Page 1

Issue 77

M.I.A.


carhartt-wip.com


24–27 AUGUST 2017

DIXON · NINA KRAVIZ · DUSKY · JACKMASTER · THE BLACK MADONNA · BICEP · BEN UFO · LEON VYNEHALL · MIDLAND MARIBOU STATE (DJ SET) · FATIMA YAMAHA · MAX COOPER · HUNEE · MOVE D · JEREMY UNDERGROUND · AXEL BOMAN G E R D J A N S O N · L E G O W E LT · M R S C R U F F · J O E G O D D A R D ( L I V E ) · A R T W O R K · D E N I S S U LT A · F O R T R O M E A U IBIBIO SOUND MACHINE · TELEFON TEL AVIV · THE 2 BEARS · KORNÉL KOVÁCS · BOXED IN · BEN PEARCE C H R I S T I A N LÖ F F L E R · G R E G W I L S O N · H O R S E M E AT D I S C O · P B R S T R E E T G A N G · C R A I G C H A R L E S · M A R C U S M A R R H O N E Y S O U N D SY S T E M · J & A G · M A L L G R A B · N I G H T M A R E S O N WA X · AVA LO N E M E R S O N · B I L L B R E W S T E R M A R Q U I S H A W K E S · M O X I E · L E T ’ S E A T G R A N D M A · B A B A S T I LT Z · F A K E A R · E L D E R I S L A N D · L A U R E L · C O U R T S · S M E R Z ALEXANDER NUT · THEO KOT TIS · JULIA GOVOR · OR:LA · NORTH DOWNS · MAT T KARMIL · APRES · AL ZANDERS T U VA B A N D · S H Y L U V · L A U R E N C E G U Y · M R B O N G O · J E M AT K I N S · C R A I G D U R A N T I · H O U S E O F G O O D · D O N N I E P R O PA JUST ADDED

AXEL BOMAN B2B LEON VYNEHALL · CALL SUPER P E D E S T R I A N · K L A N G S TO F ( L I V E ) · X A M V O LO ( L I V E ) · H A A I · H A N N A H FA I T H

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RAY BLK —— MICK JENKINS RAY BLK MICK JENKINS REX ORANGE COUNTY REX ORANGE COUNTY THE FEDZ THE FEDZ RAHEEM BAKARÉ RAHEEM BAKARÉ FABRIC FABRIC TABANCA TABANCA SETH NOISEY DJS SETHTROXLER TROXLER NOISEY DJS BICEP —— KINK BICEP KINKLIVE LIVE HAMMER HAMMER TERRY FRANCIS TERRY FRANCIS TRANSISTOR HOSTED ABODE TRANSISTOR HOSTED BY BY ABODE

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RICARDO RICARDO VILLALOBOS VILLALOBOS DIXON DIXON

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3rd June

1st July

Room 01

Room 01

fabric 94: Steffi Launch Steffi Head High Virginia Dexter

Mind Against Edward (Live) Romans (Tin Man & Gunnar Haslam)

Room 03

Terry Francis Zenker Brothers Voiski (Live)

8th July Room 01

10th June

Rumours Guy Gerber Thugfucker Acid Mondays

Room 01

Room 02

Joy Orbison Rolls ’n’ Do (tINI & Bill Patrick) Fold

Function Luke Slater Jay Clarke 22nd July

17th June Room 01

10 Years Of air london Darius Syrossian Point G (Live) Josh Butler Jnr Windross Room 03

Terry Francis Slam

24th June Room 01

Nicole Moudaber Marcel Fengler DJ Deep

Room 01

Birdhouse Claude VonStroke Catz ‘N Dogz Weiss 29th July Room 01

Nastia More Artists TBA Room 02

Terry Francis Lucy Lady Starlight

fabric Saturdays June — July 2017 77A Charterhouse Street, London EC1. Opening times: 11pm — 7am. Check www.fabriclondon.com for advance tickets, prices and further info. fabric 92: Call Super, Out Now. fabric 93: Soul clap, Out Now. fabric 94: Steffi, Available 16th June.


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 distribution@crackmagazine.net

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Words Chal Ravens, Emma Robertson, Rachel Grace Almeida, Alice Nicolov, Gunseli Yalcinkaya, Nathan Ma, Graeme Bateman, Ruby Van Der Porten, Josie Thaddeus, Jo Kali, Jasmin Hoek, Gwyn Thomas de Croustchoff, Jon Clark, Gary Suarez, Aine Devaney, Katie Hawthorne, Will Prichard, Theo Kotz, Adam Corner, Jake Hall, Joe Goggins, Hamda Issa-Salwe, Gui Cortassa, Georgia Tobin, Tamsyn Aurelia-Eros Black, Farhood

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019

Contents

New Music - 27 From the periphery Reviews - 65 Gig reports, product reviews and our verdict on the latest releases in music and film Retrospective: WuTang Forever - 71 With the hip-hop group’s second LP reaching its 20th anniversary, Davy Reed considers the contrast between the Wu-Tang ideology and the mentality of contemporary rap Turning Points: Big Freedia - 87 With a reality TV series, a high profile courtcase and a world record in twerking under her belt, the bounce music icon has some stories to tell. Jake Hall hears more 20 Questions: Miss Red - 89 Israeli MC and The Bug’s right-hand woman talks bad habits and aubergine cooking tips

Aesthetic: Philipp Gorbachev - 50 A pivotal figure in Russian underground music, Philipp Gorbachev embodies the progressive, DIY spirit of Moscow’s burgeoning scene. Extolling spiritual virtues, the producer and DJ swaps the harshness of the club for the deep forest in our fashion editorial

Since the mid noughties, M.I.A. has been widely regarded as one of the most politically outspoken artists in popular culture, and regular controversies – ranging from her association with Julian Assange to being denied a US visa – have ensured that she’s never far from the headlines. Chal Ravens meets with her at London's Southbank Centre, where she's set to host this year's prestigious Meltdown festival

Richard Dawson: Active Imagination - 36 Tom Watson speaks with the unique Geordie songwriter to discuss his new LP Peasant, which explores a curious Dark Ages concept via twisted, experimental folk music

Aldous Harding: From a Distance - 48 Gunseli Yalcinkaya meets with the New Zealand songwriter as her haunting music begins to reach bigger audiences

crackmagazine.net

Editorial - 23 "Home"

M.I.A: Let the Kids Run Wild - 28

Binh: Simple Pleasures - 44 Mixing family life with extended DJ sets in Berlin’s most coveted clubs can’t be easy. But, as Emma Robertson finds, respected minimal mainstay Germann Nguyen has found a happy medium

Kacy Hill: In Bloom - 40 The G.O.O.D. Music signee is set to be all over your feed following the release of her Kanye-produced album. She talks strength and independence with Nathan Ma

Mahtab Hussain’s tender portraits peel back the layers of British Asian masculinity - 58 The photographer’s You Get Me? exhibition is a landmark in exploring young Asian identity in the UK, though it shouldn’t feel that way. By Alice Nicolov

Perspective: Seeking Refuge, Respect and Hip-Hop - 90 Ahead of Refugee Week, Liverpoolbased Iranian rapper Farhood details how his passion for music aligned with his seeking asylum in the UK, and how he’s working to tell others’ stories

CONTENTS

Regular Features


P U S H I N G T H E BO UN DARI E S O F I NN OVAT I O N FO R OVE R 2 0 YE ARS . T R U S T E D BY DJS TO DAY. B U I LT F O R T H E FUT URE .

PIONEERDJ.COM


SUMMER 2017 09—06

23—06

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DELTA HEAVY DANNY BYRD GROOVERIDER PHANTASY & SAS SKIBA & SHABBA SUB ZERO DEADLINE CRITICAL IMPACT MCs: SKIBADEE SHABBA / IC3 / TEXAS VISIONOBI Room 02

FABRICLIVE 92 PREDITAH ALBUM LAUNCH PREDITAH SWINDLE JOKER BASSBOY GRIM SICKERS C4 J.G BLAZEY BODYNOD

30—06

Room 01

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RONI SIZE CALYX & TEEBEE DJ GUV D*MINDS UPGRADE TOTAL RECALL DATA3 MCs: DYNAMITE MC JAKES / IC3 / LX ONE Room 02

ROSKA KICKS & SNARES ROSKA DJ CHAMPION DJ PIONEER MURDER HE WROTE MAJORA DISTRO DJ POLO MCs: SEROCEE SERIOUS/ RAMZEE

28—07 Room 01

HOSPITAL RECORDS X FABRICLIVE S.P.Y & NU:LOGIC ALBUM LAUNCH S.P.Y (2 HOUR SET) NU:LOGIC (2 HOUR SET) LTJ BUKEM SHADOW CHILD (JUNGLE / HARDCORE SET) DLR ANILE MCs: GQ / LOWQUI VISIONOBI Room 02

JUNGLE JAM GENERAL LEVY (LIVE) BENNY PAGE RANDALL KENNY KEN POTENTIAL BADBOY JUNGLE JAM RESIDENTS MCs: RAGGA TWINS FEARLESS / NAVIGATOR

11—08 Room 01

BAD COMPANY UK TC ED RUSH XTRAH B2B INSIDEINFO POLA & BRYSON KYRIST MCs: MESSY 2SHY / CARASEL / AD

TODDLA T P MONEY ZED BIAS BREAKAGE CADENZA CONDUCTA BLAZEY BODYNOD MCs: DRS / MC KIE

Room 02

LENGOLAND JAMIE DUGGAN TAIKI NULIGHT MR VIRGO USSY DJ EJ BUSHBABY LIVSEY

SYSTEM:SOUND VIVEK COMMODO CHIMPO LOXY SYSTEM ROOTS MCs: CRAZY D DONOVAN KINGJAY DEGO RANKING

07—07

Room 02

11PM—7AM WWW.FABRICLONDON.COM

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FLAVA D ABRA CADABRA SIR SPYRO HOLY GOOF ELIJAH & SKILLIAM BLAZEY BODYNOD Room 02

DIRTYPHONICS MACKY GEE HYBRID MINDS VOLTAGE BIOLOGICAL BEATS SHOWCASE FT KLIP & OUTLAW LIMITED / FATMAN D SKANKANDBASS MCs: STORMIN INJA / MC TEMPZA

25—08 Room 01

HEARTLESS CREW CARNIVAL WARM-UP SPECIAL THE HEARTLESS CREW NADIA ROSE MJ COLE BROCKIE & DET DJ SIZZLA BLAZEY BODYNOD Room 02

MAMPI SWIFT B2B CRISSY CRISS (2 HOUR SET) CYANTIFIC TNA FT DJ DOMINATOR AZZA & GRIMA NU ELEMENTZ T>I TS2W MCs: IC3 DREPS / TEXAS


023

Issue 77 June 2017

Crack Was Made Using Novelist Thrones and Powers

Love Train Put Your Pants On

Dean Blunt & Joanne Robertson Mass Appeal

Witch Let's Get Together

Snoop Dogg Lavender (Nightfall Remix)

Eccentric Edits Wake Up

Nick Hakim Slowly

Soft Cell Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

Murlo Moss

Angelo Badalamenti Laura Palmer's Theme

Selena Gomez Bad Liar

Playboi Carti Kelly K

Wu-Tang Clan Deadly Melody ft. Streetlife

Art of Noise Moments in Love

Road Hog Booty Race

Chromatics Shadow

Annette Peacock Pony

(Sandy) Alex G Proud

TG Millian, Naira Marley & Blanco Money On The Road

Shanti Celeste Thoughts

Kali Uchis Tyrant ft. Jorja Smith

M&G When I Let You Down

Baba Stiltz Can't Help It

Mac DeMarco Moonlight on the River

In Issue 77, Geordie songwriter Richard Dawson speaks to us while inhaling the fresh paint fumes of his new house in Newcastle, a city with a strong sense of identity that tends to stay in the hearts of its residents, while New Zealand artist Aldous Harding speaks longingly of her home, the picturesque port town of Lyttelton, where she began making the music that’s taking her further away from the town as it becomes more popular. In this issue we also find two Berlinbased artists who’ve achieved tranquility in a city that’s celebrated for its unrelenting party culture. Having recently become a dad, renowned minimal techno DJ Binh has learnt how to juggle his career with family life, and the scene at his home is – maybe to the surprise to anyone who’s experienced his marathon DJ sets – one of wholesome domestic bliss. Russian artist Philipp Gorbachev proudly shows our team around the forest by his West Berlin neighbourhood of Grunewald. For Gorbachev, maybe the idea of home is more complicated – he’s proud of the solidarity of Moscow’s dance music community, yet he suggests that

A home can more or less be defined as a place where someone is safe and can reside permanently. For so many people, it’s something which is not easy to acquire. This month’s cover star is M.I.A. As a child she was continuously displaced across Sri Lanka and India before moving back to the UK as a refugee, and in recent years was she was denied a US visa despite the father of her young son being an American. This month, she curates London’s Meltdown festival, which is providing a platform for migrant and refugee artists including Farhood, a Liverpool-based rapper who has endured the hostile policies of the UK government since fleeing Iran, his home country. Farhood shares his story with us for this month’s Perspective op-ed.

crackmagazine.net

M.I.A shot exclusively for Crack Magazine by Steph Wilson London: May 2017

Russia’s political oppression and a lack of diversity encouraged him to relocate to the German capital.

I also want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the victims of the recent Manchester attack – our hearts go out to the friends and family of those who were lost. The scale of the tragedy is something I’m not able to describe with words, but the solidarity, strength and sense of community the people have shown has been hugely inspirational. For those of you who are reading this in Manchester, I imagine you’ve never felt more proud to call that great city your home. Davy Reed, Editor

MASTHEAD

Sometimes when we’re proofreading a new issue before going to press, we’ll notice a subject reoccurring across the pages, as if a theme has quietly formed by coincidence. And with so much discussion of identity, location and displacement in this mag, after reading it in full I’ve had a particular concept in my head: “home”.


024

Recommended

ULRICK A SPACEK The Lexington 14 June

O ur g ui d e to wh at's goi n g on i n y ou r c i ty SUPERSONIC Princess Nokia, Jenny Hval, Richard Dawson Various venues, Birmingham 16–18 June Prices Vary

D∆WN Oslo 13 June

After taking a break last year, the Birmingham experimental festival returns refreshed with a characteristically adventurous line-up. Among the acts set to fill the city’s post-industrial spaces with the reassuring thrum of breaking ground and boundaries transgressed are NYC rapper Princess Nokia, coding techno collective Algorave, heavy psych rockers Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs and WOC feminist punks Big Joanie. A programme of film and talks offers ample opportunity to redraw your intellectual horizons, too. You don’t get that at Camden Rocks, eh.

YOUNG MA (MELTDOWN) Royal Festival Hall 17 June

MANNEQUIN PUSSY The Shacklewell Arms 8 June

AFROPUNK PARIS Yasiin Bey, HO99O9, Big Freedia Parc de la Villette, Paris 15-16 July 70€ AB-SOUL Islington Academy 7 June

When Afropunk arrived in London last summer, it served as Crack’s firsthand introduction to one of the most exciting pillars of the global music festival community. Starting out in Brooklyn in the mid-aughts, the event has constructed a worldwide body of music fans and creatives who celebrate the best in black culture and selfexpression. For their 2017 Paris chapter, Yasiin Bey (FKA Mos Def) will be playing his final ever show in the French capital. If that isn’t enough, the food, scenery and people-watching opportunities will be second to none. M.I. A . (MELTDOWN) Southbank Centre 18 June

EYEDRESS Birthdays 14 June

SÓNAR Marie Davidson, Elysia Crampton, Björk (DJ set) Various venues, Barcelona 15–17 June True to tradition, the line-up for Sónar’s enormous Barcelona event crams in an eclectic range of artists. There’s the laidback soul of Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals, the searing theatrics of Arca with Jesse Kanda, vintage disco from Cerrone, hands-in-theair electroclash from Justice, a dose of UK road rap from Giggs, Thundercat’s wonky bass funk, masterful bright flourishes from Daphni and Hunee, and an impossibly rare DJ set from Björk. There are gems to be found in the lower tier, too, with Crack favourites Gaika, Jlin, Lena Willikens, The Black Madonna, Avalon Emerson, Courtesy and Elysia Crampton all making an appearance. Needless to say we’re very impressed.

STEFFI fabric 3 June

51ST STATE FESTIVAL Derrick Carter, Wookie, Todd Terry Trent Country Park, London 5 August

EVENTS

In the beginning, there was Jack, and Jack had a groove. And from this groove, so they say, came the groove of all grooves. For all diehard devotees of said groove, 51st State festival has you covered this summer. The day festival’s ambitious line-up explores the lineage of house music from disco to Chicago house to UK garage and so on, with some dub soundsystems thrown in for good measure. In tribute to that very early club scene in Chicago and New York City, there are legendary DJs Masters At Work, Mike Dunn, Derrick Carter and Todd Terry. Shola Ama, Matt Jam Lamont and Wookie are taking things ‘back to 95’, or you can head further back still with the likes of Evelyn Champagne King and Omar. If you worship at the altar of house music, there’s plenty to pull you in here.

K APPA FUTUR FESTIVAL Carl Cox, Nina Kraviz, Dixon Turin, Italy 8-9 July £57.63 Welcoming the top table of main-room house and techno to Turin for one no-frills weekend of partying, Kappa Futur Festival looks like a safe bet for anyone looking to visit a new city and let loose while they’re there. With some of the most trusted names on the circuit playing – Nina Kraviz, Tale Of Us, Dixon, Seth Troxler, Jackmaster – and a not-too-bad price tag, there’s little scope for this to be a bad shout. Also it’s as good a reason as any to dig out the old royal blue Kappa polyester tracksuit.


025 PE AKING LIGHTS Moth Club 26 June

Eryk ah Badu Hammersmith Apollo 6+7 June

THE COURTNEYS The Shacklewell Arms 2 June

SHANTI CELESTE Patterns, Brighton 24 June

Scheduled right in the middle of summer, this one-day bonanza in Birmingham looks pretty hard to refuse. Stefflon Don will bring her ferocious pop-rap fabulousness, master of both breaks and zen Goldie will play a special reggae set, Manchester party crew LEVELZ will do what comes naturally to them and give everyone a taste of their fabled raves. If that wasn’t enough, Giggs is playing and footage of him performing his verse from Drake’s Kmt looks totally insane. Brush up on your da-na-na-da-na’s and report to Brum.

JANE FITZ B2B ERIC CLOUTIER The Pickle Factory 30 June £12.50 + BF Jane Fitz is what you’d call a proper DJ: a committed digger, an adventurous selector and a party curator with a knack for bringing good vibes to the dancefloor. As part of her Pickle Factory residency, Fitz has enlisted Berlin-via-Detroit DJ/ producer Eric Cloutier – who also carries a certain sense of underground prestige – for a B2B set. Your Friday night’s in safe hands with this one.

MADE FESTIVAL BIRMINGHAM Giggs, Goldie, Stefflon Don The Digbeth Triangle, Birmingham 29 July £49.50

NOS ALIVE The Weeknd, The xx, Savages Oeiras, Portugal 6 - 8 July 2017 €146

SECRET GARDEN PART Y Jorja Smith, Jackmaster, Metronomy Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, UK 20-23 July £197

Since 2007, NOS Alive has consistently impressed in terms of big name bookings, bringing some of the world’s most in-demand touring musicians to Portugal’s gorgeous Algés riverside. This year they’ll be playing host to The Weeknd’s addictive blend of dark pop and the swooning, dreamy intensity of The xx, while Crack favourites Savages and Warpaint will also make an appearance. Raise a cerveja, this looks set to be brilliantly anthemic.

WILDERNESS Grace Jones, Toots & The Maytals, Bonobo Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire 3 - 6 August £178 The programme for this year’s Wilderness, a multi-award winning four-day festival, sees it extend beyond a conventional music festival. Aimed squarely at the ‘glamping’ type, Wilderness caters for bougee family getaways as well as to music lovers; you can add wild swimming, boating, archery and horse riding to your itinerary for the weekend. On top of that, the iconic Grace Jones will be heading up the stage, joined by the likes of soul musician Michael Kiwanuka, a live set from Bonobo and rising London star Ray BLK as well as headliners Two Door Cinema Club.

THE POLITICS OF COMICS (PANEL DISCUSSION) ICA 16 June

JOEY PURP Village Underground 11 June 

MOLLY NILSSON Oslo 14 June

This year we say farewell to SGP, whose founders announced that they would be hosting the festival’s last edition in 2017. Throughout the years, the festival has retained its reputation as one of the best to truly get lost in, making a grab for the crown prize of festival production with its labyrinthine dens, floating stages and general bonkers theatrics. To celebrate their last instalment, they’ve locked in Metronomy, Crystal Fighters and Toots & The Maytals for high-energy headlining slots, as well as rising London stars Ray BLK, Mabel and Jorja Smith, while Jackmaster, Craig Richards and Honey Soundsystem are amongst the packed DJ line-up. Secret Garden Party is dead! Long live Secret Garden Party!

GORILL A Z DEMON DAYZ FESTIVAL Dreamland, Margate 10 June INTO THE VALLEY Ricardo Villalobos, The Black Madonna, Helena Hauff Rummu, Estonia 29–1 July €150 first release + €9 BF After several years based in Rättvik, Sweden, electronic music festival Into the Valley are switching it up with a move to Rummu, a picturesque, limestone quarry, actually a former jail, outside Tallin. The statement location indicates the festival’s desire to scale-up, and frankly the line-up is colossal, offering a roadmap of where house, techno and beyond has been, is at and where it’s going. You know you’re in for a hell of a ride with blockbuster bookings like Ricardo Villalobos and Nina Kraviz but drill down – excuse the pun – to find the likes of Helena Hauff and Avalon Emerson representing a new wave. The most fun you’ll ever have in a sunken prison, we reckon.

THURSTON MOORE GROUP Scala 15 June

PERFUME GENIUS Heaven 8 June

EVENTS

GIGGS (MELTDOWN) Southbank Centre 12 June


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There’s something pleasingly dramatic about Copenhagen duo First Hate. First up, that name – it smacks of youth and passion, the kind of name Posh Isolation might reach for if they were to Weird Science a terrace casual synth pop act into existence. And while these sweet and tender hooligans aren’t officially affiliated with the Danish label, their brand of synth pop does have the same strain of romanticism which bands like Var and Lust for Youth essayed so well. OK, so some of their songs feel a touch too on the nose (their debut album is called Prayer for the Unemployed) but all is forgiven when its conveyed with the kind of passion – and daft dancing – that Anton Falck Gansted musters live.

O The One 1 Iceage / Lust For Youth

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O Paper Boy 1 Slowdive / Jay Som damascout.bandcamp.com

Channeling the inherently anti-establishment spirit of the punk and hip-hop records she grew up on (she describes the two cultures as “siblings”), Swedish-Iranian electro-pop artist Nadia Tehran is unflinching in her commitment to being visible. “I think it’s important that there are role models from every ethnicity,” she tells me from her home in Stockholm, “so you can grow up and look to someone and relate.” Last year, Tehran shared the stunning visuals for her track Refugee. The video was filmed illegally in Iran by Nadia and her father. Against a crunchy, distorted backing track evocative of golden-era Sleigh Bells, Tehran’s bars pierce through the noise. “With a mouth full of shit and a stolen tongue,” she preaches, “I'll be running 'cross the square, of your king's lungs.” Speaking over Skype, Tehran talks about her music and art in quite functionalist terms. She believes in the unity that can be found in shared otherness – that using her voice, along with other marginalised voices, can harness a newer, stronger kind of power. “Growing up, I always had this feeling of not belonging. Even though I really tried to fit in – I always knew I was different. It was a big pain in my life… It’s been so liberating.” The political element of her identity-focused output was never something she consciously set out to craft, her sound and spirit has all extended from an affinity with countercultural movements. “For me, music was the only environment where I could speak my mind freely. I started in a punk band – I couldn’t play any instruments or sing. But it was a place for me to speak my mind, I was just talking about my feelings and getting it off my chest. I never intended to make anyone else think anything – it was just a deep need to express myself.” Since then, Tehran has been making music and visual art constantly. Now, she says, feels like the start of her career. Her recent track Cash Flow is accompanied by a three-part video series and a written statement, which opens with the line, “Alienation can build a nation”. Tehran’s goal has only ever been to get her voice heard. In a climate like today’s – it’s hard for that not to be a political agenda. “Music has brought me closer to likeminded people,” she says before we sign off, “Nobody is powerful if they’re standing by themselves.”

: soundcloud.com/first-hate

YAEJI While deep house covers of chart hits are often misguided, Yaeji’s meditative flip of Drake’s Passionfruit is tastefully done. Indeed, the New York Citybased producer, a regular at the city’s Discwoman events, is beginning to make a name for herself in classy, wistful house music. It's a style mapped out on Yaeji’s slinky self-titled EP. Released via Brooklyn label Godmode, the EP is shaped by her time split between New York City and Seoul. As her vocals – which switch between English and Korean – coalesce around cinematic washes of deep house, her raw and unpretentious delivery contributes something coherent and deeply personal as much as it evokes the woozy, clubfriendly style of Mall Grab, who Yaeji nods to in her cover of his track Guap. A dreamy soundtrack to a hazy summer Sunday.

O Pussy Boy’s Revenge :

1 DJ Swagger / Delroy Edwards soundcloud.com/strahinjaarbutina

O New York 93 1 Galcher Lustwerk / Powder : soundcloud.com/kraejiyaeji

O Cash Flow 1 M.I.A. / Tommy Genesis : @nadiatehran

O Track 1 File Next To : Website

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FIRST HATE

Glasgow-via-London trio Dama Scout haven’t been making music for a long time, but they’ve already managed to craft a winning strand of dreamy altrock from angular kraut melodies and loose, airy production. Singer Eva Liu allows her vocal to subside into the tide of her guitar – creating the kind of rich sonic atmosphere of Slowdive at their most remedial. Aptly, they recently opened for Jay Som at a sold out London show – both acts offer meditative compositions for bright days with open windows. With a Bandcamp page steadily filling up with sophisticated melodies and experimental productional sounds, Dama Scout seem comfortable in exploration mode – we’re excited to see where things end up.

Croatian DIY cassette label Low Income $quad have been giving lo-fi and downright weird electronic music the love it deserves since 2015, and Zagreb producer Strahinja Arbutina is an affiliate who deals in crunchy techno and industrial with a touch of 90s Memphis rap menace. The song titles alone are often grimly promising: Pussy Boy’s Revenge, You Don’t Need This In Your Life and For Shirtless Dudes Only – a satisfyingly intense hardcore techno track which caught the ears of Resident Advisor. Having been kindly hosted by Manchester label Natural Sciences for a guest NTS mix, Arbutina demonstrated his proud passion for nightmarish music that would fuck up the club. You’re gonna love this guy.


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M.I.A.

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M.I.A. is the art school provocateur who made it to the world stage. Since the mid noughties she’s been shaking up pop culture with an exhilarating, crosscultural aesthetic and fearless commentary. As global politics intensify, in 2017 M.I.A.’s core themes are as potent as ever, and the strikingly youthful lineup she’s curated for this year’s Meltdown shows that her influence runs deep


031 Words: Chal Ravens Photography: Steph Wilson

You could forgive M.I.A. for wanting to hit delete now and then. Her tongue has got her in trouble enough times; even now, with five albums behind her, she lacks the media-trained sense of selfpreservation that many musicians of her status and reputation eventually acquire. We’ve met for the interview at London’s Southbank Centre, and for the last half-hour she’s been talking about the failures of feminism, about Apple spying on us through our phones, about capitalism and Kendall Jenner – and she’s halfway through hinting at Julian Assange’s role in her new project when we’re told to wrap up. “I just gave out the worst interview ever! I said crazy shit,” she moans to her assistant as we walk away. After the fallout from various interviews she’s given over the years, it's understandable that she might be a little anxious. And as the saying goes: just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you. Mathangi Arulpragasam’s carefree stunts and controversial statements have kept her on the edge of superstardom throughout her career. Raised by her seamstress single mum in south London after the family fled Sri Lanka as refugees, she “blagged” her way into Central Saint Martins, where her vibrant, hip-hop inspired art stood out a mile from her fellow students’ dour conceptualism. Her first gallery exhibition sold out immediately, and she recycled her pixelated collages in the artwork for her debut album, 2005’s Arular.

Arular, and its mixtape predecessor Piracy Funds Terrorism, dazzled critics and club kids alike with its cut-andpaste bricolage of sounds airlifted from the global south, a 21st century concoction of baile funk, hip-hop, dancehall and synthpop partly produced by then-boyfriend Diplo. Her aesthetic and attitude has never really changed, but it’s a potent combination, one that’s drawn her as many detractors as fans. Even now she cuts a lonely figure in the industry – until One Direction’s Zayn Malik launched his solo career, M.I.A. was the only South Asian pop star in sight. (The connection was noted – he appears on Freedun, from last year’s AIM). But Arulpragasam’s fame and notoriety are more than a twist of fate – she’s had the nous and the confidence to write herself into history at every opportunity. When her hit Paper Planes was sampled on T.I.’s Swagger Like Us, she stole the show at his Grammys performance, rapping next to Kanye West in a belly-hugging dress while nine months pregnant. At the 2012 Super Bowl half-time show she pulled the same trick on Madonna, directing her middle finger at the TV cameras and landing herself a $16 million lawsuit from the NFL. But in 2017, with Ariana Grande marching against Trump, Katy Perry making “purposeful pop” and Beyoncé turning up to the Super Bowl in Black Panther gear (not to mention performing at the Grammys with a visible baby bump), M.I.A.’s sloganeering agit-pop antics seem less remarkable. Wokeness is all around – but somehow, she notices, she still isn’t saying what people want to hear. Last year her comments about the celebrity endorsement of Black Lives Matter lost her a headline slot at the Afropunk London festival – but if she’s wary of speaking out of turn, it doesn’t

show. M.I.A. remains resolutely earnest in conversation – direct, passionate, occasionally naïve, always mistrustful of authority. And this year, with refugees and border walls dominating news headlines, her future-facing attitude makes her the ideal curator for London's Meltdown festival, an event that often draws the most attention with heritage acts and nostalgic reunions. Refreshingly, she had no idea about this. “I've never been to a Meltdown before and I didn't know what it was about,” she admits as we take a seat in her makeshift dressing room. “So I just did whatever. [Southbank] were like, ‘Oh, you obviously haven't been here before,’ and sort of brushed it under the carpet,” she laughs. It’s classic M.I.A. – take on a huge project, get stuck in, and don’t worry about how anyone has done it before. Efficient, but risky. She’s also one of the youngest curators ever to be chosen, and only the fifth woman (ANOHNI curated in 2012, before she had publicly adopted female pronouns) compared to 21 men. “Really? Wow. I didn't know that,” she says, considering the weight of the gender imbalance. “That's crazy.” This year’s Meltdown is bookended by politics, with the UK’s general election on 8 June and World Refugee Day on 20 June, which M.I.A. will mark with a day of activities led by refugee artists and charities. It’s a potent moment to spotlight diaspora musicians, from righteous reggae star I-Wayne to Nigerian-British MC Afrikan Boy, who raps about fake passports and border controls. M.I.A. has even faced her own immigration issues in recent years, locked out of the US until last autumn despite her celebrity status and the fact her son is half-American. “Couldn't get a visa all through Obama,” she says pointedly.

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“I might have to delete this.” M.I.A. has her hands around the voice recorder. “You have, like, the craziest interview.” My hands are around the recorder too, but tighter. For a split second, it looks like she’s going to press the button and nuke the whole interview. A silver nail hovers.


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“For Meltdown I chose artists who are young enough to not be influenced by the industry – I wanted to have a discussion about an alternative existence for musicians”

Meltdown curators typically book their musical heroes, but almost every act on M.I.A.’s line-up is younger than her, from Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers to French Afro-trap star MHD to art-rap provocateur Mykki Blanco. The closest she gets to “heritage” is Soulwax, the Belgian dance-rock outfit, and Le Tigre’s JD Samson, who both rode the same post-electroclash wave as M.I.A.’s early singles Galang and Bucky Done Gun. But M.I.A.'s priority, she explains, was to book artists who wouldn’t normally get to play the Southbank – rappers like Brooklyn newcomer Young M.A, for example. “They're two worlds that don't mix. I could have been retrospective, but the artists that I was influenced by are quite big – I can't really book Blur and Oasis and shit like that. Although I did try,” she grins, bringing to mind her attempt to book Radiohead publicly via Twitter. “I chose artists who are young enough to not be influenced by the industry – I just wanted to put them all in a room and have a discussion about an alternative existence for musicians. Is there a way out of the pyramid, out of the monetised structure? I think I chose artists that are the most vulnerable.”

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Now aged 41 (according to the internet’s best estimate), M.I.A. could be framed as a mother figure to many of these artists, yet she’s oddly ageless – not in a frozen-forehead sort of way, more like an art school Peter Pan. Earlier she’d strolled onto the roof of the Southbank in a see-through jumpsuit covered in shiny spots, turning herself into giant mirror ball in the spring sunshine. Between shots she’d sat cross-legged on the deck, taking selfies with her make-up artist. “The kids still are connected to me and I'm still connected to them,” she offers. “I don't know how, but it's like that, without me making a conscious effort. I think

that’s just what I draw like a magnet. And maybe it's the time for me to connect with them and have a chat, and be some sort of... helpful... useful…” Mentor? “Mentor, yeah. I dunno.” Some of her Meltdown selections feel like direct descendents: there’s Princess Nokia, the Afro-Latina rapper and video director with outspoken politics and a DIY attitude, and Tommy Genesis, the Vancouver art school oddball adopted by Atlanta’s Awful Records. Most of her picks are “mixtures of different things,” she adds. The idea is to have “a whole bunch of people that all think differently coming together, connected on a different idea than money.” This sense of being a “mixture”, constantly slipping between categories, both defines and frustrates M.I.A. – the Sri Lankan refugee with an Oscar nomination, the political agitator with a Versace clothing line, the Chuck D-inspired renegade with a billionaire baby daddy. “I've always been in the middle,” she says. “Not intelligent enough for the intelligentsia, not thuggy enough for the thuggy street thing. Not entrepreneurial enough to be the business rapper, and not wacky enough to be, like, a tripping-on-LSD, runningnaked-through-the-woods artist either. Those are all parameters that I sit right in the middle of.” She feels it most keenly as a woman of colour in the mainstream, where no one else looks or sounds like her. “It’s interesting that in America the problem you’re allowed to talk about is Black Lives Matter,” she told the Evening Standard last year in the interview that lost her the Afropunk slot. “It’s not a new thing to me — it’s what Lauryn Hill was saying in the 1990s, or Public Enemy in the 1980s. Is Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar going to say Muslim

Lives Matter? Or Syrian Lives Matter? That’s a more interesting question.” Tellingly, the artist who came to her defence was Zayn Malik, who wrote in an expletive-filled note: “U guys keep forgetting that black is not something we share as an ethnicity it’s something we share as a GLOBAL STRUGGLE.” Far from regretting her choice of words, M.I.A. seems emboldened by the uproar. It proved to her what she suspected all along: that America, and American artists, simply have no idea how much their popular culture dominates the world. Questioned on why she’s booked Yung Lean, the white Swedish “sad boy” who’s been criticised for lifting his “iced out”, mumble-rap persona from black US rappers like Chief Keef, she reframes those grievances in typically broad strokes. “I chose Yung Lean because he's still a product of society. I don't think that it's fair to be like, 'He's culturally appropriating rap,’ because rap has been super aggressive in its business to sell itself to the world. How dare rap music turn around and go, 'You can't have this thing'? You can't have it both ways. [If] you sell to the world and get rich, don't dictate to people afterwards what they can and can't hear. And he is a product of all of that confusion. It's not like he's jumping up and down doing somersaults, going, ‘Oh my god, my life is great.' He's part of a movement called Sad Boys – it's quite a depressed situation! And I really thought that was an important aspect, the way he reflects it, cause if he's not getting joy out of it then it's important to show rap music that this is how it trickles down.” A few days before our interview, Pepsi had unveiled its preposterous (and quickly withdrawn) TV ad starring reality star Kendall Jenner as a literal


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“A person in a small house with a bit of equipment can make a track and 50 kids in the slums love it. They’ve changed shit. That's what it's about”

“That's a tough question. I think about this all the time,” she ponders. “The thing is, on the one hand I encourage people to have political opinions, so when they do I can't be like, errr – you know? I think it’s fine. But on the other hand, everyone's using artists as puppets and still keeping shit ambiguous.” In what way? “For example, a lot of people are like, okay, I'm not going to talk about the war, I'm not going to talk about refugees, I'm just going to talk about being a woman. It's almost easy to do that without actually taking it in and really evolving as a person.” There’s no space for women to express an alternative to the mainstream narrative, she thinks. American musicians are encouraged to support feminism, “yet we can’t apply the same understanding to a girl in Afghanistan to be vocal about what her experiences are. If they don't suit the main massive common wave of thinking, in the mainstream, she's not allowed a platform.” Pop got political, “yet we're still discussing the same issues within the same goalposts. To me it’s not much of a change,” she continues. So the conversations are still not wide enough? “Still not wide enough, because when we say women, we're not including the Syrian 14-year-old who's like, ’It's not

Assad who's bombing me, I don't know who's bombing me, but this is what's happening to me.’ She has to say, 'Assad is bombing me,' because in the west we want that, we want only that propaganda where she has to be part of that dialogue. So to me, all of these things can only go so far.” Conveniently for her critics, M.I.A. doesn’t speak in the nuanced, coded language of the academic but in the passionate, occasionally jumbled language of the student campaigner. And for every canny observation, there’s the occasional serious blunder. When she warned us in 2010’s The Message that Google was helping the government to spy on our emails, critics scoffed at her conspiracy theorising – until she was proved right after Edward Snowden's NSA revelations. Yet her friendship with whistleblowingenabler Julian Assange has seemed dangerously naive. She confirms she's still in touch with the Wikileaks founder and suggests he may even play a role in Meltdown, despite the fact Assange has spent the past five years hiding from a rape charge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where his visitors have included Nigel Farage. In May, shortly after our interview, the rape investigation was dropped. M.I.A. immediately took to Instagram to defend her friend, suggesting Assange was framed by the powers that be. "He helped you to see hypocrisy," she wrote, "you should thank him." So does she feel like her work as an artist – the music, the videos, the entire self-built aesthetic – has been overshadowed by these controversies? Or, in fact, has she always imagined M.I.A. to be a platform for these very discussions? She pauses. “Yeah,” she says. The latter. She still believes that music can make a difference in the

world, as trite as that seems in an era when activism itself has a commercial veneer. “You know, a person in a small house with a bit of equipment, off the grid, off the internet – you make a track, you play it in your local wherever, 50 kids in your slums love it, you've already changed shit. You've already changed the game and you haven't even been anywhere yet. And that's what it's about.” The genius of M.I.A. resides in an improbable combination of restless creativity and deep suspicion – of authority, of the music industry, of capitalism and government. Her answers soon snowball into a scattered diatribe against hip-hop’s commercialisation, “CEO rappers” selling out to corporations, Apple buying up the music industry while ratting us out to the government. “They're just a massive Rolodex,” she says of her tech giant nemesis, before finally pulling up. “God, I’m saying all the wrong things in this interview. You'd better make it about unicorns and fucking ponies.” It’s barely more incendiary than anything else she’s told an interviewer in the past 10 years, but priorities change. After all, we’re sipping tea in a taxpayer-funded arts institution. Perhaps the renegade has finally joined the establishment; the art student who never grew up has turned mentor to her variegated offspring. Her hands grip the recorder still. “Listen, kids,” she says quietly, addressing her unseen charges. “Just get out there, and get off the internet.” M.I.A.’s Meltdown takes place at the Southbank Centre, London, from 9-18 June

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white saviour, defusing a protest by handing a police officer a can of the world’s second favourite carbonated drink. “#JoinTheConversation”, read the placards at Pepsi’s vaguely antisomething “protest”. As someone who’s been so noisily (her critics would say objectionably) political for so long, how does she feel about the sudden vogue for wokeness? Has hashtag activism been absorbed and commercialised like any other countercultural movement?


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Words: Tom Watson Photography: Mike Chalmers

It’s an opportune condition to find Dawson in. Much like the neurological wooziness that follows the inhalation of solvent paints, his music offers giddied side effects. Both the brazenness of his guitar playing and his cryptic lyrical prose seem synonymous with the ramblings of an unhinged genius. Famed for his immersive onstage theatrics, conflicting emotions of joy, dread, elation, rage and remorse can be simulated in a single jerk of Dawson's head and aching crow through the mic. Over the past few years, the Newcastle musician has become regarded as a virtuoso of avant-garde folk music. However, Dawson doesn’t simply play folk. He reimagines it as a broad unchartered landscape to roam around with total creative abandon. And that’s what makes his new album Peasant so explicitly exhilarating. Similar to Dawson’s previous releases, Peasant contains a convoluted narrative arc. Each track, with titles such as Weaver, Soldier and Prostitute, represents the daily workings of separate characters existing within a

pre-medieval microcosm of society; Dawson’s fictional Dark Ages community. It’s a moderate departure from his 2014 ‘breakthrough’ album, Nothing Important, which flitted between semi-autobiographical accounts from Dawson’s family life. But the notions of time, human interaction, memory and community still continue to dominate his thought processes. “I agree,” Dawson says when I highlight this correlation. “But this idea of ‘family’ doesn't necessarily need to be defined by blood any more than a community is defined by geography.” He continues. “Families can be much wider ranging than that. Thinking about a community is more to do with exploring and offering solidarity for everything that everyone’s facing. Even in boom times it’s hard enough just being alive. It’s sensory overload. Emotional weather. Paying the bills. When times aren't so good or maybe things in your community are getting squeezed, how do you keep afloat? How do you make something meaningful when you’re just scrabbling to survive? That’s partially what I try to address.” Dawson’s work can be intentionally aloof, but the synergy between the imaginary society in Peasant and the politically unbalanced reality of our own present world seems all too profound to ignore. “Perhaps,” he reflects, “and people have such widely varying ideas about what communities represent. Some ideas about community I find

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Richard Dawson is feeling strange. Having moved into a refurbished house only 24 hours ago, the pungency of fresh paint is making his unfamiliar surroundings pop with colour. “I couldn’t sleep here last night because the fumes were so strong. Everything had a strong outline. Very vivid. I was rambling, which could well continue now…”


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“I’m visually impaired, so I don't see hard edges. And when you see the world with soft edges, emotional matters get smudged”

frightening. Some would have you believe that refugees and immigrants undermine our community, whereas I think the exact opposite. It’s amazing how much perspectives can differ. We’re not talking monsters here. Almost everyone is good and hardworking. But people can get to believe all sorts of horrendous things. Sorry, I sort of deviated a little bit there. I think the paint fumes are taking their toll.” One of the most distinguished aspects of Dawson’s music is his approach to the acoustic guitar. The musician has a degenerative condition called juvenile retinoschisis, which has left him visually impaired. On a practical level, Dawson is unable to see the dots on the neck of his guitar so remedies this by using tape to guide his hands. However subconsciously, his trademark experimentalism seems to be influenced by his waning eyesight. “Because I'm visually impaired, I don't really see hard edges on things. When you see the world with soft edges, you start to see emotional matters and moral matters with soft edges as well. Everything gets a bit smudged.”

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And this smudging seems to help? “Well, we tend to think of things in binary, black and white. But life’s not like that. It can be two or more things at once. As you know, you can love somebody and hate them at the same time. I find that contradiction is my byword. That’s the flashing word that lights up in my mind. Contradiction is at the heart of everything. If you were

to be clear and crisp about things then you're already off on the wrong track. You need to head on boldly, but with doubt or a knowing that every path has a flip side.” Despite its heavy conceptual framework and strikingly eccentric character, Dawson says Peasant is his most accessible work so far. Trawling over the credits, you'll notice contributions from a familial triad of talent; Rhodri, Angharad and John Davies of the Aberystwyth Jazz Band, who have fleshed out Dawson’s sound. And for the forthcoming tour, this time Dawson will be playing with a full band. While he remains staunchly committed to the underground and something of a lynchpin in Newcastle’s experimental music scene, with the new album Richard Dawson seems to have a slightly larger audience in mind. “Obviously, I would hope for the best for any of my records,” he explains. “But I never thought too much about how many people were going to hear it. I was just concerned with making it right. But Peasant is the first time I’ve really been concerned that people hear it, because that’s part of its spell. And the spell can’t take affect until it gets to enough ears.” Peasant is released 2 June via Weird World Richard Dawson appears at Supersonic Festival, Birmingham, 16-18 June


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Kacy Hill: Kacy Hill: Kacy Hill: Kacy Hill: Kacy Hill: Kacy Hill: Kacy Hill: Kacy Hill: Kacy Hill: Kacy Hill: MUSIC


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Top: Shrimps Trousers: Vance Studio

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Words: Nathan Ma Photography: Grace Pickering Photographer's Assistant: Ony Nwanokwu Stylist: Trudy Nelson Make Up: Karina Moore using Anastasia of Beverly Hills


Jacket: Brashy Studios Leotard: Vintage, courtesy Alone Together Shorts: Model's Own Earrings: Dady Bones

“So far in my life, womanhood has been defined by independence and self-discovery”

Kacy Hill is hard to pin down. When we speak on the phone, the 23-year-old singer is driving through Los Angeles with a day’s worth of post-production bits and bobs on her table. She’s busy, to say the least, and has been ever since she skyrocketed to virality in 2014 on the back of her woozy self-released single Experience. Lithely dancing in a clear falsetto above precocious wobbles and clicks, her star power was budding but obvious. Nearly three years later, Kacy’s ready to bloom. “There’s quite a few of them out there,” Kacy says nonchalantly when I wonder if the perfect pop song exists. “I think it’s a song you can listen to from start to finish and lose yourself in. There’s no part that has the possibility of being any better; everything fits perfectly into the next piece like a puzzle.” 

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Kacy Hill’s debut album is cut from the same cloth. Hard to Love – one of the two leading singles from the album Like a Woman – starts as an airy whisper above a pulsing halo of synths before seamlessly growing into a full-throttle stomper. What starts as fragility pivots and becomes a roaring battle cry. She dives into the chorus headfirst, calling out: ‘Tell me nothing has changed, that words still hold all the same, and you, you make it hard to love.’

“I think that was almost too personal to listen to,” Hill says. She pauses before continuing, “Part of it is that I spent so much time working it and reworking it – that was probably the most difficult song to finish from a production standpoint. But writing it was also really intense because of what it’s about. Writing is like going to therapy,” she says without a break. “You slow down and figure things out, and I think there’s a catharsis in that.” And there’s been plenty to discover along the way. It’s been more than three years since we first heard of Hill off the back of Kanye signing her to his GOOD Music label after being passed one of her tapes on The Yeezus Tour. A chance encounter? Maybe not so much: Hill had been working with artist and Kanye collaborator Vanessa Beecroft as a non-dancing performer for the first leg of the tour. Beecroft, in turn, had found Kacy modelling for American Apparel on her gap year in Los Angeles, and while modelling itself was more of an opportunity that fell into her hands, Hill’s work as a songwriter follows a similar ad-hoc path. “I left the tour because I was working as a model and knew that I wouldn't be satisfied just modelling,” she explains. “It was a surreal experience seeing the tour from the other side and then being

invited into a group of such talented, passionate creators.” “What is it that drives the subject to make me feel like a woman?” she asks as we move to discussing her song Like a Woman. The song explores Hill’s femininity and sexuality, coupled with a video where she drifts off into various intimate fantasies. But who, or what, makes Kacy feel like a woman? “I love the question because, for me, there is no one subject. I like making myself the subject and asking myself what it is that motivates me to embrace my femininity.”  It’s a track that caused a stir with its release: produced by DJ Mustard, the downtempo track is notably bare of the requisite “Mustard on the beat” tag. It makes sense, too – the song combs through Hill’s own experiences as a woman on her own terms and at her own pace. Indeed, Hill’s album is laced with self-probing and examination. “My experience with femininity is an infinite learning process”, she continues. “It is a loaded word that carries an immense amount of power and resilience with vulnerability. So far in my life, womanhood has been defined by independence and self-discovery. I try and define myself separately from relationships I form both in my personal life and my career”. 

Perhaps it’s this self-determination that makes Hill’s success so inevitable. There’s no room for uncertainty: she’s certain, assured, and she stands her ground. As confessionals, her work is refreshingly honest and candid, neither tempered nor tampered with. It works, and she knows it. ‘Don’t tell me it’s wrong if I need you when I used to live just to breathe you,’ she states firmly in Cruel. ‘You’re losing touch of my view. Don’t tell me I’m wrong.’ Like a Woman is out 30 June via G.O.O.D Music/Def Jam


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Earings: Dady Bones Top: Phlemuns Trousers: Brashy Studios Shoes: Vintage, courtesy Alone Together


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Binh:

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Words: Emma Robertson Photography: Stephanie Third


The door swings open to reveal, not Binh himself, but a small child holding a giant foam sword. He moves to stand on guard, legs akimbo, before lunging towards me. Quickly, I pull out my own imaginary sword and we duke it out before the boy’s dad calls him away from across the room. Binh makes his way over to me through a small but boisterous crowd of adults and kids alike. He’s laughing, throwing his arms up in acknowledgement of the commotion, trying to say quick goodbyes while also welcoming me into his home. The boy with the sword turns out to be Jupiter, the son (and label namesake) of Nicolas Lutz, Binh’s longtime friend and cohort. Binh’s own little one, Noah, is nearby in his wife’s arms, saying goodbye to the toddler-aged daughter of another friend. There’s an uproar from the group as Noah kisses the girl’s cheek; his “first kiss.” It’s a few days past Noah’s six-month birthday, and both Binh and his wife Arianna are glowing. Binh has lived in Berlin for about a decade, and in that time he’s cultivated an impressive aura. His early “Noon” parties at local hub Club der Visionaere with Margaret Dygas put him on the map in the city’s minimal scene, while his thoughtful productions and compelling DJ sets have kept him there. A frequent collaborator with industry favourites like Lutz, Onur Özer, Vera, Evan Baggs, and the esteemed Perlon crew, Binh is beloved in Berlin — and for good reason. Before his move to Berlin, Binh grew up a club kid in Düsseldorf, which “had about five record shops when I was living there,” he explains. “There was one shop for progressive, one for tech house, one more underground one where they would import a lot of US records. I started going there in my last years in Düsseldorf. But now, there’s hardly anything left there for record shops. Nowadays, forget Düsseldorf! I don’t know how you survive there. You can’t compare it to Berlin. I mean, nowhere! Nowhere is like Berlin.” In the early 2000s, Binh was travelling to Berlin for special events like Club der Visionaere’s infamous May Day party. Through his own residency at a club in Essen called Hotel Shanghai, he made connections to Berlin’s already established DJs: artists like Magda, Margaret Dygas, Cassy, and

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Tobi Neumann were frequent guests. Eventually, Neumann invited Binh to intern at his studio in Berlin and, wanting to give up his job as a chef, Binh happily accepted. “I knew more people in Berlin I really connected with than in Düsseldorf. My friends there weren’t into the music, there were only a few other people

buying records. I wanted more.” His first gig at CDV was in April 2008 alongside Neumann and his friends; a 10-hour-long stint that would set the bar for the marathon DJ sets that both the club and Binh himself are now famous for. As we talk about those early gigs, Arianna walks into the kitchen, holding Noah on one hip while bringing out bowls of snacks for us. The couple’s first flat together was on Heckmannufer, a literal stone’s throw away from CDV. “Some weeks we were going to CDV every day,” Binh laughs. “I think in every city, there’s actually one place that you can find yourself. CDV was that for us. The vibe is so good, especially on a Sunday, you can start pretty chill but eventually it grows… It used to stay open the entire weekend without closing.” “In the beginning when I moved here, I thought I had to go to every party, especially when friends were playing,” Binh remembers. “I just don’t do it anymore!” With Noah’s birth came the reality of being a parent, and his nights out became less frequent. “It’s not about ‘giving up’ anything, I don’t feel like I’m giving up the party. It was a natural thing. When I started out, going out was important because it helped me figure out the dancefloor, when to or not to play a track, or if someone played a track that I’d forgotten about — that was great, a good reminder! But these days, I go out much less and I don’t ever feel like I’m missing anything.” Touring, Binh explains, is the toughest part of being a new parent. Leaving for the weekend for a gig, powering through a nightlife schedule and then returning on a Sunday to regular life takes it toll. “But it’s fine,” he insists. “For [Noah], I’ll do it. It’s worth it to come home after a long weekend and when he sees me, he’s smiling and I can really see that he’s so happy I’m back. Even if I’m tired, I don’t feel it. “The hardest part for me is really just leaving my wife at home with Noah,” he continues, “I feel some sense of guilt. Our parents don’t live here, so it’s a lot of work for her. I know how hard it is for her to take care of him alone all

“I think in every city, there’s one place that you can find yourself. Club der Visionaere in Berlin was place that for me” weekend, so I try to always

give her a few hours every day when I’m back, a bit of time for herself.” Of course, the couple has made some adjustments. Binh continues to go record shopping, naturally, but now he rolls up with Noah in a stroller: “He naps while I shop!” He also recently gave up his studio at Schlesisches Tor in favour of a new spot just down the street from their apartment in Friedrichshain — but he hasn’t had a minute in the studio since before Noah was born. His last studio effort was Noah’s Day, a double LP released on Perlon on 10 October 2016 — Noah’s birthday. It wasn’t planned that way; in fact the record was supposed to drop the week before, but due to a delay in production, it got pushed back and ended up hitting stores the very day Noah was born. “I’m not so good at naming my records, but I was so excited about him coming, I thought to name it after him,” Binh explains. When I ask if Noah’s heard

Noah’s Day, Binh’s face lights up. “Of course. We used to play it for him when he was still in the belly! I still take him into the studio with me to listen to the new records I’ve bought, we play him ambient mixes from friends, things

like that. He sleeps very well with music.” I learn that Binh himself didn’t grow up in a musical family, his love of music was something he found and held dear on his own. “It just came from buying music, records, meeting friends, and then getting addicted to gear. Addiction and passion,” Binh says, taking Noah into his lap, “I don’t know if Noah will be interested in music like me. For sure, he’ll inherit my records… We’ll see. For now, I’m not worried. I’m happy.” Binh appears at Houghton festival, UK, 11 – 13 August

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The scene at Binh’s apartment in Friedrichshain is not quite what I expected from one of Berlin’s most respected DJs, known for his marathon minimal techno sets.


Produced exclusively for Crack Magazine by Kristin Texeira - kristintexeira.com


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Aldous Harding: Aldous Hardin Aldous Hardi Aldous Hard Aldous Har Aldous Ha Aldous H Aldous Aldou Aldo Ald Al A

Words: Gunseli Yalcinkaya Photography: Ellis Scott

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“I want to write as many songs as I can before I die”

As she scans her mind to offer me a glimpse of her hometown, she recalls “houses nestled into the side of the hills. Dogs and beautiful children everywhere. Industrial pops from the port through the night.” It’s clear that she holds Lyttelton dearly in her heart. “I started out there singing with my friends, then it was writing poetry, then adding guitar, then slowly working up the courage to finish songs and perform them,” Harding explains. “My friend suggested that I put them on record, which I didn’t think was such a good idea, but now it’s all I think about.” This all-consuming mindset has its benefits, resulting in a haunting collection of distinctly gothic folk songs. Explored initially on the singersongwriter's 2014 eponymous debut, Harding’s second album Party digs deeper into her emotional core, her voice conveying an acute sense of intimacy over a minimal arrangement of gentle piano chords.

Produced by long-term PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish and recorded in Bristol, the album includes vocals by Perfume Genius's Mike Hadreas, whose openhearted style supports Harding’s exposed approach to songwriting. On the track Horizon, arguably Harding's most theatrical performance, her vocals move from forceful and sharp to a raspy, ethereal croon. The song’s video shows Harding singing directly at the camera in the middle of an open field. Watching her body contort, dressed in paganstyle robes, is a chilling and strangely vulnerable experience – one that spans throughout the entirety of the record. Released via 4AD, Party sees Harding maintain her stripped-down style while embracing a more experimental role. “It’s quite freeing knowing that I can make whatever I want,” she tells me. Her musical arrangements feel stripped to their bare essentials, usually centring on a few, repeated chord progressions. Yet, amongst the tolling piano, there are a number of unexpected delights – a choir, a drum machine, a saxophone – that all contribute to her chameleonic sound. “The album’s strong because I felt so strong when we were making it,” she explains. “I’m not afraid to try different things now.” Harding’s fearless approach is apparent in the honesty of Party's lyrics. 'He took me to a clearing/ The grass was warm and the air was soft/ Had me sit like a baby/ I looked just twelve,’ she sings on the title track, painting a simple, delicate picture of her mind. “A lot of the

songs were written about one person in particular. It’s a softer record.” She pauses. “I’m sorry – can you please give me a minute?” I get the impression that, for this press run, Harding intends to play her cards close to her chest. Our conversation is not awkward per say, but her responses are sparse, and slowly considered. “I struggle with it some days more than others. Some days promo is all up in my head, and other days, I can’t remember a thing,” she admits. “I would be lying if I didn’t say I wanted people to like the album but at the end of the day it’s none of my business what they take from it. I’ve done my job. Now it’s everyone else’s thing.” Occasionally, Harding’s voice softens, and she tells me about her plans for the future. “I want to write as many songs as I can before I die,” she says, explaining that music is a form of therapy for her. “I can’t tell you how much it’s helped. I just feel like I can’t go wrong.” It makes sense, as poetry seems like a natural extension of Harding’s personality. It creeps up in the way she phrases herself, her wording and tone. It raises its head one last time as we close the interview and Harding offers a view on love, finally granting a small glimpse into her vision. “Love is whatever you can stand,” she says cryptically. “If you can stand it and want to stand it, you can do anything.” Party is out now via 4AD

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Aldous Harding grew up in the port city of Lyttelton, New Zealand. Amidst the promo run for her new album Party, she’s perhaps feeling a little homesick. “A lot of my friends live there and it’s where I began playing shows,” she tells me, as she prepares for her performance on the illustrious UK music programme Later… With Jools Holland. “I’m away all the time now and it’s feeling further and further away from me. It’s incredible what time and distance will move.”


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Philipp Gorbachev

Words: Rachel Grace Almeida Photography: Ronald Dick Fashion Editor: Fabiana Vardaro @ Basics Stylist: Veronika Dorosheva

“I think this place belonged to a politician back in the day,” says Philipp Gorbachev, as we saunter through the gardens of an old manor on the outskirts of Grunewald, West Berlin. We finally reach a white bench in front of a pond, which is where him and his friends hang out and make a lot of noise – mostly without consequence. The atmosphere is peaceful – there aren’t many people around; the colours are muted; the air fresh. Philipp only lives only a few minutes away by foot, and he likes how tranquil his neighbourhood is compared to Central Berlin, or his hometown of Moscow. It was for similar reasons that he felt like being in nature for this photoshoot, leading Crack Magazine’s team well outside the city’s limits to the “deep forest” of Gorinsee. Berlin living isn’t new to him, though. As a child, he lived here for a few years with his parents before the wall came down in the late 80s. That afforded him his fluency in both English and German, but the real privilege came from being able to experience a culture so starkly different to his.

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“Living elsewhere helped me go back to Russia as a more open and tolerant person,” he tells me. “You know, some people in Russia have never seen a person who isn’t white. Some people don’t know how diverse this world can be, especially in music.” And with that, Philipp turned to dance music. His approach to electronic experimentation sees thumping house and techno, funk, dub and post-punk all interweaved to create a sound that can be as dancefloor-ready as it can be insular. This month he releases I Don’t Give A Snare, an album with his band The Naked Man. “This is not synced to any sort of techno clock,” he said of the project in a press release, “so what you

hear is our naked soul and bones in movement.” His music, however, isn’t without conflict – his very existence as a Russian artist is political. Moscow’s leading music collective, Arma17, who put the city on the map for electronic music, has faced endless difficulties with Russian officials. Arma17 put on Philipp’s first-ever show as a DJ and continued to help him evolve as an artist, something he tells me he’s forever in debt to them for. “The internet connected everything that wasn’t connected before, so the Russian audience became more of a community within a community,” he wistfully says. “When you come from somewhere where there are social and political problems, people want more.” Given the socio-political unrest in Russia, Philipp’s value of the idea of community increased tenfold. He had what he describes as a spiritual epiphany of sorts; a divine shift, calling from up above. “For me, after God showed me the way, I found my path. I think it’s a choice that lies in our lives everyday – what person to be, what things to say, how to be with each other. It makes me sad that a lot of people I know buy into the cult of power,” he states. Although he’s a believer of God, he doesn’t consider himself confined to the traditional meaning of being religious; that description isn’t strong enough for him. His spiritually comes from believing in love as a multi-faceted concept – whether it’s expressed between humans, sounds or structures. Philipp’s standpoint is clear: “I was always more attracted to the concept of endless love.” And how endless love manifests always draws back to the same idea of kinship that Philipp finds in music. “To me,

there aren’t a lot of differences between being in a church or being in a club because it all has the same message: it’s about harmony,” he tells me, with a serious tone. “As a dance music artist, I feel like music has to communicate one thing: that everyone is welcome. We have a party; we dance; we all make different music; and we’re not bound by any ideas of how we should be separated. We’re driven by the idea that it will unite.” As we leave the manor gardens, the sky is pitch black, and it’s even more silent than it was before. It’s not eerie silence; it’s more of a respectful stillness. We arrive at the long tunnel under Grunewald station, and Philipp tells me that this tunnel was one of the major sites of deportation of Berlin Jews to Auschwitz in the Second World War. We speak about how everyday he walks on the spine of history’s most abominable genocide, and it serves as a reminder of why kinship is so important. Before I walk up the stairs to my platform, he says one last thing on the subject: “Everything that is against togetherness is evil. What makes a devil? It’s disintegration. It makes people think that other people hate them, or vice versa. This is what we fight with music.” Philipp Gorbachev & The Naked Man’s I Don’t Give A Snare is out now via ARMA


Shirt: Wood Wood Necklace: Model's Own


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Headpiece: Juliane Kรถnig Sunglasses: Pawaka Sweatpants: Kappa Boots: Dr. Martens

Sunglasses: Pawaka Tracksuit: Juliane Kรถnig Boots: Dr. Martens


Necklace: Model's Own Sunglasses: Pawaka Robe: Yulia Yefimtchuk Sweatpants: Kappa Boots: Dr. Martens


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Sunglasses: Pawaka Tracksuit: Juliane Kรถnig Boots: Dr. Martens

Sunglasses: Pawaka Sleeveless sweatshirt: 8IGB community clothing Shorts: Carhartt WIP

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Mahtab Hussain’s tender portraits peel back the layers of British Asian masculinity


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“The exhibition makes a comment on male beauty and who gets represented. I’m trying to do it in the most poetic way possible”

Words: Alice Nicolov Photography: © Mahtab Hussain

Stepping into East London's Autograph Gallery for Mahtab Hussain’s You Get Me? exhibition, you find yourself staring at the faces of 25 beautiful men and boys. An almost tangible quality of masculinity, boldness and bravado pulsates from the portraits adorning the walls. Each subject is captured in a particular moment of everyday life – a boy celebrates the last day of school, another is showing off the patterns cut into his hair and one young man is smoking a joint. But what is it about these images that we can’t tear our eyes away from? It takes a few minutes to grasp that these images are both familiar and unfamiliar. These arresting portraits are of young British Asian men and boys who identify as Muslim. Embedded in the social fabric of urban life, we see them every day, treading the same pavements. But these men and boys rarely see themselves reflected in the pages of magazines, on billboards or on TV. This segment of our society is rarely presented to us like this – honestly, respectfully and without sensationalism. Mahtab Hussain’s work is the product of 10 years spent diligently lensing the British Asian community of which he is a product. Growing up British Pakistani in Birmingham, Hussain struggled with his own identity, never feeling as though he fitted with one cultural group. “The white kids would call me ‘Paki' and ask me when I was going home,” he tells me. “The Asian guys were like, ‘Where've you come from? You look like us but you’re English.’ I was being called ‘coconut’ or ‘bounty’.

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Hussain then moved to London, where he studied History of Art at Goldsmiths and was introduced to the ideas of black academics Frantz Fanon and Stuart Hall. “I just thought, ‘Oh my God. Why isn't anyone making work about British Asians?” he remembers. “I went home and wrote on a piece of paper that I wanted to be the artist to do this.” Five years working in galleries brought

Hussain to the feeling that he was “invisible” in the art surrounding him. “I decided to do it myself. I was like, ‘Fuck this. I’m just going to give it a go.” And so, Hussain returned to the community he left. Initially photographing British Asians in Birmingham, he went on to lens the shared experience of young men across the country. For Hussain, it was a rediscovery of his own community and a way to understand who these men – British Asian, working class and Muslim – really were. “I would say to them, ‘Aren’t you sick and tired of being labelled a terrorist and told this country isn't yours? The media is painting us as this barbaric and violent community. I need your help to change this narrative’.” It’s an approach we desperately need and, as Hussain says, respect and understanding is essential in the context of widespread prejudice. “The conversation is right for now – with Trump and Brexit, the politics of hate and divide and where our society is going, we are ready for this conversation.” Those questions of assimilation and identity are embodied in the exhibition with the half statement, half question, “You get me?” – which is repeated over and over again by those sitting for portraits. “'You get me?' It's forceful, but at the same time, it's showing fragility and vulnerability,” Hussain explains. “They'd make a strong statement and then say, ‘You get me?’ They were asking, ‘Do you understand what I'm saying?” As the artist says, the three-word phrase is also street slang. It’s strongly associated with black culture, raising interesting questions about how these young men choose to form the multiple layers of their identities. Throughout the work, we see them in flaunt a style that’s rooted in hip-hop culture. “Some people don’t want to be considered too westernised,” Hussain says. “So why wouldn’t they assimilate towards the

black community who are powerful, who have a voice and are sexy?” There’s an image, for example, of an Afghan boy wearing an adidas tracksuit and gripping a gold chain in his teeth. He’s cocky, almost aggressive, embracing a certain western ideal of masculinity – something Hussain wanted to unpick. “I asked him where his style was from and he said ‘It's Muslim style.’ I was like, ‘Are you serious? This is American hip-hop culture.’ He was like, ‘No it’s not. This is Muslim style; it's my style.’ It shows how much we've embraced certain styles as our own.” You Get Me? takes important steps in representing these boys and men in mainstream society, while peeling back complex issues of race, culture, and religion. “There's a comment on male beauty and who gets seen as beautiful and who gets represented. I’m trying to do it in the most poetic and beautiful way possible,” the artist explains. “We’re talking about representation, not diversity. Representation is not an added extra; it’s not a frill. It’s absolutely fundamental to what people expect from culture.” Among the rows of faces in You Get Me?, one picture is different from all the others: the sleeping boy. Caught in slumber, his torso bare, he’s the epitome of peacefulness and vulnerability. We don’t know anything about him. He’s a blank canvas, ready to take on an identity when he wakes – will he don the adidas tracksuit? The school uniform? The dandy’s three-piece? “It’s a really calm, intimate portrait,” explains Hussain. “You realise all this male bravado is just a performance. They are just young boys or men trying to figure out who they are.” You Get Me? runs at Autograph ABP, London, until 1 July


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Live R4R x SIREN REVIEW :// about blank, Berlin 13 May

IAM Weekend 17 Mercat de les Flors, Barcelona 27-30 April For the opening address of Internet Age Media’s IAM Weekend 2017, the co-founder Andres Colmenares read out loud the op-ed he wrote for Crack Magazine in March. “Let’s get political as we all get digital,” he reiterated. “It is time for us to imagine, cultivate and invent what happens next.” As a conceptual backdrop to the talks, discussions and workshops that took place across the weekend, this credo of networked optimism served as a useful focal point throughout. Elise By Olsen, the 17-year-old editor-in-chief of Recens Paper spoke at the opening ceremony – an example of the open-minded consciousness that powered the discourse of the weekend. The conversations frequently linked back to the political. Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, the founder and editor of MuslimGirl, spoke about the steps her website has taken to combat negative perceptions of Muslim women. Earlier this year, Al-Khatahtbeh organised a content partnership with Getty Images to combat misrepresentation by producing a new photo-set of stock images which showed Muslim women in a more diverse range of scenarios. Eliza Anyangwe, the founder of The Nzinga Effect was another standout of the festival’s political strand – emphasising the importance of diversity being understood as “everyone as other”. Author and activist Jasmina Tešanovi, and her husband the iconic science fiction writer Bruce Sterling closed the programme. “Thank god the system is broken – it gives you, the young generation, an opportunity to act,” said Tešanovi. For observers like myself, IAM Weekend 17 served as an introduction to new ideas and previously-unasked questions (I’m still mulling over Space10 considering the ethics of AI being imbued with religious beliefs). At the end of the conference, Lucy and Andres – who founded IAM – announced the theme for next year. ‘Subversion of Paradoxes’, typed onto the projected screen in realtime from a laptop backstage. It might take us 12 months to process what we learned this year before we can begin to consider that title. It’s exciting to think what might happen in that time.

Over the last few years, Denmark’s musical output has seen it rise to the international top table. Naturally, much of the conversation has centred around Copenhagen. But Aarhus, Denmark’s small second city, also plays its own part in the country's moment with a burgeoning underground music scene. Held across multiple venues, from the dark, defiantly DIYfeeling Tape to the sprawling Scandinavian Conference centre, Spot is a kind of Scandi SXSW where new acts are presented, showroom-fresh, to an international crowd. As such, many of the bands on the bill are up-and-coming, fresh-faced and eager to please. Copenhagen duo First Hate were the insider’s tip; loosely associated with the same scene as Posh Isolation, they bolted imperial-era English synth pop and a very Nordic strain of Under Armor homoeroticism to create something ridiculously fun. Still, for those more concerned with Scandinavia’s underground, vanguard movements, the electronic music showcase at DIY venue Tape offered an essential pin-drop. Curated by Courtesy – herself a long-term resident of Copenhagen, though she currently lives in Berlin – the nine act line-up covered noise, house and techno and abstractions of all the above. Indeed, it was Equis who represented the most exploratory impulses. Standing behind her sampler and laptop, she triggered a palette of Holly Herndon-esque, posthuman ululations. Posh Isolation outliers Rosen & Spyddet dealt in atmospheric instrumental synth pop, and the sustained pads and pleasing chord progressions bore the hallmark of their label as clearly as the desert shoes and shaved heads that crowded onto the floor during their set. Representing Courtesy’s Ectotherm label was Runne Bagge, who saw the evening out with a live set of classicist, high BPM techno that withstood the jarring and lengthy power dropout a few minutes before close. While Bagge was visibly frustrated, the crowd stayed put – unwilling to miss out on even a few minutes of his compelling set. Perhaps it’s this accidental moment that speaks the loudest as to the flourishing state of underground music coming out of Denmark in 2017: it’s really, really hard to look away, just in case you miss something good. ! Louise Brailey N TOKE HAGE/Soundvenue

! Graeme Bateman ! Duncan Harrison N Denisse García

ARCA Roundhouse 28 April There was a unique energy in the Roundhouse ahead of Arca’s appearance. The room felt laden with potential. Arca has spoken about how his stage name “means ‘box’ or ‘wooden’ in very old Spanish… an empty space that can become pregnant with whatever music or meaning I give to it”, and in the moments leading up to his explosive entry – the circular space divided sharply by a catwalk that cut across the middle – the Roundhouse chimed with this promise. Arca walked on to the sounds of his new selftitled album track Whip, carrying an actual whip, and cracking it on cue to the music. As white lights exploded everywhere the only element of the room remaining ominously silent was the blank screen that would go on to display Jesse Kanda’s signature visuals, which sat somewhere between the beautiful and the grotesque. As we’ve come to expect, Kanda’s input is as crucial as Arca’s. Be it the slow, ugly sensuality of snakes writhing in a pool or the alien figure accompanying Sad Bitch, dancing slowly with its back to the audience, his focus was on physicality, culminating in a graphic depiction of anal fisting, a vivid realisation of his BDSM inspirations and fearless expressions of queerness. Arca made a series of seamless costume changes and spent the majority of the performance with most of his body exposed, surrounded on all sides by his audience. He looked at home like that, at once the most powerful and the most vulnerable person in the room. Surprisingly, the best moments came when he tapped into the lower register of his voice, letting out an unexpectedly guttural and operatic tone. It felt more than ever that he was performing as Alejandro Ghersi, not Arca or his alter-ego Xen, but then identity is a pandora’s box. The exact name or title of the persona he took on for the night is beside the point: what mattered was that as the audience filtered out and the space emptied, it felt like a totally different place again, exactly as he’d intended. ! Ruby Van Der Porten N Chloe Newman

REVIEWS

SPOT FESTIVAL Åarhus, Denmark 4–7 May

As collectives whose dance music-based politics focus on shared values and ideals on club safety, inclusion and visibility for marginalised people, and the promotion of female and female-identifying artists, this 16hr collaboration between Berlin’s Room 4 Resistance and the Londonbased SIREN collective proved to be a welcome inevitability. “BLACK & BROWN SOLIDARITY AGAINST WHITE SUPREMACY & ANTIBLACKNESS” read the poster behind the DJ booth in :// about blank’s MDF floor. While the concept of ‘safe spaces’ has been almost universally welcomed, in some instances its meaning has become diluted and its core values strippedout for a more superficial, marketable promotional tactic. Room 4 Resistance and SIREN, however, mean it. Clearlyworded signage is prominently placed throughout the venue, informing clubbers of the intentions and policies put in place by both collectives, what will and will not be tolerated, and how to act should assistance be required. The dancefloor, while being easily the most diverse collection of people I’ve seen in Berlin to date, was also treated to some wonderfully kitsch decor that highlights how this party stands out from the austere Berlin aesthetic. Colourful slinkys, balloons, unicorns and glowsticks adorned the booths in both rooms, while ://about blank’s garden space was awash with deeply-toned lighting and piped in birdsong. It created an atmosphere that, combined with the superb music across both rooms, managed to feel at once fresh and familiar. We arrive to the sounds of R4R affiliate Yuko Asanuma in the Lobby, pushing out bubbling, disco-flecked house jams to a crowd seemingly loosening up by the minute. It’s not even gone midnight and cheers and whistles bounce around the dancefloor. yhayha follows with a set that veers to the left, taking in everything from techy rollers, percolating vogue cuts and trappy, twerky RnB. Over in the MDF room, Octo Octa’s live-set comes off like a pumped-up DJ Sprinkles, with the spinback-laden deep-house heater Fleeting Moments Of Freedom (Wooo) marking a high-point for the night, and a succinct distillation of the event’s ethos that fun can be taken seriously, and be seriously fun as a result.


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Steffi Doms, like many artists affiliated with Berghain’s inhouse label Ostgut Ton, has made a minor art of remaining low-key. It’s a natural response to the shrill, third-party buzz that has attached itself to the most famous – and misunderstood – club in the world, but you sense it comes more naturally to her than others. In interviews she extolls such unsexy DJ virtues as work ethic and seriousness, while her labels remain vinyl-only affairs with little capitulation to promo. The Power of Anonymity was the title of her second album, but it’s her MO too. Steffi’s decision to use her fabric instalment to deflect attention onto her friends feels perfectly in character, then. Each one of these tracks was commissioned by Steffi according to brief and, from the opening strains of L.U.C.A.’s police scanner radio and processed guitar, we’re in world building territory: evocative pads drift and circulate like planetary atmospheres across the opening stretch until Dexter, one of Steffi’s oldest collaborators, ushers in the metal-on-metal machine funk of 66. Indeed, while Steffi is best-known for channelling Panorama Bar’s deep and classicist house impulses, her fascination with electro and the IDM of Warp and Rephlex has long informed her style – and clearly her brief here. For some listeners, the pivot between the Drexciyan atmospheres of the sublime first half, and the Detroit-inspired electro funk of the second may prove a throwback too far, but boy, does she sell it. The way she used Dolly affiliate Afik Naim’s ascetic, 808 rhythms to raise the curtain on Dexter and Virginia’s ostentatious Off the Beat betrays a sensitivity to cadence and dynamics that only a decade-long residency at Panorama Bar can confer. fabric 94 is a snapshot of Steffi at her most headstrong and idiosyncratic. A decade-plus at the top-tier and she’s still capable of surprising us – in a low-key way, of course.

No Shape is Mike Hadreas’ fourth – and arguably greatest – album as Perfume Genius. It sees the Seattle songwriter explore themes of spirituality, religion and intangible deities, across a mesmeric, drifting soundscape which expands robustly and takes new forms. Album opener Otherside is a good indication of what to expect. A sparse piano is initially the only accompaniment to Hadreas’ hazy, layered vocals, but soon an explosion of shimmering keys unleash beautiful aural chaos. Other tracks are similarly addictive; the trippy, beautifully restrained Die 4 You is a clear standout, whereas Just Like Love is arguably the album’s lightest and most uplifting moment, combining orchestral violins and Hadreas’ stunning higher range to brilliant effect. Sides, the only collaboration (with LA-based artist Weyes Blood), is another highlight – softly swelling across five minutes of sonic bliss. Lyrically, the album explores the musician’s own complicated relationship with religion, as well as the trials of being queer and falling in love against a societal backdrop still stained by inequality and widespread discrimination. “They’ll never break the shape we take,” he sings on lead single Slip Away, “Baby let all them voices slip away”. There's an assured, urgent message of resistance which bleeds into the album and defines it, and just as Hadreas tells you to shine bright, No Shape glows from within.

! Louise Brailey

! Jake Hall

GORILL A Z Humanz Parlaphone / Warner Bros.

Joe Budden's crusade against hip-hop happiness is, to borrow a phrase from Donald Trump’s stunted parlance, fake news. The grizzled reality show personality’s berating of Lil Yachty on his Complex web show served as yet another rusty rocket fired in this decidedly one-sided war, one waged by ageing rap conservatives against the newest of the new school. His targeting of this effervescent youngster backfired enough that the interview amounted to feckless bullying of an unflappable kid. As the seemingly self-ordained ‘King Of The Teens’, Lil Yachty’s easy-going triumph over this pointless attack embodies just why that otherwise dubious title actually suits the 19-year-old. He’s seemingly immune to both the drama and the mumble rap critique. From the literal diversity of the cover art to the broadness of its pop trap experiments, Yachty’s follow-up to 2016’s Lil Boat and Summer Songs 2 mixtapes takes artistic risks without discarding the AutoTuned antics that made him one to watch. Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of bubblegum-scented moments here that remind why sour folks sought to dismiss him. Tracks like FYI and Harley reach back to the fizzy euphoria of those prior releases. Bring It Back takes Yachty directly into the pop zone, its saccharine sweetness approaching toothache levels once the bombastic 80s drum fill emerges. You could perhaps sympathise a little with those who feel trolled by the balladic sway of All You Had To Say, the tropical lightness of Stefflon Don duet Better, or the soppy seduction of Lady In Yellow – where Yachty offers the proposition: “Little miss lady in the yellow, hello/ Would you like to push petals through the meadow, with me?” To a lesser extent, Lex Luger production All Around Me veers less overtly into commercial territory, with a wizened Bone Thugs-esque verse from a supportive YG – “Don’t worry about these niggas, your shit poppin' every party” – and an effortlessly cool one by Bay Area newcomer Kamaiyah. Yet when Yachty chooses to go hard these days, he does well, reeling off spiteful but absurd insults to his haters with malicious energy. The flawless Migos feature Peek A Boo flips that childish title from the jump, with Yachty’s sniper’s scope locked on target. Similar bass-boosted asceticism prevails on XMen, a boom destined to ring out of car stereos well past curfew all summer long. Teenage Emotions is a bold and distinctive artistic statement, but the excessive 21-song tracklist is overwhelming. And with this arguably being one of 2017’s most anticipated releases, there’s too much filler here for it to quite match to the hype. Still, Lil Yachty knows his young adult audience well enough to recognise that they’ll pick and choose from the gluttonous offering that is Teenage Emotions, streaming whichever tracks appeal to their generational preferences and momentary needs.

Humanz finds Gorillaz suspended in a dystopian world. According to album guest Pusha T, Damon Albarn pictured the album as a party for the end of the world – an imagined world where someone like Donald Trump could become president. As the apocalyptic fiction became reality, this album essentially serves to welcome us to doomsday. Moving away from the sexy lethargy of previous Gorillaz work, the band have returned with some fire in their fictional bellies to deliver an album in a state of emergency. In true Gorillaz fashion, Albarn recruited an all-star army of guest artists, including Vince Staples, De La Soul, Jehnny Beth of Savages, dancehall maverick Popcaan and the godly Grace Jones. And just like this past year, Humanz is a chaotic experience – a rollercoaster of booming highs and some pretty awkward lows. Popcaan collab Saturnz Barz is the highlight – murky bass drizzled with eerie synths, bringing to mind the creepy world of Plastic Beach. Charger – the Grace Jones track – on the other hand, aimlessly swirls with fizzy guitars and uninspired mumblings from Albarn, and even Miss Jones’ presence feels redundant, while the hopelessly melancholic Busted and Blue features a dimly lit Albarn pining in dismay over our digital age. But Humanz retains a glimmer of optimism. Mavis Staples and Pusha T unite for Let Me Out, a sorrowful protest to the troubles ahead and one of the album’s best political statements. The message of We Got The Power, however – which recruits Jehnny Beth and Albarn’s former rival Noel Gallagher – clearly means well but comes off like a ham-fisted festival anthem, an attempt to offer some sort of redemption in the tumbling towers of humanity which sadly falls flat. Humanz’ topsy-turvy doomsday bash definitely has its moments, but recent events have told us we’ve already entered dystopia, and no one’s celebrating.

! Gary Suarez

! Aine Devaney

IKONIK A Distractions Hyperdub

PERFUME GENIUS No Shape Matador

Back when the era-defining label Hyperdub was just getting started, there was a combustive core group of artists that included label boss Kode9 (and the late Space Ape), Burial, Zomby and Ikonika. Among some pretty stiff competition, Ikonika’s debut album Contact, Love, Want, Have stood out: a restless and edgy concoction of digi-dubstep motifs, pitched-up techno rhythms, 8-bit aesthetics and an otherworldly energy that helped to define the emerging Hyperdub sound. Fast-forward a few years, and Ikonika’s second album Aerotropolis had smoothed-out a lot of the rough edges, and along with it some of the electrifying promise of her early material. The synths had become smoother, and the rhythms less garish with an overtly retro electro-boogie style replacing the challenging digital dynamics of her debut. Picking up Distractions for the first time, and without the benefit of this backstory, you might struggle to identify any commonalities with Contact, Love, Want, Hate at all. This is not necessarily a bad thing – artists that relentlessly push forward are the most precious we have. But unfortunately Ikonika’s trajectory seems to have arced towards safer territory, to the extent that Distractions verges on frustratingly anodyne at times. It isn’t all bad – Do I Watch It Like A Cricket Match has a spooky nostalgia, Girlfriend has enough swagger to raise the pulse, and the mid-album pairing of Lear and Lossy echo vintage Ikonika. But Noblest (ft Andre Galaxy) comes across like FKA twigs-lite, while a guest spot by Jessy Lanza adds little to a meandering, downtempo track that goes nowhere fast. Frustratingly Distractions isn’t in the same league as the dystopian amalgamations that defined Ikonika's earlier work. ! Adam Corner

LIL YACHT Y Teenage Emotions Motown / Quality Control


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Chastity Belt’s third album cuts straight to the bone. Open-ended questions and universal anxieties are shared like a cigarette between friends on a park bench; they won’t philosophise on the answers to life’s largest worries, but they’ll take the time to talk about them. Chastity Belt have always been bittersweet and smart. The Seattle band’s 2013 debut, the ridiculously titled No Regerts, had a chirpy, surf-rock façade coupled with slurry one-liners. ”I’m so drunk/ I just want some chips and dip/ chips and dip!” went Nip Slip, for example. 2015’s Time to Go Home captured the highs and lows of partying too hard, without apology and often with unbridled joy, exploring vulnerabilities that their first record skimmed over. For I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone, they worked with producer Matthew Simms (of veteran post-punk band Wire) in Jackpot! studios, Portland – where Sleater Kinney, Sonic Youth and, famously, Elliott Smith once recorded. It’s by far their most serious album to date. This Time of Night and Stuck deal in insomniac fears and quiet, crushing indecisions. On the former, singer and guitarist Julia Shapiro asks, “How do I get out of here? I don’t know”, while the latter shrugs off the fuzz and shifts a gear, finding momentum and as drummer Gretchen Grimm, who wrote and sings on the track, “leaves it up to fate”. Concise, thoughtful and kind, I Used To… sees Chastity Belt offer solidarity rather than solutions. Something Else states, with dead-pan sincerity, “I wanna do something cool/ and I wanna get paid/ and wake up feeling good every day/ Is that too much to ask?/ Maybe I’m an idiot”, while the near-title track I Used To lights sparks in the gloom. It also captures a point that Shapiro’s reiterated in interviews and press releases – and the point that underpins this record. Before Chastity Belt, she was lonely. The best bands can fix that. ! Katie Hawthorne

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UMFANG Symbolic Use Of Light Technicolour

Club Coil marks Murlo’s third outing for Brooklyn-based dancehall specialists Mixpak. It’s a fine follow-up to the two previous instalments – the instrumental Odyssey and vocallead Jasmine – which featured the UK producer’s simple but distinctive blend of Caribbean rhythms, sugary synths and silky RnB vocals. The six track Club Coil EP presents a cross-pollination of styles that’s difficult to carry off under such tight conditions: dembow (on Velvet & Rust) sits comfortably alongside a bouncy bassline workout on Moss and pulsating grime on Tired of You. But, ultimately, to try and define this music to genre categories is difficult, and to view the release as a collection of individual songs is just as pointless, as one track glides into another with glassy synths and weightless soundscapes. Murlo fans won’t find much to fault here, and what’s on offer is arguably strong and accessible enough to pick up new fans too. With Club Coil, the producer still sounds unlike pretty much anything else out there at the moment. It’s a strong look for Mixpak, as it continues to cement its position at the vanguard – alongside the likes of Equiknoxx and Swing Ting – of an exciting movement within the dancehall scene.

Of all the collectives seeking to rectify dance music’s gender imbalance, Discwoman might be the most visible. Co-founder Umfang embodies much of their strengths: deftness as DJs, talent as producers, an academic appreciation of theory. Most notably, her Riffs EP on 1080p last summer cemented a growing identity in her productions. Umfang talks of how she makes music, not through dense conceptualisation, but for cathartic release. Indeed these tracks – recorded in live takes – do exude a kind of grim determination and inner struggle. Like Riffs, Symbolic Use Of Light flows with a muted power. Riffs forwent the use of drums; here hi-hats are few and farbetween. It has a strange effect – leaving isolated kicks without a foil or swing. This is simple, purposeful music. More often than not, Symbolic Use Of Light feels close and suffocating. The title track’s blunted bassline rains like an incessant shower of rubber bullets and muffled kicks crowd in, conjuring a panicked heartbeat. The two tracks where hi-hats do play a central role feel like bangers. Where Is She’s warbling acid swims along beneath a huge dusty kick drum, while on Wingless Victory the sense of groove added beneath a gloomy drip of a melody is seductive. It’s hard not to crave more moments like these, as they’re refreshing when they arise. When the closer Full 2 (a variation on opener Full 1) rolls around though, the satisfaction gleaned from this compact piece of work is significant. By this point Symbolic Use Of Light has wrapped you up like a warm embrace, and its austere techno framework is somehow full of humanity.

I love Waxahatchee. In fact, there is little that Allison or Katie Crutchfield can do wrong in my eyes, whether in PS Eliot, Swearin’ or their respective solo careers. Though the recent Allison Crutchfield solo record was a buffed and poppy effort – an interesting diversion from her early lo-fidelity – Katie’s Waxahatchee project is, as ever, down-at-heel, scuzzy and scrappy American indie rock. Each of the tracks here could just as easily have been featured on the album’s remarkable predecessors Cerulean Salt and Ivy Tripp. Silver is pure closing credits pop rock. Album opener Never Been Wrong fizzes with disdain; the lyrics laying bare the breakdown of a fractured and combative relationship as the guitars thud resolutely behind. The entire record, rooted in this breakdown, is similarly up front, with reflections on everything from the resentment (“You love being right/ You’ve never been wrong”) and sad phone calls (“I called last night/ you felt so far away”) to the unused to freedoms that one is, for better or worse, afforded (“I’ll say whatever I want/ Stay in the bar ‘till the sun comes up”). All the better for the fact that it reflects these unfortunate nuances rather than dishing out the heavy-handed GoodbyeAnd-Good-Riddance that people may expect from a breakup, Out in the Storm is essential listening for anyone experiencing these upheavals, and a brilliant record for anyone else.

! Will Prichard

! Theo Kotz

! Jon Clark

Murlo Club Coil Mixpak

Waxahatchee Out in the Storm Merge

PEVERELIST Tessellations Livity Sound Peverelist is arguably the lynchpin of Bristol’s electronic music scene. As a mentor who has inspired others, over the years he’s almost acted like a centrifuge, fostering a vibrant and creative community of producers. While managing the city’s essential record shop Rooted (which closed in 2010 and was succeeded by Idle Hands) he established the Punch Drunk label, and then in 2011, Livity Sound, a label and growing collaborative project. This is Peverelist’s third album, continuing on his trajectory from a sound that featured on his 2009 debut LP Jarvik Mindstate, that could loosely be called dubstep, into the Livity Sound phase more easily described as techno. Tessellations is full of the depth and power that he's sustained throughout his discography, and continues to merge rhythmic zones with an awesome focus. Deep, low shapes built out of sub bass; sparse digital melodies that flicker and twinkle; a lifelong junglist's instinct for agile rhythmic play – these things stay constant even as change flows. Still Early begins with snare-skipping rhythm techno that could be from 1992, before evolving with more tricks – a ghetto-tech bass bounce and big, clattering drum showers. Some cuts, like Slice of Life, are rhythmically sleek and straightforward. But in Sheer Chance Matters, tumbling on a jumble of low-end beats, and Wireframes' clamouring clusters of drums that surge like teeming bacteria, there's a mad intricacy, without losing the groove – hardly simple to achieve. Pev's ability to cohesively melt his influences down into a perfect idea of modern techno is unquestionable. Though there are sharp, shattering textures here, the receptive, hypnotised brain absorbs it into the body as a whole, becoming meditative, hallucinogenic, spiritual even. I'm juxtaposing the language of science and of mysticism, but that's just what Peverelist does. ! Gwyn Thomas de Croustchoff

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RIDE Weather Diaries Wichita Having reformed in 2014, Weather Diaries is Ride’s first new record for 21 years. The Oxford band seem to have settled back into the saddle with ease. Like the also reunited Slowdive, the influence they’ve had on many younger bands is impressive. A new generation of fans will be able to listen to Weather Diaries opener Lannoy Point and recognise the more contemporary likes of DIIV, Wild Nothing and Beach Fossils ringing out in those chiming guitars and reverbsmeared vocals. Weather Diaries channels Ride’s classic LPs like Nowhere and Going Blank Again and peppers the formula with renewed energy. Loz Colbert’s percussion is as much of a driving force this time out as it’s ever been, keeping Charm Assault and Lateral Alice fizzing along nicely. It’s those moments that really power the album; the seven-minute title track should serve as the record’s centrepoint and its jewel in the crown, but meanders, especially when paired with the similarly glacial Rocket Silver Symphony, which takes too long to finally get going about half way in. Still, this is an assured comeback and should appeal both to those who followed Ride back in the day and the kids who’ve worked backwards from their new favourite bands to study their influences. ! Joe Goggins

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BE ACH FOSSILS Somersault Bayonet Records K AREN GW YER Rembo Don’t Be Afraid On the club circuit, promoters generally seem to champion DJ sets over live producer performances. Whatever their motives are, London-based US producer Karen Gwyer is staunchly committed to performing live, and she’s been vocal about her desire to adjust the politics surrounding the issue. An extension of this outlook, Rembo is a byproduct of Gwyer’s live performances. The record is inspired by Gwyer's work over the course of playing the live circuit, reading her audiences and replicating that emotion in the confines of a studio space. Many of Rembo's productions are notably skeletal; like the static foundations of a scaffold structure waiting to be built around. Multiple percussion groupings unfurl with strategic grace. While comparisons to Drexciya may be blatant, the synergy between Gwyer and James Stinson's sounds are too significant to ignore. The control of dynamics for He's Been Teaching Me To Drive and The Workers Are On Strike, the lingering melancholy in Why Does Your Father Look So Nervous? and the percussive precision of Did You Hear The Owls Last Night? evoke the most emotive elements of the Deep Sea Dweller series. Rembo is a record of overt importance for Gwyer. It's not just a personal album, but one that develops a kinship between her audiences across the globe. The instinctive nature of her music carries with it a weight of affection seldom achieved during a run-of-the-mill DJ set. Instead, Rembo encapsulates the most hedonistic moments of club culture and eradicates the creative divide between both the listener and the producer. 

According to frontman Dustin Payseur, Somersault track This Year deals with the futility of making New Year’s resolutions, given how readily most people tend to lapse back into old habits. Another way of looking at it, though, might just be that there’s beauty in self-acceptance, because Somersault is the sound of a band entirely at ease with themselves. Beach Fossils arrived in 2010 as one of the quintessential Captured Tracks bands (their early incarnation included DIIV frontman Zachary Cole Smith) with a dreamy, faintly retro indie rock sound. Their last LP, 2013’s Clash the Truth, leaned towards spikier post-punk territory. This time round, the Brooklyn band have returned to the hazier soundscapes of their early work, although that doesn’t mean there’s been no room for experimentation. The lo-fi approach of the past is eschewed in favour of something entirely more sumptuous. Rise pairs a horn section with a stirring guest turn from Memphis rapper Cities Aviv, and Saint Ivy ushers in a measured string section. Be Nothing, meanwhile, is the standout, and the one point at which woozy pop is swapped out for something more ambitious – think the sweeping melodies of My Morning Jacket’s The Waterfall paired with noisier guitar lines and you’re halfway there. There’s the occasional misstep – there’s an unconvincing foray into psychedelia with Closer Everywhere, for example – but this is comfortably the best Beach Fossils effort to date, preserving the melodic outlook that they made their name with and embellishing it with a few fresh ideas.

! Tom Watson

! Joe Goggins

06 MARICK A HACKMAN I’m Not Your Man AMF Records

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Very few people know UK afrobeats quite like Afro B – an ambassador for both the sound and the movement. Just in time for summer, Afro B has curated MOVES, a 22-track documentation of the scene. There’s been a great deal of hype about the new wave, but MOVES is the very first of its kind, and comes at a crucial time in the rise of UK afrobeats following the success of artists like MoStack, Maleek Berry and J Hus. The compilation is a pretty decent snapshot of where things are right now. It offers everything from dance tracks loaning elements from Ghana’s Azonto and Alkyeida styles, to the Highlife samples on Hackney fourpiece CXCV’s Half Jamo Half Ghana. While afrobeats is at the core of this project, the material gathered on MOVES is still distinctly British. As well as the localised lyrical content, stylistically there are elements of grime, trap, RnB and bashment running through the 22 tracks. In our recent interview with Belly Squad, who appear here with the hit remix of their single Banana, Yung Max explained that their sound “is a combination of where we’re from, where we grew up and where our parents are from: Africa, the Caribbean and the ends”. And all in all, this project is a celebratory soundtrack of the Black British experience. Another highlight is Money On The Road. One of the best tracks here by far, it sees TG Millian and Blanco switch from their signature UK drill sound and team up with fellow South Londoner Naira Marley, who blesses it with his nonchalant flow and distinct Nigerian twang. Like a lot of the songs MOVES, Money On The Road inspires daydreams of cruising through the ends in a drop top from June to September. You might not own a shiny convertible car, but thanks to MOVES and the music it celebrates, you could zone out with a pair of headphones on the upper deck of a new route master and probably feel just as great.

Having stepped aside from being the Ostgut Ton label head in 2012, Nick Höppner's increased dedication to his own productions culminated with 2015’s Folk, his debut fulllength release. Folk embraced the forward momentum of a pulsating club culture; one that Höppner – a Panorama Bar regular – has worked to forge and sustain. It was progressive, yet rhythmically and melodically accessible, as if to eradicate the perceived elitism and leave the doors to the party ajar for all of techno's tender-footed strangers to step through. Here, Höppner further projects Folk's welcoming narrative. Clean Living w/ Tram 78, a track influenced by a recent re-encounter with an old friend, swills with Larry Heardesque synth pads and jubilant handclaps. Conversely, The Dark Segment decelerates the pace, adopting elements of dub and muddied ambience. Stylistic variation such as this was only alluded to in the past. Now, it takes precedence. Höppner experiments with live instrumentation on There Is A Charm, which features the duo Randweg on clarinet, cajón and acoustic guitar. And while the track leans towards the more emotive and affectionate realm of indie-house, it also fails to work in coherence with what precedes it.  As an ambassador for house and techno's past, present and future, Höppner is integral the culture's direction and its reputation beyond that of Berlin's proverbially gated territory. With Work, he endeavours to develop and push the discourse forward. And while the record sometimes falls short of Höppner's own lofty standards, it certainly demonstrates his firm control of house experimentation. 

"When I was younger I wasn't looking at Joni Mitchell. I was looking at Nirvana thinking, 'I wanna be like that!'” This quote from Marika Hackman’s provides useful insight into the metamorphosis of the British songwriter's sound between her debut LP, 2015’s We Slept at Last, and I'm Not Your Man. Where once there were dark, rarefied folk atmospheres, now there’s a louder sense of life and energy, shaped in the form of an unintended concept album about the different stages of a relationship, from falling in love to the goodbye that follows the harsh realisation that it’s just not meant to be. Hackman isn't alone on this journey: she’s teamed up with London indie rock four piece The Big Moon for a number of tracks here. It seems to have been more than just a professional liaison, with the group’s undeleted live laughter setting a friendly tone of solidarity. And it isn't just a mood: the lyrics, too, are coming from a free and empowered woman, unafraid to write about love and sexuality in the most open way: 'I hope your boyfriend doesn't mind/ You tell me that you love me every time /I held his girl in my hands/ She likes it 'cause they're softer than a man's,' she sings on the opener Boyfriend. If the 90s influences are unavoidable when listening to the album's 13 tracks, there's just as much of Justine Frischmann as there is Courtney Love in Hackman's delivery. Although there are moments of vaunted grunge rock aggression, Hackman’s more delicate sound still echoes at times, especially in songs like Cigarette and Apple Tree, while the the album finishes with the faintly psychedelic Blahblahblah and the stringsassisted I'm Not Your Man. And while we might not get a happilyever-after by the end of I'm Not Your Man, the concluding impression is that of a deserving talent making a step down the path towards greatness.

! Hamda Issa-Salwe

! Tom Watson

! Guia Cortassa

NICK HÖPPNER Work Ostgut Ton

VARIOUS ARTISTS MOVES Marathon Artists

REVIEWS

08

07


Tresor Berlin June 2017

THE BEST IN NEW LIVE MUSIC NOLAY

SOURCE

JUNE 07 BIRTHDAYS LONDON

JUNE 14 LOCK TAVERN LONDON

DAM

SHOGUN

JUN 20 KAMIO LONDON

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UR pres. Depth Charge—Live (Mike Banks + Mark Flash) Alan Oldham Bill Youngman Blake Baxter DJ Skurge Ellen Allien Emika Fumiya Tanaka Jonas Kopp Mike Huckaby

@LNSOURCE

tresorberlin.com


071

For the 20th anniversary of their second LP, Davy Reed considers the context of the Wu-Tang Clan’s ideology

Original release date: 3 June, 1997 Wu-Tang Forever debuted at the very top of the US Billboard Albums Chart – a spot previously held by the Spice Girls for five weeks – and it would also peak at number one in Canada, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland. With 27 tracks split across two discs and an absence of radiotailored material, the Wu-Tang Clan’s second group album remains New York hip-hop’s most confident and indulgent gesture. But 20 years later, its title is cruelly ironic, as WuTang Forever marked the point when the group’s solidarity, and the widespread demand for their poetic style of hardcore rap, began to dissolve. Wu-Tang Forever was spearheaded by Triumph – a hookless posse cut featuring all nine official members alongside close affiliate Capadonna. The track is a compositional masterpiece, a relay of diverse and charismatic emcees each budging the tonality of the track in a new direction. You could

argue that the album’s core values are distilled within a few bars from Masta Killa, who delivers his spoken-word verse with all the seriousness of a religious sermon, advocating the enlightening potential of poetic hip-hop: “light is provided through sparks of energy from the mind that travels in rhyme form/ Giving sight to the blind,” yet, in the case of less discerning listeners, “the dumb are mostly intrigued by the drum.” Sonically and lyrically, the mood of Wu-Tang Forever is often morose and paranoid. Conventional hedonistic hiphop tropes are present, but approached with streetwise cynicism – intoxication is a coping mechanism, sex is corrupted with the risk of STDs and according to Method Man, “behind every fortune there’s a crime”. But at this point, the Wu-Tang Clan’s philosophy – formed with a mixture of kung-fu movie scripts and the teachings of the Five Percent Nation, the Nation of Islam offshoot which was prominent among NYC hip-hop circles during the 90s – was arguably at its most moralistic.

Disc One opens with a six minute lecture from Popa Wu, a kind of elder spiritual advisor to the group. While braggadocio is still expressed with aggressive imagery, tracks like A Better Tomorrow indentify the socio-economic frameworks that perpetuate poverty, and on Impossible, Ghostface Killah’s heartbreaking verse tells the story of the murder of an old friend, which is met with indifference from “Officer Louch” – a real-life New York policeman who allegedly harassed the Clan and killed one of their associates. Ghost’s verse is followed by an anti-gun message from his rhyming partner Raekwon – remarkable considering the pair had recently indulged in Mafioso fantasies for Raekwon’s seminal ’95 solo album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. The album would have risked being tedious if wasn’t for the fact the rappers were on such good form. The group’s 1993 debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is widely regarded as the classic, with its anthemic hooks and the eerie magic of RZA’s early, more lo-fi production. But with the exception of Ol’ Dirty Bastard

who only appeared on six tracks (his erratic behaviour, caused by mental health issues and substance abuse, was by this point leading him on a downward spiral which led to his untimely death in 2004) the group’s most popular emcees – namely Method Man, Ghostface and Raekwon – had matured lyrically and stylistically over the course of five years. Testament to RZA’s confidence in his group at the time, on Wu-Tang Forever he also gave the group’s B team equal exposure. Despite the lesser known members just about keeping up with the others, after Wu-Tang Forever, Masta Killa, U God, Inspectah Deck and Capadonna struggled to keep their solo careers afloat once RZA’s “five year plan” was up and the group began to disperse.  On the intro of Disc Two, RZA and GZA throw shots at rival rappers, attacking artists “trying to take hip-hop and make that shit RnB” and claiming that Wu-Tang Forever is “hip-hop in its purest form.” But ironically, most of the WuTang Clan’s hits after this LP featured catchy, radio-friendly

hooks – their patchy 1999 LP The W was propped up by Gravel Pit, ODB scored a hit with Baby I Got Your Money thanks to a quotable Kelis hook, while U God and Ghostface enjoyed another taste of chart success with the club-friendly single Cherchez La Ghost. When chart-busting singerrapper Drake paid tribute with his single Wu-Tang Forever in 2014, by this point the group were grateful for the cosign and eager to record their own version. “I guess we kind of came too hard for him,” came U God’s excuse when the remix never saw the light of day. If we look at the most relevant new hip-hop artists of 2017 – fashionable rappers like Lil Yachty, Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi Vert – in comparison to the Wu-Tang Clan in 1997, the contrast in values, style and form couldn’t be more striking. Yachty’s music often conveys carefree adolescent joy; Carti dismisses dextrous rapping almost entirely, depending heavily on ad-libs; and Uzi has admitted, “Instagram did just as much for me as SoundCloud”. Their art seems to be an emotional escape from the

pain of America’s struggles, rather than a direct articulation of them. It’s strange to expect these young artists, who are separated from the Wu-Tang Clan by generations and geography, to weave Wu-Tang’s influence into the DNA of their style. (After all, the Wu-Tang Clan’s hardcore street sound and poetic pride was a radical departure from the from The Bronx’s DJ-focused hip-hop block parties of the 1980s.) And yet, new styles of hip-hop are still measured against the criteria of quality established with records like Wu-Tang Forever. Maybe it was just so good that the world never got over it.

REVIEWS

WU-TANG CL AN Wu-Tang Forever


Lanzarote

06—17 MOTH Club Valette St London E8

Thursday 15 June

M!R!M

mothclub.co.uk Friday 16 June Thursday 1 June

LESCOP

lanzaroteworks.com #lanzaroteworks

presents

BIKE

Tuesday 27 June

HOLLOW COVES

The Lock Tavern 35 Chalk Farm Rd London NW1 lock-tavern.com

Saturday 17 June Tuesday 13 June

SEAN NICHOLAS SAVAGE

THE PUSSYWARMERS

Thursday 1 June

PARTY HARDLY

Saturday 24 June Friday 16 June

USA NAILS Monday 19 June

JUANA MOLINA Tuesday 20 June

KIKAGAKU MOYO Monday 26 June

PEAKING LIGHTS Tuesday 4 July

BENJAMIN BOOKER Friday 7 July

A GUY CALLED GERALD Tuesday 18 July

THE MEATBODIES

Shacklewell Arms 71 Shacklewell Lane London E8 shacklewellarms.com Friday 2 June

THE COURTNEYS Wednesday 7 June

ALGIERS Thursday 8 June

MANNEQUIN PUSSY

SHOW BOY Thursday 6 July

BABA NAGA Friday 7 July

HOUSEWIVES Saturday 8 July

BAD BREEDING

The Waiting Room 175 Stoke Newington High St N16 waitingroomn16.com Thursday 1 June

J BERNARD Saturday 10 June

COSMO VITELLI Tuesday 13 June

FIFI RONG Thursday 15 June

QUAL Thursday 22 June

RENART Saturday 24 June

KAREN GWYER

Friday 2 June

THE SPITTING PIPS Wednesday 7 June

TALL JUAN Thursday 8 June

VINYL STAIRCASE Friday 9 June

MEAT CANDY Saturday 10 June

MUERTOS

The Montague Arms 289 Queen’s Rd, London SE14 2PA montaguearms.co.uk Thursday 1 June

WEDDING Friday 2 June

EMMAVIE Thursday 8 June

BAT AND BALL Friday 9 June

DREAM NAILS Sunday 11 June

IRON


073

Film 07 08

From its origins in the warehouse clubs of Chicago and Detroit to its fast-moving trajectory across Europe, the fascinating rise of electronic dance music has long been of interest within the documentary genre. Romuald Karmakar’s If I Think of Germany at Night feels like an essential addition to this tradition, providing an intimate insight into today’s current dance music landscape. Following five pioneering DJs in Germany’s club scene – Ricardo Villalobos, Roman Flügel, David Moufang (aka Move D), Ata Macias and Sonja Moonear – director Romuald Karmakar offers snapshots into extended conversations, experimental jamming sessions, and hedonistic outings. As aesthetically beautiful as they are sonically, the club scenes are particularly striking, shifting between wide shots of pulsating dancefloors and focused close-ups of those commanding the turntables. Often tuning directly into the headphones, Karmakar silences the partying silhouettes to reveal the intricacy of each DJ’s skill. Equally as absorbing are the film’s excerpts of dialogue. In a nostalgic stream of consciousness, at one point Move D maps his fascination with sound on to an early love for the solar system, poetically concluding that ‘music is a cosmos of its own.’ Distinctly slow in pace, If I Think of Germany at Night is ultimately a film of subtle observations. Taking a step back from the freneticism of a genre so inherently intertwined with club culture, Karmarkar paints a sincere and authentic portrait of house and techno today, and one which looks much deeper into its nuances than any chronological history could. ! Georgia Tobin

05

Guardians of the Gala xy Vol 2 dir: James Gunn Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Kurt Russell For all its flaws, I really enjoyed the first Guardians of the Galaxy. It consistently maintained the correct level of entertaining ridiculousness, the storyline was good, and the soundtrack was great. I’m not saying GOTG2 isn’t entertaining (it is), or ridiculous (it really, really is), but it’s also just a bit – to use the colloquial phrase - meh. As we rejoin Peter Quill and the gang, they’re up to their usual business of fighting crime/ stealing stuff and running away. A mysterious figure called Ego (Kurt Russell) turns up, reveals himself as Peter’s father, and some of the Guardians head to Ego’s planet to chill where – spoiler – things aren’t quite what they seem. Gunn’s main device for character development seems to be forcing pathos slapdash into every characters’ back story. This gets a bit exhausting as well as taking away from the only real emotional arc of Michael Rooker’s excellent Yondu. Instead of trying to follow the multiple nonsensical storylines and unsteady torrent of dodgy ‘banter’, adjust your expectations and focus on the flashing lights and special effects, of which there are lots. Or better still, save yourself some cash, stay in and watch the first one again.

Let’s face it, the most original thing about Alien Covenant is probably the fetching caps they’re wearing in the trailer. But no matter how disappointing the prequel Prometheus was, it seems the prestige of the Alien franchise will always be enough to draw people to the cinema. And thankfully, Ridley Scott seems to have taken some of the criticism of Prometheus on board. Covenant is a ship on a mission to colonise other planets, so its crew are made up of couples. Despite this Scott, veers away from the social commentary found throughout Prometheus. Dropping the sociology meant that, sure, I probably rooted less for the humans playing host to fledgling aliens in their stomachs and spinal cords, but this left more screentime for characters David and Walter (both played by Michael Fassbender) to engage in some old fashioned doppelganger antics. Oh Fassbender. This is a classic villainous performance that won’t get you an Oscar, but it’s one that will thrill audiences for a very long time. David, a rogue ‘synthetic’ human/robot who we first met in Prometheus, brilliantly explores the notion of fragile humanity teetering on the oblivion of AI. Katherine Waterson as Daniels does well with a role which, comparatively, seems to have been written with less depth, making for an unfortunate imbalance. But with a nod to the god-like presence of H.R Giger’s designs and Fassbender on top form, there’s still plenty of pop science, space fashion and gore to enjoy. ! Tim Oxley Smith

08

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword dir: Guy Ritchie Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Eric Bana Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur is exactly as it sounds on paper: a fast-paced, quick-cut, cockneybanter-filled romp loosely based on Arthurian legend. Ritchie has been pretty selective about which elements of Arthur he brings into this origin story. There’s no Guinevere or Merlin, but there’s phrases like “razzle-dazzle with a sword” being flung around with wild abandon. Charlie Hunnam’s brawny Arthur is raised in a whorehouse in Londinium before being shipped out to try his hand at freeing the mighty Excalibur. Sword liberated and anachronistic gang assembled (you remember Goosefat Bill and Chinese George from the round table, right?), he comes for his uncle Vortigern, played with a slick and delighted malevolence by Jude Law, who is very good at being very bad. There’s certainly a lot you could get your knickers in a twist about – the only woman that isn’t a prostitute, a monster or killed off doesn’t even get a name – and if David Beckham had to do a dodgy cameo, did it have to be at the most pivotal scene in the legend? But, actually, given the ludicrous state of our current reality, I’ll take all the razzle-dazzle I can get. ! Tamsyn Black

! Tamsyn Black

REVIEWS

IF I THINK OF GERMANY AT NIGHT dir: Romuald Karmakar Starring: Ricardo Villalobos, Roman Flügel, Sonja Moonear

ALIEN COVENANT dir: Ridley Scott Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup


Upcoming London Shows 14 SEPT.

Henry Green The Lexington Angel

30 JUNE.

14 SEPT.

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Wesley Gonzalez

Oslo Hackney

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31 MAY.

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29 SEPT.

Oval Space Hackney

Moth Club Hackney

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31 MAY.

22 JULY.

17 OCT.

Birthdays Dalston

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Roundhouse Camden

01 JUNE.

23 AUG.

Adam Torres

27 OCT.

MØ

Scala Kings Cross

Sebright Arms Hackney

O2 Academy Brixton

01 JUNE.

30 AUG.

30 AUG.

Heaven Charing Cross

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The Lexington Angel

04 JUNE.

04 SEPT.

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07 & 08 NOV.

Omeara London Bridge

The Garage Highbury

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05 JUNE.

04 & 05 SEPT.

10 NOV.

!!!

re-TROS

Swet Shop Boys

Marika Hackman

Julien Baker Bush Hall Shepherds Bush

Meatbodies

Slaves

Beach Fossils

Courtney Marie Andrews

Chastity Belt The Garage Highbury

By The Sea Festival

Johnny Flynn

& The Sussex Wit

The Dream Syndicate

Father John Misty

Julien Baker Union Chapel Highbury

Bush Hall Shepherds Bush 06 JUNE.

Minus The Bear

07 SEPT.

Scala Kings Cross

Village Underground Shoreditch

PLUS JOAN OF ARC

11 JUNE.

Junun Rich Mix Shoreditch 13 JUNE.

Noga Erez Pickle FactoryHackney 19 JUNE.

Hundred Waters Bush Hall Shepherds Bush 20 JUNE.

Deep Throat Choir Scala Kings Cross 26 JUNE.

Peaking Lights Moth Club Hackney

Girlpool

11 NOV.

Pissed Jeans Electric Ballroom Camden

for tickets and more info visit rockfeedback.com

31 MAY.


075

Products

DISCWOMAN DENIM HAT discwoman.bigcartel.com $34 When it comes to the dancefloor, everyone knows that good politics leads to good vibes. Discwoman is the music collective and booking agency that supports female-indentifying DJs and producers, creating safe and inclusive spaces for progressively-minded clubbers. Their merch is fucking cool too.

LIT TLE BL ACK BOOK: A TOOLKIT FOR WORKING WOMEN womenwho.co/the-book £4 Last year, writer and brand consultant Otegha Uwagba launched Women Who – an organisation which connects creative working women. Following the initiative’s success, Uwagba has remedied the lack of relatable career guides with Little Black Book, which includes contributions from author Chimamanda Ngozi Adchie, Refinery29 co-founder Piera Gelardi and The Gentlewoman’s Editor-in-Chief Penny Martin.

JOSHUA GORDON: DIARY PART 1 joshua-gordon.com £35 (inc. postage) Joshua Gordon’s work captures a sense of raw energy, and for his debut book, the Londonbased Irish photographer and Crack Magazine contributor has gathered character studies and personal projects for a collection that includes images of girlfriend Jess Maybury, his own bedroom, and sex workers in Thailand.

FOR THE RECORD SLING BAG TROLLEY Carhartt x HHV x UDG hhv.de €219,99 Does your vinyl weigh a ton? If, like Mr. Butter Wolf himself, you’re quite proud of your enormous collection of wax, then you might want to invest in keeping it safe while on the move. This light record bag from Carhartt features a cushioned laptop compartment, which will come in handy for those lonely airport sessions, as well as a built in LED flashlight, so you can find that killer record even in the dankest of dungeon raves.

DER SL AF publicpossession.com €12

ACE AND TATE aceandtate.de Summer’s here and you can live out all your Thelma and Louise-style roadtrip fantasies (minus the bank robbing, cliff diving, and general peril of course) in these cat eye tortoise shell beauties.

REVIEWS

Having mastered lovably wonky dance music, Public Possession are moving onto printed matter. The label’s Der Slaf publication ruminates on the theme of sleep. Limited to 500 copies, and with texts in German and English as well as illustrations, the publication is apparently “at once an invitation to wake and to sleep.” Dreamy.


BOOK NOW: 0161 832 1111 ⁄ MANCHESTERACADEMY.NET

THEE OH SEES

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SUNDAY 25TH JUNE / MANCHESTER ACADEMY

THE SHINS

TUESDAY 22ND AUGUST / MANCHESTER ACADEMY

TASH SULTANA

TUESDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER / CLUB ACADEMY

WATERPARKS

WEDNESDAY 27TH SEPTEMBER / ACADEMY 3

THIRD EYE BLIND

FRIDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER / ACADEMY 2

THE DRUMS

WEDNESDAY 4TH OCTOBER / ACADEMY 2Y

DUA LIPA

TUESDAY 10TH OCTOBER / MANCHESTER ACADEMY

GARY NUMAN

FRIDAY 13TH OCTOBER / MANCHESTER ACADEMY

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THU.08.JUN.17

THU.13.JUL.17

FRI.09.JUN.17

THU.20.JUL.17

FRI.09.JUN.17

MON.24.JUL.17 TUE.25.JUL.17 WED.26.JUL.17

SAT.10.JUN.17

SAT.29.JUL.17 MON.09.OCT.17

TUE.13.JUN.17

TUE.01.AUG.17

WED.18.OCT.17

TUE.13.JUN.17

FRI.11.AUG.17

FRI.20.OCT.17

THU.15.JUN.17

THU.26.OCT.17

THU.15.JUN.17

THU.31.AUG.17

THU.26.OCT.17

TUE.20.JUN.17

SUN.03.SEP.17

WED.01.NOV.17 SAT.09.SEP.17 THU.22.JUN.17 MON.13.NOV.17 THU.14.SEP.17

MON.26.JUN.17 THU.14.SEP.17

TUE.14.NOV.17

TUE.27.JUN.17 WED.28.JUN.17

WED.28.JUN.17

THU.29.JUN.17

WED.05.JUL.17

THU.21.SEP.17

FRI.22.SEP.17

FRI.29.SEP.17

SAT.07.OCT.17

THU.16.NOV.17

MON.20.NOV.17

JW RIDLEY THURS 1 JUNE THE WAITING ROOM

D.D DUMBO WED 23 AUG OMEARA

BECKIE MARGARET THURS 28 SEPT THE WAITING ROOM

YANN TIERSEN MON 30 OCT ROYAL ALBERT HALL

PERFUME GENIUS THURS 8DJUNE OUT SOL HEAVEN

NOTHING SUN 27 AUG THE LEXINGTON

LAWRENCE ARABIA MON 12 JUNE THE ISLINGTON

CAR SEAT HEADREST TUES 29 AUG O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN

AIR TRAFFIC WED 4 OCT T D OU SCALA SOL MON 9 OCT ISLINGTON ASSEMBLY HALL

CHRISTIAN LOFFLER & MOHNA TUES 31 OCT VILLAGE UNDERGROUND

OTZEKI WED 14 JUNE CORSICA STUDIOS MON.18.DEC.17

GRACE LIGHTMAN THURS 29 JUNE PAPER DRESS VINTAGE DEVENDRA BANHART WED 18 JULY OUT SOLD EMPIRE HACKNEY TOM HICKOX WED 19 JULY OSLO HACKNEY

THIS IS THE KIT THURS 21 SEPT O2 SHEPHERD’S BUSH EMPIRE THE NATIONAL MON 25 SEPT, TUES 26 SEPT, WED 27 SEPT, & THURS 28 SEPT EVENTIM HAMMERSMITH APOLLO

KELLY LEE OWENS THURS 19 OCT OSLO HACKNEY (SANDY) ALEX G TUES 24 OCT SCALA

INSECURE MEN WED 8 NOV SCALA ANNA MEREDITH THURS 16 NOV OVAL SPACE

DIET CIG WED 25 OCT MOTH CLUB

LUKE HOWARD FRI 17 NOV ST PANCRAS OLD CHURCH

IDER WED 25 OCT & THURS 26 OCT ARCHSPACE

FUTURE ISLANDS OUTNOV SOLD MON 20 & TUES 21 NOV O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON

PARALLELLINESPROMOTIONS.COM


JUNE 01.06 10.06

Irini Mando /

Fibre + SDR / 15.06

JULY

~ LIVE ~ 02.06

12.06

JacksonsWarehouse /

Tove Styrke /

Gospeloke /

16.06

13.06

04.06

Peggy’s Big Sunday /

The Vacant Lots /

Vanessa White /

18.06

14.06

08.06

Sick Puppies

Sounds Familiar Music Quiz

FUN DMC /

20.06

Joseph J Jones

30.06

Club CloseUp: Rocky Nti /03.07 +04.07 Daniel Caesar [Sold Out]

07.07

Girls & Boys: Scors + Sunken /

27.07

Sola Rosa Sound System

~ LATE ~ every Friday

03.06

10.06

NIGHT CALL

BUSHWICK BOOGIE

APPLEBUM LOOSE CATZ

Weekly

Hip hop, R&B, house, garage,

Friday Club

bashment & everything in

presents

17.06

18.06

24.06

MOHO

THE DOCTOR’S ORDERS

FREE DLVRY

90s hip hop and r’n’b knees up for all you cool kids

between

Exploring every year of the

A night of forward thinking bass music

40+ year history of hip hop

Dates, times & tickets: hoxtonsquarebar.com

| HOXTONSQUAREBAR 2-4 HOXTON SQUARE, LONDON, N1 6NU

Bo

u

ar

y br ea

music & art g n ki

s

nd

Sat 1st July Host: Paul Foot

itoriim the Odudles Howard

J regory Tilly G Hester Dr l ampbel Daisy C amwell r B id v Da iggs John H

+

ema Mini Cinwing ra D n e k Drun

Go Dark Rozi Plain Oly Ralfe Hannah Bruce Jack Cheshire Laura J Martin Dead Rat Orchestra Yorkston Thorne & Khan

Basim Magdy The Stars Were Aligned for a Century of New Beginnings Friday 14 April to Sunday 18 June 2017 Admission Free arnolfini.org.uk / @ArnolfiniArts #BasimMagdy

Tickets: £15 adv We Got Tickets Victoria Arms, Mill Ln Oxford, OX3 0QA. Age: 16+ www.irregularfolk.co.uk

Basim Magdy is Deutsche Bank’s “Artist of Image: Basim Magdy, They Come In Threes

the Year” 2016. The exhibition is organised in

Like Fireworks, 2011. Watercolour, spray paint

cooperation with Deutsche Bank and had its

and collage on paper.

premiere at Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, Berlin


EVERY FRIDAY AT KOKO

PRESENTS

FRI.2.JUNE

FRED FALKE 2 HOUR SET / JAFUNK

FRI.9.JUNE

AMIR OBÉ LIVE / AUSTIN MILLZ

FRI.16.JUNE

OSCAR #WORLDPEACE LIVE / JAMNSON

FRI.23.JUNE

HARDY CAPRIO LIVE / CURLYKILLS

FRI.30.JUNE

GAVIN TUREK LIVE / JAFUNK

FRI.7.JULY TASHA THE

AMAZON LIVE / CURLYKILLS

FRI.14.JULY TBA FRI.21.JULY

RAC / WARREN XCLNCE

HOUSE • HIP HOP • FUTURE BEATS • #GETBURST EVERY FRIDAY Tickets: KOKO.UK.COM

0844 847 2258

Connect:

@getburst


Clark

SUNN O)))

Sat 8 July, O2 Ritz

Sat 15 July, O2 Ritz

+ Akkord (DJ set)

LEVELZ takeover Thur 29 June, Gorilla

+ Demdike Stare (DJ set)

Holly Herndon

Paleman

Fri 30 June, Gorilla

Thur 6 July, Gorilla

+ Mary Anne Hobbs (DJ set)

+ Walton (DJ set)

The Haxan Cloak

Kojey Radical

Colin Stetson

Fri 7 July, Gorilla

Thur 13 July, Gorilla

Fri 14 July, Gorilla

+ Herron (DJ set)

+ Mary Anne Hobbs (DJ set)

Dark Matter

Dark Matter is eight immersive shows from pioneering national, international and Manchester-based musicians.

+ Mary Anne Hobbs (DJ set)

Curated by Mary Anne Hobbs Lighting design Stuart Bailes

Part of Manchester International Festival

Tickets from ÂŁ12* 0843 208 1840 mif.co.uk #mif17

Commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival. *Greater Manchester residents on a lower wage. Transaction fee applies.


Ovation DATE

ARTIST

VENUE

27.04.17 HVOB and Winston Marshall Live, David Douglas

Oval Space

30.04.17 Soul:Ution and Special Guests

The Pickle Factory

11.05.17

The Pickle Factory

Throwing Snow Live, Yaws Live

16.05.17 Off Bloom, Harrison Brome, Nuuxs

The Pickle Factory

17.05.17

Moth Club

Ekali Live, Salute (DJ)

25.05.17 Death in Vegas, Ramleh

Oval Space

25.05.17 Death in Vegas Afters

The Pickle Factory

28.05.17 Soul:Ution and Special Guests

The Pickle Factory

01.06.17 Krrum, Tony Njoku

The Pickle Factory

11.06.17

The Pickle Factory

Ezra Collective, Tom Skinner, Very Special Guest

29.06.17 Guises: Akkord, Minimal Violence, Guy Andrews, Untold (DJ) The Pickle Factory 08.07.17 Soul:Ution and Special Guests

The Pickle Factory

03.08.17 ADULT., Richard Fearless

Moth Club

www.ovationmusic.co.uk

www.ovalspace.co.uk www.mothclub.co.uk


Chapter III is coming to an end …

Saturday

SEPTEMBER 2nd Kindl-Bühne Wuhlheide, Berlin

moderat.fm


084

Crossword Across 4. For the love of God! Someone extinguish that male! 6. Helium, hot-air, good times, parties 8. Corporate festival hell, lives between U and W 9. The British glam rock band responsible for the 1974 feel good hit Tiger Feet 10. In print media, these are used to grab attention and – in some cases – distribute hate 11. Vulnerable to incineration at Reading, sounds like a county in South East England Down 1. Financial schemes of this nature should be avoided 2. A transportable WC 3. Look at the flick of the _____ / These chicks don’t even know the name of my ____ 5. Tiny grains of sparkles, sometimes fun sometimes annoying 7. Beef wrapped in puff pastry and baked. Delicious.

Answers Across: Burning Man, Balloons, V Festival, Mud, Headline, Tent Down: Pyramid, Portaloo, Wristband, Glitter, Wellington

Self Portrait

Michael Stipe or DJ Hype? 1) “My feeling is that labels are for canned food” 2) “Every era will look back on their time with great memories; and contempt for what is happening now.” 3) “Super casual listeners. That’s most of the people in the world, and that’s why top 40 radio exists.” 4) “When I get really hammered I take my clothes off.” 5) “I would have loved to have been David Attenborough, because I love nature and everything natural”

Answers: 1) Stipe 2) Hype 3) Stipe 4) Stipe 5) Hype

DIGRESSIONS


Anatole France

Deviate

DAUBENTON

This month's artist takeover was created by @newhousecharlie, who was responding to the word 'Deviate'.

Credit to Velvetyne Type Foundry Designed by Olivier Dolbeau

If you're interested in contributing to this series, please email artsubmissions@crackmagazine.net


BIRD ON THE WIRE PRESENTS BIRD ON THE WIRE PRESENTS BIRD ON THE WIRE PRESENTS

Tops + Tops + The Goon Tops + The Sax Goon The Goon Sax Sax

Mac Mac DeMarco Mac DeMarco DeMarco

Lydia Lydia Ainsworth Lydia Ainsworth Ainsworth

TUE 30TH MAY T O2 ACADEMY OU BRIXTON TUE OLD MAY WED30TH MAY S31ST T O2 OU BRIXTON O2 ACADEMY ACADEMY BRIXTON TUE 30TH OLD MAY WED MAY S31ST T BRIXTON U O2 ACADEMY O D O2 OL MAYBRIXTON WEDACADEMY S31ST O2 ACADEMY BRIXTON

WED 31ST MAY LONDON FIELDS WED 31ST MAY BREWHOUSE LONDON WED 31ST FIELDS MAY BREWHOUSE LONDON FIELDS BREWHOUSE

Shugo Shugo Tokumaru Shugo Tokumaru Tokumaru

Mannequin Mannequin Pussy Mannequin Pussy Pussy

TUE 6TH JUN THE DOME TUE 6TH JUN TUFNELL PARK THE DOME TUE 6TH JUN TUFNELL PARK THE DOME TUFNELL PARK

WED 7TH JUN OSLO WED 7TH JUN OSLO WED 7TH JUN OSLO

THU 8TH JUN THE SHACKLEWELL THU 8TH JUN ARMS THE SHACKLEWELL THU 8TH JUN ARMS THE SHACKLEWELL ARMS

TUE THE TUE THE TUE THE

WED 21ST JUN CORSICA STUDIOS WED 21ST JUN CORSICA WED 21ST STUDIOS JUN CORSICA STUDIOS

THU 29TH JUN THE LEXINGTON THU 29TH JUN THE THU LEXINGTON 29TH JUN THE LEXINGTON

FRI 14TH JUL THE GARAGE FRI 14TH JUL THE GARAGE FRI 14TH JUL THE GARAGE

WED 16TH AUG OSLO WED 16TH AUG OSLO WED 16TH AUG OSLO

WED 16TH AUG ELECTRIC BALLROOM WED 16TH AUG ELECTRIC BALLROOM WED 16TH AUG ELECTRIC BALLROOM

THU 24TH AUG BUSH HALL THU 24TH AUG BUSH HALL THU 24TH AUG BUSH HALL

TUE 29TH AUG KOKO TUE 29TH AUG KOKO TUE 29TH AUG KOKO

TUE 17TH OCT OSLO TUE 17TH OCT OSLO TUE 17TH OCT OSLO

TUE 7TH NOV THE DOME TUFNELL PARK TUE 7TH NOV THE TUE DOME 7TH NOV TUFNELL PARK THE DOME TUFNELL PARK

Bleached Bleached Bleached

20TH JUN VICTORIA 20TH JUN VICTORIA 20TH JUN VICTORIA

The Gories The Gories The Gories

Nadia Reid Nadia Reid Nadia Reid

Chad Chad Vangaalen Chad Vangaalen Vangaalen

Pile Pile Pile

Karl Blau & Karl Blau & Laura Gibson Karl Blau & Laura Gibson Laura Gibson

Jens Lekman Jens Lekman Jens Lekman

Japanese Japanese Breakfast Japanese Breakfast Breakfast

Public Public Access T.V. Public Access T.V. Access T.V.

Molly Burch Molly Burch Molly Burch

Kirin J Kirin J Callinan Kirin J Callinan Callinan

THU 1ST JUN SEBRIGHT ARMS THU 1ST JUN SEBRIGHT ARMS THU 1ST JUN SEBRIGHT ARMS

FRI 2ND JUN SEBRIGHT ARMS FRI 2ND JUN SEBRIGHT ARMS FRI 2ND JUN SEBRIGHT ARMS

TUE 13TH JUN MOTH CLUB TUE 13TH JUN MOTH CLUB TUE 13TH JUN MOTH CLUB

WED 14TH JUN THE LEXINGTON WED 14TH JUN THE WEDLEXINGTON 14TH JUN THE LEXINGTON

Michael Nau Michael Nau Michael Nau

Hurray For Hurray The RiffFor Raff Hurray For The Riff Raff The Riff Raff

TUE THE TUE THE TUE THE

TUE 17TH OCT KOKO TUE 17TH OCT KOKO TUE 17TH OCT KOKO

Sean Sean Nicholas Sean Nicholas Savage Nicholas Savage Savage

Ulrika Ulrika Spacek Ulrika Spacek Spacek

Allah-Las Allah-Las Allah-Las

Ty Segall Ty Segall Ty Segall

FRI 1ST SEP THE CORONET FRI 1ST SEP THE CORONET FRI 1ST SEP THE CORONET

Com Truise Com Truise Com Truise

WED 8TH NOV OVAL SPACE WED 8TH NOV OVAL SPACE WED 8TH NOV OVAL SPACE

26TH SEP LEXINGTON 26TH SEP LEXINGTON 26TH SEP LEXINGTON

Girl Ray Girl Ray Girl Ray

THU 9TH NOV SCALA THU 9TH NOV SCALA THU 9TH NOV SCALA

MORE INFO & TICKETS MORE INFO & TICKETS MORE INFO & TICKETS

The War The War On Drugs The War On Drugs On Drugs TUE 14TH NOV ALEXANDRA PALACE TUE 14TH NOV ALEXANDRA PALACE TUE 14TH NOV ALEXANDRA PALACE

BIRDONTHEWIRE.NET BIRDONTHEWIRE.NET BIRDONTHEWIRE.NET


087

Turning Points: Big Freedia

“I want to give people courage and inspiration. No matter what you go through, you can come back from it”

Words: Jake Hall

This year, Freedia is proving her resilience. The last 12 months have seen the icon experience legal trouble over fraudulent income statements, but she’s back with the sixth series of her reality show to set the record straight. Her story resonates; not only has she discussed growing up young, black and gay in an area where homosexuality isn’t widely accepted, she has worked tirelessly over the last two decades to establish herself as a bounce legend, building herself up to the global profile she enjoys and utilises for empowerment today. Here’s breakdown of the events that punctuated her meteoric rise.

Mid to late 90s: Meeting Drag Queen and Bounce Artist Katey Red I first met Katey Red a long time ago, probably in about 1995, through one of our other best friends Adolf. We all just started hanging out and became girlfriends or whatever. In 1998, Katey started her bounce music career and, me being her friend, I started to support her, to background for her and to just be there for her. People kept saying I had the voice for bounce, and I was already well known in New Orleans, so I started to do my own solo project maybe two years later. 2005: Hurricane Katrina I was very unhappy at being displaced. I love my city and I love where I grew up, so I was eager to come back and, once I did get back, I felt like I could be such a great help to the rebuilding process and that I could try to get people to come home. I had been to Shreveport, I had been to Houston, but it was just not happening for me in those places. There’s no place like home! 2010 – 2013: Late Career Resurgence and Reality Show When I hit the New York Times and that article [2010’s New Orleans’s GenderBending Rap feature] started to blow up everywhere, people started to call

me and book me all over the world. Then, when my agency started putting all of the different countries on the agenda it was like… Wow, this is really happening! The reality show wasn’t a difficult decision for me. My life is a story! 2015: Autobiography God Save the Queen Diva! The autobiography happened really quickly. We had been thinking about it, but we actually wrote the book in just a few months. I think my story could definitely help some young gay person on their journey, but it could also help different people in different situations, not just a young, gay black person. There’s something for everyone to relate to – the passing of my mother, how I got in the bounce game, how I worked my butt off, all the trials that I went through growing up. 2016: A Call from Beyoncé Oh my God, Beyoncé is my girl! When I found out she was a fan of mine I was just blown away, and then when I got that phone call from her I was obviously even more blown away. Just to even be at that level, where somebody of that calibre loves you and loves your work, is such an amazing feeling. To get to where I am now, it’s about consistency

and steady working – it’s about always grinding. I had been doing this for such a long time before I blew up, but it was all about getting that work in. 2017: TV series Big Freedia Bounces Back Everything is real on my show. Life adversities come and go, and people can bounce back. I want to give people courage and inspiration, to help them see that, no matter what you go through, you can come back from it. It’s going to be real juicy! I am mostly excited about the new season, but I am a little nervous about this one in particular because of all the changes that have happened over the last year. Sometimes, fans can be cruel, because they don’t understand why you make certain changes. They don’t always get the full story, so we try to put it all in the show. It’s complicated, but I try to do my best to explain things and let people know where I’m coming from. Hopefully, they get it. Big Freedia appears at Afropunk, Printworks, London, 22-23 July

MUSIC

It’s no understatement to say that Big Freedia is legendary. Since the late 90s, the Queen of Bounce (as she was crowned by none other than Mia X) has been making infectious, high-energy bangers, filling clubs first across her home city of New Orleans and, now, worldwide. Although the twerk has been a fixture of the bounce scene for decades, Freedia claimed a world record by assembling 358 dancers to twerk simultaneously in 2013. Just last year, she teamed up with Queen Bey herself, providing a series of iconic vocals (“I came to slay, bitch!”) for the Formation video.


05

CRACK MAGAZINE ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION FROM £20


089

20 Questions: Miss Red “Piece of advice I'd give to myself ten years ago? Go harder”

Words: Davy Reed

Have you ever had a nickname? Cotti. My Grandma’s name is Jacotti, which is too weird for children to say. So they always call me Cotti.

What book are you currently reading? The Sandman, Vol. 3: Dream Country. It’s a graphic novel.

Heavy metal or EDM? Heavy metal.

Favourite Wu-Tang Clan member? It’s either Ghostface Killah, or RZA. Who’s your favourite person to follow on Instagram? @g.lobablanca. She makes the best visual collages for me. What was the first record you fell in love with? Studio One Presents Burning Spear.

Describe the worst haircut you’ve ever had… When I was 13 or 14, I was kind of dirty. I had big, big dreads in my hair. And I cut the back so there was no hair, but the front was full of hair. I liked that! But my father didn’t. So then he was like ‘Sharon I will cut your hair’ and I was like ‘yeah why not?’ I held the front of my hair, and instead of cutting underneath my hand he cut above it. Kind of mean. I was left with no hair!

Do you have a favourite style of heavy metal? I can’t say one really, but there’s this band I’ve enjoyed recently called Wormlust. Who’s the most famous person you've ever met? I bumped into Iggy Pop. We were playing on this mad line-up in Iceland, he was on his way to the stage and I almost got kicked out by security!

What’s your signature recipe? I cook anything with aubergine really nice.

If you could pick a surrogate grandparent, who would it be? Don Carlos.

Whenever I try to cook aubergine it goes a weird texture. Rubbery… Okay - you don’t cook it right. If it’s rubber, it’s not right. You can make a little fire or if you have fire in your stove, you open that. Then you need to burn it. Put it in the flames. Inside it’s really mushy, impossible to be rubber. Don’t be scared of the fire!

Is there a piece of advice you wish you’d give to yourself ten years ago? “Go harder.”

What would be your Desert Island Drug? Acid. 100%. I’m alone in the desert for the rest of my life right? Well it’s a desert island so there might be some exotic birds, maybe some monkeys or something. Perfect.

What’s your worst habit? I have many, but the worst is probably that when I eat, I make a lot of noise. I enjoy food and I enjoy it fully. Other people find it disturbing, but I don’t really care. What would you want written on your tombstone? “High as Fuck” @missred048

What’s your favourite drunken snack? Chicken Wings. If you were trying to seduce a potential lover, what music would you play? African Head Charge. Do you have any tattoos that you regret? No.

MUSIC

Sharon Stern and The Bug's Kevin Martin first met back in 2011, when she drunkenly grabbed the mic at his sweaty basement gig in her hometown of Tel Aviv. Rather than wallowing in a state of hungover remorse, the following day Sharon got herself in the studio with Martin, and ever since she’s been known to the world of good club music as Miss Red – a kind of superhero MC who galvanises Kevin’s punishingly loud dub-mutations with her agile flow. As we found out in this 20 Questions interview, Miss Red’s badass attitude can also be found in her table manners, her life philosophy and her tips for cooking aubergine.


Illustration: Ed Chambers

Perspective: Seeking Refuge, Respect and Hip-Hop Liverpool-based rapper Farhood fled his home country Iran after facing persecution as a result of his political activism. Ahead of this year’s Refugee Week UK and his appearance at M.I.A's Meltdown, Farhood shares his story of imprisonment, poetry and hope.. I am a poet and an MC from Iran. I arrived in the UK in 2011 and I’m currently based in Liverpool. I am an artist and a refugee. My story is not unique. It is sadly similar to thousands of stories of displaced people across the world. But it does illustrate how the system in the UK can make life incredibly difficult for those fleeing persecution and seeking refuge. I was an adolescent when I arrived here, left stranded in Liverpool with no resources and no single person who could offer me support. Upon arrival I was detained in prison for four months, because I had no papers or any regular documentation.

OPINION

Whilst in prison all I could do was to go over my journey in my head. So much had happened and there was so much to think about with the troubles in Iran. But there was no one to talk to about my story. The only way to keep myself sane was through writing poetry, something which I took pleasure in as a kid back home.

My poetry reminded me of my love for hip-hop in Iran, hanging out in parks and shisha bars with my friends trying to impress with new rhymes. Just before I left Iran, the country had gone through an election and the man who won – Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – wanted Iran to be more isolationist and conservative. With supporters, he violently silenced the protests called by the losing candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who wanted to bring in reforms. Hip-hop and rap and all those who performed it were seen as enemies of the government and endured persecution. Since I’ve arrived, the government in the UK have just seen me as another illegal immigrant coming over here to sponge off the system. My original application for asylum was unsuccessful and I faced another four years of being a stateless person, not able to work or study. The only exit out of my situation I could see was to convert to another religion and re-apply for asylum. I continued to write the whole time. I thought about writing lyrics in a more serious way to tell people of my experiences. After a while in Liverpool I met Kepla, a local producer who introduced me to his friend Ling, and the three of us started working on music together. After two years of playing small gigs and sharing music – from grime and club to Iranian hip-hop and

classical music – last year we released the Tike Tike EP, on which my lyrics bring forward many political and cultural issues, from global asylum to women’s rights, to trying to help people my age in Iran to know and fight for their rights. The first three years in Liverpool were incredibly difficult because I could not find like-minded people to spend time with, people who could accept who I was and understand the reasons why I was here. Since I started to make music, living with Kepla in a shared house of 16 friends involved in the art and music community and working with Between The Borders – a migrant issues magazine – I’ve been given the chance to fully express myself, find support in my ambitions and help other asylum seekers find their voice. Working with my friends perfectly illustrates the theme of Our Shared Futures, being celebrated by Refugee Week UK, which I am supporting again. Across the world there are thousands of people who are displaced and seen as just migrants, not people with skills, abilities, talents and stories. I want to help change this situation. I want to help change the way we think and talk about this global crisis. Whose crisis is it anyway? Crises for Europe and the developed world which needs to ‘cope’ with refugees? Refugees in the UK are facing harder times now, with issues like

Brexit and racism, and I want to show them hope in the face of depression, which I experience myself. I believe this is the journey I had to walk. I believe that there is no looking back, so I have to look forward and move forward. Being part of Meltdown Festival, which is being curated by M.I.A., and Refugee Week 2017 is so important. It shows that a refugee can make a transition, from being unheard in a prison in the UK to a point where I can talk about the problems in Iran and the UK to the world. I can be a voice for the voiceless. Farhood will play M.I.A.'s Meltdown festival at Southbank Centre, London, 9 - 18 June, and launch Refugee Week on 18 June


THE PEAC O C K ELECTRONIC CULTURE FESTIVAL

WAREHOUSE VISUAL ARTS CLUB FILMS TALKS

FRIDAY

7

SATURDAY

JULY 2017

8

Nina Kraviz | Dixon | Kaytranada | Marcel Dettmann Apollonia | The Martinez Brothers | The Black Madonna Carl Craig Presents Versus Synthetizer Ensemble Jackmaster | Moodymann | Dvs1 | Levon Vincent Midland | Romare FULL LIVE BAND | Tommy Genesis Avalon Emerson | Konstantin | Jlin LIVE | Kekra LIVE Marie Davidson LIVE | Ancient Methods Voiski LIVE | AZF | Peggy Gou | Fils de Venus Raheem Experience (MAD REY, NEUE GRAFIK, LB AKA LABAT) Hugo Lx | Varg LIVE | Blocaus W/ Exal | Blndr LIVE Codex Empire LIVE | Kablam | Tgaf Bamao Yende | Oko Dj

S O CIETY

IN FO S, T I CK E TS & CA M P I NG O N T HEPE ACO CKS O CI E TY. F R

A RT WO R K: ATE LIE R IR RA DI É

PARC FLORAL DE PARIS | 8PM > 7AM

CRACK Issue 77  

Featuring M.I.A., Richard Dawson, Aldous Harding, Binh, Kacy Hill, Phillip Gorbachev, Mahtab Hussain and much more

CRACK Issue 77  

Featuring M.I.A., Richard Dawson, Aldous Harding, Binh, Kacy Hill, Phillip Gorbachev, Mahtab Hussain and much more