woman before, what can I do?’” notes Emma. Frankie elaborates: “The point isn't ‘oh, these people are bad, they've never booked a woman.’ We just want to make people open to it. Everyone makes mistakes, it's just about how you deal with it and how you're willing to change.” Discwoman’s ability to change and adjust to the needs of their community, while staying true to themselves and their ideals, is what will continue to keep them inspired. DW Artists is growing in both scale and reputation, and their merchandise (often emblazoned with the words ‘amplify each other’ – a mantra born out of the screaming workshop) is now frequently spotted in clubs and festivals. “It's cool that I wake up everyday being like, ‘alright, what's gonna be in the inbox? What's gonna happen?’” says Emma, smiling. The crew is looking toward to the future, but also rooting themselves in the immediacy of the present; working within oppressive structures to ultimately undo them. There’s power in the ability to occupy two places at once. Discwoman reminds us that we can scream, and we can also have a conversation. Any noise we make together is meaningful. @DISCWOMANNYC
Ty Dolla $ign The Californian crooner is polishing his raunchy lyrics with luxurious gloss
Words: Tara Joshi Photography: Jan-Micheal Stasiuk Photographer's Assistant: Danny MacMillan
040 Appearances can be deceiving – Tyrone William Griffin Jr. of all people is aware of that. With blue eyes so striking they’ve got a subcategory when you search his name on Google Images, a load of tattoos, and hair in dreads, the 32-year-old artist best known as Ty Dolla $ign is often confused as being a rapper. And while he does occasionally dabble in rap, in line with the current vogue for melodic delivery in hip-hop, he’s a little fed up with being mislabelled. “People think all niggas with dreads look the same,” he tells me. “People only call me a rapper because of how I look.” The truth is that Ty Dolla $ign is multi-faceted. The Californian singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist grew-up in a musical household (his father was in funk band Lakeside), and as a child he met the likes of Earth, Wind & Fire, the Isley Brothers and, briefly, Tupac Shakur – he’s as likely to reference Prince as 90s hip-hop legends in any given interview. He’s trying to play bass and guitar at his gigs as much as possible these days, and he enlisted a 19-piece string orchestra for the recording of his debut album Free TC. This ambitious approach has seen Ty Dolla $ign’s name grow exponentially over the past few years. He's never far from sight due to his wide-ranging array of guest features – you likely know his distinctly smooth voice from Kanye’s Fade and Real Friends, or from collaborations with Wiz Khalifa, Bebe Rexha, Vince Staples, Jason Derulo, Meek Mill, Charli XCX and Tinashe or even Norwegian producer Cashmere Cat. “People that would never have paid attention to me until I hopped onto someone else’s song? Now I have their attention,” Ty says. “Maybe people from my label say ‘that’s too many features’, but actually it’s working out perfect because I might not have been on this platform otherwise. So I think my plan is working.”
Ty Dolla $ign is about to release his second studio album, Beach House 3. 2014’s Beach House EP spawned two of Ty’s biggest, most salacious hits: Paranoid and Or Nah. The former is a club banger that finds him worrying about two girls he’s seeing at the same time conspiring against him, while in the latter he essentially quizzes a woman over just how much of a freak she’s willing to be in bed. “God willing,” he’s hoping Beach House 3 will have similar, if not greater success.
“There’s a lot of bangers coming from the chest, and there’s a lot more singing instead of the rappy shit,” he says of BH3. “There’s probably only one or two ‘people-may-confuse-me-for-arapper’ songs.” For all his concerns about this rapper confusion, Ty is perhaps best known for his typically braggadocio, quasi-RnB tracks with often brazenly sexual lyrics, crooning about ladies with “pussy like quicksand”, persuading conquests into threesomes, and even detailing the perks of being a sugar daddy. While some of his lyrics might make you feel in need of a cold shower, Ty Dolla $ign’s public persona is still that of an affable guy brimming with laughter. Talking to me on the phone from Long Beach he’s entirely warm and even whimsical down the line. (At one point he interrupts himself to exclaim: “Whoa a big-ass butterfly just flew by me! I must be lucky.”) He is also known to be besotted with his young daughter – he even did guest vocals on a track with one of her favourite pop groups, Fifth Harmony. There is, arguably, a conflict between fatherhood and making the sleazy, sexy kind of music that he does. It’s something Ty tells me he’s working on. “Say I’m just freestyling and I say some way out shit, lately I might go back over it, because I have [my daughter] in mind and I don’t want to say something that might be embarrassing to her.” From the BH3 tracks released so far, it’s hard to say how much he’s really toned it down. Regardless, there’s plenty to be excited about. Dawsin’s Breek with Jeremih boasts choppy, Migos-esque delivery, laced with a billowing humidity courtesy of Mike WiLL Made-It. Meanwhile the gorgeous, fleeting Message in a Bottle is all woozy, silken RnB ruminations on a toodrunk hook-up, Damian Marley-featuring So Am I swirls with Skrillex’s dancehall siren call, and DJ Mustard-produced Love U Better with Lil Wayne and TheDream is a racy, romantic party tune. As the variety of these tracks might suggest, a criticism Ty faced with Free TC was that he tried to do too much – 16 tracks underpinned with careening strings, a myriad of features and even a choir. But, again, that visionary ambition is arguably one of his greatest artistic strengths. “Free TC was on some other shit,” he says with a laugh. “There'll definitely come a Free TC 2 – damn, I just gave away too much.”
“I guess my Campaign mixtape didn't really work because Trump won. Maybe I'm not that good at politics yet!”
As with much of his work, Free TC largely dealt with Ty’s romantic affairs, but it also confronted the shortcomings of the US prison system. The title pays tribute to his younger brother TC. “He’s locked up for something that he didn’t do,” Ty said during a radio interview at the time, “and what I’m trying to do is just raise awareness for the whole mass incarceration thing going on in our country.” Last year, in the lead-up to the election, he released Campaign which found him encouraging people to vote Hillary. “She gotta fix these jail policies and everything […] Fuck Trump. If all votes count, I’m voting for Hillary. Fuck it,” longtime collaborator YG proclaimed at the end of the track Hello. Understandably, Ty is somewhat jaded with politics now: “There's not really anything political on Beach House 3 – I guess Campaign didn't really work because Trump won. Maybe I'm not that good at politics yet,” he says with a laugh. “Maybe I gotta get back to the books… I thought everyone was speaking out against him, but then he still won. It shows you what’s really going on, you know? Everybody’s so ‘followers this, followers that’, on Instagram but that shit don’t mean nothing.” Beach House 3 might not get political, but it’s not to say Ty won’t be again sometime in the future; and, besides, the necessity of solid party tunes and slow jams shouldn’t be undermined. Ambitious, sensual, and warmly selfassured, Ty Dolla $ign is more than a mere purveyor of sleaze; more than that guest artist with a lot of hooks who looks like he might be a rapper. Appearances can be deceiving, but it certainly looks like this might be the album which makes the wider world recognise Ty Dolla $ign for the multifaceted artist that he is. Beach House 3 is out 27 October via Atlantic
Produced exclusively for Crack Magazine by Lu'ay Sami - @luaysamirsami
A2 A2 A2 A2 A2 A2 A2 A2 A2 A2 A2 A2 A2 A2 A2 A2 The South London rapper is drifting towards the limelight
045 Words: Davy Reed Photography: Drew Gurian
“Before there was certain criteria you had to reach to succeed in the UK. But now, you just have to have good energy. There’s a lot more acceptance”
Although a lot of the media is still ignorant and misinformed when it comes to reporting UK music – regularly mislabelling anything MCbased as grime – in recent years it seems like the industry has been opening more doors, with artists who create afrobeats-influenced music, drill and difficult-to-categorise hip-hop like A2’s making serious waves. At the beginning of the year, A2 appeared on XL Recordings' New Gen compilation – a confident showcase of UK talent – and he’s signed a 360 deal with Disturbing London, a “boutique cultural consultancy” set up by Tinie Tempah and Dumi Oburota.
It might not have looked like A2 was trying too hard, but he’s always been quietly confident. On his 2014 track O B V S, he rapped: “And it’s bless though/ Still give it out free, underground like the Metro/ dropping EPs like the price of the petrol/ do this for my niece, she ain’t even got to stress bro”. Recent years have seen the mechanisms of the music industry shift in order to be more supportive of UK rappers and MCs, and A2 has seemingly found himself in a strong position.
Alongside functioning as a record label for the artists like UK rapper Yungen and Nigerian megastar Wiz Kid, Disturbing London runs a streetwear label, offers brand consultancy and, remarkably, has teamed up with German company Brabus to design a limited edition smart car. The purpose of the Atlanta trip is the Red Bull Culture Clash, where A2 is performing tonight with the team assembled by Disturbing London.
“It’s definitely looking better man,” he nods. We’ve met up on A2’s first trip to Atlanta and we’re sat outside 787 Windsor, a warehouse regenerated into an arts space where lanyardwearing staff rush round to prepare it for tonight’s event. “Before there was certain criteria you had to reach to succeed in the UK. But now, you almost just have to have good energy. There’s a lot more acceptance now. And that’s because of social media, the youth. They’re truly the tastemakers.”
On recent track Tell Me Freestyle, once again A2 brushed off beef as pettiness (“Less friends more enemies/ grown men spreading jealousy/ low-key, keep my energy”). So I wonder how such a laidback artist felt when he got drafted to perform at the Culture Clash – where disses and trash-talking are notoriously integral to the competitive spirit of the event. “You know what’s mad? I was feeling like 'shit!’” he laughs. “As soon as you’re out there on that stage and they’re coming for you, you’re in the firing line. But after I got through that motion I was like ‘this shit’s going to be
dope, we’re in Atlanta, we got some real Atlanta Gs.’”
and do rap it’s so much easier. Grime teaches you a lot, I think it’s healthy.”
For those who haven’t attended a Red Bull Culture Clash, the brand’s take on Jamaican soundclashes are fastpaced onslaughts of adrenaline, ego, legendary guests and great music. At the Atlanta Clash, Disturbing London are up against EarDrummers – led by ATL super-producer Mike WiLL MadeIt – Canadian producer Wondagurl’s Enjoy Life team and Unruly Mob – who, as true disciples of Jamaican soundclash culture, win the Clash despite their leader Popcaan being denied entry into the US and having to cancel on the night. Disturbing London find themselves in hot water after Charlie Sloth picks a fight with local hero Mike WiLL – who brings Rae Sremmurd, Pusha T and Ludacris on stage – but they snag some respect from the crowd in the final round by bringing out pole dancers, a nod to Atlanta’s famous strip club culture, as well as Georgia veteran Pastor Troy and ATL crunk legends The Ying Yang twins.
So what was with the change in direction? “I like hype music, energy music and I can give it sometimes, but I don’t think there’s anything better than someone sitting down and taking a song with them, like, ‘yo this is personal,’” A2 explains. “I feel like I got older and with the music I was doing at the time, it was hard to express myself,” he continues, going on to express disdain for the current overkill of moshpits at rap and grime gigs, arguing that the physical aggression can alienate female fans.
To be fair, despite his chill, A2’s wellversed in competitive energy, having initially come up as a grime artist before developing the A2 project. “Growing up on an estate, I feel like it was just custom, you had to have lyrics,” he tells me of his time in the grime scene. “From about 14 until 19, 20 I was heavily into grime man. Spitting, making instrumentals – I used to make tapes with like ten instrumentals and give them out for free.” While he’s mellowed his sound, A2 still occasionally revs up his flow to double time, and he credits his agility to grime. “I feel like it’s such an uptempo way to rhyme and spit and keep rhythm. When you slow it down
There’s a sensitivity to A2’s music – from tales of lust, love and Hennessyfuelled fallouts, a particular theme is recurrent. “Most of the time, it’s to do with love man,” he tells me. “I feel like love is an everyday thing. You wake up everyday and you’re loving someone, you’re going through situations with someone. So that’s where my writing was leading me to. I used to listen to so much RnB, my mum used to listen to RnB, my sister used to play RnB. That was it – RnB, slow-jams, reggae… It was all to do with love man.” A2’s new EP BLUE is out this month via Disturbing London This trip was facilitated by Red Bull Music Academy
A2 used to be a mystery, but he’s stepping out from the shadows. The Croydon singer-rapper first started releasing self-produced material under the A2 alias in 2012, gradually gathering a fanbase online while giving few interviews and keeping the social media activity minimal. The demure presence was befitting of a lot of the music, with intimate lyrics about swerving beef and relationship drama which felt like diary entries tapped out on a phone in a steamy night bus, and nocturnal-sounding beats built of deep, warping synths and warm blankets of bass.
John Maus Words: Gemma Samways Photography: Teddy Fitzhugh
The confounding musician searches for meaning with his first album in six years
Nobody can reach John Maus. He doesn’t answer the call that took a week to schedule. The next day, his publicist gives me an update from Maus’s manager. “Seems he’s dropped off the grid momentarily,” he admits. “I’m assured it’s nothing to worry about – and this is a regular occurrence.” A day later, there’s a sighting – albeit in photo form – via Memphis underground rap legend Tommy Wright III, who tweets a shot of them, arms around each other, with the caption “The white Tommy Wright & the black John Maus.” When I finally catch up with Maus over the phone two days later, it transpires that the picture was actually taken at the end of August, at HOCO Fest in Tucson, Arizona. And the reason for his recent disappearance? He was honeymooning in Hawaii.
It's a suitably disorientating introduction to John Maus, who's something of a reclusive polymath. A former collaborator of Animal Collective, Panda Bear and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Maus released his first solo album, Songs, in 2006. He rapidly became a cult figure, renowned for his hypnogogic synth-pop and frenzied – bordering on feral – live performances
that regularly collapsed into histrionics. He now lives with his wife on the border between Minnesota and Iowa, “two hours from a metropolis of any kind”, in a farmhouse they refer to as ‘The Funny Farm’. Having lived in Los Angeles and Minneapolis previously, he now prefers “the sound of the wind in the grass over helicopters and the garbage man smashing cans against your window, if you know what I mean?” Most of Maus’s fragmentary – and often part-mumbled – monologues conclude with him seeking reassurance with an anxious-sounding, “Do you know what I mean?” or, “Does that make sense?” In truth, it can be difficult to keep up with Maus’ digressions, which careen between Freud and Silicon Valley, 19th century German poetry and human fallibility. As he becomes tangled in manifold complex ideas, you get a sense that his mouth struggles to keep pace with his brain. Maus has been off the radar since completing touring his 2011 record We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves. When I enquire about the stretch of time ahead of his latest LP, Screen Memories, he sounds genuinely amazed by his absence: “You know, it
“Everybody wants to be a cyborg, everybody wants to live forever. Silicon Valley and that sort of techno narcissism is becoming the spirituality of our time”
felt like five milliseconds. I just looked up and it had been six years.” In reality, two of those were spent completing a Doctorate of Philosophy in Political Science. Another two “messing around with different compositional techniques” and building synthesisers to “open up some kind of interesting timbre”. In the final two he constructed Screen Memories and its companion album, Addendum, which will arrive next year as part of a career-spanning box set. The new album’s title functions on multiple levels. A screen memory is a Freudian concept, describing an early childhood memory which may have been amplified or warped to hide another, typically unconscious thought. The title also refers to the album’s static television screen artwork, which was inspired by Maus’s belief that everything is mediated: “Certainly for me [living] out there in the middle of nowhere, my whole relationship to whatever world comes through the screen.” On a broader level, it references the sinister influence of technology. “Everybody wants to be a cyborg, everybody wants to live forever,” Maus explains. “By and large, it seems that Silicon Valley and that sort of techno narcissism, more and more becomes the spirituality of our time.”
Maus’s creative approach is as meticulous and scholarly as you might imagine. He describes himself as “feeling like a scientist or something”, both in his methodology and in his rationale. “I'm always looking under
rocks, especially for harmony,” he explains. “Like music from the Chinese Cultural Revolution: I just think it’s really interesting, the residues or the echoes of Western triadic, harmonic conventions, they echo into these entirely different musical traditions in a really interesting way… If I ever hear something that blows my mind, for the next two weeks I'm deconstructing it. Tearing it apart, writing it down on paper, trying to figure out what is it that's going on that's striking me as interesting." Joining long-held fascinations with medieval and mid-Renaissance music, this time Maus found himself drawn to the library music released by KPM Music during the 1970s. In particular he admired the manner in which these commercial composers were able to “distil a message, usually into a very short amount of time.” With most songs hovering around the three-minute mark – and the longest clocking in at four and a half minutes – brevity appears to have been a central tenet of Screen Memories too. As for an overriding message, there’s a creeping sense of impending doom. “There’s definitely a sense that we're on the precipice of something,” Maus agrees, speaking of the apocalypse looming over his album. “But I was worried [the album’s] not light enough, you know? Maybe the world has enough of that? I don't know.”
This sense of unease is often emphasised by Maus’ mantra-like lyrical approach. Ominous statements like, “The people are missing” or, “Your pets are gonna die” ring out across the album. With the latter eternal truth, however, Maus provides a silver lining: “I kind of loop it around, you know: your pets are up in heaven, be happy.” When I raise his use of repetition, Maus gets a little defensive. “I apologise for the lack of verse, you know? I'd rather be able to write verse eloquently but the maxim or the mantra is what it is… The focus should be on the music.” And that’s precisely the point: for all its cerebral strands, scientific creation and disorientating, retro sounds, Screen Memories is more than a musical curio to be admired; it’s an immersive and deeply enjoyable alt-pop record. As Maus puts it, predictably selfdeprecatingly, “I do the best I can with what I’ve got. You know what I mean?” Screen Memories is out 27 October via Domino John Maus appears at Simple Things, Bristol, 21 October
The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda performed by the Sai Anantam Ashram Singers Pharoah Sanders
Sun Ra Arkestra
Thurston Moore Group William Basinski Avey Tare
Shabazz Palaces John Maus
The Bug vs Earth
Grouper & Paul Clipson
James Holden & The Animal Spirits Mount Eerie
Kelly Lee Owens
Weyes Blood KĂ RYYN
tUnE-yArDs Yves Tumor
& many more 9 - 12 November 2017
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith:
Words: Gabriel Szatan Photography: Grace Pickering
With her soothing textures, the LA musician is reaching many ears
The tent was packed with a throng of the curious and the committed, lilting back and forth with their eyes closed, all seemingly in tune with one another, and with their conductor. Smith had transformed the space into something akin to a giant chill out dome, and her rapid rise through the ranks of experimental music felt complete. Taking a break from rehearsals at her Los Angeles place, Smith is bashful when recalling the scene: “It’s surprising and amazing to me that people come out for shows… or even care in the first place.” Yet something about Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s music has hit home for an increasingly wide range of people. Synonymous first and foremost with the rare Buchla type of analogue synthesiser, having used the Buchla 100 and Buchla Easel extensively across recent projects, Smith draws an array of instruments and vintage machines into her unique soundworld. The twist is a kind of processed inversion, coaxing organic tones out of decades-old machines, while smelting saxophone, clarinet and flute down into unnatural textures. Smith’s upbringing on Washington state’s Orcas Islands, just about the farthest northwest tip on mainland USA, informs her deep-rooted connection to nature – “other obligations have to wait” if they’re likely to jut into her daily
outdoorsy routine – which results in a pastoral feeling present in everything she’s ever released. “I hear people associate the word ‘ambient music’ a lot and that’s really fascinating,” she says, “because that’s not my personal experience. I have a very active being; I physically like to be active.” The sounds Smith conjures all combine to come over like an acid trip in a park: a broad and buzzy expanse of life, with vivid cel-shaded hues smudged into one another, and glimpses of indistinct sounds and ideas darting through the scene. What truly elevated last year’s breakout album EARS was the application of Smith’s own voice, treated through granular synthesis to take on new forms, anchoring the fantastical swells of synth and woodwind with a tangible, tactile emotional core. For someone regarded at first glance as an inducer of tranquility, Smith’s schedule since the start of 2016 has been incredibly frenetic. Following the release of EARS, she’s found time to score Reggie Watts shorts and Google's virtual tours of American national parks; rework Sade, Mark Pritchard and Perfume Genius; release a collaborative LP with cult New Age icon and her stylistic forbear Suzanne Ciani and tour extensively, both as a headliner and support for heavyweight, technically adventurous bands Battles and Animal Collective. New album The Kid gestated on the road from a simple “place of wanting to make certain crunchy textures” up to a four-stage concept record charting the emotional heft of life-to-death. Smith’s singing is foregrounded and thick synth leads judder rather than glide. Instrumental interludes are meant to represent transformation, while the inlay of the physical record contains an
illustrated map – “kind of inspired from Mario and the different worlds” – and by the time closer To Feel Your Best spins off into the ether, you do feel you’ve navigated through something notable with her. The Kid accurately latches onto and transmits the sometimes awkward but generally free spirit of its title. “I had gone through something that gave me this urgent feeling of wanting to hold onto my kid energy, and make sure that’s a priority in my life,” she tells me. “I wanted to make something that brought that into other people’s worlds. Still having the intensity in the depths of challenges that come about day to day, but to also create an album that, on the surface level of it, always has that playfulness riding through it.” With about six or seven unreleased albums of less considered material sitting, there’s a sense that The Kid, as well as being an intelligent statement release, represents a way for Smith to be at peace as her own day-to-day routine becomes increasingly scattered. “I have a lot of internal chatter,” she
explains, “so making really busy and distracting music helps me feel centred. I take that out of myself and give it to someplace else.” We talk for a while about experiences of travelling, of being inspired by the novelty of it, strangely relaxed in the midst of bustling airport departure lounges. “Sometimes,” she says, “hearing a freeway can be soothing, just because it lets me know that there’s all these other things that have movement, and I don’t need to have as much movement in that moment.” That cuts both ways: Smith’s high-flying imagination has carved out space for others to find solace in an accelerated and synapse-frying modern world. “I guess my ultimate hope is that it creates a feeling similar to what I get when I go on a hike,” she says, considering her musical ambitions. “That it creates a connection, and that it brings life into an environment. It’s all I can do.” The Kid is out 6 October via Western Vinyl
I caught Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s live show for the first time in London this summer, where she was billed early in a tent at Field Day, competing against brilliant June sunshine. Backed by a gigantic screen of slowly swirling colours, the tiny speck on stage sent out fluttering waves from a bank of synthesisers, cooing into the kind of wraparound head-piece that's commonly known as a 'Madonna mic'.
“I had this urgent feeling of wanting to hold onto my kid energy, and make sure that’s a priority in my life”
Coat: Stella McCartney Red Pullover: Balenciaga as seen at thestores.com
Words: Maya-Roisin Slater Photography: Vitali Gelwich Styling: Lorena Maza Hair & Makeup: Anna Neugebauer / Agency Bigoudi Photographer's Assistant: Julien Barbès
“Gender is not really my thing, I feel more comfortable when I’m androgynous,” says Pan Daijing, her long hair bleeding into the black of a plain long sleeve, a reddish pink shadow covering her eyes. The last time I saw Daijing was during the debut performance of her recent project Fist Piece at the Berlin Atonal festival. Appearing shortly after the release of her debut album Lack 惊 蛰 on Berlin-based label PAN, it fused the new material with BDSM-inspired performance art. In a vast and dimlylit industrial warehouse space, she performed a corporal dance routine in front of unsettling visuals to the tune of experimental, opera-inspired noise music.
The scene today is abundantly different. It’s Sunday morning and we’re eating croissants in an upscale cafe, surrounded by couples brunching in the sun. We’re discussing what all female artists are eventually asked to discuss in interviews – the complicated issue of gender. “I don’t speak very strongly about me being a female artist,” she says. “But all my work is actually related to women.”
The well of inspiration Pan Daijing draws from is eclectic to say the least. Her first remembered experience with music is a Michael Jackson cassette pitched down and distorted by a tape machine low on batteries. Childhood dreams of androgynous warriors from Chinese myths learned in her southwestern hometown. Opera. Dance. Psychedelic drug experiences. Experimental music pioneers like Pauline Oliveros. Putting expression to the inexpressible. BDSM philosophy. Melancholia. A thirst for intimacy. While her music is stunning on its own, it is in performance where Pan Daijing truly hits her stride. She builds her shows to the last detail, thinking of costumes, physicality, lighting, and visuals. “I sometimes describe [performance] as therapy,” she tells me, “there’s a part of me that has this scream inside, something I need to communicate but don’t know how to say in a language we can understand in daily life.” Daijing’s performances occupy a space of hyper-vunerability – vulnerability that is so jarring it allows her to access a special wealth of power. And while the power she harnesses on stage could
be interpreted by some as disturbing or aggressive, her intention is the opposite. “I like to film people when I perform because I try to understand other people,” she tells me. “When I look people in their eyes sometimes it’s fear, or they're about to cry. It’s this kind of intimacy that I’ve been craving my whole life with people and I can get it when I’m performing. Even though my music is kind of heavy, and disturbing maybe, I’m just trying to hold people, hug them.” The connections drawn between Daijing’s work and BDSM aesthetics are largely based on clichéd ideas. But some of the subtler aspects of the power role-play do influence her art. In the beginning she felt somewhat uneasy about having this part of her personal life tied so publicly to her artistic practice. “[BDSM] is just one of my hobbies. I also like to go bouldering. I also like to eat cakes,” she laughs. Having grown to feel more comfortable with it, Daijing is sure to note her performances don’t draw from the aesthetics, but borrow greatly from the philosophy. “At the end of the day BDSM is not someone standing there whipping or dressed like a dominatrix,” she explains. “It’s a mind game. You
don’t have to touch this person and you can make them feel like they’re going to die. These kinds of experiences have inspired me a lot in how I place power in my music.” As she drapes herself over a bed in a cheap hotel in Berlin for her Crack Magazine photoshoot, dressed in scarlet and leather, it’s Pan Daijing’s simplicity that’s striking. A sort of Mona Lisa character, her expression blurs the line between callous and soft. She is the maestro and the philosopher of this egoless body of work which plays with us, exploring human fascinations and long considered concepts through audiovisual experimentation. Daijing seems to frequent this line between light and dark. Her aesthetic is beautiful and profound, a quiet occurrence, a momentary feeling of weightlessness wrapped in a screaming rugged package. Lack 惊蛰 is out now via Pan
Trousers: Y- Projects Coat: Balenciaga as seen at thestores.com
Transparent coat: Nathini van der Meer
Coat: Kwaidan Trousers: William Fan
Jean-Michel Basquiat, King Zulu, 1986, Courtesy Museu dâ€™Art Contemporani de Barcelona
The new Barbican exhibition maps the mythology of the iconic New York artist
Words: Augustin Macellari
Described as “The Radiant Child” at the offset of his career by art critic, writer and painter Rene Ricard, Basquiat experienced extraordinary success during his short life, while in death his legacy has cast a long shadow. His aesthetic influence is to be found across all disciplines, from fashion houses, designers to film makers and visual artists. Of almost equal significance is his cultural legacy; his status as an iconoclast has been acknowledged in biopics, documentaries and both the lyrics and art-collections of some of the cultural titans of our age. From late adolescence, Basquiat’s rise was meteoric; since his passing it has been greater still. Earlier this year, one of his many untitled works catapulted him into the record books, becoming the most expensive American painting ever when it sold for $110.5 million. Basquiat was born in New York in 1960 to a Haitian father and a US-born mother of Puerto Rican heritage. He had a cultured, if unsettled, upbringing; childhood trips to galleries informing his interest in visual communication early. At 18, he dropped out of school and hit
the streets, where he drew attention for his graffiti writing. His tag, developed and shared with his pal, Al Diaz, was SAMO. His austere handstyle stood in stark contrast to the graffiti which was, at that time, still being pioneered. He eschewed colour and extravagant form for wry observations; pavement poetry with intellectual heft. “SAMO©…/ ANOTHER DAY…/ANOTHER DIME/ HYPER COOL/ANOTHER WAY 2…/ KILL SOME TIME” read one.
of a young Jean-Michel; Untitled (World Trade Towers), for example, reveals an artist directly inspired by American abstract-expressionist titan Cy Twombly. Downstairs, in Boom for Real’s second half, this narrative is dropped and the paintings are allowed the spotlight. These are more mature works. The influences, so obvious in his first paintings, had by now been internalised – and his own brilliance blazes through.
SAMO offered Basquiat his first public exposure, and he capitalised on it. A starring role in the film New York Beat (alongside Debbie Harry) reflected his position as an It Boy – but an It Boy with a difference. His good looks, charisma and style mirrored genuine, ferocious talent. In 1981, this became clear when he debuted a couple of dozen paintings in New York/New Wave, a seminal survey of the artists of the Downtown scene. In a dense exhibition, comprising over 1,600 works, Basquiat stood out. The city which had previously been his canvas became, according to one critic, “his script”. With paintings rooted in the New York skyline, his graffiti practice inverted. From writing poetry on buildings, he began to externalise those same structures indoors as visual poetry.
Basquiat, as curator Eleanor Nairne observes, was an artist without “formal artistic training, who drops out of school in 1978 and takes to the street, and starts making his work in any possible format that he feels suits his purpose”. This narrative has, over the years, sustained some misapprehensions about his work. Boom for Real is at its best when disabusing its audience of these. In the expressionistic nature of his scribbles, and his willingness to look anywhere for imagery to plunder – from medical books to the backs of cereal packets – Basquiat’s work has sometimes found itself misrepresented, criticism ringing with the sound of dogwhistles. Eleanor Nairne takes issue with the descriptor, “intuitive,” (for which also read ‘primitive’). “A lot of this,” she says, “was about people thinking, ‘Hey, this is an artist… who has no formal artistic training. Therefore it must be that the references that he’s making in his work… must be things that he is somehow summoning, rather than very carefully, conscientiously rendering'.”
Boom for Real is split into two parts. Upstairs is largely given over to contextualising the artist’s work, setting the scene in hip 80s NYC, and paying lip service to the Basquiat mythology. Here, the Barbican has recreated Basquiat’s space at the New York/New Wave exhibition, bringing together 15 of the paintings for the first time in over 30 years. These early works offer valuable insights into the concerns and interests
In fact, as Boom for Real highlights, his canvases were dense with carefully processed information and thought. They find an echo, now, in tabbed browsers; the non-linear distribution of information as characterised by the
internet. Basquiat’s paintings are rich with connections formed and halfformed; references that span (so-called) high- and low-culture. A spectrum of ideas, events and artefacts, which cumulatively describe the experience of a particular person – himself – and, in doing so, describe the experience of particular people: those marginalised, disenfranchised and derided by a racist state. Basquiat blurred his references and gave them equal status, dissolving notions of high- and low-culture. But in spite of his friendship with Warhol (explored in Boom for Real), Basquiat was no pop artist. In fact, his engagement with culture finds more parallels with artists working today; using artefacts from it he drew attention to elements within it. Culture became a palette, a lexicon with which he could communicate. Of course he didn’t just manipulate culture in paint, his identity and status made him a presence in it too. His stature has informed his legacy as much as his work has. When he’s frequently name-checked by rappers it’s as much for his success: his entrepreneurialism, wealth, and infiltration of a jealously-guarded and predominantly mono-racial industry, as for his artistic talents. Whether his death by speedball, a drug that speeds you up while it slows you down, in any way reflects the pressures of life as such an icon is unclear. But Boom for Real chooses not to dwell on his death. Instead, it celebrates his radiant life, and the radiant work he left behind. Basquiat: Boom for Real runs at Barbican, London, until 28 January
Jean-Michel Basquiat famously died in his prime, cruising into the 27 club on the back of a speedball overdose. A speedball is a blend of cocaine and heroin, a pair of drugs which combine with unusual vigour. The cocktail’s dosage is difficult to judge – a long list of casualties is testament to this. Basquiat’s early passing, and the manner of it, has cemented a mythology that the artist himself started to build during his lifetime. It's also, in part, the focus of a new exhibition at the Barbican Centre in London: Boom for Real.
062 Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1980, Courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled, 1982, Courtesy Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (Pablo Picasso), 1984, Private collection, Italy
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Self Portrait, 1984, Private collection
064 Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hollywood Africans, 1983, Courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
065 Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, 1983
Rammellzee vs. K-Rob, produced and with cover artwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat ‘Beat Bop’ vinyl record, 1983, Courtesy Jennifer Von Holstein
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LCD Soundsystem Paradiso, Amsterdam 11 September
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds Manchester Arena 25 September There’s tension in the air at the Manchester Arena. As well as the collective feeling of apprehension at how Nick Cave might tackle songs from last year’s Skeleton Tree on his first UK tour since his son Arthur’s death in 2015, for many here this is the first time returning to the venue following the 23 May bombings. A senseless act that saw other parents also lose their own sons and daughters. Long lines for security leave some attendees anxious. Three songs in and Magneto is brought to an early close so that a crowd member can receive first aid, adding to the jitters. Yet it’s Cave himself who breaks the ice: “Freedom of speech and all that but shut the fuck up about my socks!” he cheerily barks at someone in the front row after a three-song opening run that might suggest a more sombre evening lay ahead. Anthrocene, Jesus Alone and Magneto are no less gut-wrenching live in front of 10,000 people than they are on record. Later on, Girl In Amber is performed amidst a black and white backdrop of Cave on the Brighton coastline, which brings a girl next to us to tears. She’s not alone. The audience is stock-still during these moments, but Cave rarely is. He paces the stage restlessly, at times it seems he’s trying to dodge and weave away from the weight of his own words, while at others, their emotional force pulls his body like a puppet. Though the newer songs suck the space from the room – the arena has rarely been in such rapt silence – so much of tonight feels joyous. For all of the pared-down material, there are moments where the everreliant Bad Seeds can flex their muscles, with Cave turning to his band and exhorting them to push themselves harder. He looks, for all the recent tragedies, like a man still thoroughly enjoying himself. ! Simon Jay Catling N Alexander Anton
The fear with any upcoming festival location is that the local community will be overlooked for a somewhat sterile weekend of cultural tourism and exoticism. Thankfully, there was a distinct feeling that Oasis satisfies a homegrown hunger for a party of this sort. While wealthy Europeans certainly make up a proportion of the attendees, much of the energy is brought by a local crowd, who, despite the lack of North African talent on the bill, are out in force to enjoy the heavy hitting electronic music line-up. A standout figure from the weekend was Nicolas Jaar who, after stepping in to replace Maceo Plex at the last minute, took us on a ride through the influences that make up his rich sound. The following night he unloaded the hardware for a live set weaving a spacey ambient interlude into No from 2016’s Sirens, his breathy baritone adding to the moody, hypnotic atmosphere. Despite the pristine festival site, rougher edged sounds felt like the order of the day. Euphoric moments were found in the melodic nocturnes of Dr Rubinstein, the broken beats of Call Super and DJ Stingray’s pounding electro. This isn’t to say there wasn't variation – Marcellus Pittman’s effortless glide through gospel house and foundational Detroit sounds and the subtle shades of Willow’s set prove to be understated highlights. Those tougher sounds can feel at odds with the idyllic setting of The Source – a hotel complex of groves and cactus plant life which sits among a labyrinth of paths that connect the two stages at Oasis. It’s extremely Instagram-friendly, with a certain feeling of luxury that can breed an atmosphere directly opposed to the grittiness some ravers might look for in an electronic music event. Naturally, it’s a little harder to let loose when you feel like you’re in some kind of paradise. But for many, it's still an atmosphere worth travelling for.
Trend-spotters can’t have missed the recent cluster of articles presenting Kiev as an untapped frontier in DIY music and culture. Faced with the corruption of their political leaders, a new generation has fought to find their own sense of freedom and identity. Progressive and Europe-facing, Ukraine’s young artists, creatives and promoters have, over the last few years, nurtured an underground clubbing scene that’s taken root in the country’s many abandoned spaces. Brave! Factory Festival offers an immersive snapshot of this. Organised by the team behind Kiev’s Closer parties, they couldn’t have had a better location for it. Taking place on the site of a decommissioned, Soviet-era rolling stock factory, it offered an evocative backdrop to a marathon party where beer was cheap and crowds were preternaturally cool. Admittedly, we got thoroughly lost trying to locate the Truba stage where Laurel Halo was playing; a tube-shaped, corrugated garage set at the foot of a barely lit path. Still, once inside the sound was rich and full. This luxuriant, contemplative experience turned out to be a rare exception on a bill that generally favoured more robust textures. Nastia – one of the few Ukrainian techno artists to break out on a global scale – attracted a large crowd at the huge Angar stage with high-BPM, aerodynamic techno. As daylight broke over the site, many turned to Jus-Ed and Lawrence to help ease tired limbs into a new day. During these quieter hours, the festival gave rise to a surprising intimacy – there was no overcrowding and queues were non-existent. Indeed, the balance of genders meant many were happy to wile away hours dancing by themselves, with familiar faces (and outfits) cropping up time and again. And you tended to notice the outfits: this is fashion free of diktats – a woman in a silk dressing gown, men in workwear complete with hardhats and, most strikingly, a multitude of Matrix-style teeny-tiny sunglasses. Closer residents Noizar and Borys know this crowd well. Their broken-back rhythms elevated the mid-morning energy levels, and when sun broke out over the girderflanked stage, the effect was transportive. Despite the occasional teething problems, Brave! has the potential to be a real outlier in the jaded electronic music festival circuit: a grassroots proposition that captures the energy and enthusiasm of an underground scene gaining traction, harnessing ambition and creating something truly exciting. We can’t wait to see how it grows.
! Thomas Frost N Andrew Rauner
! Louise Brailey N Roman Ketnov
Brave! Factory Metrobud, Kiev 23-24 August
No band in recent memory have laid claim to the humble disco ball with such success. Ever since it adorned the artwork for their selftitled debut at the turn of the millennium, LCD Soundsystem’s synonymity with the piece of dancefloor ephemera is potent. It hangs at every gig they play, and tonight it softly illuminates Amsterdam’s intimate Paradiso. Of course, LCD Soundsystem could play bigger venues than this, but as James Murphy explains to the crowd: “We’ve played here before and had a great time, so we thought ‘ah fuck it, we’d come back.’” Choosing to showcase only four tracks from new album American Dream seems a strange choice, but opening with a litany of older material (Yr City’s a Sucker, Get Innocuous, Daft Punk Is Playing At My House) certainly gets people into the spirit early. The band exudes confidence: Nancy Whang looks as infallible as ever, cool and contrasted against Al Doyle’s dramatic movements. Gavin Russom’s modulations are given extra potency through her radiant presence while Pat Mahoney’s drumming is the unwavering engine room. Notably, Murphy is now the frontman he always believed he could be. His chatter is funny without feeling contrived and the way he parades around the stage, picks up the cowbell or spontaneously joins his bandmates on their instruments is done in the manner of someone with a real claim to the stage they occupy. More remarkably, he is now singing in the traditional sense. The way he holds notes, particularly on the melancholic balladry of American Dream, sounds quite unlike I’ve ever heard him before. As the closing double of Dance Yrself Clean and All My Friends sparks predictable hysteria, in a crowd flecked with the rays of light dripping from the ceiling, the unlikely success of their much maligned comeback continues. ! Thomas Frost N Bibian Bingen
Field Maneuvers Secret location, near London 1-3 September Field Maneuvers is a festival fast becoming known for its intimacy; a cosy crowd of 700 is a welcome relief from the logistical faff of its larger counterparts. There’s a nice duality to the whole affair, too. On the one hand, the day-glo timetables handed out on entry and the presence of acts like Mark Archer and DJ Storm (whose sets were the rowdiest of the weekend) evoke a fun sense of rave nostalgia, while recent breakout artists like Volvox, Octo Octa, and Elena Colombi keep things decidedly forward-looking. During the day, programming plays out at a chilled, languid pace. The bleary-eyed early afternoon crowd is treated to al fresco sets, gradually building energy levels back up. This worked particularly well on Saturday, which kicked off with a dub set from Billy Nasty and Ben Sims. The main tent remains packed throughout the rest of the night, with Elena Colombi and Andy Blake plumbing the more obscure ends of the spectrum while Octo Octa delivers a joyful and dynamic live interpretation of her LP Where Are We Going? On Sunday, returning Field Maneuvers favourite Ryan Elliot closes out the tent with a typically eclectic selection that includes remixes of RIP Groove and Born Slippy amongst more leftfield picks. Elsewhere these might have felt a little cheesy, but as the weekend draws to a close they fit the celebratory vibe perfectly. Far from being an ill-advised blowout at the tail end of the summer, the whole weekend felt genuinely restorative, blending adventurous and varied programming with one of the friendliest and most cluedup crowds you could hope to find at a UK festival. Field Maneuvers are fond of referring to their attendees as family. Looking at the milieu of artists, crew, and punters assembled amongst the generous lasers in the Sputnik stage for one last dance on Monday morning, you’d be hard pushed to think of a more apt term. ! Ben Horton N Alex Kurunis
Oasis Festival The Source, Marrakech 14-17 September
Ibeyi Ash XL Recordings
Liam Gallagher As You Were Warner Bros.
I don’t think that anyone really deserves harsher criticism for having once been successful. Least of all Liam Gallagher, who was arguably thrown into fame’s deep end by his brother’s zeitgeisty songwriting ability, and – let’s face it – simply behaved as many people would if they did that much coke. Liam’s first solo LP (let’s forget Beady Eye ever happened) is a mixed bag, but maybe that’s to be expected from this avowed non-songwriter, and it’s certainly no worse than any of Noel’s solo tripe. Wall of Glass is a plodding and overproduced opener – don’t listen to it. Chinatown sounds gratingly familiar due to the fact that it nabs its melody from Champagne Supernova; the extremely vague lyrics meanwhile offer little aside from their presumably unintentional paraphrasing of Robert De Niro in Meet the Parents. People should really stop rhyming “down” with “Chinatown”. Luckily for Our Kid, there are a few tracks here which are serviceable: Greedy Soul is all harmonica, handclaps and gruff bar-room stomping, whereas Paper Crown is a well-constructed T-Rexish ballad that allows Liam’s vocals the prominence they deserve. While As You Were is all a bit PrimalScream-do-the-Stones and forgotten-British-Invasion-psychtoffs-do-the-Beatles, it’s just about fine in a sort of XFM way. !
The moniker Ibeyi, a musical project of Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz, is taken from the Yoruba word for the spirit shared by twins. On Ash, the luscious follow-up to their 2015 debut album, the French-Cuban sisters layer their voices with tight harmonies to channel this spirit. There is an element of prayer folded into Ash. Songs like Deathless and Transmission/ Michaelion centre around the call-and-response structure of a preacher and their congregation. A gospel choir joins triumphantly alongside an excerpt from Claudia Rankine’s audiobook Citizen: An American Lyric to announce a shift of scenery to serene tranquility – “like underwater”. Elsewhere, the twins team up with Mala Rodriguez on Me Voy for a radio-friendly reggaeton-lite track sung in Spanish. I Wanna Be Like You finds its groove on a stomping adult-contemporary beat. Ibeyi don’t wander too far from their spiritual pulpit: the song’s middle eight is delivered like a sermon when the drums fall out and the lyrics return to metaphors of rivers and the sun. The album is ripe with samples, ranging from a Bulgarian choir on I Carried this for Years, to Michelle Obama on the album’s striking centrepiece No Man is Big Enough for my Arms. The song could be interpreted as a contemporary reimagining of It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World for the women of 2017. The sisters declare their independence: they won’t stand still; they won’t be shamed. The song ends with a tsunami of applause as Obama says what every young woman deserves to hear: “And I told them that they should disregard anyone who demeans or devalues them, and that they should make their voices heard in the world”. With Ash, Ibeyi’s voice is amplified. !
07 Queens Of The Stone Age Villains Matador
DJ Python Dulce Compaña (ncienso One of New York native Brian Piñeyro’s first releases was as DJ Wey on Ital’s Lovers Rock label, but he’s since released one-off 12”s as Deejay Xanax and Luis. Following an EP as DJ Python on Anthony Naples’ Proibito label last year, Dulce Comapña makes for Piñeyro’s fullest artistic statement to date. One of the points regularly driven home by any mention of DJ Python is the looming influence of reggaeton in his music, but it’s more of a subtle suggestion than an overbearing presence. Instead, the overall sound across this album deals in a smoky strain of house music with plenty of NYC grit rubbed into its muscles, and ambient romanticism swirling around its head. Todo Era Azul (Versión Afuera) is the definitive club track of the album, riding on a tough set of house drums that favour the offbeat bump of aforementioned reggaeton, but also teeter on the brink of breakbeat revivalism. Elsewhere the synths are more dominant, as on the hypnagogic Acostados with its heavy washes of pad and texture, strafing bleeps and sunken drum thud. The mood across Dulce Compaña rarely lifts out of this woozy state, but in the kinked cracks of these beats and the thick blankets of fog Python has expanded his repertoire in his own unique way, and it works beautifully. !
Kelela Take Me Apart Warp Halfway through Kelela Mizanekristos’ long-awaited debut album comes the strikingly minimal Better. The track finds the LA-based RnB artist considering a break-up in visceral, simple terms: “Didn’t it make you better? Aren’t we better now?” she sings in that sweet, powerful voice like liquid silk, trying to justify the decision to end the relationship. It’s a beautiful song, imbued with gospel warmth, but what’s especially notable is how it’s immediately followed by the album’s lead single LMK, an anthem calling for a no-strings hook-up: “No one’s tryin’ to settle down, all you gotta do is let me know”. The juxtaposition between falling out of love and chasing casual, insatiable sensuality (later on SOS she asks a lover to come help her touch herself) makes apparent the raw feelings and breadth of potent vulnerability within Kelela’s oeuvre – something exemplified in her bared skin on this album's cover. Kelela knows how to make her vocals resonate with a sound palette which feels uniquely hers. And while there’s nothing as abrasive as the beats on her acclaimed 2013 mixtape Cut 4 Me, Take Me Apart retains her proclivity for the left-field, bubbling with 90s and 00s-style futurism via delicate touches of sino-grime. Alongside producers Jam City and Arca, The xx’s Romy Madley-Croft, Kelsey Lu and Terror Danjah have all contributed to the album's creation, and there’s a real sense of considered curation throughout. The vision of Kelela’s earlier releases has been fully realised on Take Me Apart, albeit in a subtler, more nuanced, dreamlike way than you might have expected back on, say, a track like Guns & Synths. Take Me Apart isn’t always immediately gratifying, but in being loud in its vulnerability (and quietly radical for it), Kelela’s first album is a powerful addition to the feminist, futurist RnB canon. !
Over a 20-year career, Queens of the Stone Age’s trajectory has traced a gradual departure from their fuzzed-out, desert-dwelling, stoned-to-inertia roots. It’s an evolution that many die-hard fans have resisted at every turn. And for that hardcore, production credits for Mark Ronson – *spits on floor* – and lead single The Way You Used To Be’s horndog riffola and winkand-nod pelvic thrust may have been the final straw. Queens have gone pop. Nick Oliveri’s never coming back. What a shame that would be, because in the grand scheme of Villains, the hand-clap-pocked rawk of The Way... serves as little more than a distraction. It is the brash voice which shouts the loudest. But the sounds surrounding it, the eerie, melodic creaks explored in these nine winding, unfurling tracks are frequently exceptional. From the hulking, lurching lollop which heralds opener Feet Don’t Fail Me, to the gloriously gloomy, carnivalesque coda of closer Villains of Circumstance, this is a band at their most vital in years. Each track twists and turns, clutching any opportunity to fill a space with another idea, another noise. In paring back their sound, Ronson, the villain of the piece, has Queens sounding truly like a band, rather than a collection of talent. Josh Homme himself is thriving, segueing seamlessly from hyper-masculine hunk who can summon a hardon with a second’s notice, to vulnerable, emotive crooner, while the watertight Queens build deathly boogies and jagged, freaky patterns in his wake. Is it easy to pine for early QOTSA? Sure, they were great. But it would be a hell of a waste. !
If you’re not acquainted with Ben Frost’s particular brand of industrial, gothic electronica and stark classical minimalism, then the fact that he once composed an opera based on Iain Banks’ disturbing novel The Wasp Factory should help anchor your expectations. Frost’s work is experimental and unsettling, but there’s deep beauty in the eye of the storm: his epochal Theory of Machines is a blur of electronic agony and effervescence, while on 2009’s By The Throat, the desolate howling and growling of wolves forms part of an austere sonic palette that is nonetheless bewitching. In general, his compositions feel like they’re warping into a sonic singularity, and the theme is continued on The Centre Cannot Hold. Frost’s dark visions are framed by perplexingly playful song titles: Meg Ryan Eyez is essentially the molecular opposite of a rom-com, a pensive, panoramic vision of a scorched landscape. A Sharp Blow in the Passing is subtly and mechanically rhythmic, a relative of Burial’s late night introspection, and Ionia unravels like a spectral coil, shuddering bass notes providing murky beacons on its path. The obligatory health warning for any Ben Frost album is that full enjoyment requires being in the right frame of mind. If you’re mulling over what you should/ shouldn’t have said the night before, don’t put All That You Love Will Be Eviscerated on unless you want to hear that thought on repeat for the next three hours. But somewhere in the murky depths of Frost’s fertile imagination is a molten core that shines through, providing just enough fire to keep the shadows from overwhelming the light. !
After pretty much disappearing from the public eye, maudlin synth-pop cult hero John Maus has returned with his first album in six years. Screen Memories is an introspective score of both the sullen and sublime. Maus’s deadpan delivery and often inane lyrics of dreaded mundanity, political mockery and unrequited love are laced in a dark humour. His 2011 masterpiece, We Must Become The Pitiless Censors of Ourselves’ spiralled with gothic reverb and deep, melancholic reflections. And with Screen Memories, the tone is largely more somber and reverent than ever before. Opening track Combine bursts with commanding chords and poignant church bells which intertwine with brooding arpeggios, juxtaposing glory and fear. His lyrics “It’s going to dust us all to nothing”, “I see the combine coming” project apocalyptic visions. The record itself is named after a freudian concept, one where childhood memories of deep significance or emotional trauma are compromised and remodeled as a defence mechanism. While it’s obvious there are themes of the world's end threaded through, there is an air of Maus coming to terms with strayed and suppressed memories of pain. Walls of Silence aches in a doleful resignation while the neonlit slow-dance of Sensitive Recollections melts in mournful redemption. Over Phantom ensures Maus is also toying with ideas of his own mortality in the shadow of doomsday. Layered baroque synth melodies and lasers surge under his arresting lyrics: ‘I am the phantom over the battlefield’. There is a sense of lethargy throughout the record but it is greatly outweighed by striking moments of ethereal bliss along with the profound reflections of an isolated intellect. As the beloved John Maus stares down the eyes of society’s inevitable demise, or indeed his own emotional awakening, his music is just as tragically captivating than ever before. !
08 Vessels The Great Distraction Different Recordings
DJ Harvey The Sound of Mercury Rising Pikes Expectations are always extremely high with DJ Harvey. Anything less than brilliance results in disappointment, and so it is with this compilation of Balearic tracks he's curated for Ibiza institution Pikes. It starts with a new Marcy Rising edit of Next To You, one of Harvey's tracks released under his Locussolus alias. Stripping the original of its rougher edges, this edit foregrounds the guitar chords and woozier elements, dressing it up to be more yachtappropriate – and less engaging as a result. Next comes the highlight of the compilation, Abran Paso by Elkin & Nelson, better-known for the track Jibaro. A jerky piano phrase, ringing guitars and background of chorus "ah"s make it sound like some kind of Spanish funk hymn, spiritual Balearic in the most authentic sense possible. Spanish Boogie by Van McCoy is another excellent selection, sleazy forgotten disco of the kind Harvey often plays, and there are nice contemporary Balearic songs in the Lovefingers remix and the Gato Frito production. Roberto Rodriguez's jagged synth anthem, Mustat Varjot, makes a welcome hands-in-theair appearance before halfway. But there's not quite enough here to capture the vibe summoned by Harvey every time he steps up to the decks. I'm Not Scared gets a little tiresome on repeated listen and the DJ Pippi track meanders around a lot of uninspired musical tropes. Those misgivings aside, this is a solid compilation of pretty interesting and esoteric stuff – just not full of the 'this is why I love club music' moments you might expect. !
Kamasi Washington Harmony of Difference EP Young Turks
JASSS Weightless iDEAL There’s a powerful sense of foreboding that comes down heavy on you as Weightless starts up with the fractured industrial clang of Every Single Fish in The Pond. It’s a clamouring, drone-soaked paean to longing and misguided affection that feels like the antithesis of the title of JASSS’ debut album, but in the same pulse the production rings out with startling clarity. The drums hit with a piercing precision, and the incandescent peals of high frequency synth that break through in the track’s final stages feel like a most unexpected ray of hope in the gloom. This depth of emotion, not to mention compositional heft and production prowess, sets the tone perfectly for the rest of this masterful LP. Jasss – the artist name of Spanish artist Silvia Jiménez Alvarez – has been spotted previously on Mannequin Records, but this outing feels like something new and distinct. You could reach for reference points in the murk and metallic clang of industrial, or perhaps recognise Sähkö-flavoured blasts of noise in Oral Couture, but these component parts are small fragments in a rich and constantly shifting whole. Haunted strumming and loping hand-drumming courses through Danza, jazz gets vigorously deconstructed on Cotton For Lunch and Theo Goes Away plunges into a beautiful abyss of beatless reflection – the album may be called Weightless, but the dominant mood is mightily heavy. !
Is it a criticism to say that a record could have been produced at any time in the last 15 years? Or does that make it ‘timeless’? There’s a high-grade strand of pulsating, progressive, emotive electronica and postrock – think Moderat, Mogwai or Jon Hopkins – that always sounds how you imagine it will, but nevertheless tends to holds your attention. Vessels definitely fall into this category, but like the aforementioned artists, had enough raw talent to pull it off. The five piece band’s excellent cover of Nathan Fake’s The Sky Was Pink captures their oeuvre pretty perfectly: trance-leaning guitar music made on machines. And there are definitely some winners on their third album, The Great Distraction. Radiart is a euphoric juggernaut of a track that pummels away in a state of wide-eyed ecstasy. Deflect The Light – which features The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne – works nicely, with Coyne’s psych-pop whimper lending Vessels’ stuttering melody a playful edge. But too many tracks drift by on what feels like auto-pilot, a little too timeless for their own good, and no match for perfectly pitched earlier material like Elliptic. Position, for example, shows promise before coasting along in third gear. Deeper in a Sky is a kind of sci-fi ballad that edges a bit too close to a smooth, polished and ultimately uninteresting place. The closing track with John Grant (Erase The Tapes) is a sparkling, wellexecuted piece of electronic pop on its own terms, but the album’s preceding tracks detract from its impact. The Great Distraction is not by any means a bad album, but there’s not enough energy and spark to justify the familiar sonic templates on display. !
Originally premiered as part of the Whitney Museum of American Art 2017 Biennial, Harmony Of Difference is a six-part suite of startlingly suggestive music that explores counterpoint not just as a musical concept, but as ‘the art of balancing similarity and difference to create harmony’. You shouldn’t need prodding to realise the deeper significances Kamasi Washington is aiming to draw out of the counterpoint idea – politically and socially, this music feels needed right now. At no point however does Harmony of Difference sound hectoring or preachy – it’s a sublimely seductive, instantaneous delight from start to finish. Desire is silky, broken-beat jazz that ripples with an almost boom-bap pulse, with Washington’s tenor taking the melodic lead as dazzling Rhodes-runs skitter around the peripheries. Humility careens into the city streets hitching its darting speed and big-band pizzazz to a rhythmic chassis of real grace and power, before Knowledge rattles out on an almost bucolic/ pastoral vibe, heavily recalling Quincy Jones soundtracks and the spacier reaches of Billy Cobham’s work. Perspective, like the other tracks, moves through its melodic and harmonic ideas swiftly – the rhythm a cresting wave, breaking on the shore, then settling into a nice full-phat Earth Wind & Fire-style stomp. The EP’s highlight Truth takes all the melodic ideas expressed in the other five tracks and melds them into 13 minutes of wonder. So confident does Kamasi’s band sound with the music they’re creating and, crucially, the ideas they’re coalescing, that this EP emerges not just as a coherent statement but a necessary statement of healing, beauty and honesty for an America in dire need of all three. Celebratory, compassionate and arguably Kamasi Washington’s best work yet !
John Maus Screen Memories Ribbon Music
Ben Frost The Centre Cannot Hold Mute
MOTOR CITY DRUM ENSEMBLE XOYO RESIDENCY OCTOBER - DECEMBER 2017
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Klein Tommy EP Hyperdub
On the opening track of The Ooz, the continuity with King Krule’s 2013 album 6 Feet Beneath The Moon is immediately apparent. The hallmarks of that first LP are recurrent: delicate jazz keys, the beat’s dusty rattle and Archy Marshall’s favoured prosaic imagery (“I seem to sink lower/ I gaze into the rays of the solar/ I’m red and white but he sipped on KA soda/ fuck that’s coca cola”), while the wailing g-funk strings nod to his love of hip-hop. Four years ago, it was tempting to focus on Marshall’s age, the world-weary feel of lyrics he’d written aged 14 and younger, the snarling baritone tumbling from his skinny frame. But it was the totality of his world that made him so compelling. And, having followed his first album with an LP of lo-fi hip-hop under his birth name, it’s exciting to hear him now return to the King Krule project that made him such a singular voice in the first place. Slush Puppy reveals the new extent of his range, where a pleading falsetto gradually gives way and Marshall’s voice cracks, breaking to an agonising howl. His penchant for smoky jazz too is as present as ever, only this time indulging in more tangential freedom: Cadet Limbo is carried in ¾ with salsa claps, while Logos meanders in elevator territory, encouraging space for contemplation. On Dum Surfer and Vidula he delves into prowling punk reminiscent of The Cramps, while on the dual interludes of Bermondsey Bosom the selfreference is at its most explicit, name-checking two previous albums and revealing that “with projections of himself/ it was always about himself.” We know that Marshall struggled with this record, suffering with writer’s block, depression, insomnia and a lack of clarity about the album’s direction. But there’s something captivating about the result. The Ooz is confessional, confrontational, soothing and abrasive; an invitation into the fluid creativity of one of the most compelling songwriters of his generation.
The latest Hyperdub release sees South London-based singer and producer Klein reach into deeply weird, avant-garde territory. This is not the label’s first excursion to the outer edges of sound – Babyfather’s BFF, for example, was punctuated by excruciating interludes of white noise and pitch-shifted pirate radio bravado. Though BFF’s most challenging moments were kept more or less separate from its routine dub and hip-hop cuts, Klein’s experimentalism goes hand-in-hand with her more mainstream influences, which include soul and RnB. As such, this eight-track EP, which follows her 2016 releases Now and Lagata, is a demanding listen. What little familiarity there is floats on disorientating waves of rumbling, discordant samples and numerous voices, both human and alien. On Act 1, which features NON Worldwide affiliate Embacci, warm clips of piano are pitched up and down a sampler at will, creaking under the weight of digital processing. Towards the end, quick snatches of muffled, bluesy vocals sound like they were recorded through a bedroom wall. There’s a keen sense of playfulness too. On opener Prologue, we hear Klein and friends swapping ideas in the studio – Mariah Carey gets mentioned – and crooning into auto-tuned mics. Meanwhile, Cry Theme opens with a single, glitchy chord, over which Klein’s untreated voice sings, “I never cry.” For a split second it’s as if she’s about to deliver something straightforward, before the vocals cut out, and a thick fog gradually descends as samples collide and overlap, building to a menacing loop. Elsewhere, Runs Reprise, Everlong and B2k all repurpose familiar-sounding clips of blown-out jungle breaks. These add texture more than rhythm, and their inclusion catches you off-guard. It’s little moments like these, along with the experiments in pitch and a freeform, a-tonal approach to production, which lend Tommy a centreless feel – a record where nothing is solid. Overall, a mesmerising, unsettling and fearless release.
ST. VINCENT Masseduction Loma Vista
As mocked by Annie Clark herself, during the faux press conference trailing this album, much critical energy has been expended examining where St. Vincent’s manifold personas end and Clark’s begins. Having channelled “Judy Garland on barbiturates” for her 2011 album Strange Mercy, the Texan singersongwriter seemed poised to play herself on 2014’s self-titled breakthrough, only to rapidly recast herself as “near-future cult leader” and deliver “a party record you could play at a funeral.” This fifth St. Vincent album has been billed as Clark’s most transparent to date. It’s certainly her boldest. Accentuated by visual language rooted in leopard print, PVC and hot pink, Masseduction is thrillingly extrovert, and refreshingly brazen in its portrayal of sex and power. The title track finds Clark listing kinks over glam synth-pop that’s flecked with distorted guitars and multi-tracked backing vocals. Sugarboy careers past in a hyperactive blur of taut, programmed beats, like NIN on uppers, before collapsing in frazzled squiggles, only for Loss Ageless to sashay out of its ashes. Throughout, Clark and Jack Antonoff’s production is so slick it verges on wipe-clean. But for all its slippery surface bravado, Masseduction also offers a frank exploration of the tension between defiance and vulnerability, hedonism and self-destruction. Pills begins as a wired celebration of drug use – with Clark’s ex-partner Cara Delevigne chiming in during the chorus – before becoming progressively more paranoid, culminating in the warning, “Everyone you love will all go away.” During Young Lover Clark remains blasé as the subject overdoses, and on Smoking Section she contemplates jumping off the roof to “punish” a partner. Equally, when she declares her devotion to a lost lover on New York (“For you darling, I’d do it all again”) you buy it. And really, who cares whether Masseduction represents the “real” Annie Clark or not; it’s definitely her most convincing performance yet.
Patrick Cowley’s chapter in underground folklore is irresistible – as ribald as it is tragic. The man who remixed the 18-minute edit of Donna Summer’s I Feel Love in 1978 and spearheaded his own Hi-NRG genre, yet was dead before he could enjoy the true reverberations of his legacy. Since 2013, San Francisco label Dark Entries have been re-enlivening the most salacious corner of his discography, re-releasing the soundtracks he produced for a number of pornos in the late 70s and early 80s. Following School Daze and Muscle Up, Afternooners is the last of the Cowley porn soundtrack volumes, and as such is a product of its time. Recorded in 1982, it benefits from technological advancements – the silky squelch of enhanced synthesisers lending a futurist bent to the eroticism. Cowley’s compositions are also more experimental and focused. Cuts like Bore and Stroke truly put the spacious into space disco – combining the heft of bodily pleasure with a galactic dizziness. The Runner is a chugging, slow-motion cruiser, and Take a Little Trip chafes like rubber chaps. One Hot Afternoon evokes a sensuality so lewd it could border on pastiche yet is saved by the sinister bassline, that stalks like a shadow through the track. Then – and credit to Dark Entries for their curation – the record closes with Love Come Set Me Free, a plodding and strangely romantic balearic boogie that concludes the raunchiness of the record on a note of sweetness. It doesn’t take much to be pulled in your mind’s eye to poolside at Pike’s, or perched on a white sofa at the Cafe Del Mar. It’s a triumphant sunrise, and a perfect closer. This collection of instrumentals was recorded in May 1982. By November Cowley would have died from AIDS-related illness, aged just 32. His death was early in the history of HIV diagnoses, so neither Cowley nor his doctors understood how grave his situation was until the very end. Appropriately this compilation bears no scars or foreboding – unlike his final album Mind Warp, which deals to some extent with an earthly departure. Afternooners is a super-charged strut through smut and steam. A final testament to a producer who, amongst his other more pioneering accolades, was the carnal incarnate to the very last.
Back in March, Paul Woolford released his contribution to the fabriclive series as Special Request. The mix was, in my opinion, one of the finest entries in the series and confirmation, if you needed it, that Paul Woolford is a truly stellar DJ. In it, he masterfully straddled the history of rave and pirate radio, drawing from jungle and breakbeat old and new to create an intricate collision of the concussive and the cinematic. In much the same vein as fabriclive 91, Woolford again melds different eras on Belief System, re-imagining jungle with productions that feel sharper at the edges than the 90s tracks that obviously inspire here, without sacrificing the vital rawness. It follows a similar trajectory as the mix too, opening with the contemplative and cavernous Chrysalis. Adel Crag Microdot and Catacombs are defined by a breaksy wobble so present early in the mix entry, before inevitably the pace is turned up with the excellent Curtain Twitcher. Brainstorm takes classic rave-style vocals and smashes them into an irresistible piano loop, and when we reach the peak (inevitably a remix of Replicant, a track that served the same purpose on fabriclive 91) we have reached breakneck levels. From there, the album takes a strange turn, the main section coming to an end with the satisfyingly epic Light In The Darkest Hour. Therein the rest of the tracks segue further into soundtrack territory, Woolford making full use of a tape archive dating back to 1993. Between the ominous march of Reckoning, the hollow mourning of Ouroboros and the gorgeously emotive In Loving Memory, this final section takes you through an imaginary film score you sense Woolford has wanted to make for some time. Admittedly a little overblown, it does give the album an unexpected versatility, and it’s all the richer for it.
! Angus Harrison
! Theo Kotz
Special Request Belief System Houndstooth
Patrick Cowley Afternooners Dark Entries / Honey Soundsystem
KING KRULE The Ooz XL Recordings / True Panther Sounds
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In Rainbows Remembering the disruptive intentions of Radiohead’s release strategy, 10 years on
Original Online Release Date: 10 October 2007
It may startle some to consider that only a decade ago the idea of a surprise album drop was still quite novel. Yet at the time, on one autumnal day in 2007, Jonny Greenwood’s matter-of-fact, 25 word blog post announcing a new Radiohead album arrived with the tactical precision and combustible impact of a sneak attack from the sky. With a mere ten days notice, In Rainbows was coming.
While no recording artist is an island, Radiohead removed an obvious group of percentage pilfering intermediaries and marketing machinists from the public conversation about commerce and its burgeoning subset, e-commerce. At least to a certain extent, it was the purest artist-to-fan transaction this side of a band selling homemade t-shirts and cassettes out on a folding table in a nightclub.
within the first year. Radiohead actually owned the album masters, which meant not only would they receive the bulk of money from these sales but that they could profitably negotiate a conventional wide release, making it available to retailers online and off. In January of 2008, the band did exactly that, partnering with XL Recordings in the UK and TBD in the US for a standard CD issue.
Defying both traditional distribution methods as well as the emergent models for legal downloading, the British alt-rock band behind groundbreaking records like OK Computer and Kid A took a musty DIY idea to the masses with a fresh coat of digital polish. One could own a copy of In Rainbows in MP3 format directly from the band for nothing, nada, zilch. Fans had the option to give any amount above the zero threshold, were they so inclined, in exchange for the files as well.
Radiohead had every incentive to challenge the music industry norms of 2007. Apple’s iTunes store was just four years old, stinking of monopolistic entitlement thanks to an iPod revolution driven, ironically enough, by illegal downloading. Record store chains like Sam Goody and Tower Records had gone bankrupt one year before, sending capitalist chills up music retailers’ spines on both sides of the Atlantic. Major label artists who could count on album royalty payments a decade earlier were left reeling as traditional sales shrunk, replaced with the cold comfort of contractually smaller digital royalties. Creative solutions seemed in short supply.
Still, Radiohead’s democratic experiment didn’t take hold as some might have hoped. Sure, groups like Bloc Party and Nine Inch Nails followed suit with their own takes on surprise drops through dedicated websites, but those were anomalies. Over the years, frontman Thom Yorke would continue to tamper with commercial conventions, releasing solo material via BitTorrent and limiting availability of his music to select platforms. Even if pay-what-you-like proved no match for the eventual rise of unlimited streaming, it became a core tenet of the artist-friendly business model at Bandcamp, which launched its online store a year later.
What made Radiohead's In Rainbows gambit pay off was that they had a desirable product. As one of the most critically acclaimed rock acts of their generation, with millions of records already sold prior to 2007, extraordinary demand existed for the band’s new music. A lesser known indie band would hardly have garnered the sort of attention and discussion that Radiohead’s move did, to say nothing of the institutional barriers of hosting and bandwidth that was then still very much out of reach for most artists.
Assuredly, Radiohead had no intention of enriching the major labels and technology corporations with their experiment. As CD sales continued to spiral down, record companies eventually caught on that digital-first was the way to go, bringing us to our current period of iTunes premieres and TIDAL exclusives. But if we survey the landscape of the music industry in 2017, big business’ dominance of the digital industry runs about as distant in spirit from the promised In Rainbows coup as possible.
Collectors and vinyl purists willing to wait a couple of months had the option of pre-ordering an elaborate “diskbox” edition for £40, featuring an exclusive bonus disc and stylish artwork inserts. The music press, still in the growing pains phase of the online content economy, spread the word ecstatically. Indeed, though hardly a new concept, Radiohead's pay-what-you-like proposition posed the right question at the right time. With the record industry still reeling from Napster and the peer-to-peer piracy it subsequently popularised, the straightforward In Rainbows landing page asked the fans directly what they thought music was worth in the digital age.
The ramifications of In Rainbows were notably complex. According to Wired, around 40% of those who consumed the downloadable version paid something for it, on average around $6. The band reportedly sold 100,000 copies of the diskbox edition
Words: Gary Suarez
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08 09 07 Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time dir: Behrouz Boochani, Arash Kamali Sarvestani Starring: Behrouz Boochani
It dir: Andy Muschietti Starring: Bill Skarsgård, Jaeden Lieberher, Finn Wolfhard Welcome to Derry. There’s loads to do here. Like go to the pictures. Or marinade in the small-town Americana. Or chill with a clown who wants to tear your soul apart. Yeah, Derry looks nice in the brochures, but people die at six times the national average here – and that’s just the adults. The kids have it way worse, as anybody who’s read Stephen King's 1986 novel will know. In Derry, a shapeshifting presence feeds on young adults every 27 years and, in Andy Muschietti's solid adaptation of King’s story, ‘It’ has resurfaced to target a fresh set of tweens. As far as set-ups go, they don’t get much more unsettling, and Muschietti (best-known for 2013’s Mama) knows it. Slipping into the director’s chair after Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) departed, his is a loyal translation that administers minor tweaks to maximise King’s lethal scares. Aside from stripping out the book’s adult Losers’ Club segments (which will play out in the alreadygreenlit Chapter 2), the real masterstroke is relocating the action from the 50s to the 80s. Where King’s book resurrected many of the now oh-so-dated Universal monsters, Muschietti plumps for smart psychological terrors that are gloriously unpredictable. But is it scary? Well, Bill Skarsgård is certainly unnerving as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, It’s favourite manifestation, and a segment in a flooded basement (sadly spoiled in the trailers) is bone-chilling. But It isn’t really a horror movie. It’s an Amblin-riffing adventure in which the young heroes – all of them outstanding, particularly Sophia Lillis and Jack Dylan Grazer – tackle growing pains that happen to manifest in scary ways. The film owes a huge debt to Stranger Things (a show, of course, that owes a huge debt to King), playing more like a horror version of Stand By Me than the original 90s miniseries starring Tim Curry. So, yes, a trip to Derry is worth your while. Come for Pennywise but stay for the kids; they ensure that this is the most heartwarming horror movie you’ll see all year.
Smartphones have helped bear witness to some of the most pressing social issues of our time: the refugee crisis, police brutality, war and bloodshed. Now, iPhone footage takes us inside the criminally inhumane Australian immigration detention system. Filmed solely on mobile phones, Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time was shot entirely by Kurdish-Iranian filmmaker Behrouz Boochani from inside the Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea, and co-directed by Dutch-Iranian filmmaker Arash Kamali Sarvestani. After fleeing Iran's repressive authorities because of his work, journalist Boochani ended up in the nightmarish limbo that is Manus Island. Held there since 2013, he’s borne witness to the full spectrum of hopelessness and despair. Sensibly, Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time unfurls its horrors dispassionately, without overt editorialising. The asylum seekers – so often spoken for, or misrepresented in the press – tell their stories of torture, brutality, and even murder. For the people living in Manus (Boochani is unable to travel), life is an agonisingly slow march to an uncertain future, without family or friends. In one particularly harrowing scene, a young asylum seeker demands his mother put his sick father on the phone so he can speak to him. As the camera rolls, it becomes clear that she can’t because his father’s dead – and his family has colluded to hide the information from him. The chauka is a bird indigenous to Manus Island, whose regular singing allows the islanders to set the time. It sets up home in whatever spare coconut shell it finds. But it’s also the name of Manus' most notorious punishment cell, where the worst injustices on the island take place. It’s a fitting symbol for a place where so many people – flying from injustice, in the hope of a better life – find their dreams curtailed and their voices silenced. ! Sirin Kale
08 Mother! dir: Darren Aronofsky Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris
Grace Jones: Bloodlight And Bami dir: Sophie Fiennes Starring: Grace Jones, Jean-Paul Goude, Sly & Robbie Grace Jones is an idiosyncratic icon, a provocateur who once reigned supreme on the catwalks of Paris before transforming herself into one of the most legendary musicians of all time, rivalled only by Bowie and Prince in her combination of style and sound. Now she is the subject of a new documentary from filmmaker Sophie Fiennes which aims to capture the artist’s public and private personae. The title is formed from two words of Jamaican patois: the scarlet glow of the recording studio and the regional flatbreads common to the Caribbean island which forms a central aspect of Fiennes’ movie. After an intro with Jones live on stage in Dublin performing Slave to the Rhythm, we cut to her birthplace, Jamaica. Here we’re presented with a lesser-seen side to the singer as she wanders with her son and niece, Paulo and Chante, visiting old haunts and recalling the brutality of her minister step-grandfather, Mas P. In these moments, we receive an insight into Jones’ vulnerability and the roots of her infamous rages. A more familiar version of Grace Jones is evident in locations like Paris, and the audience witnesses her chameleon-like ability to switch accents and sound depending on the scenario. In revealing these varied facets of her character, Jones exudes a lust for life that's addictive to watch. Fiennes has had unprecedented access to Jones for several years, and their intimacy is reflected on the screen. She opts out of the traditional tropes of a rock doc – there isn’t any archive footage or talking heads. Instead, we are given a moving portrait of one of the most enduring figures in pop culture.
Mother!, the latest film by American director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), starts and ends in flames. Set within the confines of a labyrinthine Victorian house, the audience is introduced to an unnamed couple, played by Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem, who live alone. Bardem’s ‘Him’ is the archetype of a tortured artist – a once-famed poet suffering from writers’ block. Lawrence – having taken on the house’s restoration – is the homemaker whose seemingly sole purpose is the care of her partner. Marital anxiety and emotional restraint dominate the first half of the film. The camera follows Lawrence’s face closely as she plays the role of eternal feminine, clad in a white linen nightdress, desperately trying to engage her husband, who treats her not so much with contempt as indifference. It is a painstaking exchange that plays all too well into the trope of the male artist and his devoted ‘Adam’s rib’ female counterpart. It is after the arrival of two strangers – a married couple played by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer – that the plot unravels. In a succession of events that draw parallels to the biblical Fall, Aronofsky’s characters are thrown a maelstrom of Lars von Trier’s Antichrist proportions. Bardem’s illusions of grandeur are fuelled by an onslaught of devoted fans who turn up to the house uninvited. What follows is a state of – actual or imagined – chaos. Active participation is essential on the part of the viewer to make sense of what unfolds, which is perhaps why Mother! has received such a polarising response from audiences and critics alike. Many will draw obvious parallels between Bardem's character and the Old Testament God, while others might see it as a parable of artistic obsession. However you choose to make sense of Mother!, in Aronofsky's apocalyptic vision – where society has become spectacle and celebrity worship is one and the same as religion – everything is futile. ! Gunseli Yalcinkaya
! Joseph Walsh
! Josh Winning
CRACK CRACKMAGAZINE MAGAZINE ANNUAL ANNUALSUBSCRIPTION SUBSCRIPTION FROM FROM£20 £20
Champion by Wood Wood – Nova Women’s sweatshirt woodwood.com £103 Self_Titled: A Book About Our Legacy ourlegacy.se £55 Founded in 2005, Swedish menswear brand Our Legacy has retained its minimalist aesthetic – informed by modern architecture – for over ten years. Having built a foundation on moving forwards by looking backwards at vintage garments, this book follows the brand’s ethos of providing readers with a retrospective of reference and mapping points, but also poses questions about the future. A stylish tome with stunning photography, this is a quality book for fashion enthusiasts.
As part of an ongoing series of collaborations between the two fashion lines, American sportswear brand Champion has partnered up with the Copenhagen-born company Wood Wood for an AW17 drop. This one's a highlight from their winter collection.
The Autobiography of Gucci Mane simonandschuster.co.uk £16.99
Jean-Michel Basquiat Five Fish Species Mug shop.barbican.org.uk £12 Earlier this year, an untitled 1982 Basquiat piece sold for $110.5 million, joining just ten other works that’ve been purchased for over $100 million. This mug, however, is adorned with one of Basquiat’s masterpieces from his oeuvre and is a lot more attainable for little over a tenner.
Gucci Mane has led a tumultuous life that’s seen him go through a murder charge, incarceration, an addiction to lean and his highly-publicised reformation. His highly anticipated memoir began from the confines of a maximum security federal prison cell and details his progression. Sure to be a thrilling read.
Red Bokeh Logo Tee bokehversions.bandcamp.com £17.99
Bristol-based clothing line Dr Banana has strong ties to the underground music scene. This long sleeve is a pick from their homage series honouring the Chicago kings of Ghetto House Dance Mania and their artists from 1992 onwards. Printed in a limited run of 50, be quick to cop this one before it sells out.
With a monthly show on NTS Radio, London imprint Bokeh Version takes listeners on an excursion across the cosmic digidub spectrum and produces cool tees at the same time. With a pleasing, wiggy design, the purchase of this tee comes bundled with a free download of Bokeh Version's two-track tape, Glacial Dancehall 2.
Dr Banana – DM Long Sleeve drbanana.co.uk £35
Crossword Across 3. BBC Radiophonic workshop icon, creator of Doctor Who theme 5. Marea Vierge-Noire, She Is The Voice We Hear 8. Before MP3 bloke, there was... 9. Swipe right on this foul wearing innovator 10. Under The Skin score composer 11. National bird of India / Annette ... Down 1. Tricksy mythological temptresses / *air horn* 2. Nest components 3. This seasonal star is the queen of disco 4. Bottled, compacted or snorted 6. Director of 1966 short film about bottoms, No.4 7. Avant-garde pioneer, longterm partner of Lou Reed
Answers Across: Delia Derbyshire, The Black Madonna, Discwoman, Björk, Mica Levi, Peacock Down: Siren, Twigs, Donna Summer, Powder, Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson
Self Portrait Kagoule's Lucy Hatter
Paris or Faris? Who Said It: “That’s Hot” heiress Paris Hilton, or lofty Horrors frontman Faris Badwan? 1) “Life is too short to blend in” 2) “I don’t like crowded supermarkets, they overwhelm me” 3) “I really don't like going out anymore. I used to love it, but now it's not fun” 4) “I got a cuddly rhino thrown at me” 5) “There’s some beautiful architecture here in Cuba” 6) “Have you ever been to Cuba? I want to go before it gets shit”
Answers: 1) Paris 2) Faris 3) Paris 4) Faris 5) Paris 6) Faris 7) Faris
7) “I just find pictures of people eating bananas really funny”
079 Favourite Wu-Tang Clan member? Probably two of ‘em: Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Method Man. Best person to follow on Instagram? We need leaders not followers. Heavy Metal or EDM? Heavy Metal. What’s your signature recipe? A protein drink.
Describe the worst haircut you’ve ever had… Oh man, nobody’s ever asked me that. We had an uncle, and his name was Uncle Gilbert. And it was known in the family, that Uncle Gilbert would cut the boys’ hair. And he’d cut it like Moe from The Three Stooges. That kind of soup bowl thang he got going on? It would be worse than that. It’d look like you got a bowl on your head. We started calling it an Uncle Gilbert cut, you did not want an Uncle Gilbert cut… I can see that on you though man. I’ve got an Uncle Gilbert cut? Yeah! I’m bringing it back. Uncle Gilbert was ahead of his time. Oh my goodness, he sure was! What was the name of the first band you were in? I was around 12 or 13 when I played in church band, they were called The Christian-Airs. It was configured of the guitar player and me as the bass player along with a male chorus.
What was the last book you read? I go back every now and then to Chariots of the Gods? I really like to read about the encounters with the aliens, that’s kind of my thing. Not that I’m a spaceman, but I’m trying to get there.
Do you follow any sports teams? I know I’m gonna get clobbered for this, but with football, I’m liking the consistency of The Steelers and they’re like my hometown team's number one rival. But every year them cats show their best effort and they don’t give up. And I relate to that.
It’s good to feed the imagination. Yeah, I like talking to the universe man, it’s a beautiful thing. Time travel.
If you were trying to seduce a potential lover, what music would you play? Marvin Gaye man, without a doubt! I
“I like talking to the universe man, it’s a beautiful thing”
put a little bit of that on, and it’s on. The panties is off! If you could pick a surrogate grandparent, who would it be? Jim Brown, he’s my all time favourite guy. Transferred from football to the movies. My mother raised us, so I never had like a man figure in my house, and I always looked up to him like that. Who’s the most famous person you’ve ever met? Wow, that’s tough. Let’s see… I guess it would be Michael Jackson? Mick Jagger? James Brown? Well actually, I got a chance to meet Elvis too. He actually invited me to go stay in his hotel back in Memphis in the early 70s. What would be your Desert Island Drug? That’s hard, because they don’t make ‘em like they used to! Is this like an island by myself? It’s a desert island so there’s some wildlife. Maybe a few monkeys, some tropical birds… I would have to say LSD. I’d have to do a lot of time travelling if there was just monkeys and birds!
Have you ever been arrested? When I was young it happened quite a few times. It was always because I was in bad company. And I never got caught for some things I did do and should have went to jail for. Because the streets, it was calling you. I’m glad those days are behind me and I’m glad I did not get caught. I chose music. People don’t really like to talk about it, but I think it’s good to talk about it. Describe yourself with three words beginning with B.. Bambostic. Booderaminous. Bachilopus. Is there a piece of advice you wish you’d given to yourself ten years ago? Never look over your shoulder, you might pee yourself! What do you want written on your tombstone? “You Will Never Get Out of Life Alive.” World Wide Funk is released 27 October via Mascot Records
With his sparkling space bass, those star-studded shades and an adventurous approach to life which once led to him continuously tripping on LSD for at least two years, over five decades in the music biz Bootsy Collins has proven himself to be one of the funkiest beings to ever walk the face of the earth. He’s a former student of James Brown, one of George Clinton’s closest musical allies and a spiritual uncle figure to the likes of Snoop Dogg. He’s even a lead professor at the university of funk. For this 20 Questions interview, I FaceTimed Bootzilla ahead of his new album World Wide Funk, and I can confirm that he even wears the shades when he’s at home.
Words: Davy Reed
B o o t s y Co ll
P H O N O X
HAAi: 1 YEAR s a t u rd a y n i g h t re s i d e n t
倀刀匀 䘀漀甀渀搀愀琀椀漀渀 ☀ 䜀氀愀猀琀漀渀戀甀爀礀 䘀攀猀琀椀瘀愀氀猀 瀀爀攀猀攀渀琀☠
吀愀氀攀渀琀 䐀攀瘀攀氀漀瀀洀攀渀琀 圀漀爀欀猀栀漀瀀猀 ⠀昀攀愀琀⸀ 䔀洀椀氀礀 䔀愀瘀椀猀 ☀ 䠀甀眀 匀琀攀瀀栀攀渀猀⤀ ⬀ 䴀漀洀攀渀琀甀洀 匀栀漀眀挀愀猀攀 吀甀攀猀搀愀礀 㜀琀栀 一漀瘀攀洀戀攀爀Ⰰ 㔀瀀洀ⴀ氀愀琀攀 吀爀椀渀椀琀礀 䌀攀渀琀爀攀Ⰰ 䈀爀椀猀琀漀氀 圀伀刀䬀匀䠀伀倀匀 ጠ 䐀漀漀爀猀 伀瀀攀渀 㔀⸀ 瀀洀 ∠ 䜀䰀䄀匀吀伀一䈀唀刀夀 䘀䔀匀吀䤀嘀䄀䰀ᤠ匀 䔀䴀䤀䰀夀 䔀䄀嘀䤀匀 䤀一 䌀伀一嘀䔀刀匀䄀吀䤀伀一 圀䤀吀䠀 䈀䈀䌀 刀䄀䐀䤀伀 ᤠ猀 䠀唀圀 匀吀䔀倀䠀䔀一匀 ∠ 䄀一 䤀一吀刀伀䐀唀䌀吀䤀伀一 吀伀 䴀唀匀䤀䌀 䘀唀一䐀䤀一䜀
圀椀琀栀 猀瀀攀挀椀愀氀 最甀攀猀琀猀 椀渀挀氀甀搀椀渀最㨀 䨀漀攀 䘀爀愀渀欀氀愀渀搀Ⰰ 倀刀匀 䘀漀甀渀搀愀琀椀漀渀 ⼀ 䰀愀渀搀攀 夀漀Ⰰ 䴀甀渀挀椀攀 䜀椀爀氀猀 ⠀䴀漀洀攀渀琀甀洀 䘀甀渀搀攀搀 愀爀琀椀猀琀猀⤀ ⼀ 䄀氀攀搀 䌀栀椀瘀攀爀猀Ⰰ 䌀栀椀瘀攀爀椀渀 䴀甀猀椀挀 ⠀䴀愀渀愀最攀爀Ⰰ 䘀攀渀渀攀 䰀椀氀礀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 倀刀匀 䘀漀甀渀搀愀琀椀漀渀 䄀搀瘀椀猀漀爀⤀ ⼀ 䰀愀甀爀愀 䰀攀眀椀猀ⴀ倀愀甀氀Ⰰ 匀愀昀昀爀漀渀 刀攀挀漀爀搀猀 ⠀倀刀匀 䘀漀甀渀搀愀琀椀漀渀 吀愀氀攀渀琀 䐀攀瘀攀氀漀瀀洀攀渀琀 倀愀爀琀渀攀爀⤀
∠ 一䔀吀圀伀刀䬀䤀一䜀 匀䔀匀匀䤀伀一 䄀一䐀 䴀䔀䔀吀 吀䠀䔀 吀䄀䰀䔀一吀 䐀䔀嘀䔀䰀伀倀䴀䔀一吀 䔀堀倀䔀刀吀匀
䜀甀攀猀琀猀 愀瘀愀椀氀愀戀氀攀 琀漀 渀攀琀眀漀爀欀 眀椀琀栀 椀渀挀氀甀搀攀㨀 䨀甀搀攀 䴀挀䄀爀搀氀攀Ⰰ 䄀猀猀漀挀椀愀琀椀漀渀 漀昀 䤀渀搀攀瀀攀渀搀攀渀琀 䴀甀猀椀挀 ⠀䄀䤀䴀⤀ ⼀ 䌀氀愀椀爀攀 刀漀猀攀Ⰰ 倀刀匀 昀漀爀 䴀甀猀椀挀 ⼀ 䐀愀瘀礀 圀愀氀攀猀Ⰰ 倀倀䰀 ⼀ 䄀渀搀爀攀眀 圀愀爀渀漀挀欀Ⰰ 吀栀攀 䴀甀猀椀挀椀愀渀猀ᤠ 唀渀椀漀渀 ⼀ 吀栀攀 䘀攀愀琀甀爀攀搀 䄀爀琀椀猀琀 䌀漀愀氀椀琀椀漀渀 ⠀䘀䄀䌀⤀ ⼀ 伀眀攀渀 倀愀爀爀礀Ⰰ 䴀甀氀琀椀ⴀ吀爀愀挀欀 ⠀䈀爀椀猀琀漀氀 䴀甀猀椀挀 吀爀甀猀琀⤀ ⼀ 刀椀挀栀愀爀搀 倀椀琀琀Ⰰ 䈀䈀䌀 䴀甀猀椀挀 䤀渀琀爀漀搀甀挀椀渀最 ⼀ 䰀愀甀爀愀 䰀攀眀椀猀ⴀ倀愀甀氀Ⰰ 匀愀昀昀爀漀渀 刀攀挀漀爀搀猀
䴀漀洀攀渀琀甀洀 匀栀漀眀挀愀猀攀 ጠ 䐀漀漀爀猀 漀瀀攀渀 㠀⸀ 瀀洀 䤀渀挀氀甀搀椀渀最 䴀漀洀攀渀琀甀洀 猀甀瀀瀀漀爀琀攀搀 愀爀琀椀猀琀猀 䴀甀渀挀椀攀 䜀椀爀氀猀 吀椀挀欀攀琀猀 愀瘀愀椀氀愀戀氀攀 昀爀漀洀 瀀爀猀昀漀甀渀搀愀琀椀漀渀⸀挀漀洀 ⨀䐀椀猀挀漀甀渀琀攀搀 琀椀挀欀攀琀猀 昀漀爀 琀栀攀 最椀最 愀爀攀 愀瘀愀椀氀愀戀氀攀 昀漀爀 愀琀琀攀渀搀攀攀猀 漀昀 琀栀攀 眀漀爀欀猀栀漀瀀猀⸀
My Life as a Mixtape: Wiki
“I went to Catholic school. When I was a kid and I heard The Germs sing No God, that was a big one for me”
Patrick “Wiki” Morales is a half-Irish, half-Puerto Rican hip-hop artist from New York’s Upper West Side. His group Ratking took inspiration from NYC street culture and punk rock to create a raw, experimental sound, and they were signed to XL Recordings offshoot Hot Charity in 2012. Over the years, Wiki has collaborated with artists such as Earl Sweatshirt, Ghostface Killah, Skepta, Mica Levi and King Krule. This year, the 23-yearold released his first official album No Mountains in Manhattan. The first record that shocked me Probably Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP (Aftermath / Interscope, 2000). I remember my boy who was older than me putting the headphones on and being like ‘yo what the fuck? This shit’s fucked up!’ But then, I was like ‘yo this is hard’. You listen to Kim or something like that – you don’t want your mom hearing that shit! The record which turned me into a punk My parents aren’t crazy religious, but I went to Catholic school kind and I went to church. I don’t really know whether I believe in God at this point, but when I was a kid and I heard The Germs sing No God (Slash, 1978), that was a big one for me.
The record which sparked my passion for grime I was young when Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner (XL Recordings, 2003) came out. I heard the singles off it and that kind of thing, but it wasn’t until later that I rediscovered it. When I was like 16 and in high school I got put on to the whole thing, and I was like ‘damn this shit’s crazy from front to back.’ From the first track Sittin' Here, it’s such a hard intro, it’s like a movie or something. It reminded me of a classic hip-hop album but in a different genre. The record which reminds me of my first love The first King Krule EP, I think it’s selftitled (True Panther, 2011) I remember meeting my old girl Destiny, she was like my first love, and listening to that shit on repeat, chilling in her bed all day, that type of thing. I heard this at my show yesterday and I was like ‘yo this shit reminds me of Destiny’. It definitely brings back emotions.
The first track I recorded that I was truly proud of Maybe Retired Sports from the Wiki 93 EP (XL Recordings / Hot Charity, 2012). I got levelled up and it was probably me realising I was lyrically hard or some shit. The track which makes me want to turn up right now Magnolia by Playboi Carti is definitely like a big record out in New York, but the Lil Wayne version (916% Entertainment, 2017) I like more. I hadn’t heard Lil Wayne in a minute and he just goes extra hard. It’s like everything you want in Wayne – just not trying too much and having fun but still getting the bars off and telling a little story within it. Just making it his own. Shit’s tight. No Mountains in Manhattan is out now via XL Recordings
Words: Davy Reed
The complex cases of macho music and its female fans Illustration: DR x ME
Along with co-editor Eli Davies, Rhian E Jones has compiled essays written by women about their experiences of engaging with misogynistic music for a new book. Here, Jones explains the inspiration behind the book, and what she’s learnt while compiling it. When stories are told about bands, artists and gigs, women are frequently either absent entirely or featured only in relation to men – as muses, fangirls or groupies – with our own ideas and arguments about the music we love marginalised. This imbalance is, to some extent, a function of the fact that music writing and journalism in general is a less hospitable place for women. As a teenager for whom music meant the whole world, my gender was less important, to me at least, than the solidarity and escapism I found as a listener and fan. But my gender was certainly important to those critics and journalists who dismissed bands whose fanbase consisted of “screaming teenage girls” or “frustrated housewives”. There’s always been a whole spectrum of ways for women to engage with music, but you wouldn’t know this to look at many mainstream retrospective discussions.
Accounts dealing with 90s music, for instance, tend to lionise the laddish later stages of Britpop while ignoring the contributions of female musicians and fans. In 2015, sociologist Emma Jackson (formerly a member of the band Kenickie) wrote an article published on “retrospective sexism” when looking back on 90s pop culture. Partly inspired by Jackson’s piece, Eli Davies wrote about her own experience as a music fan in this period, from a viewpoint she
felt had been similarly ignored. The response to this article on social media and elsewhere, from other women who also felt that their stories were not being told, is part of the reason why myself and Davies have put a book together, entitled Under My Thumb: Songs That Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them. We wanted the book to both assert some balance in music writing and to explore the messy, complex and confusing – and also thrilling, fulfilling and life-changing – relationships that women can have with music. A number of writers discuss the ways — not always conscious or deliberate — in which it’s possible to accept or ignore troubling representations of women or exclusionary male music cultures by thinking of yourself as somehow “not like the other girls”. In her essay on the early noughties indie scene, Abi Millar reflects on the concept of the “Cool Girl”. This was a scene in which rebellion was for the boys, and girlfriends were the resented figures who held these rebels back. Positioning herself as the Cool Girl – the girl who’s happy to have fun and party like the boys, yet never make any demands of them – allowed her to create a niche that was fun up to a point, but still relied on young women fitting themselves around a male narrative. Another common theme is how many of us, needing an outlet for a deeply-felt but unarticulated anger at the social roles imposed on us, found affinity and solidarity with the resistance and rage expressed by flawed male artists from Bob Dylan to Kanye West. Zahra Dalilah’s essay reflects on how her
admiration for 2Pac’s politics and lyrics led to growing awareness of the “intricately problematic” nature of songs like Wonda Why They Call U Bitch. Conversely, K. E. Carver writes about finding identification and empowerment in some of Eminem’s unlikeliest material, as does Rachel Trezise with Guns N’ Roses’ It’s So Easy. Several writers explore how loving this music as women interacts with other aspects of their identity such as race and class. Amanda Barokh writes about Jay Z’s Big Pimpin', a song she loved initially for how its sound referenced and embraced the Middle Eastern culture of her upbringing. Revisiting it as an older listener, however, she became aware of having to square her appreciation of this with the song’s “fuck ‘em, love ‘em, leave ‘em” attitude to women. The result is an analysis of power – of the “double bind” of capitalism and patriarchy – and an acknowledgement of the origin and allure of male bravado. These complications and complexities form a fundamental part of the book, but never overshadow the sheer joy, empowerment and inspiration to be gained from music.
There is, of course, no single definitive female identity or one way to be a music fan. Under My Thumb is a starting point, not an exhaustive account. Most of all, the project is an assertion of the agency of women music fans. Moving beyond stereotypes and assumptions – either that we are unaware of the problematic aspects of the art we consume, or that we are complicit in our own oppression by consuming it – we are exploring how women find their own ways of discovering and loving music, regardless of how that music may feel about them. Under My Thumb: Songs That Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them is out on 19 October via Repeater Books
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